Monday, November 30, 2009

Random Thanksgiving Pictures.......

This is how we found Joshua when we got back from Black Friday shopping!
Joshua in Becky's living room.
Breakfast and facebook:-)
Our host, Bill.
Sisters watching a "chick flick" - fun:-)
Bill had to work Fri night so it was just the brothers and sisters.......we went out and got ice cream and rented movies for a movie night. Like "old times" - very fun!
Boy puppy.
Girl puppy.

Milking time. I enjoyed so much going back to my old routine of milking, it made me a little homesick though.

Our special old lady, Maire. It's always sad to say goodbye to Maire now, at ten years old I realize every time could possibly be the last.

Dixie Does Alpines!

The guys spent a lot of time putting siding up on the barn.

"When are ya'll going to be done so we can eat?"


Heading home to South Carolina, after a fun, special time with family!


We had such a good Thanksgiving at my sister Becky's, and her husband, Bill's place in Tennessee. Bill's parents and his sister and her family joined us as well! It was very different from past Thanksgivings, but nice, I was so thankful to have family to spend it with. Pictured above is the beautiful table we set, Joshua even us made us placecards:-)
The Food! On the menu - turkey, ham, two kinds of stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, creamed onions, greenbean casserole, pineapple gratin, and sweet potato casserole. We all ate too much!
Around the table - clockwise - Sarah, Matt, me, Joshua, Becky, Bill, Bill's Mom, Bill's Dad, Cephas, Seth, and Nathan. Dorie is missing since she took the picture.
Things got fruity when Joshua and Bill started a fruit stacking contest with the table decorations....
The title went to Bill who successfully stacked FIVE pieces! Unfortunately the stack survived such a short time that we never got a picture so you'll have to trust me on that!
Dessert! Becky slices apple, pumpkin, pecan, and chocolate chunk pecan pies, served with whipped cream:-)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

Let me just start out this post by telling you that I am one of those people who thinks Black Friday is great:-) Some of my older siblings and I have had a tradition going for years where we plan ahead, save ads, make lists, it's all about finding great deals you can't get any other day of the year!

This year things were a bit different, we are no longer at home, shopping in Lynchburg, etc. My new brother in law, Bill, took Caleb's normal place of driving us around. In my opinion we got a rather late start.....but that's okay. At 6:30 Becky, Bill, Cephas and I (Joshua was boring and decided to stay home and sleep), took off along with a bagful of granola bars, bananas, nuts, cheese, crackers, and thermos of coffee to keep us going:-). Stop number one was the Walmart, in Dayton, only about 3 miles from the Ensinger's house. Many of you know that I had been hoping to get a camera today, and I was anxious to get Walmart's special sale. When we got to electronics, they told us to go to the fabric table, "If there were any left, they would be there...." I started to ask why, didn't make much sense to me why cameras would be in the craft department, lol, but Becky was like, "Don't ask, we'll figure it out later!" Well we never did figure out why, but I did get my camera, they still had several left. A good beginning!

Then on to Chattanooga where most of our shopping took place. Bill was extremely efficient, knew where we all wanted to go, and had made up a map of the best order of all our stops. He even dropped us off at the doors of all the stores, then parked by himself! We hit the mall, got a skirt for Becky, an awesome used bookstore (I could have spent hours there, I want to live close to it!), Michael's and Hobby Lobby where we got supplies for the wedding scrapbook I am making for Becky, a thrift store where Cephas found a coat, etc. We walked in Old Navy to look for skirts for Becky, but when Cephas saw the line/madhouse in there, he told her even if they were giving away free clothes we were leaving! We had walked back out even before Bill could park the car (to give that story a happy ending, she was able to buy the things she wanted online later in the day, with free shipping for Black Friday). We finished off our shopping by picking up some groceries at a favorite grocery store, Aldi.
Home again.....we all ate big pieces of pie for lunch.

More Thanksgiving posts with pictures coming soon - I hope!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Don't Do It....

So if you are planning to travel on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving I have just three words for you.......Don't. Do.It. We left our house at 4:30, to travel to my sister's house in Dayton, Tennessee, and for the first hour or so I am sure I could have walked faster than the car was moving! It seemed to take forever to just get out of South Carolina. Then came that was a bit scary, bumper to bumper traffic, all moving at about 80 miles per hour, weaving in and made Greenville look like a small town. We breathed a sigh of relief when we were finally past all the interchanges, finally made all the right turns, that's a story in itself, lol! Once we were headed towards Chattanooga traffic thinned out, and we safely arrived at 11:45. Moral of the story, get your relatives to come to YOUR house, no travel:-)
In all seriousness we are glad to be spending Thanksgiving with family,( and my goats:-), watch for more on our holiday coming later.....Happy Thanksgiving ya'll!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Wait On The Lord." Psalm 27:14

Those of you who follow my blog know this a theme that is often on my mind. So when I read this devotional I had to reread it, then I wanted to share it......

