Flowers are Coming Back

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each person according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”  – Revelation 22:12-13

Maybe it’s just me, but winter seems to linger and last forever!  My friend Kelly is a gardener.  She has had her seed packets since February and posted one cold winter day that she is going to have to wait two more months to plant her seeds.  It’s excruciating, this time between winter and spring.  Here in Kansas, even when spring is officially here, we still have rain and chilly temperatures.  We don’t trust anything we plant to be protected before May.  Winter is the longest season – and we have no choice but to be patient and wait for warmer weather.  But the watchword is…  ANTICIPATION!  We prepare, then we wait!  

Sometimes I’m tempted to feel the same way about the second coming of Christ.  I want the Lord to hurry up – but He reminds me that not everyone is ready for His return.  It makes me feel selfish, to be honest, but once that feeling passes, I realize that it’s just a reminder that I need to get to work!  The Gospel is something to be shared, not hoarded.  Our Lord wants everyone to be ready to make Heaven their eternal home!

Remember the Great Commission?

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  – Matthew 28:18-20

I like the last part of this portion of Scripture:  I am with you always, to the very end o the age.  Do we know when that will be?  Nope.  Nobody knows except God Himself.  Even Jesus won’t be privy to that information until it is time!  So, while we’re waiting for the end of the age, we need to be busy in whatever way we can, sharing and caring for the lost souls around us.

Revelation says that Jesus is coming quickly.  I’m sure you think as I do…  “You call this QUICKLY” – ???  We’re not questioning God – we really aren’t.  We’re just saying that the time between Christ’s resurrection and His second coming to earth has been a very long winter…  but we wait with anticipation, knowing that one day the proverbial spring will arrive and we will be enjoying the most beautiful garden we’ve ever seen.  The best news of all is that, we’ll never have to endure another winter again!  🙂

 

 

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WEED OUT HATE: SOW THE SEEDS OF GREATNESS DAY

TL 4-3 WEED OUT HATE SOW THE SEEDS OF GREATNESS DAYWho does the weeding in the garden of your heart?  If you try to weed your own garden, it might be beautiful for a while, but eventually those little hate weeds crop up again.  You’ll be doing a lot of gardening to keep the weeds away.  Hate weeds crop up because hate is a learned behavior – and sadly, it’s contagious!  We have a choice in life to either spread God’s love or spread hate from the enemy.  Did I say God’s love?  Why, yes I did.  How can we do that?  We can do that when God is the gardener of our heart.  Ah!  With His help, we can plant a garden of LOVE:PLANT A GARDEN OF LOVE

Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. – Matthew 24:12-14

In order for the garden of our heart to endure to the end, we need to rely on our Savior, Christ Jesus, to maintain it, water, weed and feed it.  If we’ll let Him, He will give us a heart full of His love, mercy, grace and add His blessing of peace for good measure.  He’s the best gardener!  Listen to these promises:

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.  – Ezekiel 36:26-27
When He works in the garden of your heart, He takes out all the stones which means the weeds of hate will be gone.  He promises to put His Spirit within us and cause us to do the things we should.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.  – Proverbs 3:5-7

The One removing all the hate weeds from your heart’s garden should be trustworthy and dependable.  The Lord is faithful to not only weed your garden, but lay a lovely little cobblestone pathway for you to walk on so you’ll be safe from harm.  He’s wise and wonderful that way.  I want the garden of my heart to be free of hate weeds, full of God’s love flowers with a perfect little cobblestone pathway that keeps me safe!

Once those hate weeds are out, God will help you sow the seeds of greatness!  Greatness in God!  🙂

 

 

DAY TRIPPIN’ AROUND KANSAS

DAY TRIPPIN' AROUND KANSAS

I know to people outside of Kansas this may seem a little silly…  but we get excited about the state flower…  the SUNFLOWER!

I LOVE KANSAS

FARMER TED'S SUNFLOWERS (1st week of September)

Early September in Kansas is pretty amazing!  There is a field of sunflowers about 3 hours northeast of Wichita – and we just got word that they now have ONE MILLION sunflowers in their field – and what a sight it is!  The farmer’s wife posted on her facebook page that on September 5th the flowers were wide open.  This is how Kansans know that autumn is around the corner!  They only stay open for two weeks.  They don’t stay open long, so it’s important to go see them right away – or you’ll miss them.  We didn’t get to the field until the 10th of September, and sadly, the rain came the night before, so the sunflowers looked a little sad.  Their little heads were bowed.  😦

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Muddy field and heads bowed low…

My Scrapbook-screenshot

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Muddy field and heads bowed low…

https://www.facebook.com/GrinterFarms

Visitors call it the “sea of sunflowers”.  Farmer Ted Grinter has been growing sunflowers for almost 30 years. More than 10,000 visitors came last year.  I get a kick out of reading posts from the farmer’s wife – she is so funny!  She wants to make sure we know that there are no restrooms (apparently, she’s been asked that a few times through the years).  😉

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Muddy field and heads bowed low…

She also said that they are a row crop farm that just happens to grow a few sunflowers.  A few?  Yeah – one million!  But sunflowers are the essence of Kansas.  They are the Kansas state flower.  We wake up in September – the sunflowers brighten our wit and give us energy!

