The Mighty Mississip’

Those of us from the south fully understand what the Mississippi River can do during hurricane season where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. But here in the Midwest, we don’t worry so much about hurricanes…we worry about snowmelt. These first pictures are from last summer at the bandstand down at the river where we have weekly outdoor concerts.

But this year is one of the flooding years. They don’t always look this bad but this year may set a record. If you can see that white dotted line across the center of the water…that is the tops of the white chairs from above and the current water level is almost to the bandstand floor level. The water is not due to crest until Monday. The concerts may be late this year.

Picnic anyone?

I was not able to take a picture because I was driving across the bridge, but they were cutting the grass of the baseball field. The building in the thirds set of pictures behind the Bandits sign is the baseball stadium and they have floodgates around it so the stadium stays dry. But I chuckled at the irony of them cutting the grass.

Always remember that life can throw you curve balls. Some you get to hit out of the way and some knock you down. But God is always there by your side to help you either way. Feel His love surround you and reflect His kindness.


Periodically we need to truly understand where our strength comes from….is it our own making or are our burdens doing their magic work from God in making us strong.

This morning’s devotion with Oswald Chambers assured me that God is always with us carrying the heavier part of our burden as we grow in strength to see the joy of His profound love.

The burden that God places on us squeezes the grapes in our lives and produces the wine. Oswald Chambers

While we don’t enjoy any burdens we know they do have a purpose in proving His love for us.

For His hand is never far from us, filling is with the hope that proves His love.

No power on earth or in hell can conquer the Spirit of God living within the human spirit; it creates an inner invincibility. Oswald Chambers

So rest assured that whatever burden you mat be facing today, God id holding you hand and He will carry you through to the shining glory of His love for you.

Have a great day and a beautiful weekend. And always remember to be kind, even when it is really hard. For kindness shows your inner beauty of love.

Reverent Sadness

Today, for Christian belief, is Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday of Holy Week. It is the day commemorating the Washing of the Feet(Maundy) and the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples right before he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane.

This night was a very long and painful night for Jesus, not because his torture had started but because of the betrayal and desertion by his followers, the disbelief of Jewish leaders, and the weight of what was to come.

The following day was Friday. We call it Good Friday, not that it was a happy day but because Jesus willingly suffered and was crucified on the cross for atonement of sin. But we must fully understand its purpose. My devotion this morning from Oswald Chambers says it where I can understand it best so I share that with you.

The Cross of Christ is the revealed truth of God’s judgment on sin. Never associate the idea of martyrdom with the Cross of Christ. It was the supreme triumph, and it shook the very foundations of hell. There is nothing in time or eternity more absolutely certain and irrefutable than what Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross— He made it possible for the entire human race to be brought back into a right-standing relationship with God. He made redemption the foundation of human life; that is, He made a way for every person to have fellowship with God. Oswald Chambers

The cross was not something that man did to Jesus, it was the reason Jesus came in the first place. To redeem our souls. We can’t think of the cross as a cross of man, for it is a cross of God…for man because His love for man is so strong, even when we don’t deserve it.

The heart of salvation is the Cross of Christ. The reason salvation is so easy to obtain is that it cost God so much. The Cross was the place where God and sinful man merged with a tremendous collision and where the way to life was opened. But all the cost and pain of the collision was absorbed by the heart of God. Oswald Chambers

    Let us never forget the extent that God went to to assure that we could remain in His care and ultimately join with Him on that heavenly day with the multi-million voice choir as we praise His name.

    As you go through these next few days of the Easter season, remember the unfathomable kindness God has shown us and try to show kindness to others.

    Honored Goodbye, Excited Hello

    Those of us who are pet lovers, take our furry friends very seriously. They are family. My front door has a disclaimer on it for all who enter.

    In January, we said an honored goodbye to Maximus, my daughter’s loyal, tried and true friend, aka a basset hound.

    Yesterday, we went to look at some puppies as she was getting ready to think about moving on. The problem with that theory (like when buying a new car) you better be ready to take said puppy(or car) home with you. The puppy’s name is Teddy Bear and he took an instant liking to my daughter …therefore…

    Meet Teddy Bear

    Totally at home and loving his new mama.

    Check out these ears. They are longer than Max’s were and he steps on them as he walks.

    There will be many posts of future cuteness but I wanted to share these with you. I you have seen my book, Our Real Home, you will understand that I feel all creation is blessed by God and he gives pets to us as another way of sharing His profound love.

