Saturday, April 10, 2021

Weekend Words

From Amish Peace...

Photo credit: The Amish Cook - Elizabeth Coblentz

All Things New

"Since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son." - Romans 5:10

"The Amish are keen menders, going to great lengths to fix what is broken, patch what is torn, and repair what is repairable," writes Lorilee Craker, author of Money Secrets of the Amish.  "I like the dictionary definition of mend: 'to restore something to satisfactory condition', or ' to improve something or make it more acceptable.'"

Mending is great for socks, fences, and farm equipment, but when it comes to our souls, there is no mending.  Our efforts cannot cut out sin or repair the damage it has caused.  Our good works do not stitch together the broken pieces.  Since we are born sinners, we can't ever do enough to repair our relationship with God.  Jesus didn't come to patch together our good parts with His great parts so we'd be sufficient.  No, He takes all sin so there is not a stitch left within us to bring condemnation.

I like how 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 puts it: "We look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new.  The old life is gone; a new life burgeons!  Look at it!  All this comes from God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationship with each other.  God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins" (The Message).

How have you looked at your life: as something you need to fix, to mend, to make do with?  No matter how you try, you'll never, ever be able to restore yourself to a satisfactory condition.  Sinful human beings can never make themselves good enough for eternity.

How have you looked at Jesus: as Someone who helps you have a better life or as Someone who is your life?  If you are still battling that question, settle it now.  Hand over the frayed mess that you've been trying to put back together, and accept the fresh start, the new life, that only He can create in you.

Dear heavenly Father, I'm so grateful that instead of mending, You make new.  I offer the tattered mess I have made and rejoice at the new life You have to give!

Photo credit: The Gift of Friendship - Bill Coleman

From Faith's Checkbook - Charles H Spurgeon...

"Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray." - Isaiah 35:8

The way of holiness is so straight and plain that the simplest minds cannot go astray if they constantly follow it.  The worldly wise have many twists and turns; they make terrible blunders and generally miss their end.  When men choose worldly policy as their road, it leads them over dark mountains.  Gracious minds know no better than to do as the Lord bids them; this keeps them in the king's highway, and under royal protection.

Never attempt to help yourself out of a difficulty by a falsehood or by a questionable act; but keep in the middle of the high road of truth and integrity, and you will be following the best possible course.  Be just and fear not.  God's way must be the best way.  Follow it though men think you a fool, and you will be truly wise.

Photo credit: The Gift of Friendship - Bill Coleman

Friday, April 9, 2021

Ordinary Days

A long overdue catch up...

Autumn has arrived, the days are still warm and sunny but the nights and early mornings are getting cool.  I seem to find plenty to keep my busy, and with less daylight hours I am slipping into hibernation mode.  Here's a few catch up photos from the last couple of weeks...

Marnie and I had a day trip to Stanley recently.  It was so nice to get to walk on 'my' beach again... 

au revoir mon ami jusqu’à la prochaine visite

In the Garden

There is still some colour...

I've picked all the apples off my tree, cooked most for the freezer, but kept some for eating fresh...

Marnie and Denver came over yesterday and helped with some garden work.  We mowed, weeded and cut back some of the larger trees...

In the Craft Basket

My friend Vicki gave me two big balls of Caron Cake that she did not want, so I'm knitting some scarves for charity in a broken rib pattern...

Finally finished knitting all 28 squares for this charity blanket and am now sewing them together...

Almost finished this blanket, just a few more rounds...

Still reading the first of the Mitford series books, but almost finished...
and onto the second Jerry Bridges book

In the Kitchen

Made Irish soda bread...
and enjoyed it warm from the oven with butter and delicious Tasmanian honey

And baked a pineapple boiled fruit cake...

This is my usual breakfast each morning: the blackberries continue to produce, although the few strawberries I had growing are now finished...
cooked quinoa and buckwheat, stewed apples, banana, blackberries/strawberries, chia seeds, ground linseed, and a dollop of yoghurt.  Yum!!

At the River

Always different...
early one misty morning

on a clear day

fog :)

this morning

 I think that'll do you!  And remember...

