Sunday, April 28, 2013

Amazing Love: The Story of Hosea

A dear friend of our family shared this with us.  What a beautiful picture of God's love for His people.  A wonderful film for the whole family!  The book of Hosea shall never be the same to us. Thank you Isak for sharing this!  You have once again inspired us and helped us to see our Lord's love in a deeper way.  May we all understand this message and accept God's love and seek to love one another unconditionally.  There is someone very special in our life that we very much feel this way about. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Everyday but Amazing Heroes!

This is truly a precious post written by Lisa Jacobson from Club31Women!  
And I can so testify about my Dad that he is one precious guy and 100% an amazing hero and so are my brothers!  I don't know where we would be without them and all that they do!
I hope you all are blessed by reading this post and encouraged as ladies to appreciate and show that appreciation for your heroes and that all of you guys will be encouraged to know that you truly are appreciated and though not usually recognized in the world, you truly are heroes and we are so thankful for you! 
(Make sure you listen to the amazing song by Paul Overstreet at the end of this post!)

 The Lone Ranger lives on.

No, really he does.

I know this because most every weekday our little boys run next door and watch him save the Western Frontier over at Grandpa's house. It's 3:00 in the afternoon and the whole house shakes as they come pounding down the stairs and go flying out the front door.

Slam! Slam! Slam! Three boys. Three slams. Without fail.

And even though this event takes place nearly each day, it's still a special occasion. The Lone Ranger. Grandpa. And Fruit Snacks. Our boys' world filled with goodness and heroes. Just the way it should be.

But boys aren't the only ones with heroes. Girls can have them too.

It's a fact. Because this girl is married to one.

Oh, I'm not saying that he can leap buildings in a single bound or save the big city from an alien invasion. He's more of an everyday hero. An ordinary, hard-working, honest sort of guy. Taking care of his wife and looking after his children. Standing up for what's right and watching out for those who are in need. Following God.

If you ask me, those are the best kind of heroes.

And probably the kind you married too. Simply doing what must be done. No one would ever guess that he's actually a superhero in disguise.

Even he might not guess it - but it's evident to you. So it might be about time to reveal his secret identity. He's your hero.

You might as well let him know....

You need him.
Like I need mine. Not too long ago I was looking for a rescue. It's not that I couldn't handle the situation on my own; it's that I didn't want to. Some guy went on the internet and started flinging insults. Against me. Personally.

So I brought my laptop over to my husband and showed him what he'd written. In his opinion, the whole thing was rather ridiculous (not me, the guy's accusations), but he went out there and defended my honor. I loved what he said and how he said it. But mostly I loved the way he protected me from this big Internet bully.

My hero. Girly sigh.

You lean on him.
And why not? It might sound out-of-step with today's independent woman, but - as capable as we are - I'm thankful to have a man I can rely on. He's the first one I'll call if there's an emergency or disaster. He's slain mice in the pantry. Mopped up overflowing toilets. Calmed down an out-of-control neighbor. And he's held me in his arms while I sobbed my heart out over a deep and devastating loss.

A true hero. Quietly loving me.

And you'd be lost without him.
Maybe this feels a bit over the top? It's not. My oldest daughter would likely have died if it wasn't for him. When she suddenly stopped breathing miles and miles away from any medical help, his quick thinking and fast action kept her going until LifeFlight could arrive. I could see it in the headlines:

DAD KEEPS DAUGHTER BREATHING. While Mom Watches and Weeps.

He never made it into the papers that day. But he should have.

A great hero. On the front page of my heart.

So in this day when the world is desperate for goodness and heroes, make sure your husband knows he's just the kind of guy for the job. Doing what he's doing. Honest. Hard-working. Looking after his wife and family. Standing up and watching out. Following God.

An everyday hero.

The kind you and I need. And certainly the kind this world could use right now.

He's a real hero.

In His grace,

Lisa is the happily-ever-after wife of Matt Jacobson, literary agent and writer, and together they enjoy raising 8 children. Please join her over at Club31Women, a blog for any wife, mother, or sister who is looking for Biblical encouragement and inspiration. 

