Does God Care?

I wonder why I’m having a hard time blogging lately. I love to write. I love people. Sometimes, that’s the rub. Also, my computer is driving me crazy, not acting like it should.

            My daughter and her fifteenth-month-old daughter began staying here about two weeks ago. Her husband and other workers are rebuilding and replacing portions of their house. Lots of sawdust in the air, primers, paint and polyurethane fumes in the atmosphere to irritate skin and lungs. This caused her husband to ask her to vacate the premises for safety sake.

            So, we told her it’s okay to come and stay for a week or so. During week two my daughter’s been saying, “I think I’ll be going home soon.”

            My life is not my own, but I live in a delusional state where I think I have control. My granddaughter doesn’t like to sleep. She’s bright and interested in taking in as much as she can in any given day.

            She’s practicing walking with joy and purpose. She doesn’t like to fall so she holds onto one adult finger and tries to direct the parent or grandparent or aunt her way with such a grip that the tip of our fingers turn red and hurts.

loving senior with grandchild - grandma walk with child stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/loving-senior-with-grandchild-royalty-free-image/184296859

            If I have another direction in mind, I’ll begin turning her gently and she sets her whole body the other way. So, today we kept going in circles until I stopped us both. I was getting dizzy.

            If I’m intent and direct more firmly, she’ll twist quickly with all her strength and down she goes. And then she cries. I pick her up, comfort her and she extends her arm with fingers stretched out to show me she wants my hand. She’s raring to go. On with her mission to explore, to gain balance, to be in charge. Lately, she’s been lowering her head like a bowling ball to her waist to get her way, but then I hoist her up. She’s such a little peanut.

            Last week, I lost my favorite and only travel mug that doesn’t leak. I use it every day, first thing in my day.

            I thought I left it at church after I searched my house and any canvas bag I might have used last week. Prayed to find it at least three times a day. I asked my visitors and my husband if they’d seen it. I checked the car. I looked at church four times over the week. Each time, I saw a paper mask under a pew that no one else would see because of our social distancing procedures.

            By the fourth time, I told God, “I give up. If I never find my purple mug, I’ll just replace it.”

            Then, I thought, pick up the paper mask and throw it away. I laid down on the pew in the empty building to reach the mask and my leg kicked a wooden support of the pew in front of mine. Suddenly, the purple mug flew past me and that little event gave me joy.

            So, on Sunday I gave a testimony of God answering prayer and my husband felt sure it would be about the mug. But it wasn’t. It was about God healing my friend after I (and others, I’m sure) prayed for her on a consistent basis. Just a short prayer each morning.

            As I was writing this, I pictured myself walking and directing my granddaughter. I’m so much taller. I weigh almost 10 times more than she does. I know she shouldn’t climb light weight items and she is determined to do so, so I’ll pick her up and re-direct her and she’ll squeal in protest until I distract her with a book or a toy.

            Is that how I am with God? He’s far bigger and far more knowledgeable than I am. So, I’m praying to find my mug. I know from the Old Testament that He didn’t like it when the Israeli’s spent time and money building their homes while the temple sat idle and neglected. I’m tidying my house from all the company being over. Yet, every time I saw that paper mask on the church floor, I resisted picking it up. I checked under the pew four different times from four different angles. Each time I almost picked up the mask. Was God nudging me? Trying to re-direct the angle of sight? I’ve had people ask, “Do you really think God cares about little things like that?”

            I think He cares because He enjoys answering prayers. Do you think God cares about the little things of life? Does He care about bloggers blogging?

May God bless you.  

THE SOWER AND THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF SOILS – Luke 8:4-15

I needed to read this again at this time of life and in these circumstances. 🙂

Mission Venture Ministries

Jesus spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When He said this, He called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” (Luke 8:5-8)

The first thing to note is that Jesus was teaching about a subject that was very familiar to the Jewish people. In ancient times people passed through the countryside, walking everywhere they went or riding on an animal, and they had to…

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Jesus Cares for Us

Our church plays the song, “I Surrender All” on rare occasions. Every time I sing it with my family of believers, I cry. Why? Because I picture people and things I’m letting go of: family members, friends, possessions, health, youth- “all to Jesus, I surrender, I surrender all.”

I cry every time because over the months, “having my way” creeps back in and then I go back to the place of sacrifice. There’s an advantage to this letting go, this dying to the flesh, this sacrifice of praise to God.

When hard things come along, some of the sting, its power got muted months or years ago because I laid people and things at the foot of the cross.

Part of my coping ability with the COVID 19 virus is not listening to news and shielding my eyes on the Internet, for most of the day. I read (Proverbs 1:32, 33 NRSV) today in regards to the call of Wisdom: “For waywardness kills the simple, and the complacency of fools destroys them: but those who listen to me will be secure and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.”

