Lessons From Mother

I was visiting Marmee Dear's new website and found the perfect little lesson on the miscellaneous page. However, since I'm not sure how copyrighting works in this instance, I am going to play it safe and provide a link for everyone to click on and pop in for a visit in their own time. Otherwise, I would provide the lesson itself. Know that you will be blessed for taking the time to stop in. It is a "Lesson from Mother" we all can glean from. It seemed especially timely to begin a new year with and for me personally as I clean up sickness from small children. By the way, I want to be a coffee bean. How about you? Here's the link: http://marmeedearandcompany.com/category/miscellanies/ .

P.S. - There are some really cute, inexpensive ideas in the DIY section along with freebies and printables that might be just the thing you have been looking for. I saved several to use throughout the coming day(s).

Homemade Root Beer & Other Sodas

A previous post on homemade soda pop exists here on Abundance. While I personally enjoyed our homemade ginger ale made from a ginger syrup and soda water, noone else at Abundance House did. However, after Colonel Redeemed received a kit for making homemade root beer for Christmas, I began looking for other recipes for him to try. The results? Another post with links to instructions and recipes sure to add some fun and fizz to the new year. Even if Colonel Redeemed isn’t interested in trying any of the recipes and/or techniques, I just might have to do some experimenting myself. What an easy, inexpensive treat to make ourselves! So much fun! Wouldn't red fruit soda be festive for Valentine's Day? A bit of green food coloring added for St. Patrick's? Yes, yes, yes. This has lots of potential for fun. I wonder about adding soda/seltzer water to flavored tea. I'll let you go ahead and visit the links below. The instructions and recipes are excellent, each with their own personality shining through. Enjoy!




Surprise Blessings

A New Year is coming soon. So is a surprise blessing here at Abundance. A sweet little bundle of blessing in the the form of a baby boy is due to arrive March 18. At least that is the official due date. I'm certain he will determine for himself when he comes. Yes, he is a surprise blessing. Believe it or not, I did not know I was pregnant until Thanksgiving weekend. How does a mother of six not know she is pregnant for the first six months of her pregnancy? Well...uhm...were you aware that early menopause and early pregnancy share many of the same symptoms? Just in case you didn't know, they do. That's the only comment I have on this subject:)

Needless to say, 2013 is looking a lot different to me than it did a few weeks ago. I have been forcing myself to concentrate on Christmas and not dig out baby boxes from storage until after the holidays are over. All of that relentless purging we did this summer has me wondering too. Did I get too carried away? Who knew how thankful I would be for the fact that the large pile of giveaway items sitting in my bedroom didn't go when they were intended to. Because they were left behind, I can now dig out little boy items we can put to use in a few years. See? I have proof that God does indeed work out every single little nitty gritty detail for the good of His children, even give away piles that sit on the floor too long.

I can also share that God prepares us for His plan, even when we are unaware of what His plan is. For months now there has been a quickening in my spirit every time I saw a mother holding an infant. I hadn't experienced such a quickening for years. There have also been "random" thoughts enter my mind concerning how much comfort a baby would bring as older children prepare to enter an unknown future of their own, etc. etc. Unbeknownst to me, God was gently, softly preparing my heart to receive a new reward straight from His heart to mine. Another blessing I never knew I needed, or thanks to God's thorough preparation, did my heart know what my mind didn't?

Anyway, it is almost a new year filled with the promise of multiplied blessings, and the boxes are coming out today! As I top my list of counting gifts for the new year with the coming arrival of a baby boy, will you join me in creating your own list of thankful gratitude? What gift will you list at the top? It would be a blessing to all if you would share it in a comment below. Thank you ahead of time for joining in our conversation of thankful gratitude. You are one of the greatest gifts He gives me. In His love and grace, Blessed Mama


Christmas Prayer

by Robert Louis Stevenson

"Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and the worship of the wise men.
Close the door of hate and open the door of love
all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clean hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children,
and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful
thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake, Amen!"


Living...On Purpose

To get our thoughts flowing towards purposeful, intentional living in the new year, another article from Janice Campbell leads us along. Thank you for sharing in Abundance's journey towards intentional and real. It is an adventure that will long continue. As the path of intentional real living opens up, there is a discovery being made. Grace covers it all. May the words of this beautiful hymn written by Julia H. Johnston bring refreshing and a soothing to all. May they also draw you closer and deeper into the love of God, the giver and provider of Grace.
Grace Greater Than Our Sin
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.
Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.
Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.
Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.


Giving and Receiving With Grace

Ideas, tips, and techniques abound for the giving and wrapping of gifts. Very little, however, is shared about the attitude we maintain when receiving and/or giving. Maybe because it has a lot of emotions behind it and can become a bit touchy. Whatever the reason, it is very very needed. Janice Campbell has presented a beautiful, helpful article that will benefit all. Please visit her and read the article here. Grace, how important it is.


It's a Wrap

Here is your official permission to put on your favorite Christmas tunes, heat up the tea kettle for a hot drink, and have some wrapping fun. I saw this fun, inexpensive gift wrapping idea and had to share. Packages are wrapped with brown craft paper and labeled with letters cut out from printed paper. If you have a die cut machine, this would be a snap. However, letters cut out from stencils or freehand would work just as well. Brown paper sacks and newspapers could provide this look for minimal expense.

