Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Who is that old lady?

I re-layered my hair the other day giving myself a bit shorter layers on top. I wanted my sister to see how long the back was.  I've only had hair this long once before.  I am very pleased.  I just wish I knew how to style my hair better.  In other pictures from these past few months I am astounded by how gray/white my hair has become.

 And from the front, it looks short.

And there is that old Grandma staring at you!

"The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness."  Proverbs 16:31

Harvest Moon and Harvesting

 The sky was so pretty last night.  Big puffy thunderclouds with the sunset reflecting off of them.  The Harvest Moon was just coming up and so pretty.  I was too late to catch its pretty color.

And speaking of harvest, I pulled out vegetables on Saturday.  My helpers (I had four helpers!)  and I pulled out all the Carrots, Parsnips and Beets.  I hand cut all the Carrots and Parsnips and put them into quart freezer bags to freeze.  I hand peeled and sliced the beets as well.  I was able to get about 9 quarts of carrots, 5 quarts of parsnips and 13 quarts of pickled beets.

This is Julianna, she assured me profusly, that she "knew how" to use that big knife.  She was scary in her knowledge.

 This is a good shot of much of the harvest from the garden.  There are spaghetti squashes, oversize zucchini, pumpkins and that big green squash guy hanging out.

These are the pickled beets.  I'd never canned them before.  They are sure pretty in the jars.

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Godliness With Contentment

"But godliness with contentment is great gain." I Timothy 6:6

Godliness with Contentment

Cultivating contentment in my heart and in my home. 

Am I~ always wanting?  wanting more THINGS, wanting what I can't have?  wanting something different?

*If God put me in a certain place and I am constantly not be happy about it, is to be mad at God!

*If God gave me what I have and I always want for more, I am not  satisfied with what God provided for me!

Is my focus on God?  Or is my focus on myself?

"I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth."  Psalms 34:1

" From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised."  Psalms 113:3

"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
 Philippians 4:11

If I fill myself with the things of God, what will be the result?  Godliness.

Example:  A rotten apple spoils the whole barrel.

"Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have."  Anonymous

"Contentment is not out there at some other place, in some other time, under some other circumstances.  Contentment is being fully present and grateful in any place, at any time, under any circumstance."  Dean Jackson

"Contentment is a state of the heart, unaffected by outward circumstances."  Crystal Paine

Be Grateful.
"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,"  Ephesians 3:20 
(Him=God.  God can do Exceeding abundantly ABOVE all that we ask or think!)

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again"  Luke 6:38
God is ALREADY giving us  GOOD MEASURE, PRESSED DOWN,AND SHAKEN TOGETHER, AND RUNNING OVER. . .For what you give is what you will receive.

"A grateful person is rich in contentment. An ungrateful person suffers in the poverty of endless discontentment."  David A. Bednar, “The Windows of Heaven”

"God is enough.  If I have HIM, I have all I need."  Nancy Leigh DeMoss

If we do not feel grateful for what God has already given us, what makes us think we'd be happy with MORE?
-Happy in a different place
-Happy in a different home
-Happy with a different job
-Happy with a different church
-Happy with the new car
-Happy with the new I-Phone
-Happy with the new X Box game
-Happy with the new I-Pad

 God put me there. . .

Contentment is a state of happiness and satisfaction.  Paul says contentment must be LEARNED.  "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."

Contentment is not just talking about worldly goods, but also a state of mind. We should strive to have a peace that passes understanding.  "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. " Philippians 4:7

Learn contentment by valuing others more than you value yourself.

Secret of Contentment by John MacArthur

1.  Give thanks in all things. (1 Thessalonians 5:18, Ephesians 5:18-20)  Contentment is a characteristic of a spirit filled believer.

2.  Learn to REST in God's providence.  Providence is the protective care of God.  (HE has determined his plan for us so that we will be benefited and HE will be glorified.)  "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28  God has already seen the end result.  "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." I Peter 4:12-13

3. Learn to be satisfied with what you have.  " But godliness with contentment is great gain."  I Timothy 6:6

4.  Live ABOVE your circumstance.  "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. "  II Corinthians 12:9-10 Paul took pleasure in his infirmities so that Christ would be manifested through him (Paul).

