You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your forefathers, as it is today. If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.
Deuteronomy 8:17-19

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Birds of the Air- Lilies of the Field


Birds of the Air and Lilies of the Field are free crochet square patterns that can be used either as a 3 inch or 6 inch or combine the two to make a combination square of lilies and birds.  Also included is a devotional about how God cares for every need in our lives.

This pattern was tested and edited by three very special women, Bekah Doughty, Carmen Carpenter, and Kelly Youngblood :)  Many thanks for all that you do.



Bird Motif

Hook: H
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft , 3 colors: Color A, Color B, Color C.
Finished size: One motif=3”; with border = 6”; 4 motifs tog=6”
Abbreviations:
sl st=slip stitch
ch=chain
hdc=half double crochet
dc=double crochet
 tr=treble
beg=beginning
sp=space
sps=spaces
cl=cluster


Bird Motif: (Make one to sew to top of Base Square)
Rnd 1: With Color A, ch 4, sl st to 1st ch to form ring, 8 sc in ring, join with sl st to 1st sc. (8sc)

Rnd 2: Ch 1, sc in first st, 2 sc in next four sts, ch 4, sc in second ch from hook, sc in next ch, sc in next st on circle, (hdc, dc) in next st, (dc, 2 tr) in next st, (2 tr, hdc, dc) in next st. Fasten off. Sew to Base Square, and embroider wings, feet & eye.

Base Square for Bird Motif: (Make one & sew Bird Motif on top)

Row 1: With color B, ch 12, sc in 2nd ch from hook & in each remaining ch. (11 sc)

Row 2: Ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across. (11 sc)

Row 3-11 or 12: Repeat Row 2 eight or nine times more until your square is 3 inch square. Do not fasten off– leave at this if making a 3 inch square or if making the combo square.
Loopy Ruffle Rnd (Bird) if continuing on to make border for 6 inch square: (necessary to continue to Border for 6”) Ch 3, turn square 90 degrees so you are working along the sides, sl st in next row on the side, (ch 3, sl st in next row) around, making sure you have only 8 loops/side(8=counting one side plus one corner loop; place a stitchmarker in the corner sps to aid in counting-you may have to sk a row/st on each side in order to only make 8 loops; see photo below), join with sl st in same st as beg ch-3. (32 ch-3 sps)


Pic with Loopy Ruffle Rnd-corners can be slightly off, Border will correct.


               
You may leave this as a 3” square or proceed to the Border instructions to continue making a 6” square.

************************************************************************************



Lily Motif

Hook: H
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft , 3 colors: Color A, Color B, Color C.
Finished size: One motif=3”; with border = 6”; 4 motifs tog=6”
Abbreviations:
sl st=slip stitch
ch=chain
hdc=half double crochet
dc=double crochet
 tr=treble
beg=beginning
sp=space
sps=spaces
cl=cluster




Lily Motif: (use as a stand alone 3” square or use the border to make into a 6” square or combine with another lily and two birds for a combo square)
Rnd 1-With color A: In a magic loop  *ch 6,  sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next ch,  hdc in next ch, dc in next ch, tr in last ch,  sl st to beg ch,* Repeat from *to * 3 more times (4 petals of color A).  Fasten off color A. Do not pull loop tight yet.


 Round 2 – the strand in back of petal between hdc and dc


Rnd 2- With color B: turn over the petal, and spread the petal until you see a strand of yarn that runs between the hdc and the dc of the petal, *sl st into this strand in the back of the petal (so you can’t see from front), ch 3, sl st into the magic loop between the petal you are working on and the next one, ch 3,* Repeat from * to * in all 4 petals, sl st to beginning sl st. (8 ch-3 sps) Pull magic loop tight.
Rnd 3- Ch 1, sl st into ch-3 sp, ch 3 (counts as beg dc), 2 dc in same sp, *3 dc in next ch-3 sp, (ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp,* Repeat from * to * three times,  3 dc in next ch-3 sp, ch 3, sl st to top of beg ch-3.  (24 dc, 4 ch-3 sps)
If leaving as either a 3 inch square, or making a combo square- Rnd 4- Ch 1, *sc in next 6 sts, (2 sc, sc inserting your hook from front to back under the top loop of the petal that is closest to that corner, 2 sc) in corner ch-3 sp.  This will tack the petals down.* Repeat 3 more times and sl st to beg sc. Now either leave this as a 3 inch square or whipstitch it to 3 others to make a combo square J

