Thursday, May 25, 2017

Fun Project, Fun Tip

Hi Y'all.   I hope that today has been a blessed day for each and every one of y'all.    I know in my neck of the woods, it's been hot and humid.    Who likes sticky?    I don't!    Today is one of those sticky kinda days, but the sun is shining and that's good.   They had been forecasting rain for us, but it's been pretty so far.    I have heard lawn mowers in the distance all day.   And one is mowing away, way off somewhere now, I can faintly hear it.    I just know that I am sooooo thankful for air conditioning.   hahahaha    I'll bet some of y'all are too.    

Mothers Day was a couple weekends ago here in the United States and I hope everyone got to celebrate their mother's and that all the ladies that visit here got to be celebrated for being a mother.     It truly is the hardest job on the planet for the least pay.     I'm not a mother, but I know all too well how hard my mother worked and sacrificed, taking care of her family.    Lots of hard work and very little reward at the time.     But I truly believe that my mother is very proud of all of her children.     We have all worked hard at being good citizens of the world and just trying to be decent people in the eyes of peers.    Scripture says that we are to honor our parents and I think we have all done that, hopefully we have brought honor to our parents.      
Ok, so this is the project that I have been really wanting to share with y'all, but I needed to wait till I knew it reached the lady I made it for.   I didn't want to get it on my blog before she got it in her hands. The project was to alter toilet paper tubes, but instead, I opted for paper towel tubes.    It's the same product, just longer.    So, to start with, I took the pt tube and cut into 3 pieces and then split each piece down the side and pressed them as flat as I could get them.   I then used 3 L adhesive sheets and adhered all three pieces together.    A xyron machine would work just as well, as would regular glue. Just use what you have.    When this project come about, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.   I had already seen it in my minds eye and just needed to make what I had seen.    I didn't want to mess with cutting all these separate pieces and then try to get them to line up and glued together.    I thought I already had the sizzix die, but after going thru my collection, 3 times, I finally decided that I didn't have it, so off to Ebay I went and had it in my hands in about 2 days.
The die that I got was the ovals that cut different sizes at one time.    So I took the 3 ply layer of the pt tubes and die cut the pieces.   I got enough pieces from the one, 3 ply layer, to make the necklace and earrings, with careful placement of the pt tubing on the die.    I took smaller pieces and just cut the smallest oval several times.   I was really careful with my placement, so I could use ALL of it and have very little waste.
Once I got all the pieces cut, I stacked them and glued them in place.    The necklace uses all 4 different sizes and the earrings uses the 2 smallest sizes with the smallest oval on the front and back.  Then I used my "crop o dile" to punch holes for the jewelry jump rings.
After that, I used 3 colors of Inka Gold Metallic Rub on the pieces.    Some of mine is really hard, because it's so old, so I just spray it with a spritz of water and use a paint brush to brush on color.   The rest that isn't dry and I could just the brush it on without water.    But, I used Copper, Cobalt and Silver to cover the pieces in just randomly.
After I got the Inka Gold on it and was satisfied with it, I glued on some of shell pieces from Miriam Joy.    I used the ecru color on this set of jewelry.
Once I got it like I wanted it, I used the Wet and Wild Shiny nail polish from the Dollar Tree to coat the pieces with, top and bottom and on the edges, paying close attention to holes I had punched also.  I tried to get it sealed up good and I think I did.   After the first coat dried real good, I put on a second coat.   That nail polish is awesome stuff.    It is really shiny and has a wonderful feel in the hand, when you put it on a project.
You can see the slanted angles of the pt seams in the jewelry.    The finish I put on it reminds me of  wood with a metallic paint, or a rusty finish on it.    I was highly satisfied with this project.
I would never in a million years guess that this was made from pt tubes if I didn't know for sure.    I was tickled that I made the project as I had seen it in my mind.    That is always a success when something comes together as I had envisioned it to look.
I liked it so much so, that I made myself a set with turquoise and copper and cobalt and then used the turquoise shell chips.     The process was the same as before.
None of it is perfect, but hey, it's from stuff that would have been tossed out, so I think that makes pretty good, huh.
I really do like the turquoise set.   I have several tops that it goes with really well and I get compliments on it all the time.
So, I had to make myself another set and used a lot of PURPLE on this one!!!    Yes I said PURPLE and it was about time, wasn't it!    hahahaha
The colors for this one was purple, copper and turquoise.    Oh my gosh it is gorgeous!!!!     I didn't have purple shell chips, so I took my Inka Gold purple and made a wash with color and water and brushed it on the chips and let them dry.   Yay, it worked!!!!    And you can still see some turquoise on the shell chips and that makes for more visual interest.    
For this set, I took on the task of making a bracelet.    You can't see the clasp too well, but I even made the clasp, by shaping the wire and hammering it.   It looks awesome on my bracelet and so easy to get on and off.
This is the completed 3 piece ensemble.    Oh I have had a blast with making these and am working on some more that is just 3 layers of regular chipboard aka cereal box.    Oh yeah, I also made all the ear wires too, for the earrings.   It was a fun project.    Sure hope you liked seeing my altered pt project.   Hope to have more fun stuff to share with y'all before too long.
Ok, who likes to exercise?   Not me!!!!   But, I'm "learning" to like it,,,,,slowly, kinda, sorta.    hahaha
My tip for today is this.    I have severe allergies and I just can't spend as much time outside as I would like.    But, I have been trying to get healthier and that has been a dilemma.    How can I get more exercise in if I can't get outside?    HOUSE WALK!!!     It works people!!!   Who knew?   Well, I didn't, but now I do.   Just this past week I started walking thru my house at a normal pace and stop every minute or two and do short bursts of jogging in place, I do believe it is working.   I have been going to an exercise class 3 times a week since the last of January and I am feeling better.   The house walking is making a difference!    Give it a try.    Get a step counter and slip it on you somewhere where it will register every step and see what you can do.   Start out with trying to get at least 250 extra steps in an hour and then increase your steps at a comfortable pace.    It works y'all.    I feel better knowing I am doing something good for myself.   If you give it a try, let me know, and we'll work on getting healthy together.   I don't know how many more years of life I have left in my sack of bones, but I just want to be able to serve the Lord as well as I can with the time I have left and getting healthier will help me serve my  Lord and Savior better.    If you remember back to the first of the year, my word for 2107 was dream.     This is part of my dream.    So, help me dream big, get healthier with me.   Woop Woop, Yay,  WooHoo!!!!!
Well, I hope you have seen something here that made you happy, or made you smile.     If so, then that means that I have done my job well.    I put forth the challenge to see what you can do to recycle a paper towel tube or toilet paper tubes.    It's fun and it can also keep a little bit of something that would have been tossed out, out of a land fill somewhere.     Recycle, reuse, repurpose!     That is the crafters new motto, well it should be anyway.    hahahaha    

I hope you have a great rest of the day.   If you haven't taken the time today to thank God for being a part of it, do so.     We can't even begin to imagine how much God loves us and the lengths He has gone to have a relationship with us.    I sure wish we all took that just a little more seriously.    If we did, I promise you, there wouldn't be as much pain and heartache in the world today!!!    We would be looking out for one another instead of finding new ways to hurt each other.    This is true.     We would be living lives that  honored God instead of making a mockery out of God.    I don't know how much more God will tolerate from a world that is so filled with hate for Him and His ways.     I am a Christian and I am not ashamed to say that.     You will never ever hear me say that I am perfect, but every day I keep striving to be more Christ-like.     I keep striving to honor the One and Only Savior, Jesus Christ, the Messiah!!!!!     And while I keep struggling, He keeps picking me up, helping me to be a better me, for His service.     My service for Him probably won't look like your service to Him and it probably shouldn't.    After all, we are all different, with different giftings.    So, find the way you can serve Him, and set out to do just that.     Start by telling someone today that "Jesus loves you"!    I promise that will bring a smile to someones face.     I told that to a precious little young lady that was checking me out here in town and she smiled so big and then teared up and said that it had been an awful long time since she had heard that.     She hugged and thanked me and I asked her to just thank Jesus.     That's how easy it is to serve Christ!!!!  

