Thursday, April 30, 2009

Number Eleven

Number 11 was born on Monday, April 27, but we don't have pictures of her yet. Josie May Cuadrado makes eleven nieces and nephews for Q and I. She weighed in at 7 pounds, 15 ounces and was 21 and 1/2 inches long. I heard she has lots of hair and is one adorable little girl. We can't wait to see pictures of her. I'm getting ready to send off a gift for her that I know her mom (my middle sister) will love.

I used Simplicity pattern #4243 to make this sleeveless dress and panties. This is the second time I've used this pattern and it's one of my favorites so far. I love the pleats on the front and the lace that trims the collar and hem. It's the perfect dainty dress for my new niece.

Here's a close up view of the front of the dress. The purple flower was a hand-sewn addition.

Here are the panties, as they're called in the pattern. It's very frilly with the lace on the bottom of each leg opening.

I used Butterick pattern #4898 to make a matching hair bow. It was my first time making one, and it was pretty easy to do.

I made this stuffed flower from left over fabric and purple fleece. I used the blanket stitch on my machine to sew on the center of the flower. Then I stuffed it with fiberfill. I thought it would be a fun thing for Josie to play with while she wears her new summer outfit. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Made just for baby Carson

As you all know, my sister-in-law, Abigail, had her baby this past Friday. Baby Carson was a bit early on his arrival, but he is one healthy little boy. I set off to work on making him a handmade gift. I know his mom will like it, not only because it was stitched with love, but because I created something from one of my articles of clothing--so there's a bit of Auntie Theo in it.

I bought this 6-9 month onesie at a discount store and decided to embellish it with an applique'. I cut out a fish shape, then stitched around it using a blanket stitch on my sewing machine. It was the first time I used this kind of stitch to sew on an applique.'  The eye, mouth and ocean waves were created using fabric paint.
Here's a close up view of the fish applique' I made, using the same fabric that I used for the pants (below). I made sure to use Fray check around the edges before stitching him on.

So, what did I use that was mine to make this pair of jeans for Carson? It was an Eddie Bauer jean skirt that I no longer use that was still in great condition. I still have some left over fabric that I can use to make something else out of in the future. I used Simplicity pattern #3765 to make the pants. It's the same pattern I used to make Eli's corduroy pants.

I normally iron on a "handmade by" label on the clothes and doll outfits I've made, but I thought it would be fun to sew on the Eddie Bauer tag on just for kicks! 

I made this fish toy using the jean fabric, too. He matches the applique', as I used the orange fabric paint for his facial features and used a blanket stitch all around his body. He measures approximately 5 inches long and is stuffed with fiberfill. I'm sure Carson will enjoy playing with it. I can't wait to see pictures of him wearing his new outfit, too. :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Moist fruit torte

Here's another one of my favorite camp recipes from Ironwood. This moist fruit torte is scrumptious. It's wonderful for breakfast, as a dessert, or for a snack while blogging.:) I love the cinnamon-sugar that covers the entire top of it, as well as the moist center and crunchy edges. Feel free to use any canned fruit. The recipe suggests using plums, but I love using peaches. Enjoy!

Moist Fruit Torte

1 cup margarine or butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
1 can (16 oz.) fruit, drained and pitted (plums or peaches are good choices)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream first 3 ingredients. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Blend in flour and baking powder. Spread batter into greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Place fruit evenly on batter. Blend cinnamon with remaining sugar and sprinkle over the fruit. Bake for 30 minutes until light brown and set in the center.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A view of the world for the young at heart

During a recent trip to Joann's, I found this beautiful cloth map of the world. It was in their red tag fabric section, and it just happened to be during a sale week where these fabrics were 50% off! It cost me just $1.50!:) Bargains like this excite me, especially when it's something I can use in teaching. I was given a United States map very similar to this several years ago. I used it to create a bulletin board while I was teaching Kindergarten. If I ever go back to teaching elementary, or home school some day, I know that both of these maps will be such a helpful tool in teaching about missions, geography and history. 

I think I can use this map with our VBS program this summer. My husband asked if I would head up the four and five-year-old program again this year. Modern day missionary stories are woven into the week, as the main Bible story is about Paul and his missionary journeys. 

