Monday, February 28, 2011

Imported Blog

Good Evening, Dear Friends!

I just wanted to let you know that I just figured out how to import my old blog into the new format. In doing so some of the posts slipped through and went directly to your mailboxes. Please disregard old posts. I am hoping to have the switchover complete and be back on track soon.  I apologize for any convenience. Take care and God bless!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Our First Shabbet Meal

This morning I shared the fact that my husband and son and I were very much looking forward to our first Shabbet meal together, and I promised that I would let you know how it went once it was over. Well, I'm pleased to say that it went very well and I'm here this evening to share my day and our meal with you.

First of all, as a family we decided that Friday evenings simply would not work for us due to already established routines, so we opted to share our Shabbet meal on Saturday evenings when the whole family was guaranteed to be together.

This morning started with The Day Of Preparation. As far as that was concerned, I didn't really have to do a whole lot. I will never have a sparkling clean home, but I do pretty much try to straighten house every night before going bed and I normally spend Saturdays cleaning and getting things ready for Sunday morning service in our home anyway, so, as far as all that goes, today was really no different than any other Saturday. I did do a couple of extra things that I wouldn't normally do in preparation for tonight, but the biggest thing for me was preparing the hallah bread. 

After I got the dough finished and had the first loaf of bread braided and on the cookie sheet to rise I remembered Nancy Campbell saying somewhere that hallah bread is traditionally an eggy bread and that she just uses her regular bread recipe and adds a couple of eggs to it. So, I grabbed the bread back up off the cookie sheet, threw it in the Kitchen-Aid, threw in a couple of eggs and an extra 1/2 cup of flour and, after it was well mixed, reformed my loaves, let them rise, and baked them. I was worried that they might not turn out right, but they did. In fact, they were very good! (It sounds like we ate them both for supper tonight, but we didn't! We still have a full loaf left for tomorrow. :)

Hallah Bread


When it was time for the meal, and since it was our first time, I brought Nancy's article The Shabbet Meal with me to the table so I could make sure that we were doing everything in order (at least in the order the Campbell's do it because that's all I really know about it). It was definitely different, but it was also very beautiful!

I dressed the table in white...white table cloth, white plates, white napkins, white candles in crystal candle holders...and used my best silverware and glasses. I made sure there were fresh flowers, too. The table was simple, yet extra pretty!
Our First Shabbet Table


When we were seated we held hands and my husband prayed. Then I lit the candles and thanked the Lord for being the Creator of Light and for His Son, the Light of the World, Jesus Christ. I asked that He would fill us with His Light and that it would shine forth out of us unto others.

After that, my husband read Proverbs 31:10-31 aloud and blessed me by saying some really sweet things about me. When it was my turn I read Psalm 112 and blessed my husband by saying some sweet things about him. Our son couldn't help grinning, chuckling, and blushing through this part!

My Husband Reading From Proverbs 31:10-31

Me In The Middle Of Blessing My Husband

Our Son Grinning and Blushing Over The Blessings


After the scripture reading and blessings of husband and wife, my husband blessed our son that was at the table with us, and spoke scriptural vision and blessings over him and our married children and their families, as well. Our son blessed us by quoting a verse of scripture that he had memorized in Hebrew several years back.

Next, I passed around a bowl of water with a towel and we each washed our hands. This wasn't done for the sake of cleanliness, but is symbolic of having clean hands and a pure heart before God. At this time we made apologies for things that needed apologizing for.

After the hand washing came the blessing over the bread and grape juice. My husband gave the blessing, then we all broke a piece of bread off of one of the big loaves (this symbolizes Christ's body that was broken for us) and dipped it in the olive oil dip that I had made for this occasion (1/4 cup olive oil, 2 T. balsamic vinegar, 2 T. Parmesan cheese, 5 cloves of crushed garlic, oregano, basil,  and black pepper).

While the guys continued to enjoy the bread and oil, I got up and brought the rest of the food to the table. Per my husband's request, I prepared a fresh, green salad with vinegar and oil and tortellini with marinara sauce. The meal was delicious and we took our time to savor each bite.

After the meal was over it was time to clean up.





All in all, even though it was different and strange, I think our first Shabbet meal went very well, and my husband was delighted! He just kept thanking me over and over for taking the time and effort to do this for our family. I think it's something that he's wanted to do for a very long time. I also think that we are all already looking forward to our next Shabbet meal!

(For further reading on how one marriage was saved through the Shabbet meal, be sure and read Make Every Meal A Love Affair over at ABOVE RUBIES website.)

