Smiling… and Laughter

As you go day to day do you think about the things that make you smile? When heading to work today, I passed a car that had two dogs in the back seat and both of them had their heads out the window, tongues flapping in the breeze. Dogs are so funny. I know that if Mimi gets loose which has happened a couple of times, if I go after her in the car and open the door for her, she will jump right in. The only time she has ever been in the car is when we go to the vet. Does she love going to the vet? Don’t think so, she just likes riding in the car. Her silliness always makes me smile.

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On guard for anything that may be on the sidewalk

Other things that make me smile is my flowers. They bring in that beauty of creation and they seem to smile when the sun splashes in their face.

Then there is the bulb that bloomed again this spring, the angel holding a flower pot …or the birds helping to grow sunflowers.

All of these make me smile…but what makes us laugh. Why does watching someone slip, knowing they didn’t get hurt, make us laugh. Or a clown throwing a pie at someone else can make us laugh. Silliness. I have seen women get so tickled and laugh so hard they are making no sound what so ever, just tears. I want to stop them and remind them to breathe. Too funny. Laughing people make us laugh. And how about the most precious laugh that there is…a babies laugh. I don’t know too much else as sweet. About a week ago my daughter and I went out to eat and while we were there a family with a grammar school age child and a baby were eating about 3 table over from us. The older child got the baby laughing and the baby was so tickled it got that end of the restaurant snickering and giggling. It was marvelous to have so many strangers all laughing at the same time without understand what the baby thought was funny. We took that joy with us as we left. Laughter a true release of joy.

In Genesis, Abraham and Sarah both laughed at the Lord. Not something I would recommend doing but know the circumstances, I can understand. Sarah was 90 and Abraham was 100 and the Lord told them she was going to have a child. Wow. And when the child was born they named him Issac, which means ‘he who laughs’.

So I remind you to store up for yourselves the smiles of life and the joys of laughter and share them with others in kindness. Kindness shared with smiles can create laughter so smile often and be kind.

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Are They People or Animal?

Max n Mimi 2
Are they people or animal

With some this can be a tough question. They look like animals, smell like animals but some of their actions make us questions people or animal? So lets compare a few instances?

1- Only people can snore right? So then who in my house snores the loudest, Mimi or Max or the two legged people?

Both of these are snorers…and log sawing loud.

2-How about getting or never gets treats and having to settle for being under the table?

3-Or maybe the sleeping arrangements will help us decide?

And I know in some instances, some “animals” are smarter than some people? I don’t have pictures of that but you know its true.

Our dogs are our family. We love enjoy them, spoil them, laugh at them and miss them terribly when they are gone. So my answer to the title question is  YES.

But most of all they are family. And like family they can get aggravating when the steal most of the bed, stand on the back of the sofa to guard us from the mail, UPS or the occasional plastic bag that the wind carries through the yard. Or when they beg mercifully for food they have no business eating but like us, know its pretty tasty and let us not forget the free fumigation we get from them when they do eat things they have no business eating…like people.

Our four legged family members are precious and a gift from God. If you look closely enough you can see the gifts God gives them to give to us, like unconditional love or the ability to sit next to you when you are sad and lift your spirits with a gently nudge or sloppy kiss. And they are always there for you. They know no meanness…unless they have been taught it and sadly that does happen.

But I remind you today to give your pet some extra kindness. Let them know you love them almost as much as they love you for their love has extra power from above and that is hard to match. And as you receive that love given from your 4 legged friend, remember to share it with others and spread God’s love and kindness where ever you go.

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For the Love of…Beauty

beauty

 noun

beau·​ty | \ ˈbyü-tē  \
plural beauties

Definition of beauty

1the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit. 
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What an odd but very true statement. Which is why
we have so  many types of visual art expression.
Then there is photography with just as many ways to take pictures. Art comes from the
heart of the individual which is kind of what the definition states, pleasure to the senses.
I love nature and see much beauty in nature whether it be in the form a painting or a
photograph. And the sense of pleasure can be from the massiveness of the art or the
delicateness of the art.
In my opinion, the best artist of nature is God. He can take moisture and heat and roll
them together to create a dangerous system that boils and billows in the sky until it can
no longer contain itself before it falls again to the earth anywhere from a gentle rain to
dangerous winds and hail that are destructive. I watch this upcoming storm today as it
moved into our area and was moved by its massive and fearsome beauty.
While earlier today I was enamored by the beauty of my miniature blooms in my
hanging baskets. So tiny and delicate but an equally beautiful creation of God.

And I think that bares in mind how he created us. We are all different sizes, colors, have

different likes, talents and gifts from Him to do His purpose. Even those who seem like

they have nothing to give or are trapped in a body that doesn’t function like others and

we have  to have artificial means to be able to function. Praise God for those devices. The

point is, we are all valuable, gifted, needed and used by God. Regardless of our

circumstances or our mobility issues. Nothing is ever wasted by God.

So I remind you of your beauty so that you can remember the beauty of others and

always show kindness as a means of this beauty.

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The Strongest Little Word

My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel–it is, before all, to make you see.”
― Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

How profound is the written word when by the mere use of it you can empower an individual to achieve wondrous things but in the same manner it can also destroy beyond any hope of ever rebuilding. In scripture, James chapter 3 reminds us that while the tongue is small, its small spark can create a great forest fire. Words have impact, good and bad. But then there are also words that I call transitional words, as in cause and effect words. One of these such words is one of the tiniest words in the English language and has immense impact regardless of which side of the fence it falls on. It is even used in mathematical equations.

