Monthly Archives: February 2009
These are two of the aprons I recently made for my “girls” which includes my daughter, two daughters-in-law, and one to-be. I found a complete set of days of the week dish towels that had never been used at an old lady garage sale last summer and have been saving them to recycle into pockets for aprons. This was a fun project and who can’t use a fresh apron from time to time?
“Sometimes more isn’t better, Linus. Sometimes it is just more.” Sabrina Fairchild
Thirty years ago we moved back to the US after living in Europe for 3½ years and without returning here during that time. I remember being amazed at the flatness of the landscape after living at the base of the Alps during our time in Germany. I remember being alarmed at the clutter that Americans allow everywhere from the outside of our houses to the city sidewalks. But more than anything, I remember being amazed at just how much stuff you could buy. After living on a small military post with few American items in the commissary and being unable to shop on the German economy on a sergeant’s salary, I was in awe of the things you could find in a single store. And that was in the days before Target and Wal-Mart, not to mention the super stores!
After my grandmother died, the whole family, her sons, their wives and children, and grandchildren went to her house to choose what things they might like to have. There were a few valuable items…several handmade quilts, a china cabinet with curved glass, an oak table my grandfather had purchased when they were married in 1914 (I was the blessed recipient of it simply because I had the most children) and various other treasures. But by and large her home looked like most others whose owners that had come through the Great Depression. Drawers held bits of string, cabinets stored chipped china tea cups, and the rag rugs were made from real rags.
Inside one of her storage boxes we found worn brown grocery bags covered with lists of items purchased along with how much she had paid for each one…10 cents for a dozen eggs, 35 cents for a pound of sugar, 20 cents for large can of peaches. She had lived very meagerly for most of her life, a fact that was even more apparent when a bank book to a secret account was found, showing she had hoarded away nearly $60,000 from grandpa’s pension checks after he’d died!
Every day now we hear bad news about our economy and many in my generation, baby boomers who grew up in the luxury of the 1950’s, are panicked because they see portfolios growing anemic and real estate investments dwindling. Ours is the first generation that has not lived with the direct ramifications of the Depression and we don’t know how to handle it. Things that are truly luxuries have become “necessities.” The same is true, even more so, for our children.
But what are true riches? And what kind of inheritance should we be building for our children? Scripture is very clear. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
The word “treasure” isn’t just talking about something you like a little, it implies a treasury, a great store house for all the incredible assets you can collect. Egyptians buried their earthly wealth in their tombs and it is said that those who found King Tutankhaman’s burial vault were shocked at the nearly 3500 items it contained and so much gold that it “blinded their eyes!” Jesus told the multitude of listeners to forget storing up earthly goods that can be destroyed and instead to seek after a plentiful inheritance of those things that enrich not the body but the spirit, treasures of the eternal sort.
English Puritan pastor Jeremiah Burrows describes these treasures as “soul riches” and says that only those who learn how to be truly content will be able to gather those things that are of eternal value. He describes Christian contentment as “that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.” In essence, soul riches are those things that we cannot buy or sell at a garage sale!
Moms, I pray that you are seeking to be content, as the apostle Paul said “in whatever state you find yourself” and that you are passing along that attitude to your children, especially now when economic wealth is in the news and on the lips of everyone daily. Seek to pass along spiritual truths, especially as found in God’s Word, testimonies of His goodness and grace to us, poured out way beyond measure. In so doing you will be storing up eternal treasures for yourself and will be giving your children an inheritance that cannot be taken from them.
Men and Post Abortion Trauma, Part Two. “One of the most amazing works of religious art that has ever been created was Rembrandt’s painting called “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee. Capturing the human drama of the moment, Rembrandt’s work shows the disciples holding on to the wooden ship for dear life as the foreboding sea and dark sky swirl around them. Fearful and faithless, they could not see the Lord in the midst of their storm because they were only looking at the circumstances around them, in their eyes, shipwreck was certain.” Listen to this week’s podcast in part two of the series on ministering to those who struggle with the pain of a past abortion.
