Thursday, September 30, 2010

A servant of all...

Yesterday morning I was reading in Mark 10, then wanted to dig a bit deeper, so went to Matthew Henry. He sent me to Matthew 20....and I decided I wanted to share what I was reading. In the middle of copying and pasting I heard a commotion outside my bedroom door; the little ones trying to deal with the overwhelming (to them:-) task of putting away their toys in the toy closet. At that moment I realized I could go on blogging, or really live what I was writing and help them. The choice reminded me of something I saw in a movie recently. The hero was trying to protect a copy of the Bible, as far as he knew, the last copy left on earth. He was given the choice of giving up the Bible, or keeping it, but having his friend killed. After a short hesitation, he gave up the Bible saying he had spent so long protecting it that he forgot to live what it taught. Not that my life and decisions are that dramatic, but anyway that made an impression on me and stuck with me.

"Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Mark 10:43-45

"...whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." Matthew 20:26-28


"They must be like the Master himself; and it is very fit that they should, that, while they were in the world, they should be as he was when he was in the world; for to both the present state is a state of humiliation, the crown and glory were reserved for both in the future state. Let them consider that the Son of Man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Our Lord Jesus here sets himself before his disciples as a pattern of those two things before recommended, humility, and usefulness.

Never was there such an example of humility and condescension as there was in the life of Christ, who came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. When the Son of God came into the world, his Ambassador to the children of men, one would think he should have been ministered to, should have appeared in an equipage agreeable to his person and character; but he did not so; he made no figure, had no pompous train of state-servants to attend him, nor was he clad in robes of honor, for he took upon him the form of a servant. He was indeed ministered to as a poor man, which was a part of his humiliation; there were those that ministered to him of their substance (Luke viii. 2, 3); but he was never ministered to as a great man; he never took state upon him, was not waited on at table; he once washed his disciples' feet, but we never read that they washed his feet. He came to minister help to all that were in distress; he made himself a servant to the sick and diseased; was as ready to their requests as ever any servant was at the beck of his master, and took as much pains to serve them; he attended continually to this very thing, and denied himself both food and rest to attend to it.

Never was there such an example of beneficence and usefulness as there was in the death of Christ, who gave his life a ransom for many. He lived as a servant, and went about doing good; but he died as a sacrifice, and in that he did the greatest good of all. He came into the world on purpose to give his life a ransom; it was first in his intention.

Now this is a good reason why we should not strive for precedence, because the cross is our banner, and our Master's death is our life. It is a good reason why we should study to do good, and, in consideration of the love of Christ in dying for us, not hesitate to lay down our lives for the brethren, 1 John iii. 16. The nearer we are all concerned in, and the more we are advantaged by, the humility and humiliation of Christ, the more ready and careful we should be to imitate it."
~ Matthew Henry


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Snapshots from my morning...

I love when the children pull out the toys and start a game on their own:-)




Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Matthew Henry quotes

"In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul." Psalm 138:3


G od gave him strength in his soul, and that is a real and valuable answer to the prayer of faith in the day of affliction. If God give us strength in our souls to bear the burdens, resist the temptations, and do the duties of an afflicted state, if he strengthen us to keep hold of himself by faith, to maintain the peace of our own minds and to wait with patience for the issue, we must own that he has answered us, and we are bound to be thankful.


God knows what he designs us for, though we do not, what service, what trials, and will take care for us when we, for want of foresight, cannot for ourselves, that we be furnished for them with grace sufficient. He that appoints what the voyage shall be will victual the ship accordingly. See how many different ways God took to keep Elijah alive; he fed him by ravens,with multiplied meals—then by an angel—and now, to show that man lives not by bread alone, he kept him alive forty days without meat, not resting and sleeping, which might make him the less to crave sustenance, but continually traversing the mazes of the desert, a day for a year of Israel's wanderings; yet he neither needs food nor desires it. The place, no doubt, reminds him of the manna, and encourages him to hope that God will sustain him here, and in due time bring him hence, as he did Israel, though, like
him, fretful and distrustful."
~ Matthew Henry on Psalm 138 and 1 Kings 19




Monday, September 27, 2010

The earth her fruit shall yield...

