Under the Grey

My husband and I took a long walk down and up and around several blocks this evening. The snow in our area is slowly melting. A few mountains and mounds of icy snow are left. The dirty grey piles are ugly; but they were covering up a lot of stuff.

Folks have a lot of clean up ahead; or not. Some do, and some don’t.

There’s a deep spiritual application wandering around here somewhere….

Vitamin C Chews

I like to obtain as much of my vitamins and minerals from real, organic food as I can. But I realize I can’t obtain or eat as much food as I’d need to get my full daily needs. These Vitamin C chews are a nice way to get my Vitamin C in a more natural way than my usual capsules or pills.

I’ve read and taken online classes from Rosalee de la Forêt, and I appreciate the way she introduces and handles herbs. This Vitamin C recipe is from her website. Please visit it to read more.

https://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/whole-food-vitamin-c-pills/

The following is taken directly from that website:

1 tablespoon rose hip powder

1 tablespoon amla powder

1 tablespoon acerola powder

Orange peel powder (optional)

Honey

Mix together the powdered herbs, breaking up any clumps. Pour slightly warmed honey into the powdered mix. I never measure how much honey I use. Just pour a tiny bit, stir, add a bit more, stir. You want the final consistently to hold together but not be too moist or sticky. Once the powders are mixed with the honey, form the mixture into pea sized balls. These can then be rolled in orange powder or another one of the powders in the mixture. Makes 45 pea-sized pills.

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I have also seen other recipes that include 1 or 2 tablespoons of powdered hawthorn berry.

The website listed previously gives a good source for buying the ingredients. I have also bought ingredients on amazon and vitacost.

Because this is food, it can be taken as food. It is recommended to take 1-3 chews per day, depending on the size of the balls you make. You can’t overdose on Vitamin C, but it will make for loose stools if too much is consumed.

Our Righteousness

This morning in my devotions, the Lord spoke to me about righteousness, confirming through His Word that which is a foundation of our faith: Jesus is our righteousness.

God is clear, throughout the Bible, that we, in our flesh have no righteousness:

Ps 14.2, 3 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

and

Rom 3.10-20 10As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17And the way of peace have they not known: 18There is no fear of God before their eyes. 19Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin

But God: All through the Bible, God also promises that He will save us, that He will be our righteousness:

Jer 23.6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

And God delivered His promise in the Person of Jesus Christ, when He delivered His holy, sinless Son to bear our sins, paying the penalty forever:

1Cor 1.30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

2 Cor 5.21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

So then, when we access our righteousness through Jesus Christ, we may live a life of goodness and joy and blessing unto others and ourselves (and know God forever):

Pr 11.3-10 3The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. 4Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death. 5The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness. 6The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness. 7When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth. 8The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead. 9An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered. 10When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.

Ps 33.1, 5  1Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. 5He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

May you be blessed with the saving knowledge and faith of Jesus Christ our Lord today!

Amy’s Necklace

AmysNecklace

“My darling, you look magnificent tonight.” He bent to kiss his wife’s neck as he fastened the clasp of the gold necklace.

Lilianna’s face remained passive. “Yes, how very thoughtful of you. Your secretary has such exquisite taste.” She allowed her dulled eyes to meet her husband’s in the mirror.

He turned away to reach for his tie and handed it to her. “You will wear your new bauble to the reception tonight. We are meeting the new Russian ambassador. It is not yet widely spread, but he will take my place next month. Our time here in America will end soon, and we can return home.”

“And what have we there?” she asked as she tightened the knot. She regretted being unable to keep the bitterness from her voice.

He grasped her shoulders. “Family. We have our family there. We will return to our roots, to our homeland. We will return to the glory that is due our service these many years.” He chucked her under the chin. “We have done very well here, and will be repaid for many years to come.”

*           *           *           *           *

The affair was grand, indeed. Lilianna smiled at all the right people, turned her shoulder to those who were not, behaved just as she had been trained these many years.

She kept her eyes on the time, and offered her excuses at five minutes prior to her short tryst.

Certain no one had seen her, she slipped to the side alley and into his car. She fell into his arms.

“Oh, Brian,” she whispered. “Our time together is so short.” She took his face in her hands, caressing. “How can I thank you for what you have meant to me, how you have saved my sanity in this crazy life I must lead?”

“Lilianna, my love, surely you cannot leave with him! Come away with me!”

“You know we could never do that. They would search for us and find us, and that would be the end.” She paused and looked out the window. “But maybe that would be a better end than what I will have back home.”