It may seem like an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier to God's warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not what part to take. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Fly back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, but simply wait. Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the case before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promises of aid. In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is sweet to be as humble as a child, and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly, and are heartily willing to be guided by the will of God. But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in Him; for unfaithful, untrustworthy waiting, is but an insult to the Lord. Believe that if He keeps you tarrying even till midnight, yet He will come at the right time; the vision shall come and shall not tarry. Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because you are under the affliction, but blessing your God for it. Never murmur against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the case as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self- will, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, "Now, Lord, not my will, but Thine be done. I know not what to do; I am brought to extremities, but I will wait until Thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes. I will wait, if Thou keep me many a day, for my heart is fixed upon Thee alone, O God, and my spirit waiteth for Thee in the full conviction that Thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower."

"Wait on the Lord, and be thou strong, and He shall strength afford unto thine heart; yea do thou wait, I say, upon the Lord." Psalm 27:10

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Recently been reading.........

I haven't done a post on what I am reading in awhile so thought I would update that with several of the books that have been on my reading list over these past few weeks.

The first Morning And Evening by Charles Spurgeon was given to me as a birthday gift by my friends the Larsons. I've already enjoyed reading in it, but obviously this one is going to be on the list for the next year since it is a year long devotional.

This book shown at left was loaned to me.

Debbie Maken proposes that marriage is the fundamental design and structure for life that God chose for his people. She argues that the church needs to reemphasize the importance of the gift of marriage. This book issues a challenge to churches in their teaching and attitudes toward singleness and to believers in their understanding of God’s intentions regarding marriage.

"One of the most urgent questions facing today’s generation of young Christians is this—does God really intend for us to make marriage a priority? Confusion reigns in this area of the Christian life. Far too many young Christians sideline marriage, delay marriage, and avoid marriage in an extension of adolescence that is truly unique in human history. Now comes Debbie Maken with sound advice, serious thinking, and an honest approach to this question that will help all Christians think about our responsibility to get serious about getting married. This book should be a must-read for all Christian young adults—and for all who love them."

While there is good stuff in the book,and I thought the general message was good, still I had a hard time looking past the fact that that it promoted discontentment, and to my mind even resentment. It will get you thinking if nothing else................

Next I come to "Lies". Now this was an interesting book, and I would recommend it! I'll admit when I picked it up I figured it was going to be something very different, and didn't even expect to finish it. Then I found it hard to put down and went through it in the space of a couple evenings!
"Are you burned out, overwhelmed, angry, confused or fearful? According to Nancy Leigh DeMoss, these emotions are the result of Satan's lies. Nancy tackles many of the falsehoods that enslave Christian women with alarming frequency and severity. Though she does not promise their problems will go away, she confronts the lies with practical truths found in Scripture that will help women begin to "walk through the realities of life in freedom and true joy."

Last of all, this what I am currently reading, another borrowed book....... Keep a Quiet Heart is a unique collection culled from the lead articles featured in Mrs. Elliot's newsletter over the past several years. "Mostly they are about learning to know God," the author says. "Nothing else comes close to being as important as that. It's what we are here for." Join Elisabeth as she points the way to a deeper, more fulfilling--and restful--walk with God.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The simple woman's daybook.....

Outside my window... cold, cloudy, and rainy.

I am thinking... that if I don't get a good night's sleep soon I am going to collapse.

I am thankful for... my church family, but most of all for the sovereignty of God.

I am wearing... a navy skirt and red shirt. Hair is loose today, and bare feet...

I am remembering... yesterday, church, and conversation......

I am going... to organize and put away my brother's stuff, start planning for my trip to TN, do a big pile of laundry (including a bunch my brother brought when he moved in), do some cleaning, and hopefully get in some reading!

I am reading... too many things to keep up with! Ecclesiastes, 2 Thessalonians, and Psalms in my Bible, a commentary on Luke, a book on marriage that was loaned to me, and The Letters Of Samuel Rutherford.

I am hoping... that I can someday say, with the Psalmist, "it is good for me that I have been afflicted."

On my mind... the need for prayer.

Learning ...
patience, submission to God's plan for me, waiting on the Lord.....

Creating.....order from chaos - I hope! My house is a mess which I hate......(in case you are wondering why I am on the computer and not dealing with it - I am waiting for the rest of the house to wake up first!) also planning to "create" turkey Stromboli from the leftover turkey I roasted last week, for dinner.

Pondering these words......"It is enough that the Lord has promised you great things, only let the bestowing of them be in His own carving. It is not for us to set an hourglass to the Creator of time." ~ Samuel Rutherford

From the kitchen... dishes waiting to be washed from the guys' snacks last night.

Around the house... piles of stuff, boxes etc from my brother moving in on Saturday.

One of my favorite things~ going to church.

A Picture For Thought.......I thought I would show a picture from one of the worship services from the FCC Conference this past summer. That was such a special time.

Click here to go to Peggy's blog and do your own "daybook"!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Moving Day....

No, I am not moving......a day that has been planned on for many months has arrived - my brother Cephas has joined us in South Carolina! As I sit here typing the guys are unloading the Uhaul truck, where they will put everything I have no idea........Lest you wonder about my contribution to the labor, I am preparing a hot meal for them to eat when they are done:-), and unpacking boxes as they get carried in......
Anyway we are happy to have more family join us down here, both in our home, and at church. I wonder how many DiLellas we will get down here before all is said and done...........I would love if someday they could all join us in the Greenville area, Lord willing.

A Gentle Savior

Another sermon I would like to share......

