George, The Hornworm

This is George. He is a hornworn caterpillar or rather a sphinx moth caterpillar. See that little pointy thing on his rear end? Or maybe its his head, not sure, all I know is he and his friends are eating up my tomato plant. If it was early summer I would be upset but my one plant is about gone so I picked all tomatoes of any size and brought them inside. They can ripen in the window.

According to what I read, once they mature into moths, they are great pollinators and encouraged by some farming communities. Since the plant is on its way out, I will let it be the food for the two worms I see. George is quite large, about the size of my finger but pictures I saw on the internet show them to get even larger. So I will study him to see how he does.

As long as he stays where he is and does not get on any other plants, I will leave him but but…don’t mess it up George or you will be a gonner.

All life and creation has a purpose, you just have to weigh what wildlife you have around you to see if you allow it to stay…if it had 8 legs….no, no, no. Don’t care if any spider is beneficial, stay out of my yard and if you come in the house…

While we try to be kind to all kinds…there is a limit to which crawly things I will tolerate. But try as much as you can to be kind when you can…

From Frustration to Kindness

God reminded me today to “Sit – Breathe – Relax – Love – Be Kind”. We all have those days when someone just pushes all the wrong buttons. I don’t have those days often but they usually come about when someone…rather when I feel someone is being …no  I am not going to say that word… so I will say when someone does not use the intelligence you know they have. And when that someone is someone in your family…well family is different and can be more frustrating because you know exactly how they operate. But then I think about how I frustrate God and He definitely knows exactly how I operate. I am sure He does a lot of Sit – Breathe…well, you get the idea.

He teaches us how to treat others in any capacity that we encounter them, then He reminds us through the lessons of the Fruit of the Spirit how people need to be treated. If we are given a choice of being intellectually right versus allowing our heart to show kindness in how we behave…then being kind should always win out over being right.  And like my Pastor said in the bible study on Wednesday, it’s the trials and situations that we face that strengthens us so we can survive and hopefully bring others along with us who are watching us and how we behave and then they want to survive as well because with all the frustration we were still kind.

It is through His grace that we are saved and while we ourselves can not save anyone…we can show the benefits of God’s love and salvation by being kind, loving and supportive. As we are currently going through odd and difficult times, allow His strength to cover any weakness you feel as you breathe in His love. Then you can breathe out His grace for you and others around you. And together, you and God, will have all the strength you need for any situation.

I leave you with a little humor…that says a lot. Have a great evening and new day tomorrow.

The Old Oak Tree

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The Cycle of Life

I sit and I wonder at the beauty I see

The flicker of the light through the old oak tree

Shimmering green against the pale blue sky

Watching the birds zoom through as they fly

The grass beneath is beginning to turn brown

Still you hold every leaf so it doesn’t fall down

As the air turns cooler for this time of year

I look for the colors changes we hold so dear

For many the oak is a symbol of great life

With its strength and resilience bypassing its strife 

She holds on to her leaves and sheds them last

A reminder to us all, this life goes too fast

We forget the truths of the stories we are told

That life is a cycle much purer than gold.

Anita Neal

With the understanding of life as we live through it paces, lets us never forget the stories of old that teach us the values that come from life, nature and God’s wonderful story of you. We are each His greatest creation because we reflect His love and His being. Like the old oak tree understanding the value of each leaf, God understand the value of each of us. Remember how precious you are to God and reflect His kindness wherever you go.

 

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Through the Eyes of Daisy

Daisy Mae

My name is Daisy, looking at you, or Daisy Mae to be fully true.

You see my color of black is true, but tonight I feel the color of blue.

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Odd people were here, may one, no two, painting the walls, it’s smells phew

I bumped her leg, for something to do, she said no, what’s a dog to do?

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I pick up my bone and begin to chew, I found a great holder, her old yard shoe

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This was not fun, so left it askew, I stretch out long, yeah, I am looking at you.

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I am bored, just wanting something to do, she said no, what’s a dog to do.

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My name is Daisy, since I’ve nothing to do, I send out a hello especially for you.

Anita Neal

 

And as always remember to be kind to all kinds.

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An Encouraging Word, Joy

Good evening friends. I am hoping to spread a little “JOY” in your direction this evening and maybe bring a smile to your face.  I love the acronym below for “joy” as it helps put into perspective of how Jesus thought about joy. We as humans get it confused with happiness, as in emotion, and in reality it has nothing to do with happiness…to me, maybe love, as an action verb, is a better comparison. What can you see as a better comparison?

JOY
We are starting a new bible study at my church this week, a zoom bible study as its how the times are now. The study is based on the book of James and boy, James starts right out the box with his thoughts on Joy.
 
James 1 2-3
 
There is no fun in suffering and hard times. We are having a lot of those right now but if we get quiet for a moment and allow Jesus to overflow our thoughts, we can feel the joy rise up in us. Jesus reminded us in Mark that the things the world thinks we should care about can actually erode our joy as it pulls us away from the Word.
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But 1 Peter 1:8 reminds us that because we “believe in Him, we are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy”. It shows how on some mornings beyond all odds, we are able to keep going.
 
Nehemiah 8 10
 
Hebrews 12:2 puts a perspective on Joy that we sometimes forget but it is the main crux of HIS true JOY…His joy for us…
 
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Such a heartbreaking act of love He went through for us but such a joyous act according to Him. But we try not to dwell on the horrors of this gift and instead we dwell on the love of this non repayable gift and let the joy of it fill our hearts.
 
John 15 11
 
I leave you with these lasting words from Paul as he encouraged the Romans so you too can hang on to the Hope from the Holy Spirit and find your joy and peace.
 
romans 15 13
 
When allowing the joy and peace to overflow you, remember the kindness that can come from the heart because of the joy you may feel. Always be kind.
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Friends on the Couch

How many of you love to sit around and enjoy each other’s company? Envision a group of family or friends sitting around and laughing as they tell stories of old. Sometimes they are scary, sometimes they make us laugh and sometimes they make us cry. But being together with friends and loved ones is what makes the stories worthwhile.

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This morning as I read through the Jesus Calling devotional, I remembered many times of the full pleasure this brings us. I recently wrote a book showing how much fun this could be with wonderful groups of friends or family just sitting around telling stories from the past. But we need to remember, there is a very important friend we need to invite that desperately wants to be a part of our group, he wants to join in with our fun, laughter and tears and that would be Jesus. He wants to be a part of every moment of your life.

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He can enrich our fun and turn our dull grayness to wonderful brightness. When we get stuck in the dullness of everyday tasks, we have a tendency to to forget life’s joy and we descend into the unfocused grayness of discouragement. But if we realize this is happening and refocus our minds and hearts back on Him,  He will lift us back where we need to be, guiding us back to Him on a wonderful bright path of joy.

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Yes, this sounds a little far fetched and an unreal way of thinking, but I promise it is very real and well worth the try. We were each created for a purpose that only He knows and guides and we are never meant to do it without Him.

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His presence goes with us, wherever we may go. You may not feel His presence, you may even deny He is there, but I promise you He is always there. There is a saying that zips through facebook and other social mediums stating that while we prove to Him many times that we am not worthy of His love, He ignores it and loves us anyway. How can you not want that sitting with you on the sofa.

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So my theory is this, if He is going to be there anyway, then offer Him a seat on the sofa and watch the room begin to glow with His love and presence. And when he reaches over to take your hand, grab it firmly in yours and hold on tightly, it will be a fantastic ride.

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I leave you with this prayer of encouragement.  Ask Him to remain close to you and guide your way…He has already said yes.

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And as always remember to be kind. It is the most under rated quality of mankind.

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