In another twenty minutes she joined her husband, and took his arm.

“My dear!” He took her hand. “The music starts again. Shall we dance?”

They had just stepped onto the floor when his eyes dropped to her neck. He stopped abruptly. “Where is the necklace?”

Eyes wide, her hand went to her throat.

He shook her. “Where is the necklace?”

“I – I don’t know,” she stammered. “I had it on. It must have fallen off. I don’t know!”

He took her roughly by the hand and led her off the floor. “Show me. Show me exactly where you have been tonight. Exactly!”

Her face turned ashen as she took a moment. “Did you see it on me when we arrived?”

“Yes, yes. When we took off your coat at the entrance, it was there. We were together until I went off with the new ambassador. Where did you go?”

She walked to the reception area, retraced her steps around the rooms where she’d mingled and drunk, even to the ladies room. She looked at her husband repeatedly, her eyes reflecting astonishment at how agitated he was over the loss of a necklace, how wild his eyes looked. Of course it was a lovely necklace, of Soviet Rose gold, but really a mere trinket compared with her other jewelry.

Now he had called in security, and black-suited men scattered about surreptitiously, eyes darting into dark corners, casting suspicious glances at other guests. Surveillance cameras were inspected.

*           *           *           *           *

City headlines the next day blared the news that the Russian ambassador and his wife were found dead in their hotel room.

A lesser story, three sections back, gave few details of a man named Brian found murdered, his ransacked Toyota Matrix two miles away.

*           *           *           *           *

Ten years passed. Time had not been good to the little Toyota Matrix, and it was rather mangled by now. But, with a little TLC in the right hands, it proved to be a blessing to a nice family for a couple of years, even facing up to the challenge of the Tennessee mountains. The engine eventually blew though, and the family had to say goodbye to their trusty friend. A few days after they relegated it to a junk yard, the husband returned to it, to retrieve the seats that would prove useful for another vehicle. He was dumbfounded to discover a gold necklace under the middle console.

*           *           *           *           *

Some days later, a Mr. Smythe stepped into his home and was met by his wife, who stood on tiptoe to kiss him hello. She looked into his eyes. “That’s quite a twinkle you have today, my dear. You’ve not been seeing someone on the side, have ye?”

Mr. Smythe held his wife closely and smiled a dreamy smile. “Darlin’, you mind well my old job, from which I am happily retired?”

“With the government?” She pulled back a bit. “That smile doesn’a mean you’re a-thinkin’ to return to it, surely?”

“Oh, na, love, never you fear. But the good Lord has handed us a blessing this day, that I could use my old experiences and intertwine them with this job that I love nowadays.”

“Being a jeweler?” Now her eyes twinkled.

He went on to explain. Last week a nice man had come in and handed him a necklace. “Fourteen karat Soviet Rose gold. I knew it right off. I told him, though, I’d have it priced for him by Monday.” But, due to Mr. Smythe’s knowledge and experience, he’d known to look a bit deeper. “I canna tell you more my love, but my contact flew in that night to receive what I’d found. Many mysteries long past will be solved with this new piece of evidence.”

“With the necklace?” pondered his persistent wife.

“Ah no, love. The necklace goes back to the lovely man brought it in. ‘Twas the tiny dot impressed upon it. I wouldn’a known to look, but for my old job and our Lord’s grace.” He took his wife’s face in his hands and kissed her rightly. “Isn’t our God grand! He bringeth all things to His light, for His glory!”


 

Leave it to my Amy to get a real-life surprise that provided an intriguing springboard for all kinds of stories to conjure up. The story above is what I came up with.

What actually happened:

Amy’s family did buy a Toyota Matrix a couple of years back; it did take them through the mountains of Tennessee; the engine later blew, and he took it to a junkyard; he went back for the seats and found the necklace under the console; they took the necklace first to a pawn shop, but then to a jeweler to get a real appraisal; it is 14k Soviet Rose Gold; the necklace was worth far more than the pawn shop offered.

Amy! Please post anything else related.

What Kind of Sin?

WhatKindOfSin

It is generally agreed that the essence of sin is to do that (or not do that) which displeases God – to disobey Him. And sin separates us from God. It’s not that God turns His back; it’s that we turn our backs on Him when we disobey and choose our own way instead of His.

The remedy for sin is repentance, to turn around from our own path and direct ourselves to God.

In the Old Testament, God laid out several different types of sin, and several types of sacrifice to symbolize repentance.

