Thursday, March 24, 2005

Say Cheese! :-) Posted by Hello

Here are a couple pictures that Grace took with her new 35mm camera. This is our little friend Joseph, who we watched at our house last weekend. Isn't he adorable! He and John are best buds! Posted by Hello

Here is my Strawberry Jam sealing in the sun! Yummy! Posted by Hello

Strawberry Jam

Snow is on the ground outside but in the kitchen I am making Strawberry Jam! I guess it's Strawberry season in California, because at the market near us, they have quarts of berries for 99 cents! Of course I just had to buy some, and headed home intent on making Jam. I had recently bought some natural pectin (from a food co-op we are a part of), that can set jam with minimal honey or sugar, or jam that is sweetened with fruit juice concentrate. The pectin is extracted from citrus peel, and its jelling power is activated by calcium, (they give you a little packet of powdered calcium) not by huge amounts of sugar. The first batch I made didn't quite jell as much as I would have liked, but it was O.K. I had used White Grape concentrate to sweeten it, and I think it gave it a slightly different taste. For the next batch, I used Apple concentrate, and increased the pectin. It jelled like a charm, and was much tastier!

I have one little problem though, and I would be appreciative if anyone who has experience with jam making could help me out. After the hot water bath, which is for 5 min., all the strawberry chunks are at the top of the jar, and the liquid/juice is at the bottom. Is there any way I can keep it from doing that? I just stir it up after it's opened, but it does look kind of strange.

For those of you who would like to know, the pectin that I use is Pomona's Universal Pectin. Happy jamming!

~ Faith

My Little Corner - A Very Good Book

"Hello, my name is Charity and I am a book-a-holic." (chorus- "Hello Charity.";) Seriously though, I LOVE to read, and have rarely seen a library that I didn't like! Delving into the printed world at the precocious age of 3, I have never looked back, and have developed a speed reading with which I devour books at an appalling rate. History, Mystery, Adventure, Biography, Tragedy, and Happy-Endings are all in my reading repertoire, and I have favorites in each category. Lately though, I have felt the lack of what I would call "A Very Good Book" – namely, one that points you to Jesus Christ and leaves you with a higher and stronger aspiration to serve Him each day. Of course the First and Best in this category is the Bible, the inspired Word of God, which contains EVERYTHING we need to discover our life purpose and discover His will for our lives. But unknown to all but a few, there ARE some other books that can encourage and inspire the Christian in their daily walk. Most of these precious gems were written in the 1800's, when there was at the least an increased sense of moral duty, and perhaps also spiritual needs. They were written by pastors, their wives, or just simple godly men and women whose earnest desire was to bring others to Christ and encourage and rebuke them in their daily living for Him. Many of these books were directed to children, for their authors realized the importance of an early, strong foundation in Biblical truths. Yet others were directed to the everyday Christian, with admonishments to practice what they professed. It is one of these that I wish to bring to your attention today.

'My Little Corner' was written by Mrs. O. F. Walton in 1872. In this little book you will follow the lives and fortunes of the Sam Grey family, and, more particularly, his wife Fanny. Living on the same street in the same house all of their married lives, this unassuming couple has many lessons to teach the seeker after truth. Follow the newly formed family as they make the fatal mistake of deciding, on the first Sunday after their marriage, not to take the time to go to church "just this once". Weep with them, and for them, as God uses a truly tragic circumstance to bring them to their senses. Rejoice as the newly committed parents dedicate their lives to the Lord and begin faithfully attending church and teaching God's love to their children. One would think that all was now well, and the books ends here, right? No, for God had many more things to teach the Grey family. You see, Mrs. Fanny Grey has over-reacted in avoiding her former faults and temptations, and has practically withdrawn from the outside world, avoiding her unsaved neighbors and spending all her energy on her home and family. One evening though, as she attends the weekly service, one part of the minister's sermon seems to speak directly to her. His text was Matthew 5:14 "Ye are the light of the world," and he eagerly admonished his flock not to "hide their little light within the four walls of their home," but to say to the Master- "Lord, the light is all from Thee, and it shall be reflected for Thy glory. It is only a little light; but it shall shine for Thee – only for Thee. I will go home, and shine there; I will go among my neighbors, and shine there; I will shine by loving words and sympathizing looks; I will shine by a reflected light – Thy light – and the glory shall be Thine." What a prayer! Oh that it might be the prayer of each of our hearts today! Well, I will not go into much more of the story here, but only say that Fanny determined to let her little light shine, in her little corner of the world where God had placed her. May you be strengthened and encouraged by reading about all the things that God had for her to do there on her little street, and may you commit yourself – anew, or for the first time – to let YOUR light shine in whatever little corner God places you!

This book, and many more by Mrs. Walton and other good authors can be purchased at .
You can also find similar edifying and Christ-honoring books at the following links…