Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Are You at Your Wits' End?

"These see the works of the LORD, and His wonders in the deep.  For He commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.  They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.  They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end.  Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and He bringeth them out of their distresses."
Psalm 107:24-27

Does the above passage of Scripture resonate with you today?  Like waves of the sea, do you mount up to the heaven one day, only to find yourself falling back down into the depths of despair the next?  Is your soul melted because of the trouble that surrounds you?  Do you reel to and fro and stagger like a drunk man?  Are you at your wits' end?

When I was growing up, Mom, Dad, and I heard a song called "Wits' End Corner," and it came to my mind today.  I was SO wishing to hear it and searched for it on youtube, and praise the dear Lord, I found it!  I hope you can take the time to listen to this dear, old song sung so beautifully and harmoniously.

If you find yourself at your wits' end today, I want to encourage you that you are in good company.  

The prophet, Jeremiah said, "Cursed be the day wherein I was born.  Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?"  Jeremiah 20:14,18

The prophet, Elijah "went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, 'It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.'"  I Kings 19:4

King David said, "I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.  My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me."  Psalm 38:6,10

Job said, "Why died I not from the womb? Why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?  My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul."  Job 3:11, Job 10:1

Jonah said, "Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.  I do well to be angry, even unto death."  Jonah 4:3,9

The Apostle Paul said, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed."
2 Corinthians 4:8-9

"But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;  by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things."  2 Corinthians 6:4-5,8-10

"For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
2 Corinthians 1:8

Most importantly,
our dear Lord, Jesus was "despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed him not."  Isaiah 53:3

He said, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death." And He said, 'Abba, Father, all things are possible unto Thee; take away this cup from Me: nevertheless not what I will, but what Thou wilt.'"  Mark 14:34,36

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' that is to say, 'My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?'"  Matthew 27:46

We could go on and on and tell of not only Biblical people, but God's people throughout history who have reached the point of being at their "wits' end."

Are you there today?

If you are, may I encourage you?

Jeremiah, Elijah, King David, Job, Jonah, and Paul persevered, and they overcame!
They are now a part of that "great cloud of witnesses" who proved it can be done!

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us."  Hebrews 12:1

Our dear Lord, Jesus overcame!
He rose above all, including death, hell, and the grave, and He is now seated in glory!

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:2

You can overcome, too, my friend.
I don't know the individual circumstances of life that may have driven you to "Wits' End Corner," but I can tell you this.  "Wits' End Corner" is where God hangs out - just like the song says.  He is there.  Right in the midst of your current situation, and He has everything you need to enable you to keep pressing on.  To walk forward, even though you don't know where you will find the strength to take the next step.  He will empower you to keep fighting the good fight so that one day, you will join the ranks of those who have already laid hold on eternal life.

"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."  I Timothy 6:12

As I stood next to the bed of my dear, dying mother, she looked up into my eyes, struggling to talk to me.  I gently pulled back the BiPap that was pressed so tightly to her face and bent low to listen with all my might to what she was trying to tell me.  I knew it would be of eternal significance, and oh, I SO did not want to miss it!  I SO wanted to understand.  She was trying so hard, and finally Kevin helped me decipher the three beyond-precious words she was trying so hard to convey—words that often return to my mind and sustain me.

"Keep.  Pressing.  On."

These are the words I pass on to you today, weary heart.  I know the battle has been long.  I know the struggle is real.  Keep.  Pressing.  On.  Don't give up.  God is there with you - hanging out beside you on "Wits' End Corner."  This time of severe trial and testing will produce precious fruits of righteousness, and you will one day look back on today and better understand the process.

I think you may enjoy our new book and might possibly find encouragement in reading about the many lessons God has taught my family and me over the past few years.
Order HERE
Here is a trailer I put together until Zach is able to find time to make a better, more professional one for us.

You can order our book HEREIf you are unable to afford to buy our book and would like to have your own copy, please email us, and we will mail you a copy free of charge.  Our main goal is to glorify JESUS and be a blessing and encouragement through the telling of our story.

