Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Badges of Honor

I have mentioned that I am studying the Virtuous Woman
with two young ladies in our church.
I am thankful for the rebuke that she is to me.
I need her reminder.
She is diligent, she cares for others, she cares for herself.
She has developed useful skills.

Why do I need her reminder?

Because I, like so many others, like to show off my badges of honor.
I like to find one thing that I do well and emphasize that.
I want to downplay or totally ignore my faults and weaknesses.
I know it to be a natural reaction - 
As I teach, students often have to be coaxed to admit areas of weaknesses.
We need the serious examples.

I love the verse that says, "She strengtheneth her loins."
I am fairly consistent in my exercise regimen.
It can become my badge of honor.

I "rise while it is yet night"-
can I show off that badge too?

But really,
what do I have to boast in?
I struggle with "words of kindness."
I battle "idleness" and feel that I lose so often.

Can you identify your "badge of honor?"
Church attendance?
A certain dress standard?
A Bible version?
A denomination?
Busyness at church?
Something else?
Why not put it in the drawer
and focus on earning or shining some other badges?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ministry and Fellowship

As I read in Acts on Thanksgiving day,
these verses just jumped out at me.
It is easy to forget the brethren - 
to focus on "growing the church" - 
to take for granted those around us.
It is easy to see people who "have it all together"
and think that they have need of nothing.

Acts 13:43
Now when the congregation was broken up,
many of the Jews and religious proselytes
followed Paul and Barnabas:
who, speaking to them,
persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

Believers need encouragement to stay faithful, to rely on God.

Acts 15:36
And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas,
Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city
where we have preached the word of the Lord,
and see how they do.

The missionaries did not forget the converts -
they returned to check on them.

Who will you encourage today?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Let The Holiday Season Begin

I greatly enjoyed the Thanksgiving weekend.
I hope you did as well.
My weekend was pleasant primarily because hubby was home
and that always makes for a fun time.

We had a pleasant Praise Service at church on Wednesday night.
We enjoyed dinner with some of our church family on Thursday.
We spent Friday and Saturday relaxing and exercising.
We also decorated our home for the Christmas season
and cleared out one whole tote of decorations.
We enjoyed some extra rest and of course the time together.

Today was business as usual.
I spent the day cleaning from the "time off."
We enjoyed some turkey soup as we step away from the treats again.
The house smells of pine as the candles burn away.

We are looking forward to a calm month.
No more Saturday workdays for hubby.
No extra activities at church.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

I love this time of year.
I grieve that the season of Thanksgiving is so easily glossed over.
Last night, we had our praise service.
The Kindergarten teacher in me dug out the crayon box to outline my testimonies.

The Crimson Tide
Our College students (1/2 of them cheer on the Alabama sports teams)
who are such an encouragement to me

Oranges, peppers, squash
A reminder of the blessing that a new diet has been in relieving a lot of allergies and ailments

Yellow - Green
John Deere
God has given hubby a stable job with a good company

An F-150
Nearly 15 years ago, a man in a blue F-150 began waiting around for me after the school day.
God met so many needs in my hubby.
He is faithful, understanding, and a great provider.

The Virtuous Woman
I am thankful for the challenge of this Biblical example.
I am also thankful for the two young ladies who join me for Bible study
each week to be challenged by her.
I am thankful for their holding me accountable for memorizing God's Word.

A little pink baby in NY and the absence of pink babies in my home
I am thankful for the reminder that the gift of life is in God's hands.
I am thankful for the burdens that push me to prayer and fasting.

A Ford Focus
I am thankful for a new car.
After 8 years in NC - God granted a car with AC.

Dirty Little Hands
I am thankful for the piano students that I can share with each week.

Dark Days
2016 has been a rough year for me, but God is faithful in the dark days.
There is One who cares for me more than friends or family ever could and He never fails.

When I received Christ as Savior,
he clothed me with a robe of Righteousness - His righteousness!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Come Thou Fount

Songs of thanksgiving in my mind this week as
we prepare for a Psalm and Praise service tomorrow night.

And, in case you are having trouble finding reasons to be thankful.

Come Thou Fount

Come Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of God's unchanging love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let that grace now like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Month Later

Yes, I have been gone for the longest stretch ever.🕐

One week was just the general blahs with some stressors that zapped me of interest in blogging  - 
then a week of prep for a trip to NY - 
then a week in NY without internet - 
then a week of recuperating from the cold I brought home from NY.

And now we are in the throws of the holidays.
It is not hard to be thinking of food this week.

Wednesday will be a day of prepping and cooking.
Since being in NC, we have done two different things for Thanksgiving.
2-3 times we went out to eat - Ryan's Buffet, Denny's ...
A couple of times, we were sick ...
we most often spend the day with our church family.

This year it looks like a party of about 18 with some additional drop-ins after family celebrations.

Wednesday will find me preparing the turkey, baking squash, preparing sweet potato casserole (a request from one of the college students), making a cranberry salad, making a pumpkin roll, and trying a new recipe for an apple pie sweetened only with apple juice concentrate.  The other half of the meal will be prepared by our pastor's wife.  I will also be making a lasagna to feed the college students before church Wednesday night.

My go-to turkey recipe will be used again.
It produces a moist and flavorful bird and has yet to fail me.

The turkey is 24 lbs this year.
My mom introduced me to cooking bags which I still use -
easy, faster cook time, no basting.
I stuff my bird with lemons, onions, garlic and bunches of thyme.
I also coat the outside with butter, lemon juice, and thyme.

I bake per the instructions on the oven bag and follow by making some gravy out of the drippings.

I hope you enjoy your day with some holiday favorites.
Remember in the midst of it all to take care of your health.
Practice moderation and seek for ways to increase your veggie intake.