If continuing on to Border directions- Rnd 4-*(Ch 3, sl st in next st) Repeat until corner ch-3 sp, ch 3, insert hook through top of petal from Rnd 1 (there is a loop from where you turned) and also insert hook into corner space, sl st, ch 3, insert hook back into same tip of petal and into the corner sp, sl st (there will be 2 sl sts in each corner),* repeat from * to * 3 more times, ending with ch 3, sl st to beg sl st. (5 ch-3 sps/side plus 3 ch-3 sps/corner-32 ch-3 sps) Fasten off color B.
A close up of the corner during Round 4
************************************************************************************

© Copyright June 2012 by Cynthia Boylan, all rights reserved. This pattern, in whole or part, may not be reproduced – mechanically, electronically, or by any other means, including photocopying -- without the written permission of Cynthia Boylan. Projects made from this pattern may be gifted, swapped or sold. If you use this pattern to sell items on the internet, please credit Cynthia Boylan as the designer.





Border: (by Carmen Carpenter): additional instructions to turn either 3” square (bird or lily) into a 6” square).
Hook: H
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in 3 colors


Abbreviations:
sl st=slip stitch
ch=chain
hdc=half double crochet
dc=double crochet
 tr=treble (or trc=treble crochet)
beg=beginning
sp=space
sps=spaces
cl=cluster


Begin with 3” square (bird or lily) that has 32 ch-3 sps around it.
Rnd 1: Attach color C (or your choice of color) with sl st in any corner ch-3 sp,


Step 1: insert hook into same ch-3 sp, skip next ch-3 sp by pulling it slightly forward, and insert hook from back to front in next ch-3 sp,


Step 2:  Yo & pull through both sps,



Step3: Yo & pull through 2 loops (you have now single crocheted 2 loops tog with a bump in between created by skipping the middle ch-sp), ch 3 (easy to overlook this ch 3, make sure you do it!),



Step 4: *(insert hook into same ch-3 sp left of the bump (sharing sp with your 1st sc), skip next ch-3 sp, and insert hook from back to front in next ch-3 sp, yo & pull through both sps, yo & pull through 2 loops (you have now single crocheted 2 loops tog (sc2loopstog) with a bump in between created by skipping the middle ch-sp), ch 3,*


Repeat from * to * around, until last 2 loops, (sc2loopstog) in the same manner as before using the same sp as your beg st, (ch 1, hdc) in beg sc2loopstog to form last ch-3 sp. (4 ch-3 sps/side = 16 ch-3 sps, 4 bumps/side = 16 bumps)


  Front & back at end of Rnd 2

Special Stiches used in Rnd 2:
Beg cl: ch 2, (yo, pull up a loop, yo & pull through 2 loops) twice, yo & pull through all 3 loops on hook.
Cluster (cl)- *yo, insert hook in next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull though two loops, repeat from * twice, yo, and pull through all 4 loops on hook. (Condensed-you are making a 3-dc cluster-leave the last two loops of each dc on the hook & pull through all 4 loops-no locking chain is needed.)
Rnd 2: Ch 1, sl st into ch-sp, (beg cl, ch 2, dc) in same ch-3 sp, *cl in next sp, (dc, ch 2, cl, ch 2, dc) in next sp, cl in next sp,** corner as (dc, ch2, cl, ch 2, tr, ch 2, cl, ch 2, dc) in corner ch-2 sp,* Repeat from * to * 3 more times ending at ** on final rep, (dc, ch 2, cl, ch 2, tr, ch 2) in same sp as beg, sl st to top of beg cl. Finish off color C (or color A). (5 cl/side=20 cl, 4 tr, 4 dc/side=16 dc, 6 ch-2 sps/side=24 ch-2 sps)
Rnd 3: With color B attach with sc in any corner tr, *2 sc in next ch-2  sp, sk cl, sc in next ch-2 sp, sc in next 3 sts, sc in next ch-2 sp, sc in cluster, sc in next ch-2 sp, sc in next 3 sts, sc in next sp, sk cl, 2 sc in next sp,** 3 sc in corner tr,* Repeat from * to * 3 more times ending at ** on final rep, 2 sc in same st as beg sc, sl st to beg sc. Fasten off Color B. (18 sc/side including one corner=72 sc)
Rnd 4: With Color A, (sc in each st, with 3 sc in each corner) around. (80 sc) Fasten off, weave in ends.