    In closing. I remind you of the power of kindness. It creates a loving bond between you and another of God’s creations – man or animal.

    If Interested…

    Our Real Home is now available at Amazon in Kindle format and paperback.

    This is fictional story of real life characters as they explain how they see Heaven. I made these book marks for a few of my friends.

    The main purpose of this book is encouragement. Encouragement with how the Bible explains to us what Heaven is like and encouragement of just how much we are all loved by God. While the story may make you smile as these characters learn of the beauty that they were made for, it is a testament, according to scripture, of just how much God loves each of us and that he created each of us for a purpose, man and beast alike…so that he could spend eternity with those who love Him. My opening comments of the book…

    Encouragement in God’s Love

    The sole purpose of this book is showing the encouragement we all need by giving a visual perspective of God’s love for everything He creates. God has a special love and purpose for man, who is made in His image, and for animals who possess a special connection with God’s love. This story is written from the perspective of how I believe a dog is created and how a dog thinks. At the base of any dog’s heart, there is an inherent form of love and devotion, given as a gift from God. This gift is then given freely from the dog to his owner, even when that love or devotion is not deserved. The dog knows no different way to be. Hopefully, to anyone who is an animal lover, the love and devotion you have received from your past pet(s) can now be shared with people. Then in time, you may acquire another pet companion – not to replace one you have lost, but to strengthen you further still, and to expand that love you have been shown with others – animals and people. Life on this earth is hard on a good day and can be worse on hard days. It is my sincere hope that this book will be an encouragement for anyone reading it to realize the love, beauty, and patience of God for everything He creates. God’s identity never changes, but how we see Him changes as we follow His Word and grow closer to Him.

    Do you believe in angels…real angels. I do. Scripture speaks of angels as messengers of God. I believe God uses all of creation to speak to our hearts non-verbally….and occasionally verbally of needed. This book takes on the light side of the “what ifs”. There have been many stories about angels…and we have all heard them. What if…

    Regardless of your interest in this book, may you always be encouraged knowing God loves you more than you could ever imagine. Have a blessed day and don’t forget about the beauty of all of creation.

    And remember to always be kind.

    A Day of Love?

    Some parts of the world share their kindness and gentleness for one another as a symbol of their love on this day we call Valentines Day. But why only one day…and what does that love mean anyway?

    Each year at this time I buy a small tea rose to remind me that spring is not far away. Hopefully this year I will be able to keep this one alive. Sometimes my thumb is a bit on the brown side. But roses have always been a sign of love, so I give you pictures of the beauty I bought with reminders of what true love is really like.

    The most profound definition of Love comes from the strongest love story ever written for all of mankind. That love story is God’s love story written for man that we call the Bible. In 1st Corinthians, a true definition of love was written.

    Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

    The last sentence – “Love never gives up” is a message for all of us from God. His love for us is so profound that we could never really understand its depth. And nothing can separate it from us.

    No power in the sky above or in the earth below — indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39)

    Even the Old Testament with all of its amazing stories through its history, the trials, and sorrow, the theme was always the same…love.

    I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3

    And of course His ultimate sacrifice of giving His life for each of ours so we could spend eternity with Him surrounded forever in that abundant love…

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

    So always believe in that love. Let its power reach deep into your heart where it grows strong roots to help you survive this time on Earth.

    I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19

    Always be filled with the fullness of that love and share it with others by being kind. Kindness is a strong component of God’s love because it also comes from the heart.

    Minus 1 Degree

    This morning we woke to a dreary sky and bitter-cold minus 1 temperature. I am fully aware it is February but man it was cold. It stayed dreary most of the day with off-and-on clouds but late in the day the sky cleared and warmed all the up to 15 degrees. A proverbial heat wave.

    But the evening sky is amazing. I do not have the best photography equipment, so you can’t really appreciate its full beauty but I promise it was an amazing hot pink purple – if that is such a color. Nature has a way of creating color that, as hard as we try to replicate, we usually fall a little short.

    But I wanted to share what I saw so that you could at least smile at the possibility of its beauty.

    Always remember the beauty we see in nature as gifts from God. They are given to us to remind us how much He loves nature and wants you to enjoy it as much as He does…for He loves you that much.

    Have a safe and blessed weekend and remember always – Be kind, for someone is probably hurting more than you are.

    Always Be kind

    And in Closing…

    As we get ready to close out another year, I am again astounded as to how fast this past one went by.

