Encouragement

To encourage you and myself, because looking at the things that are going on out there in the world, especially when we hear of the middle east and Israel, we can be filled with fear. But we know this, that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:7 Fear is a spirit from the devil. God does not give us fear. We have our confidence and trust in Him.

One of my very favorite verses. Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. NIV

Psalm 1:1-3

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. NKJV

So if we will stay in the Word and meditate on it continually, our faith will be strong in the Lord and we can survive the storms of life.

Deuteronomy 30:19

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live… NIV

Psalm 42:5

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. NKJV

Isaiah 59:19

So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. NKJV

Isaiah 54:17

No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. NKJV

Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. NKJV

Numbers 23:19

God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and then not fulfill? NIV

Isaiah 55:11

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. NKJV

We can trust God’s Word. Every promise He keeps, unlike people here on earth. We can pray the Word back to the Lord and remind Him of His promises that He made to us. Not that God forgets His promises, but that we know He will keep His promises.

1 John 4:4

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. NKJV

Mark 11:24

Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye will have them. KJV

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. NKJV

Philippians 4:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. NKJV

Psalm 139:17-18

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand… NKJV

God loves us so much and He thinks about us continually. Good thoughts. Loving thoughts. Kind thoughts. Fatherly thoughts. Caring thoughts. Favored thoughts. Merciful. Longsuffering.

He really and truly LOVES us. He doesn’t want any of us to perish and be separated from Him in eternity. He also wants to meet our needs and our wants, right here and now.

Most people think God will only supply our needs. But His Word also says we can have whatever things we desire, if we believe for them when we pray. True, He’s not going to give us anything that is evil or bad for us, that would harm us or cause us to fall into sin. As long as we pray for and believe for things that are in His will.

We do not have to live in fear when we hear of those things that are happening in the middle east and Israel and other parts of the world. We believe in God. He told us these things would happen. He also told us to fear not, neither be dismayed.

He is our God, and we are His people. He promised to never leave us or forsake us.

This sure helped me. Hope it helps you too.

Love,

Karen

Posted in Walking in Faith | Leave a comment

A New Season

I’m so ready for a new season. Though it really hasn’t been a horrific summer this year. We have had several 100+ degree days this past week, and will probably have some more during August. We have had a number of years when we had 100+ temps for 2 straight months and 90+ lows in the nights. And we fortunately have had more rain this year. I yearn for more rain. Today it got dark and we even heard thunder, though we didn’t get a drop of rain.  :(

My calendar shows that Autumn begins on September 22 this year. I’ve been reading some of my favorite blogs and they are already blessed with fall like weather. Well, they might not consider it such a blessing, but I envy them. Is it a sin to envy some who have a new season of fall arriving? I repent of that, if it is, but in my defense, I absolutely LOVE autumn. Especially since I live in Texas and we usually have brutal summers, being that we have been in a drought for a few years now.

I told you in my last post that I planted pumpkin seeds. They are coming up very nicely. And there are five mounds, instead of the four I mentioned in the last post.

 5 pumpkin mounds

5 pumpkin mounds in a row

pumpkin mound 1

pumpkin mound 2

pumpkin mound 3

pumpkin mound 4

pumpkin mound 5

I’ve never grown pumpkins before. I sure hope these produce a good crop. I don’t plan to actually use them to cook but I will use them in decorating. Mom always bakes pumpkin bread for husband and me around Thanksgiving. I wonder if she will want to use fresh pumpkins. She has always used can pumpkin. We’ll see. The only pumpkin I like to eat is Mom’s pumpkin bread. I saw a pumpkin soup recipe on line last week. It didn’t interest me. Have you ever used the pumpkin meat to cook with or do you just decorate with pumpkins? Do you use real pumpkins or the styrofoam or ceramic pumpkins?

And lastly, before I say goodnight, one other of my favorite autumn delights, the Cottage Journal, Autumn issue, which you can pick up at your favorite bookstore or superstore. I love getting fall decorating ideas in it.

The Cottage Journal 2014

Goodnight and have a blessed week!

Love ya,

Karen

Posted in Home & Garden | Leave a comment

Sharing With You

This n That

I just wanted to share some things with you. Random stuff, hodge-podge things, some with links for you to click on, so here goes.

I planted the pumpkin seeds that I ordered awhile back. Kinda silly actually. I’m sure none of you have done this. I ordered seeds and put them in a safe place because the instructions said to plant pumpkin seeds in July and I got the seeds back in June. Well, I put the seeds in such a safe place that I scoured the entire house and couldn’t find them. So, I ordered another batch. While waiting to receive the second order, I found the first set of seeds (kinda sorta right under my nose in my china cabinet, you know how that is?) so I went ahead and planted them in 4 hills. They’re already coming up. Yippee! I plan to use what few I need and donate some to our church ladies. I saw this Pinterest pin that shows to turn the pumpkins 1/4 turn every week to twist the stems and make them more decorative. Pretty soon I’ll need to get some straw to lay the pumpkins on while they grow.