© Copyright June 2012 by Carmen Carpenter, all rights reserved. This pattern, in whole or part, may not be reproduced – mechanically, electronically, or by any other means, including photocopying -- without the written permission of Carmen Carpenter. Projects made from this pattern may be gifted, swapped or sold. If you use this pattern to sell items on the internet, please credit Carmen Carpenter as the designer.

Worry L
Matthew 6:25-34 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the lilies of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?”  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Worry- it does us in, it affects our health- physically, mentally, and spiritually.  There is hardly a day that goes by where we don’t worry.  We worry that our kids aren’t getting enough nutrients in their meals, whether we have said the right thing, about a loved one’s illness, about the grey hair that is starting to spread on our heads, whether we are still attractive, how we are going to pay that bill, what we are going to wear for Easter, and the list gets longer and longer.  I used to worry if I didn’t have things to worry about.  Most of my worrying was about whether people liked me or not.  I am a people pleaser who is in recoveryJ.
 I used to worry myself sick- where I couldn’t sleep at night, could either hardly eat or couldn’t stop eating (neither is good!), and in turn would be cross with all of my loved ones around me.  I also liked to worry about bills. I used to also avoid praying, going to church, or reading the Bible- as I worried that the devil would come against our family in retaliation.  I since have recovered from all of that worry by keeping in the Word, keeping active in church with other Christians to lift me up when I fall- to encourage me when I am down, and I keep an open line of prayer with the Lord, but most of all trusting that the Lord always has my best interests in mind. 
When I first started recovering from my anxious thoughts that had turned destructive- I used what is called the distraction method, and would sing praise songs.  Usually, your mind can’t sing and worry at the same time.  I would sing during the day, and if I was awakened in the night (I would sing in my head in the night).  I did this constantly for weeks, and then my worrying tapered off until now it is very rare that I need the distraction method.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
How easy it is to worry when it is something unknown or something that we don’t have any control over- but “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Matthew 6:27.   We don’t see the whole picture as the Lord does, we only see but a glimpse of His plan if any.  Have faith in Him, that He has control over you and your life.  “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28  
We are to “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” Matthew 6:33- Dig into the Word and see what the Lord has to say about whatever situation you are in, let Him convince you that He is in control of the situation.
 “The Lord reigns, He is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and is armed with strength.  The world is firmly established long ago; You are from all eternity.” Psalm 93:1-2
“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.” Psalm 62:2
 “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NASB)
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:13-14



My carefree daughter, Raechel in the field behind our house. She is not a worrier like her mother J



Here is the link for the pdf from Ravelry :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sticks and Stones- Relationships Hurt


Sticks and Stones is a free 6 inch crochet square pattern and devotional.
Tested and edited by three super special ladies J Carmen Carpenter, Bekah Doughty, and Kelly Youngblood
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft (or any other light worsted or sport wt yarn)
Hook: G
Abbreviations:
beg- beginning
ch-chain
dc-double crochet
hk-hook
lp or lps-loop or loops
sc-single crochet
sl st- slip stitch
sp or sps- space or spaces
st or sts- stitch or stitches
yo- yarn over

Special stitches: 
FPDC- yo, insert hook behind post of stitch (from front to back), yo, pull through, bring up even with last stitch completed, yo, pull through 2 loops, (2 loops on hook), yo, pull through rem 2 lps to complete stitch.
Bobble- yo, insert hook in specified st, yo, pull through,  yo, pull through two loops (2 loops left on hook), (yo, insert hook in same st, yo, pull through, yo, pull through two loops) four times, yo, and pull through all 6 loops on hook, ch 1 to lock. (You are actually doing the (yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull through 2 loops) a total of 5 times-all in the same st)
Begin
Ch 4, sl st to beg ch.
Rnd 1- Ch 1, 8 sc in ring, place markers on stitch #6 and #8, sl st to beg sc. (8 sc)