    For most of us, its a time of reflection…

    Did we remember to enjoy the beauty we saw…the amazing colors of the sunrise or the calming of the sunset? Did we remember to share in the gentleness of smiles we saw, sharing them back with contagious love?

    Did we catch a single snowflake on our tongue, feeling its cold but seeing their beauty as they cover the land in white perfection…knowing that no single flake is like another – an astounding reality of creation…much like every man.

    Did we pause as we listened to the chirping of the birds or hear the laughter of children as they play? Or maybe we went for a walk and could hear the quiet sounds of nature as she whispers the beauty of life as God intended us to hear.

    Did we truly feel the love come though with that hug we received? Did we in turn hug back with that same love, sharing a quick taste of the love to come from God…a love so full it could make you gasp with its power?

    Did we remember that the gifts we are given from God are free to us for the mere asking…even though they came at a great cost…a cost we could never fathom to withstand by ourselves.

    As we begin to start a new year, let us remember the beauty of this past year, even with it hardships. The hope of God’s love gives us strength even when we feel weak.

    Always remember the beauty and power of kindness. It can be brighter than any star and powerful enough to change any direction. For this next year, try a little extra kindness and see how it brightens your new year.

    Picturing God

    According to my understanding of scripture, seeing God(in the flesh as it were)is impossible. Moses got close and his face shone from its brightness to where the people were afraid of him. For me, I see God in the beauty of the sunset, in the miracle of tiny bugs on the ground, through the smile of a child.

    To me, God is all around us and at this time of year it is even more so as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, God’s son. In my beliefs, Jesus is part of the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and each of those parts of God brings up a different image of what we humans think He looks like. Is it important on what he looks like? Maybe, maybe not. We are very visual oriented creatures and rely on our vision for truth…and our visions can fail us if we don’t rely on the right source of truth..

    I am reading a wonderful book called Crazy Love by Frances Chan. I am only in the fourth chapter but in it far enough to think about what Frances is trying to tell us. Two things that are popping out the most so far is, picturing life on this earth as a movie. You are an important member of the cast because God created you for a purpose He had in mind but the movie is not about you, the movie is about God. The other thing, the one that struck me the hardest, is when you pray, who do you pray to. Well obvious the answer is God…but what are you visualizing? Or do you just throw your prayers into the air hoping they get where they need to go. Our prayers are specific and need to go specifically to God. For me it helps visualize that I am talking to God in a specific form.

    Revelation 4 describes what John saw when we was taken in spirit into heaven…

    Rev 4:2-3 …”there before me was a throne on heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby…”

    In chapter 19 Jesus is described as the Word of God with blazing eyes, a double edge sword coming from his mouth and a robe dipped in blood. While this is the God I want standing by my side if bullies are after me, it hard for me to visualize praying to the loving comforter, the Lamb of God, if I visualize this form.

    Ephesians 5:2…walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 

    Our prayers should reflect this fullness of love for love comes from the heart as our prayers should also come from the heart. Corinthians 13 says it perfectly in how we should treat mankind and prayer for mankind.

    Corinthians 13:4 – Love is patient, love is kind…it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preservers…Love(God) never fails.

    So as you lift your prayers to heaven, visualize that they are being received by a loving, caring, nurturing and kind…warrior who will protect you as much as He loves you. Visualize yourself being God’s child (which we are) that crawls into the loving lap of the loving Father and feel His peace.

    And know always His kindness is powerful so share that kindness with others.

    New Tree

    Those of you who have read me over the last few years know that I go a little “Griswold” at Christmas. Because of a modification to my Christmas village this year, I had to move my train set and railroad station. So where…where do we put it??🤔 I know, I will go by to childhood years and put it under the tree. Okay, which tree?🤔 The living room tree and the dining room tree are too formal…

    the ocean tree is not thematically correct…

    and there is no room under the bedroom tree because of the large 4 foot stuffed Santa Claus…plus Daisy has issues with moving things.

    That leaves me with only one option…buy a new tree…lol. And since it is going in the sunroom with the other outdoor themed decorations, lets make it an outdoor tree…so here we have the bird tree featuring many owls. And below we have the working train carrying its many imaginary visitors home for Christmas.

    So as you enjoy the fun parts of Christmas, remember the heart of and why we do Christmas. God sent us a marvelous gift that came to give us life and to show us His power love that is to be shared with all of creation. Merry Christmas and remember to always be kind.

    Always Be Kind