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3.22.2013

Think About it Thursday #4

Letter to a friend. . .
First, I must ask your forgiveness. My own feelings or pride may have taken the place of what I should’ve said. And I feel that these written words may sound harsher than they would if spoken to you, and please know that it was not my intention. I have already asked forgiveness of God for any wrong that my foolish pride has done to you, and so now ask you to forgive me as well.
I do not claim to know your heart, or anyone else’s, but I do know that God’s word tells me over and over that neither my heart or anyone else’s can be trusted to do good left to itself. My concern for you is the same I have for all, and for myself. That we be not just trusting in a profession of faith, but in the person of Jesus Christ alone, and thereby should have ample fruit to give proof of our faith.
Allow me to explain why this is so important to me. I spent many years of my life in hypocrisy and thinking I was okay with God, because I could profess a faith in Him, and I believed He existed, and that He died and now lives. The problem was that I came to the realization that if I truly believed that, then my life in every aspect should show some sign of my faith being real. There should be submission to His Word and will on my part. Scriptures like those found in Matthew 7:21-23 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” and “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that  Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” - 2 Corinthians 13:5, scared me.
These and other Scriptures made me take a hard look at what I was actually living for. I was living for me. I did only things that satisfied me, pleased me, and even when something might look good to others, I did them with the intention of their seeing it and thinking well of me. 
I am not trying to presume to know whether or not you are saved, merely to exhort you to be sure, because you have implied to me that we cannot know for sure if we die this instant where we will be. “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye  shall never fall:” - 2 Peter 1:10
You have told me that the Bible is full of contradictions. A Christian should never think such a thing of his God. “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:” - Hebrews 6:18. God cannot lie, so if any of part of the Bible should be seen as untrue or not trustworthy, then it is to call God a liar. I do not say this to be condescending, but because God had to bring me to this. If there is something that may appear to be a contradiction in His Word, I trust that it must be true, not because I always see it as such, but because I trust it to be His Word, and I trust His character, that He cannot lie. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”-2 Timothy 3:16. And that if I don’t understand something, I don’t just have to say, “Oh well, must be wrong.” “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” - James 1:5.
I do not think myself better than you. On the contrary, I see myself as the most selfish and vile of all people. I know who I am and who I have been, and am disgusted with myself. When I read: “Master, what is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law of the prophets.” - Matthew 22:36-40. I see only am imperfect love for my Savior. I cannot keep His commandments. All my heart, soul, and mind do not even to seek to love Him all the time, not even a fraction of the time. I do not love my neighbor as I should, let alone as myself. This only makes Jesus more precious, because He kept all of the law. He was and is the only One who could satisfy the great and perfect requirements of God’s perfect and holy law. My salvation, my hope for anything and everything, rests solely in Him and what He has done. I could never choose right, and have proven so by always choosing wrongly when left to my own wisdom and doing. 
Could you share with me your conversion? Is Jesus precious to you? Would those who know you best say that Jesus is the most important thing in your life? Your greatest affection? 
“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself so to walk, even as he walked.” - 1 John 2:3-6
We do sin, I sin all the time. But I can also look at my life and see God growing me. The sign of true Christian faith is that we do sin, but we repent of our sins, and we do not live continually in gross sin. We are supposed to submit to the Word of God and its authority in all things. 
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not committ sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” - 1 John 3:4-10
I am in no way claiming that I do not sin, but have the greatest desire not to sin, and am ashamed of my sins, and continually must seek the forgiveness of God for them. I love you, and I think you already know where we disagree, but let us make sure that our disagreement is with eachother and not with God. 
I do earnestly seek that all those I know would be saved. I say all this with love for your soul. I do not know whether you have ever looked at the Scriptures or not. I do not know whether or not you believe what they say. I do not know if you have justified yourself in sin by believing they are  untrustworthy. I know myself, and I know that the Bible says: “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” - Romans 1:21-23. 
We create an image and commit idolatry when we do not take what God has said about Himself through His own word, the Bible, but instead create a god that we are comfortable with. When we take what we like from the Bible and reason away what we don’t like, we call Him a liar, and have made a god for ourselves to please our reason or worse that we might continue to live in sin. I have done this, and according to Scripture so have we all. I am not trying to stand in judgement over anyone. It’s not within my power to exact judgement, nor do I want to, and if I have been judgemental, God forgive me. But do not mistake God’s judgement in what He has already decreed in His Word, the Bible, for my judgement. If you truly have any desire to understand my understanding (which is infinitely limited) for how I would see anyone, myself included, apart from God, read the first three chapters of Romans. Please, read it for yourself, and take it for what it says, instead of assuming that it can’t be trusted. Trust the One it represents, as it is He who wrote it.
I love you enough to speak the truth to you, and will always love you thusly.