One more link today….this time one that is a little more fun and less depressing! In fact, I made this recipe a couple nights ago and it was a cheer-you-upper! I will go on record as saying it is the best homemade rib sauce I have ever made and I can’t wait to try it on chops and chicken, especially on the grill. I discovered this website a month or so ago and have been testing out the recipes….”YUM!” says my whole family. And who can go wrong with a blog name like Mennonite Girls Can Cook?
Honey Garlic Ribs
4 pounds pork ribs
1/2 cup honey
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 cloves crushed garlic (I used bottled minced garlic)
1 tsp. coarse pepper (I used fresh ground)
1 tsp. salt (I used coarse kosher salt)
Place ribs in large roasting pan with about 1/2 inch of water. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Drain water from roaster.
Combine remaining ingredients to make sauce. pour over the ribs and bake for another 1/2 to 1 hour, basting ribs occasionally with the sauce.
I doubled the recipe so I would have leftovers and made a little extra sauce. Next time I will drain the meat in a colander to be sure all the grease and water is drained off. You will enjoy the sauce for dipping, too, and over mashed potatoes, which is how I served it.
* Note: I have been tweaking this recipe and would recommend the following changes: Cover the ribs with water and bake at 375 degrees for 2 hours. Drain thoroughly in colander. Return to pan and top with sauce, turn over all ribs so they are covered. Bake at 375 for 1 1/2 hours or until meal falls from bone. Patience is the key to perfect ribs!
Lots of great discussion over on Taunya’s blog regarding the marketing of the Titus 2 woman! She now has the first five parts online with more to come. God bless Taunya and these other dear women who are sharing their lives with the rest of us. Taunya has nailed it, calling it spiritual abuse, which is exactly what it is.
You also need to check out Cindy’s recent series of articles on the concept of “multigenerational faithfulness.” Once again, Cindy has done her homework, to our benefit, and has done an excellent job of presenting facts and helping us understand both the sources and implications of this new catch-phrase in homeschooling. My prediction is that we will be hearing this phrase used repeatedly over the next couple of years at homeschooling conferences, though many will never understand what it really means in practicality for their families.
Tim Martin, a homeschool graduate who is part of an organization called Beyond Creation Science, has written a thoughtful review of Sonlight Curriculum’s banning from the Christian Home Educators of Colorado. A proponent of an old-earth perspective on creation and the preterist view of eschatology, particularly as he believes they relate to each other, Martin writes a detailed analysis of CHEC’s narrowing views of what does and does not constitute “Christian curriculum” when it comes to vendors at their convention.
Until I looked over Martin’s website, I was unfamiliar with their teachings on what they call “new covenant creation” though I have studied preterism. Since I have always considered myself to be a young earth creationist, his arguments are new information but I believe they would certainly fall within what I would consider to be orthodoxy as related to the Christian faith. In fact, I would challenge homeschoolers to look at the doctrinal statements of their own denominations in regards to these positions. (I would differentiate between historic preterism and dominion theology as expressed within homeschooling circles.)
Interestingly, Kevin Swanson’s own Orthodox Presbyterian Church denomination has no problem with ordaining elders and deacons who hold to an old-earth view and I personally know of an ordained pastor within that denomination who also holds to a preterist view of the end times.
These are not issues that establish orthodoxy in most churches so I don’t understand why CHEC is seeking to use them as standards within a homeschooling organization. As Martin has pointed out, CHEC is attempting to censor and control what individual families will think and teach rather than trusting parents to do the job God has given them to do in educating their own children. This becomes further proof that their circle of orthodoxy is a shrinking one.
I truly understand what Martin is saying and what John Holzman has experienced, especially the disingenuous way in which it has been done. This is the same methodology that has been used to control and “interpret” the various views within homeschooling that aren’t in alignment with “patriocentricity” and the reason many of us who hold to traditionally conservative views on the roles of men and women can be labeled as “white washed feminists.” It is this sort of bowdlerization that results in division and dissension within the homeschooling community.
I will continue to keep you posted on new developments regarding this situation and any other examples of this sort of behavior coming out of the self-appointed homeschooling “leadership.”