Guess what the gifts under our tree are going to look like this year? Maybe not all of them. There are too many fun ideas to limit our wrapping to one style this year. Usually, we go with one look, but not this year. This year we are following our family anthem of "Blessed Randomness" and trying a variety of wrapping techniques. Besides, I'm seeing pinecones hanging from the ends of jute twine embellishing our packages. Pinecones never go out of style at the Abundance house. If I had any red and/or green raffia or cord, I might use that along with the jute and string some tiny brass jingle bells onto the ends of the string/cord just for fun. Hmmm, now that I mention it, I think I do have some colored cord around here someplace and there used to be some jingle bells in that one tote...gotta go! Merry Christmas! I pray you enjoy celebrating Jesus even in the wrapping of gifts.

Hey!!! Empty boxes wrapped up as gifts provide free, or almost free, decorations during the holiday season too! Almost forgot about that. They also serve as a reminder of the gifts given to the Christ child by the Magi and that opens up the opportunity to share the story of Jesus with our children and/or others who spend time in our homes throughout the season. Okay, now I really do have to go. I'm seeing playdough boxes coming out. Intervention needed.


Cookie Balls, Sweet Little Treats

Melting Snowmen OREO Cookie Balls recipeMy Christmas mug is eagerly waiting to be filled with spiced apple tea as I pop in here for a few seconds to throw out a link full of easy, yet fun, ideas for Christmas goodies. These melting snowmen cookie balls will have visions of gift-giving fun dancing in your heads. While chuckling over these darling snowmen, take a gander at the other cookie ball recipes. The variety sparks ideas galore. Not only would cookie balls provide a treat with just the right amount of sweet at the end of a holiday meal, they would provide delightful, easy to make gifts. Gotta run! The water is hot for my tea. Enjoy the sweets.


If I Could've...I Would've

Hearing the words of fear, doubt, and despair coming from the mouths of saints, feeling the fear radiating out of and off of them, my heart was crying out to the Lord for words to type here. The longing of my spirit was for the perfect words, divine words straight from the mouth of God, to flow from my fingers onto the page. Words to strengthen in the Lord, reveal the power of His might, and rouse the believer to the truth of Who He is and who they are in Him were my prayer. After committing this care to the Lord, I was checking emails and these are the words my inbox contained. If I could have, I would have written them myself. But since someone else already has, I'll simply share them instead. As we enter Thanksgiving Week together a blessing I am imparting to you. It is a common blessing, one often heard sometimes tossed about in a casual less than sincere, when we don't know what else to say way. However, these words today are coming to you with the utmost sincerity and love. I am thankful for you dear readers. Go forth and be blessed in Him, the One to whom ALL thanks is due. May the Lord Bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto to you. In the name of Jesus, Yeshua, Amen.

Who do you say that I am?... Matthew 16:15-19
from Kim Hadaway
"As I said, I grew up in the Church and my family members were Christians, but I was not created to live off their salvation and encounters with Jesus. It had to become personal to me, and this is true for us all. Their salvation and experiences with the Lord influenced me, but God created each of us for personal relationship. He created each of us individually for relationship and to know Him intimately.
In Matthew 16:15, the Lord Jesus asked the disciples a huge question and it was, "Who do you say that I am?" They had been walking and living with Him for a while before He asked the above question. This could be true for many of us in the Church and for those in the world at many different levels – how long have you been walking with the Lord? Do we really fully know Him? We can only grow daily in this revelation. God invites each of us to do so by walking and communing with Him every day. And in this place, we will be strengthened, encouraged, and strong!
Jesus asked the personal question and Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Jesus shared, "Flesh and blood didn't reveal this to you, Peter, but My Father who is in Heaven, and upon this rock (this revelation), I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not be able to prevail against it. And whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven."
Hell will never be able to prevail against Jesus. He is the Victor, and when we encounter Jesus and discover the richness of Who our God is, hell cannot prevail in our lives. The Lord desires for us to know Him and His great love. Jesus demonstrated this great love on the Cross, but defeated the powers and works of darkness as well, and rose victorious. Again, as we receive this revelation, we too are strengthened, because He dwells in us! The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in us – the very Spirit of God.
During my journey with the Lord, He took me through Psalm 23 as well, and began to teach me how to lie in green pastures and trust in Him and allow Him to be my trust. Psalm 23 begins with letting us know who the Lord is – He is our Shepherd, Protector, Nurturer, Guide, Provision, Help, Comforter, Peace, Sustainer, Restorer, Lover, Deliverer, Life, Truth, Counselor, Breakthrough, King of Glory, Lord of Heaven's Armies, Friend. He is Faithful, True, Merciful, the Alpha and Omega...and so much more. Many of these names and characteristics of God are mentioned in Psalm 23 and other places throughout the Word. These names describe our God!
The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it (His Name, the truth of who He is) and they are safe. As we study His name and meditate on Him, we find ourselves strengthened, empowered, and established in the truth. Poverty mindsets are broken off and we, who have been held captive in times past, find ourselves walking and established in freedom. Giants are defeated as well.
As Believers our inheritance in Jesus Christ is rich and without limit. My prayer for you is the same as mentioned in Ephesians 1: I pray that the eyes of your understanding will continue to be flooded with light and that you will continue to grow in the knowledge of Him.
Ephesians 1:15-23 reads: "Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the Church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all."
Weekly Scripture Meditation
Week ONE – Matthew 16:15-23
Week TWO – Ephesians 1 and 3
Week THREE – Revelation 1 and 4:1
Week FOUR – Psalm 23
Kim Hadaway
XP Ministries

Kim Hadaway currently serves as head intercessor for XP Ministries in the U.S. She carries a true pastor's heart, desiring to see the love of Christ consume and transform people. She longs to see the people of God equipped and walking in the fullness of God. She believes all in the Body of Christ are called to be ministers of fire! Kim leads women's groups and intercessory prayer, as well as teaching, preaching, and operating in a strong seer anointing. She has seen the Lord impact people and regions through prayer and the release of the prophetic. She has been used along with others at XP Ministries to release revival fire, seeing salvations, physical and emotional healings, deliverance, and restoration come to many as a result!


