Tag Archives: bells

Keep Your Bell Ringing

Imagine you have a bell in your hand and that when it rings it gives out the most beautiful silvery tone. Can you hear it? It might sound like bells ringing across water assuring everyone that all is at peace. It might be a joyful ringing announcing good news. It could be even a warning bell alerting everyone to take precautions and be safe.

Now imagine that your enemy doesn’t want your bell to be heard. Your enemy, in this case, is Satan. He doesn’t want that bell to ring at all and he’s going to do all he can to keep it from ringing. If he can just fill your bell up with balls of cotton it won’t ring any longer.

Here are some of the “balls” of cotton Satan will try to insert in your bell so that the ringer won’t hit the side and make that beautiful silvery sound:

If Satan can just kill your joy that will be a silencer in your bell. Joy in your Saviour, in life eternal, in the beauty of God’s good earth, all joy is taboo with Satan. He can’t stand joy. And the way he kills your joy is to make you feel guilty or doubt your salvation or for some reason stop trusting Jesus. If he can kill your joy your bell will not ring as clearly any longer.

Another “ball” to dull the clear sound of your bell would be to make you yield to temptation. There’s no way any Christian can avoid yielding to temptation without the help of Jesus. So Satan tries to get us to yield and then feel so guilty we end up yielding again. Result: a dull sounding bell.

If he can’t get your bell stopped by killing your joy or making you yield to temptation he will try other means of taking away your faith. In a crisis he will whisper in your ear and tell you the pain and heartache you’re experiencing came straight from God and you need to just turn your back on Him. And when you listen to Satan your bell goes duller still.

If Satan can keep plugging in balls of cotton such as making you ignore danger signals, taking away your peace, destroying the wonderful fruit God wants you to produce, he will be triumphant. Your bell will go silent so that no one around you will be able to hear the music God intended you to make. You will still be safe for eternity because when you become God’s child, no one can snatch you away. But your bell will be silent.

But wait! There’s a “recipe” for keeping your bell ringing clear and bright, sounding joyfully from hill to hill, and making a difference for those who are hopelessly lost.

Put on the whole armor of God as spelled out in Ephesians 6:10-18. Putting on His armor will make us able to stand against anything Satan throws at us. He won’t have a chance to plug in those cotton balls!

What does the armor include?

First of all, the belt of truth. (v. 14) Snug that belt around your waist (or loins) and breathe deeply of God’s own truth. Know that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy: I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

Next, put the breastplate of righteousness (v. 14)in place. Listen to the Lord’s commands, both in scripture and from the Holy Spirit, and obey. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33)

Then put on your gospel shoes (v.15), have your feet fitted with preparation which comes from the gospel of peace. When you start on any journey, you select carefully your shoes, don’t you? If you’re hiking, you want the very best sturdy hiking shoes or boots, if you’re going to a tea you want appropriate beautiful shoes. So if you’re starting on a day when you may be battling Satan, be sure to be prepared. Wear those gospel shoes which are put together with peace so that “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

In addition to the above, pick up the shield of faith. The shield of faith will keep you safe from the fiery darts Satan wants to hurl at you. How else but with faith can you keep him from silencing your bell? The breastplate of righteousness may seem like enough, but you need the shield of faith also. If you lose all the other pieces of your armor, hang onto that! “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)

Your hat is usually the last thing you put on. But that doesn’t mean it’s less important. If you don’t have the helmet of salvation none of the rest of your armor is any good. You must have consciously repented of your sins and asked Jesus to be your Saviour. Jesus never forces His way in so you have to invite Him! So now, remembering the time you said, “Lord, I want to follow You,” you place that helmet firmly on your head and prepare to go out into the world.

But wait! There’s one more piece, an oh-so-important piece: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Entering spiritual warfare without our Bibles (actually in our hands ready to read or memorized in our hearts) would be like handing Satan a whole bag of cotton balls and our saying “Have at it!” We are under the command of Lord God Almighty. We have to know His words! We have to stay in touch both by His word and through prayer.

What can God do with one little silver bell? You will be amazed!

So go, ring your bell!  Let the whole world know that Jesus Christ is Lord.

(I wrote the above after hearing Brother Carl Harrell preach so effectively at First Baptist Church, Cairo last Sunday on putting on God’s armor– and then hearing the Sons of Jubal sing, ring bells, and play instruments to the glory of God on Thursday night at First Baptist Church, Thomasville.)



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Joy Bells and Wrist Warmers

I’ve knitted joy bells for many years. But I learned how to make a wrist warmer last week. They’re both very fun gifts to make and neither one takes a whole lot of time. I left margarine softening for a cookie recipe and came to the computer to tell you about these two gifts you might enjoy making. It’s only one week and a few days until Christmas, but you still have time to make these fun gifts! Turn your Christmas carols on, light the fire, or at least a candle, and have yourself a merry little knitting time.

