A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

A couple of things happen once you accept the living water that Jesus offers…  first, you no longer feel thirsty – the void has been filled and second, you just have this overwhelming need to go tell somebody about what you’ve found!  That’s just what happens.

Mrs. Clopp was the sweetest little lady and the wife of our pastor at the time.  I have no idea why my dad had his camera in church that day – but I love that I have this picture.  This reminds me of the time when the Lord washed my sins away and I started a new life with Him.  That Sunday evening I was baptized…  I know – again with the WATER!  Our salvation and baptism only happens because of God’s grace through Christ – and the blood that Christ shed on the cross at Calvary.  What a great thought to ponder on this Good Friday!  God loves us so much – I hope you know Him too.

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I think my love of rain stems from this experience.  It usually rains on my birthday, and I’ve been known to go outside and dance in it.  Water is so cleansing and everything smells so clean, fresh and new after a gentle rain.  I know that the water is symbolism, but it represents a very real work that happens inside.

No matter what happens in my life, how much I fall or fail or get into sticky situations…  I have this time to revisit.  God was there – I was there.  Life gets messy sometimes and I am so far from perfect, believe me, but I know there is forgiveness waiting from the Lord as I move forward.  I could have let things make me bitter in life, but I chose to learn the lessons and let them make me better.

Dance in the Living Water that comes from God.  Remember that you may fall or fail or get into sticky situations…  but your GOD will never fail you – ever!  🙂

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Not all preachers stand behind a pulpit on Sunday morning at 10:45 am and again at 6 pm.  Anyone who claims the name of Christ is to be sharing the good news of His gospel with others in any way possible.  Sometimes it means writing a blog post every day, feeling humbled in your heart and a bit jumbled in your brain because of dyslexia.  God can use what I write though – not because it’s so riveting and exciting…  but because it’s what God wants me to write.  A wise writer once told me that I need to share what I write whether I think it’s good or not because God knows somebody who needs to read it.  He’ll make sure what I write gets seen by the right people.

Have you ever seen someone get reproved or rebuked by someone with patience?  It’s rare that a person can actually do that because there’s usually some degree of emotion involved and sadly, it’s generally anger.  But I got to witness a pastor reprove and rebuke someone on his staff once and by the time he was finished, I felt as if I’d been in the most wonderful class ever on diplomacy and tact.  I knew that God’s Holy Spirit was guiding every gesture he made and every word he said.  He got the point across and there were absolutely no hurt feelings and he didn’t have a bit of damage control to worry about.  Thank God! 

To exhort means to urge, advise, or caution earnestly; admonish urgently.  It can be dicey to do this, but there are times when it’s necessary.  Again, if we will take time before rushing in to seek God’s Holy Spirit and let Him guide our words and actions, it’s amazing how much better things will go.  Nobody wants to hurt feelings, but when there are differences of opinion, rather than knock heads together as you’d do in your own wisdom – ask God to help you as you negotiate a compromise in the situation.  Blessed are the peacemakers.  There’s a blessing waiting for you if you’ll do things God’s way.  Have you read the story of Jonah?  I rest my case. 

I keep thinking about that last phrase…  with COMPLETE patience and teaching.  That’s impossible to do in our own strength!  The natural man has nearly zero patience.  If you don’t believe me, drive around downtown Wichita at 5 pm on any weeknight.  Horns honk and fingers flip…  um, exercise.  Yep – road rage…  the struggle is real, folks.

God gave His all for me – He just keeps on loving me.  He hasn’t given up on me, so I need to hang in there with others.  Only through God’s Holy Spirit can we develop COMPLETE patience and teaching.  It’s a preacher’s job to lead by example and while yes they’re human (we do get that) – but like every Christian who has been a Christian for a number of years, there should be that desire to be patient with the congregation.  Is it easy?  Nope.  Is it possible with God’s help?  Yep.

Today is the first day of CONSIDER CHRISTIANITY WEEK!!!  I hope you will accept Jesus into your heart and life today.   If you are a Christian, don’t forget to share your faith with someone this week.   

Well, 2 Timothy 4:2 is my birthday verse.  I’m 56 years old today – woo-hoo!  I wrote a silly little poem from my silly little heart.

I really do love the rain.  I loved it more before I wore glasses because the rain messes my lenses up – but I still love the rain.  I can remember having snow a couple of times on my birthday, which I’m not a big fan of – one time I had to cancel a birthday party because we had so much snow.  That was a major bummer all the way around.