The map measures 35 by 42 inches--such a good size! I love the pictures of the animals, landmarks, and industry that cover each continent. To help it last longer, I bought some ribbon and stitched that all around the border. I didn't want it to unravel over time. I ironed it as well, but it was still hard to get the map to lay straight after putting the ribbon on. When I put it on a wall, I think it will stretch out just fine.

Here's a close up view of the title, "our world." The letter "o" in world is really a globe!

This is Africa. With such colorful pictures, what kid wouldn't want to look at this map? There are so many interesting things to learn about as you look at each continent. I'm sure it can serve as a starting point for discussions, book reports, and craft projects! I'm already thinking that it would be neat to post pictures of missionaries right on the place in which they serve.

Here's a close up view of the grosgrain ribbon that I used. It was 5/8 of an inch wide, so I folded it and was able to cover both sides of the fabric. It was tricky to do, but all in all, it was worth it. I want this map to last for a long time. It's a treasure that I know will be used for years to come.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Carson Miles Lysne

We've got another new nephew! Horray! Carson Miles Lysne was born on Friday morning and weighed in at 8 pounds and is 20 inches long. He's also an early arrival who's due date was on May 14. Carson is the fourth child of Brian and Abigail (my husband's sister). All are home now and doing well.

Proud daddy is happy to hold baby Carson. Brian was on deployment during most of Abigail's pregnancy, so he came back just in time for the birth.

The three siblings are in love with their new little brother. Annalina, Gabriel, and Ross enjoyed taking turns holding him at the hospital. 

We're thankful to have another addition to our family. I just wish we were closer so that we could hold and meet these new babies. We are now waiting for the arrival of my other sister's baby who should be here any day. Baby Josie's due date was predicted before the other two. Funny how things happen that way, eh? 

I'm working very busily on a gift for Carson. Since we didn't know if Abigail was having a boy or a girl, I didn't get a head start like I have for the other two. So, as soon as possible, I'll show you all what I'm making for him, as well as the gift I've already begun for Josie. 

Isn't making baby gifts so much fun? I'm loving it!:)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Psalms of David

I'm enjoying the book, The Psalms of David, for the second time--and it's such a delight! I received it as a gift a few years ago from one of my students. The book of Psalms is a book in the Bible, but this book is one man's work on making the words come alive. The illuminations were all done by James S. Freemantle.

This is what the inside cover has to say about the story behind the book:

"Born in India, James Freemantle traveled through the Middle East during his years in the British Army. Shortly after his second marriage, he began this hand-lettered, illustrated volume for his beloved bride, Clara. For the next thirty years, he periodically worked to transfer the psalms into a book that would physically match the lyrical beauty of the poetry."

Each page is filled with artistic lettering and pictures and I love every one of them. The Bible is already such a treasure, but this book allows the reader to have better imaginations about this portion from God's Word.

The book was published many years after Freemantle died, by his son, Stephen. He went home to be with the Lord in 1934, the same year he finished the book. Harper Collins Publishers has printed this book, but I'm sure you could also find it at a Bible bookstore. 

Wonderful read--enjoy! 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Neater spools of ribbon and lace

It was time to organize all my ribbon and lace! The idea to use straight pins to hold them place was not originally mine. When I received some free sewing stuff from my neighbor, I noticed that a couple rolls of ribbon were held in place with straight pins. I've been meaning to do this for a while now, and it's finally done! No more ribbon flying everywhere in my storage containers, for which I am glad. 

Don't they all look neat and pretty? They're even prettier on scrap book pages, clothing and crafts. Gotta love em'!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Egg-free spiced pancakes

Since Q is at a pastor's conference tonight, I decided to make something quick and easy for my dinner. Isn't breakfast food awesome to have for dinner? I found this recipe in Taste of Home's Healthy Cooking Magazine. Instead of using all white flour, I put in half white and half wheat. I like to add in wheat flour whenever I can. It's healthy and more filling! I also doubled the recipe so that I could freeze some and enjoy more of these pancakes at a later time.

