Monday, August 30, 2010

The Coverup

A couple of months ago we did some remodeling in our living room. The couch we had for about three years was still good but it was SO heavy! I could not move it to clean behind it and it was too low to the floor to clean under it! There were recliners in each end but they weren't really comfortable. Sooooo...we found someone who needed a couch and gave it to them. Then I started looking for a small love seat and small recliner to put in the same space that the couch had been in. We are extremely limited with space so I had to make it fit or do without!

I found a dark brown fabric/leather love seat that Benny was o.k. with. He is the one who sits there. I picked out a small beige recliner for myself. If Benny had liked recliners we would have just gone with two of those. The combo seemed to just fit....both the room and our individual tastes.

But then we began to notice that ANY little piece of lint or grass that got in the house somehow made it's way to that brown love seat! I tried lint rollers, lint name it. A good brushing with a plain hand towel proved to be the best cleaner. Not wanting to have to deal with that every day, I decided to get a COVERUP for the love seat. I could not find anything that I liked in the stores so bought a pattern in Walmart and just made one. It's pretty cool. Now I can just take it off, throw in the washer, dry it and put it back on. And if company comes, I can take it off and the loveseat is already all nice and clean!

We had a missionary from Brazil, Bro. Mike Ring, visit our church recently. He had with him a sheepskin from Brazil which he used in an illustration. He said that he tells the Brazilian people the story of two mama sheep and two baby sheep. A disaster happened and one mama sheep died and the baby of the other mama sheep died. The little lamb was too young to eat grass so the shepherd knew that it would die if it didn't have milk to drink. He took the surviving lamb to the mama sheep who had lost her own lamb hoping she would adopt the orphan. But after smelling of him, she pushed him away. Now the little lamb had no hope. He was going to die. But the shepherd had an idea. He went and found the body of the little dead lamb and took the wool from his back. Then he draped the wool over the head and back of the little orphan lamb and took it back to the mama sheep. This time when she smelled of it, it smelled just like her baby and she let him nurse with no more problems. The baby lamb had been adopted because of the "COVERUP" the shepherd had placed on his back!

Bro. Ring then likened that to what happens to us when we get saved. Before salvation we "smell" like the world to God. He won't feed and nourish us and give us life. That is until we turn from the world and turn to Jesus Christ and accept His gift of eternal life. At that point Christ gives us a COVERUP... His own righteousness. Then when God "smells" of us, we smell just like His Son Jesus Christ and He takes us into His eternal family. Not because of anything we have done, but because of all that Jesus Christ did for us!

I'm so glad Jesus Christ has covered my sins and given me eternal life!

"Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered." Romans 4: 7

Who do you smell like? The world? Or Jesus? Your eternity depends on your answer!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"For the Bible Tells Me So"

(Me teaching my ladies Sunday School class)

How many of you other ladies teach a Sunday school class or a Bible study class? If you do, then you know how much work goes into it! I've been teaching the Ladies Class at our Baptist church for the past five years. We don't use a Sunday school quarterly so I get the lessons from various and sundry places. I have used outlines from Bible studies I have been involved in. I've used ideas from other places. I've gotten lesson ideas from Christian websites. But in all these things there's one thing that I always make sure of....Am I teaching what the BIBLE says and not just what myself or some other teacher says? That is so very important!

We must keep our teaching in line with the Word of God for it to have power and purpose! My words might help someone for a time being through some kind of passing trouble. But God's Word is the only Word that can help anyone for eternity! God's Word was alive back in the very beginning. These verses from John 1 say it so well: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God."

If you want to ensure that you have a good Bible class, make sure you teach the Bible....not some theory of man! God's Word will not come back void but you will see your students grow and thrive! Acts 12:24 says "But the word of God grew and multiplied." And the same can happen in your class!

On the same note, if you are not a teacher but a student, make sure your teacher teaches the Word. You will not grow in the Lord otherwise!

Happy Teaching...or learning...whichever the case may be!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Not on my list.....

