Thursday, June 30, 2011

Buying books on a budget....

A Fool and His Money SeriesToday I'm thankful for books:-) As anyone who reads my blog has probably figured out - I love books and spend a lot of my free time reading. Like most of you all though, I have limited funds to buy books, or in other words I'm on a budget. So up until recently that meant I rarely bought books. Then I discovered Swagbucks......if you regularly search online this is something you might want to sign up for too. By downloading  their toolbar, searching, finding codes, watching the occasional video, and taking advantage of one of their special offers now and then I find I generally earn enough to redeem a $5 Amazon gift card about every two weeks. While that may not sound like a lot, it's my 'book money' and you can find some pretty awesome deals on Amazon if you shop around. Plus it's completely free money! Please consider signing up through the widget below - and yes, I will earn referral swagbucks if you do:-). It's a win, win situation for both of us - it's completely free! Go here for more on how to earn swagbucks once you've signed up.

As you all also know I love the Psalms. This pretty little book was my latest 'buy.'

A look inside. It's all King James version with scenic pictures to go with every Psalm.

1cent Bellows 1
I told you, you could find amazing deals on Amazon. This is what I paid for the book of Psalms above (not including shipping)! I have been know to 'splurge' and spend more than that:-)

This was another of my buys, and a favorite book of mine. I've also bought The Diary of David Brainerd,  Mute Christian Under the Rod by Thomas Watson, a book on prayer that I can't remember the title of now, a couple books that were gifts, etc. I have many more titles on my wish list.....

Another place I occasionally find good deals on  books is Ebay, and even every now and then in thrift stores I'll find something good. I recently found a like new set of Francine River's Mark of The Lion trilogy for 75 cents each. I love finding a good bargain:-). About the only place I've been known to pay full price is at my church conference. It's hard to resist book tables, and hey I'm helping the denomination too right? :-)

And before I end this post I have to say I have to say I have some great friends who know how much I love books and have given me some special gifts. My set of Matthew Henry's commentaries were a gift, as was my copy of Rutherford's Letters, Spurgeon's Morning and Evening,  The Law of Kindness by Mary Beeke, and more........Thank you all!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Give me thine heart....

My Heart Belong To YouToday on my mind is the need, as Christians, to give our hearts wholly to the Lord. That made me think of this section below from Hind's Feet On High Places......

"...She awoke suddenly because she knew someone had called her. She waited in silence, then a Voice said, "Much Afraid."
"Behold me, here I am my Lord," she answered.

"Much Afraid," said the Voice, "Take now the promise you received when I called you to follow me to the High Places, and take the natural longings for human love which you found already growing in your heart when I planted my own love there and go up into the mountains to the place that I show you. Offer them there as a burnt offering unto me."

The story goes on to share how she reels at this request, how she contemplates giving up, but ultimately decided to obey, reaching the point of feeling 'neither despair nor hope.' But when the time comes she finds it impossible to do on her own. I won't give anymore away except to say that great joy comes from her submission and obedience. I was thinking in allegories, and sometimes even in others' stories it is so easy to see the Lord working in that person's life, the reason, the good that comes from it, and the fact that He is with them the whole time, that His love is in it, yet it can be so hard to see and believe that in our own circumstances.

It also made me think of this verse from Proverbs 23:

"My son (or could be daughter!) give me thine heart."

So (surprise, surprise:-) I went to see what Matthew Henry had to say on the subject and shared this very convicting quote below. May God give grace to live this out.

"God in this exhortation, speaks to us as unto children: "Son, Daughter, Give my thy heart." The heart is that which the great God requires and calls for from every one of us; whatever we give, if we do not give him our hearts, it will not be accepted. We must set our love upon him. Our thoughts must converse much with him, and on him, as our highest end. The intents of our hearts must be fastened. We must make it our own act and deed to devote ourselves to the Lord, and we must be free and cheerful in it. We must not think to divide the heart between God and the world; he will have all or none. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart. To this call we must readily answer,  
"My father, take my heart, such as it is, and make it such as it should be; take possession of it, and set up thy throne in it."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Keepers at Home class.....

This past Saturday I was able to join our Keepers At Home group for a spinning class. Since I love working with yarn I really enjoyed spending the time with them. This was the first class I'd been able to go to in awhile and I had the job of taking pictures. Let me just say that I loved this spinning wheel! The class was kindly hosted and taught by Mrs. G and I loved all the scripture that she worked into her decorating. If I ever have my own home to decorate I'd love to do the same.

There are so many different kinds of fibers, wool, angora goat, and rabbit, alpaca, cotton, linen.....and more.

And so many beautiful yarns!

The girls learned to use drop spindles.

