Voice

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Psalm 29:3-9  The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightening. The voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forest bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!” 

Last week I spoke about the importance of sharing your faith story with your family and friends at a retreat in Minnesota. As the day approached, I was becoming more and more anxious to speak in a room full of women. So, I enlisted my faith sisters to pray over my insecurities to let God’s voice be heard. God is good. Through the prayers, He taught me that my faith is bigger than my fears. I was able to make it through my presentation without looking at my notes too often. Later in the day, I had a lady tell me that she battled breast cancer ten years ago. She began writing letters to her two boys, but just couldn’t finish them. She was going to leave the retreat and complete the letters to her sons that evening. Another lady was contemplating starting a blog. She told me that as she listened she could feel God pushing her towards launching that blog. God is good! He used my simple words to reach these women.

With all the noise in the world, make your words count. How will you allow the voice of God to be heard through the words speak?

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Love Letters

Letters

1 Corinthians 13:1-7   If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes always preserves. 

I love receiving letters in the mail. It began when I was young. My grandmother sent me weekly handwritten letters updating me on the events happening in her life, two states away.  She encouraged me as a newly married woman and inspired me to love unconditionally. I looked forward to her letters and my heart would leap when her beautiful envelopes would arrive in my mailbox.

I followed Grandma’s example. Every week my children received a handwritten love letter when they were away at college. I updated them on local news, encouraged them and most importantly, I let them know that they are loved unconditionally.

The Bible is God’s letter to you. He has so much to tell you – so much advise – so much encouragement – so much unconditional love!  Love is mentioned 310 times in the King James version of the Bible. 131 times in the Old Testament and 179 times in the New Testament.

Thursday is Valentine’s Day. Hand write a love letter to someone special in your life. It will mean more than any store-bought card or box of chocolates.  However you celebrate, know that you are loved by an amazing God.

1 Corinthians 13:8-13  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 

Write Your Story

Writing

Deuteronomy 4:9-10  Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

Write your story for your children and grandchildren. You have a unique story that only you can tell. Be your authentic self as you share words of wisdom, stories of success and areas of failure along your faith journey.

Moses encouraged his people to remember what God had done for them, to share their story with their children. This is how people learned about our great God. God’s story is not complete yet, because you are a part of God’s story.

Continue God’s story as you share your faith journey with your children. Include the miracles you have seen first had as God has worked in your life. Let your children know that they are loved by their heavenly father, and by you!

God bless you as you begin writing your story.

Choose Life

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Luke 1:41-42 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!”

Choose Life – Mary had an unplanned pregnancy, but she chose life! I was an unplanned pregnancy, but my mom chose life! I struggled with infertility, but God chose life (3 times)! Your mother chose life! When legislators are making poor choices regarding abortion,  you can continue to make the right choice – Choose Life.

I love knitting and designing knit patterns. I felt this was a good week to share with my readers a pattern I designed for little ones.

The Remington Hat was conceived out of love for my nephew and his wife who, after struggling with infertility for several years, were blessed with a beautiful their baby boy, Remington. While searching for the perfect hat to knit for this precious little one, the only hats I liked were for baby girls that I liked. So, I designed a hat fitting for our new special bundle of joy. I hope you enjoy the hat as much as Remington and his parents do.

 

THE REMINGTON HAT

Finished Size = Baby (toddler, child)

Finished Measurements =  13” (14”, 16”) relaxed around brim.

Yarn = Cascade Venezia Sport (307.5 yards [281.25 meters] / 100 grams): 1 skein.

Shown in color #130.

Needles = One 16” or 40cm circular needle size US 5 (3.75mm).

One set of five double-pointed needles size US 5 (3.75mm).

Change needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Notions = Yarn needle, scissors, stitch marker.

Gauge = 22 stitches and 30 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

 

Knit Hat – Using circular needle, CO (cast on) 80 stitches. Join for working in the round being careful not to twist, and place marker to indicate the beginning of the round. Work in rib pattern (k2, p2) until the hat measures 2” (5cm) from CO edge. Work in St st (knit all stitches every round) until the piece measures 4 ½” (11cm) from CO edge.

