Creating for Fun

 

I looked through a booklet I received when my children were born, entitled NAMES FOR BOYS & GIRLS with an advertisement from Enfamil baby formula in the center.

 

I wanted to name some characters with their heritage and personality in mind. To me, that’s fun. I got online for names that didn’t make the book.

 

When I see people, animals, plants, rock formations, clouds, forest, bodies of water, the stars and moon, etc., I get amazed all over again by the creativity of God.

 

Gen 1:1, (KJV):  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

 

Gen 1:26  Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Gen 1:27  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

 

God told us to take care of the earth and the animals in Genesis 1:26.

 

Well anyway, we’re all so different. I got thinking of a guy I went to high school with; he was a pretty good student.

 

He was in my English class and afterwards he’d tell me how much he hated that subject.

 

Math tripped me up and he excelled in that. I’ve found over the years that the more I use math, the better I get at it. In high school, math was like a foreign language to me that I’d never encountered before. I learned it all through elementary school, but it didn’t register in my brain. I did just well enough to be average.

 

In New York State back in the day, if you were on a certain track in school, you didn’t get to take art or photography unless you worked diligently with your counselor to put it in your schedule. Those classes filled up quick, too. One of my best friends was an exceptional artist, so she took the same courses I did but majored, so to speak, in art.

 

I learned to crochet during my lunch hour with a teacher and two other girls. I signed up to work on the school newspaper and took gymnastics after school as well, but the writing grabbed my attention and the sport lost out.

 

Another guy I knew from high school absolutely hated conjugating verbs for French class. I took German and that’s got a lot in common with English, some of the time. I don’t remember struggling with the verbs, although their word placement is different than ours. One fellow in class went to Germany over the summer with his family and he came back with a strong accent. I never sounded like anything but an American trying to pick up another language.

 

A family friend went to school near Geneseo State University and she learned Spanish, I think, at a very young age because they learned that children pick up language easily the younger they are. She might have started in pre-school or kindergarten.

 

I had intended to write about some creative writing books I’ve been working through tonight. So, I hope to do that tomorrow.

 

What things did you try in school that you’ve incorporated into your life as an adult or young person?

 

I hope you are well! May God bless you!

 

 

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Blogger Recognition Award

Thank you so very much, https://dandelionsacre.com, for giving me an award for blogging. I appreciate your kind comments and your follow.

I began blogging over seven years ago after attending Montrose Christian Writers Conference in Montrose, PA near Binghamton, NY. I didn’t really know what to expect and it was a slow start. I am still learning, especially about importing pictures.

I so enjoy your photographs and learning about bits and pieces of your life.

Advice I’d give to new bloggers: As a writer, it’s important to be vulnerable so people will relate to what you are saying, but it’s important to use wisdom. Whatever you write will be out there for whomever to read for a long time, maybe forever.

I needed to learn to show up more consistently so people following me would take the time to stop by the site.

I began to understand the importance of following other bloggers. It’s a community and I really enjoy reading other people’s thoughts and opinions. I’ve learned from folks across the world or across my country. How awesome is that?

I’d like to nominate the following bloggers for a blogger recognition award. I saved dandelionsacre.com’s beautiful award on my computer to copy and paste on my site and it told me how to paste it in language I couldn’t understand. So, with no pretty award picture, here they are:

  1. For wisdom and beautiful poetry: lifecameos at wordpresscom7862wordpresscom.wordpress.com/
  2. For insights into science and faith and intrigue: endatymes.wordpress.com/
  3. For a blog by a husband, father and man of faith being real: afracturedfaithblog.wordpress.com/
  4. For cooking and beautiful gardens and family love: indianeskitchen.com
  5. thedaddyblitz.wordpress.com by a Christian dad and husband and a thinking person with some great advice
  6. texaslawstudent.com by a young fellow sharing his love of Texas and ideas worth reading
  7. savannahhardcastle.wordpress.com/ writes with compassion for sufferers and gives wisdom that offers comfort

I could choose many more, but it’s late and I’m losing the ability to think and to craft intelligible sentences. Thanks for stopping by my site and I hope you’ll stop at these blogs as well.

This is a copy of Elizabeth’s instructions to me:

“So, congratulations, guys, for receiving the Blogger Recognition Award, nomination! If you’d like to pass the love along, here are the rules:
Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Write a post to show your award.
Give a brief story of how your blog started.
Give pieces of advice to new bloggers.
Select 5-15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.”

Accepting Change

Every once in a while, I have a day that re-arranges itself. Today was one of those days.

A few days ago, I picked up a book from the library by David Allen entitled, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, Revised Edition, published by Penguin Books, New York, NY. The copyright is by David Allen in 2001, 2015 and the Foreword is copyrighted in 2015 by James Fallows.

I read the first edition a few years ago but I did one step and let it go.

As I did the first step over again on Thursday, I decided it was time to buy the book. I thought of purchasing the e-book, but it was $5.00 more than the paperback.

Yesterday was such a busy day, I decided to do step 2 today. Then, a close friend sent me a message telling me what hospital she ended up in and for me not to come there.

I did detective work to reach her son and he told me to drive up there. I prayed and felt as if God said the same thing. She scolded me and then said she was glad I drove up. I hope to hear a good report soon.

I called a friend for prayer and she offered to ride along so I could have company.

I don’t know her as well but I took her up on the offer. On the way home, we enjoyed a sky full of fluffy clouds stretched thin across the horizon with blue sky and bright sun peeking between the many layers.

She said at home she gets to see beautiful golden-orangish sunsets from her front porch. We prayed for my friend before they took her off for another test, and off we went.