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thought for today....

".........I think it is more important to do God's plan right now....This is what He has called you to do. All of us would like to believe that we could accomplish one brave selfless act for God and for his kingdom. But it takes greater courage to faithfully accomplish the daily, thankless tasks of every day life for Him."

"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men: knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." Col 3:23-24

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Birthday........

I want to thank all my friends and family who worked together to give me such a nice birthday!

It actually all began the day before my birthday when my friend, Juanita, called to see if I was going to be home for a visit that afternoon.......a little later the whole Vernon family arrived with food, a cake (!), gifts, and plans for the afternoon. They knew where Joshua had hidden some money for me, they had quite the plot going........:-) So we all piled in the van and went thrift storing. Our idea of fun! We had a great time searching through all the clothes together, and I think we all found some nice stuff, and most important.......some good bargains! If you don't enjoy hunting for bargains, thrift store shopping is probably not for you.

The Vernons must know me pretty well, on the way home Mrs. Vernon picked up a snack to keep us going........chocolate chips and peanuts. I don't want to know how much chocolate I have eaten in the past few days, lol.

Home again, tired after a busy day, it was wonderful to have a meal already prepared. We had burgers, hot dogs, homemade cole slaw, chips, and apple cake. My brothers really enjoyed the meal too, and the fact that there were lots of leftovers for the next day's lunches.

My actual birthday was the 18th. I was sent this book pictured at the left by my good friend, Adri, and was also given a copy of Spurgeon's Morning And Evening. The whole day was kept busy all day with phone calls, emails, facebook notifications.....Thank you all for all the birthday wishes! I really appreciated everyone remembering me.

At left is a picture of chocolate because I could not do a blog post on this birthday without mentioning chocolate.....I have quite the stash of chocolate on hand, thanks to brothers and friends. Not to mention the chocolate cheesecake I made myself......

The day ended nicely with friends from church taking me out for ice cream, and a long phone call with Jenny, who is now in Texas.

I feel very blessed to have so many good friends!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Looking Back.....

Today is my birthday and I guess that is a natural time to be looking back, thinking about the past, etc. So I decided to post some pictures from last November, remembering what life was like just a year ago...... If you told me then that right now I would be sitting in my trailer in SC working on a blog, I would have laughed at has changed in more ways than I could have imagined last fall.
As I look back over the past year I can see the Lord's hand in it, how He has worked out every detail, provided every need, in some cases far beyond what I asked or expected. It has been a good year, and also the hardest year of my life so far. There have been more tears, goodbyes, and more learning and growing than in any other time in my life. I have a new home, a new "job", new friends, and a church, which I love. "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Cor 12:9

"And He said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." Luke 9:23-24.

Most of all I am thankful for all the Lord has done for in me this past year. I feel He has taught me more about living the Christian life over these few months than in the whole rest of my life put together. "My flesh and heart doth faint and fail, but God doth fail me never, for of my heart God is the strength and portion forever." Psalm 73:26

"And I will constantly go on in strength of God the Lord." Psalm 71:16

Pictured at left is me with my two youngest siblings last Thanksgiving. Hannah is now 10, and Elijah -6. I love you all, and miss you!

Becky, Joshua, and I went up to Pennsylvania last Nov
to visit Sarah, Karen, and Abigail, my oldest, and very dear friends.
Here are Abigail, Karen, and I playing Bible Trivia, the
three of us made up one of the teams.

Sarah and I talking. something we have spent many hours doing
over the years....

Posing for my very first facebook profile
picture. Yes, I joined fb last November, hard
to believe it has been a year....

My sisters and I last Thanksgiving.

My crazy brothers! All ten of them!

My brothers.

Joshua and I talking, and reading an article on
his computer over one of his school breaks last Nov.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Last week......

Another update, from SC, for my friends and family...............what a week it has been, I am exhausted! The week began as normal, I got all my housecleaning, laundry, and some extra cooking done in the first three days, plus packed my bags. It felt so strange to be home on Wed, but Jenny had asked me if I would switch my work day till the end of the week to help her get ready for their trip (the Es are heading to TX to see Jenny's brother graduate from the Air Force.) Over these few days we got inches of rain, the sound of it was so loud on the roof I had to turn my Cds way up to even hear them, crazy! The ditches on our road were overflowing.

Wednesday night was "different" as well. Pastor McCurley was away at a meeting, so we had Dr. Carick to speak for us. I already posted his sermon last week so I won't go into it again here, except to mention how much it got me thinking.....We ended up staying late talking, then a stop at Walmart, I finally crawled into my bed, at the Es, at about 11:30.

Morning arrived at 6:00. Shortly after getting up, I got on the computer did all my normal morning stuff, catching up on fb (readers can pause for a laugh here) , emailing, listening to a sermon, playing with this blog:-). A little later the computer crashed, nothing we tried worked, it seems it. is. finished. So we spent a day with no internet, a good lesson in patience I suppose, and neither of us complained, but we felt so out of touch! Jenny had the advantage over me in that she had a husband she could call to check her email for her at work. I was on my own. That day was filled with laundry, and I babysat for several hours while Jenny shopped for the trip. That evening Jenny and I watched Rigoletto. I love the music in that movie, it makes me cry......Another late night.

