Recipes, Cake, Potholders, Pens

While eating a piece of this delicious cake, I’m writing this post.

Hershey loaves

This loaf is for Mom. She loves Hershey cake, and since she isn’t able to stand for long periods to do much baking, I thought I’d make it for her. I’m going down to visit her tomorrow.

Hershey loaf

I’ve been going through my recipes, reminiscing, organizing. I bought some binders to organize all my Pinterest recipes. I also went through my recipe box to organize them. I sure wish I had planned ahead, way back when I bought cards to match the box. I didn’t buy enough, for sure and since it was so long ago, Lang no longer makes this pattern of cards. Maybe it’s time to buy a new box. I’ll have to think about that. I’ve got so many recipes in the box written on lined index cards. They’re not pretty like the original card. I bought this box at a place called First Monday in Canton, TX. They have a huge trade days the weekend of the first Monday of every month, starting on Friday and ending Monday, though by Sunday most of the vendors are packing up and moving on til the next month.

recipe card & box

Here’s another recipe I had filed in the box. I don’t know who I got it from. I’ve never made the recipe but years back I talked Mom into making it for me. They are delicious. Don’t know why I’ve never made them. Please excuse the shadow in the photos. I snapped them tonight and my kitchen lighting is not so great.

Amish Cinnamon Rolls pg 1

Amish Cinnamon Rolls pg 2

Amish Cinnamon Rolls pg 3

Then there’s the potholders. I made these for Mom. I let her pick out the fabric. She doesn’t hang her potholders so I didn’t put a loop on them. I actually sewed 4 of them for her and I’ve got 2 matching kitchen mits cut out, ready to sew. I’m in the process of sewing some for myself too, different fabric for me.

Mom's pot holders

I’ve been doing a lot of sewing since I “retired” and I sure am enjoying myself. After the potholders, I plan to sew myself an apron. Then maybe I’ll start a plan for sewing some gifts. Is it too early to start Christmas planning?

pot holder

Lastly the pens. I had a favorite pen, until lately. I can’t seem to find a refill for it that works good. The major stores and office supplies don’t carry the blue ink any more. Doesn’t anyone use blue ink? I prefer blue but I do have some black ink pens. I’m kinda picky about my pens. I like Fine point, ball point pens. I do NOT like those gel pens or roller ball pens. They skip and I don’t have the patience to keep rewriting letters. That’s what’s been happening with my favorite pen. I found some blue refills on Amazon but when I used them, they also skip. Maybe the ink is very old. I don’t know but I got discouraged because I write my devotions and I need a pen that works.

pens

I threatened to my husband to buy a $100 pen on Amazon that works. You know that old saying, you get what you pay for. I think I put him in a panic so he brought a couple of pens home for me to try out. And I bought a box at the office supply store. I think the ones I bought will work, once I set them in a container where the ink will go down into the ball. Below is the one I’m using (one of the pens husband brought home). I might look on Amazon to see if they sell it. So far it’s working great.

the pen I chose

I’m doing a study on the phrase “I Will” in the Psalms. I use a marker to bold the words I Will. I think I’ll study “understanding” next. And then maybe “anointing”.

Do you hand write or use the computer? I find I remember something better if I hand write it. Especially names.

I gotta finish my cake so…

Y’all have a wonderful weekend. Keep warm.  :)

Karen

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The Fridge

front

This is our fridge. A little too busy looking, I know. Sometimes I think about clearing everything off of it. I decided I like looking at the stuff and reading what’s on there. My sister and her son like reading it too, I think. Well, my nephew laughed at the picture of his mom and me from back in 1971. Goofy looking, ya think?

2 girls in 1971

I put some of those things on the fridge for humor, that picture was also  to motivate me and my sister to lose some weight. Oh, I know I’ll never be that skinny again but I will get myself a lot closer.

some sayings

One of the magnets says “One in four people are unbalanced. Think of three friends, if they seem ok, you’re the one.” HeeHeeHee!

There’s a photo of my grandmother. She’s with the Lord now. I sure miss her. She loved God and she showed it by loving others. She was a very generous woman, always helping her neighbors.

Daniel prayer for student

I personalized the Daniel Prayer to pray over my nephew. You can find it in this book, The Daniel Prayer for Parents. The prayer is in the back of the book.

Jeremiah 17.7,8

I love putting favorite Bible verses on 4×6 cards to put on the fridge and on our bathroom mirror.