A Different Sort of How-To

As I searched and brainstormed for new holiday ideas and topics to share, the vast assortment of money-saving ideas stormed to the front. After all, many families are facing the reality of simpler celebrations this year. While possible tips and/or ideas paraded through the thought process of my mind, there was one thought that persisted in screaming loud. It is the same thought that has screamed loud many times while reading popular money-saving suggestions throughout the years. "What if you don't have enough money to do even that!?!"

Now please don't misunderstand, I am not saying that this is the thought I am having about our family situation personally this year. When the thought arrived, it was coming from the perspective of a reader who might be in the midst of financial nothingness wondering if a holiday celebration will happen at all. It was riding on the tails of memories when I was the one screaming it inside. Having been the young wife and mother wondering how, or if, the holidays would happen for our family, the holiday tips and advice found on Abundance this season will be a how-to of a different variety. It is my prayer that they will be practical and helpful to all who visit. Most importantly, that everyone will leave refreshed and encouraged. 

Readers who pop in often know that at Abundance we are giving thanks all the way through to Thanksgiving Day. Today, I am thankful for past experiences that give me something to share. What an amazing thing it is to know that the hard of my yesterdays can become something of hope, help, life, and light to someone else's dark and hard of today. Only God can do this, only He. Yes, I am thankful for He who takes the hard of yesterday and turns it into the light and life of today. Thankful for the Only One who can take the lack of my before and make it Abundance that can be given to others now. Amazing. Amazing Grace. Oh how sweet the sound.


Praying What?

Romans 12:11  AMP

11 Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord.
Reminders from scripture are good reminders! The above verse is no exception. As the words return to my mind again and again I am reminded that no matter what I am doing or where I am, I am never to lag in zeal and earnest endeavor, not just endeavor but earnest endeavor. Huge difference there.
Another reminder from scripture that has been often returning to mind is that of praying scripture over others. Colossians 1:9 - as far as I choose to go during that prayer time is one of my favorite portions to pray for loved ones and others. Many of the Psalms work well also. Psalm 91 is what our family prays when praying for protection. Many, many scriptures assist us when interceding in prayer. It just came to me that keeping a notebook of these scriptures would be a really good idea. Then again, I have felt an urging to keep a notebook in several different areas lately, to record and document. Gonna have to get busy with this one. Sounds like possibly an idea for the book binding machine, a homemade notebook. A future post perhaps?
Continuing on with our season of being thankful, I am thankful for the one/ones who gave me this precious gift of praying scripture. Not only did they teach me how, they let me know that it was possible. I don't remember who it was or when they did, but I am thankful beyond words just the same. I remember how excited I was to learn that simply by inserting individual names into the Word of God I could pray as I never had before. As today's visit ends, I pray in the name of Jesus that each and every reader never lags in zeal and earnest endeavor. That they are always aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord Jesus. In His name, Amen.


Reminding Myself

While looking for a songbook in the music trunk, I came across some books that had been stashed inside. They were some of my favorite books about homeschooling Easyhomeschooling Curriculum, Easyhomeschooling Companion, and Easyhomeschooling Techniques by Lorraine Curry. After skimming through each book, the desire to sit down and read them through completely was strong. "OH yes, I had forgotten that! That is such an encouraging thought! What a tremendous idea! How could I have forgotten?" were the thoughts that flew through my head as I skim read. Other thoughts were "Oh my. I really need to read this more often. Somehow I have to get this inside of me. I do need to be more gentle and loving, more consistent."

As soon as I had put the books down, other books that have encouraged me while homeschooling through the years came to mind. Never Too Early by Doreen Claggett was one such book. I so need to read these books again. The children remaining in Promiseland Academy so need me to read these books again. Somewhere I have a teacher's manual that, if I remember correctly, was invaluable to me when Not of This World and Colonel Redeemed were the age of Giggle and Mighty Man of God. Pages filled with not only practical recommendations for peace within the classroom but encouragement seemed to fall as soothing rain on my young mother's heart those long years ago.

Quickly now the mind races in an attempt to remember and recall other works that were used by God to lead and guide our home as we grew up together. Do not the younger children deserve to be raised by a mother who is just as passionate and determined to create a godly home? The prayer coming from my heart this afternoon is that the fire for this mission of godly homemaking will burn strong and true, never fading out or fizzling but always burning bright. That this Blessed Mama would never lag in zeal and earnest endeavor but be aglow and burning with the Spirit, in the Lord in this ministry God has placed me. (Romans 12:11)


Wish Lists

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, many are turning their thoughts towards gifts. Gift giving is a blessing that is filled with variety. So many families, so many gift-giving traditions! Today, a Christmas catalog of a new sort arrived in our mailbox. After reading through it and watching my youngest children pouring over it so diligently, I can't help but wonder if perhaps it is time to expand our gift-giving during the holidays.

The catalog came from an organization that provides assistance, clean water, food, educations, and many other necessities to children and families all around the world. The Christmas catalog is filled with items that will benefit a family, a child, or even several families from various areas around the world. An entire water well can be purchased or a share in one, whichever is most affordable. Goats, chickens, cows, sheep, ducks, and a few other animals can be purchased for families to provide milk and eggs for them. These examples are but a few of the options available for blessing others.

