Saturday, April 30, 2016

Out goes April...

Walk Thru Scripture reading is at the bottom of this post.
I would so like to say I have been having a wonderful time working on sewing projects and playing with yarn, but alas that isn't the case. I have put work into rebuilding the dishcloth stash here, but that's been short bursts when I find a few moments to sit during the day.

I still have an ironing board loaded with all the cut squares ready to go together for the rag crib quilts I want to have on hand for sale, but I have yet to put more work into those. Truth be told, I have yet to finalize the pattern adjustments for our dresses needed for Chris and Amber's wedding. Yikes!

We have had Dewey home this week, and a few days last week. It's been nice, but it's short-lived as he will head off to Atlanta Sunday for the next job. Technically, he was unemployed Thursday...he turned in his truck and what-not back in to the company he has been with for 6 years and went Friday to pick up the new truck from the new company. A lateral move in most terms, as he will still be working away from home, but hopefully a better overall situation for him. The insurance package alone made the move a good choice. The same monthly amount will now cover him, myself, and the 5 children still at home. I still think it's rather overpriced, but at least it's covering 7 people now rather than just 2. I don't expect to even use the yearly deductible though to make it a truly gret bargain, but we shall see.

Early in April I learned that a dear friend passed away. Bless her, she had had health issues to contend with for the majority of her life, and finally, between some bouts, she took on pneumonia to top it all off and that was enough for her to be called Home. JoLynn (or Jo as she was commonly called) was a dear, sweet soul. This is her and her husband Ron. We met them as neighbors when our oldest 3 were just young. She loved watching Jen and Johanna dress up in the fanciest prom dresses they could find at Goodwill and then sit outside in the yard under a tree weaving flowers for headbands, playing with their dolls, and even wading any available mud puddles, LOL. She introduced us to our first view of the McGuffey readers, which have since become a staple in our homeschooling here. She had a passion for cross stitching and literally got wound up in a project or two to the point she would complete even the most detailed and large designs within just a couple of days. I have 3 of her creations and I love them! And reading...she delve into every religious 'flavor' out there to discern what caused church splits to craft "new" denominations, the similarities and separations of all those "new" denominations, read multiple devotional studies, etc. Her other passion, and by far her greatest next to her love of Jesus, was her husband. They had a love that very few ever know, even in part, in their lifetime. They were the deepest of friends, kindred souls in every sense of the word. We pray that Ron will continue on, with his health issues, but I suspect he will push his soul to go Home to be with her.

 Glimpses of the past couple of weeks here...

When we were at the spring getting water on Wednesday, we chose a long, winding rural path home as usual. At a fork in the road, in the middle of what can only be described as absolute nowhere, in the middle of the woods, this little bit of brown brindle fluff came out of the woods just wimpering away at my front tires, trying his best to climb up into my door. I couldn't just drive on. You know me...we had to put it into park, get out and find out what was going on. The little guy promptly cowered and ran back into the woods a few feet, and returned with his darker brindle toned sister. They were both wimpering and trying their best to get into the van.
So we gathered them up and went on our way. We went thru a couple miles of those nowhere but woods rural roadways before even seeing any signs of habitation. My guess, someone found that deserted nowhere road and dumped these babies. They aren't very old, weaned for sure, but not by more than a couple of weeks at best.
Truly, truly, people like that...people that can be so cruel as to discard without care any animal, let along young ones who have no means of caring for themselves...disgust me to no end. That sort of person gets my anger up like none other. Cowards is all they are. Cruel, uncaring, subhuman cowards :-(
KatiAnne checked them both over on the rest of our drive home. They weren't covered in fleas, to my surprise, but the ticks...oh they were coated with a million ticks. Some areas had multiple ticks embedded together, literally scabbing over from being scratched at, poor babies! She removed the ones she could with more ease in the car (yep, we left a string of wayward lost ticks unceremoniously pitched along the roadside from the van window all the way home. When we got here, she and Abbey set to treating the scabbed areas, checking them more thoroughly, and removing the remainder of the ticks. They were wormed, given a flea/tick bath, and fed. They seem healthy enough, gums weren't the least bit light, they played easily once they settled down and realized we weren't going to hurt them. They are confined to the large kennel in the barn for a bit for observation then we will determine where and how to integrate them into the orphanage here.
Lord knows about the last thing we needed here was another pair of pups, but He also knows my heart in matters like these and knew where to place them in my line of sight so they could be taken care of. Still, I definitely pray that we will not come across any more in the near future. I am not at all equipped for as many as we currently have, but we do the best we can with their housing. Feed isn't as big an issue as the need for more fencing and kennels! I definitely need to put a great deal of work into the orphan accommodations around here.

