Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Encouraging The Younger Women

I’ve been researching some things for a blog post about using a planner and so have been checking out a lot of my pinterest ‘pins’ to see what I can learn for what I want for myself, but also to help with what I wanted to share.
What I found in every link to a weblog of some sort was that the people seemed to all be female, but most of them were also young enough to be one of my daughters.

It surprised me a bit as I was thinking how come these young ladies know so much at 20 or 22 etc.

I realize that living in today’s world is so much faster and more up-to-the-mark than it was in my younger years. For one we didn’t have computers nor did we know anything about the World Wide Web. Cell phones were bricks if you had one and keeping up with everyone was either by a landline telephone or letter!

Now there are times when I wish we were still like that - a slower pace in life, less demands on our lives and the constant need to be up with the play with everything. Like a lot of us it would be nice if people looked up from their phones or away from their desks to talk face to face but really that’s a whole other issue.

Mind you I wouldn’t have this blog and you wouldn’t have come across it either!

I especially looked at the beautiful photos of all these young ladies and thought to myself ‘would people be put off by seeing an old lady posting on her blog?’ and, ‘how would she know what the younger generation are wanting or looking for?’

God spoke to me from a piece of scripture in Titus 2 about the older women teaching the younger ones

Titus 2:3-5 Tree of Life Version (TLV) 
3 Likewise, older women are to be sanctified in demeanor—not backbiting or enslaved to much wine. Let them be teachers of what is good, 4 so that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, managing their household, kind, submitted to their own husbands, so that God’s word may not be dishonored.

I saw then that it was me He was asking to step into the place of teaching younger women. A lot of them won’t have their mother or grandmother near or even with them anymore so they will look to someone like me knowing that I have been through the tough things and come out the other side so able to base my thoughts on genuine experiences.

A man was praying for me the other day and he said he saw a vision of my hand reaching up to a blind on a window and the sunlight was just slipping though the gap and on to my hand. He said this was God starting to use me in a new way to shine His light on others.


1 Timothy 5:2 The Passion Translation (TPT) 
Honor the older women as mothers, and the younger women, treat as your dear sisters with utmost purity.

As my life situation is changing I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life.
So with this in mind I was spurred on to actually post more here.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

In The Life Of Me.

A little while ago one of my daughters set me a challenge on Facebook to:

Day ? in the life of me. 
Seven days, seven photos, all Black and White of everyday life.
No explanations.
Challenge a friend everyday.
Today I challenge....

Now it could possibly be a sort of chain letter like what used to be sent out in years gone by.
chain letter is a message that attempts to convince the recipient to make a number of copies and pass them on to a certain number of recipients. The "chain" is an exponentially growing pyramid (a tree graph) that cannot be sustained indefinitely.
Common methods used in chain letters include emotionally manipulative stories, get-rich-quick pyramid schemes, and the exploitation of superstition to threaten the recipient. Originally, chain letters were letters sent by mail; today, chain letters are often sent electronically via emailsocial network sites, and text messages.
But as it really is up to the person challenged, as to whether they take on the challenge and no-one is being threatened or hurt by participation or not, I thought I would give it a try. At least it gave me an excuse to share a bit of my life instead of just other topics of info.

And then I thought I would share it on here with the coloured pic and a bit of info ... just to show I wasn't tied to it and its demand!

so...
 Day 1 in the life of me. 
Seven days, seven photos, all Black and White of everyday life.
No explanations.

Bible reading in the morning.

Day 2 in the life of me. 
Seven days, seven photos, all Black and White of everyday life.
No explanations.

Work (Must have deleted the coloured one of above)

Day 3 in the life of me. 
Seven days, seven photos, all Black and White of everyday life.
No explanations.


 Unfortunately I must have deleted the colour one of these.
It's taken on the road back from a Lay Ministry training day in Otorohanga

Day 4 in the life of me. 
Seven days, seven photos, all Black and White of everyday life.
No explanations.


KFC Greeting table - Kid's Friendly Church, Sunday Mornings.

Day 5 in the life of me. 
Seven days, seven photos, all Black and White of everyday life.
No explanations.


Milly in my exact favourite spot - I always have to move her
and she gives me 'that look'!
Day 6 in the life of me. 
Seven days, seven photos, all Black and White of everyday life.
No explanations.


The view from my favourite spot (above)
Not the exact photo. I seemed to have saved the black and white ones but not the original.

