A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I’ll tell ya, John is MUCH more brave than I am!  If something is hidden, I tend to just let it be…  you know, like the Beatles taught us to do so long ago…  😀

I have so many fears…  too many to list here, actually.  The top of that list, however, would have to be SNAKES!  I don’t care if they are deadly or not – it makes absolutely no difference to me.  They’re slimy and slithery and they’re sneaky and…  well – there’s a reason God turned the devil into one – jus’ sayin’…

My theory is that nothing that is hidden can be very good.  If something has to hide, it must be either illegal, immoral (does morality matter to anyone anymore?), or just plain bad news.  This video got me to thinking about different ways to face the things or places in our lives that are hidden.  We can ignore them or we can face them head on and chances are, they will not be so scary or spooky to us once we’ve encountered them.

Fight or flight???  I’m big on FLIGHT.  I don’t think it’s always been the best choice, and I readily admit, it’s the path of least resistance.  I hate to face opposition.  It’s easier to just agree or ignore – but to actually stand up and say I disagree with someone – then explain clearly and boldly WHY I disagree – well, no I’m not good at it.  In college I opted for Interpersonal Communication because I didn’t want to take Debate.  That was such a weird class.  But I digress…

I want to be better at charging into the hidden forests in my life.  As with everything, it’s a process that begins with a single step.  I’ve found that facebook is an excellent practice field.  It doesn’t take long at all to find people talking about a subject and offering advice and opinions that I completely disagree with.  There was a time I’d just think, “Oh I’m not getting in THIS mess.”  Now, I speak up – well, I don’t actually say anything…  LOL.  It’s facebook – I type my opposing views.

Sadly, while I’m in the thick of the hidden forest, the language tends to get not only offensive, but rude and completely obnoxious and uncalled for.  Once again, with God’s help, I type that I don’t believe just because I disagree with a viewpoint, I should have to read verbal vomit.TRUST FOR STRAIGHT PATHS

As Christians, we like a peaceful life in a little corner where we can sing praise and worship songs all day long.  The fact is, there are times when we have to go into a hidden forest – face something or someone who is offensive to our morality and our value system.  We must be willing to sharpen our debate skills, while also keeping in mind that we’ve all come short of God’s glory – none of us have arrived and none of us ever will.  It’s only by God’s miraculous GRACE that any of us can stand.  Without HIM and HIS sacrifice on Calvary – we’re nothing – and I mean NOTHING.

While the world is twisting and turning with every whim that comes along, we trust God to make our paths straight.  We long for simplicity that is a life lived in Christ.  We know that He will provide for us and that He will hear each prayer we pray.  We are never alone and that gives us such comfort – comfort that the world considers weak.  I once asked a co-worker, “I lean on God to help me.  Who do you lean on?”  Without hesitation, she boasted, “I lean on myself!”  I didn’t say anything else, but as I walked away I muttered under my breath, “Okay…  good luck with that.”

Join me today in praising Jesus Christ for the sacrifice He made for all of mankind on Calvary – for HE IS WORTHY of our praise!  🙂

WE LOVE ELVIS

TL 5-25 WE LOVE ELVISIMG_0024

I got a photo taken in Branson on August 22, 2004 with an Elvis impersonator – it was snapped after the show, so he was not exactly spring fresh – but we get photo ops when we can.  I’ll bet he never went to a gym – doing those shows is a workout in itself.  You know what’s in my scrapbook along with this photo?  One of his scarves – or whatever you call those sweat catchers…  eeeewww.  Funny story though – I was so short there’s no way I could have caught one before all those tall girls – so my sweet hubby jumped up and got it for me – then handed it over.  Teamwork – yep!

Who thinks that real life is just overwhelming right now?  I’m raising my hand!  Seriously, there have been NO positives in the news and even though someone is running around saying America will be GREAT again, well…  never mind.  I’ll tell ya what, I’ll believe it when I see it – let’s put it that way.

So when real life gets to be too much, what do we need to do?  That’s right – we need to have fun and laugh.  And guess what I have today?  Yep – my friend John Coyote made a YouTube video – another Elvis tribute – but I gotta tell ya – this one is a hoot!  But John’s voice does have an Elvis-like quality – but the dramatics along with it are too funny!