Between the rains, we had enough heat and enough wind to dry enough for us to get into the yard and tame the jungle, LOL. After mowing one day, we set up the hammock we gave Dewey last Father's Day and I kicked back to enjoy the breeze.

I wasn't surrounded by everyone like he was when we presented it to him, but my companion was just as good...

Is there any better companion after a hot afternoon of mowing? Of course not! Liam loves being outside, and the fresh air, combined with the gentle sway of a hammock, and he was out like a light in no time :-)

Among the workings for the Hands and Hearts Farm shop (woefully lacking in updates and photos, I know...the Facebook page is a bit more practical for use, and more easily updated I'm afraid. You can find the shop here at Faceboo we stumbled across a wonderful patch of wild violets and harvested a good sized batch to make up some salves. I love wild violets. These, along with lilacs and white tea roses, were my chosen flowers for our wedding. I don't have any here among our woods, but now that I know which pine section produces them up the mountain, we will definitely forage a few bundles each spring.
Uses for wild violets from Survival Mom
Medicinal Uses for violets from Botanical Online
another sharing of medicinal uses here at
you can view the WebMD pages as well, and they are useful in gathering more information, but be aware they do tend to be more dramatic on any adverse affects. I suppose that's to be expected though.

I didn't dry any, but I laid them out to wilt a bit and air dry for the day, then set a large jar of them to infuse into grapeseed oil. The oil has such a beautiful rich green coloring! I can't wait to use it and maybe combine some infused lavender, or calendula, for some great salves.

We are also saving and drying our eggshells as well. I'm curious to give Eggshell Water a try. Eggshells, known for their calcium content (one 1/2 teaspoon of crushed, powdered eggshells contain about 400 mgs. of elemental calcium), a mineral responsible mainly for bone health. Eggshell membranes contain substances like glucosamine and hyaluronic acid which improve joint elasticity and shock absorption. This makes them ideal for fighting off conditions that affect the joints, ensuring they are kept as fully-functioning as possible. A single medium sized egg shell has about 750-800 mgs of calcium plus magnesium, iron, manganese, sulphur, phosphorus,silicon, gelatin, collagen and zinc. That’s only a few of them; egg shells contain 27 microelements that are able to be absorbed by your body.
Eating eggshells has also been linked to quickly decreasing pain in those afflicted with joint problems and keeping that pain away as time goes on.
Mikhail Tombak, Ph.D., says that osteoporosis can even be treated by eating eggshells, explaining that calcium is 90 percent absorbable by people’s bones, and that interestingly, the makeup of eggshells is incredibly similar to our teeth and bones. Don't go overboard though...a little goes a long way to bettering your health.
The National Institute of Health has good information on the supplementation, as well as the harmful side effects of too little, or too much calcium. 
As does the Mayo Clinic website.

Wait...what? Eating my eggshells?
YES!! Here are some studies on Egg shell Calcium benefits
Here is a calcium calculator from the Osteoporosis Foundation

That's the plan here. Here's what you do...
Simply collect organic eggshells, then boil them in water for about five minutes to remove any bacteria. Make sure the shells are fully submerged.
In the meantime, heat the oven to 200 degrees. Once the shells are boiled, place them on a cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until very crispy. While baking them fully ensures that bacteria are eradicated as best as possible, many opt to skip this step, content with the boiling process, so it’s up to the individual.
Finally, remove them from the oven, then grind them in a coffee grinder or another preferred method until they are finely ground into a powder-like form. Store in a glass container.
If desired you can pour a little apple cider vinegar or lemon juice over the crumbled egg shells to break them down and makes them softer and forms calcium citrate.
 1 tsp. contains approximately 800-1,000 mg. of calcium. Dose by mixing in a small amount of water with a meal. You can dose 3/4 to 1 tsp daily, divided in 3 servings with meals. Don’t consumer more than 1 tsp a day as it can irritate sensitive digestive tracks! You can add your calcium powder to any drink, smoothie, even your morning oats!
To make a liquid calcium supplement:
Mix 4 tsp of your powdered calcium supplement with 2 cups of hot water and 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Cover and let cool. Strain the liquid into a glass jar and keep in the fridge. Take a teaspoon or two a day.
Another method...Pour 2 cups of hot water over 4-5 (free-range or organic is best) crumbled egg shells. Add 1 tsp fresh lemon juice or vinegar. Cover and let sit for 2 hours. Strain the shells out and put liquid in a clean glass jar with a lid. Take a sip of the liquid one or two times a day. Just because it works, does not mean you should take more than you need. So, slowly increase your dosage until pain is the gone. After that do not increase it. Some of us need more calcium than others, but remember our bodies cannot handle too much calcium.
Store extra liquid in the refrigerator. Eggshell Water will last for 3 to 4 days.
When using egg shells as a supplement it is beneficial to take it with fermented cod liver oil which is high in vitamin D as it helps absorb the minerals. Calcium is good for you but don’t take more than the advised amount, your body can only handle 500 mgs of calcium at a time. It is also better to take your calcium with food.

