Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Sound Mind

Hello on Wednesday!

A sound mind. Doesn't that have a nice, peaceful ring to it? It has been my prayer this week, because I have noticed how many thoughts I have that are not based on reality, but on my percieved reality, which gets proven false again and again. Phooey! Does this ever happen to you? My emotions and insecurities often tilt my thoughts toward unsoundness, and that's why this prayer had me doing a bit of research....

First, I noticed that insecurities, those wretched emotions that try to pull us away from rational sanity, can only be shaken off by truth, trust, and a willingness to be vulnerable (which is kinda hard to be, especially when lack of trust is presenting itself).

Second, confidence. It comes from God, His sure and solid and real truth, and beliving in both of those.

Which brings me to the third item -- renewing our mind. Now, how do we do this? By the word of God, of course! When we become children of God through belief in Jesus' work on the cross we want to please Him and be changed from what we once were. Our thoughts want to line up in trust with who God says we now are in Him and with who God says He is. We know His word is truth, we know God is faithful, cannot lie, and does not change. Also, we know we belong to Him, daughters of the Most High and fellow heirs with Jesus (wow!!!). Knowing this, all by itself, apart from all the zillions of verses God had written out for us, our thoughts can now be sound.

Sometimes, though, we have to remind our thoughts of this and lasso in any wayward ones that are a bit on the wild side of obedience. We bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

There is not a problem that cannot be answered with God's word, one way or another. For instance, the other day my thoughts were running amok with some wrong speculations. I actually was getting really worked up over what I was thinking was going on - you know, all those supposings..... Instead of coralling those thoughts and meditating on "whatsoever is true" I just allowed them to rule and reign without a fight. I believed the supposed reality of my thoughts. Well, later that day, they proved to be 100% wrong!!! I had wasted two whole hours in a mental uproar for nothing! I should have had the V8 of God's promises!!!

Anyhoo, "we are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, we are taking every (every!) thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5).

The book at the top is one I read years ago and just pulled off my bookshelf to peruse again....

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Waste Not; Help Out!

Happy Sunday!!!

I am one lucky dog because I got to spend almost this whole day doing one of the many things I love to do -- sewing!

Our church's annual missionary fundraiser, which is a tri-tip dinner and a silent auction, is coming in just a few weeks. In my email-box the other day, I got notice that they needed more donations. Well, with budgets being watched, I prayed about it. The perfect idea came (see what happens when you talk to the Lord about things?). The answer came to sew a baby blanket....

So, I went into my sewing room (which is also a jillion other things) and hunted up a pattern. I found this darling choo choo train paper-pieced pattern that I had purchased online a couple years ago. Then,I went through my drawers and boxes and pulled out all bits of fabrics and began the fun task of choosing what went together.

I found lots of scraps from last year's quilts I made my boys, so layed them out on the ironing board to see how they worked together - a perfect fit! It was so exciting to get to use what I had and not spend one single dime extra!

Paper piecing is pretty easy, and I was certain I'd have this small quilt finished in no time. However, I did not count on making sooooooo many mistakes and having to put my seam ripper to good use. Sheesh. It was a labor of love! For the missionaries it would help support, I cheerfully took out all mayhaps, and thanked the Lord.

Below is the pattern that I used. When I bought it, it was on a regular-sized paper and made a 6" square. I have no patience making squares that small. So, I hopped in my car and drove over to the reasonable-priced blueprint place and had them blow it up 400%. Ah, better - a 24" square!

I had to cut apart each of those nine patterns, sew each one, then sew them together. Kinda fun, but it takes a little time. See? Below are the pieces coming together.... Can you tell what it will be?????? :)

And then, I kept sewing and sewing...I think I can, I think I can... and pretty soon - ta-daaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

I think that our God Jehovah does the same with us. He uses scraps of this trial and scraps of this joy and pieces them all together into quite a quilt of a life. His stitches are perfect, though sometimes painful when we're poked. But it's only for our good. What He purposes to sew is something for our good, other's good, and His glory! Isn't that nice?????

"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6). He never quits on us, until He can display the finished product in heaven!!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My Annual, Sweet Gift From Jehovah!

Good morning!!!

I've already been to Winco, where I spent waaaay too much money. The sad thing is that I bought mostly the usual things. Yet... prices soar, up, up and uppppp! And my money flies out of my purse faster than I can say, "Good-bye Mr. Lincoln." I've been reading Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories, Volume 5. These sweet Bible stories began to be written in 1954. When I was little our Dr. Clerou had them carefully laid on on the children-sized plastic tables, along with the kids' Highlights magazines. We loved those! All the fun puzzles, mazes, pictures and stories kept us from remembering that we were soon gonna be banged with a needle! Anyhoo, Volume 5 begins with the story of Elijah. There's a picture of him by the Cherith Brook, and up above his head are the obedient ravens, cheerfully dropping down the morning or evening's chow for Elijah. God had told him, "I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there." And it happened just as God had said - of course! Remember that!!! So, my whole point is that if prices keep soaring, I will have to look to other things that soar, like ravens, to feed us! Well, that's really not the point at all, is it? The REAL point is that God knows our needs and can supply them however He wants. For Elijah, it was ravens. For taxes for Jesus and Peter, it was a fish with a tummy of coins. For us, well, it could be anything! Keep your eyes open! :)

No one on this planet gets as sidetracked as I do, surely. It was my sole intention to get on this blog and tell you the story of my Sweet Jehovah. Long ago, and not too far away - in Kingsburg, to be exact, which is 87 miles north of Bakersfield, I did not plant my Sweet Pea seeds, and therefore had none of the fragrant blooms to perfume my home. So, I asked the Lord for some. Sure enough, a friend brought over a bounteous bouquet of them, every color imaginable, and that was the beginning of God supplying my need for those darling flowers. (I know. I could plant them every year, but it seems I almost always forget.)

