We are God's Works of Art

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Joy of Socks

The Joy of Socks

I love cute socks!  I have socks for almost every holiday, but I haven’t seen a Groundhog’s Day sock yet.  I have striped socks, polka-dot socks, Cat socks, dog socks, zebra socks…well’ you get the picture, as I said, I love socks!  I mean why wear just plain white socks when you can wear cute colorful socks.
This past December, as I was trying to decide which pair of Christmas socks I would wear that day, I noticed that I didn’t have any socks with the real meaning of Christmas.  I had Santa, reindeer, polar bears, penguins, packages, trees, holly, and elves, but no true Christmas socks. And I thought, I need to design and sell Christian socks!

A “zabillion” ideas exploded in my brain at once.  I could call the line “Soul Mates” and sell them in Christian bookstores.  Some would have the fish symbol or crosses.  I could put bible verses on some like, “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and all thy strength.”  I’d put hearts on those for Valentine’s Day.  I could make camo socks and put “March on, my soul; be strong!” Judges 5:21 “ I will sing and make music with all my soul.”  Ps. Music notes and instruments would be on those.  I would make wonderful Easter and Christmas socks, but then I thought, “Would it be sacrilegious to stuff baby Jesus in a smelly  tennis shoe?”  All my plans came to a screeching halt!

As I sat in my bare feet thinking about that, the Lord brought this scripture to mind,   “Stand therefore having… your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;” Ephesians 6:14-15.  And that is what led me to write this devotional.  Little did I know that this would be used on Memorial Day, it fits so well.  See how God works.

Sometime back in the 80’s I lead a Bible study on Ephesians 6 and since then it has become one of my favorite scripture passages.
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

Today I want to talk about verse 15, ““Stand therefore having… your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;”.  When Paul wrote to the Ephesians he was in prison and very familiar with the footwear of the Roman soldier, on their leather sandals they fastened hobnails to help give them firm footing.  Every soldier knows that if he is having problems with his feet, he will not be able to fight well. Likewise, Christians need firm footing that comes from the Gospel of peace to be able to keep their balance while fighting Satan.

The death, burial, resurrection of Christ, and the salvation He offers us is the Gospel of peace that we stand on.  That is our firm foundation. We are told to be steadfast, unmovable, and to keep working for the Lord.  Now when it comes to serving the Lord, we should always be on the move, flexible and ready to share the Gospel.  But we must stand firm in our faith; the Gospel of peace is never changing.

We are all sinners, but the good news is that we don’t have to stay that way.  The world needs to know this and we’re supposed to tell them.  As Christian soldiers we have our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace.  When we take our stand on the Gospel, God gives us exactly what we need to hold our ground and defeat the enemy. God gives us stability.  Unfortunately many Christians today are unstable.  Paul said, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the  cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.”Eph.4:14
Unstable Christians are not grounded in the word of God and are easily led astray by faults teachings. A well-grounded understanding of God’s word gives you stability so that your faith may not be shaken.  There are a lot of “Tumble weeds” out there, people running from one teaching to another. The church of the “What’s happening now” is on the rise.  If you know God’s word, you will know the truth and will be able to stand.

No soldier would ever think of entering the battle without his shoes, they protect his feet and give him stability and mobility.  Christians should wear the shoes of peace so that wherever we go we are firmly standing on the gospel.  Then when other people try to blow our faith off course, we will have the stability to stand firm.

Not only do the shoes of the Gospel of peace give you stability they also give you balance.  A soldier doesn’t just wear one shoe into battle, he wears both.  If he didn’t he could easily lose his balance.  In order to be balanced, Christians need a thorough understanding of all the Bible’s doctrines, teachings, and commands.  We’re not to pick and choose the things we like and ignore the rest.  When we are resting firmly on the truths of the Gospel, we will have balance and stability in our Christian lives.

Our shoes also give us mobility.  Even the best equipped soldier will likely be killed if he stands in one place to long.  He needs to be able to move and respond to the attack of the enemy.  One of the problems of many churches today is that they are standing still.  One of the things that hinders the work of God today, is the unwillingness of many Christians to change.  I’m not talking about changing the Gospel, but to change our tactics.  Satan is always changing his approaches and adjusts his tactics, we need to be mobile when we respond to these challenges or we may get trampled underfoot.

