It’s National “Take Your Teddy Bear To Work” Day.
My bears say ‘we are at work with you every day!’
It is hard to have a tough day with these bears by my side.
What makes you smile in difficult times?
October 11, 2017
October 3, 2017
I recently started trying to do some light workouts. To encourage me I turn on my audiobooks. During last month I struggled through these workouts to the sound of Tony Evans and his daughter, Chrystal Evans Hurst, reading “Kingdom Woman”.
I enjoyed this book very much. Each chapter was a story and application to any woman’s life. This part is read by Tony Evans. This is followed by a personal story by his daughter. She becomes very open and real during “Chrystal’s Chronicles”.
It is difficult being a woman, and in today’s world the demands on her are enormous. Does God care she is exhausted from getting the kids up, fed and off to school or daycare, then off to work where she is completing her job responsibilities as well as planning kids transportation to evening activities, dinner arrangements, and then when home also help with homework and cleaning up the kitchen? Yes, he does.
If you are a woman, no matter what stage of life, I recommend this uplifting and encouraging book. Read or listen, you will be blessed.
“You are much more valuable than you may even realize. You are a child of the King; you are uniquely called and positioned to live devoted to God as one of His primary agents for advancing His purposes on earth. That is a high calling, and He will enable you to live it well. Never forget your value. Never settle for less than who you truly are.” —Kingdom Woman
September 27, 2017
Project Suggestion: knit or crochet a square with wool and felt it, then cut out a shape to use as a reminder you are felted.
Wool felts with water and agitation which causes the scales on the wool to swell, rub against each other and bind together. This process creates a denser, shrunken fabric. Felting is the name of the process that give us the finished product.
Have you ever noticed in Bible stories that a person is often put in situations that can be described as “agitating”, often “rubbing against” someone or something? In the end they become stronger in the Lord.
Think about King David. Before he slew Goliath, before he became king he was shepherd boy. How did David know he could take down Goliath? By the many years he spent protecting the sheep from wolves, bears and other torments. He had been in danger, in agitating situations, many times and had learned how to handle himself. (see 1 Samuel 17:12-30)
What about Shadrach, Meshach and Abendnego? Imagine the agitation they felt standing in a firey furnace. (see Daniel 3)
Ruth went through the loss of her husband, leaving her family and hometown. She cared for her mother in law and moved to a country where she was an unwanted foreigner. She went on to be a part of the lineage of Jesus Christ. (Read the biblical book of Ruth for the full story)
Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. He gained the confidence of the Pharoah and was promoted to being second in command. He was imprisoned when Pharoah’s wife falsely accused him of rape and still, years later, he was back in a position of authority again. Talk about being agitated.
What other Bible persons can you name? How about persons in your life you have witnessed experience this “felting” in their life? Do you remember Martin and Gracia Burnham? They were missionaries from Kansas who serves as missionaries in the Phillippines. They were captured and held hostage over a year by a militant group of Muslims in 2001. Martin was killed during their rescue. (You can read the story in Gracia’s book In the Presence of My Enemies. You can also read more about this on her website GraciaBurnham.org .) They endured because they were “felted” with the Lord.
How have you been “felted”? Have people around you created the hot water and agitation in your life? God doesn’t give you the people you want, He gives you the people you NEED – To help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and to make you into the person you were meant to be.
Can these discouraging periods of our times remove us from God? Read Romans 8:35-39.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine or nakedness or peril or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Once a piece is felted it cannot be torn. It can be cut and shaped as desired. Once you are felted with God, nothing can rip you away from Him.
Are you “felted” into Jesus?
September 8, 2017
Is there a relationship in your life that has been severed? You used to be so close but something came between you and now you no longer speak? A boundary was broken whether in word or deed, that could not be repaired. It could be a family member, a loved one, a friend.
I am sure there was great pain when the break came in your relationship no matter what the reason. You regretted the cause and cried over the loss of someone you care about so dearly. And along with that person, there is also a separation with those near that person.
God experienced such a break.
He had gently, carefully and with His hands formed man and woman. He created a beautiful place to share with them. Yet they crossed the one boundary set before them. In Genesis 2:16-17 God tells Adam,
“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
We learn in the next chapter that one day they did eat of that tree. And because of this they were banned from the garden, but more importantly, they had caused a great rift between them and God. The relationship they had before was now destroyed.
God wants that relationship back. But it can’t be like before. Once the barrier was built a way needed to be made to break it down.
