Friday, November 23, 2012

Shopping and Supporting Local Businesses

I have begun to really appreciate our local businesses. With the direction our country is taking, we really need to be involved in our nearby communities and families. Glen Alpine has a new business called TEA TREE. It is a small business right on Rt 70. I shopped there the day before Thanksgiving since we got off work early that day. TEA TREE is a beautiful and warm gift shop displaying items made by MOMS to help support their families. It is run by volunteer moms. (It also has many of my favorite items, tea pots and cups and you may enjoy a cup of tea while there.)

Another gift shop in the area is TURKEY TALES. (Turkey tales has long been a byword in the community: street name, local paper, etc.) Although I am not a big spender, I love to go in and look at the great items and talk with the ladies that run it.  This store is also on Rt 70 on the corner at the only light in Glen Alpine. In this same building there is THE PERFECT SOLUTION. I have recently stopped there for a haircut and style. Brittany, a young mother, has quickly earned my favoritism.

Not too far away from us is another local business THE BARN. Open only on certain weekends or by appointment, it has gently used, low cost decorative items. It is packed full and laid out beautifully. You would think you were in a famous shop. The owner Ann has become a good friend.

We also have COTTAGE GARDENS for plants, APPLE ANNIE's an antique shop, LAKE JAMES WINERY AND ANTIQUES, EMILY'S which is a thrift shop that supports South Mountain Childrens Home, and not too far away, THE CHRISTMAS SHOP run by J.Iverson Riddle, with beautiful gifts made by handicapped residents.

(And for all your car repairs, NORVILLE SERVICE CENTER. I can't leave them out they have been wonderful to us. They are in Glen Alpine on 70).

Cooking Pans

This set of crockpot/warmers worked great for Thanksgiving. It kept 3 items hot and ready for our plates. Rick bought it for me while he was in Ohio. He said it was an early Christmas present. I have a funny story to share about the pans in my life.
This is my dutch oven full of turkey broth, waiting to cook home made noodles like my Mom used to make for holidays. This pan is part of a set Rick gave me as a wedding present 39 years ago. Yep! Still using them.

The funny part is my gift of pans through the years.  We had a family joke going that I usually got a new electric frying pan every year for Christmas because cooking for our family of 6 wore it out in a year's time. I guess the tradition continues this year, I got pans. ; > )
Not an electric skillet because we are now officially empty nesters and no longer have a crowd to feed on a daily basis. Besides the fact that for health reasons we try to stay away from fried foods. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

We Gather Together

Today we sang this old hymn in church. Before I led the song, unknown to me, Rick had looked this song up in the book "Then Sings My Soul" Book 2 by Robert J. Morgan. Rick prefaced our singing with a summary of the story behind the song:

In the 1500's there were those of Belgium that struggled for religious freedom under the rule of Spain. "We Gather Together" was written to celebrate the freedom that was gained when the people were finally free to worship openly together. 

"We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing:
He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing,
Sing praises to His name: He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning:
Thou, Lord wast at our side, all glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender wilt be,
Let Thy congregation excape tribulation:
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Book of James Bible Study

I just finished this evening our last ladies class on the Beth Moore Bible study of the book of James.
It has been a great experience, studying James the half brother of Jesus, his background and his writings.

Tonight while ending with the last 2 verses of James 5, it was brought out how James experienced these verses himself.  Jesus himself showed himself to James personally after His resurrection.(I Cor 15:7)  James not having faith in Jesus' divinity and relationship as God's only begotten Son placed him in the  position of needing converted by Jesus and experiencing the victory of having his soul saved from death and having his sin of unbelief forgiven. :)

James 5:19-20 "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him: Let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

God's Blessings and Our Duty.

I am so thankful for the leading and peace of God this morning. The last few weeks He and some of you bringing encouragement has reminded me that my anchor in Him does not go away no matter which way the election is decided. And I've always known that but I needed my strength girded up and He knew it and gently began leading my thoughts in that direction.

