Tag Archives: Scripture

The Tyranny of Green

First the caveat: I recycle. A lot. In fact, as much as I can: steel, aluminum, glass, plastic and all paper. We compost. No chemical fertilizers. Pesticides only for fire ants and wasps.

I don’t do it to “save the earth”; I think it’s arrogant to think that even if one could do almost everything the green police are insisting on, that it still wouldn’t make a lot of difference to anything but landfills.

Yes, I’ve read the statistics on how much less energy it takes to recycle something than it does to make a new something, but I simply don’t believe that just that bit of saved energy will add up to enough to make a difference.

Landfills are a different story, because most of that stuff just isn’t going anywhere, so I try to buy smart (glass containers instead of plastic and reuse them. I’ve had some of my jars over 30 years and I recycle what I don’t re-use). Plastic is generally avoided because I don’t like it. One of my pet peeves is that I don’t like drinking out of a plastic tumbler.

Books that tell how to re-use (the new term is re-purpose) are interesting and I check them out from the library. There’s not much I can use from them, but I like to look at them and see if I can get any ideas.

What this all boils down to is that I believe in being a good steward of what God created and has given us. I want to be a good steward of his bountiful gifts, but I will not be a slave to the earth.

Genesis 1:28 tells us: “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Being Green has become a religion. One is not allowed to question their “truth” or not adhere.

I worship the Creator, not his creation. He gave us dominion over it.

There are degrees of being Green. Probably the lowest level is the most common one where someone preaches it for everyone else but doesn’t do even the basics themselves (like recycling; I don’t know even one young person who recycles).

At the highest level are the true believers. They think that man is so harmful to the earth that there’s no redemption except the elimination of the human race. Yes, there really are some who are saying that. We all must die to save the plants, animals and the dirt. I can’t find that link right now, but I’ll keep looking for it.

The leftist high priests of this new religion fly around in private jets going to conferences and high dollar speaking engagements but tell us to not be using fossil fuels. The rest us are told to drive the equivalent of go-carts (or better yet – walk) while they are chauffeured around in limousines. They heat/cool huge mansions while those of us in smaller homes are told that we’ll have to live hotter in the summer and colder in the winter. There’s even serious talk of smart electric meters that will tattle on us if we use more than bureaucrats deem proper. I’ve read that the person currently in the Oval Office keeps it warm enough that he can work in his shirt-sleeves. He likes it that way.

“Do as I say and not as I do” should’ve been his campaign slogan.

One of my favorite photos is of George Clooney looking cool while he stands by his swimming pool. A swimming pool. We’re stuck with toilets that don’t flush and shower heads that don’t flow, but he gets to have a swimming pool. Was that in the past before he saw the light? (Well, he certainly didn’t see the light if he was using one of those compact florescents.) And speaking of Mr. Concerned About the Earth, click here to read the article about how compassionate Clooney is towards people. He publicly mocked Charleton Heston and his struggle with Alzheimer’s and when called on it said “I don’t care.”

Let’s see, how many times must a typical Californian take a shower instead of a bath so that an elite like George Clooney can have a swimming pool filled?

“The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more.” — Michelle Obama

It looks like the Ruling Class make the rules and the proletariat will have to live by them.

Magazines are some of the most egregious purveyors of this nonsense. Country Living magazine is almost completely ruined. The Green doctrine is a huge part of their editorial policy now. When I read it or even Better Homes and Gardens, I feel lectured at.

And what hypocrites they are. There again, they must consider themselves the Ruling Class which are exempt because they tell us to do all these little things to “save the planet”, when they are using tons of paper and all that ink. Then fossil fuel is used to mail and deliver it to us.

This empty hypocritical preaching to the masses doesn’t make sense when magazines are dropping like flies. How long do they think it will be before their readers (readers: the ones who provide them with incomes) connect the dots and quit buying this propaganda? Do they not understand that if they actually convince people to follow their mantra then consumers would quit being consumers and not buy their publication?

