Friday, December 23, 2011

the irony of the Christmas story - the wise men

He came, not as a flash of light or as an unapproachable conqueror, 
but as one whose first cries were heard by a peasant girl and a sleepy carpenter. 
The hands that first held him were unmanicured, calloused, and dirty.

No silk. No ivory. No hype. No party. No hoopla.

Were it not for the shepherds, there would have been no reception. 
And were it not for a group of stargazers, there would have been no gifts.
 Max Lucado 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

the irony of the Christmas story ~ the shepherds

I want to share two (2) thoughts with you that I find rather ironic, surprising if you will,  about the shepherds and the Christmas story.  I love God’s sense of humor. 

Did you know that Bethlehem was right ‘under the nose’ of King Herod?   I didn’t, until a few years ago. 

The Herodian, the largest fortress-palace of the ancient world was built on the highest point of the Judean Desert.  It literally looked down on Bethlehem.  The Herodian could be seen from anywhere in Bethlehem.  It would have been a rather formidable symbol of King Herod’s power hanging over the city.  It has been said that the shadow of the Herodian moves across Bethlehem as the sun sets. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Let there be light

. . . and there was light.  God saw that the light was good"   (Genesis 1:3-4)

I put up the tree last evening and as I plugged in the lights, I said “Let there be light”!  

All the lights of the holidays 
  • the lights on the tree
  • the star on the top of the tree
  • the candles flickering
  • the twinkling beams radiating from the wreaths
  • the glow from the garlands
  • the radiance from the candles of the menorahs
remind me that it was our God who created LIGHT

Have you ever noticed how many times or ways that LIGHT is involved in the Christmas story? 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I've been blessed

I was so excited and blessed today when I discovered that I had been awarded the neat Liebster award from Grace InAz.   Thank you, Grace.  You made my day.  
She had stopped by my blog recently and liked it.   
Check our Grace's  blog at:  Growing-old-with-grace
I know you will like it as much as I do.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Let us remember

"Our faith would be stronger if we would remember 
what God has done for us in the past. 

For some reason, as humans, we seem to remember 
all the hurts and tragedies of our past, 
but forget the good that has happened. 

“Some saints have very short memories. 

It has been well said that we write our benefits in dust 
and our injuries in marble,
 and it is equally true that we generally inscribe 
our afflictions upon brass,
while the records of the deliverances 
of God are written in water."
C. H. Spurgeon   (from "The Lion & the Bear") 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The ONE who's gone astray

The farmer searches for his calf, when he finds him, he carries him out
 (Paraphase John 10:3)

(Look closely  behind all the cattle (in the very center of the picture above)  you can see the good farmer coming out from behind the bush, carrying his calf.)  
        Even though the farmer may own 100, he will leave the 99, 
to go in search of the 
one who has gone astray.   Matthew 18:12  

He gathers the lambs (calves) in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.   Isaiah 40:11 (NIV)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An "Ordinary" Day

As I pull out of the hospital parking lot, all the errands that need done this late afternoon are rushing around in my head. Which do I do first?  If I do such-an-such first, then the other place might be closed.  Oh my!  I'm running late.  Why was today like today?

I hate running errands after work.

I love going straight home to the comfort and solitude of my  house.  I need a  time of quiet  - of rest.  You know - hit the couch and put my feet up before I face the evening. 

A block from the hospital there he is . . . . . . 
the squirrel.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

He Knows My Name

At 10:16 on a rainy Sunday morning,
Many years ago TODAY,
I made a squalling entrance into this world

Mom reminded me this morning!!

There have been a few unexpected and
unwanted paths.

There have been many joyous and welcomed retreats.  

All I really needed to know was,
“He Knows my name” 

Remember that
Life is short !!
Hug your children
Tell your family and friends that you love them

Love fully
Forgive quickly
Count your blessings. 

And  . . .  do not forget:

He Knows Your Name!
He knows YOU!
He will bring you out.
He will bring you through.

He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  John 10:3

Fear not, for I have redeemed  you;  I have called you by name;  you are mine.  Isaiah 43:1

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The day the planes fell . .

"One day everything changed.

I met neighbors I had never met before.

Strangers spoke openly and freely to one another.

People were unusually courteous and thoughtful.

Famlies hugged each other and walked to church holding hands.

Strangers greeted each other with kindness and generosity.

No one cared about the color of anyone's skin,
the clothes they wore,
or their station in life.

I thought I had stepped into Heaven.

It was September 11, 2001."

~ John Welshons

What a profound observation of those days.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Memories . . .

