Sunday, September 27, 2020

Weekend Words

A Praying Savior

"Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place, and there He prayed." (Mark 1:35)

Every fact in our Lord's life on earth, and every word which fell from His lips, ought to be deeply interesting to a true Christian.  We see a fact and a saying in the passage we have just read which deserves close attention.

We see, for one thing, an example of our Lord Jesus Christ's habits about private prayer.  We are told that "in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed."

We shall find the same thing often recorded of our Lord in the Gospel history.  When He was baptized, we are told that He was "praying."  When He was transfigured, we are told that, "as He prayed, the fashion of His face was altered."

Before He chose the 12 apostles, we are told that "He continued all night in prayer to God."  When tempted in the garden of Gethsemane, He said, "Sit ye here while I shall pray."  In short, our Lord prayed always and did not faint.  Sinless as He was, He set us an example of diligent communion with His Father.

We ought to see in all this the immense importance of private devotion.  If He who was "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners" thus prayed continually, how much more ought we who are compassed with infirmity?  If He found it needful to offer up supplication with strong crying and tears, how much more needful is it for us, who in many things offend daily?  A praying Master, like Jesus, can have no prayerless servants.  The Spirit of adoption will always make a man call upon God.

What shall we say to those who pray yet give but little time to their prayers?  We are obliged to say that they show at present very little of the mind of Christ.  Asking little, they must expect to have little.  Seeking little, they cannot be surprised if they possess little.  It will always be found that when prayers are few, grace, strength, peace, and hope are small.

We shall do well to watch our habits of prayer with a holy watchfulness.  Here is the pulse of our Christianity.  Here is the true test of our state before God.  Here true religion begins in the soul, when it does begin.  Here it decays and goes backward, when  man backslides from God.

Let us walk in the steps of our blessed Master in this respect as well as in every other.  Like Him, let us be diligent in our private devotion.  Let us know what it is to "depart into a solitary places and pray."

J C RYLE (1816 - 1900)  
J C Ryle was an evangelical Anglican writer, pastor, and preacher.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Weekend Words

It's all about focus.  Three of my readings this morning seemed to relate to 'focus'.  Do you think God is trying to tell me something??  So you are getting all three (in the order I read them).  You might want to read in installments :) 

From Our Daily Bread devotional...

In Focus - read Acts 3:2-8, 16

Author Mark Twain suggested that whatever we look at in life - and how we see it - can influence our next steps, even our destiny.  As Twain said, "You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."

Peter too spoke of vision when he replied to a lame beggar, a man whom he and John encountered at the busy temple gate called Beautiful (Acts 3:2).  As the man asked them for money, Peter and John looked directly at the man.  "Then Peter said, 'Look at us!'" (v4).

Why did he say that?  As Christ's ambassador, Peter likely wanted the beggar to stop looking at his own limitations - yes, even to stop looking at his need for money.  As he looked at the apostles, he would see the reality of having faith in God.

As Peter told him, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk" (v6).  Then Peter "helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong.  He jumped to his feet and began to walk" and give praise (vv7-8).

What happened?  The man had faith in God (v16).  As evangelist Charles Spurgeon urged, "Keep your eye simply on Him."  When we do, we don't see obstacles.  We see God, the One who makes our way clear.

- Patricia Raybon

What are you focused on instead of God?  With refocused faith, what could you see in Him for your life?

Heavenly Father, when my eyes wander from You, focus my gaze on Your unlimited power.

From Hearing from God Each Morning devotional - Joyce Meyer

Spirit Led Persistence

What am I to do?  I will pray with my spirit (by the Holy Spirit that is within me), but I will also pray (intelligently) with my mind and understanding (1 Corinthians 14:15)

I really want to encourage you to pray persistent, persevering prayers by the leading of the Holy Spirit - not mere repetitious prayers that do not come from your heart, but prayers that refuse to give up.  It is possible to use your mouth to speak words of prayer that have no meaning behind them at all, and those prayers are nothing but dead works.  I could quote the entire Lord's Prayer while I am thinking about something else, and that would not bless God or do me any good, but if I am sincere and pray from my heart, God hears and works in my behalf.

Lip service doesn't do anything for God or accomplish anything in our lives, so even when we pray about the same thing over and over again, we need to be careful not to fall into meaningless repetition.  Instead, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in a fresh way, even when we are addressing a subject about which we have prayed for a long time.  Sometimes He will lead us to be diligent and persistent about a matter, but there is a difference between repetition and Spirit-led persitence.

Words spoken in prayer that are not connected to our hearts are words without power.  When we pray we should focus and concentrate on what we are saying.  We should never merely verbalize things we have memorized while our hearts are far from God.  The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available (see James 5:16).

