Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jack Armstrong’s Decoder Ring

Jack Armstrong Decoder Ring

Rushing home after school so that I could listen to my favorite fifteen minute programs on the radio was an exciting time in my young life. There was Little Orphan Annie, Jack Armstrong the All American Boy, and Captain Midnight, to name a few. 

Each week Jack Armstrong would give a coded secret message and only those listeners who owned the special ring could discover what it was.

Oh Me !!
image courtesy photobucket

I did not have the ring.

To obtain the ring, you needed four Wheaties cereal box tops and a few coins.

At our house the cereal Wheaties, “The Breakfast of Champions,” was not our favorite, so it looked as if I was not to be part of the secret circle.

The radio announcer would tell you to set your ring at a certain number and then you could find the answer to the puzzle.

My girl friend Delores had one of the special rings and I was extremely jealous and told my mother that I needed one of those rings.

Mother advised me that I must eat four boxes of Wheaties if she were to purchase them, and that I did not want to do. I was willing to eat Cheerios and Rice Chex also made by the General Foods Company, just not the Wheaties.

Mother was always creative and she arrived at a plan to discover the secret of the rings. When the next puzzle was aired over the radio, she took down the numbers and gave each letter of the alphabet a number. It was not a simple task, but finally she figured out the message.

It was usually “Buy War Bonds,” or Obey your parents”, or something that was not prophetic. Soon the magic wore off, and I was not jealous of Delores anymore, or even cared about the ring with its secret message.

Now it was the Little Orphan Annie Ovaltine Shake-up Mug that I must have!

Isn’t that the way it is as we grow older. There are things that we though we simply could not do without, but then the glitter falls away and now there is something new that we think we need.

When it comes to the things of God, salvation is offered freely, but there is much more that he is willing to give.

He desires us to be filled with His Holy Spirit and to receive the power needed to minister and live for Him.   God longs to reveal New treasures that you never even thought you might desire or require.

He does not request cereal box tops or coins, only come boldly and freely receive.

Offer Jesus your life and he will give you His Life. That is the great exchange.

Linked to Shanda’s On your Heart Tuesday 
and with Joan Davis Sharing His Beauty

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Humpty Dumpty

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Gleaning from Pastor Carl’s Sermon on Sunday, he stated that the innocent egg took a terrible tumble, and no one could repair, and put him back together again.

This childhood poem began years ago as a riddle; "What is it when broken can never be repaired, even by the King and all his wise men?  The answer was: the egg.”

God’s creation took a tragic fall when Adam and Eve sinned. Their first child was a murderer and their second child was the victim.

Jealousy, envy, evil of every description has entered our world and the creation has never been the same.

Broken promises, broken hearts, broken dreams, broken sinners, shattered into many pieces, and no man can put them together again.

We are carriers of the original sin, we are a chip off the old block, our DNA is from Adam. We are all as it were, broken eggs.

We can’t glue, repair or fix ourselves no matter how hard we try. The answer lies in Christ Jesus.

Adam brought death into this world and Jesus Christ brings life for all who accept Him.

We can never earn, merit or deserve his perfect sacrifice. God is not impressed by our good report card even if it full of A+ marks.

The bad news is we are a broken people, but the good news is Jesus heals the broken hearts. His grace is greater than all our sin. Much More!

He restores my soul, and renews me. In Him I am a New Creation. He has smashed to smithereens, anything that would attempt to separate us from His love.

Where sin did abound, Grace did Much More abound. The Love of God fills our hearts and minds, with the joy of His Salvation, and we are restored to fellowship with Him.

How much more was his sacrifice? His Love, Mercy, His Grace is higher than the heavens, and his salvation was so freely given.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

This post has been linked with Joan Davis Sharing His Beauty
And with Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday Use it on Monday

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hog It

When my son was about three years old, I would sing him a song each night as he went to bed. One evening he requested that I sing - - "Hog it."

I asked him again, “Which song?” and he repeated; “HOG IT.” Tell me a bit more please. "You know mama, the song we sing at church “When we Hog it to heaven."

Yes, I did sing his favorite song that night and I also wrote about this in his baby book.

As a child I remember hearing the song “There’s an all seeing eye watching you.” In my imagination I envisioned a BIG EYE watching me with no face or body and it scared the living daylights out of me.

Children aren’t the only ones who misunderstand when something is said, and often some of the Christian songs we sing seem strange to those who are new to the faith.

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My husband was 18 when he received the Lord and began to attend church. He knew very little about the Bible or Christian language. The word “Saved” was something you did to help a drowning person. To him Calvary meant the ARMY on HORSE BACK, but before long he came to appreciate that Calvary was where Jesus died and gave his life for you and me. His understanding has improved greatly with study and teaching.

I am actually very happy for the modern Bible translations where a non-believer can read about Jesus in everyday language.

My New King James Translation has all the words “thee and thou” and other out of date words changed to help with understanding, and is perhaps my favorite Bible.

What ever Bible is your favorite, it is always good to check with the Message Bible or other versions found at Bible Gateway   It is there you will discover several translations so that you can compare scripture for enlightenment.