Video - Does Anybody Hear Her

My Desire For Curb Appeal by Darlene Schact



If you've ever watched HGTV, listed a home for sale or worked in a real estate office, you've heard the term "curb appeal." Curb appeal offers potential buyers a good first impression. It signals pride of ownership before they step through the door. It offers the impression that the interior is well kept. It tells visitors that you care about the space in which you live.


It's a well known fact to all of us that curb appeal can boost the beauty--and value--of our homes. In fact we had a friend who went as far as mowing the neighbors' lawns on each side of his house just so they also looked well kept, and incidentally he got an amazing price for his home.

I miss the days when detail intensified the beauty of architecture--when homes lining the streets were different one from another. When brass door handles, ornate mail slots and chiming door bells were the first things to welcome one home. And when ornate window panes framed each beam of sunlight that crept into a room until it found rest.

I live in a home, that I've taken special care to add character to. One particular hobby has been designing our front yard with over-sized flower gardens and a cobblestone deck. Blue Adirondack chairs with striped pillows are a welcome sign to our guests, while a large floral wreath draws them toward our red door. I spend hours on end planting my flowers, carrying stone, and pulling the weeds that threaten my plants--all this in hopes that I've welcomed my family and friends.

Of equal importance to me, however, is the welcome I offer my husband each day. From the moment he steps through the door, I want our house to feel like a home. I want life inside that door to be a haven of comfort and rest. And I want my husband to know I'm his help-meet.

When Daddy comes home, the children know that all activity ceases and quality attention is given to him. This curb appeal not only boosts the beauty of our relationship, it signals the pride of ownership that we share, and tells him that he's valued in our home.

Life can be busy and dinner time can be especially hectic, but with just a little effort on our part we can make a lasting impression. I know that even five extra minutes of my time can make the difference, and set the stage for a great evening. It's the little things that count.
  1. We have all chores done before he walks in the door, and try to have things like the dishwasher and vacuum turned off.
  2. I make sure that the television and stereos are turned off so that the house is peaceful.
  3. If the kids are excited about something, I encourage them to wait about 15 minutes before they share their news.
  4. I try to have dinner prepared before he arrives. For me it's not always cooked, but the preparation is usually done.
  5. When I have problems to deal with, I wait until after dinner to spring it on him. I know that he's always happier when his tummy is full.
  6. I always greet him at the door with open arms, a kiss, and a warm embrace.
  7. I make an effort to look at him when he is speaking so that he has my full attention.
  8. I close my computer if I'm on it, and if I'm chatting on the phone I'll try to end the conversation and call her back later.
Since curb appeal is the first thing they see when they walk through the door, home-improvement is something all time-warp wives should consider. It's not a difficult task by any means, and the end result is well worth the investment we make.

Darlene Schacht is an ordinary mom, living an extraordinary life, because of who she is through Jesus Christ. As help-meet to her husband Michael, she guides and nurtures their four children, leading them toward a deeper walk of faith.

Her work has been published in anthologies by Thomas Nelson, Tyndale Publishing and Adams Media. As well she has co-authored a book with actress Candace Cameron Bure called, “Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness.”

You can find her blogging at Time-Warp Wife where she empowers wives to joyfully serve.

My Son Requested It For Lunch...

Fresh-From-The-Oven Pizza

SHAMROCK GARLAND GIVEAWAY ON HEARTH AND HOME



Just in time for St. Patty's Day I've made up a bunch of these cute little shamrock garlands and I've got one to giveaway! For a chance to win a SHAMROCK GARLAND of your very own leave a comment here telling me what your favorite "green" thing or, if you prefer, what your favorite shade of green is.

For a second chance to win share my link on your site or comment about my giveaway on your blog, then come back here and leave a comment telling me that you did so. (Don't forget to leave a link to your site so my readers can visit!)


This contest ends Friday, March 4th, 2011. Thanks for entering!

Good SATURDAY Morning!

Good Morning, Dear Friends!

And welcome to my new (and hopefully improved)  HEARTH AND HOME! I've had nothing but trouble with the original site since first starting it. My followers have never shown up and, here lately, I've had a lot of complaints from people trying to leave comments without success. So, thus, the reason for going at it from another angle.

I've got so much to share...so many changes that are taking place within my feminine heart, soul, and spirit...that it's hard to know where to start...and, to be honest, I don't know that there are words to express all that the Lord is doing within me right now, so, for now, perhaps it is best not to try...just let things rest until the words (and actions) have formed. That's one of my problems! In my zeal I always run out ahead of the Lord and, to my detriment and His, a lot is lost along the way and precious moments and life-lessons are lost forever.

