Friday, November 18, 2016

Don't Worry About Them; Do Your Part (repost)

I originally set this to post last summer after sharing this with a friend who was going through some hard times. Someone just shared how this verse also applies to the battles going on between evil and good in our society today.

Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm. Psalms 37:1-9

I love this verse. 

It basically states: Don't worry about the evil people or be envious of what they have because they won't last. 

Then God gives us a list of what we, His people, should do, and it's enough to keep us so busy we don't have time to worry or be envious!

Trust in the Lord

Do good
Dwell in the land
Feed on his faithfulness
Delight yourself in the Lord
Commit your way to the Lord
and again...Trust also in Him
Rest in the Lord
Wait patiently for Him
and for a 2nd time...Do not fret
Cease from anger
Forsake wrath
and a 3rd time...Do not fret

We need to do what we are suppose to do and trust God to take care of the rest in every situation in our lives.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Third Camping Trip

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campsite early in the morning

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beautiful trail to the camping area

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We love our 4WD that takes us where there are no roads.

We squeezed in another camping trip before the weather became too cold. We camped on a mountain top in a remote setting. It was very pretty and peaceful!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Maturity in Difficult Relationships (repost)

I've taught my children this. Now my adult children are seeing it firsthand in the people around them.

Hurt people hurt people.
That's how pain patterns get passed on, 
generation after generation after generation.
Break the chain today. 
Meet anger with sympathy, contempt 
with compassion, cruelty with kindness.
Greet grimaces with smiles.
Forgive and forget about finding fault.
Love is the weapon of the future.
-Yehuda Berg

The speed at which we forgive and show willingness to work towards a healed relationship shows how mature we are in Christ. As we become more like Him, we realize how much He has done for us and are ready to example His love and forgiveness to others. This is how maturity in Christ looks in the midst of difficult relationships.

“The willingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity. It is one of the great virtues to which we all should aspire. Imagine a world filled with individuals willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that could not be solved among people who possessed the humility and largeness of spirit and soul to do either -- or both -- when needed?” Henri J.M. Nouwen 

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.”  Marvin J. Ashton

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.  – Genesis 50:20

It's on the Line

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I spray paint my clothespins after purchasing them. This $1.45 extra cost makes 
them last a lot longer. Because unpainted ones darken with use, 
it also makes them very easy to find in the grass if I drop one.

I can remember both of my grandmothers hanging clothes on the line to dry. I have been hanging out since I was a child. I have never had a dryer hooked up in my current home where I have lived for 21 years. I chose to put a second washer in that space, and it has been such a time saving blessing to me! While it isn't for everyone, there are many advantages to drying laundry outside.

First and most important to me, the natural UV light kills germs that the dryer doesn't. Twenty four years ago, I read that in a parenting magazine which was giving tips on how to avoid diaper rash for babies who wore cloth diapers. The UV light also kills bacteria that cause other skin rashes and infections.

Clothes naturally smell better after being outside. No need to use chemicals.

Stains fade naturally thanks to the sunlight. That also saves on chemical usage.

Machines increase wear and tear. Clothing and linens last longer when hung on the line to dry.

It is good stewardship. It saves a pile of money in not only electricity but also clothing and linen costs. That makes it a great choice for those of us who have large families.

It gives me time outdoors where I can hear the birds, feel the sunshine, and enjoy nature. It slows me down and is soothing to my soul.

It can be a time set aside to talk with one or more of my children while we hang the clothes together. It often becomes a time of laughter!

Air drying helps prevent wrinkles. If I snap the clothes before hanging them to dry, they are almost completely wrinkle free.

Clothes hung on the line do not develop static cling.

Line drying is a mini-work out. The lifting, bending, and reaching contribute to fitness levels.

There is no risk of fire when using the sun to dry your clothes. Dryers have to be maintained both at the lint screen inside the dryer and at the duct that vents to the outside. To reduce the risk of fire, the duct should be made of metal, cleaned every six months at the least, and replaced every five years according to home safety organizations. The lint screen should be cleaned between every load. The standard advice is to never run your dryer when you aren't home.

In the winter, I will hang out clothes in the house to dry which helps raise the humidity levels. That's a nice benefit.

I know it's not for everyone, but line drying works very well for my family. It has saved us quite a bit of money in electricity, chemicals, clothing, and linens.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Wintergreen Visit

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a howling little coy-wolf we "found" and brought home

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Emily and Hannah enjoyed our visit to Wintergreen. 