And speaking of propaganda, there’s another outrageous film (the others shall remain nameless) being shown to vulnerable school children called the Story of Stuff. Apparently, Annie Leonard doesn’t think we need to be buying radios and stuff that comes from factories; or at least cheap stuff. I wonder where those jeans came from that she was wearing in her video, or her shirt? Did she make them herself after growing her own cotton and weaving them? Where did her shoes come from? Horrors! Not a factory!

I highly recommend this video critique of The Story of Stuff. This is part 1; links to the other parts will be on that page.

Back in the 1960s and 1970s we were told not to reproduce. They said: The planet is overpopulated! So, a lot of people actually bought into this and either didn’t have any children at all, or only had one or two. Here is a youtube video of Mark Steyn talking about the resulting population demographics.

We were also told by the scientists that there is a coming Ice Age!


No, now they say just the opposite.

So, no, I don’t believe in man-made global warming. After those scientists have shown their proclivity for adjusting data to fit their philosophies, I don’t know if I believe in global warming at all.

But I do believe in good stewardship.


Filed under America, Current Events, Politics, Scripture

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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Filed under Christmas, Faith, Scripture


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.


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

Two Gentle Lessons

Let me confess a prejudice: often I jump to conclusions about someone because of their appearance. Probably not in the way that would first come to mind about prejudice; not racially, but affluently. If a person looks … I’m not even sure how to say it … if they look wealthy or glamorous or very professional, I assume they’re unapproachable.

I Samuel 16:7 tells us that “man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”


The Lord taught me the first of 2 gentle lessons about this on the weekend.  Last Friday I had another really wonderful day with friends. It involved my favorite place in the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex – Lone Star Antique Mall – here and here. Map here . My friend, her daughter and I went for lunch at SimpliciTeas. The tea room was full; as we sat on the old church pew waiting for a table, we saw a really beautiful purse hanging from the back of a customer’s chair. All brocade and lace and lovely fabric. My friend’s daughter wanted to ask the lady if she could take a photo of the purse. I recognized the style as a really expensive handmade kind ($400-1200) and told her that people who buy purses like that usually don’t want someone copying it. What I was actually afraid of, was that the girl would be rebuffed by an encounter and get her feelings hurt. The girl was behaving better than me because she wanted to ask for permission; I simply snapped the photo without asking.


After we were seated, I could see the lady clearly. She was beautiful. Model beautiful. Really thin, long blond hair with highlights, a lace blouse, cream colored wool skirt, a knee length crocheted jacket, white boots and lovely jewelry. I’m a fairly friendly person, but I would never approach someone like that. Been burned too many times in the past. A few minutes later, she was passing our table and my friend’s daughter spoke to her. After the initial look of surprise, she was so gracious and friendly and we chatted for a couple of minutes. She mentioned that she was going to Branson, Missouri and I asked her if she read blogs (she does); I asked if she had ever read Warm Pie, Happy Home which is now Sugar Pie Farmhouse because that blogger lives in Branson. She said no, but that one of her favorites is Cherry Hill Cottage.

Now that’s ironic for 2 reasons. First: on Thursday one of my favorite blogs, Sweet Cottage Dreams, featured Cherry Hill Cottage as it’s most recent post. Second, when I went to Cherry Hill Cottage, I saw that she listed Sugar Pie Farmhouse in it’s list of favorites.

Second Lesson:  Friday night and Saturday morning was the annual District Singing convention in Decatur.  I look forward to this all year.  (I plan to post more about it later this week.)  One of the songwriters who attends is another beautiful woman who wears lovely clothes.  Now here’s another ugly thing about my prejudice.  I thought her husband looked like a humorless, cold person.  Now I realize that I based my judgment solely on how serious he looks when he’s singing in the quartet.  This was crazy and wrong on my part!  On Saturday, they sat down next to us at the lunch table and were both very friendly.  He said that they had never even seen those songs before they sang them that day.  No wonder he looked serious – he was concentrating.

