Tag Archives: Faith

End of November

Autumn leaves – Jesus doesn’t.

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Declaration

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Blogging – Shouldn’t there be a better name for something so enjoyable?

*Note of Apology to all those Bloggers that I visited and re-visited today – I’m sure that your dashboard looks weird with all my visits. I was trying to backtrack and follow my rabbit trail for this post and it was really difficult because my browser History had holes in it. That involved lots of going back and forth.

Since I am not a technology person (I can cheerfully listen to AM non-stereo radio, for instance; we not only do not have cable, we do not even have a tv antenna), my husband has been really surprised at how I’ve taken to some of the benefits of the computer. And blogs and blogging are at the top of my list.

This weekend we were invited for dinner at the lovely home of some of our lovely friends. While the men sat on the deck (that Buzz made) talking men talk (whatever that is), Geneva and I sat in the air conditioning and talked women talk: faith, family, houses, decorating, and blogging. They have each begun blogs,which I will link to when they make them public. I can hardly wait to see them. They are some of the most creative people! We’ve known them for about 20 years and I’ve seen their homes in various styles of decorating, inside and out. Nothing less than stunning. Ever. She told me about her brother and sister-in-law’s new house, and I wish I could see it, because if Geneva thinks it’s beautiful, then I believe that it is.

Anyway, back to the blogging: I told her that I could cheerfully sit at the computer every morning and read blogs for a couple of hours. Usually I don’t do this, mostly because my surgery area starts really hurting after about 30 minutes, then it’s the heating pad and a lie down.

I told her that blogs are like personal magazines, and for goodness sake, do I love magazines!

The approach which I’ve taken with carla-at-home is “what would I want to read?” Or, what do I want to record for my family? Of course, when reading others, their lives and their interests sometimes connect with me and sometimes they don’t.

Before our last hard drive crashed, I had a ton of blogs bookmarked under all kinds of categories: Blogs-Cottage, Blogs, Christian, Blogs-Recipes, Blogs-Political, Blogs-Crafts, Blogs-Vintage Movies, Blogs-England. And then there was the A List: A Blogs, which was a smattering of my favorites from all the categories. The list got to be a bit long, so I used 7 dividers and would go through a section each day of the week. That didn’t take as long to catch up on as one might think, because several of them don’t post daily, and also many are just photos with very littlle script.

By far, most of them were discovered by reading the first person’s blog, then skimming through their BlogRoll of favorites, then theirs, and so on.

A funny thing I’ve discovered is that sometimes after surfing around and visiting a totally new one, I will see a favorite of mine listed on someone else’s BlogRoll. And maybe the previous 2 links are ones that I’d never been to before.

This morning I started out at 50s Housewife, saw a comment I’d made yesterday about homemade tortillas, then clicked on the name of the commenter above (Traci @ The Bakery) because she had a neat photo. That took me to her Profile page and wonder of wonders I didn’t even notice that she’s in Oklahoma! – saw that she’s a Christian, clicked on her blog Living the Good Life, and Wow! I loved her 1950s decorated bedroom. On her list, I saw Cherry Hill Cottage and One Pretty Thing (which are 2 of my regular places to visit), but I clicked on the Profile of another commenter: Fresh from the Farm, saw an interesting photo on her Blogroll, so I clicked on it (Rambling Gal – which has a really funny story), then saw the title New Nostalgia on her Blogroll and that intrigued me because I am a very nostalgic person.

So the surfing went like this:

50s HousewifeLiving the Good Life Fresh from the Farm Rambling GalNew Nostalgia A Holy Experience.

There’s so much dicey stuff out there in the name of religion or “Spirituality” that I’m a little cautious and when I saw that Category at the top of her page, I clicked on it (in modern life “spirituality” can mean just about anything). What I found was another link to a wonderfully refreshing story about life and walking with Jesus. Here’s the last link to this stunning story on Ann Voskamp’s blog: A Holy Experience.

