Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Story of John Newton 1748

"John Newton was the son of a naval man and a Christian mother. Her faith impressed him so much that at an age when most boys are more interested in kites and games than in religion, he fasted and prayed, seeking God. His mother died when he was seven. Ten years later, his father got him a position on a warship. Depressed at leaving England and his girlfriend, he deserted but was captured and traded to a slave ship. 

On the slaver, Newton gave way to wicked impulses. Corrupted himself, he delighted in corrupting others. Godless sailors considered him the worst among them. Because he was rebellious and careless, he found himself “a slave of slaves” on the coast of Africa. His father paid a captain to rescue him. 

The rescue ship, however, was in bad shape." ... read the rest

Monday, September 21, 2020

Family Friend

9/21: She had the CAT scan and was sent home. They were not told when the results will be given. She has started vomiting due to the severity of the pain. She has lost 25 pounds in two weeks. She needs continuous help due to the pain. The family has requested she be admitted to the hospital, but she was sent home. Please keep praying.

9/20: A very good family friend, a matriarch from our hometown, is in extreme pain. She has undergone some tests, but the doctors have not found a cause for the pain. Tonight, it is quite severe. There is a CAT scan tomorrow. Please pray they find the cause and are able to address this pain. Her daughter just texted me asking for prayer because the pain has ramped up. 

Thank you!

 Thank you to James B. for the rabbits!

They were delicious in the stew I made from a Colonial Williamsburg recipe!

Bonfire Cookout Camping

We are considering a date to do another bonfire, cookout, camping weekend for the 16-26 year olds. Detail will be on the group site. Contact an Asbell and let them know if you are interested. We will have a family meeting on it soon. I posted here because some missed it last time.

For the One Struggling

Originally posted August 31, 2019

For the Hurting: How God Sees You: Recognize Your Reality

Please excuse the typos. This is something I put together very quickly recently to help someone. I shared something similar years ago, but it must have been accidentally deleted while preparing the blog for a back up. This is a battle I know well because this is how I had to fight my own severe internal struggles. Those who have heard my full spoken testimony say it is very powerful. The reason it is powerful is the truth you will find in these verses. I had to repeat something very similar to the first paragraph many, many times to myself. Sometimes I have to remind myself again. None of the lies of the enemy or the lies of others can stand in the light of God's Word.
**********

Dear one, you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of your loving Creator. You are so precious in the Lord's sight that He knit you in your mother's womb (a hands on, individual, and detailed work), knows the numbers of hairs on your head (cares about the details of your life), and collects your tears in a bottle so He can wipe them away Himself later (a tender, deeply caring and loving Father). 

You are precious to Him! While only the wealthy and famous have earthly bodyguards, He has set His angels (Heavenly bodyguards) to watch over you. He has chosen and appointed you, called you from darkness to light, and loves you so deeply He gave His son to die to pay your penalty for your sins so you could be heirs with Christ and bear fruit that will last an eternity. He calls you a chosen race, a royal priesthood, His friend, a member of His household, and tells you that through Christ, you are a conqueror and an overcomer! 

His love and mercy for you have no end! He has removed your sins as far as the east is to the west...infinitely apart from you! If the God of the universe can show you unending love and mercy, don't you think you can show yourself a little too? Find your worth in what Jesus has done for you. A Holy Magnificent Almighty God, who even notices you or I, and then gives His Son to die for us while we were still filthy in our sins...places a very, very, very high value on us....we are priceless! You value is right there in what Jesus did. An all-seeing, all-knowing, all powerful God deemed you worth dying for! 

Let that hurt that hinders you, and that you are holding onto so tightly go, and grab ahold of God's truth about who you are ...and get to work learning more about Him, doing what He has asked of you, and living for Him so others may see through your life what He has given you and also offers to them. Drink deeply from His Word, His love letter to you. Now, go back and read this again, slowly, and let the words sink in until you recognize your reality.
**********

Don't fall for the deception of the "imposter syndrome." This syndrome is identified by feelings of unworthiness and failure which cannot be erased even in face of a wealth of information that proves that the opposite is true. Break free from that. There's plenty of proof in the verses below to convince anyone of God's love for and value of them. Don't let your fear/self doubt/deep hurt keep you from being free.

Don't allow any negative self talk. Renew your mind, transform it with God's Word. Every time you have a negative thought towards yourself, challenge it with God's view of you. Self discipline to bring your view of self into line with God's Word. It will take time and repetition. You are worth the effort. As you undertake this, show yourself grace.