Rnd 2- Ch 1, *2 sc in each of the first two sts, FPDC around marker #8 (across the center), 2 sc in next 2 sts (starting with the st behind the FPDC just made), FPDC around marker #6 (across center-see photo),


 (after FPDCs in #8-blue-bead-marker & in #6-cross marker)


2 sc in next 2 sts (using the st behind the FPDC just made, and the top of the sc with a FPDC around it), FPDC around the first FPDC that you made (the one around #8), 2 sc in next 2 sts sts (using the st behind the FPDC just made, and the top of the sc with a FPDC around it), FPDC around the second FPDC that you made (the one around #6), sl st to beg sc.  (16 sc, 4 FPDC)


 (end of Rnd 2)


Note: From now on when instructed to “sc in first # of sts”-always use the beg st as your 1st st.


Rnd 3- Ch 1, *sc in first 4 sts, (FPDC, ch 2, FPDC) around next FPDC from Rnd 2, sk top of FPDC,* Repeat from * to * 3 more times, sl st to beg sc.  (16 sc, 8 FPDC, 4 ch-2 sps)

(end of Rnd 3)

Rnd 4- Ch 1, *sc in first st, FPDC around FPDC from last rnd that is behind, sc in next 2 sts (using st behind the FPDC just made), sk st, FPDC around next FPDC, sc back into skipped st (behind FPDC), sk the top of FPDC from round before,  (sc, ch 2, sc) in corner, sk top of FPDC,* Repeat from * to * 3 more times, sl st to beg sc. (24 sc, 8 FPDC, 4 ch-2 sps)

 (end of Rnd 4)

Rnd 5- Ch 1, *sc in first st, sk top of FPDC, sc in next st, FPDC around last FPDC, sk st, FPDC around next FPDC, sc in skipped st (behind FPDC), sk the top of FPDC, sc in next 2 sts, (sc, ch 2, sc) in corner, sc in next st,* Repeat from * to * 3 more times, sl st to beg sc. (32 sc, 8 FPDC, 4 ch-2 sps)

  (end of Rnd 5-should be about 3” x 3”)

Rnd 6- Ch 1, *sc in first st, sk st & top of 1st FPDC, FPDC around 2nd FPDC, sc in skipped st, sk top of both FPDC, sc in next st, FPDC back around 1st FPDC, sc in the next 3 sts, (sc, ch 2, sc) in corner, sc in next 2 sts,* Repeat  from * to * 3 more times, sl st to beg sc. (40 sc, 8 FPDC, 4 ch-2 sps)

Rnd 7- Ch 1, *sc in first (on reps-sc in skipped st) st, sk top of FPDC, sc in next 2 sts, sk top of FPDC, sc in next st, FPDC around FPDC behind, sc in next 3 sts, (ch 2, bobble, ch 2) in corner, sc in next 3 sts, sk st, FPDC around FPDC, * Repeat from * to * 3 more times, sl st to beg sc. (40 sc, 8 FPDC, 8 ch-2 sps, 4 bobbles)

Rnd 8- Ch 1, *sc in first 4 sts, sk top of FPDC, sc in next st, FPDC around FPDC behind, sc in next 2 sts, sc in ch-2 sp, (sc, ch 2, sc) in top of bobble, sc in ch-2 sp, sc in next two sts, sk st, FPDC around FPDC, sc in skipped st, sk top of FPDC, * Repeat from * to *3 more times, sl st to beg sc. (56 sc, 8 FPDC, 4 ch-2 sps)

Rnd 9- Ch 1, *sc in first 5 sts, sk top of FPDC, sc in next st, FPDC around FPDC behind, sc in next 3 sts, (sc, ch 2, sc) in corner, sc in next 3 sts, sk st, FPDC around FPDC, sc in skipped st, sk top of FPDC, sc in next st,* Repeat from * to * 3 times, sl st to beg sc. (64sc, 8FPDC, 4 ch-2 sp)

Rnd 10-Ch 1, *bobble in first st, sc in next 2 sts, bobble in next st, sc in next 2 sts, sk top of FPDC, sc in next st, FPDC around FPDC behind, sc in next 3 sts, (sc, ch 2, sc) in corner, sc in next 3 sts, sk st, FPDC around FPDC, sc in skipped st, sk top of FPDC, sc in next 2 sts,* Repeat from * to * 3 more times, sl st to beg bobble. (64 sc, 8 FPDC, 4 ch-2 sps, 8 bobbles)

