Versatile Blogger Award

At the end of January, just before my youngest daughter got married, I received my first award ever for writing, the Versatile Blogger Award, sent to me by therealliferealtalk.com blogger, Chanel. Thank you, I really enjoy your blog!

I’d like to nominate fifteen others. I hope they’ll be blessed as I was. 🙂

  1. Beautybeyondbones
  2. gracemusing.wordpress.com
  3. cherrydropprincess.com
  4. JeffreyHKing.wordpress.com
  5. tworiversblog.com
  6. middleme.net
  7. ashleyhearod.com
  8. lauraecpaul.wordpress.com
  9. fargaregardsanna.wordpress.com
  10. literarymoose.wordpress.com
  11. moylomenterprises.com
  12. photo-art.me
  13. chantericaware.wordpress.com
  14. raulconde001.com
  15. cafebookbean.com

Now, I’m supposed to write seven things about myself.

  1. I don’t know how to make the above sites listed into links. Sigh.
  2. I heard about Jesus Christ and God wanting to be in relationship with me and I didn’t get it for many weeks, although a high school class mate had something to say about it Monday through Friday.
  3. I’m married to a wonderful guy.
  4. I’ve worked at two libraries over the years.
  5.  I finished a novel but its lacking what it takes to get published now. So I’m thinking.
  6. I’m blogging almost six days a week, consistently. That’s amazing to me.
  7. I’m blessed to have children and grandchildren and friends.

I don’t write to win awards, but I have to say, it warmed my heart. I write because I have to write, it’s become a small part of me. Enjoy your day.

Soccer, Anyone?

Little boy playing football | Flickr - Photo Sharing!http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.w8ewEE5uYEYhJ7YyPBWtOwEsDH&pid=15.1&w=173&h=114&p=0

Last week, my husband and I drove a couple of hours north to see our children and grandchildren. The eight year old got placed in the defensive section of the soccer field after having had a taste of offense and the heady experience of kicking the ball into the goal. I noticed he stopped an aggressive players well placed boot which would have caused another scored point. He effectively sent the black and white sphere in the opposite direction to one of his waiting teammates.

I congratulated him on a game well played. “I didn’t make a goal this time.”

“I know it, but you stopped their team from getting the ball to the goal posts twice.” Then Grandpa added, “You kept your focus.”

Mom said, “You stayed in position, and that’s important.”

She played soccer for many years, even though at a young age she wasn’t sold on the sport. Her dad asked to stay on the team for the season and then if she didn’t like it, she could quit. She is our oldest and I was inclined to let her off the hook. When he explained that her team was counting on her, it made sense to me to have her stick it out. She agreed and after a few more games, she fell in love with the sport.

I remember in ninth grade, I think, she got up at five a.m. to practice soccer with her dad in the summer hoping to make the team. He went to college to be a physical education major, played soccer throughout high school and whenever he could after graduating, and he coached soccer teams for many years as a volunteer. It amazed me that they were so dedicated. I wondered if her coach had any idea how hard she worked, only to be cut during the tryouts. At her young age, she was philosophical about it. “Mom, you should see the girls I competed against. Their talent and speed surpasses mine. I get it.”

I forgave the coach, but I saw him at a meeting once and he came across as a person that made up his mind and there was no changing it. I felt better after she explained the circumstances. Then the next year she tried again, and that coach apologized to me for having to cut her. She went to a smaller college in her freshman year and they put her on the team, so I rejoiced with her.

As I watched her oldest face competitors, he took it all in stride. I don’t know whether he’ll continue playing soccer or if he’ll go for swimming like his dad. He loves to read and he’s a deep thinker, so he may not pursue sports at all. Only God knows what his future holds. All I know is that I’m privileged to be a grandma.

May God bless you.

 

Secretariat

This photo is from http://movies.disney.com/secretariat.

 

My husband and I intended to celebrate our anniversary last night but he wasn’t feeling 100% so we stayed home and put in a DVD to watch. If ever you feel a need for encouragement when the odds are against you, this is the movie to watch.

Walt Disney productions started Secretariat, rated: PG, and released on October 8, 2010 with Scripture; God is speaking of the horse:

Job 39:19, (GNB):  “Was it you, Job, who made horses so strong and gave them their flowing manes?

Job 39:20  Did you make them leap like locusts and frighten people with their snorting?

Job 39:21  They eagerly paw the ground in the valley; they rush into battle with all their strength.

Job 39:22  They do not know the meaning of fear, and no sword can turn them back.

