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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Polly

Polly was a beautiful bride. Her dress was perfect with a sheer inset yoke that brushed over her shoulders accented with enough bling to set the day apart as no other. Her vintage style reception with giant pastel paper flower balls hung from the ceiling; deli delights; cakes, doughnuts, cookies; jars of water flavored with fresh cucumbers or oranges; punch and coffee; canning jars with candles and fresh flowers, calico bunting banners made a sweetheart setting.
Beautiful vows, "enthusiastic "I do's," touching speeches by the fathers of the bride and groom, darling little children who were so well behaved before limply falling to sleep exhausted, private stories of how Polly met Brian and how their love grew and meeting all the people who had prayed for them to meet that someone special who was God sent especially for them combined to make a treasured night. Grandparents and far away relatives watched by Skype in Colorado and Canada dressed up for the occasion with their own cake to celebrate. Even my own mother- lost-in-alzheimers' shadow of her presence was felt in the use of her oak leaf patterned silver punch ladle she had treasured then shared with the next generation. Tears of joy were the diamonds worn by many rejoicing in the beauty of love personified.




Bless you and yours
As well as the cottage that you live in.
May the roof overhead be well thatched
And those inside be well matched.

-An Irish Blessing




Wedding Symbols

...orange blossoms represent virginity
...ivy symbolizes the attachment between husband and wife,
...lime tree for faithfulness,
oak leaves for wisdom and long life,
a dove for peace and a symbol of the Holy Spirit,


A shockingly bold portion of wedding vows which has been ommitted in these modern times which had served in previous centuries to picture the marriage union as the perfect symbol of Christ and His church was promised by bride and groom...

"With my body I thee worship."

Friday, October 28, 2011

Until then




I will return by Halloween, until then...



"I would rather sit on a pumpkin,
and have it all to myself,
than be crowded on a
velvet cushion."

-Henry David Thoreau



"I've learned that an adult is someone who
stopped growing, except in the middle."
(thus, the endearing term, "pun'kin.")


Halloween is a holiday because...
a. children, and adults, love to dress up in costumes,
b. children, and adults, love to eat candy,
c. children, and adults, love to pick out a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.


Halloween, All Hallowed Eve or All Saints Day was a Christian alternative to pagan Harvest festivals. There is evil is this world from which we should protect children, and ourselves.

However, a better choice is always appropriate. Thus, we are grateful to all the churches in town which provide a safe alternative to how the world celebrates. One year all the evangelical churches in the town in Oregon where we pastored decided not to celebrate, but have prayer meetings instead. Unfortunately, many of their teens, mostly from Christian schools, decided to party unchaperoned and then went on a vandalism spree. Several were arrested including preachers' kids. Gladly, our young children were not involved: they were too busy with weeping and gnashing of teeth because we boycotted Halloween. Let it be a special time for family and friends redeeming the time...


Be a Jack O Lantern


"...let your light shine among men,
that they may see your good deeds
and praise your Father in heaven."

-Matthew 5:16



You know you are a grown up when it is more fun to open the door to the smiling faces of children with eyes like saucers lost in wonder that complete strangers will give them candy!

It amazes me that almost without fail, the ghouls, ghosts, and princesses say, "Thank you!"

My Fair Ladies


From "Live and Learn and Pass It On"


"I've learned that the more creative you are, the more things you notice." --age 51

"I've learned that even the simplest task can be meaningful if you do it in the right spirit."-72

"I've learned that the most creative ideas come from beginners and not the experts." --age 62

"I've learned that a good way to get your house clean is to invite someone over for dinner."-50

"I've learned that a creative mess is preferable to idle neatness."--age 85

"I've learned that I'm the special person I've been saving the good dishes for."--age 61

"I've learned that there are two places you are always welcome: church and Grandma's house.--age 12


"Whoever you are, be noble;
Whatever you do, do well;
Whenever you speak, speak kindly;
Give joy wherever you dwell.


"If you have two loaves of bread,
sell one and buy a hyacinth to feed your soul."



Feed the birds,
eat good food,
take long walks,
breathe fresh air,
read good books,
grow flowers,
soak in the bathtub,
write in a journal,
paint fingernails,>
watch your babies sleep and...


"Man was created in the image of a Creator. Man was created that he might create. It is not a waste of time to be creative."
-Edith Schaeffer



"Then I was the craftsman by His side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in His presence, rejoicing in His whole world and delighting in mankind."

-Proverbs 8:30-31

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

May You Live Happily Ever After

Our niece Polly is marrying Brian this weekend. They are a wonderful Christian couple going into full-time Christian ministry. It is a joy to celebrate. Other than funerals, weddings are our usual family get-togethers. I prefer weddings. He proposed on Catalina Island finally finding a bridge there so it would be an Anne of Green Gables and Gilbert moment for her.


You know you are in love when you can say to someone special...