I will tell you all this though. My husband and son and I are getting ready to share our first Shabbet meal together tonight. I first read about Shabbat in an old issue of ABOVE RUBIES magazine and, the first time I read it, I thought, "Oh! This is crazy!!! These people are so legalistic!" LOL! (And, from what Nancy Campbell writes, the first time she read about it, she must have thought similar thoughts herself!) Anyway, a few years later I read something about it in one of Nancy's writings and I thought, "I guess it's okay for them, but...for me? Not a chance!" (It was somewhere in there about that time that my dear husband expressed interest in doing such a thing, but I just didn't get it at all!) The third time I read about the Shabbat meal I was a little more interested, and, finally! On my fourth go-around something clicked! I have spent the last week planning and preparing for our first Shabbet meal together and I am so excited! The day is finally here! Now! To get started preparing and putting my plans into action! I look forward to tonight's meal, as does my husband and son. I will share more later as to how it goes.

Now, for those of you who are asking, "What on earth is SHABBAT?" I am including the links to three beautiful articles shared by Nancy Campbell of ABOVE RUBIES where she shares, not only the beauty of what Shabbat is, but how their family has celebrated it for years (and why they celebrate it) and ideas on how you and your family can celebrate this special meal to bring blessings down upon your own home, family, and marriage. Here are the links to the articles:

THE SHABBET MEAL

THE DAY OF PREPARATION

EVERY MEAL A LOVE AFFAIR

For those of you who ask, "Isn't Shabbat a Jewish celebration?" Yes, it is. We're not Jewish, but Jesus was, and, being that we are engrafted in Him, we are free to "...keep the feast..."...not because we have to, but, rather, because we choose to.

I will let you know how our first Shabbat meal goes after it is over. Until then, have a beautiful Saturday, and enjoy the many blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon you!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Friday, February 25, 2011

New Blog Site

I've been having a lot of problems with my original HEARTH AND HOME blog (followers won't show up, folks have had a lot of trouble leaving comments, etc.) so, I have decided to build a new one and am in the process of doing so now. Please bear with me as I get things set up. I'm excited to have a new place and pray that I don't have the technical difficulties that I've had in the past. Welcome to Rebecca's NEW HEARTH AND HOME!!!

In My Kitchen This Afternoon - Egg Rolls and Crab Rangoon (Minus The Crab)

My husband doesn't like deep-fried foods, so to make these little gems, I do the following...

EGG ROLLS

To make the egg rolls I mix shredded, cooked chicken breasts or tenders, cabbage which has been shredded, grated, or sliced very thin, grated carrots, minced green onions, ginger, light salt and black pepper. I stir-fry altogether until the vegetables are crisp tender, then fill egg-roll wrappers, brush with olive oil, and bake on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven until browned on both sides.

CRAB RANGOON (MINUS THE CRAB)

My son has a fish allergy so I can't use any kind of fish product (real crab or imitation) in the rangoon, so what I do, and it's quite tasty, is I simply mix a package of low-fat or fat-free cream cheese with minced green onions, onion powder, and a little garlic powder. I brush with olive oil and bake on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven until lightly browned and edges are crispy.

Homemade, Oven-baked Egg Rolls and Crab Rangoon (Minus The Crab)

Good FRIDAY Afternoon - 2/25/11

Good Afternoon, Dear Friends!