There’s also some school pictures of nephew and a calendar and some magnets. And yes, that is a little birdie at the bottom of the fridge. I put it down low to entice Calli kitty to play with it. The only time she really messes with it is when she’s mad because I didn’t get her supper ready soon enough. I tend to forget occasionally. I start it by putting a plate out and a can of cat food, and then I also start our supper. I am a multi-tasker and I guess that’s not too good for me, these days. Guess I need more gingko, for my memory. Miss Calli lets me know I forgot to put her plate down. She pulls the birdie off and throws it around and then she pouts on the rug in front of the sink.

Then there’s the right side of the fridge.

right side

There are some bookmarks. I change them out every so often. I collect bookmarks.

There’s a Shalom prayer.

Shalom prayer

And then the Ten Commandments. I wish everyone would study and memorize them and teach them to their children. The schools might not be so violent if the secularists and the ACLU had not taken them out.

10 Commandments

I have a church calendar of events, and my 2016 Priorities list. I did not call it my New Year Resolutions. I hate the word resolutions, only because I know 99.99% of people never keep resolutions, including myself. I tried it one time, when I was 18. I failed to keep most of them. I separate the two in my mind so that I don’t set myself up for failure, because I think I can attain Priority goals, and if I don’t, I won’t feel  like a failure.

There’s also a list of He is and He will. Read that one. It will encourage you.

He is, He will sayings

There’s a paper asking a very good question, If Jesus Came to Your House? How serious are you about your salvation, your relationship with Jesus?

If Jesus Came

Just a few things on the left side.

cabinet side

Do you have anything on your fridge?

I tend to use my fridge as a message center, I suppose. For now, I’m okay with it. Someday I might remove it all, not today.

The weekend is getting closer. Not that it matters to me any more. I’m retired now. Still can’t get used to that word, RETIRED.

Y’all have a great Thursday, and Friday, and weekend.

Karen

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A Very Merry Christmas

red house and snowman and cat on porch

kids and snowman

First, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Enjoy time with your family. Gift “giving” is so much fun but visiting and talking are the most fun to me. Kids have fun with getting gifts. I know I did when I was a kid. I don’t know when it was that my focus was more on the giving. I’ve always liked giving but in these years of my life, I really  enjoy it. And of course, there’s the food.

This year I was so late with my shopping and decorating. I didn’t put up my Christmas village, like I always have. I was late getting a tree and I had to “settle” for a 6.5ft, instead of an 8ft that we usually get. And, we didn’t put lights on the roofline.

I have ALWAYS put my gifts in boxes and spent a lot of time gift wrapping very creatively. This year, I used pretty gift bags. My sister commented on that. Oops. I will do better next year. I enjoy doing the creative gift wrapping. Funny thing is I retired this year. You would think I would have plenty of time to have done great this year. Where did all the time go?

I used to start shopping some time in July, listening to what family and friends said they liked, making a mental note. Well, mental notes don’t work very good for me any more. I lose the notes. I guess I will start writing them down. My sister jokes that she has to keep a writing tablet with her at all times so she can write ideas down, right when they come to her. Yep, that’s me too. New year resolution – carry a tablet everywhere, all the time.

Bad thing is, resolutions usually don’t last very long, do they? Okay, not a resolution. A determination. A commitment.

Husband and I talked about the outside lights. We plan to put the lights up the week before  Thanksgiving, next year, and just not turn them on until after Thanksgiving. I’m putting a reminder on my phone and on my desk calendar.

I saw on FB that there are a lot of people who decided not to put up a Christmas tree, all kinds of reasons. We did that one year, but it’s a tradition that I don’t want to let slide. Even though we don’t have many visitors, husband and I enjoy it. My mom is 80 years old and has always put up a tree. I didn’t put very much on our tree. Balls different sizes of red, clear, white, brown. And  clear glass icicles. Oh yes, lights too, of course. We always put up a real tree. The couple at the tree lot where we have gone every year for the past 13 years told me that it’s best to get a tree as soon as they arrive to the tree lot, or cut your own. The fastest you can get it set up and watered, the better it will be. Keep it watered and it will keep it from shedding too early.

I did notice that not many people send out cards any more. That’s also something I’m NOT giving up. I love sending Christmas cards. It’s a real  contact with family and friends. So many don’t do anything real.  They think Facebook is the only contact they need. I’m not addicted to FB like some people I know. I check it once in a great while.

