Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back from camp and missing it already!

I spent a most busy week at our church's camp last week. I must say it is one of the most invigorating 5 days one could possibly spend. I just had to post a few pictures so that you all could experience vicariously with me. Hopefully it will be enjoyable to you. The Lord really works in the lives of the young folks who attend. They spend the next 12 months looking forward to the next year. My two granddaughters who went for the first time are already talking about how they just can't wait until next year!

George Mueller's life was taught through a play during the week.

Three of the granddaughters were "orphans."

One of the granddaughters saying her verses.
They had to memorize the first 18 verses of Proverbs 3.

A morning "scoop ball" game. Everything garnered points
for either a team or individual or both.

Bible drills every night.

Badminton tournaments.

Quizzes to determine who listened to the messages and matins
and vespers and the George Mueller play.

Volleyball tournaments.

Team spirit.

Go cart races.

Individual awards.

And then, there was the team award for the team
with the most overall points for the week.

I love camp!

"And they were bringing children to Him that He might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, He was indignant and said to them, "Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." And He took them in His arms and blessed them, laying His hands on them.
Mark 10:13-16

Blessings to you all!

I'm linking to:
A Southern Daydreamer

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Today is Father's Day, and I'd like to say first of all that I am eternally thankful for the father of my children. I'm grateful for a man who has faithfully sought the principles of Christ. He has made an effort for the past 40 years of fatherhood to be able to say to the children, as the apostle Paul said to his followers, "Follow me as I follow Christ." Happy Father's Day, and I thank God for you, sweetheart!

For the next several days I will be at our church's annual camp. All children 10 and over can go, and this is the event that they look forward to all year. The featured person this year is George Mueller, a great man of prayer and faith. If you have an opportunity, read George Mueller of Bristol. It will change your perspective on prayer and how you get things accomplished for the kingdom of God.

Thanks for the opportunity to express myself and my musings. I'll see you in a few days! If you think of me, pray for our camp that God will do a mighty work in these young people.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cracker Barrel Chairs and the Norm

I have been working for the past few days on my Cracker Barrel rockers that a friend gave us. The rockers, being wood, needed a good solid stain on them since they are on the outside deck and subject to the elements. Besides that, they blended into the brick on the house and the stain on the deck. You just didn't notice them. They were too much like their surroundings.

Did you notice that the only thing that stands out is the red cushions? Just a little speck of life.

I fear that all too often I blend into my surroundings. I don't want to blend into my surroundings! Sure, it may be more comfortable, but how will anyone know that I am a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ if I just fade into conformity? No, I must, as the designers say, "POP!" There must be something about the way I carry myself that is different. And it needs to be more than "just a little speck of life."

Before the chairs were transformed by a good paint job, they seemed to love their little world which sucked the life (metaphorically speaking) out of them. Now they make a statement on the back deck

1 John 2:15-16 says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. For all that is in the world, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life are not of the Father but are of the world."

As I cling to the things of the world, my testimony will be obscured and ineffective. None will even notice me as being different. I want to be like my bright orange chairs and stand out, making a difference in this world!

Are you a bright spot in the lives of those around you?

I'm linking today to:

The Shabby Chic Cottage
Transformation Thursday

Fireflies and Jellybeans
Show off your stuff party

My Romantic Home
Show and Tell Friday

Never Growing Old
Follow Friday 40 and over

Handmade by Annabelle

Monday, June 14, 2010


Looking out a window at a friend's house

Someone once said, "The eyes are the window to the soul."

From our car; an approaching storm

Our Lord Jesus said it this way in Matthew 6:22-23: "
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.
But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (NIV)

Through the window at the Chicago aquarium

What wonderful things windows are! Can you only imagine what it would be like to live in a windowless house? Darkness illuminated by nothing but artificial light. Our living room is on the west side of the house, and when the sun shines (which is often here in the South) the ball of fire 93,000,000 miles away begins to rapidly heat it to somewhere near intolerable, forcing the air conditioner to run continuously. Our solution was to put curtains that block 99.9% of the light. No fun! Now it's cooler but we can't see unless a light is on.

From the train window on a trip in Canada

I have often wondered what that passage in Matthew 6 means. Perhaps it is saying
that what our eyes lust after is the indicator for what is within us.
If we lust after beauty or money or position , or even perhaps recognition (blogland fame?),
then the window to our soul shows to the world
that we are seeking the things of the world.
On the other hand,
if we lust after the things of Christ--to know Him intimately, sacrificial service to others, communion with the Father, a giving spirit--then folks see through a clear window
into a pure heart.

Through a window at a bakery on Mackinaw Island

What do the windows to your soul gaze upon? My prayer is that
you--and I--will gaze upon the things that make for a healthy soul.

May God richly bless you as you begin your week.
Let's thank Him for another day of life--and light.

I'm linking today to:
A Silly Little Sparrow

Internet Cafe Devotions
Word Filled Wednesday

Friday, June 11, 2010

To Do or Not to Do

It's raining today, one of those slow, drizzly, humid, drippy, warm, not-so-inviting Fridays. That's why my print is in gray. :) No garage sales today! No walk for me early this morning. Here's what I would like to be doing today:

Watching the birds

Working in the garden

Taking a stroll along a lovely path

Going for a nice swim with the grandkids

Instead, it has already been a morning of this:

Cleaning a very sticky hardwood floor. Our twin grandsons were over last night, and one of them spilled his fresh pineapple all over the floor. Talk about a sticky mess!
And here is what I will likely be doing today:

Helping my daughter repaint this furniture that was give to her.

Sewing with a granddaughter. She is going to learn to make an apron today.

Watching "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness," a movie about Gladys Aylward, missionary to China. If you haven't read about her, read up! She was a jewel.