If you are preparing a Bible Study, it will be helpful to view this or other sites that offer information so that your hearers will leave understanding exactly what you told them.

Thinking back to a class we took on how to prepare a sermon, the simple outline is this:

1. Tell them what you are going to tell them.
2. Tell them!
3. Tell them what you told them!

Keeping it simple, one thing I always want to remember is that when we HOG IT - - To Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be.


This post is linked to Deidra’s Sunday Jump Tandem

Friday, January 27, 2012

Run its Course

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With a bad cold, the flue or some of these virus that seem to be going around - - it seems that they just need to “Run their course.”

Using all available means I try to stop it and cause it to leave early, but to no avail. It is determined and “Must run its course.”

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 My husband gathered a handful of our small lemons, and carefully squeezed them, added hot water and a tablespoon of honey making us both such a comforting hot drink. It soothed our sore throats!

Usually on Sunday I take notes on my pastor’s sermon, and create a report for Monday.  However this virus hit me hard last Saturday, and I ended up in bed for two days, with chills, runny eyes, nose and a cough.

For three days, I searched my oldest archives and reposted some of my earlier stories, because I did not have it in me to create.

My husband says he must have given this to me, (Thanks a lot) and he says he caught it from our hospital follow-up Doctor’s visit.  Robert’s doctor declared that he was sick and only came in because the other Doctor was out with the virus. That is where it all started with us.

I thought it was going to miss me this year, and I hoped as much but when it did, I pulled out the Alka-Seltzer–cold plus, the aspirin, lemons, extra vitamin C, juices and was prepared to fight.

I rebuked, prayed, told it to leave, but it was strong and it seemed that it needed to "Finish its course."

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I am reminded that St. Paul believed that no matter what happened to him, it was important to “Finish his course” that God had given him to run.

Each of us has a different “Race track” laid out for us, and we are called to complete it to the best of our ability.

Run with joy and stop for those hot lemon-aid comfort drinks,

but most important - - “Finish your course.”

Act 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

This post is linked to Faith Barista Jam Thursdays
Linked with Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays
And also linked to Laura’s, Brag on God Friday

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I was a First Grade Plagiarist!

Young Writer
image courtesy photobucket.com

Can a child of six or seven be a sinner? You betcha, not all, but some are.

I know I was !!

Our local newspaper had a weekly children’s section with a segment called Aunt Elsie’s page. Children were invited to send in their drawings of a certain size, their poems and stories. A prize was offered for the best work and honorable mention was given if you did not receive a prize.

Although I can draw I must admit that I am not a talented artist, and my artwork did not get published, but my name was entered on the honor roll.

Mother suggested that I try to write a story or a poem and that sounded like something I could do. However I was lazy and I had another plan.

Our First Grade reader at school had a lovely short poem in the front of our book, and I made a decision to copy the poem and send it to “Aunt Elsie.”

Off went the poem in the mail and a few days later I received a letter telling me that the poem would be printed and no prize but to keep trying again and perhaps a prize next time.

The day came when the poem was published and Mother was so proud, but there was a black cloud hanging over my head. I felt so guilty, because the work was not really mine since I had stolen it, and I knew that I had sinned.

The next morning my friend stopped by to walk to school with me, and mother proud as she was - - she just had to show my friend the poem. “Did you see Hazel’s Poem on the Aunt Elsie page?” mother asked my friend.

My friend took one look and without hesitation she made the stinging statement, “Isn’t that the poem that is in our reader book at school?”

I could not look at my mother, but I knew that when I came home for lunch at noon that I would receive a big talking to or worse. I didn’t need to wait until noon, because uncalled for the tears began to flow and I told mother that I was sorry, and that I would never steal a poem again.

Being of a tender heart, my mother said, “Well I am glad you are sorry and also happy that you did not get a prize for it, or we would have needed to return it.”

I began to write short stories about my cat and our chickens, and many were published and I did receive some nice prizes. I can remember a vinyl covered pencil box full of colored pencils, some paints, and a photo album, but the glory was to be published.

Mother’s favorite Scripture verse for me was always; “Be sure your sin will find you out!”

And you know that is so true - - for it always did!

This post has been linked to Joan’s Grace Café
Linking up with Tracy at Winsome Wednesday
Also linked to Michelle’s Thought Provoking Thursday

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Field Day

Marching Band Forming Letters at LSU
image courtesy photobucket.com

Although it might have been an annual event, I can only remember participating once in the Field day at our Junior High School.  At that time our school was grades 7 through 9, and I was a 9th grader. After all these years it is now a Middle school, such is progress.

Dressed in our blue gym clothes, we practiced for weeks learning to march properly. Prior to actually starting to march we were given lectures on how to turn the corner with 3 girls marching shoulder to shoulder.

The girl at the corner point was to march in place, the next girl was to take very short steps, and the final girl taking the largest steps in order to round that point. The row was not supposed to bend as we executed that curve. Each girl was to work in tandem to keep their row straight at all times. It did take practice, but we soon got the hang of it.

The difficult part was at the end of our march. The playground was large enough for us to carefully spell out the name of our School; Frick Jr. High. Chalk dust had marked prompt lines for each letter, and we did splendidly.