As I watched my children get so excited about goats and chickens, I couldn't help but be thankful. Thankful for their sweet spirits that rejoice more in the thought of giving to others than they do when looking at gift ideas for themselves. I know I have said it before, but I am one Blessed Mama.

Here's an idea to help out readers who need to provide ideas for gifts to family and friends. Amazon.com offers the ability to create a wish list, multiple ones if needed. These lists can be kept private, shared by link, or remain public whichever option fits a person's situation best. Not only this,  items can be added from anywhere on the internet if a person desires. They need not be exclusively from the Amazon website. Lists can also be printed out.
No matter whether it works best to send the list electronically via email, facebook, etc. or printed out to send in the mail or take along on actual shopping trips, an option is available for every situation. There isn't any charge either, as far as I could tell. Sending that list of ideas to Grandma just got as easy as one email away.
Hope this idea helps everyone who might be looking for a quick and easy way to simplify at least part of their holidays. Of course, this would work beautifully for anytime, not just the holidays. Another thing to be thankful for, small things that make more time for big blessings. 


Gratitude Jar

Yes, another jar idea! Don't you love them? In case you can't tell, I do! This one is from a fun, fun, fun blog Paper Coterie. Everyone will want to visit and get this free printable download of gratitude! What an easy, yet meaningful way to enjoy the remaining days until Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Day itself. Remember, this is offered free of charge. Let's be grateful.


What to Read

Last month, or was it the one before, anyway, a while back our family was sick with a respiratory something or other. It was the sort of sickness that leaves you with no option other than to take it easy. As a result, I was able to do lots of reading. We haven't talked about what we are each reading for a while. With cold weather coming soon, new ideas for good reads will come in handy for all us. If not for our own reading, then perhaps as a Christmas gift idea.

Here is what's currently on the coffee table shelf:

Already read:
  • 15 Minute Family Tradition & Memories by Emilie Barnes
  • The Rabbie from Burbank by Isidor Zwirn and Bob Owens
  • Blessing or Curse by Derek Prince
  • The Place of Immunity by Francis Frangipane
  • Yeshua by Yacov Rambsel
  • numerous novels and stories to children
To Be Read:
  • Holiness, Truth, and the Presence of God by Francis Frangipane
  • Breaking Intimidation by John Bevere
Currently Reading:
  • Unleashing the Beast by Perry Stone
  • Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
  • The Power of Covenant Prayer by Francis Frangipane
  • The Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge
  • Transformed for Life by Derek Prince
We've been reading machines at our house. I have caught the two littlest ones looking at us reading our "big" books longingly and have found them carting books from our section of the bookcases around. Somehow, I guess that their smaller-sized children's books just don't seem quite as fun as our thicker ones. Giggles is thrilled that she knows some of the words on the pages of our books when she looks at them. As her teacher, I am thrilled because this fuels her desire to read even more. Before it seems possible, both Giggles and Mighty Man of God will be snuggled into their ends of the couch with a book no longer needing to be read to. Right now, however, I am thankful for two little bodies that still like to snuggle in on either side of me and have book after book after book read.

Don't forget to leave a comment sharing what's in your book pile being read or waiting to be read. Please let us know what you've finished too. Good reads are like good recipes; both are meant to be passed around. Until later, keep on being thankful.



And Jesus said to him, Receive your sight! Your faith (your trust and confidence that spring from your faith in God) has healed you. -- Amp
Jesus said, "Go ahead - see again! Your faith has saved and healed you!" The healing was instant. -- Message
And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. Luke 18:42

This scripture, shared from a variety of translations and versions of the Holy Bible, give us the words Jesus spoke to a man whose sight had been restored. While this is a testimony of physical blindness being removed, I couldn't help but think of how often I have been blind, not physically, but spiritually, emotionally, mentally.

Many times I am in desperate need of having my sight restored. Often I see with my earthly eyes instead of from the Father's heavenly viewpoint. I profess Him as Lord yet live as if He doesn't exist. I encourage others with scriptural truth while allowing the deception of what my physical eyes see to determine my own personal state of mind. Beloved, this should not be. 

The calendar reveals that Thanksgiving Day will be here two weeks from tomorrow. How thankful I am today for God's grace and loving correction. What comfort I find in knowing that He gently, tenderly reveals my flaws, those areas that lack faith, the places in my living and thinking that are out of whack with His Word and Truth.

My heart rejoices in Christ my Savior! I am excited about the many opportunities to love and serve in His name that are coming my way. How thrilled I am to know that no matter how the elections in my country went last night, God is still God. He hasn't changed one iota. He never will change. The state of earthly affairs in no way diminishes our relationship or His power. He is everything He always has been and always will be. How do the results of last night's elections affect me? I would like to say not at all. However, that wouldn't be true. They do affect me, greatly. An excitement has been stirred within that is like a raging inferno of anticipation. If ever there was a period in history that needed the love of God and people of God who live, talk, act, and breathe His love, it is now!

Look around! Just look! See? Do you see them? Do you see the opportunities to love? to serve? to comfort? to share the Father's healing love and grace? This is the moment the church has been prepared for! This is the time we will arise and shine with the light of God. Now! Now is the "when" disciples of Christ will be as lights shining on a hill. How brightly His love will shine forth amid the darkness!

Are we discouraged? in despair? frustrated? NO! No, no, a thousand times no! For we know Whom we have believed and are persuaded that He is able to keep that which we have committed unto Him against that day. We know that He has overcome the world aka the culture and deprived it of it's power to harm us. We know that He concerns Himself with our every step. We know that as He was so are we in this world. We know that He in us is greater than he that is in the world. We know He has provided a way of escape from any and every temptation. We know that we are under His wings inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High. We know that we have been redeemed from the curse of the law of sin and death and that now we get to go out into the world and share this freedom message with those around us. We know that we know that we know that we know our Redeemer lives, and He lives IN US!

