Friday, March 24, 2017

A Sweater Made from the Stash - What Do You Have in Your Hand?

 I really have been having a lot of fun making things using things we already have on hand in the last few months. I just haven't managed to post them very quickly.

  I like to make things just in general but to me there is a something special about making something when I have a little extra challenge such as repurposing something or making something from scraps and having to figure out how to make them work together. This was one of those scrap projects.

I started it at the beginning of December with the very ambitious goal of getting it done to give Megan for Christmas. That did quite happen. We did take a couple of trips where I worked on it long and hard and I knitted many times in between (trying to do it discreetly so Megan wouldn't see it) but Christmas Eve came and I think there was still a sleeve that needed to be finished and I needed to sew them all together and knit the ribbing. It wouldn't have fit in her stocking anyway. I did eventually get it done however.
 I have long loved the Fair Isle patterns and had saved a knitting magazine that had this one in it. I love the more traditional colors but I was working to use of what we had on hand. So I ended up doing this in different shades of blue and purples. Some of our favorite colors. I really like how the coloring combinations turned out and was very pleased to be able to use up yarn from our stash for this purpose.
 The back was solid and the sleeves were supposed to be too but I did't have enough of the purple. So they became patterned too. They are way thicker that way.
The sweater pattern was supposed to be bulky but if I were a better knitter I would have sized it better to fit my slender girl. Oh well, she likes it and has worn it quite a bit so it is a success.

Do you like to make things from scraps? What have you done lately "using what you had in your hand (what you already owned)?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

More Than Enough Stuff

I enjoyed reading about this family who has declared they have more than enough stuff and they are working to not buy any more stuff this year. I can relate to them in so many ways.

  I also have more than enough stuff. I mentioned way back at the end of January that I was going to try to wear through all of my clothes and shoes before repeating things (Other than how I rewear something another day because it isn't truly dirty yet AND once I ran out of underwear and things like that I did start going through them again even though I had more skirts and dresses to wear 😀 ). I was able to do that religiously from the end of January to March 10th. At that point I still did have 4 church outfits left but they weren't really ones that I want to wear for every day so I decided I would just wear them the next 4 Sundays. Anyway, I obviously have more than enough clothes. It is actually kind of staggering that I can go a month and a half without rewearing (other than wearing them longer because they aren't dirty yet) any Shirts/Pants/Skirts/Blouses/Sweaters/Dresses/Skirts. I also went right around a month without rewearing any pairs of socks. I did have to rotate through underclothes and leggings (to go under skirts - which I have a lot of) pretty quickly.

  This was a pretty fun exercise for me and I enjoyed making new combinations of clothes to wear, to be observant of things that really didn't fit me well or look good on me (and I did get rid of quite a few things) and to enjoy dressing up a little more. It worked to help me feel more content with the things I have. I also was able to let go of my somewhat hoarder mentality of feeling like I needed to hold on to something "just in case" even though it might be stained, very worn and fit me horribly.

  I didn't however truly become a clothing minimalist. For me it didn't make sense to make a rule that I needed to get down to a certain amount of outfits or anything like that. In fact I think I will keep all 22 skirts that I own (unless I run across somebody that needs some). At this time all of my clothes fit very easily in our (big) closet and they are not overwhelming to me. They are clothes I wear (my family noticed that I never really came out wearing anything that they had forgotten I owned) and I don't see the sense in getting rid of them and then have to go get more clothes sooner. This way I am good to go with clothes for quite a long time. Actually I have rarely shopped for clothes much at all for me for many years. I have some items that I have owned since I was around 16 years old (23 years ago!). I have bought a couple of pairs of good quality, somewhat expensive shoes in the last few years (which should last me for years) but I generally spend less than $25 a year on clothes (other than shoes) for me. Also because I do have somewhat of a prepper mindset I like to know that I won't run out of clothes should the stores shut down for the next 25 years or so. 😉

   For me living simply concerning clothes is not having to do much in the way of shopping (by the way - the majority of my clothes have been hand-me-downs from sisters and friends), having plenty of storage space for what I have (I don't like to have my closets crowded!) and to have things that fit my personality and lifestyle. Ones that I don't feel out of place wearing nor do I need to constantly be tugging one way or another to make sure that they cover me properly.