He blessed me again this morning with wonderful thoughts to share. As I prepared for work I put on one of my favorite CD's by The Booth Brothers. The songs seemed linked bringing me a message of peace, that America under God is the only way we can survive, and that "I've got new shoes now, to walk all over this world, and tell the world that Jesus saves."

Then this final thought:  Moses' mother protected him in a basket against being killed by the enemy. When the Egyption princess took him home, Moses' mother was able to be with him since she was picked to be his nurse. My main thought is she no doubt taught him songs of God and scriptures and instructed him at his young age how to discern and stand strong.

That is our duty. Get ourselves rooted deep and raise little Moses's. Take our new shoes and plant them as voices and influences in our community.

Be closely involved with our children in what they learn in school. Read their history books and make sure you teach them to understand how to discern things for themselves and question and take a stand if something is not right. And their spiritual training is not up to a church or a Sunday School. It is up to us. It is wonderful to teach them right from wrong and to be kind, to be good students and be active in sports. But that is not enough. They need so much more.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Desire of My Heart

As I prayed this morning one of my most fervent prayer is for my family, my children and their spouses and out precious grandchildren. I want the Lord to take us all like clay on the potters wheel and make us a testimony for Him. Oh that we all would have depth of experience in God not just a surface relationship. Oh that our lives would be filled with hope in the living God! That we would have a determination and a confidence in our God given abilities that no thing or any man's opinion or actions would shake that determination.

I'm remembering my determination of prayer and seeking for God when I was a young Christian. I would awake early and while everyone was still in bed I would make my way down the upstairs hallway to our large bathroom on Court St. There was an old wooden chair beside the big claw foot bathtub. There I would kneel and pour my heart out to God.

This morning I bowed at the big rocker in the living room. Many years have passed in my life and my body is not as nimble as it used to be. My knees and legs cry out in pain and numbness as I kneel. The old back does not like certain positions or it will jar out of place. So I have to be careful as I kneel and I seek God. Many times I stand or sit. But kneeling feels so much more effective to me.

My prayers are also for our nation and the election today. But God has helped me in the last couple weeks to realize that my greatest hope is in Him and that either way it goes I don't need to be anxious because He holds everything in His hands and He will be with me as long as I keep my hand in His.  This country is in such a mess He is the only One who can heal it. May whatever happens only lead people to Christ and His salvation.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Close Call, Blessings from God

My husband had another close call with his heart the past few days. Having had bypass surgery in June and doing well, the chest pressure started again. Long story short, he had a stint put in today in an area that evidently had some scar tissue at the end of one of the bypasses. They went in through his wrist and placed a stint and was out in 1 hour and then back up to a room for an overnight stay for observation. Doing great, God is good. While waiting I dug into my Bible study workbook on the book of James. Chapter 5:11 "You have heard of the endurance of Job" which took us to Job 42. What a wonderful meditation! Thoughts on those verses that came while reading it: 1. God allowed Job to be tempted, even bragged on him to Satan,chapter 1 the Bible says Job was perfect, upright, feared God, hated evil. Yet 42:6 Job repented. Yes, even though we are God's children, we still repent when it is needful. Even though God instructs us to be holy and be careful about our talk and walk with Him, a Christian is never above repenting. 2. Verse 7 and 8, God chastises Jobs friends because according to God they had not spoken of God that which was right. He sent them to get animal offerings and go to Job, repenting and asking Job to pray for them. If not, He would deal with them after their folly. Verse 9 they followed through and did it and then God accepted them. Boy is this a good lesson from God on how humbly and sincerely that Christians should go before their brothers whom they have wronged and have not spoken the right words of God to and about their brother. And Job was so willing to pray for them and offer forgiveness once his friends came. 3. God blessed Job more than He had in the beginning. God did not withhold earthly blessings because He knew Job was humble enough to handle it. And as it was pointed out in the lesson, God bragged on Job. Imagine that bragging on a human. He loves us so and we owe Him so much.