Begin Decrease – decrease for the crown as follows, changing to double-pointed needles when there are too few sts to fit comfortably around the circular needle:

Round 1: *K8, k2tog, repeat from * to end. (72 sts)

Round 2 & 3: Knit.

Round 4: *K7, k2tog, repeat from* to end. (64 sts)

Rounds 5 & 6: Knit.

Round 7: *K6, k2tog, repeat from * to end. (56 sts)

Rounds 8 & 9: Knit.

Round 10: *K5, k2tog, repeat from * to end. (48 sts)

Rounds 11, 13, 15 & 17: Knit.

Round 12: *K4, k2tog, repeat from * to end. (40 sts)

Round 14: *K3, k2tog, repeat form * to end. (32 sts)

Round 16: *K2, k2tog, repeat from * to end. (24 sts)

Round 18: *K1, k2tog, repeat from * to end. (16 sts)

Round 19: K2tog around. (8 sts)

Finishing – Break yarn, leaving a 6” (15cm) tail. With tail threaded on a yarn needle, draw tail through remaining sts and pull snugly to close top of hat. Take tail to inside of hat and fasten securely. Weave in ends.

Optional Pompom – A pompom can be added easily to the Remington Hat with the leftover yarn from your skein.

Cut a strip of stiff cardboard half the width of your desired finished pompom. Cut a notch in each short end to secure the yarn. Wrap the yarn around the cardboard strip many times. The more wraps, the fluffier your pompom will be. Cut a length of yarn about 6” (15cm) longer than the width of your wraps and thread it on a yarn needle. Slip the needle underneath the wrapped strands along one long end of the cardboard and pull through, leaving about 3” (7.5cm) hanging out at each side. Tie the ends of the strand snugly into a single knot and hold or ask a volunteer to place a helpful index finger on the knot for a moment. Cut the wraps along opposite long edge of the cardboard. Pull the knot very tight, and finish with another single knot to make a square knot. Fluff up the pompom and trim the ends.

 

Pattern Abbreviations

CO cast on

K knit

K2tog knit two stitches together

P purl

sts stitches

St st stockinette stitch; knit all rounds

Seek Peace

barn at sunset

1 Peter 3:8-12  Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the lord are on the righteous and his hears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

…..seek peace and pursue it.

Take time to enjoy the long peaceful winter evenings. Light a candle. Work a puzzle. Read a book. Share a meal with a neighbor. Linger longer in your prayer time. Listen to what God has to say to you in the quiet, peaceful winter days ahead.

Where will you go to seek peace?

Inspire

inspire

2 Corinthians 8:10  And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter; Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so.

Ten years ago for Christmas, my parents gave me this inspire stone. I keep it on the stand beside my bed as a reminder very morning to do for others.

God has blessed all of us with many gifts. Great intentions to use these gifts to help others are nice…. but what you actually do with what you have been given is what matters!

How will you inspire, give and do for others this week? May God be with you as your desire to give increases.

Christmas Presents

christmas presents

Isaiah 9:6  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

We are officially out of the Christmas season. Most homes have their Christmas tree out at the curb. Their decorations neatly packed in red and green totes and returned to the basement for another year. The baked goods have either been eaten, thrown away or taken to work in an effort to remove them from the kitchen before the New Year’s diets begin.

But, what about the Christmas presents? After all the wrapping has been recycled, where are the gifts you were given this year? Are they hanging neatly in your closet, or on a shelf in the garage, or maybe tucked away in a drawer to be used later. The lines in stores suggest that many gifts may have been returned for the correct size, color or completely different gift.

God has given you a gift. The greatest Christmas gift to ever be given. He gave us his son, Jesus! Don’t tuck His gift away. Unwrap the gift of Jesus and keep him in your heart all year long.

God bless you as you enjoy your gifts in the new year.