Sunday, January 22, 2017

From Every Stormy Wind That Blows

God sometimes shuts the door
and shuts us in,
That He may speak,
perchance through grief or pain;
And softly, heart to heart,
above the din
May teach some precious truth to us again.
- Unknown -




From every stormy wind that blows,
From every swelling tide of woes,
There is a calm, a sure retreat;
’Tis found beneath the mercy seat.

There is a place where Jesus sheds
The oil of gladness on our heads;
A place than all besides more sweet;
It is the blood bought mercy seat.

There is a scene where spirits blend,
Where friend holds fellowship with friend;
Though sundered far, by faith they meet
Around one common mercy seat.

Ah! wither could we flee for aid
When tempted, desolate, dismayed,
Or how the hosts of hell defeat,
Had suffering saints no mercy seat?

Ah! there on eagle wings we soar,
And sin and sense molest no more;
And heaven come down our souls to greet,
While glory crowns the mercy seat.
- Hugh Stowell -




For thou hast been a strength to the poor, 
a strength to the needy in his distress, 
a refuge from the storm,
a shadow from the heat, 
when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
- Isaiah 25:4 -


Come unto me, 
all ye that labour and are heavy laden, 
and I will give you rest.
- Matthew 11:2 -


When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; 
and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: 
when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; 
neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
- Isaiah 43:2 -


Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, 
that we may obtain mercy, 
and find grace to help in time of need.
- Hebrews 4:16 -




When the storms of life blow our way,
we can either cringe in despair
or flee to the heavenly Mercy Seat-
the God of all comfort.

 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, 
that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, 
by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 -

There we can find the help and strength to be overcomers.
Trials can sometimes embitter and harden our spirits.
However, if we use the trial to lean more fully on Christ
and to learn the lesson He desires to teach us,
we become stronger in our faith.

Always remember-
for the child of God,
life's storms are opportunities to learn more about Him.
Thank God even now 
for His heavenly mercy seat.
- Kenneth W. Osbeck -




Avail yourself of this "calm, sure retreat"
by using prayer to commune with the Lord
on a consistent basis.

Have a blessed Lord's Day, friends!
Love and hugs!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Mark Of The King - Book Review

Life in this new world requires more strength
than she ever imagined.

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, 
twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile 
to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, 
where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. 
To make the journey, though, women must be married, 
and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, 
there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne's brother, 
and searching for answers proves dangerous. 
What is behind the mystery, 
and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, 
Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, 
despite never being able to escape the king's mark on her shoulder 
that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.




My Thoughts
Tears, heartache, trials, courage, and hope
are just a few things that will draw you in and capture your attention
while reading The Mark of the King.
You will be drawn in from the very first line
and you will be held captive by the story long after you read the last chapter.

"The older woman's voice broke with empathy.
"But I want you to listen to me.
You will survive it.
If God wanted you with Him now too,
He would have taken you.
But here you are.
There is more life for you to live.
The sun will shine again."

With her hand pressed to her heart,
Julianne trapped a groan in her chest.
"Does the pain ease?
she whispered.

Francoise sighed.
"The pain changes, and you will change with it.
The sharp edges wear away in time,
but the loss remains.
You'll learn how to live with it."
{ The Mark of the King - pgs. 199-200 }

Will the characters face pain and heartache?
Yes.
Will they endure trials and difficulties?
Yes.
Is there joy, hope, and restoration in the morning?
Most definitely yes. . .
just as God's Holy Word promises.

The history in this book is spot on and truly amazing. . .
Indeed, I was left in awe of the accurate historical presentation.
The author does a phenomenal job of portraying what the French people
faced and endured in the 1700's in New Orleans, Louisiana.
And the characters she uses to present this portion of history 
will touch your heart in a mighty and beautiful way.

The Mark of the King is my first book by the talented Jocelyn Green
and it most certainly will not be my last!
I looked at this book on CBD.com and saw {at the time} 34 reviews. . .
32 of them being 5 stars.
I happily add my 5 stars to the others
and highly recommend this book to you, dear friends.
You won't regret reading The Mark of the King.

