28 April 2011

Death of a Godly Man

Have you ever read the book "The Cross and the Switchblade"? Or seen the movie? It was written by the Reverend David Wilkerson, and is about his ministry to gang members and drug dealers in New York City. His method of ministry: just to love people and speak truth to them. And trust God.

Rev. Wilkinson was killed suddenly in a car accident yesterday. Here is what he wrote on his last day of life. It speaks for itself:

by David Wilkerson | April 27, 2011

To believe when all means fail is exceedingly pleasing to God and is most acceptable. Jesus said to Thomas, “You have believed because you have seen, but blessed are those that do believe and have not seen” (John 20:29).

Blessed are those who believe when there is no evidence of an answer to prayer—who trust beyond hope when all means have failed.

Someone has come to the place of hopelessness—the end of hope—the end of all means. A loved one is facing death and doctors give no hope. Death seems inevitable. Hope is gone. The miracle prayed for is not happening.

That is when Satan’s hordes come to attack your mind with fear, anger, overwhelming questions: “Where is your God now? You prayed until you had no tears left. You fasted. You stood on promises. You trusted.”

Blasphemous thoughts will be injected into your mind: “Prayer failed. Faith failed. Don’t quit on God—just do not trust him anymore. It doesn’t pay!”

Even questioning God’s existence will be injected into your mind. These have been the devices of Satan for centuries. Some of the godliest men and women who ever lived were under such demonic attacks.

To those going through the valley and shadow of death, hear this word: Weeping will last through some dark, awful nights—and in that darkness you will soon hear the Father whisper, “I am with you. I cannot tell you why right now, but one day it will all make sense. You will see it was all part of my plan. It was no accident. It was no failure on your part. Hold fast. Let me embrace you in your hour of pain.”

Beloved, God has never failed to act but in goodness and love. When all means fail—his love prevails. Hold fast to your faith. Stand fast in his Word. There is no other hope in this world.

You can find this devotional posted here.

15 April 2011

Open House

I don't even want to know how long it's been since I've blogged. We have moved from Nebraska to Colorado and have been in a small one bedroom apartment for a month and a half. It's not decorated very much - we brought a very limited amount of stuff. Our house is staged for selling, so most of our decor stuff is still in Nebraska. The rest of our stuff is in storage. I haven't felt much like blogging about decor or home stuff since I'm not doing any decorating or crafty things at the moment. We're in this apartment for 6 months, then hopefully by that time our house will have sold and we can buy a house here in Colorado. THEN I'll be motivated to blog blog blog!

But in the interim, I really need to find a creative outlet, so I'm hoping I can do stuff in the little apartment that we can take with us, and, as always, doesn't cost much money.

One of my goals in this time is to make at least half of the slipcovers for our 6-piece sectional. We have two of the armless pieces in our apartment, so I have those to use for my pattern. More on that later...

The open house!

This weekend we're having our very first open house. Our lovely realtor, Mary, who also has a home staging business, will be hosting from 1-2pm. Here's a link to the listing, for those of you in Nebraska who want to snoop around the place attend the open house!

Here are some of Mary's photos that show what the place looks like now.

So I've heard a lot about staging your house to sell. I've seen the shows on HGTV and read blogs & stuff. And my own realtor is an expert herself.

This being our second house that we've staged for sale, I feel like I have a little bit of a grasp on what to do. I asked Mary her opinions and from that, HGTV and personal experience, here's what I know:

1. Clean. Clean like the wind. Clean like you've never cleaned before. Then clean it all again. If you have a grimy house, prospective buyers will assume you don't do other maintenance as well.

2. Remove all of your personal stuff. Put away photos of family & friends & yourself. Put away all of your bathroom stuff. Find some closed storage to put them in. Take all of that stuff off of the front of your fridge. All of it.

3. Don't declutter SO much that you take all of the personality out of the house. Leave tasteful decor items in logical places. I put some real looking hydrangeas in a vase on the dining room table. They won't die while we're gone, and they look nice. Also, use decor that enhances the architectural style of your house.

4. Remove all unnecessary furniture, baskets on the floor, etc. You want to show as much of your house as possible - people want to see the house, not your stuff. They want to be able to picture themselves living there. Mary suggested that we leave only two pieces of the sectional. I thought it would look really bare, but she was right! It makes the room look bigger, and you can see more of the nice wood floors we had refinished.

5. Don't expect your house to be perfect. Do to it what you need to do, but be satisfied with it when it's done. You can paint, clean & declutter. You can have things repaired. But there will always be imperfections - ESPECIALLY with an older home. You have to draw the line somewhere. Potential buyers know they are buying an older home with older home issues expected. Especially when they see that you still have the original windows. :) You don't need to put sticky notes labeling everything that bothers you about the house, but you also don't need to be deceptive about anything. People can see what they're getting. And hopefully they'll like what they see!

What are some of your secrets to staging? Do share!

Sorry I've been away for so long. Hopefully soon I'll have an update on my slipcovers. I also hope to let y'all know that we've sold our house!