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Muddy field and heads bowed low…

And guess what?  Kris, farmer Ted’s wife – has a blog!  Check it out:

http://krisgrinter.blogspot.com/

May God bless the one who made this You Tube video!  It’s amazing.  Grab a cup of coffee and take a tour of the sunflower field for yourself.

https://youtu.be/EtoMQSrDrcI

It was an amazing trip!  Soon we will go to the State Fair eating Pronto Pups, but that’s for another blog post.  Now…  be honest, don’t you wish you lived in Kansas???  Wink!  😉

 

 

 

BUTTERFLY AWARENESS DAY

TL 6-7 BUTTERFLY AWARENESS DAY

6-7 THE RIVER OF JORDAN

On a September afternoon long ago, I was made aware of butterflies.  I knew that God sent miracles on request because He loves us.  Today is BUTTERFLY AWARENESS DAY!!!  Thank You, God, for butterflies and the joy they bring.

In those moments where I’ve thought, ‘I need a sign,’ a butterfly appears, whether it’s a real one, an image on a T-shirt or a tattoo on a waiter’s neck.  – Roma Downey

I spent a week with my mom in the hospital.  On high doses of morphine for pain, she was blissfully unaware of anything, sleeping.  I sat and thought, “This is it.  I have to say goodbye now.”  I put Vaseline on her lips once in a while and tried to focus on a book.  I think I read each page about ten times.  I couldn’t think about what I was reading.  My mama was dying, and my life was about to change in so many ways.

Prayer:  The world’s greatest wireless connection.  – @JesusGraces on Twitter

You know, those phone calls you get at 3 am?  Those phone calls are never the Publisher’s Clearing House letting you know you won.  They are never good news.  No – and if someone passes in the night, what good does it really do to wake the family while they are sleeping and fortunately unaware of what has transpired?  Can this news not wait until the next morning?  At any rate, the phone call came.  My mother went home.

Her home going celebration was simple, as she wanted.  She was never one for fancy doings.  I knew what to do because she told me many times.  What dress she wanted to be buried in and what kind of flowers to order.  It was as if I was just carrying out the orders she’d given me.  I did it without much effort because I was so numb.  I tried not to think about the fact that I’d never get to have a talk over tea with her again on this earth.  I couldn’t think about that.  There would be time to grieve later.  Right now – details.  I have to attend to the details.  It must be right.  I had to make her proud.

At the viewing, friends and family were kind.  I just kept thinking I wanted to jump in that casket with her.  Dive right in there and go with her.  They frown on that though – turns out those caskets are made for one.  They don’t do twofer funerals.  So I moved on to plan B.  Wait…  what was plan B?  Oh…  well – prayer.  I prayed.  I prayed for a sign.

Dear God,

I am so sad today.  Would you mind just sending me a small sign to let me know that You are here and that you still love me – and that mama’s ok?  Thank You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

God answered that little prayer.  I looked up from praying and saw some turquoise blue butterflies right around the bouquet of turquoise blue hydrangeas I arranged in a large vase beside the casket.  I’ve never seen turquoise blue butterflies in Kansas before – and I have not seen them since that day.  It’s my very special sign from God that everything is alright – with me – and with my mom.

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Oh – did I mention that the dress my mom wanted to be buried in was a turquoise blue dress?  Did I also mention that turquoise blue was her favorite color?  And – all of my family and friends honored that sweet woman by wearing turquoise blue to her graveside service.  Yes – God made sure those butterflies were the perfect color.  Don’t even try to persuade me that there is no God – and that He does not care deeply for His children.  I know better.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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May-Day is never allowed to pass in this community without profuse lamentations over the tardiness of our spring as compared with that of England and the poets.  – Thomas Wentworth Higginson, “April Days,” 1861

In many countries, May first is a national holiday.  May Day is a day for a festival and a saint’s feast day.

These days we celebrate May Day by enjoying our surroundings.  Just like clockwork, the tree in our front yard is blooming and seasonal allergies have a firm grip on a percentage of my friends and neighbors.

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Part of the history of May Day includes a degree of protest and radicalism.  History has a lot to teach us about the roots of our radicalism.  Did you know that people were shot so we could have the 8-hour day?  Did you know that homes with families in them were burned to the ground so we could have Saturday as part of the weekend?  Victims of industrial accidents marched in the streets protesting working conditions and child labor – some as young as 8 years old.