Friday - Jenny's Mom joined us and we did more laundry, I ironed clean laundry, and we packed, and you know how much stuff you need for 9 people to camp for a week and a half?! We accomplished a lot though. A good, productive day! When it came time to take Jenny's Mom home she dropped me off at the library where I checked my email, and yes, I admit it, my facebook:-) It was a relief to find out what was going on in the world of my family and friends. Not all good news though, found out that my sister's purebred dog was stolen. Not only a financial loss, but everyone loved Kate. We're praying for her safe return. When I got "home" we made pizzas together, then settled down for a Wives And Daughters movie marathon. It was a five hour long movie, kind of in the tradition of a Jane Austen story, definitely a chick flick. It was a thought provoking story, and some of it hit very close to home for me. Bedtime came early Sat morning.

A crazy morning.......we were planning to head for Anderson for a Keepers At Home meeting, due to sickness in one family, another family with a broken down car, we ended up being "the bus" that hauled all, but two, of the little girls. Yes, we did get everyone buckled in! It was an adventure:-) This month's meeting was on hospitality, and Mrs. Broyles served us a real tea, with 3 kinds of tea in her good china, scones, two kinds of sandwiches, petit fours, and chocolate dipped strawberries. Yum:-). After the meeting the little girls played outside while the women visited. We all had such a nice time. I was planning to head home this afternoon, but by the time we got everyone dropped off where they were supposed to be, and ran some errands it was pretty late. I was exhausted, so it didn't take much to convince me to stay another night! One of the moms cooked us dinner as a thanks for all the transportation - that was such a blessing! When I am that tired the last thing I want to do is cook dinner, I was so grateful! I was thinking, I can count on the fingers of one hand the nights I have had a break from cooking since I moved in you can see this meant a lot to me! In case you are wondering, dinner was a sausage rice casserole, a cheesy green bean casserole, garlic bread, and jello with fruit, delicious. Tonight I talked on the phone with a friend, but was in bed at 10:00.

Going to church with the Es feels like old times:-) When I arrived "my little Sammy " was waiting at the door for me holding out his arms to be picked up, awww. I love that little guy. Church was really good as always. In Luke we came to the Parable Of The Good Samaritan. Then in the afternoon we went through chapter 3 of Esther. After the service I was able to discuss this with Pastor McCurley - this series has really got me thinking, it turns upside down everything I have ever been taught on this story! Honestly though I had always wondered what kind of father would send his daughter into prostitution, with the hopeful goal of marrying a heathen, then when he finally does draw the line, and say no, it is to bowing to Haaman. What is wrong with that picture? To me it is comforting though to see that these Bible "heroes/heroines" were not perfect, yet God used them, and brought good out of it all.

And now I am home's work involves a mountain of laundry, cleaning my house (it REALLY needs it), and general catching up. And there is your update, I hope everyone has a great day!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Quotes from John Calvin

After Pastor McCurley's address on John Calvin last Saturday, I thought I would share some of his quotes that I have enjoyed reading.

"Let us not cease to do the utmost, that we may incessantly go forward in the way of the Lord; and let us not despair of the smallness of our accomplishments”

"There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice."

"Seeing that a Pilot steers the ship in which we sail, who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness”

"You must submit to supreme suffering in order to discover the completion of joy”

"It behooves us to accomplish what God requires of us, even when we are in the greatest despair respecting the results”

"However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts”

“The thing [O God] at which I chiefly aimed, and for which I most diligently labored, was, that the glory of they goodness and justice . . . might shine forth conspicuous.” He said elsewhere, “I have always propounded what I esteemed to be for the glory of God.” The message of Sovereign grace in predestination is rooted in precisely this matter. In his prefatory address to King Francis I of France, he said, “Yet, if one does not tend to seek men’s glory but God’s [John 7:18; 8:50], this is a mark of true doctrine, as Christ says.”

In his commentary on Jeremiah, Calvin said, “Today all sorts of subjects are eagerly pursued; but the knowledge of God is neglected . . . Yet to know God is man’s chief end, and justifies his existence. Even if a hundred lives were ours, this one aim would be sufficient for them all.”

“If it be required, then, by what things chiefly the Christian religion has a standing existence amongst us, and maintains its truth, it will be found that the following two not only occupy the principal place, but comprehend under them all the other parts, and consequently the whole substance of Christianity, viz., a knowledge, first, of the mode in which God is duly worshipped; and secondly, of the source from which salvation is to be obtained.” (On the Necessity of Reforming the Church)

"Now what Saint Augustine says is true, that no one is able to sing things worthy of God unless he has received them from Him. Wherefore, when we have looked thoroughly everywhere and searched high and low, we shall find no better songs nor more appropriate to the purpose than the Psalms of David which the Holy Spirit made and spoke through him. And furthermore, when we sing them, we are certain that God puts the words in our mouths, as if He Himself were singing in us to exalt His glory."

In the second book of the Institutes he wrote, “. . . we may patiently pass through this life in afflictions, hunger, cold, contempt, reproaches, and other disagreeable circumstances, contented with this single assurance, that our King will never desert us, but will give what we need, until having finished our warfare, we shall be called to the triumph.”

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quote for today.......

