Reading and Planning

Complete Set Series - Lot of 7 Liberty Bell Books - Gilbert Morris (Historical)
Picture found on an e-bay advertisement.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, Revised and Updated Edition
Picture found on Christianbook.com advertisement.

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!

Advertisements

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!

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!

Privileges and Responsibilities of Being Christian

I’m sitting in a recliner with my feet up because a week and four days ago I went to the foot doctor to have a small biopsy taken off a toe. It hurts and daily there’s been a touch of blood on the bandage, so I decided I’d better take care of it.

To change the subject, I love being a Christian because God answers prayer, besides the benefits of getting to know Him. On Mother’s Day, our church gives each lady a carnation and some of the last of us divided up the leftovers, so I got four. After putting them in a wide-mouthed vase, they looked like they needed more flowers in there. I wanted more but not enough to go to the store, maybe because of my hurting toe.

On Wednesday I went to a place of ministry and the person in charge of it asked a few ladies if we could join her in prayer there. Afterwards, she and I pulled out a book we’re studying every two weeks together. Well, that’s the plan anyway. In an office, I noticed two bouquets of flowers almost out of water, so I suggested she water them. She bought them for two employees and one recently quit without notice. “Want one?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said.

I thought, God gives us the desires of our heart when we follow after Him. That might be in the book of Proverbs.

Also, we’ve been having a lot of rain, which fills half of our basement floor. In the book of James, it says, “You have not because you ask not.”

When we first moved into our place, the basement was dry. I’m not exactly sure what we did, but it changed. So, my husband took on another chore in his already busy schedule because the water is too heavy for me to lift.

With days and days of rain, my heart ached for my husband and I asked God to keep the water out of our basement. Because of His compassion, He did something. Our basement is dry!

I prayed a week or so ago for my husband and I to get away for a break. A couple of days ago, a lady at our church called me. She said she went to get a hair cut and it turned into a God appointment. The hairdresser is Christian and she and her husband have a heart for pastors and missionaries. They open their place in the Southern Tier for a small retreat for a donation. My friend said, “My husband and I want to pay for you to stay there for a couple of days.”

I tell you, that felt great to know they cared and God made a way. My husband is thinking about it and I told the Lord if it falls through, it’s okay. It’s just awesome to see how much He cares.

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=free+picture+of+the+Christian+flag

Our lives are not perfect. My emotions get out of hand at times. Today, I called a friend for prayer because of another sinful decision our Federal Government made in the House of Representatives to favor one small group of Americans to the detriment of a larger majority of others. It’s causing me stress physically as well, which is not helping my toe to heal. So, I’m doing my best to cast my cares upon Him for He cares for me, as paraphrased from (1 Peter 5:7).

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=free+picture+of+the+american+flag

I’m asking God to influence the Senate and the President to keep this bill from becoming a law. I’m reading the Old Testament and I know God punished Israel for all the choices they made which America is making now. Our country is in a spiritual war and it’s heartbreaking. I’m praying Americans will write their Senators in Washington and vote their consciences in the Fall and may God have mercy as He continues to judge our land in an effort to get people to turn to Him for their eternal welfare.

So, I continue to lean into God and continue to learn lessons about the need to depend on Jesus and to rest in His loving arms. I saw a Christian program on YouTube last week and the host said he had a dream. Three times Jesus appeared to him and said, “I am coming soon.”

I clicked to the beginning. The show aired in 2017. Sid Roth loves the Jewish people and he said many in Israel are becoming Messianic Jews. They’ve determined that Jesus fulfilled the many prophecies of the Christ in the Old Testament. To God be the glory, thousands and thousands are coming to faith in other countries around the world.

If you are a born-again Christian in America, living out the faith as best you can, repenting and making amends when you fall, please join me in praying for revival to come to America. Please ask God to soften hearts. I’m asking the Lord to show me what He’s called me for and to strengthen me to fulfill that calling. If you haven’t done that, I hope you’ll do that today.

If you’re not sure if you’re going to heaven when you die, the Bible says in (Romans_10:9 NKJV) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

May God bless you!

Stressing Over Books-What’s Up with That?

I’m writing in the library lately to help avoid distractions at home. Because I’m working on a children’s project, I’ve been taking out research materials; too many actually and it’s causing me stress. So, I returned an armful of children’s books, and a writers’ market guide. Then, I checked out picture books that came in from other libraries that were recommended by Ann Whitford Paul in her Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication, copyrighted 2009. Writer’s Digest Books published her book; they are an imprint of F & W Media, Inc., of Cincinnati, OH.

