Attitude of Hope and Love

There is so much sadness in this word today. So many broken promises, so many hurts both physically and mentally but I cling desperately to the spiritual truth of God’s love for me and all of mankind and of course for His creation with all its components. He said after creating the world at the beginning that it was good.

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And it was meant for good but alas, it failed due to the weakness of man and the trickery of the evil one. It failed due to the misunderstanding and distrust of man of God. It failed because man forgot the first love. Not our first love that we remember but we have forgotten that HE loved us first.

So many have become so complacent with the world that God is no longer even in their picture.  Then they question those of us who still hang on to God’s hand and His love for us asking “WHY??”. My answer to them is…

I would rather live my life fully believing in a God that loves me, will take care of me, will guide me in all ways but when I go to die, only to realize the belief I encourage myself and others of the joy and peace we felt through our entire lives was only our imagination and none of our beliefs were true and once you are dead its over…..   Than to live my life not thinking anything about a God that loves me, throwing all of my life and cares to the wind and doing everything that pleased only me, never thinking of the harm or discord I brought to anyone or anything else, then to die and realize in horror that I was wrong. There was in fact a loving God who loved me and cared for me and now…it is too late for me and I am lost forever.

That would be the saddest scenario that I can imagine. May we all strive to believe that there is a just, loving and compassionate God who left us an instruction book called the Bible to guide us in any way that we need, to help us face our toughest day, and to show us how to feel the joy of His peace that he offers us through His grace to all of His creation and that He does dearly love us.

And may we remember to reflect His love by showing the kindness He so heavily graces us with so that we in turn we can give it to those who have forgotten His ways and maybe bring them a smile and a hope of His love for them.

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Master of …, #JusJojan

It’s a word than dons power or specialty as in “master of my house” or “jack of all trades and master of none”; then in golf there is the Masters Tournament each spring in Augusta Ga. or in biblical times and even up to current times there is the master/slave relationships of people. For today’s Jot in January we are following Linda and Sadje’s prompt of master and since it is also a Sunday my mind went only in one direction – The Master.

It is my belief that all people follow. Even those that lead, follow. They follow what they believe to be the truth according to their own priorities and these priorities are gain by things they have lived through and assessed to be the truth in their hearts and mind. And  that truth is their master.

Look at all the good and bad leaders of this world we have seen thus far. They lead from their hearts and were able to convince others that his/her priorities were correct and true until someone else came along with a better idea of what they believe to be true. I think in each person’s heart, whether it be for mastering his own life or mastering the hearts of a nation, it starts with being true to what he believes as the truth and that therein is the root of the problem.

In  John 18:37, Jesus explains to Pontius Pilate that he is the witness of the truth where Pilate retorted “What is truth”. Philippians 4:8 reminds us that “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on such things.”

In my opinion when you take life and boil it down to the stickiness left in the bottom of the pan there are only two defining truths and therefore two defining masters – the Masters of Good and Evil and who those Masters are. You can walk in the gray matter between the two for a while but there will be a day where a choice will need to be made. The first choice you have to make and that choice will decide your direction of choices is do you even believe there really is a Good Master and Evil Master.

My beliefs are there is definitely a Good Master and an Evil being that wants to be a master but has already lost. He is just going to take as many as he can away from the Good Master through his trickery and lying by deceiving those into believing the Good Master is not the truth. The choice is intimately up to each individual as he searches for his own truth and that which makes him happy.

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The choice

 

Everything we do in life is a choice and my hope is that more of us choose the Good Master as he will bring to us the love, tenderness and kindness we are all so hungry for.

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The Dark Side of the Moon

The moon is our satellite and reflects the light of the sun to the earth. I like to refer to the moon as God’s night light for the earth. The light side temperatures from the suns heat reaches around 100c and since the moon having no atmosphere to either protect the surface from sun’s heating, or guard the dark side from freezing, the dark side drops quickly to -173c. A major contrast from side to side.

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When the astronauts landed on the moon, they were marveled at the beautiful blue marble that was their home. And knowing what we know today of earth and space, earth has the perfect atmosphere to support life while using the values of the sun yet being protected from it dangerous rays at the same time.

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Its a perfect world for all of us to live on…as long as we as humans don’t destroy it, which we seem to want to do. Not on purpose mind you but in striving to do what each person thinks is the better way and we all have a different opinion on what that is.

