Friday, October 30, 2020

Friday five for October 30


 No Friday five last week, no Saturday six, not even a Monday musings post.  No Hodgepodge.  When I finally began to write this, I even optimistically titled it a "midweek" post, but here it is past midweek. In fact, it's Friday again, so ...

Last week was an utterly crazy week and week end.   However, lots of good things happened during that time, so I want to make sure I am taking note of those.  Let's see.  (There just happen to be five of them.)

1) I may have mentioned, but likely not, that since March our church has been sharing its building with another church that meets in the afternoon.  The other church does not yet have its own building and lost its meeting place (a senior center) to covid early on.  No idea at all when, or even if,  they will be able to meet there again.  Anyhow, all of last week, their church, Grace Baptist, had fall meetings with Morris Gleiser.  What a blessing!

 My hubby and I had heard Morris speak at the couples' retreat at The Wilds of New England in 2019, and were so blessed by all that he shared.  Accordingly, we were thrilled to be able to hear him preach again, only 15 minutes from our home, so we were able to get to every service except the Sunday School hour.  He taught on some basic principles of the Christian life, in a way that is anything but basic.  Basic, and yet so many do not practice them: * Following Jesus, and being "all in" for Him; * Being joyful in all things because we learn to be content in all things, worrying about nothing, praying about everything, and thinking biblically; * Discovering and using our spiritual gifts; * Understanding and employing the weapons of our spiritual warfare; * Living out Jesus' priorities.  I wish that I could give more details, as a huge burden on my heart is believers who choose not to grow spiritually.  But if anyone is interested in learning more, let me know in the comments and I will be happy to share my notes.  I was so riveted that my notes aren't as detailed as they might be, but I will share them if anyone's interested.

2) A wonderful ladies' luncheon with Lynn Gleiser as our speaker, on Wednesday of the revival week.  Her topic was The Comfort of Hope, and a very encouraging time it was!  She noted that true biblical hope is rock-solid divine confidence.  Whatever God says will happen, will happen.  We can depend upon it!  She shared three great points: Our reason for hope; Our struggle with hope; and Our ministry of hope.  There was a lot of wonderful information concerning each point.  Again, if anyone is interested, let me know in the comments and I can share my notes with you.

Delightful graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
The ladies brought soups, salads, and breads to share along with some lovely fall desserts.  My friend Patty has one of those nifty gadgets with space for three crockpots, and she had a different soup in each one -- squash, chicken noodle, and a creamy tomato soup that I have got to get the recipe for!

3)  A great day with our friend Terry last Thursday.  My hubby was building a series of steps for her, and as a thank-you Terry made a scrumptious Italian meal for us.  Terry learned how to make sauce from an Italian mother-in-law many decades ago, and her sauce is legendary.  So we had stuffed shells, sauce, and amazing meatballs along with garlic bread.  Oh my, oh my.


4) Great fellowship with our friends Dave and Gina and their daughters on Saturday.  Their youngest daughter is visiting from Arizona and we hadn't seen her in several years.  We enjoy getting together with Dave and Gina for breakfast several times a year, usually at Cracker Barrel or another favorite restaurant.  This time, we decided to just have them all here for brunch. Our daughter Carrie and her three younger kids joined us.  I prepared a hearty breakfast egg bake, a hash brown casserole, and two breakfast pizzas.  Others brought scones, muffins, pastries, and fruit.   

5) More great fellowship at lunch on Sunday with our friends Syd and Cyndy.  Syd was preaching at our church, and we always enjoy time with these dear, old friends with whom we reconnected in 2019.  We had asked our young newlywed friends the Smiths to join us for lunch, and actually ended up with two other college age guests as well.  So much fun around the dining table, and it was really fun to see how God supplied abundant food for the unexpected guests. 

 I had a large meat loaf in one crockpot, and six baked potatoes in the other; Cyndy brought a tossed salad and I'd made a refined-sugar free chocolate cake with peanut butter and maple frosting.  Here is the neat way in which God provided: I'd made an Alfresco Bean Salad for the luncheon on Wednesday.  There was a lot left over, and I'd forgotten about it.  But on the way home from church on Sunday, God jogged my memory.  Now there would be plenty of food for eight!  

