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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

“Wes Hal!” - Be Whole!

Traditional Wassail

1 gallon apple cider
2 cups cranberry juice
1/2 to 1 cup brown sugar, to taste
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 orange, thinly sliced
(optional) Spice Rum

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan or pot, adjusting sugar to taste, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve in mugs, or pour into a punch bowl and serve warm in cups.

Makes 10 to 12 servings

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve Blessing

Luke 2:1-14 KJV

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Daily Blessing

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you - His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings - money cannot buy
Your reward is in Heaven and your Home is on High.

Count your many blessings and you'll soon lose count.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Daily Blessing

Fill each heart and reign alone,
Break the idols we have known;
Lead us to confession true,
Give us strength Thy will to do.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Daily Blessing

Battered Pots

 I Corinthians 15:42-49 NKJV

"42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man". 

Years ago, I heard a story about a man looking for flowers for spring planting. At the greenhouse he came across a splendid floral arrangement, bursting with blooms. To his surprise, it was hidden in a corner and growing in an old, dented rusty bucket.

"If these were my flower," he said to himself, "I would place each in a beautiful pot and display them proudly! Why are they confined in this old bucket and hidden away in this concealed place?"

When he remarked to the owner about the flowers, she explained, "Oh, I started the plantings in that old bucket until each blossomed. But it's just for a short time. Soon I'll transplant them to my garden."

The man laughed, and imagined such a scene in heaven. "There's a beautiful one," God will say, "the product of My lovingkindness and grace. Now it's confined in a broken body and in obscurity, but soon, in My garden, how tall and lovely this soul will stand!"

So we may now be "planted" in bent and battered containers for a short time while our Lord beautifies our souls. But, "as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man" (1 Cor. 15:49). Then He will display His handiwork and our loveliness for all to see. This is our assurance and delight.

In bodies that will ne'er grow old,
We'll reign with Him through years untold;
O precious thought: We all shall be
With Christ through all eternity.

While God is preparing a place for us, He is preparing us for that place.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Daily Blessing

“He was created of a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy. He, THE Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.”

~Augustine ~ 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Daily Blessing

"Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God." (Psalm 42:5 NIV).

Only as we submit our brokenness to the good and great Shepherd of our hearts can we find the peace that allows us to respond to life. Hope in God - it's the only solution for the deep traumas of the heart.

The Christian's hope is in the Lord,
We rest secure in His sure Word;
And though we're tempted to despair,
We do not doubt that God is there.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Daily Blessing

I don't worry o'er the future,
For I know what Jesus said;
And today I'll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Daily Blessing

We are with Him and He with us;
Great confidence this gives
To face life's trials and even death
Because our Savior lives.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Daily Blessings

Lord, thank You for our daily bread
And everything that You provide;
Increase our faith and help us see
That Your supply is deep and wide.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Joyous Thanksgiving Day!

Psalm 28:7 -The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.
Psalm 69:30  I will praise the name of God with song, And shall magnify Him with thanksgiving.
Psalm 95:1-6 – O Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, And a great King above all gods, In whose hand are the depths of the earth; The peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it; And His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.

Friday, November 21, 2014

ps: I'm Sorry

A Sincere Apology

James 5:16 NKJV
" Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much"

Have you ever noticed? It can be a real challenge to say, “I’m sorry.” Oh, it’s not hard to speak the words, but it can be tough to say them with sincerity.

Why do you suppose that is?

Probably because we understand that to apologize is to accept our own responsibility for ill-spoken words or misbehavior. It requires humility on our part, which can often be confused with giving someone else the upper hand over us. That’s why apologies tend to be viewed as a weakness.

It’s also why people offer apologies that have been stripped of any real meaning. We minimize the severity of our own actions; we blame our behavior on others; or maybe we say all the right words, but dilute them with sarcasm or humor (what I call being Nice Nasty).

Whatever the method, we recognize a false act of contrition when we see it because the result is always the same: the appearance of an apology without the substance of one. And rather than healing, shallow platitudes often deepen a loved one’s wounds. Like a doctor’s empty syringe, an empty apology pierces the soul but offers nothing that can bring healing.

That’s why, far from being a weakness, a heart-felt apology requires strength because it demands deep sincerity on behalf of the person offering it. That inner strength and humility often requires God’s grace to express. The Lord’s role is crucial because mending a relationship-gone-wrong has little to do with the specific words we use to express our contrition. The healing comes from the authenticity we pour into our words and actions.

