New Year Encouragement

As we get ready to close out another year, a challenging year, a year some of us would like to forget, we look forward hopefully to a new and better year. But what will make it better? Will we have more material wealth? Will we have less pain? Will we not lose anyone we love? Will we find more joy?

I think if we could answer any of those questions we would not need faith; faith in a God who loves us more than we can imagine or deserve.

Chapter 11 of Hebrews is probably my favorite chapter. It assures us how much we are loved and that all will be okay. Will things be hard, yes but we will get through it. All through the bible we are given hope of getting through this life if we put trust in our faith.


So as we face a brand new year, let us hang on to the truths of God knowing he has us where he wants us as long as we trust in his love for us.

I wish you all a most wonderful new year. May we all be safe, feel loved and be kind to others this new year.

Internal Battles

Good morning. I sincerely hope everyone had a peaceful Christmas. I normally don’t write an encouragement this early but as I sit here and look at the fresh fallen snow I felt moved to share. Yesterday’s devotion by Oswald Chambers spoke about the many battles we all face and how we win or lose them.

As I was coming home from church, I saw something that truly brought that devotion front and center. It was not as cold as it was on Christmas but it was still 35 degrees. Sitting on the wall in front of the police station was a large, and I assume homeless, woman in shorts, sweatshirt and coat but no shoes. Her hair was in multiple braids of black and blonde and she was strumming an electric guitar(that was not plugged in) and to her I guess she was singing, although it sounded more like cats fighting. I was stopped by the red light so I was able to watch her and pray for her for a few minutes.  She was definitely fighting a battle, either one of her own creation or one created  by others around her. We  are all fighting battles, some small and some large. Some of our own creation and some created by those around us but it is how we handle those battles that lets us know if we won or if the battle won.

Our battles are first won or lost in the secret places of our will in God’s presence, never in full view of the world.  Oswald Chambers 

Oswald reminds us that these battles can last from a minute to an ongoing lifetime. We all know of Paul’s battle with his thorn was a life time although we don’t really know what the thorn was. One battle I fight of my own making is opening my mouth when I know I should keep it closed. And one battle that was made by others that I deal with is the instant fight mode I can get into when snarky or aggressive attitudes come my way that came about as a result of an abusive marriage. I give these examples to show that we all have battles and that we all need to pray for each other because we understand that once the battle is won before God we become victors of the issue.

Nothing has any power over someone who has fought the battle before God and won there. Oswald Chambers

But why does it seem some battles last forever, that no matter how many times we lay it at His feet we still have this battle? That is only a question God and you can answer but my theory is the strength we gain through the battle itself. We then can understand how to help others as they fight their own battle.

Plus it drives us through the battle, back to the cross, back to His love where the real peace is found.

So as we start to think about the new year, let us walk closely with God so that we are ready to share our battles with Him. And when God shows you a battle being fought by others, be in prayer for them. Even in a year where we can’t touch physically, we can’t touch spiritually through prayer and encouragement.
And as always remember to be kind, especially when it is obvious a battle is being fought. That kindness may be the strength someone needs that day to fight their battle.

I also wanted to share with you the trailer of my new book. If you are an animal lover, you might enjoy it. Totally fiction about our dogs who are in heaven waiting for us to arrive and the things God has them doing to better the kingdom.

For Dog Lovers

Dittims, aka Junior

This is a picture of Dittims. His given name was Junior but he had so many handicaps that he earned the nickname of Dittims. Dittims was a 185 pound Harlequin Great Dane. A marvelous breed. I wish I had discovered the breed sooner as they are gentle giants that think they are lap dogs. They can be clowns and some individual ones are very protective of the home. Due to Dittims’ being mostly deaf, fully blind in one eye, only 80% vision of in the other, this made him an unbelievable gentle spirit…that loved to sit in your lap; front legs fully planted on the floor but his butt would be in your lap. Those who are familiar with danes know this is a fun quirk that many of them do.

How many of you know what the Rainbow Bridge is? Is it real? Could it really happen? Those of us who are avid dog lovers pray and believe it is a real possibility. Two years ago I started writing a book about the fun adventures of my life for my children through the eyes of the dogs I had all through my life. The book’s main character was Dittims at his arrival in heaven at the Rainbow Bridge. Once he was in heaven, he met with all previous dogs I had had and they told him stories of my life while they were with me. The book also brings in God’s love of all creation and how God uses all creation for his purpose of showing love and kindness. The book, Our Home of Love, got such great reviews from friends that read it that I wrote a sequel about Dittims further adventures in heaven. The sequel includes many of my friends dogs that they loved that have gone to heaven and how they are all working together to enrich all of heaven with the canine love all of us dog lovers know is a real thing. This book, A New Understanding, is more about the Christian beliefs of what we believe is God’s love of all of creation. None of us really know what heaven will be like but studying the scriptures gives us a glimpse. I took the opportunity to try to explain God’s love of all creation from an animal’s point of view to give some fun and truth together to show God’s infinity love for all of us. We are his creation.

If you recently lost a furry member of your family, this fun book may bring you a little comfort. While I am not one to push my books on anyone, a neighbor told me that I needed to share with others in case they may be interested and need the comfort. So here you go, including few pictures from the book of friends Dittims meets in heaven.

And as always, remember the value of kindness. It may be the one thin g that get a person through the day. Always be kind.

