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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Recap

     Here it is, nearly into the new year of 2012 A.D.  I have much for which to thank the Lord.  He has wonderfully manifested Himself to me throughout the past year, 2011 A.D.  His work in my life this past year has nurtured much growth:  toward the way in which He would desire me.
    
2011 A.D. Re-Cap
  1. The beginning of 2011 A.D. saw me endure much grief and depression.  I struggled many times in my walk. 
  2. In April, I experienced a great RELIEF by some great ministering, by the Lord through Dear, that I so desperately needed.  The previous months' woes were quickly and graciously lifted.
  3. The very last day of June saw my brother-in-law entering into the hospital.  The next few days were so crucial.  He nearly died the first few days he was there.  He would not go home until November.
  4. In August, Dear and I got clear direction from God in some very important issues in our lives.  Since then, we have been praying, studying, preparing, and seeking His face to follow Him all the way in this avenue of our lives.
  5. In the fall, my husband and I started letting those near to us, and for whom it would affect, know of our decision regarding Christmas. 
  6. November saw my brother-in-law out of the hospital, and started on the long road of recovery!
  7. Today.  Today I am reminded of how much God has given me.  I am reminded of how little I have given to Him.  I am overwhelmed by the fact that in spite of this great imbalance, He still gives me love!  I am reminded that over 17 years ago, when I came in child-like faith to Him for His salvation, forgiveness, and new life, that He willingly, quickly, and forever gave me Himself:  Jesus Christ.  I am reminded that though I have failed Him, in "big" ways and "small" ways, that He has shown patience with me.  He has given me opportunity after opportunity to "get it right."  Though each lesson gets harder, nevertheless it is done in His same grace.  I am reminded, today, that I am a most blessed lady to have THE GOD and THE KING OF KINGS and THE HOLY SPIRIT ever present with me.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Today's Lesson

     This morning after praying for a continual joyful attitude came a rough start to the day.  Today, I was scheduled to clean for Miss M.  So, as I was making my bed this morning close to 7:30 AM, I heard pounding from underneath my feet.  I didn't think I was walking loudly, or making much noise, but I guess I had.  I didn't feel very pleased with myself, to say the least.
     I was very saddened that I had displeased my relatively new neighbors below me.  It wasn't that long ago that there was a noise issue that had to be addressed, and had taken place in our home.  They were friendly about everything, and very forgiving.  I did not want another issue.  
     So, after the pounding from underneath, I quietly sat on my bed, gaining composure.  I want to have a good testimony with my neighbors, and it didn't seem as though it was getting off on the right foot...I prayed, and God helped me finish my morning, more quietly, and head over to Miss M's house.
     Already running a few minutes late, I figured the Lord was sparing me from some traveling danger.  Halfway to her house, I noticed something on my left side peripheral vision, near the visor.  It was a spider!  Eek!  After being bitten many times, I don't appreciate them as maybe I should.
     Trying not to swerve as I traveled 50 mph, I quickly pulled into the Plaza Market nearby to dispose of the creature.  The last thing I wanted was it nesting in my hair.  Disposed of, and still praying, I finished my route.
     Almost to her home, again, I realized I had forgotten to bring the reusable bags and Tupperware I told her I would bring, from the previous night's discussion.  Nearly 30 minutes from home, I wasn't turning around.  Due to my being flustered over the pounding on my floor (neighbor's ceiling) this morning, I could have easily walked out without my head screwed on straight.
     However, as I neared her home, I paid much closer attention to the cd of music to which I had been listening.  I was reminded of my great salvation, given to me by my great God.  Nothing could take away the peace of knowing I belong to the King of kings and Lord of lords.  No matter what happened, I would always have peace knowing I have a home in Heaven.  I have a very real and right relationship with Jesus Christ and God, thanks to His sacrifice.  
      I realized that all these things were being used to strengthen my resolve to keep my cool in any situation, stay in a constant mode of prayer, and always give thanks for God being in my life.  I know I never perfectly perform according to His will every day, but that is my desire.  Today, I had also given in to some ever-present temptations in my life.  Though I pray about it, and see them coming all the time, I am rebellious in the fact that I am not being more disciplined according to the truth of God:  I needn't give in to those temptations, but run to Him and He'll deliver me.  Thank God for the book of I Corinthians and James, in case I get a big head about myself.
     Nevertheless, I know my Lord loves me, and is quick and willing to forgive me my sins when I confess and forsake them.  He always reminds me of His redemption in my life.  The song I sung over and over again in the car today reminds me of that great love He had, and has, for me.  Thank You, Lord, for teaching me of joy, grace, and mercy...All in one day.