How gracious the Lord is to me in the way he showed me this sin. Not with harshness and embarassment, but lovingly, in a beautiful place and eating wonderful Orange Cream Cake. He showed me that it isn’t enough that I don’t condemn a person because they look disheveled or odd. Years ago I learned that lesson from our sons’ friends. Our older son had punk friends. Red mohawks, piercings, awful clothes but they were never rude or disrespectful to me.

How thankful I am that God’s ways are not my ways.  Oh, to be like Jesus!

Here are a few photos from the booths at Lone Star Antique Mall. (I asked for permission.) I hope to take a few more next time I go.


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Filed under Cozy, Faith, Fashion, Internet links, Tea, Texas

Timeless Treasures, a Review

Timeless Treasures - The Charm and Romance of Treasured Memories

Timeless Treasures - The Charm and Romance of Treasured Memories

Thinking about my favorite cozy books this week caused me to look around on my shelves and dust off a few of my old friends.  Some of my favorite non-fiction books about home and hearth are by Emilie Barnes.

Published in 1996, this slim volume has 7 chapters with topics such as the importance of family heritage, caring for heirlooms, collecting and storage.  Emilie writes that she inherited very few material goods from her family, but she is rich in stories and tradition and says that these are some of the most important family heirlooms.  The beauty of antique and vintage items are appreciated even if they came from someone else’s family.  She has several suggestions on where to look for them, her rules for acquisition (#1 is to only buy what  she loves) and what to do with the new treasures, and how to store the things that cannot be left out on display. However, she does encourage daily enjoyment of as many things as possible. And if something becomes a little tarnished from love and usage: “Those signs of aging are evidence of contact with real people and real lives. In place of that flawless, factory-bright finish, your timeless treasure will have the sheen of love and grace and character.

And, like a human being, your treasure will be all the more beautiful for having lived a little.”

Artwork by Sandy Lynam Clough

Artwork by Sandy Lynam Clough

She places particular importance on handmade things, whether it was the shelf made by your  grandfather, the lopsided clay pot made by your kindergartner or a crocheted doily you bought at an antique mall or thrift shop.  The importance of recording the origin, names on old photos and family stories is illustrated by many personal stories sprinkled throughout the book.

One story that particularly spoke to me was by her brother-in-law, Kenneth Barnes:

“All the years that I was growing up, a picture hung in my bedroom.  It depicted two small puppies napping on a table and a tiny kitten with its smiling face raised high in between them.  The caption read “Suzie.”  Many nights I went to sleep looking at Suzie and her companions.  The frame was old and hung from a nail by twine that wrapped around two thumbtacks, one mounted in each upper corner of the frame.
When I married and left home, I left “Suzie” behind and never thought to wonder what would happen to her.  She  was simply part of my childhood life, along with a ship clock with tin sails I had won for selling newspaper subscriptions.  After my  father died, Mom had a garage sale and part of the departed treasures included “Suzie” and the clock.
Thirty-two years later I was asked to speak at a meeting some four hundred miles from home.  I asked my wife, Paula, to join me on the trip, and she agreed to do so under the condition that we spend a few days afterward roaming the territory.  (I’m not really much for shopping and sightseeing, but she loves to browse in old shops.)
After the meeting I was driving down a divided road in a rainstorm.  Suddenly to my left I saw an antique shop that pulled at me like a magnet, tugging on me to make a U-turn and come back.  This I did.   As I roamed from table to table looking at all of the discarded treasure, my eye traveled to a picture leaning on a fireplace mantle.  The frame was very old.  The twine that hung from two corner thumbtacks was dark from years of collecting dust.   And there, in the center of the picture between her two sleeping companions, was my old friend Suzie.  On the same mantle sat my clock ship with its tin sails.
There was no doubt in my mind of the authenticity of my find!  The merchant made a sale, and I then realized the meaning of the phrase, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”  In this case, a timeless treasure because all those years in between faded quickly and, for a brief moment, I was that ten-year-old looking at my smiling friend Suzie, which I still cherish to this day.”