Job 39:23  The weapons which their riders carry rattle and flash in the sun.

Job 39:24  Trembling with excitement, the horses race ahead; when the trumpet blows, they can’t stand still.

Job 39:25  At each blast of the trumpet they snort; they can smell a battle before they get near, and they hear the officers shouting commands.”

Disney may not have started the introductory speech at the beginning of Job 39:19, where God calls Job by name, but the Scripture is quoted powerfully at the start and finish of the movie.

It’s very apparent that Mrs. Tweedy, aka Penny Chenery has faith in God, but it’s very subtle. The movie is about the amazing “Big Red,” as the owner likes to call Secretariat. Yet, it significantly portrays human struggles and risk taking and dreams placed in the heart of a child by her father. The race took place in 1973 and the American culture is being shaken to its roots by anti-war protestors and the hippie movement. This movie abounds with strong personalities and loving confrontations and respect for individuality in the midst of exciting horse races.

Secretariat is based on a true story and it made me want to get out of my chair and do something big with my life.

The only thing I had to guard my heart against was the slights to housewives which I also encountered occasionally over my years at home when many of the moms were off to the workplace.

Writers Mike Rich and William Nack showed Mrs. Tweedy’s servant heart at home in a positive light as well. The link by the photograph tells all the wonderful actors and other movie personnel’s names with useful information.

May God bless your day.

Mindfulness

9781594862748: Speed CleaningThis photo is from: https://pictures.abebooks.com/isbn/9781594862748-us.jpg.

 

I thought I’d start a blog about cleaning and use a quote I got from a book in our library called Speed Cleaning. The book was published by Rodale Press in 2005 and written by Jeff Campbell and the Clean Team and copyrighted from 1985-2016. Their website sells some products for less cost than those that I bought elsewhere. I obviously don’t know the quality, but that was impressive. Their website is www.speedcleaning.com.

I can’t give the author’s exact quote, but it was about being mindful of what I’m doing when cleaning so I’ll enjoy it more. Keeping focused on where I’m standing, what is nearby so I don’t trip over it, and paying attention to what I’m doing throughout the job came up as well.

I’ve heard it said that people find fulfillment in whatever they’re doing if they give full attention to the activity (if it’s not a painful thing).

So, when cleaning the refrigerator if I concentrate on the fingerprints disappearing and a shine taking their place, the endorphins in the brain should get released, right?

On another subject, on Saturday night, I made a mayonnaise cake and when I finished it, it felt so good to see it completed and not sagging in the middle. I went to bed after blogging about it. At midnight, my husband noticed it sank to the middle but he didn’t want to disturb my rest. One of the ladies at our church is such an encourager. She told me it really didn’t look bad. I ended up running out of mayonnaise and used a substitute vegan style for the last half cup. I ran out of white sugar and used a little less brown sugar instead. It tasted the same as normal and looked similar. I ate a bit too much of it, so I put the left overs in the freezer. Out of sight, out of mind. That’s one food item I don’t want to be mindful of. I gained weight after eating it two days in a row.

Do you have something you’re struggling over? I remember reading a book on weight loss by Steve Arterburn some years back. He took time to taste his food and enjoy the meal. This is a more recent book by him that I haven’t read, but it sounds good. Lose It for Life: The Total Solution--Spiritual, Emotional, Physical--for Permanent Weight Loss  -     By: Stephen Arterburn, Dr. Linda Mintle
 This photo is from: https://www.christianbook.com/solution-spiritual-emotional-physical-permanent-weight/stephen-arterburn/9780849947261/pd/947260?event=ESRCG#CBD-PD-Description.

I believe it’s an updated version of the book I read with more offerings: exercises and other beneficial information.

I hope you are keeping your eyes on Jesus in this world with the turmoil and with the good. I heard my daughter read some Psalms today after telling me she’s concerned about her elderly and much loved cat. He’s not eating well. God’s Word is a comfort. She’s experiencing His peace in the midst of her trial.

May God bless you.

Love Conquers Hate

 

I heard the news about White Supremist’s group gathering in America in Charlottesville, VA  and the tragedy of a person’s reaction to those standing against the ideology of white supremism.

 

This is a quote from Reclaim Our Republic blog on WordPress.com at the address:

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/693245/posts/1559598312 : “Some have suggested that the violent atmosphere and lack of police presence was a factor in the decision and ability of 20 year old white supremacist James Alex Fields to drive his 2010 Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32 year old paralegal Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others.”