You know I love donkeys, right?  Well – if you didn’t know before, now you do.  Look what I found…

Keep sharing your faith wherever you go, and ask God’s Holy Spirit to help you have COMPLETE patience and teaching with everyone.  Just plant the gospel seeds.  The world won’t be forced with an iron fist and we can’t yell anyone to the altar.  We just have to love folks and pray for them.  🙂

 

 

WE’VE PACKED OUR DUDS… LET’S GO

WE'VE PACKED OUR DUDS... LET'S GO!

FAMILY VACATION

We recently enjoyed a great trip to Peoria, IL for the National Autumn Leaf Collector’s Club convention.  We renewed friendships, had lovely conversations and of course we shopped for Hall china.  Even though the folks in the club collect the autumn leaf pattern, there are always a few other patterns for sale as well.

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As serious as we are about our collection, we are more serious about the entertainment at our end of the week banquet!  I especially enjoyed the entertainment this year because I LOVE ELVIS!  Okay, the guy had the wig and the big (BIG) dark glasses, so I don’t really think he LOOKED like Elvis without all that, but I sat and listened – and when I closed my eyes, it was like the KING of Rock & Roll was in the room – no joke!  He was really good.  😀027

ME & ELVIS

I told “Elvis” that I enjoyed his performance and that when I closed my eyes, he sounded just like the original Elvis.  Still in character, he did the “Elvis lip” (you will either understand that or you won’t)…  and said, “Thank you…  thank you very much.”  I also told him I didn’t think he needed a gym membership, as I’m pretty sure these shows keep him very fit.  He said, “This was my only show today.  Sometimes I do 2 or 3 a day.”

I have found the history of Hall China and the autumn leaf pattern quite interesting.  As usual, I wrote a poem about it.  I was so tickled that it was published in the NALCC newsletter!  I’m not sure if I’ve shared it here on the blog, but I’m going to share it here today.

WE THANK YOU SINCERELYWe began collecting these dishes because my husband’s mother had them and used them every day.   There was a time when a little brown truck delivered not only dishes, but cleaning supplies and food products to your door.  No, it wasn’t UPS…  it was the Jewel Tea man!  I was chatting with a former sales rep with Jewel about how the times changed and Jewel had a difficult time changing with them.  When women started leaving the home to work full-time jobs, they were no longer home during the day, so the need for home delivery was not necessary anymore.

I wonder how House of Schwan stays in business?  Hmm…  maybe they are willing to deliver their products to the workplace.  And they sell food – wonderful yummy food.

When our convention ended, we headed east on I-70.  Illinois to Indiana…  Indiana to Ohio.  We don’t change our watches or the clock in our truck when we cross a time zone, but once in a while I forgot that we needed to add an hour…  it got interesting.  😉

We shopped at a few antique stores along the way, of course.  The closer to the Longaberger Homestead we got, the more of their baskets I found!  I also found some sugar-free apple butter for $4.50 a jar at Webb’s Antique Mall in Centerville, IL.  I picked up several jars because it is a mere 4 grams of carbs per serving!  They sell apple butter here in Wichita, but I’ve not seen any sugar-free varieties.  Score!

Dutch Country Kettle sugar-free apple butter is delicious and does not raise my blood glucose.  🙂  This morning I spread some on my hotcakes, made with Carbquick (a product similar to Bisquick, but 90% lower in carbohydrates).

DCK%20Sugar%20Free%20Apple%20Butter

This will sound weird, but consider the source.  😉  We didn’t want to pay S&H on Carbquick, so we got online and found a grocery store in Terre Haute, IN that sells it.

BAESLER’S MARKET
2900 POPLAR ST.
TERRE HAUTE, IN 47803
Phone: 812-232-2498

We bought a few boxes, packed them in the truck and kept going east.

We finally got to the Longaberger Homestead!  YAY!!!  We made (actually I made…) a TAKE ALONG basket with dark purple and bright green accent colors that will look very nice in our dining room.  We’re going to put it on our bench in front of the bay window.  We found a plate that says HAPPY ANNIVERSARY in pewter, and got a free heart-shaped tie-on that we can customize for it.  A great big THANK YOU to Lisa at Longaberger’s Homestead for helping me make my basket.  050

053TA DA…

My husband booked a night at The Inn at Dresden for our 30th wedding anniversary.