I pray that you will find your way back here soon to see what I have been up to.     Till then, remember that God loves you and I do too!!!!!    hugs and love, Patty

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Tip and a Project

Well hello everyone.    I sure hope and pray that each and every one of y'all had a very Happy Resurrection Sunday!!!    As I look out this Friday evening, I realize we are in a wet spell.    You know the saying, "April showers bring May flowers"?    Well, since we had flowers as early as February, what will the showers of April bring us in May?    I guess we will just have to wait and see. I noticed yesterday that we still have many of the little wild violets, purple and white, in our back and side yard.    They are so pretty.   I enjoy taking pictures of them sometimes.    I just enjoy looking at the pictures long after the little flowers have done gone.    The last time I went to church with Mom, one of the guys there was talking to Mom and me about "Johnny Jump Up's".     After finding out what they were, I told him our whole side and back yard is covered in them.     He had said that some of his property had a whole bunch growing wild and he just loved them.    Amidst all the little "Johnny Jump Up's" in the side and back yard is also some wild strawberries.    The strawberries get to be about the size of a small marble and red as red can be.    Mom asked me if I had tried to eat one. At the time she asked, I had not.    Later on I did and it's about like trying to chew on a small marble. hahahaha    I am surprised I didn't get sick.     Years ago, I seen something on tv and they were talking about the plant called the "Mother-In-Law's Tongue".     They was talking about how poisonous it was as a house plant for children and pets to be around.    It is VERY toxic.    I was at  Mom's and we was talking about it and I asked if she had ever heard that.    I can't remember if she said yay or nay, but she always had a big healthy pot of that in the house.    She had had it for as long as I could remember and still had it at that time.     I got up and went to it and said how bad can it be?    I leaned over and just barely sank my teeth into the blade at the very tip top, two or three times, and said "nah, it ain't poisonous".    Boy, what did I know?    NOTHING!!!!!     I spent four of the most miserable days of my life, vomiting and diarrhea!!    I thought I was gonna die, and at one point, I didn't even care, because I would have been outta my misery!!!     Later on I heard the same thing about poinsettias.    I know, you are wondering if I tried it, right?     Well, I did NOT, thank you!    I figured God saved me from my own stupidity once, and I was not gonna see if He would save me from my own stupidity again.   Seriously!!!     Oh well, enough of me telling on myself.    It would have been much more fun for me to tell on one of my brothers, but of all the stupid stuff they done, none of them ever done that.    I bet they would try it though, especially if it was turned into a bet.    hahahaha   We'll see.    hahahaha
Mt tip for this blog post is about eggs.    Hard boiled eggs,as a matter of fact.    I love hard boiled eggs, but I hate to try to peel them once I get them boiled.     The day before Easter, I was in the kitchen and decided to hard boil a few eggs.    I have been sick for a couple of weeks, and still not feeling well, but we just wanted a dressed a egg, so I had to boil them.    I really didn't care much about messing with them, but I did.   I put them in the pan and got the water boiling and boiled them for less than 10 minutes, probably 6 or 7 minutes.    I turned them off and immediately drained the hot water and added ice to the pan, almost filled to the top.    I set the pan aside and forgot about it for about 15 minutes and then poured the ice and water off.   While the eggs was still in the pan, I swirled the eggs around in the pan hard enough to crack the shells real good all over.   I commenced to peeling those eggs and I'm telling ya, those eggs just slid right outta those shells!!!!!     Where have I been all my life not to know that?     I'm probably the last person alive to learn this, but, just in case, I thought I would share it with y'all.    Oh yeah, and one last thing about doing them this way, they are already cold when you get done with them, so you can serve them immediately, because the ice cools them all the way thru.    Yay!!!!    Give it a try sometime, it's a keeper tip for sure!
I wanted to share another fun project that I recently done.    This was an Altered Letter Swap.     The online group I'm in decided to alter an initial for the person who's name we was assigned.     I kinda knew what I wanted my finished project to look like, but, I had to get my letter first.   hahaha      I have watched so many wonderful artists on some of the google communities I'm in do so many great things, so I decided I would channel some of those fantastic artists and see if I could come up with something half way passable.     I've watched +Heather Kraafter  in the Kraafters Kommunity do so many awesome things and I decided I would try something that she had taught us on some of the KraftItLive programs.    So, I dedicate this Altered Art Letter Swap to her.
I used gel medium and applied a couple layers of crumpled tissue paper.   Trying to let it dry in between layers.    Obviously it's not a quick project.
I worked on it in a cookie sheet from the Dollar Tree.   Any new project starts and ends in that cookie sheet, if it's small enough to fit in it.     I put an ink pen in the pic to show size of the "g".    I think it was 8" tall.   It came from Wal Mart.    This was the first coat of tissue paper.
This was the second thin coat of tissue paper and after that I dried, I put on a coat of white gesso and let that dry for another day or two.
Next, I put on a couple coats of acrylic paint.     I done a project a couple of years ago where I painted the insides of 5 bottles that I had gotten at the Dollar Tree.    In order for the jars to dry, I had to drain the excess paint from the insides.     I had a plastic jar that was perfect to drain the paint in.    There was purple, copper, sky blue, silver, and gold.    The color on the project is the combination of all those colors.     I really love it.    It has become my go to color for a lot of my projects.    So, I put a couple of layers of paint on and let it dry again for another day or so.
While the paint was still wet I sprinkled on some different colors of fine glitter and then some larger pieces of glitter.     I was really thrilled with the texture I got on this.    This was still in the planning stages, and if you look real closely you can see two or three tiny little acrylic bows.     They didn't stay on there long, because I didn't like it and I can change my mind if I want too.    hahaha
So, I dug around in my tiny quilled flowers and greenery  and found the pieces I wanted to put on this project and commenced to gluing them on.    I have used quite a few of them lately and will have to cut and make some more really soon.    I brushed on some bead gel in a couple of places and then I got out my shell chips that I got from and I put several of them down in clusters and also put some in  and around the flowers.
After everything dried, again, like I said, not a fast project.  hehehe     I used my studio g glitter glue and brushed it all over the flowers, giving them some sparkle and it also adds a stiffness to them that I like.  
This is a close up of some the shell chips.   I used tan, turquoise and a blue/black color.   I just love the shell chips.   And have found out recently that I can also add color to them with some of my Inka Gold Metallic Rubs.   Yay!!!
This is a close up of some of the flowers.   The largest ones about the size of nickles and the smallest ones being about the size of kitchen match heads.
This is before I got the studio g glitter glue brushed on.
This is the finished product.
Flowers after the glitter glue.
 More flower closeups.   I really love the flowers.
Another shot of the flowers.   I know, probably too many.     But I like the looks of them and I hope you do too.  
The finished G drying and cureing for the last time before sending it on to it's new home.   After I got everything done and the way I wanted it to look, I went over the front of it one more time with the Wet and Wild Clear Shine nail polish from the Dollar Tree.    I buy 2 or 3 bottles at a time.   It really gives a very nice finish to the end project.     I really loved doing this project so much!!!!      I have another really neat project to share with y'all real soon, so be on the look out.   You heard it here first! hahahaha
If you ever wonder how much Jesus loves you, remember Resurrection Sunday!!!!    Go to the Gospels in the front of the New Testament and read about His love for us.    I am so thankful for what Christ done for me on the Cross, and I pray that your are too!    Just know that He is gonna return some day soon and claim His own.    Most of y'all, my readers, I will probably never get to meet you in person, but I am happy to know that I will get to see you when we get Home, if your name is in the Lambs Book of Life and I pray that all your names are there!!!
Well, I guess that just about wraps up another blog post for the time being.     I hope you seen something today that inspired you to tap into your creativity.     I learn so much from others and I enjoy passing on a little of what I have learned.    Every one of us has some kind of creative gifts and they should be celebrated.    So, start believing you can and you will.    It's fun and cheaper than therapy!!!   hahaha    Well, it is!    hahaha     Sometimes it's just a matter of finding what really makes you happy.    I hope as the sun sets where ever y'all today, that you can say you have had a blessed day and was happy to be a part of God's glorious creation.    I pray for a peaceful evening and a refreshing night of rest and that tomorrow will be even more blessed and wonderful than today was.   God loves y'all and so do I!    hugs and love, Patty