I never cry, but here I am;
Sitting . . .
Surprised . . .
tears filling my eyes,
threatening to spill down my cheeks.


A small crop-duster plane just flew by outside my window. 

That's weird, you say!
Why would an airplane cause someone to cry?

In grief and loss, we never know when something -
     a sound
     a smell
     a picture
     or anything - will trigger a memory. 

It just suddenly overwhelms and engulfs us with deep sadness,
with no warning. 

And  - I was immediately overwhelmed with a deep sadness,
. . . . then all these memories started to flow over me. 
LOTS of bittersweet memories.

Bitter, because he died.
Sweet, because he lived. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

the other side of Mother's & Father's Day

Mother's & Father's Day is a day of:  struggle,  remorse, and grief for :
  • the parent who has lost a child, whether by miscarriage, as a young child or as an adult.  
  • the person who wanted to be a mother or father, but could not;  
  • the parent  who feels they should have been a better parent;
  • the parent whose child is in jail or prison;
  • the parent who is estranged from their children;
  • the person who gave up her child and wonders where that child is today.
  • the woman who aborted her child and wonders how they would look today.
  • any person who has lost their loving mother or father. 
  • any person who had an emotionally detached or abusive mother and/or father. 

For my husband and I, Mother's Day & Father's Day have been a bittersweet day.
For almost 26 years. 

Why Mother's Day?  Why Father's Day? 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Letter to my daughter

Today is my daughter's birthday.
Today is her first birthday since becoming a mother.
Today she understands, for the first time,  a mother's love for her child.

Below is a letter that I wrote to her on her 21st birthday.
I feel the same today as I did on the day I originally wrote it. 

Dearest Tammy Sue,

Once upon a time, exactly 21 years ago today, at 10:30am on a Sunday morning, a darling little dark-eyed girl was born. It was a day of great excitement at the hospital because never had so many little cherubs arrived in their midst at about the same time.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hope - No Winter Lasts forever!

 Today I've calmly  (and, I might add - fearlessly) wandered around  my yard looking for signs of spring.   Snapping a picture here and a picture there. (see pics below)   I always did need proof of everything.  It's most annoying sometimes.

Once again I'm reminded of the promise of spring - the hope of spring.    
The hope of better things, better times and better seasons to come,
and especially of an eternal home
with no tears,  no pain, no sickness,
no death,
no night.

But . . . right now I have work to do.
A life to live purposefully, as long as I live!   

Out of the ashes and dust we WILL rise.  If we allow it!
I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes, so live not in your yesterdays, no just for tomorrow, but in the here and now. Keep moving and forget the post mortems; and remember, no one can get the jump on the future.
The barren times are coming to an end! 
The dry seasons in life do not last.
The spring rains will come again. 
Sarah Ban Breathnach


The old will become new! 
Because of His great love we are not consumed, for His compassions
never fail.  They are NEW every morning.  Lam 3:21-23

A new day is coming!
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth.

Thomas Blackburn


No winter lasts forever
No Springs skips its turn
Hal Borland

   The birds will sing again!
 For, when the cheerless night passed by,
    The sun would wink his golden eye,
         And birds would sing again.
              John O'Brien

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Wind Sings ! !

Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy.  Psalms 96:12

There's music in the sighing of a reed;
There's music in the gushing of a rill;
There's music in all things,
if men had ears.
There earth is but an echo of the spheres
Lord Byron
Really?  The wind sings? 

Of course it does! 
I'm sitting here right now
listening to the wind,
singing in the cedar tree
outside window

Reminds me of my teenage years.                         
There was a very tall evergreen or pine tree
 of some sort outside my upstairs bedroom window. 
The tree was taller than the house.
I loved to go to sleep when the wind was blowing through that evergreen.
when the wind was singing through MY evergreen tree.
It would literally sing me to sleep. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Sister - 2012

The first memory I have of you - the little burden bundle of joy - was hearing your little cry from somewhere . . . . far off in the distance.  I do not remember seeing you – just hearing your cry. 

Well . . . . . . . . .  I think it was you.  Mom and Dad told me it was you.  But, they could have told me anything.  I was only 4 years old, had the mumps, was feverish, and was still extremely gullible. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011


The year's at the spring
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven -
All's right with the world!
~Robert Browning

A kind word is like a spring day.   Russian Proverb


Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm A Gonna Sing !

I woke up this morning at 6 am!!  
Wide awake!
I'm never wide awake at 6 am. 

I am NOT a morning person!
In my humble opinion, mornings should
NOT begin before 10 am!