Find her on facebook: Club31Women

~Posted By Breanna

Monday, April 22, 2013

"Oh, for grace to love the rough paths, because we see his footprints upon them!"
- C.H. Spurgeon -

Thursday, April 18, 2013

For the Guys :-)

Besides our posts that we hope are spiritually encouraging to all, we tend to post a lot specifically for ladies.  This post is for the guys who read our blog.

This is a Dockers pants add that was shared by Doug Phillips at the Sufficiency of Scripture Conference put on by the NCFIC a few years ago.  I thought it was neat and wrote it down after we got the CDs.  Definitely a call to manhood, which we are so blessed to be seeing in the upcoming generation of Christian young men.  Keep pressing on dear brothers!  We need you!

Dockers Pants Add
Once upon a time men wore pants, and they wore them well.  Women rarely had to open doors, and little old ladies never crossed the street alone.  Men took charge because that's what they did.  But somewhere along the way the world decided it no longer needed men.  Disco by disco, latte by foamy non-fat latte, men were stripped of their cockies, and left stranded on the road between boyhood and androgyny.  But today there are questions our genderless society has no answers for.  The world sits idly by as cities crumble.  Children misbehave, and those little old ladies remain on one side of the street.  For the first time since bad guys, we need heroes.  We need grownups.  We need men to put down the plastic fork, step away from the salad bar, and untie the world from the tracks of complacency.  It's time to get your hands dirty.  It's time to answer the call of manhood.  It's time to wear pants.

Following is a link to an excellent article that I had read about a year ago:
What Lifeboats and Grief Ships Can Teach Modern Americans by Geoffrey Botkin

Below is a link to another article written by a "internet friend" of ours:
The Immortal Nobility of Titanic by Andrew Romanowitz

"So I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.  Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law...: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."  -Joshua 1:5b,7-9

"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong."  -1 Corinthians 16:13

Posted by Brittany

A Truly Beautiful Piece of Art!

 Lovely piano arrangement of How Great Thou Art with Moonlight Sonata by Phyllis Morgan Chetakian. Phyllis began playing piano by ear at the early age of 3 years, when one Sunday afternoon, she sat down at her grandmother's piano and played a hymn that had been sung that day in church. Over the years, she has performed as a concert pianist and also toured with and accompanied Norma Zimmer (the Champagne Lady of Lawrence Welk) and Thurl Ravenscroft (aka Tony the Tiger and vocalist in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." I hope you find this piece uplifting.  ~Lori Hugill

Instrumental music at it's finest!  (In my ever so humble opinion. :-) )  Mom found this one yesterday, and I thought it was just too amazing not to share here.

Embracing being created female and what that means

So true!....

And I think all of us ladies want to be truly beautiful women because Christ is transforming us from the inside out!  I was very blessed and challenged by a sermon by Pastor Voddie Baucham this week on womanhood.  He goes through Titus 2 and defines our role and explains the passage, including shedding light on what it means when it says that we are to be "reverent in behavior".   It's one that would be well worth your time to listen to it at least once! Here's the link to the sermon-

The Lord has really been teaching me a lot about what my role is as a woman and I want to share with you a summary of what He's been mercifully teaching me.  And to do that, I'm simply going to share with you what I wrote on my about page on Google+ on what I call...

My Life's Passion!
I rejoice to have been created female and given this distinctive calling of womanhood.  It is my earnest desire to display the glory of Christ in my life in ways that would not be displayed if there was no womanhood by fully embracing this amazing calling of being a vessel filled with love, loving the Lord with all my heart, soul, strength and mind and recklessly abandoning my life to Him and His purposes for me in pouring myself out as a willing vessel to love and serve my family and build the Kingdom of Christ in that, and to love and serve His people, and to care for and love the needy.  And it is my earnest desire to encourage other young ladies to fully embrace and delight in this distinctive and blessed calling that we've been given, despite what our culture tells us that we're wasting our lives.  I haven't always felt this way, but by the grace of God, He has opened my eyes to see and embrace this truth with all my heart and I so desire to encourage my fellow sisters in Christ in this way as well.  I greatly look forward to the time when the Lord brings the man (my currently missing half) that He created me to be a helpmeet to into my life to love and serve with all my heart!  But for now, I'm waiting on His timing and praying earnestly for him and for God to bring me to him, and seeking to use my time diligently and bring glory to Christ in all I do.  May we all strive to display the glory of Jesus Christ in our lives!  :-)

And this is exactly what He's been teaching me...that He has a glorious purpose for my life- to display His glory through the distinctive and special calling that He has given me as a female in true womanhood!  Oh that we would all embrace this with all our hearts and search His Word to learn what this looks like and really means!  I encourage you to please listen to the sermon by Mr. Baucham, as he does such an excellent job in biblically defining our role as women.  

