Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Jewelry, A Tip, and Mark Your Calendars

Good morning Y'all.     I hope and pray that the sun is shining where ever y'all are.     And even if the sun isn't shining outside, I pray more than anything, that the SON is shining on the inside!     The SON can brighten any situation or circumstance, believe that!     We've had lots of rain here lately and the grass and weeds are growing voraciously!!    We have just about been in the notion of trying to see if we can have  our back yard declared a "wildlife habitat" and just forget mowing!   hahahaha     I don't know if that would work or not, but it might be fun to see if we could.     Then all the homes in town would be declaring the same thing of their back yards.     Oh shucks, no matter how good the plans, something always spoils it!!!!!   hahahaha     Oh well, I tried anyway.   
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I just wanted to share with y'all, that a friend of mine is teaching classes in Hobby Lobby!!!   Yay , woop woop,  hooray!!!!    Her name is +Heather Kraafter  from the Kraaft Shaak.    She is a wonderful artist, teacher, mentor and friend.    She also has a heart that's on fire for the Lord!!!    I have to believe that the powers that be at Hobby Lobby seen and recognized that.    She is out west, so I would like to request that if you live in her area or are in her area any time, to pay the local Hobby Lobby a visit and see if she is scheduled to be there any time soon.    She will also be traveling to different Hobby Lobby's throughout her area with the plans of branching out even further and hopefully be coming to a Hobby Lobby near you some day soon!!!!!    Heather does have a calendar of events over at the Kraaft Shaak, so check that out and support a wonderful, talented lady.    I hope and pray that someday I get to give this lady a big hug!!!!    So, if you meet her in person before I do, then give her a hug for me, would ya?    https://kraaftshaak.com/events-schedule/      Heather, I pray for this to be an awesome adventure for you and your family.
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I have a couple more jewelry sets that I want to share with y'all today.      You may get tired of seeing them, but I haven't gotten tired of making them yet, so till then, I guess I will keep sharing them.     I did use my cropodile this time to set some eyelets in all the holes I punched to attach jewelry findings to, and I really do love that look.    For both of the bracelets I used long flatish jump rings to join them and I LOVE that!!!    I hope I can find some more of those.     Actually, they weren't really jump rings, it was a necklace chain that I never wore, I got the necklace for the parrot that was on it and I had turned it into a pin, so the chain was in jewelry findings and I used that for my bracelet links.     Anyway, this is the pictures of the two sets I made.
For the first set, I used turquoise shell chips.    I also used turquoise, purple and copper viva decor inka gold rubs. 
For the earrings, I used the next to the smallest oval and then punched the center out with the smallest oval to make an open earring.   I love that a whole lot. 
The oval links really helps the bracelet lay flat and I hope I can find another necklace chain with the oval links.     The clasp is shaped and hammered.     I really enjoy making those too.
I think the copper really allows the turquoise chips to shine.      I was really proud of these sets of jewelry. 
This set has purple, turquoise and copper viva decor inka gold rubs.     The colors are put on in different layers to the first set, same colors, just different layering.  It also features the ecru shell chips.
 These two sets are made from 3 layers of chipboard adhered together with 3L adhesive sheets.     It could also be done by using a xyron machine or just plain glue.
The clasp on the one was a bit longer and I like varying the sizes of them. 
I am happy to report that I donated these to a local fundraiser for the silent auction and they did sell!!
Yay!!!     I don't have any idea how much they brought, I was just thrilled that they sold!!!     I hope to be able to vary the shapes of them soon.     I have a "squares" die ordered from ebay that will be here soon and I am looking at other shapes too.     So, I should have a variety of shapes and sizes before long.   Yay!!!!
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What is the one thing you need most in this life?     Have you ever thought of what some of the vital requirements for life are?      Clean air, clean water and healthy food are the top 3 things that pop into my mind.     Then jobs that will pay the bills, shelter, clothes, medical care, transportation, and what else?     Maybe a good hobby to occupy your hands and mind.     Some people have green thumbs, me, I have brown thumbs. Everything I touch turns brown and dies, I can even kill an artificial plant. hahaha    That just has to be sad, doesn't it.     Lots of people are into photography, physical fitness and some are into fancy cooking, lots of people I know are into crafting of all kinds.     Some people like to work on cars and restore them, people spend time hunting and fishing, mountain climbing and just doing all sorts of things for recreation purposes.     The list just goes on and on of things that people love to do to satisfy their desires to be active and purposeful in their lives.

