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Showing posts from April, 2013

Givers and Takers

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Are you a giver or a taker?  What do I mean by that? Let me give you some examples.  ► Do you freely give of your time, money, talents, and spiritual gifts to your church body or do you take of the programs of the church without offering any help?  Or even worse, your help is in the form of criticism? ► Do you sit and listen to a sermon each Sunday that took a lot of prayer, energy and hard work in expectation of what God has to say or do you sit without really listening or viewing it as a critiquing exercise?  ► Do you take for granted having a place to worship and choose to withhold your tithe or do you cheerfully give?  ► Do you give encouragement to those who need it or do you choose to be silent, even when you know someone is discouraged?  ► Do you read another person's blog and offer words of encouragement or do you read without leaving a comment 99% of the time?  ► Do you expect God to bless you without offering anything to Him in return?  ► Do take, take

Multitude Monday

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I spent the afternoon in the emergency room yesterday for diverticulitis . I had a flareup four years ago and ended up in the hospital for 5 days so I recognized the tell tale tenderness in my abdomen and stabbing pain in my left side.  I wanted to get the antibiotics started right away before it progressed to the point where I needed hospitalization. As I sat there waiting for the doctor, who was surprisingly pleasant, I realized again how blessed I am.  I am blessed by a husband who even though he was tired from spending all day Saturday fasting and spending time with 11 teenagers and a Sunday morning of preaching and visiting, willingly came with me.  I am blessed to have a soul mate who loves me.  I am blessed that I chose wisely when picking a husband.  Not growing up with a father in my life, meant it would be very easily to look for love in the wrong places.  Yet, God protected me, and provided me with a wonderful spouse! I am so looking forward to being able to show him pub

What We've Learned this Year

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When it comes to school work with Emily, there have been days when I felt like we haven't been as focused as we should be but then I realize how much we've gotten done.  It certainly is easy to accomplish a lot more with one child than a classroom full of them! * She finished two grammar books. * She has read the following assigned books, as well as been able to discuss and analyze them.  This list doesn't include the many books she reads on her own, just for pleasure.   The Hobbit Little Women The Adventures of Tom Sawyer To Kill a Mockingbird Uncle Tom's Cabin All Creatures Great & Small Murder on the Orient Express The Yearling Song of the Trees Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Let the Circle Be Unbroken The Best American Humorous Short Stories * She has finished her writing book and is now doing assignments that I give her. * She has 4 lessons to go in vocabulary * She completed one level in spelling and is half-way through the next * She

A Worthy Cause

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I have never done this in the 5 years I've been blogging, but this is a worthy cause so I thought I would post it here. The teens in our church will be participating in a 30 hour famine through World Vision. For those of you have may not know, World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.  They work in nearly 100 countries around the world and serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. Emily is trying to raise enough money to feed a child for a year as part of this famine.  She, and the other teens participating, as well as the youth leaders and Dan will be fasting from noon on Friday until 6:00 p.m on Saturday.   They will also be participating in a service project during this time.  I'm so proud of her and the other teens.  I know it is going to be extremely difficult for them

An Announcement

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For those of you who have asked, I have some great news.  Words of Encouragement for a Discouraged World is now available on Kindle.  You can either click on the photo or the title in this post to go to the Amazon Kindle page. Thank you so much for all your encouragement.  Again, if you have started reading the devotionals, I'd love it if you would leave me some feedback on the Amazon page.  The more reviews I get, the better it is for the book. 

Things We've Done Right

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Raising children in today's world is difficult.  They are being bombarded by things that most of us have never had to face.  There are things pulling at them that would cause many adults to stumble.  They are being exposed to things at a younger and younger age.  It's a scary world out there. I was reflecting on my children and thinking of some of the things Dan & I have done right in raising them.  Don't get me wrong.  This is not a "Look at what great parents we are" post.  We mess up on a regular basis.  I lie awake many nights, saddened at things that have come out of my mouth.  I must apologize to my children at least 20 times a week.  Trust me.  I am all too aware of my weaknesses. But today I want to focus on the good things we've done and the things we've done right as parents. We talk about God's word.  What does it say?  What does it mean for this situation?  We wrestle with different issues in light of what the Lord has to say abou

Multitude Monday

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♦ A 9 hour car ride, round trip, joined by a friend. ♦ 310 women, lifting their voice in praise. ♦ Chatting with friends I haven't seen since last year. ♦ Meeting new friends. ♦ Praying with someone over a concern. ♦ Hearing powerful speakers.  ♦ Laughing. ♦ Crying. ♦ Pouring out my heart to God. This described my weekend, as I went to our district's annual Spring Refresh Woman's Conference.  I so needed the time away and even though I'm exhausted, it was a wonderful weekend.  It was truly a time of spiritual refreshment and made m e all the more thankful for the many ways I am blessed . This week I con tinue to count blessings #1 57 2- 1580.    ♥  Stephen getting an A on a very difficult paper and with a tough professor. ♥  The enjoyment of sewing. ♥ Birds outside my window. ♥ A night out with my husband.  ♥ The look and feel of new fabric. ♥ A great conversation with a store owner about my new book. ♥ My son's picture in the local