Yesterday I had a list a mile long of "things to do". You've probably made lists like that yourself. Call here. Call there. Make appointment. Cancel appointment. Fix this. Fix that. And on and on the list goes. One thing on my list yesterday was to clean off the kitchen table. Yes....I have to put that on my list if it gets done! ha As I looked at the things on the table I toyed with the idea of throwing out the very ripe bananas in the fruit bowl. For some reason they had gotten very ripe very quickly. Then the idea came to me that I could make some Banana Nut Bread with the bananas!

I have a gas stove and through this hot, hot summer have been trying to use the oven as little as possible since it heats up the kitchen so. I wondered if perhaps I might be able to make the Banana Bread in the microwave. Soooo.....I came in here to my trusty computer and typed in "recipe microwave banana nut bread" and soon I was looking at an array of recipes. This was NOT on my list for the day. But it was an addition that needed to be done.

The recipe was simple. And I didn't even have to grease and flour a pan. It called for lining the dish with waxed paper.

Pop in the microwave and cook for eight minutes on high. Yes! I did say only eight minutes! I was a little skeptical but it really turned out better than the last banana bread I baked in my traditional oven! Just turn it out on a plate and peel the waxed paper off the bottom.

I could not resist having a hot piece with butter melted on top! Yummy! So if you're going through your day with a "list"....don't limit yourself to just that. You might have to leave off something else that can wait until tomorrow. The bananas couldn't wait! :)

Here is a link to the recipe I used if you would like to try this easy summer dish: Banana Nut Bread

John 6: 35 "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."

Eat heartily my friend! Both this good bread and of the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

O To Grace.....

Yesterday morning I woke up with the first phrase of the last verse of the hymn "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" on my mind. The phrase that says, "O to grace how great a debtor, daily I'm constrained to be!" Got me to thinking about how great a debt I owe to Grace.....daily! It's not just a once in a lifetime thing, grace. Oh, I know that saving grace is, but "grace, grace, marvelous grace" is a daily thing.

Another song I like puts it like this..."There's no other word for grace but amazing!" How very true! When I look at where I would be but for grace it's a scary sight!

But back to the song that was on my heart early yesterday morning. First verse: "Come Thou Fount of every blessing".... James 1: 17 says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Every blessing we receive comes from the Fountain of God's Grace.

"Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;" I hate to have to try and play a musical instrument that is out of tune! My heart in it's natural state doesn't want to sing in tune with grace. So the Master must give my heart a tuning so that I can tell of His grace in a key that others will want to listen to!

"Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise:" Praise songs! The grace and mercy that we have received from our Lord and Saviour call for praise from our lips. The loudest praising we do should be about our Lord and what He has done for us!

"Lord, let me be found singing 'songs of loudest praise' about Your grace with a heart that is fully in tune with You."


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Red Door

Recently we did some remodeling and painted the outside of our home. We picked out a tan for the house and dark brown for the trim. I wanted the doors red! I never realized how many different colors of red there are though! I wanted a warm red that would compliment the browns but I did NOT want any orangey-red colored door! I finally settled on a color called "Claret" which looked great on the paint chip! The door was a dark green to start with. When I put the first streak of red paint on the green door the color screamed orange to me! It just made me sick! I thought about taking it back to Lowe's and getting them re-adjust the tint. But instead I just kept on painting. The more green I covered with the red the less and less it looked orange. When the first coat was on I was still not sure if I could live with it. After the first coat dried, I came back and started painting again. And, lo and behold, now I could see the true "Claret" that I had picked out in Lowe's paint department! I just love my red doors! They make me smile every time I look at them!

Sunday night our Pastor's sermon was taken from Revelation 3: 20..."Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." The door in this verse refers to the heart of man. If you draw a heart or see a heart on Valentine's Day, what color is it usually? Red! So let's just imagine for a minute that the door to our heart is a beautiful "Claret" red!

Revelation 3: 20 reminds us that Christ knocks on the hearts of mankind but He doesn't open the door. He waits to be invited in. Pastor also brought out that Jesus Christ doesn't just knock at our heart's door but He calls out to us even though after all He has done for us He could just sit back and wait for us to make the first move! But, no, He comes knocking on our heart's door calling us to let Him come in. For you see, we have to open the door to our heart! But if we do, He promises to come in and fellowship with us!

When a friend comes knocking on my freshly painted red front door, I will ask them to come in and fellowship with me.

