Big Decisions

When women are describing their dream mate, what is it they say – ???  Tall, dark, handsome, and non-communicative – right???  The sad truth is, most women don’t think much about how well a man can communicate, either verbally or non-verbally.  We find out after we marry just how important that quality is!  Frankly, in my humble opinion…  communication IS everything!

There’s a choice I had to make in college that I think may have altered the course of my life.  No, it’s true.  I had to choose between debate and interpersonal communication.  Well, no way was I going to get up in front of a bunch of talented speakers and try my hand at debate as a freshman!  It was a no-brainer…  interpersonal communication, here I come!  I don’t think I did myself a favor by going that way.  I should have thrown my shoulders back and charged ahead.  Now, I wish I would have; however, it does absolutely no good to second guess a decision that I made so long ago.

When one introvert meets and marries another introvert…  communication can be a bit sketchy for a while.  I’ve coined a phrase and use it often:

I am not a mind reader.  I’ve never been a mind reader.  I’ll never BE a mind reader.  Use your words so I will know what is going on.

Every decision as a couple needs to be discussed — not just the big ones.  It’s a matter of respect for one another.  With every year that passes, communication gets easier – you find your own way, and every couple communicates differently.  As long as it works – hey – that’s what matters!

Dear God, we know that marriage can be tricky sometimes because there are two people to consider.  Two sets of values, emotions, and baggage carried around from the past.  Help us to be considerate of one another and respectful in our decision-making.  Help us to make all moves together as a unit instead of as an individual.  You have declared that married couples are ONE.  Remind us, as only You can, that what You have joined together, no one can tear apart.  Thank You for being so good to us.  We love you, Lord.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sometimes it helps to think about a couple that you really admire – and try to mirror some of their actions in your own marriage.  I loved being around my parents.  Those two could just give one another a look and they’d know and understand each other.  I want that in my marriage – and I think that’s the goal of most couples.  It’s those unspoken moments that we cherish the most, I think.  The smiles, grins, silly faces…  I love to remember all that!

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I’ll bet I could have been a great in debate class…  I hold my own fairly well on facebook!  Ha!  Does that count??? 

Today is Superbowl Sunday, of course.  I have one thought to share about it. 

One more example of a big decision…  to get excited about Jesus, or get excited about football.  Is there room for both?  Well, yes, of course there’s room for both in our lives.  I’m still angered by the behavior of the players, so will not be watching the Superbowl this year.  I’d rather get excited about Jesus.  He never lets me down!  🙂

 

 

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IRON SHARPENS IRON – FRIENDSHIP

IRON SHARPENS IRON

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  – Proverbs 27:17

IRON SHARPENS IRON

Yesterday I told you what I do not want to be – a stumbling block.  Today I’m going to focus on what I do want to be – an iron sharpener!  This year my goal is to bring out the best in everyone – including myself!  You’ve heard of friendships where the two or three just keep “feeding” off each other and getting funnier and funnier, right?  I love it when that happens – even if it’s off the wall and silly.  If I can be the friend who makes others laugh and spew diet Dr. Pepper out of their nose…  what can I say?  It’s my mission in life and when that happens, I can say mission accomplished!  My work here is done.  You’re welcome!

Real life is stressful and often awkward and uncomfortable.  Should friendships be the same way?  I really don’t think so.  There’s nothing worse than spending time with someone you want to escape from – and you spend the whole time hunting for the nearest exit and plan the escape in your head.  Let’s face it…  those are the friendships you have to re-think.  You just do – and yes, it’s sad.  Some people are not meant to be in our lives for the rest of our life.15822977_1868319833412478_4287722067523972073_n

Thank you, Lucinda – for keeping me polished!  I’m so glad that God allowed our paths to cross!