Now that Jesus Christ has become our Final Sacrifice, we no longer follow the Old Testament sacrifice covenant – it is no longer needed, since Jesus paid the price for sin in full when He died for us.

In 1John 1.9, God tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

When we sin, it is important to recognize that we have sinned, acknowledge our sin, confess it to God, and repent. Why is this necessary, if God has already forgiven us through Jesus? Because when we sin, we distort our relationship with God; and we want a right relationship with Him so that we may live life abundantly. (John 15.10, 11 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.)

Be aware:

  • Sin in ignorance
    • We don’t even know we sinned, but we did. Examples: Our words may offend when we say something without knowing the situation. We leave the store with something stuck in the cart that we forgot to show the cashier. We forget a loved one’s important date.

For these, we must ask the Spirit to convict us where needed, and confess that we sin in ignorance. Ask the Spirit to show you how to rectify, if needed.

  • Give in to temptation
    • Sometimes we sin because we are weak.

Ask the Spirit to strengthen you, that you will live in the strength of Him.

  • Sometimes we sin in rebellion. (I don’t care if this is wrong! I want it anyway!”)

Pray Psalm 51.10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

  • Sin from selfish ambition
    • We see something we want (or don’t want to happen), and we manipulate to achieve our goals.

Pray, “Not my will, but Thine be done, O Lord.”

  • Sin in our hearts
    • When we judge others, it is a sin in our hearts. Other examples: We have a dirty rotten attitude toward a friend or family member and think we’re not sinning because we’re still smiling and being “kind.” Looking with lust. Imagining illicit activities.

Memorize Scripture, let it fill your thoughts. Psalm 119.11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

  • Sin in emotional struggle
    • Whether in anger or heat of passion, in turmoil or pain, we can say or do things that normally lie outside our personal makeup.

Proverbs 4.23 Guard your heart with all diligence, for from it flow springs of life.

If your heart is pure, then what comes out in a squeeze will be pure.

  • Bringing someone else into sin
    • We have no right to entice or drag anyone else into sin. Examples: luring someone into an affair; sharing your drugs or pornography or alcoholism; talking someone weaker into evil / having someone do our dirty work.

1 John 4.11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

  • Sin from evil ambition
    • In our hearts, we wish destruction or evil on another.

Pray Matthew 6.13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

  • Defying God
    • Some people willingly, openly, and brazenly act to defy God. They blaspheme the Holy Spirit and set themselves up as gods.

Matthew 12.31 says, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.”

1John 5.16 says, “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.”

  • Sin of omission
    • If we simply forget to do something, this falls under the first item in the list, Sin in ignorance.
    • However, if we know to do something right, and decide not to, that is sin of omission. Examples: We feel directed to pray for a certain circumstance, and decide not to. God guides our attention to someone in need, and we ignore the need. We know our duty, and neglect it (i.e., reading our Bibles or attending church). Ingratitude falls in this category (1 Thessalonians 5.18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.)

Pray without ceasing (1Thessalonians 5.17).

  • Sin of deceit
    • Any one of the types of sin may involve deceit, whether we are attempting to deceive others or deceive ourselves. We may purposefully “forget” to do something we know we should. We may lie to ourselves that “giving in this once” won’t matter. We may lie to people in order to stir up dissension or get something we want.

Proverbs 12.20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who devise evil, but the counselors of peace have joy.

Fall on your face before our mighty and gracious God. Search your heart. Ask God to search your heart: Psalm 139.23, 24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Look up Psalm 51. King David wrote it, and he knew sin in his heart. He also knew Who to give it to.

March On Tag

Purple Rose and Dollfaced Writer came up with these monthly tags, and dear Stuart tagged me! Thanks, Stuart! Please check out Stuart’s post and the rest of his writings (it’s worth it).

MarchOnTag

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you to participate.
2. Link back to the original post.
3. Use the original featured image.
4. Talk about what this month’s theme means to you.
5. Answer the questions.
6. Nominate one or more people to participate.
7. Enjoy the rest of your month!

The theme of Marching On brings to mind the hymn, “Onward Christian Soldiers.”

Lyrics: Sabine Baring-Gould, 1834-1924;  Music: Arthur S. Sullivan, 1842-1900

  1. Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
    With the cross of Jesus going on before.
    Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
    Forward into battle see His banners go!

    • Refrain:
      Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
      With the cross of Jesus going on before.
  2. At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee;
    On then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!
    Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
    Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.
  3. Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
    Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
    We are not divided, all one body we,
    One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.
  4. Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
    But the church of Jesus constant will remain.
    Gates of hell can never ’gainst that church prevail;
    We have Christ’s own promise, and that cannot fail.
  5. Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng,
    Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.
    Glory, laud, and honor unto Christ the King,
    This through countless ages men and angels sing.

