square 5

i’ve been sewing with embroidery floss and sewing thread my whole life.  my handstitched class required that we use pearl cotton thread size 8 for some of our upcoming projects.  i was rather reluctant to go out and buy more thread when i have a box full of threads.  but the teacher promised that it is “beautiful and easy to work with, and doesn’t tangle like floss.” and she was right and i fell in love with the delightful effect the thread created.  (upper stitches are done with embroidery floss, lower stitches are done with with pearl cotton–the picture doesn’t really capture all the lovely qualities of the pearl cotton thread.)

needlebook giveaway

i’m taking an online hand stitching class by rachel hauser.  one of the “assignments” this week was to make a needlebook.  the needlebook was quick and fun to make so i went ahead and made another one.  since i only own about 6 needles i don’t think i’ll have needles overflowing into the second needlebook any time soon.  (and i’m trying to be less of a pack rat for mdh’s sake.)

if you would like to be in a random drawing for this free handmade needlebook please leave a comment below and we shall all find out who gets this needlebook this coming friday (february 1, 2013)!

felt needlebook with fabric inner lining: 4.25″ h x 3.25″ w, pocket on inside of front cover, 2 middle pages for pins and needles, slot for small 4″ scissors on back cover, book is secured with a wrap-around tie (sorry threads, pins, needles, and scissors not included).

all the many daily 10 second-Lord-arranged moments

“…and behold, there was a throne set in heaven, and upon the throne there was One sitting” Revelation 4:2b.  i often hear that God is on the throne administrating behind the scene, ruling over everyone and everything–yes, every. thing.  and i often agree whole heartedly that He is the sovereign God ruling over the heavens and the earth and everything in it.  but this week i’ve been realizing that God’s every. thing. are still only some things in my head.  and the some things are often big abstract things.  i truly believe that God is very good and wise in arranging the world situations, kings and kingdoms, who our parents are, where we live, who we marry…these kinds of big destiny things.

but i forget these big arrangements include the many small, minute arrangements as well.  such as when miss e decides that she’d prefer to wear her flower shoes immediately after i’ve finished tying on her elmo shoes.  or when i say it’s time for a bath and i get handed “one was johnny” book to be read instead.  i often forget these 10 second occurrences are also arranged by the One on the throne.  all of His big and small arrangements are so that Christ would be in the center of the situation and expressed in the situation.

so the real issue is not whether i change her shoes or read her the book.  or that miss e (or i) don’t throw a fit or end up in tears!  but seeing in a daily way that God is also ruling and reigning in these little moments reminds me that my response shouldn’t be just out of my own logical decision of insisting my way or making things easier for myself.  these moment are arranged by the Lord so that i would turn to Him and however i respond to my daughter Christ would be expressed to her.

daniel, hananiah, mishael, & azariah

Do you know why I love reading and re-reading the book of Daniel?  Because every test that he and his friends went through, they passed with flying colors!  Daniel was called a “man of preciousness” (Daniel 10:11) with “an excellent spirit” (5:12).  He interpreted forgotten dreams, saw prophecies of the end times, and read writings on the wall.  They don’t get burned in the firey furnace or eaten by lions!  Usually I’m just left amazed after I read about their adventures, but this time I wondered what was it that made them so AMAZING!?

How were they not tempted?  Or discouraged?  How were they able to remain Israelites during a time of captivity in Babylon?

As the week long training continued I started to see that there was an unshakeable foundation in Daniel and his companions that made them the way they were…and they didn’t stand against the evil tide alone, they had one another.  Here are some points that stood out to me.  Firstly, they recognized themselves as Israelites, children of God.  Nothing changed that identity even when their environment changed.  And as children of God they knew that all the kings and kingdoms of the world were under God’s administration (4:17).  They knew that the “heavens do rule” (4:26) and God was the one ruling over the entire universe, everyone and everything.  Realizing their identity helped them in their absoluteness and consecration to God, and to stand against the idolatrous age.

They treasured God’s Word.  After reading the book of Leviticus, they couldn’t eat the king’s unclean food (1:8).  After Daniel read about the restoration of Israel (Jeremiah 29:10-14) he fasted and prayed for the restoration (Daniel 9:2-3).  The Word affected their living and they joined themselves to God’s desire in His Word.  They were able to cooperate with God by praying out what was on God’s heart.

They were people that saw the unseen realm.  They looked beyond their current situation and environment.  They put their trust on the unseen God that rules the heaven and earth; therefore, they did not care for the kings’ recognition.  They cared for God’s interest.  Daniel’s prayer in chapter 9 asked God to do something for Himself, “Now hear, O our God, the prayer of Your servant and his supplications, and cause Your face to shine upon Your sanctuary that has been desolated, for the Lord’s sake” (v. 17).  His prayer gave God a way to carry out the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

They took a stand as God’s people, for God’s interest.  I focus on the part about the lion not eating Daniel, or the fire not consuming Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.  But they were doing more than just having miracles happen, they were standing for God’s interest and not putting their own interest first.  Daniel was a person living before God; he depended on prayer to do what man could not do, and he depended on prayer to understand what man could not understand (Message Two, IV. D. 3).  May there be many Daniels, Hananiahs, Mishaels, and Azariahs standing for God’s interest today.