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Filed under Aging, Faith, Humor, Internet links, Oklahoma, Vicissitudes of Life, YouTube

Tradition

What a crazy mixed up world this is. Our society has become so complicated; but then there are magazines and television programs and books, ad nausem focusing on simplification. Most of them are trying to get us to buy even more products. Somehow I don’t think they’re getting the point that they say they’re trying to make.

Sandra’s comment on the Nurses’ Uniform post started me thinking about this. Thanks, Sandra, because it’s good for us to review our life and why we do things.

However, it’s best to use some wisdom when reviewing and making decisions. When I was in high school and thought I was so smart, I rejected a lot of tradition. Through 17 year old eyes, tradition looked tired and out-dated. I remember saying that it was not a good enough reason to keep doing something just because that’s the way we’ve always done it. And while there may be some truth in that, it’s not enough to say that just because this teenager doesn’t understand the origins of something, that it’s passe. Thank the good Lord above that I did not reject all tradition: Joe and I were married at our church, we both worked, we still valued family ties.

Our wedding ceremony was a mixture of traditional and not. I wanted a “practical” wedding dress – something that I could wear again and not have people thinking that I was like Grandmother Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof (she was ancient and wearing her wedding dress in the dream sequence). So I chose an evening dress pattern from the Vogue catalog and some aqua crepe fabric. No bridesmaids, groomsmen, my father didn’t give me away. Joe and I entered together, singing “To Be Like Jesus” a Capella; we wrote our own vows.

The church we attended was a small group of believers (New Life Fellowship in Jesus). Our pastor, Ray Vogt, was a former Mennonite. I think there were former Baptists, Mennonites and Catholics in our congregation. Going by appearances it was untraditional because we met in a YMCA building. Actually, those buildings had family history connected. The YMCA was only leasing them from the Tulsa Public School system. My brother, sister and I had all attended school there; it was the original campus for East Central High School. When I was there, it was Lewis & Clark Junior High; East Central had moved to the new building on 11th St. by then.

It was wonderfully New Testament fellowship, but it didn’t look like a “church” building. This was before the advent of the steel building mega-churches. Most church buildings up until that time, were wooden, brick or concrete block and they were all identifiable by simply looking at them. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the new style, but I confess that when I visited the Congregational Church in Middleboro, Massachusetts and saw that soaring spire and the huge columns, it made me wistful. Here was a place that was set aside from the world – identifiably so.

Hopefully all this gray hair is not in vain. I would like to think I’ve earned it.

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Filed under Aging, America, Faith, Family, Music, Oklahoma, Tulsa

The Reason for the Season

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

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Imperfection

There are some fantastic handcrafted cards being made.


Mine aren’t among them.

However, if I allow the pursuit for perfection to stop me, I won’t ever do anything.

Sometime back, Brenda at Coffee, Tea, Books and Me posted a quote by Edith Schaeffer about doing nothing while waiting for perfection; I can’t quote it and I can’t find it, but when I do, I’ll update this post.

Here is one that I did find:

“People throw away what they could have by insisting on perfection, which they cannot have, and looking for it where they will never find it.”
Edith Schaeffer


When looking at the craft magazines and books and paper crafting blogs, it’s apparent that some people are just a lot more talented than others. If my workmanship is not in the same league, I can’t let that stop me from doing what I can.

My mother was a treasure trove of old adages. One of my favorites was:

“It’s what you do with what you’ve got that counts.”

She’s probably not the author of that little quote, but I sure heard it often enough and it’s true. It’s so important to me that I stenciled it (very imperfectly – and not intentionally so) onto the wall above my kitchen cabinets.

Jesus taught us in Matthew 25:23:
“His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”


That ties it all together. If the Lord has given me an interest in something, will I be faithful to use that and nurture it, or will I bury it in the sand because I’m afraid to fail?

This post linked to Frugal Fridays @ Life as Mom.

