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!  🙂

 

 

APPRECIATING GOD’S CREATION

TL APPRECIATING GOD'S CREATION

I am not a human being; I am a human becoming.  – Author Unknown

Today we get to watch a double feature!  John Coyote has been very busy in the last week or so, exploring the backwoods of Kansas.  He said both of these videos were shot ten miles southeast of Augusta, Kansas.

https://youtu.be/PM81j-alhr8

https://youtu.be/LPxh9xZ0zQs

Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.  – Standing Bear

Are you feeling stressed and overwhelmed today?  It’s amazing what a walk out in the wilderness can do to adjust your attitude!  Watching nature for just a bit can really make a difference.The older I get, the more convinced I am that the blessings of this earth are gifts from God.  When we stop to appreciate the creation and especially the Creator, we are expressing gratitude to Him and that is the most sincere form of praise!

You need special shoes for hiking — and a bit of a special soul as well.  – Terri Guillemets

Since I posted John’s last video, I’ve been asked if there are any resources on the internet regarding hiking and backpacking in Kansas.  I found three pretty good ones:

Wildernet is a great Web resource that has a lot of info on finding a good hiking trail.

AllTrails has a lot of good info on finding your next great trail.

Gorp has a great list of places to go as well as tips and guides.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in making a living that we forget to enjoy life.  Most of us make our living in a stale, air-conditioned office building… I did for a long time.  It’s only since I’ve been retired that I’ve discovered a special place…  called – OUTSIDE.  If you can just leave your computer, calculator, cell phone and everything else behind that tethers you to your work…  just go outside for a while.GOD'S DESIGN

John has a great knowledge of the wild things that grow – and I enjoy learning new things all the time.  Thank you all for the wonderful feedback you leave on facebook and twitter.  There’s a great following here on Heart Hunger Blog and I appreciate every one of you!  Have a great May Day – and get outside for a while!  🙂

NATIONAL FROG MONTH

TL APRIL IS NATIONAL FROG MONTHAccording to fairy tales, these rather slimy creatures turn into a prince when you kiss them…  um…  I don’t know that to be a fact, but I do know that they sing out loud and strong after it rains here in Wichita!  Sometimes we refer to a heavy rain here in Kansas as a toad strangler…  but it doesn’t really hurt the frogs.  They still croak in sweet harmony when the rain is over.YOU MATTERIt’s so easy to take the sounds of nature for granted.  We hear the frogs croak, the birds chirp and the wind rustling the leaves on the trees – but do we stop to thank God for any of it?  I admit I don’t always…  but once in a while I sit outside and just take it all in, and I have to close my eyes and say a little prayer of thanks to God – I thank Him for my sense of hearing and for the familiar sounds that let me know that everything is okay in my world.Linda - Quote - Frog Jumping Day-screenshot

I’m so thankful that I grew up in the country…  we didn’t have a pond close by, but we had very deep ditches, and every year I got to watch the little tadpoles swimming around.  It seems like a simple childhood activity, but those are some of the happiest memories I hold dear today.children-767034_1920tadpoles-338627_1920It was really great to visit my grandparents on the farm in the spring…  the frogs and tiny tadpoles in their pond were fun to watch – and there were more of them.  sunbeam-292987_1920

I love to watch the little baby animals in the springtime, don’t you?  New life…  new experiences…  new hope!

Of course, we know the acronym for F.R.O.G. – it is FULLY RELY ON GOD!    Let’s keep that in mind today as we appreciate His creation – frogs! FULLY RELY ON GODBABIES IN THE SPRINGTIME

If you have children, make sure they get to see something other than the screen of their new phone.  Show them the babies of springtime…  show them the tadpoles swimming around in the pond.  The wonders of nature and the way God set things up – are amazing for kids of all ages!  I hope that today you will slow down and sit down outside…  close your eyes and take it all in.  🙂

 

NATIONAL WALKING DAY

TL 4-6 NATIONAL WALKING DAY

WALKING

The American Heart Association (AHA) encourages us to get out and walk today!  They hope that this will begin a good habit that will last while we have good weather.

Whether you are a seasoned walker or tend to waddle like me, today is the day to get out and motivate those feet – one in front of the other – for thirty minutes.  Some can do that all at once and some like me will have to do either two fifteen minute walks or three ten minute walks.  I was so happy to read that the results are the same regardless – isn’t that great?

Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart.  – Gene Tunney

There are obvious benefits when you walk.  It strengthens your heart and lungs as your breathing increases, but it is good for your legs and helps define your muscles.  There are mental benefits that are almost immediate – a sense of well-being and accomplishment help you feel more positive about yourself and about other projects you tackle.  The human body was not created to sit around all the time.  You are worth a half hour of exercise every day – YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Some folks walk at our local mall every day.  I’d rather get outside to walk, but whatever helps you get started – do it!  Taking that first step in a very literal way is what matters.  It’s nice to get together with other walkers for support.  The time goes so much faster when you’re engaged in conversation along with jokes and laughter.  It’s possible to exercise alone, but it’s not as much fun.

If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking.   Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.  – Raymond Inmon

As you walk along, it’s amazing how many threads of inspiration are weaved together as you keep moving.  Most of my scathingly brilliant ideas come to me as I’m walking.  Some days I’m bombarded with creative notions just waiting to be launched.

Sometimes I take a camera with me on a walk, but that can slow me down if my goal is to realize health benefits.  A camera usually goes with me when I’m more interested in mental benefits and a little stroll.  Every bit of it helps.  Just get out and enjoy God’s creation.  It will make you feel better!  😉

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)

https://youtu.be/hNDI0QolYm0

John sent me a great video!  He said this is a hidden creek 10 miles Southeast of Augusta, Kansas.  His appreciation for God’s creation makes me want to go out and plant a garden.  Okay, at the very least, it makes me want to go outside and make mud pies!  🙂

Under the giving snow blossoms a daring spring.  – Terri Guillemets

FLOWERS IN THE SNOW

It was quite a sight to see snow on Easter morning, but isn’t that just like God?  You know, when I taught Sunday School, my favorite lessons were object lessons.  Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a visual learner.  You can talk me to death, but until I see something and have it click in my own mind, talking just doesn’t do much good.  Don’t make me read boring statistics either, or you’ll lose me completely.  I believe God sent that snow to remind us that on Easter, the plan of Salvation was completed and He is more than able and willing to wash our sins as white as snow.

 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  – Romans 10:9-10

Spring is a time of renewal – a time to begin anew.  What a great time to ask God into your heart and life.  He wants to be the Lord of your life.  Let’s pray this simple prayer together.  If you already know Jesus as Lord and Savior, what a great prayer of rededication and recommitment to Him:

Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I have sinned
and done things that have hurt you.

I am willing to turn away
from what is wrong in my life.

I want to go where you lead in the future.

Thank you for dying on the cross
so that I might be forgiven.


Come into my life this day;
Come in as my Saviour and Lord:
Come in to be with me for ever.


Thank you Lord Jesus.
Amen.

You know – sometimes God’s children just need to laugh.  Before it gets too far away from Easter, I want to share a poem with you.  My friend Deanna posted a photo and said it was a naked peep taking a bath in her cup of hot tea.  I thought I’d split a stitch, I laughed so hard!  How could that not become a poem?  Laughter is one of many…  gifts from Heaven.  🙂

GIFTS FROM HEAVEN

 

 

LAST DAY OF WINTER

TL 3-19 LAST DAY OF WINTER

I’m so ready, aren’t you???  Lately, I’ve been awakened by birds and sunlight streaming into my room.  Once we get past the initial shock of Daylight Savings Time, that’s when the real magic begins.  We look forward to tee-shirt weather and longer evenings.  Some of us also muddle through allergies, but it’s still worth it.HE'S STILL CREATING

In Kansas we’ve learned to approach the first day of spring with a cautious optimism.  I have memories of April snow storms!  One year I was hosting a birthday tea on April 2nd – and had to call around at the last-minute because there was a winter storm raging outside!  But I don’t feel that doubt this year like I have in years past – maybe because Easter is so early.  I think we’re safe from winter’s sneaky game this year.

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.  The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.  – Henry van Dyke

I took my first walk outdoors yesterday.  For starters, I survived – yay!  I wore sweats and thought that would be warm enough, but the breeze was still fairly chilly.  My ears felt a little sore when I got home, but I’m no worse for wear.  There’s something special about knowing the walks will be outside.  I don’t enjoy walking on a treadmill and find it very dull.IT'S A PERFECT DAY TO FEEL GREATOur local Lowe’s is getting all set up for spring and summer in their garden center.  Whether you plant vegetables or flowers, there’s an excitement about playing in the dirt!  Even after we’re adults, we make mud pies – oh, come on – admit it!  You still like to make mud pies!

