WHAT YOU THINK UPON GROWS DAY

TL 5-31 WHAT YOU THINK UPON GROWS DAYFinally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things.  – Philippians 4:8

THINK ABOUT JESUS

In case you think that positive thinking is a new thing…  take a look at this Scripture in Philippians, written so long ago by the Apostle Paul!  We’re encouraged to think on the following:

  • THINGS THAT ARE TRUE.  There isn’t much truth to be found in the world today, is there?  If you follow politics at all, you know how often the subject of dishonesty and crookedness comes up.  Sadly, we know more about what truth does NOT look like than what it does look like.  What is true – what do we need to think about and focus our attention on?  Glad you asked.  The same Bible written so long ago is the inspired Word of God Himself.  It is what we trust without question.  We make decisions after consulting it and praying to our God through Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior, the only One we can depend on completely.  A true thought is one that aligns with God’s laws and ways.
  • THINGS THAT ARE HONORABLE.  Honor is not a word we hear much anymore.  Do people in our world today know what it means?  It is a thought worthy of reputation; a thought that deserves respect or esteem. An honorable thought is what is right while transacting business, but it embraces also much more, and means that the Christian is to show respect to all the venerable and proper customs of society, when they did not violate conscience or interfere with the law of God.
  • THINGS THAT ARE JUST.  A just thought is one that “squares” with God, with your neighbor and with yourself.  It agrees with God’s justice and His righteousness.  It’s not judging, for only God is a judge for humanity – rather it is a thought that never gives up and holds out hope for everyone, for we know that’s what Jesus does.  He wants everyone to come to Him for saving grace.  Whosoever surely meaneth me…  and anyone else who will come to Christ for salvation.
  • THINGS THAT ARE PURE.  A pure thought refers to the state of mind and behavior of the body.  We need God’s help to achieve all of these, but in our day and age, to have pure thoughts is not possible without God’s Holy Spirit.  The moral standards these days do not lend themselves to chastity, but that does not mean that God accepts less than His best from us.  God gave you one mind and one body.  He wants HIS best for you.  He does not want you to settle for anything less.  He wants to help you develop pure thoughts and pray for the right relationship in His perfect time.
  • THINGS THAT ARE LOVELY.  A lovely thought is productive and positive in its intention.  It’s born of a good clean way of living and proper code of conduct.  It has to do with a temperament check that God’s Holy Spirit is happy to perform on His children if they ask Him to.  Think of it this way…  if we are children of a patient, loving Heavenly Father, how does it look to others if we are sour, crabby or irritable?  How confusing that must be to them!  It’s not helpful and does not reflect well on Christianity to find fault with everything, is it?  Keep your temper in check – better yet, ask God’s Holy Spirit to “check” it.  He will.
  • THINGS THAT ARE OF GOOD REPORT.  If you got a bad report card, would you show it to all your friends and family?  Of course you wouldn’t!  You’d possibly want to hide it from everyone.  But thoughts that are of good report are ones that you are anxious to share with others because they are ones that are beneficial for your fellow-man.  I’m sure we can all think of charitable institutions that are highly regarded and of excellent reputation.  These began with a thought of good report!  These thoughts are born of a sense of not only charity, but of courtesy, kindness, and respect.

Paul knew he couldn’t possibly hit on every single sort of thought a Christian should have, so he added that if any thought holds virtue or is worthy of praise – think on these things.

Negativity equals negative thinking – and that keeps Christians in neutral.  If we ask God’s Holy Spirit to help us, He will help our thinking be so much more positive – which equals productivity – and that keeps Christians pedaling forward, praising God along the way and being the positive influence on the world that God intended us to be!