Redeemed, redeemed, thank God I'm set free:  from the hands of the great enemy!
Plucked out of his hands, by the Son of man:  redeemed from the hands, of the great enemy!



Friday Freebie!

Alright, folks!  I want to see you enter for your chance to win the blessed gift of a certificate for a Lilla Rose Flexi-Clip, valued up to $15!  I'm ready to share a free entry to any who choose to participate!  All you have to do is go to my post regarding the give-away contest, and comment "Friday Freebie."  That's it!  You don't have to go share it, join, or anything!  

So...What are you waiting for?

:)


Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Homemade Ventures

     Yesterday I got an itch to start looking for homemade recipes for all sorts of things.  Lotion, toothpaste, ketchup...All except soap [I do eventually want to learn how to do it, but I'm going to let my friend over at Victorian Rose Soap Company keep at it for me ;)].  I am also happily anticipating making my own tinctures, poultices, salves, and other healthy concoctions next year, thanks to Shoshanna at Bulk Herb Store.
     I did start working on some more homemade goodness yesterday.  Instead of just researching, I started on my first sourdough-making project!  I was so excited to find that it is such a simple recipe!  I only needed to head down to the local shoppe to get an item I was missing to get it going.
     My husband and I L-O-V-E sourdough breads!  Since it's too expensive for us right now to buy all the time, I had to figure out a less-moolah way to have our blessed bread.  Lo and behold, my bread machine book had a recipe for a starter!
     I was so excited to share with Hun the thrill of creating my first sourdough starter when he came home.  However, though he enjoys the finished creation, he doesn't always find the thrill in the process as I do sometimes.  He kindly humored me, even coming over to smell the beginnings of the fermentation process.
     I was surprised that it didn't take very long to get that process going.  I guess since our tiny abode was rather pleasantly warm, (with the heater going, two cats, and three adults:  one of Dear's friends came over for dinner), it isn't too surprising.  I find amazement in some of the smallest ways.  :)
     So, as I was thinking this morning, I thought to myself:  "Wouldn't it be nice to share this wonderful recipe to other folks?  Who knows, there may be other sourdough-loving people out there!"  There are so many things you can do with sourdough:  garlic sourdough (one of my absolute favorites!), ______ herb sourdough, sourdough bagels, sourdough English muffins, sourdough bread, etc.


BASIC SOURDOUGH STARTER

1/2 cup warm water (around 105degrees Farenheit)
2 cups warm water (around 105 degrees Farenheit)
2.5 tsp dry yeast
2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour, sifted)
1 Tbs honey (Or sugar, but I prefer honey since it's natural.  If you want another all-natural substitute, try Stevia or Agave Nectar.)

**You will need cheesecloth, a non-metal large mixing bowl, and non-metal utensils.**

In a large mixing bowl, pour the yeast.  Add 1/2 cup warm water, and stir with a wooden or plastic spoon until pretty well dissolved.  Add the other 2 cups warm water, flour, and honey (or substitute), mixing well with a wooden/plastic spoon until smooth.  (When I did this step, some of the dough stuck to my mixing spoon.  I simply grabbed another one, using it to get off the dough.)

Cover the bowl containing your sourdough starter dough with a 100% cotton cheesecloth.  Let the mixture stand at room temperature, covered, for 5 - 10 days, until it has the strong fermented odor.  Stir 2 - 3 times a day.  The warmer the room, the faster the fermentation.

