Sunday, April 26, 2015

Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving and Finding the Church A book review

Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans


Rachel H. Evans shares with her readers the journey she took when church as she knew it growing up became something unknown and unwanted. She reveals her struggles finding what “church” really is. She leads the reader as she discusses the various sacraments of the church – baptism, confession, communion, Holy Orders, confirmation and others. She guides the reader through the steps she took to find what she needs in a church and how it affected her walk with God.

The author, Rachel Held Evans has written several books and is a well known blogger, but this is the first of her writings that I have read. 

“Millennials aren't looking for a hipper Christianity.... We're looking for a truer Christianity, a more authentic Christianity.”

This quote from the beginning of the book (above) says what many feel today about the church. Evans explains how many churches today do not meet the needs of the congregation and do not show the love of Christ to everyone as they should. I believe many people, not only the ones Evans relate to the most, are searching for what the church is supposed to be instead of what it is. They are looking for the Jesus who spent time with the sinners; the ones who others shunned.

The author shares the experiences they had as she and her husband visits various churches in search for what they desire in a place of worship. Each time they grow more and more disheartened as they fail to find what they need. This book gives insight to different types of congregations and doctrines; which church welcomes the lost and those who don't; some of which I can not agree with. The reader is inspired to search his/her own heart and soul to find exactly what it is he/she expects from the church and from Christianity.

If you are searching for Sunday, or what church is once again, then check out this book. I found it difficult to read and understand what I read in some parts, but that may just be me, and have nothing to do with the book itself. This is my honest opinion and the only compensation I received was the book itself.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. 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.”

Friday, April 10, 2015

Latest Projects and What is Going On

 What you see below is what I have been creating. The top one started it all. A lady in our church wanted a smaller diaper bag for her baby girl and wanted it in purple and pink and girly. This is what I came up with. She loved it, and still uses it. I love the way it turned out, too.  By the end of the day I posted this, I had orders for two more. Those are the ones you see below.



This one is for a former student's baby boy. It turned out so cute! I really like this one. I used six inch squares on this one instead of five inch. It includes Minky Dot which is not a lot of fun to sew with, but love the results. It isn't quite the color she wanted, but it was all I could find locally for Minky. She loves it, too.



 This diaper bag is for a friend from 36 years ago. We attended church together when our DH's were in the Navy. We had our first children on the same day: today: 36 years ago. Yep, our daughter is 36! It doesn't seem like it has been that long ago. She ordered one for someone she knows who is having a girl. She is doing the nursery in lady bugs and pink and chocolate brown colors. I incorporated some fabrics in the bag to go with her theme. It was all pink.



I haven't finished the baby quilt that I was commissioned to make. I have the top finished and began quilting it yesterday. I have the rows and columns blocked in. I want to do a little extra special quilting using my quilting program for my machine on this especially each red corner. I was going to add a picture, but I couldn't get it to load. The weather has been bad this morning, and we have satellite Internet, so you may or may not know what that means. LOL I will most definitely post a picture when it is finished.

We had the grandson and daughter up for a week during the week before Easter. We went to our first Civil War Re-enactment at a memorial close by. It was really interesting to watch. Boy, those cannons were loud! Our grandson who is almost nine enjoyed seeing it and the museum of Indian Arrow Heads, old weapons, etc. there. Mimi and Mama did, too. Papa wasn't feeling too well, so he didn't get to go with us. He is scheduled to have back surgery within the next couple of weeks, so he was in pain. We enjoyed having them visit and miss them terribly. 