   I have become pickier about the tests that clothes have to pass before they become a part of my collection however. Here are some things that are important to me:

  • I am striving to have clothes made out of natural materials just as much as possible. I didn't get rid of everything that is not that way yet but that is something I will definitely be looking add before I add something. So the things I prefer would be cotton, wool, linen and then of course real leather shoes.
  • I want to look feminine. So I want clothes that look that way.
  • I want to dress in a way that is not going to show of my body in such a way that I or my husband think is indecent. I also try to be thoughtful to how what I wear could affect others.
  • I don't care to be a walking billboard. So generally I won't wear things that have words on them. When I feel passionate about something and feel that it could help a cause then I will sometimes compromise on this but mostly I don't like to wear things with words on them. I do have a couple of t-shirts with words saved for dirty work around the house.
  We have more than enough stuff in many more areas than my clothing. In my goal to live more simply I am still working to find a balance with to much (and chaos) and the amount that God wants us to have. I believe that God blesses us abundantly. He said ""The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." in John 10:10. I believe that He was primarily talking of spiritual abundance but I also find Him to so often give us physical abundance.

  We have received physical abundance in so many ways through the years - gardens that produce well, berries abundant to be picked, an abundant honey harvest, abundant gifts of clothes and so on. My job, I feel is to use it in the best way I can to glorify Him. Sometimes our family simply enjoys it, sometimes we share it with others, sometimes we can sell it to use the money in another way.

 1 Timothy 6:17 says: "Charge the rich in the present life not to be high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God who gives us all things richly to enjoy, " So God gave us things to enjoy but we should never count on them or trust in them but rather trust in God who owns all things and has given us all things.

Anyway, those are just some of my thoughts lately on this subject. :-)

It has been 5 weeks since my last simplifying report so here goes:
I have gotten behind some and have been working to catch up but still progress is being made and things are a lot better than other years.

I haven't had my e-mail inbox cleaned out every day but probably more days that it was than that it wasn't. My desk and office are still staying clean the majority of the time and that is so lovely for me when working there.

As far as stuff gotten rid of: Week 1 - 30 items, week 2 - 25 items, week 3 -34 items, week 4 - 34 items and week 5 - 25 items. 

As far as cleaning out spaces: Week 1 -5 spaces, week 2 - 5 spaces, week 3 - 5 spaces, week 4 -3 spaces and week 5 - none (actually I recorded them on earlier weeks in my attempt to catch up but I didn't manage to completely catch up.

 I am about 2 1/2 weeks behind on cleaning out 25 picture computer files every week.

We are going to keep pressing on. I am so thankful for the progress that has been made!

How are things going at your house?


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

My New Salad Spinner

 We have been having fun with a new kitchen item at our house - a salad spinner. This was something that not to many years ago I looked at as a very unnecessary gadget. But the more I have eaten salads picked out of the garden with lots of little bitty leaves that I have to try to get washed and at least semi dry the more I liked the idea of a salad spinner. So when I was offered one to review from Cave Tools I took them up on the offer. By the way - I still wouldn't say that a salad spinner is necessary but it is pretty quick and efficient and my kids think it is pretty fun so now they are far more eager to help make salad. :-)
This Salad Spinner which you can find on Amazon or at Cave Tools is pretty good sized. You can fit 3 quarts of salad in it. It has 3 separate parts, the lid (with the spinning handle), the basket and the bowl. I like that the bowl in a nice bowl that can be used to serve the salad and also used for other things if you desire. The Basket can also be dual purpose as it could be used as a colander as well.

 Another thing that we are excited to use it for is when we make pesto. When we wash all of our basil leaves we have to normally painstakingly dry them in a dish towel but now we can just put them in the spinner and spin away until all the water is off the leaves and can simply be drained away.

 Do any of you use a salad spinner? Do you use it for anything besides making salads? I would love to hear your thoughts. I did see another interesting idea in the reviews and that was to use this Salad Spinner to spin down your hand washed delicate load. I thought that was some creative thinking.

If you are interested in buying a Salad Spinner you can use this coupon code  SALAD15 at Cave Tools   and get 15 % off on your Salad Spinner. Also they have free shipping on orders over $30. So if you find another thing or two that you can use that is a pretty good deal.

  Now I am feeling a wee bit impatient to grow some salad stuff in my garden! I tried planting some greens in a pot inside but that is not doing so well. Hey, if any of you have tips for growing lettuce or other greens inside I would love to hear them!

