September 26, 2016

To Heal the Land

Devotion for the Week...

Author Lysa Terkeurst lives in North Carolina, which has been in the news this past week because of riots and protests that erupted in Charlotte after a black man was shot by a police officer. Lysa posted on Instagram one day last week, "God says, 'if MY people'...Not those people...But 'if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.' (2 Chronicles7:14)"

I haven't been able to get that IG post out of my mind. I knew that verse from 2 Chronicles. King Solomon had finished dedicating the newly completed temple of the Lord and when he was at home at night the Lord appeared to him. God promised Solomon that whenever things went wrong in the land, then if the Isrealites (His people) turned to him, then He would hear and would heal their land (Israel).

But Lysa's post made me think about it differently. God's people today are the Christians, those of us who believe that Jesus came to offer salvation to the world. We don't have one nation that we call our own. Instead, we are scattered throughout the world, so "their land" in the context of today would mean the whole world.

Well, there is no denying that our world is in desperate need of healing. Terrorism, racism, the refugee crisis, economic crises, gun violence, poverty...there are so many things wrong with the world. Even thinking about how to fix just one of those problems is mind-boggling. We look to governments, police forces, armies and organizations to make things better, but it doesn't really seem to be working.

Maybe that's because we're not doing what we're supposed to be doing. Maybe we're not supposed to be paying attention only to what other people are doing, blaming them for all the problems in the world. Maybe we're also supposed to be humbling ourselves, praying, seeking God's face and turning from our wicked ways. And maybe that's the most important thing we're supposed to be doing.

I have to confess that I don't know how that works. After all, we are not the terrorists. We are not the smugglers, packing desperate refugees onto boats that are hardly able to contain them, let alone get them safely to their destination. But, as Lysa pointed out, the Bible doesn't say the land will be healed when those who aren't God's people change their ways. The land will be healed when God's people turn towards Him, seeking Him with their whole hearts.
Weekly devotions |

It is time to stop waiting for governments, police forces, armies and organizations to make things better. God is the one who will heal the land, but first His people must seek Him with their whole hearts.

September 20, 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Rainbow Ripple

For my second entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy at Amy's Creative Side, I've chosen to enter Rainbow Ripple in the ROYGBIV Quilts category.
Rainbow Ripple Quilt |

I love how the rainbow bright colours pop against the black strips between them.
Rainbow Ripple Quilt |
 I quilted feathers in all the coloured strips and wishbones in the black strips.
Rainbow Ripple Quilt |
Rainbow Ripples measures 44" x 44" and there are no points to match up anywhere in the whole quilt! Easy, right? The pattern is available in my Payhip and Etsy stores.

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check out some of the many, many quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival. There's sure to be a lot of eye candy and inspiration!

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Denim Hexies

It's time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival again, with our host Amy of Amy's Creative Side. This year, I've chosen to enter my Denim Hexies quilt in the Home Machine Quilted category.
Denim Hexies quilt |
I had so much fun making this quilt. First there was the experiment...would it be possible to do EPP with denim? Obviously, it was, and I love the denim hexie flowers. Then came the quilting.

With all that white fabric around the flowers, it was the perfect canvas for lots of fun flow quilting. I chose the gold thread to coordinate with the flower centers and so the flow quilting would stand out from the background. It was fun to watch the background transform.
Beginning of flow quilting |
The flower centers all have shapes chosen from Angela Walters' book Shape by Shape Quilting.
Hexie fmq |
The backing fabric is too busy for all the individual shapes of the flow quilting to show up, but I do like how the gold thread looks against the blue and white. I love how the flowers puff up too.
Denim hexies quilt back |
Thanks for stopping by! There are always many, many gorgeous quilts shared during the Blogger's Quilt Festival, so be sure to pop over there and check them out :)

September 19, 2016

Listening and Hearing

Devotion for the Week...

Last Sunday my pastor shared a message on prayer in which he said, almost as an aside, "There's a real difference between hearing and listening, isn't there?"

I immediately thought of an article I read a few years ago, about a woman who had cochlear implant surgery as an adult. I certainly don't understand the science of it, but cochlear implants allow people who are deaf (or almost deaf) to hear. I know two kids who have cochlears, but their surgeries were done when they were babies, so they won't remember a time when they couldn't hear. This woman does, though.

I don't remember many details about the article, like the woman's name or even what magazine it was in, but I do remember being fascinated by her experience. She found that for months after the surgery she would hear a noise and jump up, startled by the sound, only to realize it was the fridge or a plane overhead or some other 'background' noise that hearing people had learned to tune out a long time ago. She had to learn to tune out the background sounds too.

How many sounds do we hear each day, without really listening to them? There's not only the fridge and planes overhead, but also traffic going by, dogs barking, neighborhood kids playing outside, clocks ticking, wind through trees...The list goes on and on. We hear all of those things, but we aren't always aware that we're hearing them because they aren't sounds that matter at that moment.

Every September I go away for a weekend with my mother-in-law and my two sisters-in-law for a women's retreat. For meals we have to stand in line and it is noisy! Whenever one of us wants to say something, the other three of us have to lean in to listen or we'd never hear the words over the constant hum of other voices.

Well, last week, when Pastor Greg said there's a big difference between hearing and listening, he was speaking about Jeremiah 29:12, "Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you." He listens to our prayers. He doesn't just hear them as background noise, without paying attention to what we say. He is leaning towards us, paying close attention, listening.
Weekly devotions |

God is actively paying attention to our concerns, our thoughts and our praise. He doesn't tune us out. He doesn't only pay attention when nothing is distracting Him, or when He's not listening to someone more interesting. Each and every one of us, whenever we pause for a moment (or an hour) to talk to God about whatever is on our minds, He focuses on us and takes in everything we have to say.

Just think about that this week. God listens to us.

September 15, 2016

New Pattern?

I'm contemplating my next piecing project and I want it to be a free pattern that I will offer to subscribers to The Bulletin. (Are you a subscriber? Every month, on the 16th, I send out The Bulletin, which includes news from this blog, links to some fun things to make and a favourite recipe. If you'd like to subscribe, just click here and fill out the quick form.)

My problem is, I can't decide which pattern to make! So I figured I'd ask for help :) With both designs I'd be offering size options, so I won't give any size details here.

The first design is Bubbles. This would involve inset circles, like my free Porthole block, along with some machine applique.
Bubbles quilt design |
The second design is Strippy Pinwheels. This one would make for a fun scrappy quilt and would maybe be a little more beginner friendly.
Strippy Pinwheels quilt design |
So, what are your thoughts? Would you be more interested in making one or the other? Cast your vote in the comments!

You don't have to be a subscriber to The Bulletin to share your opinion, but feel free to sign up if you want!
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