I also prefer to actually talk  to family and friends on the phone. Most young people think the cell phone is for texting and games. They seem to forget they can actually talk on the thing. I like to hear a voice, their voice, not just read a text message. Hearing their voice makes me feel more connected to them than a text. Don’t get me wrong, I do texting too, but I enjoy talking.

Thought I’d share something that I did this year. Well, I did it last year, to use this year. I made a spiral notebook for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have a section for recipes. I printed a couple of pages of our Thanksgiving pictures of our gathering down at Mom’s. I put a list of what gifts I gave to whom. I made a section for Christmas stories that I have collected over the years. The first one, of course, is the Luke 2 account of the birth of Yeshua Jesus. Last weekend, we celebrated Christmas with my sister and her son and husband. Sister read aloud some of the stories while I worked in the kitchen cooking. Some of the stories are tear jerkers. We both teared up.

We played Christmas movies, too. I’ve collected more this year. I have a couple that we haven’t watched yet. I think tomorrow night will be a good night for that. I’m going to make a peach cobbler (from scratch) tomorrow so I might watch one while waiting for the cobbler to bake.

I put up several framed prints of the wise men this year. One is my favorite. It has the wise men on their camels, looking into a stable from the right (east) looking toward the left (west). The wise men came from the east to worship the newborn King. Why do so many illustrators have them looking toward the right (east) as if they came from the west? Am I being too critical? Did you know that the Bible does not say that there were 3 wise men? Matthew 2:1.

winter scene 06

My little church scene on the bookshelf.

winter scene 04

winter scene 03

winter scene 02

Snow. Oh how I wish pray we could have snow for Christmas. It could  happen. Even though it was 73 degrees yesterday. If any of you have too much snow, could you send some of it down here please? :)

Y’all have a blessed and very Merry Christmas!

Love,

Karen

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A Country Christmas Story

I finally (sadly) put away my Autumn decorating yesterday. It took all day long. I usually put up as much if not more autumn décor as I do Christmas décor. I’m gradually bringing out the Christmas. Husband brought in all the totes from the shed, which are sitting in the dining room and living room, so I have to get going pretty soon in order to get the totes put away. Thing is, I haven’t got our tree yet. We always put up a “real” tree. Husband asked me again this morning when am I getting the tree. I think I might go tomorrow to our favorite tree lot and pick one out. The couple who runs the tree lot on the weekend are such precious Christians and we only get to see them this one time a year. Their sons run the lot during the week, but I want to see them (the older couple) and take them some kind of baked goods, which I will bake today. So, to start the Christmas season, I’m sharing this story. Again, I don’t know who wrote the story. It was in my archives from emails I collected years ago.

This story is in a different format. It’s in long paragraphs. I didn’t break them up but it’s still a good read. Enjoy.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned that the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving. It was Christmas Eve. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn’t been enough money to buy me the rifle that I’d wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible. After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn’t in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn’t get the Bible. Instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn’t figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn’t worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity. Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. “Come on, Matt,” he said. “Bundle up good, it’s cold out tonight.” I was really upset then. Not only wasn’t I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We’d already done all the chores, and I couldn’t think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one’s feet when he’d told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn’t know what. Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn’t going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn’t happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. “I think we’ll put on the high sideboards,” he said. “Here, help me.” The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on. After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood – the wood I’d spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. “Pa,” I asked, “what are you doing?” “You been by the Widow Jensen’s lately?” he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I’d been by, but so what? “I rode by just today,” Pa said. “Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They’re out of wood, Matt.” That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. “What’s in the little sack?” I asked. “Shoes, they’re out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a little candy.” We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen’s pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn’t have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn’t have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn’t have been our concern. We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, “Who is it?” “Lucas Miles, Ma’am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?”

Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp. “We brought you a few things, Ma’am,” Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children – sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn’t come out. “We brought a load of wood too, Ma’am,” Pa said. He turned to me and said, “Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let’s get that fire up to size and heat this place up.” I wasn’t the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn’t speak. My heart swelled within me and a joy that I’d never known before filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people. I soon had the fire blazing and everyone’s spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn’t crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. “God bless you,” she said. “I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us.” In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I’d never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it. Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes. Tears were running down Widow Jensen’s face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn’t want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine. At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, “The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We’ll be by to get you about eleven. It’ll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn’t been little for quite a spell.” I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away.

Widow Jensen nodded and said, “Thank you, Brother Miles. I don’t have to say, May the Lord bless you; I know for certain that He will.” Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn’t even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, “Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn’t have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand.” I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen’s face and the radiant smiles of her three children. For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensen’s, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m starting my To Do list. It’s not just stuff to do around my house, decorating, gift wrapping, baking. It’s also things to do outside, away from my house, things for others. I’m not bragging, but celebrations should always be about others, loving others, having compassion and helping others.

