Dittims

For the last two months, I have been among the missing in the blogging world but I have been very busy. September through December is always a busy time with college football. Go Dawgs!

Then November we add more busy as we put up Christmas…and there is a lot of Christmas – 5 big trees, 3 small trees and décor everywhere…

Then two weeks ago was the college football playoffs between four teams…we won our match – Go Dawgs!

Monday night of this week was the National Championship for College Football…again we won…back to back championships…

Go Dawgs…super year.

Then today, after two weeks of intense editing, I was ready to create the cover for my new book. This book has been in the works for seven months and I hope to get it released next month. No, its not about football or Christmas, but it is about a very special dog – Dittims.

Dittims was a very large Great Dane, 189 pounds, mostly white and as some white dogs can be – he was mostly deaf. And later in life, his beautiful blue eyes began to lose sight. Even though I lost him close to nine years ago, I will always remember the lessons he taught me. Regardless of the issues you may have, you can still find joy and the love of life if you allow it to come in. This book was written as an encouragement for those who may be hurting, have lost loved ones or loveable pets, or just need the hope of Heaven to hang on to. Our Real Home is Dittims’ perspective, along with all the other dogs I have had in my life, to share the beauty of Heaven as they see it with biblical scriptures throughout to help back up some of what they are seeing. Yes, it is still fiction, but it brings about the encouraging hope of what is to come for all of us. It’s a compilation of silly stories the dogs share with each other, stories of aching loss on earth replaced with the joys of Heaven and the hopeful chance of a reunion of loved ones in heaven, man and animal alike.

The sample market I have given it to seems to have enjoyed it and if you are an animal lover, I hope you will give it a try. I will announce its release as soon as it is done. And if you are not much of a reader, that is fine, just make sure you love on your pets while you still have them. They have wonderful gifts to share with us if we will only listen and watch.

And as always, I remind you to be kind in all that you do. You never know what angel you may be tending to.

Christmas Songs

I have always wondered what in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge sitting up in pear tree have to do with Christmas?

I saw this on Facebook and though it interesting. Not sure of its validity but felt it worth sharing.

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.-

-Four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

-Five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

-Six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-Eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

-Ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.

-Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

So there is your history for today. I found it interesting and enlightening and now understand how that strange song became a Christmas Carol. Share this with others as you wish and have a very Merry Christmas.

And as always, remember the beauty and power of kindness and share it often.

Invisible Love

Hello…remember me?? A person of a certain age…my certain age…should not be so busy that they can’t even do the small simple things they enjoy doing. But alas, that is where we have been for the last six months. But now, I can sit and do nothing…or the small things I enjoy doing. My Christmas decorations of course have been up since mid November so now its just a few presents that need wrapping. Whew!!

The Christmas season, although busy, is where we seem to share the most kindness to those around us and sometimes we focus this kindness on those less fortunate. The Covid years took their toll on all of us – physically, emotionally and financially. And some of those effects are still lingering creating uncertainty. So I want to share a thought from my morning devotion that kind of hit home for me concerning the true purpose for this season…or any season.

Why do we celebrate this season….I think the most trustworthy answer in all categories is...LOVE.

I recently saw a picture on facebook showing pictures of movie portrayals of Mary with baby Jesus next to a picture of Mary crying over the body of Jesus after he was crucified…both pictures reflecting overwhelming gifts of LOVE. God’s gift of baby Jesus for his love of mankind and then Jesus’ sacrificial gift of his life for mankind’s salvation. And lets not forget Mary’s sacrificial gift of raising Jesus, knowing who he was and what his mission was – to save mankind. Colossians reminds us of the visible image and invisible image of God.

Jesus…the visible image of God’s invisible image. How many times do we say – I won’t believe it until I see it. Even the disciple Thomas would not believe in the resurrection until he saw the holes in Jesus’ hands. And modern man is having a very hard time in believing in a God they can’t see. But I challenge you to look around at the beauty of creation, not just the nature side – which is amazing – but the human side as well. While man can sometimes be persnickety, man can also show a beauty and power through kindness and love towards others that can make us see the beauty and love of our invisible God.

16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…all things have been created through him and for him.

The fact that even in this chaotic world we have the ability to show this love and kindness is proof that the invisible God is still here. There will be a day when He will leave and when he leaves, all the love and kindness will leave as well. It won’t be pretty.

So share this wonderful season of love – not just now at Christmas but make every day Christmas by reflecting the love we have been shown by our invisible God and His visible Son…and always be kind.