Have you tried to devise ways to break the barriers built by rejections in your life? If you did break them, did it come at a price? Even if you moved forward in the relationship without mentioning the “situation” you still always feel the pulling of that weight. You cannot “unbreak” a vase once it is shattered. So it goes with relationships as well.
“You iniquities have separated you from your God” Isaiah 59:2
There was only one way to repair the relationship between God and man: a sacrifice. He made the first sacrifice when He found Adam and Eve hiding in fear because they were naked. He made them clothes of animal skin. He sacrificed an animal so they could be dressed.
God prepared, from the beginning, the sacrifice that would be required to restore that relationship: Jesus Christ.
He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. Isaiah 59:16
How would we know when this salvation came? The Old Testament is filled with hundreds of descriptions of this Savior. Many prophecies are detailed by God so there would be no question of His coming.
Professor Peter Stoner served as Chairman of the Department of Mathematics and Astronomy at Pasadena City College until 1953 and Chairman of the Science Division of Westmont College from 1953 to 1957. He is best known for his teaching in evidences of Bible prophecies. He calculated the probability of one man fulfilling only a handful of the prophecies made in the Old Testament was 10 to the 17th power. The probability of fulfilling only 48 of these prophecies are 10 to the 157th power.
Jesus fulfilled every single prophecy. Why such explicit detail in the foretelling of this Savior? So the true salvation would be clearly visible to all who look for Him.
God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. Acts 17:27
We are separated from God by our sin, but we have a way back to him. That way is Jesus Christ.
Just like your relationship with your family, your best friend, your spouse, your bible study group, a relationship must be nurtured. You must spend time, talk with each other, open up, love and trust. You must participate for a relationship to be complete. So goes your relationship with Christ.
What does a relationship with Christ look like?
How do you know if you have that relationship?
What do you do to maintain that relationship?
What will you do to draw closer to him?
July 12, 2017
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you”……for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Eph 4:26-27NLT
When this verse came across my daily reading today it hit a nerve.
Struggling with chronic pain, I have come to realize that anger sets in most when I lose control of the pain.
It is a daily struggle to keep my focus off the pain, but some days it seems impossible.
During these times I have to fall to my knees and cry out to God. Where I have no control, He is in control. My focus goes off the anger, off the pain, and onto Him. If I don’t, anger can set off a series of sins through harsh words, broken promises, and incomplete responsibilities. Others are hurt by my anger response.
The verse does not say ‘anger is a sin’, it says ‘do not sin by letting anger control you’.
I must step away from anger when it seeks to lead me into sin. In stepping away from the anger, I must step toward something – that something must be God for me to feel peace.
I have told you these things, so that in my you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. – John 16:33
Giving in to the anger is a choice. Realizing and accepting the anger is a choice I must make.
It’s a daily choice, sometimes even a minute-by-minute choice. I choose God’s peace.
Lord, I cannot do this alone. Thank you for those around me who hold me accountable. Thank you for loving and accepting me even in my sinful nature. Forgive me for my sin and help me to continue, daily, to choose you and your peace. Amen.
June 25, 2017
…let s go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him… Hebrews 10:22NLT
When I came across this verse in my daily email my mind started wandering. God says ‘you do not need an appointment, come on in’
God is welcoming me with open arms. So what then is holding me back? Do I fear He will push me away once I have stepped closer? Am I afraid He will be mad and reject me?
These are my fears and thoughts I am reflecting onto Him. God has called me in, it is I who have created the barrier.
Then I started to think about what some participants have said about walking into that first Knit and Crochet Bible Study. They entered hesitantly, fearful, and very unsure of what they would find behind those doors. Some, having been rejected before, felt certain they would receive the same at this gathering. There were words of “I don’t knit/crochet well enough to join in” or “I don’t know very much about the Bible”, and even “I wouldn’t know what to wear to such an event”.
As leaders and participants, it is our responsibility to be sure all are welcome. Don’t show favoritism; James addresses this is in chapter 2 verses 1-4:
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
This story could easily be translated also using terms like ” one comes in with the highest quality yarn and needles while the other carried a very low grade brand” or “one was a pastor’s wife and the other had never even touched a Bible”. It can be hard to gravitate toward one over the other.
I came up with a few steps to help alleviate fear for the newcomer. What other steps would you add to this list? (feel free to add your comments below)
Be sure to welcome them at the door
Help her to find a seat
Introduce her to those in the room
Ask about her knit/crochet skills
Share a bit about what to expect in the group
As your group develops, word will spread that you are a group to be trusted, a group that glorifies God and honors people.
