Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bear One Another's Burdens

by Barbara Lea Campbell
Used by permission
I was reading in Galatians yesterday in chapter 6.  I love verse 2.  Just a wonderful command for us. I decided to do a bit of digging and look up the original meaning of the word "bear" (I love going back to original language and meaning). Bear here means to take up with hands, to put upon one's self to be carried, to sustain, support.

To me, it is a picture of not just being concerned about someone's situation, but doing something about it. No doubt there are many situations we can do nothing about.  I can't cure your parent's disease or bring your rebellious child home, but I can listen. I can give you a break if you are a caregiver. I can provide a meal. I can help around your house. I can do "whatever" to lighten your load if only for a bit. And I can pray, not just a one-time prayer but I can come along side you and pray fervently for your situation.
When I do this.. reach out and help in whatever way I can, Gal 6:2 tells me I am fulfilling the Law of Christ. I am sure someone who has a great deal more theological knowledge than I would have a grand explanation.  But yesterday as I pondered this I kept thinking of Jesus being asked by the Pharisee which commandment was the greatest and He replied, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."

I'm thinking when I carry your burden for a bit, pray for you and do whatever, I can to lighten your load.  Then I am loving you as myself and obeying Christ which is an outward display of my love for God. I am hoping I am able to lighten a few loads today through the power of Christ in me.

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Tending Your Marriage Garden

by pamela spurling -- April 25th, 2017
Used by permission

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ll remember I often make references to my gardens. Not so much to share gardening techniques or skills, but what’s growing in the gardens.  I think more than in any other place, I find instruction in the garden.  It seems the Lord meets me out there in ways I can never anticipate — but one thing I can or do anticipate is that He will be out there with me and He’ll have something to show me.

So I was walking around today to see the work ahead in the garden.  I shouldn’t wonder, but I do this every year.  And sure enough, the Lord met me in the garden as I was singing and admiring the new growth, the blossoms, the tulips…  And then beside our house there’s that incredibly fast spreading Bishop’s Weed (Aegopodium ‘Variegatum’).  It’s beautiful, soft and such pretty shades of green.  And it spreads everywhere.  Kinda like mint. 

I’d been reflecting on last night mom’s meeting at church where the topic of discussion was: marriage.  And I’d also been thinking of a couple of devotionals I’d read this morning.  So, it’s not surprising that when I was looking at that pretty Bishop’s Weed, I noticed something else — something that wasn’t visible to me last year but seems to have crept in over the winter and into this springtime.
As I have noticed through the years, weeds in the garden tend to look very similar to the plants they grow beside.  In fact, it’s often so difficult to see the difference that it’s easy to miss them entirely.

I stopped to reflect on last night’s talk… on my thoughts that lingered long after the meeting.  I thought on a scripture that wasn’t brought up last night:  “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.”  –Song of Solomon 2.15-16.

The leaves of that “Bishop’s Weed” are beautiful, very soft and tender — and if I don’t get out there and remove that invasive dark green weed, it will choke out and overtake the tender plant.  Same with those little foxes–those weeds: poor or wrong attitudes, habits, actions, words in marriage.  

Weeds in marriage are pesky, invasive destroyers. Have you thought about those things  lately?

Have you reread some of those earlier embraced books on your shelf?  Have you listened again to recorded messages that were once inspiring to you?  Have you revisited notes, decisions, plans you once had regarding your marriage?  Have you looked back on memories of the sweet words, dates, walks, talks, future-plans?

Is there some cultivating you need to do? You know, every seed grows; and in the seeds of today there are tomorrow’s plants, shrubs, trees, flowers.  Not every seed brings desirable fruit — some are weed seeds — weed seeds that grow into plants and vines that are set to destroy all the beautiful plants. And many a beautiful plant (read: marriage) was destroyed by an invasive weed.

I thought on all this this morning as I took a closer look around the gardens.  And I asked the Lord again, as I did last night, what do You want me to do?  Will you show me the little foxes that are spoiling the vines?  And I ask the Lord… will you fill me and equip me to do Your will, and will You help me to be ever more the wife my husband needs?

Patterns for Living ~ A Jesus Christ Original

Thanks to Gayenelle Wakely who shared this with me!

$ Priceless                                             All Sizes

Material Required:
A life (young or old) filled with determination, will power, and the Spirit of God.  Synthetic material not recommended.