3.20.2013

I'm Linking This!

Here are some of the places I've visited lately. Hope you enjoy.
1780s pet-en-l'aire and pleated petticoat
Would it be weird if I just started dressing like this? Maybe, but the Dreamstress sure makes it look easy.
http://thedreamstress.com/2013/03/striped-and-pleated-petticoat-details/
pinkheavenarticle1
Pink houses and keeping busy and thinking of others to rid yourself of depression. An interesting read from 50s gal.
Gorgeous dress from Cation Designs! I love the jersey, the drape, the birds! 
http://cationdesigns.blogspot.com/2013/03/march-stashbusting-empress-new-dress.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CationDesigns+%28Cation+Designs%29
Alli Crafts had an easy cute crocheted bootie pattern for newborns.  


I really like this outfit from Bramblewood fashion. Wearing a longer skirt underneath is such a great way to make a too short sundress a little more modest. Not sure if this look has an age limit or not, but it's definitely cute. Maybe my little girl can pull this off better, lol.
Living on Less Money posted a great recipe for homemade bubble solution.
Everything at Handmade By Carolyn is phenomenal, and she has a very understated elegant style.
This week her simple knotted dress really caught my eye as something very practical and easy to wear. She's almost convinced me to buy a Japanese pattern book....almost, they intimidate me a little.
Heather over at Feather's Flights made some suspenders for her little boy, because just like my 2 yr. old, he's too skinny  at the waist for a lot of pants. What's the deal with pants for little boys anyway? We even use cloth diapers and have this problem still.
And finally, Lucky Lucille has extended the deadline for her 40s sew along. I have the perfect 40s pattern(it's even nursing friendly), the perfect printed cotton, and until April 1st. I'd love to participate, but don't hold your breath. It seems like me and deadlines don't get along so well lately ;) But don't let that keep you from participating!
http://luckylucille.com/2013/03/sew-for-victory-deadline-extended/

So where you been lately? Please share your links in the comments.

3.15.2013

Funny Friday

So, this week saw us through a dreaded stomach virus. And yet there were still funny things said and done that could ease the yuckiness all around our house. Enjoy.


Silly boy ;)
"Don't shoot the baby dragons, Daddy, they're poor little things!"-5 yr. old daughter to her daddy, after he was attempting to kill all the dragons in her room that were keeping her from sleeping at bedtime. Isn't it convenient that dragons only show up when she's supposed to be going to sleep? Where are these dragons all day long? Hmm...

"Oh no! I'm spilling!"-Shout heard from astonished and horrified 2 yr. old boy when he peed in the floor after a bath. Needless to say the connections haven't quite been made between wet diapers and how they get wet. Guess we've got a long journey in potty training in our near future. 

"Let it begin! Let it begin!"-5 yr. daughter excited to be eating blueberries for breakfast when she finally got her appetite back. 
Blueberries!

"Mamaw! Candy!?!?"-2 yr. old's apt greeting for his Mamaw.

"It just breaks my heart!"-5 yr. old daughter's response to Mommy saying no about something. 

"Ice cream!"-2 yr. old's suggestion for breakfast.
"No, we can't have ice cream for supper! Are you crazy? It's just not healthy...Can we have peanut butter crackers, Mommy?"-5 yr. old daughter's reaction to her brother's suggestion. We did not have peanut butter crackers, for the record. 

"Fine. I'm going to sleep in the mermaid bed."-How Daddy gets our 5 yr. old to quit stalling at bedtime. Just funny when you consider the source. It's a good thing none of the men he works with will see this. *wink*


Baby says this is not funny, mom.
So, hopefully you and your family have fared better health-wise this week, but I also hope your week was made lighter through lots of laughter. 

How has laughter helped you get through things this week?

Oh, and I'm considering doing a giveaway soon, most likely sewing related, but not necessarily. 

Would any of you be interested in a giveaway? If so, what kinds of things would you be interested in winning? 

Please keep suggestions within reason though, I'm not the lottery, you know!

3.14.2013

Think About it Thursday: News That's Never on the News


Today's "Think About it..." post is taken from the missionary organization Frontline Fellowship based out of South Africa.  Take a moment to read this and just think about it, because you won't hear about it anywhere else. To read more about their ministry or to learn more about persecution and violations of human rights in Africa go to their website here

Jihad Against Christians in Africa
GeitaTanzania


Pastor Beheaded in Tanzania
Pastor Mathayo Kachili of the Tanzania Assemblies of God in Buseresere was    beheaded by a Muslim mob. The Geita Regional Police Commander's office                 issued a statement that the murder occurred during a confrontation when Muslims demanded the immediate closure of butcheries owned by Christians. Muslim youth      armed with clubs and machetes attacked Christians, injuring several people, some            of whom are in a critical condition.