And honestly, I didn’t even know Elvis recorded this song – I think the first time I heard The First Time (lol – that was confusing) – was when it was sung by Roberta Flack.  I had the 45 record of it, so of course that’s the one I’m most familiar with.  Of course, John would know for sure because I think he’s older than me (LOL) – yeah – he’s probably not – I’m just a music illiterate.  Don’t hit me, John! 

I think John should be an Elvis impersonator, don’t you?  They get paid pretty good, I think – and he’s certainly got the talent and that ham bone quality…  yep – I think he needs to consider a possible career move.  I don’t know if they’re hiring in Branson, but he surely should check it out.  🙂

 

 

 

WE LOVE ELVIS

TL 5-25 WE LOVE ELVIS

Elvis_Presley_Signature

What’s our friend John been up to???  Let’s find out!

Elvis was a phenomena and a trend setter.  Before we heard his music, there was no Rockabilly.  He advanced all genres of music so much.  I enjoyed his gospel music – I know that surprises you!  But when I read about the music that influenced him the most…  guess what it said?

Presley’s earliest musical influence came from gospel. His mother recalled that from the age of two, at the Assembly of God church in Tupelo attended by the family, “he would slide down off my lap, run into the aisle and scramble up to the platform. There he would stand looking at the choir and trying to sing with them.”  In Memphis, Presley frequently attended all-night gospel singings at the Ellis Auditorium, where groups such as the Statesmen Quartet led the music in a style that, Guralnick suggests, sowed the seeds of Presley’s future stage act:

The Statesmen were an electric combination … featuring some of the most thrillingly emotive singing and daringly unconventional showmanship in the entertainment world … dressed in suits that might have come out of the window of Lansky’s. … Bass singer Jim Wetherington, known universally as the Big Chief, maintained a steady bottom, ceaselessly jiggling first his left leg, then his right, with the material of the pants leg ballooning out and shimmering. “He went about as far as you could go in gospel music,” said Jake Hess. “The women would jump up, just like they do for the pop shows.” Preachers frequently objected to the lewd movements … but audiences reacted with screams and swoons.

As a teenager, Presley’s musical interests were wide-ranging, and he was deeply informed about African-American musical idioms as well as white ones. Though he never had any formal training, he was blessed with a remarkable memory, and his musical knowledge was already considerable by the time he made his first professional recordings in 1954 at the age of 19. When Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller met him two years later, they were astonished at his encyclopedic understanding of the blues.  At a press conference the following year, he proudly declared, “I know practically every religious song that’s ever been written.”

Elvis_How_Great_Thou_art

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7336391

HOW GREAT THOU ART is the song that sends chills up and down my spine.  I heard that before he recorded it, he had never heard the hymn.  He did his own arrangement with no frame of reference.  To me, that takes some intestinal fortitude and confidence in your ability to arrange and perform.  He had such a great talent!

On my video called “The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley”, they said that when Elvis took a break, he and his backup singers ended up around the piano, Elvis playing – and they sang gospel songs.  I believe that is the music he loved deep down inside.  It’s the only music that had real meaning.

Amen!  HOW GREAT THOU ART!  Have a wonderful day in the LORD!  🙂

 

APPRECIATING GOD’S CREATION

TL APPRECIATING GOD'S CREATION

I am not a human being; I am a human becoming.  – Author Unknown

Today we get to watch a double feature!  John Coyote has been very busy in the last week or so, exploring the backwoods of Kansas.  He said both of these videos were shot ten miles southeast of Augusta, Kansas.

https://youtu.be/PM81j-alhr8

https://youtu.be/LPxh9xZ0zQs

Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.  – Standing Bear

Are you feeling stressed and overwhelmed today?  It’s amazing what a walk out in the wilderness can do to adjust your attitude!  Watching nature for just a bit can really make a difference.The older I get, the more convinced I am that the blessings of this earth are gifts from God.  When we stop to appreciate the creation and especially the Creator, we are expressing gratitude to Him and that is the most sincere form of praise!

You need special shoes for hiking — and a bit of a special soul as well.  – Terri Guillemets

Since I posted John’s last video, I’ve been asked if there are any resources on the internet regarding hiking and backpacking in Kansas.  I found three pretty good ones:

Wildernet is a great Web resource that has a lot of info on finding a good hiking trail.

AllTrails has a lot of good info on finding your next great trail.

Gorp has a great list of places to go as well as tips and guides.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in making a living that we forget to enjoy life.  Most of us make our living in a stale, air-conditioned office building… I did for a long time.  It’s only since I’ve been retired that I’ve discovered a special place…  called – OUTSIDE.  If you can just leave your computer, calculator, cell phone and everything else behind that tethers you to your work…  just go outside for a while.GOD'S DESIGN

John has a great knowledge of the wild things that grow – and I enjoy learning new things all the time.  Thank you all for the wonderful feedback you leave on facebook and twitter.  There’s a great following here on Heart Hunger Blog and I appreciate every one of you!  Have a great May Day – and get outside for a while!  🙂

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.  😉

WORLD WILDLIFE DAY

TL 3-3 WORLD WILDLIFE DAY

When a man says to me, “I have the intensest love of nature,” at once I know that he has none.   – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, 1857

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God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages.  – Jacques Deval, Afin de vivre bel et bien

What if people respected wildlife?  There has to be a way for man and wildlife to coexist in harmony.

There is a very real danger of extinction for some of the world’s most charismatic species and other lesser-known but ecologically crucial plants and animals.  The cause is habitat loss but also an increase in illicit trafficking.

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Wildlife crime leaves a horrible environmental, economic and social scar.  Implications of illicit trafficking for peace and security in a number of countries where organized crime, insurgency and terrorism abound are of particular concern.

Cruelty is one fashion statement we can all do without.   – Rue McClanahan

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What is the answer?  All sectors of society need to commit to trading and using wild plants and animals sustainably and equitably.

We don’t exactly have wildlife in our neck of the woods, but we sure do have some pretty nature around Branson, Missouri.  John Coyote took some video and I want to share it with you.

That makes me want to go on a hike – how about you?  Or maybe we should walk along the sea-shore.  Maybe we will catch a glimpse of a seal.  Be ready with the camera…

When we think of wildlife, our minds automatically think of Africa, but we observe the wildlife all around the world today.

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Here in America we have wild horses and ponies.  They are so beautiful when they run!

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We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us.  When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.   – Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

God created a beautiful world for us to enjoy.  I hope we can shoot wildlife with a camera instead of a gun and leave not a trace behind where we have walked.  One day I hope to go on a trip to see wildlife, armed with a really great camera!  It’s on my bucket list!  Wink!  😉

 

WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

TL 6-5 WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

https://youtu.be/kmyEmKLBrIg
Since common sense does not seem to be as common as it used to be, let me inject just a bit here today. On this WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY, let’s make an effort to do some thinking before we choose what we will eat. In the process, you may be pleasantly surprised at what you could save, both financially and for the environment.

Nearly one pound of food per American gets tossed away every day! That number nearly boggles the mind, but how can we be better stewards of what we receive? There are ways to stay on your diet and stop the waste of precious food.

1. If you’re eating at a restaurant, order off the kids menu if you know you won’t eat it all. There is absolutely no shame in doing that! Those scaled-down meals will be just enough to fill you up and you will have a happy plate. No waste of food!

2. Invest in a vacuüm sealer! If you keep meat in the freezer (and most of us do), the vacuüm sealed meat will stay good for a long time.

3. Don’t buy perishables in bulk. Well there’s a dose of “duh” for you. Unless you have a family of 15, there is no reason to buy things like fruits and vegetables in large quantities. These foods do not keep for a long time and will have to be tossed if not used up in a timely manner.

4. If you are cooking for one or two, make four meals at a time. If your significant other does not mind leftovers, cook double and save the extra for the next day. You’ve used the same amount of energy that you would have used for one meal, but you now have two meals.

Let’s take a trip to Colorado with John Coyote.  No waste there, right? 

