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Banana bread loaves from above.

Banana bread loaves from above. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)

3 Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

My father-in-law is coming for a visit and like Martha, I wanted everything to be just right.

The house received  a much-needed, Fall cleaning, dust bunnies banished, clutter cleared. As I sat waiting and knitting I thought some apple oatmeal raisin bread would make for a nice welcome! So I got to work grating apples and pulling everything together. The preparation got so good to me I decided to make banana nut bread too!

The house smelled amazing! The loaves perfect in every way! There are no pictures. All good cooks sample their food and sample it we did and it was declared,delicious!  I wrapped the loaves and put them in the sealed cake saver, believing them safe.

In the morning I awoke with my mouth propped up to have a healthy slice with my coffee but when I went to grab the cake saver,  both loaves were invaded by ants. Crestfallen, the loaves were dumped and invaders immediately and successfully dispatched.

Sin has a way of creeping in and overtaking our lives even when we do all that we know to be right to protect and cover ourselves.  I can bake more bread and plan to, as soon as this evening!  This lesson taught me that the protection of life and bread can only come from the permeating covering of the Blood of Jesus!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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Rear-view mirror showing cars parked behind th...

Rear-view mirror showing cars parked behind the vehicle containing the mirror (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Isaiah 43:18 (NIV)

18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

 

There is a malady that causes people to live their lives eyes fixed and staring through the rear view mirrors.

Hearing and being a witness to this caused me to ponder, what really is the purpose of a rear-view mirror?

Wikipedia states, “A rear-view mirror is a mirror in automobiles and other vehicles, designed to allow the driver to see rearward through the vehicle’s backlight (rear windshield or windscreen).” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rear-view_mirror)”

Hmmmm, so this tool is in place to give a quick backward glance to the rear while moving forward.  In this  lifetime I have seen cars driving along that contained side mirrors but clearly the spot where the rear-view mirror was supposed to be affixed was absolutely vacant.

Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)  17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

Once we surrender our lives to the Lord we become new creatures, all of our sins, secret and confessed lovingly covered by the blood if Jesus!  This new creation is free to move ahead! Rear view mirror living should only provide a brief look back so there is a reference point to enable us to see where God has brought us from and not hinder us from rolling forward and toward His purpose for our lives!

Today let us vow to only glance in those mirrors gain perspective and focus our eyes on God!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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An almost burnt-down lit candle on a candle ho...

An almost burnt-down lit candle on a candle holder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

11 The light of his favor shines on those who do what is right.
Joy comes to those whose hearts are honest. Psalm 97:11 (NIRV)

Growing up I was always be amazed while watching pioneer or any period (old)  movie, how one little candle fragment held aloft in a holder, touched by a piece of tinder illuminated the entire cabin. Every corner bathed in fingers of light from that one candle nub.

That simple vision fascinated and cheered me. Rooms awash in the flickering glow of warmth, soon to be filled with family and overflowing with love.

To be that little light, shining in corners of darkness and hopelessness. As a child I sang “Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam” and “This little Light of Mine”.  I sang from the depths of my little heart because I so wanted to be that sunbeam.  There have been  moments when the candle flickered and sputtered and was nearly extinguished, yet God breaths on us encouraging us to shine on and to brighten the hearts of those around us.

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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2 woodless graphite pencils in plastic sheaths...

 

Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

On my desk at work is a delicate looking mug stuffed with pens and pencils.  My “Love”  mug has been on my desk since shortly after I began in this position, mostly because I don’t like digging for pens.

But oh, how the purpose has changed! It used to be kept to the side and hidden, not in a position to invite a borrowing eye or request. Yet moved a few inches over and a not so amazing thing happened, it turned into bait for the unprepared!

One borrowed pencil was a life, someone’s child asking for help. So what if the child towers over me and outweighs me, they need something I can provide.  Over time I realized that borrowing  pen or a pencil became the excuse but more often than not eventually the hug became the reward.

We are to provide help to the helpless and mother the motherless. The cup is stuffed because an empty vessel is unable to share a pencil or pour out the Love of God!  A borrowed or given pen is merely a way to let others feel small measure of God’s Love.  Today I am thankful for the pens and pencils that have touched my hands no matter how briefly.

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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English: Satsuma iris button (self-shanked), s...

Luke 1:14 (NIV)

14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,

When I completed my most recent scarf/cowl there was a problem well before the last stitch was knit.  No question there was not going to be enough yarn.  So what, I finished it anyway and upon holding it up realized that all it needed was just the right button.  There were buttons in my button baggie, but not “THE” button.  In truth, there are a quite few projects lying about in need of buttons.

I jumped online and longingly perused the buttons at www.woodenbuttons.com.  The button array had be salivating!  This was the place where I would find that gorgeous button that I  could picture finish that piece perfectly.  Knowing my budget limitations I said a prayer and did a little button shopping.

There were toggles, long and short, rounds, ducks, flowers and domes it was almost overwhelming, almost.  I selected a, pretty on the monitor, dark brown wood toggle and a large black disc shell button for a future project.  Then it was time to wait.

Arriving at home on yesterday, I flew to the mailbox, not caring that it was hot and humid; I just knew the buttons had arrived.  Opening the envelope I was not disappointed!  Nestled inside were my buttons, lovely dark chocolate in color, smooth to the touch and just the right size.  My surprise was that there were more buttons in the bag than I thought, it would seem that I neglected to read the fine print (ok it wasn’t fine it was at the end of the sentence! )  These buttons were sold in dozens, so there was definitely more bang for the buck.

We are God’s masterpieces!  He carefully selected everything about us, our eyes, just the right color, that unique edge or speck of color here or there.  He knew that our teeth would set off our smiles perfectly.  The joy that I found in a button for a project, He finds in all of us.

Father, thank you for loving me, one of your unique, flawed and imperfect creations and for allowing the beauty of Your grace, mercy and love to show through and be shared with others.

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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Ecclesiastes 11:5 (NLV)

5 Just as you do not know the path of the wind or how the bones are made of a child yet to be born, so you do not know the work of God Who makes all things.

You’ve seen them, up high, heads above the crushing crowd, held secure and safe riding upon shoulders of their protective fathers, squealing in glee as they take in the sights and sounds from their elevated perches.

Lately it seems that the jostling to and fro by the masses, the kicks and stepping on the back of my shoes by the masses  that trampled my feet, and knocked me about,  disoriented and juggled me so I don’t remember where I was traveling.

I am fed up. I am tired.  I am on the verge of tears or a flat-out, full-blown tantrum but instead I fall back remembering that I know exactly what to do.  I turn, raise my arms, tear streaked face and hands like a child and  say “up”.   Lift me up Poppa, shield me from this onslaught. Protect and aid me through this madness. Allow me to ride upon your shoulders until You have shown me the wonders You have for me to see.  Lord, I am depending on You to guide, protect and direct me, and for you to place me where I am to be when the coast is clear.

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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4 One thing I ask from the LORD,  this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD   all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD  and to seek him in his temple.  Psalm 27:4 (NIV)

Yesterday evening and not for the first time I got it! I witnessed one of the reasons my husband loves Richmond! Crossing the bridge as the sun was retreating from the sky God painted it with broad strokes of fuisha, pinks and displayed on a generous blue canvas. It took my breath away, my eyes were glued and my heart full of thanks. So vivid the memory, I am still aglow and sorry the camera was not in hand. Some days it is God’s hand-painted brush strokes that remind me to appreciate each and every gift my eyes behold.

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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