My husband minored in math in college. After hearing the number of those afflicted by COVID 19 in America yesterday, it’s less than 2/10 of one per cent of the population. I am being careful, but I’m doing my best not to be overtaken with fear, and hearing those statistics helps.

Stress can cause disease. That’s why Jesus said in (Matthew 11:29 NRSV) to take His yoke upon us and learn from Him…and He will give us rest. The apostle Peter reminded all with a little different phrasing: (1 Peter 5:7 NRSV) “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”

I pray for God’s blessing to overshadow any anxieties that may try to rob you and me of peace and joy in this life. I’m also praying if people discover their previous activities were stifling their lives, that we’ll take time to consider new opportunities that will benefit ourselves and others.

God knows how we’re all wired. Jesus says to seek Him and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you, in Matthew 6:33, speaking of food and clothing and peace of mind. There are Scriptures that speak of God blessing believers by all sorts of folks in the world. I have a blessing I want to share. My neighbor hired a landscaper to plant daffodils in their side yard which I can see from my house. I didn’t do the work, I didn’t pay the bill, yet I get to enjoy the beauty. Hopefully, the picture I took to show you will copy here.

Daffodils in the Spring

Yay, my husband helped me!            

May God bless you!

HE WHO HAS AN EAR LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAYS TO THE CHURCHES – Revelation 2 and 3

My friend recommended this post and I read it and wanted to share it with others. Be blessed!

Mission Venture Ministries

Hearing and listening are synonyms but have different implications, because, you can hear someone without actually listening to what is being said. 

Listening requires a person to pay attention to the speaker and requires concentration, it means to understand what is being said and providing an adequate response to it, because when we do not listen there really is no communication and no understanding of what was conveyed. 

Jesus talks about “Whoever has ears, let them hear” many times in the Gospels (Matthew 11:15; Mark 4:23; Luke 14:35). “Having ears to hear” was a common expression that referred to those whose hearts were ready to act upon the truth they were given. 

Thousands were impacted by Jesus’ earthly ministry, but only a few people had “ears to hear.” In John 6:66, Jesus had again explained about who He is, but John records that, “After this many of…

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Does the Weather Affect You?

My husband and I drove to the mall today despite the one-degree Fahrenheit weather, because the blustery below-zero forecast-ed weather never arrived. We needed some office supplies and bulk items for church that our little town doesn’t provide.

So, I bundled up and my husband cranked the heat up in the car and off we went. The stores seemed a lot emptier than usual. We entered the traffic flow on the roads with ease. The weather forecasters warned of windchill at 27 below-zero, which made me hesitate to go out, but my guy wasn’t deterred, so I figured he’s not foolish and I promised my daughter that I’d sew a zipper in her son’s coat. I hadn’t bought the zipper yet and time was a wasting, as they say in the West or in the South or maybe it’s from my childhood.

The thing is, it’s so cold outside that the walls are radiating a decided chill in the room where I sew. Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer, so I’m putting it off until then. When we left our warm car, earlier in the day, I wore a heavy crocheted hat down lower on my ears than normal. The matching scarf covered my face so I could breathe. The later we stayed out, the brisker the winds got, but thankfully they weren’t moving much. It was the cold air that caused the discomfort. We made six stops over three hours, and by the end, we were both ready to get home. After putting the plates and tissues and file cabinet supplies away at church, we reached our house and put away the carrots and the tomatoes and the Worcestershire sauce, etc. I put the heat back up four degrees on the thermostat.

The photos came from: https://www.google.com/search?q=family-friendly+free+pictures+of+sunshine+and+clouds&client=firefox-b-1&tbm=isch&tbs=rimg:CRcYyASMpYT7Ijh7YkkCd5ykwazfYtmrwatmILh7KP5bPbNJjyu177igdB7NTeh27gBBCu51G97dJs-eHfPnzLgQLioSCXtiSQJ3nKTBEWmMsfn22mPzKhIJrN9i2avBq2YRhSZcwmD2XMIqEgkguHso_1ls9sxHAt5q5tU0YESoSCUmPK7XvuKB0Ec9rhnA5WMG9KhIJHs1N6HbuAEER1CKqJFYBCGcqEgkK7nUb3t0mzxHREv3p2sy-xioSCZ4d8-fMuBAuEckCTUiAKvGx&tbo=u&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiwq9Hk5JngAhWyUt8KHRpTCEoQ9C96BAgBEBs&biw=1366&bih=654&dpr=1#imgrc=mDN916denwfcvM:

As we drove, I told my husband the sunshine was beautiful. We live in Upstate NY, and not that long ago, we had over 60 days with clouds and no sunshine. Some folks suffer from S.A.D.-seasonal affective disorder. “Sometimes it’s called winter depression or the hibernation reaction,” according to this site:

Definition of Affective disorder, seasonal (SAD) – MedicineNet https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=7720 .

I know folks who suffer from the lack of sunshine, so they purchase lamps with natural light bulbs. One variety I’m familiar with is OttLite.