I ended up with six less than I started with, so it’s a beginning. I needed about six of them renewed last week including two young adult novels and the man gave me one week. One week! I thought, he obviously doesn’t realize the library director likes people to take out books to boost her circulation numbers.

So, I scanned two young adult novels and returned them. I read one as soon as I could and returned it four days early. I will be returning magazines today and on the seventh, so that will help as well.

I don’t know why I overdo with books and food and chocolate on occasion, but now I’m reigning them all in. I don’t need self-induced stress. I hope this finds you well!

May God bless you!

Loving Children

I have not written as much lately because I spent thirteen days with my children and four grandchildren. Three of the grandkids caught the flu, so I drove north to babysit them for a week. The rest of the time they visited us during February break from school while construction workers replaced ceilings, put in overhead lights, and refashioned an archway between two rooms, etc. at their home.

Image result for baby pictures

I love being with family-playing games, making meals and doing dishes, catching up on laundry. Fortunately for me, they just had fevers and coughs when I reached them on Sunday night. Although, I kept telling them to cover their mouths when they coughed and to turn their heads. “I don’t want to catch the flu!”

Recently, I lost some of my joy because I live in New York State. Our legislators passed a bill that if the mother of an unborn baby has any reason for wanting to abort that child, for whatever medical reason they can come up with, at any time before the little one leaves the womb, they can let the medical person know and the human being is killed. It may be hours from birth, a perfectly viable life and get snuffed out.

Then to add to my distress, living in the land of the free, the land of the brave, dear God, how far have we fallen, the senators in Washington, D.C., including our New York State representatives, voted that if a living baby survives the attempted murder during a botched abortion, no medical care will be extended. The tiny person is not offered a blanket or something to suck on for sustenance. It’s left to die. I never thought I’d hear of INFANTICIDE in this country.  

So, I haven’t felt like blogging, I’m sorry to say. I’ve taken joy from the children around me. I’ve cried out to God to soften the hearts of people that probably would be outraged at the inhumane treatment of animals and yet, disregard the lives of babies that God says He knows as they’re fashioned in the wombs of their mothers in Psalm 139:13-16.



I know times get worse before Jesus comes back and an increase in evil comes forth as people reject God and His ways. It’s just hard to see it and understand. When President Obama was a senator in Illinois, he was the only politician to vote to let a newborn languish on the table if the abortion failed. That wasn’t that long ago. The U.S. senate has two senators per state, and they only needed seven more votes to protect the little ones. They got 53 votes. That means 67 people said, “Let the infant die,” although I heard the weather kept some senators from reaching Washington, D.C. on time. But, did they wait for a larger turn out? No!

I think the senate should have been mandated to go to an abortion clinic and see what happens before they cast their votes. And if they came to New York State, they would see that the providers don’t have to be a doctor to perform an abortion. So much for the safety of the mother.

I took science fiction courses in college back in the day, and some of the stuff that I shuddered over back then and felt would never happen is upon us now. So, I pray for people to wake up and consider what they believe and why they believe it. Is it worth killing babies for the convenience of the mother? Many women suffer after they’ve taken the lives of their child with depression, breast cancer, and infertility. One thing I’ve heard-the younger generation is not believing the embryo is fertilized tissue with no life at conception. So, I try to remain hopeful and I pray that people won’t want to use these so-called “freedoms” of choice. Then it won’t matter what’s in the law books.

If you read through my rant, God bless you. Maybe if enough people stand up and say this isn’t right, the politicians will understand their tenure is on shaky grounds.

May God bless you and protect you from the evil one.

The God of Peace

With all that’s going on in the world, and then in New York State where abortion rights have been expanded to the furthest degree possible, I need to look for the good in life and keep my eyes on Jesus, for God amazes me!

So, I thought I’d look for encouragement in the Word and this is what I came up with:

This is a letter from the Apostle Paul to the Philippians while in jail. I copied a small portion that always reminds me to keep looking up.

Php 4:4, (NKJV):  Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 

Php 4:5  Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 

Php 4:6  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 

kids praying children's prayers
Photo from https://www.thoughtco.com/prayers-for-children-to-say-701346



Php 4:7  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

Php 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 

Php 4:9  The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. 

