PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

This day’s goal does not seem that difficult – to smile and say MERRY CHRISTMAS to someone.

Maybe it’s because I’m old, but I used to hear MERRY CHRISTMAS more often when I was a kid.  Nobody thought of getting offended or being politically correct back then.  We didn’t give a hang what the government thought of what we said – or who we said it to.  I’m the first to admit we hung with like-minded people.  Our friends and neighbors were Christians and went to church – so saying MERRY CHRISTMAS didn’t seem like such a big whoop to us – it’s just what we did. 

As I got older, I became friends with people of many faiths through my workplace.  I’m still not a terribly diverse individual, but I am aware that not everyone is just like me – and I’ll add – whew – that’s a good thing.  Here’s the deal – I see every person on the planet as a soul that my Jesus died on the cross to save, whether they accept that fact is immaterial.  It’s a fact that Christ died for all.  I hope that the words MERRY CHRISTMAS do not offend anyone, but it’s what I celebrate.  To me, it’s the only reason to celebrate.

You know, the Bible tells us that if we are ashamed of Christ, God will be ashamed of us…  so – don’t be afraid to say MERRY CHRISTMAS.  Doing it with a smile is a good idea.  Yes, yes – I know it will take a great deal of preparation.  Drink your morning coffee and suck on a candy cane – it’ll be alright.   Just remember, your faith in God trumps anything the government says.  Don’t be scared to be what you are, or of offending others with what you believe.  Are they scared of offending you???  Um…  no – guessing they are not.  So, smile and SHINE!  We’re not being intolerant of other faiths, we’re just expressing our own – just as they do.  🙂

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ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

TL ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (3)

http://www.rattle.com/poetry/a-poem-by-andy-rooney-by-richard-garcia/

On this day in 1899, William D. Middlebrook of Waterbury, CT patented the popular Gem-style paper clip.  The humble paper clip remains virtually unchanged in all this time.  There are plastic-coated clips nowadays, but the familiar round edge is unlikely to change.  The round edge keeps papers from tearing.

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Nearly 20 million pounds of paper clips are produced every year in the United States.  The machinery that makes the paper clips is original from the 1930’s.

Paper clips are not just for the office anymore.  There are several uses for these office essentials:

  • Does the paper tab on your tea bag slip into the hot water?  Weigh it down with a small paper clip.
  • I hosted a party one afternoon for pet parents.  I wanted to display photographs of my sweet dog, Casey, but did not want to put any holes in my walls.  I made a garland of paper clips, attaching a photo on to every 5th paper clip.  The garland easily attached to my fireplace mantel.  I was able to hang the photos at eye level and it was quite a conversation starter!
  • Instead of using the flimsy plastic tool included in the dye package, use a large paper clip to dip eggs into the dye bath for an even color.  Open up the clip, bend one end into a circle, then push the other end up to make a handle.  Place a hard-boiled egg in the circle and dunk.  Your Easter eggs will look fantastic!
  • Have you ever lost a screw from your glasses?  You can replace the missing screw by sticking a small, opened paper clip in its place.  Snip the excess metal with wire cutters.
  • If I had a nickel for each time I had to fix a hem with paper clips, I’d be rich.  Paper clips can keep a hem in place until you get home from work and can get to straight pins and a sewing machine.

Today we celebrate the paper clip – and all the many jobs it does!  🙂

DAY TRIPPIN’ AROUND KANSAS

DAY TRIPPIN' AROUND KANSAS

Is it silly to want to take a trip out to Applejack Pumpkin Patch if you don’t have small children with you?  Can I tell you a secret???  I’ve never actually been to a pumpkin patch before.  I suppose it’s because I don’t have kids – but the second part of that secret is…  I’ve always wanted to visit a pumpkin patch!  It just looks like a lot of fun!  Having fun is not a sin – last time I checked.

So, this photo, taken just outside of the Applejack Pumpkin Patch is of my friend, Susan.  She posted it on facebook and I wanted to post it here today.  I love it when my Wichita friends post their day trips (even though I think she was technically on the job – which explains the vest).  I appreciate her giving me permission to share it with you.