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Filed under Christmas, Crafts, Crafts - Paper, Ephemera, Family, Free, Scripture, Thrift, Using What You Have

Christmas Then, It Was Different


Growing up in 1950s and 1960s America -it was a different world. My sons don’t really believe that. Like many other young people, they think that things have always been like they are now – for instance, crime and deviancy and government control, selfishness and a lack of self control, victimology,etc.

Life was palpably different. It was simpler. It was harder. It was better. (Right here is where one always has to insert the politically correct caveat about the things which actually have improved. That has become tiresome and I’ll resist it this time.)

A common complaint/observation about modern life is the commercialism, greed and joylessness at Christmas, which I believe is pretty accurate.

How has it changed? Well, for starters, it was a joyous season.

Born in the mid-1950s and raised in Mingo, a working class neighborhood, my friends and I looked forward to Christmas for lots of reasons, presents being only one of the many elements. Among them were the art projects and the yearly religious Christmas program at our public school, a program at church, shared secrets about gifts, helping my mother stamp the Christmas cards, receiving cards in the mail and hearing from friends and relatives, the family gathering to open presents on Christmas Eve (we had to wait until the sun was down and it seemed like it took forever). The big dinner at noon on Christmas day and the drive around Tulsa looking at lights on Christmas night. Daddy and Mama enjoyed it all as much as the children did.

One of my fondest memories is of the time I made marshmallow snowmen with toothpicks. That was a really simple thing but I remember how much fun it was.

Christmas wish lists were only in the cartoons. I never wrote one and if my friends did, they never told me about it. It never even occured to me.

None of the children in my neighborhood demanded particular gifts. Certainly there were things we wanted and told our parents about, but our world wasn’t centered around what we didn’t have or didn’t get. Christmas and birthdays were about the only times during the year when we got new toys but even then it was with restraint. I never had my own hula hoop or twirling baton or baby buggy or dollhouse, but some of my friends did and they shared nicely. It seems that I was the only one with Tinker Toys and I shared. My friend, Joy, had her mother’s original Shirley Temple doll and wicker doll buggy; we were allowed to play with it together.

My mother made all the females new Christmas dresses every year – everything else came from the store or catalog but even so it wasn’t as commercial as it is now. Retailers are only partly to blame for what has happened; we have become a very greedy, demanding society. There are gift registries for brides and babies and probably every other occasion; goodness, someone wouldn’t want a gift that they haven’t chosen for themselves!

We were not princesses and we certainly weren’t treated as such.

As for the decorating, we always had a cut tree and the big lights and a star on top of the tree. Each year my parent sent out lots of cards. Mama decorated with the ones we received and we enjoyed looking at them on display during December. She had a few other decorations sitting around, but it wasn’t the overwhelming obsession with more and more. I enjoy beautifully decorated houses at Christmas, but honestly, it is a little tiring just to even look at them.

This year Christmas is simpler at our house. Fewer decorations and I’m enjoying that. The perfect gift is not my goal; I am considering what each member of my family would enjoy and I’m also complying with what we can afford.

It is absolutely no coincidence that Christmas has lost a lot of joy in modern times. Leftist leaders have stripped as much meaning out of everything as they can.

If we can’t acknowledge the birth of our Saviour, how can we celebrate? Silly, manufactured “holidays” like kwanzaa and winter solstice are empty and hollow pathetic attempts at counterfeit substitutions for Jesus.

What is there to celebrate? God’s gift of His Son to a lost and dying world.

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Filed under 1950s, 1960's, America, Childhood pastimes, Christmas, Current Events, Faith, Family, Mingo, Oklahoma, Tulsa

Vintage Christmas Cards

These are probably from the 1940’s, all made in the U.S.A.

This one is outlined in shiny silver (not glittery).

Nice embossing.

The green background is crinkled foil, the gold is shiny and the ribbon is embossed.