Are y’all anticipating autumn as much as I am?

If you homeschool or want to homeschool here in the U.S. and you need legal assistance.

How to cure depression naturally, without drugs. Depression seems to be epidemic and it’s probable that you know someone who suffers from this.

If you’re one of the few that haven’t seen this no bake energy bites recipe. I think I might try adding rice krispies to mine for some crunch.

7 reasons why God wants to make entrepreneurs wealthy.

10 backyard games. If it’s not too hot where you are, some of these look fun for the family.

Letters of note from C.S. Lewis.

DIY headboards. After all these years, I still don’t have a headboard. I have seen plenty of DIY ideas but I think I have too many projects in my “To Do” folders and just haven’t gotten around to doing this project. One day…

Here’s a garage door make-over that I’d really like to try and it should only take 3 – 4 hours.

Beautiful song, “Rooftop“.

Build a 12×20 cabin on a budget. Great guest house or office or craft/sewing studio. You could use solar panels to supply electricity.

U.S. Bill of Rights was created Sept 25, 1789. This year it will be 225 years old. I sure wish the liberals knew how important this document is to keeping our freedom.

How Jesus fulfilled the Passover.

Husband got stung twice by a hornet while working on getting Mom’s riding lawn mower running again. Double Ouch.  :(  Mom lives out in the country and has lots of trees on the property. This little varmint got him on the shoulder first and then on the elbow. The only reaction he had was that it made him sick to his stomach a little, and of course the sting spots are very sore. We put some colloidal silver on it when we got home and he took a cool shower.

Time to get to bed. Another week coming up. Hope yours is productive and joy filled.

Love ya,

Karen

Posted in Sharing This 'n That | Leave a comment

The Star Spangled Banner, Our National Anthem

The Star Spangled Banner

I found this in my email archives and it is an excellent patriotic piece. I don’t know who wrote it so I hope I’m not stepping on any toes. I DO love my country.

~~~oOo~~~

Near the end of his life the great science fiction author Isaac Asimov wrote a short story about the four stanzas of our national anthem. However brief, this well-circulated piece is an eye opener from the dearly departed doctor……

I have a weakness — I am crazy absolutely nuts, about our national anthem. The words are difficult and the tune is almost impossible, but frequently when I’m taking a shower I sing it with as much power and emotion as I can. It shakes me up every time.

I was once asked to speak at a luncheon. Taking my life in my hands, I announced I was going to sing our national anthem — all four stanzas. This was greeted with loud groans. One man closed the door to the kitchen, where the noise of dishes and cutlery was loud and distracting. “Thanks, Herb,” I said.  “That’s all right,” he said. “It was at the request of the kitchen staff.”

I explained the background of the anthem and then sang all four stanzas. Let me tell you, those people had never heard it before — or had never really listened. I got a standing ovation. But it was not for me; it was the anthem.

More recently, while conducting a seminar, I told my students the story of the anthem and sang all four stanzas. Again there was a wild ovation and prolonged applause. And again, it was the anthem and not me.

So now let me tell you how it came to be written.

In 1812, the United States went to war with Great Britain, primarily over freedom of the seas. We were in the right. For two years, we held off the British, even though we were still a rather weak country. Great Britain was in a life and death struggle with Napoleon. In fact, just as the United States declared war, Napoleon marched off to invade Russia. If he won, as everyone expected, he would control Europe, and Great Britain would be isolated. It was no time for her to be involved
in an American war.

At first, our seamen proved better than the British. After we won a battle on Lake Erie in 1813, the American commander, Oliver Hazard Perry, sent the message, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.” However, the weight of the British navy beat down our ships eventually. New England, hard-hit by a tightening blockade, threatened secession.

Meanwhile, Napoleon was beaten in Russia and in 1814 was forced to abdicate. Great Britain now turned its attention to the United States, launching a three-pronged attack.

The northern prong was to come down Lake Champlain toward New York and seize parts of New England.

The southern prong was to go up the Mississippi, take New Orleans and paralyze the west.

The central prong was to head for the mid Atlantic states and then attack Baltimore, the greatest port south of New York. If Baltimore was taken, the nation, which still hugged the Atlantic coast, could be split in two. The fate of the United States, then, rested to a large extent on the success or failure of the central prong.

The British reached the American coast, and on August 24, 1814, took Washington, D.C. Then they moved up the Chesapeake Bay toward Baltimore. On September 12, they arrived and found 1,000 men in Fort McHenry, whose guns controlled the harbor. If the British wished to take Baltimore, they would have to take the fort.

On one of the British ships was an aged physician, William Beanes, who had been arrested in Maryland and brought along as a prisoner. Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and friend of the physician, had come to the ship to negotiate his release.

The British captain was willing, but the two Americans would have to wait. It was now the night of September 13, and the bombardment of Fort McHenry was about to start.

As twilight deepened, Key and Beanes saw the American flag flying over Fort McHenry. Through the night, they heard bombs bursting and saw the red glare of rockets. They knew the fort was resisting and the American flag was still flying. But toward morning the bombardment ceased, and a dread silence fell. Either Fort McHenry had surrendered and the British flag flew above it, or the bombardment had failed and the American flag still flew.

As dawn began to brighten the eastern sky, Key and Beanes stared out at the fort, trying to see which flag flew over it. He and the physician must have asked each other over and over, “Can you see the flag?”

After it was all finished, Key wrote a four stanza poem telling the events of the night. Called “The Defense of Fort McHenry,” it was published in newspapers and swept the nation. Someone noted that the words fit an old English tune called, “To Anacreon in Heaven” — a difficult melody with an uncomfortably large vocal range. For obvious reasons, Key’s work became known as “The Star Spangled Banner,” and in 1931 Congress declared it the official anthem of the United States.

Now that you know the story, here are the words. Presumably, the old doctor is speaking. This is what he asks Key;

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
Oh! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

“Ramparts,” in case you don’t know, are the protective walls or other elevations that surround a fort. The first stanza asks a question. The second gives an answer:

On the shore, dimly seen thro’ the mist of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep.
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream
‘Tis the star-spangled banner. Oh! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

“The towering steep” is again, the ramparts. The bombardment has failed, and the British can do nothing more but sail away, their mission a failure. In the third stanza, I feel Key allows himself to gloat over the American triumph. In the aftermath of the bombardment, Key probably was in no mood to act otherwise.

During World War II, when the British were our staunchest allies, this third stanza was not sung. However, I know it, so here it is:

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The fourth stanza, a pious hope for the future, should be sung more slowly than the other three and with even deeper feeling:

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation,
Blest with victory and peace, may the Heaven rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause is just,
And this be our motto –”In God is our trust.”
And the star spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I hope you will look at the national anthem with new eyes. Listen to it, the next time you have a chance, with new ears. And don’t let them ever take it away.