But there was more.  In planning Sunday's lunch menu, I hadn't realized that our friend Syd has a sensitivity to peanuts.  God provided an alternative dessert for him in this way: Due to a kitchen disaster, I ran out of time to make a fruit salad on Saturday,  which turned out to be fine since Gina ended up bringing one.  But Sunday morning, since my frozen fruit had been defrosting in the fridge and a can of pineapple chunks was already at hand, I stirred up the fruit salad.  Voila -- an extra dessert was ready and waiting! I love to watch God work in little details like this.  It's such a great reminder of His love and care.

After the young people left, Mr. T and I took Syd and Cyndy over to our little camp to show them around.  They loved the history of the building along with its coziness, and we took a little walk on the property as well.  It was a lovely fall afternoon spent with friends.

So there is my Friday five!  What a blessing to be reminded of God's goodness and generosity toward His children.  

"Great is the LORD; and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable."  (Psalm 145:3)

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Flavor of fall Hodgepodge (with a side of travel)

  Yep, it's Wednesday, so it's time again for the Wednesday Hodgepodge, where Joyce poses the questions and bloggers fill in the answers.  It's great fun and also a good way to come up with an interesting blog post.  If you'd like to join in,  just head over to From This Side of the Pond and get the questions from Joyce, then answer them on your own blog. Here are the questions for this week:

1. Just your weekly mid-week reminder that it's fall y'all and it's my favorite. I love nearly all the flavors of fall but let's weigh in with an either or today...pumpkin or cranberry? hot apple cider or pumpkin spice latte? cinnamon or maple? apple or pear? ginger or sage? carrot or butternut squash? Yes you have to choose. What's a favorite dish made with one of the flavors listed here? 

Either/or -- oh, this will be fun! Fall is my favorite also.  Here are my choices (since I have to choose):

πŸ‚ Cranberry.
πŸ‚ Hot apple cider.
πŸ‚ Maple.
πŸ‚ Apple.
πŸ‚ Sage.
πŸ‚ Butternut squash.

By the way, I'm  not sure when maple became a fall flavor.  I know it's been a few years since I first noticed the phenomenon.  I always think of maple as a spring flavor, since maple syrup is produced in late winter/early spring.  But it surely does taste good with the flavors of fall!

Here is my favorite recipe involving cranberries: Cranberry Coffeecake

And here is one of my favorite recipes involving butternut squash: Hearty Butternut Squash Soup

2. Do you miss traveling? In this season of almost no travel do you think you've grown anxious or fearful about traveling again? Or has all this staying home not going anywhere made you restless to get out and see the world? What book have you read or what movie have you watched that has inspired you to travel? 

I do miss traveling, but we have also done some traveling this summer and fall and have not really felt anxious about it.  In June and July we flew to Utah and embarked on an 8-day tent camping trip with family, spending a second week in Nevada with loved ones.  In September we took a trip up to northern New Hampshire for several days in a cabin.  And  so far in October we took a getaway to another spot in New Hampshire and have also attended a couples' retreat.

Grand Canyon was only one of the places we visited this summer.

At Back Lake in northern New Hampshire

Another view of Back Lake

These photos are from Deering, New Hampshire -- some of the very best foliage viewing in our state.

The traveling that we haven't done involves a train trip we were gifted with.  If Amtrak ever stops requiring masks, we will take that trip.

3. A time you felt like you were 'flying by the seat of your pants'? Explain. 

I've sort of felt like that through this entire covid thing. Regarding so many things.  What to do for church, how to manage without certain ingredients when cooking and baking, how much to see family and friends, the best times to grocery shop, and on and on.

4. Do you struggle with road rage or are you more of a 'Sunday driver'? Do you like to be 'in the driver's seat (literally and/or figuratively speaking) ?

I don't struggle with road rage, although the occasional inconsiderate driver causes me to grit my teeth a bit.  I don't know about where you live, but in our area we frequently see people running red lights.  Of course that is something more than not being considerate.  It's breaking the law and taking a horrible chance.