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Compromise and a Tip and a Fun Easter Egg Hunt

As I sit here this morning, I hear a couple of lawn mowers in the distance.    It's funny how certain sounds can evoke images and memories that had been long forgotten, just waiting to be stirred and remembered once again by such a familiar sound.    You know, a push mower sounds different to the riding mowers and it requires much more effort.    I remember growing up, there was usually two push mowers and also an old timey reel mower, that was only powered with the one pushing it.   There wasn't any of my brothers fighting over who would get to use it.    hahaha     Later on in time, our Dad got a riding lawn mower and that made short work out of a good sized yard.   But this time of year, it seems like the earth is waking up and everything is getting green and the trees are getting leaves and the newness of the green is easy to gaze upon.    I don't know if you have ever noticed it, and may just be me, but it seems as the spring turns to summer, that the green gets darker and darker in color.   Notice it this year for yourself, and see if it's me or if you can see it too.    It always seems as if the birds singing is just a bit more beautiful in the spring too.   Kinda like they are enjoying all the newness around them and they are singing to God in praise for all the beauty that they too get to enjoy.

As we think of spring and all the newness that comes with it, at some point in time our mind goes to Easter.    I think of Good Friday as the day the earth changed.    There was a moment in time on that day when Our Father could not look upon His Son, because He, Jesus had taken upon Himself, the sins of the world.    The land grew dark, because the sun in the heavens could not even cast light on such a dark and gruesome scene.    Our Savior died in the dark for my sins.    Jesus said, "It is finished!"     How in the world could such a day be called Good Friday?     Because He died for my sins!!!!!!     He died for your sins.    But wait, it is not the end of the story!    Why?    Because He burst forth from the borrowed tomb early on Sunday morning.    The cold slab of stone was no place for our Savior to lay His head.    The grave could not keep Him.    The burial clothes had to come off Him.     The stone had to roll away.    I just know in my heart that the sun was more than happy to shine on Resurrection morning!!    I would believe that the birds sang even sweeter than before.    I too would believe that the earth was very happy to have our Risen Lord and Savior, once again, walking upon the earth and trying hard to remember ever footprint that He made.    I pray that as the weekend approaches, that we will remember it for what it is.    It is the weekend that changed all of humanity forever.   It is the weekend that gave us hope!!!    It is the weekend that has assured me of my salvation through my risen Savior and Lord, Messiah.    No matter how dark the world may seem where ever you are, there is joy in knowing the risen Savior.    My prayer is that you know that joy first hand, personally.   Psalm 30:5b Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.   Joy comes from knowing the long night of tears is past and daybreak is fresh and new.    I hope and pray that every day brings joy, peace and hope to you.    And also a steadfast understanding that Christ is alive and well and will be coming back to claim His own one day soon!   Hallelujah!!!!!
I have a fun project to share with y'all today.   I thought it would be fitting to share it at this time.    In one of the online groups I'm in, we had an Easter Egg Hunt.    We were assigned a person to make an egg for.    Everyone made an egg, everyone received an egg.   My egg is a little prehistoric in shape.   hahaha    But I had such a fun time making it and can't wait to share it with y'all.    As usual, I forgot to take a starting picture and shoot thru the steps.    I don't know why I can't remember that here lately.  I'm just happy to remember to take a finished picture of the project.
I took 3 layers of chipboard, aka cereal box hehehe, and laminated that together.   Then I put fuchsia colored glitter cardstock on top of that for my base and just white cardstock on the back to write on.  I then took some copper stained glass tape and wrapped the edge of my egg.   I really like that effect too.
Next, I too a stencil and laid it over my egg and used sand and gold glittered structure paste and made the maze like pattern.   It really stands up and is rough and coarse, I love the texture.   Next I took my plain old hole punch and punched a lot of  small circles and glued those down and then put a flat back colored rhinestone and pearls on to top of each circle.  
Next, I used my spellbinders die and die cut the cross from 3 layers of thinner box/chipboard and got all three layers glued together.   Then I put a thin layer of glue all over the cross and sprinkled purple and blue glitter on top and let that dry and shake off the excess.
Next I dug around in my quilled flowers and found what I wanted to put on my egg.   There is about 20 or so flowers.    The largest being about the size of a nickle and the smallest about the size of the head of a kitchen match.     I cut greenery and put it down first and then I started placing the quilled flowers.  
Once the glue was dry, I took studio g glitter glue and brushed it on to of all the flowers.   It makes them sparkly and makes them sturdy.   Then I put a flat back gems in each that was large enough to hold one.
Last but not least, I put some of my turquoise shell chips on top of my cross.    I really enjoyed this project.    It was definitely something I needed to do to get me out of the slump I was in.    It was fun and the lady that got it was thrilled with it.    She said it reminded her of a Faberge egg and that tickled me to the bone.    I hope you enjoyed looking at my egg.   It was a joy and a pleasure to make.  I have another one all put together, just ready for me to decorate.    I will enter it in the fair when I get it finished.   I can't wait to share a couple more projects with y'all.   I have been having a great time stretching my creative muscle.  
What is Compromise?   These are some definitions that I found quickly just googling the word. Worldly Definition:   1.  an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions or giving up part of their demands.   2.  acceptable standards that are lower than what is desired.   3.  an endangering, especially of reputation; exposure to danger; suspicion.    4.  to expose or make vulnerable to danger, suspicion, scandal.   5.  blending qualities of two different things.    

Compromise has been described as trying to live in two worlds simultaneously.   Compromise begins when we lose sight of our first love, Jesus Christ.  

My pastor said that "When we compromise, we lower our standards!!!!"    Oh my gosh, that almost knocked me out of my seat!    When is compromise ever a GOOD thing?     Oh, lots of people will say that you must compromise in order to get along in this world. that really true?      

Jesus did not compromise one single time during His life and ministry!!!    Some say He could not have even if He had wanted to.    I say that He could have compromised just as easily as you or I can, if He so desired.    Scripture tells us that Jesus was fully human, capable of every feeling, emotion, and behavior known to us, but He "chose" not to disobey His Father.    Jesus was very much capable of sin, but He NEVER sinned, He NEVER compromised, He NEVER lowered His Fathers standards.

