Category Archives: Country Life Messages

Choices

Tenth Avenue North has a song entitled, You Are More.  A-m-a-z-i-n-g message.  Struck me the first time I heard it.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

Over and over the past few weeks it has played through my mind every time I heard of someone’s bad choice–or wrong “timed” choice-

I remembered my own bad choices.  Wrong timed choices.  Stupid choices.   But then, there was a choice that I made that changed my forever.  My God choice.  When He called, I answered.  My final answer–affecting my forever choice.

Today, I had lunch with someone dear to my heart and through the conversation –I began to see a picture.  I came back and finished editing one I had taken a few weeks ago on a weekend of “rest”… 🙂

The bridge had been ruined with years of graffiti –but it still stood. Thankfully, a good photo shop editing took care of the graffiti.  I added words and a sprinkling of snow…

I leave you with the picture–and an encouragement to look UP.

He’s guiding.

Pay attention.

Burn only the bridges that have led you the wrong way.

Happy Happy Happy Thanksgiving!

© Angie Knight- The Knightly News


Keeping Up Appearances

Originally posted with Internet Cafe`

Sometime last year, I removed the “fake” silk flowers from the pots stationed at my front door in sentinel fashion.

My “real” flowers had died due to lack of water, but the pretty, lacy, Creeping Jenny had survived.

I had complained about my lack of time to “green up” my thumb and a friend had suggested, “Put some fake flowers in the pot! No one will ever notice!”

So I had plopped some lively looking silks in the pot…you know…. to keep up appearances. But since the colors of the silks had faded, it was time (long past time) to remove them from their station.

Days later as I stepped up to enter the door, I looked down and noticed all the new growth of the Creeping Jenny.

With the “fake”  removed, the little peeping, creeping ground cover had plenty of room to shoot forth in new growth! It was then that I thought of all the times we “put on” a pretty façade of having and doing the right things in life–in order to “fit in.” Yet, all the while we lack spiritual growth. Many times it’s because we have not removed the “dead or fake” from our lives, and Christ has no room to grow and mature us into what HE intends for us to be! 

“The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; To shew that the LORD [is] upright: [he is] my rock, and [there is] no unrighteousness in him.” Psalm 92:12-15 KJV 

Join me today in seeking to weed out what is unnecessary–the things that we tuck in just to “keep up appearances.”

The very burden of that idea of having to conform to others is what weighs us down!

God has called us to a specific walk. What He requires of me will sometimes look different than what He may require of you. But the goal is to seek HIM daily, allow HIM to do the uprooting of the fake: planting instead righteousness and all the spiritual gifts that will bring GLORY to HIS NAME!

By the way, “fake plants” have no roots. They only look good a short time as the sun fades them quickly–and when you get close—you can tell they are fake… Just in case you wondered. 

 © Angie Knight–The Knightly News. All rights reserved. Originally posted on Internet Cafe`.


Musings From February~The Steadfast Anchor

If you have any familiarity with trees at all…you recognize this shedding trunk.

If you have any imagination at all (as Anne of Green Gables might say), you will see that the frail, even crispy slices of this tree resembles the fragile dollar bill. Yes. You heard me right.

Actually for two little girls, who had never even held a dollar bill, these pieces of crepe myrtle tree trunk fit the bill for us playing “store keepers”, selling watermelons by the road side at our grandmother’s house in the summer. To be more precise, it was “Mamo’s house”.

The road was the very old fashioned kind. (Just as everything else in those days.)  Simple sand and clay mixture. Just plain dirt. As we stood in the shade of the crepe myrtle tree, the idea of using the curling, pieces of tree bark as paper money seemed ideal to the two little girls under the age of 6.

Very few cars passed by, but that really didn’t matter. Wanda and I had fun just playing in the yard.

Outside, near the kitchen window, Mamo had a very primitive old wooden bench. The bench was quickly transformed every time we came to visit into a cook top for Wanda and me. We cooked in a tin can with water, everything from flower petals to fresh grass clippings, adding a little dirt as a substitute for salt and pepper for taste.