Your heartfelt prayers to God have power and He hears them.

From A Year's Journey with God - Jennifer Rees Larcombe

Prisoners of Hope 

Return to your fortress, O prisoner of hope; come back to the place of safety - Zechariah 9:12

Paul was in prison but he was never a prisoner.  It is not difficult situations that trap us, it is our reactions to them that form the prison bars.  Psalm 107:10-11 and 13 talks about prisoners like that who are chained in the deepest gloom, 'for they had rebelled against the words of God... then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress.  He brought them out of darkness...and broke away their chains' (v14).  Our spirits can be imprisoned when we 'rebel' against God by shaking an angry fist at the circumstances He has allowed.  Fortunately He is always ready to save us when we call to Him for help!

An Old Testament scholar such as Paul would have known Zechariah's phrase 'prisoners of hope' (9;12).  Whenever I read it, I think of the day I went to tea with my friends Jo and Susie.  Their cat had presented them with 5 kittens, which had rapidly turned into teenagers with attitude!  In the centre of the sitting room stood a huge wire cage in which lived a family of gerbils.  The kittens swarmed incessantly all over the cage, spitting, hissing and clawing savagely at the bars.  Far from being traumatised, the gerbils took no notice at all, but happily went on eating, sleeping and playing chase.  A prison holds you on all sides and contains you, so being a prisoner of hope means being surrounded and protected by our unshakeable trust in God's promises and goodness.

You hem me in - behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me... Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? (Psalm 139:5,7)

See what I mean?  It's all about where our focus is :)

All the Spring flower photos were taken on my walks this past week

"The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come..."

Song of Solomon 2:12

Friday, September 18, 2020


 It's been a week of domestic pursuits...


I hadn't done any for over a year, because I didn't have a table low enough, or a chair high enough...

But the idea occurred to me (I'm a bit slow sometimes) to use my desk.  The pull out part that I normally sit my lap top on.  And it worked a treat!  It does bounce around a bit if I sew too fast, and a bigger table would be better, but... It didn't cost me anything (just a bit of brain work)...

just ignore the mess on the desk

This was a long sleeved button front dress with a collar , but a bit over the top as a dress, and it was also a bit short (I prefer mid calf to ankle length).  I really liked the fabric, so cut it off just under the armholes, removed the elastic in the waist, and sewed another waistband (bias binding and elastic) and viola...a dropped waist skirt!

The fabric is really pretty paisley on a heavier weight brushed cotton...

It was an op shop find for a couple of dollars.  And I've save the rest of the fabric for ?  I might add a couple of pockets.  I like pockets.


corn fritters


 spaghetti bolognaise, broccoli, beetroot/redbeet

And after lunch...
chocolate crunch (aka weetbix slice)

Garden work...

Working on moving the hellebores to the back of the garden bed (closer to the fence) and transplanting lower growing plants towards the front.

But I will leave them massed under the greengage plum tree, and probably move a few more there to fill in the gaps...

And my honeysuckle, that I bought in a small pot last Spring is really taking off...


Still working on the granny squares (2  to go) and still reading (and enjoying) Old Houses, New Home...

not getting as much inside time now that Spring is here and there is much to do in the garden

A quote I read this week...

"There is a magic machine that sucks carbon out of the air.  It costs very little and builds itself.  It's called a tree." 

George Monbiot

this was taken down at the river about this time last year.  It's one of my favourites :)

That's all folks!

Time to get back to work :)


Sunday, September 13, 2020

Weekend Words

 From Our Daily Bread devotional...

Friendly Fin - read Genesis 4:8-16

A marine biologist was swimming near the Cook Islands when a 50,000 pound humpback whale suddenly appeared and tucked her under its fin.  The woman thought her life was over.  But after swimming slowly in circles, the whale let her go.  It's then that the biologist saw a tiger shark leaving the area.  The woman believes the whale had been protecting her - keeping her from danger.

In a world of danger, we're called to watch out for others.  But you might ask yourself, Should I really be expected to be responsible for someone else?  Or in Cain's words: "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9).  The rest of the Old Testament resounds with the thunderous response: Yes!  Just as Adam was to care for the garden, so Cain was to care for Abel, Israel was to keep watch over the vulnerable and care for the needy.  Yet they did the opposite - exploiting the people, oppressing the poor, and abdicating the calling to love their neighbour as themselves. (Isaiah 3:14-15)

Yet, in the Cain and Abel story, God continued to watch over Cain, even after he was sent away (Genesis 4:15-16).  God did for Cain what Cain should have done for Abel.  It's a beautiful foreshadowing of what God in Jesus would come to do for us.  Jesus keeps us in His care, and He empowers us to go and do like wise for others.