"Sometimes extraordinary things happen on the most ordinary days." - Julia Garwood


Sunday, April 4, 2021

Weekend Words - Easter


"Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here, as he said.  Come, see the place where the Lord lay."  - Matthew 28:5-6

Easter is a joyous season, commemorating the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

The dark events surrounding His crucifixion had left His followers discouraged.  They had expected an earthly kingdom to be set up.  Instead, Jesus had been crucified.  However, they didn't realize that what had seemed a tragedy to them would soon be turned into a triumph.

At daybreak some of the women went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus with sweet spices as their one last act of love and devotion.  Not long before, they had been spectators at the crucifixion.  Now with heavy hearts they were on their way to the tomb.

Imagine their surprise to find the stone already rolled away from the tomb and an angel saying, "Fear ye not: for I know that ye SEEK JESUS, which was crucified.  He is not here: for He is risen, as he said; COME, SEE the place where the Lord lay."  What joy we would experience if we received a message that a dear one whom we thought dead was alive.  So these friends were overjoyed with the news that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead.

The message of the angel proclaimed the great victorious miracle - the victory of life over death.  It dispels fear, bringing peace to our hearts.  "FEAR YE NOT - He is not here."  The message brings hope.  "HE IS RISEN" means that He is alive.  The message is reassuring.  "AS HE SAID."  This gives us confidence that His word is true.

Victory, peace, and hope characterize our Christian faith because Jesus came forth triumphant over death.  "I am He that liveth, and was dead: and, behold, I am alive forevermore." (Revelation 1:18)  How we can praise God today for the personal knowledge that He is not only the living Savior and LORD of the world, but that he can be OURS personally.

The reality of this knowledge in our lives gives us the promise of life throughout eternity with Him.  "Because I live, ye shall live also" (John 14:19).

From Beside the Still Waters...

He Arose - Read Matthew 28

"And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again." - Matthew 20:19

We sing that beautiful hymn, "Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o'er His foes."  When they laid Jesus in the tomb, Pilate said, make it as sure as you can.  After Jesus died, his enemies remembered that he had said, "After three days I will arise again" (Matthew 27:63).  So they sealed the tomb and placed soldiers there to guard it, but all to no avail.  The Lord arose triumphantly, and an angel rolled the stone away so that all could see the empty tomb.

What does the resurrection of Christ mean to us?  Is it just another Bible story?  Romans 4:25 says that Christ "was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification."  If we believe that Jesus died and shed his blood for us and we are ready to repent and confess our sins, He is willing to forgive us.  Because of the resurrection of Christ, we can be justified - made as righteous as if we had never sinned - and have peace with God.  Also because of Christ's resurrection, we can be raised to newness of life.  We can become new creatures in Christ with power to live in victory.

We can have "a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3).  Someone has referred to this lively hope as the expectation of the future made present.  In other words, if all our sins are washed away by the blood of Christ and we have peace with God, we can have full assurance right now of living with Jesus forever in heaven.  Does the resurrection of Christ really mean all this to us?

Cleason Martin - Stratton, ON

Christ arose that we might live with Him!

Friday, April 2, 2021

An Amish prayer for Good Friday


"Oh Jesus, Thou eternal good, who hast on this good, quiet Friday held still before Thy Father, and for my sake hast obediently born His wrath even unto death, grant that I also today may observe this fitting, good, quiet Friday with suitable thoughts and quiet devotion.  Yea, that I might keep, observe, Thy great day of sacrifice and through true faith make myself partaker of Thy sacrifice and great payment, atonement."

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Weekend Words

From Be Still and Know...

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:25 

There is a great spirit of restlessness in the world today.  People are like the restless sea, seeking peace, but finding instead turmoil and tension, fear and frustration.  The world is in a state of unrest because individuals are in a state of unrest.  Inner strain and pressure build up as a result of a constant round of frenzied activity.

While Jesus was here on earth He was aware that many people were burdened with the cares of life.  "And what pity He felt for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn't know what to do or where to go for help.  They were like sheep without a shepherd" (Matthew 9:36 LB).  He could also look down the corridor of time and see that, even today, people would be carrying heavy burdens; burdens of fear, loneliness, bitterness, inadequacy, sorrow, guilt and sin.

From a heart filled with love and concern for people, He gave a simple invitation, "Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy-laden, and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest - I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls" (Matthew 11:28 Amplified).  Bible scholars tell us the word "come" appears in the Bible more than six hundred times.  This invitation was not just for the people of that day.  It was not just for a select few, but it included all people through all ages.

