A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

It’s been a rough week…  physically and mentally exhausting!  We recently changed internet providers and have been unable to have the secondary account (that would be my account) added.  The account with our previous carrier has been suspended since the Friday before Labor Day.  I’ve been without access for a few weeks.  I think I’m experiencing a form of internet withdrawal.  Is there a support group for that?  I don’t think so, but I may start one!

Last Thursday a tech from our new provider came to set up our security system.  I asked if he thought he may be able to help me get that secondary account set up so I can get on the internet train once again.  He proceeded to tell me that he recently graduated from college with a degree in computer – and my countenance brightened immediately!  Hope renewed, I pointed out my sad little laptop and told him to have at it.

He asked if I had a Gmail account and I said I did (thinking that I definitely did NOT remember my password!)  He got my computer to use google chrome instead of internet explorer – and left the google logo where you search – displayed.  So…  I have a google logo where there once was Cafe Mahjong!  Is this progress?  Well…  maybe.

I was disappointed and a little angry.  They guy left and I’m still up a creek without a password.  I was actually shaking and I cried a little bit.  Does that help?  NO!  I calmed down some and went back upstairs, believing I’d play Bejeweled 2 for the rest of the evening.  Once I had calmed down, I looked at this passage of Scripture.  The words WISE, WISDOM, BOAST and KINDNESS, JUSTICE and RIGHTEOUSNESS jumped out at me.

Have you ever just got real with God?  I mean – at the end of yourself – at the end of whatever boasts you hear from others who claim to have the ability to help – at the end of it all?  I prayed that God would just calm my anxious thoughts, dry my tears and bring alternatives to my mind.  If God is ready and willing to do anything for us, it is to impress us with alternatives!   We serve a God with so many ways of solving problems – any problem!  

God told me to talk to Lucinda.  He often tells me to talk with her!  Did I do that right away?  No – because Linda pride gets in the way…  I sat and argued and asked God to just tell me what I should do – He said NOPE – you need to talk to Lucinda.  So…  I got on facebook and shared my frustration.  She made it all better when she said – CAN YOU SET UP ANOTHER ACCOUNT?

Well – suddenly it was ALL BETTER!  I didn’t have to remember the password – or click on “forgot password” knowing that I didn’t have a working email address for them to send a code to!  I’ll just start all over again!  The weight of the world was lifted and I thanked God for such a good friend (even though right now I’m pretty sure she’s laughing through tears!)  It pays to trust God’s way of problem solving instead of trusting your own wisdom – or your college degree.

When we know God, we will not be stranded without the tools we need to solve problems.  Sometimes, the tools He uses is a friend – so don’t be too proud to be obedient when God tells you to seek assistance from a friend.  We need to remember – friends who are true friends will understand!  Friends are KIND.  Lucinda has always gone above and beyond for me.  I’m so thankful that God let our paths cross.  I’m cryin’ again, girl.  ❤

We really are here to help each other – the body of Christ.  Don’t let pride keep you from being obedient to God – and get the help you need in the bargain.  I hope and pray I’m as good a friend to Lucinda as she’s been to me.  🙂

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IRON SHARPENS IRON – FRIENDSHIP

IRON SHARPENS IRON

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  – Proverbs 27:17

IRON SHARPENS IRON

Yesterday I told you what I do not want to be – a stumbling block.  Today I’m going to focus on what I do want to be – an iron sharpener!  This year my goal is to bring out the best in everyone – including myself!  You’ve heard of friendships where the two or three just keep “feeding” off each other and getting funnier and funnier, right?  I love it when that happens – even if it’s off the wall and silly.  If I can be the friend who makes others laugh and spew diet Dr. Pepper out of their nose…  what can I say?  It’s my mission in life and when that happens, I can say mission accomplished!  My work here is done.  You’re welcome!

Real life is stressful and often awkward and uncomfortable.  Should friendships be the same way?  I really don’t think so.  There’s nothing worse than spending time with someone you want to escape from – and you spend the whole time hunting for the nearest exit and plan the escape in your head.  Let’s face it…  those are the friendships you have to re-think.  You just do – and yes, it’s sad.  Some people are not meant to be in our lives for the rest of our life.15822977_1868319833412478_4287722067523972073_n

Thank you, Lucinda – for keeping me polished!  I’m so glad that God allowed our paths to cross!