No, we did not “really” taste it…we just imagined it. Drawing imaginary houses in the dirt with a stick, we imagined that our houses were large and that we lived close to one another.

As adults, only parts of the childhood dreams came true.

While our houses were not large, we finally were able to live near one another for about 3 years, ending February 12, 2008.   I enjoyed the ability to be at her house within 5 minutes if needed, but the talking on the phone was a constant.

Everyday at work and every almost afternoon while going home, Wanda called both me and Aimee.

It’s sweet and funny how our conversations always wound up to one big question. Almost every single day. “What are you cooking for supper?”

Sharing recipes and ideas for organizing was a constant topic of conversation between us girls. It was these sweet memories that traipsed around in our heads and hearts as the days went by.

At Christmas in 2007, which in my mind seems like just a few weeks ago, Wanda’s skin coloring was not good and her breathing was labored. I looked at her when they came into our house for our Christmas Eve Family Supper, and without the medical training my sister, Aimee has I knew there was something very wrong. Wanda had oxygen at home to assist her, even had a portable tank, but she didn’t want to be treated as if she was having problems. She wanted to be normal. And be treated normal. No extra attention. An oxygen tank would cause others to treat her “special”. Wanda didn’t want that.

After supper we had prayer and sharing, as is our tradition. We prayed long for Wanda. Mother stood before us and described the feelings and prayers that the LORD had woke her with in the wee hours of several mornings in the past few days.

“Family, you will need to be on your knees more than you ever have before, if you intend to make it in these last days. We will face things harder than we’ve ever faced. It will take prayer.   But family, the LORD reminded me to anchor to HIM—the Anchor holds.”

those words rang over and over in my heart and mind for many days. Still they do almost weekly.

The Anchor holds.

I soon realized the truth in her words. About the Anchor.

We all did.

As life for us changed on February 12, 2008, our God did not change.  His promises that we had read all of our lives, became our life line. 

The TRUTH held us fast.

I don’t know what you are struggling with today, but let me assure you that the Anchor of Christ held us, and He will hold you….no matter what you are facing.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. 
Proverbs 3:5-6

© The Knightly News 2012


Tuesday–Close off his Access

I am sitting on ready….for what God is going to do! What I mean is—there are things on the horizon in EacH of our lives…are we looking toward what He is about to do…or are we concentrating on the gloom and doom that the Wall Street Journal keeps predicting?

I choose to look for the beauty in what He is about to reveal! What do I see in the stolen computer? Well, a scared devil that thinks that I MUST be about to publish a BesT SelLeR! One that will reach untold sinners for CHRIST! Really? Well, it could happen. REalLy!

Let me share with you something from a book I am reading (yes, I am still reading some of the others…but this one keeps pulling me back!) “i am not, but i know I AM” by Louie Giglio.

“God is always looking for ordinary people to play significant roles in His unfolding story. And, given that He is GOD and supremely confident in Himself, He is free to choose the least among us–the slowest, the lesser-known, the last, the smallest, the poorest–to accomplish amazing, God-sized stuff.”

I mean, He is God after all. Right? Right. So here I sit. Waiting to see if He will fill the thief with remorse—-and give me the opportunity to share Christ…or possibly just by reading some of the stuff on the computer, maybe He will run as fast as he can to the nearest church. Or jail. Whichever—I pray he or she will find Christ.

One way or the other, God will be glorified. Maybe only by me not having a flailing fit and threatening to kill/clobber any suspect….God is glorified when we give our problems to Him to solve—we are releasing Him to crack His holy knuckles and show His stuff. AND while He is showing His stuff, we are showing what we are made of.

I WILL tell you that I did get mad. But I didn’t scream and holler. I wasn’t mad at Jeff, but at the thief. The one that had the audacity to open a door that was closed off to him—one that didn’t belong to him—and take what WaS NoT his.

