A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Not all preachers stand behind a pulpit on Sunday morning at 10:45 am and again at 6 pm.  Anyone who claims the name of Christ is to be sharing the good news of His gospel with others in any way possible.  Sometimes it means writing a blog post every day, feeling humbled in your heart and a bit jumbled in your brain because of dyslexia.  God can use what I write though – not because it’s so riveting and exciting…  but because it’s what God wants me to write.  A wise writer once told me that I need to share what I write whether I think it’s good or not because God knows somebody who needs to read it.  He’ll make sure what I write gets seen by the right people.

Have you ever seen someone get reproved or rebuked by someone with patience?  It’s rare that a person can actually do that because there’s usually some degree of emotion involved and sadly, it’s generally anger.  But I got to witness a pastor reprove and rebuke someone on his staff once and by the time he was finished, I felt as if I’d been in the most wonderful class ever on diplomacy and tact.  I knew that God’s Holy Spirit was guiding every gesture he made and every word he said.  He got the point across and there were absolutely no hurt feelings and he didn’t have a bit of damage control to worry about.  Thank God! 

To exhort means to urge, advise, or caution earnestly; admonish urgently.  It can be dicey to do this, but there are times when it’s necessary.  Again, if we will take time before rushing in to seek God’s Holy Spirit and let Him guide our words and actions, it’s amazing how much better things will go.  Nobody wants to hurt feelings, but when there are differences of opinion, rather than knock heads together as you’d do in your own wisdom – ask God to help you as you negotiate a compromise in the situation.  Blessed are the peacemakers.  There’s a blessing waiting for you if you’ll do things God’s way.  Have you read the story of Jonah?  I rest my case. 

I keep thinking about that last phrase…  with COMPLETE patience and teaching.  That’s impossible to do in our own strength!  The natural man has nearly zero patience.  If you don’t believe me, drive around downtown Wichita at 5 pm on any weeknight.  Horns honk and fingers flip…  um, exercise.  Yep – road rage…  the struggle is real, folks.

God gave His all for me – He just keeps on loving me.  He hasn’t given up on me, so I need to hang in there with others.  Only through God’s Holy Spirit can we develop COMPLETE patience and teaching.  It’s a preacher’s job to lead by example and while yes they’re human (we do get that) – but like every Christian who has been a Christian for a number of years, there should be that desire to be patient with the congregation.  Is it easy?  Nope.  Is it possible with God’s help?  Yep.

Today is the first day of CONSIDER CHRISTIANITY WEEK!!!  I hope you will accept Jesus into your heart and life today.   If you are a Christian, don’t forget to share your faith with someone this week.   

Well, 2 Timothy 4:2 is my birthday verse.  I’m 56 years old today – woo-hoo!  I wrote a silly little poem from my silly little heart.

I really do love the rain.  I loved it more before I wore glasses because the rain messes my lenses up – but I still love the rain.  I can remember having snow a couple of times on my birthday, which I’m not a big fan of – one time I had to cancel a birthday party because we had so much snow.  That was a major bummer all the way around.

You know I love donkeys, right?  Well – if you didn’t know before, now you do.  Look what I found…

Keep sharing your faith wherever you go, and ask God’s Holy Spirit to help you have COMPLETE patience and teaching with everyone.  Just plant the gospel seeds.  The world won’t be forced with an iron fist and we can’t yell anyone to the altar.  We just have to love folks and pray for them.  🙂

 

 

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GUMDROP DAY

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Happy Gumdrop Day!!!  I’d also like to say happy birthday to my sweet mother in Heaven.

The first thing I thought of when I saw that it’s Gumdrop Day was how my mother used gumdrops to decorate a simple, clear plastic tree-shape at Christmastime.  It was so cute!