You are those worthies “of whom the world is not worthy” (Heb. 11:38). You are the princes “that prevail with God” (Gen. 32:28). You are those “excellent ones,” in whom is all Christ’s delight (Ps. 16:3). You are His glory. You are His picked, culled, prime instruments which He will make use of to carry on His best and greatest work against His worst and greatest enemies in these latter days.THOMAS BROOKS

I found this quote on facebook and really liked it!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Using Our Talents.........

Dr Carick preached for us while Pastor McCurley was away this week. As I said to Joshua afterwards if this doesn't make you think about how you are living your life, the future.......well I don't know what will!


In an effort to eat healthy, I decided to try to cut back on sugar. Note I said cut back, I don't think I could ever become one of those people who eat no sugar, I have way too much of a sweet tooth! I didn't realize how much this was on my mind, or just how much chocolate was in the world till lat night. As I went on a late night Walmart trip I noticed some sort of chocolate display at the end of nearly every aisle.........then 5 year old Daniel asked, "Miss Stefanie, how come you are so stressed about chocolate?" LOL, I assured him I wasn't stressed:-), but chocolate is good, and hey, dark chocolate, in moderation, is actually good for you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

From my reading in Esther this morning....

"For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise from another place......and who knoweth whether thou are brought to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14

When I found out two weeks ago that we were going to be going through the book of Esther at church during our afternoon services I was excited. I've always found this little book to be interesting, the way it never mentions God, the choices Esther makes, how God uses her in spite of her basically denying her faith in the beginning, and so on. The sermons on the first two chapters have been very thought provoking, and I look forward to the rest of them. Because of this I also decided to go through Matthew Henry's Commentary on Esther, and I included my reading, from this morning, here.

"We are prone to shrink from services that are attended with peril or loss. But when the cause of Christ and his people demand it, we must take up our cross, and follow him. When Christians are disposed to consult their own ease or safety, rather than the public good, they should be blamed. The law was express, all knew it. It is not thus in the court of the King of kings: to the footstool of his throne of grace we may always come boldly, and may be sure of an answer of peace to the prayer of faith. We are welcome, even into the holiest, through the blood of Jesus. Providence so ordered it, that, just then, the king's affections had cooled toward Esther; her faith and courage thereby were the more tried; and God's goodness in the favour she now found with the king, thereby shone the brighter. Haman no doubt did what he could to set the king against her. Mordecai suggests, that it was a cause which, one way or other, would certainly be carried, and which therefore she might safely venture in. This was the language of strong faith, which staggered not at the promise when the danger was most threatening, but against hope believed in hope. He that by sinful devices will save his life, and will not trust God with it in the way of duty, shall lose it in the way of sin. Divine Providence had regard to this matter, in bringing Esther to be queen. Therefore thou art bound in gratitude to do this service for God and his church, else thou dost not answer the end of thy being raised up. There is wise counsel and design in all the providences of God, which will prove that they are all intended for the good of the church. We should, every one, consider for what end God has put us in the place where we are, and study to answer that end: and take care that we do not let it slip. Having solemnly commended our souls and our cause to God, we may venture upon his service. All dangers are trifling compared with the danger of losing our souls. But the trembling sinner is often as much afraid of casting himself, without reserve, upon the Lord's free mercy, as Esther was of coming before the king. Let him venture, as she did, with earnest prayer and supplication, and he shall fare as well and better than she did. The cause of God must prevail: we are safe in being united to it.
Esther having had power with God, and prevailing, like Jacob, had power with men too. He that will lose his life for God, shall save it, or find it in a better life. The king encouraged her. Let us from this be encouraged to pray always to our God, and not to faint.
Esther came to a proud, imperious man; but we come to the God of love and grace. She was not called, but we are; the Spirit says, Come, and the Bride says, Come. She had a law against her, we have a promise, many a promise, in favour of us; Ask, and it shall be given you. She had no friend to go with her, or to plead for her; on the contrary, he that was then the king's favourite, was her enemy; but we have an Advocate with the Father, in whom he is well pleased. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace. God put it into Esther's heart to delay her petition a day longer; she knew not, but God did, what was to happen in that very night.
If the love of life causes earnest pleadings with those that can only kill the body, how fervent should our prayers be to Him, who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell! How should we pray for the salvation of our relatives, friends, and all around us! When we petition great men, we must be cautious not to give them offence; even just complaints must often be kept back. But when we approach the King of kings with reverence, we cannot ask or expect too much. Though nothing but wrath be our due, God is able and willing to do exceeding abundantly, even beyond all we can ask or think.

Below is part of the movie One Night With The King which I watched a couple years ago. This was my favorite part, when she approaches the king, and her life is flashing before her eyes. That really does happen, by the way. I was in a bad car accident nine years ago where I thought I was, for sure, going to die. It's amazing how long a few seconds can seem, and how many thoughts raced through my mind!

Thought For Today........

"Afflicted believer, forget not that it is the fruitful branch only that the Lord pruneth...Then, thank Him for the pruning; bless him for the sanctified trial that weans thee from earthly things, that deadens thy heart to every rival to Christ, and that imparts an upward spring to faith, hope, and love. Not one unkind thought is there in the heart of the God that now chastens you." ~O. Winslow

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, November 9th.

