About one month ago, I answered a knock at the door. To my surprise, two Mormon girls stood on my front step. My first reaction was to laugh, because I knew that they would continue around the trailer park and assumed the reactions and sermons that they would receive from the many Bible college students as they went around the park. After they left, I was smitten. It was 4:00 pm on a hot, sunny day ... It was easily above 90*. There I sat in my cool trailer, while these girls were melting while getting the word out about a false religion. It has been a lot easier to go out on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings since these two ladies stood before me. I have much better news to tell!
I Corinthians 15:3-4
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received,
how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried,
and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
We are enjoying the fresh fruits of the season. This morning we enjoyed some peach shortcake for breakfast. It was missing the whipped cream ... but the hot, buttered biscuits covered with fresh, juicy peaches were OUTSTANDING! I am thankful for these seasonal treats. I really cannot imagine getting bored with fresh strawberries, or orchard peaches, or apples, or garden lettuce, or vine-ripened tomatoes, yet the Israelites murmured at "angel food" after a season. God is good to provide fruits in their season. I cannot get bored with fresh produce because the selection will soon change and I can choose to enjoy each season for its unique treats. Right now ... its the peaches, and vine-ripened tomatoes, and the cantaloupes right out of the garden.
There is a modern phrase to thank someone for their kindness ... "You are such a peach!" I am also thankful for those "peaches" in my life who just know the right thing to say (or not say) or do (or not to do).
I just love the return that you get on a small packet of summer squash seeds. I love the bushy green plants and the bright vegetables. I love that this year my beneficial nematodes kept the cut worm away. I will love it when I figure out an easy way to keep the squash bugs down other than scraping off eggs daily and "squashing" the ones that hatch. Often times though, the dishes for zucchini and summer squash get monotonous. We love them grilled, sauteed, thrown in dishes with a tomato base, in squash bread (a delicious coffee cake). Yet the search continues for recipes. The other day I made carrot cake and substituted yellow summer squash for the carrots - I only wish that I had had the ingredients for cream cheese icing instead of plain vanilla icing. I recently found this delicious salad and prepared it for a potluck. It is very good.
Summer Squash Salad
2 c julienned zucchini
2 c julienned yellow summer squash
1 c diced radish (not in season, so I omitted it)
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 T plus 2 tsps cider vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T minced fresh parsley (1 tsp dried)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/4 tsp pepper.
Toss veggies together. Mix dressing ingredients and shake or blend well. Pour over veggies. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours.
On this Woman's Work Wednesday I am planning out a project today that will become a wall decoration as well as repurposing used greeting cards into note cards.
Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning;
for in thee do I trust:
cause me to know the way wherein I should walk;
for I lift up my soul unto thee.
Hubby brought this verse to my attention this morning. He focused on the goodness of God shown in the early part of the day. I noticed a prayer for wisdom and guidance. It is good to pray the Scriptures.
I am back in my satellite office today (the local library). I had to change the format of the church website and in the process, I goofed up some connections. The site has been down for about a week. But, I am glad to say that it is now UP and RUNNING. With some help from my dad, the site now offers sermon downloads - you can hear our pastor, or my personal favorite speaker - hubby (he is preaching through James right now). I am glad to have this little project off my plate except for some small weekly updates. Now on on to catching up with Sunday School worksheets.
I am definitely a planner. I like to have a plan. I like to see how everything fits together, how everything will work out. Our time in NC has definitely tested that trait of mine and caused me to work to develop faith and trust. My Savior is rich - He owns it all! When hubby took a pay cut this summer, the pieces did not look like they would fit together. Oh me of little faith. Hubby's part time (typically 30-32 hours) was made full time by 8 paying piano students. Hubby's position in the "Pantry" allows him to know when food is marked down and to stretch the grocery budget. I continue to get "hand-me-downs" that curb my desire to shop and to buy "new" clothes. An inside, cooler job means that hubby consumes less food (plus he is getting older and can't do that any more). God even used the TLC company to send me a free box of Pita Crisps - yummy, delicious. A local food mart sold cups this summer that provided free refills of teas, soft drinks, and Icees all summer allowing for a FREE date whenever we need it! God continues to provide and to teach us simplicity that just makes life easier.