Egg-Free Spiced Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup fat-free milk (low-fat is okay, too)
2 tablespoons canola oil
Maple syrup, optional

In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pie spice and salt. In another bowl, combine milk and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot griddle coated with cooking spray; turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until the second side is golden brown. Serve with syrup if desired. Yield: 8 pancakes

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My gift to baby Eli

It's finally finished, and I'm so glad! I can mail out this outfit I made for Eli tomorrow. I used Simplicity pattern 3765 to make this shirt and pants set. Instead of using velcro to close the top of the shirt, I used snaps. The red fabric is thick and was free, as I received it with a load of other material from my neighbor. I bought the brown corduroy fabric at Joann's to make the pants.

The entire outfit was pretty easy to make. I love the side pockets on the pants--too cute! I made the six-month-old size so that he could wear this some time in the fall. The two fabrics will keep him warm in the cooler weather.

To embellish the shirt, I bought this monkey iron-on, (from Tulips Co.), designed for use on a baby outfit. Isn't he adorable?

I like to iron on a handmade label on the outfits I make for my nieces and nephews. I stitched my initials on this one using red embroidery floss.

Remember this little monster I made a while back? This guy is going to Eli, too. I used the same two fabrics on him as I did for the outfit. Because he has button eyes, he will have to be just a decoration until Eli gets older. Then he can play with him all he wants.:) I can't wait to see pictures of Eli wearing the outfit I made for him. I'm sure his mom will love it, too!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Are you wondering what's so a-MAZ-ing about this post? Q found this wooden maze game at a thrift store for only 99 cents! It's not broken--just had a spot of red paint on it. It also didn't have the marbles with it. But, how could you pass up a great deal like this for only 99 cents (okay, it's actually a little over a dollar with tax!)? AMAZING!

It's a classic game that we just couldn't pass up. It's too big to fit in one of our toy baskets in the living room, so it's being stored in the spare bedroom. We've already tried playing this game ourselves and found it to be quite challenging! I think the next time we have kids or teens over, it will keep them occupied for a while. 

After purchasing this game, we headed over to a craft store to find marbles for it. Regular-sized marbles are too large for the holes in this game. So, we found hematite beads (8mm). They have two tiny holes, but they are weighty and roll pretty well. The goal of this game is to go from start to finish without the marble falling inside. If you don't make it to the finish line, the number next to the hole where your marble fell through indicates the points you receive for that round. Knobs on the two sides of the game box help you move the marble around the maze.

I made a pouch for the beads using scrap fabric. A while back, I received some sample fabric, and I just loved this one the best! All I did was make a casing at the top; put the rope through the casing; then, stitched up the sides. To close the top, you just have to pull the two ends of the rope and tie it. This is also a great way to keep small pieces from other games in, or even tiny doll accessories! Basically, if it's small things you're trying to keep track of, making a pouch like this would be ideal.

The package of beads that we bought contained more than 60! I did put all of them in the bag, and I think that we have plenty of extras if some get lost (or in case I decide to make some jewelry out of them, too!) :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Garden: starting over...

Remember the indoor garden that I began about a month ago? Well, with the weather going from winter to spring to summer, and then back to winter every few days, it was hard to know when it was okay to put the plants out for some sunshine. I thought I was doing them a favor, but instead, I was killing them! The herbs did all right for a long time, but I ended up throwing those out along with the tomatoes that were just pitiful. 

So, it was time to start over.

I found the website,, that has a tutorial on how to grow plants by making a mini green house. I thought, This just has to work...this will help me get that green thumb which I so desperately need! I'll explain what I did about a week ago to start my garden over again.

The directions say you can use an egg carton, then poke holes on the bottom of it. Then, you can add your dirt and seeds. I had a disposable container with a plastic lid, so I placed the egg carton in there. Keeping the dirt moist, but not too wet, is the key I think! Then, I read that I should keep these by a sunny window, and not place them outside for a while. I also found this cake carrier and cupcake carrier and placed dirt and seed-filled cups in those. The cake carrier is the one that is doing the best, as the lid forms condensation on the top and I don't have to water that one as often. These containers sit on the floor next to our sliding door-window. They get a little bit of sunshine every day!

I decided to try something else, too, with a few disposable loaf pans. I filled them with dirt before placing some seeds in them. They sit on sheets of aluminum foil on our bedroom windowsill. Before the plants started getting tall, I placed plastic wrap on each one. It was another way to make a few more green houses.