I guess I’d better get going. Talk to y’all later. ENJOY the season!

Karen

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A Challenge

Don’t you love a good challenge? Doesn’t it stir you up so you say to yourself, I can do this. Nothing is too hard for me, when I have Christ in me helping me.

I’ve been reading a booklet by Annette Capps called Quantum Faith. She teaches how our spoken words cause things to come about. Isn’t that what the Bible teaches? Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Proverbs 18:21. You don’t have to study science or quantum physics to understand this little booklet. Annette puts it in plain language so we can all understand it. It explains so much about how things actually work in the Bible, the way God said they would.

In Mark 11:22-24 Jesus said something that very few people really believe, probably because their church denomination doesn’t teach real, practical faith, believing the Bible. “So Jesus answered and said to them [his disciples], Have faith in God. For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things which he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Have you ever thought about the kind of faith that could cause a mountain to move? And why would Jesus tell us something like that? Could it be that Jesus wants us to believe God for all ALL of our needs and our desires?

Words are powerful, when coupled with faith. This works for our good and for bad. If you believe in your heart that you’re always going to be poor and broke, and you say words to that effect, then guess what? You will have what you say. If you will believe that you can excel and do well and you will have plenty, and you speak those things, you will have what you say. Think about your own words. Isn’t it true, you have exactly what you have been saying because you believed it? How about changing your faith from believing for bad things to believe in God, believe that God wants to bless you. He is not cursing you or making bad things happen to you. God is GOOD, only GOOD.

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7

If you sow corn, you reap corn. However if you sow weeds, you reap weeds. See how important it is to choose your words very carefully.

Doesn’t it make you wonder about what all things you have made to happen because of the words you have said? I’ve been thinking about this for a few weeks, since I started reading this booklet. You can be anywhere out in public and hear the foul language that is spoken out there, all the cursing that is spoken. Words go out into the world and they produce after their kind.

If you seriously consider all those vile words, curses, that are responding and bringing about such bad things. Think about this, is America in such a bad state because of all that cursing? What if we purposed in our hearts to reverse these curses? Wouldn’t it be great if we could actually bring America back into being blessed with our words of blessing. What if we all purposed to take a stand for our own city, our state even, and start speaking blessings? What could we do by blessing our neighbors and the people of our city.

I know it’s easy to speak blessings over people that you like and yet it’s very difficult to bless those people you don’t like. People who offend you, people who mistreat you and speak bad about you. Even people who do evil against you. Someone who cuts you off in traffic. Road rage is on the rise. Instead of getting angry and getting even, turn it around and bless them. Jesus told us to bless those who do evil against us. Bless our enemies.

Bless our city with good rain, Lord, so we will have plenty of water. Bless the farmers with plenty of water for crops so we will have plenty of food. Bless our citizens with jobs, Lord. Bless employers with plenty of business so that they can hire more people. Bless our people with creativeness and ingenuity, to come up with ideas for products that will bless people. Bless those in leadership in our city and government to lead this country the way that will honor God and turn the nation back to God.

Bless every school that you drive past, bless the students there, pray protection for them, that there will be no shootings. The students will have favor. They will think clearly and have a perfect memory recall. They will want to reach for excellence. They will set high standards for themselves and reach their goals in school and then later in their lives. Pray that each and every student will know that they have hope, that they can be achievers, that nothing is impossible to them. Pray that they will be united. They will stand for each other and not allow any bullies to reign in their schools. They can help those bullies change and make them part of something better and higher than the course they were on. Give bullies a new direction, give them hope for a better life. Pray that the students will show their teachers respect so that they will know how to be respectful when they get out into the workforce. Students need to know that they will not succeed without having respect for others, but with respect they can have great success. Pray the students will understand that success is attainable for them, every one of them. Nothing can stand in their way, nothing in their home life, no teacher, poverty, physical obstacles, nothing can keep them down – if they will believe they can have the good that they speak. Pray that the students will learn that their words are powerful, to affect good in their life or to bring harsh challenges, they get to choose what life they want and then speak the right words.

So here’s my challenge. I include myself in this challenge.

