Sunday, March 29, 2020

Weekend Words

Say "Thank You" - Joyce Meyer

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever! -
I Chronicles 16:34

Thanksgiving should be a regular part of our lives.  It is something that creates an atmosphere where God can speak; it is a type of prayer, and it should flow out of us in a natural way that is pure and easy.  We can take time each evening and thank God for the things He helped us with that day, but we should also continually breathe out simple prayers of thanksgiving every time we see Him working in our lives or blessing us.  For example, "Lord, thank you for a good night's sleep," or "God, I thank you that my visit to the dentist didn't hurt as much as I thought it might," or "Lord, thank you for keeping me encouraged."

God is always good to us, always faithful, and always working diligently in our lives to help us in every possible way.  We need to respond by letting Him know we appreciate Him and everything He is doing for us.  We should thank God silently in our heart and we should also voice our thankfulness aloud because that helps us stay conscious and aware of God's love, which He demonstrates through His goodness to us.


Because Someone Smiled - Read Psalm 33

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly. - Proverbs 18:24

For the Christian who has been cleansed by the blood of Jesus and is at peace with his family, church, and neighbour, a radiant smile can speak volumes to others.  As Christians we should always try to radiate the love and peace of God by our facial expressions.  Just as a scowl expresses anger, so a warm, sincere smile expresses Christian joy.  Nehemiah 8:10 says, "The joy of the Lord is your strength."  Even in the midst of sorrow or intense suffering, we can leave a testimony of a sincere smile.

A smile can speak eloquently even when no words are uttered.  Someone may feel completely alone and hopeless until you smile at him.  A smile is so inexpensive yet so valuable.  A fearful child may shy away from a stranger, no matter how honest his intentions, but his pleasant smile can soon put the little one at ease.  A smile doesn't need words or physical touch to convey its warmth, inspiration, and comfort.  Just a smile is enough, pure and simple, touching the heart and soothing the soul with its healing balm.

David was being pursued by King Saul when he wrote the profound words in Psalm 57.  "My heart is fixed O God: ... I will sing and give praise, ... I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people."  Only a heart set on serving God could utter this kind of praise under such dire circumstances.  I can picture David stretching his hands towards Heaven and smiling radiantly as he spoke these words.  Dear friends, do you go about with a smile that testifies of Christ's glorious work in your heart?  A transformation within will show on the outside.

A smile can radiate sunshine on a cloudy day.

Denver Yoder - Somerset, OH


Just little things, a thankful heart and a ready smile, but they can make all the difference to ourselves and others, especially in how we deal with, and get through, these troubling times.



Thursday, March 26, 2020

This week...

Browsing the Bendigo Woollen Mills sample yarn card and ordering online...
while enjoying the latest Keepers at Home magazine (isn't the cover pretty!!)

Mailing these beanies off to Woomera Aboriginal Corporation...
one of the 'charities of the month' on Knit 4 Charities organisation

And some autumn colour in my garden...

don't know what this is, but it's pretty


hellebore buds

parsley seed heads

And at the river this morning...
just starting to get light and the whole world to myself (almost)

Today I read this:

"Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are." - Mason Cooley

I'm going back to the 1930s and the West Virginia mountains, in my current book: Rugged Trails and Ragged Shoes.

Where are you going?


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Weekend Words

Normally I would be at church now.  My church is still on, being under the 100 indoor gathering limit, but as I've had a cold during the week, and even though I feel OK now, I thought I would stay home just in case I had some lingering germs.

Many of you are needing to 'stay home' too, so I thought I'd provide a little more reading than usual, for those who are filling in time...

The Narrow Path is a Good Place

" Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:14 (KJV)

Perhaps you can think of something you did a few years ago that would bother your conscience if you tried to do it now.  It may not have bothered you five years ago, but because God has now revealed to you that it is wrong, you would not think of doing it anymore.

God speaks to us about issues, works with us to bring correction, and then lets us rest for awhile.  But eventually, as long as we're still listening, He will always talk to us about something new.

If you are anything like I was, you once walked through life on a wide and reckless path, but you are now on a narrow path.  I remember saying to God once, "It seems like my path gets narrower and narrower all the time."  I remember feeling that the path God was leading me on was getting so narrow that there was no room on it for me!  No wonder Paul said,  "It's no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).  When Jesus comes to live in us, He takes up permanent residence and slowly expands His presence in our lives until there is more of Himself and less of our old selfish nature.

If you feel you are on a narrow path - as though you cannot do what you used to do or as though the restrictions on you are very tight - then be encouraged; your old selfish nature is getting squeezed out so more of God's presence can dwell in you.