These plants are a bit taller than the ones in the other containers. They look healthy and so far, I'm not in a panic! I did save some seeds in the packet, just in case this didn't work out again. My plan is to place the plants in large containers that can go in our back porch. We don't have a lot of dirt back there, so this is the way we plan on doing it.

But--do any of you have advice on keeping my tomato plants alive? What do you do? I'd love to hear any tips you may have! We want some nice little tomatoes for making pasta sauce and salsa--hopefully this season!:)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Guess who decided to come early?

The answer is--Eli Joseph Ledesma, my newest nephew who was born this past Wednesday morning! He weighed in at 7 pounds, 1 oz. and is 19 and 3/4 inches long. His original due date was May 13 (my birthday:), but God allowed Eli to be born 4 weeks early. He is going home today after being in the hospital for observation because of his premie status. Older sister, Mia (5) and older brother, Jaden (3) are excited to have a little brother. My sister, Raquel, and Eli are doing well physically--praise the Lord! The baby shower is tomorrow, so Eli will now get to be seen by all.

I received this picture of Eli on my phone yesterday. He's a cutie, don't you think? I'm sure I'll get some more pictures soon. I wish there was a way I could hold him and squeeze him (but not too tightly!)--but CA is too far away for us to get to right now.

I made this birthday card for Eli using scrap booking tags, embroidery floss, stamps and chalk. It was fast and simple-perfect for the boy who came early and the auntie who wanted to send something off quick!
Inside the card, I stamped this baby stamp and colored it in with chalk. I used a calligraphy pen to write the words. I'm currently working on sewing something for the little guy. Just didn't think he'd come before I was done with it!

Happy Birthday, Eli! Uncle Q and I can't wait to meet you someday.:)

Where's Colin?

We did a fun game with the teens this past Wednesday in youth meeting. Our assistant pastor is very good at photo editing and making posters for our church ministry. He found a picture, then placed the face of one of our teens in a few different locations. The original idea of "Where's Waldo?" turned into "Where's Colin?"

The teens were divided into teams according to grade level. They were to work together and circle Colin's face every time they found him.

The picture was of fans at an athletic event. Colin's face was placed on bodies that were not really his. It was hilarious! 

And here's the infamous Colin. Now, doesn't he look a little like Waldo? Hmmmm......

Friday, April 17, 2009

Only a bend in the road...

I've had a hump in my recovery: an infection that's been causing pain and interrupted sleep! Yesterday was hard, but today I'm beginning to feel a lot better. A friend of mine loaned a book to me called, In the Vineyard of the Lord, and it is the autobiography of Helen Steiner Rice and includes many of her poems. The following poem was written at a time in which she was going through some hard times. Every time I've read it, it's brought tears to my eyes. My two surgeries and infections are only a bend in the road....all planned by God and for his glory! I hope that it will be an encouragement to you now, and during times that are difficult.

The End of the Road is but a Bend in the Road
by Helen Steiner Rice

When we feel we have nothing left to give
And we are sure that the "song has ended"--
When our day seems over and the shadows fall
And the darkness of night has descended,
Where can we go to find the strength
To valiantly keep on trying,
Where can we find the hand that will dry
The tears that the heart is crying--
There's but one place to go and that is to God
And, dropping all pretense and pride,
We can pour out our problems without restraint
And gain strength with Him at our side--
And together we stand at life's crossroads
And view what we think is the end,
But God has a much bigger vision
And He tells us it's ONLY A BEND--
For the road goes on and is smoother,
And the "pause in the song" is a "rest,"
And the part that's unsung and unfinished
Is the sweetest and richest and best--
So rest and relax and grow stronger,
LET GO and LET GOD share your load,
Your work is not finished or ended,
You've just come to "A BEND IN THE ROAD."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Banana Snack Cake

Absolute yumminess is all I can say about this recipe! It makes an awesome snack, dessert, or even breakfast (and yes, chocolate is okay first thing in the morning:). Every time I've made it for a group of people, it disappears fast! Enjoy!