** I was given a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for an honest review.
All thoughts and opinions are my own. No other compensation was received. **

About the Author
Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author 
of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, 
including Wedded to War, a Christy Award finalist in 2013, 
and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition
which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. 
Jocelyn lives with her husband and two children in Iowa. 
Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Pocket Full Of Love


All love that has not friendship for its base,
is like a mansion built upon the sand. 
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox -

Hello, my lovely friends!
I trust you are well 
and having a splendid week.

With Valentine's Day just around the corner
{where oh where has January gone?!}
I thought I would share this fun and easy penny pocket tutorial.
This little pocket is perfect for filling with goodies 
for a special loved one or friend for Valentine's Day
or simply make one to give as a "happy happy"
to bless or cheer someone.




What you will need:

two 10-inch squares of fabric
one 5-inch square of fabric
lace or ribbon for the handle
one strip of fabric that is 1 1/2-inches wide
and 10-inches long {this is for the fabric flower}
beads
pink roses or other embellishments




Cut the 10-inch squares in half.




Take the 5-inch square. . .




And fold in half.




Fold in half again.




Top stitch along the two edges.
This isn't necessary,
but I like the look of the stitching.




Pin the folded 5-inch square to the center of the front side fabric.
Pin the handle halfway underneath the triangle.
My handle was about 14-inches long.




Place the lining fabric right side down onto the front side fabric
and pin into place.
Using a 1/4-inch seam allowance
sew along the edge that you just pinned together.




Open it up and press with a hot iron.




Tuck the handle up underneath the triangle.




Now fold the square along the seam. . .




Pin into place and sew with a 1/4-inch seam allowance
along the two raw edges.




Make sure you leave a small opening in the lining 
so that you can pull everything through.




Pull the penny pocket through the opening
and with a blunt but pointy object 
{like a chopstick, the end of a crochet hook, etc}
gently push the two ends out so that they are nice and pointy.
Sew up the opening
and push the lining inside the main fabric.
Press with a hot iron.




To make the fabric flower
take the 1 1/2-inch x 10-inch piece of fabric
and fold in half.
Sew a gathering stitch along the raw edge
and pull gently to gather.




Attach the two ends to create a flower.




And finally. . .
add some beads to the bottom of the penny pocket
by simply stringing some beads onto some thread.




Take the needle to the backside of the pocket like so. . .
Pull the thread all the way through so that the beads are touching the fabric
and knot it off.




As you can see,
I applied the flower to the triangle
and also added a silk rose to the center.
You will see some pearls behind the flower.




To finish it off
I attached a paper tag to the pocket with a small clothespin.






And here's the finished product. . .




You are probably wondering what I tucked inside
so let me show you.
In the pocket you will find:

3 tea bags
2 chocolates
1 fabric heart ornament




The ornament is made out of soft minky swirl fabric.
Oh, it's so sweet and soft!




You could hang one of these penny pockets on someones door
as a delightful surprise on Valentine's Day.




Also, I should tell you that you can make two penny pockets 
out of the two 10-inch squares.
You will simply need one more 5-inch square.




And if you're not into sewing
or simply don't have time
than no problemo!
I have some of these charming penny pockets listed in my Etsy shop
and they have already been filled with goodies.










You can check them out by clicking here.

And just to let you know
I made some Scripture tote bags
and have just listed them in my shop.
They can also be used as lunch totes, yarn totes, etc.




Thank you for visiting, sweet friends.
Your visits bring me great joy!
Love and hugs to you!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Blessed Quietness

I will hear 
what God the Lord will speak. . .
- Psalm 85:8a -




Joys are flowing like a river,
Since the Comforter has come;
He abides with us forever,
Makes the trusting heart His home.




Bringing life and health and gladness,
All around this heav’nly Guest,
Banished unbelief and sadness,
Changed our weariness to rest.