Among other things, we went to the final days of the Hancock Fabric store bankruptcy/liquidation sale. Of course I waited until the final days, when the discounts were 90% or better...and the stock was down to a mere several dozen bolts of fabrics and virtually nothing else. While I definitely missed out on any useful cotton fabrics, I did make quite the haul on fleece and knits to put to use here. We literally saved over $1100 on what we bought. Cha-ching! Now to figure out where to store it all...and what to make.

I think that's about it for news around here. Aside from Dewey and the kids taking apart a deck boat he bought and doing a complete stem to stern overhaul and rebuild on it, life has been pretty much the same daily routine and typical farm chaos as always here. It's been rain and heat making up most of the days, and looks to be the routine as we head into May. Typical spring in the Deep South :-) 

Walk Thru Scripture:
How has your routine been holding up? Have you been keeping up with the Walk Thru Scripture reading? It's been a wonderful view of Scripture so far. There's nothing like seeing the beauty and true Plan of God in the larger scope of a chronological viewpoint! Here is the next set of readings:
Psalm 106-107
2 Samuel 5:11-6:23, 1 Chronicles 13-16
Psalm 1-2, 15, 22-24, 47, 68
Psalm 89, 96, 100, 101, 105, 132
2 Samuel 7, 1 Chronicles 17
Psalm 25, 29, 33, 36, 39
2 Samuel 8-9, 1 Chronicles 18

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Big 'ol can or worms...

Always Learning: The Problem with female BIble teachers
Woman as preachers.
Big can of worms. Huge. Mega size contested can of worms within the Christian circles.
Do I believe it contradicts the Word of God? Yes ma'am I do.
Do I believe it is a one-size-fits-all Truth? Yes. And no.

Not that y'all asked my thoughts on this, but here they are for whatever pondering value they may be worth. My thoughts are going to be random, not really in any particular order.
Aren't you glad I'm not a paid site, LOL

Knowing specifically what ministries God intends women to perform in the church can be a challenge. For instance, can a woman teach the Bible in a high school or college Bible club meeting? Should men read Bible-study books, commentaries, or theology books written by women? Is a woman permitted to lead and teach in the church youth group or lead the singing in the main service? Many people also wonder why women who are just as gifted and productive as men shouldn’t be allowed to use their abilities in the church. Some women are able to teach, preach, and lead better than many men. Why should we not let them bless the church in those ways? These are important and challenging questions, and Scripture gives us clear principles to follow as we answer them.
Can Women Serve as Elders and Pastors in the Church?

I have always felt it was wrong for women to stand before me and preach or to teach. Even before I was Saved and had any knowledge whatsoever, I just felt it wasn't right. However, I do not see this point of view as being totally valid either...
1 Cor. 14: 34-35 does not say anything about women preachers. If Paul intended this verse as a general rule to bar all women from speaking in church, then they cannot teach Sunday School, testify, pray, prophesy, sing, or even get saved, and this would contradict the rest of the Bible (Acts 2:4; Acts 2:16-18).

Paul was rather dealing with a particular problem in the church. Women were not educated as were the men in that day; therefore the women would talk back and forth to their husbands in church and ask questions concerning the sermon. Paul said, "If they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home; for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." If they want to talk things over let them wait until they get home. This rule is still good for the church today, where people are talking and causing confusion in the church service. They should not speak in church. (Not in the back of the church either before or after services.)