COOKING TIPS TO SAVE YOU MONEY! From 'Living On A Dime's' Tawra Kellam

Cooking Tips To Save You Money!
by Tawra Kellam
http://www.LivingOnADime.com

Need a quick cooking tip? Here are a bunch of little things you can do to save a lot of money in the kitchen!
  • Put flour in an old spice bottle to use when flouring cake pans.
  • Unsure what a Dutch oven is? It's just a 6-8 quart saucepan or large pot.
  • Having leftovers again? Serve them by candlelight with tablecloths or place mats. A tablecloth and candles make even plain meals look special.
  • This is an unexpected canape and a handy little finger food. Take your favorite cream cheese dip and roll about 1 teaspoon full into a ball. Press it between two walnut halves. Lay on a platter to serve.
  • Save dry cereal odds and ends to add to your Chex mix when you make it.
  • Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting it in the fridge. It will keep much longer.
  • When you have one hot dog, hamburger, sausage patty, or slice of ham left over, put it in a container in the freezer. Use these leftovers to make a meat lover's pizza or to add a little more zip to a regular frozen pizza.
  • Add a few of your favorite spices to a frozen pizza or add extra cheese and toppings.
Mix and match any of these:
  • Bread and honey butter. This is an old fashioned easy stand by. Place some soft, fresh bread on a plate and honey butter in a bowl for something that is good and couldn't be easier. (Make honey butter by mixing a little bit of honey into regular butter.)
  • Sliced fruit of any kind. Cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, kiwi and others work well.
  • Sliced veggies of any kind. Try tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots or celery.
  • Sandwiches of every kind. You aren't committing a sin by serving your family easy sandwiches on a hot summer day. Combine them with fresh fruits or veggies and you've got a meal.
  • Salads - Jello, fruit, veggie, pasta or potato salads make great summer fare.
  • Desserts - Ice cream, ice cream and more ice cream. Make it into floats, banana splits, brownie sundaes or regular sundaes, milk shakes, ice cream pie or ice cream sandwiches.
  • If you have leftover brownies or cake, add a few pieces to the bottom of a dish and then top with pudding and whipped cream.
  • Keep a bag or container in your freezer to store that 1 or 2 pieces of coffee cake, donuts or other baked goods that are sometimes left over (which doesn't happen often in my house ;-). Then when you get enough for your favorite bread pudding recipe (hopefully one that is in the Dining on a Dime Cookbook, use them instead of bread.

Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt, by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips & recipes visit http://www.LivingOnADime.com


Kellam Media and Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 844, Andover, KS 67002, USA

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chef Antonio's Ratatouille

For years we have referred to our youngest son as Chef Antonio. Tonight he blessed us by making his restaurant quality ratatouille and it was DELICIOUS!!! He made brownies dusted with powdered sugar for dessert.

Ratatouille Served Over Fresh-From-The-Oven Bread

In My Kitchen This Afternoon...

Fresh-baked Italian and French Bread

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Good TUESDAY Morning - 2/22/11

It's hard to believe that it's only been a year since our son-in-law's father, Fred, passed away. So many things have happened since then. My husband and I have lost three very special, very close uncles, a grandchild has been born to us, another is in heaven, we have had ups and downs, gains and losses, joys and sorrows. Through it all God has been there. During the times of sorrow His love has sustained us. During the times of joy His presence has moved us to even greater depths of love and appreciation for those He has put in our lives and bound us to in His infinite wisdom.

So often, especially in times of trial and testing, we question the Lord. We ask, "Why is this happening to me?" "Why is this happening in our family?" Over and over again we question the Lord, doubting His promises and even His very presence in our lives.

But, you know, it is through these hard times that we grow. It is in these 'hard times' that we go running into the arms of our Heavenly Father and they move us ever closer to Him. It is in these 'hard times' that we seek Him out and commune deeply with Him, because it is in these hard times that no one else can ever truly know and understand what we are going through deep down in our hearts and spirits. God can because He is our creator and we are created in His image. God, and God alone, knows us better than anybody on this face of this earth ever could or will.

If you are going through hard times right now...physically, financially, spiritually...if your marriage is in trouble, or if you have suffered loss and are having a hard time healing...keep this thought in mind...

God knows what you're going through...and He cares!


"For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end" (Jeremiah 29:11). 

If you are questioning God and His infinite wisdom concerning the place you find yourself in today, consider these words of the Psalmist...

"Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word" (Psalm 119:67).

"It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn they statutes" (Psalm 119:71).


"I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me" (Psalm 119:75).

Instead of asking negative questions that lead to self-pity and the undermining of our faith in God, why not try a new thing? Why not ask positive questions of the Lord?

"Lord, what are you trying to show me in this situation?" "What are you saying to me, Lord?" "What are trying to tell me through these current circumstances?"

Then...take time to listen to His answer.

"Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbor, and every one to his brother, What hath the Lord answered? and, What hath the Lord spoken?" (Jeremiah 23:35)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Good MONDAY Morning 2/21/11

It's a rainy Monday morning here in southwest Missouri, but I am thankful for another day to enjoy God's many blessings and be a part of His wondrous creation! Thank You, Lord, for all that You have given us!

After a weekend of preparation I am off to a good start with Inspired To Action's "Maximize Your Mornings" e-book. I read through it over the weekend and filled in my blanks, shared my goals with a friend (who also happens to be my accountability partner), and was up and at 'em this morning and, thus far, am making progress. Praise the Lord!