Nothing has changed yet everything has changed. No longer will the church of Jesus be able to hide behind the skirts of a "religious" government while doing little to nothing themselves. Oh no, we have been released from the prison of mediocrity and spiritual laziness. We have been set free to live fully, wholly, completely, yes, even radically in Him, the One who died and now lives to set us free! Hallelujah! Mankind cannot take the credit for what God is doing in this nation. Hang on dear brothers and sisters! God is showing Himself strong and mighty. He is rising up with healing in His wings. He is coming forth in splendor, majesty, and power such as this generation of people have never before seen.


God is so good to give us His word of life this morning! May each one of us receive exactly what He desires us to and go in God, not only this day but everyday. He is Lord, and there is none else besides Him! In the name of Jesus, Amen.


Changed Lives by Giving Thanks

A Holy Experience blog by Ann Voskamp gets mentioned frequently around here. Everytime I share from there I think that no other post could possibly touch me more deeply. Everytime I read another post, I realize I am wrong. Today's post is no exception.

Thanksgiving is 17 days away. Seventeen days for us to get in the habit of giving thanks. A habit that could change not only our lives but the lives of others around us. Read here this afternoon as Ann Voskamp shares how this giving thanks is a "powerhouse game-changer". Might want to grab a tissue or two before heading over too, just in case.

I gave up counting but not the giving of thanks. Here are more thanksgivings:
* "I love yous" from a four-year-old - even if he is attempting to get out of discipline
* surprise moments of great maturity sneaking out of an 18-year-old
* almost three weeks with oldest home
* love between children
* fussing and making up between the same children that love
* rare moment of laundry being complete
* evening meals cooking away
* read alouds with children snuggled in
* Online classes that match existing plans perfectly
* His - story being revealed through a class called history
* An omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God in complete and perfect control, no matter how elections go on the morrow
* Rest and peace found in the secret place of abiding trust - Psalm 91
* Seasons of love

Please, won't you join in with the giving of thanks? If you haven't read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, how strongly I urge you to. This giving of thanks, you don't want to miss this. This little habit is truly a game-changer. As the author says, it isn't a Pollyanna game. It is more, so much more.

Feel free to leave a comment or send an email if you are giving your own thanks. When we share together, amazing things happen. Wonder abounds as all of us real, intentional people with our pains, hurts, and fears dare to give thanks for it all. Together we are put back together by the only One who can. You are welcome here. I give thanks for each of you.


Encouraging Word to Ponder

The following article is reprinted from the website of Francis Frangipane Ministries. Abundance blog prays that it is a blessing and encouragement to all who read its words. Blessings of God to you. May He fill you until you overflow with Him to all those around.


Love Me Where You're At
By Francis Frangipane
(En EspaƱol)
I have discovered that as we seek the Lord, our most difficult periods can be transformed into wonderful breakthroughs into God's love. For me, one such season occurred during the years 1979 to1981. The association of churches with which I was aligned had fallen under spiritual deception. Not only were its core doctrines increasingly seeded with New Age influences, but immorality crept in, and key leaders began leaving their wives for other women. I could no longer remain silent. As a result, in 1979 I left my congregation in Detroit, Michigan, where I had served as pastor, and traveled to the organization's regional headquarters in Iowa. I came to plead for repentance. However, after meeting with the senior leaders, I was asked to leave the group.
So here we were---we had left our church, we had no money, and we had four little children; we couldn't even afford basic housing. Desperate for anything, we finally found an old farmhouse in rural Washington, Iowa. The home was over a hundred years old, but it actually looked much older. After negotiating with the landlord, we were given a year of free rent provided I did basic repairs to the house, such as cleaning and painting.
Even so, the house needed more than I could provide. The furnace did not work well, so we installed a wood burner stove in the kitchen. That first winter, it turned out, was one of the coldest in Iowa's history. Frost formed on the inside walls, spreading a foot or two around each window; wind chills dropped to 60 below, and even colder on several occasions.
To keep warm each night, the whole family cuddled tightly on one large mattress on the dining room floor, about 18 feet from the wood burner in the kitchen. A fan behind the stove nudged warm air in our direction. My nightly project, of course, was to build enough heat in the stove to keep us warm until morning.
While I worked the fire, I also would pray and seek God. The wood burner became a kind of altar to me, for each night as I prayed, I offered to God my unfulfilled dreams and the pain of my spiritual isolation. Yes, I knew the Lord was aware of our situation. Though we had virtually nothing, He showed Himself to us in dozens of little ways. I just didn't know what He wanted of me.
As the seasons came and went, another child was born, and then we fostered a young girl from Vietnam, giving us six children. Still, as the family grew, the little area around the wood burner became a hallowed place to me. Even in the summer, I would sit on the chair next to the stove and pray and worship.
I would like to say I found the joy of the Lord during this time, but in truth, though I gradually adjusted to my situation, I felt an abiding misery in my soul. Our deep poverty was an issue (I barely made $6,000 a year), but more than that, I felt like I had missed the Lord. My continual prayer was, "Lord, what do You want of me?"
Three years of seeking God passed, and I still carried an emptiness inside. What was God's will for me? I had started a couple Bible studies and spoken a few times in churches, but I so identified with being a pastor that, until I was engaged again in full-time ministry, I feared I had lost touch with God's call on my life.
In spite of this inner emptiness concerning ministry, I actually was growing spiritually, especially in areas that were previously untilled. I went through the Gospels, hungry to study and obey the words of Christ. Previously, I had unconsciously defined a successful ministry as something born of my performance. During this time, however, the Lord reduced me to simply being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Indeed, a number of things I thought were biblical I discovered were really just religious traditions. The Lord desired that I take inventory of my heart and examine those few truths for which I would be willing to die. He said the truths for which I would die, for these I should live.
Frankly, things like the timing of the rapture or nuances about worship style or spiritual gifts dropped in their priority, though I still considered them important. Rising to the top of my focus was a passion to be a true follower of Jesus Christ---to obey His teachings and approach life not merely as a critic but more as an encourager. I also found myself increasingly free to enjoy and learn from Christians from other streams and perspectives.
Yet, these changes, though deep and lasting, occurred slowly, almost imperceptibly. They were happening quietly in my heart, and only in hindsight did I see what the Lord had done. Throughout this time, I was preoccupied with feelings of detachment from God's will. My prayer to know the Lord's plan for me continued daily.
The Breakthrough
One day, as I stood in the kitchen pantry, I repeated again my abiding prayer: "Lord, what do You want of me?" In a sudden flash of illumination, the Lord answered. Speaking directly to my heart, He said, "Love Me where you're at."