When we take our stand on the Gospel of peace, God not only gives us stability, balance, and mobility, but he also gives us opportunity for ministry.  When soldiers go to war, they know what their fighting for and as believers we need to keep our goal in mind.  Our goal is not to merely stand our ground and fight.  We must also move forward and spread the Gospel.  If we keep our shoes of peace on continually, we will be ready when the opportunity to witness comes.

We are soldiers of peace and the Devil is our adversary.  If you think there is not a war going on for the lives and souls of all mankind, you are misguided.  We are at war and the soldier who will be victorious on the battlefield is the one who is stable and balanced, who has good mobility and uses every opportunity to share the good news of the Gospel of peace.  Are you that kind of a soldier?

Saturday, March 10, 2018

My Newest Hobby

This year I started a new hobby, "Pocket Letters".  Starting with a 9 pocket sheet protector, I use the Baseball card protectors, you decorate each pocket as you choose.  Inside the pockets are notes/letters to the recipient and small gifts like stickers, bookmarks, embellishments for them to use in their future pocket letters.  You can also add treats, and sometimes tea packets.  The next step is to send the letters to someone. 

 I  will be participating in my first "swap" next week, I have joined a group on Facebook and I will be sending my Pocket letter to another member of the group.  The theme for the exchange is "What Easter Means to Me".  I have my letter ready and I'm waiting to hear who and where I will be mailing my creation.  And I'm really looking forward to seeing the Pocket Letter I will receive from my swap partner.  Below I have posted two of my favorite Easter/ Spring letters.  The first is the reason we celebrate this special holiday and the second is a just for fun Spring letter.

 I like to use a theme for my decorations, the two below have a New Year/ snow/winter theme.

Being married to an Irishman and having Irish blood myself, I had to make some letters celebrating Saint Patrick's Day.

Lest you think I forgot, here a two of my Valentine letters.

This seems like a fun way to use my stamping and scrapbooking "stash".  It had been awhile since I had stamped or scrapbooked, I had forgotten how much fun and messy it is LOL!  Don't waste your day, go create something and share the love.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Psalm 98

Psalm 98
Sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made his salvation known
    and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
He has remembered his love
    and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
    shout for joy before the Lord, the King.
Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
    let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
    and the peoples with equity.

As Christians, we are told to praise the Lord with singing.  Some are better equipped to sing than others, but all of us are to make a joyful noise.  I think that’s one of the reasons why I love to go to Africa, I can make a joyful noise to my heart’s content, because they don’t care what you sound like.,  I can just open up and let er’ fly.  I wish all of you could experience a worship service in Africa; it is true worship with their whole hearts.  Some may not be on key, but they are praising God with everything they’ve got.  It is so beautiful to see and hear, it’s like being ushered before the throne of God.

In our worship services some Christians seem afraid to open their mouths. They just stand there and stair or they might mumble at best, but if you’re saved, you have a lot to sing about.  We come to church to worship God, so we need to get to it. In verse 4 the psalmist says,” Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; why are we not doing that?  

Verse 2 gives us our reason to rejoice. “The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations.”  As Christians we should always have praise on our lips, because of that reason alone.  In Luke 19:40 we are told of the people praising Jesus and the Pharisees telling Jesus to put a stop to it. “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” 

All the earth and everything in it should be praising God.  Have you ever paid attention to nature?  I mean really listening to God’s creation?  I like to hear the bugs “scream” as I call it. I love to listen to their evening serenade and they can get pretty loud at times, but I noticed something the other day, they are all together.  Their voices, leg or wing rubbing, whatever they are doing, it is as one. It’s like they are singing the same song at the same time.  Imagine if we had one bug is over here singing, his neighbor singing a different tune and all the others doing their own thing, it would be a loud jumble of noise.  But they are all together, singing the same notes at the same time, it’s amazing, it has to be a God thing.  I really believe they are singing to their creator.

After a storm, what is one of the very first things you hear?  It’s usually the sweet song of a bird, giving praise to his maker because the storm is over and he survived. Do we sing praises when we make it through a storm in life?  Do we drop to our knees and thank God for his guidance and protection, or do we just merrily go on our way thinking “Whoosh I dodged a bullet there?