It is thankful Thursday and truthfully, I have been struggling with thankfulness. I am working on being thankful for what God hasn't given or provided. The Scriptural command is for thankfulness in everything. It is easy to be thankful for my family, the food in front of me, the car that is running, the church with packed pews ... but what about for the death in the family, the empty nursery, the bare cupboards, the car up on jacks, ... You understand ... right? Without the thankful spirit it is hard to "Rejoice with them that do rejoice." (Romans 12) So I am praying and asking God to help me to be thankful in WHATSOEVER state I am.
We are very excited because hubby will get to take Hebrew with his coursework this fall. It had been in our sights from the beginning, but when the coursework was consolidated to 3 years instead of 4, it just would not fit in. We decided to ask for some help from the administration. It took a little arranging and some extra reading and book reports in these last few weeks of the summer, but it will work out. We are also praying that the instructor will let me sit in on the classes. It seems as if the Lord has closed the door on pastoral work, but ever since hubby started Greek classes there has been the thought that the Lord might use him in translation work. We are still unsure, but it is better to be prepared than to sit idly by. Since I am the helpmeet, I am now trying to catch on to Greek and will take Hebrew along with hubby (even if it is at home)!
Saturday was a busy and tiring day, so after two rounds of tract blitzing, hubby suggested that we go for his birthday dinner that evening instead of on the day of when he would be working anyway. There was still work to be done around the house, but by 6:30 we were on our way to the Red Lobster. Hubby ordered the Fish and Chips and I ordered the Popcorn Shrimp - and in honor of a birthday, we split an order of Lobster Nachos! The waitress asked me for my side dish choice and then turned to hubby to ask for his. Of course he replied, "I get a another side with the Fish and Chips?" Knowing that I love rice pilaf, he ordered the rice. When he received his meal, it was ... Fish and Rice ... no chips! We laughed at the misunderstanding and asked the waitress to correct the problem. She agreed to get him some chips/fries at no cost. About that time (8:30 or 9), I had bottomed out after a few bites of shrimp, so the waitress brought me some to-go boxes and the bill. The chips? ... well, they never appeared.
Before you feel too bad for the birthday boy, a church friend took us for a birthday lunch on Sunday ... The Fisherman's Feast ... and there were ... FRIES! Also, if you live in the Shelby area ... The Fisherman's Feast is better than the Red Lobster .. and a better deal!
Today, I am thankful for a break from the extreme heat. The a/c is still running today, but it is not running non-stop yet and it is 1:00! I am also thankful that the weather is only supposed to be high 90's on Saturday when the church is doing some tract distribution throughout Shelby. I am also thankful for an additional two piano students this week - my count is up to 6 consistent students on Monday and 2 additional probables! God's provision is best.
It is another HOT day! At last check the very uninsulated trailer was up to 88*. I am watching a large storm roll in and so hopefully the temps will be dropping shortly. I did not particularly help the temps in the trailer today. I started early by baking a peach-plum pie. Then I had to take care of a mountain of cucumbers which became pickles. Then I had a pile of "Dry cleaning" which I do in the dryer and then ironing. Not particularly cool activities. No hot meal tonight ... I think it will be egg salad sandwiches!
In between things, or as I waited on projects, I have been reading a book by David Cloud entitled Dressing for the Lord. So far it has been a good read and thought provoking. This book is primarily concerned with women's dress styles. So far, I surmise that he is a dress- and skirt- only promoter. While not there yet, I think I become closer as time passes. The book presents the opinions of men who express the effect that women's clothing has on them. The book presents Biblical standards of modesty and separation as well.
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart,
all ye that hope in the LORD.
This is an awesome promise. I know that God keeps His promises. He will give strength to a weary, fainting heart. But it is reliant on my actions - taking courage and hoping in Him ... that is the hard part. It is easy to spout in theory, but hard to practice.
