It’s summer. And in Mississippi, tomato season is in full swing! My husband planted a good dozen tomato plants this year. About two weeks in, he wasn’t happy with how they looked, so he added a few more. No worries, though, as this yielded the largest amount of this smooth, red fruit since planting.
These lovely, sweet, tart, and juicy edibles are so versatile. Kind of like the apple. You could go to sleep one night naming all that can be made with apples. The tomato has a list just as long.
My husband uses his creative side to do many things, and baking is one of them. That man loves flour. He nibbles on raw biscuit dough and enjoys making biscuits, whole wheat or white. I wrote a blog about his culinary skills in biscuit making here . The delight of baking is year-round. It ends with his mother’s recipe for Candy Cane cookies each December. Today’s baking performance…tomato pies. He’s used pie tins before, but today, he made them like biscuits, but separated the tops and bottoms. For those interested, here is the recipe.
Tomatoes (1 giants one or several regular)
1/2 cup White Lily SR flour
1/2 cup King Arthur white whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. salt
slightly less than 1/2 cup canola oil + 3 TBS melted butter
special sauce: 2 TBS mayo, 2 TBS sour cream, dill weed, season salt. Optional-bacon bits
Whisk flour and salt. Cut in oil until mixture is BB size. Add buttermilk until good dough is made. Roll out dough – thin enough for four bottoms & tops(8 pieces) – about 5 inches in diameter. Add tomato slice(s) on each bottom piece. Spread sauce on tomato slices. Put tops on tomatoes. Bake @ 375 until brown. Once out of oven, brush tops with melted butter. Serve hot.
Since the tomatoes were overflowing this week, blanching has been in process so we can freeze them for later use in the year. Did you grow tomatoes this year? Leave a comment about your experience or one of your recipes below.
Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. Genesis 9:3
Someone said, “Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes.”
Recently at church, we dusted off this old hymn. The pure, unadulterated, simple, yet profound truths that are in these verses punctured my spirit. My hearing tenderly absorbed each thought.
If you are a believer in Jesus, take a moment to scan these stanzas. “Jesus is all the world to me” brings comfort and mental refreshment and is a reminder of what a dear relationship we have with our friend, Jesus. This American composer, from East Liverpool, Ohio, died five years later after writing this song. He also wrote another hymn, you may know, “Softly and Tenderly.”
Jesus Is All The World To Me
Jesus is all the world to me, My life, my joy, my all; He is my strength from day to day, Without Him I would fall. When I am sad, to Him I go, No other one can cheer me so; When I am sad, He makes me glad, He’s my Friend.
Jesus is all the world to me, My Friend in trials sore; I go to Him for blessings, and He gives them o’er and o’er. He sends the sunshine and the rain, He sends the harvest’s golden grain; Sunshine and rain, harvest of grain, He’s my Friend.
Jesus is all the world to me, And true to Him I’ll be; Oh, how could I this Friend deny, When He’s so true to me? Following Him I know I’m right, He watches o’er me day and night; Following Him by day and night, He’s my Friend.
Jesus is all the world to me, I want no better Friend; I trust Him now, I’ll trust Him when Life’s fleeting days shall end. Beautiful life with such a Friend, Beautiful life that has no end; Eternal life, eternal joy, He’s my Friend.
Will L. Thompson 1904
Precious Jesus, thank you for coming to earth to die for my sin. Thank you for giving me such a beautiful life in you. Lord, help me as I walk this journey with others to be mindful of the eternal life and eternal joy I have in you. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
One of the joys of summer is the variety of gardens, trees, and bushes that produce lovely treats straight from God’s hand. Until I came to live on the property of Buried Treasures Home, I’d never picked blueberries. Now, every June, I look forward to this pleasure.
The harvest is plentiful this year, and they are ready to pick faster than we’re able to pick them.
I’ve learned from this experience that you don’t pick them when they are blue. Wait for the frosty coating. If you pick them blue, they won’t be plump and will be tart to taste.
So this is my advice…
When you see them blue, just wait another day or two. Revisit. When you see the frosty coating, you will barely need to touch them and they will come tapping down into the bowl.
Another tip is to hold the bowl under the bunch that you are picking so that you lose none to the ground.
If you plan to freeze them, don’t wash them. Wait until you are ready to use them.
Enjoy your blueberries on cereal, in salads, as an ice cream topping, or all by themselves.
Do you have any tips on blueberries, picking them, healthy recipes? Please share in the comment section below.
If you are a follower of Jesus, you have the most important news in all the world. It needs to be shared. Think about it, if you had a cure for Alzheimer’s or cancer, wouldn’t you share that? You would be a very good friend if you shared that news, right?
Back in the 1950’s one such friend entered my mother’s life. She told my mother about the Friend who could bring the cure for her sin problem.
