These are true stories that I hope will make you smile!


The Imperfect Dress

Who would ever think that God would give me some Godly lessons with sewing up a dress for myself? Last week I cut out a dress to sew out of a beautiful 4 yard piece of red crepe. My pattern was simple in design. A long princess lined vest that attached to a under dress. So the garment looked like it had a long vest over a separate dress. Even though the pattern was a size smaller than what I needed that was no difficult task for me. I had redesigned patterns before.

I began with cutting my dress larger than the pattern pieces and began assembling them together. I started with the outer vest pieces. They came together quickly and with very little effort. I tried it on. Perfect fit. I didn’t have to adjust anything. I glanced at my instructions not fully reading them but studying the pictures. I had a good idea how to assemble the next pieces. They were only 3 pieces to the skirt portion of the dress. I had one front piece and two back pieces. The darts were put into each piece and I stitched them all together. Thinking there wouldn’t be any problem with the fit; I almost went ahead and attached it to the lining. But just in case, I thought I better see if I need to adjust anything. To my surprise the skirt was way too small! I wasn’t too concerned. I had another yard of extra cloth. I will just cut new pieces.

Back to the cutting table. This time I measured me and measured the pattern. I wanted it to fit, so I better make sure. I had more than enough cloth. To my surprise I see after cutting the pieces, on one of the back pieces was a very large dark ink marking. I looked to see if it was on both sides of the cloth. It was. Rats! Okay, think! What am I going to do with this? I have no more cloth. My daughter Heidi suggested I use the old pieces and combine them with the newly cut ones. What a great idea! That should work.

So I ripped apart the first pieces I cut, measured to see how much I needed to add to the back pieces so that it would have 4 pieces to the back skirt rather than just 2 pieces. I was pleased with what I had cut and assembled

the pieces. Not checking to see if it was going to fit, I went ahead and finished the edges of all the seams with my serger just to give it a nicer look on the inside. After all, I DID measure myself and it should be perfect. Then I thought I better check the fit. Back to the bedroom. It was HUGE! How could that be? I thought I measured so carefully. I pinned it smaller, looked like two of the panels I added would have to go. Back to ripping. This time I had to not only rip out the original stitching but I had to rip out the serged seams! Ugh……oh well. Had to be done.

I was back to the beginning again. I took out the two added back pieces. It should be enough room for me without them. I did cut the front piece larger. I stitched them together. Hike back to the bedroom. I couldn’t believe it. The skirt was TOO SMALL! I didn’t know if I should just cut the skirt up into small pieces and toss it in the garbage can or pursue correcting it. With a grumbling tongue I stubbornly went back to the seam ripper and took out the seams. I wondered with how many times I had taken apart the seams, if the cloth was making holes. I tried to be careful. So far so good.

Back to the cutting board. I trimmed the back pieces and the front, hoping that would do the job. I stitched them up. This time without question, I went to the bedroom to try it on. It seemed to fit okay, but something looked wrong. I took off the skirt. Somehow I managed to turn two back pieces so that they were upside down! Rip rip rip. This wasn’t much fun. A simple dress was taking days to complete! This was supposed to be a quick easy project. With each passing day I picked up my dress pieces and kept on pursuing, not always with a good attitude, but with a stubborn attitude of this is going to get done no matter how long it takes me!

The next day I corrected the upside down pieces and stitched them again. It seemed to look okay. I assembled the upper dress lining piece and then pinned the skirt piece to it. Somehow it wasn’t pining properly. The seams were not lining up where they should. I unpinned and lifted up the skirt pieces. In my attempt to correct the upside down pieces, I somehow ripped out one of the side pieces I added to the back and stitched it next door to the other side piece. So instead of having my back seam in the back it was twisting to my side. At this point I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry. How could I have not seen this when I was pinning? There must be a lesson

or something you are trying to tell me God, I thought. Maybe I am not supposed to sew this dress. Maybe it should be another color under the vest part. No, not another color. I was determined that this dress was to be all red and I was going to somehow finish it.

Back to the easy chair with the seam ripper. To help me be distracted from being frustrated with the dress, I put on ministry tapes. I am not sure if that was helping me much, being that the tapes helped convict me of things I needed changing on. Oh boy, God is really working on me this week, I thought. Why didn’t I put on music instead?

This time I CAREFULLY examined what pieces needed to be sewn where on the skirt and double checked on my pinning. I was NOT going to rip this out again! After sewing I carefully examined to make sure it was sewn properly. It was. It came out just fine. The rest of the dress came together without any problems and the dress looks wonderful. Looking at the dress you would NEVER know all the work that went into it.

Colossians 1:9-14 KJV For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, I do not case to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding: That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in knowledge of God: Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness: Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear son. In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.

How many times have we tried to make something work that wasn’t working? I had MY plans to sew this dress together in doing it my way and not READING the instructions. I had my ideas and they didn’t work. God wants us to read HIS plan, through the Bible to see what His will is for our lives. It is so easy to get a project started and think we are really getting someplace and end up spending MORE time on it than planned because of careless things we do or say. How many times have we tried to then “fix it”

with patching up our project with just anything to get by with to get it done. If I had used a darker cloth under this red dress I know the results of it would be me not liking the way it came out and it sitting in a reject pile in my sewing room.

There is only one way to salvation. That is through Jesus Christ. We can try to find it on our own, but the bottom line is, we can patch our lives up and try to make something work but nothing will work but Jesus. When we finally give up our plans and give it to God. God doesn’t just patch up our messes. He takes us BACK to the beginning. Reading the Bible. Sometimes he has to rip things out of us and start over before he can use us.