Be blessed in being created it and embrace it for the glory of our King!  It will impact those around us in amazing ways!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"To me, a lady is not frilly, flouncy, flippant, frivolous and fluff-brained, but she is gentle.  She is gracious.  She is godly and she is giving... You and I, if we are women, have the gift of femininity.  Very often it is obscured, just as the image of God is obscured in all of us... The more womanly we are,the more manly men will be, and the more God is glorified. As I say to you women, 'Be women. Be only women. Be real women in obedience to God.'"
~Elisabeth Elliot~
"If you want health for your souls, and if you want to be the instruments of bringing health to others, do not turn your gaze forever within, as though you could find Christ there. Nay, turn your gaze away from your own miserable experiences, away from your own sin, to the Lord Jesus Christ as He is offered to us in the gospel. 'As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.' Only when we turn away from ourselves to that uplifted Savior shall we have healing for our deadly hurt."
-J. Gresham Machen

New Chicks!

We just got our first batch of chicks for the year today.  Here are a couple pictures of Dad and the little kids taking a peak before transferring them to the brooder in the barn.

Spring is such a fun time with everything coming back to life.  Hope all of you are enjoying your spring too.
Posted by Brittany

Monday, April 15, 2013

Worry and Rocking Chairs

Worry is like a rocking chair, it will give you something to do but get you nowhere.

A sweet older friend (86) that I made several years ago, at a store that I shop at frequently; shared this with me the other day.  I thought it was really neat.
posted by ~Karen

The Death of Pretty

Found this excellent article by Pat Archbold.

This post is intended as a lament of sorts, a lament for something in the culture that is dying and may never been seen again.
Pretty, pretty is dying.
People will define pretty differently.  For the purposes of this piece, I define pretty as a mutually enriching balanced combination of beauty and projected innocence.
Once upon a time, women wanted to project an innocence.  I am not idealizing another age and I have no illusions about the virtues of our grandparents, concupiscence being what it is.  But some things were different in the back then.  First and foremost, many beautiful women, whatever the state of their souls, still wished to project a public innocence and virtue.  And that combination of beauty and innocence is what I define as pretty.
By nature, generally when men see this combination in women it brings out their better qualities, their best in fact.  That special combination of beauty and innocence, the pretty inspires men to protect and defend it.
Young women today do not seem to aspire to pretty, they prefer to be regarded as hot. Hotness is something altogether different.  When women want to be hot instead of pretty, they must view themselves in a certain way and consequently men view them differently as well.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Treat yourself to~ Homemade Natural Lavender Bath-salts

What could be more delightful than a relaxing evening bath with wonderful smelling bath salts that leaves your skin soft and smelling beautiful?!  Okay, truth be told...this is actually quite a rarity around here.  But, it will happen occasionally.  :-)  When I saw this recipe online to make natural, homemade bath salts, I simply couldn't resist!  Mom's birthday was coming up and I knew she would really enjoy it.  Actually, several years ago we had bought some for her, but the idea of soaking in a bunch of chemicals and absorbing it into your skin...who really wants that?  So, I excitedly mixed up this alternative and it really is just like store bought bath salts only you can truly feel good about using it because of it's many health benefits.
Let's look at some of the health benefits of using these natural bath salts, shall we?