Here are the questions for this month’s tag:

  1. Are you or is anyone in your family Irish?

Yup. My grandma’s family (dad’s side) emigrated from Ireland, plus my mother’s side has Irish, too.  When I had color in my hair, it had red hues. My dad had very red hair. Also, my dad used to teach at Notre Dame, and we have been “Fighting Irish” all my life.

  1. Do you wear green for St. Patrick’s Day?

Yes. Especially when I was still teaching, I wore outfits / colors for most of the holidays.

  1. Do you decorate for St. Patrick’s Day?

No.

  1. If you spotted a leprechaun, followed him, saw a rainbow and a pot of gold…what would the gold be to you? Actual gold? Or something else?

I think I’ve already found the “pot o’ gold” – the Bible.

  1. What shade of green is your favorite? Provide an image if possible.

MarchOnTag2

I wear this color a lot, in various hues.

  1. What do you like best about the month of March? What do you like the least?

Although March is a tough month weather-wise, I like the promise of spring it brings.

  1. What’s the luckiest thing that’s ever happened to you?

I can’t say much of anything about luck, as I don’t believe in it. God blesses, we obey, we receive His blessings…

For this month I am tagging…

Anyone who is Irish, or is not Irish; or who likes Irish, or doesn’t like Irish

It’s Tomorrow, and the Sun Came Out

We’ve been having some wild weather here in South Dakota.

February brought record cold temperatures and above average snowfall. March 3rd we set new temperature records for coldest temp and coldest high temp; and it continued to snow. All that cold means the snow is piling up, and not melting.

20190302_075656

Last weekend we got hit with a winter storm across the state, and forecasters were throwing out broad hints that a whopper was coming. Tuesday brought milder weather, and cities across the state started preparing for “the big one” – clearing storm drains and culverts and so forth. At our house, we (by that, I mean my husband) shoveled snow away from the house, and cleared window wells and gutters of ice build-up. Even so, Tuesday night we discovered water leaking onto a basement floor. (We were thankful that the floor was bare concrete, and not carpet-covered, as are most of the other rooms in the basement.)

{A bit of background: SD is divided by the Missouri River, and one’s location is known as “West River” or “East River.” Each side has its own climate.}

The whopper hit us Wednesday and Thursday.

West River, all the way to Pierre (our capital, in the middle of the state) got snow both days, between one and two feet, with drifts up over 15 feet. They’re still digging out today (Friday).

We live East River. It rained all day (high of 36 degrees) on Wednesday: 2.38” onto frozen ground. We dug pathways through the snow in our yard, trying to make drainage channels out to the street from various locations around our house. Our dryer ran all day, between our wet clothing and the towels we were switching out from the basement floor. My husband put a submersible pump outside our house, where water was pooling (same spot where, below, water was coming into the basement). Around 4 p.m., we looked again to the back yard, where large ponds were developing around trees in our neighbor’s yards and around our garden shed. But now our garden shed was about floating away. We moved the submersible pump to the garden shed area, and strung hose out to the street (and extension cord from the house). The sump pump in the house kicked in for the first time since December. My husband stayed in the living room all night, getting up every couple of hours to check the pumps and the basement towels.

It continued raining all night, and in the wee hours of Thursday it changed to freezing rain, and then snow. Our low temp was 30, high was 36. The wind kicked up: 40 – 60 mph. We had a bona fide blizzard: 4.2” of heavy, wet snow, with wild drifting. The snow stopped in the afternoon, but the wind stayed. We went out to re-dig our drainage channels as best we could, dealing with slush and ice.

The sun came out just before sunset.

ItsTomorrowAndTheSunCameOut

Today is sunny and chilly; the wind is dying down. We went to the hardware store and got another submersible pump. Everyone is saying this is a once-in-a-lifetime storm, but we’re thinking, with the way the weather and our planet have been acting, things are only going to get worse. We’re planning ahead for the next weather show-down.

Our washer and dryer are still running overtime. But we are awestruck and grateful. We’ve been watching the news of surrounding areas. There is major flooding going on, streets under water, basements flooded with 4- and 5-feet of water, bridges and dams washed out, whole huge areas under freezing water, people stranded and in need of help.

God help us, and have mercy on us.

2 Chronicles 7.14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

ItsTomorrow2 {Snow does funny stuff 😁}