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For a Christmas present to myself I decided to organize my fabric stash so that I could see what I have. My quilt group did an organizing presentation in the fall and that got me thinking. First pictures is how I was currently sorting my fabrics. Each box is color or theme labeled. It worked okay because I haven’t been doing much.

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So here’s the start. I’m folding and measuring my fabrics and turning my boxes on their sides. I’m almost done and will do a full post soon.

Reblog: Boys Need Their Moms

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By Tim Challies

Thinking back, I wonder if people thought I was a bit of a mama’s boy. I grew up in a stable home and loved and respected both of my parents. I regularly spent time with each of them. But I was always closer to my mother. If this was true when I was young, it was even more pronounced when I was a teenager. In those years I was a boy, a young man, who needed his mom.

Boys need their dads, we know that. Boys need their dads to model masculinity, to model the love and affection they ought to have for a woman, to teach them the kind of life skills they will need. Girls need their dads too. They need their dads to protect them, to be affectionate with them and in that way to display healthy physical boundaries. They need their dads to hold the boys at bay and, eventually, to give their blessing to that special one. Girls need their moms. They need their moms to model femininity, to teach and train them to be women, to model patience and wisdom. Books, blogs, and sermon illustrations abound for each of these relationships. But what about boys and their moms?

Read the rest here.

Round Robin- Round 3

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Here is the quilt that I received to add on to. This woman wants the finished quilt to stay on the small side for a wall hanging.

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These are the fabrics I received. The eggshell with the flags will be the backing according to the instructions.

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The 3rd round was cornerstones. I consulted with the quilter before me and she thought to keep the same 9 patch and set them in the centers. I’m not 100% in love with this but I think it will be okay when all is said and done.

I Won Block of the Month!

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These are the 12 blocks I won last evening at my Quilt group. It was interesting that not all the ladies heard the same instruction for this block. I had posted my block a couple weeks ago and my points were white. These points match the center blocks. Either way it’s fun to win. There were 2 sets of 12 given away. (I believe the other set was with the white points.)

Next picture is on my design wall. Jamie and I have had fun moving them around to see what looks best. I just have to decide if I will just sew them together as is or if I should add a sashing of color between them.

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In general, I don’t win many things so I’m thrilled to have won these blocks. I also came home with fabric and several books as someone was cleaning out her sewing room. Yay for me!

Reblog: The Swamp By the Road

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By Douglas Wilson

We are a congregation. We are all together. What happens to all of us happens to each of us, and what happens to some of us happens to all of us. This does not mean that it all happens in the same way—of course not—but we are all affected. One of the things we must meditate on is how that all works.

If someone next to you gets cancer that did not just happen to that person. The cancer affects everyone, but to varying degrees. When someone next to you inherits a million dollars that also happened to everyone around. “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Cor. 12:26).

But we must be careful. We must guard our hearts. We must guard our own hearts. When a hard providence hits our neighbor, like cancer, we know where the grace of God is needed, and we are usually gratified to see God supply that grace—frequently in abundance. We pray earnestly for it to happen, and are glad when it does. But when a good providence hits our neighbor, we think we know where the grace of God is needed—in his undeserving little heart—and we wonder why that grace is not being given.

Read the rest here.

Reblog: 11 Ways to Write Better

by The Minimalist

We are all writers now. Whether you write books, blogposts, emails, tweets, or text messages, you are a writer. No matter your preferred medium, here are a few tips to help you write more effectively:

Treat text messages like prose. Before hitting the send button, look over your text: check spelling, content, punctuation. Ask yourself: What am I attempting to communicate? What am I attempting to express? Be more deliberate with your most common form of casual writing, and you’ll automatically become more deliberate in other mediums.

Words are tools. Expand your vocabulary to make your writing more precise. There’s no need to use a ten-dollar word when a ten-cent word will suffice, but having more tools in your toolbox will allow you to select the most appropriate tool for the job. Because sometimes you need an ax, sometimes you need a scalpel. So pick one new word each day, and then use it at least 21 times in your conversations with others that day. The most useful words will stick, and your vocabulary will expand over time.

Read the rest here.

Block of the Month- Jan ’16

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Here is the Block of the Month for our Jan. ’16 meeting. A Sawtooth Star Block with white points. The instructions were to have a 12 1/2″ finished square with white points. We could choose the fabric color for the rest of the block. This was pretty easy but I like the white points. Should be interesting to see what all the other ladies do with their squares.