For those friendships that seem destined to be, how can we be an iron sharpening friend?  I’m glad you asked.  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Pray for your friend – and for your friendship.  If your friendship is covered in prayer everyday, it will be strong and won’t crumble over petty things.  I tend to be upfront and honest in friendships because I appreciate those qualities in my friends.  One day I was feeling especially envious and a bit jealous of a friend’s success when I did not seem to be gaining ground with my project.  I told her about it, knowing that she would appreciate my honesty and candor.  She helped me by first of all praying for me – and secondly, she started pointing out some positives that I had missed somehow.  She knows if the shoe was on the other foot, I would have done the same for her.
  2. Cherish the friendship because God designed it.  Review the start of your friendship once in a while.  Let your friend know that you appreciate what she brings to the friendship and how much better your life is now because of it.  Praise God for the way ministry grows and matures when Christian friends work together.  Ask God to impress on you and guide you to the next project.  It’s amazing and wonderful how God brings your separate work together as one very large witnessing tool.  Be thankful when others are helped by your ministry – thankful of course to God, but also to each other.  Don’t take friendship for granted.  Friends don’t grow on trees.  Most of my friends would think that visual was hilarious.  I also imagine they’d imagine me hanging by my tail like a monkey, with a banana in my mouth (I have to be eating – well DUH!)
  3. Communicate as clearly as possible.  A friend and I were chatting on facebook not long ago about this.  We agreed that messaging on facebook is more challenging than talking face to face because there’s a lack of facial expression in the communication.  Then we joked about using emojis – or really over-using them – in an attempt to let others know that we’re smiling 🙂 or 😀  or that we’re loving what they’re saying <3.  Of course, when I’m talking there’s always the popular – I’M CONFUSED.  :-/  Yeah – I really use that one frequently.
  4. Don’t try to fake it.  God knows everything about everything, so it makes no sense to keep anything from your friend in the Lord.  It’s a temptation to keep the “downer” stuff to yourself so you don’t bring her down too – but if you do, you are robbing her of the opportunity to lift you to God in prayer.  Maybe you’re going through something that you don’t even feel like you can pray about yourself.  I’ve been there and I’m sure you have too.  Let your friend know what’s up so she can pray for you.  It is a privilege and an honor to pray for a friend.  Don’t let silly pride keep you from asking your friend to whisper a prayer for you.

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We eventually get where we’re goin’ – together.  I want to be an iron-sharpening friend.  I hope you do too.  Let’s all work together to sharpen some iron in 2017!  🙂

FRIENDSHIP DAY

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FOREVER FRIENDSHIPS

It’s FRIENDSHIP DAY!!!  What does it take to be a good friend?  Every person you ask will have a different answer, but since it’s my blog – you’re going to hear my answer.  LOL!

It’s my belief that you have to be a good listener and very fast to forgive in order to keep a friendship afloat.

It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.  – William Blake

It’s horrible to be hurt by a friend, but if you want to salvage the pieces and give the friendship another chance, you must be quick to forgive.  It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

So many people come through the revolving door of your life…  not many will stick around for the long haul.  A cast of thousands will appear.  Some will use you and leave when they have gotten what they want from you.  They’ll leave you wondering what you’ve done to “scare” them away.  You have to forgive that too.

Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend.  – Plautus

Do you have friendships that reflect the likes of Lucy and Ethel?  Does it seem you get into fixes every time you get together?

Even though they were not playing HUMANS, I like the friendship that Tess and Monica had – even though once in a while Tess had to put her supervisor hat on.  All of the angels on TBAA seemed to get along so well…  on-screen and off.  ❤  Enjoy their video featuring a song by THE NEWSBOYS.

In the early 1970’s we were introduced to a couple of independent women living life in the big city of Minneapolis.  Mary Richards was a successful career woman in the TV newsroom.  Her job was fast-paced and filled with excitement from all directions.  When she got back to her apartment, she often got visits from her upstairs neighbor, the brash girl from New York, Rhoda Morgenstern.  Mary from the Midwest was rather conservative and soft-spoken, opting to be nice.  Rhoda from the East was familiar with the fine art of speaking out with wild abandon.  They complimented each other somehow.

I was still in school when the TV show “Laverne & Shirley” was aired.  They made it seem like fun to be a grown up.  I thought everyone graduated high school and moved to a different state, got a job, made a friend and ended up sharing an apartment close to where you work.  I thought that as friends, every morning you link arms and sing a catchy tune about independence as you skip to your place of employment.  To say the least, I was a bit disappointed when I found out that it was all a fairy tale and real life is not near that much fun.  But on the positive side, most of us don’t have Lenny and Squiggy living in an apartment upstairs.

How about Oscar and Felix?  Wow – they had quite a strange friendship.  They were at odds about everything and that’s what made them The Odd Couple.  There are some friendships you look at and shake your head and say, “huh”???

