Merry Christmas

The Glasgow Farmhouse

The Glasgow Farmhouse

May the Lord bless your home with His peace, presence and  power this Christmas. May He do more that you could ever think or imagine with your family. Lord be glorified in our weaknesses and consume us with Your love this week! You are the King of kings and Lord of lords!! Thank You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Luke 2: 2-202 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold,  an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely[d] known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Here are a few popular Christmas links on my blog:

8 Recipes for Christmas cookies (gluten free and travel approved)

Directions to Make Dried Fruit Christmas Ornaments

Luminaries to Light Path to Your House

How to make live Evergreen Christmas wreath

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Holiday desert-Caramel Pecan Cake

Homemade Marshmallows

Gingerbread Legacies

Our three new grand babies  and son in law gingerbread cookies

Our three new grand babies and son in law gingerbread cookies

One of my favorite Christmas decorations is our permanent gingerbread ornaments with family names on them.  This year, the Lord has graciously added to us three grandchildren and a son in law.

I love these ornaments because each one tells a story. I love to reflect on memories of the ones who have passed into their eternal home.

Great Grandma Rowley didn’t have any money.  She didn’t give presents or Christmas cards.  She never really spoke unless spoken to.   I’ll never forget my conversations with her.  She talked about Jesus like I’d never heard anyone talk.

The last time I saw her, she was in her late nineties and her mind and body were going.  She stayed awake all night and slept in the day.  It was hard on the family.  I walked into her room this particular night and she appeared not to be in her right mind until I asked her to tell me about Jesus.

Her face lit up like a Christmas tree.  Peace filled her countenance and a smile took over her confusion.  Her slumped over body straightened right up.  Tears filled her eyes and then it was like a fountain of living water came forth from her.  “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus oh I love His name. He is wonderful, He’s my Counselor, my Mighty God, He’s my Everlasting Father, my Prince of Peace…”

She radiated almost like she was in Heaven and not on Earth in her spirit. She didn’t stop talking!  She couldn’t! I eventually had to walk out of the room to take care of our children who were waiting to be put to bed.  When I finished, I came back in the room and she was still recounting His glory and majesty!

I’ve never forgotten that night.  She gave the best Christmas gift I could have ever received from her. What else do I know about her?  Did she keep a clean house?  I don’t know! Was she organized?  I don’t know.  It doesn’t matter.  What did she do in her spare time?  She read the Word.

None of us know if we will be here next Christmas…

A question that comes to my heart during this time of year, is “what story will be told of us?”  If our family in the distant future were hanging our gingerbread person on the tree and our story was being told, what would be said?

When I’m ninety-eight years old and my great, great grandchildren walk in the room and ask me to tell them about Jesus- I want Him to flow out like a river.  I want my love for Him to be a mighty rushing river flowing from that place within, that never grows old.  His Presence and life abiding inside of us is the gift that keeps on giving!

The gifts we buy will soon be forgotten but the gift that gives into our future generations is a living testimony of a life lived in “laid down love” for Jesus.

As I add my new gingerbread family to the garland today, I pray for my children to live a life dedicated to the Lord and that their life stories would be powerful and told for generations to come.

 

Blessed is the man…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf never withers. . .” Ps 1

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.…” Hebrews 12:1-2

Great Grandma Rowley on far left, me holding our daughter Heather and Grandma Gray

Christmas memories in the making- Great Grandma Rowley on far left, me holding our daughter Heather and Grandma Gray

Heather is the mother to three of our grand babies now!

Some years I hang the gingerbread people on a special tree, other times they hang on this garland in my kitchen

Some years I hang the gingerbread people on a special tree, other times they hang on this garland in my kitchen

Give and It Will Be Given to You

Union Station in the long line of cars

Union Station in the long line of cars

It was the last weekend before Christmas…  I was waiting in the endless line of cars at Union Station in Washington, DC to pick up our daughter, Jennifer.  She had traveled from New York City to spend the holiday with us.

When our five daughters were teenagers I started the tradition of taking each one individually to pick out their Christmas gift.  It served a threefold purpose; 1. Teenage girls wanted clothes, but are impossible to please. If they picked it- they would like it. 2. It gave quality time with each daughter. 3. There were no fights.  Actually, the tradition of going separately started because of past history of fighting while shopping.

Each daughter got the same amount of money- and still do.  Some spend theirs at thrift stores (to extend the amount of items received), while others choose one item for the allotted amount from a nice store.

Well, I had Jennifer’s amount tucked safely in my purse like a golden nugget.  We were going shopping with it.  I had no other money coming in before Christmas so this had to be saved for her.  All the other daughters had already shopped for their gifts.

Horns were honking.  People were hollering out of their car windows.  God forbid, there was a car who had broken down at the front of the line- holding everyone up.  A tow truck was backing up toward it.  I could see people flailing their arms at the poor guy with the broken down car.

Then I saw him running down the line of cars…  He must have passed 30 cars and then he stopped to knock on my window. I rolled the window down. “Ma’am, my car broke down and the tow truck driver won’t help me unless I give him money.  I don’t have any.  Do you by chance have the amount I need?”  Why in the world did he pick my car?!  It was probably the worst looking car in the whole line up and the oldest!  I was missing a hub cap.  The top of the car’s paint was chipped off and peeling.  There was a dent…  All I could think was, “Lord, not my golden nugget saved for Jennifer?! You wouldn’t ask for that would You?”

