Thursday, September 29, 2011

Left with Nothing (or Everything)

I've been thinking about a question from my brother's blog for the past two days.

"What if all you had today were
the things you thanked God for yesterday?"  

This thought has changed my prayer time for the past two days.  God has given me so much.  I started my semi-annual large scale cleaning yesterday.  Perhaps this will be the last fall cleaning here in Shelby.  I am thankful for the little trailer that we have here.  Perhaps it is not the most structurally sound place that we have lived, but it is the largest.  It has provided garden space and lawn, it has allowed for a clothesline, and we know all of our neighbors!  It has been a place of extreme personal growth and struggle.  Does the above question change your view of things?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


It seems as though we are always in some state of preparation.  We spend our childhood in school and learning in preparation to be an adult.  Some choose a college and major and spend four or more years preparing for a career or vocation.  Some spend much time preparing for a wedding.  There are preparations when company heads your way.  There are preparations for just about everything.  An event over the weekend caused me again to think of all of the ways the Lord prepares us for ministry.  Paul spent time in the wilderness.  Moses got some time in a palace and then headed to the wilderness.  It turned out that the majority of his ministry was in the wilderness.  David had time in the fields, time as a fugitive, and then he arrived in the palace.  Ministry preparation is not something that can happen in just four years of school - rather, it is years of experiences and acquaintances that mold us, change us, temper us to be more useful. 

The Fair is in town for the next 10 days.  We don't usually attend for the entertainment, but I will be spending 3 1/2 to 4 hours there each of the next 4 days, so will you excuse me if I don't visit with you each day?  We will be sharing the gospel with the 1000's who will attend by handing out tracts and talking with those who will listen.   

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Psalm 37:4
Delight thyself also in the LORD;
and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

While our Wednesday sermon should be out of Psalm 38 this week, I am still enjoying the time thinking about Psalm 37.  In addition to the verses, I also read John Phillips commentary on Psalm 37 from his book Exploring Psalms Volume 1 and enjoyed his comments very much.  Here is just one thought from page 280.

"This (Psalm 37:4) is good to remember, for when things go wrong we tend to get occupied with the problem.  ... We must get our eyes back on the Lord.  As long as we look at the problem, we shall become increasingly depressed, but if we look at the Lord we shall rise above our circumstances.  After all, He hasn't failed.  He cannot fail.  Our happiness must not rest upon what happens.  It must be drawn out of the wellsprings of salvation and from our experintial knowledge of the goodness, grace, and greatness of our God."

Monday, September 26, 2011

Freezer Meals

So typically a freezer meal is one that is prepared ahead of time and placed in the freezer in order to "save the day" when there seems to be no time to prepare a meal.  On Saturday, I cleaned our small chest freezer as well as the freezer above the refrigerator and this week we are eating some food that I had lost track of ... maybe it will be a good thing, and maybe it will be a downright creative week :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Jeremiah 14:22
Are there any among the vanities of the
Gentiles that can cause rain?
or can the heavens give showers?
art not thou he, O LORD our God?
therefore we will wait upon thee:
for thou hast made all these things.
I am thankful for the rain today (and that of yesterday, and the rain we will get tomorrow).  It has been a long time since we have received any substantial rain here.  It is not quite Autumn here yet, but with the cool grey day it is feeling more like fall.  The house is buttoned up and a candle burns scenting the house with raspberry and geranium.  I am looking forward to burning a pumpkin candle soon (maybe I will even do it this afternoon).  It is a good day for a cup of tea or coffee and some computer work.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Happiest Home

Where is the happiest home on earth?
Tis not 'mid scenes of noisy mirth;
But where God's favor, sought aright,
Fills every breast with joy and light.

The richest home? It is not found
Where wealth and splendor most abound;
But wheresoe'er, in hall or cot,
Men live contented with their lot.

The fairest home? It is not placed
In scenes with outward beauty graced;
But where kind words and smiles impart
A constant sunshine to the heart.

On such a home of peace and love
God showers his blessing from above;
And angels, watching o'er it, cry,
"Lo! this is like our home on high!"

- M.A.S.M.

I am not familiar with this author, but I love the focus on contentment.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Psalm 37:25

I have been young, and now am old;
yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken,
nor his seed begging bread.

