Liebster Award Continues!!

 Jan Cox http://underthecoverofprayer.wordpress.com/honoured me with the Liebster Award and I am passing it on!

The Criteria: The Liebster Blog Award showcases bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers. This is all done in the spirit of pay-it-forward.

The Rules: You must mention and link to the person who awarded you the Liebster and mention other blogs with fewer than 200 followers you think worthy of the Liebster.

I’ve found four great ones for you to enjoy!  I know all of these gals and they live what they write! Please do them the honour of taking a peek and leaving a comment.

Congratulations to the following:

1-  Carley Cooper at Worship Melodies… the address is www.worshipmelodies.blogspot.com
Worship Melodies is about me “singing” God’s praises… without having to put others through the listening to listen to my voice.  LOL
Our Father longs to have an intimate relationship with each one of us. It is music to His ears when we worship Him by ‘singing His praises’. I pray that my Worship Melodies bring you blessings.

2- Patricia Day at  http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com  Patenjoys enjoy writing short stories,  messages of
encouragement and web-published devotionals.  Favourite past-times are  gardening, reading, walking and listening to good music.  Also read her devotionals at
http://pepeprays.wordpress.com and   www.devotionalchristian.com  -and PCC Daily Devotionals. Pat has also  committed to the National Writing Conest for November – 50,000 words!  Neat challenge for anyone who enjoys writing more than talking!!!  🙂
3-Tracy Campbell’s artwork has been published in calendars, on wrapping paper and gift cards. She has also written ‘How-To-Paint’ articles for numerous U.S. magazines. Tracy is penning her first Young Adult and an Easy Reader novel in her 1841 farmhouse where she resides with her supportive husband—Dan, and her two faithful companions—Patches and Indigo. To learn more about Tracy visit her
Wacky World of Writing blog at www.tracycampbellwriter.wordpress.com.
4-Julie Bowles started writing devotionals four years ago. They are published on the PCC Web Daily and in the staff pages of the Christian Horizons web site.  Julie is in the process of weaving her devotionals and testimony in to a book.  To learn more about Julie and her love of sheep visit her at http://www.devotedtothelamb.com

A Life of their Own

Up early and ready for church, I am confident that I will not cry today. I say to myself, this is a good day. I can go to church and not be weeping all over everybody.

So sure am I that I go into the building with no thought, no guard up for the simple “How are you?” that
everyone asks everyone. The first person who speaks to me gets a gush of choking tears.

Where do they come from? Isn’t there a reservoir in a person that just eventually runs dry? Apparently not in me unless it is in disarray and the taps are turned on full and the plug is not in the tub.

My first thought is that I must start avoiding these places where I cry. Then I think, how will I ever heal if I avoid the friends and family who love me and care about me? If I stop coming I have lost a huge support
system. What advantage is that to me? No I must learn to let the tears go where they will. What a silly statement. I can’t make them stop no matter what I do.Tears have a life of their own and mine seem livelier than some.

Stressfree Christmas Shopping

Think outside the traditional Christmas gift box.   How about gift certificates from a local hair salon or barber?
Or a gym membership for all who are thinking about some health improvement? (Try not to feel insulted if someone gets you one of these! MY first thought would be- do they think I ‘m fat!))

Who wouldn’t appreciate car wash gift certificates? Or hand made coupons for lawn care or snow shoveling or a golf pass? (Don’t give me the golf thing. I think golf just spoils a good walk.)

Do you like to eat? So does everyone else. Swiss Chalet, Wendy’s or even the Keg if you are super rich,all offer gift certificates.

And what about the promise of breakfast, lunch or dinner with the recipient at at the local mom and pop eatery? After all, eating alone is not that much fun.
How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle? Do you have a teen on your list who is saving toward their driving license?

And Moms? Moms would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
If your computer needs a tune-up, you can find some young guy struggling to get his repair business up
and running.( Think Dan Barratt!)

Maybe you can make something nice or buy something unusual at our many local craft fairs.
And, how about taking someone to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre?

The gift of your time will be the most appreciated thing you can offer.

