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Sensitive to Warning (Spurgeon’s Faith’s Checkbook)

From Charles Spurgeon’s “Faith’s Checkbook”
Sensitive to Warning
April 3
Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the Lord. (2 Kings 22:19)

Many despise warning and perish. Happy is he who trembles at the Word of God. Josiah did so, and he was spared the sight of the evil which the Lord determined to send upon Judah because of her great sins. Have you this tenderness? Do you practice this self-humiliation? Then you also shall be spared in the evil day. God sets a mark upon the men that sigh and cry because of the sin of the times. The destroying angel is commanded to keep his sword in its sheath till the elect of God are sheltered: these are best known by their godly fear and their trembling at the Word of the Lord. Are the times threatening? Does infidelity advance with great strides, and do you dread national chastisement upon this polluted nation? Well you may. Yet rest in this promise: “Thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace: and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which l will bring upon this place.” Better still, the Lord Himself may come, and then the days of our mourning shall be ended.

From the Faith’s Checkbook Mobile Devotional Android app – http://www.LookingUpwardApps.com/fcb

 

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Dear Lord, Can We Please Have 48 Hour Days?

I always have to keep this in my mind and heart to keep me throughout each day.

There never seems to be enough time to get everything done, and I’m always making lists, whether mentally or on paper, of what I need to get done.  I could use a  few 48 hour days to get things done.  My day usually starts out with getting up by 9 at the latest, usually though nearer 8 in the morning.  I have to call Jk to go get what I need so I can take my meds.  Because of this Jk usually cooks breakfast for us now.  Then it is a matter of waiting for the meds to kick in so that I can move around with minimal pain and swelling in my back and legs.  Once that kicks in my day officially begins.  First we tackle Jk’s schooling, This takes up anywhere from just the morning time, to up until my husband gets home from work, depending on how Jk is approaching her schoolwork.  Yes, she like every other child has her good and bad days.  Because of her dyslexia we have days of frustration, and days when everything seems to click just right.  On her bad days we don’t get anything else done.  On the good days she works quick and that usually leaves me the afternoon.  We usually sneak lunch in somewhere along the way. On those good days I play catch up on things I need to get done.

Today was one of those days.  I got 3 chapters read in a book that I nned to finish and review.  I also cut out 2 shirts to sew for my husband, and 4 “Selena Gomez”-style shirts to sew for Jk.  That pretty much took up the afternoon for me, because I don’t use a pattern and have to lean over my bed to lay them out and cut them. I finished about 20 minutes before my husband got home, and had to take more meds for my pain and laid down.  I decided while Jk thawed the hamburger out for dinner (Shepherd’s Pie), I would get a little blog in while I wait for my meds to kick in again.  After that I’ll go down stairs, and cook dinner.  All this time today I’m also doing laundry, and folding clothes, washing the bedding from my bed, because my husband likes to eat snacks in bed…you know those midnight type of full meals that most men call snacks. Then he wonders how crumbs get in his side of the sheets…imagine that?!  So I decided to get them done so he could start the process of covering them with crumbs once again.  I now have them in the dryer and the last load of laundry in the washer, and feel like I have done pretty good for the day,. even if I still have to cook, fold clothes and make the bed.

Even with this I still have so much more to do, and could really use a few 48 hour pain-free days to do it in.  There is still parts of the house to clean, things to sew, over 30 books I need to read and review, awards to blog, mending, and so much more to do.  But I know when my back and legs have reached their limit and today they have.  Once dinner is done, the bed is made and the clothes are finished being folded and put up, I will consign myself to doing things that I can work on while sitting in bed, like reading, blogging, catching up on emails, facebook, and other sites that deal with my book reviewing.  I will probably stop around 1 a.m., and try to get a few hours sleep before starting the whole process over tomorrow…always feeling at the end of the day like I haven’t been able to get enough done, and wishing that tomorrow would be another day where I have enough freedom from pain to do a little more than I did today.  That is why part of my daily prayers to the Lord always seems to be…”Dear Lord, Can we please have 48 hour days?”  More hours to get things done that need to be done.  More hours to depend on God to help me through, and more of a chance to live each day to the fullest.  More hours in the day to thank the Lord for his love, help, and strength, that helps me get through each day. 

 

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The Prayer Shawl

This past year I watched as all the things that happened in this world started having an affect of many of my friends and family, even to those in our home right now.  Military budget cuts caused massive layoffs for those working in the military contracting area, my husband, Don being one of them.  For a guy who had worked all his life, including serving 22 years in the military, it was devastating and quite worrying to him, to say the least.  With no federal budget being passed, and very few jobs open in his area of expertise things didn’t look promising.  As a pretty new babe in Christ, having something hit you from out of the blue can be a real trial on your newfound faith.  What made it worse is the way he was laid off.  We had been away at his father’s funeral, and just returned the day before.  He got up that Friday and went into work like usual.  For some reason his key pass didn’t work and a fellow worker had to let him into the building.  He went straight in and began his work day, doing what he knew he was suppose to.  About  2 hours into the day, one of the bosses came walking into the room he worked in, and asked my husband what he was doing there.

