Thursday, February 26, 2009
One look at the Christmas photos of her shop last year had me wishing we didn't live several states away. If pictures like this set your heart aflutter like they do mine, I just know you're going to love it there.
Like me, you may not live in Wisconsin (or anywhere near)...no worries! Bittersweet Farm now has its own blog! You can browse the photos, e-mail Kathy with specific product questions and order anything you see. She's even holding a Spring Open House today, tomorrow and Saturday (despite the fact it's snowing there!)
That's my two cents worth. Please stop by and support this sweet sister in Christ. I had the privilege of speaking with her by phone today and she's just a delight. Who knows, something from her shop might just end up in my blogaversary giveaway that's just around the corner... (Oops...did I just say that out loud?) ; )
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I was so excited when I found this scripture! It so beautifully describes what I've experienced since my surgery. In all honesty, I've been overwhelmed. I have the most wonderful family and friends! The e-mails, cards, flowers, gifts, food, visits (both in person and on the blog) have been such sweet and encouraging medicine, for not just my body but also my soul. If that wasn't enough, my dear hubby has taken extra time off work so that he can stay home to look after me, and spend time with me. I am incredibly blessed and my heart is truly thankful. I found it particularly meaningful that this verse relates kindness to honey. Besides the many wonderful health benefits of this amazing nectar, the taste is one of my absolute favorites...pure SWEETNESS.
Another benefit to this "down time," has been extra time with the Lord, both in prayer and in the Word. That too has been especially precious. I couldn't say it any better than the words of Psalm 119:103
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.
For more of His sweet words, join us here...
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Where is your cell phone? table
your hair? red
your father? helpful
your mother? caring
Your favorite thing? family
your dream last night? nada
your favorite drink? dietcoke ; )
your dream/goal? travel
the room you are in? kitchen
your fear? rejection
where do you want to be in 6 years? here
one of your wish list items? puppy
where you grew up? Kentucky
the last thing you did? read
what are you wearing? sweats
your tv? off
your computer? red
your life? sweet
your mood? peaceful
missing someone? Brennan
your car? camry
favorite store? thrift
your summer? flowers
your favorite color? blue
when is the last time you laughed? today
last time you cried? Saturday
three people who email me? Looo, Dani, Jeannine
three of my favorite foods? Chocolate, Mom’s, Chinese
three places I would rather be right now? Beach, Shopping, Crafting
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.
~ 2 Chronicles 6:40
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
that tug of war at me
All day long I struggle
In the presence of Jehovah
Through His love the Lord provided
In the presence of Jehovah
May your day be blessed!
For more Word-Filled Wednesday, visit 160 Acre Woods
UPDATE: Thanks to my kind friend, Peggy...here's a beautiful rendering of this song...take a listen if you have a moment. You will be blessed.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
~ 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)
Talk about an encouraging Word! Did you fully get that? I must admit, the first couple of times I read it, I didn't. The Lord kept drawing me back to it though, so I knew it needed a closer look. In order to help fully grasp its message, I broke it down and began looking for some additional definitions for these everyday phrases. It helped me appreciate the power of this passage anew...I hope it does the same for you.
And God is able (He has the necessary skill, power and resources)
to make all grace (the greatest possible degree of God's favor)
abound to you (far more than just adequate, but abounding; occurring in great quantities or numbers; to be rich or well supplied; overflowing)
in all things (the greatest possible degree of actions, deeds or events)
at all times (continuously, without interruption)
having all you need (being supplied with the greatest possible degree of that which you require)
you will abound in every good work! (You will be well supplied in every righteous task or undertaking)
In context, this passage is referring to giving. You are perhaps more familiar with the verse just previous to this:
"Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
When God's Word teaches about giving, do you perceive it to only mean financially? My personal opinion is that He's referring to all our resources...our time, our energy, our prayers, our belongings, etc. What encouragement! Through God's power and favor, we are more than adequately supplied for every righteous task we may undertake. Our offerings (however humble they may be) need only be given with a willing heart. He does the rest! As we have freely received, we are to freely give. (Matthew 10:8) How about you? Does this speak in a particular way to you today?
It's never too late if you wish to take part in the Scripture Memory Challenge. It was started by Beth Moore on her blog as a means growing in her walk with Christ throughout the year. On the first and fifteenth of every month, those wishing to take part choose a verse they want to commit to memory. As a means of accountability, simply go to her blog, comment with your verse including its version (NIV, etc.) then add your name and city & state. To date, there are over 3,000 participants! We'd love to have you, too!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Two of my favorite quotes from Mother Theresa on this ...
In this life, we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.
Have a blessed day, sweet ones!
Friday, February 13, 2009
The first hint at the relationship that is to follow...George Gibbs asks Emily if she could help him with his homework. = )
Mr. Webb comes home late from work to find Emily stargazing (no doubt thinking of George!) This father-daughter relationship was so endearing.
George's parents, Doc & Mrs. Gibbs. Believing he works too hard, she is constantly encouraging him to rest. Here, she has coaxed (dragged) him outside to relax and enjoy the fragrance of her beautiful flower garden.
