Sunday, September 17, 2023

Sunday Scripture


Here's another in my most recent Sunday Scripture series.  I've been posting about my simple study of a little devotional journal titled Reflections: The Woman God Sees., by Jane L. Fryar.   This was a journal my dear young friends Sam and Jennifer gave me as part of a set for a gift one year.  It has a daily devotional one works through -- I think around a month's worth.  It was a blessing to me when I worked through it, so I've been sharing my study here.

For this week, the featured passage was Nehemiah 1:11.  The devotional pointed out: "In Jesus, you are the subject of God's limitless forgiveness and love.  He delights in you!"  The question was asked:  "In what ways does recognizing these truths broaden, widen, and deepen your prayers?"  I chose to SOAP Nehemiah 1:11 as I considered this question.

S= "O Lord, I beseech Thee, let now Thine ear be attentive to the prayer of Thy servant, and to the prayer of Thy servants, who delight to fear Thy name."  (Nehemiah 1:11) 

O= C.I. Scofield titles this verse: "Nehemiah beseeches the LORD for favor before the king."  

Concerning the word "fear" in "fear Your name",  Scofield explains, 

"The fear of the LORD' is an Old Testament expression meaning reverential trust, including the hatred of evil."

Nehemiah prays: 

🌿That the Lord's ear would be attentive to the prayer of his servant -- Nehemiah himself.
🌿That the Lord's ear would be attentive to the prayer of His servants who delight to fear His name -- that is, the children of Israel (verse 6) in addition to Nehemiah
🌿That God would prosper His servant Nehemiah
🌿That God would grant Nehemiah mercy in the sight of the king.

And he adds: "For I was the king's cupbearer."  We know this was Nehemiah's job -- to taste the wine before the king raised it to his own lips.

Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary gives us this definition: "One who tasted and served wine to the king.  Ancient kings had to be very cautious about what they ate and drank.  They used trusted servants to taste everything before they consumed it.  If the servant lived or did not get sick, the king and queen then ate or drank.  Nehemiah held this highly trusted position under King Artaxerxes."

Cross-references for "cupbearer" -- 

"Wine was before [Artaxerxes, the king] ... and I took up the wine, and gave it to the king."  (Nehemiah 2:1)

"And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built, and the food of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, his cupbearers also, and their apparel, and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the LORD, there was no more spirit in her."  (2 Chronicles 9:3-4)

A= Jesus' limitless forgiveness means that I can confess sin to Him whenever I become conscious of it.  It means I can "keep short accounts" with Him.

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  (1 John 1:9)

Thus, I may come before Him at any time of need, shooting "arrow prayers" heavenward as Nehemiah did.

His limitless love means that He will answer my prayers in the way that will be the very best for me and/or the situation I am praying for.  There may be times when the things I ask for are not His perfect will for me.  I can trust Him to do what is best in every situation.  Our heavenly Father will "give good things to them that ask Him" (Matthew 7:11)!

"And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us;  And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him."  (1 John 5:14-15)

Someone has written: "Thou art coming to a King; large petitions with thee bring."

P= "Lord, I praise You so much that I may come before You in prayer at any time of need, just as Nehemiah did in this account.  I am so thankful that Your ear is always attentive to my prayer, and that Your limitless love assures You will always answer my prayers in the way that is best.  I can trust You to do what's best in each and every situation I face.  What a comfort!  I praise You in Jesus' name, Amen."

There is the Scripture Sunday for this week!

Monday, September 11, 2023

Happy Homemaker Monday


Once again this Monday, I'm taking time to join Sandra for this link party over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

The Weather:::

Showery.  It's currently 67º and cloudy, no wind, humidity 95%.  Rain seems to be in the forecast for the next four days.

As I look outside my window:::

Everything is still quite lush and green.  Some leaves, though, particularly on a maple tree outside my window, are looking shriveled and unhealthy.  Not sure what that's a result of, maybe a late frost we had in early summer.  Or something else.

