Saturday, April 12, 2014

Psalm 42 and 43

So, my mom's and mine journey through these two chapters was a little more challenging than chapter one in Psalm. We gain quite a bit of knowledge with these two chapters but memorizing them was difficult. Chapter 42 was our goal and we ended up adding chapter 43 to the list because it is the conclusion to chapter 42. It felt incomplete to leave it out. We talked about what made these difficult and decided that it was because the verses and thoughts are disconnected emotionally. For a couple of verses the writer is depressed then he is joyful then back to depressed. It does reflect many a walk with Christ, even ours. Memorizing this journey of the writer was not easy. We'd lose our place because it didn't flow a lot.

We picked chapter 42 because of verse one: "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for you, O God." We love this song and thought that knowing the Psalm it comes from would be nice. For myself the verse that stuck out was the end of verse 5 "...for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence." Just God's presence is help to this writer and he praises God for it. I remembered that just God being near me is worthy of praise, whether He does anything I see or not, doesn't matter. Mom was amazed that the writer always came back to praising God even though it was obvious the writer was in some sort of trouble. No matter how bad it got, in the end he would praise God. We did some background research on this chapter and discovered that it is possible that the writer is taken from his home and from the Temple due to captivity. The writer recalls "...You from the land of Jordan and the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar." (verse 6) as if he is no longer there. Back in verse 4 he remembers leading a "procession to the house of Go, with the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival." It seems to us that he not only longed to be in God's Temple again but also with God's people. Verse 10 speaks of his adversaries and how they taunt him. Based on what we found it could have been his and his people's captors.

As you can see chapter 42 ends sad. Chapter 43 gives the rest of the story. Verses 1 and 2 are still mourning the situation he is in and he is asking where God is, but in verses 3-5 he puts his trust in God's light and truth to lead him back to God's dwelling place. He knows that he will be filled with joy again and that he will hope in God again! I am working on verses 3 and 4. I am memorizing these a little slower and with our other memorizing chapters. For some reason, I feel that I am digesting these slower and much closer to my heart than the others.

We still wonder what Chapter 42 verse 7 means. "Deep calls to deep at the sound of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have rolled over me." If anyone has any thoughts our resources they'd like to share, we'd love to do more research!

On to Psalm 4!

Girl and Boy Birthday Cakes!

The top two pictures are our daughter's "dance cake". This is what she told me she wanted when I asked her for ideas for her cake. I thought to myself, "How am I going to make a 'dance cake'?" It took a long time of going through pictures to come up with something. The flowers were actually the easy part. I made them ahead of time and then let her put them on. She was very excited to help! The silhouette was a bit trickier. I ended up printing out a picture then cutting the picture out carefully and keeping the hole it created. I took the said hole in the paper and laid it on the cake. I carefully took the pink icing and spread it on top, filling the hole of the ballerina. Then I peeled the paper off leaving the silhouette on the cake. Basically I stenciled it on as you would have with paint to a wall, but with icing to a cake. It worked pretty effect I thought!

The bottom was so much easier. When I asked our son what he wanted on his cake he was very specific. He said he wanted a blue race car. Well, that was easy enough! I found a picture, printed, piped, filled. Ta-Da! Then I added the "road", grass, and boarder. He was completely happy :). Boys are so much easier sometimes!

Enjoy!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

What we learned Memorizing Psalm 1

So my mom and I finished memorizing Psalm 1. The first in a long line of Psalms we have chosen this year to meditate on. A couple of things we have learned from this chapter we thought we'd share with you. I hope to share a bit of what we learned from each chapter we meditate on. Hopefully you will find some insightful tid bits for yourself.

First, I found that I didn't quite understand what prosper meant in vs 3. "He will be like a tree firmly planted by the streams of water, which yields it's fruit in it's season and it's leaves never wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers." (-nasb, bold word mine) Before this it talks about not walking in the counsel of the wicked, standing in the path of sinners, and sitting in the seat of scoffers. After this it talks about how the persons delight is instead in the law of the Lord and that he meditates on it night and day. So here was my questions, if we are doing all of this as I think we are, why are we not prospering? So I looked up the Hebrew word for prosper. It is a verb tsaw-lay-akh and the first definition is to rush, the second is to advance, prosper, make progress, succeed, be profitable. The two that surprised me were to advance and to make progress. We are in a stage of transition as I have already written about and sometimes I feel as though we are not "prospering" and these helped me see that it could be the journey is important and not being prosperous in today's terms. We are moving forward and we are keeping God's word in our hearts and so we are prospering. My mom pointed out and helped me realize that the tree (us) has it's season to bear fruit and it's season to not bear fruit, but it never dies. Our last chapter in life was a fruitful one and now we are in a dormant period, like a tree, but we are not dead.

