Tuesday, December 15, 2015

On hospitality

I have to admit I have not been very domestic lately; but I think hospitality is important and I am working on it. It is always good to have an open heart and a welcoming home. I do a few recipes around Christmas time though. Last year I shared my Tamale recipe I serve on Christmas eve. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/194499277633751198/  This is another recipe I do every year. It is a vintage recipe that makes a great hostess gift or I will usually add it to the cookie tray on Christmas eve.
Bishops Bread

11/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 c. semi sweet chocolates
2 c. walnuts (optional)
1 1/2 c.chopped dates
1 c.chopped maraschino cherries (save liquid and put aside)
3 eggs
1/2 c. sugar

Preheat oven to 325* Grease and flour pan
*Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
*Then stir in chopped nuts, dates, cherries and chocolates.
*Add sugar and mix well.
*Add beaten eggs and remainder of maraschino liquid.
*Bake in loaf  pan for 1 hour and 15 minutes
Batter will be pink at first but not in the end result. This one is without nuts but its usually made with nuts and turns out much prettier with them. The cutting board is a gift I just bought for my husband and I just used it for these photos today and I need to wrap it up quickly. Shh its a surprise. :)
"Breaking bread is an ancient gesture of friendship, respect and hospitality".
Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.~Janice Maeditere

One of the ways to show hospitality is caring for the poor, the stranger, the widow and the orphan. 

  Meeting the needs of children in the most desperate circumstances and opening your arms to the poor  is what I think true hospitality is.
The definition of hospitality is...;the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers.

;the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.

Please help with some of the urgent needs of today with any gift... http://donate.worldvision.org/ways-to-give/by-category/urgent-needs

 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

~ Isaiah 58:6-8

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.
~Hebrews 13:2

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Reflection in pictures

I have been finishing up some painted signs that I have sketched from a recent family trip. These may not be in my shop, but most have been painted for a show I already did and gifts.
I sketched my design on the wood then I used wood stain for areas I wanted to keep the wood showing.
Then I hand painted my tropical designs.
This is a great shot of my daughter on a paddle board from our trip. Funny I was up on that paddle board for quite a long time and the only picture of me on that board is me laying down on it clutching for my life. :)  Reflecting back on some things I was apart of this year I am so grateful to God that he included me in them.With all the obstacles, misunderstandings, things that I could only do with God's strength. It was such a blessing!

 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. ~James 1:2-5

That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.~ 2 Corinthians 12:10

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Adjusting the Sails

To reach a port we must set sail-
      Sail, not tie at anchor 
              Sail, not drift.” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
*Self doubt is the anchor that keeps our ships from sailing*
 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

~Psalm 16 5-8 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A brief look at children living in the margins

 Global poverty on a whole has declined dramatically but extreme poverty has receded into the most unstable and violent places in the world. These places are the most dangerous places to be a child.

These children living in the margins are most at risk of  being trafficked, hunger, disease, violence, early marriage, at risk of  becoming a child soldier or even losing their own parents, leaving them alone to the predators preying on them. As people flee the violence the most vulnerable go deeper and desperately in the hard to reach areas, the edges of society. These children are in the most fragile states.

 I listed here some practical ways to help these children in the most fragile states. Many more can be found on the World Vision site. http://www.worldvision.org/

Here are listed 8 fragile states of children at risk living in the margins.
Child exploitation is a major issue in the DRC. Many children are kidnapped and forced to fight as child solders, become sex slaves or work as porters. About 6.3 million people in the DRC are food-insecure, and half of the children under 5 are chronically malnourished. Sponsor a child from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.http://www.worldvision.org/sponsor-a-child-new?campaign=226220126
Job brokers prey on the most vulnerable by offering a good job and a better life for their children. Instead children as young as 8 have been forced into prostitution. Boys and girls are both at risk. Invest in a child though sponsorship. http://www.worldvision.org/sponsor-a-child-new?campaign=226220126  Child protection work and child friendly spaces are vital in protecting children. donate.worldvision.org/ways-to-give/by-category/girls-women/help-stop-human-trafficking-1+226220126. Helping children with counseling, medical care, education, skills training, job support and connection with legal and protective services.