Atlanta, Georgia, was the place this would happen. But let’s start at the beginning.
My mother was placed in the Georgia Baptist Children’s home at age four and lived there to adulthood. After leaving there, she lived in a boarding house in Atlanta, where she began her career working as a secretary. It was in that boarding house she met the woman who would bring the cure for her sin problem.
Granted, my mother had grown up in this Baptist home for children, attended church every week, and was the beneficiary of abundant blessing the whole time of her residency. But it would be as an adult life in this boarding house that she came to know Jesus as her personal Savior.
Ms. Evelyn was the friend that brought that good news to my mother, and she would be a household name all through my life.
Telling my mother about Jesus and her need for Him was no easy task for Ms. Evelyn. My mother was convinced of her goodness. She couldn’t understand why she needed a Savior. But Ms. Evelyn lovingly helped her see her need. And one day, my mother surrendered her heart and life to the One she’d only heard about up to that time.
From that point on, she knew Him personally.
Throughout the decades of my life, my sisters and I have exchanged letters with Ms. Evelyn and had a visit on several occasions. Her eternal contribution to all our lives, through our mother, was not lost on us. We’ve always understood that Ms. Evelyn told my mother about Jesus. It was my mother’s decision to make, of course, but we are grateful(eternally) for the messenger!
This week, my mother moved to another state. On the way, she was able to stop in Atlanta to visit 91-year-old Evelyn. Each had not seen one another in some years. They enjoyed a short visit.
My mother is our only living parent, and her mind is getting smaller every day. One day she won’t be here to pray, and neither will Ms. Evelyn. But because of these most significant events, we the children are pray-ers, and we the children have passed on our faith in Christ Jesus to many.
This is a story for any Christian who thinks you are getting nowhere with that person you’ve been sharing Jesus with for so long. Don’t give up. Remind the one you are communicating with that none of us is good, and we are all in need of a Savior.
As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one…Romans 3:10
They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. Psalm 14:3
Stay with it. When one person comes to saving faith in Christ Jesus, a heart is forever changed, generations impacted, eternity secured in heaven, and their world filled with hope by the dearest Friend… the One with the cure for sin, Jesus.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
It was a quiet, but busy Saturday. It had been full of ministry and, at the end of the day, some errands. The deck garden stayed on my mind the whole day because it needed watering. Up to that point, it had been a dry spring and a couple of days had passed since the last watering. You know from previous posts that I’m serious about my deck garden.
By the time I drove home, it was almost dark. As I drove through the darkness down to the house, all that was on my mind was to water the deck garden. Finally, it was time to do this chore. After parking in my carport, I went inside to put my purse down, and turn on the light near the deck. Cautiously, I made my way through the carport around to the door that leads out to the deck. The reason for my caution is that we live in the woods. Our carport is lined with shelves, tables, boxes, and such that make far-reaching visibility limited. Snakes are always on my mind when I exit our house. I hope to see them before they see me, if that’s possible. We’ve lived here over 3 1/2 years, and up until Saturday evening, I’d not encountered a living snake here.
I was aware that night was falling and this activity was unusual for me, but watering the plants seemed the priority. As I made my way to the faucet, bending to turn it on, I uttered with some angst, “Jesus, please protect me from getting any kind of bite while I’m out here. I don’t want a mosquito bite or anything else.”
I tugged the hose and walked straight ahead from the faucet, out to my deck. Once the deck plants were watered, I should have gone inside. Instead, I decided to water the hostas and impatiens planted by the side of the house.
Standing on the corner of the sidewalk, I adjusted the hose nozzle to spray out to the farthest plants. As I was quietly standing there watching the water reach to the end, in my mind, the Lord said, “walk down the sidewalk.”
As a precaution, I’m spraying the sidewalk with the idea of scaring off anything(snakes) as I walked down it. I was there several minutes watering those plants. At one point, in my aware state, I looked up and noticed a light fixture under the eaves of the house. I made a note of this fixture verbally and thought we could get a bulb installed there. Eventually, I rotate to bring my watering up further the line of plants.
It was then that something moved to my left.
By this time, all my internal alarm system is alert as my eyes search for the source of the movement. My focus began to see rust and black and a pile of spiral. In my curiosity and disbelief, I leaned forward for more clarity. It was then that I saw the snake stretching from his coiled position, his head going up toward the wall, thankfully, away from me. His whole body was in motion. I saw his body first. The rust color and the black, swivel stripes(that I’ve since learned were hourglass-shaped) as an overlay were as clear as could be, even in the darkness. And then, I looked at the head, and it was diamond. I know there are non-poisonous snakes with diamond heads, but I knew this was not one of them. It sounds like I just hung out to observe this poisonous villain, but these observations took place in a few seconds. Once my brain took in all that information, well, you might guess what happened.