The Oakland Tribune was there to take our picture, and a write up followed the next day in the paper.

Practicing had been tough but we had done well, and also in our performance. Yes we were proud of that fact and of our school.

A job well done is worth being pleased with. There is a difference between a prideful spirit and just bursting with pride and happiness for a completed project.

In our Christian walk, there are times when we can feel honest pride as a Mother Hen does over her chicks.

Have you even observed a hen cluck and her chicks as they all get in line to march to her tune?

Some people today march to the World and for us we have a Drummer who beats out the steps that please the Lord. We have been practicing for awhile and soon it will be time for the final performance.

Hup two, three four!  Stay in line please!

This post is linked to: Peter Pollocks One Word Carnival  

and Linking with Jennifer at God-Bumps and God-Incidences Wednesdays

Blood Donor Repost

“Sorry, but we can’t use your blood, it is just not acceptable,” were the words I heard on the other end of the telephone line.

The news was on and I had just heard an appeal for blood. Seriously injured, a young motor cycle rider had lost a great deal of blood. The news continued with a telephone number to call to become a volunteer. Hastily I phoned the number and was ready to offer my blood for this young man.

The lady at the call center told me that first she needed to ask me some questions. She inquired if I had ever had a life threatening ailment and I answered,” Yes”.

I told her that when I was 12 years old I suffered a very bad case of jaundice. Her concern was that it might have been a form of hepatitis which would eliminate me from being a donor. She thanked me for calling but told me that they just could not use my blood because it was not suitable.

I felt rebuffed and rejected when I realized that NO one wanted my blood!

A short letter to the boy was quickly composed. I conveyed my earnest desire to help, and that I was so sorry that I could not, because the fact was - - my blood was not good enough.

Then I told him how the blood of Jesus was also not wanted by so many.  Briefly, I explained how Jesus was rejected but that we can choose to accept Him. The blood of Jesus will wash away our sins, and we can become a believer in Christ.

There are religious organizations today that do not want the Blood of Jesus mentioned in their sermons, their songs, or in their literature. They are repulsed by the suggestion that a blood sacrifice was necessary to pay for our salvation. It is sad, but true, that His blood is still being rejected today by some.

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Each time we receive communion, let us always remember that His body was broken for us, and that His blood was shed for our salvation.

The total sum of human blood on earth would not be enough to reconcile us to God. Only His precious blood will do - - - ours isn’t good enough!

Jesus spoke in the book of; Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Suggested Books you might be interested in:

The Power of the Blood (paperback) by H.A. Whyte
The Hidden Power of the Blood of Jesus (Paperback) by Mahesh Chavda
The Power of The Blood of Christ by Andrew Murray

This post has been linked with Joan Davis Sharing His Beauty
And with Jen’s Soli Deo Gloria

Monday, January 23, 2012

Absolutely NOT (Repost)

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One of my former Pastors thought I was too assertive, and at one time he told me I was rebellious.

I believe this was because, each time he finished his Sunday sermon, and he shook hands with members as we left, I would give him something else to think about on his subject. He would retreat to his study books and come out usually glowing, and sometimes growling.

One mother’s day, he preached about women in the Bible, and according to what he implied, he forcefully put women “In their PLACE.” As I left that day and shook his hand, I told him that I could hardly wait for Father’s day to see what he would come up to set all the men down. It was about that time he said I was rebellious.

One morning after our women’s missionary meeting, I sat in his office with him and his wife, and he asked me if I ever had doubts that I might not make it into heaven.

I sat up straight, looked him in the eye, and with an emphatic voice, I told him, “Absolutely NONE!” NO Doubts What-so-ever!!

Puzzled a bit, but I wondered; why would he ask me such a question unless he had doubts about his own salvation?

I honestly believe he read more books, and study books instead of the Bible, and he wondered if he sinned every day like some say we all do.

If you read your Bible, and study along as you are reading it, you will discover that if you are walking in the Light of His Word, with the precious Holy Spirit guiding you - - then you do not have to worry that you need to balance short accounts at the end of the day.

Keep your mind on the Lord, and your feet planted and it is not necessary to sin each day as some say we all do.

There is a song that says, I have decided to follow Jesus, NO turning back. I found it on Youtube

Once you have made that quality decision, your job is to stay on track, and not make provision to fall away. If you do fall and you realize it, then quickly get up repent and go on.

Don’t wait for night to do your catching up!

God’s part is to keep you safe in His hand, and to provide you with daily instructions from the Holy Spirit.

Listen to that still small voice and obey. Then you will be able to say with me;

"I have NO doubts that I will make it in. I have No fears, and No doubts - - Absolutely NONE."

This post is linked to: Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday
Also linked with Laura’s Play dates with God

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Good Book Can Help (Repost)

Besides the Good Book, (The Bible,) I have enjoyed magazines and books with parenting helps. When my children were just babies, I subscribed to Parent’s Magazine. I gleaned many tips and ideas that were of tremendous help to me in those early years.

As time passed, I found a special book - - probably at a Thrift Store or at a Garage sale; but I discovered it to be a wonderful book on raising children.