Sierra Leone is one of the world’s poorest countries. Around 70 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. World Vision was working in Sierra Leone during the Ebola epidemic by helping with safe burials and by raising community awareness on symptoms, transmission, and prevention. Many children lost their parents during that crisis and are being raised now by a relative with the memories of this awful disease that overtook so many people in their village.  Sponsor a child here from Sierra Leone.http://www.worldvision.org/sponsor-a-child-new?campaign=226220126
 In an area of what seems to be in constant turmoil, Child-Friendly Spaces offer a safe place where children can play, learn, and heal emotionally from traumatic events.
 Sponsor a child from Jerusalem/West Bank/Gaza. http://www.worldvision.org/sponsor-a-child-new?campaign=226220126

  Haiti has been hit by repeated disasters in recent years, each new crisis has delayed the recovery from the last. Clean water and sanitation saves lives. Sponsor a child here.http://www.worldvision.org/sponsor-a-child-new?campaign=226220126 or gather a small group together and provide a well for Haiti. donate.worldvision.org/ways-to-give/by-category/clean-water=226220126
The Syrian crisis is the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time and the needs are growing more and more. The number of Syrian refuges is equal to the number of people displaced during WW2. Child friendly spaces, warm clothes, dry shelters, food, counseling are some of the needs in this crisis. Help by becoming  a child crisis partner.  http://donate.worldvision.org/child-crisis-partner-monthly-1?campaign=226220126
There are now more than 800,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon and 20% of Lebanon's newest population are Syrian refuges. This crisis has increased child-related vulnerabilities. Sponsor a child in Lebanon. http://www.worldvision.org/sponsor-a-child-new?campaign=226220126
A few notes...4.6 million people in South Sudan are facing starvation and the country is on the brink of famine. A 15 year old girl is most likely to die from childbirth then to complete school. Some of the small children's arms that are being measured are skinnier than a plastic bottle cap. 1/5 of children at the nutrition program are in danger of malnutrition.  Share with your church some fundraising ideas on how to help end hunger. https://magazine.worldvision.org/in-depth/south-sudan 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sailboats on the water

With my camera in need of repair I took a few shots with a phone of some distant sailboats and a red ginger plant. I miss the quality of my old camera but I shared it anyway.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it;
 for he founded it on the seas
    and established it on the waters.~Psalm 24 1-2

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Yet one more Lord, one more

One more hurting child,  one more grieving family,  one more exploited child,  one more war,  one more famine,  one more disaster,  one more nation torn apart by differences,  one more person being bullied,  one more closed heart.

When I was young I remember a famine that hit Africa.  I remember it was very far away and that the attitude of many people at the time was that it was just too big to stop.  This is a photo from one of the two famines that hit in the 80s and 90s.

           (Photo: ©1998 JON WARREN/WORLD VISION)

Many times some problems seem so big that we want to turn away and tackle a more manageable problem. One that we can compartmentalize, package and workout within the limits of our own understanding.

Fortunately God is not limited to our understanding.  That is why prayer is so important in facing problems big or small.  Many times (in my own life) I don't even know how to pray for a situation.   God is God and I don't always know what He is doing.   In fact most of the time I don't.

Those are the days I am rendered speechless.  It is in that moment of awe and wonder of seeing what God is doing.  How He is working in good people. (there still are some) :)

                     (photo by World Vision ) 80s / 90s

  "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
~1 John 4:4


Updated February 20th 2017...

Today, famine was declared for parts of the country as the number is expected to grow to 5.5 million by the end of July.

World Vision is working hard to meet the growing needs of the people of South Sudan. Severe food shortages and possible starvation for more than 40% of the country's population.
Please help today!


Happening now... 

Updated May 25th 2017...

  Sadly, this is my most updated post.  Children and families are dying right now just like they did in the 80s and 90s due to famine, drought and conflict. This famine has been so quiet this time.  I wonder if people really know the seriousness of it.  The memories of the past still remind us of how bad the famine ended up getting and the haunting images many live with to this very day.  I am afraid that it is starting to reach that point now.  

Do you remember "We are the world" the song that came out in the 80s and 90s to raise funds for the famine?