Outside my window...Cold and partly cloudy fall day. I'm looking out into the woods at beautiful gold and red leaves.

I am thinking........of yesterday's sermon on Esther 2, how God can bring "beauty out of ashes"

I am thankful for........many things, but especially today for good friends that listen to my long emails (you know who you are:-), and for a good weekend, our church Psalm sing, church, and a fun evening with a friend.

From the learning lessons!

From the kitchen........beans cooking, I am making chili for dinner.

I am wearing... ......a dark red shirt with flowers embroidered around the neckline, and a denim skirt. To complete the picture, hair in a ponytail, bare feet:-)

I am creating........a home for my brothers.

I am reading... ......Proverbs, 2 Corinthians, and Psalms in my Bible, and "Secure In The
Everlasting Arms" by Elizabeth Elliot. I have a stack of other borrowed books awaiting my attention too.....

I am hoping........for answers to my prayers.

I am hearing.........the clock ticking......yes, really it can very quiet around here!

Pondering........the chapter I am reading, about trusting God and doing the next thing, whatever that thing happens to be, "Obedience to God is our job. The results of that obedience are God's." From "Secure In The Everlasting Arms"

One of my favorite things........ spending time laughing and talking with friends.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Normal housework at the beginning of the week, church, helping the Es prepare for their trip to Texas, and a Keepers At Home meeting on Saturday. But I never know how these may change.......

Here is picture for thought I am sharing........I thought I would put one up of my dear Pennsylvania friends since they have been on my mind today.

Abigail, Sarah, Karen, and I. This picture was taken last summer.

Here is a link to Peggy's blog if you want to join in and do this post! I was asked to do this again by one of my friends:-)


This book was yet another gift from a friend, I came home one day to find a package with this waiting for me. Thanks so much, Adri!

I read the whole book in one long (can I say lonely?!) evening and found the main message of the book to be that we must be willing to give all our hopes, desires, dreams, etc to the Lord, to submit fully to his will in order to be content.

"We may be earnestly desiring to be obedient and holy. But we may be missing the fact that it is here, where we happen to be at the moment and not in another place or another time that we may learn to love Him- here where it seems He is not at work, where His will seems obscure or frightening, where He is not doing what we expected Him to do, where He is most absent. Here and nowhere else is the appointed place. If faith does not go to work here, it does not go to work at all."

Friday, November 6, 2009

Verses For Today...

"But I with expectation
will hope continually;
And yet with praises more and more
I will thee magnify.
Thy justice and salvation
my mouth abroad shall show,
Ev'n all the day; for I thereof
the numbers do not know.
And I will constantly go on
in strength of God the Lord;
And thine own righteousness, ev'n thine
alone, I will record.
For even from my youth, O God,
by thee I have been taught;
And hitherto I have declared
the wonders thou hast wrought.
And thy most perfect righteousness,
O Lord, is very high,
Who hast so great things done: O God,
who is like unto thee?
Thou, Lord, who great adversities,
and sore, to me didst show,
Shalt quicken, and bring me again
from depths of earth below.
My greatness and my power thou wilt
increase, and far extend:
On ever side against all grief
thou wilt me comfort send.
My lips shall much rejoice in thee,
when I thy praises sound;
My soul which thou redeemed hast,
in joy shall much abound.
My tongue thy justice shall proclaim,
continuing all day long:
For they confounded are, and sham'd,
that seek to do me wrong."
~Psalm 71:14-17, 19-21, 23, 24

Thursday, November 5, 2009

This and that....

For those of you among my friends and family who have been sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for an update on my exciting life......this is it:-) Seriously Joshua was commenting to me that we bloggers tend to just write about the "fun stuff", but we should write about regular days too. So......we are doing well, keeping busy. These past couple days have been busy, but nice ones. Tuesday afternoon my plans for the day suddenly changed (that seems to happen a lot on Tues!), when Jenny called me and invited me to join her and the children. They, the Vernon family, and I spent a couple hours at the Es property, just a few miles down the road from my house. The children rode bikes and played, the women sat and talked. I brought along some crocheting, and we all enjoyed the gorgeous fall day. Then we ran errands. At the library Jenny and I passed off the children to the man parked next to us (just wanted to see if you were paying was Mr E, lol), and went grocery shopping. We commented it was like "old times". I don't know how many evening trips to BiLo Jenny and I made when I was lived with them this spring...... Jenny and I spent the evening watching Father Of The Bride together.

Wednesday, my normal "work day", was filled with laundry, and cooking (pancakes, strawberry syrup, omelets, mashed potatoes, hamburger gravy, broccoli, etc). As usual, prayer meeting in the evening, then back home with my brothers........Thursday is time to get the house back in shape, and cook a real meal for my guys.........I was thinking life is such a study in contrasts right now, it is either very quiet, or, well not so quiet:-) The quiet days are good times to get in some reading though, I've been able to read a number of good books lately. Recently I have been reading through my first online book, I discovered that Matthew Henry's Commentary is available online. I'm now working through Song Of Solomon. After David Murray's sermons, which I recently posted, I wanted to learn more about this book.