On Saturday I went grape harvesting with the Es. Their friends let us glean after the machines had gone through, and working together we were able to gather about 16 gallons of scuppernongs and muskadines, not counting what we ate as we picked...;-). It was fun - I'd never picked grapes before!

The next day they were bottled and put underground where over the next few months they'll turn into wine. Expect more pictures a few months from now when they come out of the ground and we have our wine.....


Picking ~











The fruits of our labor ~





Driving Home~



Sunday, September 26, 2010

Psalm 30

"I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.

O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.

O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.

LORD, by thy favor thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.

I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.

What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?

Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever."



Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy Blogiversary!

It's hard to believe it has been a year since I started this blog! Originally I began it so my family members who live far away from me could keep up with me through updates and pictures, but it has evolved more into a place where I share what I'm reading and thinking about. Now, I sometimes wonder, who are all the people who regularly visit (introduce yourself in a comment if you'd like - I love comments:-), and who they think I am. Recently I was asked by friends why I post what I do, and was cautioned that I have a big responsibility in it....I can't share these things, then live the opposite, complaining, not trusting, and waiting patiently, that that is a bad testimony and not pleasing to the Lord. I know that is true, and I do want use this blog, as well as everything else I do, for the glory of God (Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God, 1 Corinthians 10:31). Though I know I don't always succeed, that is my wish. Anyway I thought I would use this one year mark to share a bit about myself and my blog....

In real life I'm a single woman who loves the Lord, and has to work every day to "take up my cross," who too often struggles to trust the Lord, and patiently wait on Him. My reason for writing what I do? Because I need the encouragement, and hope that others will be blessed as well when I share it. Truly my life is a living example of the verse, "God doth the solitary set in families," and as I look back on the providences I've experienced over the past 18 months I know I have much to be thankful for. I prayed for a long time for a good church and that prayer was answered. I'm so thankful for my church! When I left my family in Virginia to move to South Carolina for the church, the Lord blessed me by putting me in a family here, I didn't have to go out in the work place, but am thankful to be safe and busy - my days are now spent helping at the E's home and learning a lot in the process about running a home, raising children, homeschooling, etc. Plus I'm very blessed to be with good friends, to talk and laugh together, sit around the dinner table with family, and join in family worship every day. My hope and prayer is that someday the Lord will give me family of my own, but for now I'm thankful not to be alone as I wait for that...

Anyways my wish is to be honest, and hopefully to be an encouragement to my followers. Thank you all for reading my thoughts and if there is anything you would like to see on here just let me know. I hope ya'll have a good day.

Vanilla Granola recipe

This delicious recipe came from my sister in law, Adri.
Vanilla Granola

1 1/2 c. coconut
3/4 c. wheat germ
4 c old fashioned oats
1 c sliced almonds
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c veg oil
1/4 c honey
1/4 c maple syrup
4 tsp vanilla (this seems like a lot but it's perfect!)


Preheat oven to 300*.
Lightly grease a large cookie sheet.
Mix coconut, wheat germ, oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.

In a saucepan combine oil, honey, and maple syrup.
Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
Pour over oat mixture and stir well.
Spread onto the baking sheet.
Bake about 25-30 minutes (stirring half way through).
Let cool completely.
Stores up to 2 weeks (ha! like it will be around that long:-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Update, sickness, Matthew Henry reading...

As you may gather from this picture - we are sick:-( It seems like for weeks a bad cough has been making its way through our church, and this past week I finally came down with it. The only silver lining I can find in being one of the last to catch it is that I don't need to worry too much about spreading germs, pretty much everyone I know is, or has been sick.
Last evening I had cause again to be thankful that we can call into our church services which is almost as good as being there. All of us sick ones gathered around the phone (lol) in the living room and listened to the prayer meeting sermon on 2 Chronicles 15 "The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you."
The only other good thing I can say about sickness is that it can be a good time to spend reading - below is a really good section I read in Matthew Henry yesterday.


