THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY

tl-12-25-the-little-drummer-boy

The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.  – Acts 17:24-25

MERRY CHRIST-MAS!!!  I know what you’re thinking…  what a strange Christmas song to talk about on Christmas Day.  Well, I haven’t gone off the deep end…  yet.  Wait, let me double-check.  Nope…  I’ve still got it together!

This is my favorite Christmas carol – and let me tell you why.

The little drummer boy is completely fictional and not biblically based, as we all know; however, that little boy represents us as Christians.  He loves the baby Jesus and wants to give his very BEST to Him.  Why?  The passage in Acts makes it perfectly clear that Jesus doesn’t NEED anything from us, but we NEED everything from Him.  Well, he wanted to give his best because he knew to Whom he played.  We give because we love.  It’s as simple as that.  He loved us first – but we give because of love.

Today I wonder if we give our very best to Him?  In our daily lives, do others see our relationship with Christ?  Do we do for others because they are God’s children and we have a desire to be representatives of Christ to them?

I pray that every day I strive to do something good for someone – EVEN if that something good is praying for a friend.

If you had been in Bethlehem, what would you do?  Would you give Him the very best you have to give?  Just something to think about today – on Jesus’ birthday.

if-i-were-thereMy will, my life, my heart.  ❤

This song reminds me that I need to give my best to Him.  Pa Rum pa pum pum…  🙂

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

I’m going to take a little break from writing, but I will be back for the new year, refreshed and focused.  I want to give my BEST to Him…  pa rum pa pum pum.  meerkat-459171__340

This is me when I’m taking a break from writing – except I’ll have a TV remote.

May God richly bless you in the coming year.  I believe 2017 will be the best year yet!  I’m going to rest my brain and my fingers this week, but I’m looking forward to doors of opportunity opening as God leads me to exciting new writing challenges!

Let’s end 2016 with a prayer…  asking our Heavenly Father to prepare our hearts to give the best we have to offer today and in the future.

drummer-boy-prayerOne final note – but it’s important.  Thank you SO MUCH for following this blog and reading it every day.  I hope and pray that something along the way has encouraged and inspired you in some way.  I appreciate those who have followed me on Twitter and facebook.  I pray for you every day.  There are so many needs, but we serve a BIG God – He’s bigger than any problem we encounter here.  Have a wonderful week.  Look for me again on January 1st.  🙂

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I AM DYSLEXIC… HEAR ME SCREAM

TL I AM DYSLEXICI was recently made aware of yet another trick my eyes play on me…  yeah – I really needed to add to that list.  My eyes apparently see small g’s and small q’s the same way.  Sound weird?  Oh – not to me!

I was supposed to type PLAGUE, as in the plagues of Egypt – but typed PLAQUE, which, unless I’m mistaken, is something people get on their teeth OR an inscribed commemorative tablet, usually of metal placed on a building, monument, or the like.

UGH…

Dyslexia makes writing a real challenge, but it seems like I keep finding new twists and turns.  To be perfectly honest, I’m thankful somebody caught it and told me, but I had no idea my brain was this bad.  I try to be careful, I really try.  If you are dyslexic and get where I’m coming from, it’d be great to hear from you.  I knew I had some issues, but this is a brand new one.  Getting q’s and g’s mixed up…  huh.  Great…  just great.13102822_982147601892571_6280506427244160185_n

Why does God impress upon me to write when it’s such a challenge?  Maybe it’s His way of keeping me dependent upon Him.  When things come easily, we tend to think we’re doing them in our own strength.  It’s just a theory…  but dyslexia is the most frustrating condition to deal with.DYSLEXIA

I’ll scream…  and cry…  but I’ll probably get up tomorrow and write again.  I have to believe that God’s got His reasons for everything.  I don’t know why I see things differently than others do.  If I had the power to change it, I would.  I’ve done the best job I can do and leave the rest to the Lord – so please forgive my errors because I’m so very human.  🙂

 

THANK A MAILMAN DAY

TL 2-4 THANK A MAILMAN DAY

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. – Inscription NYC Post Office

Some have a walking route and others drive the all-too familiar looking vehicle, but every one is an important link in the chain of the USPS.  Today we tip our hats to the amazing people who make sure our mail gets to the right location – today is THANK A MAILMAN DAY!!!

Women too – for sure – I have a few friends who work for the USPS – women who are optimistic and positive and real go-getters.

I ran across some interesting facts about the delivery methods in my research today.  There’s apparently a mule train delivery in Arizona.  Each mule carries about 130 pounds of mail, food, supplies and furniture down the 8 mile trail to the Havasupai Indians at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, averaging 4,000 pounds per day.