Only a film of daylight filtered through the oiled paper of its single windowpane. Cold shadows filled the corners and stretched long-wavering fingers toward the hearth. A log snapped in the fire and dropped. Nancy Lincoln on her bed of saplings wakened, turned and drew the little son only a few hours old closer within the warm circle of her arm. She saw now that he was thin and angular, not round and comforting as his sister, Sarah, had been, but as she watched his even breathing, her smile was tender, and when she lifted her eyes to the shadows, they were warm and dark and full of dreams for him.
A sudden gust of wind spiraled down the chimney. The bear skin flapped in the doorway, and with a whirl of snow in upon the hard dirt floor came Dennis Hanks, nine years old and completely breathless. Tom had told them, he gasped. Aunt Betsy Sparrow was now on her way, fetching a linsey shirt for the boy and a “yeller” petticoat, while he–he’d run the whole two miles to see his new-born cousin! Where was he? Who’d he look like and what was goin’ to be his name?
“Abraham, we figur to call him, after his gran’pappy Linkorn.” Nancy’s slow words were touched with pride as she lifted a corner of the homespun coverlet to display the new arrival. One look left the eager young visitor speechless with dismay.
“He’ll not come to much, I reckon,” he said finally, and as if that settled the matter, went over to the fire and sat down.
from Abraham Lincoln’s World by Genevieve Foster
A few weeks ago Clay painted Will’s old room so we could have a combination guest room and craft room. I have been busy organizing it, pulling all sorts of sewing treasures out of storage and deciding what to make first. I began with these ballerina rag dolls for my four granddaughters to send them for Valentine’s Day, cocoa colored hair for the two brunettes and honey colored for the blonde and possible-redhead. My inspiration was Alicia Paulson’s book called Stitched in Time.
Aren’t their faces sweet? I can’t wait to hear what my little valentine girls think of them.
I have spent much of the last week working on valentines for my granddaughters, little rag doll ballerinas with embroidered faces and pink gossamer tutus. I am hoping to have them finished today and in the mail, knowing they will bring joy to little girls whose grandmama is far away and loves them!
I really enjoy making dolls, perhaps better than any other sort of sewing, miniature people without the pregnancy and labor! But there are tedious aspects of it, stuffing the little legs, crafting the yarn hair, hemming the slippery fabric. I like to keep a picture of the end product in front of me, reminding myself that all the work will be worth it.
When the apostle Paul wrote his second letter to the Corinthians, he was addressing his brothers and sisters in Christ who had been through perilous times as a body of believers and more than anything he wanted them to know that God is a God of comfort who brings you through the difficult times so that you may experience the joy of service to others for God’s glory alone.
But he also wanted them to know that he desired to walk that path with them, building them up in the faith, knowing that faith is what produces joy in a Christian’s life. In 2 Corinthians 1:24, Paul assures these dear believers “Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.”
Perhaps the most important aspect of being a mom is building our children’s faith and I think it comes most naturally and effectively when we share our lives with our children in word and in deed. As they see us working to complete tasks, either spiritual ones or physical ones, they see the joy that it brings to us and ultimately witness our faith in the Lord as it grows.
This is especially true during the difficult times of parenting. We are so often tempted to despair and frustration during the day, often letting the smallest of things set the tone and mood for the entire household. Our children, too, have their own struggles, physical and spiritual. By coming alongside them and sharing their problems, being sensitive to those things that genuinely trouble them, not lording it over them by lecturing or scolding them, working with them for their joy by listening to them and transparently telling them our own struggles, and by pointing them to Jesus,we will see them, little by little, standing firm in their own faith.
Puritan pastor Thomas Watson makes this observation of how Christians one another each other by being “joy helpers”: “One Christian conversing with another is a means to confirm him. As the stones in an arch help to strengthen one another, one Christian, by imparting his experiences, heats and quickens another. “Let us provoke one another to love and to good works!” (Hebrews 10:24) How does grace flourish by holy conference! A Christian by good discourse drops that oil upon another, which makes the lamp of his faith burn the brighter!”