Here was an outstanding book that incorporated answers to all sorts of behavior problems. Included were fact-filled chapters covering various ages through the teenage years, along with suggestions on how to cope with different and difficult problems.

During that time, we had five teenagers in our household! Yes, I said five! Disturbing emotional problems plagued one of our daughters!. Some would say she needed therapy. I was prompted to give special attention to her each evening. It was ten minutes with no preaching, but rather just talking and listening. What wonderful therapy there is for others if a person can just be a good listener.

Before entering her room, I reviewed a current chapter in the book, and prayed asking the Lord how this would apply to her. Certain lines from the book seemed to stand out, and were to become the answer for that evening.

Just a sentence or two, and the Lord’s direction on what else to say next, the answer was provided for her need each evening.

Today, with children, and even with friends, using a few moments of quality time, can work wonders! Share an encouraging thought that will bring them confidence and will show your support!

At times, it might be a line from something you have picked up from a book; a magazine or possibly the internet; that will carry enough weight to bless your child or your friend.

Of course do not forget to utilize the Bible!

Ask the Lord, “What do I say next?” He may direct you to a Scripture verse that can complement, and then completely cement the thoughts for you to share.

Proverbs 15:23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!

This post is linked to Deidra’s Sunday Jump Tandem

Friday, January 20, 2012

Don’t Look down my back!

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It was the summer between Kindergarten and first grade. Our cousins had just moved to our city and were staying with us until they found housing.

Not far away and without crossing any streets was the grammar school that we attended, and there were summer activities there to keep children occupied. My cousins and I decided to sign up for the pastime for something to do.

image courtesy photobucket
The teacher lined up all the children and as each child came forward we stuck out our tongue and they looked at our fingernails, then at our hair and finally they took a peek down the back and front of our dress.

Even at this young age, it was very embarrassing to me as a child for this bold examination of my body.

We went home and told our parents.

The next day mother went with us and asked our teacher about the personal inspection given to the children - - -

The teacher explained that it was a health exam and rather than expose the other children to possible disease such as chicken pox or measles or even lice they were taking this as a safety precaution.

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Her explanation satisfied mother, and after Mom make clear the reason to us, we decided to participate if we wanted to have our play time which included milk and a cookie.

Sometimes in life there comes a time when we must decide if we want something bad enough!

Are we willing to go through the process of passing the test in order to get what is desired?

Many jobs offered in the work place require the taking of a test and receiving a qualifying score. There are books available that help us identify which questions might be asked in a test and how best to answer.

No test of itself is desirous, and some are down right embarrassing. Especially when it is a test ordered by our doctor to discover what might be ailing us.

Thinking back to a time when I walked to the front of our church to make a commitment to Jesus, and at that time, I really did not care who was looking at me.

From that day forward I moved and walked in Jesus, and am not ashamed of His true Gospel.

When eyes stare and tongues wag, and it feels like others are taking me apart, it simply does not matter.

Why?” you might ask, “Does it not bother you?  My answer, "Not really!"

All the exams in life will make everything worth it all!

The reason is because at the end of our play time, God will be serving Milk and cookies !!

This post has been linked to Laura’s, Brag on God Fridays
And also linked to Joan’s Grace Café.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Beer Cake

If you looked in my refrigerator you would find a can of Budweiser Beer tucked way in the back.

Don’t get me wrong, and think that we are drunks here at our home. We do use wine for marinating some meats, but we never drink beer or alcoholic beverages.

I was enjoying Sheila’s post at God Spotting with Sheila  about how people can get the wrong impression about others if they jump to conclusions too quickly. Her post reminded me of my can of beer and I share that story with you now!

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This can of beer was obtained on one of my “Mystery shopping” excursions, with the thought in mind that I would use it in a recipe for Beer Bread, so I accepted the project. 

My mini-market assignment required me to check the cleanliness of the store, note any finger prints on the glass doors, report on how clean was the bathroom, see if the food, coffee and drink area was clean and fresh, purchase a can of Budweiser Beer, and notice if the cashier asked me for my ID to verify if I was old enough to purchase the beer. 

I was not to reveal that I was a Mystery Shopper!!

The cashier cheerfully asked me, “And how old are you today?” My reply was simple, “Old enough to know better,” then we both laughed. I told her I was going to bake some beer bread, and she asked me to let her know how it turns out.  I must confess I have not gotten around to baking the beer bread as we are not eating much bread lately.  So there it sits in my fridge - - - way in the back.

The cashier forgot to give me a receipt and I needed to ask for one. “Here you go,” she said and “Have a nice day.” Unless I turn in a receipt to prove that I did the shop, I will not get paid. Most shops pay a modest fee plus the reimbursement if you are required to make a purchase.

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For the past five years I have been a “Secret or Mystery Shopper.” It is fun at times, and often there is a free lunch - - well almost free. I do need to work for the lunch by writing up a report on the quality of food, and how I was treated by the establishment.

I have Secret shopped at many restaurants including Applebee’s, Denny’s, McDonalds, Burger King to mention a few, and usually there is a small bonus along with the free lunch.