Reluctantly, I reached inside my purse and pulled out Jennifer’s gift money and gave it to the desperate man.  He said, “Thank you.  My mom is dying of cancer.  She is waiting up there for me by the car.”  I said, “I’ll pray for your mom!”  He received the prayer, we fist pounded and then he ran to the top of the line.

About that time I saw Jennifer waving at me. She got in the car… I was so sad I had used her money.  After arriving home Dale said to me, “Sharon, someone gave us an envelope this morning at church.”

I opened it and inside was the EXACT amount that I had given to the guy in line at Union Station!

Jesus?!?!  I was stunned.  Then the verse came to my mind, “Give and it will be given to you, shaken down and running over. . . “ The next day there was money on our counter when we got home that wasn’t there when we left! Jesus?!!

When we give as unto the Lord He always takes care of His peopleHe always provides what we need.  What an honor to give to people in need!  What an honor to give to ministries who are bringing in the lost and encouraging believers to the highest call of God in Christ Jesus.  I am blessed beyond words to be a speaker for Proverbs 31 Ministries.  And now, we are doing an end of year giving campaign.

Would you consider giving to Proverbs 31 ministries? Maybe even making a monthly pledge?

Your support will help make ministry possible to over two million people through social media, Bible studies, and many other avenues. He will bless you for your contribution!  He is faithful to His word. I’ve experienced His faithfulness!

“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”  Luke 6:38 (ESV)

Make a Plan to Stay Out of Trouble

IMG_1064

I love sitting by the fire

… Hot pizza oozing with five yummy cheeses was twenty minutes from my door. The people working in our barn deserved a feast.  I on the other hand, shouldn’t eat pizza.

I mean I could eat the whole thing, by myself!  Really, I could! That’s the problem.

Quickly, I knew I had to make a plan to stay out of trouble.

I whipped up a healthy organic salad and toasted a piece of sprouted grain bread and ate it- fast.  The smell of fresh, hot pizza filled the kitchen- but I wasn’t tempted.  No sir-ee. My plan had worked. I didn’t eat one slice!

After lunch, I was gloating over my victory and the Lord whispered to my heart, “If only you could be as quick to make a plan to stay out of trouble when other sin crouches at your door!”

Ouch!

You’re right, Lord!

I don’t know about you, but I do that which I know I shouldn’t and don’t do what I should!  AH!!

Speaking of making a plan to stay out of trouble- Joseph is the man with the plan (read it in Genesis 39).  He’s handsome, young, and in charge of Potiphar’s entire estate, except for his wife.  But when Potiphar is not around, his wife tempts Joseph to go to bed with her!  What does this man of God do?? He doesn’t yield to the temptation and He makes a plan to keep out of trouble. 

1. He makes sure he isn’t in the house alone with her, ever!

She got so mad at him that she lied to her husband and told him that Joseph had attempted to make her go to bed with him!  Because of her lie- Joseph was sent to prison!!

Oh my goodness, what a story.

In the end Joseph gets out of prison and is put in charge of ALL OF EGYPT!

What a testimony to us allOh that all men (and women) would be as strong as Joseph and make a plan to keep out of trouble by not going online and looking at things they shouldn’t or by yielding to other temptations that lead to sexual sin!

If we don’t make a plan to keep out of trouble, the sin that crouches at our door will be too hard to resist!

While I was contemplating all of this… one of the guys working in the barn came in to get warm by the fire.  He was once a drug addict.  I asked him, “What’s your plan to keep out of trouble when temptation knocks on your door?”

He said, “First I have to stay in the presence of the Lord, all the time. Secondly, I can never allow myself to become idle or complacent. Thirdly, when temptation comes, I call a recovered addict who has walked a similar journey- who is also saved by the blood of Jesus… and they talk me out of the ridiculous thoughts of yielding to sin that so easily enslaves.

He left, I stared at my fire and prayed.  I asked the Lord to reveal to me the sin which so easily enslaves me.  Then, I wrote down a few plans on how to stay out of trouble.

1.  Next time sin is crouching at your door, make sure that your plan is in place.

Make a plan to keep out of trouble!

There were extra slices of pizza left after lunch.  Someone asked if they could take them to church, I said- “Please do!”  I need no temptation knocking on my door!

Genesis 4:7 tells us, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up?  And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

Winner of Gingerbread kit is Sarah who posted on 11/25/2014 at 12:16 PM! Email me your address!

My Praise is a Weapon

Paul and Silas had been beaten with with rods, put into a prison inner cell and stocks fastened on thier feet. It was midnight, oh yeah it was midnight and they starting praying and singing to God, and the other prisoners were listening( people are listening to us in our midnight hour).

Suddenly there was a great earthquake, it shook the foundation of the prison; and immediately all the doors were opened and EVERYONE’S chains were loosed.

Haha!!! I’m running around the kitchen, this is sooo good.

The keeper of the prison comes in, sees all the prisoners loose and falls down trembling before Paul and Silas saying, “What must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” He  washed their stripes and his whole family were baptized that very hour! Acts 16:25

In our midnight hour, praise is a weapon!!! It breaks chains and releases prisoners!!!