Jesus said in Matthew 12:30 that "he that is not with me is against me."
Jesus said in Luke 16:13 that "no man can serve two masters."
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:33 that "bad company corrupts good morals."
Paul also said in 2 Corinthians 6:14, "what fellowship has light with darkness?"
Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:11 to "flee from temptation."
Paul even said in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 to "avoid all appearance of evil."
Jesus even taught us that it is impossible to preach the gospel without causing offense.
It was compromise in the church of the day that killed Jesus.   Religious leaders was so jealous of Him and the power He had and the way people followed Him.   

Do you see any compromise or the lowering of standards in the above scriptures?    There can be no compromise between our convictions and the wickedness of the world in which we live.    Lets face it, we are bombarded with the worldly influence of compromise on a daily basis.   Our values and principles are always on the chopping block.    The enemy makes compromise sound like a good thing, all the while he knows our integrity, values and testimony are in the balance.    It is the enemys grand scheme for all of us to compromise our way of life as believers, compromise our convictions, compromise our morals,  and compromise our witness and testimony.    That is his plan.  

Psalm 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the Lord!   2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart!   3 They also do no iniquity; They walk in His ways.   4 You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently.

How easy is it to compromise?    Oh, one little drink never hurt anyone, said the alcoholic.    Oh, one little pill can't do any harm, said the drug addict.    Oh, surely one little look won't hurt anything, said the husband or wife, just before signing divorce papers.    Oh, how much can it hurt for me take a few dollars, they won't even miss it from the bank, said the embezzler.    Oh, they won't even know I took the car, said the teen before skidding into a tree and losing his life.    Yeah, those are a bit drastic and harsh, but every one of those situations have happened and most of us reading this can name a few people for each situation, even the teen.    Compromise never ends well.    Don't let anyone tell you different.    There are so many many many ways that we can compromise ourselves.    The enemy has bombarded us for so long with images from the media and television that we have compromised on so many levels.    The very things that the Bible describes as an abomination to the LORD, are the very things that society praises and lifts high.   Why is that?    Just because some believe that there is no one to answer to in this life or the next doesn't make it so.    

When we compromise we lower our standards.   Truth.     Compromise hurts all parties involved.   Truth.    Compromise is going against the standards of God.   Truth.

Should we ever let go of truth just to have unity?    Should we ever compromise for the sake of unity? Oh yes, I know, if we don't compromise we get called "intolerant".    Go ahead and call me intolerant, Lord knows I've been called worse before and I will be called worse than that again.   hahaha     There are some things that I will never be in unity with the majority of people and I do not regret that one little bit.  

I read a story several years ago about a parent meeting taking place at a school.    The topic of discussion of was going to be sex, sexually transmitted diseases and distributing birth control to school age children without parental consent.   One of the Mom's was livid about the situation.    She happened to be a Christian and was rearing her children with Biblical principles and she wanted to deal with the topic by at least addressing "abstinence".   The person in charge shut her down at every turn and word and so did the other parents.    They had a 10 minute break during this meeting and was encouraged to mingle around the cookies and coffee and shake hands with every one and get to know the other parents.   The Mom did not mingle and did not shake hands and did not get to know anyone, and why would she want to anyway?    When the break was over, the leader said, "I will show you how easily it is for sexually transmitted diseases to spread".    She pointed at one person and said, "Let's pretend you have a STD and all it took to get it was to shake hands", and asked who all had shaken hands with that person, hands went up.   Then she asked who had shaken hands with this person and more hands went up.    After the third person, every hand went up and the instructor said, "See, this is how important this is.    Everyone in here shook hands with someone, therefore everyone has gotten a STD."    The Mom stood up and said, "Not every one in here got the STD!   I didn't!    Because I abstained from the behavior that put me at risk for getting the STD!"    She went on to say, "Abstinence works every time!!!"

That mother was not willing to lower her standards or compromise on the truth.    What would I, or maybe you, have done in her situation?    She set her life's  foundation firmly on the standards that God set in His Word and she was not willing to compromise her standards and was working hard at teaching those standards to her children, only to be undermined by the school system.   I have high regards for her, for taking a moral stand and sticking with it.

Who set the standards that you have built your life on?    The world has little to do with godliness, so as a believer in Christ and His Word we must never let go of the truth to lower our standards by compromise.   When the world sees a Christian fall prey to compromise, it weakens the testimony of not just that one person, but it weakens the testimony of all Christians.   God has called us to make a difference right where we are, right in the very situation we are presently in.  

Around here, there used to be signs in front of the schools that read "Character Counts".     The question I have is this, does character count?    What do we do when no one is watching?    We can all put on a show when we know that we must.    But what about those down times when we can be who we really are?    Would your best friend recognize your behavior if you was somewhere that no one knew you and there would be no way for word to get back to your friend about your behavior?  

Why does compromise sound like a good word?    You know what, in a healthy marriage there is compromise.    A great husband knows when to say "yes dear".   My husband says "yes dear" sometimes to make me happy, but he would never compromise our relationship with God or our relationship with each other.    And a wonderful wife knows when to say, "this is a serious matter, and I trust your judgement".    There have been several times in our marriage that I have said, this is a serious matter and I trust your judgement.    I do not want to make decisions that I know are his to make as my husband and the head of our household.    There are a few situations where compromise can bring about unity without lowering the standards that God has set for our lives.   We just need to make sure that we are not going against the truth of God.    

In church, we can compromise on the color of the carpet or what side to set piano or organ on or what color to paint the walls or how much to pay for a new stove, things like that.    These are things that in no way should bring harm to the church body.    But we must never compromise on the fundamentals, the basics of what Scripture teaches us.   Scripture teaches  that there are some absolute truths.     Scripture teaches that we are all sinners in need of a Savior.   Scripture teaches there are sinful behaviors that will not be permissible in heaven.    Scripture teaches that there are behaviors that are detestable to God.    Scripture teaches that God can not look upon sin.    Scripture teaches that Jesus is Savior.     Scripture teaches God is Holy.    Scripture teaches God is just.    Scripture teaches that Christ went to the cross for yours and my sins.    Scripture teaches Christ was born of a virgin.   Scripture teaches that Christ rose from the dead.    Scripture teaches that Jesus ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand side of His Father.   Scripture teaches that Christ is coming again.   Scripture teaches that we must be ready.    Scripture teaches that there is a literal heaven and a literal hell.     This is just a few of the fundamental basics that Scripture teaches.   What you and I believe matters.   It will determine how you and I live our lives.    It will determine what you and I will not compromise on and also what you and I  are willing to compromise on.     It will also determine our eternity.    What you and I believe matters!!!

This is some of the things that God showed me thru looking deeper into this word.    It was definitely a study that I needed.    I just hope and pray that I can hold fast to the Word of God and not compromise the standard that God has set for my life.    Today is a new day to raise the standards for my life.    How about joining me in raising those standards for your own life.
Ok, so this is my tip of the post that is the last of 3 recipes that I will share for the moment.    This is one for the keeper file for sure.    As always, for me, a recipe is a starting place for some down home country goodness.   So, get ready to put the old feed bag on and enjoy this one.

Hash Brown Potato Casserole

-26 oz bag of frozen shredded hash browns
-3 tbsp cooking oil
-2 cups chopped ham, optional   (try bacon....oh my garsh, soooo good)
-2 cans cream of potato soup (any cream of.....soup will work)
-1/2 cup grated Parmesan  (try mixing asiago, parmesan, and oregano romano cheeses....yum I always add more cheese than the recipe calls for.  yay!)
-16 oz sour cream
-8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Brown hash browns in skillet with oil and transfer to crockpot sprayed with non stick spray.
Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.