It seems that they are just going to fall off rather than turn color.  And all the rain has been knocking them off.  Thankfully, not all the maples are affected, just some of them.

Right now I am:::

 Working on a blog post.  Coughing a lot as I've been battling some type of cold for over a week.
Thinking and pondering:::
About the events of September 11, 2001.  Here's a link to a post I wrote in 2017 about that event: A prayer for hope and healing.  Here's just one snippet of my thoughts from that day:

"At that moment I just remember being overwhelmingly thankful that I know the God of the universe, and that all events are under His sovereign control -- even when they appear out of control. I remember thanking God that even though these events were a terrible shock to us, that they were no surprise to Him, and that somehow, in some way, He would bring good out of this national tragedy. I found that He increased my faith during those dark days, and I trust that others experienced this also."
And honestly, may He continue to increase our faith.  The days we are currently experiencing are no less dark. 
Beautiful graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings

On my bedside table::: 

 A lamp, three books,  a pen and a jar of lavender-infused oil for helping with insect bites.

 Listening to::: 

Rain falling lightly.

On the Breakfast plate:::

I do intermittent fasting so don't have breakfast.  Lunch will be a salad with cubes of ham and cheese in  addition to leaf lettuce and some banana peppers.

On the dinner plate::: 

Still trying to figure that out. 
On the menu for this week::: 

I usually plan my menus from Thursday to Thursday, and grocery shop on Friday morning.  A few meals on my menu plan:

Egg bake
Chicken Divan
Egg Roll in a Bowl
On my reading pile:::
Holy Hygge by Jamie Erickson
Own Your Life, by Sally Clarkson 
A Step Farther and Higher, by Gail MacDonald
High Call, High Privilege, also by Gail MacDonald
On my to do list today:::
Work on blog posts
Etsy listings
Work on Sunday School lesson 12
Scrub stove top

Plans for this week:::

Plan menus and make grocery list
List some notions, patterns, cards, and kids' books on Etsy
Take a bag to the thrift store
Work on my Sunday School lessons
Clean fridge
Scrub tub and shower; clean tub mat and shower curtain
What I am creating:::
January cross-stitch sampler
Some "condensation catchers" out of old towels to place behind toilets that sweat in the humidity -- no, I still haven't finished started those! 😕
Need to start a pillow quilt for a granddaughter's gift
Bible verse, Devotional, Quote:::
 “We are always living on the edge of disaster, change, shock, or attack.  Peace, and the affluence to enjoy that peace, are always a false separation from the reality of the raging battle.” -- Edith Schaeffer, The Tapestry
This quote was shared in my Sunday School lesson yesterday.  How how we tend to forget this!  Our battle is real and we need to be armed and in readiness for it.

On my prayer list:::
Friends & family
Church family
Our country
And there's the Happy Homemaker Monday for this week!

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Sunday Scripture


Here's another in my most recent Sunday Scripture series.  I've been posting about my simple study of a little devotional journal titled Reflections: The Woman God Sees., by Jane L. Fryar -- a journal my dear young friends Sam and Jennifer gifted me.  It has a daily devotional one works through -- I think around a month's worth.  It was a blessing to me when I worked through it, so I I'm sharing here.  Several readers have told me they're enjoying it. 

For this week, the featured passage was 2 Samuel 22:20. The devotional noted, "We can count on [God's] help, because He delights in us!" and posed the question: "How does that truth help you to remain patient, calm, and courageous?"  I chose to SOAP 2 Samuel 22:20 and also to consider Psalm 18:19 as I considered this question.

S= "He brought me forth also into a large place; He delivered me, because He delighted in me."  (2 Samuel 22:20)

O= C.I. Scofield titles 2 Samuel 22  "David's song of deliverance."  If we look back at verse 1 of this chapter we see this description: "And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul: And he said ... "  The remainder of David's song is continued in the 50 verses that follow in chapter 22 of 2 Samuel.