Be your own best friend. If you would not say it to your most loved relative or friend, don't say or think it about yourself. If you do, you are your own enemy! Be your own encourager!

Don't fall for the deception that God's Word is for everyone except you. Beat down so low I could not raise my head to see God's love for me, I felt that as a young person. It followed me into early adulthood. Sometimes we can be so damaged down by other people's words, opinions of us, and actions towards us that we feel like it is impossible for anyone to love us, even God. It's not true!! He loves you! He loves you! He really, truly does love you with a pure, unfailing love that is unlike any love you've ever experienced. He loves you! Post it on your wall, set it as the wallpaper on your devices, set reminders so your personal assistant announces it every so often, put alarms in your phone to remind you, repeat it to yourself often. Repeat it until you believe Him! He loves you! 

Does God lie? No!!! Then believe what He says about you and your worth to Him.


Read what God has done for you and what He thinks of you. Read them aloud. There is healing for you in these words. 

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Psalm 103:8

In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows. Luke 12:7

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8 

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Revelation 21:4

You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.  1 Corinthians 6:20

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. Psalm 103:11-13

Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.  Isaiah 43:4

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. John 15:15-16

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:6 

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:8 

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. . Psalm 34:3-5

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  1 Peter 2:9

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Romans 8:1-2

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:22-23

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 2 Corinthians 3:5

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Psalm 37: 23-24

The battle is not ours, but God's. 2 Chronicles 20:15

 Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16:11

But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1

He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:10-12

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 87-39

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, Colossians 1:13

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16


Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
I John 5:5

Now that you know the way out, do as I have done...share the Way with someone else. 

Cucamelon

watermeloncucumber

This little plant in the red plastic cup is called a cucamelon or a watermelon cucumber. It is the Mexican sour gherkin and has tiny fruits that look like a watermelon. It is also known as a "mouse melon." Clint asked me to grow these for him. This is my third attempt. The others did not survive the hardening off process due to heat or insects. This one will stay indoors under grow lights. Try, try, try again! Lord willing and the creek doesn't rise: I'm going to get that Asbell his cucamelons!

Dear Reader, I know someone needs to read this. It might be you or may be for the next reader. When I was young and my self esteem had been torn down so very low, it was too difficult for me to try things over and over. Because of Jesus, I am so much stronger now. I don't mind the failures because I now know neither failures nor harsh people define me.

Those people who tore me down as a child would not get as far with me today. They made excuses to say they were making me tough, but all they did was weaken my spirit and made me unable to fully trust God as my Father until I got far away from them. They aren't in my life now, and I am so thankful for that and the peace and joy I have found in the Lord since. I cried out to God and asked Him to change them so they'd stop hurting me, change me so I didn't care, or get me out of the situation that was causing so much pain. God worked that out so I bear no blame or guilt for the relationships ending. I do not know who you are that needs this, but I know the agony that goes soul deep. There is peace waiting for you, dear one. It's found in Jesus.

Our identity is in Jesus and what He did for us! He found us worthy!
Read those verses about how God sees you.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

lasting foundation

Disaster strikes like a cyclone, whirling the wicked away, 
but the godly have a lasting foundation. 
Prov. 10:25

Saturday, September 19, 2020

More has happened and more will be coming.

More has happened and more will be coming.

https://www.dailypress.com/news/crime/dp-nw-william-hooper-indictment-20200521-4p4za73yizfstnvty336q3fjoi-story.html

Update on Shonda

9/19: Shonda's pacemaker was deactivated yesterday morning. She has spent time sleeping and storytelling with her family. Pain management has mostly stayed on top of the pain. They ask for continued prayers.

9/18: Shonda says she expects to be in the arms of Jesus somewhere around noon. May the Lord make that so. Please keep her covered in prayer for a peaceful and gentle passing. I left home last night so I could have some solitude. Forgive me for not answering the phone or texts.

9/17: While surrounded by her family, Shonda will have her pacemaker turned off tomorrow. She could die within hours or it can take days. She cannot get any relief from the extreme pain because the tumors are so large they are cutting off supply to many organs. Simply put: the pacemaker is keeping her body going and is thwarting pain relief. We knew this was a possible outcome, and it is a situation those with life giving technology have to carefully think through. She says she is ready and asks us to pray for her family as they grieve. My heart hurts, and I will miss this dear Christian and the wisdom and knowledge she shares. She has fought so very hard and for so very long. She is so weary. She deserves her rest. Please cover her and her family in prayer. I will update this when she has her peace and rest.

