Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pets, Flowers, Shopping Seasons

Silly Daniel taking a nap inside a paper bag.

Don't you just love that God created the whole pets thing? Oh, the comfort, companionship and unconditional love they bring us. What a delight they are. True blessings.

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And don't you love buying outdoor plants at WalMart this time of year? Those miles of empty shelves and the few straggly, droopy, dried-up plants left which are half-off. They peer up at you like, "Take me! Rescue me from this place. I promise if you give me some rich soil, water and individual care I'll someday look beautiful for you."

Well, that's what I heard this weekend from about 10 plants. Already they're looking happier. Grateful, too.

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Of course, Shopping Seasons don't last forever. No season lasts forever. Not our seasons with our kids, our spouse, our home, our body, our face, our town, our church, our parents, our jobs, our friends. All seasons change, all seasons, eventually, end. Perhaps God designed it that way to keep us from ever feeling too at home here. To remind us of where our true Forever Home really is.

So why do we try so hard to cling to the temporary? To hold onto what is gone?

But thank-goodness Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He does not change, He does not end during our short stay upon this planet. Whew.


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Remember when I mentioned the Scholastic book, Blue Treasure by Helen Girvan? Well, yesterday the Insulation Guys were here all day (and are here again now) and whenever we have workmen around, I always feel restless, as though I want to accomplish things, but I can't, because I'll just get in someone's way or will be interrupted repeatedly. So. I chose to read Blue Treasure and rather than feeling restless, I went to Bermuda, instead. Well, kinda! What a fun, exotic, adventurous book, one which teaches some interesting art history about this artist's works, as well.  Highly recommended if you can find it.


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Here are three free (as of today) kindle books you may enjoy:

Pulled By Horses by Evelyn Whiting

Baby's Breath by Melanie and Kevin Wilber

My New Life in Brazil --Part 2 by J.N. Paquet


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Monday, July 30, 2012

Old-Fashioned Shut-Ins With New-Fangled Computers



"For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body."  ... James 3:2
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I remember being twelve-years-old at church and making a cute little tissue holder out of the felt and sequins for those mysterious shut-ins we were always hearing about. You know, people who never stepped out the door of their homes or their convalescent hospital. Hard to imagine such a thing as never leaving your house, especially for a child, but I'd think about these shut-ins and though I'd feel sorry for them, I'd also try to imagine what sorts of things they could do at home so to keep themselves occupied and happy.


I've always been a sort of glass-half-full kind of gal.


Anyway, lately I've begun thinking about Today's shut-ins and how wonderful computers must be for those who have them. Computers can zoom a whole world inside your house! Whereas the shut-ins I heard about as a child probably suffered much loneliness from lack of communication with people, the home-bound of 2012 can chat with anybody, anywhere. Anyone with a computer and a kind heart can be a friend to someone too weak, too afraid to travel anywhere, even down to the local market.


And even there, groceries can be ordered online. Clothing, trinkets, and well, just about anything can be bought if a shut-in has the funds. How convenient that must be! (Yes, a bit too convenient for those with shopping/hoarding issues, but let's not go there...). Those who spend most of  their time at home can relieve at least some shopping responsibility from their caregiver, if they have one.


And the Kindle thing! Any shut-in who loves to read, but can't get to a library, now has the option of bringing hundreds of books into their homes by way of Kindles, hand-held ones or those free upon their computer thanks to amazon.com. Or through however many other book-sharing means there are out there (who can keep track of all this technology? Not me.)


And for tv fans there's Netflix, Blockbuster, Hulu and others. For those who enjoy clubs filled with kindred spirits, there are email groups who write about everything from knitting to talking about their grandchildren (and anything else) and there's Facebook to keep in touch with old friends and family members, too, who share photos of children and events shut-ins can only dream about.


And there's more I'm not even mentioning, more I'm not even aware of.


Why bring all this up? And why did I place that verse about the tongue at the top of this post?


I guess I just wanted to remind myself (and all of us... ok, ok) to watch our words when we're tempted to speak of Internet Life as being "second rate" or "not as good as." Because I know I would hate to make anyone-- especially shut-ins of any caliber--feel as though they're living a second-rate life by way of their much-treasured computer. How horrible it would be to make them feel that computer friends aren't as good as my real-life friends. That they're just imitations, not real,  nor as vital or warm-blooded as someone sitting beside you.