"Then Samuel took a stone, and set
it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

"Samuel himself took care to set up this monument. He had been instrumental by prayer to obtain the mercy, and therefore he thought himself in a special manner obliged to make this grateful acknowledgment of it. The reason he gives for the name is, Hitherto the Lord hath helped us, in which he speaks thankfully of what was past, giving the glory of the victory to God only, who had added this to all his former favors; and yet he speaks somewhat doubtfully for the future: "Hitherto things have done well, but what God may yet do with us we know not, that we refer to him; but let us praise him for what he has done." Note, The beginnings of mercy and deliverance are to be acknowledged by us with thankfulness so far as they go, though they be not completely finished, nay, though the issue seem uncertain. Having obtained help from God, I continue hitherto, says blessed Paul, Acts xxvi. 22."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quotes of Augustine

After hearing the address on Augustine last Saturday, I read about him online and found these quotes -

"Because God has made us for Himself, our hearts are restless until they rest in Him."


"Resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies."


"Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it. "


"Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward for this faith is to see what you believe."


"Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee."


"Christ is not valued at all, unless he is valued above all."


"Patience is the companion of wisdom."


"What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like."


"Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure: where your treasure, there your heart; where your heart, there your happiness."


"God grants us not always what we ask so as to bestow something preferable."



"God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination."


"Take up and read, take up and read."


" 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 not 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."


Monday, September 20, 2010

GPC Church Picnic

We had such a nice day for our annual church picnic/Psalm sing! The day began with prayer, Psalm singing, and Pastor gave us a biographical address on Augustine. We even sang my favorite tune, Hamilton:-). then was a delicious potluck lunch, and an afternoon of fellowship, talking, games, eating, laughing, picture taking.....below is a slide show I put together of my pictures, and the address on Augustine.






Sunday, September 19, 2010

Psalm 29

"Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.

The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.

He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.

The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.

The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.

The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace."



Friday, September 17, 2010

Sisters

I just got this nice picture of some of my sisters and I, taken at my brother's wedding this spring.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Great Faith

"Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshiped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour."
~Matthew 15:21-28

If we cannot reason down our unbelief, let us pray it down. A fervent, affectionate Lord, help me, will help us over many of the discouragements which are sometimes ready to bear us down and overwhelm us.

Christ treated her thus, to try her; he knows what is in the heart, knew the strength of her faith, and how well able she was, by his grace, to break through such discouragements; he therefore met her with them, that the trial of her faith might be found unto praise, and honor, and glory, 1 Pet. i. 6, 7. This was like God's tempting Abraham (Gen. xxii. 1), like the angel's wrestling with Jacob, only to put him upon wrestling, Gen. xxxii. 24. Many of the methods of Christ's providence, and especially of his grace, in dealing with his people, which are dark and perplexing, may be explained with the key of this story, which is for that end left upon record, to teach us that there may be love in his face, and to encourage us, therefore, though he slay us, yet to trust in him.

He commended her faith. O woman, great is thy faith. Observe, It is her faith that he commends. There were several other graces that shone bright in her conduct of this affair-wisdom, humility, meekness, patience, perseverance in prayer; but these were the product of her faith, and therefore Christ fastens upon that as most commendable; because of all graces faith honors Christ most, therefore of all graces Christ honors faith most. It is the greatness of her faith."
~Matthew Henry


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

From my Matthew Henry reading...

O ur sorrow upon any account is sinful and inordinate when it diverts us from our duty to God and embitters our comfort in him, when it makes us unthankful for the mercies we enjoy and distrustful of the goodness of God to us in further mercies, when it casts a damp upon our joy in Christ, and hinders us from doing the duty and taking the comfort of our particular relations...We ought to take notice of our comforts, to keep us from grieving excessively for our crosses; for our crosses we deserve, but our comforts we have forfeited. If we would keep the balance even, we must look at that which is for us, as well as at that which is against us, else we are unjust to Providence and unkind to ourselves. God hath set the one over-against the other (Eccl. vii. 14) and so should we."

