By Mary Tatem

Tiny footprints. Waffle soles of sporting shoes. Delicate three-pronged bird tracks. What an interesting variety of footprints I saw in the sand on my early-morning walk down the beach. Read More →

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Molding glass

Devotional by Mary Tatem

The blob of molten glass was fiery orange from the hot furnace. As spectators, we stood at a respectful distance from the glassblowers who worked to create beautiful, useful items from a scorching globule. Before our eyes, the twisting, stretching, and blowing formed colorful bird feeders, glass ornaments, and multicolored handles. We were awed by the speed necessary to perform the quick work before the glass hardened. We were impressed by the skill to know just when to reheat the work for further molding, when to cut, when and how to press the heated glass into its intended form. The beautiful items for sale in the glassblowers’ shop took on new value because we had witnessed the skill required to make it.

Isn’t God working in our ‘molten’ lives to make something beautiful and useful for His Kingdom? Oh, that we will stay malleable to His working in us. Oh, that we may revere one another as a glorious work of God . Oh, that we may appreciate the gorgeous colors, the subtle shapes, the purposes for which God is blowing, and stretching our lives. Let’s pray that we may stay hot with passion for our God so we are easily molded and conformed to His plan.

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The Gargoyles of Life

by Mary Tatem

Mary Tatem

Mary Tatem, Topics: Quilting the Warmth of God * Quilting Trust * Avoiding Mother-in-law pitfalls

We parked in a mall parking garage that overlooked a cathedral. From this viewpoint we could see that the decorative curlicues on the tall towers were not shaped like the gargoyles of European Cathedrals. Gargoyles are an architectural term for decorations of long-necked animal heads or ugly human ones built into a structure to ward off evil spirits or, more practically, drain the water running off the roof away from the mortar of the building to ward off deterioration. The name sounds as strange as these appendages to the churches look. The concrete decorations we viewed from our parking place curved upward reminding us of an ancient belief that evil spirits would slide down the roof, encounter the curve, and fly away from the structure instead of entering it.

We don’t think much about the superstitions of gargoyles in our day. Yet, what kind of gargoyles do we unconsciously build into our thinking to ward off the evils of our world, whether physical or spiritual. As kids, we joked that to step on a crack was to break our mother’s back. We laughingly said breaking a mirror brought bad luck. We entered buildings that skipped a thirteenth floor. Human nature tends to hope that outward actions will provide protection and win favor. If we pray enough, read the Bible enough, go to church without fail, we might be okay. But who decides what is enough? Prayer, Bible reading and church attendance are all beneficial, but we don’t earn God’s protection. Instead, we cherish our inward relationship with God. We don’t earn His favor. God gives it. Our protection from the evils of the seen and unseen world doesn’t lie in outward rituals we perform or objects we construct around us. It is in building our lives and our thinking processes around Jesus, and acknowledging the authority of Jesus and the love of God that bring us peace. In a dangerous world, we grow in putting our trust in His goodness and grace as we bask in the love of God. Take courage. God is a superb protector. He delights to surrounds writers, editors, publishers with his protection. Thank you God for blowing your breathe on the publishing business.

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Spring blooms

Blooms Bursting Out by Mary Hamilton

Mary’s Monday Musings to Quilt Encouragement.
Spring Is Sprung. So goes the saying I remember from my youth. What glorious sights springtime brings us. Masses of flowers blossoming in our yards, along our highways, and over our meadows and hillsides to delight our eyes and scent the air. The season of Spring is well named. Hope and encouragement springs into our hearts and souls with the sight of blossoms changing the barren landscape of winter. Our spirits are renewed. Our sense of expectation rekindled. Our creative energy replenished.

Everywhere we look, we see signs that God isn’t finished with our world yet. His creativity all around us demands our notice and invites us to throw ourselves into living our life to the fullest. The power and love that God demonstrates on the canvas of His world each spring inspires us to use our days to pursue the gifts He has given us. Perhaps a pat on the back, homemade cookies, a word spoken to encourage, or a message written to lift someone’s spirits. Whatever our gifts, God gives them to us as freely as he spreads beauty on our land. We thank Him for our world because we didn’t create the seeds that sprout into flower or food. We thank Him because He planted the seed in us that allows us to spread His love around our world with the gifts He gives us. Thank you, God, for our beautiful Spring.

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Mary’s Monday Musings to Quilt Encouragement — Lily Pads

The lake teamed with life, both plant and animal life. The interesting view of varied grasses punctuated with groups of lily pads called for us to sit and enjoy the scene. We spotted a crane land and watched him fish for his breakfast. We heard his rasping call. Every morning the large white lily blooms opened to greet me when I slipped past sleeping family and out the door to enjoy the scene. Every evening they closed their petals into a ball resting upon its wide green leaf. The lilies on the pond flourished. A few of our party wove a kayak around the grasses and among the lilies for a close up view of the frogs that leaped from pad to pad. The water lilies were larger than any I’d seen before. The water lilies routine was implanted in their cells. They opened and closed with the sun.

We can take a lesson from the lily. Are we pushing ourselves too hard and missing the rhythm of rest that our cells need? With the invention of electric lights, the temptation is to go, go, go cheating ourselves of proper rest. God has a rhythm for us that replenishes and allows us to greet each morning with the bloom of refreshment. Regardless of deadlines, daily rest and refreshing helps our creative juices to thrive.

Mary Tatem is the author of eight books, including her most recent re-release, The Quilt of Life.

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