The class - or I could caption this - "how many girls can you fit on one couch?!" :-)

Mrs. G teaching us how to card wool.

It was a very hands on class - everyone got a chance to try out carding and spinning, and left with their own yarn that they created.
Hannah carding her wool.

I tried out carding wool - it's harder than it looks, it takes some strength!
The wool I carded, a combination of purples and blues - it made such a pretty yarn.

Learning to draft the wool before spinning it.

Learning to spin with a drop spindle.

Hannah showing off a bookmark made with the yarn that she spun.

Mrs. G also showed us how to use a spinning wheel. It was a great class - I think we all had fun and learned a lot.

Sharing with Titus 2Days,
Far Above Rubies,
 Simple Homemaking, 
  Raising Homemakers,
and Biblical Womanhood.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Father of the fatherless....

Today I wanted to share some favorite verses of mine that we sang in church yesterday:

"Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families"
Psalm 68:4-6a

Duck Family in a Row

"He praises God for his glorious appearances, and calls upon us to praise him, to sing to his name, and extol him as a gracious God, a God of mercy and tender compassion. He is great, but he despises not any, being a God of great power, he uses his power for the relief of those that are distressed. The fatherless, the widows, the solitary, find him a God all-sufficient to them. Observe how much God's goodness is his glory. He that rides on the heavens by his name Jah, one would think should immediately have been adored as King of kings and Lord of lords, and the sovereign director of all the affairs of states and nations; he is so, but this he rather glories in, that he is a Father of the fatherless. Though God be high, yet has he respect unto the lowly. Happy are those that have an interest in such a God as this. He that rides upon the heavens is a Father worth having;  happy are the people whose God is the Lord.

(1.) When families are bereaved of their head God takes care of them, and is himself their head; and the widows and the fatherless children shall find that in him which they have lost in the relation that is removed, and infinitely more and better. He is a Father of the fatherless, to pity them, to bless them, to teach them, to provide for them, to portion them. He will preserve them alive, and with him they shall find mercy. They have liberty to call him Father, and to plead their relation to him as their guardian. He is a judge or patron of the widows, to give them counsel and to redress their grievances, to own them and plead their cause. He has an ear open to all their complaints and a hand open to all their wants.

(2.) When families are to be built up he is the founder of them: God sets the solitary in families, brings those into comfortable relations that were lonely, gives those a convenient settlement that were unsettled."
 Matthew Henry

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Psalm 67

"God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.

That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.

Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.

O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.

Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.

Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.

God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him."

Saturday, June 25, 2011


S. shooting a bow and arrow at the renaissance festival
Patience is more than endurance. A saint's life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says--'I cannot stand anymore.' God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God's hands. Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith. 'Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.'
— Oswald Chambers

Shared with me on facebook by good friend and family member, Mrs.G.
I appreciate all my friends who share helpful quotes on blogs and facebook -
thank you all!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Lord will enlighten my darkness....

Today I wanted to share some thoughts from an excellent little book I've read recently, Facing Grief by John Flavel.

The Lord is able to restore all lost comforts in relations double to you if you meekly submit to Him, and patiently wait upon Him....

When Esau had lost his blessing he said, "Have you but one blessing my father?" But your Father has more blessings for you than one, His name is the Father of mercies. He can beget and create for you as many mercies as He pleases, relations, and the comforts of them are at His command.

It is but a few months, or years past and these trials you now lament; were not in being, nor did you know they should arise to you, yet the Lord gave the word and commanded them for you....though He lay you under the present trouble and reproach of barrenness, yet He does but make way for a double increase.

Say not, "What shall I do for friends and relations?" The Lord is able to give you much more.....But when as ever you expect to see your blessings multiplied, look to it and be careful that you neither dishonor God nor grieve Him by your unsubmissive and impatient carriage under the present rod.

God took away all of Job's children in one stroke, and that stroke immediate and extraordinary. This must be granted to be an extraordinary trial, yet he meekly receives, and patiently bears it from the hand of the Lord. "You have heard of the patience of Job," says James, "And seen the end of the Lord." Not only the gracious end or intentions of the Lord in all his afflictions, but the happy end and issue the Lord gave to all his afflictions of which you have account of in Job 42. "The Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.".....There is nothing lost by waiting patiently and submitting to the Lord's disposal.

It is as easy for the Lord to revive as it is to remove your comforts. There is a sweet expression this purpose in Psalm 18:28:

"For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness."

For every comfortable enjoyment, whether it be in relations, estate, health, or friends is a candle lighted by providence for our comfort in this world, and they are but candles, which will not always last: and those that last longest will be consumed and wasted at last; but often it falls out with them as with candles; they are blown out before they are half consumed; yea, almost as soon as lighted up; and then we are in darkness for the present.

