November 2008


victorian-quiltPrior to Thanksgiving, I was prepared to quote the Scripture below on Thanksgiving Day. Funny, that I thought there would be time to post! However; this is Sunday, the other end of the holiday, and after absorbing the Scripture; I confess that I don’t pray for my family with the same passion that overflowed from Paul’s heart.

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:3-6

I could list a multitude of “things” for which I am thankful — yet; today, in the reflective peace and quiet I find that I am most thankful for the God of the Universe . . .

who has given me a faith big enough to love each member of my family,

who gently nudges me to pray for my family, and

who assures me that He controls their journey and their destiny.

His Thanksgiving gift to me is a renewed spirit to pray for my family {in specific ways} as it grows and expands to include sister-in-laws, nieces and nephews, brother-in-laws, and a son-in-law.

with a very thankful heart, 

pieYears ago a good friend shared her pie crust recipe with me. It must be one of the best and easiest pie crusts I have ever made. It is quick, NOT crumbly, and rolls-out beautifully between 2 sheets of either wax or parchment paper.

Makes 1 double crust pie. {Also freezes, raw in pie plate, very well}

  

Spry’s Water-Whip Pastry (circa 1960)

3/4 cup Crisco Shortening + 2T. (Recipe originally used Spry)
1/4 Cup Boiling water
2t. Milk, warm — never cold
2-1/4 cup Flour + 1t. Salt

Combine flour and salt. In large (not huge) bowl, place shortening then quickly whip in water and milk using large fork or whisk. Stir in flour thoroughly. Use immediately. In whipped mixture, liquid should be completely incorporated.

Happy Thanksgiving preparations,

simple-woman

 The Simple Woman

November 24, 2008

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this morning from my front porch . . . 
complete darkness outside and in the house except for the warm lamplight on my desk and glowing light over the kitchen sink

i am remembering . . .
 stripping wallpaper, painting, a fresh room, pictures hung, and a few games of pool

i am thankful  . . .
for my brother’s family, our own children, the incredible abundance in my life

from the kitchen . . .
wedding soup, butternut squash, cream cheese

I am thinking . . .
which details that I can let go and be content with them not getting done

around the house . . .
mounds of pet hair, laundry to be folded, the landing pad full (kitchen table), dust, paintbrushes, dirty dishes, tools, bow case, dark chocolate peanut M&Ms

I am reading . . .
a can of peas by Traci Depee & Culture Making by Andy Crouch
for a critical book review (not recommended reading)

one of my favorite things . . .
the anticipation of lots of activity, daughters coming home, serving my family

a few plans for the rest of the week . . .
 cooking, cleaning, reading

a verse of Scripture . . .
“What more are you doing than others?” Matthew 5:47

Here is a picture thought I am sharing . . .

cleaning4

 

coffee-cupbusy, busy, busy is what the day looks like for many of us — as the Thanksgiving Holiday is quickly approaching along with family!

In my morning wanderings may I suggest these 3 articles are worth your time and thoughtful consideration and perhaps a forward to some friends.

The movie, Twilight (PG-13), opened this weekend and will test parents’ ability to deny their child “what everyone else is doing”. Please read: Seven Reasons to Shun this Vampire Tale.

Tony Jones has come out of the theological closet. Thankfully, if one waits long enough — the wolves always expose themselves. Apprising Ministry has the full story.

Muslim leaders have just announced to their flock that Yoga is dangerous because of its Eastern, Hindu roots. Christian leadership still remains silent. Coming in January will be much more on this subject from me. There is NOTHING good about Yoga for a Christian.

live-simply-saturday3I always know when the Lord
is speaking a word into my life — I “hear” IT in multiple places from multiple people . . .

My last thought before climbing into bed was, “Ahhhhhhhh, a morning without setting the alarm clock.” Expecting to awake around 6:30; so why is it at 4:50 a.m. I was wide awake???