My husband looked at him puzzled, and said, “I’m working.”

“I can see that, but why?  What are you doing here today?”  The boss was as puzzled at Don’s response, as Don was at his question.

Don paused, and looked at the boss, sizing up what he must be talking about, thinking he meant why had Don come instead of staying home the extra day after the loss of his father.  Don finally responded, “Oh I just couldn’t set at home today.  I figured it would be better for me to keep my mind busy working.”

The boss suddenly looked down, shuffled his feet, and said, “No, I mean, why are you here today?  Didn’t they tell you that you were laid off yesterday?”

To say the least, Don was stunned!  No one had called, emailed, sent a letter, or even spoke to him face to face.  Not one of the leads at his job had thought to let him know, although they all knew he was gone at the funeral of his father.  Not one even after that tried to explain how it all happened, or the reasoning behind it.  It was months before he  finally found out what all took place and how the failure in communication came about.  Nor did they seemed concerned about their failure, or about how their failure affected Don at that time.

I’ll never forget the look on his face when he walked in that door 4 hours earlier than he usually would.  To say he was downcast would not cover it.  We didn’t know how we were going to get by, because we had just used our savings to travel up north for the funeral, and for expenses while there, and we had to put out most of it before time on a replacement for our refrigerator, dishwasher, and the clothes dryer.  We knew we were looking at some tough times ahead.

Most people would have gotten angry,  downcast, even angry with God.  I knew that with new believers that happens often because their faith isn’t built up to the point of total trust in the Lord.  But for me, it was old hat.  I had been a single mom, who had to trust the Lord to help me through, even to provide for our daily meal at times.  I knew that my God was faithful and if we turned it all over to him, that the Lord would care for our needs during this time.  It was the best gift I could give my husband that day, my love, the encouragement that the Lord would see us through, and a hug filled with all the love and hope I had in me.  Of course the Lord took care of us, for over 6 months my husband was without a job.  The house payment was met, the utilities, gas for the car, medical needs, and even groceries were taken care of all during that time.  God was faithful to care for us, and all during that time we felt his loving arms around us, showing that love and compassion to us daily.  Yet, there were so many we knew going through similar things, and some going through worse things.  What in the world could we do to help so many?

Jesus with a prayer shawl.

It was during that time, a friend said to me, if I lived closer I would be giving you a hug right now, to let you know just how much you are cared for.  I live quite a distance from my dearest friends and my family, so this thought from her was really something that got me through, and it is what the Lord laid onto my heart in showing my own love, care and compassion for others.  There have been so many times that someone I knew was going through something and I wished I could be there to hug them, love them, and encourage than, but I couldn’t physically do so.  I knew that prayer is affective and I could do that, but I wanted to do more, and have them know that I was indeed praying for them and sending them warm hugs and comfort.  That is where the idea of making prayer shawls for my loved ones and friends came from.  Led by the Holy Spirit, I decided to do something that would wrap my love and prayers for them whenever they needed them.  But it wasn’t just about making the prayer shawls, or in giving them.  It was about putting prayer for the person who would receive it, in every stitch and line of the crocheting.  I knew to really be a shawl that would share the love and comfort of the Lord, then the Lord must be in every single stitch.  I knew that my heart would have to be in prayer for the person each time I picked up the shawl to work on it.  I would sit and pray for their needs, their health, their salvation, even the simplest parts of their day, their goings and comings, rising, and sleeping.  I knew during the week or two that I worked on the shawl, I would have to make an effort to find out how they were doing and if there were any special prayer needs.  It became a full out prayer campaign for that one person for the period of time it took to make, and send the shawl to them.  Like most humans, at first it was about what I was doing for someone else, never realizing what the process was doing for me.  Inside me something miraculous was happening, and much like the Grinch whose heart doubled in size when he felt the warmth of love and giving warm it, my heart was growing into a fervant heart of prayer and love.  God was laying something bigger into my heart that is setting me on a new mission for His Kingdom…a prayer shawl ministry for my local church.  It is just in the infant stages, but the urgency in me for it to come to fruition is great.  Each Wednesday our church has a prayer meeting and each week there is a new list of prayer needs for us to pray about, and we literally take each to the alter of God right there on that night.  Some pray by themselves, some pray in couples, and some pray in groups, but everyone prays.  There have been times I went to the altar, prayed with my husband, or by myself, and there are times when I have been blessed to pray with these two wonderful elderly women who are the strongest, mightiest prayer warriors I have ever met.  They don’t miss a name on the list, even if there are a hundred of them.  Each is given the love and prayer that could only come from one who knows how the Lord sees them as if they were the only one in the world. They pour over each name as if that were their own grandchild needing love, mercy and grace, and they come before God’s throne boldly.  That is how I knew I would need to pray for those I would give the prayer shawl to, as if they were my dearest family, and before the Lord boldly and in faith that he would answer each prayer.  But I would also have to pour the love that was in my heart for them into each stitch too.

