God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Monday, June 30, 2014

Best Online Shop for DMC?

I need to purchase a bunch of DMC floss for various punch needle projects.  I need to buy it online & am looking for an online shop that has the best price per skein.  Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated   : )

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Choosing to Have a Good Attitude

Do you know anyone who lives their life based on Philippians 2:3-5?  I knew someone like this a few years ago ... a pastor of a church in a neighboring town.  I had never met anyone like Pastor Mike before.  I am not being irreverent in what I am about to say, but whenever I was in his presence, I saw Jesus.   He was not merely a hearer of the Word, but a doer (James 1:22).  He was a visible definition of being Christlike.

All of us who are Christians should be living our lives in a Christlike manner, but few of us do.  It is not an impossible goal.  God would not have told us in His Word how to live like Christ if it were impossible for us to do so. Nothing is impossible with God.

How does a person act when they choose to have a good attitude?  Among other things, they don't focus on the negatives of life. They don't complain.  They don't blame others when things go wrong.  

As I have mentioned a time or two in the past, I read a daily devotional written by Joyce Meyer.  In a recent entry, she used her God-given humor to get the point across regarding how we should choose to have Christ's attitude in all things.    

"Think about Jesus.  Immediately after He was baptized & filled with the Holy Ghost, He was led into the wilderness to be tested & tried by the devil.  He did not complain & become discouraged & depressed.  He did not think or speak negatively.  

Can you imagine Jesus traveling around the country with His disciples talking about how hard everything was?  Can you picture Him complaining about how difficult going to the cross was going to be, or how uncomfortable it was to roam the countryside with no bed to sleep in at night?"  
The next time you catch your thoughts dwelling on negative things ... the next time you feel like complaining about something ... picture Jesus being faced with whatever it is that's going on in your life at that moment & imagine how he would respond.  Then you do the same. 
Shine in this world like Jesus did.  Pastor Mike chose to do so.  We can too   : )  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Only 6 Months from Today!!!

WOO-HOO!!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Blog Reading Services

Blogger is aggravating me again   : (

All of a sudden, all the blogs I follow do not show up on my dashboard when a new post has been written.  They are showing up one at a time with the most recent blog post being visible.  For example, if Susie publishes a post at 10 o'clock, & Mary publishes one at 10:03, I can only see Mary's post.  I never see Susie's.  Not only is this happening, but when I click on the name of a blog from the list of blogs that I follow, I can't access it.

I haven't been able to comment on blogs since before I went to the hospital with the exception of one blog, one time.  

I am going to bite the bullet & try signing up with a blog reading service, but which one?  

While I'm on the subject ... is there any way to move my blog from Blogger to some other blog providing service without losing all my photos, every post I've ever written, etc?

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Psalm 73:26

This verse has been a favorite of mine since I discovered it before my heart surgery last year   : )

I have been feeling a little better with each passing day.  I still tire easily & am a little sore, but I've been able to do a bit of stitching & I look forward to when I can share it with you.  

My deepest thanks to everyone who has sent emails, commented on my recent posts, or both, saying that good wishes & prayers are being sent my way.  I pray that God will extend His blessings to each of you   : ) 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Home

Just a quick note.  I am really out of it. Surgery seemed to go well but recovery not so much right now.  Brought home some kind of congestion issue from the hospital which I'm praying will not turn into pneumonia.  Not a lot I can take for it because most meds have stimulants in them which I can't have. Could still use your prayers if you have a few to spare.  Will write again when I can.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Time for Surgery

It has been a very busy week with too much to do & not enough done.  Most of today was spent at the hospital for the pre-admission testing & stuff.  I found out that I am #1 in line for surgery tomorrow.  I need to sign in at 6 a.m.  There will be some prep stuff needing done & then off to the OR I will go.  

I want to thank all of you who have stated that you are sending good wishes & prayers my way.  Some of you have even placed me on prayer lists at your churches.  This means more to me than you can imagine.  Some of you I haven't been able to thank personally because you are no-reply, but I hope you see this post & know how much I appreciate your thoughtfulness.  

I will post again as soon as I am able.    

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Matthew 6:1-4

I have had experiences, recent & in times past, where a person tells me to my face, sends me an email, or posts on their blog about something nice they have done for someone.  Here are a few examples:

1.  In 2011, the northeast coast of Japan experienced a devastating earthquake & tsunami.  A family member made it a point to tell me they sent a hefty amount of money to a relief organization to help the survivors. 

2.  A few years ago, a friend recounted to me how that morning she had been in the drive-through line at a local Starbucks-type establishment.  She said that when she reached the window & was presented with her bill, she asked the cashier to give her the bill for the person in the car behind her as well.  She paid for her own order & for the stranger's order.

3.  A person I know is a Tupperware dealer. She told me recently that a charity event was being organized at a local hospital.  She then stated that she told the person organizing this event that she would set up a table to sell Tupperware & that she would donate her commission from her sales to the charity.

