Friday, June 22, 2012


Someone sent me this list a long time ago, and for some reason, it got pushed to the bottom of the queue to be published. Please feel free to add to the list in the comments section.

Parent Book List:
Bringing Up Boys and Bringing up Girls, both by Dr. James Dobson
Creative CorrectionExtraordinary Ideas for Everyday Discipline, by Lisa Whelchel
Modern Parents, Vintage Values:  Instilling Character in Today’s Kids, by Melissa Trevathan and Sissy Goff
Raising Girls, by Melissa Trevethan and Sissy Goff
Wild Things:  The Art of Nurturing Boys, by Stephen James and David Thomas

Preschool Book List:
Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown
Love you Forever, by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw
Just in Case You Ever Wonder, The Crippled Lamb, You are Special, (and many more!), by Max Lucado
Room For a Little One:  A Christmas Tale, by Martin Waddell
The Berenstain Bears Series, by Stan and Jane Berenstain
The Jesus Storybook Bible:  Every Story Whispers His Name, by Sally Lloyd Jones
The Princess and the Kiss:  A Story of God’s Gift of Purity, by Jennie Bishop (also good for elementary age girls)
The Rhyme Bible Storybook by Linda Sattgast
When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really Angry, by Molly Bang

Thursday, June 21, 2012

GUARD by Tony Manley

Anyone who knows me knows words are one of my best friends! Words seem to be active in my head all the time, which leads to words actively flowing from my mouth (picture a fountain with a child holding a water pitcher pouring water into a bird bath – lovely sound and nice touch to a garden…I am wanting you to enjoy this!). This summer’s Bible study is in Nehemiah (even if you are not able to come, the Bible study book is wonderful as a personal study at home alone). In my homework this week, the word “guard” has captured my thoughts. When Nehemiah was given permission, from the very king who had stopped the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls, to return and rebuild the walls, he encountered opposition. His response was, “We prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.” (Neh. 4:9). I have stayed on this word “guard” a lot this week.

“Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord…” Ps. 141:3

“Above all else, guard your heart…” Prov. 4:23

“for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”  Is 52:12

“Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” Mk. 13:33

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 1 Cor. 16:13

“And the peace of God…will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:7

“guard what has been entrusted to your care.” 1 Tim. 6:20

It is evident to me that God wants protected, guarded - what and who represent Him. Whether it is His Word, work, plans, or people; He speaks clearly that I am to be a guard of Him and His. I am amazed that He entrusts to my care the handling of His __________ (fill in the blank).

Not only is the word “guard” a verb, but it is also a noun when God uses it as a name for Himself. He has promised to be my rear guard. The One who has my back. Knowing that God Himself has my back, is my rear guard, is a place of strength and confidence when facing opposition from the front, side, and back! Nehemiah placed a “guard” day and night to protect the work God had placed in his heart.

God has given us the perfect “guard” – the presence of the person of the Holy Spirit in me. He has given me the “guard” of His Word to actively use in all temptations, circumstances, and relationships.

Truly, God is interested in Grammar – He is a “guard” noun (protector) and a “guard” verb (a doer). I am called to be a “guard.” What an exciting position and activity to be called to embrace!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


How many times have you read God’s Word only to get up and walk away and not even realize what you have read?  I know I have many times.  Usually I’m not even awake when I read His Word, as I get up early in the morning before I go to work to spend time with the Lord.  But the other day I read something that really spoke to me and actually woke me up.  Yes, it was early, but God reached down and spoke to me and got my attention. 

Reading in Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, I stumbled on a sentence that made me stop short. It was one simple sentence that was piercing and pointed right at my heart.  It stated, “The passion on the page is a Person …”  Hmm, the passion on the page.  Let’s change that to the "passage on the page is a Person …" and that Person is God.

As Hebrews 4:12 states:  “For the Word of God is alive and powerful.”  Since His Word is alive, He’s always speaking from His Word.  The NIV says, “For the Word of God is living and active.” It’s not only alive, it’s active. The King James says “quick and powerful.” Yes, there is power and passion on the page and that power and passion is a Person, Jesus Christ.  At this point I had to stop and realize once again that I was holding the breathing, living Word of God in my hands. He speaks to me like a father speaks to a child. I am His child. When I hurt, He speaks; when I need comfort, He speaks; when I thank Him, He speaks; when I am kind, He speaks; when I suffer, He speaks.  Well, you get the point.  He is speaking constantly.  But am I listening?  My husband always says, “God is speaking all the time; guess who’s not listening.”  Ouch! 