For those friendships that seem destined to be, how can we be an iron sharpening friend?  I’m glad you asked.  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Pray for your friend – and for your friendship.  If your friendship is covered in prayer everyday, it will be strong and won’t crumble over petty things.  I tend to be upfront and honest in friendships because I appreciate those qualities in my friends.  One day I was feeling especially envious and a bit jealous of a friend’s success when I did not seem to be gaining ground with my project.  I told her about it, knowing that she would appreciate my honesty and candor.  She helped me by first of all praying for me – and secondly, she started pointing out some positives that I had missed somehow.  She knows if the shoe was on the other foot, I would have done the same for her.
  2. Cherish the friendship because God designed it.  Review the start of your friendship once in a while.  Let your friend know that you appreciate what she brings to the friendship and how much better your life is now because of it.  Praise God for the way ministry grows and matures when Christian friends work together.  Ask God to impress on you and guide you to the next project.  It’s amazing and wonderful how God brings your separate work together as one very large witnessing tool.  Be thankful when others are helped by your ministry – thankful of course to God, but also to each other.  Don’t take friendship for granted.  Friends don’t grow on trees.  Most of my friends would think that visual was hilarious.  I also imagine they’d imagine me hanging by my tail like a monkey, with a banana in my mouth (I have to be eating – well DUH!)
  3. Communicate as clearly as possible.  A friend and I were chatting on facebook not long ago about this.  We agreed that messaging on facebook is more challenging than talking face to face because there’s a lack of facial expression in the communication.  Then we joked about using emojis – or really over-using them – in an attempt to let others know that we’re smiling 🙂 or 😀  or that we’re loving what they’re saying <3.  Of course, when I’m talking there’s always the popular – I’M CONFUSED.  :-/  Yeah – I really use that one frequently.
  4. Don’t try to fake it.  God knows everything about everything, so it makes no sense to keep anything from your friend in the Lord.  It’s a temptation to keep the “downer” stuff to yourself so you don’t bring her down too – but if you do, you are robbing her of the opportunity to lift you to God in prayer.  Maybe you’re going through something that you don’t even feel like you can pray about yourself.  I’ve been there and I’m sure you have too.  Let your friend know what’s up so she can pray for you.  It is a privilege and an honor to pray for a friend.  Don’t let silly pride keep you from asking your friend to whisper a prayer for you.

iron-sharpening-sheep

We eventually get where we’re goin’ – together.  I want to be an iron-sharpening friend.  I hope you do too.  Let’s all work together to sharpen some iron in 2017!  🙂

NATIONAL WRITING DATE DAY

TL 9-3 NATIONAL WRITING DATE DAY

http://nataliemariecollins.com/writing-date/

http://nataliemariecollins.com/

http://nataliemariecollins.com/how-to-go-on-a-writing-date/

Writers are disciplined individuals.  Quit laughing!  Seriously…  it’s really bugging me – stop!

There are only so many hours in the day…  plus, there are so many distractions that can derail your train of thought…  everything from a noisy dishwasher to the television set in the room next to your writing space.  It can be maddening when you’re trying to write.

Natalie Marie Collins makes a wonderful suggestion…  LEAVE.  Go to a writing safe place, whether it is a favorite coffee shop or restaurant.  Wherever you decide to go, make it a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed while you research and write.PEACE HAS A HOLD ON ME

When God has placed a desire in your heart to write and share with others about Him, you have to trust that He will provide the perfect atmosphere to do the work He’s asked you to do.  I’m fortunate because I have a room that is specifically designated for writing and designing.  Nobody bothers me or distracts me while I’m there.  I make coffee or tea before I begin – then let the research begin!

This is a day set aside specifically for those who may not have a special writing spot at home.  Maybe there are more distractions than you can deal with.  Maybe you just get sat down to write and get interrupted.  Nothing kills the will to write faster than interruptions.  I hope you’ll find Natalie’s suggestions helpful.  I believe there are so many Christian writers out there, but they have such busy lives and can’t figure out a way to find a quiet, peaceful atmosphere where they can spend two or three hours writing.

NECTAR FOR A BUTTERFLYIt’s important to find solitude and serene surroundings before you write.  If a butterfly wants nectar it has to find a flower.  Nothing intended to encourage and uplift can be conveyed if it’s written in the midst of chaos.  If God calls you to write, He’s going to work out the details for you.  The world may need to hear the story that only you can tell.  If you ask God to help you find a great place to write – He will certainly find it for you!