I tend to be more of a Sunday driver.  I don't drive far and rarely speed.

As for the driver's seat, I feel that God belongs there and not me.

5. Something you've recently 'put the brakes on'? 

Consuming sugar.  Last Saturday we embarked on our second 40-day sugar fast. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

We were blessed today to have lunch with old friends we hadn't seen in three years.  What a blessing to pick up where we left off and to be encouraged as we shared things God has been doing in our lives.

Beautiful graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings

And that's it for this week's Hodgepodge.  Happy Wednesday, everyone!


Monday, October 19, 2020

Fall follies


 Just a random potpourri post of a few fall things.   We'll start with fall cleaning, which I seldom do, preferring to work on cleaning projects all year round, but ...

🍁  As mentioned earlier, I've been so inspired by Becki and her 30 Days to Less over at Field Lilies.  The idea is to get rid of 1 item on Oct. 1, 2 items on Oct. 2, and so on.  One ends up with quite an impressive total if the plan is followed.  Even though I'm not actively participating in the challenge (and will be out of town part of October), I've been decluttering daily and keeping track of items I'm getting rid of.  Here are the stats as of October 17:

Oct. 1 — popsicle stick picture frame
Oct. 2 — bag of clothing left  with us for my daughter’s family (probably 8 or so items in the bag); an extra dictionary taken to our cottage
Oct. 3 — items for thrift store: 1 shirt; 1 pair overalls; 1 denim jacket; 1 dress; 1 jumper; 1 box dryer sheets
Oct. 4 — 6 vintage magazine pages (I brought these home to scan and they’ve been in a pile on my desk.  There are more …); 1 ceramic shade and plate to use with a jar candle — thrift store.
Oct 5 — 6 colorful bandannas I never wear or use; a slip; a couple of detachable lace collars — all these will go to the thrift store.  3 vintage kids’ books on rocks, etc. — took these to our cottage; if kids don’t read them there I will sell on Etsy.)
Oct. 6 — 32 catalogs tossed out; 1 wood burned plaque someone gifted to my hubby (it’ll go to the cottage where it will fit right in with the eclectic camp decor)
Oct.7 — 1 large round basket to the trash, along with maybe 15 or so old, tired kids’ books and a tiny pitcher with no handle.  2 kids’ books and a tiny owl pitcher will be given away.  6 kids’ books will be sold on Etsy, and 5 will go to the cottage.  1 miniature ginger jar and 10 kids’ books are on their way to the thrift store.  

Headed for the cottage ...
Oct. 11 — a favorite calendar page I often used as wall art.  Somehow it got damaged by moisture.  It was in a folder with other printed art that I rotate in and out of frames seasonally.  Others are damaged also but I haven’t yet been able to bring myself to look closely and throw out more.
Oct. 12 — a tired kitchen towel with a strawberry design; 2 pieces of mail I’ve been putting off dealing with and now they’re outdated; a package of construction paper (taking it to the cottage).
Oct. 13 — a book that belongs to someone else to be returned to the owner; a bunch of old sentimental papers from 2010 and earlier — tossed; several catalogs tossed; an old songbook and a Christmas carol book to be sold on Etsy; two old hymnbooks and a school music book to the trash; a nonfiction book headed to the thrift store.
Oct. 15 — To the trash: a broken comb, 3 manuals for hair dryers I no longer own, 2 hairbrushes, 8 worn-out hair elastics, a beaded sun catcher that’s seen better days, a protective quilted sleeve for a curling iron, 2 shower caps with worn out elastic, a plastic barrette, part of a brush, a magnetic bobby pin holder, some sort of oversized white shoelace, a fine-tooth comb, a bundle of hairpins, 1 bottle dried-out nail polish.  To sell on Etsy: 2 vintage Rexall lipsticks, a silver trimmed brush and comb set.
Oct. 16 — to the trash: 2 "home fragrance sachets" that have lost their fragrance, 3 native American dolls (part of my daughter’s childhood doll collection) that had seen far better days; 2 handmade paper tepees, likewise.
Oct. 17 — 13 floppy disks (haven’t had a computer that used them in [gulp!] well over a decade; a Tracfone User Guide, a bunch of defunct computer information; 2 ultra thin business-card size calculators that don’t work.
I had to say goodbye to this beautiful calendar page.  It was stored in a folder but somehow got damaged.  The tag, made by a friend, was safe since it was on my wall.