I have also Mystery shopped at Jewelry stores, Banks, Telephone stores, Gas stations, Apartments, Pet supplies, Grocery and Department stores, to list a few so that you get the idea, and our last shop was to receive a free oil change.

NOW that you understand where my can of beer came from - - does anyone know how I can use up my can of beer without ACTUALLY drinking it?

Never mind, I found a simple Beer Cake recipe made with a yellow cake mix, plus 1 small package of instant vanilla pudding mix, 4 eggs, 1/4 cup oil and 1 cup beer. Optional add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 1 tsp cinnamon.  Mix well and Bake 55 minutes in a greased and floured bunt pan at 350 degrees. Let cool 10 minutes and invert and enjoy.

This post is linked with Ann Kroeker’s Food on Friday- - do visit there and find stories about food and some great recipes!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sick days

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All the childhood diseases seemed to come my way, if it were chickenpox, measles or a very bad cold they found me!

I can remember staying home from school because I was sick.

Mama would put me in her big bed so she could easily tend to me, and at night I would return upstairs to my own smaller bed. 

Mother also allowed Blackie my cat to visit for a short time and purr along side of me.

In those days there was no TV, so for entertainment, mother would bring our small radio and set it on my bed where I could follow the old radio soap opera programs.

For lunch Mother would give me hot soup and juice in between meal times.

Our kind neighbor sent over some children’s magazines, and Mother brought me a coloring book with puzzles to while away the time.

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I remember one day she brought me a daffodil from our garden and placed it in a small vase.   As I rested I stared at that beautiful flower examining the trumpet, and the manner in which it was created.

When I was feeling better but still not well, I could sit up and cut out paper dolls. I remember one book she brought me was paper dolls of the Dionne quintuplets.

These cute girls were a few years younger than me and were very popular. Their lives were a tragedy because the Canadian Government took them away from their parents under the guise that the girls needed protection. It is reported that the Canadian Government earned over one half billion dollars from exhibiting them and from the endorsements from soap, special spoons, and dolls to paper dolls. That is a story all in itself.

Back then, to me these girls were just paper dolls and I had fun cutting out the paper clothes to dress them. Playing with these dolls gave me hours of pleasure while I was getting well. Mother also gave me a cardboard doll flocked with a flannel front. With the doll came felt clothing to cut out that would stick like magic to the doll.

When I was almost well, mother allowed me to dress warmly, and gently swing in our outdoor swing. That too was comforting and it was lovely to be out doors again.

These days it is very rare that I am sick, and I am thankful for good health at my age. Yes, my knees creek at times, but like I say – for my age not too bad.

God gives us entertainment too. Call it entertainment or a glorious walk with God. Just being outdoors for a stroll, our three dogs join in and follow while they sniff and bark. We can see squirrels run up a tree as we approach. Viewing our plants and bushes as they begin to bud out brings me joy. Listening to the birds sing praise to the Lord causes me to rejoice along with God’s creation.

God has promised that one of these days, He will put away all sickness, pain, suffering and even death, and we will be entertained and even join in with God’s Angelic Choir.

Linking with Jennifer at God Bumps & Incidences Wednesdays
Also with Good Morning Girls Wednesday

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Man Cheated Me

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Cutting a neighbors lawn each week, and taking turns, my brother and I were paid 50 cents one week and 75 cents the next week. Eventually my brother got tired and quit leaving the lawn job to me.

One hot Saturday, I had worked very hard and completed the lawn. As I rang the door bell the man opened the door and asked me, “How much is it this week? I was embarrassed to tell him it was 75 cents, and he made the decision to only give me 50 cents. I never went back because he had cheated me.

Have you ever been cheated or tricked and deceived? Different folks and different strokes, but I have been a victim in many an instance.

I have been lied to by the experts and every time I foolishly believed them. Several of these escapades have cost me a lot more than 50 cents. Eventually after my embarrassment healed, I became much wiser.   

I actually made myself a vow that I would never again get involved in certain matters. No more multi-level programs, get rich schemes, chain letters or anything that even faintly smelled of such.

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You would think that we would learn more quickly, but that is the way it is with us human people. We want to believe in others and trust them, but when that just doesn’t happen we are hurt deeply in our psyche.

Then there is the part about trusting God. Some have found that they are angry at God, because of something that happened perhaps even of their own doing. They blame God instead of examining their own actions.

Our mouth gets too big for itself at times, and we say and do things that we know that are not true or right.

After a broken relationship, one young man told his friend, I don’t believe in God anymore - - yet today he is married to a fine Christian girl and he attends church, prays and reads his Bible.

Perhaps we should not believe everything we hear and only half of what we see. I now try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Meaning; I allow what they say to go over my head and accept them for who I believe that they truly are.

One thing I do know is that if I place my Faith and Hope Fully in the Lord, He will never tell me lies or cheat me!

His dividends and Bonds in Trust will be exceptionally good too when it is time to cash them in!

Post is linked with Laura’s “Play dates with God.”
With Joan Davis Sharing His Beauty
And Jen’s site SoloGloria 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Come and See

Once a year, our church participates in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The Week of Prayer enters into various congregations and parishes all over the world. Pulpits are exchanged, and special ecumenical worship services are arranged. This Sunday our church participated in the annual pulpit exchange.