I caught up with a couple of those mules – and they were all too happy to pose for a photo.  Actually, they were a bit hammy…  LOL!

12650516_1716307285280401_284835294_nThere’s also a boat delivery on the Detroit River in Michigan.  The JW Westcott is a 45′ contract mail boat out of Detroit that delivers mail to passing ships.  The JW Westcott has its own ZIP Code – 48222.

http://www.jwwestcott.com/contact.html

There’s dock-to-dock delivery on the Magnolia River in Alabama.  A 15′ contract mail boat delivers to 176 dockside mailboxes on a 31 mile stretch of the river.

Much of Alaska’s mail is delivered by bush pilot and much of the mail in the lower 48 is also delivered by plane.

Sometimes we think the USPS consists of that one individual that either walks or drives to our mailbox and puts the mail in it.  There is so much more to the big picture.

2-4 DELIVERING LOVE

So today – to all the links in the USPS chain…  including our own mailman – we say THANK YOU!!!  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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My husband and I are celebrating 29 years of marriage today!

You would think that I’d be a wellspring of wisdom and filled with great advice for those younger than me.  The fact is, we are still learning as we go along.  There are a few things I have learned through the years.  I can say without hesitation:

  1. Listen more than you speak because that’s how you learn.
  2. Adopt an attitude of serendipity every day.  Every day will not be filled with excitement and fireworks!  Embrace the quiet, boring moments and appreciate what you have – on purpose.
  3. Don’t let the enemy talk you into the notion that living your life with someone else would have been better.  It probably would not.
  4. There’s not a problem in marriage that cannot be fixed.  Pray separately and together for solutions.  God wants to help.
  5. Don’t even say the word divorce.  We decided from the get-go that we would not say the “D” word to each other.
  6. Perfection is a myth in marriage.  He’s a human being and so am I.  Imperfection is our specialty and forgiveness is the key to dealing with it.
  7. You won’t change him.  Stop thinking you can change him.  Accept whatever it is that you think you can change, because it’s not going to change.
  8. We get older.  We gain new interests and grow intellectually.  We have each other for moral support through all the changes that inevitably happen in life.
  9. No matter how difficult or time-consuming your occupation is, I guarantee that the time you need to dedicate to keeping your marriage great will take much more effort and take even more time.
  10. I don’t have to be right all the time.  I’m not always wrong either.  I admit it when I’m wrong and don’t rub it in when I’m right.
  11. There are quirky behaviors that will make your mate crazy.  If it’s your goal to make him / her crazy, keep it up.  If it’s not your goal to make your significant other crazy, work on your quirky self.
  12. If you find that you are unhappy in your marriage, don’t automatically blame the marriage.  Maybe you don’t feel fulfilled within.  Take a class or join a book club.  Expand your own horizons and find your inner shine.
  13. Marriage does not come with instructions.  It is on the job training, so cut your spouse some slack and allow for learning curves.
  14. My husband and I survived having a house built.  It’s my opinion that if a couple can come through that, they can come through just about anything.
  15. Be willing to open and sort through each other’s baggage from time to time.  We all have baggage, and when you find a person who is willing to help you work on the stuff in your bag, you have really found a great treasure in that person.
  16. Take care of yourself for your spouse.  The greatest anniversary gift you can give him / her is the gift of your good health.
  17. When you are facing challenges, try to remember some happier memories.  I grab a scrapbook at times like that to jog my memory.  The photos make me smile.
  18. Infidelity is the only deal breaker!  Nobody deserves to be cheated on.  If you want out, walk out.  Everything else is negotiable and there are always concessions being made to make the other happy.  It’s not always about me.
  19. Frustration happens.  Don’t shut each other out when it does.  Talk it out.  Hug it out.
  20. Remember the vows you took.  Make them matter, no matter what.  You will work on the things that matter most.  How much does your marriage mean to you?
  21. I learned a long time ago that we have a choice to be bitter or better.  I find that better makes me and my spouse better.  Bitterness just puts a frown on my face and creates wrinkles.  Who needs that?
  22. Please and thank you are magic words and should be used liberally in a marriage and in a family.  If you request change instead of criticize or complain you will get more promising results.
  23. Silence in a marriage is not always a bad thing.  When a couple falls silent for a few miles along the way, that’s not a sign that the marriage is not good.  There are times when my husband and I will be thinking the same thing and one of us will speak – and the other will say, “How did you know what I was just thinking about?”  I love it when that happens!
  24. Find constructive ways to fight.  Bad language and yelling accomplish nothing.  Resolve conflict with logic and wisdom.  Being childish does not earn points from your spouse.
  25. Forgive…  forgive…  and keep forgiving.  Your marriage is worth it.
  26. Apply Christian love like a Band-Aid bandage!  See your spouse as Christ sees him / her.  He / she is a soul in need of a Savior.  Instead of expecting so much, give the gift of prayer.  God is in the business of healing marriages.
  27. Be comfortable with your own company.  There are times when you will be left alone.  If you are the type of person who is not comfortable being alone, work on that.  Marriage provides companionship, but it’s important to know how to be left alone as well.
  28. Routine can become a rut.  Change it up because you do not have to fix a roast every single Sunday of the year.
  29. Money matters can tear a marriage to pieces.  Keep it fair by putting both your names on everything.  Share the checkbook and limit the number of credit cards you use.  Make sure you discuss major purchases before buying.
  30. Don’t let the sun set on your anger.  That’s the best biblical advice ever!  Talk it out and stay up all night if you have to.  No slamming doors and no yelling.  Sit down and respectfully discuss it like adults.
  31. When your spouse begins to be critical, it’s never about that.  There’s usually something deeper causing the criticism.  Don’t take it personally because eventually the real issue will probably come to the surface.
  32. This house is just a house.  It’s up to the two of us to make it into a home.  The goal is not to be happily married, but to live happily ever after.  We’re not happy every single moment of every single day.  After all, this isn’t a fairytale!
  33. Sometimes there’s a split second during a disagreement when that little voice inside says, “I probably should not say that”, please, for Pete’s sake, listen to that little voice!  You can never take it back…  never.
  34. Anticipate screw ups!  It’s called life – and it happens!
  35. Keep God in the middle of your marriage.  GOD IS LOVE…  and what does any marriage need more than LOVE???
  36. Sickness, health, rich, poor…  are you in it for the long haul, no matter what?  It’s as simple as being determined to hold on and ride it out.
  37. Don’t expect your spouse to make you happy.  That’s not his / her job.
  38. Do something new.  We took some cooking classes together and it was so much fun.
  39. Share a joke with your spouse.  You may get a laugh or an eye roll – but you’ll probably get some response.
  40. Pray God’s blessings over your union.  Remember that He’s the One who brought you together.

