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Showing posts from October, 2012

Your Obedience - God's Glory

Joshua is one of my favorite people from the Bible. I love the description of his faith and obedience, and I am always encouraged by the blessings God gave him for his follow-through.

And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him. Joshua 6:2-5

Now, I am not a mighty man of valor, but I can just imagine the very human thought Joshua must h…

A Weekend of Change

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The first frost of the season hit southeast Iowa this morning. The grass crackled under our feet as we went for our morning walk and the chill in the air went straight through three layers.

I suppose this signals that fall truly is here. Almost all of our leaves are gone and the hours of sunlight are getting shorter and shorter.

This time of change in nature reminds us that nothing is still - nothing remains the same. The comfort and stability of yesterday turn into a whole new day today and the excitement of what the Lord has planned for tomorrow.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

Make this a weekend of change. Are there changes in the season of life that have you worried or concerned? Take them to the Lord in prayer and leave them at His feet. Are you excited about where God is leading you in your current season? Thank …

Advice From Financial Experts

I've had interviews with two financial experts this week - not usually my favorite topic, but these discussions were very interesting. They'll make great newspaper articles in the upcoming days.

What really caught my attention were the two pieces of advice that overlapped between the two people. Usually experts have their own way of thinking about things, or have a company line to quote, but not them. They actually made sense, backed up what the other said and were encouraging.

Here are those two pieces of advice.

1. When trying to make financial decisions, talk to someone locally. Sure, the Internet is a wealth of information about all kinds of things. But it's also full of people who don't know you, don't have time to get to know you as a person and probably can't be available every time you need to be in touch. Not that they don't care, but they're just not as equipped as someone in your own community to deal with your individual needs.

Seek out someo…

Slow-Cooker Apple Crisp

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If you're looking for a quick and easy recipe that just screams fall, this is it!

Your first thought might be soggy apples in a slow cooker, but that's the furthest thing from the truth. at about the 4-1/2-hour mark, it is absolutely delectable. I suggest you leave the house until it's done or you'll never make it that long, just because of that amazing aroma.

Ingredients:
4-5 cooking apples (I used gala) sliced (peeled if you'd like, but I didn't)
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup rolled oats (I used quick oats because it's what I had on hand)
3 tsp ground nutmeg
3 tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp butter, softened

1. Spray the slow cooker with non-stick spray. Set it on low to begin warming.

2. Layer the apple slices in the bottom of the cooker.

3. Combine the sugar, flour, oats, nutmeg and cinnamon in a large bowl. Cut in the butter.

4. Sprinkle the mix over the apples. It may seem weird to not mix it all together, but it will melt down …

Sadie Gets Lost - Sort Of

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One of the nice things about Sadie is that she's a mama's girl. She doesn't have to be on a leash when we're outside like her big sister does. I never have to worry about her going too far away because she has to be in eye-sight of me at any given moment - indoors or out.
I should say ... normally she has to be in eye-sight of me at any given moment - indoors or out. This weekend I had one of the biggest scares I've had in a long time. I took the girls out for a short walk just like we do several times a day. I don't know if Sadie caught a whiff of something or just needed to stretch, but all of a sudden I realized she wasn't with Bailey and me anymore.  

Normally this wouldn't be a problem. Call her name and she'll come at top speed just so you won't leave her behind.  

So I put Bailey back in the house and went around calling her. And calling her. And calling her. We don't have neighbors very close, but I'm positive those within a …

Variations on a Decorating Theme

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It's amazing how different people can look at the same things and use them in completely different ways. You and I could look at the same furniture, flowers or scrapbooking supplies and never come close to creating the same results.

Last weekend's ladies retreat at the church was the perfect example of this creativity. Some amazingly wonderful ladies created small displays around the entire church, focusing on the fall season and our theme of sewing.

They thought of some layering and color combinations that I never would have dreamed of. They were absolutely beautiful - and perfect for the occasion. 

A simple table can become a conversation piece with a few themed accents. A collection of fall became a tiny hideaway at the bottom of the steps. Sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest impact.

Our sewing theme was so much fun - pun completely intended. This is my mother-in-love's sewing machine, which the ladies lovingly decorated with their sewing supplie…

A Heart Convicted

What do you do when you feel that rumbling in your heart? You know what I mean - the poke or squeeze or tug that God does around the very center of your being. You can feel Him leading and guiding through the convicting of your heart.

Conviction is not a bad thing. It's not a condemnation or judgement. A heart convicted simply means that the Lord is dealing with about an issue in your life and cares so deeply that He'll reach into the very depths of you to converse about it.

Does that mean that a convicted heart is a happy heart? Maybe, but probably not. It's hard to accept that something needs to change and be done differently. Conviction tells us that there's room for growth, stepping out of our comfort zone and finding God's footprints on this brand new path. That's not easy for anyone.

And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many thin…

When Someone Hurts You

Earlier this week, I almost hit someone with my car.

An older woman was walking through the parking lot while I was driving down the lane to leave. I saw her, walking along the right side of the two rows of parked cars. All of a sudden, she turned to her left and walked out in front of me, leaving me just enough room to swerve a bit and slam on my brakes.

