Friday, December 31, 2010

Hello my friends ~

The Domain will be inactive for a while. Many changes taking place in our lives have already required my attention elsewhere, leaving a very meager supply of posts published in the last six months. If you would like me to contact you when I reactivate the blog, feel free to leave a comment or email me.

August marked my four year anniversary in blogging, and over these years you ladies have created a special place in my heart.

Please keep our family in your prayers ... as you will be in mine.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our family sends you the very warmest Christmas Greetings because ~ and only because ~

. . . we have seen and do testify that
the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world . . .
1 John 4:14

May you find peace and joy at this time and always because you rest in the promise of who He is.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Comfort in Winter

Thou hast made summer and winter. Psalm 74:17.

My soul, begin this wintry month with thy God. The cold snows and the piercing winds all remind thee that He keeps His covenant with day and night, and tend to assure thee that He will also keep that glorious covenant which He has made with thee in the person of Christ Jesus. He who is true to His Word in the revolutions of the seasons of this poor sin-polluted world, will not prove unfaithful in His dealings with His own well-beloved Son.

Winter in the soul is by no means a comfortable season, and if it be upon thee just now it will be very painful to thee: but there is this comfort, namely, that the Lord makes it. He sends the sharp blasts of adversity to nip the buds of expectation: He scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes over the once verdant meadows of our joy: He casteth forth His ice like morsels freezing the streams of our delight. He does it all, He is the great Winter King, and rules in the realms of frost, and therefore thou canst not murmur. Losses, crosses, heaviness, sickness, poverty, and a thousand other ills, are of the Lord's sending, and come to us with wise design. Frosts kill noxious insects, and put a bound to raging diseases; they break up the clods, and sweeten the soul. O that such good results would always follow our winters of affliction!

How we prize the fire just now! How pleasant is its cheerful glow! Let us in the same manner prize our Lord, who is the constant source of warmth and comfort in every time of trouble. Let us draw nigh to Him, and in Him find joy and peace in believing. Let us wrap ourselves in the warm garments of His promises, and go forth to labours which befit the season, for it were ill to be as the sluggard who will not plough by reason of the cold; for he shall beg in summer and have nothing.

~ Charles Spurgeon
Morning by Morning

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pie Crust

(We interrupt this unplanned blogging hiatus in order to post our family's pie crust recipe that is forever being misplaced in this house!)

Mix dry ingredients:

4 cups flour
1 TB sugar
2 tsp salt

Cut in . . .

1 cup cold butter
3/4 cup cold shortening

Toss lightly with

1 beaten egg
1/2 cup ice water

Add additional ice water by the tablespoon
only as needed (up to 1/2 cup).

Makes 4 single crusts or 2 double crusts.

[For anyone curious, in the photo Brittany used 1/2 of the above recipe (2 single crusts), lined a 9 x 13 pan and doubled my quiche recipe to fill it. It was as yummy as it looks. :o)]

I hope everyone's summer
is goingwent well. Ours became busier than initially planned. I have a few pictures to post if I ever get enough time to actually sit at the computer for more than five minutes on the fly.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

God's Generosity

Valley - Israel, Hills of Galilee, Sea of Galilee
Valley - Israel, Hills of Galilee, Sea of Galilee

I wanted to share a little something from the scriptures that never fails to touch my heart whenever I'm reading through 1 Samuel. It's just one little word in chapter 7, but to understand it's significance you must know the background.

The story of Samuel begins with his mother Hannah. Unable to conceive and mocked by her husband's other wife, she was desperate to have a baby. During one of their yearly journeys to Shiloh to offer sacrifices and worship the Lord, Hannah went off for a private time of weeping and crying out to the Lord.

And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a male child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. (1 Samuel 1:10-11)

The High Priest Eli, after ascertaining that Hannah was not drunk (his initial reaction to her behavior), blessed her and said,"...go in peace, and the God of Israel grant thee they petition that thou hast asked of Him." (1 Samuel 1:17)

And they (Elkanah, Hannah, his other wife Peninnah and her children) rose up in the morning early, and worshiped before the Lord, and returned, and came to their house at Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah, his wife, and the Lord remembered her. (1 Samual 1:19)

The Lord, who had shut Hannah's womb (1:5) now opened it and brought about conception (1:19).

When the child was weaned (probably at least 3 in that time and culture), Hannah took Samuel on the trip to Shiloh and left him there with Eli. For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him. Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord. And he worshiped the Lord there. (1 Samuel 1:27-28) And Hannah rejoiced! (1 Samuel 2:1-11)

I will step away from the initial direction of my post to make a confession. About ten years ago I was reading this story to my eldest son, and I was so convicted. Could I bow before my Lord and joyfully give Him my children? I spent much time on my knees over the next week as I wrestled with the issue of giving my children over to the Lord. I was afraid if I said they were His and He could do as He pleased that He would take them from me.

In my head, I knew all the Biblical answers, but in my heart, I feared. It was a trust issue. In the end, I was finally able to let go, knowing that God loves my children more than I ever could and knowing that He loves me more than I'll ever understand. Almost one year later our son Benjamin Samuel was stillborn. In His compassion, God had been preparing my heart for that journey.

And I will admit further that this giving away of my children unto the Lord is something that I have to revisit periodically. I have to search my soul and deepest heart to make sure that I'm not clinging to something I ought not to. Such are the beginnings of idolatry, and I want nothing ~ especially not a blessing from God ~ to come between my Lord and me. There are times when I realize that I need to let go again and confess to the Lord that I have not trusted Him enough.

Well, that went down a road I didn't expect ~ :o), but here is the sweet part. Oh, the tenderness of God!! Look at what He does.

And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpah, and judged Israel in all those places. And his return was to Ramah; for there was his house, and there he judged Israel, and there he built an altar unto the Lord. (1 Samuel 7:15-17)

See that one word, Ramah? When Samuel grew to be a man and built his house, he did it in Ramah. Ramah was the town his parents lived in. (see 1 Samuel 1:19 posted above). Hannah gave Samuel to the Lord, and the Lord gave him back to her! Is He not an awesome God? We can never out give the Lord!

I feel like I cannot end this post without pointing out 1 Samuel 2:21. And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bore three sons and two daughters. . . God is a tender, compassionate and generous God!