Then she directed me to a nice Thai restaurant where I got to try two dishes I never had before.

Earlier, I bought her a chai tea as I ordered one fo me. As I drove the highway, my tallest finger swelled with pain. I told my husband I figured it was the chai or the Thai and noted that they rhymed. He wasn’t impressed.

Later, I ate a small rich ice cream cone and after a while, a juicy peach. We’re getting to the end of our local growing season for peaches.

As I ate the rich dessert I thought it’s probably not the smartest thing to eat with my finger aching. A few hours later and it’s better.

I really appreciate God answering prayers for healing, but as my passenger stated when we talked about our eating habits when we’ve learned some food choices encourage health and others hinder health, “Therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin,” James 4:17, (NKJV).

She rarely gives me verses to consider unless we’re in a Bible study, but I agreed with her. When I brought up the chai tea with sugar and skim milk she and I decided a small treat is not bad.

The Word of God tells us to be moderate in all things, although that wouldn’t apply to obvious things to avoid like gossip or slander or theft, etc.

Eating small amounts of sugary foods is not sin, but gluttony is a sin. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, we’re supposed to take care of it.

Well, I’m preaching to myself here. If I eat healthy foods, drink enough water, exercise, and sleep before midnight I feel better.

On that note, I’m going to type this and get ready for bed. I’d like to blog earlier so my brain doesn’t get stimulated at night, but my days don’t seem to co-operate.

May God bless you.

Momentum in Life

 

I did some writing for a lady a few years back. She was a woman on a mission. She went to Washington, DC to speak before the legislatures to implore them to do something on behalf of families with brain diseased members.
She told me that 25 % of the population will deal with mental illness, either in themselves or in the lives of their loved ones and/or acquaintances. She also told me that when the patient is taken to the Emergency room at the hospital, they are the only ones offered the help of an attorney. Family is basically shut out of the process and because the person’s brain is not working properly, they can be easily persuaded to accept treatment that is not to their benefit.
I understand the dilemma. Sometimes wrong behaviors in a family may cause the mental disease, but usually, the family cares much more about a person than a stranger does.
How do people recover from brain distress without the love of God in their history?
I read Psalms 116-119, and they are filled with promises from God to watch over His children and to deliver them from evil. I knew a lady in church over twenty years ago, and she told us, once she recovered, that depression made her feel so hopeless she thought she’d never get out of the lowest moments in her life.
Sometimes, I think people must take small steps toward wholeness by focusing on others and crying out to God.
A favorite Scripture of mine is 2 Timothy 1:7, (NKJV): For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

When my youngest son battled for his life as a newborn, whenever I got close to the hospital I would get hit with tremendous fear because I’d driven about forty minutes by then without a cell phone. What if he’d died on the way there? I heard a preacher on the radio encouraging us by saying that speaking the Word of God allows us to hear the Word of God and in Romans_10:17, (NKJV) it states, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

I spoke 2 Timothy 1:7 and the overpowering fear lifted as if it had been a vise squeezing my shoulders and then it released and disappeared.

I thought, the Word of God is powerful!

Then I memorized the Scripture: Hebrews_4:12: For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Word of God is alive. Imagine that. Someone I love is in the depths of despair and I told her to hold on to the hope of Jesus Christ. I know it’s hard, but there will be an end to this hopelessness and I reminded her that she is loved.

It’s in her court, the course of her life. No one can live it for her. She asked me to pray and I said I would. That’s the best thing anyone can do. God alone is a perfect help in times of trouble and He alone satisfies our deepest longings.

How do I know? Because I’ve been in hard times over the years and He’s never let me down. Sometimes I wished His timing matched mine, but then I’d be glad He delayed, because when He did show up, the need had changed and it helped that the prayer got answered later. He gave me momentum to move along and live with new thoughts and with fresh horizons.

God knows everything.

May God bless you.

Decisions 101

Tonight, I spent possibly two hours working on a resumé from a template that comes with Microsoft Office 2016. I finally gave up in frustration because I wanted to delete certain items from the formatting and it replaced the empty space with descriptions of other things I may want to include elsewhere. After highlighting and deleting and then seeing other information show up, I’d move my cursor over to that offending entry and highlight and delete until it became apparent that the program was winning and I was continuing in a losing activity. So, I gave up.
I then went to a blank Word document and using an older resumé. I made up a new one with the homemade format. That probably took me half an hour or more of the two hours I mentioned above. The template may work for people that are more computer savvy than I am.
After all that work, I wondered if I will need the resumé soon or not. I saw an ad for a part-time job that sounded good to me. I told my grandson and a few others that I’m interested in it. At the end of a long day and after working on a resumé that mostly highlights writing, I began to think about this step I might take. When I told my husband about it he sounded enthusiastic about it, but he asked, “Do you want to take this job?”
I changed my schedule around in case I send the resumé out so I’d be available for the employer. Now, I need to think about the opportunity, pray about it, and consider my calendar. I’ve already prayed that if it’s not a good idea, don’t let them hire me, but that’s not exactly the way I want to pray.
I’m thinking of going to visit the place and check out the drive. It’s not right around the corner.
I have until September 13 to send out my information, so I have time to ponder. I don’t like to commit to something and then figure out I need to quit.
When I wasn’t sure about becoming a pastor’s wife, a young pastor gave me a Word from the Lord at the altar of the church we were attending. I was praying quietly about it and suddenly he showed up at my elbow and told me something to the effect that the Lord was saying you will be a pastor’s wife, you’re already acting in that capacity.
Friends gave me a plaque with the Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:24, “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”
What relief that gave me!
May God bless you.

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.

“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.