 

Some time ago, then-President Obama said that America is not a Christian nation any longer. Our country has never been perfect even when considered a Christian nation, but it is becoming increasingly worse since many are trying out new philosophies.

 

The New Testament of the Bible in 1 John 4, (GNB), says this,

“1John 4:7  Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God.

1Jn 4:8  Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.

1Jn 4:9  And God showed his love for us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him.

1Jn 4:10  This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.

1Jn 4:11  Dear friends, if this is how God loved us, then we should love one another.

1Jn 4:12  No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in union with us, and his love is made perfect in us.

1Jn 4:13  We are sure that we live in union with God and that he lives in union with us, because he has given us his Spirit.

1Jn 4:14  And we have seen and tell others that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

1Jn 4:15  If we declare that Jesus is the Son of God, we live in union with God and God lives in union with us.

1Jn 4:16  And we ourselves know and believe the love which God has for us. God is love, and those who live in love live in union with God and God lives in union with them.

1Jn 4:17  Love is made perfect in us in order that we may have courage on the Judgment Day; and we will have it because our life in this world is the same as Christ’s.

1Jn 4:18  There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment.

1Jn 4:19  We love because God first loved us.

1Jn 4:20  If we say we love God, but hate others, we are liars. For we cannot love God, whom we have not seen, if we do not love others, whom we have seen.

1Jn 4:21  The command that Christ has given us is this: whoever loves God must love others also.

 

There is no racism in God’s kingdom. God made every person in the image and likeness of God. See the beginning of the book of Genesis.

 

Also, God is no respecter of persons, it says in 1 Peter 1:17.

 

Here are verses with 1 Peter 1:17 included, in the CEV version of the Bible, a little easier form of writing to understand:

 

1Pe 1:13  Be alert and think straight. Put all your hope in how kind God will be to you when Jesus Christ appears.

1Pe 1:14  Behave like obedient children. Don’t let your lives be controlled by your desires, as they used to be.

1Pe 1:15  Always live as God’s holy people should, because God is the one who chose you, and he is holy.

1Pe 1:16  That’s why the Scriptures say, “I am the holy God, and you must be holy too.”

1Pe 1:17  You say that God is your Father, but God doesn’t have favorites! He judges all people by what they do. So you must honor God while you live as strangers here on earth.

1Pe 1:18  You were rescued from the useless way of life that you learned from your ancestors. But you know that you were not rescued by such things as silver or gold that don’t last forever.

1Pe 1:19  You were rescued by the precious blood of Christ, that spotless and innocent lamb.

1Pe 1:20  Christ was chosen even before the world was created, but because of you, he did not come until these last days.

1Pe 1:21  And when he did come, it was to lead you to have faith in God, who raised him from death and honored him in a glorious way. That’s why you have put your faith and hope in God.

 

God loves variety. He may have created different skin tones and types of hair that differ from one group of people to the next, but nowhere does it show that one race is superior or inferior to another. I’ve blogged about George Washington Carver. He sought God about knowing things in the universe and supposedly God said it was too big for any human to comprehend. So God chose to answer Mr. Carver with lots of information about the peanut. I’ve heard it said that God tells us in His Word that he gives people witty inventions. Professor George Washington Carver came up with a multitude of uses for the peanut–some in food products, many for businesses, with paint thinner as one example.

 

Neo-Nazis, KKK members, all who say they are Christians had better read their Bible. God is against hatred and Jesus said in John 10:10, (KJV):   The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

 

God, please help our country to be unified by love and kindness and graciousness towards each other, I pray in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.

 

 

 

 

Mayonnaise Cake

I spent a significant amount of time planning and thinking about not drifting, as Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy suggest in their book, Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want. The tome was copyrighted by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy in 2016 and published by Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI. I followed a lot of their steps except for the follow through.

So after considering their advice I grabbed a form from a now defunct Eagle planning system that I copied for my own personal use which asks the question, “What do you want to do, to be, to have, and what will benefit others?” Each category represents 10 points. Those answers that merit a 40 become the priority. When I listed blogging, on the next line I put down food, marriage, health, etc. for items to blog about possibly on the same day of each week.

Since I just finished making a mayonnaise cake for a gathering tomorrow, I thought I’d show a picture of the unfrosted cake and give the recipe and some hints for a successful attempt at baking.IMG_1926.JPG

Mayonnaise Cake

3 cups unbleached non-GMO white flour

1 ½ cups sugar

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

Sift these items together in a large bowl.

Stir in:

1 ½ cups mayonnaise

Blend in:

1 ½ cups water

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in a metal pan or 325 degrees Fahrenheit in a glass 13x9x2 inch pan.

