Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Mystery That Is Learned Under The Cross

"Yes, I love everybody! That crowning joy has come to me at last. Christ is my soul; He is mine; I am as conscious of it as that my husband and children are mine; and His Spirit flows forth from mine in a calm peace of a river whose banks are green with grass and glad with flowers. If I die, it will be to leave a wearied and worn body and a sinful soul to go joyfully to be with Christ, to weary and sin no more. If I live, I shall find much blessed work to do for Him. So living or dying, I shall be the Lord's.

But I wish, oh, how earnestly, that whether I go or stay, I could inspire some lives with the joy that is now mine. For many years I have been rich in faith, rich in a n unfaltering confidence that I was beloved of My God and Savior. But something was wanting; I was ever groping for a mysterious grace the want of which made me often sorrowful in the midst of my most sacred joy, imperfect when I most long for perfection. It was the personal love of Christ of which my precious mother so often spoke to me, which she often urged me to seek upon my knees. If I had know then, as I know now, what this priceless treasure could be to a sinful human soul, I would have sold all that I had to buy the field wherein it lay hidden. But not till I was shut up to prayer and to study God's Word by the loss of earthly joys, sickness destroying the flavor of them all, did I begin to penetrate the mystery that is learned under the cross. And wondrous as it is, how simple is this mystery! To love Christ and to know that I love Him--this is all!"

--Katherine in "Stepping Heavenward" by Elizabeth Prentiss


I saw the first Robin of the year this afternoon in my front yard. Can spring be far behind?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm Still Here

I'm still around but have been very busy at home lately. I can't believe that it is nearing the end of February. I feel like the days, months and years are just going by at lightning speed!

I am almost finished with organizing the school room. Right now I have a lot of stuff piled on top of a table that needs to find a home, whether it stays here or not, I don't know. I'm anxious to get this room finished because that means I move on to the spare room that will eventually become my craft/sewing room. Woo hoo!!

It's a small room, about 8' x 10' (if that) so space is at a premium. I need to put my sewing machine in there along with a table for cutting fabric, making cards, etc. And all my card making and sewing supplies need to go in there also. There's a small closet that would be good to use if we replaced the rods with shelves. Hmmm. There's an idea. As you can see, I'm only in the planning stages. I've been looking around the internet for ideas and found this craft room. Be sure to click on the pictures in the sidebar. Is that amazing or what??? Here's another one. What fun it would be to have all that space! Oh, well. I'm excited to be able to fix up my little space and use it for the glory of God! I love sending out notes of encouragement, birthday cards, etc. It is my own little ministry that I can do here at home.
I finally had a chance to stop into Goodwill the other night. I was glad I did. I found the nicest Platzgraff Yorktowne quiche dish. I'm not sure how much they are regularly but this one was only $5. There was also a bread machine for $15 that I'm thinking of going back to purchase. It's the same as the one I have now and it's in great condition. I think one of the ways I can cut some costs around here is to back my own bread. I don't grind my own wheat or anything because my husband doesn't like whole wheat bread.

I recently found out that the Salvation Army will be opening a new store that's near me. Yeah! The way the economy is going I have a feeling I will be visiting these stores more often.
Today was full of errands: bank, post office, office store, craft store, grocery stores. I almost dread going grocery shopping anymore because the prices keep going up and up! Thankfully my pantry is well-stocked so I can afford to wait until things go on sale. At least Y2K taught me something!
I read something the other day that I've been meditating on: Greater peace comes to women who pray faithfully. "Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Trish and I have four more weeks of "Fear Factor" and then will be moving on to study the book of Hebrews using Precept materials. Can't wait!

I'm also hosting a ladies Bible study here on Monday evenings. We're going through "A Woman After God's Own Heart" using a workbook based on the book of the same name. Last Monday was our first meeting-so far, so good! Each week Elizabeth comes into my home to teach the ladies---via DVD. :-) We had four new ladies that just recently started attending our church and it was exciting to see them jump in and get involved. I look forward to getting to know them better.
That's about all from here. If you have any money-saving tips, please leave a comment and share them. I could use the help! Thanks!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

True Love

This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.~1 John 4:10

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What A Day!

It's 71 degrees today and it feels wonderful. It's breezy but that's ok. There is a hint of spring in the air that makes me want to put away all my snowman decorations and bring out the flowers! But.....temperatures will be back in the 40's by the end of the week.

This week's chapter in Fear Factor is "The Fear That is Good for You". It's all about the incredible promises in the Bible for those who fear God. We only studied a few of the many verses that have to do with the fear of God. What are some of the blessings?

