Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Growing

Recently we planted a mini garden of sorts. It consists of long planters on our front porch because we were concerned that animals would get into our plants if we put them in the back yard. The plants are doing as well as can be expected considering they have limited depths for their roots. They are growing and blooming, but not with nearly the vigor they would if we planted them directly in the earth. They can not grow deep roots because they are limited.

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Our garden makes me think of Christians. Sometimes our growth toward the Son is limited because of the situations around us.

Sometimes we are limited by others and their opinions. We don't grow deeper because they hinder us.  What should we do? Well, when another plant is hindering one of my sprouts from growth, I put distance between the two of them. Sometimes we need to distance ourselves from others and their harmful opinions.

Sometimes we are limited by the amount of nourishment we get. There is a direct correlation between how well my plants grow and how much sunlight and water they get. If we want to truly develop our relationship with God, we must be sure to soak up the water of His Word and spend time drawing near to His Light in prayer.

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Sometimes we're limited because we are in our comfort zone.  Seedlings will fail to thrive if they are left in their starter pots forever. It can seem harsh to pull them up out of the only place they have known and replant them in a tougher new environment. Sometimes we have to be removed from what is familiar to us and be transplanted into what may seem like a harsh new reality so that we can grow in the way the Father intended.

As God has been bringing these thoughts to my mind, I decided to share them with you. I hope that you search through the garden of your heart and with God's help, remove any limitations that may have been keeping you from realizing your full potential of growth in Him.
Have a blessed day.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Book Review: Plain Faith by Irene & Ora Jay Esh

 

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When I got the opportunity to review this book, I thought that it would mainly be a motivational religious book with some interesting tidbits of Amish life. Boy, was I wrong!

This book tells the life story of an Amish couple who felt led by God to leave the Amish community and to worship Him by developing a deeper, more intimate relationship with Christ.

The book does share lots of interesting information about the Amish lifestyle. As a matter of fact, I learned more from this book then any other Amish book I’ve read, and I’ve read quite a few.

Irene and Ora share the poignant story of losing their daughters in a buggy accident. They write of the hopelessness they felt as the Amish people around them told them over and over again that IF they lived a good enough life, they would be able to see their daughters again in Heaven.

They share the burden of their hearts to learn more about what God had to say about things and their attempts to live a Biblical, God-pleasing life in the Amish community.

They published letters from friends and family warning them about the consequences of their “new” ways.

I enjoyed this book immensely, and I think that you will to. You may find it on Amazon, CBD, or wherever Christian books are sold.

***** I received this book in exchange for an honest review as a part of the BookLook blogger team. If you’re interested in reviewing books for them, check them out at the link above. All opinions are my own and there was no monetary compensation for this post.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book Review–Letters to Katie

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Sometimes things don’t work the way we plan. Things happen and life changes. Sickness comes. We search for answers.

Letters to Katie is a typical Amish love story in many ways, down to the expected happy ending. It tells of Katherine, a young Amish girl who had expected all of her life that Johnny Mullet would learn to love her as she loved him. He figures that she will always be there, and plans to build a successful horse farm before he worries about their relationship.

When Katie develops meningitis and loses her memories, she finds herself forced to reevaluate her life as two different men both want to develop a relationship with her.

This is an interesting, relaxing read for a cozy afternoon. It is well-written and although somewhat typical of Amish fiction, it has a few unexpected twists and turns.

If you are interested in reading it for yourself, you can find it on Amazon, at CBD, or wherever Christian books are sold.

**** I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as a part of the BookLook blogger program. There was no other compensation. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Creativity

When I posted a few weeks ago, I talked about needing a creative outlet. Over the last few weeks, I have certainly been having a chance to put my creativity to work. Here are some of the ways:

Coat rack nook

We put up my Valentine’s Day gift. Jason got me these coat hooks and mirror to go above the bench in my little entryway nook. I plan on adding either a Simply Said design or a swag, but I am pleased that there is no longer a blank wall.

piano books

I’ve spent hours practicing piano so that I can play for church. I’ve also been working on several arrangements. Those, although in progress, are allowing me to really be creative.

Child's Hymn Book

I’m teaching beginner piano lessons to a young girl in our church. She was so desperate to learn, so even though I am not really qualified, I am teaching her what I know. This means more practice time for me and study about how to teach an interesting lesson and encourage kiddos to practice.

Spring Bulletin Board

I know I already posted this, but there are always plenty of opportunities for creativity in the classroom, whether it’s doing bulletin boards or preparing lesson plans.

Burlap and Daisy Wreath

There are spring floral arrangements to make for church. I’m making these wreaths (but changing the bow a bit, I think) and editing the spring arrangement that was already at the church so that they tie together.

Spring Theme

I started a new theme in Children’s Church. We are talking about ways to grow in Christ. That means creative planning of ways to keep attention throughout a service as well as d├ęcor.

Flower Craft

We’re doing a contest where the kiddos get to add petals to their flowers for things like bringing their Bibles, saying their verses, etcetera. They are really getting into it, and it’s worth every bit of the effort.

 

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to lately. What have you been doing with your time? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring is Coming!

I just wanted to share a little spring cheerfulness with you! I'm so thankful for the new life spring brings and love my latest bulletin board.

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© Bethany Morford

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