Sunday, January 31, 2021

Weekend Words

Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. (Psalm 84:5)

In these days when we are pressured on every side, we often wonder how we will make it through the day.  We need a strength beyond our own limited supply.

It is encouraging to know there is strength available for us, sufficient for today's need.  The source of this strength is God Himself.  "Blessed is the man whose strength is in THEE."  The supply is inexhaustible, enough for everyone, and ready for us to draw upon at all times.  We are not provided tomorrow's strength today, but we are given strength for today.  The Living Bible (Psalm 84:5) reads, "Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who want above all else to follow your steps."

Blessed also is the one "in whose heart are the ways of them."  The words "of them" are in italics in the Bible.  If we omit these two words we read "in whose heart are the ways."  In the heart of the child of God are God's ways, His likenesses, His way of doing things.  It is a heart guided and directed by God.  It has been said, "God's ways must rule our hearts if our feet are to tread God's path."

As trials come, we may find ourselves in the Valley of Baca, which means weeping.  Our reaction to such experiences is important.  We can become bitter, filled with self pity, or we can let the valley be transformed into a blessing.  "When they walk through the Valley of Weeping it will become a place of springs where pools of blessing and refreshment collect after rains!"  (psalm 84:6 LB).

Our tears can become wells of grace and springs of blessings.  We might ask ourselves, "What am I leaving behind in the valley of weeping?  Murmuring or complaining?  Or praise and joy?"

In our physical life, we go from strength to weakness.  But in the Lord, we go from strength to strength.  Our strength may fail, but His is limitless.  Paul wrote, "That is why we never give up.  Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day" (2 Corinthians 4:16 LB).


And please take the time to read this beautiful post by Sheryl.  She and her family are missionaries in Tanzania.


Close your eyes and listen :)

Monday, January 25, 2021

A Day Out

 Had a nice day our last week with daughter Marnie.  We meet up for morning coffee at the Conservatory at Parramatta Creek...

Then on to Latrobe for a bush walk...
up Dooley's Hill (again)

And on to the Pig Island walk...

By then we were more than ready for lunch...
in the courtyard of Madam M cafe, Latrobe

It was a lovely day out :)

Finished crocheting 5 baby blankets for this month's K4C charity...

they will be mailed off on Wednesday to the newborn intensive care unit (Little Wonder) of a large Sydney hospital

Still reading (and enjoying)  A Chance to Die (the biography of Amy Carmichael, missionary to India) by Elisabeth Elliot...

Two quotes from the book I liked...

"The Christian life comes down to two simple things: trust and obedience."

"Faith does not eliminate questions.  But faith knows where to take them."

And this poem, written by Amy's mother, to her daughter on the mission field...

My Own Precious Child…

He who hath led will lead

All through the wilderness,

He who hath fed will surely feed…

He who hath heard they cry

will never close His ear,

He who hath marked thy faintest sigh

Will not forget thy tear.

He loveth always, faileth never,

So rest in Him today – forever.”

- Mrs Catherine Carmichael

And last but not least, fellow blogger Lisa was asking me if I would show a photo of my cameo broach after she posted about hers. So this is for you Lisa...

yours is much more interesting than mine :)

This past weekend has been very quiet as I was down with headaches.  Didn't even make it to church :(  It's been very hot and sunny here (not my kind of weather), but we are in for rain overnight and cooler temperatures, which will hopefully put an end to this latest bout of headaches.  I'm looking forward to getting back on track and catching up with chores.

Hope your days are as you like them...


Sunday, January 24, 2021

Weekend Words

From Our Daily Bread devotional...

Surrendering All - Read Mark 10:26-31

Peter spoke up, "We have left everything to follow you!" (Mark 10:28)

Two men remembered for serving others for Jesus left careers in the arts to commit themselves to where they believed God had called them.  James O. Fraser (1886-1938) decided not to pursue being a concert pianist in England to serve the Lisu people in China, while the American Judson Van DeVenter (1855-1939) chose to become an evangelist instead of pursuing a career in art.  He later wrote the hymn "I Surrender All."

While having a vocation in the arts is the perfect calling for many, these men believed God called them to relinquish one career for another.  Perhaps they found inspiration from Jesus counselling the rich, young ruler to give up his possessions to follow Him (Mark 10:17-25).  Witnessing the exchange, Peter exclaimed, "We have left everything to follow You!" (v 28).  Jesus assured him that God would give those who follow Him "a hundred times as much in this present age" and eternal life (v 30).  But He would give according to His wisdom: "Many who are first will be last, and the last first" (v 31).  

No matter where God has placed us, we're called to daily surrender our lives to Christ, obeying His gentle call to follow Him and serve Him with our talents and resources - whether in the home, office, community, or far from home.  As we do, He'll inspire us to love others, putting their needs above our own.
- Amy Boucher Pye

Who comes to mind when you think of someone who's sacrificed for Jesus?  How is God calling you to surrender?

