Friday, September 12, 2014

The Modern Bible Bookshelf... or shelves

Painting from Wikimedia Commons

Nowadays, there is a Bible to suit every age, every occupation, every hobby, every doctrine, and every situation.

You grow up on the Toddler's Bible, the Children's Version, the Tween Bible that reads like a comic book, and the Teen Bible for Girls that reads like a fashion magazine. Then when you are an adult, you can get the Engaged Couple's Study Bible, the Young Marrieds Bible, the Mother Of A Newborn Bible, and the Parent's Guide Bible. Don't be tempted to start thinking that you can recycle those old children's Bibles so that you won't need to buy another bookshelf, because the next generation is more modern than you are and they will need their own versions of kid's Bibles in all the latest graphics and colors.

Then of course, as you are reading to the children from their assorted Bibles (a different one for every age), you are probably reading the Parent's Guide Bible; but you need to feed your soul, too, so you have to get your own editions that follow your interests: The Bible- Video Game Edition, The Knitter's Bible (the one with devotionals, not stitches), The Chef's Bible, Traveler's Bible, Writer's Bible, Fly Fisherman's Bible (contemplations on Fly Fishing and Fishing for Men), Hunter's Bible or the Nature Lover's Bible.

Don't forget your occupation, too: The Computer Programmer's Bible, the Teacher's Bible, the Lawyer's Bible, and the like. Oh, and now that the kids are in school,  they need the Student's Bible, Locker edition. And as life throws you all kinds of responsibilities and unforeseen events, you may need the Debt Relief Bible, the Moving Bible, the Weight Loss Bible, and the Caretaker's Study Bible. Then of course you may want the Busy Person's Bible, the Split-Second-Glance Bible, or the Bite-Size Bible for those times when there isn't time.

Then as the kids get older, you will buy them the New Driver's Bible, High School Grad's Bible, and the College Bound Bible, Dorm edition. You will need the Empty Nester's Study Bible, and the Second Career Seeker's Devotional Bible, and they will need to start on the Devotional Bible track as mentioned above, with the addition of the New Job Seeker's Devotional Bible. Then as you get older, there will be the Retirement Bible, the Social Security Bible, and the Nursing Home Bible.

You can also get Bibles with notes from your favorite contemporary authors or preachers in the margins. Don't forget to make room on the shelf for their best-sellers, as the Bibles are companions to their more in-depth devotional, self-help, sermon books, and novels. As the children leave home and move around, they will need somewhere to park their old Bibles, so you better make room on the shelf for those, too.

Let's not forget in all this which version to read. You may have started with your Grandpa's archaic version, but now you have so many more to choose from: The updated versions, the simple language versions, the easy-to-read versions, and the one that reads like a novel (compiled by your favorite authors, with their transitions written between the scriptures to make it "flow"). You may want to try them all until you find one that says what you want it to. It is a hop, skip and a jump from there to a paraphrase, which will also get simpler over time. I have noticed that paraphrases and simple-to-understand Bibles often take more words to express something than the older versions, but I have no doubt that there will come a "few words" version of the Bible to make it even more desirable to read. And of course, you want to get the ones that are printed just for your particular denomination.

I wonder why there are all these Bibles for all these different interests, but not any for some of the other things or people that need specialized, focused Bibles? Maybe they are out there, I just haven't seen them yet. The Blogger's Bible, The Occupy Wall Street Devotional Bible, The One Percent Bible, The Jane Austen Devotional Bible, The UFO Sighter's Bible, or the Backyard Chicken Lover's Study Bible?  I wonder if a Bible Publisher should contact me for my ideas. It might be a profitable business to be in.

If I were to have some customized Bibles published, one would be The Dishwasher's Bible: a short, thick Bible that stays open on the windowsill above the sink, with large print and waterproof pages and ink. Hey, I think I just invented something there.

Now what do you think that girl in the painting is doing? I think she's saying "I'll keep my plain little old HOLY Bible, thank you very much."

Monday, September 8, 2014

Easy Card Holder Frame

Here is a fun way to display your cards, postcards, or photographs! It can also show off a pretty piece of fabric or some fabulous trim at the same time. This is a lazy craft, as long as you have the materials on hand, you can do this in less than five minutes and just lifting a few fingers:)

Materials needed:
Frame with backing but no glass (I had a dollar store diploma frame fall from a desk, and the glass broke, but the rest was good, so this is a good craft for reusing a frame)
Scrap of Fabric, a little bigger than the frame
Ribbon or cord, enough to go around as seen below

 Take the backing off of the frame. Lay the scrap over the backing as if it were the picture you were going to display.

 With cord or ribbon, lay across the scrap as shown, adjust until you are satisfied. If you have enough ribbon (like several yards), you could wrap it around several times and in different ways.

 Pop the frame on.

 Around back, adjust the little clips over your fabric and the ribbon or cord, and then to the frame. This should hold it all in place. If you prefer not to have the fabric sticking out the back, you could wrap the scrap around a piece of paper first (and maybe flat ribbon, but not cording), then put it all together.

Display your favorite things!

You could also, as mentioned, wrap ribbon around it in different configurations. I can see a grid of ribbon, perhaps, or even just a "crazy quilt" style application of ribbon, to provide more places to tuck in cards or photos.

