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Faith, God, Uncategorized

He Named the Stars

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Photo by Philippe Donn on Pexels.com

 

According to NASA, our sun is one of about 200 billion stars in our galaxy.¹ That’s more than any of us can see with our eyes. I am overwhelmed by the few stars I can see at night. The most stars I’ve seen at once was at the Grand Canyon. I wish I could have captured that beautiful view. It’s forever in my memory, until I lose my memory. Hahaha!

We can never reach any of the stars, besides our sun. Proxima Centauri, our closest star, is approximately 4.24 light years away. A light year is 5.88 trillion miles.² Yeah, we’re never going to get up close to a single star. And we are not supposed to. Each star is exactly where it is meant to be, far, far, away.

God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. Genesis 1:16, NIV 

There is no doubt in my mind that there is a God when I look at the night sky. But when I think about the fact that God named the stars, my mind is officially blown. Only God, who made billions of stars, also named them. 

He determines the number of the stars

and calls them each by name. Psalm 147:4, NIV 

 

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:

    Who created all these?

He who brings out the starry host one by one

    and calls forth each of them by name.

Because of his great power and mighty strength,

    not one of them is missing. Isaiah 40:26, NIV

God made and named each and every star. Not one star is missing or out of place. 

God is in the details of the universe and the details of our lives. 

Do you feel like He has forgotten about you? Do you ever wonder if He sees you and what you’re going through? Does God really care about me? Yes, God really cares about every heartache, trial, and pain you experience.

God made every single part of the universe and He made you. He knows everything about you. He even numbered the hairs on your head. He doesn’t just count how many individual hairs you’ve got. God numbered your hair. Reach up and touch a piece of hair on your head. Maybe that’s number 1000 or 50. Who knows? God does. 

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Matthew 10:30, NIV 

God has intimate knowledge of us. He is not a far-off, too busy for us, God. The God who made us also deeply loves us, and deeply cares about our needs and sorrows. He is in the details. 

Whatever you are going through today, or tomorrow, He cares. God cares so much that He wants you to trust Him, to talk to Him, and give Him all your concerns. He will take care of you. It may not be your way, or your time, but He will provide. 

As for God, his way is perfect:

    The Lord’s word is flawless;

    He shields all who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30, NIV

The God who named the stars, and numbered your hair, loves you. Trust Him. Cry out to Him. Praise Him, and thank Him. Spend some time with Him. He loves hearing from you.

 

Love you all,

Meghan 

 

¹ https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/other-solar-systems/en/

² https://www.britannica.com/story/how-do-we-know-how-far-away-the-stars-are

 

Do you want to know how to photograph the night sky? Read this informative article from Pixpa filled with great tips. 

https://www.pixpa.com/blog/guide-to-astrophotography

 

Faith, Obedience

100 Things for My 100th Post!

 

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My 100th post! I cannot believe I’ve posted that much. A lot has happened in my two years of blogging. I want to start by saying “thank you!” to each and every one of you. Thank you to each of my followers. Thank you for your support. It means everything to me.

Thank you to every person who has liked and commented on any of my posts. Your feedback is a huge blessing to me. Thank you to anyone who has dropped in and read a post. Thank you!

Here are a few fun facts about my blog.

There have been 71,057 words written on my 99 posts.

I have recieved 1200 likes and 939 comments.

People from 86 countries have visited my site. Places like Sri Lanka, Botswana, Cameroon, Macedonia, Pakistan, and Israel, to name just a few.

I started this blog because I wrote a kids book, Joey Flynn’s Extraordinary Tale. The link is on my home page. I didn’t know what I was doing, or what exactly I was supposed to blog about. I stepped out in faith, trusting that God would equip me, and He did.

I have learned a lot, written a lot, met all kinds of great people, and gotten stronger in my faith in the process. My goal is still the same, “to encourage kids and adults“. I say kids because of my book, and future kids books. I always write from the perspective of my faith and share the truth about the Bible, and Jesus to the best of my ability.

Every post has been prayed over, studied, researched, and written with care to bless you.