May God bless you as you contemplate writing today!  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (15)Remember when you were a kid and your mom or dad would say, “This world has gotten so out of control, we are surely in the last days!” – ???  I heard that a lot as a kid and recall thinking, “You’ve said that for years…  Christ has not returned yet.”

Well, now I’m the adult and I’m saying, “This world has gotten so out of control, we are surely in the last days!”  LOL!  I imagine some reading this are saying, “You’ve said that for years…  Christ has not returned yet.”

As I keep my eyes on the eastern skies, I catch a glimpse of steeples…  pointing toward heaven, reminding all who take time to look that God still cares about us from His throne in Heaven.  He is there, but He’s also here amongst us in the form of His precious Holy Spirit.

Once in a while we just need to be reminded that the steeples are not to be worshipped, but they point towards Heaven, where God is, and His Son Jesus sits at His right hand.  When God gives the word, Jesus will return and this time He won’t come as an innocent little baby, but as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

You know I love steeples and you know why.  I’ve written several poems in which they’ve spoken.  Lucinda Berry Hill has written about them.  For those of us keeping our lamps trimmed and our eyes open, they remind us to keep looking up!

We see Steeples in all seasons…  Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.  I love them all…  the steeples for all seasons.  ❤GOD SEES EVERY HEART

CHASING STEEPLESSTEEPLE IN THE TREESPRAYER ABOUT STEEPLESA FERVENT PRAYERI AMSUMMER SONSHINE FROM THE STEEPLEA STEEPLE IN THE WATERSTEEPLES IN THE SPRINGPRAYER ABOUT FREEDOMPRAYER ABOUT SALVATIONPRAYER TO THE GREAT I AMTWO STEEPLESCAPTURED BY A STEEPLEWe love Jacob, Deanna’s cat.  Obviously, he’s a very wise and observant feline! GIVE GOD THE MESSAGE

Here are a few photos we have not used with poetry – – – yet.  😉

14088959_1799986216912507_672742562_n14088923_1799986203579175_1010572519_n14031113_1799986176912511_2015920735_n14088922_1799986133579182_1210906693_n14055640_1799986116912517_1980539533_n14031116_1799986056912523_843016931_n14030975_1799985936912535_2088567325_n14088959_1799985910245871_777220640_n14080913_1799985883579207_1123557053_n

No matter what the season, Steeples…  some with crosses, some plain – stand tall and straight.  It may seem strange that a steeple could “speak”.  Well, they don’t – but God’s still small voice can definitely speak as I’m looking at a steeple – and thinking.  It results in a poem usually, but sometimes it’s a Bible verse or other type of writing.  HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE STEEPLEHAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY FROM THE STEEPLEHAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY FROM THE STEEPLEHAPPY EASTER FROM THE STEEPLEHAPPY MOTHER'S DAY FROM THE STEEPLE(6) HAPPY FATHER'S DAY FROM THE STEEPLEP&P MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE STEEPLEThere’s also a steeple poem about Independence Day & Thanksgiving.  I can’t find them at the moment.  I have an chronic condition that affects my ability to stay organized.  😀

The next time you see a steeple, say a prayer and be still.  You may be surprised at what happens!  🙂

1 THESSALONIANS 5:17

TL 5 17 1 THESSALONIANS 5 17

Pray without ceasing – Ye are dependent on God for every good; without him ye can do nothing; feel that dependence at all times, and ye will always be in the spirit of prayer; and those who feel this spirit will, as frequently as possible, be found in the exercise of prayer.  – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

GOT PRAYERS???

PRAYER OF FAITHPRAYER OF THANKS2PRAYERPRAYER ABOUT DYSLEXIAPRAYER ABOUT FINANCESPRAYER ABOUT FOGPRAYER ABOUT GRACEPRAYER ABOUT SICKNESSPRAYER ABOUT STORMSPRAYER ABOUT TROUBLESPRAYER OF PRAISE ALWAYSPRAYER1

1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.