In closing, PLEASE pray for our dear friend and fellow blogger, Betsy, who lost her brother to Covid-19.  Our hearts go out to her and to all who have lost loved ones during this sad, difficult time.  May God have mercy and heal every hurting heart.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Biblical Minimalism ~ The Book Is Published ~ All Glory to God!

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life."
Proverbs 13:12

Hello, everyone!

I love the above verse, and it surely applies to the news I am sharing with you here today.  As many of you know, my family and I have been on a mission of minimizing our lives over the past few years, and the Lord laid it on my heart to write a book about it and include the many spiritual lessons He has taught us along the way.  

When I finished writing our family's story, we knew we needed a powerful cover for our book—one that would portray the compelling call of Jesus to follow Him wholeheartedly and without reserve.  I couldn't imagine what that would actually look like, until the day Zach called to me and said,  "Mama, you HAVE to see this picture I found online!"  I can hardly put into words the emotions that washed over me as I stood behind Zach staring at the computer screen.  It was my first time seeing Helen Thomas Robson's amazing photo, "My Friend."  I was so overwhelmed as I said, "That's it, Zach!  That is the exact epitome of everything I am trying to say in this book!"  

He and Kevin both agreed, and the quest was on to find out who took that photo.  After some searching online, I found Helen, and soon, we were on the phone talking like old friends.  I told her some of our story and how deeply her photo moved us.  I began to inquire about obtaining the rights to use her photo as our book cover, even though I was no where near ready to publish.  The book needed a thorough, professional edit, and the cost was inhibitive.  Helen, so graciously allowed me to use her photo as the banner of our Biblical Minimalism blog, and we agreed that I would call her back if and when the time ever came that the book would be published.

After a long waiting process, the Lord made a way, and the book was finally edited and recently prepared for publishing. I contacted Helen again and was able to secure usage rights for the book cover!!  Zach applied his amazing graphic design super skills, and he designed the cover so beautifully.  We could not be more pleased with the outcome! 

Here it is!

Last week, I completed the laborious task of publishing, and our book is now available for purchase—both in paperback and ebook form by clicking HERE!!

The other day, my dear husband came home from work, and as I met him at the door, I saw that he was holding something behind his back.  He had that little mischievous grin on his face, and I wondered what was going on.  Soon, he showed me.  In his hands, he held an envelope from Amazon, and I instantly knew what it was!  The "proof" copy of our book!  Kevin, Zach, and I stood by our kitchen counter to open it together.  It was quite an overwhelming feeling to stand there and hold in our hands the thing that, not only have I poured so much time and energy into over the past few years, but we have walked out together every single step side-by-side.  Soon, we prayed together, praising God for allowing this to come to fruition and dedicating this book to God.

I'll be honest.  When it came right down to the point of hitting that "publish my book" button, I was terrified.  If this were a ficional book, it wouldn't be nearly as hard to "put ourselves out there."  But, this is our story - so near and dear to our hearts - a story that we walk out and live every single day.  Things are revealed in this book that are deeply personal to us, and when I thought of hitting "publish," it felt like releasing something sacred to a world that is far too often unkind and unforgiving.  We are all three very private people which made this even more difficult.  But, GOD.  He kept dealing with my heart, showing me things like:

1.  We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.  (Revelation 12:11)
2.  The whole reason He has led us on this journey is to help others through sharing the lessons we have learned.  When we laid down our lives and consecrated to following Him with all our hearts, He accepted that sacrifice of surrender and led us in a path that would teach us what others need to hear.  To hold that in and refuse to share what God has taught us for the sake of protecting our privacy is rooted in pride.  I could feel, deep in my spirit, that it was time, and it was His ultimate will for us to move forward in this process.  You know how sometimes you just "know" something is God's will?

I am not going to say that I overcame fear to do this, but I am often reminded and comforted by Elizabeth Elliot's words,
"Sometimes when we are called to obey, the fear does not subside and we are expected to move against the fear. One must choose to do it afraid.”

By His grace alone, we did this afraid, and now it is done.

With the publication of this book, our family ministry has expanded.  It is exciting to us, yes, but is also requiring an enormous amount of faith!

Please join us in giving praise to God for making it all come together, for providing the finances needed, and for miraculously making this happen!