I would so hate to steal anyone's hope by way of my words, anybody's joy in the life which they've created for themselves either by choice or necessity.


And may I remember all this. May I watch my words carefully.




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Of course, I'm not just talking shut-ins here........




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The top photo: Two-thirds of my front flower bed is now finished and I decided to make it partially an herb garden. It's amazing how little space is required to grow food and flowers. Oh, and remember those upside-down candle-holders from the farm? Instead of birdseed, I place water in them for tiny birds and insects.

The bottom photo: My little fenced-in area got a make-over this weekend. That cute rooster is the one I found at Salvation Army.


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"I said, I will take heed to my ways, That I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle..."  ~ Psalms 39:1


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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mostly Just Books. (Yes, Again.)

After 20 months of very little shopping, it's been a treat to be given a Shopping Season from God to replace those items which faded/ripped/died during all those unemployment months, some which had worn-out even before those months, but I'd ignored those little promptings to replace them which one hears in her heart or her head... and was sorry.


So all week I've had the car (since Tom worked night shift and had to sleep during the day) and I've shopped like a woman released from a deserted island. At least, it's been big-time shopping for me, she who waits for sales or just makes do because she's such a tightwad. And when next week I won't have the car, I'll be ever so grateful to remain home after all these days of crazy driving/shopping/spending.


Early this morning, before any traffic out there, I ventured the back way (don't you love quiet back ways?) to Home Depot, visit #4 or 5 this week and bought the last of the bricks I need, more garden soil (I'm hoping the last of those heavy bags I'll need, too) and a special surprise: a lone little blueberry plant marked down to $3.49. Oh! I hadn't even known Home Depot sold those, had not spied another one in all my trips there, but yet there she sat, something I've wanted for eons, but never managed to find/order/purchase. Until today.


Then I was off to Salvation Army where I found, not only three nice articles of clothing and a great rooster for my garden, but a like-new copy of Mama Makes Up Her Mind (mine, I noticed last week, was all water-stained) and these fun books:




Remember how excited you'd feel when your Scholastic book order would arrive at your elementary school classroom? I'm still always thrilled like that when I paw through dusty bookshelves, me in my black-rimmed Dollar Tree reading glasses, and find treasures. Scholastic books! Sometimes I get such cravings to reread mine, especially when the world goes extra-insane. Scholastic books turn everything--turn me, even--right-side up again.

And when I've finished this post I will again Play Books, not only in honor of these new treasures, but I've still yet to unpack a box of books and (gorgeous) decorating magazines (remember my shock at their now-prices and how I didn't buy one?) Donna sent me home with yesterday (such a lovely visit we had in her cheerful new digs) , oh, and these, also:


Remember how I told you I'd only be attending estate sales, not yard/garage sales? Well, there I go lying again, or slipping into a lie, anyway, for--when we can--Tom and I do still attend yard sales, though, in my defense, I often sit in the car and read after only 3 or so sales (Tom becomes a Great Yard Sale Conqueror, so it takes longer for him to tire). Anyway, that's what I was doing--sitting in the car--when Tom bought 20 (!) of these beautiful American Country Time-Life books for me. All for just $5, total, from a super-nice couple who helped carry them to the car and who, also, told Tom much of the story of their home.

Western New York has the nicest people! And truthfully, that's part of why I keep doing the yard sale thing: the kind, friendly people we meet.

Anyway, wow. The books are gorgeous. Beautiful photos and each is dedicated to a different aspect of country life. Furniture, houses, gardens, cooking, quilts etc., etc..... It'll take me months to look through all of them.

Ah, books. Don't you just love books, especially when God was kind enough to drop them down for you right in front of your nose?

He is still so good. He still takes excellent care of His kids. Yes, even in 2012.


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Links to the books I mentioned:





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Some kindle books you may enjoy:







I got each of these books free, thanks to this website--which I've shared with you before, but I just can't help sharing it again!


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I'm still enjoying your comments after my last post--thanks for your creative help! Though I'd probably love a red door the most, the kind of brick I'm thinking I like best is more pink-ish with lots of white. It's the houses which have been fronted with that kind of brick which most take my breath away, so well, I'm not sure a red door would go with that. Time to dash around online to see what colors of doors people with pink-ish brick houses use! :)


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Friday, July 27, 2012

Before. After. And Your Opinion Needed.

So here's a Before Photo of my Prayer Garden, taken probably in October of last year:



Kinda bare, huh?

