Knit and Pray

Friday, December 31, 2010

Hey There, 2011

...Or, as one of my foster sons loved to say (oh so many years ago):
"Come on in. I ain't scarit of you!"
Put another way....

Greetings, 2011.

With Great Gratitude, we welcome you, another brand new year!
And to our new beginnings of:
  • new days
  • new hopes
  • new achievements
  • new hearts
Now, precious readers,  let us go bravely and expectantly into the new year and:
          …Draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings…”
Hebrews 10:22 (NIV)


May His Peace live in you,
Liz

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Post-Christmas Blessings

     Christmas is still knocking on our door and keeps bringing many surprises and blessings to us. Tonight, our daughter-in-law drove up to our house with her computer in hand and hooked us up to our granddaughter's family for a (GET THIS!!!) cyber-picture-conversation-face-to-face introduction to our first great grand DAUGHTER. What an experience. Week old Baby is beautiful, Mama is awesome, and Daddy is proud.
     We BELIEVED this Christmas would be quiet but it turned out absolutely opposite. Lots of family, gifts, visits, phone calls, meals and worship shared, lunch with long-time friends, and visits with our Holy Father. Can't be much better!
     Okay. Fess-up time. I must tell you the truth. Do you remember that several days ago, I left my blog posting to go bake cookies? I should have kept writing. Seems that maybe writing is easier for me than baking Christmas cookies.
     My Snickerdoodles were a colossal flop which is a very long story in itself and one best saved for another time. So there were only three meager offerings of Molassas Cookies for Christmas Deliveries.

 However, I'm grateful there are new beginnings--and I WILL try again.

     Suffice it to say that Dear Heart and I are blessed to overflowing by our family and friends.
Belssings from one of our abundant Christmas tables to yours

Makes you wonder what Epiphany will bring!
Christmas Hugs,
~~Liz~~

Oh P.S. Check the "New Stories" page on this blog for a true Christmas-Past story. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Stockings Are Not Hung, But....

Day-before-Christmas-Eve joy to each of you! Wonder fills my heart.
We drove around town last night checking out our town's private Christmas lights. Even Ava went along and stood still for a Christmas photo !!


After supper, I got the cookie dough made and it's chillin' away.



     We are going to mid-week noon communion in a few minutes. Somehow, stopping to go into the house of the Lord strengthens me to keep my heart focused on my King during the daily grind of living.
     Then we've giving ourselves a treat to lunch out before we come home to bake cookies. If my granmother's Snickerdoodles turn out okay, tomorrow I'll post and picture and the recipe. Then tomorrow we'll deliver some to friends.
      I do have to make one more stop at the grocery story *sigh* but mostly my pantry is ready. We're keeping it SIMPLE this year and I LOVE it!
      We'll have a light supper after Christmas Eve traditional service with one grandson and his "intended."
      Our Christmas Day will be quiet and I'll make a simple ham/baked sweet potatoes/fruit salad meal and we'll CHILL. [lol: kinda like my cookie dough ]
      It took a LOT of prayer, but I finally let go of my sadness that we cannot make the trip to Kentucky to be with my son, daughter-in-law, and beautiful granddaughter for Christmas.  We had so looked forward sharing this first Christmas in their new home and new life. Last summer, he retired from 21 years in the Marine Corps and they stepped out into a whole new world. They wanted us to share this special Christmas with them, but it wasn't to be and I cried--a LOT. Then while the hot water poured over me in my shower prayer closet, my Father showed me how good life is, how much He's given me, how blessed I am.
      So, I dried my eyes and dressed and got a sweet Christmas ready for my sweet husband and precious daughter.
      It was good to remember that we do NOT have to have and extravaganza  of bells, whistles, lights, candles, people, comings/goings/doings, events, or special gatherings to celebrate the amazing gift of the King of kings and the Lord of lords.


Merry Almost Christmas, Sweet Friends,

Liz

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lunar Love from God

The Creator of the universe and all that is or ever has been or ever will be is amazing. And to think, this awesome Triune God knows you and me by name!!!!

Today is blowing my mind, so to speak. I KNOW that I WILL get up (or still be up???) around 2 a.m. cst to view the total eclipse of the moon.

Why?
  • Because it is an incredible event
  • Because a total eclipse of the moon ON WINTER SOLSTICE has not happened in 456 years. Let's see, that would be.... 1554 ???? What on earth [or heaven] do you think people thought that night?
  • Because a total eclipse of the moon ON WINTER SOLSTICE will not happen AGAIN until the year 2094. Let's see, I will be 157 years old. Of course, some days I already feel that old, but never the less........ 
  • Because my husband's FIRST great grand DAUGHTER will be born tomorrow morning, on Winter Solstice, just a few hours after the astonishing event in the night heavens. [of course, I get to ride on my Dear Heart's coat tails and will claim a little great-grand-memaw status]
  • And, because our little Samanta Kay will only be 84 years old when the next one occurs. What a birthday she will have!!!!!!!!!!!
So, I hope you wake up or get up or just stay up to witness one of God's breathtaking gifts in the heavens that He so lovingly created.

God made two big lights, the larger
      to take charge of Day,
   The smaller to be in charge of Night;
      and he made the stars.
   God placed them in the heavenly sky
      to light up Earth
   And oversee Day and Night,
      to separate light and dark.
   God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1: 16-19 The Message
Heavenly Blessings to ALL of you,
           Liz

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Shepherd Sunday

Tomorrow, the 4th Sunday in Advent, is sometimes known as Shepherd Sunday.
I'm praying diligently that my shepherd heart will be open to those who need help, encouragement, time, and guidance and that I won't be afraid to go where my Holy Father leads. I'm also praying that I will allow my Shepherd to protect my heart and thoughts and time and energy. Sometimes keeping up with a flock of sheep--even if it is only a few--can be difficult.
During the wind up to Christmas, it is easy to remember that part of shepherding is listening. Let's listen closely. We might even hear angels singing!

Holy Father, bless our earthly spiritual shepherds and help us to grow up and become the shepherds you call us to be.

Blessings through this last week of Advent. Welcome the Lord Jesus with joy!

~~Liz~~

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Septuagenarian Scribe Search

I’m intermingling other posts between Favorite Book List. The other six books are on my desk, ready to have their beauty described, but I'd like input from my readers about LIVING life in the Septuagenarian box.

AND there WILL be a PRIZE! Okay???
The story is not very long…..

When I reached the age of 70, I barely noticed. I was still energetic, relatively healthy, and about as mentally alert as I ever had been J. I kept on keeping on and life was good.

Until someone said, “You are a Septuagenarian."

*YIKES* A WHAT????????? I am NOT yet eighty !!!

My thinking was corrupt. A Septuagenarian is

A person in the EIGHTH (8th) decade of life;
  a person between 70 and 79 years.

EITHTH DECADE???????   PLEASE !!!!!!!!!!!!  GIVE ME A BREAK !!!!!!!!!!!!

I counted it up on my fingers to be certain. Yep. Septuagenarian.

Okay. Deep breath. All in all, things were well. My husband still loved me, my children enjoyed coming home, they invited us to fly the friendly skies to visit them, and my writing life was modestly successful.

Then I got stuck at thirty-thousand words on my historical fiction and the few things left on My Bucket List rattled around at the rusty bottom. As I languished in the innocent, early stages of Septuagenarianism, a boredom worked its beguiling way into my days.

My family needed me at home more and more, my writing was blah, and our friends were younger and heavily involved with grandchildren and volunteering. I began “surfing the net” in my loneliness.  Soon I thought That looks like fun.

Shaking the dust from my sandals, in the summer of my 71st year (2008), I set up a web site: Liz Writes in Texas to showcase my writing [ now at http://www.lizwritesintexas.com/ ] and family brags. [ now at: http://www.welcometoourhill.com/ ]...combined into one site :-)

By autumn, cyberville was in my blood so I set up a BLOG: Liz’s Front Porch for prayers, devotions, and praises.  In fact, I posted a devotion on my blog every single day of the 2008 Advent season.

During the summer of 2010, I discovered fabulous FREE blogs and websites written by  fabulous and busy young women. I moved my web presences to the free sites, improved their appearance and content.

Through blogging, I’ve met many fine, Christian, cyber women from around the world who are lovable, smart, fun, and devoted to our Heavenly Father. They are also ALL very YOUNG. I adore and admire these women, but I NEED MORE!

Here is where my faithful readers and busy bloggers come in:
I want to meet other Septuagenarian Christian bloggers.
My questions:
            How do other gals in their EIGHTH decade of life handle life and the cyber world?
            How do they manage to make the world better?
            What do they read?
And I want to read what Christian women in their EIGHTH decade write.

I’ve found many bloggers in their fifties and sixties but I’m stuck there.

Please send me the blog address of any BLOGGERS you can find--or currently read who are
Female
Christian
Septuagenarian

Everyone who submits to me a Septuagenarian Christian Blog Address will have their name put into my warm, fuzzy winter hat.
On January 1st, I will conduct an honest and fair drawing.
The winner will receive a SIGNED copy of
Dena Dyer’s book: Let the Crow’s Feet & Laugh Line Come! [Rediscovering Beauty and Self-Worth at ANY AGE] (Barbour 2010)
Dena is another of my YOUNG friends, but she and the many older women she interviewed take us on a fun-filled word trip to learn how to slip into our older years, gracefully enjoying life and all it has to offer.  

You may contribute your “find” on the comments section of this blog or you may e-mail me at eberle225@gmail.com  I promise to keep ALL e-mail addresses and your personal information absolutely private.

I will also post the best finds!!!!!!!!!!!

Hugs and Blessings on Our Septuagenarian Blog Search!!!!
Liz

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Favorite Books - Entry Two

Category: Christmas Books

The Shoe Box - by Francine Rivers:

The Shoe Box (A Christmas Story) by Francine Rivers
 (Tyndale Fiction 2010)

       






           I have little self-control when it comes to Christmas gift books. There are many on my shelves and though we have favorites,  my family and I re-read our collection year after year.
           However, I believe The Shoe Box, new this year, is exceptional. It is a short, must-read, tender story about love, hope, angels, and the simple faith of a little boy. Francine Rivers makes Christmas come alive in the life of a young boy and his foster parents.
          Woven between the short chapters of this precious fiction story are the author’s own real Christmas experiences, recipes, and traditions. As always, Mrs. Rivers stays true to her trust in Jesus Christ and includes the true Christmas Story from Holy Scripture’s Matthew and Luke.
          The Shoe Box is a lovely, small, inexpensive gift book that will endure over time as a family Christmas devotion or as a re-read year after year for simple pleasure.
          Give The Shoe Box to someone you love for Christmas….whether that “special someone” is a grandchild or yourself!
          You’ll hear more about Francine Rivers in my list of favorite books, but if she is a new author to you, check her website at www.francinerivers.com Her testimony is as beautiful and real as her Biblical fiction.
         
P.S. I bought my copy "just because," and have already wrapped it as a gift. I ordered another for myself from The Closer Walk Christian Bookstore and because you took time to read this blog, if you live nearby, call Sheila and tell her I said to let you buy my ordered copy--it should be in this week! She will order another for me! http://www.thecloserwalk.com/

Christmas Blessings from my bookcase to yours,
   Liz

Friday, December 10, 2010

My Favorite Books: Entry One

Category: Caregiver Devotion:

Not Alone -  by Nell E. Noonan:

  [My personal note: During this joyous season when we celebrate the birth of God’s only Son, Christmas adds additional stress for those who provide daily, on-going, grinding, and sometimes draining care for loved ones.  If you need an extra gift, Not Alone is an easy to digest devotion book that will enlighten and encourage anyone involved in care giving: spouses, children, parents, hospital chaplains, pastors, nursing home administrators, and even yourself. ] 


Not Alone / Encouragement for Caregivers by Nell E. Noonan (Upper Room Books 2009)
          Mrs. Noonan is a devoted caregiver to her husband and writes from a heart faithful to him and to her Lord Jesus. Each of the 150 short devotions includes a personal experience, a prayer, and a Scripture to encourage those who provide constant, daily care for loved ones.
          This is a “take-along” book that can slip into a busy woman’s purse or a guy's back pack. Mrs. Noonan is not one for wallowing in sackcloth and ashes so her words uplift and encourage.. I’ve read through this collection more than once and I continue to re-read random entries many times a week in my devotion—or desperation—times.
          Not Alone is a profound personal touchstone in my days and I often give copies of this treasure as gifts. Solace, comfort, and wisdom abound in all three sections: Brokenness and Blessings, Tears and Laughter, and Exhaustion and Resurrection. Mrs. Noonan approaches disappointments, heartaches, family, writing, and care giving in an honest and fresh way that lifts the spirit and demonstrates hope.
          I can attest with Nell that,“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18.  http://www.nellnoonan.com/


How Not Alone got on "My List"

For months, one family medical crisis after another had chased me in endless circles. Crying in my milk on one of my routine, too-much-to-do and not-enough-time days, it hit me that I had forgotten many of our friends, neighbors, church and family members who were experiencing difficult and serious times and that they, also, needed encouragement. Making phone calls seemed inappropriate, I was in no state to make personal visits, and my depleted greeting card box mocked me. I sighed. So, in dirty sweat suit and with no make-up, I made a mad dash to our local Christian bookstore and quickly grabbed a handful of cards. Then, for a reason I can not explain to this day, I picked up a copy of Not Alone. That was well over a year ago and while my precious copy is now earmarked, filled with high-lights, turned down pages, penciled notes, and dirty finger-prints, I seem to navigate confusing and difficult days with a profound peace. Seeing God’s love and provision through the eyes of another traveler has healed my spirit and lightened my own load.
Thank you, Nell, for sharing your heart.

The Closer Walk Christian Bookstore, Fredericksburg, TX (http://www.thecloserwalk.com/ ) often keeps this book on the shelves but will special order it for you. Not Alone  is also available from Amazon and The Upper Room.

May your reading—and gift-giving—be blessed,
Liz

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Coming Attraction: My EIGHT All-Time Favorite Books

Those of you who know me are laughing. Out loud! Doubled over.
What? Liz picks JUST EIGHT all-time favorite books?

Yes! And just in time for your Christmas shopping!

     Well, perhaps “all time favorite” is a bit too broad. Will you believe favorites from the past eight years? Okay.
     Both my husband and I and most of our children, grands, and greats are, to grossly understate, lifetime avid readers. Our modest, middle-class American home immodestly displays far too many books.  I’m shocked that I can select only EIGHT to call FAVORITE.
[Just for the record, Microsoft Word’s synonym list for FAVORITE includes beloved, preferred, much loved.]
     My earliest memory is the sound of my mother’s voice as she read The Bobsey Twins books to me. She read as we rocked on nippy fall afternoons, snuggled under a blanket on cold winter afternoons, moved back and forth in the porch swing on spring afternoons, and watched the leaves under the Sycamore tree on summer afternoons.  Mother majored in elocution and, before marriage, taught children the art of speaking clearly with emotion, feeling, expression, and passion to match the words. Through the years, every word she read aloud carried us on a new adventure. After some 68 years, one of the original Bobsey books from my childhood still resides on my hall bookshelf.
    As a born and trained lover of books and words, it was natural that as I penned secret journals and my words began to slowly surface in publications, I also read to my own children, foster children, grandchildren and great grandsons through a million miles of rocking, snuggling, traveling, waiting in doctor’s offices, and swinging on the back porch.
     My final list for the end of 2010 is simply sorted by category and is narrowed from all those I’ve enjoyed, studied, re-read,  hated, and forgotten over the past six to eight years or so.
     I’ll begin posting my favorites tomorrow, one or two at a time, with a short review of each book, how I came to have it, and why it is beloved to me.
     Perhaps you’ll discover one of your favorites on my list or will be intrigued to get a copy for yourself, a friend, or a family Christmas gift.
     By the way, if you are local, I highly recommend The Closer Walk Christian Bookstore, Fredericksburg, Texas. If your favorite (or mine) isn’t on her shelves, Sheila will order it (or them!!) for you. Not only is Sheila a founder and active member of our Hill Country Women of Words writing group, supporting local merchants is a grand thing to do! ( http://www.thecloserwalk.com/ )

 Blessings & Happy Reading--
from One Book Worm to Another
    Liz    

P.S. The “crud” that laid me low for a week is gone and God has graced me with enough energy to catch up to Christmas, make all our appointments, and even change our bed linens! Your prayers, notes, calls,and  e-mails kept me going when I preferred to hide UNDER the bed.

Now let all of us be like the shepherds and go in haste to find the Savior, Christ the Lord and then, in awe and wonder, return to our work, glorifying and praising God for all we have seen and heard.
(from Luke 2 in God’s own Book)
 

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Basil Plant and the Manger

     I posted my first advent blog late Saturday night. It lacked Advent Joy because I felt "down" and wrote about my blahs. Sure enough things would head down hill.

But, during church the next morning I remembered:
The 1st week of Advent reminds us to HOPE.
      Still couldn't shake the "yuk' feeling. I moped around Sunday afternoon, pondering Hope, and searching for my usual Christmas Mode.
     Monday dawned bright and clear--outside. I decorated the porches then Gus and I worked together down at the road adding a few bedraggled colored lights to our entrance gate. Another freeze was on the way, so I deep-watered our new Texas Sage bushes and  Bradford Pear tree.
     Our fresh air day ended with the TV blaring: Allergy Report: MOLD ALERT! Yes, even in drought-stricken Texas, we get seasons of dry mold that keep doctors in practice.
But, I held onto Hope.
     Tuesday, the wind hit. Hard. North. Loud. Blustery. Cold. I could not cancel Melinda's medical appointments, so out we went. In and out. Out and in.
Finally, back home, I made a pot of my famous chicken stew. It has been reported that Liz's Chicken Stew has mighty healing powers. The stew was good but lacked something. Anyway, by bedtime, my throat was sore. But thoughts of Hope lingered.
     Wednesday I was SICK. I cancelled our adopted Lab's first vet visit and crawled back under the covers. Our little 55-pound Ava was grateful for the reprieve and when Gus's repaired 4-wheel scooter was delivered, she ran around the property chasing Dear Heart and being a free, country dog. (I did not yet understand 'being a country dog.')
     The day had been long and coughing into my elbow, I made a double batch of Kathy's Minestrone Soup which is guaranteed to carry strong medicinal properties.While the soup simmered, Gus went to church, Melinda and I huddled on the couch watching a Christmas movie. Ava ate her supper and promptly threw up every morsel. Hope seemed to slip through my fingers.
I took a dose of left-over cough medicine and slept all night.
     Thursday, Ava and I dragged ourselves to the vet. Dr. K laughed, gave her a shot and said, "She'll recover. By the smell of her breath, she was just being a country dog (!!)and ate something stinky. Give her these pills, wrapped in treats, tomorrow."
     Back home, I noticed my prize, Lemon Verbena. Dead. I had taken extra pains to baby my beautiful herb, treated it with vitamins, and wrapped it tightly against nature's blast. Yet, the second freeze took it out.

*sigh* Inside, I found the bunch of pills my people doctor sent for me to take and all of us relaxed a little over steaming bowls of left-over Liz's Stew.

     Then I remembered my Basil Plant. Stew is drab without fresh basil. Winter is harsh without fresh basil.
"And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My HOPE is in Thee." Psalm 39:7

Fresh Basil thrives in our wunny guest room for the long months of winter.

     So, somehow, among sore throats and upset stomachs, killing freezes and harsh winds, a prayer list too long with needs of hurting friends, cancer and pain, worry and doubt, God IS hope and every day--day in and day out--His sweet peace wraps around us and comforts and gives us strength to start over tomorrow.

May you be wrapped in His perfect love and enjoy ALL the blessings of HOPE.

Let us welcome our Lord Jesus Christ with unspeakable joy.
~Liz~


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Where IS Christmas ??

Tis the Season.
To shop.
To spend.
To travel.
To forget our lives of quiet desperation.

Mr. Thoreau searched diligently for hope, yet it is said he believed that most men go to the grave without ever finding their song.

But, even old, worn-out Santa Claus brought hope and fun to a war-ravaged world in the 1940’s. Our family had almost NO “purchased-in-a-store” presents, but the junk bicycle Daddy found and restored for my 10th Christmas was better than gold to me. Mother always told us that “Santa Claus is the spirit of Christmas and love.” Hummm. Sounds okay to me!

Regardless of serpents and lies and a fallen world, I happen to know that HOPE lives.

Hope. And Love. Forgiveness. Absolute completeness. Our Song of songs is alive and well today.

Because on that holy and glorious morning of mornings, Jesus Christ gave HOPE and LIFE to a lost and hopeless world when He became man and lived among us.
                                 

AND, without CHRISTmas and the birth of the Son of Man, there would be no Easter morning.

I am tired this year…physically. It’s been a difficult year. Not bad, just difficult. Yet, because the Messiah came, we MUST celebrate.

Christmas is in my heart.
Christmas is on our hill.
Christmas is on this blog.

      So far as I can tell, Truth has not been totally eradicated and most churches continue to remember the birth of the Savior in special events and celebrations and children’s pageants and Advent candles during December each year. We, as God’s wayward children will continue to shout Alleluias and Hosanna in the Highest and Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD.
      For a few days during December, these pages will also shout the news that Jesus Christ was born in a stable. For a few days, we will prepare our hearts anew to welcome the birth of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. We will pray for each other and for our communities and for our nation. We will seek God’s face and we will BE love to each other. We will be a witness for the King.

Please join me for a few minutes during this hectic and sometimes hopeless season –
To find a quiet place in our hearts
To worship our high and Holy Father
To renew our joy
To prepare ONCE AGAIN, to welcome His Advent
To celebrate HOPE.

   Merry Christmas,
       Liz

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sheep in our Hay Field

Our adult Sunday School class has been studying Isaiah. Due to miscellaneous "stuff," Dear Heart and I have missed about every other class so God continues to find ways to drop His prophet right in my path! [see Gratitude Attitude post :-)]
     Yesterday afternoon I grabbed my camera to prove what I saw right in our own front yard:

     I had big plans for yesterday, the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Quiet, worshipful, and restful. None of them included chasing sheep; I just wanted to prepare my heart so I could tackle the Thanksgiving things in the kitchen that sometimes make me forget to be thankful. Mid-afternoon, our not-yet-adjusted two-year-old Lab, Ava, paced the floor but refused (!) to go outside by herself. (well, she's a rescue with an unknown history and I'm an easy mark). Since the November weather was unseasonably beautiful, sunny, and warm, I went to the back porch with Ava and my book. NICE !! I thought, Why don't I do this more often?
     Then Ava barked--a lot--at something going on in the hay field. I saw nothing but a neat row of round hay bales our nephew had stacked along the side fence. Uh, wait! Ava and I walked over the the fence for a closer look.
     Yes. It was SHEEP. Inside our pasture. A bunch. (s'cuse me: a FLOCK) Actually, about three rams, four ewes, and a few lambkins.
     I've never discovered sheep wandering any of the pastures around our farm neighborhood so I ran to the house, grabbed my camera, zoomed in real close, and began shooting digitals as the sheep ambled across our side yard toward the main road.
     They trotted along in a line, blindly following one another. The ewes seemed to lead the flock with their young lambs close by, and the rams brought up the rear. (please.. let's not go into a discussion about women leading guys down a hopeless path!!)
Nevertheless. When the flock got to our fence at the road...

 ....not one of the sheep attempted to search for a way out. As one, the flock turned and trotted back up the path from whence they had come and disappeared from sight.
     We made some phone calls with no results but on our way to a Community Thanksgiving Worship, we stopped at one farm someone had suggested might be the owners.
Nobody at home!
     Later, heading home from church, the Sheriff was on the road in a ginormous truck with a gazillion lights flashing. No sign of the sheep so we assumed the brave deputies had handled the lost flock. At home, our phone was ringing off the wall. The Sheriff's office asked if WE knew who owned the sheep wandering the road and being a menace. How and why did they call me? Nope, not a sheep-herder in the family.
     This morning, various neighbors  reported sheep sightings up and down our road. The Sheriff's guys returned with reinforcements and apparently herded the sheep into a nearby field leased by a local vet.
Wrong again.
     On my way to town after lunch, the by-this-time-FAMOUS flock of sheep was in another pasture. When I returned home an hour later on the same road and passed the same pastures, all fields were void of ANY sheep. EMPTY.
     But, as I pondered the wanderings, an ancient memory surfaced. I've walked with my Lord over sixty years, and suddenly today I saw the prophet Isaiah's message in chapter 53, verse 6 in a completely new light.
     Long, long, VERY long ago (before most of my readers were born), I memorized that passage from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. ("All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.") I assumed I understood the meaning of that passage but I went to Bible Gateway to compare different translations. After  closely observing those real-live sheep wander around, lost, thirsty, and hungry, in a strange countryside for more than thirty hours, I meditated a long while on Isaiah 53:6 from The Message. 
     The phone interrupted my meditation and as I scurried back to real life, a peace that passes all my understanding settled over me as I flitted from one crisis to another.
      We still don't know what happened to the flock of lost sheep but my kitchen is ready for Thanksgiving and my heart overflows with a fresh love for my Lord Jesus.
     Thank You, Holy Father, for sending lost sheep to show me a clear view.
~~Liz~~

"...we looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried...he took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost. We've all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong, on him... on HIM."
   Some of Isaiah 53-6 from "The Message."

 BTW...my friend Dennis in our chiropractor's office, gave me the website for accuracy in describing the lost animals. Check out www.enchantedlearning.com. Did you know that a bunch of Camels is also a FLOCK??  

  




P.S. As an six-year-old Sunbeam in Mrs. Pennington's class, I had no idea that I had no idea what "iniquity" meant.

Liz

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gratitude Attitude

     Here it is the season to give thanks and I've been disgustingly groucy and out of sorts. No serious reason, just additional aches, pains, sleep problems, demands on my energy and time, and too many things to do that I can't do as easily as I once did.
     My bad humor got totally out of control this morning. My to-do list looked like a mountain of bricks and I could not even find my want-to-do list.
     So I got in the shower and I cried. Literally. Loud and hard and I couldn't tell where the salty tears started and the hot, soapy shower water stopped.
     Since that felt ridiculous, I began to tell my High and Holy Father why I should NOT be crying or worried or upset. As if He didn't know. I counted off a few undeserved and over-the-top blessings, then, without thinking, as I blubbered, I listed--out loud faster than I could think or count, other good gifts and perfect gifts and awesome people and wonderful things that make my life easy and sweet. God is amazing, isn't He? Unaware when the tears stopped, I smiled because the only wet stuff was hot, clean, pure shower water washing away my exhaustion.
    I can't promise you that my study on Isaiah 12:1-6 over the last few days had anything to do with my baptism of reality in the shower this morning, but Isaiah's praises have sure bounced around my heart. Just think, as The Message puts it "...I thank you, God. You were angry but your anger wasn't forever. You withdrew your anger and moved in and comforted me."
     I am indeed comforted and on this wonderful day I give thanks to God and praise His Name.
     By the way, I am especially thankful for all of you who pass by this blog and leave your fingerprints on my heart.
    May you be abundantly blessed as we go into this beautiful season of THANKSGIVING.


A tray of my fresh Whole Wheat Pumpkin Applesauce Muffins from one of my young cyber friends' recipes: http://thischickcooks.blogspot.com






The muffins are sitting on a sun-flower kitchen towel from Kathy, who became one of my new daughters when her daddy married me. How good does it get???? 

~~Liz~~

  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Exchanging Blessings

Did you know about the elephant in the middle of blog-dom that we don't talk about?
VISITING EACH OTHER'S BLOGS.
My goodness, gracious, sakes alive [as my Grandmother Alice exclaimed on a daily basis :-)] it is a HUGE encouragement and blessing when people [I prefer to think of my readers as people :-), don't you??] take time out of their extraordinarily busy lives just to read the simple words I post from my obscure front porch in the Texas hill country.
      So, knocking that elephant down to size, it is even more amazing to ME how many people stop their whole world to use time they truly cannot spare simply to leave a little message for me.
     A lot of messages come straight to my e-mail or on Face Book, and others come as comments to the blog site. Tee-hee, I've even received more than a few telephone calls [you know... that ole-fashioned land-line thing-a-ma-jig] to tell me in person how my words touched them.
WOW.
     And, know what??????????? While my days are filled to the brim [YES, even at my age] I take time every day to 'surf the net' and read blogs of other writers. I learn new things, discover delicious new ways to cook for my family, and find blessings to jump-start my day at every click of my mouse!
     So, to all who write words that keep me going and to all who take time to drop by the front porch of my blog and visit awhile, THANK YOU.
     I'll leave you with the Scripture I used last night to open my talk to the Hill Country Women of Words. I think Paul's words apply to everything we do. The reading is a mixture between the New Living Translation and the New Revised Standard Version.
Romans 12: 6-11:
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Holy Father, may all the words we speak be soothing to each other’s souls and may the words we put to paper never discredit You. In Jesus’ name.

Because Jesus will never lose me,
~~Liz~~

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lost and not Found

Just so you'll know that you won't know....
There are three translations of Holy Scripture on my desk plus a 10th Edition of Merriam Webster. {Yeah, that really dates me; but it still helps}
My post on the first verst of Isaiah 12 was almost finished. Brilliant. Inspiring. And surely it would have given glory and praise to my Father.
Then in an instant, the whole thing absolutely, completely EVAPORATED.
I hit ????????????? something?????????????????? When I should have hit ??????????
Gone.
Blank page.
So, since I have an extra hour to sleep, I'll quietly post this for you and tiptoe off to bed.
And I'll give thanks that my High Holy Father finds me every time I wander off down strange paths.

Or lose my way looking down instead of up.