We are not in this to become rich, by any stretch of the imagination.  Our fervent desire is to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to get this book into the hands of every person who wants to read it, whether or not they can afford to purchase a copy. If you would like to support our ministry and purchase a copy (or multiple copies!) of our book (available in Kindle and Paperback format), just click HERE!

We have also added a "Donate" button option (located in the right sidebar of this blog) to enable those who feel led to make a one-time or recurring contribution.

To those of you who have so graciously agreed to be on our launch team, your books will be coming in the mail to you just as soon as possible.  Thank you for your patience!

Many, many thanks and blessings to all of you for being so loyal and encouraging to us on this amazing journey!  May God bless each one of you in a special way.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

And, The Winners Are.....

"Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with honour and majesty."  Psalm 104:1

Recently, we decided to give away not one, not two, but THREE copies of Karen Del Tatto's new devotional book!!!

Today, is the day of the drawing for the giveaway!
And, the winners are.....
and Su Ann!!!!!

If you weren't one of the blessed winners, you can purchase Karen's new book HERE.

Read our exclusive interview with Karen HERE.

Read Karen and her husband, Michael's love story HERE

and a special Christmas memory she shared with us HERE.

You can also connect with Karen on Facebook and Pinterest.

A BIG Congratulations to Regina, Charlene, and Su Ann for winning!!
We will be in touch with you soon!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Another Giveaway!

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
Proverbs 3:5

I am so excited to share another giveaway with you, dear readers!
My sweet friend and fellow-blogger, Karen Del Tatto, recently wrote a wonderful devotional book called, "Choosing to Trust God: Breaking the Habit of Worry A 30 Day Devotional."  What is so amazing is how the Lord led her to write it before the coronavirus pandemic.  It is so fitting to this trying time, and the lessons God has taught Karen are so applicable to what we now face.  

We are giving away not one, not two, but THREE copies of Karen's new book!!!

To enter, all you have to do is leave us a comment below.  Zach will enter three commenters' names into Wheel Decide sometime on Sunday, May 17th, and each of the three winners will win one copy of  Karen's new book!

Giveaway is only open to those who live in the US, due to shipping costs.  

Please note:
"Unkown" or "Anonymous" commenters will not be entered into giveaway since we have no way of identifying or making contact.  If you are an "unknown" or "anonymous" commenter and would like to enter the giveaway, you will need to leave your name and contact information in your comment, please! 

Opinions are my own, and I received no monetary compensation for this review or giveaway.

If you aren't one of the blessed winners, you can purchase Karen's new book HERE.

Read our exclusive interview with Karen HERE.
Read Karen and her husband, Michael's love story HERE
and a special Christmas memory she shared with us HERE.

You can also connect with Karen on Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings to all of you during these trying times!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Winners of Pressley Girls' CDs!!

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
James 1:17

And, the three winners are........
Commenter #10 - Steve,
Commenter #5 - Cindy, 
Commenter #16 - Elizabeth!!!!!

I know you will thoroughly enjoy hearing these sweet girls sing!

We have Cindy's and Elizabeth's contact information, but just realized we do not have Steve's.
Steve Barnes, if you see this post, PLEASE email us within the next five days at and give us your mailing information so we can mail your CD to you!

For those who didn't win, please go HERE to purchase your own copy of their CD.
Also, be sure to visit and subscribe to the Pressley Girls' YouTube channel,
visit them on Facebook, and stop by their website.

Kneel at the Cross ~ The Pressley Girls

💜Happy Mother's Day!!💜
Stay tuned for another giveaway coming soon!!!!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Thank You! ~ Guest Post by Martha Orlando

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"These are the times that try men’s souls." 
Thomas Paine

How are you faring in these unprecedented times?  How are you feeling?  What are you thinking?  How are you coping?

My husband, Danny, and I, because of his preexisting heart troubles, and because of our age, decide it’s best for us to shelter in place until the all clear is given.  In our state of Georgia, that will be in mid-June.  Oh, how far away that seems!!!