So, I resolved to go deeper in His Word.  I want to hear Him; I want to know Him more. I need Him!  After all the chaos, stress and turmoil of my day, I want to enter my sanctuary home and stop and hear Him whisper my name. Just like when the Lord appeared to Elijah in I Kings 19, after the mountains were torn apart and shattered, and the earthquake came and after that the roaring fire came. Then came a gentle whisper…that’s what Elijah heard, that gentle whisper.  God only speaks to the heart in a whisper, a gentle whisper.  He will not yell to get our attention; He does not shout our names.  He speaks when we are quiet. When our hearts are tender not tense, our minds are focused not frazzled.  When we learn to bless God and not blame Him for our storms and circumstances, we will see Him for who He truly is, our Father.  Then we will be able to look at the passage on the page and see the passion on the page as the Person we want and need to hear from.

I’m listening for the whisper, are you?

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Consecrate yourselves, 
for tomorrow 
the Lord will do amazing things among you.
Joshua 3:5

Our God is a big God. He still does A-M-A-Z-I-N-G things!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


This is a recipe from Paula Roten via Allrecipes.  These sliders were part of our All-American themed meal last night at Bible Study.  Everybody loved them!  Easy, easy and makes a lot.  However, it would be very easy to divide the recipe.

2 lbs. ground beef
1 pkg. dry Onion Soup Mix
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cups shredded cheese
I added just a little bit of black pepper.
2 pkgs. Hawaiian buns or any dinner roll===This will make 24 sliders.

Brown ground beef and onion soup mix until crumbly and no longer pink.  Drain--WELL

Add the mayonnaise and shredded cheese. Mix well.
Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray.  Take bottom half of buns and fill with mixture; replace tops. Cover with foil (sprayed).

Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 


Next Monday night's Bible Study meal theme is Italian Pasta night. Hopefully, I'll have a good recipe to tell you about next week! But why don't you make plans to join us for Bible Study and a fun meal too? See you at 6:15 in Fellowship Hall!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


God tells us in I John 2:15-16 not to "love the world or anything in the world." And we learn that "everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does" does not come from the Father.

The lust of his eyes. This phrase reminds me of Psalm 119:37 where David prayed, "Turn my eyes away from worthless things."

What do you need to quit looking at?
          the television
          the computer
          home furnishings or decor
          that good-looking hunk who isn't your spouse
          a bigger house
          racy, romantic novels

Another version translates that Psalm as "Turn away my eyes from beholding idolatry." Are you making clothes or a bigger house an idol? Clothes and houses aren't bad...unless they become idols in your life. Is there anything that makes you discontent because you can't have it? Are you in bondage because of it?

This week think about the things you look at. If they are idols or on their way to becoming idols, ask God to remove them and then keep your eyes from looking at them.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.


Just a reminder that our Summer Bible Study starts tonight. Even if you didn't sign up, please come! There will be dinner and a workbook for you. 

Summer Bible Study
Kelly Minter's Nehemiah: A Heart That Can Break
Cost $14.00
Monday nights, June 11-July 23
6:15-8:00 in Fellowship Hall
Themed meals each week

Friday, June 8, 2012


And I am certain that God, 
who began the good work within you, 
will continue his work until it is finally finished 
on the day when Christ Jesus returns. 
Philippians 1:6

Thursday, June 7, 2012

WHAT IS BEST? by Tony Manley

As a teacher, a former mother (I am past the hands on stage!), and a current grandmother (I am in the hands on stage!), I hear and say, “I just want what is BEST for you!”  Seemingly, a harmless statement, a good desire and thought. Right?

Lately, the Holy Spirit has been teaching me about that very desire for my own heart – “I just want what is BEST for you!”  When I begin to really dwell on that thought, that the Holy Spirit just wants what is BEST for me, I realize there can be a discrepancy between when I say those words versus when He says them.  Let me explain.  When I speak those words, I really do want what I think, in my limited understanding, would be BEST for my loved ones and friends. But what if my idea of BEST is not the same as what God knows is BEST? For example: healing, removing the hard thing, or fixing the thing. This is usually my response, “Take it or them away!”  The word BEST is itself a happy and hopeful word…BEST movie, BEST food, BEST house, BEST route, BEST friend…the connotation that something is better than good!  So, if I believe that idea about the word, then shouldn’t I always pray for God’s BEST, trusting and believing God is giving the BEST? This is where my “gut” check comes in! Embracing the truth and having the faith that God’s BEST today may look very different (hard, scary, unexpected) from my box of BEST ideas and solutions. But because He has a plan for every day of my life, He knows why this answer is BEST because it will be BEST for the plans He has for me. 