"It is well with my soul." Shonda


Growing Goldenseal

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Resized_20200915_122342

I love it when people who have not tried tell you emphatically that you can't do something. After I mentioned I was going to give it a try, I was told there was no way I could grow goldenseal, yet, I have six plants growing on the shady side of my house. I bought the freshest roots I could find and tried to mimic what the plant has in its natural habitat. Then, patience. Then, reward! GOLDENSEAL that wonderful medicinal herb which dried root costs around $100 a pound is growing on my little coastal homestead.

This took one try. Other things I have accomplished have taken many attempts. Don't give up!

If I had not have tried after I was told I couldn't conceive, I would not have my wonderful seven children. Don't let the words or attitudes of others limit you!

Dear Reader, I hope you go forward knowing sometimes the "impossible" becomes possible simply because you gave it a good TRY! If what you try at does not work, then it wasn't meant to be, but at least you know you made your best effort! Love to all! A big hello and lots of love to Hannah at VA Tech!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Off Road Blocked

offroadingblocked

An oak tree fell across the off road. 
That's OK! 
We always carry a chainsaw with us when we go into the forest.
The tree itself is massive. This was only the top.
We were thankful for the firewood!

Soft Spot

girlyintheshade

Girly found a soft spot to rest while we were running a fence line.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Updates

The temporary custody hearing was yesterday. Kevin has Katherine four days a month. This was anticipated as the first step. The next court hearing is later this month. There is a long ways to go yet. Please pray for truth to be revealed in court and for the judge to do what is best for Katherine. Also pray for Katherine to receive the help she needs for her eating disorder and mental struggles.


Caleb hitched a ride!

littlesisterdriving

Hannah can drive the mower now! 
Caleb hitched a ride back to the "out, out back" with her.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Peace

hills

My peace is not derived from the things happening all around me in this crazy world. My peace is derived from my relationship with the Most High and knowing WHO He is! I belong to Him and know that all of His ways are good. 

O taste and see that the LORD is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
Psalm 34:8

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in loving kindness to all who call upon You.
Psalm 86:5

Monday, September 14, 2020

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Remember, for every Goliath in your life...

 Remember, for every Goliath in your life...

                                                                       there is a stone!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

If You Love a Garden

Here in Zone 7, we are planting in our fall gardens.
Here's a poem for those of you who love growing things. 


If You Love a Garden author unknown

If you love a garden you will never be -
Lonely, bored or idle, for you'll always see
Beauty at the window, winter, summer, spring
Every changing season its delight will bring
Once a garden gets you it won't let go -
But you'll be rewarded when the green things grow.
In your little Eden happiness you'll find
Health and deep contentment, joy and peace of mind.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Notes from the Study on Respect and Honor

While we have another site for the group, I will continue to share these studies here for the benefit of those who come here.

Some of the most popular posts on this blog are the ones that deal with difficult relationships. Some of these posts have been printed out and made part of studies in Sunday School classes. Families have studied them. It is so rewarding when someone writes us and shares that they found healing in a relationship after surrendering to the Lord! It is very rewarding when relationships have been restored in our own lives!!

“Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” 
I Peter 2:17

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
Psalm 133:1

honor: respect, high regard, recognition of worth shown; it is something given, not taken
respect: reverence under God; proper appreciation for the person/relationship God created
duty: what is due
due: owed, fitting proper, suitable to that particular person and their relationship to you
due honor: obligatory high regard for the person and their relationship to you

Respect in I Peter 2:17 comes from the Greek word timÄ“sate which means to 'to act to show great value' to something. This is a challenging concept for our time and culture in regards to our relationships with them. We are told to look out for ourselves and to compete with others in every other. We also have differences of opinions that make us feel our point of view is superior to theirs, so we do not show respect our political leaders. We concentrate on someone's flaws or how they hurt us instead of focusing on their strong points, God given talents, and the position they have in our lives. We can't have those attitudes and obey these verses. They are incompatible.

Back to competition. If we were to obey these verses instead of setting the example of outdoing each other in so many areas, maybe our youth and young adults would not be struggling so hard with inadequacy. Our culture doesn't want to "keep up with the Jones'," they want to outdo them. 