My husband didn’t arrive on the scene until a good 10 minutes later. He found me in the middle of the driveway urging him to kill the snake before he slithered away. I think he thought the snake was likely harmless, but when he went to the place of my sighting, his demeanor changed, and in a few moments, a shot was fired.
Since that time, I haven’t been out to my deck garden. It is sad. But I think the Lord knew I’d need some recovery time. He’s sent two storms of pounding rain to take care of the watering this week. I plan to venture out to the deck this weekend and move past this experience.
I don’t know how good you are about listening to God’s voice, but I am so very thankful I listened. You see, if I had stayed on that corner watering the plants on the side of the house, things would be different. God moved me from being in the snake’s territory, inches from danger, to safety.
It still seems like I may never get the image of that snake out of my head. But I choose to focus on God’s protection. As I waited on my husband that night, I prayed the Lord would leave the snake near where I’d seen it so that he could shoot it. It had moved to the other side of the sidewalk, but was quickly found.
Finding comfort in a deck light and trusting God to protect me despite myself wasn’t my wisest decision ever. I know God doesn’t delight in foolish mistakes. However, He does delight when His children call upon Him, and I did that. His voice ever gentle, yet instructive, was the same as I’ve heard before. I love Him for it.
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD. Psalm 89:15
Back on April 10th, I published this post Easy ideas for your deck garden. At that time, I was just beginning to plant annuals. Having only a few minutes here and there to devote to this project, a little over a month later, it has progressed, but is not quite finished. I’m pleased so far with the creative process, and the result. Not everyone has a kitchen window, but since we do, it’s been a priority to make what we view out that window relaxing, and lovely. So I thought today, I’d post some pictures and give you a list of the annuals planted so far. Hopefully, this information will help you make an attractive space near by.
The list of annuals so far on the deck are as follows: Primrose, Portulaca, Geranium, Rose, Jasmine, Hosta, Vinca, Impatiens, Verbena, Petunia,Begonia, and Coleus. I am no master gardener. I enjoy the cause and effect of gardening and the creativity a beautiful one requires. Since we direct a 24/7 ministry, this activity is a relaxing venture that doesn’t consume much time.
In case you’re wondering if I talk to my plants… Well, I do talk to God about my plants when I’m tending to them. When I water, I use the mist selection on the hose. Watering takes place in the morning or in the evening.
I have plans to add more geraniums and a few more plants to some of my existing pots. If you’re wondering if I fertilize, yes, according to the fertilizer recommendations. So it is almost the middle of May, not too late to start your own colorful, growing experience. Annuals and potting soil are some of the least inexpensive items in any store. The blessing that comes is gratifying and a simple source of pleasure. No green thumb required, just a few pots, potting soil and some annuals and you are ready to start an experiment that will last months and make you smile. I Corinthians 3:6 refers to people, but can have application to any growth when it states…but God made it grow. God is happy with my pastime. He is the author of it all…
And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. Genesis 9:3
The month of May can be chock-full of occasions coming at us at warp speed. Let me share a gift idea that will keep on giving long after its given.
Last fall, a group of ladies from a local Baptist church came to Buried Treasures Home to put on a Daughter of the King party. This party was deeply spiritual for one reason alone.
It was a theme inspired by God’s Word and focused totally on who we are because of Him.
The church ladies came early to transform a room that is typically used for everyday purposes. They made the space remarkable, and enchanting. The result felt was pure love. We were given tiaras to wear and served a meal fit for a daughter of the King. For a little while, we were transported from our world to a reminder of the world to come for all who love our King.
Scripture Jars were given to each of us who live at Buried Treasures Home. One church lady had the desire to make these jars so that we would all have verses that in her words, “speak life, love, freedom, peace and worth to each person.” You may want to make one for a very special person in your life. So recently, she shared how she made these jars.
Find a jar – embellish using stretchy string and a jewel, or write their name with a paint pen, or hot glue embellishments
Google for verses – copy to a Word document, then personalize verses- (see picture below). Print the pages of verses
Cut and fold verse strips
Provide a small bag for verses once pulled from jar
Can’t you imagine a mother appreciating this unique and thoughtful present? And what a useful gift for a graduate going off to college. I can see this on a dorm dresser. My jar is on my office desk. I love it being there. Each time I pull a verse, the reminder on that slip of paper warms my soul.
Since most everything can be found in your home, this is easy to make. Some time is involved, but probably not as much as you’d use shopping for a gift. This investment is eternal. It can’t help but be given from your heart. Mine is cherished and that is why I wanted to share it with you.
The Beatitudes are a well-known portion of scripture. Because it is so well known, it’s a treasure that can be overlooked. Maybe having explanation to this poetic, truth laden passage can enlighten you to more of its meaning and punctuate its value to you personally.
