It’s Palm Sunday

I love the hymns of the church, and I don’t apologize for saying it.  Call me old-fashioned, but I miss hearing some of the more traditional music in the church.  The truth is, if we’re praising King Jesus with our whole hearts, the style of music is really pretty petty, Amen?  It’s bad enough the U.S. government is acting immature – the church needs to rise above and grow up.  There’s room for the new styles alongside the old.  Just praise King Jesus!  It isn’t about you – it’s about HIM.

With all my heart, I will praise the LORD.  Let all who are helpless, listen and be glad.  Psalm 34:2

All who are helpless…  the more we learn about our Lord, the more we realize that we are helpless.  Listen means stop talking.  Hear His Word and let it pierce your heart and mind.  Ponder what His Word is saying to you.  Pondering does not require conversation.  Ponder means to think – just leave it in your brain and let it wander around a bit.  Ponder.  Some people would call it over thinking.  I say nope – I’m pondering.  If pondering was good enough for Mary (the mother of Christ), it’s sure good enough for me.

To be glad means we should accept the joy that God wants to give us.  Remember, joy is not dependent on circumstances like happiness is.  I can be happy that the snow has melted, but if there is snow on the ground, I can have the joy of the Lord and rejoice in Him all day long.

One of the best parts of being a Sunday School teacher is helping kids get ready for a play.  There’s nothing more cute in the world than watching little ones in a Christmas or Palm Sunday / Easter play!  So sweet!

If you’re a new follower to this blog…  last Palm Sunday, Lucinda Berry Hill and I wrote a story about Daisy’s colt.  Check it out: https://hearthungerblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/daisys-colt/

In my experience, I have learned one thing…  when you line the kids up, you only give palm branches to the kids in the FIRST row – for obvious reasons.  Yes, you guessed it…  the kids in the second row will start bopping the kids in the first row with the branches.  Take that one to the bank.  It’s gonna happen!  LOL!  Why, yes, I did learn that the hard way – and it’s so much easier to give them the palm branches than to ask to have them back.  Tears and screaming…  sigh.  No – not them… – ME!

Oh sing unto Jehovah a new song: Sing unto Jehovah, all the earth. Sing unto Jehovah, bless his name; Show forth his salvation from day-to-day. Declare his glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples. For great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised: He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols; But Jehovah made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before him: Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe unto Jehovah, ye kindreds of the peoples, Ascribe unto Jehovah glory and strength. Ascribe unto Jehovah the glory due unto his name: Bring an offering, and come into his courts.  Oh worship Jehovah in holy array: Tremble before him, all the earth.  – Psalm 96:1-9

Grab a palm branch and try to resist the temptation to bop your neighbor with it.  It’s not a Christmas gift wrap tube, ya know.  That’s what I used to tell the kids – lol.  One time, I even brought some leftover Christmas gift wrap tubes in to the church so the kids could just get it out of their systems before I gave them the branches – that’s actually a better solution – and I even had fun!  We had a bee-bopping good time in the fellowship center.

I have a special surprise for you!  My friend, Geri Ehrlich, wrote the sweetest children’s story and I want to share it with you today.

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The Broken Wing – by Geri Ehrlich, March 2018

One day, a small boy found a baby bird caught between the branches of a tree.  He quickly freed the trapped creature, but could see that her wing had been broken.

Over the next few weeks, the boy tended the bird and soon her wing was healed and she broke out in joyful flight, fluttering her wings as she encircled her new friend, bringing great delight to the boy.

For many days, the boy and the bird laughed and played under the tree that had trapped her a short time ago.

One day, the boy grew tired and fell asleep.  The bird also grew tired – of watching him sleep, and flew off to new adventures.

Soon, far away from the one who rescued her, she became trapped again.  But, this time, it was a net – not a branch that hindered her freedom.  Suddenly, a big, rough hand tightened around her delicate body.  She was torn from the net, placed in an iron cage, and taken even farther away from her boy.

When the boy awoke, he frantically searched for his friend, but she was nowhere to be found.

After many years, the boy grew to become a man.  As he grew, his heart grew sick for want of the little bird.