You’ve opened your arms to others entering your presence in your group; enter into God’s presence fully trusting. He doesn’t care what you are wearing or your knowledge level. He only cares that you enter in with a sincere heart fully trusting Him.
June 22, 2017
My ‘word for 2017’ is COMMITTED. I am not doing very well at maintaining it. I have found myself with so many unfinished projects. Not just knit/crochet projects, unfinished posts, unfinished letters, unfinished household chores. I seem to leave so much half-done, not committed to completion.
The word COMMIT is defined as a verb meaning a pledge, a promise, to do something. I did an online search through the Bible of the word ‘commit’. It did not only reflect the physical action, it also instructed the action of mental/emotional commitment. To CHOOSE to commit wholeheartedly to God’s Word (Deut 11:18); to CHOOSE to commit firmly to God (Psalm 37:5); to CHOOSE to be commit to the faith (1 Tim 3:9)
When I do not complete a project, no matter how minor, I have chosen to ignore it and focus on something else. I set out on a course, and turned away.
I am reminded when I reviewed this promise to myself and to God, that if I am committed I must follow through. Oh that my steps may be steady, keeping the course you set.-Psalm 119:5.
My half hearted attempts at projects around the house, with my yarn, and in my Christian walk are choices I am making. If the word commit is a verb, then I must take action. “I” must take action.
What is your word for the year and how are you staying committed to it’s follow through?
February 13, 2017
While working on a sweater I abandoned to the closet quite some time ago I listened to ‘The Magnolia Story’ by Chip and Joanna Gaines.
I fell in love with this couple watching their Fixer Upper show on HGTV.
In the audio version of the book, Chip and JoJo read their story. They captured my attention from the very beginning.
I was impressed by their genuine openness. I don’t know that I would want to share some of those stories. They are as open and authentic in the book as they appear in their show.
They started their married life with no television, at the challenge made during their pre-marital counseling. The challenge was for 6 months. Now, years later and with a TV show of their own, they still have no TV. There are days I think my life would be better without the TV always blaring in the background. Could I, would I, accept the challenge? I digress. That is something for another post.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to “The Magnolia Story”. The Gaines didn’t sound like they were reading the book. The sounded like they were sitting on the couch across my me, telling me their story.
If you are ‘fixing up’ a WIP, consider listening to this Fixer Upper couple tell you their story.
February 2, 2017
While working on the final edits of the Proverbs 31 Woman personal devotional my husband pointed out I needed a better cover.
So I headed to my craft room to find a WIP to possibly photograph and use since the subtitle of the devotional is “God’s Work In Progress”.
I found something I had totally forgotten I even started.
I found this in one of the dozens of tote bags I have hanging in a closet. I found the original pattern and my notes for a sweater, though I did not mark what size I was making. I found the right front complete and the left front 1/4 done. Unfortunately it is a lace pattern with a 16 row repeat while decreasing. I had a bit of trouble deciphering my scribbled notes and determining where I was in the pattern.
I am too far in to this sweater to frog it. Determined to move forward, I placed a lifeline in the row before I attempted to move forward. After a rocky start I did mange to determine where I was in the pattern and work through 2 full repeats. I am on my way.
I am excited to know that as God’s work-in-progress He never puts me in a tote bag and hides me away in the closet. He didn’t frog the whole project (rip-it, rip-it, rip-it). He is always working on me.
I look back at how God has brought me to this point in my life. I made a lot of mistakes and turn some wrong turns. But God has never left my side.
Just like the Proverbs 31 woman was not born with all the qualities describes, I must learn, make decisions, and grow.
I am a work-in-progress on God’s knitting needle.
Now to get back to that sweater. I wonder what weight point I was at when I started it. Will it fit?
January 6, 2017
I first got the idea after reading the book “One Perfect Word” by Debbie Macomber. For several years I chose one word which would be my word for the year. When I did this, that word resonated throughout the year and helped me to focus.
Last year I didn’t choose one and as I look back at 2016 it feels undefined.
So I am choosing a word for 2017. The word is ‘committed’. I am committed to stepping out; I am committed to moving forward; I am committed to following the path God has laid before me; I am committed to believing I am not walking alone; I am committed to me; I am committed to action.
So many thoughts, ideas, and desires have flooded my mind and my heart. It is time to get them out of my head, off the paper, and into action. I may fail, yes. But I may succeed. Either result is frightening. But I have committed to facing the results, no matter what it may be.
Do you celebrate a word for the year? What word did you choose?