Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Maturing as Christians: 1 Corinthians 3

I encourage you to read all of 1 Corinthians 3

My front yard May 31, 2008

My front yard three years later in June 2011

Just as there is a huge difference in the mature garden pictured second above, there is also a vast difference in a new Christian and a mature Christian.  
Paul teaches that he approached his teachings as one gives a baby milk versus meat.  A key scripture to note is 1 Corinthians 3:6  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
Paul goes on to teach that we are all laborers together with God.  we are His husbandry which is like being the garden...we are his building. 
Because as babes in Christ, we are carnal Christians, we must be fed God's Word in a way that we can grasp it and take it in...to apply it.  We are not yet ready for the deeper wisdom of God until God gives the increase.  Once God gives the increase, then we can start to explorer deeper Spiritual things of God and His divine wisdom.  It is important to note that it is only when God deems us ready and gives the increase that we can sink in things of the Spiritual realm as God meant for us to know.  
Proverbs 2:6 teaches us that the Lord gives wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

I am so glad that wisdom comes from the Lord.  As we learn through God's Holy Spirit how our Spirit from within fights with our carnal nature, we have the assurance as God's child that our Spiritual nature will win the victory for our Spirit within is of God.  

This is just a thought that came to mind to look up the scriptures and study when I saw the vast difference in the front yard in only three year's time.  How long does it take to become a mature christian?  I think that depends on the earnestness of the Christian to learn and have a relationship with the Lord.  We are each different in this respect I believe.  It is my hope and I want to encourage you to study and pray for God's Wisdom to help you grow in Christ.  I have the same prayer for myself today.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We're either in a storm, through a storm, or approaching a storm...

We're either in a storm, through a storm, or approaching a storm...

I have heard this statement many times over growing up.  It was meant figuratively with our christian life, but lately it is more realistically how life is going. 

Our area was just hit with a total of 16 tornadoes, 4 of which touched down in our little town.  Never in my life do I recall the weather being so severe as this!  I spent several hours in my father-in-law's basement last wednesday as the storms rumbled and rolled through, pulling up a poplar by its roots, shaking my home's foundation until some of the blocks actually fell, and crashing down huge trees on the farm next to our house, stopping all traffic on the major highway by our home.  The power was out for five days in our area. 

We were very fortunate that this was all that happened in our area because this is all that happened in our area of the mountain.  Meanwhile, in the valley disaster was widespread with two deaths being reported in our town alone, and hundreds of homes were destroyed as well as many local businesses.

I was invited to a local bluegrass jam last night as a benefit for the victims.  When I walked into the room, I was simply stunned at what I saw!  There were tables lined along the walls and throughout the building full of clothes, all sorted...and shoes lined up that were all donations.  Food had been prepared and was free or for donation only.  There was a mix up with the groups, as there were two other groups there as well, so we only performed for about 30 minutes, but we still had fun.  What was most striking to me was how the community had come together and was doing something to help as best they could. 

I have felt at a loss as to what I could do to help and about that time my sister started a clothing/shoe drive for the Chattanooga area.  I decided to add our town to the drive just to see if I could do SOMETHING to help someone.  I do not know if anyone will even show up at my location for the drive since so many are without power or internet services in our area and the message may not have reached them, but I am definitely cleaning out my closet today! 

I also read on my friend Cammy's blog that her family's homestead was destroyed.  Please be in prayer for her family as they start over.

God has us UNDER HIS WINGS during danger, just as a mother hen takes her chicks under her wings for protection.  We must remember that FEAR does not come from the LORD.  We must also remember that God is NOT the author of CHAOS.  This means GOD IS IN CONTROL.  All things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are the called, according to HIS PURPOSE! 

We must hang in there, band together, help each other and PRAY FOR EACH OTHER!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Quilt Wall Hanging Drawing for a Donation...


This is Monica's page.  She is giving away this beautiful wall hanging and raising money for a dear friend's adoption. Please visit this site and find out how to enter and help out!

Thanks so much!

More Women of the Bible Thoughts

As I have studied more women of the bible these past few weeks, I have neglected to write down my thoughts, but OH have I had them!  I will go over a few of them now.

Lot's Wife

Thinking about the times Lot's wife lived, I wonder just how close we are to the world being like it was then.  I wonder how many times we have "looked back" and by only God's mercy, NOT been turned into "pillars of salt".  I think she is very easy to relate to.  I wonder what went through her mind as her family was rushed out of the town she had known and loved as her home.  This was where her family and friends were and she did not want to leave.  She must have been so torn inside over the decision to scurry off so quickly and never look back.  I wonder if she just wanted one peek, just one more look in longing of what she would miss.  I wonder if she was going to rush back and leave her family instead.  I think the most important lesson to be learned is to keep our eyes on Jesus and HIS PATH in our life, not our own if it is not in line with HIS.  We know deep down when we stray and we know what to do about it, too.  We must resist that last "look back at what we are missing out on" and keep our eyes focused ahead toward VICTORY!