Well, here's the After Photo, taken this morning:


I'm thinkin' that's nicer. What do you think?

I took a couple more photos while I was out there:


The bees like that bowl of water the best. I actually like to see them getting a drink.


Someday this special little fence will house a special little garden. Someday.

And now here's where I need your opinion. The front of Hobbit Cottage, from the street, looks, well, kinda sad. A major improvement would be to paint the front door, even though Tom's not keen on the idea, being a typical man who prefers natural/stained wood. Here's an old photo, one taken before we even moved here:


Now, we have a new storm door--it's just solid glass--so the light-stained oak(?) door shows more prominently. And like I said--to me (and probably every other person on the block)--it makes no statement, other than just a rather sad one.

So! What color should I paint the door, do you think? I'm leaning toward white, actually (we have white patio furniture) or maybe a dark sort of colonial red or a dark medium blue.

Let me know what you think! Maybe whichever color gets the most votes (or do you have a different one in mind?) could be the one I end up choosing.

But now I must run.... I get to go visit with my friend, Donna, today at her house! I can't wait to see how her 'new' half of the house has turned out. She's even making lunch for us.

More later..... Be sure to cast your vote, ok? Don't be shy about it!  :)


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A very special thanks to God and Grace for helping me with this new yard, especially during this hot, steamy summer!


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I'm loving your ideas! Keep them coming.

But what I forgot to add, something important, is that lately I really, really, really want to have the whole front of the house faced with brick. Brick with lots of white in the red brick. (Kind-of important that I mention that, huh?) So that's probably why I'm mostly leaning toward a white door--I think it would look crisp with brick. Anyone else like brick the way I do?

But truthfully? I love red doors the best. Oh well, I can save that for another house.... If you've been reading here long, you know I'm gonna have one someday cuz we do tend to move often! :)


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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Uh-Oh. August.



There's a reason I've been perturbed about all this humidity causing me to lose days working out in my yard.

August is coming.

And uh-oh, if you've read here long, you may remember what that means, namely, when August arrives I always peer at whatever garden or flower beds I've created and say, "Eh. You can rot for all I care. You make me tired. I'm so over you."

Yes, really--I do that. By August, I'll have moved on to reading or coupons or stocking-up groceries for Winter. Something, anything other than working in the soil out in additional weeks of heat. And I've shared at least one post which proves I'm not alone.

So.

This past week, especially, I've felt the need to hurry, to out-run the coming tide, to work out there with Grace before she walks away. To lug in more bags of garden soil and peat moss and more flowers, worms and bricks. To get this adventure finished, otherwise August's gonna get here, I won't care anymore, and the yard will look weirdly unfinished till next Spring.

And we wouldn't want that now, would we? :)

So I'd better get back out there and do something even though it's soo humid, for August is coming ... and soon will be here. I hear it calling, even now.


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Thank-you so much for your kind responses to my 8th anniversary post!


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Oh, and last night I felt rather nostalgic, so here's what I posted at Facebook:

Although not a huge fan of summer, there *is* one thing I love about this time of year: the ice cream truck. Oh, not that I ever race out into the street and buy anything, but rather, I enjoy the memories of being a child and becoming excited whenever the musical truck made its way down our street. Ice cream trucks--they make me feel 10-years-old all over again. Gotta love that.


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"Know thyself."   ... copied


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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Eight Years

Eight years writing in this thing! Eight years today. 


I can't wrap my mind around that, for rarely do I stick with one thing for eight whole years.


But there you go.


No special words today--I'm feeling like, in eight years, I've already told you everything I know. :)


Instead, let's celebrate with a few photos of my Prayer Garden. Oh, how s-l-o-w-l-y it's coming along, due mostly to all this turn-me-into-a-zombie humidity. But today is lovely so I made two (two!) trips to Home Depot after even shopping at the supermarket and Dollar Tree.


What a difference low humidity makes. What. A. Difference.


But anyway, here you are... a few peeks at what I have going so far, everything in a state of being unfinished, but oh well.



Okay, one of my longest-time readers, (Hi Betty!) asked me to label the plants in these photos. So, around the flagpole I've got marigolds which are just barely hanging in there--I'm thinking the concrete bakes the poor things. To the left are mostly tomato plants (four of them), with a few green onions which I, like every year, transplant from a few I buy at the supermarket (I just clip the tops as they grow.)


Petunias and an empty pot. :) Oh, and peonies down below.