Let’s all begin to speak blessings out loud toward our community, our city, our nation. Let’s make sure we speak 20 blessings every day to our city and neighbors and strangers we pass by. That’s not that much. I say a minimum of 20, why not up it to 40, but start with 20. Make it a point to speak a blessing every time someone offends us. Wherever we are, when we witness any kind of injustice, we’ll speak a quick blessing over the offender.  Speak a blessing over anyone who breaks in front of you in line or steals your parking space or cuts you off in traffic. We’ll practice speaking blessings over people everywhere. Bless the co-worker who rubs us wrong and is really annoying. Speak blessings over the disabled. Speak blessings over the military, those in uniform and the veterans. Bless those in hospitals when you drive by.

Bless them, even if it’s in a whisper. They don’t have to hear the blessing, but speak it anyway.

At first we might not “feel” like blessing an enemy or a rude person, bless them anyway. Sometimes I try to think, ok, the person who offended me or did something mean to me might be having a really bad day. They might be trying to deal with more stress than they can handle and they don’t have any help. They are maxed out on stress, at their tipping point. Bless them. We don’t know what kinds of things they are going through.

I think of the young people out there who are scoundrels, mean, angry, rude, obnoxious. I wonder, what kind of life have they had? Did they have parents who don’t care about them? Do they have both parents? Are they or were they bullied by someone in school? Were they or are they being abused by someone they love and need? Have they lost hope. Are they afraid of what’s happening in the world today?

We don’t know what things people are going through or went through in their childhood, not the strangers we pass by and sometimes even some of our friends. Bless them no matter what.

Let’s all start now and speak blessings over the people we come into contact with or pass by on the street. Bless all of the houses in our neighborhood. Speak peace over your neighborhood. Speak blessings of plenty so your neighbors have food and water and their needs are met.

On top of that, I’ll share something that I did last year. I printed out an aerial map of each of my family’s neighborhoods and drew a circle around it and I’m praying over them and their neighborhood, for peace and protection and blessings for their needs. Speak safety and protection over your city. Lord, I bind the enemy so that no terrorist can attack my city, my state. I bless my city so that no tornado can set down here to harm anyone nor to damage any property.

Words are powerful. Words affect our world. They affect everything in our lives. They cause things to change.

Say blessings over your own home, over all of your vehicles, over all of your property, over your finances and your bank account. Never speak words of doubt and never speak words of defeat or sickness over your household. The tongue is a hard thing to control. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you with your words. My mom used to tell me I never thought before I spoke and she was right, but I’m learning how vital her wisdom is to think before I speak. I know I need God’s help controlling my tongue.

Our challenge is to SPEAK BLESSINGS AND BELIEVE GOD FOR THE RESULTS!

The Lord bless you all with everything you need and desire in your life!

Karen

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My Veteran

My husband is a veteran. He served well before I ever knew him. A Vietnam Army vet.

He was a POW for 4 of the 5 years he served. It’s truly a miracle that he lived through all that torture he suffered. He escaped 4 times but they recaptured him. He was shot in 3 places in his body. He has metal pins in his right wrist and both shins. They (the communists) pulled all of his toe nails out. They stuck him in a little black box out in the compound in the blistering sun to die.

Yes, it’s truly a miracle that he’s here today.

Let me back up a little bit more. When he was a senior in high school, about to graduate, he and some of his classmates decided to enlist because they knew they were going to be drafted anyway after they graduated. If they enlisted, they were offered rank right away and a choice of what they wanted to do. He chose to become a helicopter pilot.

After he was in Vietnam about a year, he and 3 others had just left the motor pool to go into Saigon to the commissary when they were attacked in the jeep. The other 3 men were shot and killed so the jeep crashed. Husband was sitting in the back seat. The seat of the man sitting in front of him broke and pinned husband in the jeep so that he couldn’t get out and escape the enemy. His ankles were broken. The gunshots came later, during his attempted escapes.

In 1972 he was traded for some of the enemy prisoners and taken by our government to Paris for debriefing. Then he came home to the states to be shunned and booed by the American people, the very ones he fought to defend.

He’s past all that now. That was 43 years ago. Seems like a lifetime. He’s a hero. My hero.

We have so many thousands of others who love America and their families so much that they served with honor and courage and bravery – true Patriots. So many who have suffered worse than my dear husband and came back home with worse wounds to their body and emotions. To ALL of our veterans I give my gratitude and blessing.

One day, there will be no more wars, no more hate, no more anger. We’ll forever be with the Lord, those who have believed and trusted in Him, Yeshua Jesus. I look forward to that time.