Since Wednesday’s trip to the library I have been thinking about the new book, a can of peas by Traci DePree hardly able to wait until I could begin reading it. I knew nothing about the book or the author. The title peaked my interest and fueled my hopes. There is nothing like the promise of a great book ~~ especially if it is a series.

Perhaps the thought of solitude, a hot cup of coffee, and the book provided the momentum to eagerly jump out of bed. Fighting off the to-do-list thoughts was a bit challenging at first; yet, it was quickly forgotten as the charming story about a small town, a simple life, cherishing family, and the character’s struggles to adjust from the city unfolded.

Simultaneously, I was swept away into the story and into the memories of my own grandparent’s farm in Maine, the small town church we attended, and the small town life I remembered as a child.

Bliss-full contentment enveloped me and a renewed commitment to simplicity filled my soul. The minutes must have been especially designed for me, a lovely Saturday morning gift from our Father.

. . . the family wandered downstairs and I checked email. Waiting in my in-box was a devotion from Grace Gems based on Philippians 4:11-13.

I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little–and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances, I have learned the secret of being content–whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.

In Him alone all contentment may be found.

. . . is ministry. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit given so that we may minister to a dying society. I have family members in that “dying society”.  Will any be visiting your home for Thanksgiving?

Since the purpose of entertaining is all about me, the hostess. Hospitality must be all about Jesus Christ.

Less of me more of Him.
table5

I am in the throes of what that looks like, as the countdown to the first wave of family arrivals is narrowing. Ministry actually begins before anyone crosses the threshold — in our loving preparations. My goal is to have as much done before anyone arrives and not be distracted while everyone is here.

So as my first to-do list is now in its 3rd edtion — eliminating the unnecessary and replacing with the most critical — we are almost ready and I wonder, what is the “more of Him” that can be seen and felt during this family gathering?

Proverbs 31:26 “she opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” ~~ my mouth stays closed unless wisdom and kindness are spoken.

Titus 2:3 “to be reverent in their behavior” ~~ a quiet spirit, behind the scenes, peaceful, a constant remembering that the Lord is in our home, the Lord is receiving, and the Lord is to be glorified.

Hospitality is so much more than displaying my talent; it is a gift of the Holy Spirit. “It is a supernatural ministry that, when combined with righteous living, bathed in prayer, and dedicated to the Lord, can be used by God far beyond anything we ask or think.”  Karen Mains, Open Heart, Open Home*


 *I have really enjoyed this book and found many thoughts addressing hospitality vs. entertaining. I struggled as to whether to share this author and book with you. After researching some of her theology and rereading this book after several years with more discerning eyes; there are definitely some theological problems. One problem is that she believes that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are illustrative. She points to her writing — Mains attributes her writing ability to God but because it is not specifically listed in Scripture, she wants to add it to the gifts of the Spirit. I would argue that her gift for writing falls under the gift of teaching, or even faith. As always, be cautious and discerning when reading any book offering interpretation of Scripture and it’s application to life.

 

 

wheelchairIt is almost shocking how quickly many Christians are ready to push the question — When does life begin? off the political table.

I am ashamed of this country who just elected a president who has no concern for the sanctity of life. President-elect Obama is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He has comfortably wrapped himself in Christian talk, appeared in Christian settings, and publically addresses God when it suits his needs.

This carefully packaged politician succeeded in fooling millions of people in the United States — and more around the world.

Where are the fruits of his faith?

“. . . so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;” (Colossians 1:10)

Is not the unborn child created in God’s image? Why do we trust a man who is promising that the government will take care of us; yet supports infantcide? Extend this thought about life just a little . . .

What will happen to the child born with disabilities?
A burden on the government.
What will happen to the person in late stages of cancer?
A burden on the government.
What will happen to our grandparents who need assisted living?
A burden on the government.

The foundation of a person’s entire belief system and world view hangs in the balance of one simple question. When does life begin?

Never forget Obama’s casual words on live-birth abortion:

Look, I got two daughters  … I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.

 

I don’t want to ask the Lord to forgive our nation — it doesn’t deserve it.

 

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