It is a dark hour with us, when these comforts are put out; but David's faith did, and ours may, comfort us with this, that He that blew out the candle can light up another. "For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness." That is, the Lord will renew my comforts, alter the present sad estate I am in, and chase away that trouble and darkness which at present lie upon me; only beware of offending Him, at whose beck your lights and comforts come and go.

Hannah waited humbly upon the Lord for the blessing of children, and the Lord remembered her, He enlightened her condition with that comfort when she was a lamp despised. There is no comfort you have lost, but God can restore, yea, double it in kind, if he sees it convenient for you.

from Facing Grief by John Flavel

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Precious Promises....

Today I wanted to share my devotional reading from yesterday morning - I appreciated this reminder! I've enjoyed going through this book so much; it's all excerpts from the Puritan's writings, divided into daily readings and has been so good. Click here to get your own copy.

 "He has granted to us His precious and very great promises."
2 Peter 1:4

FaithFaith may act with great advantages upon the promises of God and gain great encouragement from them. There are promises suitable for every condition. Not only are there express promises, but promises that can be applied by faith. The titles of God are virtual promises. He s a shield, a strong tower, a hiding place, and our portion. Faith may apply these as promises.

Scriptural assertions may be applied as promises. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience......" Galatians 5;22. Faith may conclude that the Spirit will bring forth this fruit in me.

What God has done for His people formerly are, in effect, promises too. Faith may conclude the Lord will work in like manner in the future too. If he delivered others who trusted in Him, He will deliver me if I trust in Him now.

He is the same yesterday and forever.

David conquered Goliath in the name of the Lord, and prevailed. If I go in like manner against my sins, I shall prevail.

The prayers of God's people, and the commandments are also virtual promises. We are commanded to forgive seventy times seven, so faith may conclude, the Lord will forgive much more. Even in threatenings we might find a promise. If the wicked shall be turned into hell, faith may conclude that the godly shall be carried into Heaven.

Gather the promises and meditate on them. They are meat in the wilderness. Often be mining their treasures. Do not allow these pearls to lie neglected in the field. Treasure them up. 

 Fill your memories with them. A promise treasured will afford comfort in our callings....Meditate frequently and seriously, on them. Meditation squeezes the sweetness out of them and helps us to unite our faith to them for encouragement.
David Clarkson (Voices From The Past)

Sharing with Thankful Thursday,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"In thy light shall we see light.....

Rays of sunlight on the path
"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
God is a light to his people, to show them the way when they are in doubt, 
to comfort and rejoice their hearts when they are in sorrow. 
It is in his light that they now walk on in their way, 
and in his light they hope to see light for ever."
Matthew Henry on Psalm 27:1

Sharing with A Holy Experience, 
LACE, Seeds of Faith, and
Women Living Well.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"The earth belongs unto the Lord, and all that it contains.....

العملة المذكورة بالانجيل من زمن سيدنا المسيح ع The Biblical Tribute Penny: Tiberius AR Denarius 16-34 AD; ObverseOur Lord's day sermon from Luke 20 has been on my mind so I wanted to share it with you all. What I have been thinking most about is the end of the sermon where Pastor talked about rendering to God what is His. I hadn't thought much about this before, but when you come down to it, what does belong to God? How about everything......including myself. As a Christian I've died to myself, I don't own my life, but it belongs to the Lord and should be all about serving Him, and  bringing Him glory. Very practically speaking for me, one big way of doing this is learning to pray, "Thy will be done," and to mean it, to really want His will to be done in my life, for Him to be glorified through me, even if it means not getting what I want. When I think about it, why do we I struggle so much with this? Why would we not want to give ourselves to a Father who is good, who loves us so much, who has promised that all things will work together for the good of those who love Him? When we are reminded in so many places that He cares for us, that He sees all things, that He is our shield, fortress, strong tower, deliverer, our salvation......I could go on, as you can probably tell I'm talking to myself here! So if you find time to listen to this sermon I think it's safe to say that it will give you plenty to think about.

"And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor. And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me? Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar's. And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's. And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace."
Luke 20:26

Sharing with Soli Deo Gloria,
Heard it on Sunday, share it on Monday,
and Titus2 days.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Thoughts on Psalm 115....

We sang from Psalm 115 in church yesterday and afterwards I read Matthew Henry on it. Here are some thoughts from my reading.....