~~~oOo~~~

And when you sing it, give it all the patriotic reverence and gusto you can and don’t worry if you can’t sing on key. It’s all about the anthem anyway.

Love the good ole USA!

Karen

Posted in Patriotism | Leave a comment

What God Can Do With 57cents

This is from my email archives, so I wanted to share it. If you purchase the book and read it, I suggest that you read it all the way through before you decide whether you disagree (or agree) with it. It is very compelling reading. The beginning was a little boring, I thought, but when I kept at it, I found it to be encouraging toward understanding more about having and getting wealth.

Wealth is not a nasty word. It takes wealth for many good works to be done on this earth. It takes wealth to pay for printing Bibles. To pay for air-time for Christian radio and TV. For political campaigns – for Godly, Christian politicians. To support Christian organizations that feed the poor here in America and around the world. To build Christian schools. These are just to name a few things that requires some amount of wealth.

And to correct a misconception about wealth from the Bible, it is the love of money that is the root of evil. Money itself is not evil. It is simply a tool that we use while we are here on this earth. If we allow money to become a god and we love it above the true and living God, then we sin against God. That is idolatry, to have other gods before/above our God.

Wealth is good if we remember always to keep it in its place, as a tool to be used to accomplish good works here on this earth. God knows we have needs and He knows that we have to pay for the things we need and want. He is not opposed to us having things, as long as our “things” don’t have us. He wants to bless us. If you being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will our heavenly Father give good gifts to us His children. Matthew 7:11  God wants us to have a home for shelter, food to nourish our bodies, clothing to cover our bodies. Our God is not a stingy, selfish God. He is GOOD and He delights in blessing His children.

We must keep ourselves in check, that we do not allow money to rule over us and be our god. If I thought I couldn’t be disciplined enough to make certain that I didn’t love money more than I love God, I’d rather be dirt poor. But I know that I can put my trust in God to keep me protected from that sin. I love the Lord my God first. And I know that money is a tool that I use to pay for things I need while I live on this earth.

Here’s the story.

A little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was ‘too crowded.’

I can’t go to Sunday School,’ she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by.

Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.

Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements.

As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump.

Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: ‘This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School.’

For two years she had saved for this offering of love.

When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion.

He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building.

But the story does not end there….

A newspaper learned of the story and published it. It was read by a wealthy realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands.

When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents.

Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide. Within five years the little girl’s gift had increased to $250,000.00–a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.

When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300. And be sure to visit Temple University, where thousands of students are educated.

Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday school building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time.

In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russell H. Conwell, author of the book, ‘Acres of Diamonds’.

This is a true story, which goes to show WHAT GOD CAN DO WITH 57 CENTS.

Hope you all enjoy this coming Independence Day weekend. I am so thankful for our freedom, that we still enjoy.

Karen

Posted in Story Time | Leave a comment