Hmmm. Sound familiar? Sister—and any brother that might be reading…THAT is exactly what the enemy does to you and me EVERY SiNgLe DAY– when we leave things accessible! Yes, the door was left unlocked. But not on purpose. By accident. Jeff thought he locked it. Thought he’d pushed the button down to lock both doors.

If you don’t lock—seal tight—the doors of your heart and mind EVERY SINGLE DAY with the word of God—the enemy has access. Complete and total access. It’s not enough to just lock them once in a while. Just once a week. See, he is roaming the parking lot—looking for access. I bet you never thought of it like that. Neither did I. Until the computer went missing.

On Friday night, after Jeff went to bed, I went to the laundry room to pray—and cry—and whine (as I told you before)…but my prayer was, “Lord—get some glory out of this.” USE THIS. Well, it looks like He just did. I blogged it and applied to to our walk with Christ. There. He, Jesus Christ, just received glory for a crisis in my life. I was just able to use it to show myself and others that the EXTREME need in our lives is not for a makeover, but for a complete restoration of our hearts and souls! WASHING at the cross by the blood of the Lamb. The complete removal of the stains of our sins. And we are changed. No longer sinners and thieves, but now made new—white as snow. Freed from all charges against us!

Being all out honest, I will tell you that on Friday night….after the news was delivered to my pierced ears…I wanted to give that thief a piece of my mind….now, all I want to know is can I give Him Christ? Will he take Christ—as His Lord and Savior and turn from his thievin’ ways?

Let’s don’t pray for the return of the computer. Let’s pray instead for a thief to find Christ. Soon. Time is running out.


The Garden of Life (Re-run)

I love the colors of summer. The bright pinks, hues of blue and vivid reds—the varying shades of green in the trees and the grasses. My favorite season though, is Fall. But right now I am focused on Summer….since we are in the “heat” of it!
Several years ago while digging in a flower bed, the Lord taught me some lessons. I would like to share them with you.

The Anchor
When I first started thinking of my flowerbed, I knew it needed an anchor. Something substantial that it could rest against. Something that would help tie the flowerbed and the house together. We decided on a patio.

My husband and I worked for two days laying a solid brick patio. The bricks were very old and completely solid. They were a variety of colors, from terra-cotta colored to reds and beige. They blended well. We arranged them in a in a criss-cross design. He poured in the sand and mortar mixture to set them, we swept it in with a broom and he hosed it down and we stood back and admired the end result.

The man of the house decided that I could do the planning of the flowerbed. He would be on standby to dig the larger holes, but for the most part, it was my baby. As I began planning my flower bed, I would lie in bed at night and visualize what it might look like complete. I had in my mind the type of flowers I wanted. I started small. I laid out my design with left over patio bricks. I rearranged them to suit my plan. I wanted something unusual. Something that would please the eye and invite you to “sit for a while”.

I planned my whole flowerbed around the design of the patio. I used the left over bricks for a border. I carefully chose my flowers according to color, size and “drawability”….no that’s not a word, but I wanted to draw butterflies. After several afternoons spent digging, weeding, planting, watering and “rearranging”, it was finished. It was so small, the plants so young and tender. They needed constant attention. I watched like a hawk for weeds and dared any animal to come near my sweet little new plants.
As the seasons changed, my little plants changed too. So did I. Many things were taking place in my life. Every day that I spent working in my flowerbed, God was using that time to “weed out things in my heart and life”. I had kind of a “two for one” deal! As the years passed, my flowers were no longer small.

The Jungle
During a particular tough summer for me, I spent less time in my little garden and more time worrying and fretting over some particularly difficult circumstances in my life. One day I arrived home and realized I was living in a jungle! The crepe myrtle bush had turned into a tree and was “creeping” to my door. My lantana had grown so large; it was now taller than I was in places! My once cute little garden was now out of control. So were the problems in my life.

We can all find a point in time in each of our lives where we realize our little plants have become bigger than we have. Each passing season brings change. Some changes we welcome with open arms, some we try to run from. Nevertheless, change is inevitable.