When I started contemplating all of this, my mind just seemed to keep turning to Jesus Christ.     After much consideration, I decided that Jesus Christ really has to be at the top of my list.     Why, you ask?     Well, Scripture tells us that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh.    Knowing that Jesus is God, He was present when everything that exists was spoken into existence.    If I know anything about God at all, it is this.   God is NOT the author of confusion.     God is orderly.     He created the universe in an orderly fashion.    God created man last.    Why did He not create man first?    Because God had a plan for man and He set out creating the universe and all that is in it in an orderly fashion. He got the earth and all that was on it created in the fashion and manner that would be best for man to thrive in.     If you go back and look at creation, you will see that God enjoyed His time in the garden with Adam, just walking in the cool of the day with him.     Can you even begin to imagine how wonderful it would be to walk with God in the cool of the day in the garden?    And I just wonder what the conversation would be about.     Yes, I know that God is all the "omnis"; omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresent.

In Greek, "omni" means "all".   Omnipotence is "all ruling", all powerful.     When we refer to God as "Almighty", we are expressing our belief that He has ownership and authority over all His creation.     God didn't create the earth and all that is in it and walk away from it.    He has been present with His creation from the beginning and will remain with His creation to the very end.

Omniscience means all knowing.    Everything that has ever been known, God knows it.    Everything that is known now about anything, God knows is.    Everything that is to be known in the future, God already knows it.    When I think about all that He knows, I realize I don't know anything!!!!    What about you, what do you know?    God knows what is in our hearts at all times.     He knows each and every one of us deeply, even better than we know ourselves.  

Omnipresent means being everywhere at the same time.   Is there anywhere at all that you can go that is away from where God is?     And,  I'll throw this in as aside, why would you want to be where God isn't?    But, no, there isn't anywhere in God's vast creation that we can get away from Him.  

Now hear me, I'll be the first one to admit freely and openly that I don't understand all of this, I really don't.     But until my mind can wrap around this completely and understand this fully, I will walk by faith!!!!   Faith tells me that God is omnipotent, omniscience, and omnipresent!!!

So when I think about the things that I need to survive and thrive, I just go back to the top of the list and start off with with Jesus Christ, and then everything else just sorta falls into place.      Because He, Jesus Christ, will meet my most important needs.
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A tip that I have for you today is "activity trackers".      There is a wide variety of brands and styles on the market.     Varying price ranges, makes them affordable for most anyone.      If you are serious about getting active and healthy, then they really are the "beez kneez".      I asked my hubby for one for my birthday.     He said "go for it"!!!!      So I got a "fitbit charge 2" from walmart.     I ordered it from wal mart dot com and picked it up at my local wm.     I had gone to the play store on my android and put the app on my phone and it was ready and waiting for my fitbit to come in.     I picked it up and went to the car and opened the box and less than 2 minutes, I had it on my arm and the rest is history.   hahaha      It tracks everything automatically.      Steps, continuous movement, sleep, resting heart rate, heart rate while exercising, and the type of exercise and more.      If I want it to be specific, when I get ready to start exercise, I can push the button on the side and bring up workout and then set it, when workout is over, push it again to stop it and it has all the stats for that workout period.     I log water intake.   I log every bite I put in my mouth.    It tells me my caloric intake as well as calories burned.     I take it off to clean and charge it when I'm in the shower.    Other than that, I wear it 24/7.     It tells me ten minutes before the hour that I need to get steps in before the hour is over.     Just for the sake of checking others out, I ordered one from ebay that basically does everything the fitbit does, but it was less than 7 dollars and free shipping.     This one is waterproof, you can wear it in the shower or what ever.     I did not dl the app for it and put it on my phone because I didn't want to risk messing up my fitbit tracker.     But, I'm gonna give it to someone that I have in mind.      So, my tip is go to ebay and do a search for activity trackers and look for low price and free shipping and see if you can find one in a price point that matches your needs.    Oh yeah, I have walked almost 200 miles in the last 6 weeks.      It logs how many hours spent exercising, all kinds of neat info.     I certainly give it 2 thumbs up and would give more if I had more thumbs.    hahaha
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Well, that's just about it for this time.     I hope you seen or read something here today that has helped you in some way or sparked a little creative thinking or just made you smile.     If you leave here feeling a bit better than when came, then I consider that a success.     I hope the rest of your day is filled with peace and joy and that you get to spend time with someone you love.     Remember that God loves you and wants to have a relationship with you thru His Son, Jesus Christ.     I love you too and hope to see you back here real soon.    love and hugs, Patty