Once you're ready to store the finished dough, transfer to a glass jar, cover with 100% cotton cheesecloth, and refrigerate until use.  Do NOT cover tightly or use a metal lid.  (Try a rubber band around the neck of the jar, loosely, to keep the cloth on it.)

When you're ready to use some of the starter, bring the desired amount to room temperature.  For each cup of starter used, replenish remaining starter by adding 3/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup lukewarm water, & 1 tsp. honey (or substitute).  Cover and let mixture stand at room temperature for at least 1 day or until it's bubbly.  Refrigerate starter for later use.

If you don't use the starter w/in 10 days, stir in 1 tsp. honey (or substitute).  Repeat every 10 days unless you've replenished the starter (then count from that replenished date).  

     If any of you have made your own sourdough bread, I'd love to hear how you made it!  If any of you join me on this fabulous venture, please let me know what you do!  Thanks, & enjoy!


**P.S.  DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE GIVE-AWAY CONTEST, FOR A FLEXI-CLIP GIFT CERTIFICATE VALUED UP TO $15!  IF YOU HAVE ANY FRIENDS OR FAMILY MEMBERS THAT YOU THINK WOULD ENJOY HAVING A LOVELY HAIR CLIP, OR FOR YOURSELF, PLEASE DON'T HESITATE TO ENTER!**

The Imperfect Housewife

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Give-Away Reminder

     Hi!  I wanted to remind everyone of the blessed give-away contest I'm allowed to host!  Miss Gail @ The Imperfect Housewife is giving away 1 Lilla Rose Flexi-Clip gift certificate, valued up to $15, to one of my readers!
     Remember, you must come back here and post on the announcing post's comment page, to let me know which entries you're doing.  I don't want anyone to miss out!  I have loved mine (wearing it now as I type), and am excited for whoever the blessed gal will be!
     I'm joining Raising Homemakers today for their Wednesday link-up, sharing the good news with the ladies over there.  Why don't you check out that lovely site, and see what everyone else is sharing, too?  Blessings, friends!

Clicking on this picture of me wearing my Flexi-Clip will take you to the give-away announcement post!



Some Exciting News!

     A couple weeks ago, my dear friend, Gail, from The Imperfect Housewife, contacted me.  She is now a Lilla Rose consultant.  She wanted to give me a present from them.  :)
     For some of you unfamiliar with Lilla Rose, they are a wonderful company full of lovely hair products!  I personally enjoy their flexi-clips.  My friend, Gail, was ever so kind to give me one!
     Last week, to my delight, as I opened my mail there was a package from Lilla Rose!  I almost did a happy-dance outside...So, I waited until inside and in my bathroom.  :)  She left it a surprise as to which one she was sending me.  When I saw the one she picked, I was thoroughly pleased!
     I have been trying it out ever since.  The very night I was able to take a picture of it in my hair.  The rest of the time I've been trying out different techniques; some, as I go, some, from the site.  Dear enjoys seeing it in my hair...Therefore, I've been hinting at going over to their site for any *ahem* presents he might enjoy seeing me have.  :)