Some of the young generation don’t understand this fact; that when we go to fight in other countries, we help our allies and we fight to keep the enemy from coming to our shores. I am not going to write any more because this post is not going to be political. I have written and erased the next sentence several times already so I’m just going to stop it here.

During these troubled times we live in, remember this, that God tells us, do not fear, 365 places throughout the Bible He says do not fear. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. He promised that He will never leave us or forsake us. Trust in His promises.

Shake the hand of the veterans that you pass by and tell them thanks and pray for them and bless them. They deserve at least that. Show them the highest respect.

Thank you, veterans, God bless you always!

Karen

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25 Random Things

25 Things

Do you want to know how to be successful? Genesis 39:2 “The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man…” Make sure you have the Lord with you at all times, good times and bad times. Most people forget God when they have good times. Remember the Lord, especially during the good times. Joseph was an exceptional man. He loved God, even during his worst times, but also during the good times. Declare that YOU ARE successful because JESUS is with you.

Driving an expensive car does not make you someone special. It doesn’t make you any better than anyone else. Neither does an expensive house, jewelry, clothes or any other material possessions. Driving a small beat up barely-get-there car doesn’t make you any less  special than everyone else either. Nor does wearing shabby clothes, unkempt, no jewelry, living in the projects or on the street. It’s not about stuff. It’s about Who you have in your heart. Jesus didn’t have a bed, fancy jewelry, fancy robes or any of the stuff some people associates with being somebody, while He lived here on this earth. He had His Father and the Holy Spirit. And He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He gave His very life so that we can have life with Him, now and in eternity. That’s what makes us somebody special, what He gave to restore us to Him.

I heard a great description of how much God loves the human race. Adam walked with God in the garden, before he sinned. Everything was perfect. Then Adam chose to disobey God. I’m sure God wanted to wrap His arms around Adam and comfort him, much like any parent would, with their child who disobeyed and felt bad for displeasing his parent. God couldn’t go to Adam to comfort him and hug him because His glory would have killed Adam. I’m sure He wanted to desperately. I can visualize Him wanting to hold Adam and say “It’s all going to be okay, Adam. I already had a plan in place to restore you and your descendants back to me. I knew about this before you ever did this”. Isn’t that like parents who are teaching their little ones about obedience. They know their child is going to disobey, push the limits. Try to see if they can get away with disobeying. Try to hide it, cover it up. Occasionally the parent will let the child make the bad choice and then suffer the consequence so they will understand that the parent was trying to teach them that there was a reason for the instruction of “don’t do this thing or that”. The instruction or rule was for their protection and their good. It wasn’t to deny the child something fun. But, remember, God is HOLY and He cannot be around sin. He had to remove Himself from the garden. God didn’t want that. He loved us all enough to give us free will. We make our own choice, to believe in Him and to choose Him, but He won’t force us to do that. He didn’t want a bunch of robots. He wanted people who would choose Him and love Him. The real consequence of Adam’s sin was the chasm between himself and God. God could no longer walk with Adam. That must have hurt God so much. He loved companionship with Adam in the garden. The second consequence was that Adam and Eve were banished from the garden, lest they eat of the tree of life and live forever in their fallen state. There again, God loved them so much that He was protecting them from that.

This week I’ve been painting. I painted both sides of the laundry door that goes into the garage. The garage side is gray. The laundry room side is a pastel teal. I used semi-gloss paint so it could be wiped down easy after it was dry. I decided I needed a bit of color in there and it does look good. I plan to paint the interior walls in the house.

laundry door

Then I started a craft project. I wanted some refrigerator magnets. I bought some wood rounds and used the left-over teal paint to paint the tops. One coat isn’t enough so I’m going to have to paint another coat tomorrow. Have you ever done a craft project that didn’t turn out like you thought it would? This might be that kind. We’ll see.

I’ve been spending too much time on Pinterest. I’m hooked. Not so much of a FB fan, trying to relearn it since they changed it to a “timeline”. Haven’t really gotten into Instagram either. My nephew loves it. Maybe I’ll get him to teach me. It might be time to set a day of “social media fasting” for us. Husband is hooked on Craigslist.

I love this cooler weather. I am really enjoying the fall season. Been thinking of Thanksgiving and already bought the turkey. Mom and my sister and I have been talking over the menu. Mom makes the absolute best dressing. She never measures the spices because she samples while she cooks and it’s always delicious. She always bakes the turkey. We, like most families, have several desserts. Hershey cake, pumpkin pie, the pink stuff (as we call it), peach cobbler with a scoop of ice cream (now that Blue Bell is back, WooHoo!), Neaman Marcus cake.