You are the cheese
to my macaroni.


You are the horizon
to my sky.


You are the bacon
to my eggs.


You are the laces
to my sneakers.


You are the jelly
to my peanut butter.


You are the smile
to my face.


You are the gravy
to my mashed potatoes.


You are the bubbles
to my bath.


You are the milk
to my cookies.


You are the ink
to my pen.


You are the ketchup
to my french fries.


You are the water
to my ocean.


You are the icing
to my cupcake."




Happy Homemaking, Polly & Brian!




"Through wisdom
a house is built
and by understanding
it is established;
And by knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches."

-Prov. 24: 3-4




I promised to tell you how I "flipped" a crystal chandelier to help pay for the trip to Santa Clarita for the wedding: I "gleaned" it for $20 at Goodwill and sold in on Craigslist for a $100.

Sweet!!

BEAUTIFUL

BE YOU

(tiful)




"We have only this moment--
sparkling like a star in our hand--
and melting like a snowflake."

-M. Day




"No spring nor summer beauty
hath such grace,
as I have seen
in one autumnal face."

-John Donne




"The leaves fall,
the wind blows,
and the farm country
slowly changes from
the summer cottons
into its winter wools."

-Henry Beston




"To one who has been long in the city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven--to breathe prayer,
Full in the smile of blue firmament."

-John Keats




"Even if something is left undone,
everyone must time time to sit still
and watch the leaves turn."

-Elizabeth Lawrence

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The War is Over!

We have dogs. We have dogs, a cat, and kids. We had carpet, stained stinky carpet. We spot cleaned it and had it professionally cleaned many times. The stains always bled back and the smell came back like the Cat in the Hat. We ripped it out! Bare, cold cement was refreshing even though it took time to lay the new laminate floor.

I sinned. My first act of sin was stealing a pack of gum at the store. I was forgiven, but the struggle against the sin nature was a continual war. Jesus is not impotent. He doesn't want to use bandaids against sin. Jesus doesn't play peek a boo with our sin covering His eyes to that which took Him to the cross to die. He wants to rip it out. He can give us victory over sin just as He had victory over death. Frail humanity will always fall short of missing the mark of the perfection of God, but we don't have to shake our fist in God's face and continue to choose our own way. The war can cease. This is the peace promised by angels at His birth. It is the rest of God told of in Hebrews 4. Don't fail to enter in. "Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement, he is a rebel who must lay down his arms." C.S. Lewis

The new floor is beautiful adding warmth to the rom. It is so easy to keep clean. I want to keep a clean heart to make a welcome abode for my Lord.




"You can never make the same mistake twice because the second time you make it,

it's not a mistake, it's a choice."





"Shall we give entertainment unto that...which wounded, which pierced,


which slew our dear Lord Jesus?

John Owen












Autumn Apples...


BITE-SIZED APPLE PIES


Taste of Home


1/2 c. sugar


2 tsp. cinnamon


1 pkg. (2 crusts) refrig. pie crust


3 T. melted butter divided


2 med. tart apples each cut into 8 wedges

Set crusts out approximately 15 min. before needed so soft & pliable.

Preheat 425
Peel apple. Combine the cinnamon and sugar. Roll out crust & cut into 8 strips.
Spread each crust with melted butter & sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar.
Wrap ech strip around an apple wedge & place on parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Spread remaining butter on top of each "pie" & sprinkle with remaining cinnamon & sugar.
Bake 425, 15-20 min.








Eradicated (ripped out), not Covered

We have dogs. We have dogs, cats, and kids. We had carpet, nasty carpet. We ripped it out one afternoon even though we had to wait to have the new laminate put in. Cold hard cement was preferable to the old carpet. We were tired of the stench and stuffiness of it. We had spot cleaned it and had it professionally cleaned several times. The spots always came back and the smell.


I had sin in my life. I had committed acts of sin. My first act of sin was stealing a pack of gum at the grocery story. I had said I was sorry and had forgiveness for what I had done, but deeper down there was a struggle. The nature of Sin was still there. Jesus is not impotent. He doesn't come at us with bandaids or play peek a boo with our sin: now you see it, now you don't! Our sin caused His death. God takes it seriously. He can do more than forgive acts of sin, He can deal with the deeper stain of our sin nature. Jesus can rip it out! I had to die to sin: sin is dead to me. Jesus can give us victory over sin just as He had victory over death. It is our will. If the foundation is rotten, lay it bare. Let Him cleanse then fill you with His Holy Spirit. We will never be humanly perfect in this life, but we can enter into His rest. The war of the flesh and spirit can cease. Temptation will never cease. Frail flesh will fall short of the God's perfection, but we will no longer shake our fist in the face of God saying "No!" to His divine will. However, this is how we can truly begin to grow as He is free to show us things that are not pleasing to Him and we willingly yield to His loving discipline. But just as in the Garden the choice is always ours.