Here is my first blog ever Unqualified

Thank you for coming along on this blogging journey with me. I pray that you have been encouraged in some small way by my writing. I am so grateful for you! I’m just getting warmed up. I’ve got lots more to write about.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Love you all,

Meghan

 

For fun, I’ve put together a list of 100 random things about me. They are in no particular order. Enjoy!

  1. I’m addicted to coffee.
  2. I love Cobb salad.
  3. My dream job is to be a pastry chef.
  4. My other dream job is to be a farmer.
  5. I don’t drink soda very often.
  6. The first thing I do in the morning is grab my Bible.
  7. I make coffee before I do anything else. (Refer to #1)
  8. Bible, coffee, and prayer start my day.
  9. I love being outside.
  10. I’m obsessed with the sky.
  11. I’m always looking at clouds.
  12. I’m also obsessed with the night sky.
  13. I love the moon.
  14. I see God everywhere in nature.
  15. I love to laugh.
  16. I find so many things funny.
  17. Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts.
  18. I dream of going to Israel.
  19. I also dream of going to Italy.
  20. My childhood dream was to be a fashion designer.
  21. I was always drawing as a kid.
  22. Baby animals make me smile.
  23. Birds are incredible.
  24. Rainy days make me want to bake, read books, and watch movies.
  25. I love architecture.
  26. I love old churches and cathedrals.
  27. I love the old Spanish Missions.
  28. The beach is one of my happy places.
  29. I’m happiest barefoot.
  30. I have naturally curly hair.
  31. I usually straighten my hair.
  32. I would cry as a little girl when my mom combed my thick, tangled hair.
  33. I hate large bugs.
  34. I screamed the first time I saw a huge cockroach in Texas. (They are BIG here)
  35. I Love being on the water. Ocean, lake, stream, pool; it doesn’t matter.
  36. I swim often in our swimming pool.
  37. My favorite season is summer.
  38. Impressionism, naturalism, and realism are my favorite styles of paintings.
  39. I don’t like clutter.
  40. I love post-it notes and use them a lot.
  41. Hurting, broken people are my people.
  42. I wanted to be Wonder Woman as a child.
  43. I hate horror movies.
  44. I enjoy Indie movies. (good ones)
  45. I love documentaries.
  46. Biographies and history are my favorite types of books.
  47. I don’t enjoy novels. 
  48. A pet peeve I’ve got is back massages during church. It’s creepy and distracting.
  49. I’m a teensy bit claustrophobic.
  50. I love antiques.
  51. I love a bargain.
  52. I love to dance.
  53. I love the smell of fresh cut grass.
  54. Peanut butter M&M’s are the best ones.
  55. My favorite ice cream is peanut butter chocolate from Baskin Robbins.
  56. Lilacs and hydrangeas are two of my favorite flowers.
  57. I do not like public speaking.
  58. I love hiking trails.
  59. Working in my garden is therapy for me.
  60. I am a task-oriented person.
  61. I teach a cooking class to middle school and high school age kids.
  62. I’m about to start my 17th year of homeschool. 
  63. I love to cook.
  64. I love to try new recipes and force my family to eat them.
  65. Italian food is my all time favorite.
  66. I don’t like to fold and put away laundry.
  67. My favorite movie candy is Junior Mints.
  68. I love sweet tea.
  69. My favorite preacher is Charles Spurgeon. 
  70. I greatly admire Joan of Arc.
  71. One of my favorite colors is teal.
  72. Elijah and Moses are two of my favorite Bible people.
  73. I keep most cards I’ve been given.
  74. I love Christmas.
  75. I go overboard with Christmas decorations.
  76. I love big coffee mugs. (refer to #1)
  77. I love getting a pile of cookbooks from the library and getting inspired.
  78. I love getting a pile of history, art, and gardening books from the library.
  79. I love to watch America’s Test Kitchen.
  80. I love to watch The Great British Bake Off.
  81. I love to take pictures of pretty much everything.
  82. Most of the pictures on my blog are mine.
  83. I plan on writing a second book.
  84. I may even write a third book.
  85. I never dreamed of being a writer.
  86. I love to encourage people.
  87. I sing loudly and badly in my car.
  88. I love to travel.
  89. I love exploring new places.
  90. I love 80’s music.
  91. Worship music is my jam.
  92. I love hanging out with my husband and sons.
  93. My husband and sons make me laugh and fill me up.
  94. I am blessed with incredible Godly women whom I call friends.
  95. I never met a stranger.
  96. I keep my circle of people small.
  97. I have 4 siblings.
  98. My little sis is one of my people.
  99. I love to entertain and plan parties.
  100. I love to put gifts together for others.

