SPRING INTO ACTION

 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  – Ephesians 4:32

It’s a calling from our LORD…  be light, salt, kind, loving, forgiving and tenderhearted.  Nobody wants to be tenderhearted because that means you are also vulnerable.  It hurts to make yourself vulnerable because to open yourself up to others has no guarantee of success associated with it.  God never said that being obedient to Him would result in automatic joy or happiness.  Does that mean it’s not worth doing?  No.  Does it mean that we won’t need to walk away from the ones who hurt and disappoint us sometimes?  No.  Is it a sin to walk away?  No.  It’s probably a sin to give up and not try again.  The sin is to quit trying.

We have to rely on God to help us forgive – and forgive as quickly as possible.  Forget?  Well…  not really.  It’s like you sort of tuck it in the back of your mind.  You don’t want to dwell on it, but you don’t want to forget completely so you aren’t that stupid again.  I don’t need to keep hitting my head against the same post over and over.  That’s just an insane thing to do!  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.  I refuse to do anything remotely insane ever again.

Does that mean I don’t forgive past wrongs?  No.  I need for others to forgive me – and frankly, I need God to forgive me – so I will absolutely forgive others when I feel I’ve been wronged.  This ol’ world needs more kindness and less anger-driven violence, to be sure.  If you allow hurt feelings to fester and get infected, it affects all aspects of your life.

How can we shine for God and serve Him if there’s a cloud of hurt hanging over our heads?  We just have to ask God to help us through those hurtful times and be what He wants us to be!  I want to be light, salt, kind, loving, and yes…  even tenderhearted.  It doesn’t mean we are door mats.  It doesn’t mean we are stupid enough to walk back and take more.  We’re not.

We can conquer the hurt we encounter in this life with help from God.  We can conquer the hate we encounter in this life with help from God!

Are you ready to spring into action – and throw kindness into this wicked world like it’s confetti???  Instead of deciding to merely DEAL with the hurt in our lives, let’s trust God to help us HEAL from church hurt and other disappointments along life’s way so we can effectively SHINE for Him!  When we live in the complete freedom that Christ bought for us, it makes Him smile and it makes us whole!  🙂

 

 

 

New Habits

When I think of something working from the inside-out, my mind turns to a microwave oven!  I know – weird, huh?  Hang in there with me, I’m making a point.

Those little micro waves begin cooking in the center of whatever is in there.  Just as a microwave heats your coffee or cooks your bacon…  God works on us!  Now you feel like a cup of coffee or a strip of bacon, don’t you?  LOL!  I doubt that God sees you that way.  Nah…  pretty sure He doesn’t.

God begins His work with His precious Holy Spirit – in the center of our being – our hearts and minds.  Renewal begins to take place.  We love the things that God loves and hate the things He hates.  We have to be careful to never hate people – but behaviors we can definitely hate and refuse to participate in.

Because the enemy of our soul is still working in our world – it’s possible to slip and fall.  Even those who belong to God are to some degree vulnerable.  Actually, it seems the more you are trying to work for the Lord, the more that ol’ devil whispers in your ear – and remember – he copies everything that God does.  He’s a copy-catter!  He will do anything to get you off-balance.

God wants us to thrive in this life.  He wants us to lean on Him and learn His ways.  Remember when Nancy Reagan said, “Just Say No” – in her one woman drug campaign?  I was a young teen at the time and thought, “she didn’t go far enough.  You can’t just say no to drugs – you have to turn and say yes to Jesus!”  

There was a time when the 12-step program was centered around a faith and trust in God.  I think they tell you a “higher power” can be anything now – but it was originally all about God.  Lean on God instead of your addiction.  I’ve been through OA twice.  The second time, the leader explained the “higher power” as anything you place higher than yourself.  I wasn’t diggin’ on that, but I wasn’t the leader, so held my tongue.  I did – and yeah, it took a miracle.

Maybe your higher power is your cat…  but the only HIGHER POWER that you can always depend on to come through for you is Jesus Christ!  He will be by your side when temptations arise.

Let Jesus have your heart, soul, and mind…  let Him help you form some new habits – replacing your unhealthy and self-destructive habits.  🙂

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!  😉

 

 

 

WORLD KISS DAY

TL 7-6 WORLD KISS DAY

 

 

I’ll be watching “Angel and the Badman” today.  I was so happy to learn that it is now part of a growing number of movies in the public domain!  There’s just something about a bad boy, right ladies?  We can always “change” them…  yeah, right!

Is that too much passion for a Monday?  Sorry, but it is WORLD KISS DAY!!!  While I am not an authority on kisses or from whom to get them, I do know a bit about passion and how to calm your nerves.  Don’t let your imagination run away with you – I’m talking about tea!

