Thursday, March 30, 2017

From My Library

Shared with permission from
Little Birdie Blessings

Hello dear readers,

It's been a little over a week since I began taking time off from writing blog posts so I could accomplish  other things. 

I can't say in honesty that I've been resting much, as the pretty graphic above would imply, but I have used the time away from blogging to sew on a baby quilt for my next great-nephew due to be born this summer, to cook some serious nutrient-dense meals (a hobby of mine), and to read  books, the titles of which I will share with you today.

Sue sent this book for my birthday. Not only is this a captivating testimony but my friend knows the author personally, which made the story all the more intriguing.

Both Beloved and I read it from cover to cover in one sitting -- it was that interesting. I recommend this book because it is a story that has unfolded in recent years and addresses issues we hear about in today's political and social climate. The author's journey from Islam to Christianity is real, frightening, and sobering while completely sincere. Her faith in Christ is joyful in spite of personal sacrifices that have been very tough.

Her book is available at this link.

This is another book I received as a gift. I am using it several mornings a week during my private quiet times with the Lord. If you are not familiar with Susie Larson, you should check out her website at

I subscribe to her Daily Blessings, which is a prayer she has written out that you can pray over yourself that will teach and encourage you greatly, all solidly based on Scripture. A link to this is at her website.

In reading this book my personal prayer life is growing and getting better results. You can find her book at this link.

Would  you believe I am actually acquainted with the author of this book?! Terry is a member of our Sunday morning Bible study class at church. I met him through his wife at a Women's Ministry activity several months ago. 

He has earned a living in radio and retail, but his real heart is in writing, and he is very prolific. He writes about many topics, but my favorites are his poetry about family and travel, especially ocean scenes. 

His work is heavily influenced by his personal relationship with Jesus Christ, which tells you this is a "safe" book to pick up, knowing the pages will not take you to places you do not want to go. 

I read a copy of this book from my public library, but you can also find it at Barnes and Noble and at this link.

On a lighter note, this is the book I am currently reading when I have a few minutes to kill before starting dinner, going to bed, or leaving the house. It is Christian fiction by Tracie Peterson, who has written over one hundred books for clean entertainment with a good dose of history. The book can be purchased at this link.

I believe I have mentioned this book before. I am going through it for a third time. Beloved and I used it two years ago for our nightly devotions together. 

This book came to us in a sort of unusual way. One day in November of 2014 the doorbell rang. Beloved was at home and answered the door. A man handed this book to him, saying that he was a representative from In Touch Ministries, which is headed by Dr. Charles Stanley, a ministry located in Atlanta, Georgia, which we have helped to support for many years. The book was a gift and that was all -- hand delivered to us from Atlanta to Colorado!

I read the one-page devotional thought every day on my way to the kitchen before breakfast. I cannot tell you how many times the verse and the thoughts following it have given me insight and direction for the exact matters I will be facing that day! I wish I had this book earlier in my life to help mature my thinking and behavior -- but now is not too late. 

I highly recommend this book. It can be purchased at this link.

So, from my reading room to yours, maybe one of these books will spark your interest.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Food for the Soul

Google: Scriptures with water

I'm taking some time off from blogging to read, sew, cook,
and to just be still. I haven't decided how long that will be.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Thoughts on the First Day of Spring

Google Images: Springtime in the Rockies

Today I have a guest, my husband, whose pseudonym on this blog is "Beloved." He is giving a devotional thought to our nursing home ministry this morning. Since his focus is on Spring and this is the first day of the new season, I asked if I could share his thoughts with you.

Today is the official first day of spring. It even looks like it outside, being warm and pleasant. So, what do we think about spring?
  • It follows winter, which is a time of dark and cold and short days
  • It transform the winter’s brown landscape into lush green landscape
  • We see plants that appeared to be ill or dead renewed into growth and life
    Most of us today are past the prime of our physical life. We are in the fall or the winter of our lives. Spring reminds us that we would like to be physically renewed. We don’t see that happening in our natural bodies, but the Bible tells us that a physical renewal awaits those who belong to Jesus.
    1 Cor 15:42-44 So it will be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
    We also have this promise in Isaiah 40:31 But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. I look forward to that time when my strength is renewed and I can run without growing weary. Then I will live in spring forever.
    We are very much aware that our natural bodies are perishable, are weak, and are not designed to last forever. We have the promise I just read of receiving a spiritual body – imperishable, powerful, designed to last forever if we are believers in Jesus.
    In addition to the physical, we have times of winter in our spirits. We may have regrets about things in the near or far past that drag us down in our spirits today. We have pains that make our spirits into a winter landscape but – spring renewal can come to our spirits, even today.
    In terms of regrets, King David regretted sinful actions in his life and wrote this plea in Psalm 50:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. We can turn our regretful attitude over to God and ask for renewal, just as David did.
    Finally, do we have to wait until we see Jesus to be renewed in our spirits? The Bible says no. We read the following in 2 Cor 4:14-16 We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in His presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not loose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
So, as we look to spring today, let us remember that God gives us renewal in our spirit NOW and in our bodies LATER if we are His. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Trying to Play Catch-up!

a slice of birthday cake and a candle
My days have been kinda non-stop with this birthday celebration, and it's not even a "big one," so to speak. Those who are close to me know that my birthday festivities tend to spread out over weeks due to the benevolence of my family and friends, so what I post today is not the last on the subject. 

