Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday Hymn

Tonight we had a time of singing and testimony for our evening service and one of the songs which was sung is below. I had never known this hymn before but after hearing it and reading the words, it is now one of the my favorites. The words are such a challenge to give my all to Lord and take up that cross daily!!!

Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken

Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee;
Destitute, despised, forsaken,
Thou from hence my all shalt be:
Perish every fond ambition,
All I've sought, and hoped and known;
Yet how rich is my condition,
God and heav'n are till my own!

Let the world despise and leave me,
They have left my Savior too;
Human hearts and looks deceive me;
Thou art not, like man, untrue;
And, while Thou shalt smile upon me,
God of wisdom, love, and might,
Foes my hate and friends my shun me;
Show Thy face, and all is bright.

Man may trouble and distress me,
'Twill but drive me to Thy breast;
Life with trials hard may press me,
Heav'n will bring me sweeter rest.
O 'tis not in grief to harm me,
While Thy love is left to me;
O 'twere not in joy to charm me,
Were that joy unmixed with Thee.

Go, then, earthly fame and treasure,
come disaster, scorn and pain.
In Thy service, pain is pleasure
With Thy favor, loss is gain.
I have called Thee, Abba Father,
I have stayed my heart on Thee,
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather;
All must work for good to me.

Soul, then know thy full salvation
Rise o'er sin and fear and care,
Joy to find in every station,
Something still to do or bear.
Think what Spirit dwells within me,
Thnks what Father's smiles are mine,
Think that Jesus died to win me,
Child of heaven, canst I repine.

Hasten on from grace to glory,
Armed by faith and winged by prayer;
Heav'n's eternal days before me,
God's own hand shall guide me there.
Soon shall close my earthly mission,
Swift shall pass my pilgrim days,
Hope shall change to glad fruition,
Faith to sight and prayer to praise.

(Henry F. Lyte)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Serving Him at Home

The July/August edition of my newsletter, Serving Him at Home, is now out and you can sign up to receive it here. Enjoy!

Friday, July 21, 2006


As promised, the pictures above are from the work I've been doing in the schoolroom and pantry/closet.

Below is our feather holder that I made by slicing through a section of cardboard and putting the feathers in the holes! It makes a great display of the feathers we've found in our yard and on nature walks.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hot! Hot! Hot!

My backyard thermometer reads 101*. Whew! That's hot. Thankfully we are home until about 5:30 this afternoon. JK has karate lessons tonight and then we have a few errands to run after that.

All our ceiling fans and floor fans are on and trying to circulate some cool air. I'm so very thankful for air-conditioning!! All my growing up years, I didn't have ac and the summers were icky. I can remember getting out of the shower and sweating!! I also remember sleeping with a fan right next to my bed to keep me cool. I guess that is why I like to hear the sound of a fan when I go to sleep. Even in the winter, I have a fan on in our bedroom. The noise is very soothing to me.

This week I've been working on the organization projects
I spoke of last week. Michael's had 50% off their baskets so I bought some more. The closet is now finished and the left side of my school room is also completed. The floor is clean!! I will post some pictures later today or tomorrow. I still need to work on JK's desk area.

I have four bags to take to Goodwill and yesterday four bags went out in the trash! I went through our file cabinets and threw away (actually shredded) a lot of old bank statements, bills, etc. and organized it better.

Right now my desk is a little messy as I've been working on my
Precepts study of James. This week we're studying James 1:12-17 on trials and temptations. I am to consider it "all joy" when I encounter (happening suddenly) various (mulit-colored; varigated) trials. And why I am to consider these trials a joy? Because the testing of my faith produces endurance! And that endurance helps me to grow in a more mature Christian. And if I have joy and persevere under the trials, I will receive the crown of life (v.12) which God has promised to those who love Him. How can I show that I love Him? By considering my trials a joy!!

One of the assignments in my lesson is to memorize various verses. Oh, this is good for my old brain. It will stave off Alzheimer's!! That's a worldly result, I know; I like what Kay Arthur said in my lesson today: "Don't forget your memory verses! If your Bible is taken away from you, you will be in a trial, and how thankful you will be to have hidden His Word in your heart."

