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November 2019
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January 2020



So, this evening I'm putting together a charcuterie board, and I look out the kitchen window, and this is what I see...




I tapped on the window and said, "What are you doing in there? You are not a bird!" To which it turned around and went to sleep. Happy New Year!




Some days I do not speak a word until the evening when Clinton gets home. I enjoy the days where God and I simply walk together, and I listen without distraction. I like quiet. Sound wears me out. Being social wears me out. I feel so many times like I'm supposed to talk because that's what I see others do. I often speak to fill the void when I'm around others. I'm bad about interrupting because I have so many thoughts flying through my head and I know that I will forget the thought, I apologize, I try, but fail mostly. God is creating change in my life's journey. His plan is always for my good. As hard as the change might be, I realize that I must follow to find peace. I love my life. I love who I am. I love those who will love me because I know I'm hard to love, and mostly, I know my redeemer lives, loves and cares for me. As the new year comes upon my life, I pray that doors close and doors open for me because this is where seeds are planted, and growth occurs. I'm blessed to understand my value comes through how I serve others to show them God's love in the smallness of who I am in the big picture of Salvation and Eternal Life. Bring on 2020. 




2 x 4 the Desert and the Wilderness


Do we ever stop and think about our desert/wilderness times?  The wilderness figures at critical junctures in the life of Jesus. If Jesus experienced the wilderness, then there is a lesson there for us. God did not deliver idle words, but living words for learning into the book we live by, the Holy Word of God, the Bible. 

When we look at desert and wilderness times, what can we learn? First, we have to break down the difference between desert and wilderness, or at least I need to.

There is a difference between desert (dry, barren, without life) and wilderness (wild, unsettled, natural state). When I think about either of these environments, I know that I would need to be prepared to survive them. We often find ourselves in one or the other, from our choices or from the decisions of others that directly affect us. 

I don't know about you, but for me, I'm a fixer. I want to help. I know that I'm not alone in this. God reveals, I see and do. There are times though that my hands are tied. 

So, I'll share the 2 x 4 story of God. My husband and I were sitting in a worship time many years ago now. We were about 12 rows back on the east side of the sanctuary of FB.PLV on the west end of the pew. We had a guest sharing from the pulpit. We were walking in a desert fire as a family. We were not prepared to face what we were facing, but our faith was strong.

As I listened, I cried out to God that someone needed these shared words. Over and over, I cried out. Suddenly, a 2 x4, about 12 feet long, came crashing through an upper stained glass window on the west wall of the church. It hit me in the head. My body took the blow. God said, "This is what it takes! You can only control your relationship with me. You walk with me, and I will be with you. You lift your cries and concerns to me in prayer, and I will be faithful to answer. You can't fix what you have no control over."

As followers of Christ, we dug in. We entered the wilderness where things were wild and untamed and were met with the natural state of, assurance, faithfulness. Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before.

Life gets messy. We can only control our relationship with God and pray for everything else.

As I move into 2020, I am so humbled to be a Child of God. I watched a movie today based on the book, A Promise to Astrid. The acting was a little overboard for me, but the storyline is how I want to continue to live my life, listening to God's instruction given through the Holy Spirit. I want to be used to fix issues when others find themselves struggling, physically, emotionally, spiritually. 

After being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights in the Judaean Desert. During this time, Satan came to Jesus and tried to tempt him. Jesus, having refused each temptation, Satan then departed, and Jesus returned to Galilee to begin his ministry.

We know that we will be tempted to move away from God. There is a war of good and evil that is battling for our soul. I pray I refuse the temptations, yet, I know I will fail some because I am human. I want to overcome and continually find myself in ministry, sharing; my time, my resources, God's love.






Salt & Pepper Etiquette


Be sure to taste the food before putting salt or pepper on it. 

Always pass salt and pepper together. If a person asks for just one, pass both anyway.

You may use your fingers to get salt from a salt cellar ONLY if there is no spoon, and it is an individual salt cellar in front of you. If it is a salt cellar that is being shared by everyone at the table, or even if being shared by two people, use the tip of your clean knife to bring a small amount of salt from the salt cellar and place it on the edge of your dinner plate. Then, for each bite of food to which you would like salt added, carefully dip that bite with your fork into the salt before bringing it to your mouth.

You may place rice in the shaker to keep the salt dry for at-home use (be sure rice will not fit through holes). When setting the table for entertaining, it is proper to serve freshly poured salt and pepper, no rice.

In America, the shaker with the least holes is for salt because it is considered less healthy than pepper. In Europe, it is the opposite; pepper has the least holes, and salt goes in the shaker with the most holes.

Do you know other salt and pepper etiquette that we should know?

This adorable squirrel shaker set is a gift from our daughter-in-law. I call myself a squirrel whisperer, and she honors that!




Oh, and being the rebel that I am, ours are filled according to European etiquette.


Tripped Up


Have you ever found yourself tripped up by something? I think everyone has at some point in their lives. It might have been a trick question on a test, eating too much at Christmas, or overcoming a cycle that has proven not to be productive. 

I remember as a teen a poster from the Now Shop that many purchased which read, "Hang in there, baby!" Did you have one of them hanging on your bedroom wall? I've also heard the phrase, "Hanging by a thread." This would mean that the situation is in an uncertain state and is unlikely to survive or succeed. Like this picture I captured today...




As gross as I find this picture, there is a lesson in it for us today. I'm a Believer in the One who allows overcoming!

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13

Matthew 6 is a great learning chapter for us ...


1 Be careful not to do your `acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 

2 So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 
so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
5 And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 This, then, is how you should pray: "`Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'
14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
16 When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,
18 so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.
23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28 And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?'
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


I also am ready for what follows this life, eternal life for each one who says yes to Jesus. We do not know the day or the hour that we will draw our last breath here that brings us face-to-face with Heaven, but the scripture teaches us all about the possibilities!

Are we hanging in there, baby, or are we hanging by a thread? God has a way for each of us; reach out!

Come Home for Christmas!


Daily Food for Christians Gosset & Dunlap Publishers New York 1900


25. Christmas Day. Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end. Isa. ix 6,7


Hosannah to king David's Son,

Who reigns on a superior throne!

We bless the Prince of heavenly birth,

Who brings salvation down to earth.


Let every nation, every age,

In this delightful work engage;

Old men and babes in Zion sing

The growing glories of her King.


Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke ii 14



26. The Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek: he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty, to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. Isa. lxi 1


Jesus, lover of my soul,

Let me to they bosom fly,

While the raging billows roll,

While the tempest still is nigh.


Hide me, O my Saviour, hide,

Till the storm of life is past;

Safe into the haven guide,

O receive my soul at last.


To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mournng, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Isa lxi 2,3


He came for you and for me, different as we might be. He meets each of us where we are, the Holy Spirit alive within our hearts. There is room for one more, come home, sings the song; Jesus is tenderly calling, come home.



May the Prince of Peace fill your soul so that your joy will be known in all circumstances.







Luke 2:8-20

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. 


When I was much younger, maybe fifty+ years ago, I learned these scriptures, an essential part of the Christmas story. Through the years I have pondered, like Mary, the words given me through the Holy Spirit, found in the Holy Word of God.

Because of Christmas, we look towards Easter, the purpose of the air we breathe, our heartbeats, our reach, our ministry song.

CHRIST-must dwell among us, my prayer for our world, nation, state, county, city, fathers, mothers, men, women, and children everywhere.



Bored Yet?


Are you bored yet with me sharing Ushka's grandsister pictures? I'm about done, I promise. As we get closer to the birth of the Christ child, our Savior, I trust that these girls will know His peace as they grow up. We pray for them.