Jesus, help me to surrender my all for You today as I serve You and those around me for Your honor.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Weekend Words

 From The One Year Book of Amish Peace - Tricia Goyer

Just Enough

First, help me never to tell a lie.  Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!  Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.  For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, "Who is the Lord?"  And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God's holy name. - Proverbs 30:8-9

My eighty-three-year-old grandmother lives with us, and she likes to live simply.  She'd rather use the stove top than the microwave.  She has no interest in learning how to use a computer or in having an email account.  She has cable television in her room, but she flips between just two channels - religious programming and the old movie channel.  She's happy and content no matter who tells her she's missing out.  She doesn't have too much or too little.  She is satisfied, and there's something to be said for that!

In 1955, Jay Lehman was concerned that some day the Amish would not be able to maintain their simple ways because their non-electric products would no longer be available.  He founded a store in Kidron, Ohio; today, that store is the world's largest provider of historical technology.  His goal was, and still is, to provide authentic, historical products to those seeking a simpler life: Homesteaders, environmentalists, missionaries, doctors in developing nations, and others living in areas where there is no power or unreliable power rely on Lehman's.  Hollywood set designers too.  Lehman has supplied historically accurate pieces for many movies.

Where do you find satisfaction?  Are you always looking for the newest and greatest thing?  Do you try to keep up with others, or are you content with what you have?  

First Timothy 6:8 says, "If we have enough food and clothing, let us be content."  Contentment is a matter of the heart; it's not a consequence of the accumulation of goods.

Consider praying Proverbs 30:8-9 today.  Ask God to give you enough to satisfy your needs.  You might begin to look at all you have differently when you do.

Dear heavenly Father, too often I get my needs and my wants mixed up.  Help me to pray for the former and to release the desire for the latter into Your hands.  Amen.


Saturday, January 16, 2021

I love a rainy day...

 It's supposedly summer here, and we have had some very hot days, but the last couple have turned cool, cloudy and rainy (not that I'm complaining!)...

It's nice to have a reprieve from the heat, and I did get some gardening done earlier in the week.

I brought 5 bags of seaweed back from my visit with Marnie last week.  They had collected it from a beach near them.  I love seaweed mulch!! 

3 bags spread on here

and 2 left to spread here

Here are some photos from the Dooley's Hill walk we did while I was visiting...

And some of the native flowers we passed...
so pretty

and delicate

And these last couple of cooler, rainy days I've been working on the baby blankets...

for Little Wonder - the newborn intensive care unit of a large Sydney hospital

the bears have had fun with the blankets :)

Down at the river it's been a mixed bag weather-wise...
earlier in the week

this morning

And after all that walking and gardening, it's always nice to sit down with a coffee and a new magazine...

"A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it." - George Moore


Sunday, January 10, 2021

January Yarn Along

 Had hoped to get this on last week, but had quite a few headache days, so catching up now...

January Yarn Along - I just checked, and it seems the January Yarn Along is not up on Ginny's blog yet, so will add the link when it's available. on...


Update:  Ginny has decided to discontinue Yarn Along for this year, so I will not be doing any Yarn Along posts as such, but will continue to share my doings in my general posts :)


I finished the crocheted blanket mentioned in last month's Yarn Along post, and also the knitted shawl I was working on before Christmas.  I'm now working on some baby blankets for charity...

They are only small 55cm x 55cm, so I should get a few done in the month...
they are for one of Knit4Charities January charities (the newborn intensive care unit of a large Sydney hospital)

I was running a bit low on pastel coloured yarn, but have now stocked up... :)

Yesterday I attended the wedding of a young couple from my church...

I gave them one of my crocheted blankets as a wedding gift...

and for the Bridal Shower the week before, which I was unable to attend, the guests were asked to bring a page (with recipes) for a recipe scrapbook.  I did Spaghetti Bolognaise and Apple Crumble, two of my oft used recipes.

Here is a photo of the guests arriving at the reception...

And the wedding party...

Last but not least, reading...

The One Year Chronological Bible, which (obviously), I will be reading all year :)

A New Day Rising (book 2 or 3 depending on whether you count the prequel) of the Red River of the North Series (my bedtime read)

And looking forward to starting A Chance to Die (my inspirational read)

And I haven't even mentioned all the garden work that needs to be done :))

a pretty evening primrose plant for the garden


Weekend Words

 I've decided to add Amish Peace to the morning devotionals mentioned in my previous Weekend Words post.  This was yesterdays reading...

Gently Patience Comes

"If we look forward to something we don't yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently." - Romans 8:25

Patience is a virtue worked into the fabric of everyday Amish life.  The pace of a horse on a country road affords time for contemplation.  When Amish farmers plant seeds, they don't expect to get a crop to harvest overnight.  Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Adopt the pace of Nature.  Her secret is patience."  The Amish embrace and live much of this statement.

Are you impatient about something today?  Are you waiting for an answer, good news, relief?  If you're like me, you might wish that God would work faster in your circumstances.  You want a harvest of joy or peace, but all you see outside is frozen ground.  You can't picture anything different, and the waiting begins to wear on your soul.  God anticipated that you'd feel this way, and He provided exactly what you need in order to wait patiently - Himself.

