Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Fun Family Tradition... A Little Early for Us!

Family Pumpkin Carving 
2014

We usually get so busy in October that we wait until November to carve pumpkins!  You see, we don't associate carving pumpkins with Halloween.  We just have fun seeing how we can clean all the yuck out and make something fun.  For years we have read a book called The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs.  I highly recommend it.  She shows how God has redeemed something for good just like He wants to redeem us if we'll accept Jesus as our Savior and let Him clean us up and give us a new countenance.








 







 


May God bless you all as you direct your attention to Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.

Blessings,
Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage
Happy to be Momma and Wife

~~~~~
May I suggest?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Favorite First Lines...

The most important of all first sentences...

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."  
 Genesis 1:1

Do you have any favorites?

Have a wonderful week!
Laura

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday in the Cottage... A Little


On this lovely day at home....  

A little Bible...  I've got a new NKJV Study Bible that I'll be looking through today.  I want to look at the little extras they put in it to make it a study Bible.  I'll do some reading in the book of Philippians, too.

A little errand running...  A joyous no!  I don't even have the van today.  It's a stay home day.  Praise God!

A little cleaning... just a general clean up.

A little cooking...  I've got a nice roast that I'll sear well and put in the oven this afternoon with some carrots and onions.  I'll make some mashed potatoes and gravy, too.  

A little reading...  I'm reading a biography of George Mueller aloud to the children.

A little teaching time...  Spelling, math, and such.

A little knitting... Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth from Joy at Artful Homemaking.

A little computer time...  E-mail, linking a few posts to blog parties, reading a few blogs, and a little writing.

A lot of meetings... Another joyous no!  I do hope my oldest son will join us for dinner and pumpkin carving tonight.

A few minutes of relaxation, no doubt with a book, then a little sleeping.

Laura
Living and loving this life a little at a time.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Taking Communion


This is an open letter to Sue who recently commented on another post.  I don't have her e-mail, so I shall address it here.

She asked about taking communion. Here is an excerpt from her comment, "I have a question about communion. What is communion and who can and can't take part in it? I just recently gave my heart to God, I have so much to learn. I so enjoy your blog. 
Thank you
Sue"


Dear Sue, 
I am no expert in theology.  What I know comes from reading my Bible and from the teaching I've received from my pastors over the last thirty plus years.  I encourage you to seek out your pastor's wife or one of the older ladies in your church.  If you're not yet in church, find one with a pastor that  opens the Bible every Sunday and preaches from it.

There is scripture about taking communion or The Lord's Supper in 1 Corinthians 11.

"23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord."  
King James Version Bible Gateway
Our church, practices what is called open communion.  Anyone who has accepted and confessed Jesus the Christ as his (her) savior, and believes in his (her) heart that God raised Him from the dead, is welcome to take communion with us.  Church or denomination membership is not required to partake. 
Some churches have closed communion and allow only church members to take communion in their church.  There are different traditions.  You'd need to check with your church.
My church is non-denominational.  We believe the bread represents the body of Jesus and the grape juice represents the blood of Jesus. We believe that it is to be done in a prayerful, reverent way.  We examine our hearts for sin and confess it to the Lord so that we are not eating and drinking unworthily. 

"The most important thing about taking communion is to reflect upon your heart and make sure you're right with God.  If not, then make it right in that moment by repenting (confessing and turning from your sin) and expressing thankfulness in your heart to Jesus."


Communion can also be taken privately just you and the Lord or in a small group or family setting. 
Sue, I am sure that God is very pleased that you are questioning and searching.  I pray that He will reveal His truth to you and bring ladies into your life that can come alongside you and disciple you. I'll be happy to answer questions to the best of my ability.  Remember, the most important part is making sure that your heart is right with God.
God bless you!
Sincerely,
Laura 

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #28



~ I made do with using up lots of leftovers and bits and pieces of food this week.

~ I made pancakes with what I had on hand... a bit of ground wheat, some oats, cornmeal, and ground golden flax seed.  They were... interesting and full of fiber. ~grin~

~ I also made pancake syrup by adding maple, vanilla, and butter extracts to some corn syrup I found in the back of the cupboard.

~ I received a new Bible for review.  My old one is falling apart.  Praise God.

~ I  reviewed Keepers of the Covenant.

~ I began reading Lady of Willowgrove Hall, a book I received in exchange for an honest review.

~ The fourth book in the collage is Where Treetops Glisten another review book.

~ I kept the heater turned off even though it's starting to get chilly.  A few years ago our heater broke, and we had no way to get it fixed.  I learned the difference between chilly and dangerously cold. Here's some advice on keeping the shivers at bay and keeping warm. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Autumn Blessings

The leaves are just turning to rich vibrant shades here in Southwest Missouri.  In my yard, it begins with a deep crimson followed by mellow gold and brilliant oranges and thrill me delightful reds.  I do love being surrounded by Maples and Oaks and Black Walnuts.  It's been raining for days and nights, so I don't have photos yet.  
Last night we had soup, and I'll no doubt be thinking of soups and stews as I plan my menus later today.  I'll be digging out warmer clothes this week, too, as well as washing extra blankets.  
How are you enjoying the change of seasons?
Laura
Enjoying the Blessings of Home