Reblog: John Piper’s Saturday Night Special

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by Douglas Wilson

In my response to John Piper’s post on guns, I alluded to some of the paradigmatic issues underlying the differences we have concerning what we should do with our guns — whether we should have them in the first place, and what direction we get to point them. One of the paradigmatic differences I mentioned was the alternative ways of interpreting the Old Testament now that Christ has come — but this is just part of a larger picture.Celebrate Diversity Guns

Now when you get to the end of all the discussion, you have a very practical situation on your hands. So there is an intruder threatening your family, and you have to decide what you are willing to do in order to defend them.

So in order to make this decision in a coherent way, we do need to go upstream a ways, farther upstream than the relationship of the Old Testament to the New, although that is also included. What we are actually debating is the relationship between the Christian as saint and the Christian as citizen. This cannot be discussed without also discussing the relationship of church and state, which in our day immediately brings up the issue of “the two kingdoms.”

Let’s start with what Wikipedia calls disambiguation. The separation of church and state — a fine and noble endeavor — is a separation of two governments in the world. Civil government is one thing and church government is another.

The separation is actually supposed to be a financial one, meaning that tithe money should not be collected by the civil magistrate in order to be dispensed to established churches with nitwit bishops. It should also mean, if we had our thoughts gathered about us, that ministers of the gospel ought not be allowed to hold civil office unless they first dimitted their office as ministers. Separation of church and state, historically understood, is a separation-of-powers doctrine, and not a let’s-exile-the-church doctrine.

Read the rest here.

 

Reblog: Should Christians Be Encouraged to Arm Themselves?

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Article by John Piper

As chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary, I want to send a different message to our students, and to the readers of Desiring God, than Jerry Falwell, Jr., sent to the students of Liberty University in a campus chapel service on December 4.

For the sake of the safety of his campus, and in view of terrorist activity, President Falwell encouraged the students to get permits to carry guns. After implying that he had a gun in his back pocket, he said, “I just want to take this opportunity to encourage all of you to get your permit. We offer a free course. And let’s teach them a lesson if they ever show up here.” He clarified on December 9 that the policy at Liberty now includes permission to carry guns in the dormitories.

Falwell and I exchanged several emails, and he was gracious enough to talk to me on the phone so I could get as much clarity as possible. I want it to be clear that our disagreement is between Christian brothers who are able to express appreciation for each other’s ministries person to person.

My main concern in this article is with the appeal to students that stirs them up to have the mindset: Let’s all get guns and teach them a lesson if they come here. The concern is the forging of a disposition in Christians to use lethal force, not as policemen or soldiers, but as ordinary Christians in relation to harmful adversaries.

The issue is not primarily about when and if a Christian may ever use force in self-defense, or the defense of one’s family or friends. There are significant situational ambiguities in the answer to that question. The issue is about the whole tenor and focus and demeanor and heart-attitude of the Christian life. Does it accord with the New Testament to encourage the attitude that says, “I have the power to kill you in my pocket, so don’t mess with me”? My answer is, No.

Read the rest here.

Reblog: Why We Struggle to Communicate (and How to Fix It)

by Dr. Travis Bradberry

When it comes to communication, we all tend to think we’re pretty good at it. Truth is, even those of us who are good communicators aren’t nearly as good as we think we are. This overestimation of our ability to communicate is magnified when interacting with people we know well.

Researchers at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business put this theory to the test and what they discovered is startling. In the study, the researchers paired subjects with people they knew well and then again with people they’d never met. The researchers discovered that people who knew each other well understood each other no better than people who’d just met! Even worse, participants frequently overestimated their ability to communicate, and this was more pronounced with people they knew well.

“Our problem in communicating with friends is that we have an illusion of insight,” said study co-author Nicholas Epley. “Getting close to someone appears to create the illusion of understanding more than actual understanding.”

When communicating with people we know well, we make presumptions about what they understand—presumptions that we don’t dare make with strangers. This tendency to overestimate how well we communicate (and how well we’re understood) is so prevalent that psychologists even have a name for it: closeness-communication bias.

“The understanding, ‘What I know is different from what you know’ is essential for effective communication,” said study lead Kenneth Savitsky, “but that insight can be elusive. Some [people] may indeed be on the same wavelength, but maybe not as much as they think. You get rushed and preoccupied, and you stop taking the perspective of the other person.”

Read the rest on LinkedIn.