Wordy Wednesday, Almost Thursday

I promised some random thoughts, and finally have a few minutes to jot them down.

A Black Swallowtail Butterfly that overwintered in the shed emerged from its chrysalis this past week.

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I parted with my camera for a couple of weeks, leaving it for repair. I hope no new birds show up in the yard during this time. I’m trying not to look! Thankful phones have cameras now, but mine isn’t much good for bird photography.

Now that my hands are empty, I’m purging more clutter from the house. I donated fabric to a local quilting group. There’s still plenty left should the sewing machine beckon; though, when trying to alter a top, the bobbin refused to bob bob bob along. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.) 

Strathmore (artist paper) hosts three free online workshops each year. March featured Jess Park with Brush Lettering and Watercolor. The video lessons are available throughout 2017. The link at the beginning of the paragraph introduces each of this year’s artists and gives examples of their work and medium. Someone once told me to be willing to learn anything someone was willing to teach me, so I’m always trying new things.

Another recent fixation is making jewelry. I had a couple pieces that needed repair. Then I found a kit at Hobby Lobby

I opened the package, found the kit component list. I’d seen hubby assemble enough things that I knew to sort everything out and make sure it was all there: 50 of these, 220 of those, 15 of another, 32, 20, 140… (to infinity). All was accounted for.

Tools needed? Have them.

I made the earrings according to the directions, then moved on to the bracelet. “Form a loop on one end of the wire and begin randomly stringing beads on to fill up the wire.” 12 different types of beads, 754 pieces. All sorted out–then put on randomly?

I’m a bookkeeper. I don’t take numbers and do “random!” I’m pretty sure something short-circuited in my neural network at that point. I took a deep breath and began. 

Now I’m hooked! Here’s the bracelet and earrings I made. (My loops need more practice).

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It is now officially Thursday. I rambled on quite a bit, I hope you were able to stay awake to the end. What are you working on this week? Have you tried anything new lately? How did it turn out? 

Have a blessed rest of your week!
Love ya!

 

 

Eligible Receiver

Eligible Receiver

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It’s an ordinary autumn day and a common scenario plays all across the U.S.A. The directive regarding dinner is issued as I confiscate the remote. It’s Sunday, after all, and I’m ready for some football! 

During a recent game, a play call was made that puzzled me. I didn’t understand how the intended receiver of the ball could be penalized for pass interference. 

As with any sports-related or tech question, I texted our son-in-law and asked how could that be? He explained, as soon as the ball is in the air, everyone—even the defending players—are considered eligible receivers. 

Wow! That’s exactly like God’s amazing grace! Everyone is an eligible receiver! 

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:8

So, what troubles you? What lies are you believing that keep you from finding the fullness of love, joy, and peace? What worries your mind and shackles your heart? Do you feel like you’ve been swallowed by a whale? Shipwrecked? Do you carry a burden of guilt and shame?

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death

and broke their bands apart. Psalm 107:13-14

Jonah cried out to God in repentance for his disobedience.

“I called out of my distress to the Lord, and He answered me.

I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice. Jonah 2:2

 God set him free. And He’ll do the same for you. God is not a respecter of persons. Everyone on earth is eligible for His magnificent mercy and grace.

Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. Acts 10:34-35

 Jesus read this prophecy from Isaiah in the synagogue, a prophecy He fulfilled:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners. Isaiah 61:1

You are an eligible receiver. What prevents you from receiving this word from the Lord? 

This is why Jesus came. He came for you. He died for you, that you may be made whole from brokenness, beauty from ashes, and free from whatever keeps you in chains. 

Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Mark 11:24

This is the message you, in turn, carry to the afflicted, lost, brokenhearted and captive, in His name. Everyone is an eligible receiver of the goodness of the Gospel message. Every relationship is give-and-take. Take what you received and share it. Your tests are the basis of your testimony. What God has done for one, He will do for another. Step out in faith and receive what God has freely given, then pass it on. Don’t be penalized for pass interference! Blessings await.

And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. Matthew 10:7-9

Voices

I write for my church’s website and don’t usually share my devotional writing on my blog. With all that’s going on with our HVAC installation this week, I requested they pull one from the archives. As I read the selection this morning, some of it really hit home, I even questioned, “I wrote this?” Maybe someone else needs to hear this today. 

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Voices

Low self-esteem and humility are not the same thing. Low self-esteem is a lack of confidence in one’s worth or abilities; humility is a low view of one’s own importance.

Do you have a voice in your head that berates and belittles your actions, or what it deems infractions?

  • How could I have been so dumb/foolish/stupid/crazy?
  • Maybe I was a mistake.
  • Why can’t I get it right?
  • You think you’re a writer/musician/speaker/parent?
  • How can God love me?

You know who is behind this negative talk, don’t you?

He (the devil) was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

The Holy Spirit convicts me for believing these things that are contrary to what God says about me. It certainly doesn’t bring glory to God. I degrade and defeat myself at every turn. That doesn’t sound like a person full of joy and light, does it?