A number of years have gone by Emily and George are now in high school. She believes his baseball talent and other accomplishments have gone to his head because he seems conceited and hard to talk to, and she tells him so. A very nervous George invites her to the local soda shop to try and smooth things over...(take note of the shopkeeper! ; ) One of the most charming scenes of the play.
Through the course of this afternoon at the soda shop, they begin to share how much they've always loved one another and what that means for their future. One of my favorite lines is when George says to Emily with such innocence "I guess this is a pretty important talk we've been having." They decide they will be married after they finish school.
When the time comes for Emily & George to marry, they both have a major case of pre-wedding jitters. Emily's Dad steps in to assure them both it will be alright. He gives his daughter's hand and tells George to take care of his girl.
The wedding (recognize the Pastor?) The girl to Emily's right is George's sister, Rebecca (you saw her in the previous post getting her hair styled).
This is a heart-wrenching scene. Nine years have passed since George and Emily's wedding. In a brush with death as she's delivering their second child, she sees how her family would be impacted if she were to die. She longs to comfort those who are grieving her loss, particularly George who is devastated. Your heart just aches as you watch this scene. Emily realizes all she has taken for granted, and that she and most everyone around her has lived busily distracted by day-to-day routines, not fully appreciating the incredible gift of life. You can't help but reflect on your own life as you hear her thoughts. We were crying, people all around us in the audience were crying. (I can still feel that sadness as I share this.) You hear Emily say "I want to live!" and the stage goes dark for a moment or two. When the lights come back up, you are back at the home of the Webbs. The whole family is gathered, apparently waiting when you hear an infant's cry. A few moments later, Doc Gibbs emerges from the room holding the new baby. He tells everyone they nearly lost Emily, but she is going to be alright. God in his grace has allowed her to live, undoubtedly with new hope and great joy and appreciation for all she has. As the family celebrates, you're still crying, but now the tears are joyful ones. The Stage Manager (Brennan) appears to share his final thoughts and he closes the play by bidding everyone a Good Night. What a beautiful hope-filled ending! This play carries so many messages...these were just a few. I've been pondering on them all week and appreciating this passage in a new way...
…For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears
for a little time and then vanishes away. (James 4:14)
And this one, has become my prayer....
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
May it be so.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Though we never need a special reason to go and visit Brennan, this time we had one. He and his classmates were performing “Our Town,” by Thornton Wilder. Until seeing the play, I was largely unfamiliar with the story, but it has quickly become one of my favorites. Set in a small New Hampshire town called Grover’s Corner just after the turn of the century, it follows the joys, struggles and heartbreaks of everyday life among its residents. Brianna described it as having the feel of a Norman Rockwell painting and I have to agree. While there are a number of distinct characters, the story centers mainly around the families of Emily Webb and George Gibbs. It follows their childhood, their courtship, their marriage and beyond. Brennan played the part of the stage manager, who introduces each scene and helps tell the story. In addition, throughout the play, he assumes various additional roles in several scenes that are portrayed.
that appears for a little time
and then vanishes away. (James 4:14)
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
When Breezy saw Brennan in his stage makeup, with aged face and eyes, and glasses down on his nose, she said (with the sweetest smile), "I’m looking at my future." (Awww!)
Gotta run for now...I'll share the rest of the photos tomorrow. Hope you can stop back!
Monday, February 9, 2009
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
~ Psalm 46:1 (NIV)
God is our strength; he does not give us strength.
In other words, he doesn’t take our tattered strength and prop it up with support beams and steel cable. Instead, he moves into our weakness and he is strong.
Where we are weak, there he is strong.
My friend Steve Pettit tells an amusing story related to this. The storied missionary to China, Bertha Smith, came to speak before his small Kentucky congregation. She sat down with several people to pray, and when one young man said, “Lord, I just need strength; please give me strength,” blessed Bertha looked up and said, “Young man, God does not give us strength. He is our strength. Now pray it right.”
You can take away from that either a gladness that you never voiced a public prayer in front of the late Miss Smith, or a desire that there be more prayer warriors ready to teach us how to get it right when it comes to understanding Jesus working within us.
You, my friend, could be one of those teachers. Do you believe God can make you so? Your answer to this question reveals where the blockage is because God wants to transform you into a mother of the faith, or a father of the faith.
God believes in you, but he’s waiting for you to let him be your strength. I can’t, but God can.
(If you’d like to receive these devotionals regularly, visit www.gracecreates.com to subscribe.)
