Come sit with me

I love blue, purple and scarlet yarn! I have crocheted most of my life, and when I found out that there were women across the nation who were forming Prayer Shawl Ministries, I became so excited; I started one at my church. The Wednesday devotionals on this blog weave together the art of crocheting and the love of God. Plus there are quotations on leadership, patterns, book reviews, and news from other Prayer Shawl Ministries. So if God has filled you with a love for crocheting & knitting, pull out those blue, purple and scarlet yarns and those crochet hooks and knitting needles and join me.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

on Leadership - by Richard Nixon

People are persuaded by reason, but moved by emotion.  [The leader] must both persuade them and move them.

Richard Nixon

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How to Unwind the Skein

Matthew 22: 37-38
Jesus replied:  “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’.  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I watched with concern as a friend struggled with her yarn.  Her stitches were well-shaped, her shawls always looked beautiful, and her borders enhanced the overall flow of the pattern.  But she struggled with the yarn.  It would fray and she jabbed her hook through it rather than under it.  Pulling yarn through the loops, she would catch a few of the fibers below.  Her shoulders were tense, her expression severe.  She was not enjoying herself. 
We talked about what might be the problem.  She walked me through everything – nothing was wrong.  And then I glanced at her skein.  She was unwinding the yarn from the outside. 
(You can uncover your eyes now, that’s the worst part of this horror story!)
I don’t ever remember reading this first and foremost rule of using yarn:  Thou shalt unwind the skein from within.  I think it ought to be stamped on every skein wrapping, like the warnings of impending death on cigarette packages.  Some skeins show little pictures of the two directions you can pull the yarn:  from around the outside and from the center.  There are no written explanations on this, but I think the caption under the ‘from the outside’ picture should be ‘NEVER DO THIS.’ 
The fibers which become yarn are twined in one direction.  Honest.  Go unravel a piece of yarn and try to twist it the other way.  It won’t work.  But twist it back in the direction the machines twined it, and it will become whole again.  As you knit or crochet, you should continue working in the direction the yarn was originally twined. 
Sometimes, it is difficult to find the end piece hidden inside the skein.  Be diligent; pluck out a whole bunch of yarn and gently unravel it until you find the beginning.  You will be amazed how easily the rest of your work flows from this one commandment: Begin at the center.
In life, I can do wonderful things that look beautiful, are useful and appreciated and praised.  But if I do not have the first commandment at the center of my life (Love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, and mind) then everything I do will be difficult and unfulfilling.  Once I began loving God with everything within me, the second commandment (love my neighbor) flowed easily and filled me with grace, joy, and hope.

My God, fill me with your presence.  Break my heart.  Engulf my soul.  Consume my thoughts.  Let me be totally Yours.  Nothing I do will have any meaning if You are not the center of my being.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Great and Mighty Lord

Mark Hayes (Arranger)
SATB, Piano
I do not receive any compensation for posting these anthems here; I just think they are terrific. Evelyn

Saturday, April 23, 2011

on Leadership - by Harry A. Overstreet

The very essence of all power to influence  lies in getting the other person to participate.

Harry A. Overstreet

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Washing Instructions

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

            It’s going to happen.  It's going to get dirty.  Whether it is the fluffy white baby blanket or the bright yellow chemo cap or the lavender and azure prayer shawl; it is going to get dirty.
            So, wash it.
            Put it in the sink filled with cold water and gentle soap or dump it in to a washing machine with harsh detergent.  The solution to a dirty article is to wash it.
            Most articles will come out clean and whole.  Sometimes, the washing process changes the shape or size of the article, but the dirt is gone.
Make sure the recipients of your gifts understand that getting dirty is a normal part of use.  Make sure the recipients also understand that dirty things can be washed clean.
            I live in the world and often get dirty.  The Bible calls this dirt ‘sin’.  I smirk.  I complain.  I criticize.  I forget to pray.  I judge.  I covet.  I get angry.  I doubt.  I worry.  The list goes on and on.  I get spiritually dirty.
            Luckily, I can be washed clean by Jesus.  It's very simple.  I confess my sins, I apologize for doing them, I ask for guidance in avoiding them the next time, and Jesus forgives me.  Sometimes, the process changes me.  But always, I come clean.