The Solution
So what do we do with these inevitable, often uninvited changes? We determine to rise early, grab our sturdy work gloves, get out the hedge clippers, the shovel, the wheelbarrow, the hoe and rake and get to work! It will be a hot sweaty job, but I need to sweat sometimes. We all do. It washes out the impurities in our bodies (lives). It will take a lot of hard work, a lot of sweat, cutting, trimming, raking and possibly, even the moving of some plants (that I now realized were planted in the wrong place), but the end result (when you are too pooped to see straight), is well worth all the efforts.

Sometimes the processes God takes us through are painful as well. Sometimes we have to be pruned, trimmed, even cut way back to be what we should be. Sometimes, we even have to be moved. I did that with some of my plants. We even did that with a few trees. They just weren’t flourishing where they were placed originally. It was a scary process. I am not a horticulturist. I had no clue if they would survive if moved. I worried over the root system. The only thing I knew about gardening, I had learned while watching my mother and grandmothers and HGTV! You may think this is silly, but I “prayed” over my plants.

Believe it or not, the Lord answered my prayers. I knew if anyone knew anything about gardening….He did. After all……He planted the first garden!

He taught me much during those seasons of my life in gardening and living. Somethings in my life needed to be pruned out. There were things that were keeping me from progressing in my faith. Things that were hindering my walk with the Father.

Hebrews 12:1-14
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven. Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. And have you entirely forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you, his children? He said, “My child, don’t ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don’t be discouraged when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who was never disciplined? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children after all. Since we respect our earthly fathers who disciplined us, should we not all the more cheerfully submit to the discipline of our heavenly Father and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening-it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong. Try to live in peace with everyone, and seek to live a clean and holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.

I love that verse I underlined “So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs.” Hebrews 12:12 NLT
Isn’t that just how we feel when we’ve been on our knees in the garden digging and pulling weeds for hours? Tired hands and shaky legs. He (the ultimate Gardener) will strengthen our hands, feet and yes our backs too!
How awesome it is to serve God! How incredible He is to attend our every need! Thank you Lord for caring about our lives, even our gardens.
(This post was originally posted July 29, 2007—but it ties in with my thought lines for this week—and my Internet Cafe` post that comes out July 29, 2008!) Hope you don’t mind the re-run!
Have a blessed day!

Cling to the Rock

You know those little cards that fall out of magazines the moment you pick one up to try to relax just a minute?
Just a breather.
That is all you need.
Just a few quiet moments in your favorite chair with your pillow and blanket and new magazine!

Then out of this magazine, several little cards float to the floor and you feel you must pick them up before you can relax and enjoy perusing your newly arrived treat!

Annoying isn’t it?

A few months ago I was a subscriber to several country decorating magazines….along with a few “how to” magazines, even a health/fitness magazine. When one would arrive, I would be so excited! The first thing I would do is stand by the garbage can and shake it real good to let all those annoying little cards fall out! Some needed more encouragement to “fall”. Some I ripped out because they made the book fall open to the same place every time I picked it up. I didn’t want my magazine to choose where I read, I would do the choosing thank you very much!

Anyway, back to my story….this is supposed to be about rocks you know.

I flipped open another annoyance and ripped it from the book and started to toss it in the trash along with its friends when something on one side caught my attention. It was a woman scaling a rock….a mountain! I could suggest you purchase a health/fitness magazine for women and maybe you would find what I found, but you might not find it. Indeed, I think I found it that day for a purpose.

I was leaning back too far from my “rock” trying to see how much farther I had to go in the journey I was on.

Confused?
Let me share what I learned from the article and from the Word of God.

According to expert rock climbers, focus on balance is the utmost importance in rock climbing. They say the “center of gravity” is always the rock and you must stay close to it at all times to maintain proper balance.

No leaning back!