This whole lesson to me about prayer, planted the seed of this ministry deep into the soil of my heart, and I began seeing that list at church in a different way.  Those on the list for prayers of salvation began to appear as hungry orphans needing food and hope.  The soldiers on our list of Military to pray for, in my heart became pictures of patriots long ago at Valley Forge needing to know that they would find strength and courage through the Lord, and his divine protection upon them.  Those on the list for prayer who had health needs, in my mind, were in a hospital that was filled to overflowing, to the point that there were not enough doctors and nurses to care for them, so would need the care that only a mighty and compassionate Lord, and Great Physician could give them.   The more I saw these mental pictures of their needs, the more that seed grew.  I had no car to go see each one, and my own health issues doesn’t always allow that, or the distance they are away as in our military prayer requests.  But with the help of our church and other crocheters and knitters like me, we could be able to wrap each one in love and prayer, through the warmth of a prayer shawl or a prayer lap quilt.  I’ve been praying about God’s leading on this, knowing that my health was limiting me on being part of the music ministry through the choir.  And God is answering my prayer, as the Music Minister/Assistant Pastor at our church has written me this week that he felt God telling him that we also needed a ministry like this.  For a woman to think so would be as common to me as Jesus appearing to a man first after his resurrection.  But God doesn’t work that way.  Mary was the person during Jesus’ time that people would have felt Jesus least likely to appear first to, and a man who doesn’t knit or crochet in our day and age would be the least likely to feel led to start a prayer shawl ministry .  So I know that this is God’s leading.  The funny thing is, God hasn’t stopped getting my attention about it with just this.  It seems like at every turn around now I’m introduced to someone new in my life, my blogging world, my facebook friendships that is involved in a prayer shawl ministry, or starting one up at their church.  It is like God is opening doors for me to learn more on how to start the one at our church, or sharing ideas with others who are involved in one.  There are times like these that I stand at the garden gate of God’s Kingdom and watch him at work, and I am as amazed as a child looking at the first robin in Spring, or the first earthworm to wiggle through the winter hardness of the soil, or the very first bloom bursting through the bud on an early Spring day.  I stand amazed at the fullness of his plan for me, and at the way he picks, waters and prunes the idea, then opens the doors to let the sunshine down on it, so that it make come to its fullness for his Kingdom.  That is where I am right now, looking at that garden, knowing that I have been planted for a purpose and God is the gardener, helping me bloom into his Will.

Here is a poem that the Lord gave me, to include in with each prayer shawl that I made last year, and with those that will be given in the future.  If you would like to use it feel free to copy it, but please don’t take credit for writing it, this one is of God, for God, from God, and to be used by God.

I will be updating this post with pictures of some of the prayer shawls I have already crocheted, and some I will finish in the near future.  None will be similar, because no two people are 100% the same, and so my heart says each shawl should be an individual too.

THE PRAYER SHAWL

Nothing in this world

Is as comforting at prayer.

Nothing draws us closer

As when the Savior’s near.

As you wrap this shawl

Around your shoulders tight,

May you feel the love and prayers

That have poured out day and night.

Prayers for your happiness,

For joy, hope, and peace,

Prayers that God’s blessings

For you will increase.

So as you wrap this shawl,

And feel its comfort there,

May you always feel assurance

That  the Savior, Jesus, is near.

 

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Toddler Boy Crocheted Sweater and Old-Timer Baseball Cap

Here is a Letter Man Style Sweater and Old-Timer Baseball Cap that I crocheted for my youngest Grandson.  I’m working on a pattern for this one, but haven’t put it on a PDF as of yet.  Using 2 colors of Red Heart yarn, and some fuzzy variagated yarn, and some simple single and double crochet stitches this was an easy set to come up with.

 

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Tween Chinese Style Crocheted Vest

Mostly single, chain,  and double crochet stitches, and bright colors made this beautiful Chinese wrap style vest.  Easy to make, and only took a couple of days to finish.  No I don’t have a pattern for it yet.  I made it up as I was crocheting.  Note the fuzzy eyelash yarn used to edge it…every tween needs a little bling.

 

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