~~~~~
May I suggest?
Falling for Autumn
~~~~~

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Four Blood Moons

This morning, just after 5:00 a.m., we watched the second of the four blood moons.  It was beautiful and different than the one that we observed this past February.  As I write now, the sun is about to rise, and the moon has fallen below the treeline.  I can just see the top sliver out the kitchen window. It was so beautiful, so coppery red, then so very dark, then coppery again around the edges and finally the sun's brilliant light began to illuminate the edges brightly.  I have no doubt some of my west coast readers will see it all illuminate before their sunrise.  My little camera just didn't take good photos.  We made a memory as we bundled up and sat outside watching in the dark.  I prayed and worshiped our Creator God.

Are you curious about the four blood moons and Bible prophecy?  The interesting part about these blood moons is that they are on Jewish feast days.
Passover April 15, 2014,
Sukkot Oct 8, 2014,
(a solar eclypse) Nisan March 20, 2015
Passover 2015 and
Sukkot Septemeber 28, 2015.
I've read two books about it this year.  The viewpoints are a bit different.  They are Blood Moons Rising by Mark Hitchcock and Four Blood Moons by John Hagee.  I invite you to take a look.


Mark Hitchcock's website.

All I can tell you for sure is that it's time to get serious about our relationship with Jesus, repent of our sins, turn from our wicked ways and pray for our nation and for Israel and for our unsaved loved ones.

Blessings to you,
Laura


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sometimes

Sometimes we have to wait.
While we wait, we can pray.
Sometimes God changes things.
Sometimes God changes us.
Sometimes we just have to wait.
Wait, watch and pray.

Blessings,
Laura



Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Most Delightful Nostalgic Holiday Read... Where Treetops Glisten

Thank you Litfuse for this review copy.
One of the things that I love about Autumn is the chill in the air.  When I first feel that chill, my thoughts drift to evenings spent wrapped in a warm blanket, sipping cocoa, and reading a good book. My favorite autumn books are Christmas books.  I love to read them in Autumn because I'm so busy making Christmas in December.

Three lovely short stories make up Where Treetops Glisten a beautifully nostalgic look at the lives of three young adult siblings, Abigail, Pete, and Merry Turner.  I enjoyed how the three stories fit together so beautifully.

The first, White Christmas, is written by Cara Putman.  I'd not heard of Mrs. Putman before, but I really enjoyed her style of writing.  It was relaxed and easy to read.  Her mention of the movie, Holiday Inn, sent my mind spinning back to 1942 and Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire singing and dancing their way across the big screen, or in my case, my little screen!  Nostalgia flooded over me along with thoughts of my grandparents since 1942 was their generation.  Abigail's story was set with a backdrop of World War II, but it wasn't directly about the war.  It was refreshing little story of boy meets girl and a beautiful depiction of a small town Christmas in the forties. Soda fountain Coca Cola, handmade candy canes, cardboard puzzles and play sets, gas and sugar rationing, a desperate bad guy make this a great little holiday read.

The second, I'll Be Home for Christmas, was Pete's story.  Sarah Sundin painted a picture of the bully and the bullied with snowballs flying.  It's often so hard to live down our past, but praise God for His redemption!  Pete meets a darling little girl, Linnie, as she's gazing in the store window at a Christmas display.  My thoughts went back to Dudley looking on as children pressed their faces to the window in The Bishop's Wife in a film made during the same era.  The tension was a bit higher in this story but the writing was dynamic.  The descriptions were vivid enough that I was seeing it all in my mind as I read.

The third, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, had a different flavor altogether.  It followed little sister, Merry, overseas in her nursing duties.  Some of the details were a bit difficult, but nothing compared to the reality of being a war nurse.  Tricia Goyer made something beautiful out of a heartrending situation.  I don't really know what I can share about this story that won't spoil it for you, but I assure you it's wonderful as well.

I highly recommend Where Treetops Glisten.  

This post is part of a Litfuse Blog Tour.
About the book: 

The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime
Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas
Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America's involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.
In Cara Putman's White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements---until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.
Abigail's brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin's I'll Be Home for Christmastrying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete's friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he's no longer the bully she once knew?
In Tricia Goyer's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, "Merry" to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that's precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.
The Turner family believes in God's providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ's birth and His plan for a future?

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/BwVP9

About the authors: 
TRICIA GOYER is a prolific author of nearly forty books, including Chasing Mona Lisa, and a speaker and blogger. 

CARA PUTMAN is the author of twenty books including Shadowed by Grace. She is the winner of the 2008 Carol Award for historical fiction. 

SARAH SUNDIN is the critically-acclaimed author of the Wings of the Nightingale series, the Wings of Glory series, and the forthcoming Waves of Freedom novels.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher.  
I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Snatch Reading and Fall Reading List 2014


October!  My favorite month of the year!  Cooler temperatures make walks outside with Penny, my puppy, much more pleasant.  I enjoy watching the leaves slowly fade then transform into brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges in anticipation of their November browns.

I enjoy many Autumn activities in October, but one of my favorite is reading.  Can't find time to read?  You should try what I call "snatch reading".   Five minutes here, five minutes there. It works well if you're only reading one book and use a post it note to keep track of what paragraph you're reading. Once upon a time, it was the only reading I did.  Also, take a book with you everywhere you go.  Snatch every free moment to read a bit.

These are the books that I'm reading this Autumn. 

Ezra and the Babylonian Captivity at the time of Esther.
Click on the cover for my review!

Holiday romance during World War II
Just finished it!
Click on the cover for my review!

 Ladd's books remind me of Jane Austen.
Read my review.

I just ordered a new study Bible that I hope to wear out.

I'm going to read this again and get healthy.