* * * * * * *

We serve a faithful God. 
He continues to abundantly supply. 
Human reason can't understand it ...
...but we don't have to ...
we just have to leave it in His hands.

Spending most of today cleaning for an older couple.  TTFN

Monday, September 19, 2011

No Fancy Recipes

It has been a very busy week and the next 3 weeks promise more of the same.  Between counselling efforts, Hebrew class, Greek lessons, piano lessons, tract distribution, and church responsibilities ... well, there have been more "tried and true" recipes than new experiments.  I have been thankful for some freezer meals and will be using the crockpot a lot in the coming weeks.  Tomorrow I will be doing Chicken and Rice (with Cheese and Broccoli).  I did bake cookies today - but sadly they were made with Christmas cookie dough that I found in the freezer.  A loaf of bread is about to go into the oven (I can't believe that I am baking at 10:00 at night). 

The piano lessons went well today and all of my students showed up, then tonight I have been working on a sheet to help my preteen and young teen girls to focus on what they are reading during their daily devotions - I think that I may use it right along with them :)  Do you think, really think, during your Quiet Times?  These are some of the questions that I came up with.  What did I learn about God?  Is there a sin to avoid?  Do I need to confess a sin and change?  Is there an example to follow?  Is there something to be thankful for?  What words do not make sense?  I am currently working through the book of Esther.  I have seen a faithful God who uses sinful people to accomplish His work.   I have seen the sin of pride to avoid (Haman).  The first chapter shows the effect that a leader's wife may have on other wives.  I want to be a godly wife that others can look to as an example.  I am thankful for God's protection in difficult situations (the Jews were protected from Haman's plot and God still protects His own).

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Apple Festival and A Different Kind of Harvest

We spent much of the day up at the Lincoln County Apple Festival.  We were there supporting Liberty Baptist Church by helping to distribute gospel literature.  In about 2 hours, we think about 2000 tracts and door hangers and gospels went out.  Praise the Lord for the abundance of cars and people.  Many on the street were receptive to at least taking the literature and I talked to one lady who assured me that she would stop by the church sometime.  More important than a harvest of apples, is the harvest field around us.  If only one soul is saved, the time spent is well worth it. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Mom Effect?

I have been reading through Kings and Chronicles in my daily Bible study.  While sometimes it is easy to get lost in all of the names and events, I was struck with how quickly things went from good to bad or bad to good.  I commented that it seemed like it would be discouraging to parents to read the accounts.  A good king would be followed by an evil heir.  Why?  Hubby jumped on the negligence of the father.  Yes, they were probably very busy, had too many wives, had too many children ... they definitely had their part in the problem.  I also noticed that often the kings were linked to their mothers (and his mother was ____).  Perhaps it was just a means of identification, but I can't help but wonder if it is also a reminder of the effect that a mother has on her children for good or for evil.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Perfect Way

Psalm 18:30
As for God, his way is perfect:
the word of the LORD is tried:
he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

There has been a lot of questioning, a lot of wondering, a lot of confusion in our house as we near the end of the season of training. 

                                  Do we go? 
                                                                  Do we stay? 
               If we go, then where do we go? 
                                                         What is the ministry God has for us? 
           Will there be a full-time ministry or will there be secular employment?

This verse and two songs based on this verse have been a great comfort to me the past two days.  God has also given a number of chapel messages on days when I am at the college to remind me of His power and of His Sovereignty.  I may not have plans past December 15, 2011,  but I am sure that my God is still in control.  I also know that days of uncertainty drive me to my knees and I draw nearer and nearer to the One who holds the answers.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Where were you?

Of course, much has been in the papers (and I am sure on TV) about the horrendous events that took place 10 years ago on September 11.  Those old enough to remember the day remember where they were when they heard of the first plane crash and have felt the change in America since that day.  I was teaching in upstate NY on that day.  The elementary supervisor stopped in to let me know what had happened.  The day continued with a strange tenseness as many students left early with their parents.  The full impact of the attacks did not hit until I saw the intense media coverage that evening.  My sweetheart was in school in South Carolina training to help run a nuclear powered submarine or carrier.  That day would change the course of our early married life.  Once deployments were more measured and predictable, but they no longer are.  Today I am thinking of those who are not on home soil today because they continue to fight in a war against terrorism and those who are home, but with a huge hole in their life because their serviceman is far from home.