     One of the things I love about the flexi-clip is that it is so easy to use, yet so elegant!  You can make any up-do or ponytail look lovely!  They come in different sizes, for different hair types, or for different things you want to do with your hair.  They have all sorts of styles, and other hair things other than the flexi-clip:  hair pins, hair sticks, hair bands, and even some jewelry!
     What I also enjoy about Lilla Rose is that they aren't too expensive.  Mine only cost $14!  This clip is sturdy, too.  You'll get your money's worth out of these products!
     Isn't receiving non-junk mail fun?  Especially when it's from those you love, things you love, and from folks that love you back!  She is such a good friend!
     She also wanted to be a good friend another way--giving away another flexi-clip, but this time to one of my readers!  Now, isn't that wonderful, or what?  I'm so excited for you!
     Here is what you'll be getting:  A flexi-clip gift certificate, valued up to $15, if you win!  You will be thrilled to get one of them!
      Here is how you can enter:
  1. WORTH ONE ENTRY:  Become a "follower" of my blog.  Over on the right-hand side of my site, there is a button under "Family, Friends, & Acquaintances--All Are Welcome!" that says "Join This Site."  Click on that link to join, if you haven't already.  If you already are following my blog, please leave a comment stating such.
  2. WORTH ONE ENTRY:  Become a "follower" of Gail's blog, The Imperfect Housewife.  Come back and tell me, (I will check to verify).  If you already follow her blog, please simply state it in your comment.
  3. WORTH ONE ENTRY:  Go to Gail's Lilla Rose page on Facebook to "like" it.  Come back and let me know.  :)
  4. WORTH ONE ENTRY:  Share my button, located on the right of my blog's page under "Free To Share!" on your site.  If you do so, please come back and let me know, along with a link for it so I can go see!
  5. WORTH ONE ENTRY:  Share Gail's button, over at The Imperfect Housewife, on your site.  If you do so, please come back and let me know, along with a link for it so I can see.
  6. WORTH THREE ENTRIES:  Share on Facebook and Twitter this give-away!  Please share the link for this blog post, so as I can go on Facebook and verify that you shared it.  If you share on Twitter, share the link, and use the code #moldingintoalady at the end of your post.  Come back and leave a comment for EACH/EITHER method you employed.
  7. WORTH FIVE ENTRIES:  Blog about it!  Share the link to my site, as well as a link to Gail's Lilla Rose FB page.  If you blog about it, please come back and not only comment that you did so, but share the link to it.  :)
  8. WORTH FIVE ENTRIES:  Go to her Lilla Rose website, and look over all the flexi-clips.  Be sure to watch the styling video, to get ideas of how you can use it in your hair.  After you have figured out your size of flexi-clip as well as style you want, come back and let me know!  Leave a comment telling me which one you most liked.  :)
  9. WORTH FIFTEEN ENTRIES:  If in the course of this give-away you go to her Lilla Rose website and order something from her site, you will earn fifteen extra entries!  Just let me know if you did so, and I will verify with Gail.
**FOR EACH ENTRY, PLEASE LEAVE ONE COMMENT.  LEAVE ONE COMMENT FOR THOSE SPECIAL ENTRIES THAT EARN YOU 5+ ENTRIES AT ONCE.  JUST LET ME KNOW FOR WHICH ENTRY YOU ARE POSTING.  I CANNOT COUNT INCOMPLETE ENTRIES.  I WILL BE USING A RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR TO PICK THE WINNER AT THE END OF THE GIVE-AWAY CONTEST.  THANKS!**

     There you have it!  36 entry possibilities!  The winner will be announced a week from today.  I'm so excited for you!  :)  Now, I leave you with lovely photos of various hair styling ways with different flexi-clips & other products from Lilla Rose.







Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Really Cheesy Alfredo Roast Tip Penne Regato

     So, I was perplexed of what to do with my leftover roast meat and some soon-to-be-retired tomatoes.  Since I was craving homemade alfredo sauce, I decided to create something.  Something magnificent.
     I couldn't just keep this home-made recipe to myself!  I wanted to share it with you all...So, here it is:

Renee's Really Cheesy Alfredo Roast Tip Penne Regato

(Sauce)
1/2 stick unsalted butter
4 - 6 cloves pressed garlic
8 oz. bag of Italian Blend Cheese
5 oz. container of Romano & Parmesan Blend cheese
1 1/2 cups raw milk (or you can use heavy cream instead)
Generous sprinkling of parsley

(Rest of Recipe)
1/2 lb. lightly seasoned leftover New York Roast, chopped
Generous sprinkling of Italian Seasoning (or make your own)
2 Tbs. olive oil
4 - 6 cloves pressed garlic
2 ripe beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
Sprinkling of salt
1 box of penne regato pasta

