A SUMMER OF PSALMS

Someone asked me if this verse means that we are supposed to have our devotion time early in the morning.  Well, I’m not big on mornings, which explains my dependence on massive amounts of caffeine.  I don’t think the Lord minds if we do our devotions at night.  Often I enjoy devotions at night when I have the house to myself.  I like to have it quiet when I read and write.  During the morning hours it’s too hectic most of the time, and I’m often interrupted with other things.

I believe that “Early will I seek You” means that we acknowledge God and His Lordship in our lives first thing when we wake up.  That, of course, does not take the place of our alone time with God.  That’s also the time when we sit down with our Bibles and a cup of tea or coffee, and God speaks to our spirits.  It’s a time to study God’s Word and pray.

The thing is, we say Good Morning to God, right?  We pray when we get up in the morning, thankful that God woke us up and we were able to get out of bed.  From there our day progresses, but we still pray without ceasing in our minds.  God has our attention while we do whatever we are obligated to do in this life on earth.

This world is a dry and thirsty land.  We face all sorts of adversity from people who don’t understand Christians or their beliefs – and usually don’t want to.  Even our Vice President was labeled insane for praying.  I’m still praying that God will save Joy’s soul in a Damascus-like conversion (like the Apostle Paul), because if God got ahold of Joy, can you imagine what a force she’d be for the right?  It’d be quite a sight to see.  She’s such a strong-willed person.  It’d be so great!  Right now she’s gained the whole world but lost her soul.  I’m praying that she will gain Christ and win others for Him.

Since we live in a desert land on earth, God knows we need to spend some time alone with Him every day.  I don’t feel as strong or confident if I miss my time with the Lord, do you?  He wants us to study His Word and pray, but that is for our benefit, not His.  He’s just as strong whether we show up or not.  We are the ones who need that time with Him.  It’s a gift we give ourselves.  🙂

 

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NATIONAL PUNCTUATION DAY

tl-9-24-national-punctuation-dayhttp://www.nationalpunctuationday.com/

Make sure you click on this link because they are having a writing contest and it looks like a lot of fun!

Wouldnt the written word be frustrating to read without its punctuation?  Its making me crazy to write without it too.

Today we celebrate those little marks that make all the difference in how we interpret what we read:

For example, if you read

Let’s eat grandma

It has a completely different meaning than

Let’s eat, grandma.

That little comma lets us know that we are not going to eat grandma after all.  Whew!

We’re going to learn to cut and paste kids.

That’s a little scary – it sounds much better to say,

We’re going to learn to cut and paste, kids.

How about this one…

I enjoy cooking my family and my pets.

That makes me say, “Oh, really?”

This is much better and less like a psycho:

I enjoy cooking, my family, and my pets.

Here’s an unfortunate advertisement from Goodwill:

Your donation helps someone.  Get a job.

Wow…  really?  Let’s try this again:

Your donation helps someone get a job.

Yeah – now that encourages us to give!

Punctuation and spelling matter.  Writing is a form of communication, and if we want the meaning of our words to be understood as we intend, we need to be careful.  Punctuation is like the traffic lights and stop signs for words.  A comma means you pause – it’s like a yellow light in the intersection.   A semi-colon means you pause for a longer time.  A period means you come to a complete stop.

When you see…

It means there’s more to the thought than is revealed.  Most of the time the rest of the thought is something that is fairly obvious.  It would be rude to use …  otherwise.  Am I right???

The question mark – it means we are to ponder a question.  Whether the question is easily answered or not, we are still to respect the question mark by pondering the question.

I use dashes once in a while, which is basically like using a semi-colon.  A colon is usually used before a list having to do with the subject mentioned.  An example would be:

  • This
  • That

This and that.

Punctuation is important!  The exclamation point is used to emphasize the subject.  Punctuation is not only crucial for those of us who write, but for those of us who are expected to read what we write.  People appreciate a relatively flawless flow of words with punctuation used correctly.

The most debated part of punctuation is THE OXFORD COMMA.  I don’t always use it, but I definitely understand why it’s used.

I had eggs, toast and orange juice.

So…  is the orange juice poured all over the toast???  Ugh…

Maybe usage of the Oxford comma would clarify things a bit.

I had eggs, toast, and orange juice.

The Oxford comma remains in my punctuation tool box.