The Minion Hay Bale... LOL!!!
Susan & the giant Minion Hay Bale… LOL!!!

I’m so thankful she posted this because we drove past it on the way to an antique store just a few days ago – and did I have my camera???  Well of course I didn’t!!!  I was kicking myself from that moment on.  I even suggested we take another trip just to get a photo of this.  That idea was not met with a great deal of enthusiasm, to say the least.  :-/

Applejack Pumpkin Patch is in Augusta, Kansas.  They have a facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/Applejack-Pumpkin-Patch-306961532736120/

There are scheduled activities and loads of fun for everyone (even the childless – well – probably).  I may not have kids – but I feel as though I’m still a kid myself…  for better or worse!

I’ve seen bales of hay made into a lot of different things – I must admit this is the first Minion I’ve seen – how creative is that?  Usually we see hay bales made into  jack-O-Lanterns…  you know, painted orange with the scary black face – that’s usually what we see.

Susan’s husband posted that if she had her way, Susan would take this giant Minion hay bale home with her and put it in their front yard.  I replied by saying, “She would be fighting ME for it – LOL!!!”  In reality, could you imagine either one of us – or both of us together – lifting that thing???  I’d say the argument is moot at best, wouldn’t you?

If you would like more information about Applejack Pumpkin Patch, click on this link:  http://applejackpumpkinpatch.com/activities/

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I enjoy living in Kansas, especially this time of year!  We have a lot of farms, which means we have tons of corn mazes, apple festivals, fall harvest celebrations and of course, pumpkin patches!  Now, we apparently have added a giant Minion hay bale to the list.  Does it get any better than that?  I think not!  Wink!  😉

 

MARK 10:27 ON 10/27

TL MARK 10 27 ON 10 27

Jesus looked at them and said, “It’s impossible for people [to save themselves], but it’s not impossible for God to save them. Everything is possible for God.”  – Mark 10:27

I humbly accept God’s plan of salvation for me…  do you accept His plan of salvation for you?

At this time of year, I like to read the story about the little girl who was asked what it’s like to be a Christian.  It’s so cute and so TRUE!  Do pumpkins pick themselves?  Do they wash the dirt off themselves?  They certainly do not cut open the top and scoop out all the yucky stuff – along with the seeds of doubt, hate and greed.  No – they do not do that for themselves.  This is a perfect example of what it’s like to be a Christian!  I like the part about how God puts HIS light in us and we shine for all to see!

BEING A CHRISTIAN

Have you tried to save yourself?  Have you leaned on fame, wealth, success or a particular lifestyle instead of a life in Christ?  So many times we dive head first into things here on earth that give us a temporary sense of self-worth.  Happiness comes over us but it doesn’t last.

There is a Jesus-shaped hole in everyone’s heart – and once you discover Him and allow Him to save you, the things of this earth will continue to appeal to you.  Maybe this next thing will fill the void…  but it won’t.  As the old gospel song says, ONLY JESUS CAN SATISFY YOUR SOUL.

I hope that today you will consider a permanent relationship with Jesus Christ.  When you are saved by Him – it’s forever and His light will shine in your heart and life.

Today serves as a little reminder to those of us who belong to Christ that we did not save ourselves – and it’s one more opportunity for those who have not yet accepted Him as their personal Savior…  please consider having a talk with Christ today.  I pray you are in the ark of safety today.  I love this beautiful poem by Lucinda Berry Hill.  How could we be anything but humble before our wonderful Lord and Savior?  After all, He loved first!

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Have a BEAUTIFUL Christ-centered day!  🙂

 

 

PSALM 10:17 ON 10/17

TL PSALM 10 17 ON 10 17

You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.  – Psalm 10:17 (NIV)

LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. – Psalm 10:17 (NLT)

O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear.  – Psalm 10:17 (ESV)

O LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear.  – Psalm 10:17 (NASB)

LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear.  – Psalm 10:17 (KJV)

LORD, you have heard the request of the oppressed; you make them feel secure because you listen to their prayer.  – Psalm 10:17 (NET)

I’m not typically a translation junkie, but today I just could not settle on just one translation!  I believe there are powerful meanings in certain words.  If we could somehow put all these translations together, wow…  it would be terrific, wouldn’t it?