Lavender Essential oil:
The health benefits of lavender oil include its ability to remove nervous tension, relieve pain, enhance blood circulation, disinfect scalp and skin and treat respiratory problems.  Lavender oil is used in skin care due to its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. It is soothing for skin problems and is used to treat various skin disorders such as acne,wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammations. It is used for itchy skin, hand care, cracked skin, bruises, shock injuries, acne scars, blisters, abscesses, sunburns, wounds, and burns. Lavender oil is also useful in hair care as it can be very effective on lice and lice eggs or nits. It is effective for oily hair as it regulates sebum production. Lavender oil is a great pain reliever. It helps to relieve the pains caused by sore muscles, tense muscles, muscular aches, rheumatism, sprains, backache and lumbago.  Lavender oil has a calming effect, which helps in treating migraines, headaches, anxiety,depression, nervous tension and emotional stress. Its refreshing aroma removes nervous exhaustion and restlessness and increases mental activity. ~information taken from

Epsom Salt:
Epsom salt is made up of magnesium and sulfate, which can help improve health in numerous ways. A lack of magnesium—which helps regulate the activity of more than 300 enzymes in the body—can contribute to high blood pressure, hyperactivity, heart problems and other health issues, doctors warn. Sulfate is essential for many biological processes. It helps to flush toxins and form proteins in joints, brain tissue and mucin proteins.  Soaking in an Epsom salt bath is a safe, easy way to increase the body's levels of both magnesium and sulfate.  Epsom Salt, or magnesium sulfate, has been used for hundreds of years to help soothe aching muscles and remove toxins from the body, researchers at SaltWorks say. Epsom Salt can also help relieve stress by soaking in a salt water bath, treat skin problems and treat the common cold. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic say that compounds found in Epsom Salt can help treat constipation as well. ~information from and

Wow!  I don't know about you...but I find that pretty amazing!  You are not only making a healthy choice for your skin, but for your hair, muscles, nerves and more!  After reading this, I may just consider taking a bath more often!  :-)

Here's The Basics on How to Make Bath-salts
(and it's not hard at all!)

  •  1 cup Epsom salt
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 20-30 drops lavender essential oil (or whatever essential oil you wish to use)
  • purple (or red and blue) food coloring (optional-it's just for a pretty touch in the jar)
Mix all ingredients together except for food coloring.  Next add enough food coloring to make it the desired color, mixing well to make sure all of the coloring is mixed in.  Place in a glass pint jar (or jar of your choice) and screw on lid.  Wala!  It's that easy to make inexpensive bath salts that are good for your skin and not filled with harmful chemicals.

Note: You can use any essential oil that you prefer and change the color accordingly.

Lastly, go start the bath water and ENJOY!!!!!

~Posted By Breanna

Sinner's Prayer: Yea or Nay? #555

What an excellent follow-up to what Thomas wrote in yesterday's post!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Guest post by a dear brother and friend

Abide in Me......

Does it ever bug you when you hear a “professing christian” say, “I just asked Jesus to come in my heart and now I'm saved, or Johnny was an alcoholic but went he was three years old he asked Jesus to come in his heart so we know where he is.”?

I wanted to address some of these fallacies as they are on my mind. First off, getting saved is not “asking Jesus to come in your heart” trust me I know first hand.

Picture this.... little angelic me at age seven, did I mention that I would be classified as a fallen angel. Threatening my big sisters, who were picking on me, with a razor knife. Screaming like a banshee and then running away... well, at least to the edge of the yard. You know that evening, waiting for certain death in the laundry room from my father, feeling defiant rather than repentant, “getting saved” was the last thing on my mind.

Dad came in and started lecturing me and asking me why I kept doing evil things over and over and ended up leading me through the “sinners prayer”. My thoughts were, and I still remember them, were this is awesome!!! No spanking, Mom and Dad are happy and now I'm going to heaven.

I tell you that for seven more years I was just as lost and just as hell bound as before. I had no change, no desire for God, no compassion for others and thought only for myself. There is a lot more to my testimony but that is for another time. It took the death of another man before my eyes to awaken the hardened sinner inside.

Let me break it down, Jesus requires us to do four things. These things are only accomplished by the working of grace in our hearts, for as carnal men we are unable to do them. One, Repent. Two, Believe. Three, Confess. Four, Abide.

I expect that most who read this article will understand these things to be true having experienced them for themselves. I wish therefore to touch on the fourth. Jesus says, Abide in e, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” John 15:4

Drunk Johnny is in hell, no amount of lying from a man who calls himself a preacher will change that. Why? Abide in Me, and I in you.