If a woman cannot speak in church, then she cannot speak in prayer meeting, young people's service, etc., for who can deny that Sunday School and Prayer meeting, and Youth work are parts of church? Christ's Church is not a building, but rather it is found where two or three are gathered together in His name, whether at a street meeting, in a tent, a home, church, classroom or anywhere else
I don't see this as saying women have no voice in church. Obviously it isn't a good thing for anyone to be chatting away during the sermon itself, it is clearly disruptive to those around you. But to say no voice within the walls of the church? That's ridiculous. I do not believe that everything needs to be "explained" to a woman, that we are somehow inferior in our ability to comprehend that we require a man to spell it out as it were. I do not for one minute believe God only speaks to men, and that as women, we are left to only hear the understanding of Scripture as taken by a man, even a Godly man. Clearly, women can serve a vital role in the Church. What role exactly is part of that can of worms in most Christian circles I've encountered. There have been many women in Scripture who taught, prophesied, etc. but to be ordained as pastors, I don't see at all. Placing them above men in the Church 'chain of command' I see as something God did not, and does not, approve of.
God called and used women preachers in the Old Testament.
DEBORAH - Judges 4:4-5. Deborah was a Judge for both civil and criminal cases. The children of Israel came to her for judgment. She was the chief ruler of Israel for 40 years, giving orders to the Generals and all the army. She did the work of an evangelist, prophetess, Judge, and a preacher. God gave her authority over the mighty (Judges 5:13).
MIRIAM - Exodus 15:20; Numbers 12:1; Micah 6:4. She was a Prophetess and a Song Leader in Israel.
HULDAH - 2 Kings 22:14. Five men went to Sister Huldah and communed with her. She spoke to a congregation of men concerning the book of the Law. A female preached to a man's congregation, and her message was taken to the nation and produced a revival.
MAHER-SHALAL-HASH-BAZ'S MOTHER - Isaiah 8:3. She was a prophetess.
God called and used women preachers in the New Testament.
The first message of the Resurrection of Christ was spoken by women to a group of men.

Anna - Luke 2:36-38. She must have prophesied in church, because she did not depart from the temple.

Phillip had 4 daughters who prophesied. Acts 21:9.

Priscilla assisted Paul in his revival meeting and even taught Apollos in the way of the Lord more perfectly.

Phebe - Romans 16:1-2. Paul commended Phoebe to the Church at Rome and requested that they assist her in her business. She was one of Paul's assistants in the work of the Lord and delivered the Book of Romans to the people from the hand of Paul.
As a woman I have my own thoughts and opinions (obviously right?). In the end of it all, I will be held equally accountable in my own standing, not merely as a subtext under my husband. My sins are my own, they are not my husbands, as his sins are his own and do not transfer to me (in terms of salvation. I could honestly have a whole other post on the topic of following a spouse into sin, but perhaps another time)

How about teaching in Sunday School or in children's ministry?
I have never agreed with the idea of joint, or co-ed Youth Ministries, men or women teaching. Yes, I actually believe children are far better served within the Church itself, alongside their families, rather than separated into grade levels for "children's church"...which tends to downplay any real teaching merely because they see the children as too immature in nature to comprehend a lesson unless it is full of color and sound, cute little songs, and has a snack involved.
...Again I could go on about how the modern church seems intent on teaching its message even to the adults without jazzing it up to a circus environment. Y'all know I'm quite opinionated.
Am I saying I don't believe there is a place for segregated ministry?
Not exactly. I do believe the young teens are better served by separate classes, so that the young men and young women can be exhorted and ministered to by a Godly example from their own sex. A man, for all his Godly worth, is not perhaps the best teacher of a young ladies role in the family unit. Maybe I'm just viewing that from the standpoint of someone who has watched far too many faux-Godly men abuse that position and teach deeply false examples of a woman's place in the family. Still, if a young man or young woman has issues of a personal nature, they are more likely to seek counsel from a Godly teacher within their church family, and usually one of the same sex. A teen girl with personal concerns most often seeks the counsel of a woman she trusts, for example. Personal issues are not likely to be spoken out in a youth group of mixed gender, kwim? How many youth meetings have you been in where the call for prayer requests comes in the form of a million hands raised sharing "unspoken" requests? Of course I do not believe unspoken requests are somehow less valuable. Truthfully, I have viewed far too many prayer requests as being nothing more than thinly veiled sharings of gossip among Christian groups. Apparently we believe if we preface it under the label of prayer request it is ok and more socially acceptable as gossip.
Yes, that's a whole other can of worms posting there as well...

Back to the youth groups specifically...I honestly believe that many of those 'unspoken' requests or pleas for prayer covering, would be shared more openly in a gender specific grouping. Of course this may not always be the case, but I can't help but feel there is a lot lost in terms of ministry in a mixed grouping, especially of those new to Christ.

When Adam and Eve sinned, God’s perfect plan was perverted by the depravity in the hearts of men and women. Adam sinned by stepping out from under God’s authority when he ate the divinely forbidden fruit, and Eve chose to reject the authority of both Adam and the Lord. One of the consequences of their sin was the corruption of the complementary relationship between man and woman. Genesis 3:16 records what the Lord told Eve: “Yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” The desire Eve would have toward Adam is not a good kind of desire but a desire to conquer or overcome. You can see this in Genesis 4:7 where the same word describes what sin would do to Cain: “Sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it” [emphasis added].
From that time on, one of the expressions of sin in women would be the tendency to break out of God’s intended supporting and following role. At the same time, men’s sinful tendency would be to neglect their responsibility to love and lead their wives, dominating them instead. God’s perfect plan can be implemented and enjoyed in marriages and churches only when sinners receive new hearts of humility and obedience. It is only when men and women submit to God’s way that they will experience the greatest blessing.