Proper gear is also very important. A helmet to protect your head, sturdy harness, ropes and even the type of shoes are important. For rock climbing you don’t need heavy boots as you might for hiking. In climbing a rock face, you need to be able to get your feet into cracks and crevices of that rock for added security. Are you getting the picture?

Psalm 27:5 says, “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

Psalm 61:2 “From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Psalm 62:1-2 “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. “

Over and over again in Psalms and in much of the Old Testament we are told that God is our rock. He is our fortress, our deliverer. In Him alone we can find rest for our weary souls. Battle scared from the day to day war zone that is many of our lives. The war is with Satan. But we serve the Commander of the Army of God!

Paul instructed the people at Ephesus, to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Ephesians 6:10 NIV

Sounds like they were gearing up for some rock climbing! Maybe it should be “rock clinging”. For with my whole heart I cling to my Rock. The God of my salvation!

Remember, no leaning back. It doesn’t matter how much farther you must go, it matters only that you travel “with” Him as your guide.

He will instruct you as to where your feet must travel.
Go where He leads.
He will never lead you astray.
Try trusting Him.
He is the rock after all.
The “Center of our gravity”.

A Day Hemmed in Prayer is Less Likely to….

Unravel. Ever have one of those days? Where they seem to unravel before your very eyes? I have had several. Lately. All at once.

Where do I run?

To the Master Tailor. He stands at the ready with needle in hand. Ready to put things back in order for me.

All I have to do is “stand still”…..and see the salvation of the Lord. Hemmed in by the Master. Best place to be in my opinion.

What you see here on this page was a wonderful discovery. Two Wednesday nights ago, I came home deeply burdened for a family problem. Wasn’t mine. But it hurt as if it were. As I was preparing for a small Bible Study session of just two, I began to talk to the Lord.

He heard. He listened. He answered in the most unique way. I told Him this: “Lord, Wanda would love to be here to pray with us over this. This is exactly what she loved to do. Pray for the needs of others.” And I began to cry just a bit. As I do fairly often. As I loaded the dishwasher, the prayer and thoughts were still on my mind. And all of a sudden I had an urgency to go to the little study room where I had unloaded the things from Wanda’s “sewing room” the week before. I had not looked at “everything” yet.

As a matter of fact, the thread boxes were the last thing to look into. I had plundered the cross stitch pages and packets. I had touched all the hoops, felt of all the fabrics, but had left the thread box. Why? Well, it was a clear box…and clearly full of thread. Why open it? Why indeed.

When the urgency to “do something” comes over me, I generally obey. So I left my dishes as they were, dishwasher still open and walked to the room and grabbed the box. I just looked at it.

Pretty colors all neatly lined up like jewelry ready to wear.

Then I noticed in one corner of the box what looked like several folded pieces of paper. I opened the box for closer examination. When I unfolded them and began to read, I began to weep. I said, “Lord, this is exactly what Wanda would say.” Every single verse was about prayer. She was using them to “hide in her heart” as she stitched. She was hemming her day in. She was closing the gap in all of our lives. The seam was strong. The Threads unbreakable, because she used the Thread of the Holy Spirit in her life.

When my visitor arrived, I fixed a cup of tea for each of us and we settled in to pray, share and read some Word. After she spilled her heart, I began to unfold the neatly clipped papers and spread them out on the table. As I read each one, she began to see the “thread of hope”. The thread of consistency. The lifeline of salvation available to each of us….through prayer.

Girls, this is not my usual thankful post. But I just have to share what I am most thankful for. Although I love each one of you, I am thankful most of all for Jesus. For Salvation. For the grace and mercy extended to this wretched sinner. For the prayers of many when I was far from God. For the ability to pray even now for unsaved prodigal children. For your prodigals as well as mine. I am thankful that when I hem my day —-with prayer—it does not unravel. It holds strong. After all, I have just sat before the Master Tailor.

Visit Iris for more thankful posts ~by the way, there is a winner for the give-away~
And the winner is~oh, how I wish I could have bought you each one…..but there is just one number chosen by that random number picker thingy~
Congratulations TwinkleMom!

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