Our new wood floors are beautiful adding warmth to our home. The stink and stains are gone.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

FASHION

Growing up in the midwest in the fifties and sixties in a conservative church, fashion was quite different. There were a lot of rules. Hats and gloves were in use for Sundays. Shoes and purses had to match. We could wear petal pushers but not shorts. As we moved to California, we left moo-moos, poodle skirts, and bobbie socks behind. Tent dresses to maxi dresses to mini skirts, hot pants to hip-hugger bell-bottoms to midriff blouses, Gunni Sacs to paisley, and Beatle bangs were the rage. Girls wore dresses to school; slacks weren't permitted till I was a junior in high school, then finally blue jeans. A fashion rule nowadays is if you keep something long enough, it will come back into fashion, and if not, you have a Halloween costume! The Bible has some fashion guidelines for Sundays as well as everyday wear that never grows old...


"And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved,

PUT ON A HEART OF COMPASSION, KINDNESS,

HUMILITIY, GENTLENESS,

AND PATIENCE,

BEARING WITH ONE ANOTHER,

FORGIVING EACH OTHER...

AND BEYOND ALL THESE THINGS,

PUT ON LOVE,

WHICH IS THE PERFECT BOND OF UNITY."

Colossians 3:12-14







Ordinary riches can be stolen.

Real riches, cannot.

In your soul are infinitely precious things

that cannot be taken from you."

unknown



A common expression of our farm folk in one northern California parish,

"OH, MY STARS AND GARTERS!"






"I would be most content if my children

grew up to be the kind of people

who think redecorating consists

mostly of building

more bookshelves."

Ann Quindlen





What fashion faux paux puts a blush to your cheek to think about?


Sabboth Rest

"A saint's life is in the hands of God


as a bow and arrow is in the hands of an archer.


God is aiming at something the saint cannot see.


He stretches and strains, and every now and again


the saint says, "I can not stand any more."


But God does not heed;


He goes on stretching until His purpose is in sight,


then He lets fly.


Oswald Chambers






How often do we look upon God as our last & feeblest resource?


We go to Him because we have nowhere else to go.


And then we learn that the storms of life have driven us,


not upon the rocks, but into the desired haven.


George MacDonald, 1824-1905








The Pearl of Great Price




See that you buy the field


where the pearl is;


Sell all and make a purchase of salvation.


Think it not easy:


for it is a steep ascent to eternal glory.


Many are lying dead by the way,


slain with security.


Samuel Rutherford






Keys for Receiving the Holy Spirit


which helped usher in the Welsh Revival of 1904




1. Confess all known sin, receive forgiveness through Jesus Christ.


2. Remove anything from your life that you are in doubt or feel unsure about.


3.. Be totally yielded and obedient to the Holy Spirit.


4. Publically profess the Lord Jesus Christ.




"A Hymn sung at the Revival...




"Grace and love, like mighty rivers,


Poured incessant from above,


And Heav'n's peace and perfect justice


Kissed a guilty world in love.






Truths are first clouds;


then rain,


then harvest and food.








"Men occasionally stumble over the truth,


but most of them pick themselves up


and hurry off as if nothing had happened."


Winston Churchhill








Jesus is God!


The solid earth,


The ocean broad, and bright,


The countless stars,


Like golden dust,


Strewn 'cross the skies at night,


The wheeling storm,


The dreadful fire,


The wholesome air,


The summer's scent,


The winter's frost,


His own creations fair.




Federick Fahers, Hymns


Friday, October 21, 2011

Susannah Wesley's Prayer

Love not the World



"Lord, by your Apostle John you have told us, love not the world, for it is the heart that you require. Enable me to fix my affections not on sensual pleasures, riches or honours. For if I allow my heart--my affections--to center on anything but you, I actually make that thing my god, and in so doing forfeit my title and pretensions to eternal happiness."




Before Susannah was past her teens, she knew Greek, Latin, French, Theology and Philosophy.

She married at age 20, bore 19 children in 21 years, ten who lived past infancy,

7 girls and 3 boys. She homeschooled her children and managed with one servant.

Her son Charles Wesley wrote 9,000 hymns,

and her son John...


rode 250,000 miles mostly by horseback;

preached 45,000 sermons;

published 233 works including books on

birds, beasts, & insects,

a medical book,

a 4 vol. history of England,

made 40,000 pounds which he gave all away;

set up a free medical clinic,

Sunday schools for the uneducated children who worked the other days,

set up spinning and knitting shops for the poor,

was a missionary to the American colonies,

is said to have saved England morally & spiritually.



"I am content to fill a little space, if

God be glorified."

Susannah Wesley


Oh, Susannah!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A spouse is like your health

A spouse is like your health: take care of it and it can last a lifetime.

"Live with your wife in an understanding way...showing honor..."