Try sauteing a mix of diced onions and colorful bell peppers.    This adds such a wonderful taste to it. I also love to put a few pats real butter on top of it, this is really delicious.  It helps to crisp up the edges.   This recipe, with my tweaks to it, is over the top GOOD!!!!   I like to call it my "Cracker Barrel on steroids recipe".    hahahaha    It is so good, in fact that I put on my best southern drawl and contact my inner Paula Deen diva when I say "b-u-t-ter".    hahahaha
Well, I hope and pray that you seen or read something here today that will make a difference in your life.    I hope as the week wears on that you think of the sacrifice that Christ made on our behalf and just thank God for Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday!!!   God is good all the time and all the time God is good.    Sure hope you enjoyed seeing my egg, because I sure enjoyed sharing it with y'all.   I hope that you will give the recipe a try, you won't be disappointed for sure.   In all things, give thanks.  I'm thankful that you chose to stop by here and spend a few minutes with me.   Have a blessed Easter weekend and keep Christ first and foremost in it.    Always remember that God loves you and so do I.     hugs and love, Patty

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Meaning of Restaurant, A Tip in the form of a Recipe, and An Acrylic Painting

Hi Y'all!!!    How is your weather today?     Well, how ever it is, enjoy it while you can, because it will change with the next breath.    Just about anyway.     The calendar says it is now officially Spring.    I am thrilled!!!     The worst part about it being officially Spring is all the weather that churns up tornadoes.    I really don't like that at all, but I guess we just have pray thru those times when they come.     Monday evening was one of times.    I had finished my painting class and got home and changed clothes and went out town to exercise class and another lady and I got there about the same time and got inside and that's when all heck broke loose.     The sky got black and the wind was blowing sideways rain and we was just about ready to call off class, but that cell finally passed and we went ahead and had class and then the sun shone for just a bit afterward, before the next wave came thru.   But we are in for another round of severe weather tomorrow.    I really dread it.    But, nothing happens that God isn't aware of, so we'll just pray thru it.

I would ask you to remember to pray for the ones that we know who are sick and hurting in some way.    Some have lost loved ones, some are having or have had major surgery, some have been sick for such a long time with the sickness going around, some have major health issues they are dealing with of which there is no cure and then there are some we know who are just sick of life.    Pray for these folks.    We all have needs and there is only source to take our needs to, and that is the only One who can "restore one's spirit", Jesus!!!

Do you know what the word "restaurant" means?     In a scavenger hunt of sorts, just looking up words, I came across this and was really delighted in what I found.     It has variations, and depending on who is defining the word, it may be a little different.    But the definition that I loved most was this:  "a place to restore one's spirit".    I looked and looked and could not remember where this definition came from originally.    I just wrote it down for safe keeping and wanted to further explore when time allowed.    

I do believe it is a most fitting definition though.    After a hard days work, coming in to great meal is always a very uplifting way "to restore one's spirit".    It's a wonderful thing to break bread with a friend and "restore one's spirit" in the presence of someone you enjoy spending time with.    Sitting down to your favorite meal at your favorite restaurant is a great way "to restore one's spirit".     Grabbing a quick bite at a fast food joint is an easy way "to restore one's spirit".     Two of my favorite places here in town "to restore my spirit" is Elmo's and Ichibans.     Oh so yummy, both places are equally fun for me.     

But, what about really "restoring one's spirit"?     We know how to restore the physical side of one's spirit, but what about the restoring the spiritual side of who we are.     When I say spiritual, I say that in the context of all that scripture teaches us about who we are and who's we are.    NOT in the context in which the world uses the word "spirit" or "spiritual".     If I EVER use those words, it is always in the context of Yahweh: Father God, Yeshua: Messiah Jesus Christ and Ruach: Holy Spirit.   Now that I have that cleared up, lets think about "restoring one's spirit".

Do you ever reach a point when you feel like you just can't go on?    You may need to restore your spirit.   Do you feel like you are running on empty all the time?    You probably need to restore your spirit.   Do you ever feel like you all alone, even in a crowd?    Then you may need your spirit renewed.      Do you ever feel like your prayers hit the ceiling and stop?    Then that may be a sign that you need your spirit restored.      I would like for us to take a look at some things that would be beneficial to us in "restoring one's spirit".      Are you so busy with "stuff" that you don't have time for your alone time with Jesus?    Then you probably need to have your spirit renewed.

The very first thing I have to say is this.   Restoring the spirit is ONLY possible if you have a relationship with God thru faith in Christ.   That's it.   You have to know salvation from God thru the shed blood of Christ on the cross.    So, if you are a Christian, proceed, but if you are not, take the time to recognize that you are a sinner.   Confess your sin to God and ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart to be your Lord and Savior form this very moment on.     We are all sinners in need of mercy and grace that comes only from Jesus.     We can't wait till we're "good enough" because we will never be good enough on our own.   We are all stinkin' filthy sinners and the only way to get rid of the rot is from the inside out, and that starts with asking Jesus into our hearts and lives.   Once we have done that, then we are in right relationship with God thru Jesus Christ.    Now we can move on to restoration that needs to take place from time to time.

One of the easiest quick fixes for me is to take stock of what all I am "doing".     Am I "doing" everything I may be "doing" with the right attitude?     Do I do what I do to be seen by others or do I do what I do to serve my Lord and Savior, first and foremost?    The answer to that question is quite significant.    It will help me determine the difference between my personal ministries and my selfish "busy"-ness.     For me, my blog is one of my personal ministries.    I love doing this so much!!! life, sometimes I get busy and step aside from my first love, which should always be for the Lord and the things He loves.     God loves people.     Jesus loves people, so much so that He allowed Himself to be crucified.     That's LOVE, no matter how you view it, that's genuine love.     So, again I tell you, I love sharing my love for Christ and all He has done for me on my blog, simply because He loves all of you, and so do I.   So, when I see that I have slowed down on my posting, I have to review what is getting in my way.  In all actuality, sometimes it's nothing.    Sometimes I just haven't gotten a word from the Lord as to what I need to share with y'all.    Every word I share is always a personal word from God to me.   I need it first, and than I pass it on, because if I need it, so do others. Sometimes I do need to have my spirit renewed.     If we as Christians, watch much news, we need much spiritual renewal!!!!   The only place I have to get what I need is straight from the Word of God!    I need the very breath of God for every breath I take.    If you are a Christian, you do too.

After we assess what may or may not be taking place within ourselves, and we get back on track with God being first place and our first love, then we can easily get back to "restoring our spirit".    I like to call it "refreshing our spirit" too.     Kinda like a refreshing rain after a parched dry season.    I like to have some favorite scriptures on hand to help me stay restored and refreshed.    One of those favorite scriptures is Psalm 23 with special attention to verse 3a.   "He restores my soul".     Isn't it awesome to just think about how easy it is for God to restore our soul.    All He wants from us is just a little undivided attention, so He can lavish restoration upon us.    

2 Timothy 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.     God's word makes us wise!     Does the word of the world make you wise?    No!!!    It makes me want to vomit.     If what the world is telling us does not line up with the Word of God, someone is wrong and it AIN'T God.   Make no mistake about that.    The word of God is profitable for the way we live our lives.    We can use it for correction of the things we are doing wrong.    It teaches us upright and righteous living.    The word of God actually calls us to be holy as God is holy. God is a holy God and can not look upon unholiness, that's why we need the blood of Christ as our covering.   When God looks at me, He sees His Son, and I am so thankful for that!!!!    Without the Word of God we are not thoroughly equipped to do His work.