Then, one day, a pigeon happened by and took pity on the man.  She listened as the man told her of his long-lost friend.

So, the pigeon, determined to find the bird, took flight in search of her.

At last, the pigeon found the bird – locked in a cage, high in a tower.  When the little bird learned of her sick friend, she pushed, shoved, and pried at the bars.  They would not move.  The pigeon tried to free the bird by pecking at the lock.  And even though the lock had begun to rust due to the bird’s many tears, the lock would not budge.

Sadly, they both knew that the little bird could not be freed.  So, the pigeon flew back to the sick-hearted man and told him what she had seen.

Meanwhile, the little bird was left to cry alone in her cage.

The man was sad to hear that his little friend was locked away.  He longed to go to her, but his weak body kept him from even getting out of bed.

For many days and nights, the pigeon carried messages between them.  Each time, the lock was tried.  And each time, it would not budge, leaving the little bird to cry alone.

But, after a while, and with much crying, the lock rusted through.  The little bird struggled to twist off the latch and she was free!

Now, she flew as fast as she could back to her boy.  Overjoyed when she reached him, she fluttered all around him, brushing his heart with the wing he had tended so long ago.

And… then something magical happened.  The man’s sick heart began to heal.  Soon, his strength returned and he was able to stand and walk again.

This made the little bird so happy that she broke into beautiful song; fluttered about even more, fanned out her tail feathers for all to see.  Just watching her made the man’s heart burst with gladness and he, too, began to sing and dance around.

Many years have come and gone.  But, if you listen… you can still hear the melody of the man and the little bird floating amongst the tree tops.  And, if you look closely, you can still see them dancing and fluttering among the swirling leaves.

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Isn’t that sweet???  I really like it.  I hope Geri will put illustrations with it soon!  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.  – Psalm 101:3

Have you taken a look at the shows that are to première tonight?  The only one that piqued my interest was one called “Quantico”, which I’m thinking is a spin-off the popular show “Criminal Minds”.  Then I thought of how often that program upset me and got me scared just before bedtime – which – hello – that’s helpful.  I’m sure “Quantico” is going to be cranked up a notch – it surely will be.  Do I really need to set that before my eyes?  I may be watching DVD’s tonight.  Yes, they’re old and I’ve watched them a gazillion times – but they don’t give me nightmares!

Most of the new titles are either sexually suggestive or look uninteresting to me.  Yes, I’m getting old – I admit it.  Give me “Murder, She Wrote” DVD’s and a bowl of veggie dip and fresh veggies to snack on!

The shows of today and the techno-babble music…  it’s lost me.  I’m out.  I was working out the other day to a song where the girl kept singing YOU DON’T MAKE ME HIGH ANYMORE.  I try not to listen closely…  but seriously – it was impossible to tune that out – it was repeated over and over and…  OVER!  You can put down the repeating of the choruses in church all you want – but in my humble opinion…  they got that brilliant idea from the world.

When I’d finally heard the last annoying complaint that YOU DON’T MAKE ME HIGH ANYMORE…  I said to myself…  “Then let me tell ya, girlfriend…  you are NOT ready to get married to one man for the rest of your life!”  Just sayin’…

What an immature statement to make in a song – so-called song.  A very long…  redundant, repetitive song.  Ugh. 

A wicked plan or purpose is thus represented as having a tendency to fasten itself on a man, or to “stick to him”—as pitch, or wax, or a burr does.  – Albert Barnes.

We have to be so careful about not only what we say and do, but what we take in.  How many women listen to that song, that statement – and then decide that they should probably move on?  You don’t know what action may be triggered in another person.

As you look for new TV shows to watch and new music to listen to, keep in mind this simple Bible verse.  Don’t waste your time with anything worthless.  Don’t let anything stick to you that does not feed your soul.  Find something that makes your brain work a little bit.  There’s something about helping a detective (or a mystery book writer) solve crimes…  I get wrapped up in it and help Jessica Fletcher – even after all these years!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

SILENT NIGHT

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So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.  – Luke 2:4-7

Most of us grew up singing this Christmas carol.  It’s like saying the pledge of allegiance or reciting Scripture we’ve learned by heart.  The lyrics just roll off the tongue with little or no thought.  Today I want to make you think about the words of this old carol.  Why was “Silent Night” written?  Why not “Bright Night” – although early in the song it’s mentioned that all is calm and all is…  bright.

