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.

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Heading Out

A few days ago, my husband and I swung by my youngest daughter’s house to see her and her brother, and later, her husband.

We stayed for dinner and then headed north to see their sister and family. Before we left, I got a tour of her garden while we waited for the food in the oven to heat. I grew some vegetables at the side of our garage, which is not the best place for sun and rain to hit. With all the water coming from the clouds this summer in Upstate New York, tomatoes have been bountiful. Zucchini showed up regularly on one plant in small batches and the smaller plant, green as the squash itself hasn’t produced one piece of fruit. I don’t know if the animals are getting them before us or if it’s because it’s a little crowded at that spot.

I have more tomato plants than I planted, either because my husband runs over the trailing vines and the seeds squirt into the soil, or the birds are dropping tomato seeds after they’ve eaten some of the produce. So, I’ve been giving a lot of cherry tomatoes and ten medium-sized tomatoes away besides eating a bunch myself.

My husband asks if I’m going to make spaghetti sauce with them and I keep saying yes, but then we go out of town. I expect to make sauce, if the weather doesn’t go crazy and freeze early. I heard a ton of geese squawking away today, but when I glanced out the window all I could see was white fog.flight of geesehttps://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwirjZiqhpLWAhXE8RQKHUFHCV0QjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fsherylstow%2Fcanadian-geese%2F&psig=AFQjCNEKBmiNenlJRuBbMW6n5Jm7J9UCuA&ust=1504838471059269

 

The Canadian geese may be on their way South. I love seeing them in their V-formation, but the older I get, I realize I enjoy seeing them more in Spring than leaving in Fall. Anticipating Spring gets my mind and body ready for flowers and gardening. Preparing for Winter gets me checking out blankets, heavy outdoor clothing, tires with good tread for handling snowy roads, an ice-melter so we don’t fall on the sidewalks, boots, and filters for our furnace, etc. As a younger person, Fall was my favorite season. It still is in some respects, but now it reminds me that Winter is around the corner and that is less appealing as I age. Although, every season has its beauty.

Some northern folks like to ski and ice-skate. I used to sled downhill as a child and young mother. Now, I walk in the brisk air and then hurry inside for a hot cup of tea–
chai or ginger or lemon or rooibos, to name a few. I buy hot chocolate for the younger generation and my husband. After shoveling, he likes to dunk peanut butter toast into hot chocolate to thaw out and to enjoy a childhood favorite food combination.

We stopped at an ice cream store on our way North that night early in the week and the girl at the counter told us they were closing for good this month. Their ice cream is great, but it’s expensive, high in fat, and not the only ice cream shop in town. My husband understands business from his years working as a manager, considering the “bottom line.”

“Maybe their agreement with the partner store expired or they ran into difficulties working together.”

I didn’t think that way. All I thought was that the worker looked sad and I wondered if selling less product meant that she would lose her job.

With all the storms and fires in America at the moment, people are probably not rushing out to get ice cream. Many folks give to charities to help those in trouble, even thousands of miles away in this country. Our church is going to take an offering for Convoy of Hope this Sunday. They are a first responder to disasters and we helped them for a few days when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans back in 2005. We know they are a reputable organization.

We also pray. I stopped at an outdoor market today and the farmer spoke about the poor people in Florida with a hurricane of epic proportions on its way there. He couldn’t understand why some would choose to stay in the face of danger. He said, “Why would they risk their lives?”

I told him they have their priorities out of order.

Then I told him an elderly lady at our Bible study asked us to pray for them today and so we did, beseeching God to send the hurricane out to sea and to not allow any lives to be lost in boats.

Sometimes I like to get away from home, but as we traveled on Monday night, we got hit with such a rain storm with lightning splitting the sky that we pulled off the road.

My husband couldn’t see and he said if the professionals are waiting for better visibility he would follow their example. We arrived late but safe. Thank You, Jesus!

It’s nice to be home again.

I hope you are well. 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.

 

What Does God Want?

 

We enjoyed a pleasant visit with friends and some fine food last night. The lady of the house loves to cook and they both enjoy people. So, she and her husband invited us and another pastor and his wife to their home. The pastor’s wife has a ministry in mind that all six of us are interested in, but we all agreed to pray about it, before beginning. She gave us an introduction to the classes by giving us the book for leaders. Her husband helped set up the video so we could see the people that began this opportunity to bless others.

Her husband can help, but his church and the denomination they serve under has increased his role in other churches, so his time is limited. They also hope to use our location since their church is far away from most folks.

I liked the fact that we’re going to pray before we decide for sure if we’ll step out and make this commitment.

We haven’t seen the host and hostess at their home for a couple of years, so it was nice to talk to them and to get to know the other pastor and his wife better. We’re not in the same denomination, so we don’t run into them very often.

I know God wants us to love Him and to walk humbly before Him, and if I can I’ll find the verse that says something to that effect. This verse talks about humility, but it’s not the one I was thinking of: 1Peter_5:5 , (KJV), Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

I had to ask my husband and he found it right away. Micah 6:8, (KJV),  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Occasionally, He wants us to step outside of our comfort zone to serve others not in our own little world. I guess that’s pretty clear with the story of the Good Samaritan.