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and He began to teach them. He said:
3.”Blessed are the poor in spirit
(humble, realizing our spiritual poverty),
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
(in this state we are teachable and able to receive the good news which qualifies us to have the kingdom of God live inside of us).
4.Blessed are those who mourn
(specifically, this would be referring to mourning over our sin),
for they will be comforted
(how beautiful that we are not chastised when we mourn over our sin, but instead, comforted).
5.Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth
(their serenity helps them to find the maximum of true joy in all conditions of).
6.Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
(who seek after God),
for they will be filled
(what a promise that God himself brings total satisfaction to our spiritual void).
7.Blessed are the merciful
(those who show forgiveness and compassion),
for they will be shown mercy
(how lovely that our Lord gives back to us what He requires of us).
8.Blessed are the pure in heart
(singleness of heart and a desire to please God),
for they will see God again, how glorious is His love for us
(We will one day be in His presence).
9. Blessed are the peacemakers
(those who bring reconciliation through the message of peace),
for they will be called children of God
(for those who know HIM will testify that peace is the hallmark of one who knows God and is His child).
Those who know Jesus have an opportunity to walk with God every step of the way, each day of their lives. Let us fix our eyes on the only One who is our Helper.
Hebrews 12:2…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I’m determined to get a jump on my gardens this year. One of the garden places is our deck. It can be viewed from the interior of our house through the kitchen window. Beauty is essential here. My hope for this year is to plant more plants, have more ferns, and more decorations. I desire to have a lush and enchanting garden space for my husband and I to delight in. The key to a deck garden is to make it feel like a room, a place of rest. If you are starting a deck garden this season, I can tell you what I did, and maybe my ideas will help you.
Get bright-colored containers since they stand out. A variety of shapes and sizes add creative flare. Spray paint can refresh older pots. Put the containers at different levels on the deck to create interest.
Purchase potting soil and fertilizer and annuals. All are inexpensive. Plant as soon as you can. This ensures that you can enjoy flourishing beauty as long as your season lasts.
Look for decorations. I found an R initial. It was designed to look old, so it weathers well outside. Other embellishments like dragonflies on springs, and birds dangling on wire hang near the deck space. Decorative, metal garden stakes go in pots. Frog and mushroom figurines poised by plants cheer them to grow. To contribute to a charming growth space, I have butterfly and bird clamps clipped to sides of pots. Turtles and rabbit figurines sitting quietly around the deck have all contributed to an appealing growth space. A cheerful flag announcing spring is hung from a stake. And don’t forget, lights can be easily strung from hooks. Most decorations were purchased at Dollar Tree or Tuesday Morning.
You can purchase an all-weather rug online which anchors any furniture and gives the deck that room feel. Outdoor pillows also contribute to a feeling of coziness and a place of refuge. These are $5 at Walmart year around.
Whatever time you spend in the beginning setting the stage for your deck is well worth it. You don’t need the perfect space to achieve these results. Our deck needs repair and could use a coat of wood sealer. But, by the time I finish decorating and the plants flourish, the deck will be an uplifting, restful place. Any deficiencies will be forgotten.
I think the same ideas could be implemented on a patio or sunroom. Expense is minimal compared to the results. Never over water, fertilize regularly, and yes, talk to your plants. And talk to God about your plants, after all, He’s the one that makes all things grow.
Happy deck gardening!
“I need no friends. I have my Bible and my flowers, that’s enough.” Samson in One Foot In Heaven
Easter was yesterday or should I say that Christians celebrated what Jesus did on the cross and His resurrection yesterday. If you are a faithful follower of Jesus, waking up each day is a reminder of God’s resurrection in your life. He has given each Christ follower a plan and it is up to us to intentionally see that plan happens by His help, grace, and power each and every day. When my church sang Christ Arose and the orchestra played Were You There, that was moving and reflective. Then, after the sermon, we joined in great hope singing Because He Lives. By this time, my heart leaped with joy and gratitude. Thank God for music to interpret our souls song! What more do we Christians need to stay motivated so as to execute the wonderful, individual plan that our Lord has for each of us?
Having been so moved throughout the entire service, it was our joy to walk up in front of a packed church to pray for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. My husband and I held hands as we approached the pulpit and held hands the entire time we prayed as each of us attempted to voice our gratitude to our Savior for missions, Annie Armstrong’s legacy, Buried Treasures Home, and to thank Him for what we were celebrating that day and to whom we were directing our prayer. It was overwhelming, to say the least.
One of the past Buried Treasures Home ladies was featured in a video testimony in the service. And thankfully, another past Buried Treasures Home lady joined us for lunch at the home. To be able to worship with our local body of believers, one that we love and pray for, to see some fruit from our labor at Buried Treasures Home, and to give God the glory, plus rejoicing in the empty tomb, well, that was Easter 2018 for me. The link below has the service in its entirety. Please share how Easter was celebrated for you.