Day 7 in the life of me. 
Seven days, seven photos, all Black and White of everyday life.
No explanations.

Baking, Jam and Walnut Muffins, Chocolate Caramel Square,
Lemon Loaf in the oven, Pumpkin Soup defrosting and
bread crusts to dry as the oven cools down for bread crumbs.
Once again not the exact photo. I seemed to have saved the black and white ones but not the original.

And after posting these I had realized that each day really is the same, but occasionally with something different like a course or visiting family or friends, errands and shopping to make them differ, but it is all good.
My Mum used to ask me each time she rung on a Saturday morning, how my week had been and I'd say "Just the same."
Now I could have given her details of everything I had done that week but sometimes she just didn't need to know.
She used to respond with something like "A bit boring then" and after awhile it got to me and made me ponder what my days and weeks were like.
It occurred to me that I was happy with how they were as I was open to anything happening over the week that would be different no matter how little and so I would respond to her comment, "No, not boring or I would do something about it." 
After a few weeks she wouldn't say that any more.

But I did like the way my weeks were pretty predictable and I could arrange things around that. It meant that there weren't unpleasant surprises and there was a sense of rhythm in my day to day life.

But now at 89, my mother sits in her lounge chair at their home day after day with not much happening apart from her daily care by others, and although that is fine and she doesn't seem to want to do anything else when I ask when I visit, I wonder if she comprehends a sense of boredom. 

I hope that if she does she will take up the offers of others to do something and if not she is content in just sitting and pondering.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Natalie's Cardigan

With the winter months I have finally found time to finish knitting a cardigan for one of my grand-daughters.
I started it way back in April and unfortunately days were busy and so its taken far too long to complete. Hopefully she will get some wear from it before it becomes too hot for winter woollies.
The pattern required a change in stitches in every row so it was not an easy pattern to follow but it makes a nice diamond affect.
Unfortunately when I went shopping for the buttons I just took some wool rather than the garment and I think it may have needed bigger buttons. But she may not actually wear it done all the way up so might be fine. I can always stitch the button holes so they are a bit smaller if needs be.

Now onto the next one in grey but I am changing the pattern to have more plain rows and little mountain shapes.

Interesting the photos are all of the same cardigan just some with a flash and some not!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Shelling Walnuts

We didn't know for sometime that we had a walnut tree at the back of our garden. It has been growing for sometime and I don't remember planting it but somehow it has arrived. It certainly wasn't there when we first bought the section in 1989.

Walnuts, like a lot of nuts trees take a long time to produce, hence the saying:

If you want to provide for your children, plant fruit trees; and if you want to provide for your grandchildren, plant nuts.


And it would appear that for us, that is true as it has only been the last few years that we have found the walnuts and it is the grandchildren who happily gather them. Quite a bonus as they  see it as a fun activity we do together rather than a chore.

A couple of years ago we had noticed the tree in amongst an area we had never cleared and as it was over grown we chopped out most of the dead or weedy plants leaving the tree and the big Rimu. It may have been the clearing out around it that helped it to produce, but it was then that we noticed its early fruit. I picked some and cut them open trying to find what kind of "fruit" it was even wondering if it was a quince.

Then one late summer we noticed the hens having a good old scratch around the base of the trees and saw the walnuts. So for the last two years we have been gathering and drying our crop.
It's been great having our own supply as I use them in a lot of my recipes, but it can be a long drawn out time cracking and storing the inside nut.

A walnut first grows as a green 'fruit' as it ripens the outer green skin splits and draws back over the shell and turns black. At this stage the nuts fall from the trees either by 'escaping' the dried up black covering or just coming off completely in tact.

It's best to gather these in the Autumn as soon as possible so they don't get too wet and succumb to rot or diseases, then we dry them in little plant pots in the hot water cupboard.

Then its time to shell them. We've found if you leave them in the shell for too long they still deteriorate.

Today I wanted to bake some of my Jam Muffins which have walnuts in so I decided to crack open the last nuts, so also clearing out the spot in the laundry where they had been stored.

With a cup tea and a few bowls for collecting nuts and then shells I sat out in the warm winter air. With the crack, crack sound, it didn't take long for the hens to come checking out what I was doing.
I had noticed in the past they would rummage around below the deck finding grubs etc and thought they also enjoyed the shells. Little did I know that it was actually the walnuts they wanted. (well of course - they were having a great time under the walnut tree before we knew what they were doing!)



