Promise – The Start of Advent/The Holy Nativity Convent

Advent – The period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting, the coming of Christ at the Incarnation (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

I have been blessed to find a place filled with beautiful crafts and lovely sisters. These sisters, of the Holy Nativity Convent in Brookline, Massachusetts, are the creators of this beautiful beeswax candle. Take a look at their shop, and also visit an amazing blog post on the Susan Branch blog, that tells the story of the ladies with great photographs included.

The Holy Nativity Convent
The merchandise the sisters sell through the convent arrives quickly and perfectly packed. The candle is beautiful, smells lovely as only natural beeswax can, and is a perfect gift for any time of the year.

To read an in-depth post on the sisters visit The Susan Branch Blog.

“You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” ~Isaiah 40:9-11

Promise – The Bride of Christ Jesus

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7

old bohemia church

Old Bohemia Church Warwick, Maryland

Christ Jesus might come today, he could come tomorrow…or it could be many, many years before He comes again. The Bible is clear that no one knows the timing but God the Father.

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36

Though no one knows the exact day or moment, so many signs of our time seem to be pointing to His arrival. Prophecies are being fulfilled on earth and in the heavens. Each day brings us closer to his coming. When he comes I will meet him in the air, rising from my place of rest if I have passed on, or taken suddenly from this earth in less time than it takes for an eye to twinkle.

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—  in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”  I Corinthians 15:51-52

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
I Thessalonians 4:16-17

Are you ready for Christ’s coming? If not, will you ask Him to save you from your sins today? It is as simple as this…”Yes, Lord Jesus…come into my heart. I repent of my sins. I am yours, you are mine.” Believe in him and you will dwell with him for all eternity.

A few words from Charles Haddon Spurgeon on Christ’s relationship to his bride; we are that bride, we who have opened our hearts to Him are his church.

“Art thou, beloved one, with Christ Jesus? Does a vital union knit thee to Him?

… Come, my soul, if thou art indeed His own beloved, thou canst not be far from Him.

If His friends and His neighbours are called together to see His glory, what thinkest thou if thou art married to Him? Shalt thou be distant?

Though it be a day of judgment, yet thou canst not be far from that heart which, having admitted angels into intimacy, has admitted thee into union.

Has He not said to thee, O my soul, “I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness?”

Have not His own lips said it, “I am married unto thee, and My delight is in thee?” If the angels, who are but friends and neighbours, shall be with Him, it is abundantly certain that His own beloved Hephzibah, in whom is all His delight, shall be near to Him, and sit at His right hand.

Here is a morning star of hope for thee, of such exceeding brilliance, that it may well light up the darkest and most desolate experience.”

Promise and Purpose – Walkabout

Walkabout 1

When I need rest for my soul I often expend physical energy in walking. An unhurried stroll along a forest path, beside a bubbling stream, or on a sandy beach always gives me a mental boost. I look down at the treasures of nature at my feet, I look up at the beauty of the skies, I feel the breeze, wherever my senses alight there seems to be a sense of peace waiting for me. The Sabbath is a good day for a long, uplifting walk. Blessings to you on this day.

Walkaabout 2

Promise & Preparedness – The Revelation of John the Divine

angel 001

I have always loved the image in the photograph above. The painting, attributed to artist Lindberg Heilige Schutzengel, shows a Guardian Angel protecting two children crossing a dangerous bridge. A similar painting hung in my grandparent’s home. As a child, the painting fascinated me. I can remember standing beneath it, and feeling protected by its silent promise.

Lately, so much of what seemed secure is crumbling. Even the earth below our feet is becoming much like the dangerous bridge, ready to fall apart beneath us. I have been watching recent events and disasters and there certainly does seem to be many Biblical prophecies being fulfilled by collapsing world governments, disappearing rights and freedoms, cataclysms on earth and in the heavens above. Many technologies are in place that could bring to fulfillment Bible prophecies that once seemed hard to understand.