On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. Psalm 145:5

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Rich Mullins on Christianity

Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved. Jesus loved the poor, and Jesus loved the broken. -Rich Mullins

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Unforgiveness and the Havoc It Can Cause (repost)

This is a repost of one of the most searched for pages of our blog and is from April 14, 2013:

Unforgiveness is the willful choice to refuse to give up negative feelings and the right to get even demanding that someone has to pay for the offense you feel was committed against you or someone else. It is a very serious sin and has some very serious consequences.

Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

At first glance, these verses look like you can lose your salvation if you are hold grudges in your heart. An overview of Scripture would prove nothing can separate us from God's love. When we dig deeper, we learn these verses are regarding our fellowship with God. When we hold onto those bad feelings about someone else, we suffer in our relationship -that closeness- with God. Psalm 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;

"Well, I forgive them, but they will know I am not happy about it."Stop lying to yourself! You are still seeking a form of retribution so it's unforgiveness. You might be trying to punish the with your silence or absence knowing full well that is not what God wants. There are all kinds of lies we tell ourselves to let the harsh feelings stay. We need to be honest with ourselves about what is in our hearts. Lamentations 3:40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.

"It takes me time to forgive. It will take me a while to get over it. I'll avoid them until then." What this speaker is saying is that they are slow to obey, are not in touch with their own failings and God's redemptive work in their lives, and they will punish them with silence and absence. This is not our example. God doesn't treat us like that. I am thankful for the people who have exampled Him in my life by forgiving me quickly and eagerly. 

The other person is not affected much by our unforgiveness. I know that disappoints you, but it's true. They don't get up each morning and wail "Oh no, so and so won't forgive me! They are still mad at me, and I just can't go on!" You are the one who will be wallowing in the filth of your rebellion to God's way of doing things! We can blame others for our misery, but doing that reaps us more frustration and hostility.

If they are a godly person who stumbled, they are going to probably forgive you and move on with it. You are the one who will be suffering loss while they are trying to learn and gain all of the spiritual growth out of the situation. You look like a weak Christian, but they are growing stronger in the Lord. Their testimony increases while yours decreases. 

If what is going on in your heart is not right, you can attend church, sing in the choir, be a deacon or Sunday School teacher, help the needy, serve on committees, run a ministry, go on mission trips, etc...and you will still lack in faith and fellowship with the Almighty. He cares more about what is IN YOUR HEART. Unforgiveness is the opposite of godly love. It is not Christ-like. In fact, unforgiveness goes against the very thing Jesus exampled: forgiveness. When we see it, we need to rid ourselves of it immediately.

Here are a few ways unforgiveness negatively affects us:

·     Bitterness in our attitudes, actions, and words affects those around us which in turn affects us. (Luke 6:45Ephesians 4:29) 
·         Blocks our spiritual growth (James 1:22)
·         Hinders us in our witness (I Timothy 4:16)
·         Affects the acceptance of our offering (Matthew 5:24)
·         Hinders us in our prayer life (Isaiah 59:2Psalm 66:18)
·         Hinders us in our worship (How can we demonstrate our love of God if we             are not obeying Him? John 14:15)
·         Affects us physically  (Proverbs 3:7-8)
·         Affects the counsel we give. We can't give godly counsel if our hearts are harboring ungodly feelings. (Proverbs 28:26Proverbs 14:12)
·    We lose part of our harvest. (James 3:17)

Hebrews 12:14-15 says that we are to make every effort to live in peace and not miss extending grace because bitterness reaps us trouble and affects many people. This command requires our action and our communication with the other person. We are to forgive and extend peace. Just because we do our part does not mean they will do theirs. They may not know Christ as well as you do, so it's a good thing you exampled Him with your forgiveness. They may have other issues going on in their life. Their reaction doesn't matter! Forgiveness isn't about them; it's all about you and your relationship with Christ! That's why it is such a big deal in a Christian life. 

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Another Camping Trip!

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We haven't been too long returned from taking Emily and Hannah camping in the "deep dark woods" as Emily use to call it. We had a blast! The area we stayed in is in the mountains near Stuart's Draft! We had a lot of fun, made new friends, met a 28 year old horse named Cody, and spent a lot of quality time together.

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; 
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. 
Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? 
In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7