It seems to be HOT everywhere. Our high today is supposed to be 96* with a heat index over 100*. I am in my cool office (the library). We have recently discovered an easy, refreshing blended drink for these hot days. We had one this morning with our brunch!
2 1/4 c frozen watermelon cubes
1/4-1/2 c water
2 T honey
2-3 T lime/lemon juice
Blend in blender and serve immediately.
Makes 2 juice glass size portions!
Update: These are also good frozen as POPSICLES! YUMMY!
I wasn't blogging during the month of May, so on this "Thankful Thursday" I will be thankful for the time that I got to spend with my niece in the month of May. We met her at the top of VA on May 14 and she stayed with us until May 27th. It was a pleasant adjustment to have someone to talk with all day long. She came to learn and practice different sewing skills and by the end of the two weeks she was much more confident in that area. She sewed two skirts, a jumper, and a dress. She enjoyed our "early" strawberry season knowing that she would also get to enjoy the season in NY. We took a trip to the Biltmore (our last trip on our season passes). She made quick friends with the girls and church which also helped her adjustment from a very busy house to a quiet little trailer. Oh - and who could forget the fun of climbing in the trees around our little trailer. She also got in on a little bit of tree clean-up from our spring storms (she doesn't get much of that at home with 3 brothers!)
I never realized that there was such a debate over the holiness of God versus the love of God until this past year. It seems that some people want to emphasize God's love, but downplay His holiness. I can see where this would be the comfortable thing to do. If I emphasize God's love, then my sin does not look as severe for God will forgive me and love me in spite of it (which He will if I repent.) But if I emphasize God's holiness, then the severity of my sin is real to me. This verse jumped out at me this week. Give thanks for His holiness. Instead of downplaying this all-important attribute, I need to be thankful for it!
I am enjoying the patriotic music on a Greenville, SC radio station this morning. I love the marches and the focus on God and country. The traditional celebration of our nation's birthday consists of family picnics and gatherings. Ours will be no exception. Hubby is at work this morning while I clean and prepare food. Then this evening we will head to church for a picnic (hopefully as the day cools). I am thinking all things watermelon this morning. Watermelons were on sale at the local grocery and provided the inspiration for my potluck offerings.
Creamy Watermelon Pie
1 pkg (3 oz) watermelon jello
1/4 c boiling water
1 carton (12 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 c cubed seeded watermelon
1 graham crust (9 in)
In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Cool to room temp.
Whisk in whipped topping; fold in watermelon.
Spoon into crust. Refrigerate 2 hours or until set.
*Update: this pie was not as good as we expected. It was a pretty pie, but the jello and cool whip were so much sweeter than the watermelon that in our opinion it was not a keeper!
FruitSalad with Honey Lime Dressing
1/4 c honey
1/4 c limeade concentrate
2 tsp poppy seeds
1 c halved strawberries
1 c cubed pineapple
1 c fresh blueberries
1 c cubed watermelon
1/4 c slivered almonds, toasted
Combine honey, limeade concentrate and poppy seeds in small bowl.
Combine fruit in serving bowl.
Drizzle with dressing and toss gently to coat.
Sprinkle with the almonds.
Serve with a slotted spoon.
Update: This was a good salad for those who like the sweet/tart blend. And yes, it can be made with any combination of fruits. I made my salad without the poppy seeds or the almonds.
Two fierce wind storms whipped through our area in the month of April. Supposedly they were not tornados (Though the tornado siren was sounded during both storms), but were a result of straight-line winds. The pictures below are from the first storm. The second storm did much of the same and claimed a few more of the beautiful, but weak, Bradford pear trees that are so beautiful in the spring.
This tree just missed the car!
Just half a tree. Now just a stump.
We dragged the trees into an empty lot after the first storm. The second storm was cleaned up af the end of May. This week we have been cleaning up at church after a storm toppled more than 1/2 dozen large trees and removed much of the roof (shingles) on the back of our church building.