I'm working on James 1:2-8, 12, 13-15. I have 2-8 memorized and am working on the others. Do you know that I have memorized countless songs, commercials and even whole movies?? And yet they are nothing compared to God's Word and only give glory to me! I pray that I would be diligent in memorizing His Word so I might not sin against Him and all glory would be His!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Perfect Peace

He leadeth me beside the waters of quietness (Ps. 23:2)

Is it worth while, this wild ceaseless chase by which so many are affected? Does it pay? And, after all, why this exciting pace which has all too truly become a part of our national program?

Must the sons of men be forever driven like so many beasts of prey? Is there no escape from the feverish haste which persists in manifesting itself in all the walks of life?

It is possible for a Christian to make his active life restful. He may carry the atmosphere of the closet into the street. The Shepherd promises to lead him beside still waters; and those are the deepest waters.

This feverish hurried life which too many of us lead is not in God's economy, depend upon it. If we live in this way it is because we push on before the Shepherd instead of letting Him lead us beside still waters.

If we were more docile, we should be more restful.

Only when the soul is brimful of the life of faith does it work in rrest. Not until we shall have let our life drop back behind God, to follow at the rate which He prescribes shall we learn what the words mean,

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee."

Our little restless earth, and our little breathless lives will take on dignity and deeper worth if we catch step with the rythmic movement of the quiet stars.

Most strong men know times of silence. Abraham, alone with God, made the father of a Nation; Moses, in the quietness and stillness of the desert, received God's message aat the burning bush. The most of their training was in the school of silence.

It takes time to be spiritual; it doesn't just happen.

In the deep jungles of Africa, a traveler was making a long trek. Coolies had been engaged from a tribe to carry the loads. The first day they marched rapidly and went far. The traveler had high hopes of a speedy journey. But the second morning these jungle tribesmen sat and rested. On inquiry as to the reason for this strange behavior, the traveler was informed that that they had gone too fast the first day, and that they were waiting for their souls to catch up with their bodies.

This whirling, rushing life which so many of us live does for us what that first march did for those poor jungle tribesmen. The difference: they knew what they needed to restore life's balance; too often we do not.

"Jesus call us o'er the tumult of our life's wild restless sea."

(from Springs in the Valley by Mrs. Charles Cowman; written in 1939)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Holy Ground

Holy Ground

It may be on a kitchen floor,
Or in a busy shopping store,
Or teaching, nursing, day by day,
Till limb and brain almost give way;
Yet if, just there, by Jesus thou are found,
The place thou standest on is Holy Ground.
~M. Colley

What an encouragement when the days are full and it seems like nothing has been accomplished! I'm encouraged to remain faithful in the little tasks; to be faithful in my calling as a wife and mother. He is there! He knows! And strength can be found in Him.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I realize that I haven't posted much about what is going on here lately. I finally got all my rubber stamping organized. I bought the cutest baskets with red-striped liners to go in my closet and they hold all my stamps and accessories.

The pictures that follow are of one of the shelves in the closet that is not organized and various areas of my schoolroom that are also not organized. These are my projects for the next few weeks. I will keep you posted on my progress. Feel to ask about it to keep me accountable!!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Letting It Go

Here's more insights from The Contented Woman. This is from the chapter entitled, "Letting It Go".

If we don't learn the secret of letting things go, we will be remembered as a contentious wife and mother--contending for everything to be done our way. The wisest man that ever lived, other than Christ said: "A continual dropping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike." (Prov. 27:15)

Our family may really lean upon us for the many things that we faithfully do for them, but they will not find us fun to be with--and certainly not enjoyable to work with--if we always contend for things to be done our way! After all, the world will still keep rotating on its axis, even if things aren't done the way we think best!

The home should be a haven of rest for each member of the family. However, if we women are like a watchdog, correcting and nagging about every little ting, our family will eventually desire to be somewhere else rather than home--some place where they can be themselves.

It is so wonderful to just let people be themselves. There is such rest in it. God has allowed each of us to make our own mistakes and learn from them. Should we not have this same tolerance toward others? Isn't it wonderful to be around people who do not make requirements of us to act a certain way or look a certain way? We can sense they are going to love us just as we are!
A great key to happiness and contentment is learning to Just Let It Go!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Town and Country


Deuteronomy 28:1-4 NASB, "If you will diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. Blessed shall be the offspring of your body."

Some people love to live in the city. Some love the country. There are others who live in the city but who long to move to the country. They think that this will be a better life for their children. That may be so, but God has promised, if we are obedient to His commandments, to bless us whether we live in the town or the country.