Rnd 11- Ch 1, *sc in the first 7 sts (counting each bobble as only one st-skip the locking ch), sk top of FPDC, sc in next st, FPDC around FPDC behind, sc in next 3 sts, (sc, ch 2, sc) in corner, sc in next 3 sts, sk st, FPDC around FPDC, sc in skipped st, sk top of FPDC, sc in next 3 sts,* Repeat from * to *3 more times, sl st to beg sc. (80 sc, 8 FPDC, 4 ch-2 sps)

Rnd 12-* Ch 1, *sc in first stitch, (ch 3, sk 2 sts, sc in next st)2 times, ch 3, (sk st, sk top of FPDC, sk st), sc in next st, ch 3, sk 2 sts, (sc, ch 2, sc) in corner, ch 3, sk 2 sts, sc in next st, ch 3, (sk st, sk top of FPDC, sk st), sc in next st, ch 3,* Repeat from * to *3 more times, sl st to beg sc. (32 sc, 28 ch-3 sps, 4 ch-2 sps)

Rnd 13- Ch 1, (3 sc in each ch-3 sp and in each corner ch-2 sp) around, sl st to beg sc. (96 sc)

If you have any questions or need any help- please don't hestitate to post a question :)

© Copyright June 2012 by Cynthia Boylan, all rights reserved. This pattern, in whole or part, may not be reproduced – mechanically, electronically, or by any other means, including photocopying -- without the written permission of Cynthia Boylan. Projects made from this pattern may be gifted, swapped or sold. If you use this pattern to sell items on the internet, please credit Cynthia Boylan as the designer.


Sticks and Stones- Relationships Hurt

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. We have been hurt in life.  We have had real pain. People have not always been kind, and the names/words or acts of others cut deep. It may be a stranger or someone very close to us. Sometimes it becomes like a negative mental tape that keeps playing over and over again in our minds.  We begin to believe the tapes and believe that of ourselves.  Besides the obvious horrible feelings that we get, we are not able to carry out what the Lord would have for us when we listen to these constant mental tapes.  We don’t believe that we are able to please anyone, let alone do something for God’s Kingdom.

When we, as people who sin, commune with other people who sin, we get hurt; and sadly we all sin. Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” At some time, almost every relationship that we have will hurt either intentionally or unintentionally.  Loved ones have a duty to let us know when we are straying or doing something wrong to help us to grow in the maturity of Christ-and many times we don’t see that they have our best interests in mind. Proverbs 27:6 “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

 Unfortunately we cannot hide ourselves away from other people and live a life separate from those who hurt us.  We were made to be around others- to commune with them as we commune with God.  Genesis 2:18 “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone.  I will make a helper suitable for him.’”

With these sticks and stones and stones that are thrown at us- we can either choose to throw them back, let them lay where they fall and become bitter, or use them as building material- drawing us closer to our Lord.

Option A- Throwing them back

Of course throwing the sticks and stones back is the easiest option, however we were made to love others. When asked what the greatest commandment in the Law was- Matthew 22:37-40 “Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it; Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’”  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments- loving God and loving people (that includes ALL people, even the ones you are having trouble with).

Our small group is working through a wonderful book called Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas, and my favorite quote from the chapter we read this past week was “On one level, it’s easy to love God, because God doesn’t smell.  God doesn’t have bad breath.  God doesn’t reward kindness with evil.  God doesn’t make berating comments.  Loving God is easy, in this sense.  But Jesus really let us have it when He attached our love for God with our love for other people.”  He knew the work that it would take to actually love the unlovable and to be hurt by others, yet He asked us to do it anyway! In fact, He ties the love we have for Him with the love we have for others- 1 John 4:7-21 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is how God showed His love among us; He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.  This is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.  We know that we live in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world.  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like Him.  There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  We love because He first loved us.  If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”  Yes, He has asked perhaps the hardest thing of us- to love everyone, no matter how they have hurt us.  The good thing is that He also left instructions how to love them. Luke 6:27-36 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also.  If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.  Do to others as you would have them do to you.  If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?  Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you?  Even ‘sinners’ do that.  And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you?  Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners’, expecting to be repaid in full.  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.  Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Option B- Letting them lay and become bitter