If Jesus comes knocking at the red door of your heart, will you ask Him to come in and fellowship with you? I hope so!

Psalm 84: 10 "For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness."


Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Am Reading.....

Reading. One of my most favorite pleasures. Something I used to do in every spare moment! So what's happened to my reading time? Seems I don't get as much done as I want to any more! It's so much easier for me to read from the computer monitor nowadays since I don't have to bend my head down as when reading a book. Looking down and reading gives me a neck and/or headache. But books are my friends and I don't intend to ever totally stop reading if at all possible!

This summer my friend Evelyn and I enrolled in the summer Bible study at Beth Moore's LPM blog. The study Beth picked for the ladies to do was "Ruth: Loss, Love & Legacy" by Kelly Minter. Last Tuesday was the last day for the study. BUT, sadly, I am still not done with it! Can you say S.L.O.W.??? So, firstly, I have been reading my Bible and the Ruth Bible study.

For my birthday my friend Terri gave me Beth's newest book "So Long Insecurity". Oh my goodness! Has Beth been a fly on my wall for a few years now? She has me pegged in no uncertain terms! I am learning so much about myself in this book. My goal is to let the Lord help me to have a new security in HIM !

In May of this year I purchased Elaine Olsen's book "Peace for the Journey". It's written as a devotional/Bible study type of book and needs to be savoured and not devoured in just "one gulp"! I have used some of Elaine's words of wisdom in the ladies Sunday school class I teach.

And last but not least is a small book that had a large impact on me when I read it. I was shopping at a Flea Market one day a few weeks ago and on the floor near the check-out register was a rather large cardboard box with a sign that read "Free Religious Books: Take One". And so I did ! It was called "Will You Still Be My Daughter?" (although I'm not sure I would classify this book as "religious") I would very much recommend this book to all mothers and daughters. Especially mothers of daughters who are beginning to search for their own independence. One of the 'reviews' on the Amazon site says this book "is actually a parable about an acorn that falls from a beautiful, strong oak. The oak loves her daughter and wants to protect her from pain and disappointment. However, as in real life, we can only hope that our children will have the strength (roots) to persevere."

That's my reading list at the present. And of course all the many precious Christian ladies blogs that I try to read once or twice a week. What are y'all reading right now? I'd love for you to leave a comment and let me know.



Monday, August 2, 2010

Getting Enough Water?


I am not very good at drinking lots of water. It's not that I dislike water but I just forget to drink it! But I'm going to try very hard this week to drink more water than usual just as a precaution.

I have one plant that lives in my house now. It's a vine that Sharon, my Pastor's wife, gave me for my birthday probably seven or eight years ago. This vine has set the record for the longest living plant to ever belong to me! When someone gives me a plant my husband always says, "Poor doesn't know it will die soon!" ha Sad but that's about the truth! I just do not have a green thumb. Back to my little vine though. Last week I noticed that it was lying flat down on the soil in it's pot. Limp. And pale. I wasn't sure when I had given it a drink of water last but evidently it had been too long! I gave it a big glass of water that day and the next and waited to see what happened. Amazingly enough it revived! This is not the first time this amazing thing has happened! It's the most robust plant I've ever had or else it would not still be with me. Now you can hardly tell it almost starved to death. All its leaves are green and healthy looking again except for just one or two which were probably beyond hope!

Water....H2O.... is absolutely necessary for physical life. But what about spiritual life? In John 4: 13-14 Jesus is talking to the Woman at the Well who has drawn up some water for Him to drink. Here's what He tells her: "Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." Water that comes from a well will sustain our physical life but in a few minutes or hours we will be thirsty again. The water of everlasting life through Jesus Christ will keep on quenching our spiritual thirst forever!

Another thing we use water for is for cleaning. I would hate to have to go without water for washing dishes, mopping floors, washing my hands or taking a shower! I remember when our son John was in Iraq in the Marine Corps and had to go for days and weeks without water to bathe in. How it made this mother's heart ache. And so it is with our spiritual lives also. We need to wash our spirits often with the reading of God's Word. Ephesians 5: 26 says: "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,"

Be careful these hot summer days to get enough water!

Both in your body and in your spirit.