Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What Is Love?

I will warn you up front, you  may or may not like what I write below.  These are my sincerely held beliefs, thoughts, and words.  

In the weeks following the shooting in Orlando, the subject of love has been all the rage among the Christian crowd.  The demonstration seems to be a big group hug and putting aside all beliefs and doctrines in the name of love.  

What is love?

Merriam Webster has a long definition of love:  

   1a (1) :  strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties love
 for a child> (2) :  attraction based on sexual desire :  affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3):  affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests <love for his old schoolmates>b :  an assurance of affection love>

  1. 2:  warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion <love of the sea>
  2. 3a :  the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration love
>b (1) :  a beloved person :  darling —often used as a term of endearment (2) British —used as an informal term of address

  • 4a :  unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) :  the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) :  brotherly concern for othersb :  a person's adoration of God
  • 5:  a god or personification of love
  • 6:  an amorous episode :  love affair
  • 7:  the sexual embrace :  copulation
  • 8:  a score of zero (as in tennis)

  • Notice definition number four.  

    There's been many rallies and "pride" parades and prayer gatherings for the people surrounding the Orlando shootings.  One such prayer service has been featured on Brannon Howse's World View Weekend site to show what the service was, and thoughts concerning it.  

    Now, my interjections:

    The shooting was uncalled for.  No one has the right to go with any weapon, regardless of choice, and kill others.  I *do* support defending home and family, and I *do* support military actions, but I doubt shooting wantonly into a gay bar has anything to do with defending home and family or a military authorized movement.  Mass murder regardless of weapon used is senseless and cowardly.  

    God loves the people involved.  How do I know?  The bible says so.  John 3:16 says it all,   "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."  Now, insert your name, your friend's name, a victim's name, where "world" is, and read it back.  God loves you, loves your friends, loves those whom were killed, the families of those involved.   

    How does God show His love? 

    He shows it in His son Jesus.  

    God could have left us with no way possible to be with Him after death.  He could have left us in our sinful fallen ways to be separated from Him forever.  He didn't have to make a way for us, in our sin, to have a way to be forever with Him.   

    Insert your name where "world" is...
    John 3:16 King James Version (KJV)
    16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    God loves you regardless of who you are...He loves you enough that He sent His only begotten son Jesus to die for YOUR sins on the cross.... It doesn't matter where you are right now, what you're doing, what you have done, He loves you and paid the penalty that YOU would have to pay for your sins (and we ALL sin, there are no perfect people this side of heaven no matter who you are)... But, it's up to YOU to put His payment for your sins on your account, paid in full. When you do, you are a changed person, and the old things are passed away and all things made new. You don't WANT to be where you are/were, you want to grow, to walk in His ways, to please the One who saved you from the life you had before and the hell that awaits those who would reject Him.
    It doesn't matter what your sin is. E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E sins. In God's eyes sin is sin regardless of what it is, and the penalty is the same whether it's a "little" lie or murder or anything in between. Some He calls abominations, but the penalty is the same in the end...death, hell, separation from God for eternity. You don't have to go to hell. No one HAS to go to hell. Hell was never meant for us. It wasn't designed for us. You have to reject God, reject Jesus's gift of salvation, His payment for your sins, in order to go to hell. How do you do that...reject Him? 

    Simply do nothing.

    Or...you can do something about it.
    Romans 3:23 KJV “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
    Romans 6:23 KJV “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
    Romans 5:8 KJV “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
    Romans 10:9 KJV “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
    Romans 10:13 KJV “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
    Romans 8:1 KJV “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
    Romans 8:38-39 KJV “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 creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
    God loves you this much.  

    Now...what are you going to do with His love?

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    Monday, April 18, 2016

    Quilting Little Pieces Part 2

    Stress can lead to productive habits.  I've been putting mine into cutting little pieces by scissors and/or rotary cutter, and then putting them together into blocks.

    The process has been very relaxing!

    I have spent many evenings sewing while the kids did activities or watched tv or movies.
    After they went to bed I put in cds of preaching I picked up from the church library and listened to those while cutting and sewing.

    This is a skill developing I thought I would never do.  Sewing clothing is an easy task but with quilting there are so precise seams that it is a bit intimidating.

    I love the end result of the little pieces.

    Has the Lord given you something you like to do that helps during stressful times?  If so, feel free to share in the comments section!

    ***note:  I am trying to work more with this blog from a phone app, so the layout may look a little different between the time I publish from phone and then get to a computer to fix photo sizes and layout problems.  It's a little easier to work on it from the phone during down time.  :)

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    Thursday, April 14, 2016

    Quilting Little Pieces

    Lately I have been working on piecing little 2 1/2 inch blocks together.  After reading Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville blog I have been inspired to cut my scraps into useable pieces and do something with them.

    Under the needle right now is an Arkansas Crossroad.  It is a 16 patch alternating with lozenges made into an X. 

    This for me is relaxing.  In stressful times it is therapeutic to cut fabric and sew it into something.  Using scraps it is way cheaper than therapy!

    What is something you enjoy doing during stressful times in life?

    Sunday, April 10, 2016

    Spring Has Arrived (And I'm So Thankful!!)

    Spring made it, and no snow (so far), here in southern Kansas.  It was a cool 83 today (Sunday, April 10) as I made my trip to pick up middle son from a visit with his dad.