When it gets really cold, with air from the Arctic circling down our way, many of the schools and churches close down for the sake of the walkers. More than ten minutes outdoors in the extreme cold can cause hypothermia, according to our local radio station’s weather man.

Image result for family-friendly free pictures of sunshine and clouds

When it’s frigid outside, too much of it causes me to feel grumpy or to feel grateful, depending on my state of mind and/or body. I’ve been so aware of the privilege of living in a house with a good furnace. Two years ago, I bought a warm winter coat for the low price of $20.00 at the end of the cold season. I remember many years ago, being sure the kids had warm outer-wear and getting along with less helpful protection from the elements because I didn’t go outside as much and they were little. A paycheck only goes so far sometimes.

Being covered in warm layers from head to toe takes the grumpiness away. When it’s normal winter weather, about 25 degrees outside, the fresh cold air is invigorating to breathe in. My husband likes to kid me. “You’d never make it in Alaska!”

That’s probably why I’ve never lived there. I hear it’s a beautiful state and some folks talk about the cruise ships they’ve boarded to see the wonders of the northern-most part of the U.S.A. I may get there one day. One never knows what life will bring, especially when I think of opportunities God has opened up in my life over the years. As it says in the Scripture: (1Corinthians_2:9 NKJV) But as it is written: “EYE HAS NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NOR HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN THE THINGS WHICH GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”

In this blog, I could have talked about rain or sunshine for most of the day, but we’re in the northern hemisphere and it is winter here. Do you have a weather-related story you’d like to share?

May God bless you!

Who’s Your Support?

I re-wrote an article today and then later, I wrote a memoir from my teen years. I’m thinking of publishing writing for some income. My husband worked all our married lives once we left college. I worked as a young mom for a while and when I saw an older woman working in the same department, I asked her how long she’s been employed there. “Oh, not long,” she said. “I stayed home to raise my children and then I sought a job after they left home.”

“That’s what I want to do,” I surprised myself by saying softly to myself. I looked around at the cubicles, telephones ringing off the hook. My co-workers hated their jobs, for the most part. And I left my young ones in the care of others. My youngest one was allergic to milk at the time and often, when he ate lunch, the sitter gave him macaroni and cheese, possibly thinking cooking the milk and cheese would change its allergic properties. I don’t know. But, I’d have to call off from work and treat his diarrhea. He hates bananas to this day because he’d have to eat a BRAT diet, bananas; rice; applesauce; and toast.

The babysitter also watched children that went to a daycare center part of the time. They caught lice, and my little one with a tiny covering of hair, had a bug crawling across his scalp when we got home. So, I treated him for lice and the rest of the family, as well. I told my husband-“that’s it, I’m quitting my job.”

He was delighted. I gave my two week notice and when I spoke to one of the supervisors, I said, “my husband wants me to quit my job.”

It required a lot of patience and love for some unlovely people, unfortunately. She sighed. “I wish I had a husband that wanted me to quit my job.”

Sometimes I don’t realize the blessings that I enjoy. It’s easy to take people we love for granted. When I pray about what I should do, because I want to help support my husband as we age, I feel as if the Lord gives me a quiet thought, Write.

Is the Lord giving you nudges when you’re pondering what you should do? I love Proverbs, chapter 3. It talks about trusting in the Lord and not leaning on my own understanding, which I need to hear now and again. I’m thinking this is going to be an exciting year.

By the way, as a young boy, after prayer, the Lord healed my son of his milk allergy. You should have seen his face light up the first time he tasted ice cream. His own and every other one we’d purchased at the ice cream cone stand. What joy.

May God bless you!

Light

This is Jesus speaking according to Matthew in the New Testament. I’ve been hindered from blogging, so I thought, I’ll just try to send this Scripture that encouraged me tonight. God bless!!

Mat 11:28  Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 
Mat 11:29  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 
Mat 11:30  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” 

How a Reclaimed Cedar Chest Reflects God’s Grace

I met Jill about a year ago at a writers’ critique group. I love her writing. She’s been published by “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and elsewhere.

Anecdotes from Along Life's Road

cedar chest 03

Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2018

by Jill Printzenhoff

Reclaiming Memaw’s beat up cedar chest was tedious and dirty work. However, I was determined to redeem its battered condition.

I poured hours into removing several coats of old paint, sanding the distressed wood, and applying varnish. Solvent turned layers of faded paint to goo, which clung to my paint scraper or landed in wrinkled piles on heaps of newspaper. The hand sander kicked sawdust in the air, and the dust particles covered everything in the garage including myself. The sticky varnish claimed multiple brushes and rags.

messed up trunkNeedless to say, by the time I finished with the outside process, I had accumulated several bags of debris.

Once the outside was complete I turned my focus to the inside. After vacuuming the felt layer, the finished product was ready for use and display. I filled the cedar chest with blankets, and gave…

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