"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just,
that His justice cannot sleep forever."
~Thomas Jefferson~

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Psalm 139:14 
I will praise thee;
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works;
and that my soul knoweth right well.

Instinctively, I think that we realize how wonderfully the human body is created.  About 2 weeks ago, I tripped over my own feet and landed hard on my right wrist.  As I have nursed it here at home, I am in awe of the number of directions that it should move and the strength that it provides.  God truly does all things well and I am thankful for this well-made machine that He has given each one of us.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


It is the first day of school in the Northeast.  Despite the fact that I taught in FL for 3 years and now live in the south where they start school in the last week of August, I still think of the first day of school as the first Wednesday after Labor Day.  I guess that Shelby, NC is celebrating in its own way for we are enjoying a cool, autumn day.  Oh, how I love the break from the hot summer temperatures.

I spent yesterday doing a little garden cleanup.  It is always bitter sweet.  It is nice to have a "clean" garden again, but I will miss the fresh produce from the garden.  The bean plants will afford a few more meals, but there will not be enough for canned beans this year.  The tomato plants are producing tiny tomatoes that I try to save before the bugs get them.  There may be a little hope to get a few green peppers.  Overall, it has been a sad year in the garden.

I also did some more baking yesterday.  I made some small chicken pot pies for when hubby might have to make his own meal (typically Monday nights if he is hungry before I get home from piano lessons) and then some more hot pockets.  I used a celery seed pie crust for the pockets and they seemed to turn out well.  Hubby will try those soon in his lunch box.

I wish that I had saved the baking for this cool day, but alas, there is plenty to occupy today.  Off I go!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Imprecatory Psalm

We will still be in Psalm 35 this week for our Wednesday night study at prayer meeting.  I have been continuing to read it every day.  Thinking much about "imprecatory."  The Psalmist is calling for judgement on his enemies ... and yet, it mentions how he prayed and grieved for them first.

Psalm 35:13-14
But as for me, when they were sick,
my clothing was sackcloth:
I humbled my soul with fasting;
and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother:
I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.

I often want to skip the compassion and the discipline of prayer to move right to the judgment.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Homemade Hot Pockets

I have recently read a few books on freezer cooking - making meals ahead of time to have in the freezer.  The math looked good (saving money and time by purchasing and preparing in bulk), but I really couldn't get excited about not having "fresh" food every night.  Last week, hubby came home from work with a request.  "Do you think that you could make hot pockets for my lunches?"  It seemed like an easy enough request and I was sure that if I googled it that I could come up with something.  Sure enough, I was not the first to pursue such an adventure.  I had the perfect filling for the first batch.   A church friend makes a marvelous Italian pork roast.  That recipe was easy and provided a perfect Sunday afternoon meal with plenty of leftovers for experimentation.  Throw a pork roast in the crock pot and add 1-2 Italian dressing packets (the powdered mix) with just a little water.  Cook on low overnight.  Shred in the morning and continue cooking on low until ready!  It is so good.

I took the dough recipe from and the assembly from  We were pleased with the outcome and the freezer now has a number of "fast" meals awaiting a busy day.

I added some cheese and some veggies to the Italian Pork.

These are ready for the oven.  I made these "hubby" size.
 I love how the dough is so forgiving.

All done.  I ended up with 10 pork pockets and
I filled 2 with ham cubes, cheddar, and broccoli.
I liked working with the bread dough, but hubby would like me to try some with more of a crust next time.  I think that I will take my crust recipe from  I may assemble some tonight using extra filling from making a chicken pot pie tonight.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Glacier National Park - 10/2008
Our Church Sunday School curriculum returns to Genesis this week.  As I study, I like to look for repeated phrases.  This week it is not hard to notice the phrase "it was good" listed six times in the first chapter.  I am thankful for a thoughtful Creator who does all things well and the beautiful creation He has given us to enjoy.  He is a GREAT God.  It is hard to imagine how beautiful that original Creation was when the sin-marred creation we still see today is so phenomenal.  Color, Design, Variety, Creativity, Order, ...

All things were made by him;
and without him was not any thing
made that was made.
John 1:3