My youngest sister said to bake for 30 minutes and don’t check for doneness, but I’ve had it fall in the center. It makes it very gooey. Lately, I asked a great baker, Mr. William D., and he told me to cook it a little longer. So, I’ve added about five minutes or so.

This cake is actually a recipe and a half in a 15x11x2 inch glass pan and I baked it close to 40 minutes. I closed the window to keep a breeze off of it. So far it hasn’t fallen. Phew!

It’s tasty and with mayonnaise, the eggs are already cooked, so if it falls in the middle, we eat it anyway and consider it almost as a fudge center or a moist brownie.

I make a butter cream frosting that I’ve made since my teen years, so I don’t have exact dimensions. I may use 2 cups of confectionary sugar with a dash of salt, a small capful of vanilla extract, possibly three tablespoons of soft butter or shortening, (I use butter), and a dash of milk.

If it’s too soupy I add more sugar and if it’s then too sweet, I add a tiny amount of salt. If it’s too thick to spread with a knife, I add a touch more milk.

Wait for the cake to completely cool down before applying the frosting.

I don’t recommend having this dessert often because it’s rich and filled with calories. It’s not a light cake. For a special occasion, it’s mmm good. Nice and moist and it doesn’t require any greasing of the pan. I usually have the ingredients on hand.

May God bless you as August moves right along!

“Sully”

 

The New York Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ “Sully” After Party

Capt. Sullenberger with Flight 1549 First Officer Jeff Skiles at the NY “Sully” premiere – September 2016

(Photo from:http://www.sullysullenberger.com/sully-movie/)

 

My husband ordered a movie called “Sully” and we began to watch it. The next thing you know, I’m wiping tears away. My husband said, “Connie, it turned out okay.”

I was overcome with the compassion of the pilot and the co-pilot, Skiles, the Coast Guard, NYS Scuba Police and their helicopter pilot.

At one point in the film, they tried to give Captain “Sully” Sullenberger all the credit and he said, “No, it was everyone.”

He named those I mentioned above and the passengers and flight attendants as well.

Clint Eastwood directed this movie which got released in September of 2016, written by Todd Komarnicki, based on the autobiography Highest Duty authored by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow. This information came from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sully_(film).

The film was produced by Village Roadshow Pictures, Flashlight Films, The Kennedy/Marshall Company and Malpaso Productions and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Tom Hanks plays Captain Sullenberger, Aaron Eckhart portrayed First Officer Jeff Skiles, and Laura Linney represented “Sully’s” wife.

If you want to watch a show based on a true story and see people taking risks to protect others, this is the film for you. I love seeing the good in mankind.

God isn’t mentioned in this movie, but the word “miraculous” comes up a time or two.

May God bless you.

 

Fun on a Sunday

Sunday morning we went to a picnic spot with a pond and a pavilion. We enjoyed a beautiful sunshiny day and lots of pleasant company accompanied by some tasty food. I got to know some of the people better that visited this year.

IMPROVEMENTS TO THE POND(photo from: (www.timberlandbait.com)

 

Usually we cancel our evening service the day of the picnic because people are tired. I tried to rest a little and then it was time to choose worship songs. Not that I had much of a voice left. 🙂

 

After singing, my husband left the sound booth so we could pray. Seven folks gathered and he didn’t feel like a sermon was the right route to go.

 

“If we keep canceling Sunday night service, people will stop showing up.”

 

Then he gave us some direction. “Let’s pray like Jesus taught the disciples – starting out with ‘Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.’”

 

He went on to explain that hallowed denotes honor and praise. “How can you show God the respect due His name? What words can you describe Him with in the form of a prayer?”

 

We began talking to the Lord and when someone asked for needs to be met, my husband told the person that we’d get to that, but now is the time to exalt our Savior. A bit later, we did pray for personal requests with the addition of the phrase, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

 

Jesus said in the New Testament, in Matthew 18:20, (KJV): “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

 

We didn’t linger a long time, but as we left each face exhibited peace and contentment.

 

Then, my husband and I began our Sunday night ritual: “Where should we eat?”

 

Sometimes I cook on a Sunday night, but if I’m tired and we’re able to, we eat out. There’s not a lot of restaurants open at that hour of the day.

 

I told my hubbie I was going to pray about it. We have a number of small towns around our little home spot and I’m not familiar with them all.

 

I felt impressed to head north and he was okay with it. We found a new restaurant, to us, that we both enjoyed and hope to visit again sometime.