Have a great FRIENDSHIP DAY!  🙂

 

 

 

 

HIGH FIVE DAY

TL 4-21 HIGH FIVE DAYIt’s thought that the HIGH FIVE started in professional sports.  It’s a way to celebrate a great moment or an accomplishment.  It’s like saying WAY TO GO to a team mate for a job well done.  High five the ones you love today, because they may not be around to celebrate with tomorrow – jus’ sayin’…

I’d give anything to high five my parents today.  They were married on this day in 1943.  Marriage is tough under the best of circumstances – and they stayed together and took their vows seriously.  Now they’re together in eternity.  I wish them an eternity of happiness and joy in the hereafter – and give them an air five today!

If you don’t have humans in your realm of influence, you can most certainly high five the cat!

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Get a high five from the kiddo out on the playground!

girl-586988_1280And you probably won’t run into this guy today – you have to wait until Christmas, ‘cuz he’s back at the North Pole trying to get rested up…  but if you could find Santa – you might get to high five him!

santa-claus-579113_1920I just think that is TOO CUTE!  🙂

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Who will you high five today?  What moments will you celebrate?  I’ll celebrate an exercise session when it’s over.  I’ll celebrate a pound lost – or even a half or quarter pound lost – as long as I lose and not gain.  It’s great to be going in the right direction!

http://www.nationalhighfiveproject.org/

Visit this link to find out how you can buy gear and help support some great causes.  And don’t forget to high five everybody for all sorts of reasons today!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I got dogged for writing about HALLOWEEN yesterday.  I was called a sympathizer for the devil, uncommitted to Christ and a false witness for God.  Well, say what you will of me – but I was raised in an age of innocence when going door to door saying TRICK-OR-TREAT was a wholesome, albeit calorie laden activity.  I was not raised to have anything to do with darkness, I assure you.  When I was a kid – it was all about the candy, homemade popcorn balls and Mrs. Guffy’s famous Ghostie cookies.  THAT’S ALL it was about.  Now…  can we move on because boy do I have a testimony FOR THE LORD that will give the devil a BIG BLACK EYE!

You know I’m diabetic.  I try not to make a big deal out of it, but I’ve been a type 2 diabetic since 1994.  I’m all too familiar with the dreaded HIGH blood sugar, but hardly have a LOW.  Yesterday, however, I was battling low blood sugar!  Since I’m diabetic, we chose not to buy any Halloween candy because we don’t have that many children in our neighborhood who actually Trick-or-Treat door to door.  They get together and go to the mall.

So I’m thinking, “Oh great!  I could legally have a candy bar – and we don’t have any!”  I try to keep glucose tabs in the house or gel, but I didn’t have either one.  Everything in our house is diabetic-friendly.  We don’t even keep a smidge of sugar here.

I hate low blood sugar – I can’t think straight and I feel as though my insides are just going to fall apart – some of you can relate.  I drank a little buttermilk and ate a piece of bread.  Usually bread or a carbohydrate will raise it up.  It just was not working.

Then I did something really radical…  I PRAYED.  Don’t laugh…  but I asked God for a candy bar.

I want you to know that God can use ANYTHING and ANYONE to provide.  He used the fact that it was Halloween to help me out of a real bind.  There are little girls across the street (we call them our angels).  They occasionally bring nice little gifts to our door – ring the doorbell – and RUN away!  It’s so cute!

I’m not joking – about 2 minutes after I sincerely asked God to help me out – the doorbell rang.  We opened the door, and there was a bucket full of snack-size Milky Way bars.  Attached to the bucket handle was a mylar balloon with a happy face on it!  A sweet card was stuck in the side of the bucket.  Our angels came through!

So…  for those who think my post yesterday was somehow evil – you know what?  You don’t really know me, do you?  Isn’t it amazing in this day of faceless, impersonal cyber communication, we feel we have the right to completely judge a person for sharing a few precious Halloween memories from a bygone era???  Really???  Well, shame on you!

When I was a child – I enjoyed the day, the candy, the popcorn balls and Mrs. Guffy’s famous Ghostie cookies.  I refuse to apologize for the post.  I won’t.  God’s Holy Spirit has not checked me about the choice – and He won’t because He understands the MOTIVE behind what I wrote.  All you see is a kid in a costume.  I see myself and my dad having so much fun with my mom’s make-up and jewelry – trying to look like clowns!  Shame on anyone who would wag their finger at me for sharing childhood innocent fun!