In a saucepan, I melted the butter in with the milk and garlic, on low-medium low heat.  While that was melting, I added the chopped meat with the oil and garlic in a large frying pan.  I kept it on medium.  Once the butter was melted in the milk, I let it cook on medium-low for about five minutes.   I added the tomatoes and onions to the steak, as well as the rest of the seasonings.  I cooked the pasta according to box directions.  I let it cook on medium, watching to stir it to cook thoroughly and not stick.  Once the sauce had cooked for about five minutes on medium-low, I added all the cheese and parsley, stirring it in thoroughly.  To get the cheese the blend well with the milk, I used a fork to fold it in while it cooked.  I turned the heat down on the steak concoction to low, while I focused on the sauce.  Once the sauce was well blended, I added the steak and sauce to the pasta--YUM!  It goes great with garlic bread.  :)


  The Imperfect Housewife






Wednesday, December 21, 2011

W.o.W. Wednesday!

     As I have been reminded of the frailty of life this past week, and how blessed we are by God to be spared for each and every day we are on this lowly plain, I appreciate this song written by this man.  It reminds me of how precious each moment is, and how loving my Saviour is to have bestowed Himself to me.  Tell me, do you know Him as your Saviour?

WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY?
Elisha A. Hoffman (1839 - 1929)

Where will you spend eternity?
This question comes to you and me!
Tell me, what shall your answer be?
Where will you spend eternity?
Eternity! eternity!
Where will you spend eternity?

Many are choosing Christ today,
Turning from all their sins away;
Heav’n shall their happy portion be;
Where will you spend eternity?
Eternity! eternity!
Where will you spend eternity?

Leaving the straight and narrow way,
Going the downward road today,
Sad will their final ending be,
Lost thro’ a long eternity!
Eternity! eternity!
Lost thro’ a long eternity!

Repent, believe, this very hour,
Trust in the Savior’s grace and power,
Then will your joyous answer be,
Saved thro’ a long eternity!
Eternity! eternity!
Saved thro’ a long eternity!



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday Prayer Day

     Hi, folks!  Yes, I'm a day late.  However, it's still important to me!  :)
     Though I missed "Monday Prayer Day" by a day, I still would love to pray for you and with you.  I would also like to ask for your prayers!  Won't you join me in beseeching the Lord on the behalf of one another?
     This week, I would like to ask prayer for some folks I love.  They have some loved ones that are greatly struggling in health, and may soon be seeing our Saviour.  Though they are comforted in Him, nevertheless it is a difficult time.  Thank you!
     As always, please feel free to visit my friend, Gail, over at her site, where she hosts the Prayer Link-Up.  I know she'll faithfully pray for you, and be grateful for the opportunity.  God bless you!


P.S.  If you're skeptical regarding prayer, you needn't be.  These past few weeks since I've been more diligent in prayer, as well as seeking prayer from others (including you, dear Gail!), I have seen MANY answers to prayer requests!