Marriage is not easy, and it’s not for wimps or those who are squeamish.  It takes two people who are willing to hang in there and work at it, keeping God in the center.  ❤

 

 

 

 

 

NUMBERS 7:1 ON 7/1

TL NUMBERS 7 1 ON 7 1

When Moses finished setting up the tabernacle, he anointed and consecrated it and all its furnishings. He also anointed and consecrated the altar and all its utensils.  – Numbers 7:1

What if Moses had finished setting up the tabernacle and not dedicated it to the LORD right away?  What if he had not instantly declared that it was GOD’S TENT?  What if…

When we are serving God in whatever way we serve Him – whether it’s through music or writing or…  do we get all set up to do what we do – and dedicate it all to Him immediately?

It is so easy to go through the motions without inviting God to be a part of it.  It’s easier still to leave Him out completely – it can become routine and familiar to us.  Yes – US – I’m talking to myself too.  Nothing is easier for me to do than play the piano, however, if I’m getting ready to serve the LORD, I’d better dedicate my service to Him – or it will be worthless. 

We dare not boast one bit about anything we do for God.  Without His presence, His love, His guidance – it means nothing.  The second we forget that and start making it about our own ability or skill – we’ve lost out on the blessing from God.  When we try to go it alone, that is when failure happens.

Moses teaches us to prepare to serve and be careful to invite God’s Holy Spirit into the service.  If He is part of the service – part of the process – then what you do must succeed because it’s backed by God Himself.  He can not fail and He will not let your plans fail – especially your plan to serve Him.

If you are serving the LORD and it seems to be more difficult than usual, ask yourself if you invited God to be in the midst of your efforts.  You may think it can wait – that you can take care of it later – but it can’t wait.  Before you begin doing what you do, ask God to do what He does!  He will bless your tiny efforts and make them huge!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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CONVERSATION AND CONFRONTATION
Today was my mom’s birthday.   One of her favorite people was Ruth Bell Graham.  Her favorite quote was one she ran across in a Christian publication once.  Apparently someone asked Mrs. Graham if she had considered divorce.  This was her response:

No, I’ve never thought of divorce…but I did think of murder a few times.  – Ruth Bell Graham

For my married friends…  how was Valentine’s Day???  Was it all you hoped it would be, or was there something lacking?  Was it new and different or business as usual?  If it was less than you thought it would be, will you say something, or just let it go?  I’m definitely a letitgo girl.  I choose my battles very carefully and try not to sweat the small stuff.  That’s okay unless there is too much small stuff – it tends to pile up after a while, ya know?  Eventually something has to be said.  It’s not wrong to mention things, but it’s how you do it that can cause problems.