Through out the year, our local group of churches also share at special monthly meetings, and events, such as the Easter Sunrise Service.

For the pulpit exchange our guest speaker was Father David from St Paul’s Episcopal Church, the announced title for his message was, “Come and see.”
I present here gleanings from his sermon.

He read from John, where Nathaniel said, “Can any good come out of Nazareth?”

The answer was “Come and See.” Jesus told him that he would see even greater things than this.

The minister asked, “Can any good come out of our city, our church, and our congregation?

Who draws the line of which way is correct? What pulls us together when we disagree such as on how to baptize? Do we dunk, sprinkle, pour or dip? Jesus must be at the center, and all other options fall into place.

The world that Jesus lived in was in some ways similar to our day. There were many kinds of religions and philosophies then as there is now. There was and is lots of poverty and it seems to be getting worse.

We see broken relationships, a culture of emergencies, a nation of consumers, then and now. People strive to take care of them-selves, and are not desirous to give to others...

Nothing seems to be working. How do we live in peace? What makes a good person or a good church? The message is simple; “Come and See.”

Look around, the world desperately needs to encounter Christ Jesus. We don’t need another social program, another service organization another rehabilitation center. It is Jesus who is needed.

Can anything good come out of the Church? When Jesus is the center of our Unity and we all point others to the Lamb of God, it is then that we will find our unity.

Jesus is what it is all about!

This post is linked to Deidra’s Sunday Jump Tandem
and to Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Be Still my Soul

Be Still my Soul, and Know that He is God!

I was awakened the other morning hearing the angels sing - - Not with my "ears" but in my spirit I heard repeated over and over again - -

'Be still O' my soul, and know that He is God! Be still O' my soul, and know that He lives within my heart.'

Not being a song writer and not much of a singer either, this was a new experience for me. I rejoiced as the anthem rolled and flowed over my spirit.

As a child I remember asking my mother, “Why does our church spend so much time praising God?” She replied, “When we get to heaven we will do a good deal of praising, so we might as well get in practice now by worshiping the Lord with our mouth”

I can imagine the angel choir singing praises to God, and one day we will join with them in song when we reach heaven. However Mother’s suggestion is a good one, begin NOW to get in practice with your praise.

Through out the day I discover my lips saying, “Thank you Jesus.” I am reminded of the verse, “Bless the Lord O’ my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”

There are many reasons to Praise God!

1.  First and foremost we are grateful that God sent His only begotten son Jesus, to die for us so that we might be saved from destruction.

2.  We praise Jesus for being willing to leave heaven’s glory, to lay down his life, and to become the supreme sacrifice so that we might inherit eternal life.

3.  We give thanks to the Holy Spirit for filling us, and coming along side us to be our guide comforter, and teacher.

4.  On the earthly and material level we then give thanks for everything and anything that brings us pleasure and joy, and for which we can be grateful.

List making is not my forte and never has been, (except for an occasional grocery list.)

However there are many who join with Ann Voskamp taking their Inventory of One Thousand Gifts to be thankful for.  Her book by that name has been a best seller and also has been translated into six languages. Amazing isn’t it?  Click on her name above to visit her site. :-)

Ann’s record taking is of simple things that most of us overlook. Might we begin to be thankful for a delicate flower discovered in the path, a smile or a giggle from a child, or an unexpected hug from a friend?

In our hurry and scurry to get things done and finish the tasks that we have put on our “To Do list,” may we somewhere in that rush - - STOP and take time to BE STILL and reflect on God, and give Him the praise that is due Him.

'Be still Oh' my soul, and know that He is God!

This post has been linked to Laura’s, Brag on God Fridays  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Turkey Chili

Chili topped with a dab of low fat sour cream

Making New Years resolutions often includes a change in diet and a hope to loose weight. At least it was at our house!!

We had purchased an extra turkey when they were on sale at Thanksgiving time and placed it in the freezer. Last week we decided to roast it.

Neither of us is fond of the dark meat, so we saved the dark for our dogs. They are getting a chopped handful on top of their regular dry food and are very happy with it.  Woof Woof !!

The rest of the white meat was packaged into meal size portions and most of it went back into the freezer. We have enjoyed turkey stew, turkey on top of a green salad, turkey soup. 

Today I made Swiss Turkey Enchiladas.  Click to view my old post and get the recipe for the Enchiladas.

Our HMO sent us a delicious recipe for Turkey Chili which my husband made yesterday and I must say it is scrumptious. You could use chicken, or ground beef.

This chili is even better the next day!