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Old and New Covenants

 When we understand that there is an Old Covenant and a New Covenant with God that is written out in the Bible - the Bible begins to make a lot more sense. I have studied with people through the years who did not understand that and when you don't understand that you can start to look at all the laws in Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy and feel that maybe you should be following them too - they are in the Bible aren't they? It can get very confusing.

  So understanding this concept is very important for truly understanding the Bible.

  Here are some differences between the Old and New Covenants:

The Old Covenant came to an end at the cross - We are still under the New Covenant today.

Here are some scriptures that cause me to believe that:

"Why the law then? It was added because of transgression, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made." Galatians 3:19 

"Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son be the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. For it is written, "Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear; Break forth and shout you who are not in labor; For more numerous are the children of the desolate than of the one who has a husband." And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. But what does the Scripture say? "Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son for the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman." So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman." Galatians 4:21-31

"When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross." Colossians 4:13 & 14

"by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity." Ephesians 2:15 & 16

When we look at the early church we do not see them keeping the old law (from the Old Covenant) but rather.....

"They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." Acts 2:42

"Now while they were passing through the cities, they were delivering the decrees which had been decided upon by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem, for them to observe. " Acts 16:4

"If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment." 1 Corinthians 14:37 (Paul Writing)

"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." Mark 16:15 (Jesus Speaking)

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19 & 20 (Jesus speaking) This verse also notes that until the end of time we are to keep teaching what Jesus commanded us. We are to keep on proclaiming the gospel.

"Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them." Acts 8:5 (See other verses about them preaching Jesus in Acts 8:12, & 35; 16:32; 28:31)

The Old Covenant was with one nation - Israel. The New Covenant is with all nations.

This was planned way back near the beginning. Genesis 22:18 says "In your seed (talking to Abraham) all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

Jesus came from the seed of Abraham and the world has been blessed through Him.

Jesus told the disciples in Matthew 28:19 to go and make disciples of ALL nations.

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16

You became a part of the Old Covenant because of your physical birth.  The New Covenant is entered by a spiritual birth.

"Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to Him, how can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he? Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter in to the kingdom of God." John 3:3-5

The Old Covenant brought condemnation - the New brings forgiveness.

Concerning the Old Covenant: " But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. " 2 Corinthians 3:7-9

''For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them." Now that no one is justified by he Law before God is evident; for, the righteous man shall live by faith." However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "He who practices them shall live by them." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us - for it is written, cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree" - in order that in Christ Jesus the blessings of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." Galatians 3:10-14

"because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin." Romans 3:20

"For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near." Hebrews 10:1

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." Romans 8:1


"Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this? John 11:25 & 26

We are so blessed to be able to be a part of the New Covenant!!!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Catching Up with Our Life in Pictures

 I like to kind off keep a record of what is going on in our life on here and I missed quite a few weeks of our life in pictures so here is something of a catch-up post. :-) Here are some goings on around here since the last part of February.
One Sunday afternoon I woke from my nap to find the younger 3 kids busily working on creating a zip-line in our back yard. Jonathan is great at figuring out how to make things and he had this handle thing all made from wood and able to slide across the thick rope that they had tied between to trees.

 You had to climb a ladder to get on and then away you went. It wasn't very long but it is rather fun. It worked best for Aaron and Megan as the rope tended to sag when Jonathan, Mara and I went on it as we were heavier - plus we are taller so our feet would then drag. Ken hasn't tried it. Jonathan did raise the rope later and I guess it works better for tall people now but I haven't tried it.

Mara tries it out.
 The view of the river from by the zip line. I didn't actually take any pictures while on it. :-)