This video was filmed in our barn!! Turn your sound all the way up!

Winner from last weeks drawing is Sharon  who posted on2014/11/18 at 7:57 PM. Email me your address!!

I love Thanksgiving! Our organic, range free turkey is over 24 pounds this year! Here’s my recipe for making the perfect turkey! I’m also making my famous Homemade Marshmallow Fruit Salad and other yummies! When our  five daughters were little they used to dress up like pilgrims for Thanksgiving Day. Oh the memories, I love them.

Another Thanksgiving memory we have is making gingerbread houses the day after Thanksgiving. Click here to see last years! What’s your favorite memory of Thanksgiving? Your comment will enter your name to win a free gingerbread house kit.

thanksgiving

 

They're decorate the window at my kitchen sink

Gingerbread creations decorate window at my kitchen sink- one on end is a nativity

Winner of this weeks drawing will win this gingerbread house kit! Winner drawn next week.

Winner of this weeks drawing will win this gingerbread house kit! Winner drawn next week.

Satan’s Weapon of Torture

The Glasgow Farm at sunrise

Sunrise on The Glasgow Farm

“Satan has asked permission to sift you, Sharon”  my friend said.

My mom who lives with us was in excruciating pain, and she had no one to help her- but me.  Same hour, my daughter (who was due to have a baby) called and said that the Dr. was sending her to the hospital because her blood pressure was skyrocketing. She couldn’t get a hold of her husband, so I wanted to be there ASAP in case they delivered the baby. My husband had taken our only car to help someone and was not picking up his phone.  He was out of range.  Two weddings were scheduled to take place in our barn and one was renting our house- all in less than 36 hours.

Brides and vendors were calling, emailing, texting.  My mom was groaning, my daughter needed me and I was supposed to be preparing messages for a retreat that I would leave for in less than 36 hours!  My phone was blowing up and so was I.  I didn’t know which emergency took precedence.  Without realizing, I started to get mad at Dale for not answering his phone and leaving me without a car. He was innocent, but I was flailing.  My faith started to quiver in fear. Despair attempted to envelope me.  The day was brutal. I finally called a friend.  She firmly said, “Sharon, Satan is sifting you like wheat.”  She reminded me of Peter in the Bible. I got off the phone and went into prayer, laying my load at the feet of Jesus.  Then, I picked up the Word and read the story of Peter. If you’re visiting me from Proverbs 31 devotions today, welcome!

It’s the night before Jesus is crucified.  He’s eating the “Last Supper” with His disciples…

He turns to Peter and says, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked permission to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen the brethren.” Luke 22:31-32

A few hours later, Satan pulled out his first round of ammunition on Peter.  In the first round, he used fear to get Peter to deny Christ (whenever fear rears its ugly head, know you’ve got the drags of Hell scheming against you).  Satan knows that if he can get Peter/us to fall for fear, our faith may fail.  If we fall and our faith fails, the second round of ammunition is stronger than the first.  He sends the atomic bomb of shame and embarrassment, because we failed.

A “sifter” is a machine that crushes grain and turns it into soft flour.

Satan was asking permission to crush and pulverize Peter.

It’s clear from this scripture that Jesus gave Satan right to pulverize him.  But He tells Peter that He would pray for him that his faith would not fail and when he would come back, to strengthen the brethren. I love this. We know from John 21 that Jesus did restore Peter and asked him to feed His sheep.

Three things we need to know in our troubles:

1. Satan goes before the throne of God and accuses us just like Peter and Job (Revelation 12:10). We are no different from Job (Job 1:8) and Peter. He asks if he may sift and pulverize us. Jesus tells us in Rev 12:11 that we overcome these accusations by; 1. Blood of Lamb, 2. Word of our testimony, 3. Don’t love our life- even unto death.  In middle of trials only a fool vents all of his feelings, but the wise holds them in.  We need to speak truth out loud in middle of our trials, not defeat.

Romans 8:28, “God works all things for the good of those who love Him.”

2. Jesus is praying for us, that our faith fail not. He allows these things for divine purposes. Our faith is increased each time and we learn to trust God’s faithfulness. Our faith is increased and our testimony stronger.  Peter was stronger than ever- after his failure. He knew Jesus was merciful and forgave him. Jesus is merciful and forgives us as well.

“And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast” 1 Peter 5:10.

Peter learned this lesson, not from his success, but from his failure.

3. Even when we fail horribly, He quickly forgives when we ask and uses our weaknesses for His glory. Peter was used to preach the gospel powerfully and his words are still preached today! If our faith fails us- we need to immediately ask forgiveness and move into a triumphant life not bogged down with guilt from self condemnation. 

Self condemnation is probably one of the worse weapons of torture Satan tries to defeat us with. DON’T let self condemnation make your faith fail, but if it does- RETURN and strengthen others!

In my weakness the Lord was more than POWERFUL at the retreat last weekend. The weddings were a huge success (thank you Rachel Moberley). My daughter’s blood pressure came down and she delivered her baby naturally, yesterday, after I got back from speaking! My mom is still in pain, we’re going to a surgeon today.

Has Satan been sifting you lately? Don’t believe his lies! God is more than faithful and will do more than you could think or imagine. Read the Word for truth, and pray!