"Elkanah had gently reproved Hannah for her inordinate grief, and here we find the good effect of the reproof. She did not harden herself in sorrow, nor grow sullen when she was reproved for it;.. she cheered up her own spirits as well as she could, and came to table. It is as great a piece of self-denial to control our passions as it is to control our appetites. It brought her to her prayers. It put her upon considering, "Do I well to be angry? Do I well to fret? What good does it do me? Instead of binding the burden thus upon my shoulders, had I not better easy myself of it, and cast it upon the Lord by prayer?" Elkanah had said, Am not I better to thee than ten sons? which perhaps occasioned her to think within herself, "Whether he be so or no, God is, and therefore to him will I apply, and before him will I pour out my complaint, and try what relief that will give me." If ever she will make a more solemn address than ordinary to the throne of grace upon this errand, now is the time. Now concerning Hannah's prayer we may observe, The warm and lively devotion there was in it, which appeared in several instances, for our direction in prayer. She improved the present grief and trouble of her spirit for the exciting and quickening of her pious affections in prayer: Being in bitterness of soul, she prayed. This good use we should make of our afflictions, they should make us the more lively in our addresses to God. Our blessed Savior himself, being in an agony, prayed more earnestly, Luke xxii. 44. She mingled tears with her prayers. Like a true Israelite, she wept and made supplication (Hos. xii. 4), with an eye to the tender mercy of our God, who knows the troubled soul. The prayer came from her heart, as the tears from her eyes. She was very particular, and yet very modest, in her petition. God gives us leave, in prayer, not only to ask good things in general, but to mention that special good thing which we most need and desire.... She spoke all this so softly that none could hear her. Her lips moved, but her voice was not heard, Hereby she testified her belief of God's knowledge of the heart and its desires."

"..and her countenance was no more sad, no more as it had been, giving marks of inward trouble and discomposure; but she looked pleasant and cheerful, and all was well. Why, what had happened? Whence came this sudden happy change? She had by prayer committed her case to God and left it with him, and now she was no more perplexed about it. She had prayed for herself, and Eli had prayed for her; and she believed that God would either give her the mercy she had prayed for or make up the want of it to her some other way. Prayer is heart's-ease to a gracious soul; the seed of Jacob have often found it so, being confident that God will never say unto them, Seek you me in vain, see Phil. iv. 6, 7. Prayer will smooth the countenance; it should do so."

"At length the Lord remembered Hannah, the very thing she desired , and more she needed not desire, that was enough, for then she conceived and bore a son. Though God seem long to forget his people's burdens, troubles, cares, and prayers, yet he will at length make it to appear that they are not out of his mind."
~ Matthew Henry on 1 Samuel chapter 1

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Daybook

For Today - September 13th

Outside my window......the leaves are starting to turn, and it felt so cool and nice when Bonnie (the dog) and I went on our morning walk.


I am thinking.....
.about the movie I watched last night, The Hiding Place. It puts things in perspective, and I really liked this quote from it, "No pit is so deep that the Lord is not deeper still."


I am thankful for.......
my church and good friends in it.


I am wearing........
a denim skirt and purple shirt.


Remembering....
This sermon on Matthew 6 from last Wednesday night which was comforting and encouraging.
"lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:19-21





Listening to.....
quiet - a rare thing - but all the children had a doctor's appointment this afternoon leaving me with an unexpected quiet couple hours.


I am going.....
to have some quiet time, get some stuff done on the computer, and read, just finished helping get the children ready to go out the door, and doing tidying/cleaning, and laundry. Later I plan to watch a movie with Jenny and Mr E.


Noticing that...
life is full of opportunities for sanctification which often isn't much fun...


I am currently reading....
my Bible, and Matthew Henry's commentary on Ruth.


I am hoping......
"..To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified."
Isaiah 61:3


On my mind......
a question that came up after watching the movie The Hiding Place last night....For those who aren't familiar with it it is the story of the Ten boom family, a father and two daughters, who helped hide Jews during World War 2. When the Ten Booms are captured and imprisoned, the elderly father dies before he can transported to the concentration camps. I thought he was blessed that the Lord took him and spared him so much suffering, but was wondering what others thought- would you rather go on living, or die and be spared all that pain? (please know that I am not talking about suicide here). I think sometimes it is much harder to go on living......though I know not everyone agrees with me on this.