The doctrine of eternal security is accepted across the reformed world of Christendom, but most only say, “Once saved always saved.” I would agree, however the true question is were they ever even saved? “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”

Are you abiding in Christ? He says very clearly, Abide in Me and I in you. This is a two way street. Are you spending time with Jesus, in his word, in meditation, in prayer? Do you think that God is going to live in you honestly if you haven't allowed him to purge your heart as he did the temple? If you feed only your flesh? No, if you do not abide in Christ. If you do not follow him, he will not abide. “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”

We cannot live without the vine Jesus and if we like Judas we grafted in but refuse the vine... If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. So as in Pilgrims Progress we see the young lad go to the very gates of the city riding across the river of death in the ferry called false hope let us be wary and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Thomas Smith
Thanks so much Thomas for sharing this part of your testimony and for allowing us to share it with our readers!  May God's richest blessings be upon you and your precious family.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

24 Ways for Girls to Prepare to Become Beautiful Women or 24 Ways to Prepare Your Young Girl to Become a Lovely Woman

Mrs. Lisa Jacobson from Club 31 Women, a website that the Lord recently allowed me to find and be very blessed by, shared this post on her blog.  Some great things to think on for young ladies to inspire to be and encouragement for mammas raising girls.  I hope it will be a blessing to you!

You wouldn’t guess just by looking at her.

That she’s not so much a young girl, but a more of a woman every day. And that now it’s as though there’s only a small window of time to teach her the many lessons she should learn. This fleeting, but oh-so-wonderful chance to share wisdom to a girl who’s growing up right before you.

Because you and I both know it takes a lot to be a woman. And even more to be a lovely one. You understand – it’s not so much her appearance – but what goes on in her heart and in her mind. Things of truth and beauty. Of courage and kindness. Of strength and sweetness. Loveliness.

So how do you prepare her for that?

  1. Be gentle in words and actions. Let your beauty come from a gentle and quiet spirit (I Pet. 3:4).
  2. Determine to be strong. As a woman, you’ll face many situations where you’ll need to be steady and of a sound mind. Strength and honor are her clothing (Prov. 31:25).
  3. Live purely. There’s goodness and power in purity.
  4. Choose joy. You will bless everyone around you with your joyful countenance. Besides, it’s a lovely way to live.
  5. Seek wisdom. And as wisdom comes from above, look up (James 3).
  6. Laugh freely. It will lighten your spirit and everyone else around you too.
  7. Care for your health. Be sure and eat good foods, exercise, and get enough rest. If you care for yourself, then you’ll be better able to care for others too.
  8. Speak sweetly. People will be able – and more open – to listen to you if you do.
  9. Be willing to work hard. Learn to enjoy your tasks and take on what must be tackled (Prov. 31:13).
  10. Sing loudly. A song can both change a mood and give glory to God. So make a loud noise! (Ps. 98:4).
  11. Study many different things. Decide you’re going to be a life-long student. Learn about gardening, ancient history, bread-baking, new languages, natural medicine, geography, or anything else that fascinates you.
  12. Look after those in need. Have compassion on others and use your gifts to bless them.
  13. Bring beauty into your life. And into the life of others. Whether it be flowers, art, poetry, handwork, or bright colors.
  14. Walk through trials in faith.  Don’t walk in your own strength, but trust Him who will carry you through.
  15. Have a good cry. Now and then. It’ll make you feel better.
  16. Invest in a few good friends. Make time for and pursue relationships with those who can encourage you, inspire you and challenge you.
  17. Learn how to cook. It’s a handy and necessary skill. Because doesn’t everyone need to eat?
  18. Spend time alone in the Word. Don’t ever get too busy for time with your God.
  19. Be kind to others. Kindness isn’t all that hard to offer and yet has such a significant impact on those around you. And on her tongue is the law of kindness (Prov. 31:26b).
  20. Serve cheerfully. Look to Christ as your example, not what the world says about service. Nothing begrudging or stingy there (Phil. 2).
  21. Pray about all things. Don’t try to solve everything by yourself, but go to your Heavenly Father with your joys, cares and concerns (Eph. 6:18).
  22. Watch your words. They’ve power to build up or tear down. So use them carefully.
  23. Love others deeply.  I Corinthians 13.
  24. Draw near to God.  And He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
Yes, it takes a lot to be a woman. And even more to be a lovely one. But it’s so what I want for her.
It’s what I want for me too.
Lovely living. As a woman.