Today is World Kindness Day. It’s the opportunity for us to all come together for 1 day to try to make a difference through all cultures across the entire world. We as a single person showed kindness to one person, then  kindness would grow to the next person, then it could grow through the neighborhood, the town, the sate, the country…to the entire world. What an amazing concept that would be to have 1 day of total kindness across the entire world. Then maybe we could stretch it to 2 days….

If we would be more like the light side of the moon, reflecting the warmth and love of life, instead of being cold, closed off, dark or even scary like the dark side of the moon…think of how much better that would be for all of us.

A single act of kindness is NEVER wasted. While you may think you would not do much good, you may be the spark that is needed to warm a cold scared heart. It has been proven that a single smile can reflect an inner love that can change that sad or scared feeling of a person or animal. It can be contagious. Like a yawn, a smile prompts a response so smile today and show kindness. Kindness is one of the fruits of the spirit spoken of in scripture.

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Time is Getting Short. Get ready! #6WS

Time is getting short, I only have 2 weeks left to get ready for Christmas. What? Its not even Halloween yet. True. But I have to have the yard fully ready for winter, the front door cleaned and painted from Mimi’s scratching this summer(it’s how she knocks), get the house fully cleaned inside and everything in its place so that I can decorate for Christmas and be completely ready by end of day November 8th.   November the 9th is RF day. RF day is surgery on the right foot, like the surgery in August on the left foot which means no walking at all for 3 weeks and very limited walking after that for another month. I am not missing out on Christmas so we decorate early. I have no problem with that.

Accomplished so far is the yard is clean. Landscape people are coming on Tuesday to rebuild the back steps and to replace the rotting railroad timbers with large boulders. I have also finished painting the front door. It looks better gray than white and maybe it will hide Mimi’s “knocking” better.

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But I still have the 7′ tree for the living room, the 7′ tree for the front bedroom, the 4′ tree and village(20+ pieces) for the dining room table, the two foot tree for the kitchen and master bath and then there are the 5 different nativity sets that need to go up, one set having candles along with countless “stuff” that sits everywhere. Yes, I have a fanatic love for Christmas, what it means and decorating for it. Oh, and I forgot the 4′ stuffed Santa that I won when  I was 12. Here is a picture of him last year trying to hang lights on the tree. He is so clumsy and gets tangled every year in lights. But he loves to look at the tree.

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Silly Santa

Debbie Smyth’s Six Word Saturday reminded me just how short a time I have left to get it all done.  But when it all gets done I will post pictures….lots and lots of pictures. Oh and I didn’t mention downstairs. My daughter lives down stairs and she is just as bad as I am. We set aside one day a year, the off day for Ga. football, to do ornament shopping. We like to buy 1 new and interesting ornament every year….1…what am I saying? But its our fun tradition each year and we have a blast.

And in closing, I remind myself and others, it’s beginning to be that joyful time of year. We need to make it last longer than just this time of year.  Spread joy and kindness wherever you go.

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Colloquialism, A $5 word – #SoCS

Colloquialism is described in Webster’s as a word or phrase that is not formal or literary and is typically used in ordinary or familiar conversations.  That even sounds complicated.

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I am from the south, the true south of the United States of America. And by true south, as explained only by someone from the true south, that means east of the Mississippi River and below the Mason-Dixon Line. While some people feel that part of the country can  be more gentile, they can also be more scrappy than most.

As I have lived in other parts of the country, my southernisms have been known to turn a head or two. Most people just look at you like a deer in headlights. All southernisms are local terms or phrases we use in the south that we all understand what they mean. Proper name for them is colloquialism, a $5 word. A $5 word is big word, a hard to pronounce word, a dictionary looking up word or a very proper word nobody really uses. One of the most famous southernism  we get teased about is a phrase we use that means we are getting ready to do something. That phrase is “fixin to”  ex. I am fixin to get dressed.  I am fixin to cook up a mess of beans. That means I am going to cook a large pot of beans. There is even a certified dictionary for southernisms but I have read some of those and some of those are ridiculousness that somebody just made of to make us look even more silly.

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It’s the way we speak y’all
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The word sugar ends with an “h” in  the south.