 More to come!  I'm thinking I might just keep this up every month!

🍁  All manner of leafy fall fun has been happening over at our little camp.  Josiah and Arielle came over and raked leaves into huge heaps.  The first day, this happened:

The next day, they raked an even bigger pile of leaves, with the idea that Grampa could jump in it.  Those of you who follow @lifeonabackroad on Instagram know that he did! 😁

 In the process of raking that pile, Josiah found a frog!  As you can see (maybe!) this frog had the perfect camouflage for hiding in a pile of leaves, but Josiah managed to coax him out so he wouldn't get jumped on. [Hint: the frog is about in the middle of the photo, just above that sort of orangey leaf.]

🍁 Pumpkin spice and all things nice!  This was the theme when our granddaughter Julia's orchestra group did a concert atop a mountain.  This also involved a gondola ride to the summit.  I'll share more of our pictures later, but here are a few for now.

This last one was taken from the gondola on the way down the mountain.

This photo of Julia (left) and her friend Jen was taken by Jen's mom after the concert.
 The parents brought pumpkin treats to share after the concert.  Julia's mom , our daughter Carrie, made pumpkin whoopie pies which disappeared almost instantly.  They were scrumptious!  I asked about Carrie's recipe, and she said she uses this one: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from Annie's Eats.

Photo from Annie's Eats

And also in the pumpkin spice category,  my hubby found a great deal on New England Coffee at a local supermarket and brought home three of these:

Photo from New England Coffee
Oh, so good.  We always enjoy this in autumn, and we hadn't found any at a reasonable price this fall.  Now we have!  He'll get more if he can find it.

And just one more photo, snagged from Carrie's Instagram:

Rainy days can happen in autumn, and we were thankful for a good day of rain last Friday.  Still, we went to the camp in the late afternoon, and a game of Scrabble ensued.

Oh, and I just have to include these scans of the front and back of a very intriguing oak leaf:

Front of leaf
Back of leaf
Doesn't it look like it is edged in jumbo rickrack?  You can see why it caught my eye.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

A to Z Scripture Challenge, Week 6

Lovely graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
  This is week 6 in Ellen's  A to Z Bible Verse Challenge over at The Happy Wonderer.    This is such an encouraging series to help us stay our hearts and minds on God and His Word during these days.  I hope that many of us are playing along with this challenge and thinking about Scripture verses containing the letter of the week.  Even if we don't all link up with Ellen's blog,  we can all open our Bibles and search out verses.  Today we are looking for words beginning with the letter F.  There are many good possibilities, but I chose the word Faithfulness.

"It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
"They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness."  (Lamentations 3:22-23)

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."  (1 Corinthians 10:13)

"Faithful" here is the Greek pistos, meaning "to be trusted; reliable."  And that is certainly true of God!

The following words from Ruth Paxson's book Life on the Highest Plane were an encouragement to me. Maybe they will be a blessing to someone else today.

"Our faith may falter but His faithfulness never. Peter failed Christ oh! so miserably that three times over he could deny his Lord. But the faithfulness of Jesus Christ to Peter remained unshaken. The heavenly Father cannot forget His promises nor can He deny Himself by failing to keep them.

Psalm 89:33, "Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer My faithfulness to fail."

2 Timothy 2:13, ""If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself."

We may even be ready to give up in defeat to the enemy or to lay down our task in sheer discouragement. We may be on the point of taking our hand from the plow and turning back. But Christ is not discouraged; He will not give up; He acknowledges no victory on the devil's part. He has called us into fellowship with Himself; He has owned us as His possession and has assumed His responsibility for our control and He will not lay it aside. What He has begun in us He will continue. His work in us does not depend upon our love for Him but on His love for us; not faith in our faith but faith in His faithfulness is what He wants from us."
-- Ruth Paxson, Life on the Highest Plane


For even more encouragement concerning God's faithfulness, I suggest you also read over the words of the hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness".  If you keep a hymnal or two around your home, as I do, it will be easy to look up the hymn.  Or you could easily find it online.  Another wonderful resource is this post by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings: Great is Thy Faithfulness.  Or look at any of Abby's Scripture-filled posts and free graphics.  You are sure to be blessed and encouraged!