The best part of all this is, if we ever feel as though we’re falling short of God’s best thoughts (and we all have fallen short) all we have to do is ask God, through Jesus, to forgive us and put us back on track.  He is so faithful to do that for us because He loves us so much!  🙂

 

Advertisements

MEMORIAL DAY

TL MEMORIAL DAYFREEDOM TO PRAISE HIMMEMORIAL DAY IN MAIZETHANK GOD FOR THE TROOPSMEMORIAL DAYKEEP YOUR CHIN UP

Praise the Lord, who is my rock.  He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle. He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer.  He is my shield, and I take refuge in him.  Psalm 144:1-2

That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.  – Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863

Precious Heavenly Father,

As Americans pause today to remember those in the military who have given their lives for the freedom we enjoy, we pray You would remind us to look to You for strength, comfort and guidance.  Be close to all who serve in our Armed Forces.  Bless them and their loved ones.  Grant them with Your loving protection and let peace prevail among the nations, O God.  Let Your mercy rest upon our land, even as we acknowledge with thanksgiving Your blessings on America in the past.  We pray Your perfect will be done in all our lives, and that our men and women in uniform be protected by Your Almighty hand.  We pray You turn both military and civilian hearts to Your holy Word where true peace for sinful souls exceeds all human understanding.  May we repent of sin and walk so closely to You, Lord, and find Your saving grace on a daily basis.  It’s in the matchless name of Jesus, our Savior and Your beloved Son, who alone gives this peace and hope for eternity, we pray,

Amen.

Customs surrounding Memorial Day have changed so much since it began back during the Civil War.  For starters, it was first known as Decoration Day and was not always observed on the last Monday of May.  We should try to keep some decorum though, I believe.  Our society has become so casual – and we need to know the “do’s and don’ts” about Memorial Day.

General Orders No. 11 stated that “in this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed,” but over time several customs and symbols became associated with the holiday.

• It is customary on Memorial Day to fly the flag at half-staff until noon, and then raise it to the top of the staff until sunset.

• Taps, the 24-note bugle call, is played at all military funerals and memorial services. It originated in 1862 when Union Gen. Dan Butterfield “grew tired of the ‘lights out’ call sounded at the end of each day,” according to The Washington Post. Together with the brigade bugler, Butterfield made some changes to the tune.

Not long after, the melody was used at a burial for the first time when a battery commander ordered it played in lieu of the customary three rifle volleys over the grave. The battery was so close to enemy lines, and the commander was worried the shots would spark renewed fighting.

• The World War I poem “In Flanders Fields,” by John McCrea, inspired the Memorial Day custom of wearing red artificial poppies. In 1915, a Georgia teacher and volunteer war worker named Moina Michael began a campaign to make the poppy a symbol of tribute to veterans and for “keeping the faith with all who died.” The sale of poppies has supported the work of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

I have to admit, I did not know about the poppies.  It’s important that we learn about customs so we can keep them alive.  🙂

unknown-soldierpoppies-1086135_1920

OLD-TIME PLAYER PIANO WEEKEND

TL 5-27 THRU 29 OLD-TIME PLAYER PIANO WEEKENDThere are not many places that feature these wonderful player pianos anymore, but I can name one antique store in Kansas that still has one – and it works!  At Two Sisters Antique Mall in Newton, Kansas, the player piano (photo on today’s banner) lights up when it’s in use with a gorgeous stained glass panel.  Considering the age of the instrument, the tune is not that bad and all the keys work as far as I can tell.  It’s a joy to put a quarter in it and hear an old standard played as only a player piano can.  They even provide the quarters – is that nice or what?

As I watch the keys fly, I think to myself, “If I practiced every day for the rest of my life I couldn’t play like that!”  I love player pianos.  If I had room in my house, I’d try to get one.  Of course, as time goes by there will be fewer of them around.  What a sad thought.  😦

Here’s the facebook page for 2 Sisters – go over and give them a LIKE!  https://www.facebook.com/2.sisters.antique.mall/

Edwin Votey is credited with inventing this awesome piano.  He constructed his prototype system in 1895 in Detroit.  As he built it in his workshop, it took the form of a large wooden cabinet, much like the old upright piano, but a bit taller.  From the rear a row of felt-covered wooden fingers protruded that were aligned with the keyboard.  These fingers activated the piano’s keys in the same manner as a human pianist.