One of the coolest things that happened during the course of the weekend was, as I was reading "Maximize Your Mornings" Kat was talking about listening to praise music. Well, as anyone who knows me knows, I am always the last person to get any kind of new electronic device, because, generally, other than my computer and cell phone, I have no use for them, and, also as anyone who knows us knows, our house is so small that there is no privacy. I was thinking that if I turned praise music on at 5:30...6:00 in the morning, my son would be up in no time and my private time with the Lord would be over. This made me wonder about the value of owning an mp3 player.Yesterday afternoon I was looking them up on-line (not that I had the money to buy one, because I didn't, but just out of curiosity to see what they were all about and how much one would cost), when, lo! And behold! IN THE COURSE OF LOOKING THEM UP the Lord opened a door and within minutes I had an mp3 player in my hand! Unbelievable! I had no more conceived the idea about checking into one of the things and there it was! Is the Lord and His ways not simply amazing?

So, with that, I started my morning this morning with praise and worship using my very own, new-to-me mp3 player with music that I downloaded last night, and am off to a fresh start to my week! In addition to "Maximize Your Mornings" I am currently going through Darlene Schact's Study of Ruth and am reading daily from Nancy Campbell's "100 Days of Blessing". Both of these resources have proven to be a real blessing as and I am extremely thankful for both of these beautiful women of God!

Well, that's it for now. You all have a wonderful day and I'll talk to you again soon! God bless all here!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Sunday, February 20, 2011

RECIPE: SEASONED COATING FOR OVEN-BAKED CHICKEN

This is what I use to coat my own oven-baked chicken breasts, nuggets, and strips. This is enough to do a 3-lb. bag of breasts or tenders.

In a gallon Ziploc baggie mix:

1 cup flour
4 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Shake to mix; add chicken pieces and shake to coat. Bake chicken at 400 degrees in a pan that has been drizzled with olive oil until browned on both sides and juices run clear.

Crochet Pattern - Graceful Shell Shawl

This shawl is BEAUTIFUL! It's definitely on my 'to-do' list!

http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/graceful-shell-shawl

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"...And The Wife See That She Reverence Her Husband."

I recently purchased HOW TO ENCOURAGE YOUR HUSBAND (an e-book put together by Nancy Campbell of ABOVE RUBIES). I've been reading through it this evening and am enjoying it very much!

The first chapter quotes Ephesians 5:33 from the Amplified Bible. The King James Bible says it this way...

"Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."

What is "reverence"? And what are some ways that it can be exhibited in your home?

A Love-Collecting Box

(This was such a good idea that I couldn't resist sharing it here. To read the full article that precedes this piece please visit Holy Experience and read Ann's article on 'How To Make A Marriage Bed'.)

Our Love-Collecting Box: The Back Story

Why we have a box on our dresser collecting dollars and a long-ago letter to Ann Landers that spawned the collecting-box phenomenon…

“Dear Ann Landers: Last weekend, we celebrated my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. This morning, they left on a long-awaited trip to Hawaii. They were as excited as if it were their honeymoon.
When my parents married, they had only enough money for a three-day trip 50 miles from home. They made a pact that each time they made love, they would put a dollar in a special metal box and save it for a honeymoon in Hawaii for their 50th anniversary.

Dad was a policeman, and Mom was a schoolteacher. They lived in a modest house and did all their own repairs. Raising five children was a challenge, and sometimes, money was short, but no matter what emergency came up, Dad would not let Mom take any money out of the “Hawaii account.” As the account grew, they put it in a savings account and then bought CDs.
My parents were always very much in love. I can remember Dad coming home and telling Mom, “I have a dollar in my pocket,” and she would smile at him and reply, “I know how to spend it.”
When each of us children married, Mom and Dad gave us a small metal box and told us their secret, which we found enchanting. All five of us are now saving for our dream honeymoons. Mom and Dad never told us how much money they had managed to save, but it must have been considerable because when they cashed in those CDs, they had enough for airfare to Hawaii plus hotel accommodations for 10 days and plenty of spending money.
As they told us good-bye before leaving, Dad winked and said, “Tonight, we are starting an account for Cancun. That should only take 25 years.”
Loving Daughter in Abilene, Texas
Perhaps today might just be perfect as any to slip out and find you and your Beloved your own little love-collecting box? 
It’s a mighty fine way to make up a marriage bed 

… “His mouth is full of sweetness. And he is wholly desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend.” ~Song of Solomon 5:16

Friday, February 18, 2011

Seed Selection

This article is definitely worth reading and considering before ordering this year's garden seed...

http://mountaincommunitycoop.wetpaint.com/page/Seed+Selection

Lemon Cupcakes For Springtime


A friend of mine posted the recipe for these beautiful, sunny cupcakes on her site and I am passing it on here:

http://www.thesimplefarmmarketgarden.com/2011/02/lemon-cupcakes-for-spring-time.html

Little Purple Crocuses


 Our front lawn is a buzz with honey bees pollinating these lovely little crocuses that grow along our south lawn. Thought I'd share some of their loveliness with all of you on this beautiful, sunshiny day!