I fully believe this statement. The Fall produced the society we have today. The Fall produced the modern feminist, and we have built on that idea every day since. Women want to share the place of authority in their homes, and to some degree they do, with God's guidance as well as His Blessings, but it has been feasted upon by the gluttony of the feminist viewpoint for decades upon decades now.  It is, since The Fall, a part of our nature to step away from God's Word and to seek the authority for ourselves, both in men and women equally, but it is specifically the out stepping and seeking of the woman that has created the discord in so many families that we see these days.
Yes, I overstep my own role here in a great many ways. I can give plenty of examples as to why my choices are sound, and I can give just as many as to why it is totally out of step with anything God Spoken. I am by no means a feminist flag bearer, but neither am I submissive in nature. I am a fallen woman, barely climbing the walls of the pit I have formed, but still I know enough to recognize that it IS a pit, and that for 99% of the fault, it is my own creation.
A woman is not a doormat for a somehow more superior man in the home. That is a feminist stand. Being submissive, being under authority, has nothing to do with whether or not the man you follow is Godly, nor does it have to do with any idea that the man is "better" or more Godly than the woman. It is simply God's ordained calling and the position HE has chosen among the sexes.
Men are not being taught any Scriptural, Godly example of how to fulfill their own role in marriage and home, and the women certainly are lacking in those teachings as well. These men, sitting under unScriptural teachings, and being encouraged to follow the voices of men rather than seeking the One Voice of God, tend to abuse their positions and create much of the life they have at home, but women, by constantly overstepping their own role, have pushed the lines themselves. Neither is to fully take the blame on themselves. I have seen only a few families in my lifetime that have clear blame on one side only, and I have seen a great many who have the discord they do because they are simply not staying in their God given roles.

A distinction of Godly roles, in the church or in the home is a lost art.
It isn't taught in the modern church at all. Maybe a few quirky little notations here and there, usually around Mother's Day or Father's Day, and almost always peppered with a lot of gushy emotion, pretty music, and bobbing heads in feigned agreement from the congregation, but by and large, men are not being taught what God wants in a family leader, and women are being lulled into unsubmissive actions by being told their authority is that of equal footing with the men. If a church truly has a God following leader at the helm, it is teaching that there is now, and has always been, distinct gender roles in every aspect of life. The Church is meant to be a tangible view of a living Bible in the community. No, of course no man or woman is perfect this side of The Kingdom, but there is definitely a great deal of difference between a truly Godly man seeking to follow The Lord 100% and to implement His Commandments in life, and one who is merely paying it lip service. Sadly, far too many churches have lip service only.

Rambling aside, I fully believe woman have a great role to play in the sharing of The Word of God. The woman as a leader is a false teaching among the churches of man, not the Church of God. Sharing His Word, sharing their own understanding of Scripture...I believe they have this role under His Authority, but I do not believe the role is to be played out from the pulpit. Children's Ministry (younger children, as I said above), and in the sharing of understanding among their ladies classes and groups in the church and at home...but not in a mixed meeting of men, and certainly not in a leadership role in the pulpit. That position is only for a man of God, and the woman, no matter how Godly or called, is there in a role of support.  I don't believe these situations limit a woman's calling in the least, nor do they lessen her outreach ability or belittle her worth in Christ. Standing in her God given role exalts a women of God, in the church, in the community, and in the home.

From that time on {after The Fall} one of the expressions of sin in women would be the tendency to break out of God’s intended supporting and following role. At the same time, men’s sinful tendency would be to neglect their responsibility to love and lead their wives, dominating them instead. God’s perfect plan can be implemented and enjoyed in marriages and churches only when sinners receive new hearts of humility and obedience. It is only when men and women submit to God’s way that they will experience the greatest blessing.

Some resources I read thru:
Grace To You: Mens and Womans Roles
Grace to You: Roles of Women
Christian Patriot: Women as Preachers
KJVOnline: Bible Verses about Women Preachers
Circle of Christian Women: Can Christian Women be Pastors?
Circle of Christian Women: Prophecy: Women Leaders
SBC Life: Women Pastors: What does the Bible teach?
Grace to You: God's High Calling for Women, and Part 2, and Part 3
Grace to You: A Biblical Portrait of Women


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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