There are popular diet plans that encourage food waste to whittle your waist. The truth is, if you would just use common sense about portion size and not let your eyes be bigger than your tummy – you can eat just enough without waste! 🙂

SIERRA CLUB DAY

TL 5-28 SIERRA CLUB DAY

 

On May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California, the Sierra Club was founded. Today is SIERRA CLUB DAY!!! This grassroots environmental group has been one of the most influential in the country and is still going strong.

Don’t count the day done until you’ve made the day count.  – Dr. Thom C. Gibson

I like their motto – LEAVE NO TRACE. That of course means that when you go on an outing – you clean up and leave your site just as you found it. If you packed it and used it – pack it back up and take it with you. You don’t have to be a member of the Sierra Club to use that kind of common sense when it comes to taking care of the planet.

Don’t wait until Arbor Day to plant a tree. You can plant a tree now!

This falls under the heading COMMON SENSE – but when you leave a room – flip the light switch off behind you. Why keep a light on – or a TV on if you are leaving the room? Instead of cranking up the heat in the Winter or the AC in the Summer, adjust the amount of clothing you wear to get more comfortable.

Stay informed on the latest eco news. If you hear of a more green way to do things, maybe you should consider making some changes for the sake of the planet.

Ask yourself a question before you mindlessly toss something in the trash: Could this item be re-purposed or re-used for something? You might be surprised what you can do! I recently turned a gallon jug into a handy watering pitcher for my plants.

Do you throw your gum away in a trash can, or do you just spit it out the car window and let it land wherever? Think about how you dispose of your gum next time. Aside from the fact that someone might step in it, a bird would think the gum is a rock and swallow it. The gum then expands, killing the bird.

A few small changes made by all of us can make a huge impact. This is the only Earth we get – no backup Earth – sorry. 😦

EARTH DAY

TL 4-22 EARTH DAY

I’m happy to announce that Spring is in full swing here in Kansas!  The temperatures will rise and that means that folks will be getting outside more.

No matter what type of activity you choose, it’s a good idea to carry a bottle of water with you.  Staying properly hydrated is a part of good health and wellness.  Your body needs 8-8oz. glasses of water every day.

I want to talk about the type of water bottle you should choose.  By now I’m sure we are all familiar with BPA and other chemicals that are found in traditional plastic water bottles.  Some claim their plastic does not contain these harmful chemicals, but let’s look at the facts.

When plastic is “recycled”, it’s actually “downcycled” and could be made into most anything – from carpet padding to plastic fencing – to a plastic water bottle.  The plastic loses integrity with each reincarnation.  The process is not pure in its true sense.

When glass is recycled, it turns into glass again.  Glass is the most safe container to drink from.  And let’s face it, when you drink water from glass, it tastes like water and if it is in a plastic container there is always that plastic aftertaste!  Who needs that?

What about a stainless steel or aluminum bottle?  Well, there are usually some decorative paints used on those and they could cause harm as well.  It would seem that we are back to glass containers.

Yes, glass is a bit heavier than plastic.  But I’d rather carry a bottle that I know is not going to cause me harm and deal with the weight issue.  It’s not that much heavier.  

I can hear you saying, “But glass will break easily!”  This is also true, however, there are water bottles on the market that are glass on the inside and have a clear plastic coating that is BPA free and FDA sanctioned.  The plastic has the glass pieces if the bottle should happen to break or shatter.  I like the plastic coating because it creates improved slip-resistance as well. 

Most of us are trying to be more environmentally responsible these days.  The statistics are still staggering:

  • Americans throw away over 25,000,000,000 styrofoam coffee cups every year.
  • Americans toss plastic bags and other plastic garbage in the ocean.  We kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year.
  • Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour!!!  Most of those bottles are not recycled.

On a more practical note, those of us who choose to add a lemon slice to our water for the alkaline benefit should also consider choosing a glass water bottle with a wide mouth opening. 

Knowledge is power.  So, now that you are informed, what will you do with it? 

I’m not going to tell you to go out and hug a tree, but I will ask you to refrain from using styrofoam coffee cups and plastic water bottles. 

Show some class and choose the glass! 🙂