Spend time meditating on scriptures that God has inspired you with.    Do some research on some words and find out all you can on a particular word and then ask God to show you how you can use that word in your every day life  and how it applies to you.    Need a little help to get started?    Faith, grace, hope, mercy, love, sanctification, justification, meek, idol, sin, purpose, protection, repentance, righteousness, holy, praise, just, obedience, health, gossip, just to name a few.   No matter how much we know, there is always so much more to learn.    

Listen to this.   Psalm 3:3 says "But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head!"    Wow, is this not "restoring one's spirit'?     Yes, it is!!!!     I love that the Lord is my shield, my glory and the lifter of my head!!!!!     All of that in one verse!!   How wonderful is the mighty Word of God!!!!

Jeremiah 30:17 For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the LORD, because they have called you an outcast: 'It is Zion, for whom no one cares!'     No, I am not touting the health and wealth religion that some people push.    Some people do get physical healing, but not all do.    Some people are wealthy, but not all of us are.     But God will restore our spiritual health to us through salvation and bind up our spiritual wounds.     That makes our future a future to look forward to.    The word Zion, in scripture has many references.    It is most often referred to as the place where God was present and near to His people.    Notice the end of that scripture.    It is so true today.    Most people has no care or concern for the place where God is.     Zion is the place where we can come to and get help.    Remember that.    Zion points to God.    That is where the "restoring of our spirit" comes from.    The place for whom most people do not care about.  But one thing we must remember, is that God IS everywhere at all time, so those wishing to be far from Zion, or where God is; sorry, you're fresh outta luck, because God is everywhere and He sees everything.    That restores my spirit!!!!  (I don't believe in luck, but the world does, so that's why I used the word.)

Another way I have of restoring my spirit is to listen to my Southern Gospel music.    I have a thumb drive in my car with many wonderful songs on it and as I drive I listen to music and have fellowship with God.    I love the time I get to spend with God in that way.    When I go see my Mom, on the drive up, I have my music going and it is very refreshing and uplifting to my spirit.   

Do you know one of the easiest ways to refresh or restore one's spirit?    Just plain old "rest"!    Rest is a four letter word, but it's not an ugly word!!!!    So many people think that if you rest, you are being lazy and slothful.    That's not so!     Rest is a vital part of serving the Lord in any capacity and being physically healthy enough to serve the Lord.    If someone is running on fumes all the time, they are grouchy, they are snappy, quite frankly they can be snotty, hateful, hurtful.    Not someone you are busting your buttons to be around, huh.     None of that has a place in our service to the Lord. So if you find yourself in need of "restoring one's spirit", make sure you are getting enough rest.

Another was to "restore your spirit" is to spend time with a cherished friend.    I know for myself, it is one of the quickest ways for me to find restoration.    The people I choose to spend time with are uplifting and fun and godly women.     I know for me, when one of my best friends and I get together, the time is usually spent talking about how God is active and working in our lives.    That, to me, is very refreshing!

Another way of "restoring one's spirit" is investing time in creating art.   What ever it is that you love to do; what ever craft or hobby you love, give that time to God and ask Him to bless it and He surely will!    And I will use this as a great way to lead into the art that I wanted to share with y'all this week. I had an acrylic paint class this week on Monday at our local County Extension Office here in town.   The 4th Monday of the month is set aside for our workshop day and this month we had a teacher scheduled to teach us acrylic painting.    Most of you have seen my oil paintings scattered throughout my blog, but this is my first acrylic painting.     It is a different beast all together from oils.     Oils have a much greater open time for blending and such, but acrylics dry fast unless you have an extender, which we didn't.     I think ocean scenes and water scenes are "restoring to one's spirit".   This going back up to the first scripture I shared, Psalm 23:3, about how "He leads me beside the still waters and restores my soul".    Isn't that such a peaceful thought.     And then we have lighthouses on the shores of water in different places all across the world to warn sailors and ships of the nearness of the land and rocky crags and danger.   They also serve as a good tiding that they are near land.    I like to think about Jesus being our lighthouse and how when we are in the storms of life and darkness we can look to Him for precious light and hope.     One of the songs that I listen to in my car has a line that goes something like this, "if it wasn't for the Lighthouse, where would this ship be?"     I don't about you, but I know my ship would have crashed and sank many many years ago!!!   That is true!!! That Lighthouse, Jesus, is our constant source of "restoring one's spirit".     With that said, I would like to share my lighthouse with y'all.     For all of those out there that are pro's, please be kind, ok.     Yeah, I know you will.   
I was late getting to class, so I was about 45 minutes to an hour behind everyone else and I forgot to take pics along as I painted.    When I remembered it, I was well into the painting for sure.
I was pleased with the finished project.    There are flaws in this and I am sure seasoned eyes can see them just as big as ike, but that's ok.    They are my mistakes and we never learn anything if everything we do is perfect.    That's my story anyway.   hahaha
I wanted to show a close up or two and show you my mistakes.    The shadows of my fence posts are really wonky, going every which a way.   hahaha     I had started to get frustrated because I was behind and I just got sloppy.    Yeah, I can admit that.     Kinda looks like they are stepping every which way.    hahaha
I don't think there is a mistake here, I was just showing a closeup of the bottom of the lighthouse and grassy areas.   But if you do see a mistake, I don't want to know.    hahahaha     How's that?    hahaha
My clouds were the last thing I added to the painting and I think I finally got them as fluffy as I wanted them.    Had I not been running late, I would have wanted more clouds, but I'm good with them.    And as I look it, I see that there should have been a shadow cast by the lighthouse.     Oh shucks!!!      Well, as they, "it is what it is".     hahaha

Overall, I like painting with acrylics, but not as well as oils.     I may try another one or two and see if I can develop a better hankering for acrylics.     I really want to learn, but I may have to get some extender somewhere to put in my acrylics to have a longer open time to blend and play.    I do love the solace and calmness that lighthouses give to most viewers.    In most cases, it is a very pleasant and enjoyable scene that can lower the blood pressure and cause a calming effect, therefore aiding in "restoring one's spirit".

Continuing with the "restoring one's spirit" theme, I have a recipe that will do that also.    On my last blog post I shared a delicious, quick Dump Cake recipe, this time I am sharing a delicious main course recipe that I have tweaked over time to get just right for my liking.    It is another tip in the form of a crockpot recipe.     It's one of the 3 or 4 that I have fixed to take to meals at church when there wasn't many people there, but everyone loving to eat.    hahaha     On one such occasion, I happened to be sitting close to the pastor and his daughter, about 10 or 11 years old at the time.     She said, "Oh daddy, you can just taste the country, it's much better than Cracker Barrel!"     I cracked up!!!     Her dad said "She is really impressed with your cooking.   The closest she gets to country cooking is Cracker Barrel".     I said I was honored that she put my cooking up there with Cracker Barrel.    hahaha     It was a very high compliment for sure!     Here is the recipe.

Crockpot Chicken and Dressing

2- 6 oz boxes of stuffing mix
2 cups or more, cooked chicken, chunked
1 can of cream of.......soup, chicken, celery, mushroom....whatever you have (no stress)
1/3 to 1/2 cup chicken stock
 dash salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup melted butter

Spray inside crockpot with nonstick spray.    Prepare stuffing mix according to pkg. and spread in the bottom of the nonstick sprayed crockpot.

Mix chicken chunks and pieces with canned soup, chicken broth and salt and pepper.    Pour over stuffing mix and then pour on the melted butter.

Cover and cook for about 3 hours on high or 5 or 6 hours on low.    Do not stir, but you can loosen the edges of the stuffing a time or two while it's cooking and then again just before you serve it.