God, Marriage, and Family

I Peter 3 & Ephesians 5:22-33



I just heard a great sermon by Pastor Driscoll of Mars Hill Church for men in marriage. I can't wait to hear the one for women in marriage he does with his wife. I want to share these with our women at Bible study. They are online as well: 8witnesses.com


Submission Doesn't Mean...


1. a husband is the ultimate authority (there's the elders and the law).

2. she does not have her own thoughts.

3. a wife does not influence her husband (she gives counsel, wisdom, prayer, help...)

4. a wife must obey her husband's command to sin.

5. a wife is less intelligent or competent than her husband.


Submission Does Mean...


1. equal and complementary roles.

2. we are to submit like Jesus in Gesthemane.

3. a single woman should only marry a man she can follow.

4. husbands are to lead like Christ.

5. Christian marriage shows the Trinity and the Gospel (God is 3 in 1 and men are to take responsiblity for their family's well being like Christ gave Himself for the church.)



I love you, much
(most beautiful darling)
more than anyone in the earth,
and I like you better than everything in the sky."

-E.E. Cummings


J'adore!


Paris has a pedestrian bridge, Le Pont des Arts. All along the fence, people from all over the world have affixed paddlocks to symbolize everlasting love. Can you image the tenth street bridge as our path of love? There will be a prize for any couple who bravely chooses to be the first to paddlock their symbol of love there! Post a picture!!


No one has ever measured,
not even poets,
how much the heart can hold.

-Z. Fitzgerald



The soul would have no rainbow, if the eyes had no tears.

-John Cheney


The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea."

-Isak Dinesen




Posted by a friend today...


Only God can turn a mess into a testimony,
a test into a trial,
a trial into triumph,
a victim into victory.




Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without words,
And never stops at all.


-Emily Dickinson




"Who has not found the Heaven below
Will fail of it above-
For angels rent the house next ours
Wherever we remove."


-Emily Dickinson

For my granddaughter Letticia

For my granddaughter Letticia who has found her wings to fly the nest...



"Remember when you go into the world
to keep your eyes and ears wide open
And be kind.
Love one another.
Take care of each other.
Tell the truth.
Always do your best.
Listen to the big people
and the little people.
Explore new paths and have fun.
Know that you are loved like crazy.
Give thanks for all your blessings.
Above all else,
love God,
You will do wonderful things in this world."



"Wind to thy wings,
Light to thy path,
Dreams to thy heart."



"Know, oh beloved,
that you were not created in jest
or at random,
but marvelously made
and for some great end."



"Never lose a holy curiosity."

-Albert Einstein


Love,
Grandma




Kind words,
Kind looks,
Kind acts,
And warm handshakes.
These are means of grace
When men in trouble are fighting
Unseen battles.
-John Hall


Instruments of Good Works...



Not to give way to anger,
Not to nurse a grudge,
Not to entertain deceit in one's heart,
Not to give a false peace,
Not to forsake charity,
Not to swear for fear of perjuring oneself,
To utter truth from heart and mouth,
To do no wrong to anyone,
To bear patiently wrongs done to oneself,
Not to curse those who curse us,
but rather to bless them,
To bear persecution for justice sake,
Not to be proud,
Not addicted to wine,
Not a great eater,
Not drowsy,
Not lazy,
Not a grumbler,
Not a detractor,
To put one's hope in God,
To attribute to God,
and not to self,
Whatever good one sees in oneself.
-Rule of St. Benedict

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sentimental Journey

Sentimental Journey


I have clear memories at two and three years old in the "brick house" in northern Kansas City, discovering the mystery of dot to dot coloring books; playing under the huge, shiney black grand piano; climbing onto the dining table to scribble in my own baby book; the laughing of pastor gatherings in our home around our table; my favorite sailor dress; my brother's cowboy bedspread and curtains; drinking my uncle's coffee; riding the plaster pink flamingos in the yard; our first "gray ghost" huge dog; racing in my brother's tennis shoes and falling and having to have my lip sewn up; the trumpets & trombones playing along with my mother at the piano and dancing in the pew at church, Dundee Hills Church of the Nazarene which my father planted; my babysitters John and Calle Young: Calle still calls and writes birthday and Christmas cards into her nineties!



"You were born an original.
Don't die a copy."