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!  – Mark Twain

Will you fly a kite this month?  It’s been years since I’ve done that!  I used to live across the street from a popular park where people would go to fly kites.  Those are good memories.  I used to take my Sunday School class to the park to fly kites and have a picnic in March.  I made them promise to show up for Sunday School – and most of them kept that promise.GOD HAS POURED OUT HIS LOVEWe plant the seed and God provides everything that little seed needs to grow into something wonderful.  It’s true for plants, flowers and people.  When we plant the seed of God’s Word, He makes it grow!  Just keep on plantin’…  that’s what we’re here for, right?  🙂

FESTIVAL OF OWLS WEEK

A WISE OLD OWLMarch 7-11 is Festival of Owls Week.  These wise old birds are amazing to watch – and hear…  hold your ears!  I used to hear these barn owls often when I stayed with my grandparents.  If you don’t know what it is, it sounds downright creepy.  If you think owls just say WHO… WHO…  then you’ve never heard a barn owl.

https://youtu.be/JDmRmRb2OpE

Barn owls don’t usually live long lives.  In North America the oldest known barn owl in the wild lived to be 11 years old.  In Holland, a wild barn owl lived to be 17 years old.  In England, a captive female barn owl was retired from breeding at 25 years old.

Wow... you humans sure look weird!
Wow… you humans sure look weird!

 

Flying and screeching... screeching and flying.
Flying and screeching… screeching and flying.
I lost my tree... dang it - I LOST MY TREE!
I lost my tree… dang it – I LOST MY TREE!
Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.
Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.
I'm a barn owl - in a barn. Go figure.
I’m a barn owl – in a barn. Go figure.

Now we hear the WHO…  WHO from the eagle owl.  Can you believe those eyes?  They are absolutely gorgeous and captivating.

https://youtu.be/ynl-L8L3Ui8

The Eurasian eagle owl lives in mountain regions and other relatively remote places.  It’s a nocturnal predator, hunting for small mammals but also birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and large insects.

Wow... you humans sure look weird.
Wow… you humans sure look weird.
Get my good side...
Get my good side…
Soar and hoot... hoot and soar.
Soar and hoot… hoot and soar.
Every move you make, I'll be watching you...
Every move you make, I’ll be watching you…
I know I look good.
I know I look good.

 

And yesterday, I saw this post on twitter: https://twitter.com/planetepics

 

I came home, pulled back the curtains and saw this beautiful animal. Looks like I’m headed to Hogwarts!
I came home, pulled back the curtains and saw this beautiful animal. Looks like I’m headed to Hogwarts!

I don’t know who specifically came home to find this little cutie, but I just had to share this.

Enjoy this wonderful poem by Lucinda Berry Hill.

GRAMMIE AND OWLS

Many people in the 1970’s collected all things owls.  I also knew some who collected elephants (something about luck in the home) – but owls represent wisdom.  For fun, I wondered how many photographs of owls I could find on common everyday things.  Here’s what I came up with:

I could use a symbol of wisdom first thing in the morning - for sure!
I could use a symbol of wisdom first thing in the morning – for sure!
It's an owl necklace watch! Here it is closed.
It’s an owl necklace watch! Here it is closed.
Here it is open.
Here it is open.
Here's a little owl writer and music lover.
Here’s a little owl writer and music lover.

How about owl origami?  Give it a try – it’s really fun!

http://www.origami-fun.com/origami-owl.html

We all agree that owls are cute – albeit scary…  sharp beaks, talons and stares with no blinks…  don’t you wonder what they’re thinking?  Maybe we really don’t want to know.  🙂

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.  😦

IMG_1024
Muddy field and heads bowed low…

My Scrapbook-screenshot

Sunflower Panoramic (1)
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).  😉

IMG_1020
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!

IMG_1030
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!  😉

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART1

THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE

https://youtu.be/mDThDZMcOMM

My heart is broken concerning America’s views on life in general.

What you are will show in what you do.  – Thomas Edison

Dr. Carson offers common sense in the midst of insanity in America.  Can we just back the truck up for a minute and take a close look at something?  Just humor me…  k?

We see videos of dissected babies (it’s a baby – that is what I believe).  They are after certain parts to sell for profit.  They justify it by saying they will be saving another life with the poor life that was aborted (which I believe is murder).

I’m tired of the left saying that Dr. Carson is a hypocrite.  He never had anything to do with killing babies.  He is a Christian and totally pro-life!  He sees abortion for what it is – murder.