I spent one day this week in the doctor's office. DH has been trying for over three weeks to get me to go. My chest was hurting me all the way through my back off and on. I have been coughing, stopped up and overall feeling bad. I got better, but then the chest thing wouldn't go away, and it got bad on Tuesday while I was sewing. My doctor is out of town this week, so we went to the local Urgent Care center. I left there with two injections and three prescriptions. He checked my heart and did a chest x-ray, but the cardiac enzymes would not read on their machine, so the next morning, he sent me to the ER. I stayed there with DH all day long!!! Nothing! She said all my blood work was good, EKG was good, no blood clots, etc. Decided it was bronchial spasms from allergies. I hate the feeling of an elephant sitting on my chest. Don't you? Well, I think this is long enough, but the the fact that I've been sick more than not since Christmas is the main reason I haven't posted often. Not feeling well, leads to not much sewing getting done, leads to not much to talk about. Hope you all had a blessed Easter with family, and be creative today!

God Bless,
Teresa

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

He is risen! He arose! He arose! 

He is no longer in the tomb! I thank you, Jesus for dying on the cross for me, and rising the third day for my sins. I want to wish all of my followers a Happy Easter, and a blessed day!

Image result for Happy Easter photos
http://funmozar.com/happy-easter-sunday/

Blessings,
Teresa

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Awakening

This definition came from Dictionary.com.
adjective
1.
rousing; quickening:
an awakening interest in ballet.
noun
2.
the act of awaking from sleep.
3.
a revival of interest or attention.
4.
a recognition, realization, or coming into awareness of something:
a rude awakening to the disagreeable facts.
5.
a renewal of interest in religion, especially in a community; a revival.

While riding along in the truck with my DH the other day, this word came to mind as I viewed the trees starting to leaf out, the daffodils blooming, the pear trees in full bloom with gorgeous white blooms, and the grass turning green. I thought nature is awakening from its sleep. It brought to mind the need for Christians to awaken from their sleep and apathy towards their walk with Christ. We need to pray more, to read our Bible more, to serve others more, to attend church more. I fully believe that God brought this to my mind. 

So many of us, me included, don't take the importance of our walk with God as seriously as we should. We are lax in our worship, and need to awaken our spirits and give Him the praise and worship He and only He deserves. A discussion with our grandson this past week about the importance of following in Christ's footsteps also gives me a reason to 'awaken' my inner spirit and draw closer to God. DGS is a Christian, but is still learning about this walk, and what is expected of Christians as he is only eight years old. His innocence and love for God is so inspiring, and precious to me.

This is Easter week. How do you celebrate Easter? Our choir will be performing our Easter concert on Sunday morning. Does Easter bring an awakening to your soul? It sure does mine. Thinking about the sacrifice that our Lord and Savior made for you and me brings me to my knees wanting to do more for Him, be more like Him, worship and praise Him more. What about you?

With Christ's love,
Teresa

Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Review: Killing Christians by Tom Doyle

From the time Peter and John were thrown into prison for being a disciple for Christ, followers of Jesus have been persecuted and/or killed for their beliefs. If one reads the New Testament about the life of Christ and His followers, he/she will find many instances where persecution and martyrdom for the sake of following Christ was common. It is nothing new. It continues today as I speak. The world news tells us about children being beheaded, adults being killed because they are Jesus followers. ISIS is one of the groups we are hearing about the most lately. Hamas is a terrorist group and kill people who follow Jesus.  Hamas especially hates the Jews. I am sure there are many I have not mentioned who murder or torture believers. Yes, people it still happens. Many Muslims are turning to Jesus and forsaking their former beliefs. They must meet in secret in the Middle East for fear of being found out by the terrorists and killed. But, these believers are so strong in their faith and following Christ, that they willingly deny Islam and hold on to Jesus when put to the test. The Islamist extremists do not tolerate anyone who does not follow Allah and their "bible."

I was given the opportunity to review the book titled Killing Christians written by Tom Doyle with Greg Webster for Family Christian bookstore. I really was interested in this book. I wanted to read the stories of Muslim believers and what they go through to live for Christ. I have been a Christian for many years and always wonder if I would be strong enough to stand for Jesus in a time such as this. Would you be strong enough? I know now that I would be stronger than I feel I would be, but it still concerns me. I know Jesus will give me the strength if I ever face what these Christians that Doyle shares with us go through. I want to thank Kristen at Family Christian for choosing me to be a reviewer. Now, let's get to the book.