4.  On a blog I used to follow, the blogger once posted about how she was in a grocery store standing behind a young mother in the 10 Items or Less line.  The girl did not have enough money to pay for the few items she had wanted to purchase, & she was asking the cashier to remove one item, then another, until she could pay the bill.  The blogger said to the girl & to the cashier "Please allow me to take care of it," & she paid for all the items this girl had wanted to purchase.  This blog post generated a flood of comments from this person's followers, praising her as well as telling about similar things they had done.

Why?  Why tell people about your good deeds?  This is the only reason I can think of that people do this.
They want a pat on the back.  They want the praise of others. 

People like this make me very uncomfortable. I kind of pity them, to tell you the truth.  In Matthew 6:1-4, Jesus tells us ... 

"But when you do righteous acts, do not do them in front of spectators.  Don't do them where you can be seen, let alone lauded, by others.  If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  When you give to the poor, do not boast about it, announcing your donations with blaring trumpets as the play actors do.  Do not brazenly give to charity in the synagogues & on the streets; indeed, do not give at all if you are giving because you want to be praised by your neighbors.  Those people who give in order to reap praise have already received their reward.  When you give to the needy, do it in secret - even your left hand should not know what your right hand is doing.  Then your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you."

I don't know about you, but I want the approval of God, not the approval of men. The next time you feel like telling others about some good deed you have done or will be doing ... which is really bragging ... stop & consider what you are about to do. Then keep your mouth shut & your fingers away from the keyboard, & instead thank God for giving you the opportunity to be a blessing to someone.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Heart Surgery Scheduled

Luckily I'm not the superstitious sort as I found out today that my heart surgery is scheduled for Friday of next week.  Yep ... Friday the 13th.  I don't know the exact time yet but thus far I am the only patient on my surgeon's schedule that day.  No surprise there ... lol!  I will have to go to the hospital on Thursday morning for pre-admission testing & stuff, then come back home, then go back to the hospital to be admitted for the surgery the following morning.  

When I get the exact time of surgery, I will post again.  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

May Finishes

May was a month of many thoughts. Thoughts about moving, thoughts about medical issues, with other thoughts mixed in from time to time   : )   Sort of reminds me of dear Pooh Bear & his good friend Piglet, think-think-thinking as they so often would do.

I didn't get a whole lot stitched this month what with all that thinking going on, but I did mange to finish a couple things.  I felt that I needed just a wee bit of a break from ornaments so decided to do something different.  I chose a little "gotta stitch this before I die because it's so gorgeous" Christmas carol sampler.  I have a soft spot in my heart for old English Christmas carols & fell in love with this design the moment I saw it.
Designer:  Summer House Stitche Workes
Design:  Hark, Hark, Hark!
Fabric:  40 ct Vintage Examplar linen
Floss:  VMSS 1795 Dark Brass

The designer suggested using GAST Grecian Gold ... absolutely the ugliest overdyed floss color I have ever seen.  Honestly, the name should be changed to Grecian Barf.  The stitching in the model photo on the chart appears to be a beautiful deep, rich gold color.  I have the entire collection of GAST threads, & when I pulled out my one skein of Grecian Gold, I should have known better than to order more because I looked at it & thought "they've got to be kidding."  However, you know how flukey overdyed floss can often be from dye lot to dye lot ... & I needed 3 skeins of Grecian Gold floss for this design ... so I believed what my eyes were seeing in the model photo rather than what I was holding in my hands & as a result ordered 3 new skeins of Grecian Gold.  When I opened the package, my stomach turned as my eyes beheld floss overdyed with a barfy looking off-shade of barfy looking yellow sort of blended with a pukey looking gag-inducing shade of barfy green.  I had nightmares for a week afterward.  Thankfully I looked at my VMSS 1795 collection & found the exact match to the floss as it appeared in the model photo.  The sampler measures 11" x 11" & I will need to have it framed.  I will have to send it away somewhere because I wouldn't trust anyone in TDP to frame it, so if you have any by-mail framers to recommend, please let me know.

After finishing the sampler, it was back to ornaments again.  I stitched the ornament below for an exchange gift last year knowing I was going to have to make one for myself sometime.  I think it's a wonderful design   : )
Designer:  The Primitive Hare
Design:  Peace on Earth
from 2013 JCSCO
Fabric:  40 ct Old Massachusetts linen
Floss:  As suggested by designer

Lastly, I had a hankerin' to stitch some primitive ornaments on osnaburg, so I went looking on PatternMart for a design I hadn't already stitched a bunch of times.  
Designer:  Primitive Stitchin'
Design:  Potted Poinsettia Christmas Ornie
Fabric:  Osnaburg
Floss:  DMC as suggested

I had a larger than necessary square of osnaburg on which in April I had stitched the little Blessings reindeer you see upside-down there, so I stitched 3 of the poinsettia ornaments in the remaining space.  I still need to primitively stain the osnaburg to really show off the design.  Peace has been my quest this year which is why this little ornament particularly appealed to me   : )

So there you have it ... my May finishes.  Right now I'm working on another Christmas carol design.  I'll have another floss story to tell you about this one, but you'll have to wait until next month when I post my June finishes : )