If you find that you have a relationship in your life that has gone wrong then search your heart, ask for God's grace and say I am sorry and mean it with every fiber of your being. It's never too late to start over fresh with anyone. They may not accept your apology or view you as weak for offering but at least you can stand tall and say to yourself that you tried to start the mending process. The rest is between them and God.

ps: If you are reading this and I have wronged you in any way ...
I am sorry.

Friday, October 31, 2014

On Halloween

Tis Halloween ...

On the Eve of All Saints Day
Jack O' Lanterns light the way.

Witches and monsters we close our eyes to
But Lord, open our eyes to those who need You!

All God's children no longer need fear
The ghosts and goblins that gather near.

For evil ghouls with icy breath
Must bow to Him who conquered death.

Send up a prayer with your goodies this year
You never know what seeds will fall near!

A seed that will sprout and soon grow to be
Lord, another ripe harvest made ready for Thee!

Give us words and deeds on this night
That give others peace, not fear and not fright...

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Believe in Him - Believe in Yourself
John 3:18 NIV
  " Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son"

God desires to heal His people from past hurts caused by rejection. He wants you to know He will never reject you. He says in Matthew 11:28, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (NKJV). This is referring to those who are laboring at trying to be perfect and then beating themselves down with guilty feelings when they fail.

 Jesus was talking to the people who were trying to live under the laws of the Pharisees. It takes a lot to please a Pharisee, and they're still around today.

I'm sure you know one, someone who conveys to you the message, "I'll accept you if you perform perfectly and please me. I'll reject you and withhold my love if you don't."
Jesus isn't a Pharisee. He says in John 3:18 that he who believes in Him will never be rejected. Believe in Him, love Him, cling to Him, rely on Him and trust Him. Then you can truly enter in to the joy of the abundant life He offers you.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mini Gourd Lovin' Crafts

Basket of Mini Gourds Waxed

Autumn is most assuredly my favorite time of the year. Crisp air, changing leaves and mini gourds. Yeah; gourds. I know; right? Other people are thinking over-sized bright orange pumpkins, trick or treaters, mums and putting their flower beds to sleep for the winter and I am dreaming of little mini gourds.

My (over-zealousness) sheer delight of mini gourds happened quite by accident (as most of the wonderful things that happen in life do) when I was but knee high and decided to try to plant THE great pumpkin patch of all time in our family garden and somehow mixed in a packet of gourd seeds with my pumpkin seeds. When the pumpkins began to grow I noticed oddly shaped ~things~ twisting and growing among the vines. My Grams (father's mother) in her typical no nonsense way eyed them and proclaimed "Mini gourds. Completely worthless. Might as well pull them up and give your pumpkins a better chance to grow"

I could not. I would not! I felt so sorry for them. Colors of dull green, dull yellows and off whites, bent and twisted, so small in the shadow of the great pumpkins. Not big enough to make a birdhouse out of. Poor, precious little mini gourds. Thus began my life long love affair (and maybe a touch of over-protection) of the mini gourds.

Today these little mini gourds have completely ~ caught on ~ in Autumn designing and Fall tablescapes. Your imagination is the only limit on the possibilities of what you can do with them. Wreaths, snowmen, even nestled among the great orange pumpkins somehow makes the pumpkins look brighter by making the orange colors look that much oranger (is oranger a word? well; no matter. Today it will be)

I like to imagine that out there in the great wide world; bent over in the garden, are other people tenderly cultivating these simple, tiny, little odd shaped bits of completely fantastic and falling in love as I did so many years ago. If you simply do not have the space or the time to grow these little gourds then head to your nearest produce stand/farmer's market where you can buy them up by the bushel basket for a fraction of the cost that you'd pay at your local grocers. Then let you imagination run wild creating spots of indoor Autumn. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Fall Tips!


Leave the gourds on the vine until a light frost or the stems turn brown. If you need to pick a gourd before the frost, the gourd should be very firm to the touch. Cut the gourd with an inch or more of stem. Wash the gourds in soapy water. Dilute household bleach may be added to the water if desired, and may help delay mold formation. A light coat of non-glossy floor wax gives the gourds a natural glow.