One thing we keep hearing as we minister to young people is that they feel they don't measure up, aren't good enough, are failures, will stumble and fall again, will continue to face rejection no matter how much they work on themselves, etc. If God's people "showed great value" to each other, instead of competing with each other, maybe these young hurting young people would have a better grasp on their value to God and their value to their brothers and sisters in Christ. Maybe they would not be so preoccupied with their worth, but instead, be focused on the building the worth of others. 

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 

"Respect seems to be a hard thing for us to grasp in our present society. ... A sense of place is important for a Christian. We cannot give honor duly-where it is due-without a sense of place. Who is this person, who am I in relation to him? We are people under authority at all times, owing honor and respect to a king or a president, to parents, to master, teacher, husband, or boss, to ministers and elders and bishops, and of course always, and most importantly, to Christ." Elisabeth Elliot

In the list of Sacrifices that Please God in Hebrews 13 is "Keep on loving each other as brothers." That's a direct command not a suggestion, and it is first on the list. 

We should respect and honor the person and the relationship they hold in our lives. This starts with God and includes spouses, family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, authorities over us like pastors, teachers, law enforcement, law makers, and our president. It is an action: Show "respect to everyone." It does not say "if you feel they are worthy" or "if you feel like it."  

Illustration: I do not always get things right, and often fail miserably, but in this instance I did manage to stand out: I was very polite and considerate towards a very difficult person my husband worked under. I was not happy with him for the harm he caused my husband and certainly did not "feel like it." The man was having sex with non English speaking temp workers in his office. There were many other things to dislike about this person. I was the only person at the event who treated the man with politeness. After the event was over, I was pointedly asked by several of Clint's co-workers and a spouse of a co-worker why I was "so nice to him." They were not happy with me. I was able to share that it is God's way for His people to behave. I stood out because I acted in obedience out of my fear of and love for the Lord and was able to share my faith when others noticed. Planting seeds to draw others to Jesus is a big reward to those who love the Lord. I know this may be different than you see people in your church behaving, but it is what we are called to do. Don't look at other fallible Christians for how to live. Look to God's Word. 

"A small spirited person man will not be willing to see another receive credit or honor or position. All of us, I suppose, have sometimes grumbled inwardly seeing someone receive a place he did not deserve. "It is not fair. He is not qualified, whose idea was it to appoint him? How did he get on the board? How come I didn't?' The last question is the one that touches the deepest root of our unwillingness to honor another: our own pride." Elisabeth Elliot

"A second reason for the confusion in the matter of respect...is the current notion that everyone deserved tit-for-tat equality. This is one of the excesses of democracy, which ought not to be confused with Christianity. The truth is that not everybody has a right to everything." Elisabeth Elliot

"No doubt, God must sometimes allow the wrong person to receive credit in order for us "right" ones to discover how full of pride we are." Elisabeth Elliot

Feeling entitled does not guarantee your right to something. Your sense of entitlement does not change the way things are, the relationship, or the other person's right to what they are due. It takes humility to accept you are not entitled to something someone else has rights over.

Those who struggle with jealousy, selfishness, coveting, will not be happy for those who are respected or rewarded for their position/relationship. They will find many ways to grumble and complain out of their own discontent with their blessings.

"Christianity teaches righteousness, not rights. It emphasizes honor, not equality. A Christian's concern is what is owed to the other, not what is owed to himself." Elisabeth Elliot

What if you are not in a relationship with the person to show them respect and "keep on loving?" Disagreements and estrangements happen. If you have made good efforts to correct the relationship, you have done your part even if you were rebuffed. If rebuffed, don't take it personally. That's on them. Your behavior is on you. See it as God showing you what is going on in their heart and a way you can pray for them. Wait on God to work on their hearts while you work on yours, keep praying, keep studying God's Word, and be patient. If you do not feel God calling you to make a move, leave the door open, and then be still. Let God do His thing in their hearts. Not all relationships will be healed on this side of eternity. People hold grudges for a lifetime not realizing the price they are paying for them. It could be God is hardening their hearts to protect you from more of their harmful behaviors. Trust Him.

Our family can give testimony that God heals estrangements when both parties are committed to honoring the Lord in those relationships by working on their hearts and praying for and reaching out to the other party. It takes both parties having a dedicated mindset of pleasing God first, even over their own comfort, and counting "others more significant than yourself." I don't know about you, but to experience that kind of healing is a life experience, a faith experience worth all of the pride swallowing/pride choking that had to be done. I am truly thankful my children got to witness it! It has been so faith building! God gets the glory for making these big changes on both sides!









Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Time to Put them Out!

cucumberssquashzuc

Cucumber, Zucchini, and Summer Squash and Buttercrunch Lettuce are going out into our main garden for fall crops on September 11th if nothing changes.
They've been growing indoors under 24 hour grow lights for 30 days.
Some of the squash and cucumbers already have flowers on them!
Hopefully the dreadful squash vine borers and squash bugs are gone, but if not, I have yellow sticky traps to lure and kill them with!

buttercrunchlettuce


Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Pray for Tony and more, Please

Tony is a co-worker of some in our family. He has CoVid and is in ICU. Please lift him and his family in prayer. 

Please also pray that one company family members work for can get the supplies they need to keep things going for ALL employees. My family should not be directly affected, but one might be if it continues. The supply chain has been negatively affected due to damage by a hurricane to a facility in Louisiana. Demand was already extremely high for this particular product. *Don't worry. That family member has prepared ahead and should be fine.

Thank you to all who are praying for us and our friends. Love to all!

Not only..

Not only does God not make a mistake, but
He can fix ours and turn them into a message
where we can help others find Him
and have their mistakes fixed too.
Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Monday, September 07, 2020

Pandemic Canning

Pandemic canning is so popular, stores are running out of jars and other supplies

For over two decades, I have canned throughout the year and have always purchased large quantities of jars (like 250 at a time). This year, I have had to look a little longer and harder for jars, but I eventually found exactly what I needed. God provides!



Sunday, September 06, 2020

Our Neighbor

For those who do not know, our neighbor has Muscular Dystrophy and is wheelchair bound. Nurse aids come every morning to bathe, dress, and help him from his bed to wheelchair. He hunts, fishes, makes crab pots, and does whatever he can.  At night, nurse aids come again to put him back into bed. 

Before CoVid, he had a ministry visiting residents in a nursing home where he was admitted for a short time.

Friday, he was picking up his yard from his wheelchair while a friend was cutting his grass. His chair tire found a pothole, and he tipped over. The very heavy wheelchair landed in such a way it was pressing down on him. He nearly passed out from not being able to breathe.

When the friend saw the overturned chair, he ran to help and called an ambulance. The ambulance that arrived did not have a gurney that worked correctly, so they had to call ANOTHER ambulance. After an hour of the rescue workers being there, he was finally loaded into an ambulance and taken to the hospital where he learned he broke his shoulder. They sent him home, and he will see someone this week to determine the course of action.

His surgery for the kidney stones (previously mentioned) is on the 15th, but he is hoping they can change the date. He is reliant on a certain company for transportation, and it can be a hassle to get the aids there early so he can get on the bus on time.

Please pray for our neighbor. Being home and independent is very important to him. 

For the weary

There on the poplars we hung our harps, 
Psalm 137:2

I've been listening to hearts of those in our family's circle and one thing that is very apparent is the weariness in this storm. Many feel life has been put on hold. Moments they had looked forward to for years are looking very different. Some wonder if we will ever be able to "really live" again? Is life going to be "this depressing" forever?

I want to challenge your thinking. This period is filled with occasions to live in a much richer way. There are many, many opportunities for good in the middle of this storm. The fact that this storm is a very significant period in history should be a cause for excitement and make us more eternally focused. There are plenty of ministries we can busy our hands and our minds with while we wait upon the Lord. We can still live our love and our faith out loud for all to see. Let's not miss the opportunities to do so. While we are at home, we can build relationships with our family and strengthen each other's faith. The righteous live by faith not by fear. Let's rejoice in God's mercy and seize the moments that are still yet to be had. God understands we have to hang up our joy for a while, but we need to reflect on and appreciate all we have been given and can still enjoy! Let our heart reflect our soul's satisfaction in Him. Ask God to restore the music to your heart and align your present purpose with His. Ask Him to give you joy in this journey and to be a reflection of His love, grace, mercy to everyone you encounter each day. Wherever your struggle, seek His help. Let's magnify God even in this storm!

Psalm 40
has many gems hidden within to give strength, peace, and comfort.

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Jelly

grapejelly

Some of the jelly made from grapes from our vines this year.
Many of those vines, I propagated, so they were free.

Grapes, figs, and olives are talked about so much in the Bible that I wanted to have them growing on our farm. I have succeeded at the figs and the grapes, but so far, I have not been able to find a variety of olives than can withstand our winter temperatures.