Monday, June 2, 2014

Never-Ending Frustration With Blogger

I have posted before about my frustration with Blogger regarding the issue that for at least a year I have not been able to delete blogs I no longer want to follow.  I don't use a reader source but instead follow blogs the old-fashioned way ... from my dashboard.  I know all the suggested ways to delete blogs from my reading list.  I used to delete them all the time before whatever occurred to stop me from doing so.  I have been so desperate to rid my reading list of no-longer-want-to-follow blogs that I have even offered a $50 reward to anyone who could help me do so, but that effort proved fruitless as well   : (

This morning I discovered that responses I've made to comments are bouncing back to me & showing up in my spam folder as "not deliverable" or some such thing.  I know that in the past I've seen a couple bloggers post about this happening to them, but I never realized it was happening to me as well.  I just figured that these messages I was receiving my my spam folder were, well, spam!  For whatever reason, this morning I decided to click on one & there it was ... my response to a person who left a comment.  I am deeply saddened by this.  I make sure that I respond to each & every comment I receive.  I believe that if someone takes the time to leave a comment, a response is the well-mannered thing to do.  I know that some bloggers do not feel this way & will not respond to a comment even if a question is asked.  I am not one of them.

Please know that unless you are a no-reply blogger, if you leave a comment on one of my blog posts, I will always respond to it.  

I will now be on the lookout for these "not deliverable" messages in my spam folder & will be sure to send a "new response" to your comment via a newly created email if my original response was not delivered to you.  In the meantime, if there is any way to stop my responses to your comments from bouncing back to me, please let me know.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

All Things Work Together for Good

If you are like me, you have probably heard/read Romans 8:28 about a gazillion times.  The above scripture image shows this verse in the NIV translation.  The NIV has been my go-to Bible for the past several years.  I have other translations, but I am comfortable with the NIV.

Sometimes I look in the other translations I own or search various translations online if I come across a verse or passage that I really want to sink my teeth into.  I decided to do this with Romans 8:28 to see if I could find it translated in a way that would shed some new light on it.  

If someone is wanting to really explore the meaning of a verse or passage of scripture, the AMP is the translation that people often take in hand.  Some people refer to the MSG if they are wanting a translation written in "today's language."  Others may prefer the GNT or TLB translations for their simplicity.  

Well, here I was, researching translations of Romans 8:28, & I came across the VOICE translation. 

"We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan." 

I had never before seen nor heard of the VOICE translation, so naturally I had to put Romans 8:28 aside for a moment while I did a bit of research on the VOICE.  I found that the majority of people who purchased this version were extremely pleased with it. Naturally you can find naysayers if you look for them.  They're out there.  I don't think there's one Bible translation that escapes being criticized by one person or group or other.  If you are looking for a word-for-word translation of biblical text, you won't like the VOICE.  I could try to explain to you what I've read about this translation, but it's probably best to say that if you are interested in learning more about it, just click here ... & you can read a series of reviews by "prominent people" by clicking here.

I'm sorry to have segued into what could be interpreted as a VOICE commercial, but I'm really excited about discovering this translation.  I have ordered one & an looking forward to receiving it   : )   

I will now return to my subject, Romans 8:28.

I am talking about Romans 8:28 today because it was referenced in one of my daily devotional readings this week.  I am going to copy the reading here in part as the writer, Joyce Meyer, states her thoughts much better than I could convey them to you.  The title of this particular reading is "Don't Waste Your Pain."  Emphasis is mine.

"Life is full of unjust situations that can create a great deal of pain for you, especially [when dealing with] other people.  You will experience some hurt & pain, but you don't have to allow these experiences to destroy your happiness.  You can't always choose what happens to you, but you can choose how to respond to it.

If you've been hurt [cheated, lied to, swindled, abused, laughed at, misunderstood, etc], God can take your bad experiences & make them work for your good.

Choose to learn from hurtful experiences instead of wasting your pain by allowing them to make you bitter."

What a marvelous insight into Romans 8:28!  I have certainly been hurt, cheated, lied to, swindled, abused, laughed at, misunderstood, etc a time or two in my life.  Okay, more than just a time or two.  I'm sure all of us have experienced times like these.  I'm embarrassed to say that most often during these times I have not conducted myself in a Christlike manner.  I allowed my happiness to be destroyed & sadly destroyed the happiness of everyone around me.  I remember one particular period of time when I lost a good job & quite a few friends due to the bad attitude & self pity I adopted as a response to bad things happening around me.  Then came a time several years later when situations occurring in my life caused me to be deeply depressed & bitter for two years.  Obviously I hadn't learned my lesson the previous time.  

As Joyce says, we can't always choose what happens to us, but we can choose our response.  It took me many, many, many years to learn this truth.  It can be a struggle sometimes, but God is always with me ... always ready to help me when I call on Him.  If you are His child, He is always with you & always ready to help you as well.  

What a blessing it is to know that no matter what bad experiences we may encounter in life, God can take them & make something good come out of them!  If this doesn't make you smile on this beautiful Sunday morning, nothing will   : )