Reading and Planning

Complete Set Series - Lot of 7 Liberty Bell Books - Gilbert Morris (Historical)
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Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, Revised and Updated Edition
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I’ve been reading lots of books lately. A series by Gilbert Morris—The Liberty Bell tomes, copyrighted in 1995 by Gilbert Morris and published by Bethany House Publishers, Bloomington, MN. Also, two books on writing by James Scott Bell

How to Make a Living as a Writer; NOOK Book (eBook); Author - James Scott Bell
Pictures found at BarnesandNoble.com.

Just Write: Creating Unforgettable Fiction and a Rewarding Writing Life; Paperback; Author - James Scott Bell

and a re-read of Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-free Productivity by David Allen. This is the second version of Mr. Allen’s book. It was copyrighted in 2001, 2015 by him. Penguin Books published it in 2015, with a foreword written and copyrighted by James Fallows in 2015.

I’ve decided to take David Allen’s methodology to tackle a housekeeping area I’ve struggled with until it’s conquered. Some of his ideas I’ve learned from an organizing, planning company based in Rochester, NY that went out of business when paper planners became less prevalent. I missed Eagle Day Planners when they closed and then I moved on to the Franklin Covey organizing system for many years. This last year, I switched to Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner and I’ll start next year in the same planner as I keep learning the nuances to his helpful life structuring goals.

The Bible says to practice moderation in all things. Overwork does not equate with productivity oftentimes. My dad used to point to his temple and say, “using this will save these,” and then he’d gesture towards his feet. He did think things through and try innovative ways at his job and at home.

David Allen, Michael Hyatt, and others recommend taking time to think, and/or brainstorm with others while you ignore your internal critic at this stage. Although David Allen suggests some analysis might help. I can’t explain it well here. If you’re interested, it will help to read the book. I borrowed it from the public library and then purchased a copy for our family to read. Thus, I’m highlighting significant insights this second time through and feel I’m getting more out of it.

I’ll try to remember to tell you how my organizing project went. I hope you’re well. May God bless you!

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Proverbs by the World’s Wisest Man

King Solomon asked God for wisdom to lead the nation of Israel, way back in the day. God was so pleased that Solomon didn’t ask for things for himself that God said, (in 2 Chronicles 1:11-12 NKJV) which I copied from esword.com:
2Ch 1:11 …”Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king—
2Ch 1:12 wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.”

When Queen Sheba came to Solomon from Africa with tremendous gifts for King Solomon and with questions, she left having received more than she gave him and it says in 2 Chronicles 9:4 that when she saw all that King Solomon had and how things were set up, “there was no more spirit in her.”

She came to him because she heard of his incredible wisdom, but she underestimated him until she listened to his answers and saw the blessings of God firsthand.

Solomon blessed the people and praised God. ‘The Lord has kept his promise to David and I have built the temple for the Name of the Lord,’ he declared. – Slide 13

https://media.freebibleimages.org/stories/FB_Solomon_Temple/overview-thumbnails/013-solomon-temple.jpg?1538658913

I’ve been reading Proverbs lately, and when I got to Proverbs 15 I thought, I’m going to write these down so I can meditate on these verses and possibly memorize some of them.

I’ve been reading Proverbs for years. It amazes me how many times while reading the Bible that I’ll think sometimes, oh, I’ve already read this, nothing new here.

Then, I’ll read and it’s like I’ve never seen this verse or passage before and ideas will formulate that never occurred to me before. It’s definitely a supernatural book, the best selling book ever printed.

One day, at a hospital waiting for my sister to come out of surgery last year, I read a section in the Old Testament that was hard to read because God was mad about sin. On and on it went about sin and the consequences for His people that lived in ways that violated His commandments. They never intended to repent. The nation was going downhill and families were splitting up and women were destitute because they didn’t have the ability to make money, etc.

So, while reading, this older guy came along and he saw my unsmiling face and made a comment about the Bible and my attitude toward it. And without giving it any thought, I told him the Bible was boring. I got so flustered and he got called away, and I thought, why did I say that?

Not to say that when I’m reading long lists of names of people that I don’t know, that I haven’t had to stifle a yawn. But there’s such a richness to the Word of God, when I think back on that conversation, I wish I hadn’t responded that way. I asked God to forgive me and I prayed for the fellow, because I wasn’t prepared to answer him about God’s wrath.

I heard a sermon in a church I visited on Sunday. Part of the message was to pray to God to be prepared to share the glorious news of salvation. The “Good News” includes the bad news that all are sinners and all need an advocate, a redeemer to make it into heaven. So, I’ll pray again for that elderly man in case he doesn’t know Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

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

What to Believe

Last night, as I lay in bed, one of my legs started hurting. I said, “Lord, what’s going on?”

Now, whether it was my thought, imagination, the enemy of our souls-which I doubt, or the One and Only Great God, I felt as if a gruff voice impressed on my mind, “Feed My sheep.”

What do you think of that? So, tonight just past my bedtime, I’m sitting in a recliner under a crocheted afghan I made well over 20 years ago, a Granny square pattern, with a dim light on my right and a hand-cranked flashlight losing power over lined paper so I don’t overstimulate my senses and stay awake too late. I’ll type this in the morning, “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise,” as my mom used to say back in the day.