 In 2016, I chose Faithfulness as my word for the year, and at first had in mind God's faithfulness to His people.  But in a message that I heard in church that January, our speaker noted that every trial is an opportunity to prove ourselves faithful to God.  He added that the more difficult the trial, the greater the opportunity to honor God by being faithful to Him.

So --  there is another aspect to "faithfulness".  Not only God's faithfulness to me, which is unfailing.  But my faithfulness to God.  Not only in trials, but in what may be even more challenging -- faithfulness in the everyday and sometimes discouraging tasks He has given me to do.   This faithfulness is something I need to work at in every area of my life when I so often feel like giving up. 

So I can be blessed and encouraged as I consider God's faithfulness to me every day.

And I can be challenged to live each day in faithfulness to Him and the things He has called me to do.  In 2020, all of this takes on additional meaning, don't you think?

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

A sweet Wednesday Hodgepodge


 It's time again for the Wednesday Hodgepodge, where Joyce asks the questions and bloggers provide the answers.  It's usually a lot of fun -- though sometimes a challenge -- and a great way to come up with an interesting blog post.  If you'd like to join in,  just head over to From This Side of the Pond and get the questions from Joyce, then answer them on your own blog. Here are the questions for this week:

1. Let's start things off right...Wednesday is National Dessert Day. What are we having? How often do you  make/serve dessert? Store bought or from scratch? 
I'll have to think about what we're having.  We don't ordinarily have dessert on weekdays and usually only serve dessert when we have folks over for a meal -- which is several times per month.  However, since this is a "holiday", and since we're starting a 40-day sugar fast on Saturday, I will probably bake something today.  Probably something with apples.  I seldom serve a store-bought dessert other than ice cream.

The Apple Crisp Pizza above is one of our very favorite fall desserts, especially to serve to company or to take to a potluck.

2. Slow as molasses, icing on the cake, that's the way the cookie crumbles, have your cake and eat it too, half-baked idea, that takes the cake...which phrase might be applied to something in your life in recent days? Explain. 

Slow as molasses is the way I feel most days.  But on a more upbeat note, my hubby and I enjoyed a recent getaway.  It's always a blessing to just get out of town and spend some uninterrupted time together.  The "icing on the cake" was finding some new-to-us hiking trails, exploring a little town we'd never visited, and trying a couple of new restaurants.  Even more icing was the fact that the fall foliage was at its peak of color in the area we visited.

One of our hikes took us around a remote pond.  The last quarter or so of the route or so was all uphill on a class 6 road seemingly paved with rocks.  I was moving as slow as molasses by the time we reached our car.

3. Something that's 'easy as pie' for you to do?

I'm trying to think of something in that category.   Let's see: It's incredibly easy for me to eat far too many potato chips.  That would be just one example.

4. Are you someone who likes to 'sugarcoat' news you think might not be well received, or are you more of a tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may? Do you like to receive your news the same way you give it? 

I'm not really one to "sugarcoat" things, but if I had difficult news to share I would approach it as kindly as possible.   When I receive news of that type, I would appreciate being told kindly as well.  I've received a lot of news delivered in other ways, and it is most distressing.

5. Something you did recently that made you feel like a 'smart cookie'? 

Located a beautiful, reasonably priced Airbnb for our recent getaway.  I didn't feel all that smart -- I prayed, God provided.  But my hubby (who was well aware of my answered prayers) must have raved a dozen times about me finding this place.  It really was lovely and fit our needs exactly. 

The photo above shows a delightful touch at the Airbnb -- a tree wrapped in white lights, with a lovely wind chime made from silverware.  I've seen this type of wind chime before, but this is by far the nicest one I've seen.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Random indeed, but I found it fascinating.  We visited a very old cemetery while out and about on our getaway.  Some of the stones in this cemetery are so old that the inscriptions were written with the fs in place of s. 