Being an introvert and an optimist, I have weathered this confinement fairly well.  I pray for those who are ill and those on the front lines keeping us safe, as well as our leaders, those in essential jobs, and those who have, tragically, lost their jobs due to this pandemic.  I also follow the news as best I can; I want to keep up-to-date with all the developments both in our nation and around the world.
Yes, in spite of all the trials and uncertainties swirling around us, the Lord has seen fit to keep my hopes and my spirits high.

Until the other day . . .
It starts with an unwelcomed feeling of restlessness.  I am distracted, finding it difficult to focus on the tasks at hand.  And as the day drags on, a dark and ominous cloud of sadness descends upon me.  I am being swept into a vortex of self-pity, wishing things were different, missing my daughter and her family with a vengeance, resentful that we cannot go see them, sorrowful that I can’t even pay my elderly mother a visit, lest I were to put her in danger.  My very soul is being tried!

Desperate for relief, I retreat to our deck, my place to go when my heart and mind are troubled.  
“Oh, Lord!  Forgive me for this pity party I’m hosting,” I pray through my tears. 
“I’m miserable, Father.  Please, please release me from it.  Show me what to do!”

And in the immediate silence that follows, I hear these words:  
"Be grateful!"

Like that unexpected moment when a ray of sunshine peeks through a break in the gloomy clouds, offering hope, I literally feel the weight of the burden I am bearing, float up and away from me.  In its place, a quiet joy.  A peace that passes all understanding.

Thank you,” I whisper to the One who sees and knows, who cares and heals, who loves beyond measure.
  “Thank you.”

Since that miraculous touch of God on my spirit, I have promised Him that I would go back to a practice I followed for many years, and don’t really know why I quit.  It’s keeping a daily gratitude journal.  Have you ever done this?  There are no blessings too small to appreciate and recount in writing them down.  And once you begin, it becomes impossible NOT to see God’s gracious hand at work in your life.

So however blue, or frustrated, or out-of-patience you may be feeling at this moment in time, look around you.  Find something in your life right now for which you can be grateful.
And be sure to tell the Father, “Thank you!”

Bio:  Martha Jane Orlando is a retired teacher, who resides in Kennesaw, Georgia, with her husband, Danny.  They love that their home is nestled in a forest; difficult to find in urban communities, so it is appreciated as a special blessing.  Martha is a published author, and invites you to plunge into the life-changing adventures of ten-year-old Davy in The Glade Series and Adventures in The Glade.  Please check out her novels at her author’s website, and consider ordering them for you or a loved one.  We have to keep inspired and filled with hope, don’t we?  And these reads are sure to do just that.  Martha Jane hopes that you will also consider following her bi-weekly blog, Meditations of My Heart, where she meets the miraculous in the mundane, and hopes you will, too!

What a wonderful, encouraging reminder to keep grateful, even in the midst of these trying times!
I am ever so thankful for each one of these posts of encouragement during the coronavirus, and I hope they have been as big a blessing to you as they have been to me.
Keep the faith, dear friends, and stay healthy and safe!
And, don't forget to enter our Pressley Girls' CD GIVEAWAY!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Living in His Word and Engaging in His Gifts ~ Guest Post by Jemma OIson

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

NOTE:  ALL of the lovely Scripture art in this post was created by Jemma!
Such a wonderful blessing and compliment to her beautiful writing!

Thank you, Cheryl, for this opportunity to share a part of my heart on "Living in His Word."

Cheryl and I are longtime blogging friends. Cheryl’s steadfast testimony and love of the Lord enriches the lives of so many of us. So, when Cheryl invited me to share my personal story on how I am coping with the season of the 2020 pandemic and what it is that is keeping me encouraged, I felt a calling to share my faith with you.

I have good news to share with each one of you today. If you are reading this then we are already brothers and sisters in Christ! So, hello and thank you for taking a moment to read how I fill up my cup through faith.

You see, I have what I call a "tool belt" of faith. It is loaded down with tools of inspiration and tried and true coping skills that I use daily. Today, I am going to share three of my tools with you and how it all began.