In this time and season, remember, I was not a pastor or minister. I was a television repairman doing odd jobs on the side to provide for my family. I hated what I was doing. In my previous church I taught against TV, and now I was "laying hands" on television sets and raising them from the dead! The Lord's answer cut straight to my heart. I was awed at its simplicity! I asked, "Love You where I am at? Lord, is that all You want of me?" To this He responded, "This is all I will ever require of you."
In that eternal moment, peace flooded my soul and I was released from the false expectation of ministry-driven service. God was not looking at what I did for Him, but who I became to Him in love. The issue in His heart was not whether I pastored but whether I loved Him. To love the Lord in whatever station I found myself---even as a television repairman---this I could do!
A deep and remarkable transformation occurred in me. My identity was no longer in being a pastor but rather in becoming a true lover of God. Having settled my priorities, amazingly, just a couple days later I was invited to pastor a church in Marion, Iowa. In spite of all my previous anxiety about returning to ministry, I did not jump at the opportunity. For I had found what the Lord truly desired of me. Though I eventually accepted this call, my focus was not merely on leading a church but on loving God.
What God Seeks
More than one's ministry, God seeks our love. His great commandment is that we love Him, ultimately, with all our mind, all our heart, and all our soul and strength. If we love Him, we will fulfill all He requires of us (John 14:15). And it is as we love Him that He orchestrates all things to work together for our good (Rom. 8:28).

Beloved, loving God is not hard. We can fulfill any assignment---auto mechanic or housewife, doctor or college student---and still give great pleasure to our heavenly Father. We do not need ministry titles to love the Lord. Indeed, God measures the value of our lives by the depth of our love. This is what He requires of all true God-seekers: to love Him where we are at.
Lord Jesus, the revelation of Your love has swept me off my feet. Lord, You have drawn me and I run after You. Master, even in the mundane things of life, I shall express my love for You. Consume me in Your love.
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The preceding message is adapted from a chapter in Francis' book, And I Will Be Found By You Published by Arrow Publications and available at www.arrowbookstore.com

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It Snowed!!!

IChildren in snowIt snowed, it snowed, oh yeah, it snowed!!! Thankful for the sparkling white moisture melting into the dry, parched ground. Join me in sending up a shout of praise and maybe even do a happy dance of joy? Thanksgiving is coming, less than a month now, why don't we practice giving thanks early? Try all year long? Yes, let's do.



Quotes for Thought, I've Been Reading

Thanks to a respiratory yuck of some sort going through our family for the past three weeks, or so, my voice was missing for approx. two of the three weeks. As a result, I've been reading more and talking less. As I read through a short book by Francis Frangipane titled The Three Battlegrounds, several quotes seemed to catch at me and not let go. I felt impressed to share what is on my heart with you. There were many other passages that could have been shared, but these are the ones that grabbed at my heart most forcibly. The underlining in the second quote is from me. This statement is so powerful. As you read, may the Spirit of God move within your heart drawing you closer still to Himself as together we desire the very nature of Jesus to completely possess and permeate our hearts.

"Victory begins with the name of Jesus on our lips. It is consummated by the nature of Jesus in our hearts."

"Is your love growing and becoming softer, brighter, more daring and more visible? Or is it becoming more discriminating, more calculating, less vulnerable and less available? This is a very important issue, for your Christianity is only as real as your love is. A measurable decrease in your ability to love is evidence that a stronghold of cold love is developing within you."

"There is a tension underlying false discernment, an anxiety that pressures the mind to make a judgment. True discernment emerges out of a tranquil and pure heart, on that is almost surprised by the wisdom and grace in the voice of God."



"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." Proverbs 25:11


“Words are very powerful, especially when they are spoken by someone in authority over you. They can either be words of praise that breathe life into your life or words of criticism and judgment that erode away your sense of well-being. "The tongue has the power of life and death" (Proverbs 18:21).”


"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Proverbs 12:18


“Our mouth is a very powerful weapon and we can either use it to bring a blessing or a curse onto others. When we speak negative words about people, those words act as a curse over them. Even if people never actually hear the words we speak about them, our words still have power and can cause them to experience oppressive heaviness. However, words of blessing can lift them up spiritually.


One of our greatest weapons against the enemy is the words we speak. There is no question, then, as to why the enemy seeks to gain access to our words. He wants to use our mouths to destroy our own lives and the lives of others.