The paper rolls that are loaded onto a player piano look like they contain a code – and I suppose you could say they do.  Each little note that gets played on the piano is represented on that paper.  That’s why the player piano can do things that human hands many times cannot.  We have ten fingers, but those paper rolls can have as many notes represented as the arranger wants!  It’s amazing how much can go on at one time – it boggles the mind really.  Fascinating!

The last time we heard the player piano at Two Sisters, it was playing “In The Good Ol’ Summertime”, yet it was April – which struck me as funny.

I guess the most popular tune is “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin.

I know player pianos seem to be from an era gone by, but they have always interested me.  If you have a chance this weekend, go out and listen to some good piano playing – and take plenty of quarters with you!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAY IS CREATIVE BEGINNINGS MONTH

TL MAY IS CREATIVE BEGINNINGS MONTH

It’s time to start a new hobby or learn that craft you always wanted to master.  How great would it be to help kids at summer camp this year with crafts?  There are also some senior centers that encourage creativity and they would surely appreciate help from volunteers.CREATIVE BEGINNINGS

Wow – Lucinda captured so many creative possibilities here!  Painting walls, flower arranging, writing, music, woodworking, yarn work, painting on canvas.  Isn’t the important message the fact that it’s a new day and we get another chance?  That’s the part I like the most!  🙂

What factors should be considered as you consider the endless possibilities?  I think my first question would be, how much will this project cost?  If you’re on a shoestring budget like me, you don’t want to have to buy a whole bunch of materials or equipment.  Let’s face it, there’s a possibility that you either won’t be good at it or you may not enjoy it like you thought you would.  If you don’t have a lot of money invested, you won’t feel so guilty about walking away from it.

It’s not limited to crafts – being creative could be something as simple as committing to workout three times a week.  Creating a healthier you is definitely a creative beginning.

Have you ridden a horse?  You never know if you’ll enjoy it until you try!  Many places offer riding lessons that aren’t too expensive.

Do you have an interest in music?  Maybe you’d like to be musically creative and take some piano lessons.

Some people have a real eye for photography.  Maybe it’s time to buy a good camera and start taking those great shots.  Choose a subject to photograph and focus on it – (no pun intended).

Count the cost for your creativity and make sure it’s something you have an interest in (or think you do) When you’ve decided what to do, schedule the activity and buy the items you’ll need to be a success.  We should make creativity a sort of second nature in our lives because it keeps life more fun!  When we use our imaginations to troubleshoot our way through challenges, it’s so much more interesting.

Even if you’re on the fence about what to do, find some friends (partners in crime) to try it with you.  If the new activity doesn’t work out for you, at least you’ll have your friends to giggle with you – and really that’s all that matters.

One May I thought it’d be nice to learn sign language.  There was a class at a local church, so I got a couple of girlfriends to go with me – and sadly, I was not good at sign language, but since I didn’t dive in by myself, it was fun anyway.  I had my friends to laugh with.

Your Creative Beginnings month project may be the start of something very exciting in your life – or if you decide to help children learn something new – or help senior citizens learn something new – you may make some very good friends for life.  The influence you have on others may not seem like much to you, but it may mean the world to them.

Ready…  Set…  BEGIN!  🙂

 

EAT MORE FRUITS & VEGETABLES DAY

TL 5-26 EAT MORE FRUITS & VEGETABLES DAYWhen I stopped to look at this banner, I thought, “Oh, what pretty and vibrant colors!”  The more vibrant the color of the fruit or vegetable, the more healthy it is for us!  Why are fruits and vegetables so important?