There are lots of interesting quotes throughout the book, such as this one by Jane Austen: “Her plants, her books…her writing desk…were all within reach…she could scarcely see an object in that room which had not an interesting remembrance connected with it.” Or this one from Flavia Weedn: “Some of its mane is gone, the paint is chipped, but that’s what makes it so wonderful. Don’t you just know it was well loved!”

Sandy Lynam Clough

Sandy Lynam Clough

The artwork by Sandy Lynam Clough, is romantic and evocative.

Timeless Treasures would make a nice gift for someone you know who loves family and vintage treasures.  It makes a nice gift just for yourself, too.

A quick search on the internet showed a lot of copies available, starting at $.01 +shipping.

It’s a lovely book and I highly recommend reading it with a nice cup of tea.

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Filed under Books, Cozy, Faith, History, Scripture, Tea

Romans 12:1-2

This chapter has been one of my favorite Bible passages since I was a girl. I Kings 17 is my favorite story chapter (Elijah hiding by the brook and God commanded the ravens to take him food), Luke 2 is sheer poetry to me (the story of Jesus’ birth); the whole book of James is my favorite book because of its clarity and simplicity, which is why I love Romans 12. Paul’s instructions are not esoteric or difficult to understand. The meaning doesn’t have to be explained by a seminarian. It’s open and clear.

(At the end of chapter 11, Paul was explaining that everything was created by God and that all things exist through Him and for Him.)

First, from Today’s English Version:

“So then, my brothers, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer.”

Seems a bit plain, so it is from the Amplified Bible:
“I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”

And from the King James Version:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Oh, Lord, that it may be so.

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Ephesians 5:15

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like ignorant people, but like wise people.
Ephesians 5:15, Good News for Modern Man, (Today’s English Version)


Filed under Faith, Free, Scripture

A Wonderful Day


“As for Me,” says the LORD, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the LORD, “from this time and forevermore.” Isaiah 59:21

Last Friday, I had a good day. A really good day. Our daughter-in-law had sent us a message that it would be Grandparents Day at the boys’ schools. The first event was scheduled for 7:45, the second at 11:30. We live about an hour away and I was not only thinking about having to leave at 6:45 a.m., but what I would do to occupy myself at that time of the morning until I met my husband for the second one. (He had to work until 10:30 and couldn’t make it to the kindergarten event.) I shouldn’t have been concerned about the details. The Lord orders our steps and I couldn’t have planned the day any better.

First of all, I’d forgotten how much I love being out in the early morning. My dad was an early riser and when our family left on a trip, it was at 4:30 a.m. And that has remained a part of me. You just can’t beat watching the sun come up for a sense of ….. well, I don’t know, but I love it.

So the drive up was pleasant. And getting to be with Liam as he started his school day was really wonderful. He showed me a picture he’d drawn in his notebook of our home. He is fascinated that our mobile home used to have wheels under it, so he drew a picture of it with me driving it. It’s not a motor home, but I guess that’s how a 6 year old processes a house on wheels. His teacher was looking at me kind of funny. I really hope it was something else and not that old trailer house/white trash stigma. But if it was, it was. As William F. Buckley liked to say, “Well, there you are.”

The celebration at Liam’s school was for each of the attending grandparents to read a story to the class. I asked Liam to choose one and he picked “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut” by Dr. Seuss. I’ve read a lot of Dr. Seuss books but I’d never seen this one. It was a great choice because it was about reading and Liam knows how I love to read. In fact, you could say that my decorating style is Books.

It was a nice little story and the children were so attentive and still. There had been 4 other readers and I was the last; they had been quietly sitting in their places for about 30 minutes by that time. I was very impressed at how well-behaved they were. Then hugs and it was time to go.