Banana Snack Cake 

1 cup sugar
1 cup margarine or butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup (2 medium) mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6-ounce package (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13-inch pan. In large bowl, combine sugar, margarine and eggs; mix well. Stir in buttermilk, bananas and vanilla; blend thoroughly. Stir in flour, oats, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle nuts evenly over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

*This recipe came from The Pillsbury Cookbook.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rocky Mountain Youth Conference

This past weekend was a busy one for my husband as he took over 30 teens to the Rocky Mountain Youth Conference in Denver.  This event is held every two years during Easter weekend. They all left the church on Thursday afternoon and returned on Saturday. About 500 were in attendance, including the youth leaders. They met at the Westin hotel, where they bunked up in rooms and had a meeting room for the services.

During the two days, the teens got to hear two speakers preach on different topics. The theme for this year was called, "apologia," meaning "defending the faith/knowing what you believe." I heard great things from the teens on what they learned. The Gospel was also presented and 31 teens accepted the Lord as their Savior! Praise the Lord!

Along with the services, the teens took part in many activities: games on the field, ice skating, bowling, and gladiator games. I'm always amazed at how much energy these teens have--they love to play!

My husband came back with awesome things to say about the conference itself and about the teens. They behaved well and enjoyed themselves immensely. They also learned many things from the preaching times. I hope and pray that the things learned and decisions made will last a lifetime for these young people. It's neat to see spiritual growth as they mature in the Lord.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A wonderful Easter celebration!

Q and I had a marvelous Easter day. It was a cold and rainy day, but it was good, nonetheless. The night before, I got the Easter eggs ready for the hunt I was going to do with the jr. church kids. I placed three small chocolate eggs in each plastic egg (27 in all). I used some clear tape squares (cut in half) and placed that on one side between the two halves of each egg. I found matching ribbon for each color egg and cut them into 10 and 1/2 inch pieces. The piece of tape secured part of the ribbon as I tied and knotted each one. 

It was my first Sunday back since surgery and I was so excited to see everyone and be there for Easter. I'm still recovering, but am so thankful to the Lord for allowing me to get back to ministry with my husband. After being in the teen girls' Sunday School class, I hid the candy-filled eggs and the Resurrection Eggs upstairs in the high school hallway. It was the best place to do it to keep the children together (and not get wet outside!). When I came down from hiding them, two of the others who help with jr. church had already begun having the kids find Resurrection Eggs in another part of the building. Because of my absence, I did not know that they had planned to do this, too. But--we came up with a solution: they also had candy-filled eggs, so as one sang songs with the kids, the other gal and I went upstairs to put her eggs out and recover my Resurrection Eggs. One of them could do the Easter story with the eggs, then we'd all go and do the candy hunt!
But--you can see here that I ended up using the eggs to tell the Easter story with the kids. Turns out that the other teacher had her newborn with her and he was very hungry, so she had to leave to feed him. I was fine to let her do it, but she insisted that I go ahead and use my set of eggs. The Lord has a way of changing things a bit, doesn't He? I had a different child come up every time we were to open a new egg. I found Scripture verses to read for each one. They really enjoyed finding out what was inside the eggs and remembering the real meaning of Easter.

After telling the story, we found large cups for the kids to use for the egg hunt. My husband led them upstairs and told them the rules: only 3 eggs, don't run around too crazy--and have fun!
We had 18 children scurrying about to find the eggs of their choice.

Sweet Michaiah smiles with her first egg in her cup. I love seeing their smiles and getting hugs from these children every week.

After Q and I ate lunch, we went to an assisted living facility where we hold a service each month. Sometimes, we have some teens with us, but because it was a holiday, they spent the afternoon with their families. Q asked me if it was okay if he used the Resurrection Eggs for the service. He did an awesome job--he's such a natural with teaching and did much better than I did. He was able to weave in the Gospel a lot more than me, too, so I took mental notes for when I do it next time.

How was your Easter? Hope it was a great time of being thankful and reflective of what Christ did for us on the cross. It's so wonderful to know that He is alive in Heaven today, preparing a place for us. If we know the Lord as our personal Savior we will spend eternity with Him. 


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Four ways of responding

Pastor's message from a couple months ago keeps coming back to my mind. I even got a recording of it on a cd so that I could listen to it over and over again. I listened to it again last night and it was such a conviction and encouragement all at the same time.

The title of the message is "Four ways of responding." It's about how we should respond to the people in our lives--no matter if they're kind or not. He began the sermon by saying,

How many of you get "bugged" by people?