 Ken and I had a free advertising opportunity for our businesses. It was a Chamber of Commerce event that was held at a new hotel in town. They invited Ken (who is a member of the chamber) to have a display there to go along with the theme of love/marriage. He told them he wasn't sure if insurance was the best fit for that theme but his wife (me) did wedding flowers would they like me to come. They said sure - why didn't we both come and have a display together.
 So combining our two businesses with the theme of love/marriage was interesting but we did our best. :-) It was fun to visit with the people that came. Another interesting thing that came about was that the hotel was giving away a free night stay to one person who came to this event and went to the rooms where all the different businesses were located. Megan had come with us and so she participated and she ended up winning. She is excited because she will be able to go use their swimming pool. We haven't used it yet.
 The last weekend in February we had our Winter Retreat. I had shared quite a few pictures from that earlier. It was a fun blessing to us. We had 2 families and 1 other teen staying with us. Both families that came had 4 boys (plus one girl) and the first evening 2 of my nephews were also here for supper along with our 2 boys that made a houseful of boys!! What a blessing to see all these young men who are growing up loving Jesus and wanting to follow Him.
 Big news in our family at the end of February was Jonathan getting his drivers permit. Mara got hers too at the beginning of March. Jonathan is very eager to drive where ever we go. He is getting to be a good driver. Mara quite a bit more laid back about driving and hasn't done much yet.
 In early March all of us except Megan went over to Duluth to go skiing for the day. It was a beautiful day to go skiing. We had a lot of fun. I think we all stretched ourselves in our skiing abilities - which since I always like a challenge - was really neat. Aaron tried Mogul skiing quite a bit and Jonathan and I did a little too. That was a pretty big challenge and did cause us to take some falls but that is part of learning something new sometimes.
 Jonathan carrying Mara's poles after she had crashed one time. Mara is our most novice skier (besides Megan) and so some of the hills were pretty challenging to her.
 Ken and Mara as the sun was setting.

 On the 10th of March after going to an early dentist appointment where Mara ended up getting a tooth pulled (and that all worked out it a neat way - an answer to prayer), and then going and singing at the nursing home (without Mara helping us sing) and then going home for a wedding flower consultation we headed out to go to the cities so that Mara could fly to Texas the next day. Another exciting thing that happened that day was that Mara found out she had won a local essay contest which lets her go (for free) on a youth tour to Washington DC in June.
After taking Mara to the airport on Saturday we went shopping with my sister and family (who we were staying with) at an Asian food store and then a place called the Hmong Village. It was a building a little smaller than a Walmart with probably hundreds of vendors inside. There was a food court, places to by clothes (a lot of Asian clothes), laundry soap, cosmetics, jewelry, shoes, toys, herbs, a whole produce market and so much more. It was super busy and super crowded and really neat! It was like going to another country. The majority there were not speaking English I don't think.

 This is the market. I bought some lemon grass, ginger and watermelon there.

We ate lunch at the food court and I had fun trying a Hmong spicy soup. I don't remember the name of it. Others enjoyed a sweet chicken, sticky rice, pho and bubble tea.
 We headed home that afternoon. When we got home everyone was pretty tired. Megan is trying to read through all our books in the house and she started "Johnson's Notes on the New Testament" - a commentary- that evening. I went up to find her sound asleep with it in her hand. It is a very thick book with I think nearly a thousand pages. After a week of reading it (with the addition of some other new books that we got too) she is about halfway through. She cracks me up sometimes.
 I made Hamenstachen that evening. A special filled cookie that is made for the Jewish Holiday - Purim. We also had fun reading through Esther last week and making a lot of noise each time Hamen's name was mentioned - that is another Purim holiday tradition. We had never done those things before but it was fun. I find Jewish Holidays very interesting and enjoy celebrating them from time to time.
 I made some magnetic fishing poles for my Wednesday evening class as we have been talking about Jesus and his disciples and how they were fishermen. They fishing has been quite a hit! The littler kids seem to prefer putting little foam fish in nets that we made and the older ones love the magnetic poles. I was happy to be able use various odds and ends that I had around to make the fishing stuff.

Mara was in Texas most of last week going to Camp Adventure. It is an introduction for highschool Juniors and Seniors to Adventures in Missions - a program that Mara is considering going to when she graduates. She was really blessed by her time there and really enjoyed many of the other kids that she met there. She flew back in on Thursday. My sister Anna picked her up at the airport (or one of her kids did - I am not sure) and then we arrived down there a little later in the afternoon.
 That evening we went to an event at University of Northwestern where Mara is doing online college classes while still in highschool (it is something MN offers that Juniors and Seniors in highschool can go to college for free). The event consisted of a tour of the University (it is really nice!), free supper at their cafeteria and getting to go to the Musical Mary Poppins for free as well. 11 of us went (our family - except Ken who stayed home to work-, part of Anna's family and another of Mara's friends from the cities) and it was a very fun outing.
 The boys enjoyed their supper which they got to choose what they wanted.
 Megan and Beatrice with "Mary Poppins".
 The musical put on by the university was very, very well done!! I loved it. There were so many special effects, good music and just a lot of fun!
 Yesterday Megan worked on making herself a dress with some help from me. She didn't quite get it finished last night but was determined to wear it today so she got up early and worked on it this morning. It wasn't truly all done - we need to add a ruffle to the sleeves - but she wore it anyway.
 My little nephew Buirlen made his appearance at church for the first time today. He is pretty sweet!
Aaron got in the sewing mood this afternoon and has almost finished a cloak to wear.