It was along the banks of the rushing Snake River where my Mother and Father began their farming journey. Mother and Father were hard working farmers in rural Idaho with tool belts of their own, both figuratively and literally. These two precious souls have always been the early foundation of my faith. They led their lives by example and hard work under the blue skies of the West. Mama and Dad instilled in me that God is present in every plant that grows and every pink sunrise and that the bounty of the harvest was because of Him.  It was this firm foundation, combined with Church service, Sunday School, Youth Group, and Mama’s general daily dose of living in the Word that has lived in my heart for 63 years. My heart overflows with love and gratitude for these two.

We all know that life is never easy, but God is always present. 

"Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23:4

I have survived cancer, sent my Sister, Dad, and Mom to heaven and navigated through verbal and emotional abuse that ended in divorce.
Through all of these heartbreaks and life lessons, I have never ever gone through life alone. I may have felt lonely, but I was never abandoned. I receive great comfort in knowing that I have my Heavenly Father to walk with.

So as God walks right beside me and teaches me (and I am not an easy gal to teach…I am stubborn!)  I am sharing with you three handy dandy life skills that I tuck in what I call my "tool belt" for life.

1. Living in His Word daily and staying out of the world.

I am going to share one of my Mama’s favorite scriptures today.
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15

This is the first tool in my Christian tool belt; stay in the Word daily and out of the world. I was too gullible in my early years and I pretty much believed what everyone told me, I just couldn’t fathom why folks would have an agenda that wasn’t for the betterment of mankind. In our tiny farming family, it was all for one and one for all. We were a small but collective group of farmers who loved Jesus and tended to business. I have since learned that not everyone we meet, not everything we read, not everything we see is for our good. We have one true playbook for life and that is the Bible. By staying in the Word and out of the world, I guard my heart and mind from the evil that lurks around us.

I believe the Bible is as relevant today as at any time throughout history. I believe it was written by divine inspiration and that Jesus is the Messiah. 

When I focus on what I know to be true, humanity cannot permeate the love of Jesus and His perfect plan for each one of us. He really does have us covered!

2. Remain Steadfast in Daily Routines and Prayer
"Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life." Psalm 143:8  

Daily routines and spending time with the Lord are essential for me. My mind remains clear and my heart remains open to receive goodness and the truth. Of course, it can vary some each day, depending upon family needs. The good news is that God knows my heart and intentions; He will cut me some slack and values quality over quantity!

So, when the pandemic first began to get really noticed, two of my children and their families and myself had just met for a family ski trip in Vail, Colorado. Needless to say, all routines had gone out the door and my quiet reflective devotionals had, too. We were scrambling to gather everyone up, checking into the resort… then as fast as we arrived, the trip was cut short because the ski resort shut down due to the pandemic scare.  We hurriedly put one family on a plane, loaded up SUV’s, and sent another family back to Texas. I headed back down from the mountains to Colorado Springs.

 Once I arrived home, my husband helped to unload the SUV, and I headed straight for the grocery store…that had been wiped out of nearly everything. I felt I was spinning out of control, and I felt sick at heart.  I reined myself in, purchased what I could, went home, prayed, and began resuming my daily routines. God was waiting for me with His unfailing love!

3. Engaging in His Gifts.

"I Come to The Garden Alone," my favorite hymn and my sweet Mama’s, too.

“I come to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses, 
And the voice I hear falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses.
 And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own; 
And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.” 
C. Austin Miles 

It is no accident that I not only love to garden, but I also enjoy spending time in the garden. This is one of the gifts that the Lord has placed on my heart and in my soul.

As a nature lover and avid gardener, I see the beauty, power, strength, and love of the Lord in everything He created. 

I see His perfect plan in the mountains, pines, flowers, and birds, and I know in my heart that He truly has the whole world in His hands. This is the gift that our sweet Lord gave to my parents as they worked their wheat fields of gold. Figuratively speaking, this was their garden, and now I have mine. 

There in the garden of Gethsemane Jesus sought much-need comfort and solace with His Father in a time of pain and sadness. Today our world hurts, our fellow citizens are afraid—some lonely, some sick. My prayer today is for full healing for our world and for all of Christ’s people.

Bio:  I'm Jemma, a homemaker and a long time home-style crafter, gardener, cook, wife and Mom.