There is a certain amount of work that goes into making a go of marriage. You don’t just get married and sit back waiting for the bliss fairy to sprinkle bliss dust all over the place! It may seem that way at first, because at the beginning of marriage, your spouse can do no wrong! He’s your knight in shining armor who has whisked you off your feet and is carrying you into some new adventure that you will plan as you go. It’s new and different; exciting and enthralling!

A few years pass and exciting becomes a little more routine and dare I say… boring. For some of you, children are added to your family. I would hazard a guess that this would be a definite “UP” moment in a marriage that is already good and strong. But after a few more years, life becomes a bit like one of my poems. Predictable. Quite.  Rhythm and rhyme.  But is that a bad thing?

The effort has to be made by both parties. A one-sided effort will just bring about such frustration and that can lead to a sort of buyer’s remorse at the very least. Resentment comes about when you do not see any effort being made by the one you married. The one who vowed to love, honor, cherish – no matter what.

When I was maybe six, I saw a photograph in a magazine of a young woman holding a bouquet of flowers up to a police officer who was pointing a gun at her – it was a 1970’s image from an anti-war protest.  Terribly intrigued by the contradiction depicted in that photo, I asked my mother about it.  She explained that the woman was trying to win over the officer with kindness.  Her exact words:  “Zap them back with super love.”  I’ve thought of that phrase many times over the years in trying moments.  I’ve never regretted zapping anyone back with super love.  – Cheryl Strayed

Today I challenge you. Make the effort to communicate. Say what you want to say without fear of rejection or a lengthy lecture. Remind your mate that you are a full partner in this thing and your feelings matter. I know confrontation can be uncomfortable, but it sure beats spending the next 50 years of your life walking on proverbial eggshells.

Keep God in the middle. It will be OK. 🙂

OATMEAL MUFFIN DAY

TL 12-19 OATMEAL MUFFIN DAY

 

12-19 OATMEAL MUFFINS

Hey there!

Around Christmas time, people who are not diabetic always ask me if it’s okay to BAKE GOODIES for those who are diabetic.  It seems they are fine with baking all sorts of cookies and candies for everyone else, but feel a bit put off when it comes to the diabetics.

Well, we enjoy getting goodies too – but we just can’t have things that make us SPIKE – spiking is not a good thing!   I try to share diabetic-friendly cookie, cake and muffin recipes here on the blog – so you no longer have to leave us out of the BAKING LOOP.  We can be on the list – but we need something with less of a sugar kick.  

For example, I was looking at a recipe for healthy oatmeal muffins and found a recipe using protein batter – take a look!  Look ma – no flour!  These are made with Whey Protein powder!  I suppose you could make these for a diabetic friend, if you happen to use Whey Protein powder yourself.  I doubt that you’d want to purchase it just to make these muffins.

If you cut back on the fat in muffins by substituting unsweetened applesauce and eliminate the sugar by using Splenda or Stevia, that is definitely a more healthy way to make muffins!  For type 2 diabetics it is a challenge to eat low-sugar, low-carb and low-fat.  I’d go so far as to say the following is a recipe that you could be comfortable baking and giving to a diabetic friend.  I wouldn’t recommend giving fudge or divinity, but these muffins would be a lovely homemade gift for a person with diabetes.

 Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.   – Peg Bracken

Most of us appreciate gifts from the heart instead of a present that is purchased in haste with little or no thought put into it.  When we give of our time and make something by hand, it means more because it has a bit of us in it.

For the spirit of Christmas fulfils the greatest hunger of mankind.   – Loring A. Schuler

It seems like the more we love someone, the more time and effort we are willing to put into their present.  For many years I made my mama a cross-stitched sweatshirt every year.  I remember making some pretty intricate designs for her – and it didn’t matter if it took the entire year to complete – I did it because I loved her.  I remember one particular project –  MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE – the famous Precious Moments design that depicts a goose making a joyful noise.   I started that project on December 26th and it was not complete until December 24th the following year!  I had to stay up late working on it toward the deadline – but I did it! 

I can’t cross-stitch anymore because my eyesight is not as good as it used to be and I have arthritis in my wrists, so I don’t buy waste cloth or threads nowadays; however, I can still follow a recipe (if I make the text extra-large print!)  Once in a while I like to eat a muffin for breakfast with a cup of coffee (I’ve even been known to dunk – but shhh…  don’t tell!)  :-/

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx