Saturday, August 19, 2017

Musings on Indiana life

There is a subtlety to Indiana's beauty. It is not grand. It is not "in your face" like the beauty of ocean or mountain. It's quiet. Easy to miss in the everyday bustle of life.

But, if you look for it, there is a very definite beauty to living in Indiana. From the blue black of storm clouds rolling in across green fields with the sun shining on them. To the rainbows that we see after storms to the mountains that we have.

Yes, there are mountains in Indiana. We just call them clouds.

The colors can be incredibly vivid from the deep greens and bright tones of flowers and plants.

To the subtle and gentle shades of winter...
To God's paintbrush in the heavens every morning and evening.

No matter which state you live in though, look for the small beauties are all around you. There are so, so many.

Look at your home area with God's eyes. You might get a surprise.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Canning Season Once Again

Once again, tis the season to can foodstuffs.

My canning goals this summer are mostly related to the new pressure canner that Dad got on Black Friday last year.

We have canned chicken plain in broth, with salt and dried minced onion, as Bourbon Street chicken - minus the corn starch. My sister in law gave me a vegetarian Southwest soup recipe before she married my brother. It's quick to make and incredibly versatile. We've added cooked ground beef, or chicken to the soup with delicious results.

Dad and I canned several batches of the soup with chicken and beef. Sooo good.

Next up is sweet pickle relish. A LOT more than last year. It's delicious any way you eat it.
Sweet Pickle Relish

It makes homemade 1000 island dressing! Mom uses a 1/2 pint at a time in a batch of tuna salad for my Dad. Last year was, I believe, about 19 half pints and a few pint jars. (Nowhere near enough!)

It's been a few weeks since I started working on this post.
Now, we have pickle relish!!! 25 pints worth. 5 batches it took.

Plus I made a couple of new recipes. Corn relish and cherry relish from Linda Ziedrich's book The Joy Of Pickling. Both are hits with my dad and mom.
The corn relish in particular is simple and quick to make.
A total of 16 pints of this relish got made... We already opened and ate 1.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

My God is All Powerful!

I have a story to share with you today...had experience with God's awesome power yesterday. Just before 5 pm, I was driving to my parents and heard on the radio severe thunderstorm warnings for counties north of Indy.. (60+ mph wind gusts expected.)  When I was on the phone with my mom I simply prayed, "I bind the destructive power of those storms in Jesus's name." Mom, still on the phone, said, "Amen." And we continued our conversation for a short time.

Less than 10 minutes later another report on the radio. The warnings for those counties had been cancelled. I was raining, but the storms were no longer severe.

It's over 24 hours later, and I am still in awe at the power of Jesus!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Rahab's Faith

"And she said according to your words, thus it is. And she sent them, and they went, and she bound the scarlet cord, in the window."
                         Joshua 2:21
This passage stopped me in my tracks when I read it several years ago. The Lord brought that truth of, "Rahab didn't wait to do what the spies had told her to do with the scarlet cord!"
 There's an immediacy in the language of the Scripture here. To confirm this, I contacted a friend who studies Hebrew.

"I looked it (the words in Joshua 2) up today, and it implies actions that follow each other. " - R.D., a Hebrew scholar
In other words, Rahab did not wait for the return of the spies - and Israel. She knew that Israel would be swift in returning to the country, God was with them and that Israel would conquer. 

She placed her faith in the only true God. Then she followed up with action. She put 'feet' on her faith.

Many years later, Rahab would become one of Jesus's ancestors. The prostitute from Canaan is spoken of today because she believed in the one true God and His power.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

My Testimony: Part One

 I'm going to share a little bit of my testimony. It's a freedom story. Because Jesus (and only Jesus) is the reason that I can now face life with joy.

The song Glorious Day by Kristian Stanfill for Passion 2017 is my current favorite song. For the power of the words and because every time I sing it I remember where I came from

I struggled during my teenage years with self-pity. Self-pity so strong, that my own grandmother couldn't tell me a joke, or I would take it personally. It was a rare day that didn't pass without me crying my eyes out over some imagined wrong that have been done to me.

Finally, in my senior year of high school, I came to the end of my rope emotionally. There was no way for me (in or of myself) to try to undo the mental damage that had been done by my years of self-pity.
   So, I wrote about it in my diary (early Sept '08). About being so frustrated with all of the self-pity and then I circled it, put an arrow below to a brief prayer I wrote. It simply said, "Lord show me what to do about this."
    That prayer was answered. It would take me years to realize how quickly that prayer got answered by my Jesus.
Early that same month, on a Sunday, my pastor at the time, Mr. Krieg, started a series entitled, "Breaking Strongholds". The second week my pastor's words and several Scriptures were used by God to set me free from that stronghold.
The light bulb blinked on. I knew exactly what to do when those thoughts of self-pity came into my mind. I knew where those thoughts were coming from! I could tell the devil to get out of my mind!

Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
    - 2 Corinthians 10:5 NKJV

Truly, I am not the same person that I used to be. I am a new creation, I am a brand new (wo)man. Old things are passed away, I've been born again.
I praise Jesus daily for the freedom He's given me. There is more freedom I've not yet stepped into. But by His grace and mercy, He will bring me into even more!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Summer Storm

    Oh, how easy it can be to let Satan gain a foothold in the mind. A thunderstorm in the mind.
    Some tears, prayers and laying down the burden later I am refreshed.
    One real live thunderstorm, the mild excitement of a possible fire at a neighbor's, some "Singing In The Rain" and twirling umbrellas with my neighbor girls later - it's a good day.

    To splash in a puddle in the rain, twirl an umbrella, have a play water fight as the rain pours, hear the thunder grumble and see lightning flicker. (Then go in the house when it gets closer.)

Ahh summer in Indiana.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Musings on 2 Timothy 2

When I went to open my Bible this morning, my notebook was tucked into the page with 2 Timothy 2:22 next to it.

    "Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

Reading the verses before and after that one, for better context; you see how important it is to walk closely by Jesus's side.
Do you want to be a 'vessel of honor'? Look at verse 22. Verse 24 - a servant of the Lord must be gentle to all, able to teach, patient. 25, in humility correcting those in opposition.

In verse 22, the reference takes one to
           1 Timothy 6:11.
     "But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness."
 Verse 12 to 14 then tells us to,
      "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing." 

*Highlighted words - emphasis mine.

May you walk closer to Christ in the coming days.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Musings On Cooking

    I read Chicken Soup For the Soul - Food and Love today and I started musing. My story is different then many I read in this book.

    Due to circumstances (life!) I had to grow up faster than I should have. Mom was ill when I was around 6-8 years old. So I started to help with food prep - first with the lovely ladies to stayed to help Mom out, then Mom as her health improved.
     My parents were religious in keeping our 'Country' subscription up to date in those years. One day I saw a recipe I wanted to make in the clip'n'save section. Since I was to short to reach the counter, I grabbed a kitchen chair for my work space.

    Then..... I made bread.
    Now, where Mom was I have no memory. But she couldn't have been far away because I could reach the oven at that age.

    Now, almost 20 years later, I still enjoy cooking and trying new recipes.

*   I put learning canning and pickling on my bucket list in high school. Later came the desire to learn the art of lacto-fermentation.

    So far I've conquered vinegar pickles and water bath canning. (Thank you Nana Pellman for being my kitchen guru even long distance!) I am in the process of learning pressure canning with my dad. Dad is an avid, long time canner. In his late college days though, he stopped for what would turn out to be many years.

    Dad has been a big help in my learning water bath canning. And together, we learned from Nana (his mom) how to cook and can tomato juice, bread and butter pickles and applesauce. (See my earlier blog posts.) He encourages me in my learning more on these things, as he likes them as well. He is my taste tester many times for new recipes and has a pretty adventurous palate.

Mom? She's awesome about being sous chef to my messy kitchen chemistry, though she'll never stop teasing me about "a quarter cup baking soda!" in a 9 inch square cake. (I transposed measurements with horrible results. 4 tablespoons of cocoa became 4 tablespoons baking soda!) And tells me on a regular basis that I can dirty more dishes than the law allows! Sorry Mom!

I am also thankful for my paternal grandmother, my Nana for passing along her many years of kitchen experience to me. For answering the phone more times than either of us can count for canning or cooking related questions/crises. For patiently teaching me to not be afraid in the kitchen.*

Part of this post is copied from a journal entry back at the end of October 2013.

My resources - besides my grandmother! More will be added as I come across them.

The Joy Of Pickling
Mennonite Community Cookbook
The Joy of Jams, Jellies And Other Sweet Preserves
Ball Blue Book

National Center For Home Food Preservation
Simply Canning
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth - Canning Corner
A Working Pantry


*Between the asterisks is brand new material.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunday Worship

   What a name! The name of Jesus is so powerful that the dead are raised to life, sick are healed *at the sound!* of His name!!!

🎵How could He make a wretch His treasure?🎵

Jesus, worthy of all praise and glory and honor.

                Power, strength and glory
                are in the name of Jesus

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Nature's​ Wonders

Thunderstorms​ rolling through my area. The raw power of God is displayed even in weather.
 Brush strokes of color from the Master Painter. Each one different than the other.

Woods in Indiana in springtime
Red Trillium,

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday worship and musings

The words of this are powerful.
🎶I was buried beneath my shame
Who could carry that kind of weight?
The old made new, Jesus when I met You 🎶

Jesus died on the cross for YOU and for me.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Cherokee Trail book review

   This was written by me in late September of 2016. No real computer access means this is only now getting put up here.
   I just reread The Cherokee Trail , by Louis L'Amour.

   It's set in the middle of the War Between the States/U.S. Civil War.
   The protagonist is Mary Breydon, a widow with a small daughter.
   Heading West​ with her husband to start over, he is suddenly gunned down. She decides to go on, and do the job her husband was hired for. A stage stop and station. Rough, brutal work for anyone.
   The American frontier towards the end of the Civil War was still raw, untamed, wild.
   Into this desolate land, came refined Mary Breydon, who knew the finest things in life. Torn away from them in horrific style, she proves the grit inherited from her ancestors is still strong.
   Once Mary takes over the running of the station, she gathers a widely varied cast of people around her. Each one with their own talent to help.
   An Irish girl, a born fighter. A young orphan boy, wily beyond his years. A man, deadly with a gun, yet with a kindness in him. The tough old man, worth ten regular men in a frontier fight. A wealthy neighbor.
   There are many more, including the enemy who had murdered Mary's husband in cold blood on a town street on their Westward journey.
   Even though I only grabbed this book because it was one of L. L.'s I'd not yet read,; in a single reading it became a "must have" for my bookshelf.

Enjoy your reading today!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


I am going to list a few things I'm thankful for today. I choose to be thankful today.

1. I have a job that I enjoy

2. Co-workers that make me excited to come in for the day.

3. The ability and gift to sing well. (A miracle, as I could not as a small child.)

4. New friends who challenge me to walk closer with Jesus.

5. The ability and enjoyment of working outside.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

On Reading

Read a wide range of topics, read about things you are passionate about.

Gracious - read the dictionary! I did that growing up. Buy good dictionaries and when a child asks "What does this mean?" Tell, show and help them learn to use the dictionary. Personally, I would use a real one, as I think it helps with learning words.

Pick a subject at random, learn all you can about it. You truly never know when it can come in handy.

Top picture is part of my book collection several years ago. The 2nd is from my visit to the library this morning.