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Gumdrops come in both fruit and spice varieties.  Sometimes the spice ones are called spice drops.  Some folks use gumdrops for decorating baked goods, gingerbread houses and other crafting.  I like to eat them out of my hand – and I prefer the spice drops to the plain fruit gumdrops.
In the U.S., three other “old-fashioned” gumdrop candies are also popular:  Orange Slices, Licorice Babies, and Spearmint Leaves.  These are larger than traditional gumdrops or spice drops.
Sometimes my mom would use the same plastic tree to put pastel colored spice drops on for Easter.
 Do I have you tempted to buy some gumdrops?  Let’s take a look at oldtimecandy.com:
Interestingly enough, these are the larger size gumdrops – I couldn’t find the smaller ones here.  I’m a little surprised since this is old-time candy.  😉
SMILE

Don’t be afraid,
Don’t hold a grudge
Just ease back your fears
And smile.
Look at a young child
and wonder what makes them smile,
Lollipops, Gumdrops, Butterfly’s?
Chocolate, Rainbows, Blue sky’s?
What makes you smile?
Sun sets, Sun rise, Blue sky’s?
Roses, Noses Kisses, love?
A Fairy Tale, A happy ending, A white dove?

Bring the  things that you have that your already smiling at.
Family. Friends. Children. Mom. Dad.
Shelter. Food. Money.
Growth. Comfort
Love.
Just relax. And Smile.

Magean Martin

Although gumdrops are usually associated with Christmas, you can make up a batch for Easter for decorating or to have on hand for a sweet treat.  🙂

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http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/homemade-gumdrops

 

NATIONAL SENIOR CITIZENS DAY

8-21 NATIONAL SENIOR CITIZENS DAY

The older I get, the younger everyone else looks!  – Linda Palmer

 

TOO OLDBODIES NEW AND STRONG

When my mother turned 65, she started getting all that “fun” mail…  you know, all the “old people” mail.  She was visibly angered and depressed about it.  As her only child, I knew I had my work cut out for me to make her 65th birthday a happy one.  She was a valentine baby – her birthday was February 15th, but we always celebrated with lots of hearts and roses.  The normal routine was for me to bake her a heart-shaped cake with number candles on top.  I had to do something extra special for her 65th…  I had no idea what that would be, but I had to nail it.  And this year I didn’t think she’d like having the numbers 6 and 5 staring at her from a heart-shaped cake.

Mama loved girly things like hairstyles and makeovers and spa stuff.  Our Towne West mall was only 7 years old in 1987.  It was fun and hopping and there were all sorts of girly stores at the time.  I wanted her to be pampered, but on my budget I couldn’t afford very much.  I went in to Dillard’s to talk to a sweet lady in the cosmetic department.

Lisa was not a young person but not old either.  She listened to my story about how mom was celebrating a milestone and she had received all this mail that made her feel like it was time to go out to pasture.  She understood exactly what I was talking about and we plotted and planned such a great makeover for her!  Lisa and I talked for TWO hours!  She didn’t seem to be concerned that she’d lost some sales in that time.  I was so impressed with her.  This was one birthday that I knew my mama was going to enjoy.

There’s something you should know about me…  I never get away with surprising anybody – EVER!  I am the worst surprise party giver that ever lived.  I was so afraid that somehow my mom was going to find out about her surprise makeover.  I swore my family to secret – all two of them – but they were both men, so…  my husband and my dad.  My bases were covered…  and I was so anxious for the Saturday before her birthday to roll around.

Saturday rolled around.  There was not any significant snowfall, for which I was thankful.  My boss said we didn’t have to work, for which I was even more thankful.  Everything was working out great!  I called mom just to make sure she was getting ready to go.  She said, “Oh, I’m not sure I feel up to it today.  Can we go out next week?”

NO NO NO – we can’t!!!  I didn’t say it, but I sure thought it.  OK, compose yourself and don’t appear too eager.  “Well, you know I’ve worked most Saturdays lately and I didn’t have to work today, so I may not get another opportunity to get out on a Saturday again for a while.”

There was a pause in the conversation that seemed to last forever.  I waited for a response…  wait for it…  wait for it…

“Oh, okay.  I’ll be ready when you get here.”

YES – SCORE!