And Our Winner Of The Classic Booties Giveaway Is...



...A.J. Spoelstra of Ontario, Canada!!! Congratulations, A.J.!!! As soon as you send me your address I will send out a pair of white booties as requested! Again, congratulations and thanks for entering my giveaway. I plan on doing more in the future! God bless!

Love,
~Rebecca

Thursday, February 17, 2011

CLASSIC BABY BOOTIE GIVE-AWAY FROM HEARTH AND HOME

The drawing is tomorrow, but it's not too late to enter for your chance to win!

http://rebeccashearthandhome.blogspot.com/2011/02/classic-baby-bootie-give-away-from.html

Life Is Like A Teacup



Teacups...

They come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. Some are short
and fat, some are tall and slender, some are stout and strong, while still others are very fragile and delicate. But every one is different...unique...and useful...made to serve a purpose.

Just as teacups are different, so is what goes in them! Some cups hold tea, while others hold coffee, hot cider, juice, or just plain ol' water. It's all a matter of personal choice and preference.

Another choice we make when filling our cup is how full to fill it. Some cups have "just a smidgen" in the bottom, while others are "comfortably full." Still others are "full to the brim" and "overflowing."


How much like people's lives and life itself this sounds as we study out and think about teacups and what goes in them!

Like teacups, people come in all sizes, shapes, and colors...yet each one is different...unique...and useful...made to fulfill a divine purpose.

Just as unique as what goes into a teacup, so, too, is what goes into a person's life. Different events and happenings all aid to our individual uniqueness. While many of these events and happenings are part of God's divine course for our individual lives, a lot of these events and happenings are made as a result of our own choosing. Each of us make choices every day that will effect our lives...forever!

Some of these choices are big, major decisions that leave a definite mark on our personal history and time-line, but...by far...most of the decisions that we make are small, day-to-day decisions...decisions made as minute-by-minute we work through the day at hand. Decisions that for the most part are forgotten as quickly as they are made, but in some small way, as small decision upon small decision is made, they will effect our life...forever
changing it's course...in one way or another.

What kind of decisions are you making minute-by-minute? What do those choices reflect about what's really going on inside of you? Are you making decisions that glorify the Lord? Are you constantly striving to live daily for Him? Are the decisions you make aiding in and adding to your spiritual growth? Or are the decisions that you are making in day-to-day life leading you, one small step at a time, further and further away from the Lord? If so, it's never too late to change the course that your life is taking.

Also, just as we must decide what to fill our lives with, we must choose how full to fill them. Is your life shallow and, for the most part, empty? Perhaps it is "comfortably full?" Perhaps you are one of those people who are careful not to step outside the comfort zone that you, in fact, have set up for yourself. Or are you adventuresome and willing to step outside of your comfort zone...fully lending yourself to the Lord so He can accomplish His goals and His agendas through you, as well as, lead you into a life that`s "full to the brim" and "running over?"

Whatever the case...I challenge you...the next time that you fill your cup...with whatever it is that you enjoy drinking...reflect back over your life. Think about the things that have been talked about here. Compare your life to a teacup. What kind of cup would you be? What would be in that cup? And how full would it be if your life were suddenly transformed into a teacup? Are you willing to pour out your life as a drink offering unto the Lord...so that He, in turn, can re-fill you with His love and compassion for people? Are you ready to put yourself in position to receive all that He has for you as He fills you with an unquenchable zest for life?
 
In John 10:10 Jesus tells us that He came that we "might have life" and that we might "have it more abundantly." Are you willing to step back, re-evaluate and let Him fill you and your life "up to the brim" and "running over?" Boy! I sure am! I am to the point that I want less of me and more...more...more of Him. How about you? 
 
~Rebecca Knox 2001

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Green Garlic Zoom

I've been meaning to post about this since Christmas, but kept forgetting until now and that's because I just used it. Our youngest daughter and her husband got my husband this neat little gadget for Christmas to aid him in cutting up his garlic (he's half-Sicilian and cooks pasta and sauce on a daily basis). Anyway, it was a neat little gadget and I wanted to share it with you. The Green Garlic Zoom can be purchased at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for $9.99.