More amazing though, I awoke with a song. 
Over and over the words were playing in my mind. 
I could not get rid of them. 

I grabbed my laptop and found the song
What a surprise!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Honk Honk!

This morning on the way to work, I saw a flock of geese.
They were the most disorganized, bunched-up, pathetic looking flock of geese I've ever seen. 
Flocks of geese have been flying north for a couple weeks now.  

I love to listen to their honking as they fly overhead. 
You can hear them long before you can see them.  
It seems rather soothing to me.

Wonder why they make all that noise ?

Seems like it would take up too much energy to honk while flapping their wings?  

Heaven knows I can't even walk fast and talk at the same time. 
I'm too busy gasping for breath.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hope Springs Eternal

The day the Lord created HOPE was probably the same day he created SPRING. ~ Bern Williams

 "If we had no winter,
the spring would not be so pleasant;
if we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome"
Anne Bradstreet

No winter lasts forever;  ~  Hal Borland

Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways.
The dry seasons in life do not last.
The spring rains will come again. 
Sarah Ban Breathnach

What a difference 10 days make!
10 days ago it was wind chill of  15 degrees below zero
Yesterday it was a heat index of  70 degrees above zero.
What's up with that???

Oh - it's a reminder that Spring is coming, whether it looks like it TODAY or not.
A few nice days to give us hope;
Saying - "Hang in there
Winter won't last forever" 

The robins are back! 
They arrived a week ago to find lawns & fields
covered in snow.
They sang anyway. 

Did you hear that?

I love their song.
In fact, this morning I woke up to a robin singing. 
Ahhhhh!  Spring is almost here. 
I just wanted to stay in bed and listen. 


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Spring is Coming !! ?? . . listening for the right voice.

Are we listening to the right voice?

I thought Spring was coming!  
Well . . that is what the groundhog said!  Didn't he? 

At least Punxsutawney Phil came out of his hole,
whispered his groundhogese in the ear of the
President of the Inner Circle - saying so.

The President of the Inner Circle said that's what he said.
But . . . . how would we know?   He could have said anything. 
It's been about a week since Phil's prophetic declaration.
Here I sit, wrapped up in a blanket

Snow is falling
Wind is blowing
Roads are drifting
Temperatures are dropping

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Squirrel Alert !! (Never Give Up)

Yesterday on my way to work,
I saw a squirrel trying to precariously
walk on TOP of the snow. 

I'll just say. . . . .   It was NOT going well. 
I know this may sound cruel - but I smiled. 
Well . . . OK!  I lied.  I laughed.  Out loud.

Reminded me of the saber-toothed squirrel, Scrat,  in "Ice Age". 

He is constantly putting his life in danger to hunt, obtain and protect his acorns  - for his future.

He invariably ends up in humorous or painful situations:
- struck by lightning,
- pursued by avalanches,
- stepped on by a mammoth
- repeatedly knocked unconscious.
- resuscitated just before entering
    acorn Heaven. 
- causing a volcanic eruption because of his
    method of trying to bury his acorn. 

He usually ends up losing. 

Yet !!  He never gives up.

I think that's why I love Scrat so much. 
He NEVER gives up! 

He fights all the EXTREME elements known to man and just keeps going. 
Undaunted in his sole task of collecting his acorns.

As I wrote in a October 18, 2009 post, while watching the squirrels in my own yard
 frantically and furiously gathering black walnuts while dodging the dogs: 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A New Year, A New Song

New Song
chādāš  šiyr

New is the Hebrew chādāš (2319) which indicates something new as in
 ‘never seen or done before’ 
Song  in Hebrew, is  Šiyr (7892) a type of lyrical or religious song.   It appears several times
in Ezra and Nehemiah to refer to songs of Levitical choirs. 
A wonderful meaning is created when these two words are used together.  
The term 'new song' appears 7 times in the OT and in each we see a new song
being composed in response to what God has done. 

Adam Clarke writes – “Fresh mercies call for new songs of praise and gratitude”. 
What could be more appropriate, as we start a new year
than to be reminded to sing a new song every day?  
After all, we have been promised new mercies each day from God. 
               Lamentations 3:21-23 (NIV)
                   21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
                   22 Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
                   23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
So each day's new mercies, new blessings, new joys, and
new triumphs should result in a new song from us. 
I sent the above comments about a new song to my parents on January 2nd. 
On January 5th, I received an e-mail response from my 88 y/o mother. 
After reading my e-mail my, Mom sat down and wrote me a new song - literally!