Tell me in one word what you would like for me to pray for you.  It will enter your name for the drawing to win The Confident Heart Devotional and earrings with Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” inscribed on them.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good Genesis 50:20

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for the good Genesis 50:20
To learn more about From Bullets to Blessings Earrings click here.

Swope_ConfidentHeartDevotional_CVR.indd

Hudson James Curry born  11/16/14 9.1lbs Isn't he beautiful!

Hudson James Curry born 11/16/14 9.1lbs Isn’t he beautiful! #6 Grand Baby!!

For those who are visiting me from the P31 devotion here are the turkeys that the devotion were written about

For those who are visiting me from P31 devotion, here are the turkeys that the devotion were written about

Popular posts:

When Trials Hit Every Area of Your Life   The Trial the Truth and the Triumph Remedy

8 Christmas Cookie Recipes to Give as Gifts   Homemade Christmas Ornaments   Making Dried Fruit Christmas Ornaments

Gift from God

Lydia June Easter and proud Grandma

Lydia June Easter- Gift from God-Proud Grandma

Margaret Morgan is the winner of the cornucopia basket!! Email me your address!

Our daughter Hannah and her husband, Jake had their first baby this past week. We have been thanking God everyday for Lydia.

Hannah’s labor was quick, but hard.  Immediately after Lydia was born she was taken to the NICU, she had Meconium aspiration. She was released to a normal room in less than 24 hours. I’ve been with Hannah most of the week and now preparing for a marriage conference tomorrow where Dale and I are the keynote speakers.

 

Last weekend I had the privilege of speaking in Buffalo, NY at the Women Standing Strong conference. The theme of the weekend was Breaking Down the Walls. Oh MY how the Lord ministered to us all.  Before the Israelites could come into the Promised Land the walls of Jericho HAD to come down. We all have walls that we build around ourselves from time to time. Sometimes we build them because of past disappointments, sometimes because we’re too afraid to trust God. . .

What walls have you built around yourself thinking you were protecting yourself when all along they are preventing you from the greater blessing? Lord, show us the walls and help us to take them down. We want everything You have for us and nothing less. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Still praying for last weeks prayer requests. I’ve got three prayer warriors praying over these. My heart breaks for you and the things you’re going through. May the Lord strengthen you and give you peace that passes all understanding.

 

Pray Until Something Happens

 

I've had this basket for 25 years

I’ve had this basket for 25 years

Pray Until Something Happens Story

Last weeks winner of 3 books, DVD, candle jars and seeds is Kim- you posted on 2014/09/18 at 4:24 PM.

A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with bright light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man He had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. This, the man did, day after day.

For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down with his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, the Adversary decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind: “You’ve been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You’re never going to move it” —thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.

“Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that’ll be good enough.” And that’s just what he planned to do— until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. “Lord” he said, “I’ve labored long and hard in Your service, putting all my strength to do that which You’ve asked. Yet, after all this time, I haven’t even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What’s wrong? Why am I failing?”

The Lord responded compassionately,

“My friend, when I asked you to serve Me— you accepted. I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength— which you’ve done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me— with your strength spent, thinking that you’ve failed. But is that really so?”

“Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscular. Your back sinew is mighty. Your hands are callused from the constant pressure;and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you’ve grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you’ve done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”

At times, when we hear from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants. What God ACTUALLY wants is just simple OBEDIENCE and FAITH IN HIM. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it’s still God who moves the mountains.

P.U.S.H. = Pray Until Something Happens! When everything seems to go wrong, just P.U.S.H. … When the job gets you down, P.U.S.H. … When people don’t react the way you think they should, P.U.S.H. … When your money looks funny and the bills are due, P.U.S.H. … When people just don’t understand you, just P.U.S.H.

What mountain do you need GOD to move? Your finances? Job? A relationship? Sickness? Your ministry? Tell me in the comment section below. Your request will enter your name to win this cornucopia full of fresh fall gourds, some from my very own garden. Cornucopia means, horn of plenty or abundance of something. May the Lord bless you abundantly. Last week we prayed for your prayer requests. Many answered prayers have been coming in!! Thank You Lord! We need each other! The power of prayer is incredible.

I've had this basket for 25 years

I’ve had this basket for 25 years

Love- The Antidote for The Poison of Unforgiveness

A Path on our farm where I sometimes walk and talk to the Lord

A Path on our farm where I sometimes walk and talk to the Lord

If you are visiting from P31′s devotion today, welcome!

Raging anger morphed him into someone I’d never seen.  It was horrible. Just minutes before, we were having a civilized conversation.

His body racked with pain.  Morphine,  alcohol, and other drugs were his best friends.  Doctors couldn’t find the source of his pain.  He looked desperately to me. “Help me, Sharon, I can’t live like this anymore.”

I prayed with him and when I opened my eyes, asked him the question that led to his rage, “Is there someone you need to forgive?”  He became fidgety.  His voice got stronger and assertive.  “Well, yes but that has nothing to do with, anything.

I asked, “Who can’t you forgive?”  He rolled his eyes, got out of his chair, and morphed into a mad man. Profanities shot from the secret place of his heart.

Gently I said, “Can you forgive them?”

“NO!”  He screamed. “Leave me the %^%$# alone! You have no idea what you are asking!”