Monday, May 29, 2017

Pure hearts and pure motives and a couple of Tips

Good afternoon folks.     Here it is, Memorial Day, in the United States of America.     A day set aside to remember the fallen heroes of this country that have given the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, in defense of this country and numerous other countries on the face of this globe.    I hope and pray that if you know someone who has served this great country, that you will take the time to thank them.   We often take the lives of military people for granted.     But we should never do that.    Just take the opportunity to thank a Veteran somewhere today and remember the ones who gave the greatest sacrifice.

In remembering those, remember the sacrifice that was made on the cross for us to have a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior.     Jesus is my ULTIMATE hero!     The sacrifice He made for me was one that no one else could make for me.    For that, I am truly grateful.     Yes, I love the American soldiers, men and women who have fought and died to keep our country free.     But I love more, my Savior, who died to set me free from the bondage and slavery of sin!     Only Jesus Christ could do that!!!
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My tip for this blog post is to use some weights to enhance your "house walking".     I had mentioned that I had started house walking in my last post, well, I have kicked it up a notch since then.    I now walk as fast as I can, thru the house pumping my arms and speed walking like a "cRAZy woman"!!!!   That really gets the heart rate up!!    In turn, burning more calories,  yay!!!!     I do that at least 4 times a day for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.     If I want to, I can just march in place with a really fast pace and watch television while I do that.    If I really want to do that and bump it up another notch, I bring up YouTube and watch Leslie Sansone doing her walking in place.   She has fantastic videos to watch.   There are many to choose from and it's like walking with friends.     You march to the beat of the music and it's great. So, just remember, it is POSSIBLE to get fit in the confines of your own home, you just have to figure out what's gonna work for you.    We just need positive reinforcements and if you will join me in this, we will do it together.     

Another tip in my quest for getting healthy is making better food choices.     Really salty and sweet snacks are my down fall, honestly.      In reality, I just love all the comfort foods!!!!!     You name it, and it's probably on my list of top 10,000 all time fav foods!!!    Hey, I'm just being real here.   hahaha     But I have found that some of the stuff I used to love, I'm not loving them so much.   Number 1 - they sure don't love me, or they wouldn't be so bad for me.     Number 2 - when you start trying to eat healthier, your body starts feeling better.     I LOVE feeling better!!!!!      So, I am trying to introduce new ways of eating some different foods and making healthier choices at the grocery store.      So, my tip is this, I love chips, yes I do.   Guess what else I found out that I love?   I found out that I love to take a green zucchini and slice circles off it as thin as I can get them, (as thin a potato chips) and then use  greek yogurt or hummus or even horseradish sauce as a dipping sauce and it is delicious!!!     With the horseradish sauce, a little goes a long way.     It has a very spicy flavor and that's why I love it so much.    I love LOTS of flavor.   Don't over do it with the horseradish sauce though, it is high in calories and fat.    (Try mixing a teaspoon of horseradish sauce with a tablespoon of plain greek yogurt and you just added more protein to your snack.)   I can slice off, with a mandolin, about two or two and a half inches of zucchini and a couple teaspoons of horseradish sauce, greek yogurt, or hummus and be totally, completely happy and thrilled about my choice and have a filling and satisfying and completely guilt free snack, or a side with a meal.     I hope you find this useful.     I also hope that you will share with me, your NEW, go to favorite, healthy foods.      Stay tuned for more tips, hints and ideas that I pick up along the way.
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Have you ever stopped and thought about how God dealt with the poor and the needy in Scriptures?   I think sometimes, in the greediness of the lives that we all live, we forget that according to God's point of view, ALL of us are poor and needy!!!!     Oh, some of us have a lot of money, and we have a death grip on it to the point of letting the needs of others around us go unmet.     Oh, I know, it's all well and good until it hits home, ain't it?     I have heard it said that church goers are the stingiest, grouchiest, hardest to please, tightfisted tippers that waiters and waitresses ever deal with on Sundays, and you know what, I certainly believe that!  Another thing that I have come to the conclusion of is this, if you need help, don't go to church looking for it, you won't find it.    This is a sad sad thing to say, but it's the truth.    Scripture tells us that we never know when we are in the presence of "angels unaware".     Oh my Lord, may I never be found mistreating one of your angels!!!