On Christmas Eve, 1818, “Stille Nacht!  Heilige Nacht” was heard for the first time in a village church in Oberndorf, Austria.  The voices of the assistant pastor, Father Joseph Mohr, and the choir director Franz Xaver Gruber, rang through the church accompanied by Father Mohr’s guitar.  All the congregation at that Midnight Mass in St. Nicholas Church listened intently.

On all six verses, the choir repeated the last two lines in four-part harmony.  A carol was launched that would soar into the hearts of folks throughout the world.  It’s been translated into hundreds of languages and is sung by untold millions every Christmas from small chapels to great cathedrals around the world.

Keep in mind that this simple tune was written to be played on a guitar.  The effect is so profound because of its simplicity.  It’s as though as lullaby is being sung – and what better accompaniment than a guitar?quiet-time-prayer

Often our Lord speaks to the human heart in a whisper.  Why are we so surprised when it is the soft and simple song that penetrates a hard heart?  Christmas softens most hearts by its very nature because what’s more precious than a baby?  Of course, Christ was not just any child, but He did enter into our world in the same way we as humans do.  It’s the first small bit of common ground He established in order to become a part of humanity.

When I think of what He left behind to begin His mission, I’m so very thankful He decided to follow through…  from cradle to glorious resurrection – for even me.

Take a look at Lucinda’s cute poem about that silent night.

my-christmas-storyIsn’t that cute???  🙂

 

 

 

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24What would life be like without music?  I have one word for you…  BORING!!!  We’d all be yawning constantly and people would have to drink twice as much coffee to stay awake!  Have you thought of thanking God for music?  I guess I have because one of my favorite songs is called, “We Thank You, God, For Music” – !!!

Music plays an instrumental role in my life.  Arr arr arr…  music geek humor.

On that NOTE…  let’s pray.a-prayer-poem-for-thanksgiving

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.  – C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

my-thankful-basketMy thankful basket is filled with love songs…  to my Savior!  He first loved me and He’s the only one who died for me – that’s for sure!  He alone is worthy of the highest praise I can give Him.

I wish for you the amazing peace that comes from handing your life…  lock, stock and barrel – over to God and letting Christ lead you.  I can’t explain it, but you just know it’s gonna be okay.  God’s got you and that’s enough.  Praise Him with song.  Make a joyful noise unto the LORD.  Raise your hands and sing praises to God.  He won’t laugh if you sing off-key…  but I guarantee He will smile.  🙂

NATIONAL MEN MAKE DINNER DAY

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The bonds of matrimony are like any other bonds — they mature slowly. – Peter De Vries

My husband makes dinner every night – I can’t cook worth a lick!  But guys, if you are as lost in the kitchen as I am, here is a recipe that even I can make – and it’s pretty tasty too!

On a low-carb diet, it’s not uncommon to be craving Italian food.  This dish combines a little Italian flavor with some Greek flavor.  I think you’ll like it!

PESTO CHICKEN CASSEROLE (Makes 4 servings)

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 lbs. chicken thighs (or breasts if you like white meat)

4 oz. red or green pesto

1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

1/2 c. pitted black olives

1/2 lb. feta cheese, diced

1 clove garlic, chopped

Salt & pepper to taste

Butter for frying

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Season with salt & pepper.  Fry in butter until golden brown.  Mix pesto and heavy cream in a bowl.  Place fried chicken pieces in baking dish along with olives, cheese and garlic.  Add pesto mix.

Bake for 20-30 minutes.

VOILA’!!!

I usually toss a little salad to go with this – some baby spinach and assorted veggies that you like.  Make some homemade dressing with olive oil and vinegar or use a ranch or blue cheese – something low carb.

To keep the fire burning brightly there’s one easy rule: Keep the two logs together, near enough to keep each other warm and far enough apart — about a finger’s breadth — for breathing room. Good fire, good marriage, same rule.  – Marnie Reed Crowell

As important as the meal is – it’s equally important to set a pretty table.  Oh – and don’t forget to light the candles.  Soft music is optional.

