Monday, November 25, 2013

Things I have learned about Jesus this year.

I may be slow on the uptake, but there are things I have learned about Jesus this year that I never knew or, perhaps, never thought much about. Just goes to show that you never can learn enough or too much. There is always so much more to know and love about the Savior.

1. Jesus didn't heal people using a particular method. This is so important because if we read that Jesus healed using one specific thing, we would be tempted to think it was the method and not Jesus who did the healing. Jesus is always the source.

2. Jesus knew what it was like to lose a close family member. The Bible is silent on what happened to Joseph, Jesus' earthly father. However, we do know that Jesus had younger siblings and did have a father for some time and had learned carpentry from him. So, it is safe to assume that there was a loss of relationship that would have been profound. He knows what it is like to lose a parent.

3. Jesus knew what it was like to be rejected. I don't mean rejected in the sense of not being popular, but rejected in such a way that he at one point even asked his disciples if they were going to leave Him too. Rejection that yelled, "Crucify Him!" No one will ever experience the type of rejection He experienced.

4. Jesus received a "No" from His Father in answer to His prayers. If you feel sorry for yourself because you don't think God will give you what you want, just remember Jesus the unique and only Son of God prayed with sweat running with blood down His face asking God if there was any other way to accomplish salvation without experiencing the cup of wrath that we deserved. The "No" He received accomplished our salvation.

5. Jesus fought temptation with the same tools available to His followers. He did not use His divine power. He used the Word of God and prayer. The Word is power! We ought to use it too.

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Testimony tonight on 1 to 10

What is my only comfort in life and in death?
That I am not my Own, but belong body and soul, in life and in death to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven: in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
For the past few years, the Lord has been re-ordering my life. There were things I said I would never do – live in the South (done that), be a secretary (done that). There were things I thought I could control – my fertility, my time.

Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Or in other words, “Life happens while you're making other plans.”

I believe I am like most of my peers. I like to plan ahead. But God doesn't give us a view of the future. And if He did I'm sure I would try to change the areas in which God wants me to grow.

When my children were two and three a friend invited me to Bible Study Fellowship. After a year I was asked to be a children's leader in the childrens department. I asked a lot of people what they thought I should do. Surely I must have enough to do raising two preschoolers without being asked to teach other people's preschoolers. It seemed God was telling me to stop asking people what I should do. Then God reminded me of the interchange between Jesus and Peter who asked whether John would remain alive and Jesus' reply “What is that to you? You must follow me.”

I prayed for a month and still didn't know what the answer was. Then at Tuesday Bible study we were reading in D. Martin Lloyd-Jones' book “Studies in the Sermon on the Mount.” And the words “the man who hungers and thirsts after righteousness is the man who never misses an opportunity of being in those certain places where people seem to find this righteousness. And then, of course, he seeks the society of people who have this righteousness.” When I walked into BSF then next day I saw the assistant childrens supervisor and felt the Lord was telling me that if I hungered and thirsted after righteousness, this was the person to spend time with. Then I knew my answer.

Since then I have been so blessed. The women I have met have challenged and encouraged me. My life has been so much richer because of that “Yes”. A little over a year ago I felt the Lord wanted me to do something different but not outside of BSF. When the teaching leader called to ask me to be an assistant childrens supervisor I knew the answer was yes.

Almost every year there is a theme for my times of growth. The year we moved back from Georgia the theme was “God is GOD!” Consequently wherever He told us to go we should go.

The years of infertility and miscarriages where the years I learned that “Control is an illusion.” We cannot really control anything. A loving and faithful God controls it because he is sovereign and all the days of my life are numbered already. And He has a plan for me to give me a future and a hope.

The year my father died the theme was “The seed is never wasted.” I had given up praying for my father years ago because I doubted a heart like that could be turned to the Lord. I didn't know that my father was in the last year of his earthly life. But my Heavenly Father knew and he prepared me by convicting me for not praying for my father. My father died within 3 days of hitting his head and I don't know whether he is with the Lord, but I do know that my Heavenly Father is sovereign and am grateful I had the opportunity to be faithfully praying and witnessing.
In big and small ways the Lord goes before us. This summer our cat had to visit the vet about a week after our garage sale. Things were tight because of extra expenses. But we made $96.50 at the sale and a few days later sold a piece of furniture for $100. My Heavenly Father knows what I need before I ask. Our vet bill was $196.91.