~Posted by Breanna

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sign the "Stand with Rand" Petition
To both of your U.S. Senators

The Music of a Christian's Heart

“I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.”
~Psalm 23:4~
Behold, how independent of outward circumstances the Holy Ghost can make the Christian! What a bright light may shine within us when it is all dark without! How firm, how happy, how calm, how peaceful we may be, when the world shakes to and fro, and the pillars of the earth are removed! Even death itself, with all its terrible influences, has no power to suspend the music of a Christian’s heart, but rather makes that music become more sweet, more clear, more heavenly, till the last kind act which death can do is to let the earthly strain melt into the heavenly chorus, the temporal joy into the eternal bliss! Let us have confidence, then, in the blessed Spirit’s power to comfort us. Dear reader, are you looking forward to poverty? Fear not; the divine Spirit can give you, in your want, a greater plenty than the rich have in their abundance. You know not what joys may be stored up for you in the cottage around which grace will plant the roses of content. Are you conscious of a growing failure of your bodily powers? Do you expect to suffer long nights of languishing and days of pain? O be not sad! That bed may become a throne to you. You little know how every pang that shoots through your body may be a refining fire to consume your dross-a beam of glory to light up the secret parts of your soul. Are the eyes growing dim? Jesus will be your light. Do the ears fail you? Jesus’ name will be your soul’s best music, and his person your dear delight. Socrates used to say, “Philosophers can be happy without music;” and Christians can be happier than philosophers when all outward causes of rejoicing are withdrawn. In thee, my God, my heart shall triumph, come what may of ills without! By thy power, O blessed Spirit, my heart shall be exceeding glad, though all things should fail me here below.
-Charles Spurgeon's Evening Meditation, April 8th


Monday, April 8, 2013

A Woman of Strength Has Faith

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."  James 1:2-4
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.   And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."  Romans 5:1-5


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Stay your soul upon the Lord, in one fixed postition,and keep it there, holding fast, come what may

Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him. (Job 13:15)

For I know whom I have believed. (2 Timothy 1:12)

I will not doubt, though all my ships at sea
Come drifting home with broken masts and sails;
I will believe the Hand which never fails,
From seeming evil worketh good for me.
And though I weep because those sails are tattered,
Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered:
"I trust in Thee."

I will not doubt, though all my prayers return
Unanswered from the still, white realm above;
I will believe it is an all-wise love
Which has refused these things for which I yearn;
And though at times I cannot keep from grieving,
Yet the pure ardor of my fixed believing
Undimmed shall burn.

I will not doubt, though sorrows fall like rain,
And troubles swarm like bees about a hive.
I will believe the heights for which I strive
Are only reached by anguish and by pain;
And though I groan and writhe beneath my crosses,
I yet shall see through my severest losses
The greater gain.

I will not doubt.  Well anchored in this faith,
Like some staunch ship, my soul braves every gale;
So strong its courage that it will not quail
To breast the mighty unknown sea of death.
Oh, may I cry, though body parts with spirit,
"I do not doubt," so listening worlds may hear it,
With my last breath.

      "'In fierce storms,' said an old seaman, 'we must do one thing; there is only one way: we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there.'
      This, Christian, is what you must do.  Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you; and then you can do but one thing; there is only one way.  
      Reason cannot help you; past experiences give you no light.  Even prayer fetches no consolation.  Only a single course is left.  You must put your soul in one position and keep it there.
      You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may--winds, waves, cross-seas, thunder, lightening, frowning rocks, roaring breakers--no matter what, you must lash youself to the helm, and hold fast your confidence in God's faithfulness, His covenant engagement, His everlasting love in Christ Jesus.  
- Richard Fuller
Taken from Streams in the Desert and Springs in the Valley Morning Devotional by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

This devotional was such a blessing to me when I read it the other day!  We must fix our hearts steadfastly upon the Lord, trusting in Him, committing our ways to Him.  He is so worthy of our trust, if we will only throw ourselves upon Him in complete confidence.  He is so faithful!  Although this post is a little long, I can't help but to share this song because it has been a blessing to me the last few days and very much goes along with the devotional.  It is based on one of my favorite Scripture passages in Isaiah, talking about having confidence in God, in all that He is, and waiting upon Him.  I hope you will be blessed by it as well!