 

I said, “What a nice day we had,” and he agreed.

 

This is the second Sunday night we’ve prayed at our church over the last thirty days and the people really liked it. Both times it was spontaneous and I missed the first one for a family member’s milestone birthday party in a nearby city.

 

I’m glad I made it for lots of reasons but when I saw the glow on one of the ladies’ faces outside of the church after the meeting, I thought, Aw, wish I’d been there.

 

God gave me the desire of my heart this last Sunday.

 

I hope this finds you well. May God bless you.

 

 

 

 

 

“Left Behind” Movie

I went to see a friend today to visit and she told me she watched a movie about the Rapture with Nicholas Cage and that it was biblically based. So, I researched it on the internet and eventually came up with the movie, “Left Behind.”

Left Behind film poster.jpgThis photo is from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_Behind_%282014_film%29

The word “Rapture” is not in the Bible, but the concept is. It is the belief that Jesus calls the ones believing on His name and repenting of their sins and asking Him to save them, at a set time in the future, to their heavenly home. Believers leave this place and leave others behind that don’t believe Jesus on the earth. The reference chapter is Matthew 24 in the New Testament.

As she recommended it, I tried to remember if I’d seen it before. It’s based on the books of the same title written by Jerry Jenkins and Tim La Haye. Vic Armstrong directed “Left Behind,” which was written by Paul La Londe and John Blatus.

The film’s theatrical release date of 10/3/2014 occurred via Stoney Lake Entertainment according to Wikipedia.org. and they said the critics didn’t care for it. I’ll have to check it out and make up my own mind. It’s been a while since I saw it at the movie theater.

I’ve liked shows in the past that writers discounted, so I take reviewers’ opinions lightly if I don’t know them and their philosophies in life.

I’m keeping it short tonight because I’ve been away from home a lot lately, so I’m tired.

I hope you are doing well. May God bless you.

Bewitched

I looked up the word “bewitched” in the search section of e-sword, a digital Bible and reference site available online. There are three listings of verses in the New Testament, one in Galatians 3:1 and the other two are in the book of Acts.

I was thinking of the television show, “Bewitched” with Samantha and Darren and baby Tabitha as some of the main characters. Elizabeth Montgomery played the pretty mom, Dick York as the first actor to portray the dad, with Dick Sargent as the last, and Erin Murphy as the little one.

I was doing dishes and thinking that I didn’t dislike housekeeping as much as I did years ago.970617650-woman-washing-dishes-housewife-housework-comfort-retro-style ... (Photo from:  http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.zw__H3aWQZEZ0wVQ3YpDcQEUDi&pid=15.1&w=126&h=103&p=0 )

 

Suddenly an image of Samantha’s vacuum cleaner working around the house after she twitched her nose came to mind. I used to wish I was a witch so I could get my work done and go outside many years ago. Immediately, I’d negate that thought. I’d been brought up going to church on Sunday and I felt a love and respect for God from childhood on up. It just felt wrong to think I wanted to be a witch.

That television show introduced me to witches’ jargon I’d never been aware of. Possibly many in the country felt the same way. Such beautiful people with powers, and the nosey Gladys Kravitz–the neighbor, seemed annoying. She was played by Alice Pearce at first, and then Sandra Gould stepped in as one of the performers. She used to dress up with white gloves and wear a white hat, on occasion, probably on her way to a service to worship God, the foolish woman who was just seeing things, according to her husband’s point of view.

Initially remembering the show gave me a warm feeling inside, but as an adult it occurs to me that the normalization of witchcraft, which God abhors, is not a good thing.

It’s funny how as a child I instinctively knew that certain things were taboo. In the book of Acts, we hear of sorcery from God’s point of view.

Act 8:5, (ESV):  Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.

Act 8:6  And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did.

Act 8:7  For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.

Act 8:8  So there was much joy in that city.

Act 8:9  But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great.

Act 8:10  They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.”

Act 8:11  And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.

Act 8:12  But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Act 8:13  Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.

Act 8:14  Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John,

Act 8:15  who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit,

Act 8:16  for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Act 8:17  Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

Act 8:18  Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,

Act 8:19  saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

Act 8:20  But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!

Act 8:21  You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.

Act 8:22  Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.

Act 8:23  For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.”

Act 8:24  And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

In the King James Version, it says Simon had bewitched them with sorceries.

Exo_22:18, (KJV):  Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

Deu_18:10, (KJV):  There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, (Practicing magic) or an enchanter, or a witch,

As I continued around the house I got thinking of Galatians 3:1, (ESV) and beyond:  Gal 3:1  O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.