This is also another easy option- however it can be very destructive to us and everyone around us- bitterness rots the soul, growing like a cancer and killing every joy.  It is a consuming, ever growing and dangerous sin. Hebrews 12:15 “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

In order to be free from bitterness- you must forgive. Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” The hurt may be so deep that it is hard to forgive- but “in Christ” we can do anything. Philippians 4:13 "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Luke 1:37 “For nothing is impossible with God.” And yes, we may have to forgive those that have hurt us more than once- in fact several times (think about how many times you have asked the Lord for forgiveness) Matthew 18:21-22  Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Option C- Using the sticks and stones as building material

Hard labor- not the easy option- but the best.  Use each and every stick and stone that has ever been thrown at you as building material to model yourselves to be more like Christ. Rick Warren has a quote that I love, “God changes caterpillars into butterflies, sand into pearls, and coal into diamonds using time and pressure. He’s working on you too!”  God is making something beautiful out of our pain.

Ask the Lord to help you look at each criticism and to use it for His glory. With each and every pain and trial, the Lord is pruning us into His beautiful and fruitful masterpiece. John 14:1-2 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its word so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”

No matter what name the world has called you- know that the Lord has His own name for you- and you are precious to Him. Revelation 2:17b “To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna.  I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.” Isaiah 49:16 “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; you walls are ever before Me.” Proverbs 3:3-4 “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.  Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” Here is a verse from a song from Vineyard’s I Will Change Your Name.

I will change Your name,

You shall no longer be called
Wounded, outcast,
Lonely or afraid.

I will change Your name,
Your new name shall be
Confidence, joyfulness,
Overcoming one,
Faithfulness, friend of God,
One who seeks My face.

Be patient with others and realize that they are sinners as you are.  James 1:19 “My dear brothers, take note of this; Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”

And lastly a really good piece of advice that I was given on relationships was when I was hurting and bitter a few years ago.  I called Focus on the Family and a counselor there told me “Not to throw my pearls before swine- but to invest in profitable relationships.”  Yes, be kind and loving to all- but make sure to spend the bulk of your time with those that build you up for God’s glory and limit your time around those that tear you down.  And please- if you are in an abusive relationship- please seek help from a counselor.

Here are a few more wonderful Scriptures on relationships;

Galatians 5:25 “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Proverbs 10:12 “Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.”

John 3:30 “He must become greater; I must become less.”

Hebrews 12:14 “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”


Here is the link to download the pdf form from Ravelry.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Slanted- Living with Secret Sin

 Slanted is a free 6 inch crochet square pattern and devotional.
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Hook: I (use smaller hook for thicker yarn, Carmen and Bekah had to use sizes G and H)
Abbreviations:
beg- beginning
ch-chain
dc-double crochet
hk-hook
lp or lps-loop or loops
sc-single crochet
sl st- slip stitch
sp or sps- space or spaces
st or sts- stitch or stitches
yo- yarn over


Special stitches:

Slant Stitch- skip next st, dc in the next 3 sts, yo and put hook in skipped st , yo and pull loop across the three dcs to the proper height, yo and pull through all three loops. For corners: the last dc of the 3 will be put in the corner ch-2 sp, then complete slant st as regular, ch 2, start next slant st using 1st st left of ch -2 sp, and use the ch-2 sp as your skipped st to complete the slant st.

X stitch- skip next 3 sts, tr in 4th st, ch 3, tr behind the existing tr into the first skipped st of the three sts you skipped.

Cross sc- sk one st, sc in next, sc in skipped st, sc in st to left of beg sc, sc in st with beg sc (causing two sts in each-one step forward, one step back philosophy) For corners: complete last cross st by using the ch-2 sp as a stitch, ch 2, sc in first st after the ch-2 sp, then sc back in the ch-2 sp to complete the cross st. 
Begin :)
With Color A Ch 4,

Rnd 1- In loop (sc, hdc, dc, hdc) 3 times, sl st to beg sc. (4 sc, 8 hdc, 4 dc) 