Pondering these words
....Some thoughts from my reading in Matthew Henry's Commentary on Ruth chapter 4 that I read this morning. If you haven't read him on Ruth I'd recommend doing it; there's so much good stuff in this little book!

"Boaz calls a court immediately.But why was Boaz so hasty, why so fond of the match? Ruth was not rich, but lived upon alms; not honorable, but a poor stranger. She was never said to be beautiful; if ever she had been so, we may suppose that weeping, and traveling, and gleaning, had withered her lilies and roses. But that which made Boaz in love with her, and solicitous to expedite the affair, was that all her neighbors agreed she was a virtuous woman. This set her price with him far above rubies (Prov. xxxi. 10); and therefore he thinks, if by marrying her he might do her a real kindness, he should also do himself a very great kindness. He will therefore bring it to a conclusion immediately."

"Our Lord Jesus is our Goel, our Redeemer, our everlasting Redeemer. He looked, like Boaz, with compassion on the deplorable state of fallen mankind. At a vast expense he redeemed the heavenly inheritance for us, which by sin was mortgaged, and forfeited into the hands of divine justice, and which we should never have been able to redeem. He likewise purchased a peculiar people, whom he would espouse to himself, though strangers and foreigners, like Ruth, poor and despised, that the name of that dead and buried race might not be cut off for ever. He ventured the marring of his own inheritance, to do this, for, though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor; but he was abundantly recompensed for it by his Father, who, because he thus humbled himself, hath highly exalted him, and given him a name above every name. Let us own our obligations to him, make sure our contract with him, and study all our days how to do him honor."

"Every creature and every condition are that to us, and no more, that God makes them to be."

"Ruth was a virtuous woman, and yet needed the prayers of her friends, that by the grace of God she might be made a blessing to the family she had come into."

"He that forsakes all for Christ shall find more than all with him; it shall be recompensed a hundred-fold in this present time. Boaz had prayed that this pious proselyte might receive a full reward of her courage and constancy from the God of Israel, under whose wings she had come to trust; and now he became an instrument of that kindness, which was an answer to his prayer, and helped to make his own words good. Now she had the command of those servants with whom she had associated and of those fields in which she had gleaned. Thus sometimes God raiseth up the poor out of the dust, to set them with princes, Ps. cxiii. 7, 8."

"See how God in his providence sometimes makes up the want and loss of those relations from whom we expected most comfort in those from whom we expected least. The bonds of love prove stronger than those of nature, and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother."


One of my favorite things~ little arms wrapped around my neck.


A few plans for the rest of the week ....
tomorrow is my day off and I'm going to spend it visiting with friends, Wed is church, mostly just normal work this week I think, but Lord willing (as long as it doesn't rain!) we'll be having our church picnic/Psalm sing on Saturday. I'll try to get some pictures - I know it's been awhile since I've posted any.



From my photo journal ~
a picture of my new book. I had the opportunity to spend some time in Pastor's library a couple weeks ago and as soon as I saw this book I knew I wanted it - it was so cool to be able to look up MH quotes on any subject! So I ordered my own copy:-)


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Psalm 28

"Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.

Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.

Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.

Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.

Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.

Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.

Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever."



Saturday, September 11, 2010

Apple Strudel

I baked this this morning - it's an old favorite of my family - delicious!

Apple Strudel Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • FILLING:
  • 2 cups dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 medium baking apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Confectioners' sugar, optional

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in sour cream and salt. Shape the dough into a ball; cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • For filling, combine bread crumbs and butter. Add the apples, sugar, raisins, pecans and cinnamon, set aside. Divide dough into thirds; turn onto a floured surface. Roll each into a 15-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Spoon filling evenly onto dough; spread to within 1 in. of edges. Roll up from one long side; pinch seams and ends to seal.
  • Carefully place each loaf seam side down on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely on wire racks. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired. Yield: 3 loaves.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jesus; Master of Stress

I listened to this during nap time today and had to share it! This part below especially stood out to me.