Meat Monopoly Move by Muslim Minority
Pastor Kachili was murdered on Monday, 11 February, when a Muslim mob attacked       the Assemblies of God Church in Buseresere. This was part of a nation wide         campaign to force all meat industries in Tanzania to be run in accordance with Shari'a law and controlled by the Muslim minority.

Christian Response
ASSIST News Service quoted the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God in Tanzania, Barnabas Mtokambali: "Our response as a Church is not one of violence and hatred, reflecting the attitude of those committing such crimes, but that of Christ    and reflecting His image, by loving and praying for those who humiliate and persecute us, and not holding such sins against       them." 

Minister Murdered in Tanzania
Father Evarist Mushi, was ambushed by three men and murdered in Zanzibar, Sunday, 17 February. Father Ambrose Mkenda was shot and seriously injured on Christmas Day 2012. He is still in hospital. A group calling itself Muslim Renewal, has claimed responsibility for the assassination of Father Mushi and has vowed to make this Easter season a "disaster" for Christians in Tanzania. 

Church Torched in Egypt
On 15 February, St. Georges Church in Sarsena was torched by a crowd of Muslims who complained that they could hear the sounds of Christian hymns being sung from the church. The attack occurred on a Friday, after Muslims attended their weekly meeting at the mosque.

Lawlessness
In the presence of the Chief of Police, hundreds of Muslims hurled bricks at the church, climbed onto the church dome, demolishing it, setting it on fire. The dome collapsed into the burning church causing much damage. The Muslims then used bricks from the dome, and the Holy Cross, to hurl at the altar inside the church, causing part of it to be demolished. The icons and religious artwork in the church were destroyed. The Muslim mob then attempted to assault Father Domadios, throwing rocks at him. None of the police made any effort to stop the destruction, or apprehend the perpetrators.

Reconciliation Muslim Style
The authorities did not prevent the destruction of the church, but immediately afterwards placed a security guard to prevent the media from filming the church and to prevent local parishioners, or reporters, entering the property. The authorities then organised what they called a "reconciliation meeting", which the Christians described as "unfair and humiliating, like all such previous meetings forced by the Muslim authorities." Even during the "reconciliation meeting" the church was again attacked by Muslims hurtling rocks and Molotov cocktail petrol bombs to destroy the remains of the dome, the pews, the windows, icons and relics.

Compulsion
Those Coptic members who were chosen by the Muslims to attend the so-called reconciliation meeting were forced to sign an"agreement" which would restrict the church from restoring the building to its original height before the attack. The church is to be no higher than 3 metres from the ground. They are also required to build a soundproof wall, so that Muslim neighbours do not hear any sound of hymns emanating from the church. The church is also required to pay for soundproof material and retiling of the roof of the Muslim neighbours, so that they do not have to hear the sound of any prayers, or hymn singing. The agreement also forced the church to agree to not use their property for a kindergarten. Muslims frequently quote from the Quran that there is no compulsion in Islam, yet by their actions show that compulsion is integral to Islam.

Bitter Arab Winter
No one responsible for the assault and arson on the church of St. Georges in Sarsena has been arrested. Christians in Egypt have complained that, in the last two years, attacks on Christians and destruction of church property has exploded throughout Egypt. The so-called Arab Spring has turned out to be a very bitter Winter for Christians.

Ethiopian Christians Arrested in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabian authorities arrested 53 Ethiopian Christians on 8 February, for attending a private worship service in the home of an Ethiopian Believer in Damman, Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The arrests took place on Friday, 8 February at 10am. Damman, a major centre for petroleum and natural gas, has a large number of foreigners working there.

Intolerance and Repression
In December 2011, Saudi authorities arrested 35 Ethiopian Christians at a private prayer gathering in Jeddah. The Religious Liberty Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance, reports: "The Saudi government persists in banning all forms of public religious expression other than that of the government's interpretation of one school of Sunni Islam; prohibits churches, synagogues, temples and other non-Muslim places of worship. In its school state textbooks, and posts online, continue to espouse intolerance and incite violence; and periodically interferes with private religious practice."

Under Sentence of Death for Witnessing in Libya
Four foreigners, a South African, South Korean, Egyptian and Swedish American, were arrested in Benghazi, in Libya on 12 February. The Preventative Security Intelligence Unit of the Libyan Defence Ministry raided a publishing house, where they found 45,000 books about Christianity. The authorities claimed that they had reason to believe that some 25,000 Christian books had already been distributed. Quoting a Gaddafi era law forbidding proselytising under pain of death, security official Hussein Bin Hmeid, stated that Libya was "100% Muslim country and this kind of action affects our national security." The legislation forbidding proselytising provides for the death penalty for Christians who attempt to convert Muslims to Christianity in Libya.