- Glenn Packiam

Who has God entrusted to your care?  How have you embraced that responsibility?  How have you tried to evade or avoid it?

Compassionate God, thank you for your care for me.  You keep me and watch over me.  Help me to do the same for others.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

- Leo Buscaglia

You cannot do kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.
- Sir James M Barrie

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us.  That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand.
- Emily Kimbrough

(images and quotes from The Gift of Friendship - Bill Coleman)

Friday, September 11, 2020

Out and About

 Had a day out with Marnie earlier this week. Turners Beach and a quick beach fix...

A stop off at various ports of call (for lunch and shopping) and a short 'walk in the woods'...

I was exhausted by the time I drove home!!

I also bought more yarn to make another blanket for Wrap With Love.  I usually only get one made each year, and the one I mailed off recently (photos in THIS post) should be in a container and on its way to Syria now...
Only $2 a ball and I should get 2 knitted squares from each ball
Need 28 x 10" squares for the blanket

Still working on these crocheted squares.  Unfortunately I can't get any more of the cream yarn at the moment and I think I'm going to run out...

I've started on one of my recently purchased books from the Mennonite bookstore ...
I'm really enjoying it.  Reminiscent of the Little House books

I'll leave you with this early morning shot from the river this week...

"When from our better selves we have too long
Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop,
Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired,
How gracious, how benign, is Solitude"

- William Wordsworth

I'm off for some solitary lunch :) 


Sunday, September 6, 2020

Weekend Words

From Beside the Still Waters devotional...

Lord, when I shrink thy place to fill
And think my way is better still,
Please mold and bend and break me 'till
My heart and life are in thy will.

- Elvin Stoltzfus

Meeting God - Read Matthew 25:31-46

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life - John 3:16

Someday we will meet God.  We will stand before the eternal One, who is so incomprehensibly mighty that He spoke everything into existence except mankind.  Man He formed from the dust and breathed into him the breath of life.  Knowing that Adam and Eve would sin, God bared His holy arm before the foundation of the world to bring about man's salvation.  He planned the sacrifice of His only begotten Son to provide the forgiveness of sin.

God also gave man an Instruction Book, and sent His Holy Spirit to shine His divine illumination upon its pages.  He provided the avenue of prayer so that even in our imperfection, we might commune with Him in His holiness.  God left nothing undone, neglected no detail, and spared no effort to reconcile us unworthy mortals to Himself.

So how will it be to stand before His throne when life on earth is over?  Will God be a kind of jolly grandfather who laughs and waves us through to glory?  "You messed up a few times, but on the whole, you tried to be a good fellow."  Or will He be a harsh Judge glaring from beneath heavy brows?  "I cannot bear the looks of you, I never have liked you, and I do not want you in Heaven."

No, these images do not match what the Bible reveals about the character of God.  But God is obviously serious about Project Creation.  His holiness will not be compromised;  His justice will not waver.  His authority will not be diminished nor His purposes altered.  We too must be serious about life if we are to hear those all-important words of commendation when we meet God: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant...enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

 - Gary Miller - Pantego, NC

Friday, September 4, 2020

September Yarn Along (et al.)


Although not all the days have been as blue sky and sunshiny as this.  We've also had cloud, wind and rain, but who wants a reminder about that!?!

This week has been a mixed bag.  A trip to Sheffield and Latrobe on Tuesday.  Lunch with Marnie and a walk with her past this cute little house...

Which brought to mind a quote I read recently:

"I longed to be transported into that quiet little landscape, to walk up the path, to take a key from my pocket and open the cottage door." - Alan Bradley

While in Latrobe I bought more yarn to continue working on this blanket.  I was originally only going to make a small baby blanket, so only bought one ball of each colour, but enjoyed the 'prettiness' of the colours so much, that I bought another ball of each so I can make a bigger blanket...

I have three books on the go at the moment...

During winter I re-read all the "Little House..." books, and was wondering what to read for Spring/Summer.  I had read some of the Mitford series in years past, but was reminded again recently (thanks Marilyn) of how I enjoyed them.  So have decided they will be my 'light summer read'.

But this second half of the week I've lost a day down and out with a bad headache, so taking it easy today with my Mitford book and my crochet.

And a quote from the book:

“Well, Preacher, you've took a load off my mind, and that's a fact. I've been wrestlin' with this f'r a good while, and now I'm just goin' to set it down in th' road and leave it."

"That's a good plan, Uncle Billy. God asks us not to worry about tomorrow."

"That's a hard one, Preacher."

"It sure is.  And it takes practice.  Just stick with today, is what He recommends.  Of course, it helps to stick with Him, while we're at it.”

― Jan Karon, At Home in Mitford

And here's the Yarn Along link.