Notions Needed:
Elasticity                               Interfacing

Variety                                   Lip Zipper
Sense of Humor                   Backbone Stiffening

How wide is your understanding?
How long is your patience?
How deep is your love?                          Galatians 5:22-23

Pattern Instructions:
Step 1 ~ Pattern for Adjustment
"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God."
~ Colossians 1:10
"He must increase, but I must decrease."
~ John 3:30

Step 2 ~ Planning the Layout
"Let all things be done decently and in order."
~ I Corinthians 14:40

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you."
~ Matthew 6:33

Step 3 ~ Instructions for Cutting
Cut all the unkind criticism, gossip, and fault finding.
"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you..."
~ Ephesians 4:31

Step 4 ~ Seam Allowance
Give others the benefit of the doubt.
"And let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."
~ Galatians 6:9-10

Step 5 ~ Pressing
It is necessary to press after each step.
"I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 3:14

Step 6 ~ Putting Together

"Add to your faith virtue; to virtue knowledge; to knowledge temperance; to temperance patience; to patience godliness; to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love."

~ II Peter 1:5-7

Step 7 ~ Insertion

Join in some joy and laughter.
"A merry heart doeth good like medicine."
~ Proverbs 17:22
"Yes, happy is that people whose God is the Lord."
~ Psalm 144:15

Step 8 ~ Ruffling
Don't get ruffled.  There's none called for in this pattern!
"Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you."
~ I Peter 5:7

Step 9 ~ Zipper (Lips)
"Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips."
~ Psalm 141:3
(Translation of above)  "Lord, fill my mouth with proper stuff, and nudge me when I've said enough."

Step 10 ~ Facing (the Task)

"I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."
~ Philippians 4:13
"In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works."
~ Titus 2:7

Step 11 ~ Finishing Details
"I have finished my course; I have kept the faith."
~ II Timothy 4:7
"Be thou faithful until death, and I will give thee a crown of life."
~ Revelation 2:10

Love to Mamas of Prodigals

The very mention of the word, prodigal, brings to mind a flood of memories. I’ve written about, spoken at retreats and women’s studies, and have shared my own experiences as a mamas of prodigals. 
I had a section on the old site – a page dedicated to prodigals and waywards.  So often, through the years, I’ve had women share their stories, share advice, share their struggles and disappointments and feelings of utter failure and hopelessness.   Usually all I can say is that I understand.  

They probably think I don’t.  But I do. I really do. Time never seems to allow for elaborating my reason for empathy… but somehow I’m able to convey enough that these mamas get it.  They get that I get them — that I understand.

I read another great article from Revive Our Hearts today… It was encouraging to me, affirming what I already know and reminding me to walk in the grace the Lord has given me.  I think it just might encourage you, too. Ministering to Moms of Prodigal Children

God bless you as you continue to travel the narrow path… trusting the Saviour for His great plans. Love to you today. ♥

Saturday, May 20, 2017

How to Raise a Crook / God's Instructions

1.  Give him everything he wants.  This way he will grow up to believe that the world owes him a living.

2.  Never give him spiritual training.  Wait until he is twenty-one and then let him decide for himself.

3.  Avoid using the word, "wrong."  It might make him feel guilty and his schoolwork will suffer.

4.  Do not make him work at home.  Do his work for him so he will learn at an early age to leave the responsibility to others.

5.  Let him watch anything he wants so he can learn from television how to get along in the world.

6.  Give him spending money so he won't be frustrated by having to earn his own.

7.  Do not make rules for him---you might make him angry at you.

8.  When he gets bad grades, blame the teachers.

9.  When he gets in trouble in school, blame the principal.

10. When he loses his job, blame the boss.

11. When he gets caught drunk driving, blame his friends.

12. Let him experiment with sex, drugs, and alcohol so he will be able to make an educated decision.

13. Buy him a car as soon as he can drive so he will have the freedom to go wherever he wants.
--from The Presbyterian Journal written in a gospel tract

God's Word to Parents

Bring our children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. ~ Ephesians 6:4 (NAS)

These commandments are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Write them on the doorframes of your homes and on your gates. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NIV)

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)


Letting Go

by Nina Graff - Used by permission

The lilac photo is from our farm that we sold a few years back. I went to visit yesterday and they have a new baby (#5!)  I asked before I came if I could dig a shoot from a couple of lilacs? There are 5 different ones there. This beautiful double purple one in the photo was CHOPPED DOWN!  Just because he didn't want it there!

Oh my, the whole place was in shambles. Really. Broken windows, falling boards, the yard a MESS. But I did get to dig a few lilac shoots that were popping up.

I drove away realizing that the things we build up in this life are nothing more than sand castles. We can enjoy the building....BUT they can be dismantled in one big wave.  It's only the things we build for eternity that last.