One of my very favorite places to be is in the forest on a mountain.  I feel as if I’m in God’s cathedral when I’m there.  The sound of the wind in the trees, a babbling brook, the birds and insects singing, along with the woodsy forest smell, thrills my soul.  I want to join in praise to my Father, God the creator.

Verses 7-9 state:
 Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
    let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
    and the peoples with equity.

This week we will have an opportunity to listen to the sea, the wind, maybe some rain, and shore birds. (Personally, I would love the opportunity to see and hear a whale while we’re here.)  Take the time to listen to their voices lifted in praise, and let it fill you with awe and wonder at the majesty of you God and Savior.  Join them in song as we await his second coming.  Don’t worry about the strange looks you may get from someone standing nearby.  And if anyone asks, tell them who put a song in your heart and the reason you sing.  Remember, Jesus is coming soon and we’re one day closer.  Let his praises ring!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Date Days

Hi Y'all,

Friday's are our Date Day.  We spend the whole day together, whether doing a projects around the house, going out to Estate sales, shopping, or taking a day trip.  Due to the rain yesterday, we stayed close to home and just went out occasionally.  We visited an Estate sale and had lunch at one of our favorite steak house.  I have no photos to share of yesterday's Date Day, so I will show you a few more of my patriotic pics.

This is a patriotic quilt my mother made several years ago and since I think every room needs a touch or whimsy, I placed a moose on my bed.  What could be more whimsical than a moose in a patriotic sweater?  Every time I look hat him I smile and that's the point of adding whimsy to a room.  I put something that makes me smile in every room.  Life is to short not to be happy.

I am very blessed to live in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and there is always something to do just a short driving distance away.  I thought I would share some of our Red Clay State Park photos with you from a few years ago when one of our grand daughters was spending a week with us.  You will see a paper cut out of a boy in the pictures.  Hayley's cousin, Jamison, another of our grandchildren, was doing the Flat Stanley project at school, so we took the paper boy with us everywhere we went that week and mailed it back to Jamison. Each summer one of our seven grandchildren gets to spend a week with us.  In addition to filling the week with fun filled activities, we always spend some time teaching them about the history of the area.  A wise man once said, "If we forget the past, we are doomed to repeat it". 

The Trail or Tears began here for then Eastern band of Cherokees.

Hayley with Flat Jamison.

Teaching our grandchildren about the mistreatment of the Cherokee people and the Trail of Tears.

Taking time to cool off in the spring water coming from the Blue Hole.

Papaw, Flat Jamison, and Hayley on the porch of one of the Cherokee cabins.

The interior of one of the cabins.

Another cabin and out buildings showing how the cherokee in the area lived at that time.

 Until next time, "May your imagination sore and your thoughts be fancyfree", Frankie 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Rainy Days, Quilting, and Squash Casserole

Today is one of those all day, rainy, summer days and since I have plans to work on my quilt today, the weather suits me just fine.  If you had planes to go to the lake or beach today, I'm sorry, but it has been a productive day for me.

This morning, I put some green beans fresh from our garden in the crockpot.  They smell wonderful and will be great with the squash casserole I'm making for dinner tonight.  I put the casserole together this morning and placed in it the fridge, all I have to do is sprinkle the crackers on top and  pop it in the oven for about 30-35 minutes.  The squash is also from our garden, along with home-grown tomatoes.  With all the rain we are getting this year, our garden is doing well.  All that will be left to do for dinner tonight is the mashed potatoes.  I've posted my casserole recipe, it's yummy! Give it a try, and let me know what you think.

Frankie's Squash Casserole

2-lb. yellow squash                                   1 egg
1 med. onion, chopped                              2 cups cheese, divided
1/2 each red & green bell peppers     1/2 cup Sour cream
2 TBS. butter                                             1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs                         1/2 cup butter, melted
Salt & Pepper to taste 

Cut all veggies, cover with water and boil until the squash is tender, drain well.  Add the 2 TBS of butter, 1 cup of cheese, the sour cream and the soup, salt & pepper, and the egg, mix well.  Pour into a 9 X 13 inch dish.  Next, I sprinkle the crushed crackers and remaining cheese over the top.  Then I drizzle the melted butter over the top and bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  When the top is golden brown, it's done.