 How have you all been doing? What is going on in your lives?

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Day of Pentecost around 30 AD

Are you familiar with what happened on the day of Pentecost less than 2 months after Jesus' death, burial and resurrection? This is an incredibly important day in the history of the church and so we are going to spend some time thinking and reading about it today.

  Pentecost is a Jewish holiday which always occurred 50 days after the Sabbath of Passover week. The word Pentecost means 50. Pentecost (the Greek word for the Holiday) was a celebration of the first fruits of the harvest.  In Leviticus 23:15-21 we can see it talked about.

   The year that Jesus died (during Passover time) is the Pentecost that we want to talk about. We can read about it in Acts chapter 2 and I will share that with  you now:

  "When the Day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. 

   Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. They were amazed and astonished, saying, "Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jew and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs - we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God. And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others were mocking and saying, "They are full of sweet wine."

   But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: "Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be know to you and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:
     "And it shall be in the last days," God says, "That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy. And I will grant wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

   "Men of Israel, listen to these words; Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know - this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. 

   For David says of Him,
"I saw the Lord always in my presence; for His is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; Moreover my flesh also will live in hope; because You will not abandon my soul to Hades, Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. You have made know to me the ways of life; You will make me full of gladness with Your presence."

   "Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay.

  This Jesus God raised up again, to which was are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says:
    "The Lord said to my Lord, sit at My right hand, until I made Your enemies a footstool for You feet."

  Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ - this Jesus whom you crucified."

  Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do? Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself." And with many other words He solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying "Be saved from this perverse generation!" So then those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
   Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved."

This chapter details the amazing beginnings of God's church - His Kingdom here on earth. Let's notice some of the details of this chapter.

  • The day began in a very amazing way with the Holy Spirit coming upon the followers of Jesus through tongues of fire.
  • God made this happen at a time when there were people from all different nations there and ready to see and hear it.
  • Peter was the spokesman. In Matthew 16:18 & 19  Jesus had promised Peter the keys of the kingdom. This seems to be the fulfillment of that promise.
  • The listeners were convicted of their sin.
  • What was needed for pardon was first told to sinners. (Acts 2:38)
  • That instruction was for those listening now and also for people of all time and places. (Acts 2:39)
  • People obeyed the gospel for the first time. 3,000 chose to repent and be baptized.
  • It was explained what group of people would have the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
  • This was the beginning of the church. The 3,000 were the first members.
  • This was the beginning of worldwide evangelism. People from countries all over were there listening in their own native tongue. They then took the message to the world. This message was for everybody!
What a neat and wonderful day!!!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Seeking To Simplify

We have had quite a bit going on lately. We helped to host a fun Retreat at our church which also involved hosting guests at our house. We have also welcomed a new nephew just last week, I have been doing some extra work on my business and various other things. Somehow in the midst of all that I have been very rarely on here just lately. Hopefully that will be changing as I do love to write and record things on here but we shall see. :-)

   I did want to share a couple of success stories from my efforts to reduce clutter and simplify around here. 

  As I got ready for 2 families (of 7 people each) and 1 other teen to stay with us during the retreat I realized just how much easier it was to prepare when I wasn't having to deal with clutter as well as the normal extra cleaning. Even many of our closets were presentable if they should choose to peek in them. Megan's room was not a huge mess and so it was pretty easy to prepare for company and the same was true of my office. That was such a huge blessing not to have those "normal" messes to deal with as I had many other things on my plate as well. We dusted, swept, put on fresh sheets and other cleaning of that sort but there was very little of needing to deal with clutter and that speeded up the process so very much.

  As I have mentioned before my office has long been a place that is easily cluttered and messy. Since I have been really working on things this year it has been so much better. It was so nice when a bride called on the spur of the moment for a consultation and I was able to say "Come on over" and not have to make a mad dash to get my office cleaned out before she arrived. It was already basically ready to go. That was a huge blessing too.

Below are quite a few pictures from our Retreat. It was truly a blessing to me and I think many others as well.


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