Thursday, July 26, 2012

How is your Contentment quotient? Negative or Positive?

I’ve never been a fan of the power of positive thinking; I know, this philosophy has helped a number of people but my question is “for how long?”  If I’m stuck in the mud and I think positively that I’m not stuck in the mud...reality tells me I’m still stuck in the yuk. (there is a story here but for another time).

How often are you content with what you have tatted?  Could not that join have been better?  To press or not to press. I’m told it SHOULD be tatted in such a way as to not need blocking but very few of us have that experience. Dissatisfied we either hide these pieces, cut them up; or, as a good friend does...share what we consider our meager effort, with the tatting world. We tat and retro tat.

It is hard to be content when you battle illness and your life is filled with pain 24/7.  Bitterness tries to crawl beneath your covering ~ you know, that face you wear daily for the world to see?  Why me, why now, why, why, why.  A better question is, “Why NOT me?”  The why question seems predicated upon the idea that we are in some way too good, or deserve better.  My question, Why NOT me? is predicated upon the honesty of “seeing" myself and realizing that I’m not special, I am blemished and only God can take a kitten and turn it into a Lion.  We’ve talked about that in a past devotional.

Contentment is an elusive state of mind in tatting as well as in life.  The grass is always greener. . .
It should not be so!  My favorite apostle is Paul.  Partly because he came later, partly because he was an educated man, and partly because, like me, he had to learn some of life’s lessons the hard way. He was not, as some say, a misogynist.  Some of his finest helpers were women, indeed if it had not been for Lydia (a seller of purple; she dyed threads and cloth) the epistle to the Romans would not have journeyed across the sea. And Pricilla, she was a Bible teacher who straightened out a young man’s theology. But I digress, easy to do because the Bible IS a fascinating book.

This devotional will go past my 3 paragraph limit.  “THEY” say that a reader’s attention is not held beyond 3 paragraphs ~ so will you please follow along and just indulge me?

Contentment involves Change.  The only constant IS change.  Tatters sometimes cheat and copy other people’s patterns and claim they only changed it 10% so therefore, the new pattern is their pattern.  Excuse me?  So too, all religions that we know about have all claimed to be a road to God/gods; and, it is a popular saying, “All roads lead to God”.   This is a disingenuous  proposition.  What is your idea of the Character of God?  Is your God involved in your daily life or did He/she put all in motion and then Let it Spin?  Hands off?    God, in the Bible, reveals all about who and what He is.  God is a spirit, God is love, God sees every hair on your head, God cares for the birds and the flowers; in both Old and New Testament God has revealed Himself by many adjectives.  I had a 30-day devotional that was predicated upon “God I am thankful that you are: ________” with appropriate scriptures.

The attribute for which i am thankful is:  “God is unchanging”  Even though events in my life changed, and they have greatly in this past year, our God is unchanging.  Because HE is unchanging I can be content in my present situation because Jesus gives me perfect peace.

Now, this defies logic but it is ultimately logical.  How could one trust a god who was all wlly-nilly; a god who is uninterested in my day to day struggle?  The mythical Greek gods were very small minded, indeed, as they were always fighting or angry with the ‘earthlings’.  The God of Scripture is unchanging and He cares about my ‘whatsoever state."   Here are His words to us about change and His attributes.   From Creator to Priest.

Philippians 4:ll b & vs 13  “. . . I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”   “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (implied by context..Christ God is active in our lives)

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth” 
Hebrews 13: 8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
Hebrews 4: 15 “For we do not have a High Priest who can not sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all ways tempted as we are, but without sin.”  (sin = disagreement with God)

These are but a handful of the hundreds of passages equating God’s interest in our daily lives, His attributes, all of which cause the believe to have a peace that passes understanding.  I can only testify to what I know to be true in my life, and based upon scripture.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

In Times Like These

Have you ever noticed how tatters have different events that are like a wave through the community?  Let’s see, a certain thread brand, blinged shuttles, dying our own threads, embracing one motif or pattern.  We’ve all participated in at least one of these waves of popularity.  I’ve bought my Lizbeth thread, and received gifts of blinged shuttles (with pretty painting, ‘jewels’; a dressed up shuttle).  However.  .  .  .

I  missed the whole scenario of what was happening during the Month of May!   Everyone was talking about the end of the world because of a date-setter named Camping. I think I heard the news the day before it was to happen. OK You should know that date setting is not only an insult to God, it is anathema.   God has forbidden setting the time of His Son’s return for the restoration of Israel.  Acts 1: 7  “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.”

Indeed, The Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, makes a stronger statement!
   Revelation 22: 18 “I (Jesus speaking) testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book.  If anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.
We are told to “look for His coming” to “be prepared” to live as though His coming is today.  Certainly in times like these we do need a savior and the wise person has chosen to believe God and what He says.

I am always saddened by the date setters.  Not only for those who buy into false prophets.  It is also sad that God is mocked during these times because of these people who would set dates.  There were parties for the end of the world!  It becomes fodder for jokes by late-night comedians.

The supremacy of Jesus is summarized in Hebrews Chapter 1.  “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days he has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.  
And He (Jesus) is the radiance of His (God’s) glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of  His power.  When He (Jesus) had made purification of sins, (on the cross); He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; having become much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.” 

I’ve always appreciated that phrase, “Sat Down” because it denotes a task that is finished.  Jesus did it all, He alone made it possible for sinful man to be covered with Jesus righteousness which enables us to become the children of God.     That is the crux.  God’s timetable for His Son’s return is His timetable.  It is only important to us as believers and unbelievers because at that point of His return, there will be no second chance to receive His gift of Salvation.  It will be too late for those who are partying and mocking, too late for those who paid no attention, too late for those who trusted in works or some other philosophy of the world religions.  Too late for those who scoffed.

We have the promise of His Coming.  Hebrews 9:27 “ . . .it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgement, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear. . .”
Are you ready to meet God at death or if He should come in your lifetime, when He comes?   If He asks, “Why should I allow you into my presence?”   What would your answer be to God?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


"Behold the Lilies of the Field"

Years ago, I  sang this song which ended with the line, “. . .and today, He walks beside me, for He knows what lies ahead.”  I was twenty-something then and had no idea that my future held, among other things,  a near-death, crippling car accident; a separation; a rejection; a child lost to drugs; a parent’s early death.  It is  best that I did not know my future at that point.  However, as I sang those words I did know that I could trust the outcome of my life to Him.  Just as when I follow a tatting pattern that the end will work out as planned.

There is a difference though.  The tatting will work out as planned, if I do every stitch and join correctly!
Whereas, life is a series of connections made because of decisions; and, we don’t know the outcome of those decisions.  Life also depends upon the actions of others and how those actions and behaviors affect our lives.  Life is an intricate tapestry.  Life is a miracle in and of itself.

Spring is the season of  miracles. A good definition of a miracle is what my children learned.  A miracle is a great and good thing that only God can do! (or bring about) If you do not believe in miracles, you haven’t paid proper attention!  A child is born!  That is the miracle of life itself.  Doctors use the knowledge they have to cure diseases; is that not a miracle?  Things in life that we now take for granted would have been thought miraculous 50 years ago.  A dear friend of mine, “Grandma” Quinn, came across the West in a prairie schooner.  When she was in her late 80’s she flew in a jet across those barren deserts and alkali flats and remembered her first trip.  The heat, the walking, the need for water.  Just having water is a miracle  somewhere at this moment in time.  She told me with wonder in her eyes and voice what she saw from the window near her seat on the plane.  

Spring’s miracle is all around us, rising up through the earth are the flowers and foliage of the season.
Soon Christian’s will celebrate Easter and wee greet one another, “He is risen” and reply, “He is risen indeed.”  Not just metaphorically, not just as a Spirit but flesh and blood; fully man yet fully God.  The same God who brought all things to being.  We meet Him first in Genesis and his birth and death and resurrection are foretold in the Old as well as the New Testaments of the Bible.   

His message to us?  “. . .do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what will you put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? LOOK at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet, your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you, by being anxious, can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing?  CONSIDER the lilies of the field:  how they grow, they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Matthew 6: 25 through 28
  . . . . vs 33 “But, SEEK first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these things will be added to you."

The questions we must ask our selves, do I have a personal relationship with the One who knows what lies ahead? Am I in the Kingdom of Man or the Kingdom of God?  Can you say with conviction,
 “He is Risen Indeed!” 
 Life is Terminal.  What Then?

Lord, give hearing ears and teachable hearts.L

Friday, February 04, 2011


A new year brings new challenges. Challenges in tatting (like Jane Eborall’s Tat It and See), new techniques and in the tatter’s lives.  A broken ankle for one, a broken promise to another, presumptions, jealousies. . .an endless list of everyday challenges.  
Are we ready for a New Year, a New Beginning?

I’m always intrigued by the personality that keeps a record of ‘wrongs’ or perceived wrong doings ~ for years.  How can I remember what terrible thing I did when she was 10 years old; and, how bad could the action/spoken word have been towards a beloved grandchild?  Since an accuser seldom specifies what it was done we are left ~ clueless.  This is not an uncommon phenomena; I’m guilty of digging around in the past, also.  My final conclusion was, “She  (my Mom) did the best she could with who she was.”  And I let go the grievance; I choose to remember the loving acts and moments of tenderness.  Humanity’s love is conditional, no matter what we say.  Even a parent’s love can be filled with conditions.  

God is the only source of unconditional love; He alone dispenses of our infidelities (to Him and others) , sins, and hateful phrases and acts.  He alone offers a new beginning, a slate wiped clean and our stained self washed whiter than snow; given a cloak of righteousness ~ which is his own covering, for we have no righteousness of our own.   Take hope in His promises.  Because Jesus sacrificed His all on our behalf, took our punishment upon himself ~ total forgiveness is ours.  Consider these promises that are here for you which exemplify God’s unconditional love!  

Isaiah 1:18
"Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD.  “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow, though they be red as crimson, they shall be like wool”. 

Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I,  am He who blots out your transgressions, but for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more”.

For the other’s in our lives?  Perhaps those ’toxic’ friends and loved ones?  

Colossians 3:13 “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgives you”.

Forgiveness for us and through us comes from God.  

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  1 John 1: 9

Truly, “You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call on you”.  
Psalms  86:5

O God, give each one ears to hear and teachable hearts.    

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Seeking! A Designer That I Can Understand

                                                                 Tea is for Tatters

Tatters are always seeking designers that they can understand.  There is more consistency now in tatting patterns; but, terminology evolves. Designers feel really good about people tatting their patterns.  Were I a designer, I'd feel even better if I could present the diagram and written instructions with great clarity.  Patterns that could be trusted.  

The last postings introduced two facts.  There is a great designer who has a plan; He is God.  Shuttles are nothing in and of themselves and must follow the given pattern for success.  We are the shuttles.  We are building upon a theme with tatting as our metaphor.  This month, the concept of 'seeking' is before us. 

The question must be asked.  What or Whom are we seeking?  What do we have in mind?  A benevolent Grandfather-type who looks down on the world with a long, white beard?  A Santa Clause who gives only good things?  A Tyrant that doesn't let you do anything FUN?  A being that gives us great FEAR?  These images are just as bogus and false as the images of the evil one (Lucifer, Satan, the great dragon)  with a pointy tail and horns ~ that's not frightening as an image, people dress like that for Halloween!  I dressed a dog as a little devil one Halloween!  

Fortunately, God who is the great designer, left us a love letter which tells us all about Himself and His great gift in sending Jesus Christ.  A love letter, you say?  Yes,  He did not leave us unloved.  Did you know that if you were the ONLY person in the world, God would still have sent his Son to pay for your iniquities?  A relationship with Him is very personal, very one-on-one.  It only becomes a collective when His own are gathered together in His name! 

Keep in mind that we have more original scrolls of the scriptures than we do of the classics: ie:  Ulysses, The Enid; and, that the scripture has less than 1% of copyist error?  The Scripture is trustworthy for any age!  If you search the scriptures, which He asks us to do, we would know Him very well. 

Proverbs 14:15  A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps."  
God wants to be sought, His scriptures to be searched ~ He invites inspection to establish his case for man.  

The Old Testament Scriptures have this message from the designer. 

Psalms 14:2  "The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God."    
Lamentations: 3:25 "The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; . . ."  Psalms 9:10 "Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek your face."   

The New Testament agrees and adds:  Matthew 6:33  " But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.   

"All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name."  Acts: 10:43
1 John 5:13  "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."

This is one designer that you can absolutely come to know. One designer who already has forgiven, who already has paid the debt for you iniquities.  One designer who welcomes you unconditionally.  One whose instructions are free, simple and pure.  The designer who has done the work, accomplished; a finished work.

John 6:29 "Jesus answered, "The work of God is this; to believe in the one He has sent. (His Son)

Are we prudent and are we giving thought to our steps in seeking the greatest designer?  

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In the Twinkling of an Eye

"We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye."  1 Corinthians 15: 51, 52

On September 11th 2001 many lives were gone, many lives were changed and the world as we knew it turned upside down ~ in the twinkling of an eye.  

Our lives sometimes appear to us to be full of bad news.  Loss of loved ones, illness, wayward children, difficult pregnancies, and financial problems are just some of the problems that seem to plague our lives; societies lives. 
How great would it be, in the midst of all this bad news, if there were good news? 

God has good news for you and I; and, all who will listen and learn.  No matter what circumstances in life may be, the words of John 3: 16 ring clear, true and steadfast..unchanging!

John 3:16  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish from the earth but have eternal life."  

God's love gives me courage in the midst of discouragement , hope in the midst of despair, strength in the midst of my weakness, and relief in the midst of my pain.  He will do this for you, too.  Sometimes when we tat ~ the instructions seem counter intuitive ~ but if we follow the instruction, the work falls perfectly from the shuttle.  We just have to trust the designer; so too, we must trust God as only He sees the completed purpose and pattern.  And that is my prayer for you and those affected by the murder of those on September 11, 2001 ~ That none of us forget the good news of John 3:16.  

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Great things from the Designer's hand. .

ENCOURAGING PREDICTIONS FOR 2011 (and before and after!)
With all the problems the World is facing, it can be unsettling to the mind. Today, I will share with you ten predictions that are true! As Marueen noted: The Shuttle is NOTHING without the hand of the designer!

So, we too, are nothing; unless, guided by the Designer's hand. Matthew 6:23 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well."

Top 10 Predictions for 2011

1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still be the most powerful thing on Earth.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still honor the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him.

Isn't It Great To Remember Who Is Really In Control, and that; "the Word of the Lord
endures forever." ( 1 Peter 1:25 )