Turkey Chili (Serves 8)

1 tablespoon canola or olive oil

2 onions, diced

6 cloves garlic, chopped (we used 3T chopped from a jar we have)

1 jalapeños, seeded and chopped (or substitute a small can chopped green chilies)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano (we used Italian seasoning)

1 1/2 pounds leftover turkey, cut into pieces (try 1 pound white meat and ½ pound dark meat), or ground turkey sautéed until no longer pink

4 cups turkey stock or home-made chicken broth

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (we used two 15 oz cans)

1/4 cup farro or pearl barley (we used 1/2 cup dry brown rice cooked separately in 1 1/2 cups water for 30 minutes)

2  15-ounce cans chili beans, or beans of your choice

1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro, chopped. Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over a low flame. Add the onions, garlic, and jalapeños, and cook them until the onions soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and oregano. Stir in the turkey. Add the stock or broth, tomatoes, rice, and beans. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for about an hour. Stir in the chopped cilantro near the end of the cooking time. Season with salt to taste.

This post is linked with Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays
Do visit her site and gather up some delicious recipes.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The little boy next door

image courtesy photobucket.com
In my young opinion he was just a little monster.

What a spoiled brat of about 5 years old, was the boy next door to where I lived.  From what I could tell, he never obeyed his mother.  

More than once I saw him stand in the middle of the street, and play policeman. He would stretch out his arms and the car would stop, then he would laugh and run into the house.

One day he waited longer than usual to run out in the street to stop a car. The car was going the speed limit, but the driver was caught off guard when the child ran in front of him with his arms out stretched.

I remember the car bouncing as the driver slammed on his brakes trying to prevent hitting the lad.

However there was no avoiding the boy and the child was struck and knocked to the ground. Fortunately the driver quickly hitting his brakes had lessened the impact, and the boy was not badly hurt. For one thing it sure did knock some sense into him.

Because I was a witness so when the police came they asked my mother if they could speak to me.  She quickly agreed.  I told them the truth that the boy was in the habit of playing a game with the cars, and this time he ran right out in front of the car, and the man tried very hard to stop.

Soon after that the family moved away, and I doubt that the police did anything more than just lecture the parents.

As I think about that event, I wonder how many times in life, we rush right out in front of something and then dare it not to smash into us. I am not referring to a literal car, or bus, but simply things in life.

image courtesy photobucket.com

Often there are changes in our lives, and it is expedient that we ask God what to do next.

If we jump out too quickly without Guidance from the Lord, we can end up in a collision of sorts.

Through prayer, and searching the scriptures we repeatedly will discover answers to which path to take and what turn off is the best one.  

May we be wise as serpents and gentle as doves! Guide me gentle savior.

Please visit these linked sites for more good words!

And at: Laurie’s  Thankful Thursdays

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lest We Forget God

 Again I am reading my Bible through for this year, and I am now in the book of Exodus.

It always amazes me how the Old Testament Children of Israel, forgot about God so quickly. 

I get so angry at them and want to give them a good tongue lashing or some time out!  No wonder God was angry at times with them!!

How could they be so ignorant and "stupid" to change their faith so quickly? They witnessed first hand many marvelous miracles and provision from the Lord.  Then all the complaining and rebellion started when their flesh acted up.

As I look around and see some of our good brothers and sisters in Christ I am so embarrassed. Many ministers are also in the crowd of the fallen.  How does this happen? Where is their thinking?  That's the answer - It was their thinking!

We cannot afford to place our faith in man for they will surely fail. Our eyes must stay on Jesus!

The heart is simply deceitful and utterly wicked and that is why we ourselves need to stay in fellowship with other believers, to keep daily in the Word, and stay filled with the Holy Spirit.

While considering that Christians are not perfect, I must also look in my own mirror and observe that on occasion, my face is crimson red.

Our thought life continually needs to be monitored and any thinking that is not pleasing to God, immediately needs to be pulled down and tossed out.

May we keep Philippians 4:8 ever before us.  New Life Version (NLV) Christian brothers, keep your minds thinking about whatever is true, whatever is respected, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever can be loved, and whatever is well thought of. If there is anything good and worth giving thanks for, think about these things.

Linking up with Tracy at Winsome Wednesday
And with Lori’s Wednesday Internet Cafe Devotions

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fresh Wind

Wind of the Spirit
image courtesy photobucket.com

My husband had been ill, and it had been some time that we were not attending a church.  Instead we watched some excellent Christian TV broadcasts that fed our spirits.

Then our long time friends moved from Southern California to live in our city. While they were house hunting they stayed with us, and it was nice for them to be there.

My friend wanted to find a church, so I told her I would go with her to visit churches in our town until we found one she liked. Each church seemed to have a personality. At some we were warmly welcomed, and other churches looked at us as if we were intruders.

There was one church my friend liked and she told me that she wanted to attend there. She and her husband became members of that church, and I returned home to watch TV.

My friend is very outgoing and one day at a craft fair in our down town plaza, she met a Christian lady, who told her that she and her husband were thinking of starting a church here in our city. “Oh,” my friend volunteered, “You must call my friend Hazel and she will help you.” 

To make a long story short, they did contact me and I suggested a place that would be reasonable to rent Sundays mornings for a beginning.  “What will you be calling your church.” I asked.  The Pastors wife replied, “We already have a name and it will be called FRESH WIND.  This church will bring a fresh wind of the Holy Spirit to this city.”

The first Sunday there was nine of us in attendance, and before long others joined and our ranks grew.

A year quickly went by and our Pastor had heard of a building that had recently been occupied by another church, and it was available full time. We moved. The new place was soon filled, services were good, and new people were being added.