 I think there is a parallel right now in our generation. 

 Please read...

  Written by Kari Costanza and photos by Jon Warren
                              A parallel?
(©2017 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

We must help!
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.  Psalm 46:10

Just one more heart changed,  one more child fed and cared for, one more hope strengthened and restored.

One more life saved Lord, one more.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A good thing

Today is National dog day so I am sharing a pick of my dog Toby. (Tobias)

Toby was a rescued dog from the animal shelter that I found online and decided to adopt before we even met him. When we went to the shelter we found the dog a matted mess and he was really clingy. He was already named Tobias which means "God is good". I can't help but see that every time I look at him, he is the sweetest and smartest dog I have ever met. I know that for a fact from  his attempts to train me instead of me training him. (Toby seems to be winning) :)

Tobias~God is good today, tomorrow and always

I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord 
.~Psalm 27 13-14

Monday, July 13, 2015

Art show event for hunger

Here are a few picks of an art show event I did last weekend. The child above was sponsored.  Some donations were made for providing food aid and help for hungry, malnourished children affected by drought, famine, and other crises. A child dies from hunger-related causes every 10 seconds. Drought and displacement have left many families and children in need and hungry.  If you would like to join the fight against hunger here America and also overseas consider supporting those that are already on the front lines in this issue by donating to World Vision. You could save a life today!


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Planting and sowing

This year my daughter talked me into having a garden. So we dug up an area and layered it with all organic ingredients. We added organic compost, and soil and layered it on top with some non treated-hay. Allergies have been terrible out here in the Northwest so it has kept me from checking my progress.

I have always had a garden and most of the time have done really well with it but busyness has kept me from outdoor gardening the last couple years.

With high hopes we cultivated the ground  on our tiny lot using almost 10 by 10 feet of space fencing off this feat with some wire fencing. We planted the best of organic seeds that my daughter got from a catalog that we started sprouting in the house a few months before. We saw a few plants look like they were going to make it but died off suddenly to something eating them. Only one survived.
Just one little sunflower seems to be beating the odds this year. It is very tiny with a lot of buds on it, kinda pathetic looking if I do say so. I figured it deserves a picture. 
The hay however is sprouting and is attempted to yield a large hay crop. Did I mention our back yard is about 30 by 20 feet in size? A little comical isn't it to have something you put your time and energy in to turn around and do something very different.

 " For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.  If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved even though only as one escaping through the flames." 
 1 Corinthians 3:12-15
 Inside my house I have some tropical plants that have been blooming, like a prayer plant that sprouted on it's own with tiny little white flowers. I did nothing to make it grow-only watered it once a week. Everyday for the last couple weeks it has been blooming with strong shoots and pure white tiny flowers.

This last year has been that way for me, I have worked very hard on some things and it did not produce too much only a little, and some things that I barely assisted with grew with a vigor. In this busy life with so many demands only one thing is needed and can go farther than anything else you can do and that one thing is meeting God in prayer.

While we may not get the organic vegetables we had hope for, I learned a valuable lesson. Even though we are all still human and are always going to make mistakes, we know we have a heavenly Father we can go to to steer us back on course. 

Psalms 59:10
My God in His lovingkindness will meet me; God will let me look triumphantly upon my foes.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Meeting-God#sthash.rvOxW0uE.dpuf

Psalms 59:10
My God in His lovingkindness will meet me; God will let me look triumphantly upon my foes.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Meeting-God#sthash.rvOxW0uE.dpuf
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. And you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26 

Psalms 59:10
My God in His lovingkindness will meet me; God will let me look triumphantly upon my foes.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Meeting-God#sthash.rvOxW0uE.dpuf

Saturday, June 6, 2015

New Voyage

I took a little break between events and all that is going on to do an oil painting. I never did one before so I decided to give it a try and brighten up the house a bit.

   From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed:
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

  For thou hast been a shelter for me,

And a strong tower from the enemy.

  I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever:

I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah. 