"If looks could kill" isn't just a figure of speech - I should be dead right now.

She then proceeded to - and I'm not joking here - slap the hood of my car with her hand. Then she shouted some very not-nice things in my general direction. I had cracked my window because it was such a nice day, but I very quickly rolled it up all the way.

She stormed off toward her car, which was apparently on the opposite side from where she had been walking, leaving me heartbroken. I just wanted to get out of there and go home, but I still had another stop to make. So I sat in that parking lot, bawling like an absolute baby. That m…

Love - The Great Motivator

Why do you do what you do?

When you look carefully at the motivation behind the reason you do every little thing that you do, you will see either love or self. Love or fear. Love or the flesh. Love or pride. Love or personal gain.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Matthew 22:37-39

There a whole lot of love in these three verses - love for the Lord and love for people. This love should be the great motivator in a Christian woman's life.

Do you stay late at work because you want the extra money or because you want to help the group as a whole get its work done and get it done well?

Do you already have an excuse planned for why you can't do something or are you looking for opportunities to serve those around you?

Are there murmurs and grumblings in your heart or are you delighted tha…

How To Know When You're Too Busy

It should be fairly obvious to tell when you're too busy. Certain signs should just be talking to you in bright, flashing neon. But maybe we're just too busy to notice that we're too busy...

What are these things we should notice when we're overbooked, scheduled too tightly and busy beyond belief?

1. It takes five pieces of paper and half a dozen calendars just to figure out where you're supposed to be right now.

2. You're already thinking about the next task while still performing the first one.

3. The things that the Lord has called you to do have been put on the shelf while you tackle other projects.

4. Friends and family think you've been exiled to Patmos because they haven't seen you in ages.

5. Your time in Bible study and prayer has turned into glancing and hasty comments.

6. The dogs growl at you when you come home every night because they barely recognize you anymore.

7. It's harder and harder to prioritize your to-do list because you can&#…

Peanut Butter Chewies

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Peanut butter chewies are a very special treat at our house - but only for the puppies. They each have a rubber dog toy that we fill with crushed dog treats and cover in peanut butter. Apparently it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, which I don't think they've ever had.

The girls each have a very specific way that they attack a peanut butter chewie. Bailey will immediately dump out all of the treats from the inside of the chewie. This is quite comical, because she'll chase it all over the room as it rolls, dropping crumbles in its path. Then she'll hunker down for a few minutes and carefully remove all traces of peanut butter from the outside. When she's confident that's taken care of, she'll come check with me to make sure I don't have a second one hiding somewhere.

Sadie, on the other hand, is very meticulous about her peanut butter chewie. Sometimes she forgets there are treats inside until she accidentally dumps them out. Her attention i…

Mexican Slow-Cooker Stacks

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Want a great slow-cooker meal for a chilly fall night? How about something for a fellowship or international-themed get-together?

These Mexican slow-cooker stacks will fit all these occasions.

Just layering a few ingredients in the cooker creates a lovely melding of flavors that you can eat on for days! If it lasts that long ...

Ingredients:
1 1/2-2 pounds ground beef
Small corn tortillas
1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 small red onion, chopped
1 15-oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 16-oz jar of taco sauce
Chili powder
Onion powder
Paprika
1 bag frozen corn
Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
Sour cream for topping (optional)

1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet. Drain well.

2. Turn slow cooker on to high. Spray inside of cooker with non-stick spray.

3. Line bottom of cooker with tortillas. It will probably start with two, then more as the cooker gets wider at the top.

4. Begin layering ingredients as they are listed. In this cooker, I was able to make four complete …

Fall and Christmas Cards In Our Etsy Shop

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It's not every day that you can design for both fall and Christmas at the same time! Our etsy shop, Stuff From Trees, is now stocked with plenty of each.

I adore the fall colors. This gorgeous praying for you card has Psalm 5:3 inside.

There's something so sweet about an autumn card covered in tiny pumpkins, apples and acorns. This encouragement card is blank inside for your personal message.

And now for the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas brings out all those reds and greens - and in this case, plaid! Inside is the good tiding of great joy from Luke 2:10.

There's nothing like the sparkle and shine of ornaments on the tree - and on the front of a Christmas card! Inside is Luke 2:7, the moment of Christ's birth.
All of these cards, and many more, can be found at www.stufffromtrees.etsy.com. Come visit soon!

Lift It Up In Prayer

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6

When I'm confused and unsure, I need to lift it up in prayer.

When my heart is light and full of praise, I need to lift it up in prayer.

When it seems like the world is crashing down around me, I need to lift it up in prayer.

When the day is full of blessings, I need to lift it up in prayer.

When I'm feeling alone and unloved, I need to lift it up in prayer.

When I need direction and guidance, I need to lift it up in prayer.

When circumstances weigh me down, I need to lift it up in prayer.

When my soul and my cup overflow with joy, I need to lift it up in prayer.

When there is sickness and suffering all around, I need to lift it up in prayer.

When I'm filled with gratitude and thanksgiving, I need to lift it up in prayer.

When the day is packed with hustle and bustle, I need to lift it up in prayer.

When the day is quiet…