If you hanker to live in the country, and yet there is no way for you to do this, stop pestering your husband and be content. To be content where you live is more important than where you live. The requirement for God's blessing upon you and your family is not where you live but whether you are being obedient to God's Word.

We now live in the country. I love it. I prefer it to the city. But through all the years of raising our children we lived in the city. They were wonderful years and God blessed us. I remember when we moved from New Zealand to Australia, not just to a new country, but to the playground of Australia--Surfer's Paradise. Our home looked out on the casino! Help! How do you raise teenagers in this environment? Because this is where God sent us to serve Him, He blessed us and our children. Instead of being on the defensive, they were on the offensive for God. All the children, teens and younger, preached every weekend in the open air mall in Surfer's Paradise. They helped us grow the church. They are all loving and serving the Lord today.

When we moved to America, we lived in an apartment complex. By this time, only Pearl and Serene were home, the others were all married. We squashed ourselves and the Above Rubies office into this apartment. We opened our doors in hospitality and filled it with people gathering around our table for meals. Once again we were blessed! We had wonderful times and great fellowship with many people in this dingy apartment.

I have found that the secret of enjoying life is to accept where I live and make it my life, rather than pining for what I have had in the past or what I would like to have in the future.

By the way, here is a secret for getting a bigger home. Fill the one you have. Fill it with children. Fill it with people as you reach out in hospitality. When God sees you filling up the home you have, He will open doors for you to get a bigger one!

Some folks think that it is too difficult to have children in the city. However, the next words God speaks after telling us He will bless us in the town and in the country is that He will bless us with the fruit of the womb. This blessing is for those who live in the city and for those who live in the country. God will help us and provide for us in whichever place we live.

Trust His promises.



"Lord, I thank you for where you have placed us as a family. I rejoice in your provision and I am content. Help us to fulfill your purposes for us in this place at this time of our lives. Amen."


I am content where God has placed me!

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

July 4th Menu

This afternoon we're having hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, pasta salad (find the recipe here), potato salad, deviled eggs and a toffee-topped chocolate cake. Here's the recipes for the potato salad and cake:

Great American Potato Salad
1/2 C mayo or salad dressing
1T mustard, prepared
1/2 t celery seed
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
4 C cubed potatoes, cooked (I use red and keep the skins on; it makes the salad more colorful)
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 C chopped onion
1/2 C sliced celery
1/3 C dill pickle relish (sweet)

Mix mayo, mustard and seasonings in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients; mix lightly. Cover. Refrigerate several hours or until chilled.

Toffee-Topped Rich Chocolate Cake

1 package (Betty Crocker) German chocolate cake mix
1 1/3 C water
1/2 C vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 jar (16-17 oz.) caramel, butterscotch or fudge topping (I used caramel)
1 container (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 bag (8 oz.) toffee chips or bits

Heat over to 350*. Generously grease bottom only of 13x9x2 pan. Make cake mix as directed on package, using water, oil and eggs. Pour into pan. Bake 33 to 38 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes.

Poke top of warm cake every 1/2 inch with handle of wooden spoon. Drizzle milk evenly over top of cake; let stand until milk has been absorbed into cake. Drizzle with caramel topping. Run knife around side of pan to loosen cake. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled.

Spread whipped topping over top of cake. Sprinkle with toffee chips. Store covered in refrigerator.
(one slice is 23g of fat but it doesn't count because today is a holiday )

Happy Independence Day!!

Tomorrow we're having family and friends over for a bbq and then we are off to see the Richmond Braves play the Ottowa Lynx. After the game, there will be a fantastic show of fireworks. I think it's the best in the city! We've made this our Independence Day tradition for many years now and we always look forward to going.

I hope you all have a safe and joyous 4th of July!

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance--Psalm 33:12

Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth--Psalm 46:10

God reigns over the nations; God is seated on His holy throne. The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, for the kings of the earth belong to God; He is great exalted--Psalm 47:8-9

He rules forever by His power, His eyes watch the nations--let not the rebellious rise up against Him--Psalm 66:7

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face sine upon us that Your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations--Psalm 67:2

May His name endure forever; may it contine as long as the sun. All nations will be blessed through Him and they will call Him blessed--Psalm 72:17

Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples--Psalm 96:3

The Lord is exalted over all the nations, His glory above the heavens.

Monday, July 03, 2006


Can't make it to any fireworks displays this year? Don't fret--here's a place where you can create your own show!