Keeper At Home Temptations, Part 6




KAH TEMPTATIONS, PART 6:  MISPLACED PRIORITIES

            Being a keeper at home brings many benefits.  I even believe it brings many luxuries.  What kind of benefits and luxuries could I be speaking of?
            For starters, I get to set my own schedule.  I am not required to subject myself unto another human lord, save my husband.  Dear is a rather gracious and merciful lord, so he allows me the freedom to function as best suits me, (so long as my duties are getting done).  He also has given me much liberty in assisting with others, or visiting others.  He knows I generally like people.  ;)
            Being a keeper at home is only having two people to whom I must answer.  I used to have many bosses; now, I only have two:  God and Dear.  It creates much more peace in the home.
            One of the luxuries of being a keeper at home is being free.  I am free to visit folks, free to run errands, free to sleep in, free from worldly dress codes, free to enjoy life!  I am free to function in the role God created for me.  Yes, a luxury indeed!
            However, along with that freedom comes discipline.  I must be disciplined to use my freedom not unto sinfulness, but unto godliness.  Therefore, I must employ definitive boundaries.
            An example is this:  It is extremely easy for me to lazily go about my day.  Unfortunately for me, when I do things in that nature, they are not accomplished.  Then, Dear comes home to his poor steward of a wife.  He has been working hard all day, so that I can stay home, and I have wasted my time.
            Another one:  It is easy to go and do anything else than stay at home.  Visiting friends, shopping, running errands, visiting family…All things that are in and of themselves nothing wrong.  However, when they supplement my duties at home, it is wrong.  I should wait to do those things after meeting my first priority:  my home.
            Also, as a woman, especially one without children, it is easy for me to have the desire to meet needs/wants of others.  While Dear is at work, and sometimes when he is home, I have been called upon to assist in some way. 
            When those calls come, I must ask myself, “Have I taken care of those things pertaining to my first ministry—my home?”  If I cannot answer with a definite “Yes,” then I must decline.
            Emergencies arise.  When they do, Dear has allowed me to help in those times of need.  However, if it is not an emergency, then I must allow the Lord to let another soul be a blessing in that request.  If I neglect my family for the sake of another person, shame on me.
            It is easy to do, though.  It is also easy to look for things to do that are outside my domain, to keep me occupied elsewhere.  However, it is amazing to know that if I simply ask the Lord to show me what He wants me to do to take care of my family, He will show me.  He will not give me an answer contrary to His will.  J
            Of course, God always comes first, then my family (Dear, currently).  There are many days I do not treat Him as such—doing chores, running out for an errand, helping others, etc., before even spending time with Him in prayer and reading.  Nevertheless, first He is and first He must be, in order that my life be in order.
            Once everything is in order, namely spending time with God at the beginning of my day, everything else has a good tendency toward right prioritization.  I will take care of my home, (which includes God, Dear, and any future children), my main ministry in life.  Then I can focus on other things/people that God has given me in this life in which/to which to minister.  When things are in order and not chaotic, peace ensues.
            So, as a keeper at home, I must avoid the dangerous pitfalls of not being properly disciplined to the priorities in my life.  If I am not practicing godly discipline day by day, I will become frustrated and endure great stress.  Instead of enjoying the peaceful bliss of living in the perfect will of God, I will suffer in the correction of being outside His perfect will.
            Being properly disciplined to my priorities will also encourage proper boundaries.  I will know when and how I can assist others, enjoy leisurely activities, etc., when I am following God’s will for my life:

  1. Daughter of God
  2. Wife of Dear
  3. Mother of dearies (maybe one day)
  4. Daughter to parents
  5. Sister to siblings
  6. Church member
  7. Member of society
  8. __________Fill-in-the-blank

I need to always be walking circumspectly.  I need to use my position as a glory to God, and as a crown unto my husband.  I needn’t allow the “needs,” or wants, of others (including myself), to override my clearly established priorities.  I need to keep the right disciplines and boundaries in my life to protect me from trying to meet everyone’s needs/wants.  It is a pitfall easy in which to succumb, if not always on guard for the subtleties of Satan, the flesh, and this world.

PROVERBS 31—A GOOD, GODLY EXAMPLE
  10Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
   11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
   12She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
   13She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
   14She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
   15She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
   16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
   17She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
   18She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
   19She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
   20She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
   21She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
   22She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
   23Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
   24She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
   25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
   26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
   27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
   28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
   29Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
   30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
   31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
            It isn’t wrong to help others, but just like with the woman mentioned in Proverbs 31, she helped after meeting the needs of her family.  She wasn’t being ungodly.  She was simply keeping her priorities in place.  It is better to pray for someone’s needs, than to go and try to meet their needs while your family is neglected. 