Psalm 115"Are we in pursuit of any mercy and wrestling with God for it? We must take our encouragement, in prayer, from God only, and have an eye to his glory more than to our own benefit in it. "Lord, do so and so for us, not that we may have the credit and comfort of it, but that thy mercy and truth may have the glory of it." This must be our highest and ultimate end in our prayers, and therefore it is made the first petition in the Lord's prayer, as that which guides all the rest, Hallowed be thy name; and, in order to that, Give us our daily bread, etc. This also must satisfy us, if our prayers be not answered in the letter of them. Whatever becomes of us, unto thy name give glory."

"It it is wisdom to trust in the living God, for he is a help and a shield to those that do trust in them, a help to furnish them with and forward them in that which is good, and a shield to fortify them against and protect them from every thing that is evil. Therefore, let Israel trust in the Lord; the body of the people, as to their public interests, and every particular Israelite, as to his own private concerns, let them leave it to God to dispose of all for them, and believe it will dispose of all for the best and will be their help and shield."

"The Lord has been mindful of us, and never unmindful, has been so constantly, has been so remarkably upon special occasions. He has been mindful of our case, our wants and burdens, mindful of our prayers to him, his promises to us, and the covenant-relation between him and us. All our comforts are derived from God's thoughts to us-ward; he has been mindful of us, though we have forgotten him. Let this engage us to trust in him, that we have found him faithful."

"He that made heaven and earth can doubtless make those happy that trust in him, and will do it."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Psalm 66

"Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:

Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.

Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.

All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.

Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.

He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.

He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.

O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:

Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.

For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.

Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.

Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,

Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.

I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.

Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me."

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's day, a different perspective....

Tomorrow is Father's day and lately it has been everywhere, ads online, on the radio, TV, etc, etc, and we just recently finished the same thing with Mother's day. It leaves me wondering if anyone remembers those for whom these holidays can be difficult times, whether they are people who wish to be parents, no longer have parents, are at a distance from parents, or_____ you fill in the blank. With that on my mind I appreciated this reminder in my Matthew Henry reading on Psalm 27:10, that

'God is a better friend than our parents ever can be.' 

So if you are one for whom this holiday is a happy one, give thanks, and if not be thankful that the Lord remembers the fatherless, and is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. The Bible says that a prudent wife is a gift from the Lord, but I believe we could say that of any of our relationships, whether parents, children, husbands or wives.....all come from the Lord, or are withheld by Him......and all is being worked together for good for those who love Him.

"When my father and my mother forsake me, the nearest and dearest friends I have in the world, from whom I may expect most relief and with most reason, when they die, or are at a distance from me, or are disabled to help me in time of need, or are unkind to me or unmindful of me, and will not help me, when I am as helpless as ever poor orphan was that was left fatherless and motherless, then I know the Lord will take me up, as a poor wandering sheep is taken up, and saved from perishing." His time to help those that trust in him is when all other helpers fail, when it is most for his honor and their comfort. With him the fatherless find mercy. This promise has often been fulfilled in the letter of it. Forsaken orphans have been taken under the special care of the divine Providence, which has raised up relief and friends for them in a way that one would not have expected. God is a surer and better friend than our earthly parents are or can be."                      
Matthew Henry

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Friday, June 17, 2011

As of late....

I stumbled on this link up the other day and thought it would be a fun way to post an update.......

As of late it has been hot and stormy. This is the storm my brothers and I drove through to get to prayer meeting this week. Lots of hail, and some of us were dripping wet after running from the car to the building. I say some of us, because as a girl I got an escort with an umbrella:-)

I've been learning to use my new sewing machine (thanks Jessica:-). I made this headband with a lace applique....

....and this one out of a blouse that was too big for me! It can be folded into a narrower band, or worn open like I am here.

I've been doing a lot of crafting. I made a few pairs of these earrings for myself and friends. I've also been knitting a lot lately, but that project is a gift so I better not post pictures - the wrong person might see it!

My new hobby is spray painting. I picked up a few baskets for 49 cents each at the thrift store and painted them white. I love baskets, they're a pretty way of storing things.

Another basket I painted. This one is holding sewing supplies on my desk.

I've been working on my room a lot, and attempted my biggest painting project yet - a dresser. I also painted a wooden chair white, but don't want to share a picture till I get some cushions made for it.

I've been reading this, perhaps you all read the series of letters from it that I posted a week or so ago...

I've been thinking about how thankful I am for my church - it's such a blessing!
Cup of coffee
And of course drinking plenty of coffee to keep me going:-)

I've also been thinking a lot about joy, God's promises the Lord remembering us,  Loneliness, and as always waiting on the Lord. In other news.....well come to think of it, there isn't any. Just keeping busy with the same old things, but thankful to the Lord for providing work, strength to do it, and all my needs. He is good.

I hope everyone has a good day!

Sharing with Coffee Talk,
and Caffeinated Randomness.



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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