Today's post is more of a memoir for my benefit -- it may not especially interest my readers. I'm posting a kind of photo scrapbook of memories of the past couple of days. I'll be closing the comments because I, frankly, don't have time right now to reply to everybody, and this post is mostly for my benefit.

My photos, in no particular order:

me and "Sister D" before going to lunch on Tuesday
Some of the gifts received:

Lunch on the special day with Beloved at The Olive Garden:


It's just good to be alive!

I am thankful and grateful for so many dear people who have shown me love and generosity this week!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Having My Cake and Eating It, Too

Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

my birthday cake under glass with our traditional
celebratory curly ribbon adoring the party table

With that scripture in mind, today I am "numbering my days," which are quite a lot, thanks to the Lord's mercies. I won't tell you the exact sum of them (ladies don't like to share their age and it's impolite for children to ask), but let's just say  I'm old enough to be retired and still young enough to enjoy it.

my first birthday cake in many years
Yesterday I baked a birthday cake for myself, not a cupcake but an entire cake.  I haven't done that for a very long time. Since I can't eat wheat, dairy, or eggs, dealing with the chemistry required for creating an allergy-free cake has been just too much. I barely passed that science class in school, so I don't tamper with it in my kitchen.

cake and candle
I don't remember why right now, but the other day I poked around on the Internet and found an allergy-free recipe for yellow cake with chocolate frosting and I decided to give it a try. If you're interested, the link for it is here.

I was still a little leery since my kitchen sits at 6,224 feet above sea level (that is well over a mile high). Most bakers around here follow the high altitude instructions on boxed cake mixes. But I just followed the basic directions of the recipe on the link. As you can see, it turned out just fine!

yellow cake with chocolate frosting
on the Charming Barbara china 
I baked and frosted the cake the day before my birthday and then we sliced into it that night.  My reasoning was that I was born in the wee hours of the morning in the Central Time Zone, so if we waited until tonight to have my cake here in the Mountain Time Zone, I'd be many hours past the time of my birth!

the back of the dishes
Also, I was very eager to see what the cake would look like on the china The Cook on Fifth Street gave to me last summer. I grew up with this china on her table and always assumed hoped they would be mine some day. I think they support birthday cake very well, don't you?

We intend to share some of the cake with our neighbors. If you lived nearby, I'd give some to you!

Because of the LORD's great love
we are not consumed, 
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Disclaimer: today Blogger decided to play around with my font choices and sizes. (grumble, grumble) I can't seem to get it fixed, so that's why things look a little crazy in this post.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Beth Moore's First Novel

Note: there is no Wednesday Hodgepodge today. Our Hodgepodge hostess is entertaining family from out of town. She will be back next week.

After years of writing a truckload of Bible studies, touring all over the United States and internationally, speaking in simulcasts, and appearing with a small part in the movie War Room with Priscilla Shirer, she has managed to find the time to write her first novel.

I love Beth Moore and have greatly benefitted from her Bible studies, but those who know me well are aware that I feel she takes too long to get around to making her point in both her speaking and her writing. Where are the editors to trim it down?! I mean, she wears me out at times! 

However, she is beautiful, fun to watch, has a trendy wardrobe, never has a bad hair day, is blessed with a great sense of humor,  is a knowledgeable Bible teacher and is most especially effective with those who are younger than me. That's just her style and it works for her. But since she wears me out, I have not done her studies over the last few years.

When I saw that she had written a novel, my first thought was to not pick it up. But upon further reflection, I decided that maybe all that wordiness would be a positive thing in a volume of fiction.

From the first couple of pages, I was hooked. The story was unpredictable, did not preach at the reader, and had me wondering where it would lead. It centers in New Orleans, a place very unfamiliar to me, and even a little scary.

But knowing Beth as I do, I felt 'safe' in her pages. Even when one of the characters pulled out a deck of Tarot cards, something I know to be very unchristian, I knew Beth would not take her readers to places or conclusions we should not embrace.

As I got into the second half of the book, I actually slowed down my reading because I enjoyed it so much, I did not want to hasten  the end!

Eventually I did get to a place where I could not put the book down and sure enough, it came to an end. 

That's all I'll say about it. Read it for yourself. I think you will like it.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Food for the Soul March 11, 2017

... sharing this verse to feed the spirit and soul
while the world around us goes crazy.

Graphic with permission from Abby at

Comments are closed today.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

On the TV Set

In my post this past Monday, I mentioned I got to be in the audience for the taping of 2 TV quilt shows. 

My next-door neighbor is an avid quilter. She invited me to go with her to the studios -- something she has done before. We got there by 8am and left at about 4pm. It made for a long day, but it was very enjoyable.

