Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Autumn Walk

   These pictures were taken in 2012 but never posted. Since September has come around again, and since I'm not finding time for walks and picture taking this year, I post the old ones:

   In July I took you on a walk around the square mile north of my house. I took some pictures on the same section roads on a warm September afternoon. The sun was so bright I had to snap blind shots, but you can get a feel for fall from them. Too bad I can't post the smell and the sound of the wind in the corn. Field corn is the only crop yet waiting for harvest.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sick and Tired

   In a conversation the other night, a friend confessed that she got sick and tired of something and didn't respond properly. She didn't justify her feelings. In fact, she condemned them. Yet, I suspect, judging by my own experience, that she felt a little bit of justification for her feelings. She knew the actions that sprang from them were wrong and also that they themselves were wrong --- but something in the situation almost required them.

   Though we can't help feeling some justification at wrong feelings when they are provoked by unrighteousness, yet the more we inwardly justify those feelings, the more we tend to feel guilty about them and to feel yucky about ourselves, especially if we don't distinguish between the feelings and the sin which we indulged in because of those feelings. If we separate our feelings and our actions, we can more easily apply The Shield of Faith and find victory in the situation.

   We ought never to indulge that irritable, sick-and-tired feeling, even in the worst of circumstances. We wish we never experienced it. We want to be like the Lord Jesus who in face of temptation "resisted unto blood." We want to have our Lord's patience and humility and never be bothered by the way others treat us. But, alas, we often are!

   Perhaps you have developed a high degree of patience, and you practice good habits. You have had your mind renewed by the washing of the word of God, and by the grace of God you have learned to endure in many trying situations. Perhaps you rarely feel tempted to indulge frustration. Nonetheless, if you are still in the body, there is still sin that dwells in you. If sometime you let down your guard a little or you meet with a situation more difficult than ever before, that sin may rise up and cause you to feel . . . .

sick.   and.   tired.

   When that happens, you might justify yourself, blame the circumstances and give in to sin. BAD IDEA.

   You might rather condemn yourself for your feelings, and give in to discouragement. Another BAD IDEA. It may seem a bit more spiritual than the first option, but it is likely to cause you to give in to sin as well as discouragement.

   The right thing to do when you feel irritated or annoyed is to look to God to forgive you for the feelings that you couldn't keep from welling up inside. Tell Him about the discouraging things that cause the feelings, and ask Him for grace to do right despite them. 

   It is possible to FEEL sick and tired, and yet DO what is right. It may be a better, higher thing never to feel irritated or annoyed by anything (though I am not certain of that,) but the sin for which we are held accountable before God is in our ACTIONS not our FEELINGS. Yield not your members to unrighteousness. "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof." (Rom. 6:12). You may feel "the lusts thereof" (i.e. the sinful feelings) without yielding to it. Sin shall not have dominion over us. (Rom. 6:14). By grace we have the power to do right . . . even when we feel sick and tired.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Basket Weave Baby Blanket

Here is another baby blanket to keep in store for all the babies on the way. This one is made with Red Heart yarn that was given to me.

28" x 34"

4 skeins worsted weight yarn
size 8 circular needle
size G crochet hook

CO 120 stitches
Row 1: (Right Side) Knit across
Row 2: (Wrong Side) K5 P3 across
Row 3: K3 P5 across (Knit knits and purl purls)
Row 4: Repeat Row 2
Row 5: Knit across
Row 6: P5 K3 across
Row 7: P3 K5 across (Knit knits and purl purls)
Row 8: Repeat row 6

Repeat rows 1-8 to desired length (about 33 1/2 inches), ending after row 4 or row 8.
Bind off.
Single crochet around all edges of afghan.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Abiding Joy

An Excerpt from Chapter Nine of 

Royal Bounty

Frances Ridley Havergal
(1836 - 1879)

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 
~ John 15:11

Who that has known anything of joy in the Lord but has asked, "But will it last?" And why has the question been so often the very beginning of its not lasting? Because we have either asked it of ourselves or of others and not of the Lord only. His own answers to this continually recurring question are so different from the cautious, chilling, saddening ones which his children so often give. They are absolute, full, reiterated. We little realize how unscriptural we are when we meet his good gift of joy to ourselves or to others with a doubtful, and therefore faithless, "if it lasts."

"To the law and to the testimony," O happy Christian! there you shall find true and abundant answer to your only shadow o the brightness of the joy. So long as you believe your Lord's word about it, so long it will last. So soon as you ask of other counselors and believe their word instead, so soon it will fail. Jesus meets your difficulty explicitly. He has provided against it by giving the very reason why he spoke the gracious words of his last discourse. "That my joy might remain in you." Is not this exactly what we were afraid to hope, what seemed toog ood to be true, that it might remain? And lest we should think that this abiding joy only meant some moderated measure of qualified joy, he adds, "And that your joy may be full," repeating in the next chapter and intensifying it in the next. And lest we might think this was said with reference only to an exceptional case he inspired his beloved disciple to echo the words in his general epistle: "That your joy may be full, and the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you."

Never in his Word are we told anything contradicting or explaining away his precious and reiterated promise. All through we are brightly pointed not merely to hope of permanence but to increase. "the meek shall increase [not merely shall keep up] their joy in the Lord." There are mingled promises and commands as to growth and increase in grace, knowledge, love, strength, and peace, and does not increase of these imply and insure joy? Is joy to be the only fruit of the Spirit of which it may not be said that it sprang up and increased?