May God bless you!!

Trusting God

One of my favorite Bible verses is: But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33 NKJV)

I heard a few weeks ago that General Motors is firing 15 per cent of their workforce in Detroit, MI and other locations in the United States and Canada. Ford Motor Company may not be far behind.

I don’t live near these cities, and none of our acquaintances work in the automobile production industry. Yet, I feel compassion for those being let go. Some people in America don’t save money for emergencies.

We received a gift from a relative which allows us to see local television for the first time in many years. I got used to programs without commercials. The advertising costs an incredible amount of money to lure customers to purchase stuff. I looked away from the appealing pictures of new cars, cruises in warm weather ports, diamond rings equated to love, and lots of beer commercials during the football games.

All of those things may deplete an emergency savings account, if one ever got started. None of those things count as needs. In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians in chapter 4, verses l0-13 it says in the New King James Version, “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity.

 “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

When people in America lose their homes from unemployment, mud slides, fires, tornadoes, earthquakes or floods, etc. I pray for their physical needs, their emotional and spiritual condition.

In First Peter 5:7 in the NKJV, Peter tells us, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you,” happens after we’ve humbled ourselves under the mighty hand of God. When God sees humility towards Him and others, He’ll exalt us in due time.

Our lives are meant to bring glory to God in good times and in bad. The Bible is our life manual for every aspect of life. If you’re suffering, God sees you.

He understands your choices. He promises to take care of all your physical and eternal needs if you’ll seek the kingdom of God first in your life. Food, clothing and housing: Jesus said God knows your requirements for life.

As earthly possessions slide out of our grasp, the eternal stays with us forever.

May God bless you!

Set on the Shelf

Sunday night I wrote: My husband is at church without me. For the last five functions we usually attend together, I’ve been at home resting with feet stretched out and blankets bundled about me.

Today, I’m actually warm enough wearing a light weight hoodie and a crocheted cap. I chanced the stairs yesterday to do laundry and to do some easy chores.

Somehow, my potassium got low, which hurts a person’s balance, and down I went, about a week ago. As I continue to write, I’m mindful of the goodness of God. As the body heals, being alone with God refreshes my spirit. At one point, I sensed Him encouraging me to write for His sheep.

I was supposed to go to the doctor’s again, but they couldn’t see me until today. From the very beginning, I’ve felt sure God was going to heal me. Around two days ago, it finally showed up in my eyes. My husband came home from evening service and said, “You’re feeling better!!”

“Yes, I am,” I told him.

I caught up on my Bible reading when I could finally focus over the past two weeks. I do well, then I slip behind. When reading three Old Testament chapters and one New Testament chapter a day, when I get busy over the weekend and don’t get it done, I think, Uh oh, I’d better read. Then the next weekend another four chapters behind, etc. It adds up.

I always think, if I can spend hours on a novel, surely I can read the Scriptures to catch my place.

I’ve been reading Isaiah and Jeremiah-not the most cheerful of books because God is mad at all the idol worship and putting babies in the fire for a wooden god. Blows my mind.

That’s why I’m not surprised that God is allowing tragedies in America. We’ve killed over six million of His precious babies. When I worked at a crisis pregnancy center in a city years ago, a young couple from a prestigious college came in to abort their baby. They appeared to be from China, he looked mad, she looked humble and afraid. When they found out we didn’t offer that service, he stormed out of the building, his wife behind.

Another client struggled over the decision to keep her baby-a lawyer in her late forties. The worker came out to me and said, “Pray! What a battle going on.”

I was the receptionist. Other clients included single moms with an African heritage, white teens living with older men they knew would provide for their baby, a Muslim girl looking to love a little one.

A young man came in with his girlfriend to help her choose to abort. When she left the room, he said, “She’s already got a baby. When I leave, who’s going to want them?”

That would have been his first child. When I called the home, he always answered the phone so I couldn’t speak to her. I wondered what she finally decided.

Margaret Sanger, from Corning, NY began Planned Parenthood with the idea of infanticide for African-heritage folks. She got some of that and more. All nationalities, with various levels of intellect and talents fell to the god of self as babies’ hearts faltered to a stop. God have mercy!

I went to the doctor’s again today. She ordered more blood work and told me to continue elevating my feet. If God wants me resting and not volunteering, going to a birthday party, or to church, I’m His to direct. Just makes me want to cry a bit.

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