This Rebekah is one character that in some ways I can relate to VERY well because I married my husband after only knowing him for 4 weeks!  We got engaged in maybe 2 weeks or less!  It was a whirlwind for sure!  Rebekah married Isaac based on faith.  The bible tells us what the servant prayed before approaching the water well, but I wonder if Rebekah had ever prayed any specific prayers to know when the time was right for her to be married.  I know I prayed that type of prayer, which was why I married my husband without waiting months and months like many others may do.  He was literally the answer to my specific prayer.  He had prayed in much the same way and tells me I was entirely the answer to his prayer right down to my red hair!  Even the physical features that he asked for when he prayed about his future mate were given to him by marrying me.  That's because that is how powerful and mighty God is.  God knew long before we did what we needed and molded our lives until that fateful day.  What confuses me about Rebekah is why she liked one son more than the other son.  Perhaps this is because I am not a parent.  I would like to think out of myself and my two sisters, my mother does not have a "favorite", but maybe she does???  I do not think she would ever admit it even if she did.  :O) Really and truly I think there are aspects of each of us that she likes more or less and all that combined is what makes us individuals, unique and special to her.  Rebekah, however clearly did favor one son over the other and went so far as to trick her ailing, feeble old husband into passing on the special blessing to her favorite son Jacob when she KNEW without a DOUBT that he meant to pass the blessing along to Esau and that the blessing was MEANT for Esau.  I wonder how Esau must have felt to be betrayed by his own mother.  I was blessed with both a wonderful mother and a wonderful mother-in-law.  My mother-in-law has now gone on to be with the Lord, but the 8 years I had with her showed me she had a love for her son and for me that was a strong bond to not be broken or betrayed.  I realize there are many of you out there who cannot say the same about your own mothers or mother in laws.  Perhaps you relate very well to Esau in this particular circumstance.  Interestingly, his father favored him over his brother.  This house must have had many problems through the years until this fateful day when Jacob took his mother's advice and fled for fear of his very life after "stealing" his brother's blessing. 

Rachel and Leah
Two sisters with issues...why in the world would a father resort to such trickery to see that his daughter is married?  He promises his daughter Rachel to Jacob if he works for him for 7 years, but instead of sending Rachel into the marriage tent that night, he sends her "plain looking" sister Leah!  I do not understand how he would not know the difference for a whole night personally, but perhaps his passion got the best of him and no words were needed until morning maybe?  Who knows!  What is important to know is that the father and Leah were very scandalous in tricking Jacob like this.  Did he have it coming because of what he had done to his father?  I do not believe two wrongs make a right personally.  As it happened, though...the father still promised him his other daughter if he would work ANOTHER 7 years for him.  That Rachel must have been one special lady to Jacob for him to agree to such terms!  Either it was true love or she had an extraordinary quality that he felt he would never find in any other woman.  He agreed to such terms and took Rachel as his wife, too!  I cannot imagine a worse circumstance than to be married to two sisters, one plain looking and one gorgeous!  To make matters worse, Rachel seemed to not be able to bare children for him for a long time.  His blessing was carried out mainly because he had taken Leah as his wife.  I bet his mother would have repented had she known what great lengths of sacrifice and suffering he had circumed to fulfill his destiny because of this "blessing" bestowed upon him.  Rachel was finally able to bare a son, Joseph.  We know if we study later that he really had a hard life for awhile, too with his brothers all trying to get him killed, but God had other plans for his life...that study is for another day, thoguh.  Jacob only thought he knew heartache at this point in his life until he lost Rachel as she bore their second son, whom he named Benjamin.  He loved Benjamin and named him so because it means "Son of My Right Hand" (per the study guide).
As for LEAH...she must have regretted her decision to walk into that tent from that day forward.  Who knows what made her agree to be married to a man who was clearly not in love with her...who adored her sister and was willing to work 7 more years for their father to prove it and to marry Rachel...Perhaps her father gave her no choice.  Maybe the custom was the oldest had to be married before the next could be, but if so, the father should have been up front with Jacob and not tricked him.  Most likely, she was so plain looking he could not find a husband for her.  She must have been very self-conscious, maybe already jealous of Rachel's beauty.  Perhaps that is what made her agree to her father's plan.  Whatever the reason, that morning, she was found out to be a liar and manipulator and her husband was not pleased at all with his new bride from that day forward I would imagine.  She must have found comfort in her children that she was blessed with...one after another.  She indeed had a fertile body and it was her only hold over Rachel, to be able to bare Jacob many children. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beach Bag and the River of Life

A beach bag I designed and made is being featured today in "Stitchers Showcase" on Emblibrary.com.  The link to the post is:

I designed and made this beach bag for my mother-in-law who has now passed away.  The beach and the mountains were her two "get-away from it all" places to go.  She got to use the bag once on a trip with her sisters.  She did not want to take it because she was scared she would get it dirty.  I told her that was why I lined the bottom half with vinyl and she had better put it in the sand. :) 