So, this year, like so many others, I was moaning over the fact that, once again, I let the months of September and October go by without planting my Sweet Pea seeds. Phooey, I thought! Well, Mike wanted me to help him in the garden, and what do you know??? --- a Sweet Pea plant, just one, was growing and had already produced two sweet pink-colored flowers! Clapping my hands with glee and thanks to God for His sweet, annual gift to me, I plucked it off the vine and plopped it in a small glass. Thank YOU, Lord!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The point of this story is that God sees allllllll of our needs. Not just physical ones, like chow. He sees the frivolous romantic ones, too - like a longing for flowers!
"And my God will fully supply your every need according to his glorious riches in the Messiah Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). Talk to Him about what your heart is longing for and see what He will answer. :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Look Who's 94!!!! (NO, not me!!!)

Most people freak out on tax day, April 15th, for obvious reasons. But for me and my family, it's a day of happy celebrating - 'cuz that's when my grandma was born! Isn't she beautiful? At 94 she still is fun and funny and smarter than smart! One secret about that is that she daily grabs her #2 pencil and does multitudes of Word Search puzzles. Really; it stimulates the mind! Mostly, though, I think she has kept her wits because she's kept a good attitude in this life. I am like her in so many ways, but need to really learn this from her!!!!!

So, today, we celebrated. My Aunt Joy, who lives with my granny (and, yes, they still love each other very much - everyone loves my grandma; she's special), treated us all to lunch at B J's Restaurant. Yum.

My grandma was telling my older sister, Theresa, how to kill and cook a chicken. My grandma used to do this all the time when she lived in the country. You had to be tough and not squeemish back then, and that is grandma. I could throw up just writing this!

Writing this has made me think of that yummy and very comforting verse in Isaiah. 46:4: Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you. That's a lot of 'I wills' from God! Jehovah is so good to us!

Happy Birthday, Grandma!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Get Your Garden Growing!

Are you ready to learn how to get that garden of yours ready for summer's luscious pluckings? Let's begin....

1. First, find a spot of soil that gets at least 6 hours of wonderful sunshine. It can be a large plot of soil, or small spaces in between your shrubs. Clear all weeds and debris, then add some soil fertilizer. I use this Miracle-Gro product for veggies; it's not a miracle, but my plants do gro-w!

2. Pour the fertilizer over the soil. Take your shovel - the long skinny trenching shovel, if you have one (or reg one), and stick that shovel blade nine inches into the ground and upturn the soil. You'll be tempted to do this fast, but be smart and do tiny sections at a time. Like this...

Do you know why you want to do tiny sections? Because you don't wanna break off your shovel blade, for one, but for two, you want to get all that soil well-loosened - this is where your veggies roots will stretch and grow -- and they will need lots of soft soil to do that without hindrance. Ok, moving on....

3. Grab your metal rake, break up all the clods, and smooth the plot. It will be so pretty!!!!
4. Get your Dahhling to come out and help you! Bribe him, act dumb, whatever it takes. When Mike helps, I am assured that my projects will get done in 1/100th of the time it would take this dawdler to do it alone. In the pic below he was making a funny face because he knew I had my camera on him.

5. If you just copy what Mike is doing in the pictures (he did the work; I had the camera. See how smart I am?!!!!), then you will know what to do with all those potted veggies you bought at the nursery. :)

6. 7. 8. 9. 10. After all is said and done, sprinkle snail bait around your work. CAUTION: Kids and pets don't know it's for snails only!!! It is said that marigolds, those pretty, flourishing summer flowers, are natural snail repellents.

11. For your precious tomatoes, it's important to stake them up somehow. You can buy tomato cages, or like us (okay! Like Mike...), you can use poles.

12. Water them. Weed them. Watch them grow. Pluck them. Share them. Enjoy them with thanksgiving!

This is a bit of work, but remember what Proverbs 6:6-8 says, "Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her (of course it's a her) ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer, and gathers her provision in the harvest." Happy gathering!!

Oh, and lest you think me, the picture-taker, a sluggard with the gardening, I assure you it's a team effort. I dug up and raked half of our soil, purchased all the plants, water, weed, pick, and bake, steam, bbq the bounty. Oh... and help eat it, too!!! Such fun!

Friday, April 03, 2009

A Time to Plant

I'm ready! Ready for summer's bountiful produce popping up in my garden and in my mouth!!! All this green beauty was purchased at Lowe's and Walmart. Hurry, join me! Go pick out your favorite veggies, and this weekend I'll walk you through the planting process!!!! Ready? Get set - go get those pony packs!!!! See ya this weekend!