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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Creatures Great and Small - A Sweet Sip


Flutter by,
Floating flower
In the sky.
Kiss me with your
Petal wings—
Whisper secrets,
Tell of spring.

Author Unknown

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Of Teeth and Judging

John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

Recently something that happened to me years ago came to my mind and I realized it was a parable.

When I was growing up my dad had the idea that dentists promoted 6 month cleanings of teeth because they wanted to make money. He thought that if you brushed and flossed “properly” you didn’t need to have your teeth cleaned very often at all. He was not alone in thinking this. It seemed logical at the time, but I now know that regular professional cleaning does serve a useful purpose.

My family was living at poverty level most of the time back then and had no insurance, so we couldn’t afford to go to the dentist for anything but real issues anyway. Our dentist then was a Christian and did volunteer work in Africa yearly, so he understood people who couldn’t afford much dental care. He was patient and helpful.

It was sometime in my mid-teens when my grandparents were staying with us that I happened to mention to my grandpa that I had trouble cleaning the back of my lower front teeth. I had to scrape them with my fingernail or rub them with a towel to get them to feel clean on the inside. When I told him this he may have questioned me a little, but then his comment was, “It sounds like laziness to me.”

Needless to say, I was hurt. I was trying hard to clean my teeth properly. I felt like I was making an effort, and yet he had judged me of being lazy. (Let me say here that I am not trying to defame my grandpa on this point. We all say things like this from time to time without thinking and he was not one to always respond in this manner.)

Continue Reading.


Vintage graphic: The Graphics Fairy.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Evening Song - He Didn't Turn Away

Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 

Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 

John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Thousand Word Project - Bright Stars

Where innocent bright-eyed daisies are,
With blades of grass between,
Each daisy stands up like a star
Out of a sky of green.

Christina Rossetti

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Just for Fun - Rules for Cats with A House to Run

The photos here are of "Mischief," a cat my brother owned when my family lived in Tennessee.

I do not know who the original author of this is. I have made some additions and edits. Enjoy! :-)


Rules for cats who have a house to run.

I.  DOORS:  Do not allow closed doors in any room. To get door opened, stand on hind legs and scratch with fore-paws while meowing pathetically. Once door is opened, it is not necessary to use it. After you have ordered an "outside" door opened, stand halfway in and halfway out and think about several things. This is particularly important during very cold or hot weather, rain, snow, or mosquito season. Swinging doors are to be avoided at all costs.

II.  CHAIRS AND RUGS:  If you have to throw up, get to a chair quickly. If you cannot manage in time, get to an Oriental rug. If there is no Oriental rug, shag is good. When throwing up on the carpet, make sure you back up so that it is as long as the human's bare foot.

III.  BATHROOMS: Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything -- just sit and stare.

IV.  HAMPERING:  If one of your humans is engaged in some absorbing activity and the other is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called "helping", otherwise known as "hampering." Following are the rules for "hampering":
  a) When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on and then picked up and comforted. Be sure to shriek piteously since humans love to feel guilty.
  b) For book readers, get in close under the chin, between eyes and book, unless you can lie across the book itself.
  c) For knitting projects or paperwork, lie on the work in the most appropriate manner so as to obscure as much of the work as possible, or at least the most important part. Pretend to doze, but every so often reach out and slap the pencil or knitting needles. The worker may try to distract you; ignore it. Remember, the aim is to hamper work. Embroidery and needlepoint projects make great hammocks in spite of what the humans may tell you.
 d) For people paying bills (monthly activity) or working on income taxes or Christmas cards (annual activity), keep in mind the aim -- to hamper! First, sit on the paper being worked on.  When dislodged, watch sadly from the side of the table. When activity proceeds nicely, roll around on the papers, scattering them to the best of your ability. After being removed for the second time, push pens, pencils, and erasers off the table, one at a time.
 e) When a human is holding the newspaper in front of him/her, be sure to jump on the back of the paper. They love to jump.
 f) When your human is working on a computer try to walk in front of the screen as often as possible. Lie down on the keyboard if you can.
 g) Walk across jig saw puzzles when your feet are damp so as to track as many pieces away from the project as possible. Lie down and roll on it too. Locating the pieces gives the human needed exercise.

 h) If your human sews, hide behind the sewing machine and make grabs at the project as it comes towards you while she/he is sewing. Also, find a nice soft spot in the sewing room on fabric that collects lint easily, then lie there as often as possible so as to cover it with as much cat hair as possible. Leave a fun hairball surprise in a place your human didn't think you could reach.

[Note: This was the basket of clean rags, and she wasn't actually allowed to go outside. :-)  ]

 i) Go outside and role in the dust or get your paws all muddy, then ask to come back inside. Go and lie in a laundry basket of clean clothes or walk across the kitchen counter. Best of all, sneak up between the sheets on the master bed. This makes extra work for your humans which they love.

V.  WALKING: As often as possible, dart quickly and as close as possible in front of the human, especially: on stairs, when they have something in their arms, in the dark, and when they first get up in the morning. This will help their coordination skills.

VI.  BEDTIME: Always sleep on the human at night so s/he cannot move around.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Word of God - A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

Psalm 33:8-9 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. 