Luke 10:25, (KJV)  And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

Luk 10:26  He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

Luk 10:27  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

Luk 10:28  And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

Luk 10:29  But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

Luk 10:30  And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

Luk 10:31  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

Luk 10:32  And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

Luk 10:33  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

Luk 10:34  And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

Luk 10:35  And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

Luk 10:36  Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

Luk 10:37  And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

The Jews and the Samaritans did not associate with each other. They walked miles out of their way to avoid going through the others’ territory.

God’s ways are not our ways, it tells us in the book of Isaiah.

Isa_55:8, (KJV),  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

Isa_55:9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God gets me thinking, that’s for sure. Yet, He makes it clear what He wants, if I’m willing to read His book and figure it out.

May God bless you.

A Merry Heart

Proverbs_17:22, (KJV)  A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

 

I’ve had a chance to see my grandchildren lately and I thought I’d tell you some of the funny things they told me or their parents mentioned.

 

One of my children took a trip South, about a fourteen hour journey by car not counting rest stops. In the very beginning of the trip, the youngest girl, age five told her older brother, age seven that he should ride his bike to the Southern state.

 

The oldest son told his mom that they should arrive at their destination within an hour. When the other adult in the car said, “You’d better get comfortable in your seat. We’ll be in the car for two days.”

He shook his head in the negative. “No, we’re almost there.”

“How can you say that?”

“Oh, I’m always right.”

His mom said, “Oh, you are, are you? I don’t think so.”

“Mom, I’m always right, you know that.”

His mom cracked up laughing because he’s so innocent and so sure.

 

My son says a prayer before eating: “Lord, thank you for this food, bless the hands that prepared it and protect us from anything harmful that might be in it. In Jesus’ name I pray.”

The kids couldn’t understand “bless the hands that prepared it.”

So they started saying “hands for the parrot.”

They do it now at almost every meal, and now they say it at bedtime, too.

 

 

Well, that’s all I can remember at the moment.

 

God bless!

 

Letchworth State Park

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Today my husband and I drove a significant number of miles to meet friends at Letchworth Park. We had a great visit and we got to see some magnificent views. I took some snapshots before they arrived.

The spring photos I took today, and after I spoke to my sister, she sent me some from autumn. I’ll show two more of mine and then I’ll include hers.

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I love New York State parks. I heard on the radio that NYS just purchased more acreage in the Adirondack Mountains for more State Park lands.

Here are pictures of Letchworth State Park in the fall with a different vantage point:

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My father-in-law used to call Letchworth the Grand Canyon of the East. He visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona; I’ve never had the privilege.

What a beautiful planet our Lord created! The account of creation can be found in the earliest chapters of the book of Genesis.

Be blessed!

 

Traveling through New York State

Image result for catskill mountains

My husband and I drove through the Southern Tier to get to Poughkeepsie, NY last week to go to a conference there. The Catskill Mountains towered over our small sedan. Many of the cities end with the word kill. I searched the web to find that “kill” at the end of a location refers to a body of water, like a creek and is from the Dutch influence in America.

We ate a great sub soon after we entered Fishkill, NY. Sal’s Pizzeria and Restaurant caught our eye. We both ordered eggplant subs, mm good. Friendly service made the stop worth making and bears repeating if we head that way again.

Craig and I order the same thing at Rico’s Pizza shop in the Southern Tier and their’s is excellent, too.

This is my season to get around. Craig and I went to Buffalo to see our daughter, the grandkids, our son and my two sisters. One of my sisters moved to TX shortly thereafter. I wanted to see her before she headed to warmer climates. I admit, I cried a bit at the idea of her being gone. Part of the reason is because my youngest sister died almost a year and a half ago, so my siblings feel more precious to me.

Sometimes I take family for granted. As a Christian, I have brothers and sisters in Christ that I rub shoulders with on a daily basis, so maybe that’s why I lose track of the real deal when life gets busy.

But there’s something about blood relatives with the same history, some of the same memories, different slants on shared events. It adds a deeper dimension of relationship, a richer hue from the artist’s palette, so to speak.

I love every one of my brothers and sisters even though we’re separated by miles and sometimes philosophies. They show their love for me in kindness and hospitality.

One of my siblings offered me a trailer to move into if ever I found myself in need of a home. Tears welled up at the thought of his caring attitude. He has family of his own to support sometimes.

Whenever I feel anxious about the economy, God often reminds me, “Trust Me.”

There are many promises in the Bible of God’s provision for those who love Him and seek Him. With His help, I do love Him and seek Him, as imperfect as I am.

I thank Him for my flesh and blood family, for my siblings and mentors in Christ.

If you haven’t expressed love and appreciation and possibly forgiveness to your family and friends, don’t waste another day. It’s worth the time, it’s worth any uncomfortable feelings.

When you do, the results are up to others and God,  but you’ll know you did your best and that will give you peace.

Did I mention I’m heading to Buffalo the day after returning home from Poughkeepsie for eight days? New York State is diverse. Not a hill to be seen in the Buffalo neighborhood.

God bless!