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Archive for April, 2008

This is what was waiting for us when we got back from our anniversary vacation in Cocoa Beach, Fl….a beautiful iris that we call our heritage iris…as it came from Jim’s old family homestead in Southern Ohio. So I know it is spring, but br-r-r-r-r….coming from such a balmy, warm place and feeling this cold, made us wonder maybe we should have stayed a little longer!!

But looking more in our garden, this is one plant that you need to put where you don’t care if it spreads…it’s called a primrose…it is everywhere!!!

And I have to post a beach picture!! I just have to!

But we are so glad to be home…but we had a great time and saw many wonderful friends! I wanted to bring them all back with us! Such a blessed time!

 

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I received a large order for these neck pillows yesterday, so this is what I’ve been doing.

Finished ready to be labeled and sent!!

 

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Usually when you hear the word ‘grace’, it conjures up images of a prim and proper lady with the same name. In this year of 2008, everyone, it seems, is calling their new little baby girl, ‘Gracie’…..of course, being the age I am, when I hear that name, I think of the George Burns and Gracie Allen show…I’m not THAT old, but I do remember that funny show…..and that funny woman named Gracie.
There is another type of grace….when you are talking about how someone can possess grace. You may say ….”She is just full of grace and elegance”. It makes you think of royalty or being regal. The one actress I think of when I see the phrase ‘full of grace and elegance’ is Audrey Hepburn. She was as graceful as they come, in my opinion!

But the grace I am really talking about is the grace that God gives us. There is an acronym of Grace: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. You do notice I said that God gives us His grace. It is a gift. No strings attached. He gives us what we don’t deserve and holds back what we DO deserve! That is grace to the fullest!
 

We humans do not understand this little word called grace. In this day and age, everything has a condition to it…nothing is free. Go to the grocery store and see “Buy one get one free!” But is it really free? Think about it. If something is free, there is always that fine print to read to find out that you have to do something else to get it. So it really isn’t free. 

 

We aren’t used to getting something free….we tend to be very leery and suspicious. “We have to earn our keep. Nothing in life is free.” With this attitude, no wonder there are Christians that still can’t grasp God’s grace.

Someone once said that in order to get some kind of understanding of how God loves us and pours grace on us, we should read the story of the prodigal son from Luke 15:11-32. That son didn’t even wait until his Father died to get his inheritance…he wanted it now! I mean, this son was ungrateful, selfish, self-centered and egotistical! He was the son no one would want to call son. Do you know the story? Do you remember how the son spent every last penny on his own pleasures and ended up scratching along with the pigs for food? Do you remember how he finally came to his senses (so like us…after we go through trial after trial until a light bulb goes off!) and decided to go home…realizing that his Father’s servants lived a better life than he did. But he was afraid….rightly so! I mean, what will his Father do! How could his Father even want to look at him, let alone give him any place to lay his head!  He disgraced his Father.

As we look on at the scene of the son dragging himself down the road to his Father’s home….we can see how weak he is, barely holding on…but hoping of all hopes that he will be able to get just a scrap to eat.

The Father can see his son way down the road….it is almost as though he has been waiting for him! Quickly he summons the servants to kill the fatted calf and put together a feast of all feasts. “Bring the robe and slippers!” He probably had his maiden servants go out and cut the most beautiful roses to place on the finely set tables. It was to be the biggest party ever.His son was coming home……He welcomed him with open arms and a heart of forgiveness. It was like his son had never left home. He had his son back.
 

That is grace……………

 

His son didn’t deserve that treatment……………….That is grace.

The Grace that God gives us daily is sometimes overwhelming. It is hard to understand. But it is there, new every day. That is love. That is how God has loved us….through His son, Jesus Christ. Knowing or at least having a glimpse of this amazing grace that God gives us so freely, we should only then…..give it to others so freely. We should be the ones to say, “Bring the robe and slippers!” 

 

     

 

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“He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.” ~Psalm 40:3

I recently bought the soundtrack of South Pacific, a favorite of mine. I’ve always loved the old classic musicals; West Side Story, Oklahoma, My Fair Lady and of course, South Pacific to name a few. I was listening to “Happy Talk”, one of the songs of South Pacific and noticed how the notes went all over the place…up and down…a charming, catchy tune.

It occurred to me…kind of like an epiphany….that our lives are so similar to a melody. We have our ups and downs in life. And I was wondering if you were able to chart your ups and downs on a musical score, a melody would surely form. What kind of melody, I’m not sure!

But it gave me some encouragement that maybe I would like my melody, created by all my life’s challenges and battles, better than just looking at the musical score with just one note all the way through the song. Like “johnny one note”. Pretty boring, wouldn’t you think?

Normally we Christians don’t look at our battles as something we like. We do everything we can to get out of them…mostly on our own accord. But the thing is…the thing that just came to me….is that we need these ups and downs to have a life worth playing! And the greatest conductor, the One who can take our paltry songs and change them into something worth listening to, is Christ. He can change our little song into a magnificent overture!

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After shopping for clothes, and getting so frustrated with the selection, I’ve decided to make a dress…here is one I found from McCalls and the fabric is a Heather Bailey…I love it! Now for the time to do it. There is a short version and a longer one….if the short version, which I will make first, turns out good, I will make the longer dress!

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 As I struggle to get out of bed, a little stiff and groggy, I look out the window to see what kind of day I am facing. Another cold, rainy, misty day. Not a day I really want to face.

Stepping inside the shower, the water is slowly waking me up and I start to feel a little renewed just by the stream of hot water splashing over my face. I wish I were the kind to sing in the shower…I love to sing, but not in the shower… But if I were a shower-singer, I think I would choose “Great is Thy Faithfulness”. I think about the words to that age old hymn: “ Great is thy faithfulness, Great is thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed thy hand hath provided; Great is thy faithfulness Lord unto me!”

My mind wanders and I think that every day is like an artist’s canvas….a new day…never been used before. As I sip my coffee, now really feeling like me, I start to think about the day ahead of me. It is a new day, and I pray that today I will pay attention to God’s new mercies. They are there every morning, but my attention is always grabbed by the immediate needs at the particular moment.
How will I fill this canvas today, I ponder? I would love to be an encouragement to others…watch what I say and how I say it. But last week I was a little grumpy to a friend…..does that ruin my canvas for today? Actually, no. I have a new canvas today. I can put anything I want on it…I do want it to be pleasing to the eye though.

As an artist gets his canvas ready to paint, he sits in front of the canvas and feels the anticipation of a new piece of art. He has hope. He knows that the canvas from yesterday is sitting against the wall and no matter how many mistakes he sees in it, he knows that today he can start a new work. He starts painting and slowly the colors emerge together and he sees before him a new work appearing. He has even more hope….he gets excited and works more feverishly……until it is finished. He is satisfied.

God gives me the chance to be the artist ….But He prepares me a canvas for a new day by giving me the hope and forgiveness that only comes from Him. He gives me peace that only comes from Him. He shows me His love every day by the simple newness of this morning. He smothers me with His mercy and grace. His hope, forgiveness, peace, love, mercy and grace produce such an array of colors that only our Lord could put together. And no matter if I get a smudge on this canvas, I know that He will blend it in the rest of the colors.

That is hope. That is hope for a new day. I will take today and thank the Lord for a chance to use this day to His glory…….Great is Thy faithfulness!

 

 

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