A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (29)AWell, we are nearly a month into winter and it’s not been too bad yet here in Kansas.  We’ve had a couple of earthquakes, but not much snow so far.  Every day that we have mild temperatures and no snow, I thank God because I’m not a big fan of ice and snow – at all.

LEFTOVER SNOW

But what’s Coyote John up to???  Looks like he’s LOST IN THE WIND!  That’s not difficult in Kansas – trust me!  😉

https://youtu.be/I5pE_T8dZh0

I enjoy watching videos on YouTube that my friend John makes.  He shows us the outdoors like nobody else does!  Most of us drive along the highway, passing by all that Mother Nature has to show us.  Let’s watch his most recent video recorded last December.

https://youtu.be/UuU6iLJif5o

To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more          welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.  – Helen Keller

GOD'S THEREBetween RA, sciatica and type 2 diabetes, there are days when I can barely function.  I wonder if people like John know how much it helps to be able to watch their YouTube videos?  It’s the next best thing to getting out for a walk myself!

https://youtu.be/2SoMjOMfXrI

O, money can’t buy the delights of the glen,
Nor Poetry sing all its charms:
There’s a solace and calm ne’er described by the pen
When we’re folded within Nature’s arms!  

 – James Rigg, “Nutting Time,” Wild Flower Lyrics and Other Poems, 1897

https://youtu.be/OE2SIy64oTI

POEM FROM THE PRAIRIE LADY

Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars… and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers — for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.  – Osho

A great big THANK YOU to John for showing us nature in winter – while we sit indoors all snug and warm.  😉

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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BECAUSE GOD IS LOVE

Would it be okay if I shared a little about our visit to Ohio for our anniversary a few weeks ago?  We spent a night at THE ORCHARD HOUSE in Granville, Ohio, a Bed & Breakfast about a half hour from The Longaberger Homestead.

The Walden Room
The Walden Room at THE ORCHARD HOUSE

There was great significance in choosing this room for me.  One of my favorite authors is Henry David Thoreau!  Obviously, my husband put a great deal of thought into this trip.  It was perfect!

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.  —Henry David Thoreau, Walden, “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For”

He was not only a philosopher and poet, but he also embraced a sort of civil disobedience and there’s something about that…  well, it appeals to me.  :-/
Driving from Kansas to Ohio was in itself an accomplishment.  We were weary from travel and ready to move around.  Sitting in one spot except for the occasional potty break at the truck stop makes my old bones stiff and sore.
As we drove up to The Orchard House, I could not help but notice the long, narrow drive leading up to the house.  I think the last time I saw a driveway like that was in the movie “The Bridges of Madison County” I knew this would be a very romantic evening from that moment.
There are twelve acres, most of it wide open spaces, perfect for walking and talking – and holding hands.  On the back of the property are farm animals to see.  We found goats, chickens and one sheep with a ton of wool and very long horns.  There was also an alpaca with the funniest little smile.
 We meandered toward the front yard and discovered an apple tree.  I guess that’s why it’s called The Orchard House.  The apples were green and not fit to eat, but I did find a horse in a field across the driveway who seemed interested in eating it.  Somehow I get the impression I’m not the first person who has fed him an apple.  It’s as though he was just standing there waiting for the notion to occur to me.
As the sun was setting in Ohio, we sat in comfy wooden chairs in the front yard.  It’s strange, the house was full, yet it was as though we were the only people there!  It was so quiet – all I could hear was the sound of locusts.  That’s not something I’ve had memory of hearing since I was a kid.
I felt as though we were being a bit Thoreau-like in our journey.  Our hearts and minds were open to every new sighting.  Maybe we were just so grateful to finally be outside instead of stuck in the truck – traveling.
This world is but a canvas to our imagination.  – Henry David Thoreau
Inside the house there were all sorts of good things waiting for us.  In the dining room there was a glass footed cake plate with a lid, filled with slices of homemade banana bread!  There were little conversation spots throughout the house where we could sit and watch TV or just talk.
The atmosphere invited us to relax and breathe.  To be honest, shortly after the sun set, it invited us to crash and sleep!  But isn’t that what we need to do after driving so far?
I enjoyed looking at the lovely antiques and soaking in the sense of calm around me.  I packed my laptop and took it to the room, but to be honest, if I would have taken it out it would have ruined the vibe – so it stayed packed up! 
 Breakfast was amazing!  Every Bed & Breakfast has their own specialty, and the special recipe at The Orchard House is Sweet Potato Hash.  It is sautéed onion, red bell pepper and diced sweet potato (skin on), with African spice.  It is so addictive and very healthy!  We have made this recipe for breakfast, lunch and sometimes supper so many times since we’ve been back home.  Along with the hash we were given a farm-fresh fried egg and thick-sliced bacon.  Ah…  it was so good!
I’m reading Walden again…  it’s better than ever now that I’ve been to The Orchard House.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