I hate to mention it…  but it’s also a great idea to plan to clean up your mess in the kitchen after dinner.

Just a thought – as nice as it is to have a special holiday for this, it’s also wonderful for men to cook when wives are super busy or when they’re feeling under the weather – or caring for children who are sick.  Have a wonderful day – happy cooking, guys!  🙂

 

 

WE LOVE ELVIS

TL 5-25 WE LOVE ELVISThings are popping in Memphis, Tennessee at Graceland!  August 8-16 is ELVIS WEEK!  There will be all sorts of events and special stuff happening.  For a full schedule and more details, click this link:

https://www.graceland.com/elvisweek/

I’ve been to Graceland and it’s such a memorable experience.  I wasn’t there for Elvis week, but I think it’d be great to be there.  The next best thing would be to hop on this link and do the live stream – yeah!  That’s my plan.

I like the idea of having the children’s karaoke – kids 17 and under are invited to sing their favorite Elvis song.  It’s weird to think that anyone doesn’t know who he was, I mean – the generation right after mine was clueless about Elvis (and most things political – but I digress…) Isn’t it a great idea to keep Elvis alive, so to speak – keep his music alive by having the little ones sing it?  That’s brilliant.

Does anyone else appreciate the “human” side of the legend?  I mean, sometimes we build up a legend until they seem almost more than just human.  I found this quote and thought I’d share it – just to remind us that while yes, Elvis is a legend – he actually was, in reality, very human.

When one of Lisa’s baby teeth fell out here, the tooth fairy left her 50 cents. Another tooth fell out when she was with her father in Las Vegas, and that tooth fairy left her $5. When I told Elvis that 50 cents would be more in line, he laughed. He knew I was not criticizing him; how would Elvis Presley know the going rate for a tooth?  – Priscilla Presley

As you know, my favorite Elvis impersonator is John Coyote.  He’s done some of my favorite Elvis songs and some funny skits.  I hope you enjoy these.

That made me hungry for shrimp…  LOL.

That made me thirsty for…  water – a glass of WATER.  LOL – you thought you caught me, didn’t ‘cha?

Enjoy ELVIS WEEK…  uh huh huh…  uh huh huh!  🙂

 

 

 

 

SATCHMO DAYS

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The legendary Louis “Satchmo Pops” Armstrong is the most recognizable icon in music history.  There’ll never be another like him.  The Satchmo Summerfest will be happening in New Orleans.  There will be music dedicated to the great man himself as well as seminars and great food.  http://www.fqfi.org/satchmo

All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing a song.  – Louis Armstrong

Here’s a bit of his book entitled Satchmo:  My Life in New Orleans

“In all my whole career the Brick House was one of the toughest joints I ever played in. It was the honky-tonk where levee workers would congregate every Saturday night and trade with the gals who’d stroll up and down the floor and the bar. Those guys would drink and fight one another like circle saws. Bottles would come flying over the bandstand like crazy, and there was lots of just plain common shooting and cutting. But somehow all that jive didn’t faze me at all, I was so happy to have some place to blow my horn.” So says Louis Armstrong, a tough kid who just happened to be a musical genius, about one of the places where he performed and grew up. This raucous, rich tale of his early days in New Orleans concludes with his departure to Chicago at twenty-one to play with his boyhood idol King Oliver, and tells the story of a life that began, mythically, on July 4, 1900, in the city that sowed the seeds of jazz.

I have a friend who can imitate Louis Armstrong’s distinctive voice and if you were to close your eyes and hear him sing “Hello Dolly” you would not be able to tell it was not the late great Louis Armstrong!  Can my friend play a horn though?  Nope – sorry.

If anybody was Mr. Jazz it was Louis Armstrong. He was the epitome of jazz and always will be. He is what I call an American standard, an American original.  – Duke Ellington

Hello Dolly!  Um…  I mean…  bye!  Enjoy Satchmo Days!  🙂

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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Here’s John Coyote singing one of my favorite Elvis songs – “Don’t”. 

Let’s begin today’s post with a trivia question:  In which film did Elvis Presley wear a beard?