(Hearing from God Each Morning - Joyce Meyer)

The Synergy of Cooperation

Read: Nehemiah Chapter 4

"So build ye the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work." - Nehemiah 4:6

Molly had four kittens.  Several weeks later Boots had one kitten.  Molly carried the new kitten to her nest.  Now she had five, and Boots had none.  Later Boots joined Molly and the kittens in the box.  Now there were five kittens and two mother.  Everyone seemed happy.  The kittens had plenty of milk and the mothers had plenty of kittens.  Molly and Boots did not waste time and energy fighting or trying to push each other out of the box.  They did not compete for the exclusive affection of the litter, nor did they show favoritism for their own biological offspring.  They cooperated to keep all of the kittens well-fed, healthy, clean, and safe.

The two mothers working together were able to accomplish more than the sum of their efforts had they worked alone.  One prowling dog might have gladly accepted the challenge of doing battle with one cat at a time, but he would likely have had second thoughts about facing two outraged felines standing shoulder to shoulder.  That is synergy.

There is synergy in human cooperation as well.  Working together, we accomplish more than all of us could do individually.  Opportunities and resources for spreading the Gospel are unprecedented.  God has chosen to have His work accomplished through our hands as He gives us wisdom and strength to do it.  When we faithfully do what God has called us to do, taking our place in cooperation with other believers, God's power will multiply our efforts.  But His power is limited when we begin jostling for preeminence, competing for personal recognition, and bickering over trivial details.  Perhaps God smiles to see Molly and Boots working together to care for kittens.  We know He is pleased when His people work together in humility and mutual appreciation.

Gary Miller - Pantego, NC

When we all pull together; how happy we'll be.

This devotional is from Beside the Still Waters, an Amish Mennonite publication.  It is my favourite of the 4 I read each morning.
If you would like to receive a free copy you can write to:
Still Waters Ministries
285 Antioch Road 
Clarkson KY 42726

Or in Canada:
Beside the Still Waters
4180 Line 61 RR1
Milverton ON N0K 1M0

And if you are looking for more ways to fill the days, there are hundreds of sermons and articles (from an Anabaptist perspective) here:

I'll be listening to some this afternoon.


Friday, March 20, 2020

On the mend

I have been slowed down with a cold/flu since Sunday night, but am getting back on track today.  I've still been getting out for my early morning walks, and still picking beans, blackberries and apples, although the growth is slowing down, which is good, because my freezer is almost full.

Signs of autum here, with the leaves falling...

And the colours turning...
not my house and garden, but one I pass each morning on my way to the river

But I did find this in my garden...

Today it's been raining on and off, so I've been in the kitchen.  I have lamb and vegetable soup cooking in the crock pot...

And a pineapple boiled fruitcake on the go...

I finished the crocheted blanket I was working on...

And also finished reading THIS book...

And am now reading THIS one...
so I am on to book 3 of my recent purchases from the Anabaptist store in New South Wales, and really enjoying all of them!
Still working on my cardigan...
back and one sleeve finished

And here are some photos from a colourful sunrise earlier this week...
I think that has just about got you caught up. 
Now, to take the cake out of the oven and try a piece :)


Sunday, March 15, 2020

Weekend Words

Small Beginnings - Matthew 25: 14 - 29

When I was asked to begin working on what would possibly become this devotional book, I felt some sneaking sympathy for the servant who buried his talent.  The task looked too big.  It would be far easier to decline the offer.

The parable of the master with the three servants and the talents he gave them always makes me wonder.  There are so many questions.  For instance, why did the servant who buried his talent think that was the easiest route?  Was it indolence, or something more complicated?  And the faithful servants who worked hard and doubled their talents: How did they feel the first day after their master left?  Eager to begin proving they were capable of this task?  Or overwhelmed by the responsibility that was now theirs?

We aren't told how long the master was gone on his journey.  But if he was travelling into a far country, it's probably safe to assume he was gone for quite a few years.

I imagine the faithful servants didn't significantly increase their master's goods the first day.  Likely not even the first month.  But I believe daily they worked faithfully at that which needed to be done that day.  No doubt it took a long time and a lot of work to turn five talents into ten.  It took just as long and just as much work to change two into four.  Yet the amount they started with and the amount they ended with was not as important as what they did with it.

When their master returned, he was pleased for two reasons.  They had been willing to work with what he had given them, and they faithfully took care of it for him to claim when he returned. 

The servant who was so harshly denounced and stripped of all he had was the one who refused to use even that small bit which he had.  Did he ever begin?  Did he start but find the work hard, and give up because it wasn't easy?  How did he spend that long time while his master was gone?  Was it in idleness, wickedness, or merely self-indulgence?  The only thing we really know is that he gave up.  He had nothing to show for his efforts when the master returned.

When faced with a daunting task, I remember that man.  If the work is great and I can make only a small beginning, even that is better than not doing anything at all.  Tomorrow I will add a little more to that.  And the next day a bit more.  And the next day...

Prayer: When the load appears too large for me, Lord, remind me to focus on one small step first.  And remind me too that you are beside me to help carry the burden you've laid upon me.

 (from Water My Soul - Darla Weaver)


This devotional is particularly relevant to me as I lost 4 days this past week with headaches, so am way behind with things (including a weekly blog post).  I was able to keep up with essential day to day chores in the home, but the garden work has gone by the wayside.  I try to get out most days and at least do an hour there, but after almost a week of neglect, especially at this time of year, with produce to harvest and rain and warm weather that has things continually growing, it is a "daunting task".

But... "small beginnings', or as we say in our family when things overwhelm, "baby steps" :)

So tomorrow (Monday) Lord willing, I will "make a small beginning", and the next day "add a little more", and the next...

I'll also try and get back soon with a catch up post.

And unfortunately my computer won't let me upload any photos at the moment...

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Weekend Words

What Time I Am Afraid - Psalm 56

Matthan is four years old, and his world is widening rapidly.  He has so many questions and so many fears.

The things he's afraid of don't always make sense to me.  A small plastic beaver with its mouth open, showing long teeth ready to gnaw off trees, instils a great fear in him.  So he throws the beaver into a drawer and slams it shut.  But even with the beaver out of sight,  Matthan is worried.

"I can hear him racketing around in there Mum," he tells me.  And even when I assure him I can't and that he's perfectly safe where a plastic toy animal is concerned, he's not so sure.

I have fears too, and they seem more reasonable than Matthan's.  I worry about war, persecution, insecticides, and poverty, to name a few.  I worry even more about the kind of world in which my children are growing up, about the rampant evil that seems to be gaining an upper hand everywhere.

Perhaps my fears make more sense to God than Matthan's do to me.  Or perhaps they do not.  After all, God has promised to take care of those who trust in his name and to keep us in the shelter of his hand.  So he didn't promise me an easy way with no concerns, but he did promise to walk it with me.  He expects me to trust that he knows what is going on, that he sees the big picture, even when I don't.

Sometimes I can explain away Matthan's fears.  When he understands that the things he's worried about are normal or are nothing to fear, he believes me.  The look of concern fades from his face.  He might still not be able to see his worries as I see them, but he trusts me.

I say I trust God.  Bad things do happen, but I say I believe God knows what he's doing and that he is in control.  So if I say I trust him, I should let my worries fade, my anxieties be subdued.  I don't always know what's going on.  But God does.  I can learn to say with the psalmist in verse 3 of today's scripture reading, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee."

(from Water My Soul - Darla Weaver)

Thursday, March 5, 2020

March Yarn

Raining today, so no walk and no garden work...

Although I am still harvesting and processing apples, beans and blackberries from the garden when weather permits.

For Yarn Along...

The blanket squares are all sewn together in strips, now need to join the strips and do some border rows...
still reading (and enjoying) THIS book

Have finished the back on a sweater for myself...
 using a 'very old' classic raglan sleeve pattern

And in lieu of my morning river pics...

Granddaughter Hazel, watering her garden...
a chip off the ol' block :)

And youngest grandson, Jaya...
one next week!

Ok...maybe just one...
because it's so pretty :)


Sunday, March 1, 2020

Weekend Words

Quotes from Ordering Your Private World – Gordon MacDonald

“The battle is lost or won in the secret places of the will before God, never first in the external world… Nothing has any power over the [person] who has fought out the battle before God and won there… I must get the thing settled between myself and God in the secret places of my soul where no stranger inter-meddles, and then I can go forth with the certainty that the battle is won.”
Oswald Chambers

“We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass - grow in silence; see the stars, the moon and sun, how they move in silence...the more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life. We need silence to be able to touch souls. The essential thing is not what we say, but what God says to us and through us. All our words will be useless unless they come from within - words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness.”
Mother Teresa of Calcutta

“Almighty God, in this quiet hour I seek communion with thee. From the fret and fever of the day’s business, from the world’s discordant noises, from the praise and blame of men, from the confused thoughts and vain imaginations of my own heart, I would now turn aside and seek the quietness of thy presence. All day long have I toiled and striven; but now in the stillness of heart and the clear light of thy eternity, I would ponder the pattern my life is weaving.”
John Baillie

“We must examine with care what are the virtues of which we stand most in need, what are those which are most difficult to win, the sins to which we most often fall, and the most frequent and inevitable occasions of our falling. We must turn to God in complete confidence in our hour of battle, abide strongly in the presence of His divine majesty, worship Him humbly, and set before him our woes and our weaknesses. And thus we shall find in Him all virtues though we may lack them all.”
Brother Lawrence

“I turn my little omelet in the pan for the love of God. When it is finished, if I have nothing to do, I prostrate myself on the ground and worship my God, who gave me this grace to make it, after which I arise happier than a king. When I can do nothing else, it is enough to have picked up a straw for the love of God. People look for ways of learning how to love God. They hope to attain it by I know not how many different practices. They take much trouble to abide in His presence by varied means. Is it not a shorter and more direct way to do everything for the love of God, to make use of all the tasks one’s lot in life demands to show Him that love, and to maintain His presence within by the communion of our hearts with His? There is nothing complicated about it. One has only to turn to it honestly and simply.”
Brother Lawrence

I like a book with quotes! :)