~Posted By Breanna

Friday, April 5, 2013

Healthy Homemade Toothpaste

Oh I so love Youtube!  Elizabeth and I watch the below video and made healthy toothpaste for our family today.  Since this was part of our school day we looked up the benefits of all the ingredients as well so that we could call it "science".  Oh how I love home education too!!!

How to make Bentonite Clay toothpaste
Put into a sauce pan:
1 ½ cup cinnamon sticks
4 Tbsp. Cloves
1 Tbsp. Stevia leaves
3 cups water
Boil for 30 minutes
Strain twice
1 Tbsp Celtic sea salt
4 Tbsp. Baking soda
About 1 cup Bentonite clay
Mix into a thick paste and store in a glass jar.
Idea for using is to purchase a box of popsicle sticks and use a clean one each day or just use a clean butter knife and wash it daily.  J

Benefits of the ingredients
It has strong volatile oils that are a potent antibacterial, antifungal and even a uterine stimulant. Because it is so good tasting, it is doubly effective in fighting mouth infections.
Clove is a perfect breath freshener because it kills the bacteria that causes odor and leaves the mouth clean tasting and smelling. Its main component, eugenol, is a powerful multifaceted phytochemical that anesthetizes, kills intestinal parasites, bacteria and fungi, fights free radical oxidation, and thins the blood. Clove relieves pain, increases blood circulation, aids digestion, and is antiseptic and antimicrobial. Clove has been used to treat toothaches, earaches, colds, flu, backaches, bronchitis, dysentery, muscle aches, nausea and vomiting. Apply directly to a toothache or cold sore.
Stevia is naturally 30 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. It is an alternative to artificial sweeteners with no added calories, no side effects, and very little aftertaste.
Bentonite Clay
Bentonite Clay is a very unique substance, formed primarily of Montmorillonite, which is an extremely flat crystal flake, that carries a relatively strong negative ionic charge. The negative charge is compensated for by adsorbing a cation (either Sodium or Calcium) to the interior of the molecule, this is what makes it either Sodium Bentonite or Calcium Bentonite Clay. To put it another way think of the Montmorillonite crystal flake resembling two pieces of bread, with a strong vacuum pulling the lunch meat in between them, whatever lands there (Sodium or Calcium) determines what kind of sandwich it will be. Now when you activate this clay sandwich it will magnetically grab the junk in your body (heavy metals, toxins, acid, etc.…) and trade them for the” lunch meat” taking the toxins out in your waste. The two different clays although very similar in their inert state (dry) have very different applications when activated (mixed with water)
Celtic Sea Salt
Sea salt contains the necessary minerals to help strengthen and remineralize weak and unhealthy teeth.
Baking Soda
Baking soda can be successfully used to remove stains and discolorations from the surface (enamel) of teeth, thereby given teeth a whiter and brighter appearance. Brushing your teeth with baking soda removes stains caused by drinking tea, coffee, and sodas as well as chewing tobacco and smoking. Mixing baking soda and water releases free radicals from the mixture. These free radicals break down the stain molecules on the enamel, which can then be scraped off the teeth using a toothbrush.
Okay my honest assessment. . .  makes your teeth feel great but the taste will take a little bit to get use to.  I added more water and I think the next time I will keep it super concentrated.  What fun though!  I love finding healthy alternatives that we can make our selves that do not cost as much as the alternatives from the health food store.  Hope you enjoy it if you give it a try.  :-)
~Elizabeth and Karen

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Trip to Georgia

Georgia!! Sweet Georgia!!  How excited we all were to be visiting this past weekend, what will, Lord willing, soon be our new home state.  They look like a good making for Southern Bells, don't you think? :-)


First order of business was to drop off our sweet traveling companion Ms Chloe Cramer to the Crawford's at their Marco pizza place.  Chloe you were such a delight to have with us!  We so enjoyed your sweet fellowship!