-John Mason




A move to Lawrence, Kansas at three years old, my brother's Blondie and Dagwood wallpaper; the blockhouse in our huge elm tree; walking to fish in farmer's ponds having to go around staring cows; vacations at the Lake of the Ozark where we learned to swim and the lapping of the water against our row boat; the horse-drawn ice cream truck, Harry Belafonti records; family council meetings with Robert's Rules of Order with agenda items like what to do in case of atomic attack or Celia is requesting more T.V. time than "Mickey Mouse Club," "Mighty Mouse," "Roy Rogers," "Sky King," and family programs,"What's My Line," and "Candid Camera"; Mingtoy, our siamese cat; an old couple who babysat us who was one of the creators of Howdie Dowdie puppets showing us his own characters, or ancient Mrs. Wisner who had white hair once unbraided fell to the floor; National Geographic sex education; original Barbie dolls and Annabelle, my Floradora antique bisque doll, and our three story, handmade doll house; petal pushers; bringing home chicks won at the city Easter Egg Hunt; keeping twenty-three turtles in our backyard; the smell of pews and wondering if I could be saved if I couldn't squeeze out any tears; camp meeting in Kansas City, being called to dinner and the taberacle by the deep din of a huge bell and drinking frosty cold, Orange Crush bottles; three story brick Cordley Elementary School, and KU football games up on the lawn where my dad could watch with binoculars, eating popcorn, and the squeak of tennis shoes in the Jayhawk gym: "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, K...U!"



"It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind
that we make use from time to time,
playful deeds, and jokes."

-Thomas Aquinas



Pasadena, California was next at nine to sixteen in a beautiful colonial home with a porch's stately columns along the whole front of the house; being around Gram and cousins, aunts and uncles; coming home for lunch and watching "Let's Make a Deal," and at night "My Three Sons," "Leave it to Beaver," McHale's Navy," and "The Monkeys;" playing with troll dolls; climbing the walnut tree in the back yard; skate boarding a mile downhill from Pasadena College to our home; camping as a family every year in Lake City, Colorado; Girl Scouts and camping at the fifty yard line in the Rose Bowl with hundreds of others; walking a mile to Marshall Junior High and wearing leather sandles my dad helped me make, or combat boots, or heels; walking a mile to the library and reading forty books one summer; walking thirty miles in my old combat boots to raise money for world hunger; babysitting forty hours a week for $20 beginning at age eleven my summers and Christmas vacations; discovering yard sales; trips to the beach, my favorite, Laguana Beach; "The Beach Boys," "Wipe Out," "Simon and Garfunkle," "Peter, Paul, and Mary,"; family gatherings in Gram's backyard, and attending Bresee Church of the Nazarene and camp meetings on Pasadena campus; becoming an artist...



"Every child is an artist.
The problem is how tor remain an artist
once we grow up."

-Pablo Picasso



Morro Bay, California, or rather across the bay in Los Osos was our next home, this time with an ocean view of the five miles of sand spit and Morro Rock; dune buggies; walking between the rows of eucalyptus trees, in sage brush and sand; Morro Bay High School; goey duck clam digging; fog and frizzy hair; sewing my own clothes and coat; Montano de Oro; Avila Beach where it was warm enough to wear a bathing suit; a church plant in an Odd Fellows Hall dance hall, my mother playing a player piano, and Sunday School around a pool table; attempting to surf with a long board; riding horses; Cambria; Moon Beach; fish and chips and The Galley's clam chowder; godly examples and the light going on when the Word of God came alive in Sunday School; taking a stand to be different from all my partying classmates; meeting my husband; going away my first quarter of college to Pasadena College and coming home after Christmas to go to college with him at Cuesta Junior College after becoming engaged.



"Out of gratitude and love for Him,
we should desire to be reckoned fools.
Laugh and grow strong."

-Ignatius of Loyola


After our wedding, we followed Pasadena College to their new campus at Point Loma, San Diego, California; working in the library while going to school; walking up steep hills in clogs to go to classes; beautiful ocean views but too busy studying to ever go to the beach; the first chapel in the outdoor amphitheater where a pelican's droppings landed on my head with such a dump that girls were screaming and pointing before it even hit; living in married student housing for $100 a month which was an entire dorm unity with two toilets, two showers, and three sinks in our bathroom and a hotplate on an orange crate for cooking (no oven); wrestling with my head and heart and coming to peace with holiness teaching under Dr. Albert Lown of England; Reuben Welch our chaplain and second cousin saying, "I want to be a happy boy--the other one is no fun!" Then we had to move off campus to a duplex in Linda Vista, playing horseshoes with our ancient landlord next door and the little old lady in the next apartment teaching us how to eat cheese and crackers with green onions in them; a rusty washing machine that drained into the sink and hanging out laundry on the clothesline; going to see "Jesus Christ, Super Star," at Balboa Park; La Scala, the best Italian thick pizza for $12, which we stretched into two meals with leftovers; spending $25 every two weeks for groceries and making it a date since spending so much money was an occasion; going to a mall once in three years; rediscovering the joy of reading in Children's Literature class and reading classics aloud to my husband who had missed them in his youth.




"Hold to Christ,
and for the rest, be totally uncommitted."

-H. Butterfield



Another day I will tell of memories of seminary in Kansas City, our first church in Weaverville, California, churches in Yreka, Roseburg, Hallwood, and now Marysville, California, and the birth of our three children, adoption of our next three children and multiplying to thirteen grandchildren and one great grandchild.