    It is green here, beautifully green and blooming.  Yes, allergy season is upon us!  The trees are greening up, some are still in purple bud, others were white bud and quickly turned pretty green.  The irises have opened and are in mid-bloom now.  The mint has taken off and grown like weeds.  The dandelions are in full force, the perennials are popping up and growing well, and the yard has been mowed twice.

    Garden time has arrived as well, with planting lots of seed and dreaming ahead of a bountiful harvest.

    Spring here is so pretty...  

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    Sunday, February 7, 2016

    The Old Kitchen Sink

    From Happy Housewifery

    Sometimes I dream of having a built in dishwasher, ready to accept all of our dirty dishes and clean them all without me scrubbing.  I was just thinking that today as I worked on the 3rd load of dishes through the old kitchen sink.

    But then, another thought entered in.

    Where would I do my prayer time at?

    Each day I stand at the old kitchen sink, with its chips and stains from years of use, and look out the window that overlooks our back yard.  The old double hung window faces west, and from there I can see the storms as they work their way in, or a sky clearing off as a system passes by.  I start my day at that old sink, pouring water into the coffee pot and measuring grounds to make into "instant human".  Right beside the sink I keep close at hand the stand mixer, blender, and coffee pot (and a second coffee pot, the old fashioned perk pot, on the stove top).  My world seems to revolve around those things and the sink.

    Lots of time passes by standing at that old sink.  It's not unusual to find me there, washing dishes, preparing various ingredients to put into the day's meals, etc, and listening to the radio.  The time at the old sink allows me to hear bible studies, preaching, and good old hymns.

    The old sink has also seen a lot of tears-- tears of anger, sorrow, joy, and the occasional cut finger.  It's weathered my frustrations with a child, anger after an animated discussion within the home, sorrows in missing loved ones or heartaches from circumstances beyond our control, and joys of prayers answered.  It's been the place of many prayers, and it seems more often than not, that's my "prayer closet".  No one bothers me while I stand at the sink, as I'll hand them the sponge and allow them to take over.  So, in wide open view, I am able to stand and pray, quietly while the noises of the home go on, and take my cares, worries, fears, praises, and worship, to the Lord.  Since I average 2 to 3 sink loads of dishes a day, I have lots of time I can spend with the Lord, mostly uninterrupted, where I can talk with Him.

    Looking at it this way, that dishwasher doesn't look so appealing after all....

    This is an old home, well over 100 years old, and that sink has been there a long time.  I'm sure a couple of other women before me have stood there, sharing many of the same sentiments.  We use(d) what is considered one of many chores, and put the time taken for it to have a dual purpose.  That time with the Lord may not have been there had we popped the dishes into a machine, turned it on, and walked away to find something else to do.

    Maybe it's all about perspective......

    Shared at:  Darling Downs Diaries, Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, What Joy Is Mine, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Mom's The Word--Living For Him

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    Saturday, February 6, 2016

    Two Months with Trim Healthy Mama...and Going!

    It's now been 2 months since starting with recipes and eventually plan. When I weighed 6 weeks ago, I'd gained 18 pounds, but had only been doing anything remotely close to plan for 2 weeks. I'd by then lost 2 sizes though, which was cool and even the Dr noticed.
    My next weigh in is in a few weeks at my next diabetes check up. I've lost fat off the knees/legs/rear end/belly apron. My face has significantly become less fat. You can actually feel my ribs on the sides even though I look HUGE (can't see them but you can feel bones). Joints are coming to sight that have been hidden a while, and they're huge--part of being built like a tank. You put your hands on my waist you can feel the upper lip of the pelvic bones (short waisted here). They are by no means visible yet but feeling them alone is encouragement--they aren't buried totally under mounds of fat AND there's actually a waist line!
    At my largest, I had a 65+ inch waist. I want to say 69 but can't remember exactly. My hips have been usually 14 inches larger than my waist--that'd be minimum 79 inch hip, and bust ran in the 70's. Think about it--that's over two YARDS around the hips. Today, I am in a 16 to 18 on the lower body. Upper body can do a 14/16 depending on cut. I by accident grabbed a bra from the clean laundry basket that looked like mine (sports bra) but was stepdaughters--a 36. It's stretched a little, but it is still comfortable. I've went from a 14 undies to an 8/9 (ok a little TMI but I know some women will appreciate it).
    I've also went from taking 6 naproxen a day to be able to walk to now 2 in the morning only. At my largest, my husband suggested I apply for disability because I couldn't move around much, but my conviction was that it was not true disability to be fat, it was something I could change. I am able to hold a job if need be. It's taken lots of work, and there's been down times, cheats, horrible eating, etc, but I've proven I'm not disabled... I still have aches and pains, as my former employments have done a number on joints as has my weight. But each day as the little fat cells scream as they get smaller, the joints get better, and the pain is less. My diabetes has gotten significantly better, from a A1C of 14 at diagnosis down to a 5 to 6 average. Acne has went away (considering I'm 38...I looked like a teenager covered in zits), skin is getting smoother, stretch marks have lightened up, and even the scars where my laproscopic surgery was...it looked like a hernia it was so hard and lumped...has softened and become 2 separate actual scar areas vs the size and texture of a hernia....it was pushed out by lots of fat under the muscle layer...that has gone down.
    In essence, over the years, I was killing my body one bite at a time, stretching it way beyond where it should have ever been.
    Even if you're losing slowly, don't give up. It didn't take us a day or two to get to our sizes. It won't take us a day or two to make it to goal size/weight. Stick with it, even if you don't see scale victories, you're getting healthier.

     Don't give up.

     Don't stop when discouraged. 

    And don't go back to where you were!

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