Monday, August 28, 2017

DIY China Cabinet Makeover

I’m not much of a DIY person and I’m certainly not a painter.  I’m a DIY WannaBe, but the reality is that I’m more of a poster child for Pinterest fail ads.  I’m impatient.  I like projects you can start and finish within a couple of hours.  Well, my daughter decided she wanted a china cabinet redone to go into her bedroom.  She wanted to display her vintage camera collection and some other treasures in it.  She needed a large cabinet but large curio cabinets are so expensive!  We opted to buy a china cabinet from a friend.  She recently sold her home.  She needed to sell it and we got a good deal on it.

DIY China Cabinet Makeover
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living - Collage Created in Picmonkey.

DIY China Cabinet Makeover

It started out as a stained oak china cabinet.  Here it is pictured in my friend’s home.

DIY China Cabinet Makeover
 I followed a few simple instructions to get the look I wanted.
  1. Take all the doors off the cabinet.
  2. Take all the hardware off.  Remove all the handles, hinges, and screws.
  3. Sand the cabinet.
If you want to try a project similar to this one, don’t let the sanding part wear you out.  You don’t need to go overboard with the sanding.  Just sand over it lightly once.  You don’t need to spend all day on this.

4.  Apply a layer of primer.

Most finished china cabinets like this one have a layer of varnish over the stain.  After sanding it, you’ll need to apply a layer of primer. 

5.  Apply two coats of paint.

Chalk paint is a popular option for a project like this one.  However, we had just added crown molding to my daughter’s room.  She loved the look and she wanted her cabinet to match her newly painted trim.  We had almost an entire gallon of interior white trim paint so we used it.  It is a semi-gloss paint.  It worked great and we love the finished product.

DIY China Cabinet Makeover
We were going to paint the inside but after we brought the cabinet home, we realized that the shelving is not removable.  You can’t see it in the picture, but there is glass on each side of the cabinet.  The wood shelving almost touches the glass.  There is no way I could paint the sides of the shelving.  We thought it would look odd to look inside the side of the cabinet to see white shelves without painting the sides white also.  It’s kind of hard to explain without showing you in person, but hopefully you’re understanding the dilemma.  We thought about painting the back inside of the cabinet gray or applying a wallpaper, but after finishing the outside, we decided we liked leaving the inside shelves to their natural charm.  We LOVE it.  My daughter has placed her treasures inside the cabinet and it looks amazing in her room.

DIY China Cabinet Makeover

Sunday, August 27, 2017

What's Next? Be the Church and Learn to Disicple Others

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Our pastor is leading us into a new Bible study series titled “NEXT.”  We all have a “next.”  There is always a next step, a next day, and a next part of God’s plan for our lives.  The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon.

Be the Church
Image Credit:  I'm Priscilla - Public Domain Image - via Freely Photos

The focal scripture passage for today is Ephesians 3:11-21.

Be The Church

This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.  Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,  that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. – Ephesians 3:11-21
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20
GOING to church is important, but we need to place more emphasis on BEING the church.

What’s NEXT for us?  Part of what’s next for Jesus-followers is BEING the church.

Part of BEING the church is discipling others.

We exist to glorify God by discipling one another to reach and raise the next generation to live out God’s truth.

We might ask ourselves is we are capable of disciplining someone else.  We are capable if we are following Jesus, changed by Jesus, and committed to the Jesus Kingdom Mission.

Discipling is  a process through which Jesus turns us into people who trust and follow Him.

Discipling is intentionally learning from Jesus.  Ask, “What is Jesus saying to me?”  Then ask, “What am I doing in response?”

Disciple-making is helping people trust and follow Jesus.

Be open to being discipled. Look for opportunities to disciple others.

BE The Church!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Judge or Judge Not?

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You probably hear it all the time.  Someone says (or rather shouts), “Don’t judge me!”  It seems to me that we live in a world where an opinion (more often a conviction) is interpreted as judgemental.  The “Don’t judge me” shouters will argue that the Bible tells us not to judge others.  However, Christians are also told to avoid sin.  Jesus often confronted others about their sins.  He then told them to “go and sin no more.”  How do we, as Christians, live by our convictions and tell others about Jesus and the consequences of sin without appearing judgemental?  How do we know when we are crossing the line between conviction and judgement?

My pastor recently preached a sermon titled “Judge or Judge Not.”  The scripture passage is taken from Matthew 7:1-6.

Judge or Judge Not
Image Credit:  Luke Pamer - Pubic Domain Image - via Freely Photos
  The following are the notes I took during this sermon.

 Judge or Judge Not

Do not judge so that you will not be judged.  For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.  Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. – Matthew 7:1-6 (NASB)

Do not judge so that you will not be judged.”  This is the unbeliever’s favorite verse.  They quote it every time someone mentions that they are involved in sin.  However, we are not to be hyper-critical, looking for flaws in other people.  We should not be like buzzards which fly over beautiful landscapes, but they only care about dead carcasses.

Don’t be a buzzard!

The word “judge” comes from the Greek word “Krino.”  It refers to criticism.  However, it does not forbid us from making wise, discerning judgements.

It is not wrong to make a “judgement call.”

We need to be aware of showing our ignorance at times.  There are times when we don’t know the background circumstances in a situation.  We might not know all the details.

More Bible Verses About Judging

I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. – Romans 14:14
But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. – Romans 14:10
Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. – Romans 14:13
To summarize, don't be a buzzard and look for reasons to criticize others.  However, don't be afraid to make wise judgement calls.  



Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bible Verses for Troubled Times

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Racial riots . . . terrorists attacks . . . .

We are living in troubled times.  We've lived through troubled times in the past and we will live through troubling times in the future.  That fact doesn't make me feel better about the things going on in our world today.  What does make me feel better is knowing that there is nothing happening today that surprises the God I serve.

He has witnessed it all . . . all the ugliness that humans can muster up.  He loves us anyway.

He loved us enough to provide for us a way to spend eternity with Him once we leave this broken world.  He loved us enough to provide for us His ultimate love letter . . . His Word.

In His Word, we'll find encouragement for living in troubled times.

Bible Verses for Troubled Times
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Bible Verses for Troubled Times 

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. - Psalm 46:1-3

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? - Psalm 27:1

So that He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety. - Job 5:11

The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. - Lamentations 3:22

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. - John 16:33 

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:37-39

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. - Deuteronomy 31:6

Bible Verses for Troubled Times
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The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. - Isaiah 26:3

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.  Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. - John 14:26-27   

The righteous cry, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. - Psalm 34:17-18

The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.  Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. - 1 Peter 4:7-8
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.   

For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. - Hebrews 12:1-3 

Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.  Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.  After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. - 1 Peter 5:7-10 
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;  but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. - 1 Peter 4:12-13

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans—but then she never had to. Not until the night she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she’s developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances.

Greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far?

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of pre-revolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher
The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher – Book Review – Images Used with Permission via Celebrate Lit
*I received The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher in exchange for my honest review.

  The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher

About the Book

Book title: The Return
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Release date: Sept 1, 2017
Genre: Amish

In a wild country, the true cost of love may be more than they can bear.

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher

My Opinion of The Return

I’m a huge fan of Amish romance novels.  I can’t put them down.  When I agreed to read and review The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher, I expected the typical Amish romance novel.  The Return was very different.  I didn’t know it is the third book in a series called Amish Beginnings.  I had no idea it is considered historical fiction, inspired by true events.  You’ll recognize colonial historical figures mentioned in the book, intertwined into the lives of the characters.  I have always enjoyed colonial history, but I never thought I would learn so much about this time period in an Amish novel.  I learned more about the relationships between certain Indian tribes and the settlers of the era.  I learned more about the role John Elder played in that time period.  I didn’t know much about the Conestoga Indians or the famous Conestoga wagon until I read The Return.  When you read this book, you’re likely to learn some new facts about colonial history while you enjoy the story.
The Return keeps you interested in the development of several love stories at the same time.  You’ll expect some stories to follow the paths they do, but you might be surprised at the direction of others.

This Amish story is not the typical Amish romance but it is well worth the read.  You can get your copy here.

About the Author

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher

 Guest Post by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Three Sisters’ Garden: Corn, Squash & Beans!

Corn was a new food to the immigrants to the New World, introduced to them by Native Americans. Soon, it became an essential part of their daily diet, in one form or another. Growing it brought yet another new discovery: companion planting in the form of the Three Sisters’ Garden.
The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher

According to Iroquois legend, corn, squash and beans were three inseparable sisters who only grew and thrived together. 18th century Native Americans wouldn’t have understood the science behind why companion planting worked, but they knew it did. Beans, like all legumes, have bacteria living on their roots that help them absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that plants can use. Corn, which requires a lot of nitrogen to grow, benefits from the legumes and provides a pole support for the beans to climb. Low growing squash leaves shade the soil and prevent weed growth. Their sharp and prickly leaves deter pests. This tradition, of planting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, became a sustainable system to provide long-term soil fertility among Native American tribes that farmed.

The wisdom of planting Three Sisters’ Garden was adopted by the immigrants, including our own Betsy Zook from The Return. Betsy learned of the technique while a captive among a tribe of Indians and later, after she had been returned to the Amish, shared her knowledge with Anna and Bairn.

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Have you ever considered growing a Three Sisters’ garden? All you need is the right kind of seeds, a mound of dirt in a sunny spot, and to not forget to water. Mother Nature will do the rest.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award-winning author of novels about the Old Order Amish. Her interest in the Plain People began with her grandfather, who was raised as a Dunkard (German Baptist) on a farm in Pennsylvania. Suzanne loves to connect with readers! You can find her on-line at

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher

 Blog Stops

August 1: Quiet Quilter
August 1: Remembrancy
August 2: Bigreadersite
August 3: Genesis 5020
August 3: Book by Book
August 4: Carpe Diem
August 6: Artistic Nobody
August 7: Pause for Tales
August 7: Splashes of Joy
August 8: Live.Love.Read.
August 9: Mary Hake
August 9: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)
August 11: The Power of Words
August 11: Karen Sue Hadley
August 12: Cafinated Reads
August 14: Vicky Sluiter
August 14: By The Book


The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher

 To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is doing an amazing giveaway from August 1 through 14! Check it out:

Four winners will receive one of the prizes below:

An Amish Gift Basket and a copy of The Return

Amish popcorn sampler and a copy of The Return

The Amish Beginning 3 book set series

One grand prize winner will receive:

An iPad Mini

You can enter at Suzanne’s website ( or on her Facebook page (

Post Credits:  *Images courtesy of Dream Home Improvement and Technology Exchange Lab

Images in this post are used with permission via Celebrate Lit. Bloggers.

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