With tears in my eyes, I said, “Yes, I do. I’ve had to forgive. . .”

When Satan gets a foothold (a door) into our life through anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness- it’s destructive.

He (Satan) wants to kill, steal, and destroy. Give him the opportunity and he’ll wreck our life; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Even the secular world knows that unforgiveness and bitterness can cause untold physical and mental issues.

What lives within the secret place of our soul, ultimately defines our life.

Every day, many times (even hourly) I have to go before with the Lord and give Him my burdens, grievances, and hurt.  I open the Word desperately searching for answers and He always provides.  He’s faithful.

The more time I spend in the secret place with Him and His Word, the more His attributes become mine.  I see others through His eyes and not my own. I can forgive as He forgives because He gives me His ability.  His love consumes me and I am able to live above my circumstances and not be controlled by them.

Oh, love- His love “is as strong as death. . . Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it” (Song of Songs 8:7a).  Bitterness, unforgiveness. . . can’t live in the presence of Jesus’ love.  It conquers all!

His love is the antidote for the poison of it.  The secret place of our heart is sacred to Jesus. We can’t let unforgiveness reside there.  It can cause serious issues.

In Matthew 15:18, Jesus tells us, “ what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart. . .”  If we bury resentment in the secret place of our heart, it will come out one way or the other.  What lives within the secret place of our soul- ultimately defines our life.

Is there someone you need to forgive?  Someone you can’t love?  Get alone in a room. Shut the door.

1. Ask Jesus to help you by the Helper, Holy Spirit 2. Forgive (meaning to release from judgement) them 3. Tell Satan (out-loud)- “In the Name that is above every other name JESUS… The Accuser (Satan) has no power over me and I’m free.  FREE INDEED!”

There’s also a test I use on my heart.  Think about the person that you may have an issue with. Pray that God will pour bountiful blessings on them and that He will prosper them in everything they do.  If you can’t pray that, go back to step #1.

If they live near by, bring them a plate of cookies (8 of my favorite recipes)or invite them to a homemade German Pot Roast dinner with all the trimmings! If they live far away, send a card or call them on the phone in a kind, humble spirit.  An act of love is powerful.

None of us are exempt from hardships with difficult people.  Injustices are worthy of anger.  It’s healthy to get angry over injustice.  But, anger can never be allowed to rule over us.  We can’t open the door of bitterness and unforgiveness to dwell within.  We must guard the secret place of our heart from everything that pollutes.

Now, to get back to the story with my friend…

He FORGAVE and is a new man!!  He was tormented for 40 years and is now free!  What lives within the secret place of his soul, now gloriously defines his life. He’s a new man with a peace that passes understanding!

Do you or someone in your life struggle with anger, bitterness or unforgiveness? Leave a one word comment below and we will pray. Your comment will enter you to win three of my favorite books, a DVD, the glass candle holders shown and seeds from my zinnia plants here: The Unburdened Heart  by Suzie Eller, A Tale of Three Kings  (A Study in Brokenness) and The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond and DVD Les Miserables. gift

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Rachael’s Woodland Baby Shower

IMG_5137

Rachael’s baby shower was this past weekend!  Her baby is due November 4. It’s a boy! They haven’t announced his first name yet. Hence his last name “Curry”  strung at top of cake between two branches. Organic gluten free cake. Made with all natural dyes. I curled organic chocolate to make trees on the cake.  Wilton tip 233 piped frosting to look like grass for the animals to stand on and tree tops.  I used Wilton tip 48 for the rest of the frosting. We had lots of tree stumps ready for fall splitting and used one to set cake on.

IMG_5131

Rachael, her sisters, niece and me. Rachael’s the one in the red dress in the center! Her sister, Hannah is due to have  baby, Lydia- next week!!! We are SO excited!!!Her mother-in law gave Hannah’s baby shower last month. Hannah is on the end.

IMG_7028

Homemade Beatrix Potter flags decorated the table- thanks to Grandpa Dale!

IMG_7025IMG_0024

Hannah prepared the meat, cheese and fruit platter.

baby shower acorns

Jennifer made buckeye acorns. The flower arrangements were freshly pulled carrots, radishes and fresh basil from the garden displayed in mason jars.

IMG_5135 IMG_5140Rachael_Curry_baby_shower_Hartwood_971420140907_0061_SM-(7) IMG_0001

Dairy free Punch. Pureed raspberries, pineapple juice, coconut milk and ginger-ale.

PIMG_0029 Rachael_Curry_baby_shower_Hartwood_971420140907_0060_SM-(15) Rachael_Curry_baby_shower_Hartwood_971420140907_0060_SM-(44) IMG_0010IMG_0015 Friends and family came from NYC, NC and all over VA to come to the shower!

Rachael_Curry_baby_shower_Hartwood_971420140907_0060_SM-(14)    Rachael_Curry_baby_shower_Hartwood_971420140907_0060_SM-(17) Rachael_Curry_baby_shower_Hartwood_971420140907_0061_SM-(2)

Chrissy- childhood best friend

Rachael_Curry_baby_shower_Hartwood_971420140907_0060_SM-(7870)

Mother-in-law, Barbara Curry, Rachael and her sister-in-law, Laura

Rachael_Curry_baby_shower_Hartwood_971420140907_0060_SM-(7660)

Rachael and Grandma Shanaberger

Rachael_Curry_baby_shower_Hartwood_971420140907_0060_SM-(660)

Aunt Dawn, Rachael and Grandma Marilyn

Rachael_Curry_baby_shower_Hartwood_971420140907_0060_SM-(60)

Aunt Susan, cousin Danielle, Rachael and cousin Lauren

Rachael_Curry_baby_shower_Hartwood_971420140907_0060_SM-(49) 

Selena and Rachael. Heather  hollowed cabbage out and filled with spinach dip- served with vegetables.