Somalia, Syria, Mosul, Baghdad, Saudi Arabia, Gaza: these are places that this book concentrates on. Tom Doyle has been a missionary in the Middle East, for several years after being a pastor in various states. He has a passion for Israel and has led tours there many times. He is now the Middle East director for e3 Partners which is a group of church planters. He shares in Killing Christians stories from Muslim Christians who have either been tortured for the sake of Christ, killed for the sake of Christ or know of fellow Christians who have gone through this. It is so eye-opening to me to know more about what these people have to go through just to know Christ, read a Bible, share Christ with others. We Americans have become too complacent in our faith and ability to go to church when we want to, that we don't think of those who have to hide to worship the Lord. Mosul, one of the places talked about in this book, has been in the news just this week about ISIS destroying museum artifacts, and causing utter destruction in places that these people deem sacred. Did you know that Mosul is the Biblical Nineveh where God sent Jonah? I didn't until I read this book. I read this week that ISIS has allegedly destroyed Jonah's gravesite. This is so heartbreaking! According to Doyle:

                " 1. Forty Egyptian churches burned to the ground 2. House church leaders sentenced to Iran's infamous Evin prison. 3. Eight Christians murdered in North Korea for merely owning a Bible 4. Believers nailed to crosses in Syria"

These events happened in just one month in 2014 according to the author, Tom Doyle. It has continued, but gotten worse since these events. The author refers to a passage in John 16:2 where Jesus tells the disciples that they will be put out of the synagogue and a time is coming where when anyone kills you, they think they are doing a service for God. (paraphrase) People, that time is now. According to Doyle, in Mosul, Iraq, ISIS gave Christians four choices: "convert to Islam, pay a large and unaffordable jizya (tax), leave, or die." What would you choose? It makes one ponder how he or she would respond to such demands.

Doyle shares with us the lives of several people who live daily in fear of dying for the cause of Christ. The areas I listed in a paragraph above are where these people live or have died for their faith in God. I really enjoyed learning more about what is happening. It saddens me, but it is what is happening today. It isn't just what happened in Biblical times, but it is going on now. We Americans need to wake up and pray for these people and for more to come to Christ before it is too late. Doyle did a great job describing the details of the lives of the people written about. He did edit such items as dialogue and physical descriptions, but each story is true. He requests that the readers join him in praying for these new friends we read about. People are being crucified, beheaded, throats slit, and so on because they have found Christ and follow Him.

 Read this book. It has just been released and can be found at Family Christian Bookstore online here. This book will open your eyes more about what we hear on the news from people who have experienced the torture. Share this with your family so they may know that this is really happening and is not something we are just told by the media. Thank you for listening. Now, I have been given permission to offer a $10 gift certificate to Family Christian Bookstore. To enter, follow my blog, and tell me in the comments you do or have joined, and tell me what you think you would do in this circumstance. I will use the random number generator to choose a winner next Friday. Good luck and God Bless.

*** I received this book free from Family Christian bookstore for my opinion of the writing/book.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snow, Purses, Quilts, Oh My!!!

Good morning! I've been up for an hour or so due to my hips and legs aching, but oh how blessed I am to be as healthy as I am. I am so thankful that I have both legs to hurt, I am thankful that I have both arms, and my health as it is. I am seeing and hearing of so much sickness and death in the past few weeks until it breaks my heart, but I know someone Who has conquered death and the grave, and one day there will be no more dying and crying over the loss of a loved one.