THE INN ON THE HILL

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The view was remarkable!  Hills are not what I’m accustomed to, having lived in Kansas my whole life.  This was so nice.064066067068069071We stayed in the Gallery room – down a couple of flights of stairs and to the left as far as you can go…  very nice. 063

LOL…  a greeter stood at the end of the hallway!  He said about as much as most Walmart greeters I’ve met…  ha!062

061Isn’t that a pretty painted piece?  There was a tray with two glasses and a carafe’ setting on a tray on top of the little fridge.  It was filtered ice water – so refreshing!  It tasted so good after walking up that hill to get back to the Inn.  Toto, I don’t think this is Kansas!  That bit of exploration was just a practice jaunt for what hiking was ahead…  😉

080Two different kinds of clouds there…  :-/

We spent the day going from store to store in downtown Dresden.  I found a lid for my waste basket and was so excited about it – what a weird thing to get excited about, huh???

When we got to Logan, Ohio, we stopped at the Welcome Center to ask questions and make the usual pit stop…  LOL.  121

Sorry lady – I try not to get a shot with people in it unless they’re people I know.  Oops.  Hey – you see that little brown building on the R.H. side of the photo???  Guess what that is?  You’ll never guess…  nah, you’re way off…  want me to tell ya?  It’s a PENCIL SHARPENER MUSEUM!  Nope – not joking – that’s what it is.  We got pictures!124 125127128129130131I had no idea such a museum existed…  did you???  Well – now we know – it does!123

The friendly lady at the welcome center was so helpful.  She highlighted the trails and told us which ones would be the easiest to walk.  I appreciated having that information.  We decided to try to do a little hiking in Ohio.  Logan, Ohio is so beautiful and is the home of Hocking Hills State Park.  There are several hiking trails and we knew we couldn’t walk all of them.  We went to see Old Man’s Cave first.  I like the bridge inside.

A nice young man offered to take both our photos behind the sign.  You don’t always feel trusting, but when he asked, “You want me to take both youin’s picture?”  – we decided it was probably okay and we appreciate his kindness.  It’s nice to know that some people do good deeds because it’s a good thing to do.136

139140143146Okay, this is going to sound totally weird…  but when I saw this photo of the bridge, I was reminded of the painting by Thomas Kinkade – Bridge of Hope.  Don’t ask me why, but it looks like that painting to me.  Of course, the colors are not at all similar, but the arrangement somehow – the trees and so forth.  Oh well, moving on…

There were not too many stairs at Old Man’s Cave – but I can’t say the same for Cedar Falls…  going down the stairs was not so bad – it was coming back up that was painful on my poor knees!

147149150152There were all kinds of fish in the water, but we never expected to see this little dude!  153

154They told us at the Logan Welcome Center that they needed rain and the falls were not as full of water as usual.  I guess Kansas is not the only state in need of moisture.  😦

Fortunately, we were traveling with a jar of Miracle Ice – our joints were well cared for after that hike!  But isn’t it beautiful?  The videos don’t do them justice.  It was nice to get away from television and radio broadcasts for a day – and be totally connected with nature and the God who made it.  I’m praying for rain…  we all need it.  🙂

 

 

 

NATIONAL FROG MONTH

TL APRIL IS NATIONAL FROG MONTHAccording to fairy tales, these rather slimy creatures turn into a prince when you kiss them…  um…  I don’t know that to be a fact, but I do know that they sing out loud and strong after it rains here in Wichita!  Sometimes we refer to a heavy rain here in Kansas as a toad strangler…  but it doesn’t really hurt the frogs.  They still croak in sweet harmony when the rain is over.YOU MATTERIt’s so easy to take the sounds of nature for granted.  We hear the frogs croak, the birds chirp and the wind rustling the leaves on the trees – but do we stop to thank God for any of it?  I admit I don’t always…  but once in a while I sit outside and just take it all in, and I have to close my eyes and say a little prayer of thanks to God – I thank Him for my sense of hearing and for the familiar sounds that let me know that everything is okay in my world.Linda - Quote - Frog Jumping Day-screenshot

I’m so thankful that I grew up in the country…  we didn’t have a pond close by, but we had very deep ditches, and every year I got to watch the little tadpoles swimming around.  It seems like a simple childhood activity, but those are some of the happiest memories I hold dear today.children-767034_1920tadpoles-338627_1920It was really great to visit my grandparents on the farm in the spring…  the frogs and tiny tadpoles in their pond were fun to watch – and there were more of them.  sunbeam-292987_1920

I love to watch the little baby animals in the springtime, don’t you?  New life…  new experiences…  new hope!