Pictured below? Well I decided, out of curiosity, to "google myself". There was only one hit that was actually me, I must lead a pretty boring life! Anyways what I found were pictures from a Virginia State Dairy Goat Association meeting I attended in 2002, so just for fun I added one here.

Seth, Becky, and I in 2002. Wow do we look young!

My Chiefest Joy

"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy." Psalm 137:5-6

Last night our sermon, at prayer meeting, was on praying for the peace of the church. Pastor McCurley brought up this verse, speaking of Jerusalem as the church. That really made me think, how many of us can honestly say that we place "Jerusalem above our chiefest joy"?

Here is a section from Matthew Henry's commentary on these verses-

What we love, we love to think of. Those that rejoice in God, for his sake make Jerusalem their joy. They steadfastly resolved to keep up this affection. When suffering, we should recollect with godly sorrow our forfeited mercies, and our sins by which we lost them. If temporal advantages ever render a profession, the worst calamity has befallen him. Far be it from us to avenge ourselves; we will leave it to Him who has said, Vengeance is mine. Those that are glad at calamities, especially at the calamities of Jerusalem, shall not go unpunished. We cannot pray for promised success to the church of God without looking to, though we do not utter a prayer for, the ruin of her enemies. But let us call to mind to whose grace and finished salvation alone it is, that we have any hopes of being brought home to the heavenly Jerusalem.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Test Of Assurance - How May We Know Whether We Love God? ~ Thomas Watson

I found this tract lying in the backseat of Joshua's car (yes, I have been relegated to the backseat since I now ride around with two brothers....). It looked good, plus I like reading Thomas Watson, so I put in my purse to read later. I then liked it so much I ended up posting it on facebook and here. I hope you all find it as edifying as I did.

HE WHO LOVES GOD DESIRES HIS PRESENCE. Lovers cannot be long apart, they soon have their fainting fits, for want of a sight of the object of their love. A soul deeply in love with God desires the enjoyment of Him in His ordinances, in word, prayer, and sacraments. David was ready to faint away and die when he had not a sight of God. "My soul fainteth for God" (Psalm 84:2). Such as care not for ordinances, but say, "When will the Sabbath be over?" plainly reveal their lack of love to God.

He who loves God DOES NOT LOVE SIN. "Ye that love the Lord, hate evil" (Psalm 97:10). The love of God, and the love of sin, can no more mix together than iron and clay. Every sin loved, strikes at the being of God; but he who loves God, has a hatred of sin. He who would part two lovers is a hateful person. God and the believing soul are two lovers; sin parts between them, therefore the soul is implacably set against it. By this try your love to God. How could Delilah say she loved Samson when she entertained correspondence with the Philistines, who were his mortal enemy?

He who loves God IS NOT MUCH IN LOVE WITH ANYTHING ELSE. His love is very cool to worldly things. His love to God moves swiftly, as the sun in the firmament; to the world it moves slowly, as the sun on the dial. The love of the world eats out the heart of religion; it chokes good affections, as earth puts out fire. The world was a dead thing to Paul. "I am crucified to the world, and the world is crucified to me" (Gal. 6:14). In Paul we may see both the picture and pattern of a mortified man.

He who loves God CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT HIM. Things we love we cannot be without. A man can do without music or flowers, but not food; so a soul deeply in love with God looks upon himself as undone without Him. "Hide not thy face from me, lest I be like them that go down into the pit" (Psalm 143:7). He says to Job, "I went mourning without the sun" (Job 30:28). I have starlight, I want the Sun of Righteousness; I enjoy not the sweet presence of my God. Is God our chief good, and we cannot live without Him? Alas! how do they show they have no love to God who can do well enough without Him! Let them have corn and oil, and you shall never hear them complain of the lack of God.

He who loves God WILL BE AT ANY PAINS TO GET HIM. What pains the merchant takes, what hazards he runs, to have a rich return from the Indies! Jacob loved Rachel, and he could endure the heat by day, and the frost by night, that he might enjoy her. A soul that loves God will take any pains for the fruition of Him. "My soul follows hard after God" (Psalm 63:8). Love is pondus animae (Augustine). It is the weight which sets the clock going. It is much in prayer, weeping, fasting; it strives as in agony that he may obtain Him whom his soul loves. Plutarch reports of the Gauls, an ancient people of France, that after they had tasted the sweet wine of Italy, they never rested till they had arrived at that country. He who is in love with God, never rests till he has a part in Him. "I sought him whom my soul loveth" (Song of Sol. 3:2). How can they say they love God, who are not industrious in the use of means to obtain Him? "A slothful man hides his hand in his bosom" (Prov. 19:24). He is not in agony, but lethargy. If Christ and salvation would drop as a ripe fig into his mouth, he would be content to have them; but he is loath to put himself to too much trouble. Does he love his friend, who win not undertake a journey to see him?

He who loves God PREFERS HIM BEFORE ESTATE AND LIFE. (1) Before estate--"For whom I have suffered the loss of all things" (Phil. 3:8). Who that loves a rich jewel would not part with a flower for it? Galeacius, marcus of Vico, parted with a fair estate to enjoy God in His pure ordinances. When a Jesuit persuaded him to return to his popish religion in Italy, promising him a large sum of money, he said: "Let their money perish with them who esteem all the gold in the world worth one day's communion with Jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit." (2) Before life--"They loved not their lives to the death" (Rev. 12:11). Love to God carries the soul above the love of life and the fear of death.