Operation Christmas Child will be receiving gift shoeboxes from November 16 – 23. Have you started yours yet? It is so much fun to shop for the gifts to put in a shoebox, especially if you have someone to join you. I spent probably 45 minutes just in the toy department today looking at dolls, then I remembered I had groceries in the car that I needed to put in the fridge at home. I did get a blouse and tights, for a girl age 7. I put in some peppermint balls. Tomorrow I’ll look again for a small doll and maybe a small coloring book and crayons or maybe a book. A small flashlight. I think I’ll go over to Mardel’s or Lifeway Christian Store and see what they have. Operation Christmas Child!

I started a personal Bible study. I’m going through the book of Psalms and journaling all of the “I Will’s”.

Psalms I Will

Even if you fall flat on your face, you’re still at least 5 feet ahead!

Forgive me, I can’t remember where I got this but it is worth sharing. The Blessing of Shalom; this is what it means when someone wishes you Shalom. May you be whole in body, soul and spirit as a result of being in harmony with God’s will and purpose for your life. May His peace be your covering, may your heart know His fullness, and by His mighty power may you know victory over every enemy. May He bring to pass the deepest desires of your heart. May you know the healing power of His presence, and the restoration of every broken relationship. Through His sufficiency, may every need you face be met by His limitless resources. May His covenant promises be fulfilled in your life and in your family. May He bring you the greatest measure of contentment, and the deepest satisfaction that your heart can possibly know through Yeshua Messiah. SHALOM friends!

I started a family survey. At first I was just going to send it out to the “girls”. But then I thought it might be fun to send it to the guys too. My purpose is to learn more about each of them. As we get older, we change, we grow. I know I’ve changed. My favorite colors, tastes in foods and drinks, my height (yes, I’m a wee bit shorter). My secondary purpose, I wanted to know this info so I could get a better idea of some Christmas gifts and sometimes personal info helps. I plan to send self-addressed stamped return envelopes so they will return them to me. Thought I’d make little booklets and send to everyone so we all could see what the others wrote and learn more about each other. Following are the questions.

What are your 2 favorite colors. What colors do you dislike. Which veg’s do you like and dislike. Which side dishes do you like and dislike. What condiments do you like and dislike. Oreos or Chocolate Chip. Cream pie or fruit pie. Favorite dessert. Hot chocolate; with or without marshmallows. Favorite drink. How tall are you. Do you enjoy reading, what genre. 2 favorite restaurants. Favorite hobby. Dream vacation in the world. Dream vacation in the USA. Favorite Bible people. Favorite season. Favorite holiday. Favorite game (not electronic or digital). Where would you really like to live, if there were no obstacles to you living there. Write an outstanding childhood memory. Do you prefer city living or country, mountain or lake. 3 favorite Bible verses. 2 all time favorite movies. Do you wear a watch. Morning or night person. Traditional (old time) or contemporary gospel music. Have you ever gone ice skating. What is/was your favorite cartoon. Right handed or left handed.

I am expecting the Lord God to give me strength, give me wisdom, help me to redeem my time so I can accomplish my goals and fulfill His purposes.

I’m watching many of my favorite Christmas movies these days. I sure hope we get snow this year, on Christmas, not so much that we can’t drive down to Mom’s for the day.

I am truly enjoying being retired.

A booklet of 30 pages that I highly recommend, “Quantum Faith” by Annette Capps, daughter of Bible teacher Charles Capps. She studied quantum physics and explains how it relates to the Bible. Ever wonder about the concept of the verse in Mark 11:23 spoken by Jesus, “For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says”. Annette explains it in quantum logic, in plain language for simple easy understanding.

A book I highly recommend, Angels by Charles Capps and Annette Capps. Yeah, there are a lot of books out there on angels these days. Did you know God’s angels want to be involved in every area of your life, your home, business, finances, family? They want to help us.

O Lord, help us to love what You love, and to hate what You hate.

Explain to me why Brach’s did not put the sticks in the bags of caramels for the caramel apples. I’d like to know. They always did when I was younger. :)

And why can’t I find Brach’s the Caramel Macchiato Candy Corn in the stores this year. My husband ate most of the bag left over from last year and the two I ordered at Amazon this year. Brach’s Caramel Macchiato Candy Corn – 15 oz.