Linda G Hill with Streams of Consciousness gave us the prompt for this week of “bone”.  My first thought was fighting words  – huh? When someone ticked you off but yet they were not present, the next time you saw them you would yell across the room “Hey, I gotta bone to pick with you“. Then they knew they were in trouble with a capital T. That phrase may be used lots of places but I know the south does use it frequently. In doing research on the phrase, they linked it to bone of contention going back as far as the 1500 with the idea of two dogs fighting over the same tasty bone.

I gave Mimi and knuckle bone I got from a local butcher and she turned her nose up at it. Guess she is too sophisticated for the real thing and prefers her “chicken bone”.

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Chicken Flavor? Really?

Who am I to judge? She is happy, I am happy. Its all good.

And in closing, I remind myself and others to always be kind. You never know when that stranger may be an angel in disguise.

 

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The Value of Man-Fruit

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What type of fruit do you produce?

Have you ever thought of how you treat others as producing fruit? Think of how you feel when someone is rough with you. It hurts like a barb from a pine cone. If you are not familiar with that analogy I promise its no picnic. Then in the opposite direction you have someone who is over sweet in action but you can tell its not sincere, I smell a rotten orange here.

I find it interesting that there are 27 references in the bible (old testament and new) that compares how you treat others as ‘bearing fruit’. Fruit, back in biblical times, was probably not as abundant as it is today so it made a good reference to help people understand the sweetness of following God. Galatians 5:22 even list the Fruits of the Spirit – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Love, I believe is listed first as this is the binding agent of everything we do. All of these fruits overlap at times but consistent use of them only strengthens our trunk. Colossians 1:10 tells us to bear fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. And Matthew 7:16 reminds us that by their fruit you will recognize them. And Jesus also reminds us in Matthew  12:33 “Make a tree good…for a tree is recognized by its fruit.”

We are God’s tree and must strive to only bare good fruit. Do we slip up and and produce rotten fruit periodically? Yes but God’s grace plucks that bad fruit and tosses it in the nearest trash can, pruning that branch to strengthen it where good fruit will again be produced. It’s a process that we must cultivate and fertilize daily.

Of all of the fruits listed, my favorite is kindness. Even when you are hurt or angry and in a dark place, if you can pull kindness from your tree, the rotten fruit trying to sprout will not be allowed to fester and grow. Sometimes your kindness may be all that is needed to break the ice of a frozen pond of fear and rejection.

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Remember…

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To the tiniest creature be kind

 

 

A Couple of Beliefs? from Old

October is a time when Hollywood throws out all the adrenaline rush garbage of horror movies. Me, I am not a fan but I know plenty who love a good horror movie and Hollywood keeps them coming as they make money. I saw recently on the science channel the stories of mythical beast, like flying dragons and bull/man type animals that walk on two legs.

When we see something we can not understand and try to describe it to others, they may not believe it and mythical tales can begin to take shape.Take for instance the book of Revelation and all the the things John saw that he could not explain easily where the readers would understand what he was seeing. So to some, Revelations is mythical and far fetched in nature. To Christian it is truth and we accept his vision on faith.

I want to touch on two stories that were believed truths of their time that I find almost humorous now due to our knowledge of today. One is biblical and one goes back to the 1400’s  or further.

The biblical story is the Tower of Babel as told in the book of Genesis in chapter 11:4 and it says “Come let us build a city with a tower to the heavens”. Now their purpose of this tower was not to honor God but to honor themselves which then created the story we now believe to be true.

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Babel

Knowing what we learned say 100 years ago, much less what we know about the heavens today, the tower would still be under construction, still not reaching even through the outer atmosphere. The size of the tower would have to cover the entire face of one side of earth and still not be big enough.

Every day we are learning more on how vast space is and just how tiny we are and for someone to think a tower could  be built that could reach the heavens makes me smile. The earth’s atmosphere from ground up is about 300 miles – that would be a tall building. These are currently the tallest buildings worldwide.

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Another ancient story we now scoff at is the theory of the world being flat and if you sailed to the oceans edge you will fall off and be eaten by huge monsters that live there.

Our world is a beautiful roundish ball of amazing complexity created for us to live on. If we were on Venus, we would burn up, if on Mars we would freeze.

What a magnificent blue marble we live on. May we always protect her as I feel she is very angry right now. We have not been good stewards of her beauty and resources.

And in closing I always remind us all the wonderful gift of Kindness. May we spread it like jelly on toast, thick and sweet.

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Art as Perceived by the Artist

Sue W gives us a photo prompt this week of finding a work of art in anything you see. There is art all around us in nature from gorgeous flowers to the leaves beginning to turn.