Tea – even iced tea, has a calming effect on the brain, but passion fruit tea is especially unique.  It contains chemicals called Harman alkaloids, which help calm the nervous system.  These are the same alkaloids used in muscle relaxers due to the calming, healing properties.

7-6 THE MOST PASSIONATE DAY

You could go to Starbuck’s and buy an over-priced iced Passion Tea, OR you can make your own.  It’s not that difficult.  No, really – it’s really not.

You need:

2 quarts water

1/2 cup Splenda

4 Tazo Passion Tea bags

Bring water and Splenda to a boil.  Remove from heat and add tea bags.  Steep 1/2-1 hour.  Pour tea into pitcher and refrigerate.  Pour cold tea over ice in your cup with lid and shake!

It’s not enough to just make the tea.  Now you need the perfect spot to drink it.  Choose an environment that invokes a sense of peace to your soul.  Don’t drink it in front of the computer.  Don’t drink it in front of the TV.  Leave all technology behind for the time you are enjoying your Passion Iced Tea.

Maybe you don’t think you have time to do this, but trust me, you will be so glad you took the time.  We make time for the things that matter the most.  I take time every day to write a blog post (well, almost every day).  It’s my gift to encourage and I hope and pray that you have found this blog to be encouraging to your spirit.  ❤

 

 

 

NATIONAL DAY OF UNPLUGGING

TL 3-6 & 3-7 NATIONAL DAY OF UNPLUGGING

3-6 I'M GOING TO UNPLUG

Perhaps even more often than exchanging pleasantries, we also exchange dissatisfactions…  Two strangers complaining on a subway platform can end up cracking a smile or laughing, and though it would hardly be considered the beginning of a lifelong friendship, it is still neighborly.  – Mariana Alessandri, PhD

Today is the NATIONAL DAY OF UNPLUGGING.  For 24 hours we are encouraged to lay down all technology and do something that we are unaccustomed to…  REST!

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.   – Ovid

I am a firm believer in rest – naps – relaxing – taking a break.  So…  I am writing this post now (in January) to let you know I will be resting for the next 24 hours.  There won’t be a post tomorrow, but I will return with a new post on March 8th.

“You can always do more.  But if you do too much, they won’t get your best.”  My college roommate’s father, a third-grade teacher, told me this during my first year of teaching.  I was staying late every night and getting burned out.  He helped me accept that I couldn’t chase down every lesson idea or write sentences of explanation for each error.  It gave me the freedom to focus on interaction with kids.  That’s made all the difference.  – Sean McComb

Maybe you can catch up with a Stephen King novel.  Hmm…  if it’s dark, maybe not.

When I was a kid, I believed everything I was told, everything I read, and every dispatch sent out by my own overheated imagination.  This made for more than a few sleepless nights, but it also filled the world…  with colors and textures I would not have traded for a lifetime of restful nights.  – Stephen King

What do you need to do?  Well, I suggest you stop reading this and go REST.  Rest your thumbs so they don’t get arthritis prematurely.  Take a walk and leave your cell phone at home.  No texting.  If you turn your laptop and desktop off completely then you’ll be less tempted to check email or anything else.

Will you celebrate this time of rest with me?  Thinkin’ this guy won’t.

How much more dependent on technology are we in 2015 than we were in 2014?  Is it getting worse?  Is it a generational thing?  Well, of course it is!  When I was a kid I knew how to entertain myself with some of my dad’s old boards, some glue and some of my mom’s leftover yarn!  I used to sit for hours at the kitchen table, creating abstract works of art with these mediums!  Some of them were really quite GROOVY!  LOL!!!

Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.  – John F. Kennedy

The young people were born into technology and cannot imagine having to use their own imaginations to entertain themselves.  It’s all about communication with them!  The bad news is, they don’t have much inner vision.  The good news is, we are raising great communicators!!!  That’s not a bad thing in the workplace!

What is the sound of no hands texting?  – Brandon Specktor

I’m guessing most of my followers are over 20 years of age, so maybe my plea will not fall on deaf ears.  LOL!!!  Let’s go out and enjoy the real world around us – for just 24 hours.  Prove that you can be connected with those who actually live in your world.  You may learn something you would not have learned about them otherwise, you never know.  Wink!  😉

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL COFFEE DAY

TL 9-29 INTERNATIONAL COFFEE DAY

What kind of sweetener do you use in your morning cup of Joe???

A diabetic needs as many facts as possible when choosing foods, but have you given much thought to the sweetener you use? There are so many choices out there! Most of us know that sugar is not really an option because it’s a simple carbohydrate and raises blood sugar very quickly. It has 15 calories per teaspoon.

When I was a kid in the 1960’s, the first diet soda, TAB, hit the market. That is the only soda my mother would drink. It was sweetened with SACCHARIN, which was linked to cancer back then, but that research was debunked, and the FDA and the National Cancer Institute believe it is safe. Saccharin these days goes under the name SWEET ‘N LOW. I call it as PINK SWEET. I don’t use pink, but I just don’t like the aftertaste.