More petunias... (I move these babies around to sunny spots each day, because that corner gets barely any.)



And lets' see... Daylilies in the left-hand corner, hot peppers on both sides, forget-me-nots in front, a miniature rosebush in the back right and there are tiny flowers which I've been digging from the lawn and transplanting. I've been meaning to ask you what they are--I'll take a close-up of them later.


The aforementioned green onions.


Miniature roses in the pot, daisies to the left, some of which I also dug up from the lawn (man, all sorts of stuff grows in our lawn, everything, really, except for grass! :)



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Today I finished reading my cloud reader book, Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise by Joyce Magnin. Loved it! Must. Find. Other. Books. By. This. Author.

Then I began Texas Roads by Cathy Bryant and the first few pages have been delightful, indeed. Shows promise.


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A very special thank-you to all of you who have encouraged me by reading here for years!


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"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." ... Colossians 3:15



Monday, July 23, 2012

Just Grateful

I'm grateful that we had a huge rain storm yesterday afternoon. Boy, were we inching toward drought-conditions, something rare for our area. Though oh well, part of my Prayer Garden got washed away, but just part, and I lost only some forget-me-nots (I can always find more around the lawn) and hopefully my tomato plants will pull through. But I'll survive if they don't.

And I'm grateful that I've already been to the supermarket early this morning and am especially grateful for air-conditioning inside the car, the store and this little office in our house where I'm now sitting. Oh the humidity outside! One of those days you step out the door and immediately begin gasping for air (well....... almost....).

I'm grateful, too, that--even though Tom's new arranged-to-be-delivered-today mattress was damaged in the rain at the warehouse, still the guys brought him a nice one an hour ago to use while they make him a new one. And I'm grateful that I was able to haul down the old ones to our basement in that room I'm making for Naomi, but oh, did I ever become a hot, soppy mess while doing that, taking special care not to awaken Tom who'd returned to bed (he worked night shift) and trying to quiet the cats who, literally, bounced off the walls hyper-style.

But most of all I am super, incredibly thankful that our amazing God protected Naomi on Saturday night down there in Tennessee. Here is her Facebook post about what happened:

"Last night, while waiting at a stop light, the combination of hearing distant fire trucks along with noticing a cop car behind me caused me to *very* cautiously proceed into the intersection when the light turned green. This slight hesitation SAVED me from being T-boned by a car running through the red light from the left. DIVINE INTERVENTION??! I absolutely think so. SO THANKFUL today! And that cop NAILED that driver!! :)"

Oh wow. How can I thank God enough for that one? Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you to infinity, dear Lord!!


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Something else for which I'm grateful.... Charlotte Fig Takes Over Paradise. Truly, I'll always feel delighted that I got it free for my kindle cloud reader. What a good book! I'm reading it slowly, for I don't want it to end, I don't want the characters to go away. Highly recommended.


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One of the mattress delivery guys was delighted by this thing beside our front door:


(That's an old photo of it from out at the farm.) I told him my grandparents had one while I was growing-up so I'd wanted one, too. Anyway, he seemed like a kindred spirit, both Tom and I thought he'd be a pleasant person to know.


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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Your Secret Place: Have You Found It Yet?

"He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  ... Psalm 91:1
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This latest tragedy, the one in Colorado, reminds me of this:


But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,  treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God..... They are men of depraved minds...."  From 2 Timothy 3

So really, it's not like we were never warned. We were. And there's more to come, I assure you.


And I can also assure you of something else, namely-- the verse at the top of this blog post, well, works. When we dwell in the secret place of God, we live under His shadow and oh, it's peaceful there. Tranquil. There's a refreshing, a healing of hurts and a restoration of calm within that quiet place.


It's a place to run to after and before tragedies occur.


And today I hope that you will-- if you haven't already discovered that secret place-- spend some time finding it. Where it is, what it means, how to get there and how to find what you need once you step into it. 


These Last Days will only grow more tragic and more disturbing. But the Secret Place People will make it through with their hearts and minds still whole, still calm, still able to trust a good God who's bigger than any tragedy this life will ever show us.




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Matthew 11:28-30  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”




John 14:27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.


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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Books. Games. Book Games.

When Tom and I were first married, we loved to play card games with his sisters' families. We'd all sit around a table and play spades or Uno or Pit, sometimes till midnight because, usually, one of our brothers-in-law would plead, "Just one more game! Just one more."


Those long ago nights were fun and I recall them fondly. I also remember playing about a thousand hours' worth of board games with Naomi. I recall those with a smile, too. (Except for Candy Land. Good grief. I became one of those parents who eventually hid that endless, mindless game way up in a closet.) heh.


But for the past decade or longer, I've had no desire to play card or board games. Some of our oldest friends (who live very far away) still enjoy such games, but they (the games) are no longer my idea of a good time. I'd rather talk and laugh with our friends and share good meals.


And I'd also rather play my own solitary game, one I call Playing With Books.


How do you play that one? Well, you get some bookshelves and--after you discard the books you don't wish to read a second time-- you arrange your books first by catagories: adult, teen, children, reference, books-I've-not-yet-read. Then you arrange them alphabetically by author. Then you sit back and smile at your lovely books. Then you choose one to begin reading.


Yep, at this stage of my life, that's my favorite game to play. That's my idea of a great solitary time alone.


And I guess it's just one more change I've seen within myself over the years, one I've come to peace with. Some people might get all worried and wonder, "Why don't I love playing games with other people like I used to?" But not me. We all change and morph into who God designed us to be--that is--if we're cooperating with Him, not just wishing the tests away nor allowing ourselves to get stuck in muddy places like unforgiveness, fear, bitterness, etc. Get stuck in those dark places and they'll suck The Good Life right out of you.


Instead, I would recommend celebrating changes rather than dreading or worrying about them. That's my advice for this day.




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Speaking of books, here are more recommendations for your kindle:




A Horse Called September by Ann Digby.  Free as of today.
Murder in the Milk Case by Candice Speare Prentice. .99 cents as of today and the only ebook I've paid for so far, yet I'm glad I bought it. I love it.
Bucks, Beds and Bricks by Jean Blane Flannery. Free as of today.




And here's a fun book I found at an estate sale yesterday:  The Sweet Life by Lynn York. 


And oh my.... at that estate sale home, there were more than 300 gardening books. Can you imagine? I never see that many at libraries or bookstores, even. Wow.




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"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."  ... Ephesians 2:10


"Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord..."  ... Acts 3:19
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Friday, July 20, 2012

Phones

So. I might be the only person you know who doesn't love cell phones. Personally, I believe their best use is for emergencies and we should just leave it at that and move on with our lives already.


Heh. But that's not a "thus sayeth the Lord thing" by any means. It's just a personal preference.


And yet there are types of phones that I do love: old-fashioned black phones. 


Perhaps you remember this phone which I bought from ebay probably 10 years ago:


I look at that and think pleasant, nostalgic thoughts. The ringer doesn't work, but it is possible to speak through it to someone in the outside world.

Then there's the phone we've used regularly for probably 6 years, one I bought at a yard sale for a mere $1:


A great deal, but it's not behaved well with our Magic Jack service. Occasionally we've considered throwing it out the window because hey, when you need to make a call, well, you need to make a call. And when a phone won't allow you to do that, it's frustrating. Too, since February the ringer on this phone has made the wimpiest, weariest, sputter-sputter noise you ever heard. You can sit right beside it with the tv and the fan going and not even hear it. Hasn't bugged me too much (not being a phone person), but it's made Tom wild-eyed at times.

Well. Both Tom and I feel that his current job was provided by God mainly so that we could afford much-needed repairs to this house and so that we could replace our possessions which have just plain ol' worn out. 

So look what arrived yesterday:


A brand new phone. Is that cute, or what? And the ringer is even strong and healthy, too. :) Tom bought it online, though I can't recall from which company. All I know is that it's here, I'm so grateful for it and now we can move on and replace some other broken-down thing.

God is so good.


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Today my prayers are going out to all those involved with the Aurora, CO shootings. And for all of us, too, actually, who must live during a time when more people than ever are opening themselves up to evil and obeying its call.


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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

To Answer a Question

"Neglect not the gift which is within you."  1 Timothy 4:14


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Sarah asked a couple important questions after my last posts:


"I can't say I am even sure of my special calling or talents. I know one. Would there be more? How do I know or learn about them?"


Some quick answers from me who is upstairs, but unsure how long I can remain because it is warm up here, although, not nearly as humid today as yesterday--yay!


Still not sure of your gifts/talents/callings? 


I would say, ask yourself what you enjoy doing. I mean, God knows how we are--how, if we hate doing something, we'll try super-hard to avoid doing it. So why would He place a gift inside us that we'd hate to use? He gives us callings we enjoy, not only to get us to actually do them, but so that we will find helping others to be a delight, something to be anticipated.