This is just a starting place for you to be as creative as you wish to be with this.    It is good!!!   Sometimes I put onions and colorful bell peppers in mine.  And other times I will half the recipe and put it in a 8 x 8 inch baking dish and bake it in the oven for about 45 minutes on 350* and that's what we will have for lunch sometimes.    Have some cranberry sauce to serve on the side and you can have a wonderful meal to "restore one's spirit" anytime.     Yum!!!!

The next recipe I share is the bees knees for sure!!!    It is my remake of a Cracker Barrel classic and it is just divine!!!!!     Be ready for it y'all!!!     It too, is a keeper!!!!!

Well, I guess I have just about finished up this blog post for the time being.    Gotta get ready for Wednesday night services at church.    I just love it.     It is a smaller group, we are more relaxed and it's more interactive.     I hope and pray that all of y'all have a wonderful rest of the afternoon and evening.     I pray for you to have rest that will help toward "restoring one's spirit" and refreshing you for tomorrow.    I just hope and pray that y'all had fun here today and that you read or seen something that will be of a help to you in the days to come.    Tell someone you know that God is waiting to "restore their spirit".     Someone you know needs to hear that.     We all need hope and that is a whole heap of hope.   God loves you so much!!!    I do too.    Till we meet right back here again, real soon, be blessed in the Lord.     Much love and many hugs, Patty

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Beauty, a Project and a Tip in the form of a Recipe

Good evening Y'all.    It's a brisk, cool evening here in my neck of the woods tonight.     It rained all night last night and most of the day today with some winds, but it's calmed now and I think it was pretty clear when it started getting dark.    I had been out town earlier and coming home there was a definite line in the sky where the clouds were and where the clearing skies met.   It was a most lovely sight, for sure.     You know, I know when the calendar says Spring officially arrives, but from the looks of what's happening outside, it may already be here for us.   Lots of trees blooming and fruit trees in full bloom.   It worries me about frost bite.    But, it won't be the first time and it won't be the last time.    It will just make the fresh fruit and produce higher at the stores.     Come on trees, don't you know you still need to have your coats on!!!    hahaha     And the little butter cups may just get bite too!     Oh, did you ever take the daffodils and pick a bunch of them, put them in a vase of water and drop a couple drops of food coloring it the water?      Oh how beautiful it makes the edges of the daffodils!     You can do the same with carnations  and other flowers too.    It would be a good project to do with the kids or the grands sometime.     I remember Mom and I used to do that all the time and it was such fun to keep an eye on them and watch the edges get fluted with color.    It really does make something already beautiful, even more beautiful.    If you've never tried it, I encourage you to do it.   It's fun.    Yay!!!
Have you ever thought about beauty?     Sure you have.   We all have at some point and time.    It's just human nature to want to look good.     That's not necessarily a bad thing, as long as it doesn't stand in the way of more important things.     Are you obsessed with beauty?    If so, then that's when it isn't a good thing.    How much do you contribute to the multi billion dollar beauty industry each year looking for the latest and best beauty product, treatment, surgeries or perception of beauty?     If you are like me, when I look at it in terms like that, I can say I probably spend too much.    Not that what little I've spent has helped, because in some cases, like mine, I'm just throwing good money after bad and it doesn't help much.   hahahaha     But we all like to feel like we look good or pretty from time to time.

When I started thinking of beauty, I went on a quest to find out about Biblical beauty.    We all know the standards the world sets for beauty.    Those standards are not even humanly possible.    The Barbie doll has been proven to be impossible to mimic in human perspective, yet that's what most women my age grew up with, thinking that was the standard for beauty.     The human standard of beauty reflects what we see with our eyes.    Seduction of either lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes or lust of pride.   That's what satan seduced Eve with, the lust of flesh and seeing with her eyes, something that satan said was beautiful even after God had told them not to eat of the tree.    But she saw with her eyes that it was good for food (lust of eyes), it was pleasant to look at (lust of flesh) and it would make her wise (lust of pride).    The enemy uses everything he can to cause us to lust in some form or fashion. This is what the worlds point of view is.    Lust of eyes, flesh and pride makes something or someone beautiful.

In my search, I found that satan even tempted Jesus with the same 3 lusts that he tempted Eve with and still tempts us with!   Yes, that's true!      The account in Luke 4: 1-13 tells all about it:   

Luke 4:1-13 (ASV)   1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led in the Spirit in the wilderness 2 during forty days, being tempted of the devil. And he did eat nothing in those days: and when they were completed, he hungered. 3 And the devil said unto him, If thou art the Son of God, command this stone that it become bread. 4 And Jesus answered unto him, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone. 5 And he led him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said unto him, To thee will I give all this authority, and the glory of them: for it hath been delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. 7 If thou therefore wilt worship before me, it shall all be thine. 8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve. 9 And he led him to Jerusalem, and set Jesus on the pinnacle of the temple, and said unto Jesus, If thou art the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: 10 for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, to guard thee: 11 and, On their hands they shall bear thee up, Lest haply thou dash thy foot against a stone. 12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not make trial of the Lord thy God. 13 And when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him for a season.

The enemy tried to get Jesus to turn the stones to bread, lust of flesh; he showed Jesus the world and tried to give it to Him (it already belonged to Jesus anyway) if He would worship satan , lust of eyes; and he tried to get Jesus to jump from a high place; lust of pride.    If the enemy tempted Jesus, do you think he won't tempt or seduce us?     Ohhhh, he will and for most of us, he's usually successful.   That's sad but true.     We fall for it.     Jesus didn't fall for it.    He quoted scripture each and every time satan tempted Him!!!!

So we know the worldly view of beauty, now lets see what God's standard of beauty is.    Only God can set His standard of beauty.    There are very few people in the Bible that it actually mentions as them being something beautiful to look at.  The truly beautiful women in the Bible were beautiful from the inside out.    The Bible mentions some of the women as being beautiful, but for the most part, physical beauty is brought into account when God is showing us how easy it is to be seduced or tempted by beauty.    Some of the women done nothing wrong, they were simply beautiful, but the eyes looking upon them, well, they were lusting.    David would be a good example of that.    Also men lusting after Abraham's wife was another good example.    Scripture even says David was handsome in his youth.     On the other hand, Isaiah says that Jesus was a "comely" man.    That means He wouldn't be much to look at, in the standards of this world.     We have no idea what Christ looked like.   Just the modern images that we see of Him.     But, we can be rest assured He wasn't what we would consider a handsome man by today's standards.      Christ is beautiful from the inside out!!!!   Because He has the qualities of beauty.     People are not drawn to Him by what is on the outside, but by what is on the inside.     That was true for then, just as it's true now.

It was pointed out in an article that I read, that God doesn't even use culture as a standard of beauty either, because we, with our human eyes do not see every culture and the ways some people live as beautiful.    We have a tendency to feel if someone is different culturally, then they are not beautiful.

Beauty is usually something that is appealing.    Poor is not beautiful or appealing  to our eyes or is it. How beautiful was the little woman that gave everything she had, a widows mite?     A beat up car is not lovely to look at or appealing or is it.    If that's what your trying to get a sick wife or husband or child to the drs office or hospital to save their lives, how beautiful does that beat up car become?      A dilapidated old house is not a thing of beauty  or appealing or is it.    Maybe if the house could tell you about all the laughter that the walls had heard from the multiple families of kids having called that house home, or about the love of one spouse sitting with the other while one drew their last breath.    How beautiful that house suddenly becomes.    Not because of the outside, but because of the memories the inside holds.    So, if it has nothing to do with what see on the outside, then it has to be on the inside, right.    