The Word of God

Though heart grows faint and spirits sink,
By every wind of feeling blown;
Though faith itself may seem to fail,
I rest upon Thy word alone.

That word of power that framed the worlds;
Unfailing, changeless, strong and sure.
Though heaven and earth should pass away,
What Thou hast spoken must endure.

Is Thine arm shortened, Thine ear dulled?
What Thou hast sworn hast Thou forgot?
God of the everlasting years,
All else may fail; Thou failest not.

Against the foeman's fiery darts
I wield anew the Spirit's sword,
And answer every fresh assault
With ever fresh "Thus saith the Lord."

And when some promised blessing seems
Too great, too wonderful for me,
I dare by faith to call it mine,
With "It is written" all my plea.

'Mid shifting sands of doubt and fear
This is the one foundation stone;
My soul hath cast her anchor here;
I rest upon Thy word alone.

by Annie Johnson Flint

Hebrews 4:12-13 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Evening Song - Psalm 19 - The Law of the Lord

Psalm 19:7-11 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Mug Exchange Reveal Spring 2018

In April I participated in the Tea Cup and Mug Exchange at The Enchanting Rose, an event Stephanie hosts twice a year to encourage making new friends.This year my gifts came from Cheryl who lives in Michigan. This was a happy "coincidence" because Michigan happens to be my home state. :-) She does not have a blog or web page for me to link to - which is fine!

These are the things she sent me (from left to right).
Back row: Tea Lover's Devotional book, The Twelve Teas of Inspiration book (both books contain recipes too), and a lovely card. (Pink is my favorite color and I always like sparkles on a card.)
Second row: magnet, zip pouch, mug, mint tea, and a fancy little note pad.
Front: tea bag holder and a ceramic tea spoon that matches the mug.

I have used the mug so far for vegetable broth and for cold cereal. (Yes, I eat cold cereal out of a mug sometimes. :-)  )

Strange to say, the little tan pouch actually became the star of the collection quite unexpectedly. It dawned on me at some point that it might possibly fit my travel sized paints. I went and collected the pouch from where it was and half hopefully tried it. It is a perfect fit - as if it were made for it! I could even tuck a paper towel into the inside pocket. With a water brush (which contains water in its special chamber), and a watercolor journal or pad of some sort, I can now easily carry along this paint either for plein air painting (a fancy French term for painting outside), or for traveling. I am really delighted with this! :-)  [In case you can't read it, the pouch says "Faith" on the metal tag and the ribbon on the zipper handle.]

Thank you so much, Cheryl, for you thoughtfulness, and for the gifts that you sent.

Previously, due to my shopping constraints, I have sent packages for the exchange through Amazon.com  This time I actually put the package together myself but, sorry to say, I completely forgot about taking a photo of the things I sent. The lady whose name I received was Roseann at "This Autoimmune Life."  She has posted pictures of the things I sent HERE. It was fun that she also lives in Texas, and another happy "coincidence" is that she has another friend named Mary Stephens! :-)

Thanks again to Stephanie for hosting this fun exchange. Visit her post to see what the various ladies received and sent.

Due to the fact that the Teacup and Mug Exchange has grown so much, and that there have been difficulties out of her control that have bothered some people, Stephanie is dropping the exchange at this time. I am sorry to hear it, but I understand. I have marveled at her dedication to make this all work. I hadn't really thought about the problematic aspects, aside from ladies not sending packages they promised to send, but I realize that there are probably a lot of things that can go wrong and so spoil things for some people and make Stephanie sad or unhappy as well. So, I just want to thank Stephanie again and tell her that her efforts are really appreciated by many of us, and I, for one, completely support her decision. It's been a great run. :-)

The Thousand Word Project - Growing Gold

Engelmann's Daisy

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Who Is the Best Mother in the World?

Luke 11:27-28 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

If we were to discuss who might be the best mother in the world probably the example of Mary the mother of Jesus would come up. After all, she was chosen to be the mother of the Messiah, right? What greater honor could be given to any woman?

According to Jesus Himself, the honor of hearing and keeping the word of God is a greater blessing than bringing the Messiah into the world. That is an amazing thought.

In fact, we read in Luke 8:20-21, And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

So not only is it more blessed than bearing the Messiah to hear and keep God’s word, but Jesus calls those who hear and do God’s word His mother and brethren. In other words, they are His close family members.

No matter who you are, or whether you have children or not, you can do this today.

Continue Reading.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Evening Song - The Old Rugged Cross - Violin

John 19:17-18 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Thousand Word Project - Paintbrushes

Psalm 75:1 Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. 

Texas Paintbrush

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Apple Blossoms - A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

Peach blossoms.

Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. 

Apple Blossoms

God might have clothed the apple trees
In scentless brown or gray --
Such frail and fleeting blossoming,
So soon to pass away --

Instead of this fair springtime garb
Of fragrant pink and pearl,
That flutters down like rosy snow
On every breeze a-whirl.

His goodness gives the pleasant fruit
On laden boughs down-bent;
His lovingkindness adds the bloom,
Its beauty and its scent.