Rnd 2- Sc in first 2 sts, (sc, ch 2, sc) in corner dc, *sc in first 3 sts, (sc, ch 2, sc) in corner dc * Repeat from * to * two more times, sc in first st, sl st to beg sc. Fasten off color A. (20 sc, 4 ch-2 sps)

Rnd 3- Using Color B, sl st into any stitch to the left of a corner, ch 1, sc in same st, and then sc into the corner behind the st you just made –beg cross sc. *Continue the Cross sc across the side -see special sts (6 cross sts/side)-using corner ch-2 sp for last cross st, ch 2, then put your first sc into the st to the left of the corner and then the second sc in the corner ch-2 sp-to complete 1st cross st after corner, repeat from * around, ch 2, sl st to beg sc. Fasten off Color B. (48 sc=24 cross sts, 4 ch-2 sps)

Rnd 4- Join color A with a sc in any corner,* sk 1st st, sc in next 3 sts, sk 1 st, sc in next 2 sts, sk 1 st, sc in next 3 sts, sk 1 st**, (sc, ch 2, sc) in corner ch-2 sp*, Repeat from * to *ending at ** on last rep, (sc, ch 2) in corner ch-2 sp, sl st to beg sc. Fasten of Color A. (40 sc, 4 ch-2 sps)

Rnd 5- Attach color B with a sl st in any st left of any corner ch-2 sp, ch 3 (counts as dc), dc in next 2 sts, yo and insert hook into stitch before beg ch-3, yo,  pull up to last dc height, yo and pull through all three loops-beg slant st made. Slant stitch (see special sts-3 slant stitches/side) all the way around using the corners on each side- and ch 2 between corner sts, end with ch 2, sl st to top of beg ch-3. Fasten off Color B. (12 slant sts, 4 ch-2 sps)

Rnd 6- Attach Color A with a sl st in any corner, ch 3,* make 3 X stitches per side**, (dc, ch 5, dc) in corners, * Repeat * to * 3 more times, ending at ** on final rep,(dc,  ch 5) in corner ch-2 sp, sl st to top of beg ch-3. Fasten off color A. (12 X- sts, 8 dc, 4 ch-5 sps)

Rnd 7- Attach Color B in any ch-3 sp making 4 sc in each ch-3 sp and 7 sc in each corner ch-5 sp around, ending with sl st to beg sc. (76 sc) (Optional changes to rnd 7, if your square is nearing 6”- *3 sc in ch-3 sp, make a Cross st over the 2 tr, repeat from * to corner, 7 sc in corner, continue this around, join with sl st.)

Rnd 8- Sc in each st around with 3 sc in each corner st, sl st to beg sc. (84 sc) Fasten off and weave in ends. J

A great big thank you to Carmen Carpenter and Bekah Doughty, who have edited and tested this pattern ♥♥



© Copyright June 2012 by Cynthia Boylan, all rights reserved. This pattern, in whole or part, may not be reproduced – mechanically, electronically, or by any other means, including photocopying -- without the written permission of Cynthia Boylan. Projects made from this pattern may be gifted, swapped or sold. If you use this pattern to sell items on the internet, kindly credit Cynthia Boylan as the designer.


Slant Stitch- Living with our Secret Sin

How many of us have that secret sin that we cling on to- not wanting anyone to know about- sinning when we need a fix.  We are not really living upright lives- maybe outwardly we look it- but inside we struggle with a private battle- causing our upright walk to be somewhat slanted. Maybe it is lust, or our tongues, our anger, or our addictions.  Something that maybe we have tried to give up- but it seems we just can’t quit.  My sister in law calls this our “go to sin”.  For the most part, we are ashamed of it, and don’t want anyone to know about it- so we keep it in the basement, not knowing that it will continue to grow- it doesn’t need sunlight to grow.  Our secret sin becomes a monster and can take over our lives, making us do things that we don’t want. 

The Ripple Effect

When I was very young, someone that loved me, hurt me because of the sin monster- it was not a reflection of how that person felt about me, but because the sin was allowed to grow and salvation was not in sight.  It became much easier for me to forgive as I became older, because I understood that it was not how “strong” or “weak” the person was- sin is sin, and not dealt with; it will grow.