Yes…  I said a BEARD.  Do you know the answer?  Not to worry – I didn’t know which one it was either.

On this day in 1968, Elvis began filming the movie CHARRO!  It was a bust – Elvis had a beard and only one of his songs was used in the film.  It was an all-around bummer.

Of course to die-hard Elvis fans (like me), anything he did was quite alright.  Beard, no beard – whatever.  He had music in his voice and I could listen to him sing forever.  His presence on the big screen was mesmerizing.

Although 1968 seems like a very long time ago, sometimes it seems like yesterday.  I used to hear my grandparents talk about how when they were young those were simpler, more innocent days.  I didn’t know what they meant at the time they were telling me that, but now – well, I would say that 1968 was a simpler, more innocent time than 2016.

In 1968 I was 9 years old.  It was a pre-computer age and our telephones were all landlines.  There were not many “R” rated movies showing at the theater, and we had another Elvis movie to look forward to.

Elvis played Jess Wade, a man falsely accused of having stolen a cannon from the Mexican revolutionary forces.  He tries to find the real culprits, a gang of criminals.

There were no F bombs and no scenes that were uncomfortable to watch in mixed company.  I miss simplicity and innocence in films.  No, this wasn’t his best movie, but I’d still rather watch it than some of the junk that they try to pass off as entertainment these days.

By 1968, Elvis had made 28 movies – and they were all starting to run together and the plots were beginning to seem very familiar.  It seemed to be a matter of what environment they decided to put Elvis in.  By the time movie number 29 was being filmed, they apparently thought the only thing they could do to change the routine of the plot was have Elvis grow a five-day shadow.

Real fans didn’t mind the familiarity of the plot – but even we were predicting with a fair degree of accuracy the twists and turns of the movies once there were so many of them.  I head Elvis say in an interview that he wished he had spent less time working on movies and more time working on new music.  He was a great talent to be sure and could obviously do either one – and whether you think anything he did was cheesy or not, I think it’s great that he left these gifts for us to enjoy.  🙂

 

 

 

WE LOVE ELVIS

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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.  🙂

 

 

 

OLD-TIME PLAYER PIANO WEEKEND

TL 5-27 THRU 29 OLD-TIME PLAYER PIANO WEEKENDThere are not many places that feature these wonderful player pianos anymore, but I can name one antique store in Kansas that still has one – and it works!  At Two Sisters Antique Mall in Newton, Kansas, the player piano (photo on today’s banner) lights up when it’s in use with a gorgeous stained glass panel.  Considering the age of the instrument, the tune is not that bad and all the keys work as far as I can tell.  It’s a joy to put a quarter in it and hear an old standard played as only a player piano can.  They even provide the quarters – is that nice or what?

As I watch the keys fly, I think to myself, “If I practiced every day for the rest of my life I couldn’t play like that!”  I love player pianos.  If I had room in my house, I’d try to get one.  Of course, as time goes by there will be fewer of them around.  What a sad thought.  😦

Here’s the facebook page for 2 Sisters – go over and give them a LIKE!  https://www.facebook.com/2.sisters.antique.mall/

Edwin Votey is credited with inventing this awesome piano.  He constructed his prototype system in 1895 in Detroit.  As he built it in his workshop, it took the form of a large wooden cabinet, much like the old upright piano, but a bit taller.  From the rear a row of felt-covered wooden fingers protruded that were aligned with the keyboard.  These fingers activated the piano’s keys in the same manner as a human pianist.

The paper rolls that are loaded onto a player piano look like they contain a code – and I suppose you could say they do.  Each little note that gets played on the piano is represented on that paper.  That’s why the player piano can do things that human hands many times cannot.  We have ten fingers, but those paper rolls can have as many notes represented as the arranger wants!  It’s amazing how much can go on at one time – it boggles the mind really.  Fascinating!

The last time we heard the player piano at Two Sisters, it was playing “In The Good Ol’ Summertime”, yet it was April – which struck me as funny.

I guess the most popular tune is “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin.

I know player pianos seem to be from an era gone by, but they have always interested me.  If you have a chance this weekend, go out and listen to some good piano playing – and take plenty of quarters with you!  🙂