Always remember, good food is cooked with butter and love.


Quilt Squares

I'm taking an "Underground Railroad" Quilt class and really enjoying it, not only is it and quilting class, it's also a history class.  We are learning about the underground railroad and the meaning of each block and the message it sent to the run away slaves.  I chose Civil War reproduction fabrics for my quilt, so far I've got five of them finished.  Only ten more to go and then I start piecing it together. We are using the book, "Underground Railroad", by Eleanor Burns.

The first block is called Underground Railroad (also known as Jacob's Ladder).

The second block is Monkey Wrench.

Wagon Wheel is the name of the 3rd block.

This block is Carpenter's Wheel.

The 5th block is Bear's Paw.

Well, this is about all I have to post today.  Until tomorrow, "Let your imagination sore and your thoughts be fancyfree", Frankie

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Retirement & 4th of July Decorations

Hi Y'all,

I mistakenly believed that I'd be "footloose and fancyfree" when I retired.  I thought I'd have time to do absolutely nothing, wrong!  I think I'm busier now than before I closed my shop, but that's OK, I'm having the time of my life.  My husband and I been able to travel and in between trips, I still find time to  paint, stamp, quilt, cook/bake, and decorate my home.  This month we are living in a Patriotic Palace since a man's home is his castle.  Our home is not fancy by any means, but we're very happy here and my dear hubby tolerates my love of decorating. A few of my Independance Day decorations are posted below.

Tomorrow I plan to work on my Underground Railroad quilt, I'll post some photos of the blocks I've completed.  Until then, "May your imagination sore and your thoughts be fancyfree".  Frankie

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sleep, My Child, Sleep

The last few weeks have been very exhausting for our family. My 90 year old mother-in-law has been terminally ill and went home to be with Jesus last Sunday night. My husband, his brother and I were the only family she had left, in our area, to be with her as she was dying. We were blessed to have our daughter come in to help care for her granny during the last week of her life. Ginger left her 3 young kids at home, in the care of their dad, and came in to be with her granny and love on her during her final days. Our son was able to take a day off from work and drove down to visit with Hazel also before she died. My husband and I are privileged to have two loving and caring children.

We had the grave side service yesterday and were blessed by the out pouring of love from our family and friends. We were surprised at how many of our church friends took off from work and made the 30 mile trip to come to the funeral home during the day for a mid-week service. With our kids and grandkids staying at our house we had a total of 12 people staying under our roof and our Sunday school class provided so much food we still have lots of food left for several meals. I don’t know what people do in times like these who do not have church friends to help. We would like to thank each of you for your thoughtfulness.

My husband and I are worn out and will be recuperating for a few days, especially me since I have fibromyalgia. But we can rest well knowing that Hazel is with Jesus and we will see her again. Hazel like to try to write poetry; I can’t say her poems were always good, but they did rhyme. A few days before she died I wrote the following poem for her and it was read at her service. She was a sweet lady, lots of fun and a great mother-in-law. Rest in peace Hazel, we love you.

Sleep My Child, Sleep

By Frankie Conar

“Sleep my child, sleep.” She holds the tiny precious hand,

Kisses the babe’s soft cheek, and wipes away his tear.

“You’re safe in my arms; now dream of castles in the sand.

Don’t cry my little one, there’s not a thing to fear.”

The days go rushing by and the future becomes the past

Her memories grow dim and bright eyes fade at last.

“Sleep mother, sleep.” He holds the time worn hand,

Kisses her wrinkled cheek and wipes away a tear.

“You’re safe in the arms that carry you to a better land.

You will be once again with those you hold so dear.

It won’t be long; I’ll join you soon on heavens shore

I will hold you close and kiss your cheek once more.”

“Awake my child, awake.” He takes her by the hand.

He kisses the now smooth cheek and wipes away her tear

“You’re safe in my arms. Welcome to the Promised Land.

I’ve prepared this place for you; you’ll be so happy here.

Your work on earth is through, but your life has just begun

I’ve brought you home to live with Me, God’s only begotten Son.”