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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Matthew 7:7
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

I carry my crochet bag with me everywhere I go.  I crochet while watching TV, while visiting with friends, while waiting for appointments, and while being driven places (not while I myself am driving).  People watch my fingers in fascination and we begin to talk.
I tell them what I'm making and let them feel the material.  I tell them about the Prayer Shawl Ministry and the Teen Parent Centers and the Prayer Shawls for Fallen Soldiers’ Families.  Then I offer them an extra crochet hook and a spare ball of yarn and ask them if they would like to learn.
What a wonderful way to open doors!  By telling them about what I'm doing, I help revive the dying art of crochet.  By letting them feel the project, I make a connection between concept and reality.  Touching the material also links the stranger to good childhood memories of beloved mothers and grandmothers who crocheted or knitted.  By telling them about the Prayer Shawl Ministry, the infants and adjudicated youths we help, and the Prayer Shawls for Fallen Soldiers’ Families, I open two doors: one of participation by way of membership or donations, the other of possible new recipients of prayers and shawls.  Finally, by handing them the tools, I offer them an opportunity to begin a new journey.
            I take my Master with me everywhere I go, too.  I live my religion, opening opportunities for people to ask me questions and reconnect with Jesus.  I talk about my beliefs, opening opportunities for participation and receiving prayer.  I share my faith, offering prayer, scripture, and songs as tools to help others begin a new journey to salvation.

Master, don’t let me skip over an opportunity to share your kindness with strangers.  Don’t let me be too busy to comfort a friend.  Don’t let me be too tired to listen to the needs of my family.  When someone knocks, let me be the one You allow to open the door.  Amen

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Lamb

William Blake (Author), David Giardiniere (Composer)
SATB, Piano
I do not receive any compensation for posting these anthems here; I just think they are terrific. Evelyn

Saturday, July 23, 2011

on Leadership - by Confucius

Our greatest glory is not in never failing,
but in rising every time we fail.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Why Hooks Aren't Made of Gold

Proverbs 8:17-19
I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.  With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.  My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.

            Wars have been won and lost over it.  Murders have been committed for it.  Marriages are banded in it.  Prizes are named after it.  Gold: civilization's most precious metal.
            Anthropologists claim that the first age of tools were wooden implements.  Wood is common, easy to shape, easy to replace, and from a renewable resource.  The first needles and hooks were wooden.
            Most of the hooks in my bag are aluminum or plastic.  These materials are renewable, common, sturdy, and inexpensive.  I've never had one break or bend -- when used properly -- and have given dozens away.  I can easily find them at stores, thrift shops, and garage sales.  I never worry about them being stolen.
I was surprised to learn how soft gold is.  It is described as a malleable metal.  It's not strong.  It does tarnish and eventually corrodes.  Gold is often the target of thieves, and it is very expensive.
Crochet hooks or knitting needles would not work well made of gold.  They would be very pretty, but they would bend from use.  I couldn't afford many of them, and certainly would be reluctant to give them away.  As I sat in the waiting rooms crocheting, it would be the hook not the shawl which attracted bystanders.  When offered a hook and a skein, the stranger would snatch them, but not to learn how to crochet; not to become a productive giver.
The emphasis of any project should not be on the tool, but the end result.
            I am content to be common, sturdy, and reliable.  I don't want people admiring me.  I want them to benefit from what I do.

Father, keep me common and unremarkable.  Allow me to be used for your kingdom, power, and glory, now and forever.  Amen.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Little Children, Welcome

Little Children, Welcome
F. Green (Author), John Semingson (Composer)
Unison, Organ

Lorenz Music

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

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Carrying Bag

1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

            I found it in a thrift shop, stuffed in a box filled with worn backpacks and old purses.  It looks like it might have at one time been a chair cushion, and someone put a strap and an embroidered flap on it.  The embroidery is of Tudor roses and was obviously once part of a larger tapestry.  The zipper opens into a cavity large enough for a double-sized skein, a half-finished shawl, and several crochet hooks.  It has a front zippered pocket below the Velcro patch large enough for a small pair of scissors and half a dozen Prayer Shawl Ministry brochures.  It cost about three dollars.
              I carry it with me at all times.  It is a wonderful conversation piece.  It carries the tools I need, and I can hand out brochures for those who show interest.
            Women in my Prayer Shawl Ministry also have found ways to carry the things they need for this ministry.  One uses a plastic grocery bag.  Another carries little plastic boxes for her tools.  Earth-friendly shopping bags are also popular.  It doesn't matter what the carrying bag looks like, its worth is inside.
            I'm short, plump, and middle-aged, with an honest face and an easy laugh.  Depending on my purpose for the day, I may wear a suit with heels and hose or jeans, T, and sandals.  God gave me the brains of a genius and the body of an old maid school marm.  It doesn't matter what I look like on the outside.  What matters is what I hold inside.  I have the materials to work and share within me at all times: scriptures, personal experience, faith, songs, joy, hope, and love of Jesus.

Lord, don’t let me come up wanting in the ways that would help others find You.  Fill me with your love.  Keep me learning your word.  Sing songs within my heart that I can share with others.  If I get a little thread-bare along the way, that’s OK.  Let me always treasure the things inside my heart and mind and soul.  Allow me to see that in others, too.  Amen.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

We Dedicate Our Children

Lloyd Larson (Composer), J Williams (Author)
SATB, Piano
I do not receive any compensation for posting these anthems here; I just think they are terrific. Evelyn

Saturday, July 9, 2011

on Leadership - by Max DePree

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.  The last is to say thank you.  In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor.  That sums up the progress of an artful leader.

Max DePree

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


John 7: 24
“Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.”

            I love jangly-dangling earrings.  I also love bright swirly skirts and swoopy-cauled sweaters.  And shoes – oh my gracious -- how I love fun shoes!
            My mother says not everyone can wear the things that I do.  What she probably means is that no one would dare wear them.  That's okay -- she's right.
When I choose a shawl for myself, I go for the flowers, shells, sequins, and tiny bells.  I am not wild about fringe.  The most beautiful shawl I ever made was for my mother -- metallic gray, tiny stitches, with lots of mesh; no embellishments.  Mom hates embellishments.  Shawls are shawls though, and both of these shawls served the same purpose.
Be careful what embellishments you add to a shawl.  Shawls should reflect the recipient’s personality.  The embellishments don't change the use of this shawl, but they can detract from the shawl’s usefulness.  I would love spangly-danglies on the shawl and would wear it.  My mother would thank me graciously for a spangly-dangly shawl, and hide it forever in the back of the linen closet
            My faith has a lot of spangly-danglies attached to it: powerful prayers, enlivening songs, joyful tithes and offerings.  But it is not the spangly-danglies that are important; it is the faith itself.  I don't expect anyone to wear my faith, nor do I allow anyone to foist their faith on me.  Faith is faith.  The importance of faith is not how it looks to others, but how it is used.

My Lord, my Savior, my Beginning and my End,
I want to praise you every single moment of my life and keep praising You on the other side of mortality!  I want to dance and sing and laugh with You.  I want You to wrap me in your arms and hold me as I sob.  I want to be solemn and honor the sanctity of your presence, too.  Don’t let me distract others from worshiping you by my enthusiasm.  Don’t ever let me judge someone who keeps silent nor someone who makes a spectacle of themselves while praising you.  Keep my faith strong.  Amen.  

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Who Will Go For Me?

Lloyd Larson (Composer), Jan McGuire (Author)
SATB, Piano
I do not receive any compensation for posting these anthems here; I just think they are terrific. Evelyn