 

 

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Jesus Christ's Return, The Early Church

Maranatha

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“O Lord, Come”

 

The word maranatha has been around in Christian circles for centuries. Some even use it for their businesses, and church names. I had never given the word maranatha much thought until I saw the footnote in my Bible last year. How I overlooked it all these years is beyond me. Once I understood the meaning and significance it was an encouragement, and I hope it will be to you as well.

In Aramaic the word marana tha translates to “our Lord comes” or is “coming”. Maranatha occurs only once in the Bible.¹

If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!”   1 Corinthians 16:22, NKJV 

Strong words for those who don’t love Jesus. The word accursed is translated from the Greek word anathema. This was the third level of three levels of discipline for the ancient Jews. Anathema meant that the Jew being disciplined was no longer counted as a Jew and would never be reconciled to the synagogue.²

After this dire warning about your soul being cursed for not loving Jesus, Paul ends with maranatha.

Paul used an Aramaic word, maranatha, in a letter to a Greek church. He was sending a message of hope to the early church. Maranatha was an encouragement to fellow Christians enduring terrible persecution under Roman rule. It reminded them that Jesus Christ was coming back for them.

The early Christians were severely persecuted by the Romans since they refused to declare Ceasar was god. This meant death for the Christian. Maranatha became a common greeting of that day. The Lord will return and their suffering will end. The early church expected Jesus to return at any moment and we should too.

Jesus Christ is coming back for His church.

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:3, NIV 

Early Christians took loving Jesus and His imminent return very serious. They laid everything down, even their lives to love, serve, and follow Jesus. There was an excitement about the return of Christ.

The 18th Century evangelist George Whitfield attests to his “Maranatha Mindset” writing:

“Let that cry, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh,” (Matthew 25:6) be continually sounding in your ears, and begin now to live as though you were assured that this night you were to go forth to meet Him. (And all God’s people cry “Amen!”)³

Whatever you are facing today, Jesus sees you and is with you. Your suffering will end. I say “Maranatha” to you. Jesus will right every wrong. We will be with Him in heaven for all of eternity. So hold on friend. Keep trusting. Keep believing. This world is not our home.

As Christians, may we live with excitement and great anticipation of the return of Lord Jesus. Maranatha!

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

  1. https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/maranatha/
  2. https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/1-corinthians-16/
  3. https://www.preceptaustin.org/maranatha
God, Obedience

The Potter

person making clay pot

Ceramics was one of my high school electives. It was only for a semester and I wasn’t very good at it. I did give it my best try and actually enjoyed making ceramics. The pottery wheel was exciting and very difficult. If you didn’t get your clay exactly at the center of the wheel the pottery was not going to work. Then there was the enormous challenge of shaping the clay. The entire process had to be started over if any part went wrong.

God is The Potter. He made each of us. Shaping us with His mighty hands. Vessels to be used for His glory. 

In the ancient world pottery was an important part of almost every aspect of life. There were storage jars, oil lamps, and cooking pots all made from clay. The earliest pottery was formed by hand.

Yet you, Lord, are our Father.
    We are the clay, you are the potter;
    we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8, NIV 

When the clay goes bad or something goes wrong in the process, the potter crushes it down and starts again. The potter never throws the clay out.

God will never throw us away. We are the clay in His powerful hands. We must trust what He is doing.

Trust God when everything is falling apart.

Trust God when you are being crushed.

Trust God when the cracks are getting bigger.

Trust God when He reshapes you into something beautiful.

The Potter does not want to destroy us, though we may think that at times. Especially when we are being crushed. God loves us beyond anything we can humanly comprehend. He is our Maker and knows what is best for each and every one of us.