Limitless Love

It has been a while since I posted an encouragement, but when I read this morning devotion with Billy Graham, I felt I needed to share his thoughts. There are a lot of storms we face in this life, some weather related and some within our hearts and sometimes they are both. In late September, Hurricane Ian demolished the west coast of Ft. Myers, Florida. Being raised in south Georgia, I fully understood that the late storms of hurricane season were usually the meanest. Now the east coast of Florida braces for a November storm, a rarity.

Storms of the heart are no less powerful. They can come from misunderstandings between people to down right meanness and we have all faced them, maybe even caused a few of them – whether we meant to or not. The problem is, we are all imperfect. We are all sinners. BUT all of us are still loved. God’s love for us reaches beyond anything we could ever imagine, even to those who do not love Him. But to those of us who do love Him, we feel that love. It holds us on course until the storms are over. He stands right beside us fighting the battle for us when we no longer can. He is our warrior.

Billy Graham’s message this morning reminds us of the limitless power of God for all of us.

God can be everywhere at once, heeding the prayers of all who call out in the name of Christ; performing mighty miracles. There is no limit to God. There is no limit to His wisdom. There is no limit to His power. There is no limit to His love. There is no limit to His mercy. Billy Graham

As you fight today’s battles or this weeks battles, always remember there is simply no limit to God’s love for you. As you stand tall in your battle, remember to be kind. Kindness during battle has an extra power of God with it that has the opportunity to open the eyes of the storm and help it resolve.

A Rainbow

Spring is usually the time to catch a rainbow so it is with wonderous awe that we see them in the fall. This one was on my way to work Wednesday and I felt it needed sharing, the picture at least.

Beauty of the Rainbow

 The beauty of the rainbow, hanging in the sky

Ignored by many as they hurriedly zoom by

Its colors so radiant for only a short time

But a reminder still relevant made for all time

It was a promise for Noah and all of mankind

Proving God’s love, even though we seem blind

The rainbow is beautiful but not really a gift

It’s a reminder to God, for our spirits to lift

Anita☺

As we go through our zooming day, remember to glance around at the beauty surrounding you, even if it seems a gray day. Then let that beauty bring on a smile for you to share with others to maybe lighten their day. And as always, Be Kind.

WRITEPHOTO – Cemetery

Welcome to the weekly #writephoto prompt! by KL Caley

The slight chill around me begs me to pull my sweater close, but I am not wearing a sweater. Wait, I know this place. Have not been here in a long time, since that day. They said she was now at peace. Cancer had eaten her body but her mind and spirit were still strong. I am glad now she is no longer suffering. But why am I here, I wonder as I continue onward. “What are those silly people doing?” I ask myself. People are sitting on top of the gravestones. How rude. And they are laughing, having a good time. Really, in a graveyard.

“She’s here,” I heard loudly from behind me. I turn to see my mother running towards me. No, that ridiculous. Its just someone who looks like her.

“Janey! You are here with us now.”

“What?” I gasped as I look around at all the faces of loved ones I once knew, but they were different, younger.

“You have come to join us as we wait for the grand appearance.”

“Grand appearance ?”

“You know sweetheart, when Jesus returns to take our bodies home.”

I look down at myself and realize I am not the 92 year old woman any more, I too am young. I guess I have gone the way of my ancestors.

How (MUCH) Do I Love Thee

This week after bible study on how we handle grief, I went on a rabbit hole review of the book of Isaiah. Chapter 43 reminds us of how God grieves when we don’t listen to Him when He reminds us, through all 66 books, how very much he loves us and created all of us for Himself – because he wants us always near Him.

In Steven Scott’s book, Jesus Speaks, we are reminded how much harder it is for us to believe in this relationship versus the disciples believing. They were there. They heard him, touched him, they saw his miracles first hand. We have to believe with out seeing.

We believe because we have faith in what the prophets and disciples have told us through the words they wrote thousands of years ago. Faith, Hope and Love are all tied together throughout all 66 books of the bible. Are these book hard to understand, sometimes, but sometimes God allows us to see with unseen eyes and hear with unheard ears the precious words of his unimaginable love that he shares with us, just for the asking. If you care to read further in this post, I wrote a quick Non-poetry on Faith. It will be the first writing of my new book entitle Faith. My current book called Hope was so poorly edited, that I can’t leave my encouragement writing with that. So, we are are going again with professional editors so that the readers experience encouragement better. And after Faith, we will have to close off the series with Love.

UNSEEN ENTITY

How is it that a creature can put its trust of life into an unseen entity?