I’ve been blogging less often because of life’s pressures and a little burn out. I’m reading the Psalms in the Old Testament and First Corinthians in the New Testament. No matter how many interesting books I read, none nourish my spirit like the Bible.

I read 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV), a favorite verse of mine: No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Speaking of temptation, the last time I blogged I mentioned my granddaughter saying something about an unfortunate substance being on her ear and contacting my kiss. The next morning, on speaker phone I heard her mom say, “What did I read in Grandma’s blog about your ear and a booger?”

My young granddaughter said, “Oh, I just played a trick on her.”

She lied! I thought it was unlikely that she would have a booger on her ear, but then, I thought, maybe it got on her pillow case and transferred over. She’s got brothers and she’s athletic but I didn’t think she’d ignore something on her ear. I gave her the benefit of the doubt.

This photo is from gettyimage.com and I found it on Google.com.

The next time something is suspicious with her, I’ll consider she might be tricking me again, or telling a fib. She’s never lied to me in matters of importance, but in kidding around, she felt a temptation to say something that would gross me out, and she went with it. That’s what I like about temptation, the only thing I like about temptation. I have moments or longer to consider if I’ll fall if the opportunity comes my way. I can choose to lie or steal or cheat, etc. or not. And 1 Corinthians 10:13 says God gives me a way to escape any temptation that comes my way. What a relief. All I have to do is ask God to make it clear to me what I should do to avoid sin, and He’ll provide a way out.

Another reason I like this verse is that it’s reassuring that I’m not the only one in the world to get tempted. Yet, it’s not a sin to get tempted. It’s only a sin when I act on the temptation. Do you believe this verse?

May God bless you!

Open House

Last week, my grandkids came down from up north just a few days before we hosted three folks from Mexico. So, I told my grandson I haven’t had time to blog lately.

“Write about us making s’mores in the backyard,” he said.

This picture is from istockphoto.com.

All the family left except for my grandson. The next day the married couple and one of their children’s godmother came to stay for six days. What did I discover? My grandson has been learning Spanish since kindergarten. What a delight!

My sister came over one day and she used her faltering Spanish so the ladies began using their less than perfect English. The man spoke more fluently than they did.

I learned hambre means hungry and hombre with a long o sound means man. I picked up a little of the language and before I knew it, they were off to their own country before Fall hit. I missed them when they left.

They departed just in time, because it feels like autumn is in a hurry to send chilly breezes this year. The married lady really felt the cold and it’s gone down a few more degrees in the short time they’ve been gone. My grandson visited when the rain stayed, so he only got a day or two to enjoy the outdoors. His siblings got more sun and opportunity to enjoy the playground and one took a walk in a creek.

So, last week because we weren’t sure if our town allowed a fire pit, we put charcoal in a family-sized grill with papers for kindling. The kids broke sticks in the middle to help the fire along. They’d gathered long sticks from trees and from those that fell to the ground.

My daughter brought chocolate candy bars, large marshmallows and graham crackers to make our s’mores. S’mores is short for “some more” because one makes you want two.

I taught my grandkids to use patience and hold their stick impaled marshmallow well above the fire so it would toast brown instead of being a black cylinder, burning hot-some encased in flames. Except for the middle child, he wanted a burnt one.

Their attempt to eat a marshmallow fresh off the grill burnt one of the kids before they comprehended the warning.

Now, another grandchild is staying with us for a few days for Grandpa time. She asked my husband to buy flowers for me, and so he did. I let her try her hand at pouring pancake batter and then flipping them when it was time.

Each grandchild brought their unique personalities and interests to enliven our summer. My husband took each child out for a meal to a local restaurant and her turn is tomorrow.

Tonight, my husband told me she wanted to invite me to come along. She’s an early riser, so she told me I’d have to get up before my normal time. I said, “I can do that.”

When we prayed after she got tucked into bed, I went to give her a kiss on the cheek, just as she turned her head. “Grandma, you got my ear!”

“That’s gross,” I said.

“I know it; it had a booger on it.”

Kids, you gotta love ‘em.

May God bless you.  

Married Days with Rain

I went to exercise class yesterday with two ninety-something year old’s and another lady older than me. Some have been exercising together for 25 years now, which boggles my mind because my husband and I tend to move. Our average stay at two homes we bought was 10 years and now we’re beyond that here, but nowhere near 25.

Sometimes I pick on my husband, whom I love very much. So, yesterday I told the women that I sat in his car last week and the passenger seat was soaking wet. He told me to get over it, kind of, and wear the wet, heavy jeans because we were going on a date to eat dinner and then catch the new Spider Man movie. He didn’t want to be late for the beginning of the show.

I told him I would be right back and scooted out of the car. I have a slight allergy to dark denim, which is what I wore that night. Wet, dark denim is altogether different than dry dark denim, and to quote Yosemite Sam, the cartoon character, I realized “My biscuits are burning!”