Next I would ask, what are you naturally good at doing? Is there something which tends to be difficult for your friends, but for you, it's not hard at all? Just something which requires your time and a bit of patience, something you can handle without any real confusion or super-effort.


Remember how I was reading the book, Death of a Garage Sale Newbie? Well, my favorite character was Ginger, a woman about my age who loved teaching other ladies how to get great bargains, not only at garage sales, but at the mall, too. Since a child, she'd enjoying saving money on her purchases and she later raised four children on her husband's limited income, delighting in the challenge of staying within a tight budget. And now that her children had grown, she'd branched-out and formed a small group of women who had all sorts of questions about how to thrive in today's economy.


Ginger fulfilled her calling by exercising her talent to save money. (She was a whizz at it. A fun lady!)


And I guess I just want to keep it that simple today.


 What do you enjoy doing? What do you lose track of time, doing? What are you good at? Chances are, God placed that joy and that talent within you, but not just for your benefit! No, but so that--while you're helping others--you will find yourself in the right place at the right time--and you'll behold miracles of change.


"A man's gift makes room for him" and you know? One of the aspects of that verse means--when you use your gift--you'll connect with people who otherwise, you'd never have met. People who need what you have to give. People who may not have listened to a preacher or stepped into a church, but they'll listen to you. People who will someday find their way to God because you simply stepped out and let God use you through the gifts He planted inside you.


And there is nothing else on this planet quite like that.




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I think the biggest mistake people make when trying to discover their gifts/talents/callings is to go all oooooooo-spooky-spiritual about it. Don't do that! Actually, if we belong to God, it's all spiritual. Whenever we obey Him in seemingly small areas, that's as spiritual as it gets.


Again, what do you enjoy doing? What are you good at? 


Here are just a few of the types of gifts I'm talking about today:




Are you a good seamstress? Or a knitter? Do you crochet?
Do you love to create gardens? Are you a good landscaper? A creative decorator?
Do you enjoy baking? Cooking meals for others?
Are you good at writing stories or emails or letters or blog posts? Encouraging people at Facebook or other places online or in Real Life?
Have you always wanted to be an actor? Are you interested in community theater?
Do you love all things having to do with make-up? Are you good at making-up your face?
Do you love keeping-up with clothing styles? Have you designed clothes before?
Do you shop yard sales? Can you hardly wait to share a new great coupon or the latest sale prices at the mall with a friend? Are you great at financial planning? Stocks? Bonds? Budgets?
What types of things do you enjoy collecting? Do you love music? Do you sing well or play an instrument or collect certain types of music cd's?
Do you love to read? Attend book clubs? Do you like to throw parties? Do you enjoy making people laugh?
Are you good at organization? Does the thought of helping people clean-out their attics or declutter their homes, excite you? Do you enjoy keeping a tidy home?
Have people told you you're a good listener? Do you excel at sports?
Do you collect stationery? Do you enjoy sending snail mail cards and letters? Are you good at writing letters to people in your local government or others when you wish to see changes made?
Do you like giving directions? Instructions?
Do you love caring for children? Are you creative? Do you enjoy crafting with kids or adults or both? Are you an artist?
Are you a nature lover? Enjoy hiking and camping? Eating healthy? Organic?
 Do you enjoy teaching others what God has taught you?




Stop me before I go on all day. :) 


Every single one of these seemingly-simple talents/gifts/callings are avenues to helping lead people to a new life in God. Not only that, but when we help others, we're also helping ourselves to become more like Jesus. And we're changing the world, as well.


No, really. And why can't I let go of this subject? I guess because it makes me sad to watch Christians live boring lives, with no real purpose, and only for themselves or the family within their four walls. And it scares me to think of what will happen when they stand before God and He asks, "What did you do with the gifts I gave you?"


Please don't believe the lies satan loves to tell us so that we'll waste our lives away, you know, ones which sound like, "You're a talentless-blob. Only the Big Time gifts count, and you don't have any of those so you're excused. God's not expecting anything from you."


Oh, but He is! Yet only what He's already equipped you to do. And He has enabled you to do something marvelous--He doesn't leave anybody out. He loves each of us too much to see us miss out on the joy of helping others.




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"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work."  1 Corinthians 12:4-6


"Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."  ... Philippians 2:4




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