Second, my mom really benefited from the last verse "For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish." (nasb) Sometimes we can feel as though we are tiny and can be missed or overlooked by such a great and bigger than us God. This verse reminded her that we are righteous in God's eyes and that He knows our ways. As Psalm 121 also says, He will not let our foot slip and He watches over us both day and night.

I hope you can gain some growth out of what we have learned and shared with you. Do not be afraid of what you may learn in your walk with God and share it with others. You never know who you may help.

Friday, January 17, 2014

To Meditate for a Year

In an earlier post I referenced that my mom and I are memorizing the Psalms. I thought that I'd explain that idea a little more as I have found that others are interested in knowing what we do. Here is how it started and where we are at.
So every year for the past few years my mom and I try to come up with something to do with our walk with Christ together. Once we went through a Bible study on Proverbs 31. We used Discovering the Treasures of a Godly Woman: Proverbs 31 by Elizabeth George. This is a great study that is practical as well as Bible intensive. She used Scripture through out the Bible as well as Proverbs 31, of course. Understand that my mom and I live miles apart and study on our own time then come together with a phone call to discuss what we have learned. Another time we picked a few Psalms and memorized them together. This was an exercise that stretched our memories as well as our understand of the Scriptures. We discovered things together that we would have other wised missed. We would each find something pertaining to our lives or the other's life. We would look up words and ask questions. I enjoy sharing my walk with Jesus with her. She is a women with insight that I value.
Well, this year Christmas came and went and over New Years my parents came for a visit. Nailing down what we were doing this year was THE thing I wanted to accomplish. Turns out we both thoroughly enjoyed memorized the Psalms. We had a couple of verses outside of Psalms last year and those just didn't seem to flow. This year we picked out our Psalms again. It happened that we had a lot of Psalms picked out, and they were kind of all over the place. We got to talking and wondered what it would be like to memorize them in a sort of worship style. We examined them and picked an order that would be worship, recognition of God, prayer, and then praise. I have shared this idea with a couple of my close friends and one of them asked for our Psalms, so I decided to share this thought with others out there that may be interested in a different way to meditate this year.

Psalm 1, 42, 4, 27, 32, 114, 116, 96, 93, and 113.

Join us on this journey or make your own and share it with others. It is much more enriching to share your walk with Christ with someone. How do you share yours? There are many ways, share what you do in the comments below. I have also chosen this year to participate in Trades of Hope. This is a group of women reaching out to other women to empower them out of poverty. Everything we sell or host for someone else to sell help women around the world by providing a steady income. This keeps children in schools, provides a trade for them, and keeps them out of slavery (of all types). You can join this year too by going to
www.mytradesofhope.com/amyjosims

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cowboy Boot Birthday Cake





This cake was a lot of fun to make. This is a birthday cake I made for a friend of mine for her son. The boot is one cake and the fenced in yard is another cake. All the icing is buttermilk icing. The boot icing is chocolate. I made it chocolate with cocoa. This caused the icing to dry out so I had to make sure I added more water/milk to the icing. The light brown is also chocolate, but I added Nesquik instead. The cactus is made out of fondant and I used a toothpick to make it stand up in place. When I was done my husband suggested the crumbled graham crackers for a dirt look. I think it looks pretty good! If you have any questions just post a comment.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Classroom Cake

This is the cake I made for our Wednesday night class. I taught the kids in grades 3-6. They were a great group of kids. The fish and bread in the basket represents the favorite lesson we did. Everyone brought something to eat (fish crackers, bread, basket, outside games, blanket to sit on). We went outside and read the Bible story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and 2 fish. The chain represents a paper chain we had made in the classroom. Every time we met they would tell me something they did that week that reflected what they had learned. By the time we were done with the semester our chain (fondant) stretch from one end of the room to the other. They were very excited to see what they had accomplished! Finally I put the names of the three teachers on the basket and the students names on the blue part of the cake. I used the big pretzels to make the basket 3D. I laid them down and covered them in chocolate icing. I was a tastey mix of sweet and salty!


I hope I sparked your creativity today!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

First Cakes I Made

So I noticed that I don't actually have many cakes on here so here are the beginning cakes that I have made. These first two are during my cake decorating class.

This cupcake one was done for our daughter when she turned four. I really found I enjoyed doing cakes like this. I used butter icing. To get the shape of the cupcake I used piping gel to trace the shape onto wax paper then gently pressed it onto the cake. The dots and writing are also done in pipping gel.







This cake is the second one I did. It was for our son. These flowers look beautiful. I think that flowers are fun, but they are time consuming and I don't really feel as creative as I do with unique cakes.

I hope you enjoy these birthday cakes. My writing gets better with time. I made the flowers with butter icing. Medium thickness. They writing was thing and so was the icing of the cake.

To make the icing of the cake smooth I used facing material. Place the smooth side down on the cake and gently smooth with hand or angled spatula.

More cakes to come, wedding shower, birthday cakes, and a baby one too!


www.mytradesofhope.com/amyjosims