And that word is “IF”. Examples: If the rain would fully stop and the sun would shine, the flood waters would abate faster. See, caused / effect. Or how about, if I would not eat that piece of chocolate mousse pie, it would help me lose the 10 pounds needed to fit in those jeans. Algebra uses if, excel uses if, people use if and God uses if. There is even a song called If.

But I come with one of my favorite verses in all scripture that resonates the power of the word “if”. Such a simple word, with a simple request, creating …power and peace.

II Chronicles 7:14 – if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Cause / effect:  if…will humble, pray, seek and turn…then I will forgive and heal. Little tiny word, very powerful use.

The first hurdle to jump over – being humble. We live in a world where being humble is a negative concept without understanding the power in being humble. Next you have pray. Do we really understand the power in prayer and do we use it for even the small stuff therefore not using it much at all. Then there is seeking God, oh that’s heavy. The Israelites were terrified of him and knew that if you were to fully look on his face you would die. Then there is turn from you sin. That’s a hard one and while 95% of us have never done anything worthy of jail time, we still sin. But if we would, he would. Little tiny word, great big impact.

So I remind you today of God’s ever growing desire of love toward you and how easy and hard it is to ask for that love as it is given freely. If you ask Him, he will reach out and pull you close.

First day

Try to you will keep the word if in your day to days doings. You would be surprised of the impact it would have. If your outgo is sour, you will reap sorrow. If your outgo is gentle, you will reap goodness. So I remind you to drop your if moments in kindness and let the effects spread out in gentle ripples wherever you go.

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Kind words are a creative force, a power that concurs in the building up of all that is good, and energy that shows blessings upon the world.  Lawrence G. Lovasik

 

In Keeping With Mother’s Day

In service today, Pastor Rob showed how parents, and today, mothers are innately equipped to follow His lead in care for our children like he is forever caring for us.

Deuteronomy 33:27 says ‘The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.’ How many times have we as Christians run back to His arms of safety. Don’t think I can count that high.

Mother’s are forever spreading their arms of protection. Think about how our arms fling out when we have to stop in  car suddenly…even when our children are young adult…or older. I have even seen my daughter do it with me. Protectors or those we love.

Now I am fully aware that not all children got that protection or love, but remember, you have a father in heaven that does have that protection and love to even a greater scale than our mothers. After all, we mothers are human and make mistakes. But God does not make mistakes. Psalm 23 tells us over and over how much he loves.  ‘The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.’ Although in our humanness, we may want something different, He provides us what we need. ‘He makes us lie down in  green pastures, He leads us by still waters, He restore my soul.’ He provides calm and comfort for us in a chaotic world. He is our encouraging force that has no limit. And my favorite verse, ‘I will fear no evil, for you are with me.’ Can you name any of the times he protected you. How about your mom. Can you remember the times she stood between you and danger.

So this day I salute all mothers, all mothers….

We are all trying to protect the little ones we love. May you all understand the important role you serve and never forget…He’s got your back.

mothers day

mother kind

Rise and Stand Tall

Life can be scary and overwhelming when those floodwaters of life seem to dump on top of your head and threaten to drown you. But I encourage you today to rise and stand tall. God has not forgotten you. Scripture tells us over and over that he is always there beside us. Deuteronomy 31:6 says ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified…the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.’Then all through Joshua, II Chronicles, Psalms, Isaiah and Hebrews, he reminds us over and over ‘I will never forsake you.’ Then there is a full page of reference notes of God saying how much he loves you- I Chronicles 17:13, ‘I will never take my love from you.’

Here in the midwest we are beginning to see the river start to go down. Second street in sections is dry and the chairs at the Le Claire Park band stand can be seen poking their backs out of the water, standing tall. I thought the picture below showed the resilience that nature shows us about their survival and if they can rise and stand tall, then we must as well. God always shows us small signs that he is with us every step, just look around.

Tulips
Rise and stand tall

These tulips are a testimony of survival as their street is still underwater and we should follow their lead, rise above the floodwaters of life and stand tall. God will be standing right next to us.

May you all have a calm and beautiful weekend. I know some parts of the nation are still having major issues of storms; my prayers for you is safety and feeling God’s peace. And in the midst of all storms, there is usually a moment when kindness will be needed. I remind you to always be kind when the helplessness of life can effect us all.

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Bloom With Encouragement

This week I have had several “situations” which were not meant to be hurtful but to a more fragile person, it could have been devastating. I am always aware of how powerful words are and how they can uplift or tear down and I push always to build up. We are all creations of a loving God who we, as a creation, sometime forget and walk away form that love, sometimes because of a harsh word from another. Today I read a post that needs reposting as it affirms God’s continual love for us and how he is forever encouraging us. I saw a picture on Pinterest the other day that really speaks to me…”What ever you are praying for…hold on. I am already on it and help is on the way.” Don’t let the discouragement of this world wilt your beautiful bloom but reach to the Son who loves you. Enjoy this post by Gracespeaker and be encourage for the love all around you. And as always, remember to be Kind.

Five Actions to Prevent Wilting