SOME WAYS TO AVOID MISPLACING PRIORITIES

  1. Pray!  Seek the Lord in prayer, and in His Word.  He has many encouraging words to say to us, if we would but listen.  J  “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”—Psalm 119:105
  2. Go to your husband, and share with him your struggles.  He is there to help you, guide you, provide for you, protect you, and so much more!  I know that men aren’t perfect, just like women aren’t perfect.  I know that there are unsaved men, just like there are unsaved women.  Nevertheless, if you have a man following the Lord, take advantage of what the Lord has given you in him!  If you don’t, then pray for him, and lean upon the Lord.  Look within your church for a godly lady mentor, and definitely speak with your pastor for counseling.  “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding will attain unto wise counsels:”—Proverbs 1:5
  3. Read!  Study the word of God.  Whatever ails you, read up on it in Scripture.  If you haven’t a concordance at home, or one that isn’t very thorough, there is a free downloadable one @ www.e-sword.net.  We have it on our computer, and it is a GREAT help!  “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”—2 Timothy 2:15 
  4. Take action!  I know it’s easier said than done, but find ways in which to keep yourself at home, taking care of your family’s needs, first.  Then, others’ needs/wants can come…Including our own selves.  Christ’s example to us is putting others before Himself, and He asks us to do the same.  I am selfish by nature, and it is a daily process to put others before me.  However, as I daily seek His grace, and put it to good use, I can stand back and be amazed at what He does through me!  “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”—John 14:15

Thursday, December 8, 2011

2011 December Day Book

     A while back I noticed that a blogging-friend of mine, over at Reflections From A Homemaker's Heart, was doing this marvelous writing.  Particularly, I appreciated the monthly article she did, where she participated in "The Simple Woman's Day Book."  It has intrigued me and caused me to muse much more thoughtfully.  :)  Here's my December Day Book:


Outside My Window:

Are clouds that are filled with the rain necessary to water God’s creation.

I Am Thinking:

Of when my husband will get home—how happy I will be!

I Am Thankful For:

God being in my life!  If He wasn’t, oh, I’d be a mess!

I Am Learning:

Of my total dependence upon the grace of God.  Were it not for Him, I would always fail.

From The Kitchen:

There is silence.  Soon, when Dear comes home, there will be lots of noise!

I Am Wearing:

Hand-me-down clothing that I fully appreciate and enjoy!

I Am Creating:

A peaceful home.

I Am Going:

To church services tonight, and will be praying together with my brethren in Christ to our wonderful Saviour!

I Am Reading:

The newest edition of “Keepers At Home!”

I Am Hoping:

That my speech be always tempered by the Holy Spirit.

I Am Hearing:

My cat, Bubba, snore as he sleeps.


I Am Noticing:

God’s longsuffering ways with me.

I Am Wondering:

When I will be victorious in my current battles.

I Am Realizing:

That God is maturing me.

Pondering These Words:

Venting & Gossip

Around The House:

Are items given to us by the grace of God.

One Of My Favorite Things:

To do is sing in the car with my husband!

A Few Plans For The Week:

Write more articles for my blog, clean at my friend’s home, attend church services, pray much, spend precious time with Dear, and do some much needed Bible studies.

Here Is A Picture Thought I Am Sharing:



Thessalonian Testimony




“And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:  So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.  For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-word is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.  For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God…”
1 Thessalonians 1:6-9
           
            This morning I started my devotions in 1 Thessalonians.  I read through chapter one, taking notes as I read.  And, as I read and took notes, I mused upon what the Lord was saying.
            I was struck by what the Lord said through Paul in that first chapter.  Their testimony to others awed me.   Their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and their wholeheartedness in receiving and living out the Gospel message so moved me that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it all day.
            As a Christian woman, I pray that my testimony in the Lord would be beneficial as the testimony of the Thessalonians was.  I pray that when people see me, or hear me speak, they would think of Christ.
            I pray that my husband would be blessed of the Lord through me with a faith that encourages him in his walk with Christ.  I pray that if we ever have children, that the faith through Jesus Christ in my life would motivate them to be all they can be for Him.  I pray that His work in my life would be a blessing to all around me.
            Today, I am seeking to embrace all that Christ would have me embrace, and shun all that He desires me to shun.  I do not want to allow sin to drag me down or away from a close walk with my Lord.  I pray it would be a catalyst unto holiness, not a catalyst unto worldliness.
            Every avenue of my life can be spruced up to be what the Lord would have it be.  From my attitude, my actions, my thoughts, my speech—they all can reflect that great salvation given me through Christ.  They can reflect His grace in my life.  They can reflect Him.
I am looking forward to seeing what else the Lord says in the rest of 1 Thessalonians.  I have read this book many times, but I am purposing to slow down and take it all in.  I have been doing more of slowing down in my reading, and have found it very beneficial.  I am able to muse more upon His words, and find true applications and understanding. 
So, as I continue on in my studies, I will be seeking those ways in which I can be more molded and fashioned to be like His precious Son, my darling Saviour.  I will seek God’s grace more, be more disciplined, and yield much more to Christ; all so that His light would shine through me clearer, and folks will see Him rather than me.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