She had planned a trip for New Years Eve Dec 2009 to take me to the beach with her, along with my father-in-law and husband.  It would have been the first trip we took, all four of us.  She passed away Dec 26, 2009 and we never took our trip to the beach, but she is now by the beautiful River of Life.  I found the beach bag in the closet at her house with beach towels and her lotions for the beach.  It made me cry, but I just kept thinking about the River of Life and her walking along its shores and how much more awesome that must be than even the ocean. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Women of the Bible

Women of the Bible One Year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture

This is NOT MY QUILT, but I hope to make one like it some day!  This came from a yahoo group I belong to.  I would love to tell you about it now:

I have started a bible study at the beginning of the year called Women of the Bible through yahoo.  There is also a Devotional Study Book that you can buy (very inexpensive) through the internet.  So far I have studied about Eve, Sarah and Hagar.  I am taking my time with it and enjoying it very much.  Interestingly, the study has a bonus.  Each week, the creators of the study have a quilt block to go along with the woman for that week.  So when you finish the study, you will have 52 blocks to make a quilt.  However, it will be very difficult to get it all done that quickly.  A good suggestion would be to do the study one year and not attempt to complete the quilt until the following year.  The quilt block kit can be purchased directly through the yahoo group.  I have links for all of it here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I wrote this on my main blog in the Spring of 2010, but I thought it a fitting first entry for my Reflections blog:

Three Sisters

Teresa, Lavonda and Tina
God has blessed me with two amazing sisters, Tina and Lavonda.  I love them both so very dearly.  With my mother just losing one of her sisters to cancer, it has made me want to hold on to my sisters even more.  I think this is a normal response in times of grief, but I hope that we do not lose this lesson.  We are close, my sisters and I.  I have a special relationship with each one, but very different at the same time.  This is how God made us women (and men, too), though.  We are each unique, yet have so much common ground.
For Mother's Day this year, my two sisters bought my parents tickets for a train ride.  If you are fairly local, I have included the link here for the beautiful trip from Ettowah, TN to Copper Hill, TN, then lunch and return. 

On this trip, my oldest sister Tina took along her camera.  She is an amateur photographer, but a VERY GOOD amateur photographer.  (UPDATE as of NOV 2010, she is now taking photography classes and not so amateur anymore!)  While on the train, she captured one of the most amazing pictures I have ever seen.  I was captivated as soon as I saw it and had a special project in mind immediately.  I asked her to send me the picture on my computer in high resolution so I could have an 8 x 10 made of it.  In true BIG SIS fashion, though, that evening as I was at my parents' house, there was my 8 x 10 waiting for me!  THANK YOU TINA!

My mother was taking me to an appointment the day after my sister had surprised me with the picture, so we decided to go to Hobby Lobby.  I wanted to find a picture frame that was simply a mirror, but to no avail.  I finally found a black picture frame that is very shiny and knew that with some embellishments, it would work just right.  SO OFF TO THE JEWELRY AISLE WE WENT...which led to a trip to the scrapbooking aisle...and finally after a much longer trip than anticipated, I felt I had everything I needed, and my mother and I were TUCKERED OUT!  Did I mention everything I got for the project was 50% off???
The next day, I laid my project out after cutting out the letters from the scrapbooking items for my frame and the jewels for the jewelry pendants.  I wrote an email to my oldest sister Tina and sent her pics of my project and ideas.  I had the word REFLECTIONS on the frame, but was not sure where to place it.  Tina is a great one for opinions.  She wrote back and said she thinks I should add 1 Corinthians 13:12 and then she wrote the following words in her email:

The world is a looking glass and gives back to every woman the reflection of her own face.

Is that not beautiful?  SO this meant ANOTHER TRIP to Hobby Lobby because I did not have enough letters to add the verse to the picture, but knew immediately that she was correct.  I had also accidently bought BRADS the first visit, so on this visit, I bought self adhesive gemstones instead and did not use the brads at all.
The following are the products I used for my project (plus a picture frame large enough for an 8 x 10 picture)...I think I used 3 packs of the letters and 3 packs of the clear gemstones, as well as one pack of multicolored gemstones.  I included a picture of the jewels I made from 4 plain circle mirror pendants with the colored gemstones, but I have still not decided if I will use them at all.

REFLECTIONS project products
REFLECTIONS project products
I finished the project last night in about an hour!  I did not add the jewels as I had intended originally.  (Excuse the smudges, I guess I should have cleaned it with windex before taking the final picture of the picture!) 

The mantle is not the final place for the picture.  (UPDATE:  as of NOV 2010, it is STILL PROMINENTLY DISPLAYED ON MY MANTLE!)  I just wanted to get a picture of it without the flash on it.  I plan to hang this picture on the wall and I think I will decide after I get it in place whether I should glue the multicolored jewels to the picture.  I like it just like this. 

I Corinithians 13:12 

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.      New International Version

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.     English Standard Version

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.     King James Version