Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pick Up Things Set Aside

It is 5:40 a.m. and still quite dark this morning; overcast, 'tis true, but you can surely see the shortness of the days reflected already! It's going to be a morning to pick up "something set aside". Do you ever set things aside and just say, "I'll do that when I get a minute"? I do! After spending time in the Bible this morning I looked around and saw a few things that were still waiting for me to finish them up. A wall to be painted, emptiness where the backsplash is supposed to be, two jars of oil steeped with comfrey and plantain...that's the one that I plan on accomplishing today. Over 6 weeks ago I got this recipe and lots of comfrey from my friend, Dottie.  As soon as I got home that day I picked my plantain, which is growing profusely from the edges of our dirt road, and got all the greens washed, blotted dry and into the oven (I have a pilot light) to dry. They've been well steeped now, over 7 weeks later (supposed to infuse for at 4-6 weeks).  Here is the very simple recipe:

Comfrey and Plantain Salve (one of the very best for healing cuts)

Supplies: 1 quart mason jar; small pot; small kitchen scale (optional, I eyeballed)

Ingredients: plenty of good, cold-pressed olive oil; 3 oz. dried comfrey leaves; 2 oz. dried plantain leaves; 2-4 oz. beeswax, shaved

Process: Place dried, broken up comfrey and plantain in mason jar. Cover with plenty of olive oil, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Leave on counter for 6 weeks (this is where the "setting aside" starts). Strain  infused oil through a cheesecloth into a small pot. 

For every 8 oz of oil you end up with you will add 1-2 oz. of the shaved beeswax; as you can see, the measurements will vary. I have always tended not to be too picky with weights, etc.

Over very low heat allow the oil to heat while the wax melts into it. To check if it's the right consistency, place a tablespoon of the mixture in a small cup and into the freezer for a minute or two. If it stays too soft, add a little more beeswax to the pot; if it becomes way too hard, just add a tiny bit more oil. Spoon the oil into small jars or tins. As they cool they will harden nicely. An herbal salve prepared in this fashion can keep in a cool dark place for up to 5 years, though mine doesn't stay on the shelf that long.

A comfrey salve should not be used on deep puncture wounds. This is because it has the power to regenerate new cell growth over the top of the wound before it has had time to heal the deeper tissue. This salve, as well as the calendula salve (which is the one we have made and used for many years) are for scrapes and normal cuts, or healing the skin after deep, inner healing is well underway. It is also good for healing very dry skin and many rashes.

Have I set the Lord Aside?
"Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" I read, in Luke 2:49 this morning. Just as Jesus Himself was occupied always with God the Father's business, aren't I supposed to be? I am a child of God. Am I simple enough to identify myself with my Lord in innocent, constant contact with my Father? or is my life so filled up with hurrying and scurrying that I have set Him aside, only picking him up in small spurts or when it is convenient? I read a quote today, "am I continually saying to my common-sense life - why do you want to turn me off here? Don't you know that I must be about my Father's business?" When I pray, am I one with the Father's heart? or am I dictating to Him? These were good reminders to me, not to set Him aside (even for one minute) but to be constantly, honestly, innocently walking in communion with Him, every step of the day.

I hope you have a wonderful day. Here it is 6:20 and it's getting quite light, though it looks like we may get some rain. I actually had to water the garden yesterday, so it is needed rain! Take care, all.

broad-leaf plantain

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Short Account

It's chilly on the hill this morning. August loves to bring us those cool mornings; the ones where the furnace almost wants to come on. I had to turn Mom's down yesterday morning, as I detected the "smoldering dust smell" around 5:00 a.m.  The zinnias have just started bursting and there's a nice month of Summer left, but doesn't time pass so quickly?!

This morning I read from Hebrews 3. The Holy Spirit exhorted me to guard against an "evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God". It's amazing how one "little" evil thought can come in, and if left unchecked and unconfessed, can grow into more and more "little thoughts" (the little foxes that spoil the vines) until our whole thinking can get cloudy and confused! Days pass so quickly and one day rolls into one month in no time. It's easy to get "preoccupied" with worldly things and stop being "occupied" with a moment by moment walk with the Lord, isn't it? Keeping short accounts is the only way to avoid it. Sin deceives and hardens our hearts. As the writer of Hebrews used the nation of Israel an example, these reminders challenged and blessed my heart today. I cannot enter into "rest" without being obedient to God in this all-important area!

Our weekend was special, resulting from a day with "the Mothers" and Syd's stepdad on Saturday, then a special blessing with the church family on the Lord's day. This clear air over the weekend was so welcoming as it wafted through the window screens! We all enjoyed a long sit out on the back porch. Of course there was a lot of eating going on too!

We don't use sugar much, except in cooking, therefore I don't have a sugar bowl (usually just dump a little out into a shallow cup to serve to guests). I was outside when Bob needed sugar for his coffee. He used the BIG sugar bowl! I couldn't resist a staged picture, after the fact.

This is golfing from your living room chair. The guys checked out the leaders on the PGA Tour, via computer...

...while the ladies put the dogs to sleep, I guess! We had a delightful visit.

I hope you will enjoy your day and am glad you took a minute to stop by Darling Hill.

"For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12