Crafty Things, a Favor, and a Giveaway

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  I'm posting my normal Friday post on Thursday afternoon because I'm leaving in the morning for a ladies retreat that I enjoy every April  Our denomination has their annual Spring Refresh retreat and I'm looking forward to spending some time with another woman in our church who is coming with me, as well as some wonderful ladies from around our district. I'm especially honored because I've been invited to bring my crafts, as well as my new book, Word of Encouragement for a Discouraged World.  I was also excited yesterday to find that the book is now available at Barnes & Noble online, as well as Amazon.  I am working on putting together a Kindle version and that should also be available soon too. Can I ask a favor?  If you have purchased the book, and find it helpful, would you be willing to go on Amazon and write a review?  The more reviews there are, the better it is for the book.  The book has received some wonderful reviews so far and I feel so blesse

Brown, Black and White

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Note: This is a repost from a few years ago, but I still feel the same today! Revelation 7:9-10 ~ After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." Racism.   Nothing breaks my heart like hearing fellow believers spewing hatred about other races. I'm pretty sure it breaks God's heart too. How it must sadden Him to hear His children destroying one another with their tongues. Dan & I actually had a Christian gentleman come up to us one time and say that he felt sad that his grandchildren were growing up in a country where whites were becoming the minority. :-( I have noticed that when some Christians comment on sin in a Cau

Though the Mountains Fall

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I was at the gym yesterday when the horrific news of the bombings in Boston came over the television screen.  What had started as a happy event for thousands, had turned into a nightmare in the blink of an eye.  The images of bloodied and battered people were heart-wrenching.  The fear and terror on their faces made me cry. Psalm 46:1-3 ~  God is our refuge and strength,      an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way      and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam      and the mountains quake with their surging. Nothing can prepare you for something like this.  Those runners and spectators did not plan on their day ending this way.  The questions that run through many people's mind are, "Why do these things happen?"  "What kind of person would do something like that?"   "Where is God when tragedies take place?" I don't have the answers to any of those

Bloom Where You are Planted

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It is almost ten years ago to the day, when we started our ministry here.  Dan & I had spent ten years in an inner city in New Jersey , ministering to the powerless, poor, and oppressed.  Coming to a small, rural community seemed like the other side of the moon.  However, though the scenery changed, the similarities in people's circumstances are surprisingly similar. It's been ten years of tough times.  Ten years of mountain top experiences and ten years of very, deep valleys.  There were days (and still are at times) when we want to throw up our hands and just say, "I give up." But yesterday, I was reflecting on how it has also been ten years of blooming where God planted us.  I've seen my husband grow and stretch into an amazing teacher and pastor.  I've seen him mature into a wonderful man of God. I've grown too.  I went from a timid, unsure of myself woman into a much more self-confident one.  Talents and abilities that I didn't even

Ladies Luncheon

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Yesterday afternoon, I hosted a ladies luncheon for our church, and had the honor of having author, Lisa M. Buske, come and speak about her new book, Where's Heidi?  One Sister's Journey. The tables were decorated for spring, even though it was a cold and dreary day. The ladies had lots of wonderful fellowship. We heard a wonderful message on how God can turn tragedy into triumph. Up until this point, I had only met Lisa a couple of times and most of our communication has been online.  I knew that we had a lot of things in common, so it was nice to spend a good chunk of time with her yesterday. Lisa's husband and daughter came too and spent the day with Dan and Emily.  They hit it off immediately and had a great time too.   What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday!  I'd encourage you to check out Lisa's book on Amazon, or through her website, which is listed on my sidebar.  You will be blessed!

Crafty Things and a Book Review

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  Things have settled down a bit and I was able to get a good deal of crafting done this past week.  I'm trying to build up my inventory so I'm prepared for the next few events I'll be at both next weekend and the first Saturday in May. I put together about 40 tissue holders.  They are so cute and have been a great way to use up my scraps. I also realized that I hadn't made an apron in a very long time, so I put this together last night.  I love the colors! I also made a tea cozy but still need to add the ribbons before I post that.  I have cut out another 20 tea totes to sew up too. It's been a very productive week! In other news, Tina Coveney has written a book review of Words of Encouragement for a Discouraged World on her blog, A Quiet Home.    You can read it by clicking on the link here or the link to her blog on my sidebar.  When I started blogging in 2008, I believe Tina was one of the first people to read and comment on my blog so I feel

Photographs of a Spring Day

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I felt the need to get outside and take some photos yesterday.  My camera has been neglected lately and I really needed some fresh air. Even though things are still pretty brown here, I did notice the grass is getting much greener the past few days. Bulbs are sprouting green shoots. The birds have returned. A fresh breeze was blowing. Buds are opening. Nests were here and there. And bits of color were showing. A few more weeks and things should be much greener.  I love spring!