First we see that the LORD hears.  Only one translation skips the hearing and declares that the LORD knows without hearing first.  Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m encouraged by this verse already!

Then we see that He hears and knows our request, desire and hope.  Again, this makes me smile for sure.  My faith is strengthened right away.

It says that the LORD hears and knows the request, desire and hope of the oppressed, humble, afflicted and helpless.  Have you ever felt any of these?  I sure have.  Aren’t you thankful to God for this truth?

Then the verse varies even more from translation to translation.  The LORD hears and knows the request, desire and hope of the oppressed, humble, afflicted and helpless.  The LORD will make them feel secure, prepare and strengthen their heart, encourage them and hear their cry!

It just gets better…

The LORD hears and knows the request, desire and hope of the oppressed, humble, afflicted and helpless.  The LORD will make them feel secure, prepare and strengthen their heart, encourage them and hear their cry!  He will incline His ear to them and listen to their prayer and comfort them.

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This is for those of us who know that God hears and knows our request, desire and hope.  We feel oppressed, have been humbled along life’s way, leaving us afflicted and helpless.  We know that God will restore our security, prepare and strengthen our hearts, encourage us and hear us when we cry.  We trust that He will tilt His head, which inclines His ear so He can carefully and intently listen to our prayer.  After we have prayed, we know without a doubt that God has comforted us and restored our sense of purpose so we can keep serving Him in whatever way He desires. 

THROUGH GOD'S EYES

Somebody needs to praise God for Who He Is…    🙂

1 CORINTHIANS 10:13 ON 10/13

TL 1 CORINTHIANS 10 13 ON 10 13

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.  – 1 Corinthians 10:13

I think we get mixed up sometimes when we talk about trials and temptations.  In the spiritual realm, who is doing what???  Who’s on first, as it were… ???

A trial puts our faith and patience in action and yes, trials are from God to make us stronger.  If we were never given trials, we would be soft and sappy and we’d never know just how much God means to us.  Trials are not fun, but we know that God is faithful through them and that He will make a way for us.

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This verse speaks of temptations – and those are not from God.  The enemy of our soul brings temptations to us – it seems they are constantly in front of us.  Temptations come in so many ways and sometimes we don’t even recognize them for what they are – because let’s face it – the enemy of our soul is good at what he does.

If you’re sitting down – GET UP!!!  It’s time to do our exercises!  This will help your physical health, but it will help your spiritual health too!  🙂

https://youtu.be/lljzJWZOS6s

… and if the devil doesn’t like it, he can SIT ON A TACK…  OUCH!  Ah – I love that song, don’t you?

The devil is sneaky…  to put it mildly.  He offers solicitation to that which is evil, and hence Satan is called “the tempter” (Matthew 4:3).  He tempted Christ in this way in the wilderness.  That temptation was not internal, but by a real, active, subtle being.  Why did Jesus have to endure that temptation?  It was an act of obedience on His part.  I’m thankful it was recorded in the Bible because it shows me that no matter what ol’ split-hoof puts before me, with God’s help, through my Savior, Jesus Christ, I can overcome it.

Temptation is common to all, as this Scripture reminds us – other passages mention it as well (Daniel 12:10, Psalm 66:10, Luke 22:31 & 40, Hebrews 11:17, James 1:12 & 1 Peter 1:7).  Is it a big deal?  Ya think???  YES – temptation is a big deal and it is common to all.  We are human beings living on this earth and we will be tempted.  We’re not in trouble for being tempted – we’re in trouble when we submit to it and subsequently sin against God.

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Does God give us a pass on sin just because we are exposed to temptation every day?  The Apostle Paul would say, “Heaven forbid!”  No!  God’s people are to be on their watch against temptations.  We are told that if we resist the devil, he will flee.  If we tell Satan to leave in the Name of Christ Jesus…  he can’t stick around.