I follow several children on Facebook who have cancer or have had tragic accidents, or have a genetic disorder where I will remember to be thankful for the health of my family and to pray for these precious ones and their families. I have read where several of them have passed away and left heartbroken families. I have gotten so upset and angry at the disease of cancer lately, that I have really had to pray about it. I continually hear of others who have been diagnosed with this terrible disease. Ewing's Sarcoma, breast cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer and so on. One would think that in this day and age there would be cures for cancer. I wonder if the pharmaceutical companies and researchers have found cures, but know that a lot of money will be lost if it is told. Cancer is not the only disease out there taking people, but this one seems to be so strong right now. Help me pray for these people who are suffering, and their families who suffer, too.

On a brighter note, they have predicted that we will get snow today. A significant amount of snow for Alabama. anywhere from a cold rain to some isolated areas could get up to 8 inches! For you northerners, that isn't much. Even 1-2 inches in Alabama can cause trouble. LOL People clean out the stores bread, milk, and various items if they predict snow or ice around here. Schools have already been closed for today, and many public offices like city halls, etc. have stated they will be closed today. People in the south do not know how to drive nor are we equipped to drive in this type of weather. I am thankful that we get snow very infrequently around here. I couldn't live up north where it is an all winter thing. One good thing is our snow will more than likely be gone tomorrow. I will post some pictures if we do get some.

I have sold one handbag lately, and have an order for another rag bag. I also have an order for a baby quilt and finished getting the fabric for it yesterday. It will be red, white, and blue with a touch of yellow/gold in it. I am not sure of the name of the pattern I'm using, but it is fairly simple and looks nice. I wanted to show the focus fabric, which is a navy floral, the most and this pattern will do that. The backing is a red bandana print. I ordered with the assistance of the purchaser a red bandana print from www.fabric.com, but when I got it in the good light at Hobby Lobby yesterday, I realized how much orange tint it had. That was not what I nor the purchaser wanted. We wanted a true red, so I bought more at HL and will use that other for something myself. Maybe in a handbag? I also pieced a donation quilt the other day out of the blue, so while at my quilt meeting yesterday, I picked up batting for it. Now to find a backing in my stash to use on it, quilt it, and get it back to the group to give to a child. Here is a picture of the top

Donation charm quilt

I call the quilt Scrappy Happy! I just took charm squares I collected a couple of years ago at the quilt group and started sewing them together with alternating yellow squares. Added a wide yellow floral border to top and bottom and a light purple border all around to make sure I got it large enough.

Below is a Swoon Sewing Patterns bag I made as practice. My machine would not sew though the sides very well due to the thickness of the Pellon Peltex in the pocket section. I got it in there, but it isn't sewn as well as it should. I won't have a problem carrying it. It has a strap that is connected by swivel hooks to the loops you see in the picture. I think it turned out nice even though the pocket section is sewn in as well as it should be. I know that next time, I will need to add some rivets instead of trying to sew it.


I was gifted with lots of fabric scraps and large pieces to make quilts and purses out of. I would love to sell some more bags, so if you are interested check out my Items for Sale Page. I can make them to order. I have two bags already made ready to sell, but have had no bites on them, yet. I will give someone a good price on the two already made if interested, please send me a message on Google+ or email me and let me know. Price will need shipping added to it.

Well, I am going to go for now. I pray you all have a great week. Keep checking back in to see what is new around the house.

May God Bless you,
Teresa

Friday, February 13, 2015

What I've Been Working On

I have been making handbags lately instead of quilts. I have a quilt in mind that I want to start cutting out, but just haven't done it, yet. I want to sell some of my handbags and have a couple all ready made to sell. I just haven't had anyone want either one, yet. :D I will start posting them on a page called "Handbags" and if you are interested in having one made like it, or want the one in particular if I have it listed for sale, then, just email me and we will work something out. I will now show you what I've done lately.

Bonnie by Swoon Sewing Patterns

Bag I sold to a lady



Bag for sale $30 Fallon by Clobird Designs






Sold Rag Bag

For Sale Ask price 

Any of the bags here I can make and sell. I have other patterns as well. If interested, just check with me at tgnance@gmail.com.

Have a blessed day,
Teresa