Whether it is fruits or vegetables, fresh is always best.  Make sure you wash everything thoroughly before you eat it!  Some fruits & veggies need to be organic – the ones with a thin skin.  Those with a thicker skin that will protect the inside don’t need to necessarily be organic.  I try to buy organic apples, for instance – because I rarely peel an apple – in fact, I never peel an apple.  I always eat the skin, so I want to know it’s safe.  It costs a little more, but I think it’s worth it – at least I hope it is.THEY'RE GOOD FOR YOU

Even though fruit should be eaten with extreme caution if you’re diabetic because of natural sugar, there are a few that get the green light because they are lower in carbohydrates.  I’ll probably never get to eat grapes or fresh cherries again, but as I said a few days ago, my apricots are considered low in carbohydrates.  I’m still dancing on a cloud over that news…  lol.  Here’s a handy list of fruits and the carbohydrate count and calories.

http://www.weightlossforall.com/carbohydrates-fruit.htm

Vegetables are less tricky and we can afford to use them with wild abandon!  Again, if I’m buying an avocado, for instance, it doesn’t have to be organic because the skins on them are so thick and act as a natural protection for the inside of the avocado.  Thin skinned veggies like carrots, I try to buy organic.

I’m the first to admit I would refuse to eat a salad with no dressing on it, but if I can add about 2 Tablespoons of my lemon-poppy dressing, I will eat it with no problem!  If there is just a little bit of not so good mixed with the best and most nutritious foods, that makes it palatable.  Here’s a list of vegetables – just click on the one you want to use and it will tell you how many carbohydrates it has.

http://www.carb-counter.net/vegetables

I like to put fresh baby spinach in a bowl and top it with sliced radishes, strawberries or pears, feta cheese and a few pecans.  Then I top it with my Lemon poppy-seed Salad Dressing.  Here’s the recipe:

LEMON POPPY-SEED SALAD DRESSING

makes 4 servings

1 WW point per serving

INGREDIENTS

2 Tbs. Honey Tree sugar-free honey *

2 Tbs. Splenda

3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

2 Tbs. olive oil

1/2 c. plain no-fat Greek yogurt

1/4 c. low-fat mayonnaise

1 1/2 Tbs. poppy seeds

1 Tbs. lemon juice (I like fresh squeezed, but the bottled stuff is okay too)

1 Tbs. low-fat milk

DIRECTIONS

Whisk all ingredients together.  Chill in fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.

*Our local Walmart recently stopped carrying Honey Tree sugar-free honey – sigh.  When we go out-of-town, we stop at the Walmart stores along the way and stock up – or…  the Honey Tree company sells their products on Amazon.  We love the internet! 

http://www.amazon.com/HoneyTrees-Imitation-Honey-12-Ounce-Bottles/dp/B000YSXDDY

I know it’s a bit pricy – but it keeps my D happy…  and if D is happy – everyone’s happy!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WE LOVE ELVIS

TL 5-25 WE LOVE ELVIS

Elvis_Presley_Signature

What’s our friend John been up to???  Let’s find out!

Elvis was a phenomena and a trend setter.  Before we heard his music, there was no Rockabilly.  He advanced all genres of music so much.  I enjoyed his gospel music – I know that surprises you!  But when I read about the music that influenced him the most…  guess what it said?

Presley’s earliest musical influence came from gospel. His mother recalled that from the age of two, at the Assembly of God church in Tupelo attended by the family, “he would slide down off my lap, run into the aisle and scramble up to the platform. There he would stand looking at the choir and trying to sing with them.”  In Memphis, Presley frequently attended all-night gospel singings at the Ellis Auditorium, where groups such as the Statesmen Quartet led the music in a style that, Guralnick suggests, sowed the seeds of Presley’s future stage act:

The Statesmen were an electric combination … featuring some of the most thrillingly emotive singing and daringly unconventional showmanship in the entertainment world … dressed in suits that might have come out of the window of Lansky’s. … Bass singer Jim Wetherington, known universally as the Big Chief, maintained a steady bottom, ceaselessly jiggling first his left leg, then his right, with the material of the pants leg ballooning out and shimmering. “He went about as far as you could go in gospel music,” said Jake Hess. “The women would jump up, just like they do for the pop shows.” Preachers frequently objected to the lewd movements … but audiences reacted with screams and swoons.