So while we will be tempted time and again…  there is a way of escape in the Name of Christ!  Speak HIS Name in the face of the enemy and He has to flee.  In the Name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I command you to leave now, devil!  🙂

 

PROVERBS 10:12 ON 10/12

TL PROVERBS 10 12 on 10 12

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.  – Proverbs 10:12

Let’s see what the Sunday School Sheep is up to…

https://youtu.be/zKAEvLd_98o

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I’m sure it’s happened to you too…  you get on facebook to chat with your friends and as you are browsing through the news feed, you see a post that you disagree with.  As much as you really should just ignore it and keep scrolling, you give in to the temptation to comment and maybe even leave a piece of Scripture to “defend” your position.  Well – then you see a comment that disagrees with yours and someone is calling you a name.  Before it’s over, you wonder why you didn’t just keep scrolling – and you wish you had kept scrolling.

Does God care if we say mean things to strangers?  Does He care if we call someone we don’t know but strongly disagree with a mean name?  Well…  yes, God does care.  It’s not right that they call you a name first – but it’s a good idea to take the high road and drop the name calling and move on before you fall into sin.  Try to be a blessing in Jesus’ Name.  Fight the temptation to stoop to the hater’s level and be just as hateful.  It gets us nowhere.  Let’s choose to live like we’re loved – because we are!

People are just plain mean and nasty on social media!  To be honest, it doesn’t happen to me much anymore because I don’t seek out those who disagree with me.  Most of the friends I have are adults.  If we don’t agree on issues, we disagree agreeably.  I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I try to stay out of the mud puddles – I’m not a champion mud wrestler – sorry to disappoint you.

It won’t change anyone to call them names – and it could quite possibly destroy any possibility of sharing your witness with them.  The only way to live a Christian life is to live in love.  I need to remember that hatred stirs up conflict – love draws the lost to my side.  With love and patience I can share my testimony.  It’s a story that only I can share.  No one else has traveled the path that I’ve traveled.

We are living in a time when everything insults everyone.  If we have a more loving approach toward others, it will not reflect badly on us and then we can witness.  The acceptance or rejection of that witness is up to them – but at least the door opens up instead of slamming shut and locking.  🙂

 

SEPTEMBER IS BE KIND TO EDITORS AND WRITERS MONTH

SEPTEMBER IS BE KIND TO EDITORS AND WRITERS MONTH

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.  – Abraham Lincoln

Look – we are not perfect (God knows…) and we don’t get it right every time.  We are so very human, but we have the nerve to be vulnerable and stand up to criticism every single time we put the pen to paper – or rather when we finally allow someone to read what we’ve written.  If you think that’s easy to do, think again.

9-1 GIVE WRITERS SOME SLACK

A certain amount of backbone is essential to be a successful editor or writer.  As an editor, you are charged with making the writer’s work sparkle!  Once in a while you encounter a writer who denies they need any extra sparkle from the editor.  :-/  It’s a wonderful blessing to work with an author who is open-minded to suggestions you make.  Editors do their best work when they work with a writer who is flexible about their work.  Developing a mutual respect as you work together is so important.

Whether it is a song, poem or the great American novel, keep in mind that a writer pours everything into what they are trying to convey to the musician or reader.  Cut them some slack and ask yourself if you could do a better job.  Actually, if the answer is yes, maybe you should give it a go.

There are so many wonderful Christian authors out there who work hard to provide the highest quality books available.  They also had some amazing editors who gladly gave their work some extra sparkle.

The neat part about Christian writers and editors is of course, they follow Christ and His principles for living.  That means the books are truly a labor of love and written with much prayer behind them.  I believe that matters, don’t you?

https://youtu.be/zlMwX4Sx_Ds

We write to and for God.  He is the source of inspiration and our writing is a way of affirming the inspiration He provides while sharing His loving kindness with others.

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If you know a great editor or writer, give them a shout-out today!  I know a little blog does not seem like a big deal, but I still have to put an idea out there to be accepted or rejected – and nobody likes rejection or for their blog to be ignored and unread – it seems to be the ultimate waste of time.  It makes my day to see that fellow bloggers LIKE something I post.  I do a funny little happy dance.  No, I won’t post a video.