He loads us with His benefits
Until no want we know,
And then He sends the little more
That makes our cup o'erflow.

He opens wide His hand of love;
He gives no stingy dole;
His tender mercies crown our days:
O bless the Lord, my soul!

Annie Johnson Flint

 Psalm 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Hard Questions: Is the "Billy Graham Rule" Biblical?

Here is a new article I wrote over at the Home Maker's Corner. It deals with an article by a woman who does not agree with the personal rule some married Christian men have not to eat alone or be alone with any woman other than their own wives.


Romans 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Last year, I ran across this post on another blog that got me to thinking: "Billy Graham’s Rule – Misusing it to Hold Back Women and Men of God." The guest writer (Kelly Ladd Bishop) who wrote this item was talking about the standard Mike Pence has to not eat alone with any woman other than his wife and to only enter certain situations if she is with him. This has been called "The Billy Graham Rule" because Mr. Graham had a similar standard for himself during his ministry.

Kelly Bishop is mostly addressing a "tweet" by a certain man which she took exception to, but in the course of her writing about it she made some points that I wanted to address.

Ms. Bishop writes:

"While there are times when it is appropriate for a person to set up boundaries that protect his or her marriage, it is not appropriate to make blanket statements or rules regarding the opposite sex – especially when it puts one sex at a real disadvantage in business, ministry, or life in general. It also doesn’t respect either men or women. It assumes that men can’t control themselves in the presence of a women who is not their wife, and that women are temptations that must be avoided. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we can do better."

"...A straw man argument is an argument that sounds like it is refuting an opposing view, but is actually refuting an argument that was never made..."

Having rules of conduct is appropriate in certain situations. This is why we are given many of them in scripture, even in the New Testament teachings to the church. Personal standards, however, should be viewed as non-absolute. We may make a rule or boundary for ourselves, but we need to realize that there may arise some situations that will make it necessary to break it in order to obey the commands of scripture.


When we were all still at home my mom had a personal standard that she never washed laundry on Sundays. She worked hard to make sure it was done during the rest of the week so that she (and we) could have a rest from that. But, when we had friends staying with us who had some special need to do laundry at our house on Sunday, she didn't balk at that.

Continue Reading.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Evening Song - He Will Make A Way

Psalm 23:2-3 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Links Worth Reading - Technology's Negative Effects On Children and Babies

Psalm 78:2-4 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. 

Some time back my husband and I were eating in a local restaurant. A mother came in with her daughter who appeared to be around 8 years old. They ordered and were waiting for their food. The girl had crayons and a coloring book or paper. The mother was glued to her smart phone. At some point the daughter after trying to communicate with her mom and being ignored or rebuffed started to cry. The mother told her in a harsh voice that was too loud for the situation that this was, "unacceptable behavior" and ordered her to stop crying. The mother was obviously highly annoyed to be interrupted in whatever she was doing on her phone by her daughter's need for attention. Dear reader, I wanted to get up and go over to that table and tell the mother that her behavior was "unacceptable." She shouldn't be loudly rebuking her daughter and that she should be paying attention to her daughter instead of being totally engrossed in the cyber world. Then maybe the girl wouldn't feel like she had to cry to get her attention! I didn't do it, but I have to admit that I was angry inside seeing that little girl be treated that way by her mother, and I am still sad for her.

This article is really worth reading. It addresses a serious problem with technology in many areas relating to childhood. I recommend it to anyone who is a parent, grandparent, aunt, sibling, or in any other way associated with children - pretty much all of us.

Excerpt: "Today’s children are being deprived of the fundamentals of a healthy childhood, such as:

  • Emotionally available parents
  • Clearly defined limits and guidance
  • Responsibilities
  • Balanced nutrition and adequate sleep
  • Movement and outdoors
  • Creative play, social interaction, opportunities for unstructured times and boredom"

Read it here: The Silent Tragedy Affecting Today's Children


Is Ultrasound a safe option during pregnancy? I had heard some things in the past about the possibility that ultrasound was not as safe as it is reported to be. One man I know said that if they had children his wife was not getting any ultrasounds. Some situations may warrant one for safety purposes, but recreational, gender identification, and entertainment factor ultrasounds are highly questionable, and often repeated ultrasounds for "diagnostic purposes" should be avoided if at all possible. Some folks like to blame all the autism and various other problems on one source - often vaccines. I feel that there are multiple reasons for why children are suffering from so many disorders that were much less common in the past. One that people often don't think about, and I seldom hear mentioned is ultrasounds.

This article is informative and thought provoking, and it is written by a doctor who practices integrative medicine.

Perils of Peeking Into the Womb: Ultrasound Risks

Excerpt: "This recent study suggests that the seemingly benign practice of obstetrical ultrasonography is one practice that deserves urgent reassessment. Researchers exposed pregnant mice at 14.5 days gestation (a neurologically vulnerable window) to 30 minutes of fetal ultrasound and assessed the pups’ behavior at 3 weeks of age. They found that the exposed pups were significantly less interested in social interactions and had significant levels of behavioral hyperactivity, in the presence of an unfamiliar mouse."