A product containing ASPARTAME came out called EQUAL. It has 4 calories per teaspoon and is 200 times sweeter than sugar. It’s not easy to cook with and doesn’t work well in baked goods. Aspartame is deemed safe by the FDA and the National Cancer Institute, however, a study of more than 3,000 women linked it with kidney decline. Diabetics fight kidney issues to begin with, so for that reason alone I choose to leave aspartame alone. I call Equal BLUE SWEET. I don’t use blue, but it’s because I don’t like the aftertaste. I hate to disagree with Cher, but… oh well.

Then an artificial sweetener came out that begins as table sugar, undergoes a chemical process, and comes out 600 times sweeter than sugar with no calories. When you cook with it, use only half cup for one cup of sugar and check baked goods a few minutes before the recipe suggests. SPLENDA is my number two choice of artificial sweeteners. I call it YELLOW SWEET. I’m cautiously optimistic about SUCRALOSE, but wonder about chemically altering sugarcane. I think it’s too soon to tell if there are any side effects. It’s just too soon to tell. I use it – mostly in store-bought “diet” products such as diet cranberry juice, etc.

I use STEVIA, a zero-calorie sweetener extracted from a South American plant that is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar. I do not recommend the brand Pure Via or Truvia. I like spoonable Stevia and liquid stevia in coffee flavor for my coffee in the morning. There are also flavors like English toffee and lemon drop. Go to http://www.iherb.com for more information. And you can use Leslie’s code to save $5 off your first order.

OK – I think this guy is nuts – but there ya go.

Other natural choices would be agave nectar and monk fruit extract. Surprisingly, agave’s glycemic index is lower than sugar’s. It is not, however, calorie-free. It is better than sugar but not ideal in my opinion. Monk fruit extract is calorie-free and 150-300 times sweeter than sugar. It’s a little tricky to cook with because it varies in sweetness. Something more consistent should be used for cooking or baking.

We’ve come a long way since the days of TAB and horrible aftertaste! It’s great that we have so many choices these days. I’m so glad that diabetics can enjoy just a bit of SWEET once in a while. 😉

NATIONAL COMIC BOOK DAY

TL 9-25 NATIONAL COMIC BOOK DAY

Have you ever wanted to put on your red cape and be a super hero???  Hmm…  I can’t think about that without thinking of Frankie Heck from the series “The Middle”.  The first time I saw that pilot episode, I literally rolled on the floor laughing when I heard her say, “I put on my SPANX and went!”  It’s just a pretty funny show!

Today is NATIONAL COMIC BOOK DAY!!!  If ever we needed some comic relief – it’s now!  What were the popular comic books when you were a kid?  My husband likes Hagar the Horrible.  I don’t think comic books are something that I just had to have as a kid, but once in a while I enjoyed reading a Super Man comic book.  There’s just something about a tall, strong man wearing a red cape!

If that red cape gave me supernatural powers, I’d wear it, wouldn’t you?  This world needs some super heroes for sure.  Who do your kids and grandkids look up to ?  There just are not any decent heroes out there these days.  We need some positive influences for the kids – desperately.

We see our government officials doing anything they want whether it’s legal or not – with no fear of being held accountable.  What does that teach the kids?  We don’t have to feel shame for doing wrong anymore because nobody will punish us for doing the wrong thing.  Wow – what a slippery slope!

The Bible clearly teaches the concept of right and wrong – good and bad.  Where are all the positive influences for children?

 God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please — you can never have both.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now more than ever it’s up to the family of kids to be the hero and wear the red cape – show the morals and values that matter and will teach children how to travel the high road in life.  We can no longer look outside our own gated community – well, unless we watch Veggie Tales or something.  Videos are the new comic books, right?

I think most parents enjoy wearing the red cape to escape reality once in a while – and that’s not a bad thing.  Your kids and grandkids need to see your super hero qualities once in a while.  😉

PRAIRIE DAY

TL 9-13 PRAIRIE DAY

9-13 STATE FAIR

It’s PRAIRIE DAY and we celebrated big this year!

Our Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, KS is in full swing and the party on the prairie is a great place to go for a fun learning experience.

Today was Heritage Farming Day at the fair. Beginning at 8am there was a 4-H/FFA dairy goat judging at the Sheep, Swine and Goat Building. That’s not really our thing, so we went over to the Expo Center to watch the 4-H Horse Show. Horses are such large creatures, yet they were so graceful and amazing. We don’t spend much time in the Sheep, Swine and Goat Building. If I have to explain why, you are obviously not familiar with the downside of farming.