By Jason Fizer - Used by permission

When I think of “forming”, I think of forming a material that is pliable, that can be molded into a particular shape. I think of forming or sculpting a material like clay. In Scripture, the Hebrew word for form is “yatsar” and is used to describe what a potter does or what a potter makes. In these cases it is translated as “potter” or “earthen vessel”. Sometimes the Bible refers to God as a “Potter” who forms things or people, or people groups, such as the nation of Israel. Also, formed (yatsar) can mean "to ordain".
Consider some of the following things that God forms. Many times they are immaterial and things that we wouldn’t think could be formed, but still the same word “yatsar” is used.
PSALM 33:15 – God forms (yatsar) hearts.
This is not referring to the physical heart that pumps blood. This is referring to God’s various ways of communicating with humans, in order to shape the inclinations of the “heart” and will.
ZECHARIAH 12:1 – God forms (yatsar) the spirit of man within him.
The spirit is immaterial but can be formed in various ways. Inadvertently, life will form one’s spirit. Based on the life one has encountered (people, circumstances etc.) whether good or bad, along with personal decisions, the spirit will form accordingly. For us all, our spirit has to be re-shaped by God .
ISAIAH 45:7 – God forms (yatsar) the light, God creates (bara) the darkness
Light was not understood to be material. The original audience wouldn’t have thought about objects in the distance outer space that burn or reflect. Just before this verse it spoke of the movement of the Sun from the east to the west. He forms the Day and the Night. God forms light and creates darkness in such a way as to order our world with time.
PSALM 74:17 – God formed (yatsar) summer and winter
Summer and winter are not material things. God forms the conditions which cause summer and winter. As in Day 4, in Genesis 1, Day and Night establish time, and also seasons. The day and the night belong to God, and He has established the light and the Sun (Psalm 74:16).
PSALM 94:9 – God formed the eye
There is much more connected to the “eye” than just the physical structure. It is also about looking, considering and paying attention. The verse says: since God formed the eye, shall He not see? The accusation was that God doesn’t pay attention, that He doesn’t hear or see the injustices of our world. Since God formed the eye, He would be the One to know what seeing is really about. The One who formed the ears and eyes is listening and watching very closely.
PSALM 139:16 – God formed (yatsar) the days for me, which are recorded in His book. “Formed” takes on the meaning of “ordained” or “purposed.” The days were formed in advance, i.e. it was considered a completed action on God’s part. The days which are formed/purposed are written about in His book before one of them takes place. This is much more than numbering the days God will give us. Despite all that we experience, God is in control and has purposed good for us. The Psalmist prays that he might be led in the way of everlasting, that he might live in a way that transcends days/time.
God forms (yatsar) events before they happen. “Formed” again takes on the meaning of “ordained.” In 2 Kings 19:25 (also Isaiah 37:26), God had formed (yatsar) Assyria’s success in battle. It was considered a completed action long ago before it happened. He planned it from ancient times. Then He brought it to pass. He formed it before He brought it to pass.(see also Is 22:11)
ISAIAH 43:21 – God has formed (yatsar) a people for Himself that they shall show forth His praise
GENESIS 2:7 The Lord God formed (yatsar) man (adam) from the dust of the ground
‘Adam was formed (yatsar) from the dust of the 'adamah.
GENESIS 3:19 “For dust you are and to dust you will return”
PSALM 103:14 “For He knows how we were formed (yetser –comes from yatsar). He remembers that we are dust.”
This Psalm is referring to everyone. We are all dust and we are all formed. We are all formed from the dust. Interestingly, dust is not a material that one would consider forming.
ISAIAH 64:8 – God is the Potter (yatsar), we are the work of his hand
JEREMIAH – 1:5 – God formed (yatsar) Jeremiah in the womb. God forms us in the womb.
JEREMIAH 10:16 – God forms (yatsar) all things

Repairs: Appliances, Lawn Mowers, and Heating & Cooling Parts

by Lois Breneman

A good website to write down and save:

Our two sons certainly take after their dad and both grandfathers!  After Jeff and Rachael's 15-year-old refrigerator that came with their house quit a few days ago, Jeff used to find the solution.

You enter the model number and it shows all the parts and symptoms if they should fail. Based on that he ordered the defrost thermostat ($25).  The part came in pretty quickly and he soldered it in place. "So far so good," he said. I'm so proud of all of our kids!

One million parts for appliances, lawn mowers, furnaces, and 40 other household products ship the same day.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Clever, Easy Solutions to get your Kids to do Chores

This post is by Contributing Writer Lori Hernandez of Three Acre Farm . ab32f89ea78e676a5a900ea429d3bf

Note from Lois:  Teaching children how to work around the home is so important.  Not only is it a great help to the entire family in helping to operate a home more smoothly, but it lays a foundation for each child before they leave home.  Having responsibility gives them more confidence as well.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


compiled by Lois Breneman

Why does a rabbit have a shiny nose?
The powder puff is at the other end!

What's the difference between the bird flu and swine flu?
One requires tweetment and the other requires oinkment!

What do you call the story of the Three Little Pigs?
A Pig Tail!

What holds up the moon?

What is green, has 2 legs, and a trunk?
Grandpa, wearing a green jacket, while boarding a cruise ship!

What did the windshield wiper say to the other wiper?
Isn't it a shame that we only meet when it rains?

Where does King Arthur go to study?
Knight school!

