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!  🙂

 

 

God Bless You

What IS a blessing?  Well, the kind of blessings we’re talking about today are the invoking of God’s favor upon a person.  While I’m not big on the luck of the Irish, I love Irish blessings!  No country invokes God’s favor upon others quite like the Irish!

Since it’s just one day past St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to take this opportunity to invoke God’s favor upon you!  Fasten your seat belt…  here we go!

28 May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness— an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.  – Genesis 27:28-29

Isn’t that a beautiful photograph?  It was taken by our friend and fellow poet, David Catherwood.

Is there a wedding in your future?  Here’s a beautiful marriage blessing:

OH…  written in the key of E…  ugh.  Good for a guitar player – difficult for a piano player.  LOL!  I could play it…  but I wouldn’t LIKE it.

Here’s a beautiful poem by Lucinda Berry Hill:

We are blessed by God and in turn we bless others.

Near Powerscourt Castle in Ireland

And last, but certainly not least – this beautiful Irish prayer.  I pray this for each of you!

I hope and pray you have a wonderful, blessed week!  🙂

His Breath

The last sentence of this quote made me cry!  God is love – He’s not like love…  He IS love, yet to Him, I’m so beautiful that I take HIS breath away???  Wow…  just WOW!  Little ol’ me does that?  Incredible!  Thank You, Lord! 

Sometimes I do sort of think of God as a sort of “Wizard of Oz” kind of computerized being in the sky.  I know we’re made in His image, so why I think He may be computerized – I have no idea.  I blame it on living in Kansas.  I’ve actually walked that yellow brick road and have seen the movie a gazillion times.

In reality, our God is a loving and compassionate God.  He’s higher than us, yes – always.  His angels are a little higher than us – but He is way higher – that’s why we worship Him.  He alone is worthy of all our praise!

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  – Romans 5:8

I taught Kindergarten children in Sunday School for a long time.  I’ve probably heard every “How come” question you can think of.  How come grass is green?  I usually answered that ours is brown and the neighbor’s is green.  I don’t know the answers to most simple questions they ask.  The most difficult question is, how old is God?

How old is God???  Try explaining the inexplicable to kids with attention spans the size of sugar ants.  I never had to answer the question because by the time I gave it some thought, they’re ready to move on to something else – the puzzle or the flannel board.  Frankly, I’m thankful for the attention span of a small child!  I remember thinking, “Whew!  Dodged that bullet!”

I’m so thankful for God’s love toward His children.  I’m thankful for childlike faith because we all have questions – some will be answered on this side of Heaven, but so many will not.  May we know when to press for answers and when to set the question aside and accept that we won’t get answers until we get to Heaven – and probably by then, it won’t matter what the answer is.

Wow!  I’m beautiful to God…  that’s probably the most encouraging bit of news I’ve heard so far this year!  You’re beautiful to God too.  You take His breath away!  Yep, you do!  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

a-commentary-from-the-heart-3

 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  – 1 Corinthians 3:7

I’m the first to admit that winter is not my favorite season.  Some of my friends think it’s the bees knees, but no – not me.  I’m simply tickled to see spring peeking around the corner, although here in Kansas we had a remarkably mild winter.  I’m not complaining! 

There’s nothing like that first time in the garden in spring!  Gardening just makes one feel so close to nature and more alive somehow, doesn’t it?  This portion of Scripture is not talking about literal gardening though – it’s talking about spiritual gardening.

a-seed-that-flourished

Who’s doing the planting?  All of us, as God’s children, need to be scattering “seed” – that is, sharing our faith, at every given opportunity.  It seems when I hear the word WITNESSING, my knees begin to buckle – but if I’m told to share my faith – that’s really more natural and makes me more comfortable.  Just tell your story – that’s about it.  I was blind – but now I see.  That is scattering seed.  It’s not complicated – but so often we make it so.