   IMG_5102

Rachael due November 4 and her sister due Sept 18 and they didn’t plan it! Heather, their oldest sister had her baby in March. BLESSINGS!!!!

friends-photos-2 friends-photos-1v2

Her friends and family showered her with blessings all day! It was a perfect shower!

3 Ways to Help Persecuted Christians of Iraq

nunsymbol1

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”Bonhoefer

My heart aches for our family (Christians) who are enduring the horrific persecution in Iraq.  News stations have reported  brutal murders, beheadings, and tormenting acts against Christians living in the country of Iraq.  Most have had to flee their homes or risk rape and murder.  Many, upon fleeing their homes have died on the journey over the mountains because of starvation.  If they can’t leave their homes, they’re tortured and killed.  Mosul Iraq is said to be completely barren of Christians.

One report said, “Christianity in Mosul is dead, and a Christian holocaust is in our midst,” said Mark Arabo, a Californian businessman and Chaldean-American leader. In an interview with CNN’s Jonathan Mann, he called what’s happening in Iraq a “Christian genocide” and said “children are being beheaded, mothers are being raped and killed, and fathers are being hung. The world hasn’t seen an evil like this for generations.”

The writer of Hebrews (in chapter 13 verse 3) tells us, “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.”

Jesus knew that His followers would endure persecution. He endured so much persecution for us.  The early church endured persecution at such an intensity that most of us have a hard time relating to it.  But, this was the situation from which Jesus gave instructions to His followers by saying, “And He said to all, ‘If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me’” (Luke 9:23).

I want to be equipped and ready to follow the Lord, to deny myself and take up my cross to follow Him just like the Christians of Iraq. Oh my goodness friends, could you do what they are doing? Yes, we could. But it would be grueling, oh how they need our support!

Paul said in Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death…”

Paul wasn’t speaking figuratively.  He was prepared to die for the King of Glory, who had literally laid down His physical body for him. These blessed Christians in Iraq are willingly sharing in the sufferings of Christ. For Christ they are willing to die, to be mutilated, to suffer. My heart explodes for them as I know yours does.

Three Ways  to Help Persecuted Christians of Iraq

  1. Increase awareness on social media about the persecution in Iraq. Many are putting up a symbol nunsymbol1on their social media, it’s the Arabic letter “nun.” It’s the first letter in the word Nazarene.  It is being painted on properties owned by Christians so that the terrorists can identify them.  The people are using this symbol as profile pictures, so as to “identify” or “remember” those who are suffering in Iraq- and even boldly associate themselves with those  Christians.  This is a brave act of “remembering those who are suffering as if you, yourself were suffering.
  2. Pray privately and corporately for the deliverance of the people of Iraq.  Gather a small group together for the sole purpose of prayer for the persecuted. “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.…”  Let’s gather together and lift up the Christians of Iraq.

3. Support a trustworthy organization working to help persecuted Christians who have been hurt or are without shelter or food. Voice of the Martyrs,Crisis Response International Samaritans Purse  and Christian Aid are just of few that I know who are working the field diligently and need our support to help those in need.

Jesus himself prophesied of “wars and rumors of wars…” (Matthew 24:6a) but he adds instruction for us in this- “See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.”

The Royal Wedding and Reception

Our daughter, Jennifer Glasgow, married Alex Craig on June 7, 2014.  We thank the Lord every day for creating the best man ever, for her. Please enjoy a little of our glorious day with these photo’s and video!

The Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding

Getting Ready in her childhood bedroom

Getting Ready in her childhood bedroom
Her Bridesmaids and flower girl

Her beautiful bridesmaids and flower girl

bridesmaidslaughing_9484

Jenniferrunning_9500

 

Dale, Jennifer and me

Dale, Jennifer and me

Alex and his groomsmen

Alex and his handsome groomsmen

Prayer before going down the aisle

Prayer before going down the aisle- Thank You Jesus!!!

Most adorable ring bearers ever

Most adorable ring bearers ever

Adorable flower girl-Miss Felicity

Most adorable flower girl-Miss Felicity

Here comes the Bride!

Here comes the Beautiful Bride!

Both sets of parents prayed blessings over the marriage

Both sets of parents prayed blessings over the marriage

audience

The Princess and Prince united in Holy Matrimony

The Princess and Prince united in Holy Matrimony

The princess and the prince story here.

The Bridal Party

The Bridal Party was AMAZING

Alex's mom and dad with the newly weds!

Alex’s mom and dad with the newly weds!

 

Before the guest get arrive from church

Before the guest arrive from church

IMG_9384

The sweetheart table

The sweetheart table

Kids enthralled by the turkey

Kids enthralled by the turkey

 

All food made on the Glasgow Farm-exceptthe famous wood smoke grilled chicken by Jose!