Green Garlic Zoom - Bed, Bath, and Beyond    

A Call To Holiness

It is just amazing to see the things that God is doing in our day and time! One of the things that we believe the Lord is doing today, is calling His people to walk in holiness before Him.

1 Peter 1:13-16 tells us, "...gird up the loins of your mind, be sober...As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he [God] which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, BE YE HOLY; FOR I AM HOLY."

Now...an honest evaluation reveals to us, that not all is well today with twenty-first century Christianity. There are trends that should alarm us, even among the so-call fundamental groups. One of these trends is the loss of holiness...the absence of a Bible-based, God-honoring expression in the daily lives of many professing believers in Christ. True Christianity is not just all talk...it is a way of life.

The word "conversation," as it is used in 1 Peter 1:15 means "behavior." As Christians, our calling in Christ Jesus is to be a distinctive people, set apart for God...pure in every area of life. Jesus came to "...save his people from [not in] their sins." (Matthew 1:21) Romans 6:22 says, "But now being made free from sin [through Christ], and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and in the end everlasting life." Hebrews 12:14 tells us, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." Notice that the hope of eternal life and holy living are synonymous.

People who claim to be Christians cannot give their hearts to the Lord, call themselves sanctified, and just go on living the way that they did before they got saved!

Holiness, or sanctification, is both instant and progressive. It is instant upon our repentance toward God, upon faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for His saving, cleansing power, and through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in our heart and life. Holiness is progressive as we pursue Christian growth and obedience to all the revealed will of God through Bible study and prayer.

Holiness begins in the heart and works its way out, affecting the thoughts, talk, action, dress, and lifestyle of the person who allows the Spirit of Christ to rule. The result is a powerful testimony of God's saving grace.

But today, mainstream Christianity has exchanged piety for pleasure, conscience for convenience, and modesty for moral looseness. The devil has deceived people into believing that they can somehow do their own thing, (whether it be being involved in a homosexual relationship, engaged in sex outside of marriage, participating in drug addiction or the use of alcohol, being involved in pornography, or any other sin against God) and still be in the center of God's will and under His blessing. The truth is...those who do their own thing are not holy. They are disobeying God and living in sin.

It seems that becoming a Christian has been reduced to a respectable social event rather than the radical, life changing, death-to-life experience that the Bible teaches. Being a member of a church and "talking" Jesus, Bible, and the Holy Spirit all day long does not make a person holy. If a person's lifestyle hasn't changed, it is because their heart has not been changed. Yet many people today believe that they can live however they choose and still be heaven bound.

Romans 8:13 says, "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [cut off or put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live." There is security in Christ if and when we meet Bible conditions.

Is it possible for people to be made holy? Of course it is! The Bible teaches that holiness is God's will for all of us! Titus 211-12 says, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world..."

Jesus Christ came to both pardon and cleanse the sinner. To be cleansed means to be sanctified and made holy. The holy person has not lost his ability to sin, but it is his desire and will not to sin.

In conclusion, we believe that God is still calling His children to be a separated, holy people in this wicked world in which we live. We join the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1, when he says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."

Valentine's Day 2011

Although it's over...a belated HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!! (Actually, I was writing this last night when my internet connection suddenly disappeared and I was not able to reconnect until after I talked with my server this morning. So...here we go! I'll just continue from where I was...

2/14/11 -

Today John and I celebrated 23 years of marriage. Our children got together last night and took us out to dinner at Denny's in Lamar. What a joy and blessing it was to look upon each of the sweet faces of our children, their spouses, and our beautiful grandchildren as they gathered around those pulled-together tables laughing and talking and sharing with one another. There were 19 of us in all. Little did John and I know when we started out on this crazy adventure all those years ago that we would be so extremely blessed as we are today! We are so thankful for the family that God has blessed us with! Praise the name of the Lord!


2/15/11 -


For the past 8 years we have held an on-line Valentine exchange for the homeschoolers on our Yahoo group. This year we added to that experience by hosting our first in-home Valentine exchange and party for the local members and, boy! Did we ever have have fun! There were games, sweet treats, valentines galore, lunch, and even tea for some of the moms (some of the moms had to leave before we got that far). Here are few pictures of the morning's events...


Our Littlest Valentine - Granddaughter Sarah Kathleen

Isn't This A Fine Looking Group Of Girls And Boys?