The exact same words of 2 Samuel 22:20 are recorded in Psalm 18:19.  Scofield titles Psalm 18 "Praise to the God who delivers His own".  

The Bible's actual, lengthy title for Psalm 18 is "A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spoke unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.  And he said ...". The 50 verses of Psalm 18 are then recorded.

In 2 Samuel 22:20, the cross-reference for "large place" is Psalm 118:5 -- "I called upon the LORD in distress; the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place." 

The above verse is also used as a cross-reference for "He brought me forth also".  As is 

Psalm 31:7-8 -- "I will be glad and rejoice in Thy mercy; for Thou hast considered my trouble; Thou hast known my soul in adversities. And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy.  Thou hast set my feet in a large room."

A= In answer to the question posed above: "How does that truth help you to remain patient, calm, and courageous?" I included a few Scripture verses along with my answers.  I wrote, 

We can remain patient, because we know that God will act.  He will deliver us in His perfect timing.  

"Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass." (Psalm 37:7)

We can be calm because we know that help is available and on the way.  We can pray, and leave it in His hands, and not panic.  

"He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.  Then are they glad because they are quiet; so He bringeth them into their desired haven."  (Psalm 107:29-30)

We can be courageous because we know that God is with us in our difficulty and will fight for us. 

"Be strong, and of good courage ... for the LORD thy God, He it is who doth go with thee." (Deuteronomy 31:6)

P= "Lord, I praise You so much for the infallibility of Your Word.  It is such a blessing to be able to read how You have worked in the lives of Your people through the centuries and how You have answered prayer.  As I see how David cried out to You, and how You answered his prayer, I know that You will do the same for me.  I can count on Your help, so I can remain patient, calm, and courageous -- even in trials.  I praise You in Jesus' name, Amen."

There is the Sunday Scripture for this week!  I hope it was a blessing.



Wednesday, September 06, 2023

A Hodgepodge for the books


So it's Wednesday again, and that means it's time for the Hodgepodge -- the linkup where Joyce, at  From This Side of the Pond, asks the questions and bloggers provide the answers on their own blogs.  Life has been very busy and I was actually a bit relieved that there was no Hodgepodge last week.   Even though I really don't have time to write one today, I could quickly think of answers to these questions, so here goes: 

1. It's National Read A Book Day...whatcha' reading? What's a book you want to read? 

We like to read in the car -- that is, I read while my hubby drives.  For what seems like months now we have been reading The Real Anthony Fauci, by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.  We are finding it takes a long time to digest all of the information -- we are still only on chapter 8 out of 12.  It is truly sickening and so well documented you know it is absolutely true.  I am so anxious to be finished with this book so we may move on to something more edifying ... I care not what.

When we're home in the evening I tend to read before bed. Both Holy Hygge and Finding a Mentor, Being a Mentor are in my current reading pile.  At the camp I am reading High Call, High Privilege by Gail MacDonald.

2. Which is better...having high expectations or low expectations? Explain why. 

I think it's fine to have reasonably high expectations for ourselves -- we need to have standards and strive for excellence as believers -- but I think it's better to have low expectations for others and low expectations of life experiences.  People will let us down every time (though God never will) so I don't say to expect the worst, but, as Andy Griffith once said in an episode involving a blind date, "Just don't overexpect."  If you pin all your best hopes on a person or a situation, you are bound to be disappointed.

3. Serenity is________________________. 

Resting in God's sovereign care no matter how challenging the situation.   Remembering what I know to be true about my God helps immensely.  And I highly recommend the book below.  (Also, see #5 below for a related answer to a similar question.

4. What's  the most interesting thing in your purse or pocket right now? 

Probably a handmade tissue holder.   Interested in making one?  They're easy.  Go here.