-soul prosperity: experiencing inner peace, internal contentment, a life characterized by the fruit of the Spirit, a person who is rich in faith, mercy, full ofhope and heir ofthe Kingdom.
-it's good for our descendants (Ps. 25:13)
-we have intimacy with God
-God has a warehouse filled with goodness for God-fearing people
-it brings a variety of other blessings

The main verses we studied were Jeremiah 32:39, Psalm 25:12-14, Psalm 31:19-20, Psalm 112:3-8. I'm going to do a study of the fear of God and see how many verses there are and what are the benefits of fearing God. It should be a blessing!!

Our last question was: How have you personally been affected by this study? Here's my answer: I was reminded that I need to live my life in ways that show I fear Him--by trusting Him more, by cultivating a more personal relationship with Him, by living a life that is pleasing to Him, by bringing everything to Him in prayer, by living my life in total dependence on Him. Basically I need to set my mind on things above (Col. 3:2) and have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) I am easily distracted and need to:

Fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:2-3)

Fix my eyes on Him and consider Him--that is a life that fears the Lord and lives for Him.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Are You Scared?

In the past few weeks I've heard the word "scared" used many times in regards to the new administration, the economy, Israel/Gaza and other world events. I was surprised to see comments or blog posts from believers who say they are scared about what is going on the world. Should we as believers be "scared"? Is the world "out of control"?

Not according the 2 Chronicles 20:6: O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms and nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand You.

I went back this week and looked through Trusting God again, especially Chapter 5: God's Rule Over The Nations. Here's some excerpts that have really helped me to see God's sovereignty over the nations.

"...God makes all events of history; all the decisions of rulers, kings, and parliaments; and all the actions of their governments, armies and navies serve His will."

From John Newton: "The kings of the earth are continually disturbing the world with their schemes of ambition. They expect to carry every thing before them, and have seldom any higher end in view, than the gratification of their own passions. But in all they do they are but servants of this great King and Lord, and fulfill His purposes, as the instruments he employs to inflict prescribed punishment upon transgressors against Him, or to open a way for the spread of His gospel......They have one thing in view, He had another."

"God recorded in His Word specific instances of His sovereign rule of history in order that we might trust Him in the affairs of history as they unfold before us today. We should remember that, for those experiencing the events in the biblical narratives, God's hand was no more apparent to them in those events than His hand is apparent to us today in ours."

"....we should remember that God works in history from an eternal perspective, whereas we tend to view the outworking of history from a temporal perspective."

This helped me during the presidential elections: "If these apparently foolish decisions are allowed to run their course, and believers are caught up in the disastrous consequences of those decisions, then we must still continue to trust God even in those difficult times. We must believe both that God is sovereignly in control of those events and that the care and welfare of His children in those events has not been forgotten."

"God is sovereign over the nations. He is sovereign over the officials over our own government in all their actions as they affect us, directly or indirectly."

".....we can and must trust God."

The Lord doesn't want us to be scared. He has put into power these new elected officials. He is in control of all events in the world, whether it's the economy or nations at war. He is sovereign over all. Nothing is out of His control. We can and must trust God!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Weekly Housework

I'm hoping to do some posts on homekeeping during the next few weeks. One of the things that I do is to have a schedule of my housework each week. The above picture shows the form that I have in my planner. I use a lot of GraceWorks papers because they are practical and beautiful! So many of the planners out there are made for women working outside the home. Well, my career is here at home! And GraceWorks has organizers, calendars and household management papers that fit my needs.

Monday is always laundry day. I try to get it all done but it usually spills over into Tuesday and sometimes Wednesday if I have a lot of sheets and towels to do. I also clean the living room. This involves dusting, vacuuming, and decluttering. After the weekend, the living room always looks as if a tornado blew through so Monday is a good day to clean. Since my husband gets paid on every other Friday, I like to do my grocery shopping on Monday. I try my best not to go on the weekend since it's so crowded.

The rest of the schedule is like this: Tuesday/family room; Wednesday/bathrooms (2.5); Thursday/school room; Friday/master bedroom, working at my desk; Saturday/school and menu planning.

I also have a list of ongoing housework projects that I try to do when time permits. Right now under dining room, I have 'clean fan; wash light fixtures'. It's a just place where I can write down things that need to get done eventually but aren't on my regular schedule. I need to write them down or else I'll forget. :-)

I know there are many different ways to keep tracks of household chores. I've tried index cards and check off lists but I've been doing it this way for a while and it has worked for me.

What are some ways you keep tracks of your weekly household duties? I'd love it hear!

Monday, February 02, 2009

January in Pictures

The following pictures are from a birthday party. We played games from about 3:00 until 11:00 pm. It was great fun!! Playing Train
Intense Players

This was the "quiet" room while we were playing Pictionary.

The Pictionary Winners

Keeping Chrissy Quiet!!

Julianne's mad-artist skills

Michael and Matt playing some worship music

Isaac not too happy :-(

Matt and Isaac

Cutest baby ever!!!!

Jessica brought these to me during one our girls' night. xoxoxox
Beautiful pink

I picked this up at Target and thought it was such a beautiful combination. It's still going strong.