To allow its values and the things it loves to be driven by the ideals of this unseen entity.

Integrity is a component the creature uses to measure the ideals and values of this unseen entity.

Affirmation of the unseen entity’s integrity proves the love that is always given by the unseen entity.

Final trust and hope are driving forces given to the unseen entity by the creature in the form of faith.

Faith is confidence in what we hope for. (Heb 11:1)

 For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Cor 5:7)

  Faith as small as a mustard seed moves mountains. (Mat 17:20)

Assurance of faith proves God is our refuge. (Psa 46:1)

 Assurance of faith reminds us we are children of God. (Rom 8:16)

   Assurance of God’s love is the strength of my heart. (Psa 73:26)

In all things, God works for the good of us. (Rom 8:28)

 I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. (Jer 29:11)

  I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you. (Isa 41:10)

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. (Prov 3:5)

 Trust helps my heart jump for joy, with song I praise him. (Psa 28:7)

    Trust that He will never leave you, not forsake you. (Heb 13:5)

Hope doesn’t disappoint for God poured love into our hearts. (Rom 5:5)

 Hope in the Lord will renew our strength. (Isa 40:31)

  Hope of eternal life was promised by God before time began.(Titus 1:2)

For we live by faith, not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7

Anita

As we move about in this life, remember the opportunities we are given to show the beauty, warmth and power of Kindness and share it often.

Encouragement from Youth

Good Sunday evening friends. Today at our church we had an amazing day. Normally you hear encouraging words form me to help you understand how wonderful we are and I hope you understand God ALWAYS has a plan for each of us. Below I am sharing today’s message from one or our youth, a 14 year old young lady that has more understand of our worth than some adults that I have spoken with. I hope you take the time to open the link and hear her encouraging words. You can fast forward though the talking and singing if you just want to hear Jaylynn’s message. I truly believe you will be encourage on how very much God loves you. It is at the first part of the service.

https://fb.watch/dayXo9LIKd/

Then if you care to listen to the entire service, you will be encouraged by the Global Servant of Health, Kristy Engel as she gives a brief summary with her Mission Moment sharing her work across the world that she has been doing.

I truly hope you understand how very important all of us are because as Jaylynn reminds us, we are all made in the likeness of God.

As you begin to understand the beauty of your creation, remember also the beauty of kindness and always be kind.

The Vast Ocean of God’s Love

I have not written an encouragement post in a while but last night’s devotion in “Jesus Calling” needed to be shared because we all need to be told how very much we are loved. Regardless of how we feel we have fallen short of God’s holy standard…every day…in His sight we are gloriously righteous. He proved this vast ocean of love by literally pouring out His blood for us…freely without our asking.

We are so programed that nothing is free that we sometimes forget the power of His freely given love through the Holy Spirit that dwells in our heart.

Always know He is as close as your own hand and loves us more than we could ever understand. Remember to share that love…every day…with others and always be kind.

Light the fire of kindness

Monday Encouragement

Too often Christians will over think and stress on doing what they think is needed and then will miss out on the joy of being with God. Randy’s message Sunday about stress was reflected again in my devotion tonight about this self-imposed stress. The devotion mentions how we get so stress over doing the right thing for the kingdom so we can “bear fruit” that we miss the point. Bearing fruit is a term in the scriptures to show we are following Christ and sharing His love for the kingdom. But bearing fruit has very little to do with how hard we are working and everything to do with how well we are connected with Jesus. The devotion book “Jesus Speaks” by Steven Scott, reminds us that for any branch to have life that will produce fruit, it must first  have sap. The life-giving sap flows up through the vine, then out to the branches. Scripture reminds us that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. If we are not connected to the branch, we will not gain the life-giving sap.

The only way out spiritual life can bear fruit is to stay connected to Christ and His words. Our purpose is to bear fruit for the kingdom, with some being planters, and some being waterers but none of it will be able to be done if we are not connected to the vine. The scriptures are our connecting tissue to the vine where His Spirit flows. And as long as we stay connected to His words we will receive the life-giving sap from above.

When we do not have the life-giving sap, we can not plant or water…or share His love and that is our goal.  And eventually our connection may harden and be of little use.

For when we are able to share His love, by sharing His truths, and bearing fruit, then God will be glorified. It doesn’t matter if we were the sower, the waterer, the encourager, the friend, or the total stranger that is sharing God’s love, we will all get to rejoice with those who reap the benefits of that shared love. So stay connected and watch God work.

Have a safe and blessed week and be kind in all that you do.

Always Be Kind