I have begun to read Revelation yet again, this time in a Bible that also has some insight and commentary by Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

The text of Revelation can be found here: Text of Revelation

You can read a bit about Spurgeon here:

Charles Haddon Spurgeon
In-Depth Biography of Charles Haddon Spurgeon

I recommend that you read Revelation, even better, read some of the verses aloud. Ask God for discernment, and to imprint its words and message upon your heart and soul.

“Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” Revelation 1:3

Listen to Spurgeon’s words concerning reading and studying Revelation:

“To induce us to give the most serious attention to the subject, a blessing is pronounced on those who ‘read, and hear, and keep,’ the words of this prophecy, especially as the time of its fulfillment was at hand. There does not appear to be any other part of Scripture that is prefaced with such an inducement to read, and understand, and practically regard it.”

One word of caution, there are hundreds upon hundreds of theories on the Internet about the meanings of these verses. Be forewarned, there are a few words of wisdom, but there is much argument and complete foolishness too. Again, it’s best to read the words yourself and as you read and study, pray for discernment in not just this, but in everything concerning these precarious times we are living in. God Bless Us All.

A good site with many verses concerning prophecy:
48 Bible Prophecy Verses

Pleasure and Promise – Mockingbirds

(Photo courtesy of Wet Canvas Reference Library )

Mockingbirds are one of my favorite songbirds. I love their beautiful melodies. I feel blessed when I am the recipient of their gift of song.

Song of the Northern Mockingbird

I love to hang clothes outdoors on the line, but one day this week this joy became just one more job on a seemingly endless list of “must-do” chores. Instead of enjoying the beginning of Spring I began to feel frazzled in my busy frame of mind. Suddenly a blessing descended and I was reminded of a favorite verse of mine.

He says, “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

I stopped my pinning, stopped dwelling on everything I had to do, and just stood still beneath the budding trees, the blue sky, and listened. Ah…there was the song I failed to hear, a mockingbird on a nearby roof chimney going through his melodious repetoire.

Some folks don’t like Mockingbirds. They can be a bit feisty. I like to think of them as bold and confident instead.

I enjoy spotting Mockingbirds as I walk around my neighborhood. I have noticed these birds perch on the highest elevations when they sing their best songs.

Pleasures and Promise – Cobalt Blue

I enjoy this cobalt blue dish hanging from my ceiling. It holds five cobalt blue vases of various sizes in which I root cuttings from my houseplants. Vintage ceramic bluebirds peer out at me from the rim of the dish…reminding me of my Grandmother Broadwell who loved little glass birds…especially bluebirds.

The cobalt blue color also reminds me of my Heavenly Home. The place where I will dwell with the Lord forever. I love color, deep rich color of all kinds, especially the blue and green tones. I feel such a sense of joy when I read the description of heaven promised in Revelation. There are some scary and hard to understand sequences in Revelation, but there are also many promises. God will bring his believers through the storms of life, whatever they may be, and into his promise.

“Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was

the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the

glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown,

 and I heard the voice of one speaking.”

 Ezekiel 1:28

“The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of

precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire,

the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby,

the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth

turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.”

Revelation 21:19-20

“And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A

rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.”

Revelation 4:3

Promise – John 14:3

This message, written temporally in the sandy earth of a walking path, might wash away in the next rain, but the promises of Jesus, Our Lord and Savior will endure for all eternity.

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:3 (NIV)

Promise – Compost

How to Compost-Click Here

The composter in the above picture sat in my back yard for years…empty. I was concerned the rotting vegetation would cause a bad odor and offend the neighbors. This year, after once again reading about the benefits of compost, I decided to give it a try. Oh my! After a week or two of tweaking the additions I made, I finally had something that had only a smell of the humus beneath the trees in the woods.

I am surprised at my diligence where the compost is concerned. Rain, shine, cold or heat, I turn it every day or two. I have found it easy to read the condition of the compost. When it is slimy, I add black and white newspaper pages. When it seems dry, I wet it down a bit. I daily try to add a mix of vegetation from my garden, grass clippings, dried leaves and leftover kitchen scraps. I am so caught up in making “black gold,” I have begun a second composter in a Rubbermaid trash can. In April, I should be able to reap the rewards of my first container. Onward with the composting.