Related image
yosemite-sam.net

Raining, Fun, Thailand, Water Day
https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2015/10/08/05/30/raining-977210__340.jpg

The older ladies and I talked about the crazy cloud-bursts of rain and moments later, sunshine. Then, one speaking of a quilt folded in four in the car sparked my memory.

An elderly lady from our church made lap quilts while living in the nursing home to give away and I asked her if I could keep one. When I came outside for our date last week, I quadrupled the lap quilt to sit on it so I wouldn’t get wet again. Thus, I mentioned my husband’s car seat getting rained on.

I didn’t tell the exercising ladies that my husband didn’t complain when I hurried from the car. He didn’t yell or use sarcasm later when he waited for me to arrange the quilt.

Now, we’re heading for another wedding anniversary and sometimes I wonder how, as a young person with a decision that momentous, that I got such a great guy. I did pray like crazy and seek advice from people I respected with good marriages and noticed he loved his mother and thought highly of his sister. Sometimes I know God’s in the details of my life, even when I’m oblivious of Him.

On Thursday, I parked next to my husband’s automobile downtown and the rain began, so I put his windows up. Then last night as I washed dishes, he came into the kitchen to ask me if it was raining and were my car windows up? I dashed out the door and there they were, half open.

If you get caught in a sudden rainstorm in New York State, or elsewhere, I hope your car windows are closed if you need to get out for a bit. If you do your spouse a favor, they may return the gesture. God does say in Gal_6:7b  “for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (NKJV).

May God bless!

A Summer with Babysitting

I’m back North for a second stint of babysitting for my four grandchildren. The first day we readjusted to each other-a little testing on their part, me determining how strict to be.

Four Square fun https://www.playworks.org/game-library/4-square-switch-2/

            The last time I was here, in June we played four square with a red rubber ball. If some pushing or other roughhousing kept going on, I’d step in and tell the offender to sit on the porch and count to 120 while they composed themselves.

A few days later, the oldest came running in and said his sister needed to chill and count to 120. The others rushed in to tell their side of the story.

            My daughter quieted them down and said, “Use your words.” They all got a chance to explain.

            Turns out his sister didn’t need to count to 120. I thought, that was handled well!

            Please excuse the bragging on my daughter. I think following the Lord and being a Special Ed teacher helps her in raising her children. I’m back to reading Proverbs again, along with some other Scriptures. Not every day, but there’s so much meat in Proverbs, lots of good advice for relationships, for managing life, for handling money, and getting to know God.

            I hope you’re well. May God bless you!

My Sister, Mary Recommended John Osteen

My sister, Mary was an imperfect person, but she loved Jesus. She enjoyed blessing people with gifts. She laughed and her wit was quick and sharp. One day she told me she really enjoyed listening to John Osteen from Houston, TX and said I ought to hear him preach. He’s been gone for twenty years now. She’s been gone for about five years, I think. Today, I was searching for a sermon on television and I found this on YouTube. So, in honor of my sister Mary, I copied and pasted it. I thought I’d share it here.

It’s sounds hard to be a Christian, and sometimes it is, but the alternative is much, much harder. I’ve lived both ways and I’ll take Jesus over not having Him any day. Jesus makes life worth living, even when life hits and hits again, and the pain hurts. Jesus takes the sting out of the hurt, compared to going it alone.

May God bless you!

Stress Relieving Days

When my elementary school-age grandchild came to visit for a few days, I felt the stress melt away. We played games, watched children’s television shows, put a puzzle together, visited the library, read the Bible before bedtime, and sent texts to favorite people using my phone. We read non-fiction books on worms and another on insects, but there was no interest in two fiction books I chose. That surprised me.

This particular child loves fruit and pizza and sweets but there’s no overeating. Salad disappeared with coaxing and a bribe. “You can have ice cream for dessert if you eat lettuce and tomatoes.”

“Okay, Grandma, but not too many leaves.”

“Three works,” and as I tore it, the child thought the tiny pieces counted. We compromised at one and a half or more of romaine and five cherry tomatoes.

Tomorrow’s the last day here and I need a nap!

No wonder the Bible says that children are an heritage from the Lord, in the King James Version. May God bless you!

What’s Your Calling?

I keep hearing sermons or discussions among Christians about people following their calling from God. Then, I read book titles or newsletters on the same topic. Inevitably, the question arises, “Have you taken time to seek God to see what your calling is for life? What did God create you to do?”

When I’m thinking I’m hearing God in my thoughts, often it’s “Feed My sheep,” or “Write.” Sometimes it’s “Clean” or “Rest.”

(Eph. 2:10 NKJV):  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. 

This verse made me think our calling as a Christian is to walk as Jesus did. Not in malice, wrath or in jealousy, or covetousness, not causing strife, or gossiping. Gossiping hurts people’s reputations-it’s akin to murder.

So, I’m mindful of God’s commands in the Word and I’m trying to do what I think He wants me to do. When it feels like more than I can handle, I cry out to God for wisdom or whatever will get things done. God is my refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble; it tells me in (Psalm 46:1 NKJV). “Praise You, God!”

May God bless you.