So, what are some traits that God would recognize as beautiful?     Trust is one of the qualities God recognizes as beautiful.    The Old Testament is filled with men and women who trusted God.    Noah, Abraham, Moses, Sarah, Esther, Daniel, Rahab, Hannah, Ruth, to name just a few who trusted God with their very lives.   That's beautiful.      The New Testament is also filled with many examples of real beauty.     The Beatitudes are a great starting place to see what God considers as beauty.    The Fruit of the Spirit is also a good collection of what beauty looks like.    God also considers it a thing of beauty when He sees His living sacrifices; us, His children; wearing the "whole armor of God".     Living a life of faith is a beautiful attribute in the eyes of God.     

Having a heart that weeps over injustice, cares for the poor, loves the unloveable, recognizing ones own spiritual needs, being a peace maker, showing mercy, having a real love for others, extending grace to those who may not deserve it, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, fear of the Lord, gentle and quiet spirit, Proverbs 31 is a wonderful description of a beautiful woman, the gray hair of the aged is a thing of beauty, a praying spirit, our works from a desire to show love toward others, salvation is beautiful, the Holy Spirit active in our lives is beautiful, true worship is beautiful, a holy life is beautiful, a person who has captured the heart of Jesus is beautiful, a joy filled spirit is beautiful, to have hope is beautiful.    Simply put, true beauty is a gift from God.     It is.    It can't be bought, borrowed or stolen.    It is given to us to be treasured, cherished and shared with those around us.

"Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness" (Psalm 29:2).

"And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands" (Psalm 90:17).

"Your eyes will see the King in His beauty..." (Is. 33:17)

"Give to the LORD the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!" (1 Ch. 16:29).

"Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth" (Psalm 96:9).

One last thing on beauty. I ask myself two or three questions every day. As a woman (or a man), how do I reflect God's beauty today? Do I mirror the excellence of God? Do I find great purpose in the small things, and humility in the big things? I think these questions are good questions for us to ask ourselves every day. I think the way we live out the answer is where we will find beauty, in ourselves and in others. Beauty as the world sees it is fleeting. Beauty in the eyes of God is forever!!!! Are you sold out to the beauty that God loves or the beauty the world loves?
The project I have to share this time is the cards we made at Card Ministry at our church in the month of January. Since it was back in January, it was still cold and the theme of a couple of the cards was snowmen. Who doesn't enjoy a snowman? I will get my card out and look it this summer when the thermometer hits 100* and wish for a little coolness from the snowmen. hahaha
This little snowman always makes us happy.    We used a snowflake embossing folder on this.   I used a platinum iridescent ink spot on top of my embossing when I got home.    And you see the 3 shiny snowflakes, well they are covering a multitude of messes, or as Bod Ross would say, "happy little accidents".    But, you wouldn't have known that unless I told ya.    So, there is no such thing as an accident, just creative opportunities.   Yay!!!   Woop Woop!!!
This happy little guy was made with a set of stylized pumpkin dies.    Yes he is.    Or you can use them as pumpkins, but why would you when you can make a snowman?   hahahaha      The background was embossed with another snow flake folder, they just happen to look like spots or dots.  I really love this little feller.   He makes me happy.  I hope he makes you happy too.

This is my favorite, I think. The church was stamped on the blue background and then it was heat embossed using silver embossing powder and the heat tool. I have to say, I think dark blue and silver is a truly lovely combination. It never ceases to amaze how beautiful the combo is. I really love our time of getting together to make cards. Its just a fun time and friends gathering, what more could be better. Then sending out the cards is a part of the ministry and that's fun too. Everyone loves getting cards from the Card Warriors. We certainly have a great time making them and I'm so thankful for the lady that gets it all together. She sure is a lovely lady with a heart for the Lord and that's a beautiful thing!!!
My Tip is in the form of a "quick to throw together" recipe this time.     Every once in a while I will want something tasty and easy to put together and forget about it.     Several years ago, at a church we used to go to, we would have a fellowship meal after services a lot.    There wasn't many members, but everyone loved to eat.    We know that hungry guys can eat some food and the gals can too, when it's good.  hahaha   Who doesn't like to eat, right!    We always enjoyed the meals, but may or may not have left on several occasions and stopped at fast food before going on home.     I started a search for something fast to throw together and easy to have on hand.     I succeeded in coming up with a trio of recipes to fix in the crockpot.    A self proclaimed crockpot queen has several crockpots.     Guess what?    I do, so I guess that makes me a "self proclaimed crockpot queen".   hahahahaha      Since I love dessert, we'll start with dessert first.    Who doesn't love that?    I don't even know where I found the recipes, because it was way before I even had the internet.    (Oh my gosh, how did we even live without google?)   hahahahaha     Anyway, in my search, I found a dessert called "Dump Cake".    hahahaha     I couldn't even imagine what that would taste like, but hey, I was certainly willing to give it a try.     The first time I took it to the meals after church, I almost didn't even have to wash my crockpot, because it was licked clean!!!   hahahaha   That's true, and I may or may not have been involved.    hahahaha     Anyway, needless to say, it was a hit!!!!    So here's the recipe:

Dump Cake

1 box of yellow cake mix
1 can of cherry pie filling
1 stick of real butter (margarine is watery when it's melted, so use at your own discretion, I just prefer butter)

-Spray the inside of your crock with non stick spray.  
-Pour the cherry pie filling in the bottom of the crock.
-Melt the butter in the microwave or stove top.   (I prefer stove top, the microwave causes too much splatters.)
-In mixing bowl, dump in box of cake mix and pour melted butter over cake mix and stir.   It will be a really stiff mix and you may not even get it all incorporated, that's ok.
-Pour stiff mixture over pie filling and DO NOT STIR!!!!   Spread it out as evenly as you can without disturbing pie filling.

-if you have any chopped pecans or walnuts on hand, toss in a hand full while stirring cake and butter together.

Cook in crockpot for 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high.

This is quick, easy and delicious!!!!    Don't believe me, then try it for yourself.    hahaha

Feel free to mix and match with the different canned pie fillings on the market and all the different kinds of cake mixes.    The sky is the limit with this.     Oh yes, and if you really want to take it over the top, put a scoop of ice cream on top!!!!!    People will be bowing to the "crockpot queen" standing before them.    hahahaha     And you may not even have to wash your crockpot either.    hahahaha

As I was writing this just now, I had a thought.    My thoughts are usually dangerous, but not this time, it's a keeper.     If I'm not mistaken, I think there is sugar free pie fillings and sugar free cake mixes on the market.    That is good for people having to watch their sugar intake.    Of course, if it's sugar free, then it's probably got more fat and other stuff in it, but it's a thought anyway.    See, I said it was a keeper.   hahaha
My most memorable quote from this day: "There IS a yoga diva in me that's just dying to come out!"  Hahaha    Some who read this will understand.     hahaha
Well, it looks like that's about it for tonight.    I hope and pray you have enjoyed your visit with me here and I thank you for taking time out of your busy lives and sharing in a portion of mine.     I hope you had a good time and that you can take something away from your visit.     I hope you look for the beauty that God looks for and that you can see it in yourself and others.    I hope you enjoyed my tip in the form of a kinda old and forgotten recipe made new again.     Be sure and watch and I will be sharing the other two recipes that goes with this one for dinner on the grounds at church or other big gatherings.    People will be thinking that you are the queen of southern cuisine when you spring them on your friends.   hahaha    I also hope that you enjoyed the cards that I shared.    I will say good night and God bless you and keep you all till next time when we meet right back here for some more fun and good times.     Remember that God loves you, so much so that He provided a way for you to be in right relationship with Him thru His Son, Yeshua, Jesus Christ!!!    Hey, I love you too and appreciate your visits!!!   hugs, Patty