Austin demonstrated how to professional make a Marco's pizza.  When your friends own pizza and ice cream restaurants you sure do get spoiled!  Thanks Crawford's for the pizza and ice cream!  You all are so precious and good to us!

Oh - Joe and his hat.  Funny story behind this pic from our visit last month.  You are too funny Mr. Crawford!

Catching up a tiny bit before taking off to our destination.  What sweet fellowship! 

I am so sad that we did not get pictures of our first night at the Morton's!  
The Morton family gives the meaning to southern hospitality!  TRULY!!!
We were greeted by nine smiling cheerful faces that had prepared the most fabulous meal for us.  It was fine dining.  The elegance of the table and the way their young men are such gentlemen, I have never seen anything like it!  Even though we did not arrive until nine, the evening was such a blessing!

Saturday was filled with excitement and joy as our family spent some time driving around the area, looking at a house,  a cookout and lots of precious fellowship with the whole Morton clan. 
What a blessing Mr. Morton is to Seth!  This was taken right before we loaded up to go look at the house with him. 
The children had such fun playing with all of the Morton children!  What a blessing to see so many children being raised for the glory of the Lord!  They are all sooooo precious!!!

The love that we experienced this past weekend truly is beyond words.  Here Mrs. Morton and Adeline are serving up coffee after the meal.  What precious ladies.  They served so joyfully and endlessly.  Truly the hands and feet of Jesus. 

Brittany talking with Ms.Katie.  She is one of the sweetie ladies you could ever meet.  
After the cookout we went over to Wesley and Rachel's for a time of singing and more fellowship.  We were truly so blessed the whole weekend!  
After another late night of fantastic fellowship, sleep is way over rated you know . . .
I think it was 2 before we got to bed that night but we did get to have tea and more fellowship.  :-)

Sheer delight was the consensus of everyone!

The Lord's Day 
We were so blessed to be apart of worshiping and remembering of our Lord's death and resurrection with our brothers and sisters.  
The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.
(Psa 28:8)
Oh the richness of the fellowship of that day was beyond expressing in word or pictures! 
                                      These are some of the most awesome guys around!                                                                           Mr. Morton, Alan Smith, my sweet husband, Thomas Smith and my dear son.

This picture just represents so much. 
They just do not come any sweeter.  Martha, Chloe and Danae enjoying some sweet fellowship.
Pure Delight!!

I am not sure who was more delighted, Elizabeth or Brittany.  The joy in both of their eyes was just so precious!

And after waiting so long. . .  we finally got to meet and present sweet Emily Smith with something that we had made for her. 
We just loved this picture of Emily and Adeline!  You are both such beautiful godly women. 

We were so excited to finally get to meet the Smith family!  What a blessing!  Isn't that tummy just so precious! Emily had no idea that Breanna was taking that picture but it was just too sweet. 

The Smith boys, Esther and Sarah playing with blocks. 

Emily Crawford talking with Sarah.  What a special young lady. 

After a long wonderful day we were all winding down.  Well it was about 1 in the morning before we departed to head to bed.  Except that then back at the house the girls and I got to talking to Adeline and Martha and it was about 3:30 before we actually did go to bed.  Oh dear. . . no wonder we are still tired!  It was such a blessed time of fellowship.  Imagine the five of us at 3 in the morning praying and singing.  It just does not get any better!
 All good things must come to an end  . . . I suppose.
Monday morning we headed out after another delicious meal and final farewells for this time. 

Delighted and Excited about the future!

After picking Chloe up in Jackson we had our first experience at . . . 
We had to laugh as we notice that all four of the vehicles in this picture are white. 
It was a great trip home.  These pictures only represent really a small fraction of our visit as everyone was enjoying the fellowship too much to go grab the camera and take pictures.  But it is at least a little glimpse and remembrance of the opening of what lies ahead for us.  Tayte just asked today if it was too soon to plan our next trip. Hopefully, it will be with a load of our belonging heading to our new home.:-)
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
(Psa 27:14)