We watched the 4-H demonstrations over at the 4-H Centennial Hall for a while, then took a walk over to Dr. Goddard’s Lab at the Do Art Building. I enjoy the Exotic Animal Petting Zoo, so we spent a little time there. I left with all my digits intact, so I feel very blessed.

I’m convinced that a person has not lived until they have at least watched one pig race. Yep – that was a hoot, like it is every year!

It’s fun to see the Antique Farm Machinery Show. Technology has brought farming a long way. Oh, and we had to watch the “Give a Chicken a Bath” demonstration in the Poultry Building. I thought it was fun giving my dog a bath. Oh… pleeeeze!

We caught just a few moments of Glenda & Mike’s Magic Show at the Nex-Tech Wireless Stage. Have you ever seen a guy carve wood with a chainsaw? It’s quite a sight! It’s like whittling on steroids! Of course, no trip to the fair is complete without junk food for lunch. We always get a Pronto Pup and it’s one of the few times I give myself permission to have a soda.

While we sat at the nearly clean picnic table, I did some people watching. You see everything on the fair grounds – and at the local Wal-Mart. Jus’ sayin’…

We just walked around a little, then watched the Simental Beef Cattle Judging at the Prairie Pavilion. We didn’t stay there long – it got boring. We watched the Milking Demonstration at the Milking Parlor for a while.

My Pronto Pup was making me sleepy and my feet were getting tired. We sat down to listen to an outdoor concert for a while. I can’t remember who was singing, but he was sure good. I’ll be honest, that bench sure felt good.

We wandered around aimlessly for a while, looking at the goods for sale along the midway. We went into the Young Injury Lawyers Arena for a Quilt Auction for the quilt made from 2013 Quilt Block contest entries. I wish I could have bid on it because it was so pretty.

I admire people who can quilt, or can, or grow things. I have absolutely no inclination in that “domestic” direction whatsoever. I write and play music, neither of which will come in handy if my family is starving or cold.

We debated about staying to hear the Show Choir and watch Disney’s “Frozen”, but decided we still had a drive ahead of us to get back to Wichita, so we left.

It was quite a day at our Kansas State Fair! 🙂

WORLD JUMP DAY

TL 7-20 WORLD JUMP DAY

7-20 WHAT'S JUMPING

There is no sound judgment or science to back this theory – but it was thought that if everyone began jumping for 2 minutes straight at a synchronized time – it would knock the earth off its axis.  Newsflash – not gonna happen.  I’ll tell you what some benefits of jumping today are:

Weight Loss  Hey – it’s good exercise.  It would look less silly if you were jumping a rope or doing jumping jacks, but if you jump non-stop for a couple of minutes it could only be a positive move.

Wake Up Some of us just blindly waddle to the bathroom and waddle blindly to the coffee maker.  The chances of your eyes opening wide and your brain thinking clearly improve when you have engaged in some physical activity.

Reason to Laugh Make plans with someone to jump for 2 minutes today.  As you watch your friend you cannot help but bust out laughing!  That alone should help you have a better day.

Making a Memory If you decide to be a part of this celebration, make sure somebody has a camera!  What a fun photo to put in a scrapbook!

Choose a Special Location If you have a group of folks from your church, why not meet at the church to do the jumping?  You can always bring a snack and have a brunch afterwards.  Hey – any excuse to eat at church, right?

Here’s a great song to jump to:

So maybe we won’t shift the orbit of planet Earth, stop global warming, extend daytime hours or create a more homogenous climate, but it will still be a fun time!  If 600 million folks jump up and down for 2 minutes it really won’t make a big change to the planet, but it might put you in a better mood to face the day!  Some call it a hoax, but I just think it’s all in good fun.  😉

 

 

 

CHICK-FIL-A’S COW APPRECIATION DAY

TL 7-11 CHICK-FIL-A'S COW APPRECIATION DAY

7-11 RISE ABOVE

The theme of the Christian life is based on forgiveness.  Once you are at peace with all around you, it’s time to enjoy life and have some fun.  Today is the day to dress up like a cow and go to Chick-fil-A for a free sandwich.  It’s amazing how much more fun life can be once the air is cleared.

To harbor a grudge against someone is to allow them to live rent-free in your mind. When people hurt us or make us angry, we often hold on to those feelings for a long time. Have you ever asked yourself why you can’t let something go when you need to? I wonder if God is trying to help us get tougher and maybe wiser at the same time.

To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that. I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind. – Luke 6:27-36

It takes a degree of maturity to obey and pray for those who hate you. Once you begin to pray for someone, you can never hate them again. Hate turns to pity and you are then able to love that person with genuine compassion that comes from God.  Eventually you might even be able to invite them to go to Chick-fil-A with you for COW APPRECIATION DAY.

It’s a challenge, but we have to forgive because we have been forgiven by our Lord. ❤