Jen Gunter, an obstetrician-gynecologist, wrote on her blog that in 1992 Carson co-authored an academic paper published in Hum Pathol, in which he described using material “from two fetuses aborted in the ninth and 17th week of gestation.”  OK, but anyone who wants to be a doctor has to deal with the dead – of all ages.  That’s how doctors practice before they move on to the living.  It’s called practicing medicine.

You have to look at the intent.  To willfully ignore evidence that you have for some ideological reason is wrong. If you’re killing babies and taking the tissue, that’s a very different thing than taking a dead specimen and keeping a record of it.  – Dr. Ben Carson

Get real, people!  The man’s a doctor – he had to deal with dead specimens of all ages to get through medical school…  good grief!  The deal is – babies should not be killed for the specific purpose of selling body parts for profit – which, by the way, is still illegal!!!  It may not remain illegal, but for today, it is.  It makes me angry that my tax dollars are going to Planned Parenthood.  If they insist on doing their evil procedures and selling the parts of babies they are “going to abort anyway” – at the very least they should be privately funded!!!

We see black people with signs that say BLACK LIVES MATTER.  I’m not disputing that fact, but it’s as though no other lives matter.  I thought every person born into this world was here to get along with every other person born into this world.  I mean, feel free to correct me if you think I’m wrong.  I’d like to know why most abortions take place in the black community.  Don’t the unborn black lives matter?

Maybe it’s a matter of how we view ourselves.  Are we color first in our own mind, or are we more?  For example, I see myself as a Christian first (my value system), a woman (my sex), then white (the color of my skin).  At times we place too much importance on the wrong characteristic about ourselves.

Every white person in the world is not under the impression that they are “better” than every black person.  If that is the mindset of black people, it’s incorrect.  My grandpa Frank used to say, “Folks are folks no matter where you go.”  That’s been my motto through life.  It’s true.  Regardless of the color of one’s skin, there are good folks and bad folks everywhere.

Life…  we are born how we are born.  I did not have a choice and neither did you.  If you are white and wish you were black – too bad.  If you are black and wish you were white – again, too bad.

Funny story…  the other day I was standing in line at the grocery store, behind an African-American woman with beautiful curly hair.  I instinctively reached up to “fluff” my own stringy-straight mane, thinking, “Oh, I wish I had hair like hers!”   Yes, there are days I’d like to be someone else – LOL!  I guess the secret is to be the best me I can be regardless of the DNA cards I’m dealt.

What does God say about us?  What does His Word say about how we are to treat one another?  If ever there was a time we need to embrace God’s Holy Word and live like we mean it – it is now!

God loves us – ALL OF US.  He does not have favorites and He does not see skin color, however, He most definitely sees our motives and our character.  He knows who loves Him and who does not.  If we claim the name of Christ in our lives, we have no excuse to insist that one life matters more than another.

It’s also my belief that we have no right to play God and decide to abort what God saw fit to create.  Babies are miracles – every one of them!  People may think they make babies.  I’ve got news for you…  if God was not a part of that process – you’d not make squat.  WORD.

PROTECT THE UNBORN.  RESPECT PEOPLE.  RESPECT LIFE.  LOVE EVERYONE.  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (29)A

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.

They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”  – Jeremiah 17:7-8

10003889_10204042924344375_1714801374506335330_n
Karley holding her mammoth cabbage… wow!!!

 

That’s a lot of coleslaw…

I have the most COOL facebook friends!!!  Can you believe the size of this cabbage???  She posted this photo the other day and of course it got me to thinking about how much BIGGER our blessings are when we belong to God.

Bigger blessings???  You bet!  God has blessed His own in a big way since the beginning of time.

Have you ever heard the saying…  I’m too blessed to be stressed – ???  It’s true!  When we focus on all of the many blessings from the LORD, we just spend time loving our family and friends – instead of thinking about the things we lack.  With God in our corner, we lack nothing.  We have what we need because we know He provides for our every need.

You know, if there is something you think you need and God has not brought it your way (like, say…  a million dollars) – it’s because He knows it’s not what you need.  How many times do we hear about folks who win the lottery and have nothing but grief after they get all that money?  I’ve heard story after story about tragedy that stems from having too much money and being used – or some even lose their life over it.  God wants the very best for us – we have to trust His wisdom for our lives.

Money doesn’t solve every problem – it really doesn’t.

 The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.  – Psalm 29:11

Bigger blessings from God – of strength and peace.  Strength to face our daily trials and peace as we keep living.  🙂