A New Look for Christmas

New Look

Christmas is coming but it will be sad you see

It will seem empty, like the Charlie Brown tree

There will be no traveling or family good cheer

No hugging at church to wish in a new year

But the people of Whoville seemed to have it right

For they dance and sang around the tree so bright

Christmas is still coming even with a virus so bad

It’s coming even though we are depressed and sad

I encourage you to feel the love of this great season

For it was Christ that came to give us the reason

The reason we love to make all this fuss

Is because we believe in the Magic of Christmas

This is a monumental and challenging year especially now at Christmas. But we can’t let this virus and fear define us. We can still wave at a distance, give lots of air hugs, and remember we all have many things to be thankful for. Do I make light of the situation we are in as a world people, by no means. I spent my concerning time in quarantine, I am fully aware of the danger, the risks and the possible outcomes. At my age it is even more dangerous but I refuse to not shine my light of love and kindness in the ways that I can that are safe. This year in defiance of being shut up inside, I decorated two weeks earlier and added another tree…in my bathroom. That brings me to 4 trees. Since my bathroom has a beach theme, so does the tree. So I have posted my pictures below and hope you enjoy with a smile. Do we need to be careful, yes, but do we need to be sad, no, disappointed, yes but this hopefully won’t last much longer. So spread your cheers through the cyber ways, enjoy this wonderful season and always be kind.

Bazar Things That Make Us Laugh

I don’t know if it is because of my quirky personality or just a loose screw but the newer fad of putting googly eye on inanimate objects makes me laugh. Recently a friend of mine, who has the same loose screw, sent me a photo and told me where to go to look up more photos of the same and I did. After a good chuckle, I decided a story needed to be written, to remind us to laugh even when it hard, and for us here to not forget the recent derecho that pushed through Iowa leaving millions of dollars of damage. Some are still dealing with its aftermaths. A derecho is like a short termed hurricane running across the ground. So here you go…as told by the local trees.

The Storm of 2020, In Memory of Slim

Did you hear what happened to Slim
You mean about the storm that tore through here?
I hear he is down for the count.
I saw a lot of good friends go down, some broke in half.
No! Say it ain’t so. Slim was a mighty oak!
I hear tell he just lays there weeping like a willow.
Oh, woe is me. My top notch is gone, limbs are broken, I am doomed I tell you, doomed.
Don’t give up Slim. Look what I was able to do when I go blown down. My limbs are growing strong still. Still try to reach for the sun.
Or you can be like us Slim. When our original tree fell, we became four trees. So don’t ever give up. God always had a plan for each of us.

This silly story does have a heart to heart true message. Life can be hard and can knock you down from time to time. But don’t give up. That life storm may be just the thing to help you be what God needs you to be. Hang on, reach out to His hand and left Him guide you through all of life’s storms.

Let His goodness, love, patience, peace and kindness wrap around you snuggly so that you can show others that God never leaves you alone. He is always by your side. So have faith as best as you can, smile as much as you can and always be kind, even when it is hard.

Names at Christmas

Good evening friends. When we as parents knew a child was coming to join the family, much work went into making sure the name fit the child, that it would carry the child courageously through this life. But then in life, nicknames come about that are sometimes more dear than the actual name and the nickname will stick. Names are just something people call you by. Even treasured family positions get nicknames like Gramps, Nana, Pop to name a few. I like Pop. We think of Pop as a nickname for Father and what better Father do we have other than our Heavenly Father. I think of that nickname lovingly as an acronym when I think of Jesus. Pop – Prince of Peace…

The Peace He brings us with nothing else can, it can’t be measured. Isaiah 9:6 reminds us that even at this writing, Jesus was not born yet but it was no mistake that He already existed. Wonderful Counselor – someone we can go to in an instant for much needed advice or assurance; Mighty God – The all powerful creator of everything, the guider of all paths and the one who creates extra paths for us to travel on when we take a wrong path where He hopes we will get back on His designed path; Everlasting Father – Everlasting, forever and ever, not ending, never quitting, always present Father, ultimate caretaker.

THIS is the endearing reason for this season…

In today’s message Jesus Calling, Sarah wrote as Jesus… “I am the Prince of Peace. As I said to my disciples, I say also to you: Peace be with you. Since I am your constant companion, my Peace is steadfastly with you. When you keep your focus on Me, you experience both My Presence and My Peace.. Worship Me as King of Kings, Lord of Lords and Prince of Peace.”

It is His Peace that allows us to face any given situation with courage, conviction and hope. And with this hope we can then follow His guiding hand with assurance.

I got tickled this morning with my pastor’s morning devotion on having that one favorite ornament that helps you focus on the meaning of Christmas making us revitalize our love for Him. To some of us we can’t just focus on one. It’s like training your dog to sit and a squirrel runs across the yard…as I spot yet another ornament and run across the store to see if it is one I just have to have. For now it doesn’t matter which room I go in, it all makes me smile…even the bathroom. So as we face these uncertain times that are all over the world, remember the true reason for this season. He came because His love for us is overpowering, so and let His love flow over you as you enjoy the symbols we use to honor Him on His celebrated day. 

Now that I am FINALLY through tinkering with the big tree(1 of 4), I give you my sunroom at night. Have a blessed evening and always remember in all that you do show the kindness of Christ.