Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Book Review: Finding God in the Hard Time

Finding God in the Hard Times: Choosing to Trust, Hope, and Worship When You Can't See the Way  -     By: Matt Redman, Beth Redman

I was given this book by the publisher for an honest review.  Honestly, even though this book was well written, it didn't seem to apply to my life at this time.  Written to be a group book study, maybe I would have gotten more out of the book if I had discussed it with others.  Authors Matt and Beth Redman, encourage us to lament when times are tough and through those tough times, to find our place of praise for God's faithfulness and steadfast love.  There was one thought that stuck with me after reading this book.  "The church of God needs her songs of lament just as much as she needs her songs of victory."  (pg 37).  Even though I may not be going through a tough time right now, others are.  As a community, it is important to join others in their songs of lament and by doing so we are a strength and encouragement to them as they walk the dark valleys of life.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Martyr's Grace

Grandmother's Garden
unfinished top, maker unknown

Life is so perfectly illustrated in textiles.  It takes thread, fabric, hard work, imagination, and the desire to create something when making a quilt.  We are inspired by quilts made in the past and present.  The lives of those who created the quilt are shown in their choice of color and fabric.  Without the collective stitches we would not have a quilt.

Our life is impacted by the collection of many experiences.  They may be experiences of our own or the influence of other people in our lives.  Collected like a patchwork quilt to create one interesting, purpose-filled life.

A Martyr's Grace: 21 Moody Bible Institute Alumni Who Gave Their Lives for Christ"Have you grace to be a martyr?"  D.L. Moody was once asked.  "No," he replied, "I have not.  But if God wanted me to be one, he would give me a martyr's grace."  So begins author Marvin J. Newell in the forward of his book, "A Martyr's Grace:  21 Moody Bible Institute Alumni Who Gave Their Lives For Christ.   I find that my personal faith is boosted when I read of other's experiences in their faith journey and as difficult as it was to read some of these stories, I found the need to take my own faith out and examine it.

As I read this book I was impressed with the passion each person felt in their call to go spread the gospel around the world.  Each person willingly gave their all to share the faith that they had in Jesus Christ. Reading this book has given me pause to stop and reflect on my own passions.  What am I giving my passion to?  Is it something worth dying for?  Is it worth anything for eternity?

The author has done a thorough job of researching each missionary, sometimes with little to go on.  He did not try to glorify the lives of the 21 men and women but told their stories just as he found them.  Human flaws and all.  The exciting thing is how each person's story, told in "A Martyr's Grace" not only impacted the people they were with at the time, but it continues to impact people today.

Just like quilts are purposeful for the immediate now, they continue to comfort, inspire, and provide warmth to people in the future.  Who are you impacting today and for what purpose?

*This book was given to me by Moody Publishers in return for an honest opinion, entirely my own.

Monday, May 2, 2016


Borders, what would we do without them?  As we were loading up cows on Saturday to bring them from the dry lot back to the farm where they will calve, I was thankful for borders.  Those fence borders made it much easier to contain those crazy kick up your heels kind of cows!

As it often does, my mind began to wander, thinking about how borders affect our lives.  Can we live without borders?  Sometime we should -- Love with out borders, spread joy without borders, and be kind without borders.  However, some borders are good -- it curbs our overeating, keeps us from spending more than we make, and keeps us from over extending our calendar.

What does this have to do with quilts, you might ask?  Well, Saturday was full of borders.  The fence kind and the quilt kind.  I finished up the border on my Smith Mountain Morning Quilt.  You can see my post about the Bonnie Hunter class I attended here.  I am so pleased with how it went together.  Now off to my long arm quilter it will go.  Next I tackled the t-shirt quilt I have been working on this past week.  I cut what fabric I had, thinking it was enough, but alas!  I was 20" short!  The shop where I purchased the fabric was already closed and is also closed on Mondays.  So I had to put it aside until I can pick up the extra fabric and then off to the quilter it will go.

I have found that I prefer quilts which have a smaller solid fabric framing the center of the quilt before the larger border is added.  I have also found that a quilt looks better if my border width is about 1/2 to 2/3 the size of the block in my quilt.  Any smaller and it looks puny next to the quilt.  Any larger and the center is dwarfed by the border.  As with anything in life, balance is the key.

And now I am going to leave you with a few more pictures from life on the farm.

Bandit, can't wait to herd those cows!

The senior farmer getting the trailer ready to load cows.

The farmer and son #2 corralling them into the trailer.
This morning went swimmingly well.  Sometimes it's a real rodeo!