One of the things that I have found is that when we have a closed hand, we also have a closed heart.   Just think about that.    It is with our hands that we GET to be that hands of God, when we have open hands for God, we usually have an open heart.    Now, hear this, I am not telling anyone to be careless with what God has blessed them with.   But is it careless to help someone?     Who am I to judge whether someone is telling me the truth about their needs?     If I give to someone who has said they have a need and they use the money for anything other than meeting that need, it's on their conscious and head, especially if I have given it in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord, Savior and Messiah.

One of the questions that I often hear is "Why does the body of Christ, the believers , the members of this or that church, not want to spend time with one another in a socializing setting?"    The bigger question is this, "Why WOULD they want to spend time with each other, if they are gonna be cut down at every turn?"     The early churches in the book of Acts had it right, for a while anyway.   They did socialize, they did help one another, they did meet each others needs, they did as scripture had told them.   What scripture was that?    The books of the Torah and of the prophets.     Jesus summed all 613 laws written in the Torah, down to just two.    Easy and simple to remember.    Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love others as you love yourself.   This is my paraphrase, but it's the gist of what He said.     I said that to say this.    God forbid a church member have a need, more than likely they will be scourned if they are courageous enough ask for help.    

We hear sermons and Sunday School lessons about helping others, and what I see in churches these days is that there is the same old stinkin' legalism that is choking the life out of the church that was there in some of the early churches.   Let me put that in a different way.    Legalism is killing the local churches.     If you wonder where the local churches are, they are the churches in the communities of anyone reading this.   Right where you are, there are several local churches.     Makes no difference whether it's a big church or a small church, legalism is in it!   And if I have my finger on the pulse of what's happening, I would be willing to say that the churches in your communities are killing themselves from the inside with  legalism too.     It is a disease that has been in the churches from very early on.      God has always wanted a people with His heartbeat.     Jesus came to earth to be a model of how we should represent God.     Oh, we all know how to turn on the charm and smiles and pretend like we care, but.........DO WE?     When it comes to tapping into the wallet, that's where the rubber meets the road and where we see skid marks from most people getting away from anyone with a monetary need.    That is so sad.     I just have to say here, that yes, it does take some discernment from the Lord on how to meet some of the needs we may encounter.     And sometimes, the Lord may give you the inner knowledge to step away from the situation.    That has happened to my husband and me on several occasions.     I don't trust myself to do the right thing, but I always trust the Holy Spirit in me to do the right thing.   

Oh yes, I know that drug addicts and alcoholics are always hitting people up for money all the time, and that's not what I am necessarily talking about.     I have heard it said that if a person really has a need, they will not go into a "spiel", if you will, about why they need money.     I laugh at that statement.   Let me walk up to you say that I need some help.     What are you going to say?     Are you going to ask me how I need help?     Are you going to ask me what I need money for?     Sure you are.     Are you going to judge me and condemn me as a liar and a thief and cheat, just because I asked you for help?    Probably, but hopefully not.     That is such a sad thing to say, but it is the truth.