W.o.W. Wednesday!

"When the plainest sense makes common sense, seek no other sense, or it all becomes nonsense."
Unknown

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Prayer Day

Hey everyone!  Today has been such a beautiful day!

     Today I am supremely thankful for my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  He is always showing me how very much He cares for me.  I am learning to simply rest in His care, and trust Him rather than myself.
     Though I am being disciplined to trust and obey, it never hurts to ask for prayer!  So, today I am asking prayer for my continual "obedience training."  :)  I appreciate all who are able to pray for me!
     If you have anything for which you would like me to pray, please leave me a comment.  Also, since this my friend, Gail, is hosting this ministry (I like promoting it), please go visit her site and leave any requests for prayer.  Know that there is someone praying for you!
 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Studying Alone With God




            I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate studying the Bible with Dear.  He is such a great teacher to me.  He is a good counselor, too.  However, there are those times when he is unavailable, or those times that I simply need to have private time with God. 
            Those private times with God, where I study alone without the aid of my husband or any other teacher, are such special times.  I seek to have private times with Him every day; simply reading His Word.  Those other times, where I purpose to study His Word to understand something, are very precious.  I always leave those moments stronger in my faith, understanding, and trust in God.
            Recently I read the book of Colossians.  There were some questions I had pertaining to some of its verses, so I decided to read the whole book to receive the entire context.  Reading the entire book, with the context, has cemented in my heart and mind the understanding I needed, thus enabling me with the strength and boldness I need in my walk with the Lord.
            As I shared my notes over the reading I had with the book of James, so do I here with the notes I took with this book.  Again, reading the book in its entirety, coupled with the whole counsel of God’s word, has born a precious gift of understanding that is priceless! 

COLOSSIANS

            A.        CHAPTER 1

1.         Paul blessed the Colossians and thanked God for their faith. (v.1-3)

2.         Paul told them how they always prayed for them, seeking their growth in the faith of Jesus Christ. (v.3-12)

3.         Paul reminded them of the precious gifts that came alongside the wonderful gift of salvation. (v.13-23)

4.         Paul reminded them of his calling in the Lord, his ministry in the Lord, and the preaching of the Lord. (v.23-29)

            B.        CHAPTER 2-4:6

1.         Paul told them of the great conflict he had for them and the Laodiceans, so that they would be comforted with the “full assurance of understanding” in Christ Jesus, and how he wanted to see them established in their faith, not smooth words. (v.2:1-8)

2.         Paul reminded them that their completeness was in Christ Jesus, not the vain traditions of men, religion, or the law.  They were not to uphold any ceremonies, observe any holy days and/or Sabbath days, observe any special diets, observe any special worship, in order to gain the favor of God.  All believers became free through Christ from those rudiments of the world.  (v.9-23)

3.         Paul expounded to the Colossians about true holy living, and about the equality found in Christ—that no one race of people was better than another.  He told them of the old ways to avoid, and the new ways in which to follow. (v.3:1-4:6)

            C.        CHAPTER 4:7-18

                        1.         Paul shared salutations and commendations. (v.7-15, 17, 18)

2.         Paul told them to share this letter with the Laodiceans, and to read their letter. (v.16)
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