When life is tough, what can you always count on?
Your fingers?

When does running mean walking?
When you run out of gas!

What happens when a cow jumps over barbwire?
Utter destruction!

What two girls' names are the same spelled forward and backward?
Anna and Hannah

What kind of a tool does an ape use to fix a leaky faucet?
A monkey wrench!

What do you call a hen that is afraid to cross the street?
A chicken!

What did the prisoners say when the jail flooded?
Would someone please bail us out?

What makes everyone sick except those who swallow it?

What will you find in the center of gravity?
The letter "V!"

Why did the chicken quit her job?
She was tired of working for chicken feed!

Where does Friday come before Thursday?
In the dictionary!

What increases its value by being turned upside down?
The number 6!

Where does the sandman like to keep his sleeping sand?
In his knapsack!

Where can you find success, health, wealth, and happiness?
In the dictionary!

Who can stay single, even if he marries many women?
A minister!

What's big, green, and eats rocks?
A big green rock eater!

Who is Ferris?
The big wheel at the amusement park!

What would you have if you crossed a kangaroo with a 747 airplane?
A jet that makes short hops!

How does and elephant get to the top of a tree?
He sits on an acorn and waits for it to grow!

What did the pig say at the beach on a hot sunny day?
I'm bacon!
Why are farmers cruel?
They pull corn by the ears and beat the cream to make butter!

Why did the farmer name his pig, "Ink?"
Because he kept running out of the pen!

What did the judge say when a skunk entered the courtroom?
"Odor in the court!"
What do you call a pile of cats?
A meowtain!
You've got to be kitten!

What did the old man do when he thought he was going to die?
He moved into the living room!

What's the best way to talk to a roaring lion?
Long distance!
Where do fish keep their money?
In the river bank!

Where do sea creatures eat?
At Fish and Ships!

Why are oysters lazy?
Because they're always found in bed!

What is yellow and wears a mask?
The Lone Lemon!

Why should women who swim in the ocean never be afraid?
Sharks are man eaters!

What kind of bird do you find in your mouth?
A swallow!

Why was the mummy afraid to go to the beach?
He was afraid to relax and unwind!

What did one pencil say to the other?
I've got a leadache!
Why couldn't the clock be kept in jail?
Because time was always running out!

How are an eye doctor and teacher alike?
They both test pupils!

I saw something last night that I'll never get over!  What was it?
The moon!

What's always behind time?
The back of a watch!

Why do they put a fence around a graveyard?
Too many people are dying to get in!

When is a black dog not a black dog?
When it's a greyhound!

What stays hot even when you put it in the refrigerator?
Hot peppers!

What did the mother sardine say to the baby sardine when they saw a submarine?
Don't be afraid!  It's only a can of people!

What goes over the tongue and through the eyes?
A shoestring!

What does an Eskimo eat for lunch?
Cold cuts!

What is soft and grey and looks like gun powder?
Instant Elephant!

Where is the best place to go to see man-eating fish?
Seafood restaurant!

What does every dieter hope for?
Lean years ahead!

What do you call a rabbit who's never been out of the house?
An ingrown hare!
What do you call taxi cabs lined up at the Dallas Airport?
Yellow rows of taxis!

Who do you get when you put a centipede with a parrot?
A walkie talkie!

What do you call a sticky black bird?
A velcrow!

Who was in charge of the Knights of the Round Table?
Sir Cumference!

What do you get when you cross a bumblebee with a door bell?
Either a humdinger or a buzzer!

What is the purpose of goosebumps?
To slow down speeding geese!

What should you do when you have ringing in your ears?
Answer it and see who it is!

What steps should you take if a tiger charges you?
You take long ones!

Why is a snake so smart?
No body can every pull his legs!

Can you name the four new states?
New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire and New Mexico

How do make Swiss cheese?
You start with whole milk!

What kind of building is it that when you go in the front, you're in the back?
A church!

Why did the lumberman quit his job?
He got bored.

What animal doesn't play fair?

When does 10+7=13?
When you add wrong.

What goes "Ha ha ha plop?"
Someone who laughs his head off.

How do you mend a broken heart?
You use ticker tape!

Why did the cow jump over the moon?
Because the farmer's hands were cold!

Why was the manager fired at the pretzel factory?
He tried to straighten things out!

Where can two people stand two inches apart without the chance of touching?
On each side of a door!

Where do you take a sick ship?
To the dock!

What do you call a person who loves money?
A doughnut!

Why is an empty purse always the same?
There's never any change in it!

What did the tie say to the hat?
You go ahead and I'll just hang around!

From what can you remove and eye and end up with only a nose?
The word, noise!

Why did the elephant paint his toenails red?
He wanted to hide in the strawberry patch!

What is the healthiest water?
"Well" water!

Why does a ballerina wear a tutu?
Because a one-one is too small and a three-three is too large!