5. What helps you calm down? 

Reading the Psalms.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Yesterday morning, I watched a lady steal a pumpkin from outside of Market Basket.  She zipped into a parking place and exited her car, leaving the door open and striding briskly toward the store entrance.  I watched, ready to open my car door and call out that she'd forgotten to close her door -- which, I now realize, was the back door.  And continued to watch incredulously as she selected a pumpkin, returned to her car and popped it into the back seat.  And then calmly got into the driver's seat and drove away.  All for a $5.99 pumpkin!

I still haven't completely gotten over this experience.  She made no effort to hide what she was doing or to appear inconspicuous in any way.  Instead, she was dressed like Mother Goose, or possibly as a docent for some living history museum.  She had a table strapped upside down to the top of her vehicle.  And yes, I did get her license plate number, for anyone who might need it.  I wish I had gotten her photo -- or better yet, a video -- but  no doubt the security cameras did.

And there's the Wednesday Hodgepodge for this week!

Sunday, September 03, 2023

Sunday Scripture


Here's another in my most recent Sunday Scripture series.  I've been posting about my simple study of a little devotional journal titled Reflections: The Woman God Sees., by Jane L. Fryar.   This was a journal my dear young friends Sam and Jennifer gave me as part of a set for a gift one year.  It has a daily devotional one works through -- I think around a month's worth.  It was a blessing to me when I worked through it, so I thought I would share here.

For this week, the featured passage was Psalm 37:3-4. The questions were asked:  "Which would you rather have from your Savior: The things your heart desires?  Or the desires He most wants you to have?  Why?"  I chose to SOAP Psalm 37:3-4 as I considered these questions.

S= "Trust in the LORD, and do good: So shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

"Delight thyself also in the LORD, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart."  (Psalm 37:3-4)

O=  Psalm 37 is a Psalm of David.  C.I. Scofield titles it "Trust in the LORD".  

There seem to be conditions here which, if they are met, certain things will result.

IF (or maybe SINCE) we trust in the LORD, and do good, THEN we will dwell in the land, and we will be fed. (verse 3)

IF (or SINCE) we delight ourselves in the LORD, He will give us the desires of our hearts.  (verse 4)

Concerning verse 3, Charles Spurgeon writes: "In 'the land which floweth with milk and honey'; the Canaan of the covenant.  Thou shalt not wander in the wilderness of murmuring, but abide in the promised land of content and rest.  'And verily thou shalt be fed', or shepherded ... The good shepherd will exercise His pastoral care over all believers.  In truth they shall be fed, and fed on truth."

Concerning verse 4, Spurgeon says, "A pleasant duty is here rewarded with another pleasure.  Men who delight in God ask for nothing but what will please God; hence it is safe to give them carte blanche.  Their will is subdued to God's will, and now they may have what they will.  Our innermost desires are here meant, not our casual wishes; .... these deep, prayerful, asking desires are those to which the promise is made."

A cross-reference for "trust in the LORD" (i.e. faith) is Psalm 84:12 -- "O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man who trusteth in Thee."

A cross-reference for "Delight thyself also in the LORD" is Isaiah 58:14 -- "Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob, thy father; for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."

Cross-references for "desires of thine heart" include 

Psalm 145:18-19 -- "The LORD is near unto all those who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.  He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry, and will save them."


Matthew 7:7-8 -- "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened."

A= In answer to the question about which I would rather have from my Savior -- the things my heart desires, or the desires He most wants me to have -- and why, here is what I wrote:

"I would rather have the desires that my Savior wants me to have.  He made me and fashioned me.  He knows me inside and out, far better than I know myself.  He absolutely knows what is best for me, and I thank and praise Him for all of the good gifts that He gives (even those that have come disguised as trials), and for all that He is to me."

This little study brought back part of a chorus from my days teaching at a Christian school:

"Let the LORD be your delight;
Delight in Him both day and night.
Praise the Name you have confessed;
Commit, and trust, delight and rest."