"The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by Hell" (James 3:6). We can either use our mouths as a passageway for the fires of Hell to gain access to earth, or use them to put out the fires of Hell the enemy has lit in the hearts and minds of others.

You can be God's fire extinguisher. You can put out the flames of Hell with the blessings of Heaven. And wherever you go, you will be like a fountain of blessing that brings healing and life to the nations.

Instead of giving Hell's fires access to the earth, you will bring to earth the very river of life that flows from the throne of God. People will be drawn to you like magnets because of the great power of grace and mercy that radiates from your spirit. And with only a few words you will destroy the curses of generations. This is the power of blessing. This is your destiny in God.” Victoria Boyson: The Elijah List

Words, so powerful, both for evil and for good. May each of us weigh the words we speak carefully. May we measure them according to the Words of God. May we pray as David did in the Psalm “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight oh Lord.”


Living Bread

Something for us to "chew" on for the weekend. This could change our lives, no?

Romans 8:15 AMP

15 For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father!


Yom Kippur

Leviticus 23 tells us the feasts that God has established for Himself. They aren't Jewish or Christian feasts. They are God's feasts. Our family is learning about these special days, these appointed seasons of the Lord. What a fascinating, thrilling, exciting time this is for our family as we learn together of these special times God has set and how Jesus has fulfilled many of these times. Tuesday evening and Wednesday, Yom Kippur or The Day of Atonement, find us celebrating the atoning work Jesus has done for us. He was the perfect and complete atonement for our sins. During this time we will be focusing on this. I can't help but encourage all believers in Yeshua, Jesus, to consider learning more of these feasts God has appointed. They add a richness that cannot accurately be described with words, only experienced. Many Christian ministries have information and teachings on these appointed seasons of the Lord. Our family has been blessed to listen to several different ministries share on television concerning this topic. We are so thankful these men and women of God offer these teachings. Otherwise, we would never have known. One of several ministries that provide free information on their website is that of Larry and Tiz Huch. Please know that this is but one of many sources available. This is merely a possible source to begin your study with.


Seeds for Free

Notice the double post yesterday? Me too. Sorry about that. Accidentally forgot and clicked publish instead of schedule:) Today I have a quick and easy idea for obtaining free seeds for the garden next year, grow them! That's right. I currently have carrot tops sprouting in water. The tops are supposed to root, grow, flower, and produce seed. Will let everyone know whether or not we ended up with any carrot seeds for next year's garden in a few months.

We do have some seeds from our watermelon and are already excited about growing them next year as they were so sweet and delicious this year. "Much better than those in the store!" said Giggle age six. Mighty Man of God age four completely agreed. We know our seeds will grow beautiful watermelon next year because our watermelon were heirloom varieties grown from seeds purchased an heirloom seed source. We also have seeds from hot and bell peppers to save. Besides producing fruit/veggies that contain more flavor, seeds from heirloom varieties can be saved from select fruit/vegetables each year making the purchase of new seeds only necessary if the grower wants to try a different variety. Personally, my favorite part of using heirloom seeds is that trying new "old" varieties is just so much fun. The fact that the fruit they produce is often more nutritional, tasty, attractive, and the seeds come in sweet little packets with vintage art just adds to the experience. Free seeds, gotta love it!


Multitudes on Mondays, Still Counting

Mondays find us counting our gifts. Will you join us? Please do. Let's continue the thankfulness, allow it to take root, and watch it grow.
Counting Gifts Still...
  1. carrots and potatoes fresh from the garden
  2. beautiful carrot plants in pots each side of the door
  3. empty pots that tell the harvest has begun
  4. tearing out old to make way for the new, the better
  5. creeping thyme finding a new home
  6. iris planted anew, hoping this is their last move
  7. green leaves tinged with yellow gently ushering in the Fall
  8. pepper plants covered from frost, filled with a hot harvest yet to come
  9. daughters young, strong, and helpful
  10. the satisfaction working brings
  11. a contented hum inside the heart
  12. colors of fall on the counter, a pile of squash, and one lone watermelon
  13. stories about animals and Autumn for two young children and I to share
  14. Thornton Burgess' Book of Animals to learn classification with ease
  15. first grade humor and jokes that really aren't funny but make me laugh still
  16. little brothers with sparkling eyes and big brothers that teach him more than his big sisters really want him to know
  17. Those things, those ones that draw me to my knees at the foot of Jesus, may I remain there
  18. Love divine, so unmeasured that tore the veil apart
  19. Learning still of Immanuel, God with me
  20. How no matter how old I get, no matter how long I have been loving Him, He leads and teaches Me still
  21. Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine
  22. Worshiping in spirit and in truth, together, as a family
  23. Sweet oneness of serving and learning with other brothers and sisters in Christ, and the overwhelming richness that those brothers and sisters are also my children
  24. Rosh HaShana last week, Yom Kippur coming this week, and celebrating Jesus full and free
  25. wreaths made with leaves yet to be made and the fun we'll have when we do


Oh How He Loves Us

More Gifts to Count
...godly media to instruct
...friends in Jesus
...a beloved another year older, another year sweeter
...children growing strong in the Lord
...wonder at stars in the night sky
...even the heavens tell His story
...that even nature knows and follows His will
...eyes that see, even with glasses
...creativity coming out in unexpected places in unexpected ways
...sinking in an ocean of grace
...messages of love sent in millions of ways
...crisp mornings
...warm sunshine in afternoon
...birthdays and celebrations of life
...maturity sneaking in, in spite of me
...strong young men of God serving Him and their country
...a friend's new engagement
...love's many promises continuing still
...mother's quick healing following surgery
...faith of family
...relationship with God and how a lifetime of memories with Him can be so sweet
...that looking back recalls sweet memories most
...how God takes the trauma of then and turns it into the preparation for now
...striped overalls, red bandana, cowboy boots, and a plastic holster on a strutting little rancher man
...prayers from little lips, the faith of a child
...the love of God sinking me in an ocean of grace
"Oh how He loves us" the presence of God swept over me in wave after glorious wave. May I never cease to be amazed by His amazing grace. The link to this song has been included. All that is needed is a click on the following link. (Letters in blue) Let's listen to this again and again, then maybe again.