I had already given them a few old crusts but they wanted more. To the extent that they would grab anything near enough. Then just when I was on the last few and Harry had come to crack the hard shells, they decided they had to get in or miss out!


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Leave Them at the Altar

In the garden at the bottom of our section we have a sort of native part. There are native trees and plants, a stepping stone path to the letter box and bark chips as a covering so you can just walk amongst it.

Hidden at the back is a pile of different sizes stones – a small stone altar I made many years ago after I had a break down.

Exodus 20:25 If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it.

It is built of stones from around the section and each stone was a representative of people in my life that I was worried about and God had told me I needed to leave them there as an altar, trusting Him to be in control.

Over the years there have been times when I have laid another stone on it as a symbol of letting things go and trusting God in it.

I have been reading the first few chapters of the Old Testament in the Bible and there is often reference to building an altar especially as a reminder of God.

In Genesis 8:20 after the flood… Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. This was a form of thanks to God for bringing Noah and his family safely through the flood.

When God appear to Abram and showed him the land he was going to possess he built an altar as a place of remembrance

Genesis 12:8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD. 

Genesis 26:25 Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well.

Genesis 35:1-3  Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.” 2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. 3 Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.”

Exodus 17:15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner.

If you do a search on Bible Gateway.com for ‘an altar’ you will come up with over 300 to 400 references (depending on which Bible you base the search on). That’s a lot of talk on altars.
The building of the altar is laid out in detail in Exodus being God’s instructions to Moses and the building of the first tent or tabernacle and altar to God. It is carried on with references in the first seven chapters in Leviticus of what these offerings and sacrifices are to be. The more you read the more you see that God sees the altar as a place of coming and bringing our sacrifices to Him whatever they were for
Burnt Offering 
Grain Offering - also called Meal or Tribute Offering 
Sin Offering 
Guilt Offering 
Peace Offering - also called Fellowship Offering: includes: (1) Thank Offering, (2) Vow Offering, (3) Freewill Offering
These offerings were of animals
Oxen – service and strength (Proverbs 14:4 ) 
Sheep – meekness and purity (Isaiah 53:7 ) 
Goats – sin and judgment (Christ became sin for us) 
Pigeon – poverty (Leviticus 12:8 ) 
Turtledoves – innocence (Psalm 74:19 ) 
with different types of bread. Whatever the response was for, it was a physical coming to a place of significance to God and a giving over of an offering to Him.

An altar always represented a place of dedicating something in this case to God. They were often built to commemorate an encounter with God that had a profound impact upon someone. When we surrender areas of our lives to the control of the Holy Spirit, we are in effect laying that area on the altar before God. We can symbolically lay that on the altar and let go.

I found that as part of my prayers, if I am really struggling with prayer for someone or something there comes a time when I have to physically hand it over as a reminder of doing so. When it comes again into my head or heart I can claim that I have handed it over to God in faith knowing He will take control with the best outcome for the issue.

1 Chronicles 21:26 David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering. 

God honoured David’s desire to be right and to fellowship with God by answering with consuming fire from heaven on the altar he had built on a simple, unadorned place.  As it always is when we draw near to God for cleansing and fellowship.


So I found four stones (don’t ask me where they come from but they keep turning up around our place!) one each for my husband, my youngest, my parents and my job and naming them with the prayer I am praying, I placed each one on the altar.

While I sat and pondered this the birds above me were feeding on the berries in the tree I was sitting on Cotoneaster 'Cornubia' . I picked them and scattered them as the berries for me were a symbol of the blood of Jesus who is the living sacrificial lamb.

To walk away from this act means for me I am truly leaving the things I have named there for God.
I’m not to ‘pick them up again’.
This in itself can be hard but then its only with God’s help that I can do so.

“Do not believe for a moment that visible grandeur is necessary to the place where God will meet with you. Go to your threshing floor and pray; aye, while the unmuzzled oxen take their rest, bow your knee and cry to the Lord of the harvest, and you shall meet with God there amongst the straw and the grain. Fear not to draw nigh to God in these streets, but consecrate all space to the Lord your God.” (Spurgeon)

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Just For Today

Do you ever have one of those days… or weeks... or maybe even a year?
Well so far this year – yes the first five or six months, have not been the best.
In fact right now I have taken a sip of a cup of Healtheries Chamomile & Vanilla tea and burnt my bottom lip!