Then, it is fall and those those of us who have been in the automotive industry know that the new cars are coming out. The art mindset they went through to create the new design from paper to model to car. It’s all very fascination.

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When I moved here from the south I was surprised to see a large mural on a train overpass that featured sea life. Yes, we are on the Mississippi but we are 1 state below Canada, now where near any ocean.

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Reference to how long it is

The opposite side of the artwork had the head of the octopus and this side shows it holding odd objects, like a pencil? Not sure I understand the artist meaning here.

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Maybe the Octopus is the artist

But I was tickled most by the small insignificant object that I wonder if the artist did it on purpose or did it just happened that way.

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We all live in a yellow submarine….

The Beatles and the art of music, yet another form of the many forms of wondrous art. I close copying the picture from Sue’s post as it is classic truth.

And I fully agree with #3

And I say, as I always do, a reminder to me as much to you, always be kind, it will save your mind. A poet I am  not. Have a great weekend.

 

Analyzing the Past #3, Final Chapter

Is there ever really a final chapter? Probably not but there is a moment of closure of old before going to new. And this is the hard one for me to post but the one I have been working towards for approximately…10 years give or take. But it has been the  last two years that I knew what I needed to do and have been trying to get it done but it has been very hard…Forgiveness.

All the way back into in Genesis 50:17, scripture tells us the importance of forgiving those who treat you badly. All through the bible forgiveness is talked about : Exodus, Numbers, Nehemiah, multiples in Psalms, Daniel and Micah and that’s just the old testament. Then there is Matthew 18:21-22 where Jesus tells us to forgive 70 times 7. That’s a lot of forgiving. But why??? Colossians 3:13 tells us why – Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

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Forgiveness

If you have read my series on Analyzing the Past #1 & #2 you will probably understand where I am going with this. My mother had drinking issues and I did not learn the lessons from her on how to correctly chose a mate and I chose poorly. I choose someone who had just as much garbage in his closet as I did and due to his mother’s issues he was an abusive man. He didn’t mean to be and hours before his death we were able to resolve most of our issues. He was physically abusive to me but verbally abusive to the children. When he got sick, a combination of diabetes and heart disease, the children were also able to get resolution for his treatment of there past but the damage is still there.

So with the help of professional counseling, strong christian friends, prayer and the love of Jesus I was able to forgive my mother and my husband for bad treatment of me. So about 2 years ago, I realized I was still angry but could not figure our why. I was notorious for going back by the cross where I had laid things at Jesus feet that I could not handle and try to pick them up again. I don’t think I am alone there. A lot of us are fix it people and sometimes you just have to Let Go and Let God. For this issue I didn’t think I was picking up and throwing away the forgiveness I had bestowed on my mother and husband but there was still a deep resentment gnawing inside me an d I did not know where it was coming from.

Last year we got a new pastor and after several months he started a new study series on forgiveness. During that series it dawned on me that I still had someone I had not forgiven and I was not sure I ever could. Lots of hurt, lots of resentment still on the table. When someone does you wrong you can find ways to reconcile that and come to forgiveness. BUT, as a mother and having someone who through their caustic behaviors and down right selfishness caused pain for her children, the woman’s grandchildren  – that is hard to forgive. Even in  her will after she died, my husbands mother struck out against at my children. And now I find it hard not to scream HOW DARE YOU? And this woman was a pillar in her church. Wow.

So this is the last leg of my journey of forgiveness for my resentment of my past. I feel n o resentment issues and think I have her fully forgiven until I run across a person that reflects that same attitude and I have to guard myself, or my tongue as it were, so that I don’t make things worse. Then I have some deep prayer time to do to get me back on the even plane God needs me on. But its hard.

No one, no one, no one ever has the right to be mean to another person whether is  physically, verbally or emotionally. And when you face this type of situation you have to be strong, dig deep and Let go and Let God. He will take care of it, he is the final judge, not us. A hard pill to swallow sometimes.

So now you may understand why I am such an advocate of kindness. Did you know that it takes more muscles in your face to create a frown and it does to make a smile. I think that is God’s way  of telling us to smile more, its less work.

And as I always say, Be kind. Today’s kind thought may not save the world but it may save the world of that one person.

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Kindness

Enjoy you weekend. Its going to be  a wet one for us. But we are smiling, no more 90 degree days for a while.