I encourage you all to read the Bible every day and meditate on the Word all through the day. Hide it in your heart. Hard days are coming and you will need it, not you might need it. You will need it. And you will be able to encourage others who don’t have it hidden in their hearts. I have family and friends who won’t read the Bible and they will be lead astray and carried off by ungodly doctrines. Their friends, family, employers, even our government, will tell them lies and if they don’t have the Word in their own hearts, they will be led to the slaughter. Just like salvation is for each individual, it is also the responsibility of each individual to put the Word in their own heart. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8 God will never change and neither does His Word. That’s a wonderful thing that we can count on.

And since we are coming close to Thanksgiving you’ll love these.

Celebrating Thanksgiving in America at Wallbuilders.

George Washington’s Proclamation 1789 at Wallbuilders.

Abraham Lincoln’s Proclamation 1863 at Wallbuilders.

Enjoy these times. The holidays will whiz by before we know it. Christmas trees (the real ones) will be here soon, even before Thanksgiving. Don’t make it all about the gifts and shopping. Treasure every precious moment with your family and friends. Blessings to you all this week.

Karen

Posted in Reflections | Leave a comment

Excited and Scared

I am starting a new season in my life. Kinda excited and kinda scared.

Scared because I’ve worked almost all my life, since I was 16.

Last Friday, I gave my supervisor my two week notice. It was the last straw kind of thing. Just too much stress, more poured on every week until I just don’t think it’s worth it any more.

Husband and I talked about it, for a couple of weeks. He really didn’t want me to have to work anyway. I had been telling him to not be surprised if I get fed up and quit. I was trying to hang in there. I don’t like quitting. My acting supervisor had said to hang in there, she believed things would be getting better soon. I only saw the work load getting heavier.

I was scared to give up the security of that bi-weekly paycheck. It was there in the bank, every other Friday, like clockwork. But I was miserable working like a slave for this company. Hadn’t had a raise in five years. The last raise was 15 cents/hour. I felt insulted because the raise I got before that one was five years previous and not much better. I guess they felt I was topped out.

Anyway, I’m done, in two weeks. But it means no insurance, pay the stinking obamacare penalty. Pray I don’t get sick or need a doctor. Pray that since I won’t have the stress of the job, maybe my blood pressure will go back down to normal and I won’t need medicine for that anymore.

Now the excited part begins. Oh my. I’ll have time to deep clean the house, paint the interior of the house.

Sew, lots of projects. Look at my Pinterest “Sew Much More” board to see some of the projects I’d love to do.

Read to my hearts content. Give my full attention to a personal Bible study.

My to-do list is long, very long.

I’ve been working on a fall bucket list. The local pumpkin patch is already in full swing. I might just go over there tomorrow, after work, with my camera. I want to see it before it wanes. They have really cute displays.

And I’m going to try to help Mom sell her property and move her closer to me. Her health has been failing. She has very poor eyesight. Macular degeneration. We’re taking her to a retina specialist in a couple weeks. Her hearing is also failing. And she has trouble walking. Her hips were injured some years back when she was in a car accident. A girl putting on her make-up ran a red light and broad-sided Mom’s jeep and flipped it over. Emergency people had to cut her and her two sisters out of the jeep with the jaws-of-life thing. Mom hung upside down in her safety belt until the emergency personnel could got there and could get her out.

Anyway, she moves a lot slower these days. It’s time to get her closer to me and my sister, so we can get to her faster and help take care of her. She can’t take care of eight acres and a 2400 sq. ft. home any more. This will take time too, to sell her home and find her a smaller one closer to me us. Fortunately, I have a cousin who sells real-estate and she said she will help us. Yay. That’s a relief.

I really am excited, and scared. I’ve always worked at a “JOB” for paycheck security. After I get caught up on my priority list, I might look into finding something I can do from home, to earn enough money to at least pay for some insurance. I want to find something I enjoy doing, not something I feel compelled to do for a paycheck.

I will be trusting the Lord for a lot more now. I know He has always been our provision. Now, my faith will be exercised. Kind of like when you exercise your muscles at the gym. First you do stretches, and then you get into the work-out. This is what I’m doing with my faith, the work-out part.

I’m going to like this. God is my provider. I’m going to really enjoy spending more time with Him. More time for praise and worship.

See what I mean, excited and scared.

I have a lot to do to keep me busy for awhile, at least until after the holidays.

Holidays are going to be so fun this year. I’ll have time to make some gifts.

Yep, I am getting excited, to start this new season in my life. And it’s starting at the perfect time of year. Autumn.

Talk to y’all later.

Karen

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