May your sleep be blessed with peace and rest. I'll pray about the words I lost and ask for direction for my fingers as they clink on the computer keys tomorrow afternoon then I'll sing myself to sleep with the great thanksgivings of Isaiah.
Because God wrote His Book and thought of me from the beginning, I'll keep praising Him.
~~Liz~~

Friday, November 5, 2010

Speaking of Time - - Again - - and Joyful Hearts

     Winterizing is well under way. Yes, even here in sometimes balmy Texas hill country. Very often and with little notice, a shivery cold norther blows in that kills beautiful summer and fall plants. Moving pots around these years isn't as fun as it used to be when teenage son lived at home before he became a marine or when teenage grandson lived at home before he went off to big city to get a college degree. *sigh*
     Point being.... it is NOVEMBER all ready!

A typical November dusk scene on our hill
     Our AVERAGE first freeze in these parts drops its temps around November 7, which is a couple of days from now on the first Sunday of the month. (That reminds me of another post about All-Saints Day. But that's for later.)
     If you read this often, you'll remember how I whine and carry on about changes that refuse to stay the same? *big, huge, double sigh* So now we have to change our clocks A G A I N  !! They tell me that I can count on an extra hour of sleep Saturday night, but what with Saturday being the first day of deer hunting (around these hills we call it making the roads safe for bikers and autos) our family tradition is to drive down the lane for the Neighborhood-Annual-Hunting-First-Day party. Starts 'bout dark-thirty, the hostess cooks up enough chili to feed an army, all the neighbors bring sides or desserts. We have a wide assortment of firemen in our neighborhood and unless there is an absolutel ban, we'll warm ourselves around a bonfire while guys and some die-hard gals wander between the house, the food barn, and the den --that's where the TV is-to check on the state of miscellaneous favorite football teams.
     Besides having to think of something interesting to take along as our offering, my grandson reminded me that Thanksgiving is around the corner and his girl friend's family will join us again this year. Our dining table is the longest one so we gather at our house; her daddy cooks the turkey; her step-mom makes a Russian dish; and I make the dressing. The girls do the other sides and we have desserts to spare. So everyone gets their favorite.
     In between all these things, I've got to dig out my molasses and snicker-doodle cookie recipes.
     AND. In between all the above happeningss, I PROMISE before next week is gone, I'll give you a run-down on all the fun blogs I've discovered. Today's young women are amazing and inspiring me. Mostly I sit here reading and thinking, "How did they get so smart so young???" Then I'm going to get back to enjoying blogs written by my own generations. Come to think of it, we might be able to show you youngsters a things or two, also!!!
      Today at communion, our Pastor said she has decided to post one thing she is thankful for on her Face Book every day between now and Thanksgiving. Danielle, I'll take you on! For starters, let's read a VERY short chapter in (of all places) Isaiah 12. There are only 6 verses and yes, I could post it here, but look it up. Savor it. If you're of the age, memorize it. I've meditated on it a lot this week, but I need some more grateful heart.
Because, after all, He gave me everything!!
~~Liz~~

Friday, October 29, 2010

Wings of Time

It's been said before on this blog:
time just jumps up and sneaks off!!

I can't believe I haven't posted for 9 days. Helllooooooo??? Hope some of my blog-buddies still remember my address!

I don't have an excuse. No traveling. No hospitalizations. No more broken bones.
Just the routine amount of restless nights, doctor's appointments, and visitors.

I can happily report that I've taken advantage of a new"praying chair." During this time that First Born daughter wears a boot protecting the broken bone on her left foot, I go to workout alone and at an unusually quiet time at the wellness center pool.

I've memorized my water routine so as my body did its exercise, I was lost in conversation with my Holy Father.  I walked forward, backward, left side, right side, run-in-place and called you by name. Repeat and more names. Up and down. Family, friends, clergy, acquaintances, and neighbors. Up and back and other names. My heart was glad.

Remember how often Paul listed the names of other followers--even when he was in prison? Remember how Moses begged God's forgiveness for the unruly and whining desert dwellers?  And even (or especially ??) Jesus went out to search for his brothers and siters who just didn't "get it." I continue to give thanks that He searched for me!

Somehow, I'm convinced that my "closet" is wherever I am when I call on the Name of the Lord. The pool was nice!

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. James 5:13-14

One of my prayers is that all of us will be in an attitude of prayer as we exercise our American right to vote. If you have not voted, there is still time to pray for guidance and let your voice be heart. And, in this free nation,  Election Day (Tuesday, November 2 this year) is a special day to fly the American flag.

Because He First Loved Me.
~~Liz~~



 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Mother, Her Daughter

Sometimes sweet surprises just appear! Let me tell you about one I found!
     As you know, it's been a couple of difficult weeks and today I'm in a hurry but decided to work on computer pictures while I took a short break.
     Looking at pictures, I remembered that last week, my mother would have been 98 years old. She died 16 years ago and there are days I think I can't navigate another step if I don't talk to her. Of course, I talk to my Lord instead and I do navigate--even the really rough roads.  but I keep on...
     Now that I'm in my 70's, I think a lot about the changes that have occurred over the last ten years in my body, my mind, my thinking, my circumstances, and my spiritual awareness. My mind still thinks it is 50 and some days my body feels certain it is a hundred, so a lot of confusion exists within me. but I keep on.....
     Because I have many responsibilities I try to be responsible and keep "my affairs" in order. I've arranged all the "end of life stuff" just as a gift to my kids. Don't those words just tear at your soul?  but I keep on...
     Today I went to the pool to work out and visited briefly with another lady who works our regularly in the pool. At 91 she walks briskly with a cane but her step is firm and light and her voice is strong as she greets other swimmers by name. As she said when my mouth fell to my knees, "Yep! 1919. Do the math!" Her manner said, And move outta my way; I've got things to do!
     [And NO! I'm not going to do a dissertation on Sarah and Abraham and their life spans!!!]
Today, totally by accident (??? thank you, Lord!) here is what I found:

 MayBeth Hoyt at 70 years in 1982  &  Liz Hoyt Eberle at 70 years in 2007
My mother was a beautiful woman full of mischief and surprises and while she was completely wrong in her political opinions she gifted all who knew her with a quick joke, deep love, and genuine devotion.
Even though I miss you still, Mother, I'm trying to keep on anyway!
I'm so glad you taught me that Jesus loves even me!
~~Liz~~

Oops! Life DID Go On

     I sort of left you hanging. Time just picks itself up and flies away on me and although I've limped around some, but for whatever unknown and undeserved reason God poured out His sweet mercy on me and my knees survived my fall.
     I'm still able to get First Born's foot/leg into the boot to protect the broken bone in her foot. . . . boot that weighs almost as much as she does. The bone she broke is on the side of her body that was paralyzed when she was five and has always been weak. Way back in 1965, her doctors said she would never walk again but her determination made the doctors look as little sheepish. As her new orthopedic doc says, "For such a fragile lady, this gal is sure TOUGH!" All of us agree.

    First Born is also bossy. She orders me out the door to get back to the pool for water exercise even though she can't go now. It's easier to obey my adult child than to be comfortably lazy.
    One of our teenage neighbor nephews is trying to get some time away from studies and home chores to help me "winterize" our yard and porches and to bring firewood up within reach for Dear Heart. Can you believe it is almost time to move indoors by the fireplace? The way seasons rush into each other seems more like a dream.
    I continue to be drawn to praises written down by David, the son of Jesse, and a sinful man whom God loved.
"Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel [and the God of Liz..& insert YOUR name], who alone works wonders. And blessed be His glorious name forever; and may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen." 
Psalm 72:18,19.

     Breathe lots of this sweet tho allergen filled fresh autumn air and let your hearts be filled with the perfect love of our High and Holy Father--in spite of whatever is on your plate!!!
Because He first loved me,
~~Liz~~

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Multi-Task Lessons Anyone??

I just THOUGHT I could no longer do several things at one time. Guess I should not have bragged in my last post.
This morning, I kept my coffee cup from spilling hot coffee onto me, I kept myself from dropping and breaking the mug, and I went down most gracefully onto BOTH knees.
Yes, I'm a mess. No, nothing is broken but I'm sore and tired and hurting and trying desperately NOT to complain. Not complaining is the hardest part for me.
However, the roast is in the oven, we got x-rays, another skien of yarn is untangled since I will be spending a lot of time with knees iced and feet elevated.
Not the way I had planned.
And yes, there are several scriptures that spring to mind and I wish I didn't remember the one that sweet Jane Ray always quoted----no matter WHAT!
*sigh*
1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is ... ... In all things give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you all. ...
You see, while I was writhing on the floor crying in pain I was praying for my precious First Born and for my Dear Heart--both of whom need me. I asked Father to provide and He did. I'm not in the hospital or in a cast!!!
So, I think the words from Psalm 138:2 is a deeper expression of gratitude and I will concentrate on this passage as I limp along tonight:
I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.
Truly, God's Word and His Name are exalted and He IS faithful. And my cup overflows.

Because He first loved me, I will praise Him
~~Liz~~

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Multi-Task No More

I remember the old days when I could.... but never mind.
These days, I can STILL single-task and I'm grateful!
     I have a lot of posts in the "draft" stage. Prayers and praises and wonderful people and fun blogs I want to share with you. But for the time being, even my knitting is "on hold"--except for the times we're in a medical office.... waiting!!
     Why??? Because I'm learning QUICKEN, for goodness sakes. I started it way last January and decided that it was something I absolutely could NOT learn and tossed it aside.
     Now I've decided that I absolutely MUST learn a personal money management program. (grrr) Doing pretty well, if I do say so myself. This old silver brain still functions from time to time when it is forced!!
     I'm trying to be organized and efficient and a good steward. For many reasons!! But, especially so that come January 20, I can yell: HEY, TAX MAN!!! I'M READY!!!!!!!! Sweet Marc will probably faint dead away!
     About the only scriptural thing I can think of right now is Jesus's admonition to 'render to Caesars what is Caesars and to God what is God's.' Of course, everything I have and am belongs to and came from my loving heavenly Father, the One Triune God, so that one isn't very hard.
     I'll touch base with you as often as I can during these hectic days of being a number cruncher.
The job I hate most in the world.
But I will give thanks that I can still deal with those dollar marks and decimals!!!!

And, P.S. I'll post pictures of my beautiful First Born with her cast-boot to help heal the broken bone in her foot! As our doc says, "She is really tough to be so fragile!"

Because He first loved me, I'll work hard to be a good steward,
~~Liz~~