Have a great National Punctuation Day…  ,  ;  :  !  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!  🙂

 

 

 

MAY IS CREATIVE BEGINNINGS MONTH

TL MAY IS CREATIVE BEGINNINGS MONTH

It’s time to start a new hobby or learn that craft you always wanted to master.  How great would it be to help kids at summer camp this year with crafts?  There are also some senior centers that encourage creativity and they would surely appreciate help from volunteers.CREATIVE BEGINNINGS

Wow – Lucinda captured so many creative possibilities here!  Painting walls, flower arranging, writing, music, woodworking, yarn work, painting on canvas.  Isn’t the important message the fact that it’s a new day and we get another chance?  That’s the part I like the most!  🙂

What factors should be considered as you consider the endless possibilities?  I think my first question would be, how much will this project cost?  If you’re on a shoestring budget like me, you don’t want to have to buy a whole bunch of materials or equipment.  Let’s face it, there’s a possibility that you either won’t be good at it or you may not enjoy it like you thought you would.  If you don’t have a lot of money invested, you won’t feel so guilty about walking away from it.

It’s not limited to crafts – being creative could be something as simple as committing to workout three times a week.  Creating a healthier you is definitely a creative beginning.

Have you ridden a horse?  You never know if you’ll enjoy it until you try!  Many places offer riding lessons that aren’t too expensive.

Do you have an interest in music?  Maybe you’d like to be musically creative and take some piano lessons.

Some people have a real eye for photography.  Maybe it’s time to buy a good camera and start taking those great shots.  Choose a subject to photograph and focus on it – (no pun intended).

Count the cost for your creativity and make sure it’s something you have an interest in (or think you do) When you’ve decided what to do, schedule the activity and buy the items you’ll need to be a success.  We should make creativity a sort of second nature in our lives because it keeps life more fun!  When we use our imaginations to troubleshoot our way through challenges, it’s so much more interesting.

Even if you’re on the fence about what to do, find some friends (partners in crime) to try it with you.  If the new activity doesn’t work out for you, at least you’ll have your friends to giggle with you – and really that’s all that matters.

One May I thought it’d be nice to learn sign language.  There was a class at a local church, so I got a couple of girlfriends to go with me – and sadly, I was not good at sign language, but since I didn’t dive in by myself, it was fun anyway.  I had my friends to laugh with.

Your Creative Beginnings month project may be the start of something very exciting in your life – or if you decide to help children learn something new – or help senior citizens learn something new – you may make some very good friends for life.  The influence you have on others may not seem like much to you, but it may mean the world to them.

Ready…  Set…  BEGIN!  🙂

 

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.  🙂

 

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’.  :-/

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

TL - APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTHGentlemen, if you really want to do something special for your lady, take her to the park, sit on a bench together and start reciting poetry to her.  Okay, I see you rolling your eyes at me – hey, I tried!

April is National Poetry Month, so of course this blog has to celebrate!

I love a poem that says what my heart feels.  It puts into words all the thoughts and feelings I have.  This poem fills the bill:

When I say, “I am a Christian”

by Carol Wimmer

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved!”
I’m whispering, “I get lost!
That’s why I chose this way”.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I don’t speak with human pride
I’m confessing that I stumble –
Needing God to be my guide

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not trying to be strong
I’m professing that I’m weak
And pray for strength to carry on.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not bragging of success
I’m admitting that I’ve failed
And cannot ever pay the debt.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I don’t think I know it all
I submit to my confusion
Asking humbly to be taught.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are all too visible
But God believes I’m worth it.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache,
Which is why I seek His name.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I do not wish to judge
I have no authority…
I only know I’m loved

Lucinda Berry Hill has written poetry that connects with people.  She writes from the heart and is so open and honest.  Have you ever wondered what her first poem was???  It so happens I have it – right here….  yep – you saw it HERE first!  😉  She wrote this in the summer of 1976 after making a traumatic move from her home state of New York, leaving family  and friends at 12 years old – to Pennsylvania.  APRIL IS POETRY MONTH - THIS IS LBH'S FIRST POEM. I HOPE WE MEET AGAIN

BLESSINGS FROM PAIN

MY PEN-PALGLORY TO MY PARTNERShe also wrote 2 poems that were created using titles from both her books, “Coffee with Jesus” and “A Second Cup with Jesus”.BE BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE GOD'S CHOICE

FINDING HOME WITH A GOD OF ALWAYS

Poetry describes a situation you find yourself in and will hopefully spark something in others that makes them say, “Oh, I’ve been there too” or “That was surely a GOD thing!”  I wrote a poem that did just that a few years ago.  Hope you relate to this:

CONVERSATION ABOUT HEAVENApparently, I’m not the only one who has experienced this!  The first time I posted this on facebook, it got close to 100 LIKES and several shares – it blew me away!  🙂