Psalm 61:2- 4

Monday, April 20, 2015

Spring bird embroidery

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.~Psalm 143:8

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Peace be still

I love to watch the ships gracefully sailing 
on a warm sunny day. 
The water sparkling as the sun seems to light up
 the water like diamonds and the ships seemingly 
at the mercy of whatever the weather pattern is at the moment.
 The shifting weather patterns would cause these 
"sailors" to adjust their sails to the right then to the left. 
Sometimes I would even see the sailboats clustered all together 
in a area were the conditions are just right, where they can sail the sea with
 ease and catch the wind in their sails and go off 
to their desired destination. 
How vulnerable that little sailboat looks in strong winds,
 tossing about without any control. 
The small and gentle sailboat seems to have no chance
 in mercilessness of a powerful storm.

Peace be still

O LORD God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty LORD? 
Your faithfulness also surrounds You. 
You rule the swelling of the sea; 
When its waves rise,  You still them.~ Psalm 89:8-9


The only one who can calm the storm, settle the waters and guide us safely to our desired destination. 

  Some went out on the sea in ships;
    they were merchants on the mighty waters.
 They saw the works of the Lord,
    his wonderful deeds in the deep.
 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
    that lifted high the waves.
 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
    in their peril their courage melted away.
 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
    they were at their wits’ end.
 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he brought them out of their distress.
 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
    the waves of the sea were hushed.
 They were glad when it grew calm,
    and he guided them to their desired haven.
 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind.

 Psalm 107:23-31

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Come walk with me

Occasionally I volunteer at some events in our area and a really special thing happened last night. We had a table full of kids waiting for sponsors and a young girl approached the table pointed at the children on the table and in a quiet voice said, "This was me, I was one of these". She had mentioned that she was a sponsored child with World Vision and later was adopted. She said her family still is very involved with World Vision.

I asked her would you walk with me? I wanted her to visit the other table were some leaders were and tell her story. On the way I told her how encouraging it is for us to meet her, a sponsored child, maybe sponsored at an event like this from our area.

I mentioned how wonderful to hear her story from her perspective and it was truly a blessing to the workers, volunteers and artists that were working so hard for kids like her. And her story may help another child have the same chance.

What a wonderful gift to me to see this sweet girl walking with me in the faces of all children in the picture folders on the tables at the events.

Divine appointment?
Maybe, but so encouraging anyways! :)

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
 James 1-27

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
John 14:18 
 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Clean water and the #WaterEffect


With so many bad stories in the news it is hard to think that there is still good in the world, people that truly want to make a change for good. Not to glorify themselves but to glorify God. I have seen laws change, people running marathons, and all kinds of fundraising all for clean water. Clean water changes lives. Many diseases can be linked to dirty water. Children spend their time fetching water instead of going to school, so the poverty cycle goes on... I am so encouraged by the steps that World Vision is taking to reach the most hard-pressed areas for clean water.

World Vision is the largest nongovernmental provider of clean water in the developing world, reaching one new
person with clean water every 30 seconds.

Water transforms a life.
When you give clean water, you set off a chain reaction for good.
 Children are freed from deadly water related diseases.
 People become healthier and more productive. Girls get to go to school rather than
trek long distances to gather filthy water.
 Less money is spent on medicine, which means more savings and more
investment in things like education.
 With better health and more time, parents can start small businesses creating more jobs.

 The water effect is an outward spiral that positively transforms the entire community.
And World Vision is there to support these solutions with programs that go well beyond water into every other aspect of human life physical, emotional, and spiritual.
That’s because we believe clean water and the love of Jesus are crucial elements
in a full solution to poverty.
A solution that includes food, education, healthcare, and more.
The water effect opens the door to a full life,
the kind of life God intends.
 Just add water.
Change a life.

• Every day, nearly 1,600 children under 5 die from diarrhea caused by contaminated water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene.
• About every minute, a child under 5 dies as a result of diarrhea caused by contaminated water, poor sanitation,and improper hygiene.
• Globally, 1 in 9 people lack access to clean water.
• Worldwide, 748 million people lack access to clean water.
• Women and children in sub-Saharan Africa spend 20 million hours collecting water each day.
 Eighty percent of World Vision water wells remain operational up to 20 years after they are built,much higher than industry standard, largely because of World Vision’s community based model that gives local people ownership and training in maintenance of water points. 

What will you do?