"He was suffering in our place and in the midst of all that Jesus held onto his trust. You know when we're struggling there's no secret formula to help us on our way, there's no new experience we have to discover, there's no new book that has been written with new insights that will solve our problem. What we need is to trust, is to remember who our God is. How He loved us while we were in the darkness and dying in our sin, how he sent His Son.
I see the Father speaking to the son in Heaven, "Son, will you go to earth? They will do this to you, they will mock you, and maul you, and revile you, and reject you. Son, will you go?"

"Yes, Father, I will go into the darkness."
So we know of the love of God for lost men and women, grace that is real and powerful, and able to pluck men and women out of the darkness so that when we are in the darkest of moments, in the deepest experience of stress and strain, we are able to say, "I know what I must do here - I must cast myself upon Almighty God. I must trust in Him that this moment will somehow mature me, develop me, lead me onward and upward to glory, but I will not rail against God....I will cry to God, 'in you I trust, in this my moment of deepest need.'"



My Daybook

For Today - Wednesday, September 8th - a little late, but better late than never I suppose!


Outside my window......it's getting cooler - I love it:-)


I am thinking......about Thanksgiving, a ways away I know, but am looking forward to spending some time with family and friends, Lord willing.


I am thankful for.......a chance to visit with my pastor's wife (and Sammy) last week


I am wearing.....a green shirt, denim skirt, and pearl earrings.


Remembering..... a lot of different things from my growing up years....


Listening to.....coughing children, I'm thinking my plans of yogurt for breakfast isn't a good idea with all this congestion. I better make some eggs....


I am going.....to have a normal (I hope) busy day, helping with the children, cooking, laundry, etc. Later on I'll babysit 4 of the children while the girls have piano lessons, and get them ready for church. I also want to try and get some emails answered.


Noticing that....some of my friends put up great quotes on facebook. I liked this one I saw this morning ~ "Trust in him to guide us when in doubt, to protect us when in danger, to supply us when in want, to strengthen us for every good word and work." Matthew Henry


I am currently reading.....my Bible, Matthew Henry's Commentary on Judges, and Quivering Daughters by Hillary McFarland, and Thoughts Of God by Maurice Roberts.


I am hoping......that the meeting I am supposed to have tonight will be profitable.


On my mind......our upcoming congregational meeting to elect new church officers. The responsibility makes me nervous, praying that God will give us wisdom and we will do what is right... I just read these verses on the subject this morning.
"This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus." ~ 1 Timothy 3:1-13


Pondering these words...."Retirement gives an opportunity for meditation an communion with God; even they who are called to the most active life must yet have their contemplative hours, and must first find time to be alone with God." ~ Matthew Henry


Around the house....washer and dryer going, children working on their chore lists (I'm keeping an eye on this, and about to go make breakfast).


One of my favorite things~Saturdays, and mornings at home when I don't have to set my alarm:-)


A few plans for the rest of the week .....church tonight, shopping tomorrow, congregational meeting Friday, I think I'm babysitting Saturday.


From my photo journal ~ I had so much fun playing with this little guy at his house last week, he showed me old pictures, played guns, catch, and showed me all his toys:-) For some reason I never pulled out my camera while there.
For more daybooks go to The Simple Woman's Daybook

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This and that....

It seems like I've had very little to say on this blog recently...it's been a busy time for me, I've had a lot going on, and it's been easier to just copy and paste some things I've been reading than write anything, or post many pictures. I have missed blogging though and do want to try to spend more time on it. Over the holiday weekend I chose to spend as much of my free time reading as I could, mainly from the book pictured at left. Though I don't necessarily agree with everything said in it, I think it has been a good, helpful thing to read and would recommend it to others...it's good to think about and examine why we do things the way we do, is it Biblical, or....? More people may be able to relate to this than we realize, and if not you, well it may help you to understand a friend's struggles better. It's definitely given me plenty to think about, and got me reading in this chapter of Hosea, then I went on to see what Matthew Henry had to say about it. Below is some of my reading, and I may share some more thoughts as time goes on. By the way, just so you know, I didn't spend my whole labor day alone reading! It ended very nicely with pizza, watermelon and friends, though not necessarily in that order:-) A highlight of the evening was watching my friends' video they made of family worship during their visit to Scotland this summer. It was so neat and encouraging to see other families across the ocean worshiping in the same way we do.

“ Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
“ And it shall be, in that day,”
Says the LORD,

“ That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’
And no longer call Me ‘My Master,’ For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals,
And they shall be remembered by their name no more.
In that day I will make a covenant for them
With the beasts of the field,
With the birds of the air,
And with the creeping things of the ground.
Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth,
To make them lie down safely.
“ I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the LORD.
“ It shall come to pass in that day
That I will answer,” says the LORD; Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth,
And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy;
Then I will say to those who were not My people,
‘ You are My people!’
And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’
~ Verses from Hosea 2

"I will allure her. It comes all to one; the design is plainly to magnify free grace to those on whom God will have mercy purely for mercy's sake... That though now they were disconsolate, and ready to despair, they should again be revived with comforts and hopes."


"God had said that he would make them as a wilderness the meaning may be that he would by his grace bring their minds to their condition: "They shall have humble hearts under humbling providences; being poor, they shall be poor in spirit, shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity, and then they are prepared to have comfort spoken to them." When God delivered Israel out of Egypt he led them into the wilderness, to humble them and prove them, that he might do them good (Deut. viii. 2, 3, 15, 16), and so he will do again. Note, Those whom God has mercy in store for he first brings into a wilderness—into solitude and retirement, that they may the more freely converse with him out of the noise of this world,—into distress of mind, through sense of guilt and dread of wrath, which brings a soul to be quite at a loss in itself and bewildered, and by those convictions he prepares for consolations,—and sometimes into outward distress and trouble, thereby to open the ear to discipline. He will then allure them and speak comfortably to them, will persuade them and speak to their hearts, that is, he will by his word and Spirit incline their hearts to return to him, and encourage them to do so. He will allure them with the promises of his favour, as before he had terrified them with the threatenings of his wrath, will speak friendly to them, both by his prophets and by his providences, as before he had spoken roughly."


"He will give her the valley of Achor for a door of hope. The valley of Achor was that in which Achan was stoned; it signifies the valley of trouble, because he troubled Israel, and there God troubled him. This was the beginning of the wars of Canaan; and their putting away the accursed thing in that place gave them ground to hope that God would continue his presence with them and complete their victories. So when God returns to his people in mercy, and they to him in duty, it will be to them as happy an omen as any thing. If they put away the accursed thing from among them, if by mortifying sin they stone the Achan that has troubled their camp, their subduing that enemy within themselves is an earnest to them of victory over all the kings of Canaan."


"The great rejoicing with which they shall receive God's gracious returns towards them: She shall sing there as in the days of her youth. When God repeats former mercies we must repeat former praises. This promise of Israel's singing has its accomplishment in the gospel of Christ, which furnishes us with abundant matter for joy and praise, and wherever it is received in its power enlarges the heart in joy and praise; and this is that land flowing with milk and honey which the valley of Achor opens a door of hope to. We rejoice in tribulation."


"I will betroth thee.
All that are sincerely devoted to God are betrothed to him; God gives them the most sacred and inviolable security imaginable that he will love them, protect them, and provide for them, that he will do the part of a husband to them, and that he will incline their hearts to join themselves to him and will graciously accept of them in so doing. Believing souls are espoused to Christ."


"God's mercy must not be despaired of any where on this side hell. The sum total of the happiness of believers is the mutual relation that is between them and God, that he is theirs and they are his; this is the crown of all the promises. This relation is founded in free grace. We have not chosen him, but he has chosen us. He first says, They are my people, and makes them willing to be so in the day of his power, and then they avouch him to be theirs. As we need desire no more to make us happy than to be the people of God, so we need desire no more to make us easy and cheerful than to have him to assure us that we are so, to say unto us, by his Spirit witnessing with ours, Thou art my people."
~ Matthew Henry


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"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