Friday, September 04, 2020

After

AmandaAfter
Aftermath
She's still cute!

This reminds me of the time after the wildfire, a different incident from the barn fire, when she wore a white skirt into the woods to explore and play with her good friend, Matt.

I'm glad I don't wash her clothes any more.

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Updates

I can't remember what I updated last. Life is very busy. I was asked for updates to the prayer needs, so here goes...

Shonda's health is deteriorating. She has a new hospice group and is hopeful they will tend to her needs better. Some of the things the other hospice wanted to allow and was allowing was just horrible. 

Katherine. Courts move slowly. The guardian ad litem has visited both her father's and her grandparent's homes. I've stated before that her mother has an established record of long time mental health issues. She is unable to drive (kept wrecking vehicles) and has to live with someone else. There is some deceit and trickery going on trying to manipulate the court. Prayers are needed that the very best for Katherine is what happens.

David, a young man we asked for prayer for many times, has turned back to wayward living and to drugs. Please pray for him.

We have a praise! A man Clint has witnessed to off and on for over 20 years is now a Christian! He use to cuss Clint out when Clint would share the gospel with him. Now, instead of cussing at Clint, he praises the Lord with my beloved! Be patient and be gentle with the lost. Time and the Holy Spirit wear down the sharp edges.

Love to all! Thank you for the prayers you lift on behalf of our family and friends.

Control Arm

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Amanda in the middle of working on the control arm of her SUV.

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Thank you, Brian!!

 Thank you, Brian, for dropping off the tasty fish fillets!

Brightens my day

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I don't know what it is about my girls and octopuses!
Amanda is looking cute in her glasses and shirt.
Tomorrow, you'll see what she came to do...in this shirt!

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Mystery Seeds

mysteryseeds

To date, I have received 8 or 9 packages of mystery seeds. I received mine in late May and June before the hubbub started. I started working with online vendors several years ago and became aware of brushing scams then, so I never even questioned it. I have received all kinds of seeds in the mail from China and other places as far back as 10-12 years ago when I received black rose seeds I never got the chance to plant.

When I received the seeds in May, I planted some of them a few weeks later. It was herbs, squash, radishes, etc.

What happened to make the brushing scam into something blown out of proportion is that people on gardening groups started talking about it, then it was reported. Out of caution, the government responded, but they also determined it was brushing scams. 

Now, the gardening groups I am on won't allow new threads on these seeds. No matter what was discovered on the investigation, some people won't quit trying to make it into something more.

Seeds are small and cheap to mail so the companies doing it save money both on packaging and postage while accomplishing their goal to get fake reviews to move their products up higher in ranking. Seriously, I've seen this for at least 12 years. I never even batted an eye at it, but many became afraid it was some sort of invasive species meant to harm the US.

Dear Reader, when we do not understand a situation, we can become fearful. When we have knowledge, it helps us understand and removes our fear. Many are fearful of coming face to face with the Lord. However, when we gain knowledge of who He is and how very much He loves us, we lose that fear and replace it with joyful anticipation. 


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16


But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8


So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. I John 4:16

 

Monday, August 31, 2020

Caleb

 Caleb had his braces removed today! It was delayed because of CoVid, but it finally happened!

Pray for Cousin and Girlfriend, please

A cousin and his girlfriend were in a car accident last night. A man ran a red light and t-boned them on the driver's side. He has broken ribs and a punctured lung. He is being held in the hospital for 24-36 hours. She is hurting in her leg and hip. She is home and will probably need a follow up. Please lift them in prayer.

Muscadine Grapevine

 

muscadine

Sought after for their high sugar content, muscadines are a favorite.
Hopefully in a year or two I will have some vines to sell.
I love walking around our farm and seeing the fruit of my labor...literally!

Saturday, August 29, 2020

A Face Only A Mother Can Love


faceonlyamamacanlove

She was sleeping in my arms like a baby.
Maggie has been a very pampered poodle going on 10 years now.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Waterboarding Emily

 

waterboardingemily

As I shared before, a malfunctioning dispenser shot a chemical into Emily's eye.
This is the second eye rinsing. I did the first.
When we were making her laugh, I snapped a picture so she could see it later.
"My eye is fine!"

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Things went well

 Amanda is home and resting. Thank you to all who were praying. 