In my search for how God has tried to teach us how to treat people in need, this is just a dent in the heap of info that God has spoken, Himself, in His Word to us:

Prov. 19:17  Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his deed.

Acts 20:35  I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Isaiah 58:10 If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday.

Deuteronomy 15:7-11 “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, 8 but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs. 9 Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,’ and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to the Lord against you, and it become sin among you. 10 You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. 11 For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’

Proverbs 28:27 Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.

Matthew 6:1-4 1 Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

Proverbs 21:13 Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.

Ezekiel 16:49  Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.

1 John 3:17  But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?    (pretty good, huh)

Psalm 140:12 I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy.

Luke 6:38  give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.      (one of my personal favorites)

Proverbs 31:8-9  8 Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Jeremiah 5:28  they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Hebrews 13:2  Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.      (I pray that I am NEVER found guilty of mistreating an angel, or anyone else)

Hebrews 13:16   Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

James 2:15-16  15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?         (wow, how's that for such a statement)

Luke 1:53  he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Well, this is just a short list of how God speaks to us about the poor and needy around us.     I know, those that are more learned than I am can say that I took every one of these scriptures out of context. Did I?   Go back and read the scriptures preceding and following each one, and then say that.     Maybe I did, maybe not.   But one thing I know for sure, there are a lot of slick tongued people that are much better at twisting God's word to suit their needs than I am.    One thing for sure, every scripture came from the mouth God.    And upon closer reading and understanding of these scriptures, we see no where that God accused the poor or needy of anything.    But if you will look at some of these scriptures, God IS judging the hearts and motives of those that could and should be helping others.   

What do YOU own?   Absolutely NOTHING according to God, the Creator and sustainer of everything.    What do you have control over?      Absolutely nothing.     We should have control over the way we treat others, but most of the time we don't exercise that control.    Are you responsible for the good things in your life?    Absolutely not.    Scripture says it rains on the just and the unjust.     The one thing that we are responsible for is being good stewards.  That used to be a word that was heard often in our churches; being good stewards of all that God had seen fit to place in our hands.   When I think of a good steward, you know who I think of?    The little widow in scripture who gave all that she had, for the cause of Christ.   You probably couldn't even buy a candy bar today with all that she gave, but that's not the point.  The point is, she GAVE.   She did not give out of her abundance, she gave sacrificially.   She could have used what she gave, but she knew Christ.   Enough said, she knew Christ.  I can't wait to see her in heaven someday, I want to thank her for setting a good example for me and others that want to serve the Lord, but feel like we don't measure up to those around us.     In the eyes of Christ, she was and is a faithful servant and a good steward of what God had blessed her with.     May we see those actions in and around our churches today.     It's common knowledge, if you don't have much, you don't have much to lose when you give all.     But Scripture makes it very plain, to whom much is given, much is expected.   

I don't know what the quick and easy answer to the problem is, but one thing I know for sure, we ain't handling it very well as a body of believers.    We can say that Scripture is inerrant, but....do we really believe it?     Do I really need to go and sit in a conference and listen to a man tell me how I should or should not help people that come to the church or to me as an individual, for help?     I don't think so.  Like I said earlier, I don't trust myself to make good decisions, but I do trust the Holy Spirit in me to help me make good decisions.     Plus, I do read the Word of God and I place that over anything a man can tell me.     The agenda of the Holy Spirit is to glorify God, the agenda of man is to glorify man.     If we believe that scripture is the inerrant Word of God, then He, Himself, has already told us and keeps telling us over and over, how to deal with the poor and needy.     He tells us to help them.    Again I say that nowhere in His Word does it tell me that I have the right to question the motive of someone that asks for help, when they come in church or ask me as a private individual.    And again, I will say that you need to be able to hear what the Holy Spirit is telling you.     He will never lie to you, and He will never have you do the wrong thing!     Sadly, the world around you will perceive what you or I are doing or have done in the name of Christ as wrong.     When they do, that's on their heads, not yours, not mine.     There have been situations where I have gotten out of there as fast as I could, but that goes back to knowing the prompting of the Holy Spirit in my life.    