I got off the phone, grabbed my purse, dug out my keys and headed out the door.  As I got in the car, I saw the first snowflake.  I thought, “OK, we can get this done quick and get back before it gets too bad.”

When I got to mom’s, she was not quite dressed.  From the looks of things, she had tried on about 4 different outfits.  I looked at my watch and looked out the window…  it was getting late and the snow was falling.  It’s my mom…  it’s her day…  and she needs to feel pretty.  She was always pretty.  The only one who never knew it was her – even though I told her every day.

I gave her my honest opinions about what looked best and she got dressed.  She put on her coat and we cautiously walked to the car.  The snow was still just drifting around and didn’t look like it was going to be too bad.  Yay – we were on our way to the mall.  I was so excited.

Once in the car, mom said, “Are you sure you want to go to the mall today?  It looks like it’s going to snow like this for a while.”  I assured her that it will be fine – just fine.  I was determined that this was going to happen for her.  She was the best mom in the world and deserved the best birthday.

We made it to the mall and I parked as close as I could to Dillard’s.  Surprisingly, mom didn’t ask what we were doing at that particular store, but I had a story all ready.  I used it anyway because it took me so long to come up with it – :-/  “I just need to quick grab a new mascara here at Dillard’s and they’re the only ones who have what I like.”  See – isn’t that a great excuse???  I thought so.  Actually, the only make-up I buy is from Walmart and there is no counter.  I can’t afford make-up from behind a counter.

We slowly walked to the door.  The snow was starting to stick a little more now, but I wasn’t overly concerned.  My mind was on mom’s surprise birthday present.

When I saw Lisa, she got the biggest smile on her face!  “Hello, Mrs. Turner!”  You should have seen the look on mama’s face.  She couldn’t figure out why this lady knew her name!  It was funny and one of the best memories tucked in my mind.  Lisa and I started laughing and explained what was going on to my poor mother.

I knew at that moment that it was worthwhile…  the time, the effort, the planning.  I think it was the best time and mom felt so special and pampered.  I bought a few of her favorite products and she bought a few.  We laughed and chatted and we were just girls being girls – of all ages.  I think for a little while, mama forgot she was 65, she forgot about the mail, the stigma, the meaning behind being that particular age.

I’m not good at surprise parties as a general rule.  I try to make birthdays special and sometimes I think surprises are fun – but on my mom’s 65th birthday…  I NAILED IT!

When she was all prettied up, we waded back out to the car.  The snow had stopped falling and it wasn’t freezing, so we pulled into Spear’s restaurant across the street to get a cup of coffee.  I mentioned that it was my mother’s birthday, and the waitress gave us a free piece of pumpkin bread, which tastes more like cake.  It was our family’s favorite treat year around, not just in the autumn months.

I wish I could have taken a photo.  We didn’t have digital cameras back then.  I didn’t make a habit of carrying my Polaroid camera around with me.  My mother was beautiful – and more importantly, she felt beautiful and that made me very happy!

If you know a senior citizen, give them a call or visit them and let them know how much they mean to you.  They just want to know they are still important to someone.  Happy National Senior Citizens Day!  🙂

 

 

BIRTHDAY #55

TL 4-2 BIRTHDAY #55

4-2 PERKS & PITFALLS

Last night I got such a sweet present from Lucinda Berry Hill.  Thank you, my friend!  You’ve made turning the ol’ double nickel so much better!  🙂  I love that basket heart too – don’t you???

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God has blessed me with another year of life!  Today I am the ol’ double nickel…  old enough to receive a senior citizen discount at most restaurants and I could join AARP (but that will never happen because I am not a fan…).  I am a fan of good health, happiness, faith and joy.  I’m thankful for every day God gives me to begin again and do better with His help.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,  compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and,  if one has a complaint against another,  forgiving each other;  as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  – Colossians 3:12-13

Of all the things I could pray for, today I ask God to give me more compassion for everyone and everything around me.  I want to be more relatable than ever because it’s what God wants for me.  He wants all of us to be more gentle and kind with one another.  I KNOW I need to have more patience and compassion for those young drivers…  Lord help me with road rage!