Once seed is planted…  who waters them?  Well, God sends the right people along to do that.  It could be any of us, really.  Again, watering seed is like sowing it – you just keep sharing your faith and be there to answer questions, read Scripture, and pray with folks.  Sometimes you share and get a door slammed in your face.  That’s okay because you did what you’re supposed to do.  If someone’s not ready, you’ve still planted a seed.  I might add, this is a big reason we should do our best to avoid being a stumbling block to those who are still on the fence.  We have to be so careful – we don’t want anything we say or do to be the reason someone does not come to a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus.  I don’t have to remind you what God said about those who are stumbling blocks, do I?  No – that’s for another blog post.grow

Do we make the seeds grow?  NO WAY!  I can’t save anyone – this blog can’t save anyone.  Belief on the Lord Jesus Christ…  that can save everyone!!!  I pray it does.  How different our interactions with one another would be if we were all more kind, gracious, and sweet.  It would be so beautiful if every seed would flourish.  🙂

WE’VE PACKED OUR DUDS… LET’S GO

WE'VE PACKED OUR DUDS... LET'S GO!

FAMILY VACATION

We recently enjoyed a great trip to Peoria, IL for the National Autumn Leaf Collector’s Club convention.  We renewed friendships, had lovely conversations and of course we shopped for Hall china.  Even though the folks in the club collect the autumn leaf pattern, there are always a few other patterns for sale as well.

815c98b2ab8bd0b48227a628911d6e01

As serious as we are about our collection, we are more serious about the entertainment at our end of the week banquet!  I especially enjoyed the entertainment this year because I LOVE ELVIS!  Okay, the guy had the wig and the big (BIG) dark glasses, so I don’t really think he LOOKED like Elvis without all that, but I sat and listened – and when I closed my eyes, it was like the KING of Rock & Roll was in the room – no joke!  He was really good.  😀027

ME & ELVIS

I told “Elvis” that I enjoyed his performance and that when I closed my eyes, he sounded just like the original Elvis.  Still in character, he did the “Elvis lip” (you will either understand that or you won’t)…  and said, “Thank you…  thank you very much.”  I also told him I didn’t think he needed a gym membership, as I’m pretty sure these shows keep him very fit.  He said, “This was my only show today.  Sometimes I do 2 or 3 a day.”

I have found the history of Hall China and the autumn leaf pattern quite interesting.  As usual, I wrote a poem about it.  I was so tickled that it was published in the NALCC newsletter!  I’m not sure if I’ve shared it here on the blog, but I’m going to share it here today.

WE THANK YOU SINCERELYWe began collecting these dishes because my husband’s mother had them and used them every day.   There was a time when a little brown truck delivered not only dishes, but cleaning supplies and food products to your door.  No, it wasn’t UPS…  it was the Jewel Tea man!  I was chatting with a former sales rep with Jewel about how the times changed and Jewel had a difficult time changing with them.  When women started leaving the home to work full-time jobs, they were no longer home during the day, so the need for home delivery was not necessary anymore.

I wonder how House of Schwan stays in business?  Hmm…  maybe they are willing to deliver their products to the workplace.  And they sell food – wonderful yummy food.

When our convention ended, we headed east on I-70.  Illinois to Indiana…  Indiana to Ohio.  We don’t change our watches or the clock in our truck when we cross a time zone, but once in a while I forgot that we needed to add an hour…  it got interesting.  😉

We shopped at a few antique stores along the way, of course.  The closer to the Longaberger Homestead we got, the more of their baskets I found!  I also found some sugar-free apple butter for $4.50 a jar at Webb’s Antique Mall in Centerville, IL.  I picked up several jars because it is a mere 4 grams of carbs per serving!  They sell apple butter here in Wichita, but I’ve not seen any sugar-free varieties.  Score!

Dutch Country Kettle sugar-free apple butter is delicious and does not raise my blood glucose.  🙂  This morning I spread some on my hotcakes, made with Carbquick (a product similar to Bisquick, but 90% lower in carbohydrates).

DCK%20Sugar%20Free%20Apple%20Butter

This will sound weird, but consider the source.  😉  We didn’t want to pay S&H on Carbquick, so we got online and found a grocery store in Terre Haute, IN that sells it.

