Another after-Christmas "puttering" day working about the house. On my fun to-do list today was assembling my Simple Garden gifted by my sister, Lois.
First, I placed the three compact soil disks in a plastic tub and added a gallon and a half of warm water.
After 15 minutes, I crumbled the soil in my hands and filled the provided plant container with the rich humus.
Next, I placed the planting grid over the soil. After I studied (sounds too hard, but quite the contrary)the accompanying manual, I dropped two-three seeds in the designated holes and pushed lightly with the planting stick provided. The kit came with cherry tomato and basil seeds. Lois also included a package of gourmet lettuce seeds. (My mouth is watering just typing this. Yum!)
Then I covered the container with the plastic greenhouse lid and taped the air vents to ensure warmth and moisture according to the instructions for growing indoors.
Finally, I set the planter in a sunny window (okay, it was sunny when I placed it there and hopefully will be tomorrow :). The container is resting comfortably on a heating pad to keep the baby seeds warm until they sprout, which should be in about 7 - 10 days.
Will keep you posted on my "babies" progress.
And then, Bon Appetit!
Check out www.theSimpleGarden.com for your easy winter gourmet garden.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Need a vacation, but can't take the time or come up with the money?
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Leave a comment on this post about your dream vacation. One or two sentences will do. More if you like. Where would you go if money and time were no object?
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Monday, December 19, 2011
These Christmas smells.
And chocolate melting.
With the wonder of Jesus,
To earth He came.
Just pulled out a fresh batch of banana muffins from the oven, complete with chocolate chips. Yum! Pass the butter.
And breathe deeply . . .
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who grew up with the name of Jesus on her lips, but not in her heart. She knew all the Bible stories. Her parents, after all, were home missionaries, serving the Lord among the children in East Tennessee.
During her early years, a great sadness filled her home and her young life. Her brother, fourteen years her senior, had died at age eighteen after a lifetime of hydrocephalus. Even at the age of four, she sensed a bleakness and a blackness cover her world. Terror filled her nights, her only comfort the light her mother left on in the hallway. Oh, how her mother tried to console the little girl. She would sit on the edge of her bed and quote Psalm 56:3: "When I am afraid, I will trust in you."
The little girl wanted to trust in God, but she didn't know how. Fear engulfed her spirit and overwhelmed any faith that might break through.
Then, on one muggy summer Sunday night, she and her friend sat in church listening to a visiting evangelist. Well, her friend was listening. She was absorbed in a western novel she'd checked out of the church library.
When the service ended and the speaker asked if anyone would like to come forward and receive Christ as Savior, her friend leaned over to her. "I want to go up," she said.
The little girl shrugged. "Ah, we're too young."
Her reply didn't deter her friend, however. She stood up, slipped past the little girl, and walked down the aisle to her mother. They whispered together and then went up to the front.
A few months later, in October, the little girl sat beside her father on a Sunday morning. The sun streamed through the stained-glass windows. After the preacher closed the sermon, the minister of music directed the congregation to a hymn titled, Jesus I Come.
As the music swirled around her, she became transfixed on the words, "Out of my bondage, sorrow and night, Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come. Into Thy freedom, gladness and light, Jesus, I come to Thee."
At that moment, she knew those words were written for her. Without a word, she slipped past her father and down the aisle, her physical trek a spiritual heart response to Jesus. Jesus, I come to You, was her heart cry.
That day, the little girl acknowledged Jesus as her personal Savior. It was a first, trembling step to connect with Jesus.
The next day, the little girl went to third grade and sat behind her friend, Jimmy. She tapped him on the shoulder and told him what she had done. He said he had done the same thing.
Another hymn that captured her heart as a child was The Old Rugged Cross, written by George Bennard.
"On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff'ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown."
That little girl was me, and I have one glory: the cross of Christ. As Augustus Toplady wrote in his well-known hymn, Rock of Ages , "In my hand no price I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling."
In Christ alone, does my life make sense. In the midst of much doubt, fear, and obsessive-compulsiveness over the years, the Lord has continually wooed me out of the darkness and into His marvelous Light. He is faithful God, Savior, and Lord.
As Luke so aptly writes about Christ in chapter one, verses 77-79 . . .
Jesus Christ came "to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven, to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."
During this Christmas season, my heart's prayer for you, dear reader, is that you will consider the cross, for through Christ alone can any of us know forgiveness of sin and share eternal life with Him.
Let His Light break through your darkness and guide your feet into the path of peace.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Riveted by these words today that kept flowing through my mind . . .
O Love that will not let me go.
Written by George Matheson over one-hundred years ago, these words fuel spirit, soul, and body. Here's the complete hymn. Savor the beautiful, meaningful poetry along with me as the day gives way to dusk on this December Wednesday.
"O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
O Light that foll'west all my way,
I yield my flick'ring torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in Thy sunshine's blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.