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.  –  Albert Schweitzer

You are not going to believe this, but shortly after I wrote this post, Lucinda sent me a poem to design.  As I read it – the little blurb about compassion just reached out and slapped me!  I have to share it today.  I love how God guides both of us to write – but it’s especially cool when we’re both directed to write so similarly!  I just got chills when I read this.12571279_1738613263049803_574237969_n

Yes – I will make an effort to bring calmness where I walk, to show kindness and compassion, and pointing all to God.  SEE why I got chills up my spine???  WE LOVE HOW GOD WORKS

Love you, my sister in Christ!  ❤

My husband gave me a a 3.5 qt. Dutch oven.  Of course I’ll be trying it out today.  So, let me share the recipe with you.  Just one more thing…  if you are not a vinegar fan, you may want to add a couple of packets of Splenda or Truvia to this.  It’s got a pretty strong vinegar flavor.  😉

Vinegar-Braised Chicken & Onions (serves 6)

Ingredients:

2 lbs. pearl onions

Kosher salt

3 Tbs. olive oil

8 oz. pancetta (Italian bacon), cut into 1/4″ pieces

4 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed

5 lbs. chicken pieces (I use thighs & legs)

Freshly ground black pepper

3/4 c. balsamic vinegar

3/4 c. red wine vinegar

2 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 c. golden raisins

2 bay leaves

Directions:

  • Cook onions in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, 5-8 minutes. Drain and let cool. Trim root ends; peel.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add pancetta to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and pancetta is brown, 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a large bowl.
  • Add onions to same pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer onions and garlic to bowl with pancetta.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add chicken to pot skin side down and cook, turning, until browned on all sides, 10-15 minutes per batch; transfer to bowl with onions.
  • Carefully drain fat from pot and return to medium-high heat. Add both vinegars to pot and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Add broth, raisins, bay leaves, and reserved chicken, pancetta, onions, and garlic to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until chicken is fork-tender, 35-40 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken and onions to a large platter. Skim fat from cooking liquid and discard. Remove bay leaves, and season sauce with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken and onions.

For dessert we will probably have some fresh sliced strawberries with whipped topping.  Sounds like a great birthday dinner to me!  🙂

KEN CARSON’S BIRTHDAY

TL 3-13 KEN CARSON'S BIRTHDAY

Ken Carson, also known as the KEN DOLL, was introduced by Mattel on this day in 1961.  He was the fictional boyfriend of the BARBIE DOLL, introduced 2 years earlier.  Barbie’s boyfriend had a snazzy line of clothing and accessories.  Barbie & Ken met on the set of a TV commercial in 1961.

Ken’s father was a doctor, and poor Ken has held at least forty occupations.  He just never found himself, I guess.  Somehow he’s able to afford the best stuff – the best clothes and cars.  Hmm…  obviously it’s a fantasy!

So, Ken Carson is 55 years old today.  He still has his boyish looks and irresistible charm, so life has been good to him.  Maybe he has learned the lesson we all have to learn eventually – stuff is just stuff and you can’t take it with you.  He’s decided to take care of his health and say his prayers because he knows that it’s best to trust God with his life.

If Ken is 55, that means that Barbie is now 57.  Hmm…  I imagine some things have dropped – I’m guessing down around her knees.  LOL…  well, that’s life.

It was never clear what their relationship was.  I think many details were left to the child playing with the dolls – to their imagination.  Many of us had Barbie and Ken weddings.  My Barb and Ken got married a few times, with cousin Skipper standing up as their witness.

At one point, my Ken doll had more clothes in his closet than Barbie.  Fortunately I quickly took care of that problem and bought a ton of clothes and accessories for Barbie from my girlfriend’s mom, who made doll clothes.

Ken & Barbie are an important part of many real life plans we make as little girls.  Through them, we think about our futures and what we want to do with our lives.  Happy Birthday, Ken – you good-lookin’ 55 year old!  😉

 

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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Baby, take a bow! – Unknown

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Happy Birthday, Mary!