The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today.  – Engraved on the Haymarket Monument

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The rights we enjoy today were fought for and some gave their lives to ensure them for the rest of us.  We should not take these sacrifices for granted.  The dignities we enjoy today came at a high price.  If we take these advancements for granted, we will end up fighting for the same gains all over again.

So what is going on today – in 2015?

On May 1 — May Day — we will launch a platform to support the biggest citizen lobbying campaign we possibly can. Together, we are strong enough to create the political incentive for our elected officials to do the right thing and support reform. Ending the systemic corruption in Washington, D.C., will create space for fair, honest, and productive debate on the issues that matter most.

Citizens are launching a lobbying campaign against systemic corruption in Washington, D.C.  Wanna know more and get involved?

https://mayday.us/

Sometimes protesting and standing up for rights is a good idea.  What if people had not stood up for child labor and fought for 8 hour work days on a May Day long ago?  The American people deserve to have a smaller government that serves them without deceit and corruption.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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LELA'S LILAC BUSH

Today I took a little trip back in time. I can do that because I am now officially old as dirt. If you’re young, just wait – your turn is coming! If you’re old like me, then you totally understand where I’m coming from.

The senses play tricks on us as we mature. About a week ago, I was scrolling through my news feed on facebook and saw the most beautiful photo of a lilac. My friend, Terri Boggs Rowe took the photo and I just had to ask permission to use it with a poem. She was kind to let me use the picture. It is the season for lilac bushes to look beautiful and smell awesome!

Lela and Wayne lived across the street from us. Wayne was a veteran of WWII and made his living working at a jewelry store. Lela was a very smart cookie; a no-nonsense person who did not take guff from anyone. She was friendly, but I don’t remember hearing her laugh. She was an accountant. They raised two kids – a boy and a girl. Their kids were ten years older than me, so by the time I came along, they were practically married and out of the house. Their son worked as a D.J. at our local skating rink and drove a 1956 Mustang in a sort of teal blue color. He eventually owned that skating rink and made a bundle!

Lela’s granddaughter was a year younger than me. I liked it when Mikki’s family came to visit because Mikki and I got to play. I was totally fine being an only child – I had (and have) an active and vivid imagination, but let’s face it, once in a while you just need a friend to play with.

I remember playing in Lela and Wayne’s front yard. The back yard was much larger, but for some reason we always stayed in the front. That beautifully shaped, light purple lilac bush had a marvelous scent that literally covered the entire front yard. Maybe that’s why we were so attracted… the perfume from the lilac bush.

Lela and Wayne are in the same cemetery my folks are in. I stop by there when I go to put flowers on mom and dad’s graves. I’ll never forget them; they were part of my childhood. ❤

RED ROSE DAY

TL 6-12 RED ROSE DAY

https://youtu.be/-CVCvqZMFgo

There is not a flower that has more symbolism attached to it than the rose. Sending the right color, or combination of colors, or even the right number of roses can send the perfect message – or the wrong one.

Though not readily available, a lilac colored rose is seen as mystical . They symbolize enchantment and desire. The lilac and deeper purple roses send the message that you are attracted to the mystery in a woman and want to get to know her better.

I planted orange roses in my front garden. The lovely light and dark shades symbolize enthusiasm and desire. The message these roses send is one of excitement and underlying passion. They’re so pretty! They look energetic and almost animated when there is a breeze blowing.

The pink rose represents delicacy, fragility and gentility. The feminine refinement of a cameo rose conveys a certain grace and gentleness and is right for letting someone know you’re happy with them but not necessarily in love with them. The darker shade of pink conveys gratitude and appreciation for a job well done with a slight undertone of interest romantically.

One of my favorite roses is the yellow rose. The color yellow is recognized as the color of joy. In Victorian times the yellow rose symbolized jealousy and envy but today it is known as the friendship rose. Yellow roses are perfect if warmth, gladness with a touch of affection is the message you wish to convey. If you want to express joy and happiness at some good news, send both red and yellow roses.

Part of my family’s tradition centers around white roses. In Scotland, when the white rose bloomed in autumn, it was seen as a token of early marriage. Known as the bridal rose, a white rose symbolizes innocence and purity. Humility and loyalty are the message they send – they say “I am worthy of you.” In my family, white roses were used not only in weddings, but at funerals as well. All the white roses represented the family that had passed over, while red roses represented those still living. White and red roses combined mean unity.

Since today is RED ROSE DAY, we should talk some about them. A red rose is the most romantic of all the roses. They hold such rich symbolism and represent such virtues as confidentiality, affection and yes, love. A bouquet of one dozen red roses traditionally conveys a strong romantic message.

Just as the color of rose matters, so does the type of rose you send. A tea rose of any color expresses the sentiment “I will always remember you”. A bouquet of rosebuds means innocent love or young love. One single red rose says “I still love you”. That is the perfect gift to give a woman after a disagreement. If you throw in a box of chocolates you get bonus points. ❤