The cemetery was out back of the church above.  You can just glimpse the cemetery off to the right.

And there's the Hodgepodge for this week.  Happy Wednesday, all!

Monday, October 12, 2020

Apple Crisp Pie Bars


A couple of weeks ago I had a lot of apples to use up and made a couple of apple desserts.   One of them was this recipe I put together by combining a couple of different recipes.

Regular readers may have noticed I have a tendency to do this.  I'll see a recipe I like the look of but on closer inspection it looks too complicated.  I'll streamline it if I can, but sometimes I'll see a similar recipe I can borrow from to create a whole new recipe.  Sadly, I also have the regrettable tendency to forget what I've done if I don't write it down.

That's what happened with these bars.  I had seen an apple bar recipe on Instagram that looked absolutely scrumptious, but when I looked the recipe up on Taste of Home (where it was from), it didn't have very good reviews and looked like a lot of work.  So I combined it with a dutch apple pie recipe, adjusted the quantity of crust to work with a 13x9 pan, and it all turned out quite well.  So ...


For the crust:
3 cups flour
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup butter, melted
Mix all crust ingredients until crumblly and set aside 2 cups or so of the crust mixture for the topping.  Press the rest of the mixture evenly onto the bottom and partway up the sides of a 13X9 baking pan.

For the filling:
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons apple pie spice (or 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon)
8 cups peeled, sliced, tart apples
Combine the sugar, flour and spices in a large bowl.  Add the sliced apples and toss well to combine.  Arrange the apples evenly over the crust in the pan.  Crumble the remaining topping over the apples. 

Bake in a preheated 375ΒΊ oven for 45 minutes or a little more, or until the apple filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.  Cool in pan on wire rack before cutting into bars.  Makes at least 24 bars, depending on the size you cut them.

These bars are best served with a fork rather than eating out of hand.  They're a bit crumbly and the filling is a bit juicy.  They'd be great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side -- and a couple of times my husband and I had one for breakfast with vanilla Greek yogurt on top.  Hope you enjoy these bars if you try the recipe!  I've made them twice now and they went over very well with everyone who tasted them.

Thursday, October 08, 2020

E is for ...


 It's Thursday again, and time for  Ellen's A to Z Bible Verse Challenge over at The Happy Wonderer.    This is such an encouraging series to help us stay our hearts and minds on God and His Word during these days.  I hope that many of us are playing along with this challenge and thinking about Scripture verses containing the letter of the week.  Even if we don't all link up with Ellen's blog,  we can all open our Bibles and search out verses.  Today we are looking for words beginning with the letter E.

There are lots of good Bible words that begin with E.  One that I particularly like is the word Encourage, and my very favorite verse containing it is found in 1 Samuel 30:6 -- "But David encouraged himself in the LORD his God."

Look for a minute at the circumstances in David's life at this time.  At the time, he and his men, along with their families, were living in the city of Ziklag.  If we look at verses 1-5 of 1 Samuel 30, we see that when David and his men returned to Ziklag from meeting with the Philistines, they found the city destroyed.  The Amalekites had invaded Ziklag in their absence, had burned it to the ground and had taken all of the women and children captives.  Verse 4 shows us the depth of the grief of David and his men: "Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep."  David's two wives, Abigail and Ahinoam, were among those taken captive.

The beginning of verse 6 tells us, "David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters."

With the word "but" in the middle of the verse, though, we see a change of direction.  In the midst of his distress, "David encouraged himself in the LORD his God."  

How might David have done this?  My Bible gives a couple of cross-references:

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me?  hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance."  (Psalm 42:5)

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.  In God I will praise His Word, in God I have put my trust: I will not fear what flesh can do unto me."  (Psalm 56:3-4)

David reminded himself of what he knew about God, and of how God had helped him in the past.  He knew that he could trust God completely.  Verse 8 of 1 Samuel 30 tells us that he sought wisdom from the Lord as to how to deal with this calamity.  

"And David inquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue; for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all."