Parking at that school is very inadequate and I had parked across the street in front of a house, blocking the mailbox. I know, I know; that’s bad – but I knew that I wouldn’t be in there long enough to cause a problem for the mailman. Remember it started at 7:45 a.m. When I went out to the car, the homeowner was sitting out in her yard and said “hello” to me. I replied and apologized for parking there and she said it was okay, she knew there was an event at the school that morning and I wouldn’t be there all day.

Sweet and Spicy Pecans
She’s a widow and seemed lonely and we ended up talking for 45 minutes and it was very interesting. When I left I decided to go to a local bakery and get some coffee and pastry for breakfast. I took my treasures (because that’s just how they tasted) downtown and parked in front of the courthouse to eat and read my book. Must not have been much legal business going on, because there were lots of empty parking spaces.

About an hour before I was to meet Joe, I went to the Dillard’s to get some new sandals. With fall here, I figured they would be on sale, which they were and I was able to get 3 good pairs. My feet have been bad all my life (even when I was very thin) and I need good shoes. They last me a long time. The pair I wore into the store I had bought 10 years ago in Windsor, England. But with fall coming on, I wanted some black ones, too. A very nice young man waited on me and that is always nice. A pleasant clerk greatly affects whether I return to shop at a store.

Then it was time to meet Joe and we drove to Elliot’s school. Their celebration was an ice cream social. We retrieved Elliot from his classroom and went back up to the room by the office for the party. It was fun being there with all the other grandparents and kids, but boy, is that school PC (politically correct)! It fairly oozed out of the staff. I didn’t notice it as much at the other school (my PC antenna is finely tuned).

Elliot didn’t seem to be paying any attention to it and I hope he never does. He was a lot more interested in being with his Grandpa. Now, I know that Elliot loves me, but he LOVES his Grandpa.

We returned him to his classroom and then went to lunch.

It was a really good day.


Filed under Family

Prodigal Sons

They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)” Psalms 49:6-8.

If I could redeem my children with money, I would. But I can’t. Money can ease some of the trouble, but it can’t change a person’s desires or their heart. A derelict has as much power to change another person as Queen Elizabeth does. Even with all her wealth and power, she can’t change how ratty Prince Charles is. That’s the personal nature of redemption. Which is precisely why we all need Jesus.

My current daily Bible reading is in Psalms and I came upon these verses this week and their truth rang out.

Our sons are away from the Lord. That is very painful for my husband and me. Added to that burden is the one that the enemy tries to load me down with – that it’s my fault, if I’d done something different or a lot of somethings different, then they would be different.

Now everyone should know that we can and do influence our children and that every single parent is imperfect. Sometimes, God please forgive us, we do things that have lasting effects on our sons and daughters. But there is a self-righteous rant that some parents go on when confronted with someone else’s troubled offspring: it’s the parent’s fault.

For the fearful and self-righteous, it has to be the parent’s fault. It has to be, because then they can determine that it won’t happen in their own family. They think they are or can be good enough parents to insure that their kids will remain in the fold. And I admit, I could’ve been a better parent. But I also know that my children, as all people do, have free will. Joshua 24:15 “…choose you this day whom ye will serve…” My children have not chosen to serve the Lord.

The Bible has many examples of children who went wrong, from Adam and Eve to Jesus telling us about the prodigal son.

We’ve been going through this for 18 years. We pray for them daily. We love them.

Having children who are away from the Lord is painful and lonely. Believe me, it’s far easier to carry the pain alone and keep quiet than to get flayed by someone’s critical advice or disapproval. It doesn’t matter if it’s well intentioned or not.

This is not how the body of Christ is supposed to function.

I Corinthians 1_4

This is. It’s an illustration is from The Good News Bible, I Corinthians 1:4.

The next time someone tells you about their wayward son or daughter, please don’t pour salt in their wound. Just love them as you do yourselves.


Filed under Family