Needless to say, my plans have changed. Not by design, but by The Designer, the Blessed Controller of all things. Now, I could do one of two things; I could mope around all day and do nothing (tempting), or I can get up and get busy, which I must do as soon as I finish this.
Paul the apostle wrote in Col.3:23; "In whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ." In other words, it is not just at church when I am teaching a class or cleaning the missionary house or doing a work day that I am to do my best. Everything that I do is a "ministry" to the Lord. When I make pancakes for the family, when I clean the hardwood floors, when I sit down to sew with a granddaughter or paint furniture--all of this I am to do as unto the Lord, and not for men.

If you have not read The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, it would behoove you to get it and read it. In fact, I think I should drag it back out for myself! I don't know what it looks like outside at your house, but I pray that as you go about your day, you will do all as "unto the Lord, and not unto men."

Have a glorious weekend!
(I can't believe it! The sun may be coming out! I wonder if I should change my plans?)

I'm linking to:
Home Grown Families

Never Growing Old

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

How 'Bout Those Birds?

I think it will be pretty obvious as you look at these pictures that our family likes birds. As I walked around the house, I noticed there was a plethora of birds perching in one place or another--in the downstairs living room, the upstairs living room, bathrooms, kitchen--everywhere I turned there were birds. Even outside on a perch in the tree by the porch (note the above picture.) The love of birds didn't just start with me.

My mother loved birds.
Here is some of her artwork. She started painting when she was in her 70s.

I love birds.
Here is some of my artwork.

And this is my 9 year old granddaughter's masterpiece.

Birds love us, too.
Here are a few of their nesting places
The chickadees like this one.

The Carolina wrens love to hide their babies in here!

Every year for many years the sparrows have nested in this one.

A few places we harbor birds
Atop our stereo cabinet.

On the piano.

On a bookshelf in the living room.

In my bathroom.
In my hallway.

On a cabinet in the upstairs living area.

God loves birds, too.
The indication of His pleasure at Jesus' baptism was a dove. A dove was also an indication to Noah that all was okay for him and his family to descend from the ark. He encouraged us to look at the birds of the air and to see how He takes care of them, showing us that He will care for us, also. He said, "It was good" when He created the birds of the air and other flying creatures. He said in Isaiah 40:31, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." When I feel like a helpless little bird, I can remember with joy that the Lord of Hosts loves and cares for me. When I get impatient and want everything right now, when I feel like I can't do anything else, or when I just plain don't want to do anything, I can lean on the promise of God in Isaiah and keep on trucking! I pray that you are encouraged. Have a blessed day!

I'm linking to:
A Southern Daydreamer

Blue Cricket Design

Tea Rose Home

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A spot of tea?

Last Friday was the monthly tea party for the granddaughters. A few of them decided to get all cleaned up the day before. What better way to bathe than in a metal tub?
Scrubba-dubba-dub; three girls in tub! How much fun is that?

The food, all but the "clotted cream," was prepared the day before. But I still worked from 5 a.m. till 10 a.m.the day of the party. We had a very special day planned. It was so much fun!

Our tea party was a brunch and tea, planned especially for the girls to honor their mothers. We went to extra effort to make it a very posh affair. Well, the girls all thought it was. Outdoors in the garden, fresh cut flowers, linens and china. (Don't tell anyone, but we used plastic ware. I know, it was a bit tacky.)

This is my very favorite china--Portmerion Botanic Garden. It works in a garden, that's for sure!

This was a birthday gift from a sweet friend.

My daughter and I bought the milk glass vase at a garage sale for $3. And the little wire tea pot also came from a garage sale for $3. That's one of my favorite new finds!

Another table decoration.
This milk glass vase, a slightly smaller one, was at the same sale for $2. Pretty good, huh!

And the fun begins! Egg casserole, fresh fruit, and scones cut with a heart shaped cookie cutter.
(Suggestion made by Linda from Prairie Flower Farm. See my side bar for her blog site.) And I must not forget the clotted cream!

As we enjoyed our tea, each of the girls honored her mom by telling her something that they appreciate about her. One of them said that she appreciates her mom sacrificing her time to home school her and her siblings. Another said, "I appreciate my mama because she cooks good meals for us." Another said that her mom takes them places and does things with them.

I think that everyone had a good time and a full belly.

I thought you might like the recipes from the tea party fare:

Egg and Cheese Casserole

4 c. frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
3 T. butter, melted
1 1/4 c. shredded pepper jack cheese
4 eggs, beaten
1 cups milk or 1/2 and 1/2
1 t. salt

Place hash browns in 9" pie plate and pat with paper towel to dry. Pour melted butter over hash browns. Bake in 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. Reduce heat to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle cheese into the crust. Combine beaten eggs, milk and salt. Pour over cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. (I have to cook mine a little longer than the recipe calls for.) Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

3 c. all purpose flour (I use unbleached)
1/2 c. sugar
5 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. butter
1 beaten egg
1 c. milk or 1/2 and 1/2

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheet. Combine the first four ingredients. (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer and it works well.) Cut in butter until crumbly. Add egg combined with milk. Place on floured board and knead lightly. Roll out 1/2 " thick and cut in triangles, rounds or shapes. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with clotted cream and preserves.

"Clotted Cream"

True clotted cream takes many hours in the oven at a low temperature to make, so I did a variation of clotted cream that worked quite well.

1 c. heavy whipping cream
1/3 c. sour cream

Whip the whipping cream until quite thick. Stir in sour cream until well blended. Serve with scones and preserves.

Have a tea party with someone you love. It's a wonderful experience! May the Lord bless you and keep you.

I'm linking to:

A Silken Purse

A Stroll Thru Life

Lady Katherine Tea Parlor

A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words