Christian Cemeteries Desecrated, Hospitals and Churches Bombed
The President of the General National Congress, Mohammed El Magariaf, promised that the new constitution will enshrine Islamic Shari'a law as the principle source of all legislation. Salafi Muslim groups have bulldozed Sufi mosques, destroyed allied war cemeteries, bombed Red Cross Hospitals, fired at a Greek Orthodox Church, and bombed a Coptic Christian Church, killing two Egyptian Christians.

Ministers Arrested in Sudan for Baptism
The Coptic Bishop of Khartoum, Bishop Anba Elia, was arrested for refusing to apologise for the actions of two arrested Coptic priests who stand accused of baptising an Arab woman who converted to Christianity. To secure Bishop Elia's release, the Coptic Bishop of Omdurman was placed under duress to "maintain the security and integrity of the State and preserve relations between the Muslims and the Copts", was said to have issued an apology on Bishop Elia's behalf.

Violence Threatened
Violence has also been threatened against Copts in general, unless the Arab convert, who fled Sudan, returns to face the consequences demanded by Shari'a law. According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, at least 55 Christians, that they know of, have been detained without charge for the last two weeks as part of a wave of repression enforcing Shari'a law in Sudan.


"Remember the prisoners as if chained with them - those who are mistreated - since you yourselves are in the body also."Hebrews 13:3

What should we do when we hear or read things like this? Can we do anything? 

Let us pray for those who are living under threat of persecution. 

3.11.2013

Making it Monday

 Well, Easter will be here before you know it, and in reality my kids actually have outgrown their spring/summery dress clothes. You know what that means? I'm going to have to start sewing like a crazy lady for the next couple of weeks, not just so they have new Easter clothes, but so they have something for warmer weather that fits. The good news is that we inherited a lot of clothes for the 2 yr. boy from my nephew, and of course the 6 month old can wear hand-me-downs, too. So even though I would like to make everyone a new something. I will be happy if I can just get something made for my daughter. She's grown almost six inches since last year!

To say that my daughter has very particular taste in her clothing is putting it mildly. She would spent 30 minutes putting outfits together when she was only three (she's five now). So, I never, ever, sew or buy anything for her without getting some input as to what pattern she wants and what material or colors to use. However, her request for this dress has me a little baffled. I'll try to explain it as best I can.

Here's the pattern she chose. Cute, right?
Butterick 6324, from the 80s I think.
Here's the color scheme she wants...or so I thought, until she corrected me.

My interpretation of what I thought she said she wanted.

Here's the way she said was right.

What she says she actually wants.

Guess I'd better get busy. Stay tuned to see how it turns out.
Do your kids have their own style? Do you let them choose what they wear and how to wear it? Are you going to have to get new clothes for growing kids this spring?

3.10.2013

A Reminder to Take "Little Bites"


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"I squeeze my creative endeavors into my life in little bites. Once or twice a year I might have an uninterrupted half-day to myself, but generally all my sewing, writing, painting, and decorating get squeezed in among the daily things of caring for a family and home.

And here's how..."

An excellent reminder to all of us moms, or women in general for that matter, on how taking what time we have instead of complaining about not having more time to do the things we need or want to do. Click here to read the rest of the post from Pleasantview Schoolhouse. Anna always has beautiful photography and projects as well as encouraging words. Be sure to drop by and read about her amazing sewing skills and check out her etsy shop while you're there. 

3.08.2013

I'm Linking This!

A weekly attempt to share what I've enjoyed or been inspired by in the blogosphere this week.

Cute spring craft idea for littles from The Imagination Tree. 

Anna at Pleasantview Schoolhouse showed off some gorgeous reverse applique.
chocolate chip cookie bowls
From The Common Room: chocolate chip cookie bowls for ice cream. Quite possibly one of the best ideas. Ever. 
Chores for toddlers from Growing Home. Take note kids, more ways to help mom.
Because I love anything yellow (although I can't always wear yellow), and I love blazers. This blazer made by Amanda at Amanda's Adventures in Sewing is so completely awesome, too
I love this silk *gasp* printed dress that Justine at Sew Country Chick made for her daughter and how she talks about sewing for kids as they grow up. Makes me want to drop everything and find some printed silk for my daughter.
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I found this outfit from Solanah at Vixen Vintage really appealed to my inner librarian and Dr. Who fan. I think I would like to wear something like this, and often. 
Some classic 2010 from Phil Johnson was presented by the lovely folks at Teampyro about Christian Liberty. Very timely I think.

Hand sewing on the hoop channels on my paniers
The Dreamstress has some helpful and encouraging tips for handsewing garments, something I've been too terrified to do.

So, here's some of the places I've been this week. What caught your eye this week? Let me know with a link in the comments.