You could also pad it by using batting under the scrap, and then you could use some decorative sewing pins to hold items for display.

I have had fun with a technique for making a glass-like finish on cards, a couple of which I have displayed in the above photos. Here's the tutorial I followed:

On the top card displayed in this post, I went ahead and "cracked" the rose image, then embossed the edges in gold to look like an old plate. On the other card shown, I did the same embossing technique on the scripture, but did not crack it, preferring to leave it smooth. I also did the first layer with glittered clear embossing powder, then topped it with more layers of regular clear embossing powder, so it has a sparkle to it but a glassy feel. The leaf embossing folder used for the background was a recent gift from a friend!

Friday, September 5, 2014


Religion is a social concern; for it operates powerfully on society, contributing, in various ways, to its stability and prosperity.

Religion is not merely a private affair; the community is deeply interested in its diffusion; for it is the best support of the virtues and principles on which the social order rests. Pure and undefiled religion is, to do good ; and it follows, very plainly, that, if God be the Author and Friend of society, then the recognition of him must enforce all social duty, and enlightened piety must give its whole strength to public order.

Few men suspect, perhaps no man comprehends, the extent of the support given by religion to every virtue. No man, perhaps, is aware, how much our moral and social sentiments are fed from this fountain; how powerless conscience would become, without the belief of a God; how palsied would be human benevolence, were there not the sense of a higher benevolence to quicken and sustain it; how suddenly the whole social fabric would quake, and with what a fearful crash it would sink into hopeless ruin, were the ideas of a supreme Being, of accountableness, and of a future life, to be utterly erased from every mind.

And, let men thoroughly believe that they are the work and sport of chance; that no superior intelligence concerns itself with human affairs; that all their improvements perish forever at death; that the weak have no guardian, and the injured no avenger; that there is no recompense for sacrifices to uprightness and the public good; that an oath is unheard in heaven; that secret crimes have no witness but the perpetrator; that human existence has no purpose, and human virtue no unfailing friend; that this brief life is every tiling to us, and death is total, everlasting extinction; once let them thoroughly abandon religion; and who can conceive or describe the extent of the desolation which would follow!

We hope, perhaps, that human laws and natural sympathy would hold society together. As reasonably might we believe, that, were the sun quenched in the heavens, our torches would illuminate, and our fires quicken and fertilize the creation. What is there in human nature to awaken respect and tenderness, if man is the unprotected insect of a day? And what is he more, if atheism be true ? Erase all thought and fear of God from a community, and selfishness and sensuality would absorb the whole man. Appetite, knowing no restraint, and suffering, having no solace or hope, would trample in scorn on the restraints of human laws. Virtue, duty, principle, would be mocked and spurned as unmeaning sounds. A sordid self-interest would supplant every other feeling; and man would become, in fact, what the theory of atheism declares him to be—a companion for brutes.

-William Ellery Channing, b. 1780 d. 1842

Editor's note: From the McGuffey's 5th reader. The original was reformatted for this posting. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Recycling an Old Window

I've seen a lot of re-purposed windows in decorating magazines and online. I now have had the privilege of salvaging a couple old windows myself.

This old building used to be a country schoolhouse, and then it was bought to be a church building. I don't know how old it is exactly, but I met someone who went to school here in the 1920's. I guess that means that I can safely say that the building is coming close to one hundred years old, but it could be older. The multi-paned windows were all around this building originally. The above photo is from 1972.

 Over the years, update after update, replacement after replacement, and the need to renovate for different purposes, have altered this old building. The change from a schoolhouse with desks to a church building with pews, and the addition of more rooms took out many of the old windows. The entrance was moved from the gabled end shown above, to another part of the building. That was my grandfather's idea, who preached here for many years. There were two old windows left, on either side of this gable, and those were the ones I salvaged. 
It was time for the windows to be replaced with modern ones that wouldn't let all the cold air in. I was happy to have the old ones! Since one pane in each window was cracked, and I didn't have any replacements, and since the glass made the window so heavy, I thought it best to take all the panes out. I also only saved the top half of the window, as the bottom halves were much rotted from the weather. Several days of scraping away many types of plaster that held the panes in, and pane-stakingly (sorry, I couldn't resist!) taking out the little metal tabs that also held the panes in, left me with the wooden window frame.

A bit of advice to anyone who may want to try this-- set a big cardboard box under your saw horses as you work. It will catch all the bits of glass and plaster and make clean up easier. Next, the glass will break, even if you are careful, and actually on most of my project it was much easier to get out that way, and let me have a go at the stuff that was plastering it in with more vigor. Wear work gloves. Lastly, slow and steady is better than having an accident with sharp tools and shards of glass!

 A nice coat of paint (Benjamin Moore "Capri Coast") and my week's project is done! I gave one window to my mother, and the other I'll keep. Shown above is the window displayed on my mother's wall, above the mantel. I'm sure she'll have it decorated in many interesting ways as the seasons change. I haven't decided what to do with mine yet, so it is leaning against the wall. I'm glad that I have a story to tell about the building that these windows came from, and the relation to my family, so that instead of just being another decoration, they may become a family treasure. 

For all kinds of ideas for old windows, just do an image search for "recycling old window into decor," or here is a site with lots of uses for old windows!

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