BAESLER’S MARKET
2900 POPLAR ST.
TERRE HAUTE, IN 47803
Phone: 812-232-2498

We bought a few boxes, packed them in the truck and kept going east.

We finally got to the Longaberger Homestead!  YAY!!!  We made (actually I made…) a TAKE ALONG basket with dark purple and bright green accent colors that will look very nice in our dining room.  We’re going to put it on our bench in front of the bay window.  We found a plate that says HAPPY ANNIVERSARY in pewter, and got a free heart-shaped tie-on that we can customize for it.  A great big THANK YOU to Lisa at Longaberger’s Homestead for helping me make my basket.  050

053TA DA…

My husband booked a night at The Inn at Dresden for our 30th wedding anniversary.

THE INN ON THE HILL

065055056057059

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The view was remarkable!  Hills are not what I’m accustomed to, having lived in Kansas my whole life.  This was so nice.064066067068069071We stayed in the Gallery room – down a couple of flights of stairs and to the left as far as you can go…  very nice. 063

LOL…  a greeter stood at the end of the hallway!  He said about as much as most Walmart greeters I’ve met…  ha!062

061Isn’t that a pretty painted piece?  There was a tray with two glasses and a carafe’ setting on a tray on top of the little fridge.  It was filtered ice water – so refreshing!  It tasted so good after walking up that hill to get back to the Inn.  Toto, I don’t think this is Kansas!  That bit of exploration was just a practice jaunt for what hiking was ahead…  😉

080Two different kinds of clouds there…  :-/

We spent the day going from store to store in downtown Dresden.  I found a lid for my waste basket and was so excited about it – what a weird thing to get excited about, huh???

When we got to Logan, Ohio, we stopped at the Welcome Center to ask questions and make the usual pit stop…  LOL.  121

Sorry lady – I try not to get a shot with people in it unless they’re people I know.  Oops.  Hey – you see that little brown building on the R.H. side of the photo???  Guess what that is?  You’ll never guess…  nah, you’re way off…  want me to tell ya?  It’s a PENCIL SHARPENER MUSEUM!  Nope – not joking – that’s what it is.  We got pictures!124 125127128129130131I had no idea such a museum existed…  did you???  Well – now we know – it does!123

The friendly lady at the welcome center was so helpful.  She highlighted the trails and told us which ones would be the easiest to walk.  I appreciated having that information.  We decided to try to do a little hiking in Ohio.  Logan, Ohio is so beautiful and is the home of Hocking Hills State Park.  There are several hiking trails and we knew we couldn’t walk all of them.  We went to see Old Man’s Cave first.  I like the bridge inside.

A nice young man offered to take both our photos behind the sign.  You don’t always feel trusting, but when he asked, “You want me to take both youin’s picture?”  – we decided it was probably okay and we appreciate his kindness.  It’s nice to know that some people do good deeds because it’s a good thing to do.136

139140143146Okay, this is going to sound totally weird…  but when I saw this photo of the bridge, I was reminded of the painting by Thomas Kinkade – Bridge of Hope.  Don’t ask me why, but it looks like that painting to me.  Of course, the colors are not at all similar, but the arrangement somehow – the trees and so forth.  Oh well, moving on…

There were not too many stairs at Old Man’s Cave – but I can’t say the same for Cedar Falls…  going down the stairs was not so bad – it was coming back up that was painful on my poor knees!

147149150152There were all kinds of fish in the water, but we never expected to see this little dude!  153

154They told us at the Logan Welcome Center that they needed rain and the falls were not as full of water as usual.  I guess Kansas is not the only state in need of moisture.  😦

Fortunately, we were traveling with a jar of Miracle Ice – our joints were well cared for after that hike!  But isn’t it beautiful?  The videos don’t do them justice.  It was nice to get away from television and radio broadcasts for a day – and be totally connected with nature and the God who made it.  I’m praying for rain…  we all need it.  🙂

 

 

 

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.  🙂

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.  😉