Clay pots look strong, but we can easily break and chip. Many factors contribute to our cracks. What are we filling ourselves with? What are we thinking on? What are our priorities? Clay pots are designed to be containers.

We are not meant to be empty vessels. We are designed with eternity in mind by The Potter. If we allow God to mold us, and shape us, and use us for His glory than we are fulfilling our purpose. Yes, sometimes we will be crushed back down into a lump. Sometimes, we do it to ourselves and the cracks appear and ultimately we crumble.

God never throws the clay away.

No matter how many cracks, and broken pieces are in your life, He can make beauty out of your brokenness. Trust God.

Love you all,

Meghan

If you need prayer just drop me an email from my contact page.

Photo by Anthony Shkraba on Pexels.com

 

Food, mustard seed sentinel

Canned Tomatoes

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We had a large tomato harvest in our backyard garden this summer. There were so many that a quick decision had to be made on what to do with the tomatoes before they spoiled. Enter the canned tomato. This was my first time canning, and I loved it. 

There is something so satisfying about preserving food that you’ve grown. Even the basil in each jar is from our garden. I have a whole new respect for the generations before me who had no choice but to preserve their food for those long winter months. No wonder not a drop of food was wasted back in the day. Each morsel meant hard work was involved.

A few things to consider before you decide to take the plunge on this endeavor. It will make a decent sized mess in your kitchen. It will take at least two hours of your time. You don’t need a canning pot. The only tool you should purchase or borrow is canning tongs, and of course jars. 

If you have ever wanted to try canning, tomatoes are a great way to start. They are probably one of the least fussy foods to preserve. You will still need to sterilize your jars and lids, but there is less concern over botulism because tomatoes are a high acidic fruit. You will have your very own tomatoes on hand to make sauces, soups, stews, or any other tomato based recipe. 

I love trying new things and canning tomatoes surprised me with happiness. Tomatoes are a staple in my cooking, and now I have my own canned supply from my garden. If you decide to take the leap into canning like I did, send me your pictures. I’d love to see what you accomplished. You can do this!

Happy Canning!

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

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Canned Tomatoes

 

Ingredients

  • ½ to 1 lb. Roma tomatoes per each 16 oz. jar
  • 1 bottle concentrated lemon juice
  • fresh sprigs of basil

 

Instructions

  1. Prepare canning jars. Place jars and lids in simmering water for 10 minutes to sterilize them. The rings do not need to be sterilized and just need washed in warm soapy water. To make it easy, just leave the jars and lids in the warm water until you’re ready to fill them. 
  2. Remove the skins from the tomatoes. Wash tomatoes and make an “x” shape with a knife on the bottom of each one. Bring a large pot of water to boil and place scored tomatoes in the pot for a minute or two. When the skins start to tear, scoop out the tomatoes and place them in an ice water bath. Remove the skins, cut out the core, and slice the tomatoes into quarters. 
  3. Cook the tomatoes. Place one fourth of the tomatoes in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Crush the tomatoes with a potato masher. Add the remaining tomatoes (do not crush these tomatoes) and boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Fill jars with cooked tomatoes. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice concentrate per jar and one sprig of fresh basil. Fill jars with cooked tomatoes leaving ½ inch head space. Wipe the rims and place lids and rings on each jar until finger tight.
  5. Process jars in a hot water bath. Place the filled jars in a warm water bath covering them in at least an inch of water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and start timing. 40 minutes for pints and 45 minutes for quarts. Process times can vary depending on your altitude. https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_03/tomato_water_pack.html
  6. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when the center is pressed. You should hear a popping sound when they cool or even while they are boiling. Store canned tomatoes for up to a year. 

 

Notes:

  • Make sure to use canning tongs. It will make your job much easier and safer.
  • I used a stock pot when processing my cans since it was deep.
  • My jars are pint size (16 oz.) 
  • A wide mouth canning funnel is quite helpful when filling jars.
  • Use bottled lemon juice to ensure high enough acidity.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for quart size jars.

 

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Click on the link to get all of my recipes. Go to More and scroll down to Meghan’s Corner. Mustard Seed Sentinel is an online magazine filled with all sorts of fantastic articles. The contributors are accomplished, talented writers. Check it out and subscribe.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com