Special thanks to Sharon Greer for the idea of this article…

Something You Can Do

I’ve seen lots of postings about ‘thanking a veteran’ but here is a way to actually touch a veteran’s life. Please take the time to read the note below. My friend Kathy wrote it on behalf of her veteran Dad. You can make a difference in his life by adding a comment to the site KICX106.com. It won’t take you but a second. That is not too much to ask…when so many gave their life.
Dear Friends and Family,
With this being Remembrance Day, a local radio station  featured Dad as a local hero today in honour of
his WWII service.
Their report is now available on-line at KICX106.com.
Scroll down the screen to the blog section and click on the link “I met a great man the other day.”
The reporter did a good job writing a brief story about Dad’s war experience, and included a few pictures including his troop photo.
There is a tiny misprint when they say dad was making $1.30 per day.  It was actually $1.30 per week!!!
I encourage you to read it and perhaps write a short comment in the area at the bottom of the story. We’ll print the responses and read them to Wally. Its also a great way to thank the reporter for recognizing veterans past and present.
Dad is pretty tired tonight after a busy day.  He attended Cynotaph services and laid a wreath, made appearances at the Legion and Army Navy Club (free eats), did another media interview, and then came home to play with the dog.  Not bad for 87 to be out and about on a snowy day! If you value your freedom, use Remembrance Day to thank a veteran.
Kathy

Martin Luther King Knew a Thing or Two.

Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’. Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’. Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’

But, conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’

And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.

~Martin Luther King, Jr.~

Holiday Cheer


Ephesians 6:22I  have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we
are and that he may console and cheer and encourage and strengthen your  hearts
(AMP).

Different in some ways, familiar in others, funerals have one thing in common. Most of us don’t know what to say to the bereaved.  Pastor Cliff  Fletcher offers good advice on ways to comfort.

“When in doubt, remember a hug, a firm handshake and ‘I’m sorry’ goes a  long way. Pray before speaking. This is not the time for advice or sermons. Instead, give memories. Mention times shared. Comfort doesn’t end at the funeral. Holidays and birthdays are coming up. Be available.
Send a card. Make a phone call.”

When the next sad occasion happens, let’s make an effort to comfort the bereaved. Why not ask God to watch our mouths and help us do or say the  right thing? There are many opportunities at the Christmas season. Many  people find it to be the most difficult time of the year.

PrayerDear God, remind us to pray before speaking and then let consolation and cheer be our goal. Thanks. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Choosing the right Paint

For a scant three hundred dollars, I got exactly the right paint for the walls. Yes, I am redecorating. Expensive you might say? Not for the whole house. After all, paint is paint. But I digress.

Truthfully, the only paint I needed to match, I didn’t even get to choose. The dentist mixed a few potions together to blend the new parts of my chipped front teeth with the old originals.

While the local hardware store might have been faster, it wouldn’t have been so thorough and any way they only sell by the quart and the gallon. I just needed a smidge…..I haven’t seen myself in the dark yet. Perhaps I will be like the “Home Alone” criminal whose front toot sparkles a gem-like twinkle.

Just goes to show you that a fall is more than a seson of the year.

Beef Pickles: Where do you stand?

1 Corinthians 10:13- No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful and He will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing He will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. (NRSV)

I marinate tough meat with a favorite salad dressing in a plastic food bag. I just zip the bag shut and toss the whole thing in the fridge for a few hours. Then I turn it once or twice during that time. The final flavor varies according to the type of dressing used. Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that the texture also changes if the meat sits too long in the dressing.

A juicy steak can become sour, mushy and quite unpleasant. My husband called the last one ‘beef pickle.’ People aren’t much different. Some marinate well, no matter the length of the trouble. They praise God in the midst of distress and trust God to know when to pull them out of life’s marinating sauce. Others complain and choose not to recognize God’s goodness in the midst of misfortune. Years later, they are still sour, demanding “Why me?”

Are we sweetly marinating or allowing ourselves to pickle?

Prayer: Lord when we are in danger of becoming pickles, help us remember that you have never let us down before and that you will not start now. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The New Normal

English author Rod Marshall sent me these soothing words of consolation.

“I just wanted to say that I feel your sorrow. It is normal, and it will become a familiar attendee at the table with you, even when you get used to it, bubbling up in the most unexpected places. What is now
normal is transient and will in time settle down to a new normality.

When God says that the two become one flesh, he means it. So now you are suffering with, a pardon the pun, a phantom limb. Your brain says that Ron should be there: but he is not.

The Grace of God overwhelms the temporary sorrow for those who suffer presently.

And I ponder these words often,because they are so comforting.

“We’ Projects

It is November and I am NaNo-ing as I mentioned. I had to work this am and so am just sitting down this very minute to write out my heart songs for you.

But first I decorated the little spruce tree on the north side of the yard. One of our trees died and the staff here came to replace it about ten days before Ron died. He was able to sit at the breakfast table and
watch it going in.

I watched too. “We’ll decorate it for Christmas this year,” I said.

Ron didn’t answer, but later I heard him tell his coffee buddy that “Brenda says we’ll decorate it this year.

He isn’t here but that little tree is standing bravely forth in its first holiday suit. Red bows, glittering baubles and lights festoon it into merriness. And I cried when I finished because I had so hoped it would be a ‘we’ project….