I blog at At Home with Jemma where you will find a collection of crafts, decorating ideas, recipes, gardening tips, and articles on living with Faith, mindfulness and creativity. 

I share valuable methods for creating the home that you will love. My focus is on incorporating a positive mindset into daily living, combined with a dash of organization and a pinch of humor and of course crafty goodness!

Such beautiful, sweet encouragement for our souls from dear Jemma!  Please visit her beautiful blog and subscribe!  You can also connect with her on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.  I was so blessed and encouraged today and by all of the other wonderful posts of encouragment that have been shared.  I want to say another public thank you to ALL of the faithful ones who have encouraged us during this trying time.  God has surely used each and every post to minister healing and solace to our hearts.

How are YOU coping with the pandemic, dear reader?  How is your faith in God sustaining you through it all?  Will you prayerfully consider writing an article of encouragement to share?  We are continuing to open up our platform here to spread more good news and messages of hope and peace!  Please let us hear from you!  Just send your article to  We hope to hear from you soon!

And, now for Jemma's and her Mama's favorite hymn.

In the Garden ~ Alan Jackson

Don't forget to enter our Pressley Girls' CD GIVEAWAY!!

Monday, May 4, 2020

A GIVEAWAY to Brighten Your Day!

"Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise."
Psalm 98:4

If you've followed our blog for very long, you probably remember me mentioning the music of Blind Pig and the Acorn.  Kevin found their YouTube Channel several years ago, and we instantly became fans of their music.  I have been a subscriber to Tipper's Blog for many years, also, and we were so blessed to get to meet and hear them in person a couple of times.  I can tell you that they are every bit as sweet, genuine, and down-to-earth in person as they seem on their videos. 

When Kevin first discovered their music, it was mainly comprised of Tipper's brother, Paul Wilson; (you can read our exclusive interview with Paul by clicking here), their Dad, Jerry Wilson aka "Pap;" and Tipper playing bass.  Over the years as they grew up, Tipper's twin girls, Corie and Katie Pressley became more of a part of the family's music, and they have developed into their own act and have a CD of their very own called "When it Ends in a Walk."  Their tight family harmony will warm your heart and encourage your soul.

Today, we are giving away THREE copies of the Pressley Girls' CD!!! 

 To enter, all you have to do is leave us a comment below.  Zach will enter three commenters' names into Wheel Decide sometime on Sunday, May 10th, and each of the three winners will win one copy of the Pressley girls' CD!

Giveaway is only open to those who live in the US, due to shipping costs.  Anonymous commenters will not be entered into giveaway since we have no way of identifying or making contact.  If you are an anonymous commenter and would like to enter the giveaway, you will need to leave your name and contact information in your comment, please.

Opinions are my own, and I received no monetary compensation for this review or giveaway.

Here is a sample of the great music you will hear on this CD.

There is a Time ~ The Pressley Girls

As you know, all concerts and gatherings have been cancelled due to the coronavirus.  Artists who depend on the income from their shows and events have lost that source of income during this pandemic, and CD sales are even more important these days!

If you aren't one of the blessed winners, you can purchase the Pressley Girls' CD in their Etsy Shop.

Please stop by and visit their YouTube channel or connect with them on Facebook.

You can also visit them at their Pressley Girls Website.

God bless each one of you dear readers and keep you safe and healthy continually, in Jesus' name.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Bringing Back Family Time ~ Guest Post by Ang Specht

"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
Micah 6:8

When the country shut down over this virus, I can't say that I was surprised. I've spent my whole life preparing for a moment like this. I won't go into the why's, because that's a whole other issue, but I am grateful that we were able to be prepared.

I live on a dirt road, out in the middle of nowhere. My town is so small that there isn't even a traffic light. From what I'm reading on the internet, we weren't affected like most other places. I've heard stories from friends where they ran out of food in the stores, had to wait in long lines just to get IN to a store, and basically had their whole lives shut down. We are a self-employed, homeschooling family in a very remote area, so honestly, life has gone on as usual. The only change we have seen is that we had a couple appointments rescheduled. We are still schooling, still working from home, and never really went anywhere, anyways. However, it IS a serious matter, to see the rest of the country shut down, because that does affect us, eventually.