Renewing Our Minds in Difficult Relationships

Some people refuse to bend when someone corrects them. Eventually they will break, and there will be no one to repair the damage.
Proverbs 29:1

The Bible tells us how to give proper place to God and others. We don't like submitting, renewing our minds, or disciplining ourselves. We want our friends and family to tell us we are justified so we can continue in the way that we want to go. We want to dwell in thoughts that promote self and support our thinking. We want to avoid having to make an apology because it will cost our pride far too much.

When we are humbled before God and are giving Him the right place in our lives, we do not care if it costs us to admit the other side has a valid point. When our minds are renewed in accordance to God's Word, our selfish ambitions die, and we esteem the other person as better than ourselves. Submission to the authority of God through our obedience brings control to our flesh. We know a humbled apology to an offended person is pleasing to the Lord and necessary for growth. Once our flesh is under submission to the Most High, we gain in a renewed mind and spirit.  

Division is not something a sincere Christian can happily accept. It should grieve the Christian's spirit and motivate him to work towards healing and restoration, if at all possible. Our relationship with God affects our mindset towards other people. The closer we are to the Lord, the more we want His way in our lives. Our thoughts and actions when dealing with people will reflect our relationship with Him. Unity becomes a focus, because unity is the work of sincere Christians who are willing to sacrifice fleshly pride for God's way to strengthen and grow the church. 

God can heal relationships if His people give Him proper place in their lives. My family has seen this happen, and we praise the Lord for it!! It is a very beautiful and precious experience. It takes a lot of work of looking squarely at self and surrendering to God's will. It takes unity minded mature Christians on both sides who are willing to die to self and focus on their own shortcomings while bearing with another's. If you are under God's authority instead of your own, God can do a beautiful work that will amaze you and those watching! 


Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.

Proverbs 15:32

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid
Proverbs 12:1

So I beg you, brothers and sisters, because of the great mercy God has shown us, offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him—an offering that is only for God and pleasing to him. Considering what he has done, it is only right that you should worship him in this way. Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.
Romans 12:1-2

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,  then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant,
Philippians 2:1-7

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Relaxing

mudontires_worthit

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Psalms 62:5-7

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Short Update

Hannah did great getting her filling put in today. No issues and no pain! Thank you to those who were asking about and praying for her.

Amanda has her surgery on Thursday. Prayers for a smooth procedure and quick healing, please.

Brandon is in the middle of something big and important. I will never be able to share the details of this publicly, but it is a significant investigation. It may lead to bigger things for him eventually. Prayers for his wisdom and success appreciated.


Stayed with Her Daddy

 

goingbacktowork

After Hannah's root canal, we gave her a choice of going home or hanging out with Daddy at work. He gave her the shirt she's wearing with the company logo and new campaign.

She wanted to go back to work with her wonderful Dad!
Clint's boss and his men loved having her around.
Over the years, they've come to know all of our children.

Monday, August 24, 2020

We are truly blessed!

watersedgeatresort

Keep me near you like a seal you wear over your heart,
    like a signet ring you wear on your hand.
Love is as strong as death.
    Passion is as strong as the grave.
Its sparks become a flame,
    and it grows to become a great fire!
 A flood cannot put out love.
    Rivers cannot drown love.
Would people despise a man for giving
    everything he owns for love?

Song of Solomon 8:6-7


Today, Clint and I are celebrating 
32 years of marriage 
and 35!!!! years together as a couple.

Our grand adventure continues...


Sunday, August 23, 2020

We are Called to be Holy

If you think you can walk in holiness 

without keeping in perpetual fellowship with Christ, 

you have made a great mistake. 

If you would be holy, you must be close to Jesus.

Charles Spurgeon

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Hannah Root Canal

 Hannahrootcanal2 

  Resized_Hannahdentist
Hannah did great through the root canal to save her badly broken tooth!

Friday, August 21, 2020

Coronavirus

Three people where some of our family work have positive tests or have symptoms and are being tested. This has occurred over the last two weeks. So far, all have very mild cases. They and those who worked directly with them have been sent home until cleared by doctors.

None of our family worked directly with those who are ill. Amanda might have, but she swapped days to help a friend and ended up having five days off during that time. That change in schedule kept her from being anywhere near the ill person. However, she now has to work five 12 hour night shifts in a row. Please keep her covered in prayer. It is very hard on her.


Girly Dog Going for a Ride


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My son's dog, Girly, thinks she is one of our younger girls.
She loved it when they strapped her in as we returned home from a short drive.