As a teenager, Presley’s musical interests were wide-ranging, and he was deeply informed about African-American musical idioms as well as white ones. Though he never had any formal training, he was blessed with a remarkable memory, and his musical knowledge was already considerable by the time he made his first professional recordings in 1954 at the age of 19. When Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller met him two years later, they were astonished at his encyclopedic understanding of the blues.  At a press conference the following year, he proudly declared, “I know practically every religious song that’s ever been written.”

Elvis_How_Great_Thou_art

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7336391

HOW GREAT THOU ART is the song that sends chills up and down my spine.  I heard that before he recorded it, he had never heard the hymn.  He did his own arrangement with no frame of reference.  To me, that takes some intestinal fortitude and confidence in your ability to arrange and perform.  He had such a great talent!

On my video called “The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley”, they said that when Elvis took a break, he and his backup singers ended up around the piano, Elvis playing – and they sang gospel songs.  I believe that is the music he loved deep down inside.  It’s the only music that had real meaning.

Amen!  HOW GREAT THOU ART!  Have a wonderful day in the LORD!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (23)

Wichita_Heights_High_School_Main_Entrance_2013

Formula for success…  rise early, work hard and strike oil!  – Unknown

At 7:00 pm, the Wichita Heights High School commencement ceremony will be held at Koch Arena on the Wichita State University Campus.  While I doubt if anyone from the 2016 graduating class reads this blog (I’d be very surprised), I want to wish graduates everywhere the very best wishes and say God bless you as you move on with your life.  🙂

Here are just a few positive affirmations and blessings to take with you as you go out into the world to make your way.

There is a good reason they call these ceremonies “commencement exercises.”  Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.  – Orrin Hatch

I PRAYED FOR YOUR FUTURE

 

Don’t live down to expectations.  Go out there and do something remarkable.  – Wendy Wasserstein

I was a Falcon at Heights – class of ’79!  I know…  I know – that’s a really LOOOOONG time ago.  But some things never change.  When I graduated it was so amazing because it felt like I had accomplished something important.  So many people don’t get to finish school – I feel blessed to have that diploma (yes, it is discolored a bit now – LOL!) 

Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.  – Art Linkletter

One thing I will tell you is that you are not finished learning yet.  You will never be finished learning, so keep an open mind when you enter the workplace.  Even if you took every class in high school to prepare yourself for your chosen field, always respect and listen carefully to the folks who have worked in the field for years.  No amount of classroom exposure can prepare you for the real life experience you will gain in the workplace.

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.  – Judy Garland

God made you an individual, unlike anyone else.  Take your unique version of shine into the workplace with you.  Others will appreciate your contribution and your good attitude.  Don’t be the one who drags yourself in to work and starts complaining about everything from the moment you walk in the door.  Nobody really wants to be there, but everyone wants to gravitate toward the person with the most shine in their aura, so to speak.  Be the shiny one with the bright attitude and quick wit.

Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You have been given one life by your Creator.  Make the most of it whether it seems you are a success or a failure.  It’s not easy to fail, but most of us have to learn lessons the hard way.  It’s not getting knocked down that matters, but it’s not getting back up that matters.  Don’t let life keep you down for long.

It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.  – Edmond Hillary

Once you have learned the basics of your chosen field, look for ways to improve or enhance it.  I’m not necessarily suggesting that you find shortcuts, but if there is a better way to do something, speak up and let your ideas be heard.  Just because doing things one way has been the status quo doesn’t mean it’s the only way to do it.

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.  – Beverly Sills

You are the key to the future.  The class of ’79 is starting to retire now.  We have worked hard and are ready to enjoy life and sleep in – lol.  It’s your turn now.  It’s time for you to find your wings and follow your dreams.

High expectations are the key to everything.  – Sam Walton

I pray for you as you go out into the world to serve others.  May God richly bless your life from this moment on.  🙂