Our hope grows as we turn our attention away from our own desires and towards the One who gives all life and goodness.  When we understand who God is, we will better understand who we are.  When we allow Him to love us, we love others better in numerous ways - including being patient: "Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud." (1 Corinthians 13:4)

Today if you are struggling with being patient, find a moment to reconnect with the world God has made - the world of slow growing trees and of clouds that move lazily across the sky.  The world of icicles and frosty windowpanes.  As you look at creation, ask God to plant a seed of patience in your heart and to show you how to nurture that seed with prayer and faith, just as an Amish farmer does with the seeds he plants.

Lord, I often want quick answers and fast solutions, but when I rush ahead, I not only miss the beauty found along the journey, I also miss walking in step with You.  Slow my heart and my steps to match your perfect pace.  Amen

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Weekend Words

 This year I will be using these books in my devotional times...

Our Daily Bread and Beside the Still Waters are standard each year, but then I vary a couple of others.  This year I will use Be Still and Know also.  And I have started the One Year Chronological Bible (NKJV) divided into 365 daily readings.

It's interesting to note that Be Still and Know was first published in 1978, but is still relevant (perhaps even more so) for us today, 42 years later.  Below is the reading for 1st January...

From Be Still and Know - Millie Stamm

Be still and know that I am God - Psalm 46:10

We are living in a technological age geared to speed.  Speed records are being set in travel enabling us to circle the globe in an unbelievably short time.  This accelerated tempo is experienced in every area of living today.  A twenty-four hour day is insufficient time to complete all we have scheduled on our calendars.  We are always in a hurry, rushing from one thing to another.  It is no wonder that tensions build up almost to the breaking point.  We keep stereo, radio, and television on because we cannot handle the stillness.  It is as if we are on a carousel revolving so rapidly we cannot get off.

As we are now crossing the threshold of a new year, it is an opportune time to re-evaluate our lives in the light of the future.  How are we going to use this year?  For our own interests or for God's glory?  Do we have our priorities in the right perspective?  What has top priority?  Are the things we are doing of most importance in the light of eternity?

Our scripture verse for today says, "Be still, and KNOW that I am God."  Ask yourself, "How well do I know God?  How real is He to me?  Is He only a casual acquaintance, or a dear, intimate friend?"  Perhaps our greatest need this year is to deepen our friendship with Him.  The more time we spend with a person, the better we get to know him.  We need a quiet time, a "Be Still" time, each day, alone with the Lord, to become better acquainted.

It is not easy to be perfectly still in God's presence.  The harder we try, the more difficult it becomes.  We remember something we have forgotten to do.  The phone rings.  The noise of the world about us becomes louder and louder.  Yet times of quiet are necessary for our spiritual well-being.  Dr. Gilbert Little, a Christian psychiatrist, was asked for a simple rule for mental health.  He answered, "Be still, and know that I am God."  Rest is not only important for our physical life, but for out spiritual life, too.

The world says, "Be active, be busy, be industrious."  But God says "BE STILL - be quiet, don't rush."  This is not just a cessation of activities, but a quietness of heart and spirit in which we are aware of His presence.  In the centre of our soul is a place where God dwells, and where, if we enter and close out every other sound, He will speak to us.  Someone has said, "It is not in the college or academy, but in the silence of the soul, that we learn the greater lessons of life - and quiet hearts are rare."  Many times we do all the talking instead of being quiet enough to listen to Him.

As we continue to wait before Him, the sounds about us fade away, and we are aware of being in the quietness of His Holy Presence.

In 1 Kings 19:11 and 12, we read that it was not in the wind, nor the earthquake, nor the fire that God spoke to Elijah, but in a still small voice.  It is in the stillness of the soul that God speaks to us.

An explorer went on a trek into the jungle with some nationals as guides.  The first two days the group hurried so fast that they were able to cover many miles.  On the third day the explorer planned to start at daybreak.  When it was time to leave, he discovered the guides were not ready.  He asked them what was wrong.  They replied, "We must wait."  "Wait?" he said  "Wait for what?"  They replied, "We have been going too fast.  Now we must wait for our souls to catch up with our bodies."  Have we been hurrying so fast that we, too, need to wait for our souls to catch up with our bodies?

May we take time this year to be still before Him that we may get to KNOW HIM in a more personal and real way.  Be still and reduce self-activity; be still and quit rushing about.

"BE STILL.  And know that I AM GOD."

this morning at the river

Friday, January 1, 2021

New Year's Day 2021


"My New Year's resolutions are simple.  I resolve to be more patient, less selfish, cherish my friends, and in my small way help whoever needs help.  I cannot conceivably influence the world's destiny, but I can make my own life more worthwhile.  I can give some help to some people; that is not vital to all the world's problems and yet I think if everyone did just that, we might see quite a world in our time."

(Stillmeadow Sampler - Gladys Taber)