This is what God’s voice says:

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.

 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.

For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:1-3

God says, “You are mine.” This is why we need to make time to read our Bible and get in some face time with Him—so we know His voice and heed it.

The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10:3-4

Be kind, not only to one another, but to yourself.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Linking to Water World Wednesday

Update to Random 5

UPDATE

Here’s the update some of you requested, the follow-up on speaking to my writers group this evening.  I should let you know, I’m not one to get up in front of a people. The first time I read a devotional I’d written, my knees knocked loudly. I had a stool on hand tonight–just in case the knees gave out. 

Aside from a small media issue, where we had to call in the head of the media department, who, thankfully, was working late, it went pretty well.

The highlight, I thought, were your wonderful comments that I shared with the group. Your stories took away the fear of the blog and put relationships with real people in the forefront. No matter where we are on this planet, we have so much in common–we laugh, we cry, we hope and pray, and encourage one another.

As writers, so often we hear “you need a blog, an online presence, you have to market yourself and your product.” That is usually followed by a groan from the masses. I hope I was able to convey that blogging is much more, it can even be fun.

I can’t thank you enough for your heartfelt words regarding your blogging lives, your encouragement to me, and to them. Who knows? Maybe we’ll have some new blogging friends join us soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge–Fresh

FRESH is the topic of  WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge.

 Crape Myrtles are in full bloom, bestowing their beauty and fragrance freely. Their peeling bark caught my eye as I walked to my car after church this morning. 

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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away, all things are made new. God made him (Jesus–who had no sin) to be sin for us, so that in Him, we could become the righteousness of God and be reconciled to Him.

Let us throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles.

Let us throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles. Father God, remove our doubts and fears, and fill us with a fresh, new faith.

That’s my take on the Weekly Photo Challenge–FreshClicking the blue links will open a new browser window, and you can see how others responded to this challenge.

I’ve Got Mail

I got a package! I got a package! Don’t you just LOVE to get mail? This is proof to my hubby that all these hours spent creating blogs, writing posts, reading blogs, and commenting here, there and everywhere really pays off.
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I recognized the logo on the return address label, it was from Beth Ann Chiles, blogger at “It’s Just Life,” who finds the extraordinary in the ordinary. Why she hasn’t been FRESHLY PRESSED yet is beyond me.

She’s one of the bloggers I dog the footsteps of. Sorry Buddy and Holly. (That’s a link to some pictures of her cats.)

Beth Ann is one of the most caring and generous people I know. At the beginning of every month, she selects a cause and donates fifty cents for each comment left on her blog that month. FYI: For January and February, she is helping a family in Minnesota. The husband and father was involved in a freak snowmobile accident the first week of January, and was airlifted to the hospital. You can read more about this, here, on his CaringBridge site.

Beth Ann also features teapots on Tuesdays, places she visits (And Oh! The places she goes!) and occasionally, “Chrisisms,” the funny things her husband says. He calls the bloggers she hasn’t met her “imaginary friends.” That will be stuck in my head forever. Thanks, Chris.

Have you stayed around to see what was in the box? Well, let’s take a peek!

Handmade card, coasters and Seed of Happiness

Handmade card, coasters and Seed of Happiness

Look at the coaster colors. I think Beth Ann has been stalking me, too.

Look at the coaster colors. I think Beth Ann has been stalking me, too.

 
If you want your own Seeds of Happiness, visit here.

And here’s a link to Beth Ann’s post with directions to make the coasters. Why not drop by for a visit, and leave a comment? It’s for a good cause!

Thanks, Beth Ann!

New Year’s Day 2013

It’s almost here! I guess it will be by the time this posts and you read it. Our New Year begins with uncertainty. Monday morning we got one of “those” calls. The ones you know are inevitable, but never want to receive.

My hubby’s dad has taken a couple falls in the past week or so, and the one Sunday night landed him in ICU.

I lost both my parents back in the 90s. All of a sudden, those emotions are resurrected, bubbling just beneath the surface, waiting to erupt.

I’m thankful for those experiences. They gave me insight into what my hubby is dealing with: the feeling of shock as one’s world is shaken; the unsettled mind which refuses to focus; questioning whether to go, and when; considering responsibilities at home and work. Until one has walked that road, there is no way to understand what those travelers are going through. Oh, how I wished for someone to come alongside, someone who understood my pain.

But now, I am that person. I am able to offer comfort from that which I received. My heart breaks for my hubby. I didn’t want these days to come so soon for him, the days when those who have always been strong, supportive, and reliable begin to falter. It’s so unexpected. We grew up with them taking care of us, we never expected the roles to be reversed. Never.

I take comfort in Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3. (The Bible) To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven…
Clicking the link will open a new page if you would like to read it.

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Hugs!

Let’s make the most of this new year. May we live on purpose, like we mean it. Don’t take a single day for granted, we are not promised tomorrow.