So – be kind to us because we’re really doing the best we can.  Thanks – and thanks for reading!  🙂

 

 

AUGUST 1-7 IS SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK

TL AUGUST 1-7 IS SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK

SIMPLIFY – To make simple or simpler: as a :  to reduce to basic essentials 

b :  to diminish in scope or complexity :  streamline <was urged to simplify management procedures>

c :  to make more intelligible :  clarify

A SIMPLE LIFE

It seems to me that it should be simple to simplify, ya know???  No matter how much effort we put into trying to simplify, it seems we work twice as hard to make it happen.  Now, does that make any sense to anyone?  No, I didn’t think so.  :-/
Well, here’s my take on simplicity.  I honestly believe that it begins within.  How high-maintenance are you, and what would you be willing to live without?  I’ve had many friends through the years and have traveled with a few.  I never let them know I was doing this, but I was secretly observing the luggage they carried.  You see, the things we travel with are the things we are not willing to part with.
The more stuff you are willing to live without, the more simple your life will be.  If you truly desire simplicity in your life, it’s necessary to let go of some non-essentials.  I know they seem like essentials right now, but stay with me.  This may make you re-think things.
For example, do you need a ton of makeup when you travel?  I’m not suggesting you go without makeup altogether (oh, heaven forbid) – but there are ways to travel with less.  I take one container of mineral make-up, a tube of mascara, a shadow, brow pencil and lip gloss.  Choose one color of lip gloss and plan your wardrobe around that theme color.  I usually choose red in the fall/winter months or dark pink in the spring/summer months.
I believe simplicity begins with the discarding of extras.  It’s about organization and pre-planning.  To make life easier, surround yourself with less.  It sounds like you would be denying yourself of things, but it is the most freeing experience to rid yourself of clutter and get organized.
Recently I went through my closet and took out pieces that I have not worn in the past year – for whatever reason.  If you have not worn a piece of clothing in the past year, you probably don’t need to keep it.
In the kitchen, organize with cook ahead cookbooks, or go online to find some great recipes.  Here are 20 of my favorites!  http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/quick-easy/make-ahead-meals-0
If you cook on the weekend and freeze each serving, that frees up the weeknight to relax and enjoy your family.  Simple.
Teach kids to pitch in and help with things like laundry.  Even boys will need to know how to do that at some point when they get older, so you’d may as well get them involved now.  They will feel like they are helping out and it will take some of the load off you…  get it – load – laundry?  Never mind.
 When you make a conscious decision to make do with less, that is when simplicity will become a reality.  When you organize things a bit and enlist help from the rest of the family, it will pay off in the long run.
Give it a try…  and bask in simplicity!  🙂

1 THESSALONIANS 5:18 ON 5/18

TL 1 THESSALONIANS 5 18 ON 5 18

It’s Monday again and I’m still in pain.  Does it help to be grumpy and complain?  Um…  no.

 …give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Is today Thanksgiving?  Well, shouldn’t we give thanks to the LORD every day?  It’s what God wants us to do.  It’s His will for our lives!  So yes, today is Thanksgiving!

Not only are we to be thankful people, but we are to give thanks to the LORD in all circumstances!  Oh – now the stew gets thick, doesn’t it?  I don’t always feel like being thankful.

IT'S MONDAY

Don’t you think that God knows we’re going to have difficulties and trials along the way?  Of course He does!  I believe He wants us to lean on His power and wisdom even more when the going gets tough.

We can gain even more perspective into this portion of Scripture if we expand a bit on it:

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

While the seas are calm it’s easy to rely on our own thoughts and reason to get by.  I submit that as the seas are stormy, we need to hang on to Christ and His perfect timing even more!  My boat is rocking in a storm right now – and it’s a challenge to be joyful and pray continually, but I know that’s exactly what I need to do – and give thanks – no matter what.

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.  – Thích Nhất Hạnh

God’s Holy Spirit is the source of joy, and joy makes me smile!  I know God has everything in His very capable hands.  Again it’s Monday, but it’s okay!  🙂