Don’t Idolize the Past- Alistair Begg

This is a devotional sent to me by @kaylynnkrieg.
This is exactly what I’ve been praying about the last few days. Not looking longingly at the past with its comforts and sweet memories, but being fully here, now.
God can only dwell with you in the present. You can’t feel his presence in the past or future… We are present beings and we need to seek him in the now!

Don’t Idolize the Past

Many Christians are able to view the past with pleasure but regard the present with dissatisfaction. They look back upon the days that they have spent in communing with the Lord as being the sweetest and the best they have ever known; but as to the present, it is as if they were smothered by a heavy blanket of gloom and dreariness. Once they lived near Jesus, but now they feel that they have wandered from Him, and they say, “Oh, that I were as in the months of old.” They complain that they have lost their evidences, or that they no longer have peace of mind, or that they have no enjoyment in the means of grace, or that their conscience is hardened, or that they are no longer as zealous for God’s glory as they once were.

The causes of this mournful state of things are many. It may arise through a comparative neglect of prayer, for a neglected closet is the beginning of all spiritual decline. Or it may be the result of idolatry. The heart has been occupied with something else, more than with God; the affections have been set on the things of earth instead of the things of heaven. A jealous God will not be content with a divided heart; He must be loved first and best. He will withdraw the sunshine of His presence from a cold, wandering heart. Or the cause may be found in self-confidence and self-righteousness. Pride is busy in the heart, and self is exalted instead of lying low at the foot of the cross.

Christian, if you are not now as you “were . . . in the months of old,” do not be content to simply wish for a return of your former happiness, but go at once to seek your Master and tell Him your sad state. Ask His grace and strength to enable you to walk more closely with Him; humble yourself before Him, and He will lift you up and allow you once more to enjoy the light of His countenance. Do not sit down to sigh and lament; while the beloved Physician lives there is hope; there is a certainty of recovery even for the worst cases.


My Easy Upholstery Job: dining chairs

BEFORE.

I was commissioned to re-upholster some dining room chairs for a work friend and wanted to share this with everyone! I’m proud of myself for finishing a project and making a small profit!

This was a painstaking process and I learned a few lessons as well as developed some goals for my future in this business.

Lessons:

1. A good working staple gun can save you from cussing.

2. Working in the early morning is the only time to do manual labor in Dallas, TX. (I will probably never follow this rule, but starting this project in the middle of a drougt and 110 degree temps makes 6 am worktime seem really appealing)

3. Just keep working. Eventually it will get done.

Goals:

1. Get a pneumatic staple gun, like this one: 

Freeman Pneumatic 18-Gauge Strip Narrow Crown Stapler

2. Create an entire Dining set with my new found skills of upholstery!

3. Possibly add a handmade section on my Etsy site for custom upholstery of dining chairs (local only). Simple way to make some extra money! 

I started by stripping down the chairs and removing the old pleather covering and foam.  I gave it a good clean cause it’s nice to work on a clean surface.

Stripped down.

As I stripped them, I noticed one of the bases was rotting and I had to have a very nice guy from church to cut a new piece of plywood. I am eternally grateful…

I then started the grueling process of stapling the fabric over the foam and batting. I won’t go into alot of detail because there are about a billion videos on youtube that can explain this process. I have a link below to one of the best tutorials I found!

Nastiness of my house while working on this stuff! I wish I had a garage!!

My stapler wasn’t meant for this heavy duty of a job, so I used about 90% body weight and 10% stapling power to insert each staple… My shoulder was so sore of all that smashing of the stapler!

Christopher said we need to work on our boundaries...

We ate in the midst of this process.

The seat after I had stapled it. I was then applying the last touchups.

I bought this fabric called “stiffener,” I’m still not sure what it’s supposed to stiffen. I used it to cover up the ugly staples and extra fabric on the bottom.

Christopher is the master driller!

Christopher saved the day and drilled each seat into the chair frame. He really likes the drill.

It's taking over my life!

HORRAY!! It's finished!

They turned out pretty good! And my first upholstery customer was happy!

I used Weisen3098’s YouTube videos to learn how to do this. He does great tutorials. Check him out here.


Confessions of a Pastor’s Wife: What People Don’t Know by Kate Ritchie

Confessions of a Pastor’s Wife: What People Don’t Know.