Back to one of the first statements I made about all of us having been poor and needy at one time or another, and some still are.    I'm not talking about financial wealth right now either, I am talking about a spiritual need that we all have had or still do have.      I'm not talking about "spirituality" as the world talks about it either.     I am speaking of a spiritual need that only Christ can meet.    What if, when you was at the point of accepting Christ as your Savior, someone questioned your need, or your seriousness, or asked what you was gonna do with your salvation, or treated you like it wasn't for you, or said that you wasn't good enough for salvation?    Can you envision God telling you that you don't deserve anything from Him?     I can NOT!     God met me right at the point of my greatest need.    Him meeting my need was not based on me deserving anything, because to be honest with you, I didn't and I don't deserve anything.   You know what, you don't either.    So we can verily say that God doesn't meet our needs based on who we are, but upon who HE is!   

What is the criteria for salvation?     Faith in Christ is the only criteria for salvation.     Faith that He is who He said He is; God in flesh!     Faith that He was born of a virgin.   Faith that He was fully man and fully God.     Faith that He allowed Himself to die on the cross for the sins of ALL.     Faith that on the 3rd day he arose from the grave victoriously over death.     Faith that He walked among His followers for 40 days after His resurrection.   Faith that He ascended into the heavens and is sitting at the right hand of His Father, waiting for His Father to declare, "Now is the time Son, go bring my children home!"     Faith is the ONLY criteria for salvation.    Faith, that says Jesus is enough!

What is the criteria for you and I to help those that have needs?     I listed about 20 or so scriptures to help us determine what the criteria to help others looks like.     And if that isn't enough, there's several hundred more.    You can dig them out pretty easily, just open the Bible and start reading somewhere.  Not one of them mentions anything about hurting them or making them feel ashamed of the situation they find themselves in or doing any kind of harm in any way.     The number one criteria for helping those in need is a pure heart with pure motives.    That's it.     Nothing more.    Nothing less.   Nothing else.     The next time you are faced with this situation, I hope and pray that you feel empowered to listen to the Holy Spirit, even if the church or the people around doesn't want to.     Pure heart and pure motives is the only criteria for helping others.
      
As always, this is a lesson for me.    That's it, me alone.    But, feel free to use it to help you make better choices and decisions based solely on a pure heart with pure motives.    The next time you are faced with helping someone, I hope you will remember that Hebrews says that we never know when we are entertaining angels unaware.    But then again, if the Holy Spirit says get out of the situation, get gone  as quickly as you can.    Don't let anyone else make the decision for you, whether you help someone or not, other then the Holy Spirit.    He will always glorify God.
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Well, that's just about it for today.    Just wanted to share a bit about what I have been studying on and felt the need to share it with y'all.     Again, it's just a lesson for me, but sometimes I know others are dealing with the same issues.   There is nothing new under the sun, so I know if I see this happening,   others are seeing it too.     

Lord, may we be found guilty of having pure hearts with pure motives behind everything we do.    Amen and Amen!

I hope and pray that you read something here today that has touched your life.   If you have, share it someone you know who needs a word of encouragement today.    We are never alone, if we know Christ as Lord and Savior, we always have a friend who sticks closer than a brother.    That too, is scripture.    Christ makes the difference in our lives.     Hug someone today and tell them that its all about Jesus Christ.    They may not have it heard it before.     I hope and pray that you have a blessed rest of the evening and a wonderful night of sweet, energizing rest.     May your tomorrow be filled with an abundance of blessings, to share with those around you.    Always remember that God loves you and so do I.     hugs y'all, Patty

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.      
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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.
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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!!!!!
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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
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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!
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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 MiriamJoy.com 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
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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!!!
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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!!!!!
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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.  
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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.    But.....is 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.
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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
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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