Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

"God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it." Numbers 23:18-20

Balak, king of Moab, has hired Balaam, the sorcerer to put a curse on the Israelites. They built seven altars and offered up seven sacrifices and then Balaam goes to get a word of cursing from the Lord. However, God blesses the Israelites instead.  Balak is sure that Balaam heard wrong so he sends him back again.  This happens five times and each time, the Lord blesses Israel.  Balak was livid!  He wanted those Israelites cursed, not blessed. He chastises Balaam because he is annoyed that he paid him and Balaam is not delivering what he promised.

The above passage is Balaam’s response to Balak after the second word from God. Isn’t this is a wonderful picture of our Lord? People can change their minds. They make promises they don’t keep. They let us down and lie to us. Yet the Lord is constant.

God delivers what he promises.  He will not change His mind. If He blesses us, He will not turn around and curse us. He is constant, steady, and unchangeable.  In this world of fickleness, that is a wonderful thing,

Are you feeling let down by people today? Remember the Lord is on your side. He will fulfill His promises to you.  He will not renege on His word.  Even though others may fail us, God never will. God will do what he says and that is wonderful news for us today! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Buzzing


I sat on my deck, reading my Bible and praying this morning and as I sat there the bees caught my attention.  They never stop moving and fly from flower to flower, collecting the pollen inside. Then I had to laugh because that is how my past few weeks have gone.
 
I feel like I'm a bee, buzzing around, getting my many tasks done.  So I haven't had a lot of time to sit and think of inspiring blog posts.
 
This week alone, I need to do the following:
 
Fill a large order of 60 tea totes and 18 tea cozies.
Make multiple batches of soap.
Make multiple batches of salve.
Get my hair cut (that's happening this morning)
Run to a new shop that will be carrying my things to set up a display.
Pick up fabric to fill an order.
Meet with a customer about a new order.
Make multiple batches of jam.
Make a few batches of granola.
Head out on Friday night to a new venue in town called, Uptown Fridays, where I will have a table to sell granola, jam, soaps, etc.
Practice music with Dan for Sunday
Make a couple of dishes for a barbecue our church is hosting on Saturday at a senior citizen housing complex.
In between - laundry, clean, weed, cook meals, etc.
 
So if you don't see any amazing blog posts (not that they are amazing anyway - lol) you will know why!
 
And if you hear buzzing that would probably be coming from me.
 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Frugal Friday


Katharine Fullerton Gerould ~
 
The real drawback to the simple life is that it is not simple.
If you are living it, you positively can do nothing else.
There is not time.


Every night I fall into bed and plan on reading a bit.  But I can barely keep my eyes open.  Most of the 30 minutes or so of my reading time is spent with the book dropping every few seconds as I keep falling asleep.  I finally give up and turn out the light.

The next day, I plunge back into my busy and simple life.  That is why this quote made me laugh when I saw it this morning.  I enjoy finding ways to save money.  I love baking my own bread from scratch.  I feel so much satisfaction when I can and process my own foods.  But it most certainly is time consuming.

This week alone I canned 10 quarts of dill pickle spears, 10 pints of dill pickle chips, 13 pints of bread and butter pickles, 7 pints of relish, and put up a bushel of corn in the freezer.  Then on top of that, I ran around for my business, made meals, did laundry, cleaned bathrooms, practiced music for Sunday with my husband a number of times, and a host of other things.

I love my life.  But I'm not sure simple is quite the way to describe it.  Fulfilling might be a better word.  And that brings me great satisfaction.

Here are some ways I saved this week:

$ My sister gave me about a half bushel of cucumbers for free.

$ I purchased another half bushel for $10 from a farm stand.

$ I purchased a bushel of corn for $18 which came to $ .30 an ear.  The cheapest I've seen it in the store is $ .50 an ear.

$ I cut Dan & Nathan's hair.

$ Stephen broke his glasses and I reordered from Zenni Optical online and got them for $19 instead of $150.

$ When it came time to can, I went out to the shed and pulled out canning jars that I've used and saved for years.

$ I continue to live by the philosophy, "Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without!"

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Fruitful


Genesis 1:29 (ESV) ~

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.




Genesis 1:11 ~

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so.

 

Genesis 1:12 ~

The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

I Thessalonians 5:11-14 ~ 

"So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 

Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.

Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.

Are you an encourager?  If someone were to describe you would they say, "She is an encouraging person to be around?"  