Final Big Bite

The past week we have been savoring the words of Psalm 37, allowing them to penetrate our minds in renewal. What a blessing it is to feast on the richness of God's Holy Word. As we close out the week, here is a final big bite to gnaw on.

Psalm 37

[A Psalm] of David.

1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers, neither be envious against those who work unrighteousness (that which is not upright or in right standing with God).
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3 Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.
4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.
6 And He will make your uprightness and right standing with God go forth as the light, and your justice and right as [the shining sun of] the noonday.
7 Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him; fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger and forsake wrath; fret not yourself—it tends only to evildoing.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait and hope and look for the Lord [in the end] shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while, and the evildoers will be no more; though you look with care where they used to be, they will not be found.
11 But the meek [in the end] shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
12 The wicked plot against the [uncompromisingly] righteous (the upright in right standing with God); they gnash at them with their teeth.
13 The Lord laughs at [the wicked], for He sees that their own day [of defeat] is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to cast down the poor and needy, to slay those who walk uprightly (blameless in conduct and in conversation).
15 The swords [of the wicked] shall enter their own hearts, and their bows shall be broken.
16 Better is the little that the [uncompromisingly] righteous have than the abundance [of possessions] of many who are wrong and wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the [consistently] righteous.
18 The Lord knows the days of the upright and blameless, and their heritage will abide forever.
19 They shall not be put to shame in the time of evil; and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs [that is consumed in smoke] and as the glory of the pastures. They shall vanish; like smoke shall they consume away.
21 The wicked borrow and pay not again [for they may be unable], but the [uncompromisingly] righteous deal kindly and give [for they are able].
22 For such as are blessed of God shall [in the end] inherit the earth, but they that are cursed of Him shall be cut off.
23 The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step].
24 Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him.
25 I have been young and now am old, yet have I not seen the [uncompromisingly] righteous forsaken or their seed begging bread.
26 All day long they are merciful and deal graciously; they lend, and their offspring are blessed.
27 Depart from evil and do good; and you will dwell forever [securely].
28 For the Lord delights in justice and forsakes not His saints; they are preserved forever, but the offspring of the wicked [in time] shall be cut off.
29 [Then] the [consistently] righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.
30 The mouth of the [uncompromisingly] righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks with justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
32 The wicked lie in wait for the [uncompromisingly] righteous and seek to put them to death.
33 The Lord will not leave them in their hands, or [suffer them to] condemn them when they are judged.
34 Wait for and expect the Lord and keep and heed His way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land; [in the end] when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
35 I have seen a wicked man in great power and spreading himself like a green tree in its native soil,
36 Yet he passed away, and behold, he was not; yes, I sought and inquired for him, but he could not be found.
37 Mark the blameless man and behold the upright, for there is a happy end for the man of peace.
38 As for transgressors, they shall be destroyed together; in the end the wicked shall be cut off.
39 But the salvation of the [consistently] righteous is of the Lord; He is their Refuge and secure Stronghold in the time of trouble.
40 And the Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they trust and take refuge in Him.


Slowly Savoring

Psalm 37

[A Psalm] of David.

1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers, neither be envious against those who work unrighteousness (that which is not upright or in right standing with God).
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3 Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.
4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.
6 And He will make your uprightness and right standing with God go forth as the light, and your justice and right as [the shining sun of] the noonday.
7 Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him; fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger and forsake wrath; fret not yourself—it tends only to evildoing.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait and hope and look for the Lord [in the end] shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while, and the evildoers will be no more; though you look with care where they used to be, they will not be found.
11 But the meek [in the end] shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
12 The wicked plot against the [uncompromisingly] righteous (the upright in right standing with God); they gnash at them with their teeth.
13 The Lord laughs at [the wicked], for He sees that their own day [of defeat] is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to cast down the poor and needy, to slay those who walk uprightly (blameless in conduct and in conversation).
15 The swords [of the wicked] shall enter their own hearts, and their bows shall be broken.


SPECIAL POST: Prayers For Rain, Join Us?

Many areas of our nation, including the land our family lives on, is in desperate need of rain. Animals and herbage alike are crying out for rain to satisfy. 2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us that if God’s people who are called by His name will humble themselves and pray, seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways, He will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. Abundance blog is asking all of its readers to please join with it in obeying the words of this scripture and inquire of the Lord, asking Him to send rain. The following verses are but a few found on rain. There are many more. It is an interesting study that reveals much. Thank you to all who are joining as we humble ourselves before God, seek His face, and turn from any and every wicked way He reveals to us. Thank You also to the Lord God Almighty who hears us and answers our cry.
Leviticus 26:4
I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.

Deuteronomy 11:14
then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil.

Deuteronomy 28:12
The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.

Job 5:10
He provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside.

Psalm 147:8
He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.

Isaiah 30:23
He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows.

Jeremiah 14:22
Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, LORD our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this.