Joy bells can be larger or smaller according to how many stitches you put on but my favorite size is perfect for a little decoration pinned on your sweater or shirt, or a package adornment, or a Christmas tree ornament. I acquired this pattern in 1976 from Royal Service, the Woman’s Missionary Union women’s magazine at that time. A lady in our church, Imogene Harrison, knitted about fifty of these bells. Each lady in our church who attended a prayer meeting for foreign missionaries that December received a bell.

Here are the directions:

Use size 3 knitting needles, red 4-ply knitting yarn.
Cast on 10 stitches. Row 1 knit 10 stitches. Row 2 knit 6, purl 4.
Continue rows 1 and 2 until you have knitted 16 rows.
Bind off on row 17.
Sew bell together at sides, gather the top and put a jingle bell inside.
Tie threads and turn bell, pulling the strings through and tying a bow at the top. (Add a longer loop if you’d like to use this for a tree ornament. Or sew a small safety pin on the back if you’d like to use it on your shirt.)

Wrist warmers are also called fingerless mittens or fingerless gloves. These are the simplest ones I could find. I wanted something I could make in a hurry and I’m so grateful to a lady named Joanne who put a video online showing us how to make these. The name of her entry was “Laws of Knitting,” well worth your finding. Maybe next year I’ll try something more complicated, maybe with cables or lots of colors. But here are directions for this one, as I understood them.

With size 5 needles, cast on 40 stitches, leaving a length of yarn about 15 inches long at the beginning. The rows will make the length of your wrist warmer. Mine is nine inches. Knit about 30 rows (just knit, no purl!) or until width of piece will reach around your hand by stretching a bit. You don’t want it to be too big. Your piece now will be somewhat square like a potholder. Bind off all stitches, leaving another length of yarn about 15 inches long so that you have yarn for sewing at each end of your warmer.

To sew together: Fold warmer over and match sides. Starting below thumb thread needle with the yarn you left and sew to your thumb, about 1 1/2 inches. Hide your yarn and cut. Starting at wrist end, do the same thing stopping above your thumb so that you leave an opening about 3 inches long for your thumb. Hide yarn, cut and try on your new wrist warmer! It’s snug, covers your wrist nicely, but allows your fingers to be free. A very nice stocking stuffer!

Merry Christmas to all my Pens and Needles friends!

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Christmas Bells

Edgar Allen Poe wrote about bells. He wrote about silver bells, wedding bells, alarm bells, and frightful knelling bells of funerals and other solemn, terrible times. Think about all the kinds of bells there are–sleigh bells, elevator bells, door bells, victory bells–so many, many bells. I’ve never ridden in a sleigh. I think it would be such fun. We do have a door bell. When it rings we know that either a stranger has come or the children are playing. An elderly friend has told us about when he was a little boy and lived in this very old log house where we now live. He remembers standing at a northern window and listening to the ringing of the courthouse bells at the end of World War I. What an awesome memory!

But I’m here to remind us of Joy Bells. They’re little knitted Christmas bells so fun to hang on your Christmas tree, wear on your sweater or coat, or to decorate a package, or simply give as a gift. They remind me of the joy God gave us when He sent Jesus, His Son as a tiny helpless Babe to grow to manhood and die to save us from our sins. “God loved us and sent His Son.” (I John 4:10) KJV)

I first learned to make little knitted bells from a very talented, dear lady in our church named Emogene Harrison. It was about 1975 and she, along with some helpers, made bells enough that every participant who came to the international missions prayer meetings received one. The directions were printed in our mission magazine. Ever since I’ve enjoyed making these little bells and giving them away. I’d like to pass along this fun little pattern to all of you who knit. If you don’t knit, you can buy a beginners’ kit from Joanne’s, knit shops, even some Wal Mart stores. It may take a while to make your first one but when you get the hang of it you can make one in minutes. Have fun, God bless, and spread the joy!

Joy Bells

Materials you will need: size 5 knitting needles, red (3 or 4 ply) yarn, a yarn needle (needs to have a very large eye for threading with yarn), a pair of scissors, and a  little jingle bell (such as you might put on children’s shoe laces) for each bell you want to make.

cast on sixteen (16) stitches

Knit four rows

Fifth row: purl

sixth row: knit

Continue in purl/knit (known as straight stitch) for nine rows.

Tenth row: knit two stitches at once all the way across.

Eleventh row: Purl

Cut off yarn about fifteen inches from your bell. Thread end of yarn through your yarn needle. Run your yarn needle through your remaining eight stitches and draw up tightly. Fold bell inside out and sew side seam. Run your yarn up through the seam to top of bell. Attach jingle bell to this strand of yarn. You may have to thread it through the bell opening by hand as your yarn needle may be too big for the bell. With yarn through yarn needle pull thread up through top of bell which you’ve now turned right side out. Make a loop if you want to use it for a Christmas tree ornament. Thread an extra eight inch strand of yarn through the top of the bell making it even on both sides. Tie into a bow. The bell naturally lends itself to having the bottom turned up and your jingle bell should barely show at the rim. Merry ringing of the Joy Bells!!!!!

Questions? Let me hear from you!

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