One Sunday shortly after we were settled in, some visitors came bringing with them a framed and neatly typed prophesy about God sending a Fresh Wind of the Holy Spirit to our city, and how the Glory of the Lord would bless the efforts of the congregation. Our Pastor graciously hung it on the church wall.

When someone gives you a “WORD from the Lord,” it is best to receive it politely and then patiently wait and see if it comes to pass. While our Pastors were there, blessings, salvations, re-dedications, healings, and excellent ministry did occur.

Time went by and one Sunday our Pastor announced that he and his wife were moving to Oregon to live near their daughter.  His wife had lost her job, his heart was giving him problems, and they felt God was leading them. He stated that the next week a new Pastor would be arriving.

The people were shocked and complaints were heard, but I spoke up and told the Pastor how much we loved them, and also appreciated the fact that they would not leave us without a shepherd.

image courtesy photobucket.com

The new man arrived, and the first thing he did was to change the name of the church. Although I stayed for two more years and assisted him by teaching the children and what ever else I could do, it was evident that the lovely Fresh Wind had blown in and blown out again.

It is sad when the Glory lifts, but when it does - - it is time to move on.  It was my time.

The very next Sunday I visited one of the long established churches in town and was welcomed with opened arms.

I was ready for a FRESH start and so it was!

This post is  linked to: One Word Carnival   The Word is Fresh

Sunday, January 8, 2012

In the Fullness of TIME

image courtesy photobucket.com
“In the Fullness of Time” was the Title of Pastor Carl’s sermon on Sunday. Taken from Galatians 4:2-6 where Paul was speaking of the minor child although an heir was under the care of guardians and stewards until the time appointed by his father.

“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

Hebrews 1:1-2 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

Gleaning from Pastors message, through Jesus, we inherit a kingdom that is not shaken. Other kingdoms come and go, they rise and fall, but His kingdom shall stand forever.

God is greater than the universe that He created. Heaven and Earth may pass away but His Word will not pass away.

Our Timeless God placed the sun, moon and all the millions of stars in place and holds them together by His word. He appointed the seasons, causes the birds to fly, and the ground to bring forth.

God created man and we are wonderfully made, and in Him we live and move and have our being.

God created TIME. Then God himself stepped into time. Jesus took the giant step into the darkness which included death and opened the doors to bring us light and eternal life.

Jesus stepped down to gather us up, from the lowest to the highest, taking our shame and sin upon himself. He walked our lives, and understands our temptations and brokenness.

The ancients told time by shadows and sundials, we have a stop watch, an egg timer and a rooster to crow.

There is an Appropriate Time, “When the griddle is hot," "When the fruit is ripe.”

It is of great sorrow and a tragic moment when we allow our golden chance to pass. Harken to God’s voice and act on your opportunities. Don’t allow them to slip needlessly by.

Time is relentless and limited. How many breaths, how long do we have left? Work while it is yet day, while there is yet time.

Jesus calls to us out of his great love and urges us to redeem the Time for it is short.

Take my life and let it be fully consecrated unto Thee.

Enjoy this beautiful song: 

This post is linked to Deidra’s Sunday Jump Tandem  
And to Michelle’s  Hear it on Sunday

Friday, January 6, 2012

Zesty Lemon Bars

Last year my lemon harvest was amazing, but this year I feared that my lemons would be few and far between.
photo by Hazel

What a nice surprise to see that when I thought there was none – here and there I can now see a few ripe lemons.

Can you see them peeking through the leaves?

There is enough and more to make these wonderful Zesty Lemon Bars that a friend of mine thought I would like.

She obtained the recipe from: Martha and Amy Scherber, of Manhattan bakery Amy's Bread, and these Lemon Bars are a best seller at their bakery.

I almost laughed as they offered precise amounts with extra pieces or extra measurements on some of the ingredients.  There is a reason, but it just struck me as funny!

It takes some effort, but it is worth it -- Hope you enjoy these lovely Lemon Bars

Zesty Lemon Bars



1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, plus more for pan
• 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt


• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
• 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center of oven. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

2. To make crust: In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, confectioners' sugar, cornstarch, and salt; process to combine. Add butter to processor and process until mixture is pale yellow and resembles a coarse meal, about 10 seconds. If you don't have a food processor, whisk together flour, confectioners' sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and work into flour mixture using a pastry blender or your fingers.

3. Pour crust mixture into prepared baking dish, pressing down with your fingers to create a 1/4-inch-thick layer along the bottom and 1/2-inch up the sides, pressing firmly at the edges to seal. Transfer pan to freezer and freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to oven and bake, rotating pan once during baking, until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, make the topping: In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and flour; stir in lemon juice, milk, and salt until well combined.

5. Remove baking pan from oven. Stir topping and pour into warm crust. Return pan to oven and continue baking until topping is just set but not browned, about 20 minutes.

6. Transfer baking pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into 20 squares. Serve immediately or wrap each bar tightly with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

This post is linked with Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays at http://annkroeker.com/
Do hop on over to her site and gather up some delicious and nutritious recipes.