A month ago we met a Bulgarian student who was selling books in Tacoma for the summer. We liked him and enjoyed his company. And we bought a couple of books. A couple of weeks ago he called because the person who was gong to drive him to make his deliveries of books could not make it and it was the night before the books were to be picked up and delivered. Uncharacteristically the things I had to do by Tuesday were done the night before he called and I was free to help him out. The children and I made deliveries with him in the afternoon. We had him over for dinner in the evenings and Mike took him for deliveries at night. We estimated we spent about $75 in gas. But my Father in Heaven knows what I need before I ask and an unexpected reimbursement check arrived that week for $78.

God is showing me that He is faithful to provide what we need when we are asked to help others. This summer I walked into the wrong bank branch to turn in a safe deposit box key and ended up talking to the right banker who facilitated a nice refinancing on our home saving us a nice little sum of money. A month after the refinance we had an urgent need in our extended family which a month before would have been difficult to take care of, but which was able to be paid for the same day because my Heavenly Father knew what we needed before we asked and providentially connected me with the right banker that day a couple of months before.

Along the way, God brings to mind hymns of encouragement. Hymns like “It is well with my soul” come to mind when I have experience a loss. Especially the loss of my first baby inutero. When my grandmother died it was “For all the Saints”. When my father passed away, God brought the hymn “Father, I know that all my life is portioned out for me.”

The past few weeks have been exhausting and overwhelming. And I'm just taking one day at a time. My sister-in-law suffered a bleeding stroke 7 weeks ago and should have died but didn't and miraculously she is back home. My brother-in-law has been encouraged by Paul's words “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” And I have taken that verse too as my theme.

The challenges of parents getting older and children still in the home make me cry out to the Lord. And two hymns are giving encouragement to me these days: How firm a foundation” and “O God, Our Help in Ages Past.”

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said—
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled? .

Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not harm thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose,
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.”

Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Special birthday requests come to me this time of year. Sadie, with one exception, every year has teacup cupcakes for her class.

Sam, who in years past has always had dirt cups with gummy bugs, has decided to go for jello fish bowls for his treat for class.

This weekend I get a chance to participate in a Christmas Boutique at my neighbor's home. I'll be selling my sock monkey hats and drink cozies.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

NEW! Book Club Companion Set!

Inspired! I was making a coffee cozy and kleenex holder for my sister-in-law Mia when I thought it would be fun to do a bookmark too. Then the thought occurred to me — what if I combined the three and sold them together as a set targeted toward book club members. I doubt I would have thought of it without the realization that Mia goes to book clubs. (BTW: I'm not selling her set, shown above.)
I may market them on Etsy as a set. And, since the bookmark is my own pattern, I think I'll market the bookmark pattern for $1.00 on Etsy as well. 
I wish I had photographed these guys on a nicer background before I gifted them away. Oh well. I'll just have to get busy making more asap.

I need to give credit to Skip to My Lou for the coffee cozy and kleenex holder patterns. It's a great site.

Another great inspiration...

Why didn't I think of it before? There are so many on Etsy, but I think this little guy is especially cute. And I have orders for four already from friends. And of course they match the sock monkey hats. So one can match his/her coffee cup. What fun!

I can credit others for the inspiration, but not the pattern. It is my own.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gluten Free Black and White Cupcakes!

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to provide a gluten-free cupcake alternative for our GF ladies at church for our Women In the Church (WIC) kickoff dinner. I knew I would do chocolate because: 1. Sevierly Gluten-Free makes a wonderful mix that is so easy to use and 2. they are women after all.
But,what do do about the frosting? I was thinking chocolate again until I came across my inspiration for a black and white cupcake started when I found these lovely baking cups. 
Reynolds black and white
damask baking cup
I always clean my counters thoroughly before baking anything gluten-free.
One-eighth of a teaspoon of gluten can cause a sever reaction in anyone with
Celiac's Disease.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Most Awesome Teriyaki Sauce

I just have to share this. It turned out so well. Perhaps the same recipe exists out there. I don't know, but I improvised and I was happy with the result.

Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce
(That's what I'm calling it.)

1/4 cup soy sauce (I use tamari because it is gluten free)
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar (or to taste)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 1/2 tbsp. corn starch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water

In a small sauce pan, pour the soy sauce, 1 cup water, 1 cup brown sugar, garlic powder and ginger. Bring to a boil stirring frequently about 5 minutes. Add pineapple juice and continue stirring.

Turn heat to low. Let sauce simmer for 5 minutes. Add corn starch and 1/4 cup cold water mixture to the pan and whisk together. Let the sauce continue to simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally for another 10 or so minutes. I like to let it thicken a little.

Great with chicken, on burgers (with grilled pineapple) and wherever else you like to use teriyaki sauce.