I love the Lord with everything in me.  I intend to serve Him in any capacity I can no matter what circumstances I find myself in.  I wanted to share this special example of GOD’S FAITHFULNESS and HIS PROVISION in my life.  Thank You, Lord!  🙂

DAY TRIPPIN’ AROUND KANSAS

DAY TRIPPIN' AROUND KANSAS

Is it silly to want to take a trip out to Applejack Pumpkin Patch if you don’t have small children with you?  Can I tell you a secret???  I’ve never actually been to a pumpkin patch before.  I suppose it’s because I don’t have kids – but the second part of that secret is…  I’ve always wanted to visit a pumpkin patch!  It just looks like a lot of fun!  Having fun is not a sin – last time I checked.

So, this photo, taken just outside of the Applejack Pumpkin Patch is of my friend, Susan.  She posted it on facebook and I wanted to post it here today.  I love it when my Wichita friends post their day trips (even though I think she was technically on the job – which explains the vest).  I appreciate her giving me permission to share it with you.

The Minion Hay Bale... LOL!!!
Susan & the giant Minion Hay Bale… LOL!!!

I’m so thankful she posted this because we drove past it on the way to an antique store just a few days ago – and did I have my camera???  Well of course I didn’t!!!  I was kicking myself from that moment on.  I even suggested we take another trip just to get a photo of this.  That idea was not met with a great deal of enthusiasm, to say the least.  :-/

Applejack Pumpkin Patch is in Augusta, Kansas.  They have a facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/Applejack-Pumpkin-Patch-306961532736120/

There are scheduled activities and loads of fun for everyone (even the childless – well – probably).  I may not have kids – but I feel as though I’m still a kid myself…  for better or worse!

I’ve seen bales of hay made into a lot of different things – I must admit this is the first Minion I’ve seen – how creative is that?  Usually we see hay bales made into  jack-O-Lanterns…  you know, painted orange with the scary black face – that’s usually what we see.

Susan’s husband posted that if she had her way, Susan would take this giant Minion hay bale home with her and put it in their front yard.  I replied by saying, “She would be fighting ME for it – LOL!!!”  In reality, could you imagine either one of us – or both of us together – lifting that thing???  I’d say the argument is moot at best, wouldn’t you?

If you would like more information about Applejack Pumpkin Patch, click on this link:  http://applejackpumpkinpatch.com/activities/

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I enjoy living in Kansas, especially this time of year!  We have a lot of farms, which means we have tons of corn mazes, apple festivals, fall harvest celebrations and of course, pumpkin patches!  Now, we apparently have added a giant Minion hay bale to the list.  Does it get any better than that?  I think not!  Wink!  😉

 

IRON SHARPENS IRON

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I was with a group of women recently and the discussion came around to ways to streamline your routine and get to work on time.  The big issue seemed to be breakfast in the morning.  Everyone agreed that it just takes too long and that’s when Sylvia shared the best suggestion.

How about a fix-ahead breakfast that you just reheat in the microwave?  Here ya go!

Banana-Nut Oatmeal

Makes 8 servings

2 cups steel-cut oats

1/2 tsp. salt

3 large very ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

8 12-oz. Ball canning jars with metal rings and lids

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

  • To prepare:  In a medium pot, combine oats, 5 cups water and salt; bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook 10 minutes (oatmeal will be very watery).  Remove from heat; stir in bananas, Splenda brown and lemon juice.  Distribute oatmeal evenly among glass jars; screw on lids.  Cool on countertop and refrigerate overnight.
  • To serve:  Remove metal rings and lids.  For each jar, stir in 1 Tbs. milk, 1 Tbs chopped nuts and, if desired, additional Splenda brown sugar.  Reheat in microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until hot.  Let stand 1 minute.  Carefully remove, stir and garnish with sliced bananas, if desired.

Per serving:  266 calories, 8 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 8 g pro, 47 g carb, 6 g fiber, 165 mg sodium, 1 mg chol

You may see the number of carbs in this and decide it’s too high, but it happens that the one who suggested this is a diabetic nutritionist.  She explains the health benefits like this:

Because of its soluble fiber content, adding a banana to your daily oatmeal can also help lower your risk of developing diabetes. When you consume a carbohydrate-rich meal, your blood glucose tends to rise quickly, stimulating your pancreas to release insulin rapidly. Adding food high in soluble fiber, however, can slow absorption of sugar from your food, producing a more gradual increase in blood glucose and lessening the demand for insulin.

She said this breakfast has saved her family an average of about 5 minutes, and that means you don’t have to go over the speed limit while driving to work.  It’s also a healthy, hot breakfast on these chilly mornings for the kids (and for you).  It gets everyone started on the right foot.

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What a great idea to prepare these on the weekend and serve during the week!  🙂