Cookies and Cupcakes - Aren't They Pretty?

Playing A Game



Chocolate-covered Strawberries - Beautiful!

Valentine Goodies

Tea Time

Homemade Valentines

(And, by the way, there were three big guys here, too, but they didn't make it into any of the pictures. :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine Necklaces

I just whipped up these little valentine necklaces for the little ones who will be attending the homeschool Valentine's Day party tomorrow. As soon as I can I'm going to sit down and write out my pattern.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

CLASSIC BABY BOOTIE GIVE-AWAY FROM HEARTH AND HOME



There are four ways to enter for your chance to win a pair of CLASSIC BABY BOOTIES for the baby in your life. Just make sure to come back here and comment on each one that you choose to do, because the more you do the better your chances of winning !



Here are the four ways that you can enter:

1) Leave a comment here telling my which color of booties you prefer should you be the chosen winner (you have a choice blue, pink, or white).

2) Somehow link my blog with yours (share my link on your page, comment about my blog on yours, etc.) Leave a comment and a link here so others can find it.

3) Check out my new shop on ETSY.

4) Join HEARTH AND HOME on Facebook.


Don't forget to leave a comment here for each way you choose to enter AND make sure I've got a way to get a hold of you in case you win!!!



This contest closes Friday, February 18, 2011.

Thank you for taking the time to enter!
Click Here To See The Best Valentine You Can Give Your Husband

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Good Morning, Dear Friends,

This past week has been a long one full of stress (both good and bad) and I can't help but feel rather anxious about it all at times.

Fortunately, though I struggle constantly with not knowing what to do about, or how to handle, one situation or another, I know the One Who does...the One who will lead, guide, and direct my path if I will only settle down and allow Him to do it. Unfortunately, at times, this becomes rather difficult for me and it's my own doing. Things happen and instead of immediately running to the Word and the safety and protection of my Heavenly Father's arms, I start stressing and worrying over things in the natural which I have no control. In doing so, I only give place to the devil and, in no time, my whole world is out of control.

While I don't have many of those "older women" that Titus 2 talks about in real life I am so very thankful for all the lovely sites for women that I have found over the years and for the comfort that they have provided in times of trouble. Time Warp Wife, Holy Experience, and Above Rubies especially have all lent comfort to my troubled soul in recent days as they continually calm my spirit and point me toward the One Who gave Himself for me...the One Who has already paid the price...the One Who loves me so. If it weren't for JESUS where would I be?

In the days ahead it is my goal to cling ever tighter to my Saviour...to stay in His Word...and to trust Him at every turn. In recent days we've had some real eye-opening experiences as to just how scary...how fragile...this life really is. It is what I do (the choices I make) TODAY that matters and THAT in accordance to God's Holy Word...NOT according to the world's standard.

The Lord...HE is my refuge and my strength...a very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1) and it is upon Him I will depend!

I pray that each and every one of you all have a wonderful weekend full of God's many blessings!

In Him and With All My Love,
~Rebecca

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fresh-Baked Cinnamon Rolls

I Made A Double-Batch Today

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Good Morning, Blog Readers!

It's another cold morning here in southwest Missouri (6 degrees up from -4 upon arising this morning). We got another several inches of snow yesterday morning, adding to the foot or more that we still had on the ground from last week...BUT...according to the weatherman starting today each day is supposed to be a little warmer until we are up the 60's by next week. I cannot wait! I am really hoping for an early spring!

I don't think I shared these photos here before, but we went from this on the 29th of January...






To this less than 48 hours later...





That's my lilac bush sticking up out of the snow in the forefront there! Ohmygoodness!!!

Anyway, the weather is improving and I am very much looking forward to warmer temperatures and lots of sunshine!

As I write this I have a double batch of cinnamon rolls raising in the kitchen and they smell so good! I have been making them, along with other baked goods, for friends and family and am enjoying it very much. I think they are, too! :)

Another thing I've been doing is crocheting a lot. At present I am working on mini-afghans for the grandchildren for Christmas, along with items for my new shop on Etsy. I am looking into other ideas as well.

Well, I didn't really have anything exciting to share this morning. I just wanted to touch base with you all and let you know that I am thinking of you. Have a wonderful day and may God richly bless each and every one of you!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Cookie Cutter Candles (from SwarmNaturals)

What an awesome idea!

http://swarmnaturals.blogspot.com/2011/01/how-to-make-beeswax-cookie-cutter.html

GIVEAWAY From SWARMNATURALS

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