Going to church will not save man. Just like I had the skirt pieces upside down. Sure all the pieces were there. And yes, they were in the right order, but it won’t work if they are not properly placed. I can attend church, be in the choir, give money each week, but if my heart isn’t right before God, how can he use me? My dress was not useable until all the pieces were in the right order. God wants us to take time to know Him. Know his will for our lives. The Bible has all the answers. Living a life of prayer, being devoted and dedicated to Him is what he wants. He desires a willing spirit to keep on, even if it seems tough around us. I could have given up on my dress and many times I wanted to. I did have to set it aside and work on it later. But I stuck with it to the end. The results were worth the pressing in and finishing the task.

So how many tasks have you finished this week??



Have you ever tried pouring maple syrup on a piece of buttered toast? If you haven’t, then just flow along with me on this.

This is a great comparison of what our mind, heart, and spirit man should be like when we are on our way to church.

Imagine yourself thinking about eating breakfast and in your mind think about your favorite food. For me this morning it is putting maple syrup on toast. Ummmm. I think about the anticipation of eating this wonderful food. I can taste it in my mouth, the excitement in my mind of eating something that I so enjoy. I walk to the kitchen and remove a slice of bread from the breadbox. I pop the bread into the toaster. I get my plate to put my wonderful tasty morsel onto as I prepare for this very anticipated treat. The toast pops up. My slice of bread is ready for me. Reaching for my slice of toast, I notice the bread sagged a little on one corner and it wouldn’t come up out of the toaster. Okay its stuck. Carefully I lower the slice of toast to help it to come away from the top edge of the toaster. I was able to straighten the slice and pull it out. Ummmmm.......the toast looks so good. With my butter knife I dip it into a stick of soft butter on the counter, spreading some onto my slice of toast. I could just eat it now it looks so good.... but I won’t. It is going to taste better soon. I open the maple syrup, which was waiting for me on the counter. It wouldn't open. Get out the flat rubber jar turner that is shaped like a house with a realty name on it. It took a few good cranks before it would come free. My mouth could taste the wonderful flavor of this maple syrup.

I cleaned off the top of the syrup bottle and the cap. Then the best part...I poured it onto the toast. Oh this is soooo good. I can’t wait to put this into my mouth. I put the cap back onto the bottle and picked up my butter knife. Using my fork I cut up the soaking maple-syrup toast into bite sized pieces. I was so ready to eat this.

I needed some liquid to go with this delicious anticipated meal. I took a glass from the cupboard and added crushed ice from the refrigerator door. I added water over the ice and brought my plate and glass to the table. This looked so good. I could taste the maple syrup even before it came into my mouth. I picked up my fork and put one piece into my mouth. Oh it was even better than what my imagination tasted. I enjoyed every bite of my meal. When the last piece was eaten I thought about getting another piece because this one tasted so good.

This is how we should be when on our way to church. We think about getting into the presence of God, how peaceful and wonderful it is. We can remember how it felt when we were singing praise songs to God, the excitement of a song that stirred in your heart and moved you with compassion and love for your savior. Then on your drive you pass familiar places that bring back fun memories. Around the corner, there is your church. You pull into the parking lot and see several friends. You greet them with a wave. In parking the car, you came with expectancy in your spirit knowing something good is going to happen today. God is going to heal you if you need healing, or God is going to answer your petitions you have given him. You leave your car and enter into the church building. The familiar greeters welcome you. You joke and laugh with them as they hand you a bulletin of today’s events.

You can't get to your favorite spot to sit without talking to several friends who are so glad to see you. You make it to your favorite place to sit to find it just waiting for you. This is your church, your place of worship, a place you get excited about attending, a place where you fellowship with other believers. You sit down and get comfortable and open the bulletin to see what events will take place today for music or what guest speaker will be talking. You go through the list of events for the week. You see someone you know is going on a mission’s trip. How wonderful! You say a little prayer for them. The music was already playing when you came in and was precious to your ears. This is the place where you were born again. Or maybe this was the place where you were healed. Maybe this was the church where you met your spouse. This is the place where Jesus is alive.

Church is supposed to be a place not only where you give financial support but also where you give your time in helping it to grow. There is a place for everyone. We can all help in some way large or small. It seems as if you see the same people doing the same things in most churches, because new comers or maybe even faithful old comers have not stepped in to help. You are not too old to serve or too young. When everyone helps in some way it not only helps the Pastor but also you are serving God. We serve the church as we serve God.

In the first couple of chapters of the book of Acts we read how they all worked together. They shared all that they had. NO ONE was in lack. They shared finances, possessions and everything they had. Those with more shared with those with less. Of all the churches you have visited or joined, how many of those churches really met the needs of the people. And its NOT just the church meeting those was THE PEOPLE of the church that were helping those in the church to meet their needs. Remember the people are the church. Too many people focus on the church meeting their needs and why they aren’t helping them. It must be the people in the church helping meet the needs of the people. Most churchgoers can do much more for those in the church than they realize. Just look for someone who's in need and meet that need. If you don’t know who to bless, talk to those in the church office. I am sure they know the needs of the people. Be a radical blesser.

I am sure you have something extra in your house that you can give away. Most Americans have more than enough to give. Most Americans have so many things they can't even park in their garage because it is so full of extra things. Giving financially is one part of giving to the church. Your time is another part of your giving. If you cannot give much financially, its okay: then give more of your time in helping in some way.

Who did you help this week?




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