Our TV hosts were Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson. You may remember Alex from her HGTV show, Simply Quilts some years ago.  When HGTV terminated her show, she teamed up with Ricky Tims to record quilting shows for the Internet. 

The Quilt Show is only available by a paid subscription ($40 per year, I think) and you get it on your computer.  I don't have a subscription and don't plan to get one, but it was fun being in the audience for 2 tapings and seeing how they do things behind the scenes.

The first of the 2 shows was about stained glass quilts -- quilts with black outlines between the pieces. Very pretty. Stunning, even. Here are some of the quilts featured in that segment:

After the first taping, we were released for lunch, which was available at a cafeteria in the building, or we could go out. Karren and I chose to go off property to a soup and salad place. 

When a taping was not in progress, we were invited to walk on the set to get a closer look at the quilts. Here I am with a microphone in hand, just goofing off (at their invitation).

Those who wanted were invited to sit in the control room during the tapings. 

The afternoon show featured author Meg Cox who likes to make memories with her family and friends using creative traditions and, in this case, with quilts. This quilt (above) was made for her granddaughter to remind her that her grandpa will love her forever, even though he has died. Meg made this quilt with fabric from her husband's shirts.

Ricky Tims and Alex had challenged each other before this day to create a quilt having to do with their favorite Broadway show. 

This yellow-gold quilt is Ricky's depiction of the hurricane described in the show Hamilton. If you look very closely in the pink area about midway in the photo, you can see the wording he wrote with free-motion quilting. That is very clever and we applauded him for that; however he humbly admitted he misspelled "hurricane" by leaving of the "e." 

Ah yes. Even the best make boo-boos!

This beautiful use of blues and aqua fabrics is Alex Anderson's expression about friendship from her favorite Broadway show, Wicked. I was especially interested in the straight lines of quilting within each squared off piece.

Here is another quilt by Alex that hung above the audience seating area. She does such beautiful work!

At the end of each show, the cameras were turned onto the audience. We were told to tuck away our coats and bags and to sit up straight. We were told when to clap with wild enthusiasm, when to look quiet and approving, and when to laugh heartily. It was fun (and fakey but in a good way).

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The 300th Edition of Wednesday Hodgepodge

Today we are celebrating the 300th Wednesday Hodgepodge! Joyce surprised us last week with a new (beautiful!!) header to her blog last week, and today, in celebration of this 300th edition, she has a new Hodgepodge button! Isn't it beautiful?! 

I don't know how long Joyce has been issuing the questions for us to answer, but my guess is it's over six years! Isn't that amazing? (I've been with her 3 or 4  years)

As per the way Hodgepodge works, I'll give my responses to her questions and then link up with other bloggers at Joyce's blog, From This Side of the Pond.

1. What is one area of your life where you're a perfectionist? Is that a good thing?

Contrary to what some people may think, I am a perfectionist when it comes to my hair. It's okay as long as one doesn't spend too much time or money on it.

2. What's something you find perfectly ridiculous?

Yesterday we had extremely windy and cold weather. As we were leaving Walmart, a woman came in dressed very immodestly. She was grabbing those paper hand sanitizers beside the grocery carts. I wondered how the hand-washing was going to prevent her from getting sick when so much of her bare skin was exposed to our frigid weather.

3. What's a skill you've developed by way of that old fashioned saying, 'practice makes perfect"?

Typing. I've been typing nearly every day of my life since 1968.

4. What's your idea of a perfect breakfast?

My idea of a perfect breakfast is a green smoothie blended in my Vitamix. My usual recipe is poured into a wide-mouth mason jar and enjoyed with a long, fat straw:

2-3 cups of dark leafy greens 
(kale, chard, spinach, romaine, dandelion greens, etc)  
1 cup of orange juice or almond milk
1 cup of water
half of a frozen banana
1 cup of frozen fruit
a superfood powder
(ground turmeric, maca, lucuma, camu, red beet, matcha)
1 teaspoon sunflower lecithin
1 teaspoon agave syrup 
a nut or seed
(ground flax meal, hemp, chia, etc)
ice cubes are optional; I seldom use them

I vary this with different dark leafy greens, different fruits, and different nuts. I can't tell you how much this smoothie has helped me over the last 3+ years since my food intolerances kicked in.

5. What's a trip, holiday, vacation, or day outing you've taken that you'd rate a perfect 10? Tell us why.

the park at Post Falls

Our trip to Couer 'd Alene, Idaho last June was wonderful. This place is so beautiful with blue sky, lots of water, huge evergreen forests and we ate well. I loved it.

Lake Coeur d'Alene 

6. What quote or saying perfectly sums up your life right now? If you can't do perfect, how about one that comes close?

The hymn, Haven of Rest, sums up where I am right now. Here's one of my favorite versions of it from YouTube: 

Guy Penrod and Glen Payne (of the Cathedrals)

7. How would you spend $300 today?

Let me see the $$ and I'll give it some thought.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Finally brethren, 
whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are of lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue,
and if there be any praise,
think on these things.
Philippians 4:8