To get us through the negative times, we have been praying Psalms during our devotion times, as a protection over our home. We have told the children to pray for our country, and used this as a time to teach them how to be prepared for such an occasion; and how to handle it. Being homeschooled, they have learned all the history about previous times like this, so it wasn't a complete shock to them that it could happen. We show them it's how you handle it that matters. First, begin with prayer. Then, reach out to others to see who needs what. Those are the two best things we can do, in my opinion. You don't have to look very far to see that there are people who are suffering because they can't buy diapers or groceries. This is such a perfect time to give what you can. Rather than feeding into the political spatting going on, we look for people we can help, regardless of their political beliefs. This teaches the kids that there are no restrictions when loving your neighbor. You help where you can. You show them the love of Jesus through that help.

As I stated, we never really go anywhere, but my husband and I would go on "dates" to the store for whatever we needed. Of course we still have to go to the store, but our dates, for now, have morphed into a cup of coffee and an audio book. Or a game of Scrabble. Or a walk. We have always been a tight-knit family, doing things together, so this isn't a new idea for us, but I have tried to pass that idea on to others, to spend this time at home doing things as a family. Just last night we had 2 banjos, 2 guitars, and a harmonica going in our living room. :) Most families don't have that extra time for things like that, so now is the perfect time to enjoy an activity like that. Board games, reading out loud, sharing stories, gardening, going for walks... the Lord is very pleased when we spend our "leisure" time doing wholesome things like this, and what better time to do it than when you're locked down at home? These moments at home should be looked at as gifts from God that you may not have otherwise had. Spend them doing something meaningful with your family! :)

One thing we like to do is watch all the different birds that flock to our home. If we see a new one, we get out our bird book and try to identify it. We always have a new project going on--building a new chicken coop, starting plants indoors to later transfer to the garden, learning a new song on an instrument, I have one son building a forge and another who just made maple syrup all on his own. They all go for bike rides or play in the creek. It's a great time to try a new recipe as a family or learn a new craft.

I think that's what I am trying to spread to others is the idea of family. You can prepare for times like these as a family by raising your own food and canning it, or maybe clipping coupons and teaching them how to budget and store up a small supply of necessities. And then when that moment hits and your world is changed; first pray; then act as a family. Don't panic. Just trust God and teach your children the proper things to do. Remain a steadfast family together. The family structure in America is quickly disappearing; but when your world crashes down, the one thing you should have is family. If you haven't been blessed to be raised up in a godly family structure, then be the beginning of it and start NOW. There's nothing that God won't use for His good, and I'd say Americans coming together as a family unit again is a HUGE blessing. Imagine the changes for the good if that continued. He knows what He's doing. Embrace your family in this time that the Lord has entrusted you with. :)

God's sign of hope in a grocery store window near Ang's home.

Bio:  Ang is a stay-at-home-mom who homeschools three boys and one little girl. She has her CDL, but currently stays home and make things like soap, lip balm, etc. and keeps pretty low-key. She loves summer, sitting on her front porch, laughing, happiness, etc. She is a Christian and truly enjoys the very little things in life.  She blogs at Just A Country Girl.  You can also find her at her Etsy Shop, where you will find her handmade, rustic, shabby, holistic, natural items for sale.

Please stop by and subscribe to Ang's Blog and check out her handmade treasures in her Etsy Shop!  She is a sweet personal friend of mine ~ we met through blogging several years ago, and she is a real blessing in my life.  I love Ang's strong sense of motherhood and family and so enjoy reading her blog and hearing all about her homesteading and family times.  I am so grateful for Ang and all of the other guests and friends who have shared such precious encouragement here during this crazy time in our world.  

Speaking of family and dirt roads, here are a couple of my favorite songs about home.

Almost Home ~ Craig Morgan

Home ~ Joe Diffie

(I can't believe Joe Diffie is gone.  
He died way too soon from the dreadful Covid- 19 on March 29th.  
May he rest in peace.)

One of the blessings mixed in with all the current pain is that everyone has been staying home more.  I pray our appreciation of our families and our homes will grow ever more dear to us in these troubled times.
God is with us still.