He who loves God LOVES HIS FAVOURITES, THE SAINTS (1 John 5:1). To love a man for his grace and the more we see of God in him, the more we love him, that is an infallible sign of love to God. The wicked pretend to love God, but hate and persecute His image. Does he love his prince who abuses his statue, or tears his picture? They seem indeed to show great reverence to saints departed; they have great reverence for Saint Paul, and Saint Stephen, and Saint Luke; they canonize dead saints, but persecute living saints; and do they love God? Can it be imagined that he loves God who hates His children because they are like God? If Christ were alive again, He would not escape a second persecution.

If we love God WE CANNOT BUT BE FEARFUL OF DISHONORING HIM, as the more a child loves his father the more he is afraid to displease him, and we weep and mourn when we have offended him. "Peter went out and wept bitterly" (Matt. 26:75). Peter might think that Christ dearly loved him when He took him up to the mount where He was transfigured, and showed him the glory of heaven in a vision. That Peter should deny Christ after he had received such signal tokens of His love, this broke his heart with grief "He wept bitterly." Are our eyes dropping tears of grief for sin against God? It is a blessed evidence of our love to God; and such shall find mercy. "He shows mercy to thousands of them that love Him."

God, uses the world but chooses God. The world engages him, but God delights and satisfies
him. He says as David, "God my exceeding joy," the gladness or cream of my joy (Psalm 43:4). Use. Let us be lovers of God. We love our food and shall we not love Him that gives it? All the joy we hope for in heaven is in God; and shall not He who shall be our joy then, be our love now? It is a saying of Augustine, Annon pana satis magna est non amare te? Is it not punishment enough Lord, not to love thee? And again, Animam meam in odia haberem. I would hate my own soul if I did not find it loving God.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Godly Man's Picture

I just finished reading this book, thanks to the Es for opening up their library to me! Due to the time change I got in an extra hour of reading this morning, still haven't gotten that extra hour of seep, but the reading was nice.......I love reading Thomas Watson, he has a way of putting things that is easy to read and understand. I remember the first book I read by him was The Ten Commandments. Years ago, as part of our homeschooling, my father had us read a chapter, and write a report on it every week. I still have one of those reports!

This book is subtitled Drawn With A Scripture Pencil, Or Some Characteristics Of A Man Who Is Going To Heaven and in summary is a man who has knowledge, is moved by faith, is fired with love, is like God, is careful about the worship of God, who serves God and not men, who prizes Christ, who weeps, who loves the Word, who has the Spirit of God residing in him. A man of humility, of prayer, and of sincerity. A heavenly man, a zealous man, a patient man, a thankful man, and a man who loves the saints. A man who does not indulge himself in any sin, who is good in his relationships, who does things in a spiritual manner, who is thoroughly trained in religion, who walks with God, and who strives to be an instrument for making others Godly.

I could share a number of quotes, but am just going to give you one on relationships that I found helpful.

"As we desire to have God approve us, let us show godliness in our relationships. Not to be good in our relationships spoils all our other good things. Naaman was an honorable man, but he was leper (2 Kings 5:1). That "but" spoiled everything. So such a person is a great hearer, but he neglects relative duties. This stains the beauty of all his other actions. As in printing, though the letter is never so well shaped, yet it is not set in the right place, it spoils the sense. So let a man have many things commendable in him, yet if he is not good in his right place, making conscience of how he walks in his relationships, he does harm to religion. There are many whom Christ will say at last, as to the young man, "Yet lackest thou one thing." (Luke 18:22) You have misbehaved in your relative capacity. As therefore we cherish our salvation, and the honor of religion, let us shin in that orb of relationships where God has placed us."

Monday, November 2, 2009

Visiting Friends

On Saturday Seth and I made the long trip up to Virginia to visit some very good friends.In spite of miserable weather, we had a great time together eating, talking, laughing, "playing" with jewelry, shopping, visiting a coffee shop, and Adri and I were even able to get in some serious conversation.......
Pictured at left are Adri and I in a Goodwill store, after all the thrift store shopping I have done in my life it is about time I had my picture taken in one!
Thank you all very much, it was a wonderful day!

I found these frightening pants. The worst part? It is a used clothing
store so someone actually wore them! Don't know about you, but I'm not so
sure I would want to see that!

Digging through clothes, you never know what "treasure" you
might find. This was a nice store too, clean and sorted by
color so things were easy to find.

I found a pair of crocs for only $2.50. A great find since I
literally walked through the bottoms of my last
pair. These are my "walking shoes" so they get a lot
of miles put on them!

How do I, Adri, they are both so nice......

Playing with Adri and her mom's jewelry business. When I saw
this engagement ring I couldn't resist trying it on....Can I say this
picture was NOT my idea?! all in good fun though, and no, I won't say
who the other hand belongs to.....

This cake was our afternoon snack along
with coffee and cream cheese bread.

Our friends drove us way up in the mountains (though
it was too foggy to see anything) to their favorite coffee shop.

My first time at a coffee shop, hard to believe in
this day and age, but true!

Never get between a DiLella and his coffee!


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Intense Debate Comments

"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1