All food made on the Glasgow Farm-except the famous wood smoke grilled chicken by Jose!

The first dance

The first dance

Head table- not everyone is seated yet

Head table- not everyone is seated

Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles

Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles

Homemade Raspberry Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows were the wedding favors-Recipe

IMG_9809

Watching the first dance

Watching the first dance

 

While others are entertained by "Edward" the French Alpine buck

“Edward” the French Alpine buck admired

Heidi and Heather looking pretty on the vintage furniture

Heidi and Heather looking pretty

Dancing_IMG_0282edit.1280x1024

candle

Deserts before the wedding cake! Oh yeah!

Deserts before the wedding cake! Oh yeah!

Homemade Mints

Homemade Mints- recipe here

Homemade Gluten Free donuts

Homemade Gluten Free donuts

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

Wedding favors were homemade raspberry marshmallows dipped in chocolate- Recipe will be linked here by tomorrow

Wedding favors were homemade raspberry marshmallows dipped in chocolate- Recipe will be linked here by tomorrow

The cake was lowered from the barn ceiling for the unveiling. It was breath taking! Gluten free wedding cake recipe HERE!

The cake was lowered from the barn ceiling for the unveiling. It was breath taking! Gluten free wedding cake recipe HERE!

 I love the story of the cake being lowered from the ceiling. One morning Dale said to me that he had this great idea. He said he wanted Jennifer’s wedding cake to lower from the barn ceiling for her reception. I didn’t say a word, no facial expressions from me. I  pretended like he didn’t say it. It was too scary- lowering the wedding cake from the ceiling! We’d never done that! We never mentioned it again.

Then, Alex got here a week before the wedding.  In the first hour of his visit, he says to us that he would like to have their wedding cake lowered from the ceiling! I gasped. Dale looked at me, I looked at him. It was a done deal at that moment. Dale drew up the plans and gave them to Alex. We went to bed one night and the next morning we wake up to the entire plan finished, perfectly executed! He’s definitely a keeper.

Dancing

Dancing

 

IMG_0015

IMG_9993

 

Tent for gifts

Tent for gifts

Tent for Guest Book

Tent for Guest Book

 

I wish you could see all the lightening bugs entertaining the children

I wish you could see all the lightening bugs entertaining the children!  A magical night!

The sparkler send off! It was truly "A Royal Wedding"

The sparkler send off! It was truly “A Royal Wedding”

Thank you Beverly Toves for photographs, the CAKE, arranging our flowers, the chocolate fountain, the portrait. . . YOU ARE AN AMAZING FRIEND! Thank you Forest for the video! Thank you Kim for Photographs!

Reception was held at The Glasgow Farm.

Here’s the wedding and reception video for you to watch! 

German Pot Roast w/ all the Trimmings

German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad

This German Pot Roast will melt in your melt for sure!

3-5 pds chuck roast

3-5  garlic cloves, sliced thin

onion, sliced

1 cup of apple cider vinegar

2 cups strong coffee

1 cup water

salt and pepper

Onions, apple cider and extra water to cover garlic studded roast

Onions, apple cider and extra water to cover garlic studded roast- let sit for 24-48 hours

Make two cups of strong coffee and water

Two cups of strong coffee and water
You're supposed to put make slits in roast and add garlic to it before marinating. I forgot so, I added the garlic after marinading. It was still delicious!

You’re supposed to put make slits in roast and add garlic to it before marinating. I forgot so, I added the garlic after marinading. It was still delicious!

You won't need a knife. Its so tender!

You won’t need a knife. Its so tender!

Balsalmic Roast 2

Make slits in roast, insert sliced garlic pieces into slits. Place the roast in a glass bowl and cover with one cup vinegar and sliced onions. The vinegar not only flavors the roast but also helps to tenderize it. Add a little more water to cover the roast. Refrigerate  for 24-48 hours.

Remove the roast from vinegar, pat dry and place roast in cast iron skillet on HIGH. Brown on both sides in iron skillet. Add the coffee and water- cover and cook on low on stove top with lid for 6 hours (I have made in oven as well, temperature on 300 for 6 hours).

Take roast out of liquid, it will fall apart. Oh my goodness this is  incredibly succulent and tender,  it melts in your mouth.

 

bread

Dill Casserole Bread

 

1 package dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 T. butter, melted

2 t. dill weed

1 egg

1 cup cottage cheese (I use curds)

2 1/2 cups self rising flour (I use GF Pamela’s)

(If you use regular flour you’ll need to add 1 t. salt and 1/4 t. soda)

 

Dissolve yeast in water. Mix all other ingredients. Let rise. Stir down. Pour into greased 2 quart casserole dish. Let rise- the longer the better! I let mine rise for 2-3 hours. Bake on 375 for 20-25 mins or until done.

 

potato salad

German Potato Salad

 

7-8 small to medium organic potatoes- chopped

salt to taste

8 slices uncured bacon-fry until crisp and save grease

1 red onion- diced and fried in bacon grease

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 heaping tablespoon flour

1/4 cup organic apple cider

1 bunch chopped chives

Fry bacon till crisp. Crumble, set aside and save grease. Add chopped onion to grease and fry until translucent. Add chicken broth, flour and apple cider to the mixture. Turn off heat. Put chopped potatoes into water seasoned with salt, in a pot. bring to boil and cook for 12 minutes. Drain water off. Add potatoes to other mixture and stir. When time to serve add the crumbled bacon and chopped chives. YUM!