The LORD is never a disappointment!  His counsel is concise and clear.  His love is perfect and He is patient and kind.

WHEN YOU LIFT MY SPIRIT

Have you ever paid a large sum of money to attend a conference with the hope of coming away a more enlightened (maybe even smarter) individual?  I see you nodding in agreement.  Now, how many times have you gone to the seminar and been given an exercise in futility?  Oh, you’re still nodding!

We’ve all been there.  We have our notebooks, booklets and intend to soak up every bit of knowledge we possibly can.  We leave the building with more questions than answers and a notebook full of doodles we could have drawn while watching a daytime drama on television.

Isn’t it frustrating to pay money for something and receive nothing?  It’s especially bad when you’re in a forum that discourages questions from the peanut gallery.  You feel as though you just have to sit there and keep listening to the fingernails scratching the chalkboard.

Several years ago, I was at a lecture by a brilliant speaker, Nido Qubein, who said, “If you’re in the presence of a true expert, you will understand everything they say.  If you don’t understand what someone is saying, they are not an expert.”  Often when we don’t understand what someone who is claiming to be an expert is saying, we tend to blame ourselves.  Now my filters are simple.  I cut people off if they don’t make sense.  – Julie Morgenstern

Honestly, sometimes you are better off using google – or at least not any worse off.  Who are these so-called “experts” that seem to speak fluent confusioneese?  It seems to me if a person is a true expert in their field, they should be equipped and informed enough to break the information down into palatable bites for those of us who are anxious and have the desire to learn.

A student is not supposed to know more than the teacher.  With that basic fact in mind, teachers should be prepared to present lessons in easy to understand, simple language with illustrations for those of us who tend to learn visually (pointing to myself).  Wink!  😉

BOOK LOVER’S DAY

TL 11-1 BOOK LOVER'S DAY

11-1 WHEN I LOOK AT A BOOK

If you find prayer to be a bit intimidating like I do, read “Before Amen” by Max Lucado.

Would you like to go on a great adventure and make some new friends along the way?  May I suggest you pick up a book today?  Between the covers of a book are untold treats for the mind’s eye.  When I walk into a bookstore my brain kicks in and my heart beats faster.

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.  – Edward P. Morgan

Today is BOOK LOVER’S DAY!  What better time to explore all the different types of books we can use to make our lives richer and fuller (or maybe just get a good laugh).

There are several different sections to choose from in your local library or bookstore.  Maybe you’re not interested in going on a wild adventure today, maybe you just want some specific help with something personal.  I find the Self-help section very useful and have landed there many times.

 Let books be your dining table,
And you shall be full of delights
Let them be your mattress
And you shall sleep restful nights.
– Author Unknown

Our local library has a Travel section that catches my eye when the weather is bleak and I have cabin fever during the winter months.  Those books – any of them, can transport me from Wichita in winter to anywhere I want to go.  It’s like a great vacation for my mind which ultimately improves my mood and attitude as well.

How about a Thriller?  As long as it is broad daylight and I’m not alone in the house, it’s okay on occasion.

There’s one thing I’m sure about.  An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story.  It should say:  Listen.  Come in here.  You want to know more about this.  – Stephen King

I enjoy a good Biography now and then.  Although fiction tickles my fancy once in a while, I enjoy the real life stories of people who have shaped the course of history.  The “killing” books that Bill O’Reilly has published come to mind – and they are very well researched and keep me turning pages for hours.