Friday, February 6, 2009
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
For thousands of years, men have tried to understand the rules when dealing with women. Finally, this merit/demerit guide will help them understand just how it works. Remember, in the world of women, one single rule applies: Make the Woman Happy. Do something she likes, and you get points. Do something she dislikes and points are subtracted. It's important to note: You don't get any points for doing something she expects. Sorry, that's the way the game is played. Here is a guide to the points system:
You make the bed (+1)
You make the bed, but forget to add the decorative pillows (-1)
You throw the bedspread over rumpled sheets (-2)
You leave the toilet seat up (-5)
You replace the toilet paper roll when it is empty (0)
When the toilet paper roll is barren, you resort to Kleenex (-1)
When the Kleenex runs out you use the next bathroom (-2)
You go out to buy her extra light panty liners with wings (+5)
in the snow (+8)
but return with something else like snack food (-5)
and no liners (-25)
You check out a suspicious noise at night (+2)
You check out a suspicious noise and it is nothing (0)
You check out a suspicious noise and it is something (+5)
You pummel it with a six iron (+10)
It's the family pet (-40)
You remember her birthday (0)
You buy a card and flowers (0)
You take her out to dinner (0)
You take her out to dinner and it's not a sports bar (+1)
You take her out to dinner and it is a sports bar (-2)
And it's "all-you-can-eat wings" night (-3)
And your face is painted the colors of your favorite team (-10)
A NIGHT OUT WITH HER
You take her to a movie (+2)
You take her to a movie she likes (+4)
You take her to a movie you hate (+6)
You take her to a movie you like (-2)
It's called Death Cop III (-3)
Which features Cyborgs that eat humans (-9)
You lied and said it was a foreign film about orphans (-15)
When she wants to talk about a problem:You listen, displaying a concerned expression (0)
You listen, for over 30 minutes (+5)
You relate to her problem and share a similar experience (+50)
Your mind wanders to sports and you suddenly hear her saying "well, what do you think I should do?" (-100)
You have fallen asleep (-200)
IT'S THAT TIME OF THE MONTH
You talk (-100)
You don't talk (-150)
You spend time with her (-200)
You don't spend time with her (-500)
I don't know about you, but this makes me want to go hug my hubby!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I was so excited when I found this image. It's a portion of the first scripture passage I choose to memorize this year and it has become so dear to me! Let me share it again in it's entirety. I trust it will be an encouragement to you...
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. ~Lamentations 3:21-25 (NLT)
I don't know about you, but knowing God supplies new and unending mercies every morning is something that gives me incredible hope. Our Redeemer is Faithful and True!
please join us at the 160 Acre Woods
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I can’t help but wonder if any of you have felt God urging you to start a Bible study, maybe in your office, or in your neighborhood? Can I encourage you by saying I am truly the last person who ever expected to be used by God in this capacity. If I had known a number of years ago this was part of His plan for me, I would have likely RUN the other way fast! Instead, it began with just one co-worker and I desiring to know God better and starting a Bible study together. Ever so slowly, co-workers were hearing about our study (in sometimes very unconventional ways) and wanting to know more. As the Lord would bring them, we’d welcome them in.
Truth be told, even after studying with many of these same women for the past 6 years, it still makes me nervous. Every.single.week. But you know what I’ve learned over all these years? If you are willing, God is able. Simple, yes...but true. Over the years, I’ve come to Him repeatedly, feeling ill-equipped saying things like…
Lord, you know I’m willing, but I am scared to death!
What if I misinterpret your Word?
What if they ask me a question I can’t answer?
What if they tell me they’re unsure of their salvation…what do I tell them?
Lord, I’m so bad at this…it feels so awkward…someone else could do this so much better, etc…
He inevitably brings this scripture to mind -
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV) ~ But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
Loosely translated...Don't you see? That's precisely the point! Those are the very things that keep you on your knees, relying on Me!
God doesn’t want people who believe they can do great things for Him! Instead, He wants yielded, trusting, humble and even timid hearts so that when His will is accomplished, there will be no doubt it was all Him, because of Him and through Him.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (NIV) ~ But God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of this world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are so that no one may boast before Him.
The first time someone asked a question I was unsure of, I simply said…"You know…that’s a good question. I’m not really sure of the answer. Let me do a little research and get back to you." And I did. I’d come home that evening where I would read, research & pray. If I felt I was hitting a wall, I’d call the Director of Women’s Ministries and she would walk me through. I’d follow up with that person and share my findings. Without fail, God used those opportunities to strengthen our bonds of trust and friendship.
Please hear my heart…I can’t encourage you strongly enough if God if prompting you in this way…don’t let fear stop you, sweet one! If you’re willing, and know you’re a sinner saved by grace, that’s the only qualification you need.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Giving God the Glory!
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31 (NLT)
Continuing with my theme of Renewal this year, I find such powerful encouragement in this passage! I especially love the way it starts... "Have you never heard? Have you never understood?" as if Isaiah is passionately asking could it be you are unaware, or without grasp of the strength that is yours through Christ?! This is truly one of the most powerful promises we have as believers! When we've done all our human strength allows, when we no longer possess the motivation to stay on task, when our spirits are discouraged or anxious, when we're so weary it's hard to even lift our heads...we need only to bow them and call out to the Lord. Even if all we can say is "Lord, help me," He promises to renew our strength with His limitless power when we wait upon Him. Something else? You never need to worry He is too tired or too busy. He stands ready and willing to help those who call on His name. How I praise you, Lord!