All these cards came from Dealer 033 at the Lone Star Antiques, Haltom City, Texas. As I’ve said before, this is one of my favorite places in North Texas. The booths are beautifully decorated, there’s a wide variety of antiques, the staff is very pleasant and the tea room is nice. It’s not as lacy and frilly as some others, but that’s good because my husband is willing to take me there. He’s not so happy about going to the really feminine ones.

My sister was surprised the first time I took her there. She said it just looks like this large metal building (it was built as a Sutherland’s Lumber Store). But when you walk in, it’s completely different. A real delight. I guess you can’t judge an antique store by its metal cover.

Just walking through the store is a real treat for me, especially when they decorate for the next season or Holiday.

This booth is the first one seen as you enter the front door, and it’s one of my favorites. The dealer is a friendly man. He gave me a discount for buying several of the cards. Also available are lovely handmade cards by his wife.

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Filed under Christmas, Correspondence, Ephemera, Faith, Local Shopping, Made in the U.S.A., Scripture, Shopping, Texas, Vintage Christmas, Vintage Christmas Cards

Southern Gospel Singing Convention

The only time I had ever heard of a singing convention was when Joe talked about his grandmother going to them. Then 2 years ago our friend, Patti invited us to the one which is held every October in Decatur.


What an experience!

Unlike my husband’s family, I’m not very musical. I wish I could sing, but I can’t really. My voice is too low to sing soprano and alto is a little difficult to learn. But I enjoy listening.


Singing conventions are centered around shaped notes music, 4 part harmony, Southern Gospel and incredible pianists. A brief overview of shaped notes: each of the 7 shapes tell which tone of the scale it’s on. People who are familiar with it can sing parts (bass, tenor, alto, soprano) music they’ve never seen before and change keys without a problem. Heavenly Highway Hymns is a shaped notes book.

That’s about all I can grasp. For more in depth information, you can go here for a History of shaped notes in Southern Gospel.

Very talented musicians are still writing this style and publishing new books about every year. Texas Legendary Music lists some of the publishers and also has the 2010 schedule of events all across the U.S.

Several of the attendees were songwriters. And the pianists are incredible. One man, Cecil is 90 years old and it’s a joy to hear him play. When I get permission to post the other songs, I’ll upload them to youtube and do an updated post.

Click here for a youtube video of the Decatur convention. The song is “Vacation Bible School”, a very clever, catchy tune by one of our talented local musicians, Blake Boyd. The chorus incorporates lines from several of the wonderful old songs we learned as children.

Meetings are still conducted very much like the description in the link above. Anyone who desires to sing, play or lead the congregation is given the opportunity. It isn’t dinner on the grounds anymore, but there’s a covered dish lunch on Saturday.

Admission is free, but an offering plate is passed to cover expenses.

I highly recommend it.

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Filed under Events & Museums, Faith, Free, Fun, Music, Texas

Two Acts of Generosity

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Scarves by Fran

My very generous sister knitted these 2 pink scarves for us to give to the daughters of one of my husband’s co-workers.

They are a lovely family.  Came here from China about 15 years ago.  Had never even heard of Jesus, then an apartment neighbor shared the gospel and the whole family became Christians.  Solid, dedicated Christians.  This summer we were all at a company function and were delighted to get to know them better.

And since my sister is like a knitting machine (does she even knit in her sleep?), scarves, purses, shawls, prayer shawls, sweaters, etc. , I asked if she would make me one for the little girl and she surprised me with one for the older sister as well.  I don’t know if the photo shows it, but they are very soft.

Then yesterday, after lunch and the park with our son and grandsons, Joe said we were going to get a new hard drive for our computer.  The lament around here is that we’re out of space. They were  on sale and he got the last one in stock – in fact it was a return – at a good price.  I won’t show a photo of the hard drive because I (unlike all the men in our family) think the inner workings of a computer are boring and unattractive.

So, lovely things from lovely people.  Thanks to both of them.

 

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Filed under Faith, Family, Knitting, Needlecrafts