There are sections called Creative and Art, respectfully.  Whether you are interested in learning a craft or you just wish to appreciate art, there are plenty of books available.

The Religious section does, of course, interest me.  I have favorite authors such as Max Lucado and Billy Graham (of course, his latest project was in the form of a video called My Hope for America)  I’ve posted that video on my blog, but would encourage you to watch it on YouTube.  At 95 years old he is still pleading with us to pray and seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways.  There is a special place in heaven for that man.

As you all know, my favorite poet is Lucinda Berry Hill.  She has a new book coming out soon and I hope you plan to add it to your Coffee collection.  Her first book, “Coffee with Jesus” gives us a poem for every week of the year.  Her new book is “A Second Cup with Jesus” – and it is even better than the first book.  I hope you will make it part of your home library.  I know I will. 

A SECOND CUP WITH JESUS9

 

WORLD BOOK DAY

TL 3-5 WORLD BOOK DAY

It’s WORLD BOOK DAY and we are celebrating along with other authors, illustrators and readers of all ages!  This is the 17th annual celebration and we want it to be the biggest yet.  It’s time to flip the switch on for kids and turn them on to reading.  Let’s show them that adventure waits between the covers of a book.  They can travel anywhere they want and do anything they want to do.

Book tokens are being sent to schools to give to children so they can have their own book to read.   National Book Tokens Ltd, publishers and booksellers come together to make this happen.  Millions of book vouchers will be sent to children and young people this year.

The kids then take their voucher to a local bookseller and use it to pick one of eight books.  Or, they can get a percentage off of a book or audio book over a specified amount.

It’s all about getting kids closer to the books and authors they already love, and letting them discover more books and authors they’ll love every bit as much in the future.

 A good book on your shelf is a friend that turns its back on you and remains a friend.  – Author Unknown

I took a peek at the list and there are some very cute titles to choose from.  Any child would be thrilled to get any of these books.

Children’s books have changed a bit since the days of Curious George, haven’t they?

 A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.  – Edward P. Morgan

It’s a wonderful  thing to see a child’s face when they suddenly understand a concept or solve a puzzle or answer their own question.  Through reading they grow and growing makes them street smart in the world.  Many children will be given a new book and that’s certainly reason to celebrate!  😀

THANKS LIVING DAY 12

TL THANKSGIVING

PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN AUTHORS

Not every Christian enjoys Christian fiction. A few folks have shared with me that they don’t believe Christian fiction is proper to read. I like Christian fiction and see nothing wrong with a made-up story with real faith entwined. Jesus told parables – and they were not real stories but had a good moral. I watch “The Andy Griffith Show” – Mayberry is not a real town and those are not real people, but it’s a good wholesome program and also teaches good values. I miss the moral to the stories on TV, don’t you?

Well, whether you are a fan of Christian fiction or not, there are some wonderful Christian authors out there! Today I am thankful for the adventures we are able to take with Christian fiction. I’m so very thankful for the people who create those great adventures for us!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes about being thankful:

Let us thank God heartily as often as we pray that we have His Spirit in us to teach us to pray. Thanksgiving will draw our hearts out to God and keep us engaged with Him; it will take our attention from ourselves and give the Spirit room in our hearts. – Andrew Murray (1828-1917), South African born missionary and minister.

The prayer that begins with trustfulness, and passes on into waiting, will always end in thankfulness, triumph, and praise. – Alexander MacLaren (1826-1910), Scottish born minister of Great Britain.

Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it. – A.W. Tozer (1897-1963), Christian author and church pastor in America and Canada.

The Lord has given us a table at which to feast, not an altar on which a victim is to be offered; He has not consecrated priests to make sacrifice, but servants to distribute the sacred feast. – John Calvin (1509-1564), French theologian and major church reformer.

The height of devotion is reached when reverence and contemplation produce passionate worship, which in turn breaks forth in thanksgiving and praise in word and song. – R. Kent Hughes, American church planter, pastor, author, Bible commentator.

I’m thankful for the Christian authors who transport me to another place every time I pick up their books.  ❤