I really desire to be in the place of relationship with Him that when He does His work in me, my circumstances, or relationships that I don’t just hope for the BEST. I believe and thank Him in this moment for the BEST He is giving me. BEST is His glory and my good.

            “All the days ordained for me were written in Your
book before one of them came to be.”  Ps. 139:16

            “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are
            your ways my ways.” Isa. 55:18

            “For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your
            right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help
            you.” Isa. 41:13

            “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
            “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give
            You hope and a future.”  Jer. 29:11

How very personal God’s BEST is for me!

Monday, June 4, 2012


Once again this recipe comes from one of our own church members, Brenda Jennings.  She told me her family no longer requests birthday cakes but wants this pie for their birthdays. She suggests that if you need to make two pies, mix up each batch separately for each pie pan.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup self-rising flour
2 eggs
3 T. cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Melt butter.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Spread into well-greased pie pan.  Bake @350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.
Quick and easy and delicious.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Be strong and very courageous. 
Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; 
do not turn from it to the right or to the left, 
that you may be successful wherever you go. 
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; 
meditate on it day and night, 
so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. 
Then you will be prosperous and successful. 
Have I not commanded you? 
Be strong and courageous. 
Do not be terrified; 
do not be discouraged, 
for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. 
Joshua 1:7-9

The commands and promises God gave Joshua apply to us today too.

Command: Obey the law and don't turn from it.
Promise: Success

Command: Meditate on the Word and do what's in it
Promise: Prosperity and Success

Command: Be strong and courageous; do not be terrified or discouraged
Promise: God will be with us wherever we go

That last command is impossible for me to do in my own strength. But when I know God is with me, that He'll never leave me or forsake me, that He is on my side and always for me...I become more courageous and encouraged to do what He's called me to do. 

Be strong this week! Be courageous! Your God is with you! 

Friday, June 1, 2012

MIRROR, Stacy McSpadden

The mirror. You may not think of it this way, but it is one of the necessities of life. We use a mirror daily and no matter what, it would be hard to live without being able to see our precious reflections. While the mirror is a simple staple for your bathroom, many people like to use them decoratively. I was walking through the store this morning and started thinking about different styles and ways we can use mirrors in our homes.  

Mirrors have become like pieces of art over the years. They aren't always great for applying makeup, but they look great with your favorite console, chest, or sideboard. Some advice for using mirrors: think about what they reflect. I may touch a nerve here, but a mirror over a mantle is one of those mistakes that most people make when designing their home. If you look at a mirror over a mantle, all you see is the ceiling, light fixture, or vent. A mantle is a great place to display your favorite piece of art. Save that mirror for a wall over a chest or table.

Here are some examples of how we use mirrors in the store.  

This is a great iron mirror. This finish and texture are nice with a wood piece because you don't always have a place to add a different look. It is great for placing across from a pretty piece of art or a colorful room because there is so much clarity in the mirror.

This is considered a "Venetian" mirror. What makes it this style is the use of decorative glass and not a frame. This is a more formal style and looks great in a dining room or living room. Keep in mind that the lamps in this picture are a little large, but we are a store and everything can't always be perfect!

This is a great mirror. The style is called "Chinoiserie." This means that it is a French design with an Asian influence. These can be dressed up or down depending on the room and piece with which it is placed.

The "Starburst" mirror is really hot right now. With the departure of Country French style and the emergence of transitional and mid-century looks, this is a winner. This is also an example of how a mirror can be like a piece of art, rather than reflective.

The last mirror we will look at is the "antiqued" large scale mirror. It makes a huge statement because of its size. Great for the large space with a huge sideboard. Again, it's reflection is not very clear, but it really looks good.

Think about what you are reflecting and how you can best use a mirror to accentuate your home decor.

Happy Decorating!


Stacy McSpadden
Manager of Interior Design Services
Chestnut Hall Interiors
3075 Forest Hill Irene Road
Germantown, Tennessee 38138