Sin doesn’t just affect the sinner- it ripples out like a stone thrown into a pond.  It touches our loved ones, future generations, and those watching you that don’t know the Lord yet. One example of the ripple effect is divorce.  Divorce touches not only the couples’ lives, but all of their loved ones and harms the children involved. Because of divorce, the children may have a more pessimistic attitude toward marriage and God’s goodness or feel that they were the cause. Because of Christian divorce, non-Christian onlookers may label Christians as hypocrites and build up a wall to anything that smites of God.

Even a secret sin has a ripple effect.  Jealousy, greed, envy, lust, and bitterness cause us to respond to others in different ways than if we were full of love and kindness; causing weaknesses in relationships to those around us. We may never know the intimacy that we should with our spouses or loved ones because we clutch on to this sin. Secret sin may grow into something that physically harms our children or loved ones. Sin also puts a distance between us and God. Isaiah 59:1-2 “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear.  But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.”

We don’t want to- but we do anyway! Romans 7:15-25, and 8:1-2 “15 I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. 16 I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 But I can’t help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things. 18 I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can’t make myself do right. I want to, but I can’t. 19 When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. 20 But if I am doing what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing it; the sin within me is doing it. 21 It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. 8 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.” (New Living Translation)

Getting Rid of Secret Sin

First, there are some things that may seem in the grey area.  If this is the case- pray and ask the Lord to convict you if this is a sin- if it is a grey behavior that you seem to be a slave to or that your life revolves around, chances are high that it is sin.

Stop justifying your sin.  In most sin, we justify our actions- someone may justify lust because their spouse isn’t open to their affections, or justify un-forgiveness because of their own pain. Jesus died on the cross for our sin- all of it- your spouses’ and the person that wronged you- He did not give you a pass to sin because you feel a need to. 

Don’t live by feelings. Our feelings are deceptive- they may tell us to do one thing- when you know that the Holy Spirit is telling you another.  Isaiah 30:21 “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Listen to the Holy Spirit- it was given to you for a reason. Discern what is of the Lord and what is of the world.

Tell an accountability partner that you know will be faithful in praying for you and keeping you accountable.  I know that may be difficult- it is a secret for a reason- we are ashamed of it.   Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Stay away from any temptation by changing your environment- if that means changing jobs, pray that the Lord would open a new door for you.  1 Corinthians 10:13 “ No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” This may mean putting a block on the tv or the computer or spending less time with certain people that influence you in wrong areas. Matthew 5:29 “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into @#!*% .  And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into @#!*% .” Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.”

Get counseling- if it is something that is already harming your family, or if the Lord is showing you that you need to speak to a counselor.

Remember that the Lord knows everything about us- even the number of hairs on our head.  Do we actually think that He doesn’t know our secret sin?  Psalm 69:5 “You know my folly, O God; my guilt is not hidden from You.”  

Repent and offer your life to Him. Romans 6:11-14 “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.  Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness.  For sin shall not be your master because you are not under law, but under grace.”

Watch and pray. Do not let your guard down! Matthew 26: 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

Suit up! Know that this is a spiritual battle. Ephesians 6:10-18 “Finally, 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 scheme.  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 bucked around your waits, 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 the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayer and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

 Take every thought captive! 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Memorization- if we hide anything- it should be His word in our hearts to use as assurance that we have been saved and forgiven and to use in this spiritual battle. We will feel temptation and feel worthless again and again- but cling to His word and know that He has given you the victory.  You may want to seek out specific verses that pertain to your sin so that you can recite them when tempted and to memorize scriptures of your salvation and forgiveness assurance so that you can kick that lying enemy to the curb.

Assurances of forgiveness of sin-

 Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Ephesians 1:7 “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

Psalm 130:4 “But with You there is forgiveness; therefore You are feared.”

Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

Micah 7:19 “You will again have compassion on us; You will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”

I really pray that this has helped you.  I know that searching out these scriptures and seeking the Lord has been an immense blessing to me.  I pray that one day soon we can all recite this Psalm in clear conscience. Psalm 101 “I will sing of Your love and justice; to You, O Lord, I will sing Praise.  I will be careful to lead a blameless life- when will You come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart.  I will set before my eyes no vile thing.  The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me.  Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil.  Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure.  My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with Me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to Me. No one who practices deceit will dwell in My house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in My presence.  Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the Lord.”


Here is the link to download the pdf from Ravelry.