Of course, we know the acronym for F.R.O.G. – it is FULLY RELY ON GOD!    Let’s keep that in mind today as we appreciate His creation – frogs! FULLY RELY ON GODBABIES IN THE SPRINGTIME

If you have children, make sure they get to see something other than the screen of their new phone.  Show them the babies of springtime…  show them the tadpoles swimming around in the pond.  The wonders of nature and the way God set things up – are amazing for kids of all ages!  I hope that today you will slow down and sit down outside…  close your eyes and take it all in.  🙂

 

GENESIS 8:22 ON 8/22

TL GENESIS 8 22 ON 8 22

As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.  – Genesis 8:22

rainbow-142701
A promise from God along with a sign

 

We can rely on God to allow the seasons to keep going with no interruption as long as the earth endures.  God is so reliable and His promises are true!

Of course in this present day, we wonder why there have to be floods in some parts of the world while other parts seem to be burning up.  I don’t have answers to those questions, but I do keep the folks in those areas in my thoughts and prayers every day.  We just need to trust God’s sovereign wisdom in these situations.  I’m not omnipotent, but He is.

The rainbow in the sky after the rain is packed with promises and makes every Christian smile with a sense of contentment with their Creator.  I believe most of us take a moment to silently pray, thanking God for giving us another chance to be the people He wants us to be in Him.

We only want to please our Father and make Him smile.  When we see evidence of His promises in the rainbow, it makes us want to be better in our faith.  It makes us want to walk even closer to God.

I suppose we can also look at this scripture and be reminded of a time of sowing the precious seed of the Word, which at times brings about a harvest, gathering souls into it.  Then there is a winter season, cold, with things seeming withered and dead.  Then there are summer seasons, when everything looks smiling and cheerful.  But sometimes summer brings with it intense heat – which could represent the persecution of God’s people.  I pray He is pleased with what we do with this wonderful life He gave us.

HE IS PLEASED

We have God’s promise that the seasons will continue until the time when He will turn to Jesus and tell Him to return to earth to gather His own and bring them to Him.  I look forward to that time, don’t you?  🙂

 

NATIONAL MILK CHOCOLATE DAY

TL 7 28 NATIONAL MILK CHOCOLATE DAY

Did someone say CHOCOLATE???

We’ve all heard about the benefits of dark chocolate, but sometimes you just have to break the rules and have a little milk chocolate.  Today’s the day, chocoholics!  Dig in!

Milk chocolate is different from other chocolates.  It’s got either dry or condensed milk mixed with the cocoa and is used to make candy bars, hot chocolate and other scrumptious (and sinful) desserts.

Yes, we’ve stuck to our diet pretty closely…  so today, enjoy a little piece of milk chocolate.  Why?  Well, if you need a reason, try this one – it will literally make you happier!  Milk chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine and a compound called anandamide.

An additional stimulant would be caffeine – in the coffee I’ll drink with my chocolate!

Take a look at this poem from Lucinda Berry Hill.  Just before she sent it to me, she commented that she never wrote funny poems until she met me.  LOL!!!  I said, “You’re welcome!”  I love how God helps us sharpen iron in friendships, don’t you?

7-28 SHARE THE GOODNESS

Of all the destinations on my bucket list, today one is really on my mind – HERSHEY, PA!  Look at these links and tell me this doesn’t add up to a FUN vacation!

http://www.hersheypa.com/

http://www.hersheys.com/chocolateworld/locations/hershey

http://www.visitpa.com/cities/hershey

http://www.hersheystory.org/

http://www.hersheypark.com/

And there’s also a facebook page!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hershey-Pennsylvania/108368462517901

They’re on Twitter…

https://twitter.com/hersheypa

And…  Tanger outlet mall (for the shoppers among us – raising my hand!)

http://www.tangeroutlet.com/hershey

It’s on my bucket list – I really want to visit there one day!  I’ve heard that it smells like chocolate all the time.  Lucinda tells me it’s especially strong after it rains.  Yeah, she gets to live near there…  lucky ducky!

We won’t talk about what Wichita smells like after it rains…  sigh.

Anyway, today, enjoy milk chocolate your favorite way. It doesn’t have to be with a cup of coffee (but I highly recommend it)  😉  Happy Milk Chocolate Day!