"Be persuaded, timid soul,
that He has loved you too much
to cease loving you."

-Fenelon



"I would rather live in a world
where my life is surrounded by mystery
than live in a world so small
that my mind could comprehend it."

-Harry E. Fosdick



"Every action of our lives
touches on some chord
that will vibrate in eternity."

-Edwin H. Chapin
1814-1880

Monday, October 17, 2011

The wise (wo)man

"The wise (wo)man must remember
that while (s)he is a descendent of the past,
(s)he is a parent of the future."

-Herbert Spencer




"What thou lov'st well
is thy true heritage."

-Ezra Pound




"Only the heart
knows how to
find what is precious."

-Fyodor Dostoyevsky




"...where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

-Matthew 6:21




"The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high...
He shall be the stability of your times,
A wealth of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
The fear of the Lord is his treasure.
Your eyes will see the King in His beauty."

-Isaiah 33:5-6, 17




"Ah, but a (wo)man's reach should exceed (her) grasp, or what's a heaven for?" unknown




Mercy



The quality of Mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven,
Upon the place beneath. It is twice bless'd,
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes...

-William Shakespeare




another friend's post...


Forgiveness


"Anyone can hold a grudge,
but it takes a person of character to forgive.
When you forgive, you release yourself
from a painful burden.
Forgiveness doesn't mean what happened was okay,
and it doesn't mean that person should still be welcome in your life.
It just means you have made peace with the pain,
and are ready to let it go."

-Billy-Jo Bryant-Libby




"Never be proud or unkind, my dears,
to any poor man, woman, or child.
If they are bad, think that they would have been better
if they had had kind friends, and good homes,
and had been better taught."

-Charles Dickens, "The Life of Our Lord"




from my precious niece's post today...


"Though trials befall us,
And clouds may arise,
We know that the sunshine
Will break thro' the skies.
In light or in darkness,
Whate'er may be,
If Thou are still with us,
Then happy are we."




This time of the year
in the hourglass of the sand of seasons
quickly descending,
it is emptying of the past year.
As a leaf weaned from a branch
yields itself to the crisp air to fly away,
so we let go of hurts, pain, and grudges.
A dying leaf is robed in a new beauty.
If October then is the emptying month,
November becomes the time
of being filled to overflowing
with gratitude.
Thankfulness causes us to be ready to receive
the gift of December,
the celebration of the birth of our Lord,
the bambino,
the bebe,
Jesus.




Embrace the season,

Celia

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Home again, home again, jiggety jog!

Random Questions from retreat:

If God has a bottle to collect our tears, what container does He use to collect all our laughter?
How long can you be lost in Truckee?
Who has the heaviest purse?
What if you could see your sins dissolve into His sea of forgetfulness?
Where's the closest Starbucks?
Who's going next year?

We had a sensational time of fellowship, beauty, relaxation, food, and God's blessings. We laughed, and prayed, and cried, and laughed some more, hiked, ate, played, and slept a little. Two hundred women's voices raised in song is heavenly. Our young speaker brought the Word and workshops helped us learn to apply the Word. Weselyan women are celebrating 100 years of being a force for good in the church and world this year. It's good to be with some of God's choicest sisters. Then we descend the mountaintop...



Where we love is home,

Home that our feet may leave,

but not our hearts.


Oliver Wendell Holmes




Home again, home again, jiggety jog!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Finally

"Finally, (sisters), whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute,
--if there's any excellence or anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things."

-Philippians 4:8



Entertainment...

In that vein, may I recommend any version of "Pride and Prejudice," "Emma," "Sense and Sensibility," "Persuasion," "North and South," "Cranford," "Return to Cranford," "Berkley Square," "Jane Eyre," "The Ultimate Gift," "bella," "Young Victoria," "Mrs. Brown" (Queen Victoria), "Anne of Green Gables," "Fireproof," "Courageous," "Soul Surfer," movies or books.





On entertaining...


"We dare not trust our wit for making our house pleasant to our friends, so we buy ice cream."


-Ralph Waldo Emerson, (Way to go Ralphie!)



or "You can't buy happiness, but you can buy ice cream. And that's kind of the same thing."



or "Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from your cone."



or "Never trust a skinny cook."



or "When one cannot change the World, decorations should be changed."





"Every house where love abides and friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For then the heart can rest."


-Henry Van Dyke





"Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
be it ever so humble,
there's no place like home."


-John Howard Payne





A carving over the family's mantle that the oldest generation quoted to the younger at a family reunion, "North, South, East, or West, home is best."





"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." E.B. White





"The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish woman tears hers down." Prov. 14:1


What are you doing or not doing to build or tear down your home?






"People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out.
But when darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed
if there is a light within..."


-Elizabeth Kubler Ross





"There is always time for courtesy."




"People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be." Abe Lincoln




"Your day will go the way the corners of your mouth turn."




"A family is a unit composed not only of children,
but of men, women, and occasional animal and the common cold."


-Ogden Nash





"Eat less, chew more
Whine less, breathe more,
Talk less, say more,
Hate less, love more,
And all good things will be yours."





Carmelized Walnuts



Preheat oven to 325



Combine: 2 T. light corn syrup, 1 cup walnuts, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 T. sugar.



Use parchment paper. Stir occasionally to break up clums. Bake until deep, golden brown & sugar is bubbling.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sing for the heart of a friend

Sing for the heart of a friend may be empty of song without yours. Perchance a time will come when you need theirs.




"Keep a green tree in your heart
and perhaps a singing bird will come."




"I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.


I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?


Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow




"...singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord."
-Ephesians 5:19




"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."

-Berthon Anerbach




"Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth,
Sings hymns at heaven's gate..."

-William Shakespeare





"When on a summer's morn I wake,
and open my two eyes,
Out to the clear, born-singing rills
My bird-like spirit flies.
So hear the Blackbird, Cuckoo, Thrush,
Or any bird in song
And common leaves that hum all day
Without a throat or tongue,
And when time strikes the hour for sleep,
Back in my room alone,
My heart has many a sweet bird's song,
And one that's all my own.

-Welsh poet, William Henry Davis, 1871-1940




Delicious Autumn!


My very soul is wedded to it,
And if I were a bird
I would fly about the earth
Seeking the successive autumns!
"Use what talents you you posess;

the woods would be very silent

if no birds sang except

those that sang best."


Henry Van Dyke







"An early morning walk

is a blessing

for the whole day."


Henry David Thoreau







The Best Gift to Give:



...to your enemy is forgiveness,

...to an opponent, to tolerance,

...to a friend, your heart,

...to your child, a good example,

...to a father, good-will and love,

...to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you,

...to yourself, respect,

...to all men, charity.


unknown






"Always give without remembering,

Always receive without forgetting."


unknown





"Life isn't always tied up with a bow,

but it is still a gift."





...let not your adornment

...let not your adornment be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be



THE HIDDEN PERSON OF THE HEART
WITH THE IMPERISHABLE QUALITY
OF A GENTLE AND QUIET SPIRIT
WHICH IS PRECIOUS
IN THE SIGHT OF GOD.
-I Peter 3:3-4




"Seek to cultivate a buoyant, joyous sense
of the crowded kindnesses of God
in your daily life."
-Alexander MacLaren




"What's the earth with all its art, verse, music, worth
compared with love, found, gained, and kept?"
-Robert Browning



"Let us leave tokens of our joyfulness in every place."
-Apocrypha




For your October snack, mix caramel candy corn with mixed nuts in a clear jar with a lid: pretty & yummy!




"We are not held back by the love we didn't receive in the past,
but by the love we're not extending in the present."
-Marianne Williamson




You only live once.
Live beautifully!




AN EASY FALL CRAFT:



a simple clipboard
blackboard paint
chalk & twine





Paint, dry, tie chalk to board, & write:
pick your favorite quote
or Bible verse & hang.




LIFE IS
BEAUTY
FULL




ON AUTUMN



The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown,
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.


-Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886




FAVORITES OF THE FALL...





carmel apples, the smell of rain, clouds, the last of the garden gathered, soup, a fire, a drive to see the color, a sweater, a friendly pair of jeans, a brown leather purse, soft moccasins, a good read, a Jane Austin movie, celtic hymns, ladies Bible study, white pumpkins, orange pumpkins, collecting leaves & acorns like a child, oatmeal cookies, a cat to curl up with and a dog to pet, closets collecting Christmas presents, a soft pillow and a warm comforter, and a harvest moon.




A Spark



Cold, dead ashes barren lay
In a fireplace devoid of warmth.
A chill that breathes
A slight breeze
Stirs the cauldren of soot
Into a steam of dirty air.
Moth-like ashes
Flutter across the hearth.



Dead love letters
Saved & tied with twine
Despairingly are tossed
Upon the pyre,
Hope abandoned.



Suddenly a flicker.
A flame erupts.
A buried spark
fanned by a barest of breath
comes to life
to give warmth to the heart
and a glow to the darkness.



He who is Love
Died
breathing His last breath for us.
So too, we must die,
laying it all down
to live.
Love never fails.


-Celia Jolley






*Smokey the Bear stuff or how we almost burned down our first church:


Our first pastorate was in heaven, or close to it in a small, mountain mining community in northern California, our "green pastures." The 100 year old building was the original three story wooden schoolhouse heated by a wood furnance. It was our turn to clean the church. My husband, Mr. Thorough, cleaned out the cold ashes and stacked it in a cardboard box on other trash to carry away on the back porch. Then we went calling. We got the call, "The church is on fire!" Fortunately, someone on a walk saw it flare up, and the volunteer fire department was timely. When we arrived they were shaking their heads saying, "It looks like arson." No real damage except to our greenhorn reputation. An ember is not dead even when ashes are cold to the touch. I know of what I speak.




"We are shaped and fashioned by what we love."


-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe




"I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life
which are the real ones after all."


-Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It's Fall Y'All!

Fall has hardly touched our valley yet, but this weekend many gal-friends and I are treking up to Lake Tahoe where the colors collide with the blue-green of the water. It's Ladies Retreat again. I'm so glad it is scheduled in the autumn of each year. Good food, good friends, good speakers, good music, and pure beauty. I'm packing my camera, chocolate, a sweater and my Bible. We will have many photos up when this blog's newness is wearing off. We look forward to a stop in Truckee on the way home to eat Mexican Food in a little out of the way restaurant, a tradition. The only sadness is leaving some of you behind. I had a little fun raising my own money for retreat by selling an old, gold watch face from my father's things (no sentimental value as he had purchased it in an estate sale) and cashing in on the gold $124! I'll tell you later what treasure I flipped to help finance an upcoming trip to my niece's wedding. My hobby I call "gleaning," is searching yard sales and thrift stores for "beauties with character." Some of my favorite things I have found junking at the Lake, but usually the time there is too precious during this season set aside to nourish the soul.

God's World

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!

Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!

Thy mists, that roll and rise!


Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag

And all but cry with color!

That gaunt crag

To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!

World, world, I cannot get thee close enough!


Long have I known a glory in it all,

But never knew I this;

Here such a passion is

As stretcheth me apart. Lord I do fear

Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year.

My soul is all but out of me, let fall

No burning leaf; Prithee, let no bird call.


Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1892




Beauty

"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life." Rachel Carlson, 1907-1964

Have you walked with beauty that takes your breath away, that pains the heart about to burst from its filling? Beauty stretches the soul until a vast hole exists that only the immensity of God can fill. It is the taste of cold that chills the teeth, the cool hand on a hot cheek, the smell of snow on pine needle platters, warm sand between the toes, the sunshine that envelopes the face and makes radiant the body. It is the mountains, the seas, the sky, the fauna and creatures and song, a baby, a wistful child, the intense gaze of a beloved. The longing and yearning of creation is an insatiable hunger and thirst for beauty that can only truly be filled in the perfection of heaven. Perhaps beauty is a facet of love to be nurtured in the soul.

-Celia Jolley

Ma Maison: C'est Delicieux!

Ma Maison: C'est Delicieux!

2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed, each sheet cut into 12 squares.
1 large beaten egg to blend with a spot of water for glaze.
four 3.5 ounce bars bittersweet chocolate cut into six 2X3/4" pieces.

1. Preheat oven to 400. Line baking sheet with parchment.
2. Brush top of each square with egg glaze.
3. Place 1 choc. piece on edge of square.
4. Roll up dough tightly to enclose chocolate. Repeat with remaining pastry & chocolate.
5. Place seam side down (can be made 1 day ahead if covered with syran wrap & refrigerated.)
6. Brush top with egg glaze & sprinkle with sugar.
7. Bake 15 min.




My Symphony

My Symphony


To live content with small means...
To seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion...
To be worthy, not respectable,
and wealthy, not rich...
To study hard, think quietly,
Talk gently, act frankly...
To listen to stars and birds,
To babes and sages
With open heart...
To bear all cheerfully,
Do all bravely,
Await occasions, hurry never...
In a word,
To let the spiritual unbidden and unconscious
Grow up through the common...
This is to be my symphony.

-William Henry Channing, 1810-1884



"I don't think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that remains."

-Anne Frank



"It's better to have a rich soul than to be rich."




"I wish that life should not be cheap, but sacred...
the days to be as centuries,
loaded, fragrant."

-Ralph Waldo Emmerson



"The breezes taste of apple peel.
The air is full of smells to feel--
Ripe fruit, old footballs, burning brush,
New books, erasers, chalk and such.
The bee, his hive, well-honeyed hum
And Mother cuts Chrysanthemums.
Like plates washed clean with suds,
The days are polished
With a morning haze."

-John Updike
"If there is righteousness in the heart,
there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character,
there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home,
there will be order in the nation..."






"You don't have to be wealthy to live richly."






"A (woman) should hear a little music, read a little poetry,
and see a fine picture every day of (her) life,
in order that worldly cares may not obliterate
the sense of the beautiful
which God has implanted in the human soul."


-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe






"The Lord will indeed give what is good
and our land will yield its harvest."


-Psalm 85:12




"Listen...the wind is rising
and the air is wild with leaves.
Winter is an etching,
Spring a watercolor,
Summer an oil painting,
And autumn...
A mosaic of them all."


-William Henry Channing, 1810-1884