Dry the gourd fruits naturally by placing in an area with good air circulation. Bringing the gourds indoors may help them dry faster, but gourds can be dried outdoors even in cold areas. When the seeds rattle, the gourd is dry and ready for crafting. How long it takes a gourd to dry depends on the drying environment  -- the warmer and the better the circulation, the faster the water will evaporate from the gourd. Light may help to retard formation of mold, but the mold on the outside of gourds is a natural part of the drying process; as long as the gourd remain firm to the touch, do not discard it. Turning the gourds and wiping off the mold on a weekly basis may help the gourds dry sooner. If you don’t wash the gourd off with the bleach mixture, you’ll probably see some mold growing on it.  Don’t be alarmed if it does. Some people prefer it that way because mold gives it an unusual rustic look. While the natural method of drying in time-consuming, it is still the best recommendation for drying gourds.


Once the gourd is completely dry it is ready to be cleaned. Rattling of seed is a good indication of dryness; however sometimes the seeds adhere to the inside of the gourd and in this case the gourd will be very light and sound hollow when tapped. Submerge the gourd in a bucket of warm soapy water and scrape off the outer skin with a plastic mesh bath or kitchen scrubby. Again; bleach may be added to the water, but it is not a necessity.

Using sandpaper or steel wool to clean dry gourds is OK if the gourd is going to be painted -- but there will be fine scratches from these abrasive materials which will show up if the gourd is stained with wood stains or a light coat of leather dye.

Mini Gourd and Faux Leaves Wreath.

Wreath Form (either wire, hay or Styrofoam)
Fake Leaves (any deep green or fall color will do)
Mini Gourds
Hot Glue Gun
Glue Sticks
Optional: Florist Wire (comes in green and brown- use the color that matches your leaves)

Tip! If you use a Styrofoam wreath spray painting it in a deep green (if using all green leaves) or dull brown (if using fall colored leaves) will hide any areas not completely covered by your leaves.

Tip! I have found that simply using a hot glue gun will hold your gourds to the wreath frame securely for one season of use BUT if you have created a masterpiece that you want to use year after year then the florist wire will hold each gourd in place when the glue begins to break down.

In this case I used a Styrofoam wreath, spray painted it a dark forest green and set it aside to dry. In the meanwhile I cut off all of the green leaves from a couple of old faux vines that had stashed away (for who knows what) until I had a nice pile. Once my wreath had dried I then began to hot glue my gourds around the center of my wreath BEFORE adding in the leaves. In the past I have glued the leaves first and then added the gourds but found that the gourds didn't hold very well and I ended up using twice the amount of florist wire than was necessary to hold them in place. Not a very visually appealing look.

Once I had the gourds glued to the Styrofoam wreath I then secured each gourd using green florist wire (so I could use this again next year) Simply wrap a piece of florist wire over the handle of each gourd and then loop it around the styrofoam wreath and twist it in a knot on the back side. (the wire sinks into the Styrofoam so you can't even see it) Then it was simply a matter of glue, glue, glue leaves all along the top and in between each gourd. Make a loop with a piece of florist wire or use a piece of ribbon as a hanger and that's it. Ready to hang.

So easy!

Mini Gourds Painted White/Black and Covered in Cheese Cloth

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Easy Peasy Doily Pumpkins

Super Easy Doily Pumpkins

These Vintage Doily Pumpkins are the perfect way to decorate for the fall.  Decoupaged with vintage lace doilies in various colors, this no carve pumpkin decorating idea is great for Fall tablescapes, Weddings, Thanksgiving, and even Halloween.  You can use some black lace to add a more festive Halloween touch, or dye crocheted doilies various fall colors for a Thanksgiving centerpiece.


Vintage doilies in shades of white, cream, and ecru
Dried real gourds or craft store faux pumpkins and gourds
Mod Podge for Fabric (make sure to get made for Fabric- the traditional one used for paper decoupage won't stick properly)
Paintbrush or foam brush
Spray paint in an off-white or ivory
Tin foil
Wax paper


1. The only prep work I did prior to painting was covering the gourd stems with tin foil.

2. A couple light coats of paint with drying time in between was adequate to give the pumpkins an even color.

3. I selected just the right doilies to fit each pumpkin. I cut some of them apart into smaller shapes that were easier to fit onto the pumpkin.  For the two small pumpkins, I just used one whole doily which I slipped over the stem to create a slightly different look.
4. I usually cover my work table with wax paper when I work with Mod Podge.  I followed the directions on the bottle when applying the Fabric Mod Podge to the doilies.

5. After coating one side of the doilies, place them on the pumpkin and tap all the edges down with your fingers.  Once the pieces are adhered to the pumpkins, wait for two hours while the initial coat dries.  Then a topcoat of Mod Podge can be applied to the entire piece.

That's it.
Didn't I say it was super easy?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rest Well, Robin Williams

John 11:25-26 (NKJV)

" Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”