5.  Learn to rely on God's power and provision.  "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me." said Paul (Philippians 4:13)   Christ has said, "I will never leave thee, nor farsake thee."  Hebrews 13:5  Christ faithfully infuses every believer with HIS strength.  (Ephesians 3:16)  To constantly complain about a circumstance says we do not believe Christ's strength is enough to see us through.

6. Finally, become preoccupied with the well-being of others. Paul summarized this mindset in Philippians 2:3-4 where he wrote: "  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. " 

Further Notes on Contentment by John MacArthur

A self centered person is a dis-contented person.  The soul of a generous person, the person who lives for the interest and benefit of others, will find blessing upon blessing in their lives.  (Proverbs 11:24, Proverbs 19:17, Luke 6:38, II Corinthians 9:6)

God himself has orchestrated our contentment!  "And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."  1 Timothy 6:8.. Thankfully regard what you have as a blessing from God.  You'll be more 'satisfied' for what you have a learn not to depend on the worlds standards or what the world defines as needs.

What steals contentment (Joy Robbing) more than anything else is trying circumstances.  We loose our place when we allow circumstances to victimize ourselves.  Our solution to Joy Robbers is godliness.. "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."  Colossians 3:2  See things with and eternal perspective; " While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" II Corinthians 4:18

Remember Christ gives power.  Philippians 4:13, Isiah 40:31, Isiah 40:29

Examine your spirituality.  Don't look to someone else to impart their spirituality on you, spirituality comes from Christ!

Don't have the expectations-
that life is perfect
that church is perfect
that your spouse is perfect
that your children are perfect
that you are perfect
that your life should be perfect

Nothing is perfect but Christ!  "And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin" I John 3:5

 I Timothy 6:6-7


Do I have a good testimony to those around me?  To the lost? To the backslidden?  Am I causing a stumbling block to others?

"But if any man love God, the same is known of him."  I Corinthians 8:3

What IS known of me?

When I left the house yesterday, was I wearing a skirt that was too short?  A shirt that was too tight?

Am I paying my bills on time or are my children hearing the message on the answering machine that says I am behind on my payments?

Did my children just hear me curse out the driver in the blue car that cut me off as he ran a red light?

Is that my next door neighbor who just watched me purchase a box of wine at the corner market?

Is that the new couple at church who just watched me light up my  first cigarette of the day?

Oh look, is that the babysitter in the next car over who can hear me blasting my ungodly music?

I come over to your house unexpectedly, did you just turn off the Soap Operas?

Isn't the playing the lotto. . .gambling?

"It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak"  Romans 14:21

"Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:"  1 Corinthians 10:32
" Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.  I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.  But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.  Let not then your good be evil spoken of:  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.  For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.  For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.  It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.  Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.  And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin."   Romans 14: 13-23

Stumblingblock=to cause someone else to err

To wander from the right way; to deviate from the true course or purpose.  To wander. To stray.

"But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak" I Corinthians 8:9
*see Romans 14
" Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way."  Romans 14:13
" It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak."  Romans 14:21

No Christian would deliberately seek out something that would cause another to sin.  Have you considered that you may have, unwittingly been doing destructive things that may lead others away from Christ?

Have you ever heard the saying "You want to know how a Christian should be living, just go ask the LOST man?"  It's true.  I've heard my neighbor say to me "I thought you didn't believe in the Easter Bunny?"  When I told her I would be stuffing Easter Eggs for the church children to find on Easter Sunday.

The Christian life is one of growing and learning.The person who wants to live for Christ and be a blessing to others will continually be evaluating himself to see WHERE he can improve his testimony.

Have you condsidered how much influence you have on those around you?

We are to be an example.

" Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity"  1 Timothy 4:12
"If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained"  1 Timothy 4:6
"These things command and preach."  1 Timothy 4:11
Be an example!  Be an example in word, conduct, love, spirit, faith and purity.  Give as much attention to reading the bible and applying its doctrine as you are able.  Grow spiritually yourself and lead others as you grow.  (1 Timothy 4:16)   The way you live your life reflects the work of the Lord Jesus Christ and how others perceive the gospel.
     1.  You are an example by what you do
     2.  You are an example by what you don't do

Am I putting a stumblingblock in anothers way?  Is what I am doing or about to do, going to cause a brother to be mislead or to stumble?  Then do not do it.

"All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not."  I Corinthians 10:23
 "But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak."  I Corinthians 8:9 
"Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend." I Corinthians 8:13

Here is the solution. . ."Abstain from all appearance of evil'  I Thessalonians 5:22 
Don't live one life at church and another at home.  Don't be a hypocrite (One who feigns to be what he is not; one who has the form of godliness without the power, or who assumes an appearance of piety and virtue, when he is destitute of true religion.((Websters 1828 dictionary))

"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:"  Hebrews 10:24

" . . . be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless."  II Peter 3:14

Life - Lived

Outside my window...  It's hot.  I feel fall but San Diego does not.  It must be the daylight or the suns place in the sky that makes it feel like fall.  I am missing fall colored leaves and apple picking.

I am thinking...  Thinking about my cruise.  About 4 weeks away now!

I am thankful...  I am thankful that the Lord provides over and above what I could ask or think.  It is because we are good stewards with what God has given us that we are able to go on this cruise.  Or buy another car. Or have all the 'nice' things we have.

In the kitchen...  I am craving all those colder weather comfort foods.  Casseroles, roasted chicken, turkey, mashed potatoes, soup, clam chowder, fresh baked bread. . .ahhhh

I am wearing...felling a bit fat and frumpy lately.  I painted my fingers and toes hoping to boost my spirit.

I have been shopping E-Bay to purchase a few dresses for my cruise.

I am creating...  My granddaughter turns ONE in a few weeks.  I did a bit of sewing for her birthday. 

I also survived making my first fresh floral arrangement for a wedding.  I thought the flowers turned out very well.  They almost paled in comparison to the beautiful bride.

(This is the look I was going for)

(and how they turned out)

My garden needs lots of work.  Next week I vowed to take a few days and rip out old growth, till in some fertilizer, compost and diatomaceous earth into my garden boxes.  My WONDERFUL husband offered to make me a greenhouse type cover for tomatoes if I wanted to grow them over the winter.  Well, Yes I think I will!

I am going...To the Panama Canal baby!!

I am praying...  I am  praying for my Uncle Curt...  for his health.  For his testimony.  For folks to see Jesus through him and my Aunt Denny.  I am praying for far away family.  For wisdom for the future.

I am reading...  I have been reading several mystery books by the author M.C. Beaton.  Of course no library I visit carries any series of books in the order in which they are written.  She writes fairly decent and I am enjoying the books.

I am looking forward to...  Cooler weather...

From the learning rooms...  My student is back at his studies.  Today is day 2.  Is it bad that I don't have a picture of him holding his grade level sign on his first day?  We are using the same curriculum, Landmark Freedom Baptist.  I changed this year a bit.  We are doing 5th grade Math and English and 6th grade History and Science. Our Literature studies will be book reading and book reports and several studies on poetry. I  am calling him a 6th grader to fit in with other kids his age.  I figure it's not too big of a deal if he was already testing at 6th, 7th and 8th grade levels TWO years ago.

Around the house...  The house is quiet and warm.  I have not turned on the AC today.  It is fairly clean.  Maybe a bit dusty.  I cleaned toilets and sinks in the bathroom today.

I am thinking...I have another blog post on causing a brother to offend (sin).  Basically about your testimony and how it affects others.

A peek at recent happenings...A friend at church needed a haircut and couldn't afford the $30.00+ price tag.  I hinted that I cut hair and would be willing to chop hers for free.  She jumped at the chance to have me whack her hair off.  We had tea before the endeavor!

What we did over the weekend...  Camping, unplugged.  Family time=Fabulous!

Some folks we met along the way... Stephanie, Patrick, Titus, Annabelle and Kaylyn.

Until next time~ Be Blessed!

Thank You Simple Woman for inspiration for another blog post!