Gal 3:2  Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?

Gal 3:3  Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

Gal 3:4  Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?

Gal 3:5  Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—

Gal 3:6  just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?

Gal 3:7  Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.

Gal 3:8  And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”

Gal 3:9  So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

Gal 3:10  For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”

Gal 3:11  Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Gal 3:12  But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.”

Gal 3:13  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—

Gal 3:14  so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

“Satan is an accuser of the brethren,” it tells us in Rev_12:10, (KJV):  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

He works against all people in very subtle ways. As a writer, I’ve had the thought that Christian concepts could be boring to people. If that is not a thought from God’s enemy, I don’t know what is?

When I felt the power of God heal my left side a couple of Sundays ago, I was filled with joy. I had noticed a sharp-edged bone as I exercised and on Sunday I thought the still, small voice of the Lord asked me to go forward and pray for me and anyone else that needed healing. I did that in our small church and it wasn’t easy to take that step of faith. Warmth flooded me from the hip down to my ankle. After church a lady asked if I was getting physical therapy without having had an X-ray or an MRI. I admitted I hadn’t had one. So, my dr. sent me for an X-ray and all was well.

I can’t say that my muscles are completely better yet, but there is much improvement. God is far from boring and His Word delights and speaks to internal issues I need to deal with and relationship helps I should take advantage of, and so much more. Plus, after life, there is an awesome eternity that we can’t even imagine, it says in the New Testament.

I really went on a long time, and if you stayed with me, I pray God will bless you big time. Have a great day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Could You Ever Become Homeless?

 

The Sign Painter(Photo from: http://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/Davis-Bunn/45097965 )

I recently read The Sign Painter by Davis Bunn, copyrighted by T. Davis Bunn in 2014. It’s the story of a woman with a five year old daughter. The summary offered by the publisher states: “A young mother struggles to get back on her feet after a devastating loss leaves her and her daughter alone and living on the street.”

 

Howard Books published this tome; they are a division of Simon & Schuster, New York, NY.

 

I know a lady that lost her husband to a deadly disease and the medical expenses wiped them out. She moved to New York from Florida because she lived in the northern state as a child and as a young adult at least. I don’t know what happened to cause her to live on her own once her husband passed away. She has some family in the area.

 

It took some time for this friend of mine to regain her footing. She went from one place to another. Now, she has her own apartment and she volunteers in a handful of places to be of use and to fill her time. A Christian auto repair person discovered she didn’t have a car, so they’ve leant her one to use. This family pays for everything for her except the gasoline. She beams with gratitude.

 

I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this book, but Davis Bunn is one of my favorite authors. He tells a story with people based on real events in our world in such a compelling way that I knew I wanted to engage with the characters. I just waited a couple of days after I got the book to adjust to the idea. I didn’t know what the novel was about from the title. I chose it based on the cover and the author.

 

I’m on the third book in the series by Jim Cymbala called Fresh Power. The first two books are entitled Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire and Fresh Faith. Dean Merrill is the co-author of the volumes and Zondervan published Fresh Power in 2001 and it was copyrighted by Jim Cymbala in 2001.

Fresh Wind, Fresh FireFresh FaithFresh Power(Photos from: (https://www.christianbook.com/fresh-power-jim-cymbala/9780310251545/pd/251540?event=Christian-Authors|1006349)

Fresh Power is a non-fiction book documenting the ability of the Holy Spirit to move on people’s hearts and lives for the good. The life events that drew some to Christ seem so overwhelming, yet a way opens up for them to find hope and practical steps that kept them on a new path.

 

The Sign Painter is a fictional account of individual’s becoming desperate and it shows how they cope with their plight. Some choices work out well. Some folks turn to people and habits that only make things worse. The Sign Painter represented real quandaries that could come our way. I don’t think I’d ever have to live on the street, but one never knows. Many homeless never dreamed they’d end up without a postal address and/or a job.

 

When I see what a person does in trying circumstances, I’ll wonder why they took that action. It seemed clear to me that they were heading for trouble. I don’t know the whole story. Oftentimes, I don’t have permission to speak into their lives. That’s the benefit of reading life-like situations in books. It gives me time to meditate on how I might handle certain situations. Davis Bunn’s book had a number of questions about the novel for those interested in participating alone or for a book club to ponder after the end of the story.

 

If you haven’t read Davis Bunn’s books or Jim Cymbala’s real life anecdotes, you might want to try them out. You never know how God may use them in your life.

 

May God bless you.