Even if this is not your primary personality characteristic, we are all called to encourage one another.  However, it always surprises me at how many people find this difficult to do.  We don't give it much thought even though so many really could use an encouraging word.  Some people feel loved when they hear words of affirmation.  You may appreciate them but if you never say it, how will they know?  This passage lists a few specific types of people we are to encourage.

We are to encourage the body of Christ - Do you tell fellow believers how much you appreciate them?  When was the last time you went up to the worship leader at church or one of the deaconesses or the people who work with the teens or children and thanked them?   All of these jobs require quite a bit of preparation and thought and yet so often, they are never thanked.   

When someone is missing from church for a couple of weeks, do you call them or drop them a note and let them know they are missed?  Or do you think that it is the pastor's job to do that? 

We are to encourage our pastor - Have you told your pastor recently that you appreciate him?  As the wife of a minister, I know how much work goes into this call.  Not only does He prepare for a weekly sermon and small group, but he visits people in the hospital, does funerals, counsels and is available when people want to call and chat.  Have you let your pastor know how much you are learning from him?  Do you show him respect or do you just complain about him when he says something you don't like? Paul stresses to his readers that we are to honor our pastor. 

We are to encourage those who are timid - Some people are natural born leaders and others are not.  Some are very fearful of public speaking or stepping out of their comfort zone to do something different.  Do you offer words of encouragement when they do this?  If someone is fearful of something, yet never hears an encouraging word, do you think they will ever do that difficult thing again?  Let's encourage those who are not as confident as us.

We are to encourage the weak – In any given church there are a few people who are in bad health.  Have you sent them a card or given them a call lately?  Do you give them a hug and a sincere smile and welcome when you do see them?  Do you let them know you are praying for them?  

There are also those in our pews who may be weak in faith.  They are baby believers.  They are still learning.  Do you encourage them to grow?  Are you willing to be understanding when they react in ways that still reflect that old nature?  Do you pray with them?  Do you offer them advice and encouragement?  Do you make them feel welcome? Offering encouragement to the weak can actually help give them strength, 

Let's work hard at being known as encouragers.  Let others know how much you love and appreciate them by telling them with your words.  Let the words, "I appreciate you" be quick to come from your lips.  And let's build each other up so that we all feel loved and like we belong.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Back to Work

 
 
Yesterday afternoon, we decided to check out a local zoo with the girls and Nathan.  It was a hot day but definitely less humid than Sunday so it was a good day to go.  Nathan bought us lunch there and then we took off to see the different animals.
 
 
 
I do have to say that it was a bit disappointing, but we have been spoiled with the Bronx Zoo.  This is a small one and most of the animals were hiding or sleeping due to the heat. 

 
 
It took us about an hour to walk through the whole thing.
 


 


 
I know it would have been a wonderful place to come if my children were little again.
 
Vacation is officially over so it was back to work yesterday afternoon.  I have a bushel of cucumbers, as well as a bushel of corn to deal with.  My sister gave me about a half bushel of cukes and I bought the rest at a farm stand on Sunday. 
 
 
I made 13 pints of bread and butter pickles yesterday.  Today the plan is to make dill and relish, as well as process the corn. 
 
 
I need to get in the garden and weed.  I also have a couple of custom sewing orders I need to fill, as well as making a few batches of soap. 
 
Hi ho!  Hi ho!  It's back to work I go!
 
Have a wonderful day.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Multitude Monday


Colossians 2:6-7 (HCSB) ~

Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude.
 
I am overflowing with gratitude this morning!  I have so many things to be thankful for this week that I don't even know where to start.  We haven't been on a real vacation in quite a few years so it was such a joy to get away, clear our heads and rest.  Having a beautiful setting to do that in was a huge blessing.

I was able to spend time in prayer and meditation.  I wrote, walked, talked, sang and communed with the Lord as well as my husband.  It was good.


This week I'm thankful for blessings #2521 - 2530.

2521. The generosity of my brother-in-law and sister who gave us an efficiency apartment at the retreat center he is the director of for free.

2522.  Warm days and cool nights made for wonderful sleeping.

2523.  The beautiful breezes that blew in the windows.

2524.  Being able to write all week.


2525.  A week without being attached to technology.  The internet and cell service was very sporadic there so I was able to post for a portion of the day but the rest of the time, it was off and I just enjoyed the scenery and my family. 


2526.  Wonderful talks with my sister.


2527.  Revisiting childhood memories.


2528.  Catching up with my extended family.


2529.  My niece being able to come back home with us for a few days.  Emily will definitely enjoy having her here.

and finally...

2530.  Safety as we traveled through a very sudden and nasty storm yesterday.