Of course, the answer is "yes, we've all been bugged by people." But then I thought that perhaps I probably have "bugged" people myself!  He read Romans 12:9,10,14,17-21, then gave us these points to remember and apply to our lives:

There are four ways of responding.

1. Good for good
Matthew 5:46 says, "For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?"  It's easy to be good to those who are good to us. When one writes a kind note to us, it's easy to be kind back to them. This type of response is dependent on someone else to be the initiator of goodness. They have controlled you; you respond back.

2. Evil for good
Matthew 26:7-13 speaks of the woman who brought the alabaster box filled with oil. Your words and actions are done with good intent, but it is repaid with evil. If you are the one repaying evil, it is nothing commendable. There's a desire to control or condemn the other person. Many times the person who repays with evil has bitterness in their heart.

3. Evil for evil
"Give no man back evil for evil." This is what we do a lot! We paint a picture of someone's evil to excuse our own. We build a support group to get people on our side. We gossip about the situation. We're controlled by this response, too.

4. Good for evil
Matthew 5:38-39 says, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." We must bless those who curse us. The question given to us as a congregation was, "Who's the person you love the most besides Jesus?" In my mind, I thought, "well, of course it's my husband." Then he said, "Who's the hardest to love?" The answer to that, is probably "family." It's hard to truly love and get along with the people in our families at times, isn't it? But, it can be done with the Lord's help. This response is the best one. It is supernatural and it is dependent upon God. It shows that you are controlled by the Spirit. 

Then Pastor asked another question that hit close to home--"Has someone held a grudge against you and you didn't even know it?" This has happened countless times to me by one of my family members. True, there have been times that I was in the wrong, but most of the time, my intent was good--or I was just sharing my heart, and things got twisted around. I then find out months later that this person held a grudge against me. This person justifies their anger and all along they are more affected by it than I was. This person has continued to have an unforgiving and bitter spirit. They have failed to look at themselves and continue to justify their "harsh" words to try to change me. God is the one that does the changing. This is the response that I've been working on. I truly want to have the type of love that Christ wants me to have to those who have treated me wrong. It's a hard thing to do, but by God's grace we can do it!

Finally, Pastor asked, "What happens when we pay good for evil?

1.  We disarm the opposition. Romans 12:14 says, "Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not." To bless means to "speak well of." It's best to bless that person and leave it at that. Sometimes, we can continue talking, and by doing so, "add more fuel to the fire." I've been there--have you?

2.  We rise above retaliation. Romans 12:19 says, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."

3.  It prepares the way for ministry. Romans 12:20 says, "Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head."

4.  We are protected by being overcome. Romans 12:21 says, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

I hope these key points to my Pastor's message are an encouragement to your heart like they are to mine. Let's remember to respond to others with love, forgiveness and seek to be at peace with all men.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bible study bookmark

While I was doing my spring cleaning in the spare bedroom, I found this bookmark that a friend at church gave me. At the time, she was my Sunday School teacher. One day in class, she gave us all this unique Bible study tool. It is made out of a few strands of ribbon and is designed to help you mark several passages of Scripture at a time. You just take one strand and place it where you want it; then, if you're looking to find parallel passages, you can take the other strands and mark those.

There are six strands, all different colors, that are tied in a knot at the top. Underneath the knot is a bead, and under that, another knot. The ribbons used were 1/4" or 1/8" wide. From top to bottom, this bookmark measures at about 20 inches long.

At the bottom of each strand is a knot. Now, wouldn't this be a simple craft that you can make for yourself or for others who need a tool for Bible study?

Finding this bookmark has inspired me to use it as I study God's Word. I occasionally teach the teen girls' Sunday School class, and this would be a good way to look up several verses at once without losing my place. If you have a pocket on the front of your Bible like I do, you can store the ribbon bookmark there when you're not using it.

Psalm 119 is full of verses that speak about God's Word. I thought I'd share with you a few of my favorites. I hope they are an encouragement to your heart as they are to mine. Let's meditate on these today:

"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee." (v. 9-11)

"I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word." (v. 16)

"Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight." (v. 77)

"Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven." (v. 89)

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (v.105)

"Great peace have thy which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." (v. 165)