P= "Lord, I thank and praise You that when I delight myself in You and all that You are, You give me the desires of my heart ... the desires that You want me to have.  I praise You that You know, far better than I do, what is best for me.  You know me inside and out, far better than I will ever know myself, so I can trust You to do what is best for me.  I praise You for all of this in Jesus' name, Amen."

There is the Sunday Scripture for this week!  I hope it was a blessing.

Saturday, September 02, 2023

First Friday in September


What a wonderful start to our day as we took time to build, and sit by, a morning campfire at our little cottage!  Nearly always, we have some sort of time constraint for getting back home after spending the night at the camp.  

But on Friday mornings, that's seldom the case, so typically we've been doing our grocery shopping around 8 am on Friday.  This week, we had done the shopping on Thursday.   And that evening as we sat by the fire, my hubby suggested that we ought to build a campfire in the morning, and enjoy our time with the Lord out there.  

Friday dawned clear, crisp, and beautiful.  That's not anything we take for granted these days!  There has been so much rain.

My hubby lost no time in building a fire.  Soon we were sitting beside it, devotional materials and mugs of hot coffee in hand.

What a beautiful way to start our Friday, as well as the month of September!

We decided that this will be our new tradition for Friday mornings throughout September and October, any Friday that the weather cooperates with us.  It's a much sweeter start to the day than grocery shopping (which we can easily fit in on a different day).  Wouldn't you agree?

Friday, September 01, 2023

Some September goals


Ah .... it's September!  Time to turn the calendar page!  Today is a gorgeous crisp sunny morning, and we began the month with a morning campfire at our little cottage.  Coffee and devotions by the fire in the morning; what could possibly be a better start to the day?  Here are a few goals for September:

* Keep up with Flylady's homemaking zones of the week
* Continue working through the "Make Room Challenge" from Make Room for What You Love
* Post in this blog as often as possible -- hopefully several times per week
* Continue planning for family birthday gifts and crafting any handmade ones
* Stay at our little camp as often as possible
* Volunteer at The Wilds of New England as we are needed
* Go out to lunch with my hubby
* Have friends over for lunch after church
* Join friends for dinner on Saturday evening
* Prepare food to share at above, plus food for Sunday's fellowship dinner
* Craft some homemade Christmas gifts and decorations (yes, even now!)
* Do some sewing projects ( a few more sachets to stave off musty odors) for the cottage
* Do a couple cleaning/painting projects at the cottage
* Sew 2 pillow quilts for youngest granddaughters
* Spend a little time on some UFO craft projects
* Continue decluttering the entire house, zone by zone
* Take a short getaway with my hubby
* With my hubby, set some goals for the rest of 2023
* Host a church missions team meeting at our cottage
* Have friends over for the day on Labor Day
* Continue stocking my Etsy shop and continue selling vintage items
* Finish up my trust responsibilities
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family
* Help and encourage my local daughter as I'm able
* Plan meals with a greater emphasis on healthy eating
* Begin a focus on improving my gut health
* Get more serious about Scripture memory
* Prepare and teach a ladies' Sunday School class each week
* Take part in a ladies ministry beginning for our church ladies
* Attend a monthly ladies Bible study at a friend's home
* Attend a ladies retreat at The Wilds of New England with friends from church*
* Attend a one-day senior outing at TWNE*
* Attend a couples retreat at TWNE*
* Get back into our study of the book of Daniel with younger believers
* Continue to help a widowed friend with the challenges of life in general
* Drink enough water each day
* Walk and/or exercise at least 4 times each week

HEALTHY HABITS FOR SEPTEMBER:  Drink more water/get more sleep/get more exercise/intermittent fasting/limit carbs/work on gut health

All that should be more than enough to keep me out of trouble!  Of course, many of these goals are ongoing ones and will not be finished just because August has ended. 

(You can read about the fall retreats at The Wilds of New England here: Fall Retreats.)