Earlier today after making a decision last night about my future I was still not feeling like I was in a good place. I had to run some errands between finishing work late and a JP appointment and as I drove I talked to God. My car CD player no longer works and I think it was something God let happen as I spend a lot of time talking to Him now!

You know all the “stuff” that happens in your life that in most cases you cope with or get through - like entering a tunnel on a train where it is all dark and you finally come back into the light and all is OK even though you knew it would be that way. But from past experiences you’re not sure how long that tunnel is or if there might be a breakdown in it and someone has to come and rescue you.

If you have read my blog you will know my husbands and my history with mental health issues.

With the decision I’ve made things should feel better but I was still troubled. I heard God say, tell me about it… so this is how it went….

“I feel so weak with everything going on.
Too weak to deal with it.
I know that when I am weak You are strong.
I know when I just can’t do it I just have to hand it over to You and that is what You want.
To surrender it all to You.
You want me to say ‘I can’t do it’ because then I let You take control instead of trying to sort it myself.
But in that I still feel I want to know it will be OK.
How do I relax in knowing You are in control
I can’t see it.
I want a sign – assurance.
It’s like I’m stuck in that tunnel
I trust that You only have the best.
That only good is what You have for us who believe.
That I should believe that all will be well.
When I hand it all over to You, and I do.
But there always seems to be a ‘but’
I know my faith should just trust.
But
There are too many people I love and want the best for.
My family (and I named what I pray for them)
I want to know it will all be well“

God spoke

“Your faith is all you need”

With that I sighed. It’s funny it was like I had been holding my breath – and then let it out.

Later that night I was browsing facebook and saw this post from Ann Voskamp

…just for today -- DO. NOT. WORRY. "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." Matt6:34MSG

Just for today: Be a prayer warrior--not a panicked worrier.

Worry is just the facade of taking action -- when prayer really is. Bottom line -- keep breathing deep and give your worries to God -- He'll give you His peace.

His Word gently lifts our chins:
"The Lord bless you & keep you;
the Lord make His face to shine upon you & be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up His countenance upon you & give you peace.” Nu.6

While reading this I had some Hillsong music playing, and an older song I Will Exalt You played


I will exalt You
I will exalt You
I will exalt You
You are my God

My hiding place, my safe refuge
My treasure Lord You are
My friend and King Anointed One
Most Holy

Because You're with me
Because You're with me
Because You're with me
I will not fear

Even though the 'stuff' hasn't really changed - yet - my heart is rested.
Throughout the day God was saying 'all is well.' Right through Facebook kposts and songs I listened to!

Like my lip – it’s sore, but I know in time it will heal and all will be well.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Feijoa and Apple Loaf


I made a banana and feijoa loaf the other day and Daniel asked if I could make an apple and feijoa one. I have plenty of feijoa loaf recipes but I had to go looking for one with apple in.
I found a cake recipe from here and have adapted it to bake as a loaf.
You will need a food processor or kitchen whiz. Not sure how it would work without one.
It definitely has cake consistency to it but is nice eaten in slices.


Feijoa and Apple Loaf 

Ingredients

Skin of 1 orange
1 cup raw sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup white flour
½ tsp ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
Good pinch of tsp salt
½ cup wholemeal flour
¾ cups sliced apple (cored and quartered – skin on – thinly sliced cross-ways)
¾ cups sliced feijoas (skin, halve and slice thinly)
½ cup vegetable oil (not olive – I used canola)

Method

Preheat oven to 180ÂșC.
Grease or line a loaf tin with baking or grease proof paper.
With a potato peeler finely peel the skin from the orange. You don’t want any of the white pith so be careful as you peel.
Place this and the sugar into a processor bowl and pulse until the peel is chopped a bit.
Break the eggs into the orange sugar. Pulse for a few seconds and leave sitting while you assemble other ingredients.
Sift white flour, baking soda, ginger and salt together into a small bowl then gently stir in wholemeal flour. Set aside
Measured sliced feijoas and apple flesh separately.
Process the sugar and egg combo for a further couple of minutes.
With the motor running, dribble the oil very slowly down the feed tube.
Process for another couple of minutes, adding the apple slices.
Remove lid and add half the dry ingredients, pulse, add the remainder and pulse again.
Add the feijoas to the mixture and pulse briefly until just combined.
Spoon mixture into prepared tin and bake for about 45 minutes or until a screw comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely and with serve with icing sugar sprinkled on the top or with a light spread of butter.