Just in case you don’t think anything (or anyone) great comes from Kansas…  today we are going to say Happy Birthday to actress/singer Mary McCarty!  On this day in 1923 this talented little powerhouse was born in Winfield, Kansas!

My mother didn’t push.  She aimed me.  – Mary McCarty

McCarty was better known as a supporting actress than a leading lady, but let’s face it – it’s those supporting performances that make the stars shine even brighter!  She made a real splash early in life, beginning as a torch singer at a night spot called Hollywood Tropics, and ending up in front of the bright lights of Broadway and later in front of TV cameras.

Gotta dance!  – Unknown

Her Broadway début was in Sleepy Hollow when she was just 15 years old!  Even though the show fizzled after 12 performances, McCarty received a Theatre World Award for her role as Eva.  She continued to sing and dance her way into our hearts as Maisie Doll in the Irving Berlin hit, Miss Liberty in 1949.

I’m dancing as fast as I can.  – Unknown

She created the role of sassy Mama Morton in the Broadway stage version of Chicago.

In Bless You All she performed with legendary stars Pearl Bailey and Gene Barry, which firmly established her as a supporting actress.  And she appeared on an occasional television show…

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By the mid 1950’s, she was more active in film than on the Broadway stage.  Movies such as The French Line, Pillow Talk, Babes in Toyland, My Six Loves and All That Jazz made her a familiar name and face to movie goers everywhere!

Brake a leg!  – Unknown

In 1977 she played Bertha Gardner in the popular daytime drama, All My Children.  And my favorite nurse, Clara “Starch” Willoughby, R.N. emerged in the television show Trapper John, M.D. with Parnell Roberts.

On April 30, 1980 at just 57 years old, Mary McCarty passed away after a heart attack.  She lived her life to the fullest, this Kansas girl.  May she rest in peace.

All you need are toe shoes, a tutu and a willing heart.  – Unknown

Wouldn’t it be a great tribute to watch one of her performances today?  I have a few of these wonderful movies on DVD.  It might take all day to watch all of them – I may not get anything else done.  Ah…  that’d be a real shame, that would.  LOL!!!

Bravo!!!  Encore!!!  – Unknown

She put more life into her life in 57 short years than many of us do with more time on earth.  Today we are reminded to appreciate each and every day.  Happy Birthday, Mary!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (18)

I THANK GOD FOR YOU TODAY

We’re celebrating another day of life today – how do we celebrate?  I’m so glad you asked!  We celebrate in various ways, including taking as good of care of ourselves for each other as we can.  I think I’ve read every self-help book ever written.

Today I want to share some information I’ve gleaned through the years.

  1. Have the nurse at your doctor’s office check both arms when they take your blood pressure.  Why?   Just 15 points or more between the systolic blood pressure readings in your left and right arms could signal heart disease.
  2. Fit a gentle jog or brisk walk into your day.  It could add about 5 years to your longevity.  Just 30 minutes a day will do the trick.
  3. Crossword puzzles are not a waste of time.  When you stimulate your brain with games or puzzles, you keep serious disease like Alzheimer’s at bay.
  4. If you do a lot of typing or texting (and who doesn’t these days?), make sure to stretch your wrists to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome.  How?  Rest your palm on your thigh with wrist and knuckles straight.  Completely bend your first-finger joints (which is difficult if those muscles are tight).  With your fingertips tucked under and your nails touching your leg, apply pressure over the knuckles with your other hand.  Hold for seven seconds and repeat 10 times.
  5. Take a deep breath and think of a blessing.  It will give you an instant lift spiritually and make you feel better about yourself.  I’m not crazy – try it!  It works!
  6. Say a prayer for someone who has wronged you.  You absolutely cannot continue to rent out a part of your mind to someone who has wronged you.  Pray for them and kick them out of your brain.  You’ll feel lighter and happier – and they have been prayed for.

Your well-being and happiness are important, especially to your family members.  If you are angry, stressed and uptight, that’s not fair to them.  Give them a great gift – take care of yourself!  🙂