The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

– Psalm 121 1-8

Pray without ceasing.  Don’t let the enemy of your soul talk you into the notion that God doesn’t care or doesn’t want to be bothered with the “small stuff” (none of it is small to God).  Tell Him about everything and don’t forget to thank Him for all the answers He gives to your prayers.  🙂

JUST PRAY NO! WORLDWIDE WEEKEND OF PRAYER

TL 4-23 & 24 JUST PRAY NO! WORLDWIDE WEEKEND OF PRAYERPrayer:  A constant conversation between God and His people through God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  We humbly bow with particular needs on our hearts and minds concerning the United States of America.  We ask God to protect the unborn.  According to Hillary Clinton, the unborn have no RIGHTS under the constitution.  Aside from speaking to her moral fiber, or lack thereof, it begs the question, CAN the constitution ever be amended so that the unborn could have RIGHTS in America?  I don’t have the answer to that question.  I’m not a scholar or a constitutional expert by any means – I’m just a simple child of God who knows that murder is sin, and abortion is murder.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for giving me life.  I know that nothing destroys life more than abortion, yet I continue to rejoice in the fact that You have conquered death by the resurrection of Your Son, Christ Jesus.  I promise to do everything I can to end abortion and commit myself to speak up, write, and never be silent or passive on behalf of the unborn.  I will be active in the pro-life movement and never stop defending life.  Please lead America back to the values it once had, with You in the center of every decision made from the Whitehouse to the local courthouse.  We need to be a country that embraces liberty and justice – especially for our most innocent – the unborn!  May we speak up for them in good conscience because it pleases You.  Lord, through You may America make provision in the constitution that will protect the unborn so they will not be murdered anymore.  We thank You in advance for what You will do.  Help us to hang on to our faith because You perform all sorts of miracles every single day.

We pray this in the matchless name of Christ our Lord, Amen.

We pray for NO MORE HATE.  We pray for peace in our land, in our time.  We pray that God gives us everything we need to STAND UP TO THE WORLD.  While there is so much hate growing all around us, we keep praying and trusting that God will help us.STANDING UP TO THE WORLD

We know as the time gets closer for our Lord to return to earth for His own, things will get worse.  I know I sound very doom and gloom, and I don’t mean to be a downer.  Here’s the good news…  God’s children have a powerful ally in the Lord.  We have a tool called prayer, and it’s the best thing we can do for ourselves and for each other as we lean on Him to guide us down life’s winding narrow pathway.  🙂

 

 

HAIKU DAY

TL 4-17 HAIKU DAYWhat’s the difference between a Haiku and other poetry?  Here’s the recipe for a Haiku:

The Haiku is a Japanese verse in three lines.  It does not have to rhyme, and in fact should not rhyme, but it is considered a mood poem, so the words you choose should be chosen very carefully, and invoke emotion in the reader – laughter, tears, a sense of compassion, a sense of fear, a sense of accomplishment or a sense of hope and encouragement.  It doesn’t use any metaphors or similes.  Usually when Haiku is taught, the students are told to restrict the number of lines and syllables.  Punctuation and capitalization rules are up to the poet, and need not follow rigid rules used in structuring sentences.

Basic guidelines for beginners (like me – holding my hand up really high!):

  1. Line one has 5 syllables
  2. Line two has 7 syllables
  3. Line three has 5 syllables

A Haiku makes me think of the Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment called feng shui.  It’s a popular tool used in all sorts of design and staging of new homes for public view.  It’s all about balance and literally translates as “wind-water” in English.

But back to Haiku…  Lucinda has written some thought-provoking poetry for this blog.  I love Haiku just like I love to hear a short sermon at church that is really good.  A good Haiku will speak to you with these few words, just as a nice short sermon can get to the point and leave a lasting impression on the listener.

SUNFLOWERS HAIKUSUMMERTIME SWING HAIKUDOG HAIKUBLUE HAIKUBABY HAIKUCLOUDS HAIKUDESSERT HAIKUA woman’s reward…  OH I like that!  😉

Lucinda reminded me that there is a SAD side to Haiku…

13022332_1748745145369948_747312919_nOh…  some of us know about chronic illness.  Jus’ sayin’.  :-/