"We write to taste life twice - once in the moment and in introspection."

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wedding Quilt

I'm finally getting around to showing you the quilt I made for the recently married young couple in our church. It was inspired by Terry's Scrappy Nine Patch sew-along and used a bunch of the nine-patches I'd made with Bonnie Hunter's "Leaders/Enders" system.

Because this couple met through a mutual interest in raising chickens, I had to include some fabric with chickens on it, though I didn't want the whole quilt to be chicken-themed.

I was not happy that I got it to them late, but I am very happy with how the quilt turned out and with the quilting job done at Fabric Quilt Scissors, one of our local quilters.

Next week, I hope to show you the quilt I'm making for my niece's graduation. The top is almost done, but the quilting will have to be late. Sigh. Oh, well; better late than never.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cutesy Loose Leaf Tea Storage

Here's a quick peek of a quick project. At least it was quick for me because the flowers were already made by a friend.

We love to drink tea frequently and we have access to some mighty good loose-leaf teas. And any excuse to pretty up the storage thereof is welcomed.

So we "suffered" through drinking some Starbucks Frappucino's so we could have the bottles and then I glued on the paper flowers with E6000, my new glue of choice, glued on some labels, and poured the teas in.
I hope you have a chance today to do something creative.
We have troubles keeping any Earl Gray on hand; we go through it so quickly.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible...The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! Here, in the messy, piercing ache of now, joy might be - unbelievably - possible! The only place we need see before we die is this place of seeing God, here and now.

~Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts p. 33

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday Musings - Tithing

On Mother's Day Sunday we were visiting with my brother's family and enjoyed visiting their church where Kevin DeYoung is the teaching pastor. I'd like to share some of what he preached that morning on financial stewardship and tithing because so few Christians really know that much about the Old Testament tithing and how that carries over into the New Testament church. And he had a good way of putting things, which I'm sure I won't be able to duplicate here, but I'd like to give you the gist of what he said.

He spent quite some time in giving Old Testament examples and laws on tithing, including Abram's tithe to God's priest, Melchizedek, and Jacob's vow after the ladder to heaven dream. He showed that in Numbers and Deuteronomy God required three kinds of taxes/tithes which added up to about 23% annually. Those tithes were used for the Levites' wages or heritage since they received no land for farming, the festival (or party) tithe for celebrating and remembering God's goodness, and the charity tithe which was collected every third year. (Numbers 18: 21, 24; Deuteronomy 14:23; Deuteronomy 14:28-29)

The Pastor DeYoung showed us some of the words on tithing from the New Testament, including Matthew 23:23 where Jesus tells the Pharisees that they ought to continue tithing on things like mint, dill, and cumin, but not neglect the weightier matters of the law. He showed how tithing should be to provide for ministers, not under compulsion, in proportion to our faith, and not just given indiscriminately but should be primarily to and through our local church.

Then he spoke about how Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament, not to abolish it and that, like other parts of the Old Testament law, it is to be internalized (written on our hearts) and intensified. So it should be cheerful and we should be cheerfully giving all we are.

I really appreciated that he asked something like this: Since we have so much more of the revelation and the fulfillment of God's grace through Christ than the Old Testament believers had, shouldn't we want to give even more? Hmmmm.

His application points were excellent also:
1. Start tithing ASAP if you're not.
2. Make 10% a floor, not a ceiling. More freewill offerings.
3. Give the FIRST 10% to your local church.
4. Give out of your first fruits, not leftovers. First & best. PLAN.
5. Make stewardship a key element of your discipleship.
6. Use your wallet to test and to shape your heart. It's about OUR need to give; God is not needy.
7. Excel in the grace of giving, as an expression of God's grace to you.

Let's be God's right hand of generosity.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hedgie Apron Finish

I just have to show you my sneaky finish of an apron that Grace started awhile ago, but has been too busy to finish. I had bought her this fun hedgehog fabric because she thinks hedgehogs are so cute. We decided it was enough fabric for a new apron.

So, while Grace is at work this afternoon, I finished it and embellished the pockets with some darling little flowers which I got in a delightful surprise package from a bloggy friend, Joy, who shares a similar upbringing with me, growing up in the Far East (though she's Australian and I'm American).

AND...the mending is pretty much caught up, so I can neaten and organize the sewing area!

Life is good.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

God made you to be co-regent with him - to "Fill the earth and subdue it," to "have dominion" over creation under his reign and with his help. It is the goodness of God's work in creating us that makes our fallenness so tragic. This is why my disappointment in myself runs so deep.

But God is determined to overcome the defacing of his image in us. His plan is not simply to repair most of our brokenness. He wants to make us new creatures.

~John Ortberg~
The Life You've Always Wanted

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday's Musings - Psalm 42

The psalmist (one of the Sons of Korah) starts out expressing his depression and ties it to a need for God. Instead of just looking at his difficult circumstances, he tells how he longs to be celebrating with and before God.

His hope is in God as he looks at God's awesome powers, particularly the power of creation, ie. mountains, vast lands, waterfalls, and waves. He is hopeful as he remembers God's steadfast love and God's comfort.

Though sometime he feels like God isn't listening or caring, still he knows that his hope is in God and that God will bring him to salvation and to praise Him.

The lesson to learn is to take my eyes off the circumstances and trials and remember God's greatness and power, transcending all problems. And remember His love and comfort which bring that transcendence down to me.

To God be the glory.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Generational Faithfulness

Spring is a wonderful time to have a birthday and spring has finally sprung in our neck of the woods. Yesterday we spent a lot of time outside, sipping sun tea and enjoying the warmer, dry weather. I hope we can do that today, too. Since it's my birthday (and my Ruthie's, too) we get off a lot of our work and get to relax a little more.

I've had some good Bible-reading and  thinking time in the early mornings lately and want to share some of what God's impressing upon my mind through His word.

The other morning I was reading in Psalm 78 and was struck with the repeated and clear call to teach our children and grandchildren of the goodness and greatness of God. it is because of a failure to do this that the Ephraimites are fearful and turn back from battle. Because the people were not reviewing and passing on the knowledge of God's awesomeness and His commands, they fell into sin and were punished. And, actually, the teaching to the next generations is one of those direct commands, according to verses 5-8.

I have to wonder how different the U.S. would be if parents and grandparents hadn't dropped the ball on this, too. How different the whole world could be.

"Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again." (verses 38-39)

Please, God, grant us mercy and changed hearts and priorities and help the parents to teach their children of you. Help us to be better examples, too.