Fry onions in bacon grease

Fry onions in bacon grease

Add cider, broth and flour to onion and grease mixture, stir and turn off heat

Add cider, broth and flour to onion and grease mixture, stir and turn off heat

I forgot to add the chives to this! Chives make it taste fresh.

I forgot to add the chives to this! Chives make it taste fresh.

Serve meal with salad!

Poison Ivy, Poison Sumac and Poison Oak-10 Facts you MUST KNOW

Poison Sumac-August 25

Non-poisonous sumac

I’ve had my share of run ins with poison ivy and poison sumac. Years ago I got a free load of mulch from the dump. Yep, you know where I’m going… In less than 24 hours- 80 percent of my body was affected with blisters and rash. It only takes one experience to teach you a powerful lesson. I’ll never get mulch from the dump again! Here are some other things we need to know about these poisonous plants.

1. Learn how to identify poison ivy, poison sumac and poison oak.

Poison Sumac

Poisonous  Sumac-found mostly in swampy locations

The poisonous sumac is a woody shrub or small tree growing up to 20 feet tall.
The stems of the leaflets are always red. Yellow-green flowers are present during June and July. The small white or grey berries are visible in September.
Non-poisonous sumac has red berries. Poison Sumac differs from other sumacs in having shorter leaves, fewer leaflets, and smooth leaf edges.

Poison sumac-remember if a cat goes through it and you pick it up- you're going to get the poisonous oil on you.

If your barn cat goes through poison ivy or poison oak and you pick it up- you’re going to get the poisonous oil on you.

If your dog runs through it, comes in the house and plops down- what he touches is infected with oil.

If your dog runs through poison ivy, comes in the house and plops down- anything he touches is infected with oil! You must wash your animal with soap and water to get the oils off.

2. How long does poison ivy, sumac, and oak stay active?   1-5  years. Anywhere the plant has touched, if it is not washed- is potentially active with urushiol oil.

3. Do NOT burn poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak in a brush pile. The poison plant oil called urushiol can cause a very severe allergic reaction. The heavy particles of the smoke contain urushiol, which will fall down in soot form and can be inhaled. The lungs can swell, cause coughing,  extreme irritation, and swelling in the throat. It can also cause blisters, swell face, and eyes shut.

IMG_0006

This is a serious hazard. I’ve seen pictures of babies with their eyes swollen shut from being exposed to the poisonous oils released into the air through bonfire.

4. Wash poison oil off ASAP. I am highly allergic to it and once a month I mow through areas infested with it.  I  mow for 30 mins wearing jeans, boots, long sleeve shirt and glasses.  I go inside take clothes off and put directly into washing machine. Next, I head to shower and wash myself well with soap and water. This has prevented almost all reactions for me personally.  Sometimes if I have a large area to mow I’ll come in and change clothes and wash every 1/2 hour.   I don’t let my clothes hit the floor.

Poison ivy would take over the property if we didn't control it

Poison ivy would take over the property if we didn’t control it

5.  Discard poisonous branches and leaves.  Wear long sleeves, pants, boots, gloves and goggles. Chop branches and put in garbage bags and put into trash.

Poison ivy running rampant up old oak tree

Poison ivy running rampant up old oak tree

6. How to keep poison ivy, poison sumac and poison ivy from spreading.  Keep mowed by tractor, cows, goats and sheep. Pour heavy amounts of salt on area after it is mowed down. It will kill everything around it, so be careful where you pour.

Goats LOVE poison ivy! It's a delicacy to them. They don't eat much grass but they love brush.

Goats LOVE poison ivy!  They don’t eat much grass but they love brush!

7. Poison ivy, poison sumac and poison oak are not poison dormant in the winter. It is not safe to clear poison areas in the winter.  It is just as active in the winter as summer.

8. If your cow or goat eat poison ivy and you drink the milk it does not  give you  immunity to the toxins. Scientist say that is folklore.  90 percent of people are allergic on some level, the others aren’t.

Goat milk from goats eating poison ivy does not give you an immunity to the toxin

Goat milk from goats eating poison ivy does not give you an immunity to the toxin

9. Poison ivy blisters are not contagious. You must come in contact with the urushiol oil to get it. If you haven’t washed clothes, boots, etc that were touched by it you’ll get it. Not by touching blisters but touching the oil.

10. Treatment if infected with poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison sumac: 1. Bathes with baking soda and epsom salt are effective. 2. Put a teaspoon of baking soda on wet gauze, cover affected area. 3. Banana peel and cucumber soothe the itch. 4.  Pour whey onto gauze or folded absorbent paper towel and cover affected area. Secure in place.  The whey treatment helps us more than other treatment.hwkb17_017_18_19.jpg

Winners of “The Best Yes” book drawing!

205851_1_ftc

Winners of last weeks “Best Yes” drawing! Email me with your address!

Marla posted on08/11/2014 at 4:22,

Amma Bilson-Ogoe

Maile posted on 08/12/2014 at 4:17 

Fran who posted on 08/14/2014 at 8:44 

Jennifer Dougan