I really goofed today, Lord!  I am so sorry!  Help me to find a better way to deal with that situation.  I know there may be repercussions for what I did; let me face those without whining. Forgive me.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Oh Ye Who Hear

Mary McDonald (Composer)
SATB, Congregation, Descant, Organ and Piano
I do not receive any compensation for posting these anthems here; I just think they are terrific. Evelyn

Saturday, April 16, 2011

on Leadership - by H. Ross Perot

When building a team, I always search first for people who love to win.  If I can't find any of those, I look for people who hate to lose.

H. Ross Perot

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is a time for everything,
And a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.

Abide with me, fast falls the evening tide, I hum softly and double crochet my way along the side of my triangular shawl.  The rhythm of the song matches the motions of my hands.  The song soothes me; the shawl grows.
Some stitches call for faster songs.  I Must Tell Jesus works well for chains and single crochets.  Deep River and Amazing Grace accompanies more intricate or elaborate stitches.
Different stitches call for different rhythms.
I crochet much faster than most people, so my rhythm is swifter than theirs.  I don't match my rhythm to anyone around me.  I have my own patterns to follow and my own ability to guide me.  Luckily I have memorized enough hymns, scriptures, and creeds to keep me going as I work through easy, difficult, and challenging stitches.  Before I know it, the project is complete.
There is a rhythm to life as well.  The rhythm flies swiftly through easy situations, steadily through harder patches, and solidly through times of turmoil and despair.  I don't expect anyone to match my rhythm for more than a short time; they have a different pattern to follow.  When one song ends, I begin another.  I sing, pray, and recite my way through life.

God, it’s really hard right now.  I don’t know that I can do this.  Please, sweet Jesus, give me the strength I need to face what lies ahead.  Everything was so easy just yesterday!  I trust that things will be easier in a little while.  Just don’t let me stop loving You.  Don’t let me stop serving You.  It is so tough right now.  But You are my strength.  I know You will see me through.  Thank you.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Crown Him Redeemer, King!

Crown Him Redeemer, King!
Larry Shackley (Arranger)
SATB, Piano

Lorenz Music

I do not receive any compensation for posting these anthems here; I just think they are terrific. Evelyn

Saturday, April 9, 2011

on Leadership - by Albert Schweitzer

is not the main thing in influencing others;
it is the only thing.

Albert Schweitzer

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Romans 8:18 - 21
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope, that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

It is three o'clock in the morning and my phone rings.  On the other end comes an anguished cry, "It’s ruined!   It won't work!  I don't know what to do!"
The answer flows easily from my lips, "Go back to the last correct stitch."
The listener however is usually reluctant to unravel her yarn.  She wants to redesign the pattern to incorporate the mistake.  "Maybe no one will notice."
Mistakes left to their own devices eventually ruin the entire piece.  No matter how many rows you have stitched since the mistake, it will not heal and it will not disappear.  You must go back and fix it.  Unravel beyond the mistake.  Re- read the directions.  Call a friend and ask for advice.  Sometimes you may have to cut a chunk of yarn away and reconnect to the ends.
The important thing is not to give up.  Learn from your mistakes, improve your skills, adjust your actions, re-read your directions, and go back to the point where you were on the right path.
Do the same with mistakes in your life; and in other’s.

Dear Jesus,
I’m sorry.  I don’t know how it happened, but it did.  Help me find my way back to You.  Keep my feet on your path.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

To Calvary

James Koerts (Composer)
SATB, Piano
I do not receive any compensation for posting these anthems here; I just think they are terrific. Evelyn