Reading on to verses 18-19, we see that this is exactly what happened: "David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away; and David rescued his two wives."  The story, though terrifying, had a happy ending.

So how about us?  We are also in distressing circumstances in our world today, and maybe in our personal lives as well.  Let's be sure to encourage ourselves in the Lord and remind ourselves of what we know about Him.  How might we do that more effectively?

Last week I mentioned the wonderful book What Do I Know About my God? by Mardi Collier.  If you want to be encouraged and get to know your God better, I highly recommend that you get the book and begin making a notebook full of wonderful truth about your God.  

 You can find it at the link above or also at Thriftbooks or Amazon.  I've purchased a number of used copies to give away over the years.  Mardi and her husband Ken have also put together a meditation booklet from the categories in the book.  Called The Emergency Pack, it is also a huge blessing.  But if you purchase What Do I Know About my God?, the emergency pack verses are also included within it.  So you won't need both, unless you want to give one away as an encouragement to someone else.

Of course you don't need a book to compile a notebook full of truth about God; you could absolutely do this on your own, thinking of different aspects of God's character and then searching out Scripture verses that correspond to each aspect.  However, if you are like me, the book will give you a wonderfully helpful starting point and it's just an encouraging read as well.

In times of trouble in my own life, I have pulled out my notebook and reminded myself of what I know about my God.  Invariably, I receive a fresh infusion of courage to carry on.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 reminds us: "Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches,

"But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD,"  

We can get to know God well! And as we do, we are increasingly encouraged.  When we are distressed we will be able to do as David did and encourage ourselves in the Lord our God!

Monday, October 05, 2020

Monday musings

Another weekend goes by without a Friday five, so here are a few Monday musings.

Let's see ...

1. Grateful to spend a good part of Thursday with our friend Terry.  It's great she is feeling well enough to get out and about a little bit.  All of the foliage photos on this post  were taken at Richardson's Farm Ice Cream at the edge of the parking lot and along the road.  The ice cream was pretty great, too!  My hubby had pumpkin ice cream; I had a scoop of pumpkin and one of gingerbread; and Terry had warm apple crisp with cinnamon ice cream on top.  All scrumptious.  The ice cream is made right there and Jim is a master at coming up with new and delicious seasonal flavors.  They also sell pies and other goodies, plus apples.

2. Thankful for a 30 Days to Less challenge with Becki over at  Field Lilies.  I've been unofficially participating in this (meaning that I am doing the decluttering and disposing of, but am not taking photos or posting about it every day as Becki is doing) and it has been a huge encouragement -- just the nudge I needed.

3.  Thankful for progress made at our little camp in the past week.  I did quite a bit more cleaning and my hubby did lots with electrical wiring and other tasks.  We ascertained that the apartment-size vintage electric stove still works.  (It's a Monarch and absolutely amazing-looking.  And the owner's manual still exists!)  

 Mr. T also did some maintenance work on the woodstove that will heat much of the camp, and on Saturday he fired it up for the first time.  

This stove was formerly in our kitchen at home, and back in the day our girls used to pull rocking chairs up in front of it to do homework or have their Bible times.  What fun it was on Sunday to see a grandson (who knew nothing of his mom ever doing the same thing) pull up a rocking chair, grab a fleece blanket and just enjoy the warmth of this old stove!

4.  The fun of takeout barbecue from this nifty place: Cardigan Country Store on Friday night.   Mr. T got chicken and I got pulled pork, and then we shared.  Oh, my.  I have never tasted pulled pork like this.  To see the menu, go to the store website and click on Cardigan Country Barbecue.  (If you are local, I think this coming weekend may be the last of the barbecue for this season, so you will want to get there if you'd like to try it this year.)


5.  Spending some good time at our little camp on Sunday afternoon. So much fun to have grandkids stopping by.  I love seeing them run through the woods or wheel into our yard via the dirt road on their bikes.  They are already enjoying this unique and cozy little place far more than I ever did as a child.  I can't even say how delighted I am that God allowed us to keep this property in the family and that He is providing for us to fix it up and make it usable again.

That's it for Monday musings.  How did your weekend go?