We do not find rest in the act of coming, but in the One to whom we come.  He will release the tension and strain and GIVE us rest.  Rest comes as we give our burdens to our Rest-giver.  Yet many have not appropriated His provision for heart rest.

Today the world is full of heavy-laden people.  They may have a smile on their faces, but hidden behind the smile is a burden almost too heavy to bear.  You may be one of these people.  He is saying to you, "Come to me.  I want YOU."  Your part is to come; His is to give you rest.  He never turns anyone away.

Come Near to God - Charles H. Spurgeon

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." - James 4:8

The nearer we come to God, the more graciously will He reveal Himself to us.  When the prodigal returns, his father runs to meet him.  When the wandering dove comes back, Noah puts out his hand to pull her into him.  Come then, let us draw near to God who so graciously awaits us, who comes to meet us.

In Isaiah 58:9 the Lord seems to put Himself at the disposal of His people, saying to them, "Here I am," as much as to say, "What can I do for you?  I am waiting to bless you."  How can we hesitate to draw near?  God is near, to forgive, to bless, to comfort, to help.

Let us aim to get near to God.  This done, all is done.  If we seek the Lord alone, He will continue to come nearer and yet nearer to us by fuller and more joyful fellowship.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Weekend Words

From Be Still and Know devotional...

            "And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them."                    - 2 Kings 6:16

When Benhadad, the Syrian king, was waging war on Israel, his military secrets kept leaking out.  Learning that Elisha was responsible, the king sent his soldiers to capture him.  However, Benhadad failed to realize his schemes were nothing against a man who had an open line of communication with God.

One morning Elisha's servant discovered they were completely surrounded by Benhadad's army.  Frightened, he hurried to Elisha, saying, "Alas my master!  How shall we do?" "Elisha, WHAT shall we do."

To his surprise Elisha did not panic, but was completely undisturbed.  Elisha, having SPIRITUAL VISION, SAW the great INVISIBLE host of God around them.  Elisha said, "FEAR NOT, but they that be with us are more than they that be with them."  How ineffective where Benhadad's chances against a man who had the resources of heaven at his disposal.

Then Elisha prayed that his servant, also, might have SPIRITUAL VISION to see the invisible hosts.  "Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see.  And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and HE SAW: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire around about Elisha" (2 Kings 6:17).

Today we may be facing problems and situations that have no visible solution.  We may be looking at our problems with our physical eyes.  We may be crying out, "Alas! WHAT shall WE do?"  When our eyes are on our circumstances we panic.  When they are on God we are at rest.

We need to let God open our eyes of faith, giving us SPIRITUAL VISION.  By faith our inner eyes can see God's provision for us.  "FEAR NOT; they that be with You are more than they that be with them."  We may not see our way out of our problem, but we can trust God to encircle us with his invisible host in the midst of it.

With our physical eyes we see the enemy; with our spiritual eyes we see God's heavenly host standing ready to deliver us.  "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them" (Psalm 34:7).

Monday, March 15, 2021

An autumn outing and other delights

A day out on Saturday, with Marnie, to the quaint village of Evandale... 

I could spend all afternoon in this store


And even more so once you get inside...

Hmm...good idea!

So with coffee in hand, we walked the street...
even though it was cold and showery


A peek down someone's driveway...

And into someone's garden...

Lots of lovely old buildings and brickwork...
a nice day was had by all both

At home...

Two new books for upcoming winter reading...

And started (another) knit project...
using a VERY old pattern, some blue/grey wool I had, and my red birthday wool from Jefferson and Anushka.  The two stands of yarn together and 6.5mm needles, so it's knitting up very quickly :)

Meanwhile...down at the river...all is well...

On the way to the river...
mist in the valley

sun on the hill

"The sky was clear and very, very blue, without a single cloud.  It had rained the night before, for on all the trees and bushes thousands of water-drops glistened like diamonds in the light of the newly risen sun.

In the summer, how happy she was in those vast green Alpine fields, how magnificent that pure air, and that bluest of all blue skies!  And in autumn!-- What a beautiful season was that, with nut-gathering and bringing in of the apples and the grapes."

 - Paula the Waldensian by Eva Lecomte

In the garden...

I will need to harvest and process the last of the apples in the next week

the blackberries continue to ripen

and there are still some flowers (this is purple oregano) for the the bees, although they will need to be cut back soon

Whatever season you are in...