O Joy that seekest me thru pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow thru the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.
O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from Thee;
I lay in dust life's glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be."
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Meet Author, Zeke Lam
From 2002 through 2010, Zeke served as Youth minister at First Bible Baptist Church in Ruckersville, Va. He regularly led youth meetings and spoke at various chapel services at the local Christian academy. During this time, Zeke also led services in the adult service on Sunday mornings and Sunday nights in the pastor’s absence.
In addition to this ministry, Zeke and his family traveled and ministered in various churches both locally and internationally. Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, Thailand, and Nicaragua are among the places the Lord has taken him. Missions work is a passion of his heart.
In May of 2011, Zeke completed his undergrad work with Liberty University.
Presently, Zeke wrote his first book titled subMISSION, which is set to release December 1, 2011. He also founded subMISSION Ministries which will focus on reaching souls for Christ through writing, evangelism, and discipleship.
Zeke also owns and operates a small business called The Pottery Shed, which manufactures beautiful ornamental concrete (flower pots, bird baths, benches, etc.). This provides a means for him and his family to minster but is also a love and passion of Zeke’s.
He is very passionate about being obedient to the voice of God, spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and being a Godly and loving husband and father.
About Zeke's book, subMission
What is the greatest challenge that the Church is facing today? Zeke Lam suggests that one word is the greatest challenge: submission, or the lack thereof. It is not external forces that nullify the testimony of a Christ-centered believer, but rather the failure to humbly submit to the voice of the Lord. This book will help you to live a surrendered life abiding in Christ.
Is the approval of God more important to you than the approval of man?
Is the presence of God evident in your life?
Do you fiercely protect your intimacy with Christ?
Do you desire to live a life of truth, free from the lies of the devil?
Is God’s divine character visible to those around you?
Learn how to submit your life wholeheartedly to the Lord so that you can dwell continually in the secret place—a place of intimacy, surrender and joy.
Prepare to be stirred by this authentic calling to return to Scriptural obedience.
—Pastor Gabe Turner, The Point Church of Charlottesville, Virginia
In my opinion Zeke has laid his finger on the defining message for our time. This message is essential for believers everywhere…
—Eric Stephens, Pastor of Life Changing Ministries and Fellowship in Sugarland, Texas
check out Zeke's website for more information:
And the book link to Amazon:
Thanks also to Zeke for providing a guest blog posted below.
The idea of submission is both challenging and vulnerable. Whether it be as a child or teenager, the very moment we begin to develop opinions of our own, the struggle to submit begins. Why? Well, to borrow a saying from friends at Burger King, we want to “have it our way”. This struggle takes place between parents and children, husbands and wives, bosses and employees, and must unfortunately it occurs among Christians between us and our Lord.
Submission makes us feel vulnerable. We feel like we are letting down our guard and letting another person control aspects of our life that belongs to us. Therefore, we either refuse to consent or we obey begrudgingly. As we dissect this truth concerning submission, it is critical that we keep in mind that the core of the issue is clearly a spiritual battle. The enemy and our flesh know how powerful the Christian life can be when we operate under Biblical submission. In other words, when you and I properly submit to our authority, the enemy is frightened because we are aligning our lives in proper order to see the power of Christ magnified through us.
Yes, first and foremost, our commitment is submission to the commands, leading, and voice of the Father. This is clearly taught in the Scripture; for example: Romans 13:1-7 discusses subjecting ourselves to authority yet ultimately it revolves around subjecting yourself to God. Whether it is parents or governmental officials, God establishes all authority on this earth, and when we obey His command to submit to them, we submit to Him.
Properly aligning the authority in our lives leads to a level of Biblical submission that will look strange to this world. It is just not popular in our society. This world equates submission with weakness. This could not be further from the truth!
I have spent years of my life trying to control my direction. It created a life filled with frustration. Until I relinquished to the voice of God, I did not get to experience the fullness of Christ in my life. In order to properly submit to Jesus Christ, I had to drop all my securities and desires and fall back into His arms. Everyone around me thought I was going crazy and making very un-wise decisions. Little did they know that one step of obedience was going to radically alter my family’s life.
This brief testimony leads me to the final area I want to address in relation to Biblical submission, which happens to be the theme of my first book. Submission to the leading to our Lord is the most critical move we can ever make. Personally, I did not have an issue with submitting to earthly authorities as directed in God’s Word. My struggle was being willing to trust and release fully to His voice. If we would be willing, you and I can learn the most valuable lesson in life from perhaps the dumbest animal on the planet.
Read John chapter 10. Despite their complete inability to provide for themselves, sheep have grasped a principle that we desperately need: they follow only to the voice of their shepherd. In addition to following his voice, they quickly flee any strange or threatening voices. If Christians today would operate in this fashion, a level of submission would manifest in our lives that would change this world!