Like the rain that falls from Heaven,
Like the sunlight from the sky,
So the Holy Ghost is given,
Coming on us from on high.




See, a fruitful field is growing,
Blessed fruit of righteousness;
And the streams of life are flowing
In the lonely wilderness.




What a wonderful salvation,
Where we always see His face!
What a perfect habitation,
What a quiet resting place!




Blessed quietness, holy quietness,
What assurance in my soul!
On the stormy sea, He speaks peace to me,
How the billows cease to roll!
- Manie Payne Ferguson -




The Holy Spirit performs many important ministries
in the life of a Christian.
One of these is to give us a calm and tranquil spirit,
despite the circumstances of life that may come our way.
- Kenneth W. Osbeck -




Speak, Lord, in the stillness,
While I wait on Thee;
Hushed my heart to listen,
In expectancy.

Speak, O blessed Master,
In this quiet hour;
Let me see Thy face, Lord,
Feel Thy touch of power.

For the words Thou speakest,
They are life indeed;
Living bread from heaven,
Now my spirit feed!

All to Thee is yielded,
I am not my own;
Blissful, glad surrender,
I am Thine along.

Speak, Thy servant heareth,
Be not silent, Lord;
Waits my soul upon Thee
For the quickening word.

Fill me with the knowledge
Of Thy glorious will;
All Thine own good pleasure
In Thy child fulfill.

Like a watered garden,
Full of fragrance rare,
Lingering in Thy presence,
Let my life appear.
- Emily May Grimes -




Have a blessed 
and peaceful Lord's Day,
sweet friends!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Confetti Cake Batter Cookies

Good morning, friends!
I hope all is well in your neck of the woods.
How is your weather?
Last week we enjoyed lots of snow
and I had the opportunity to go snowboarding with my dad and nephew
and at times the snow was blowing up to my chest-
oh, it was so light and fluffy!
This week we've "enjoyed" rain and freezing rain.
There have been quite a few road closures
and due to a 150-yard avalanche the Interstate was shut down.
Weather like this makes me ever so thankful for a warm home.
Wherever you are, dear friends, I hope you stay safe and warm.

Today I thought I would share a tasty cookie recipe
that I made over the holidays.
They would be perfect for a Valentine's Day tea or party.
The original recipe for these cookie can be found 
at this lovely website.




Ingredients:

1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 1/4 cup yellow or vanilla DRY boxed cake mix
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup {1.5 sticks} unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips 
1/2 cup of white chocolate chips
1/2 cup sprinkles




In a large bowl, sift together flour, cake mix, and baking soda. 
Set aside.
Using a mixer cream the softened butter and both sugars together 
on medium speed until smooth. 
Add the egg and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. 
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. 
Add the vanilla and beat on high until combined. 
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients 
and mix on low-medium speed until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and sprinkles. 
Mix on low until the add-ins are evenly disbursed.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours.
 The dough is fairly sticky, so chilling the dough is required 
in order to avoid the cookies from spreading too much. 

Once dough has been chilled, preheat oven to 350°F. 
Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Scoop rounded balls of the cold dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, 
use about 1.5 Tablespoons of cookie dough per cookie. 
Shape your cookie dough balls to be "taller" than they are wide
{this step works wonders for making "fluffy" cookies}
Make sure to keep dough chilled when working in batches.




Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until edges are slightly browned. 
The centers will still appear very soft, but the cookies will set as they cool. 
You can also press a few more chips into the tops of the cookies at this point 
{the chips will melt down and stick from the warm cookies}.
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 4 minutes 
and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.




Now. . .make yourself a cup of tea, coffee, or hot cocoa
and sit down with a good book while you munch on a cookie. . .or two.
You won't regret it, sweet friends :)
Stop by the website that shared the original recipe
as she has many delicious recipes that are sure to make your mouth water.




Enjoy the remainder of your week!
{{hugs}}

************

New handmade Valentine's Day goodies available at 
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