Monday, September 26, 2022

The Christians I Don't Hang Out With


"But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless."   ---Titus 3:9


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Awhile ago I returned to Twitter after Elon Musk said he'd buy it and make it fair. (Hope springs eternal. heh.)

I only signed up with Christians, strangers who mentioned God in their profile. "It'll be peaceful," I said. "We'll strengthen each other," I said.
It'll be all Truth and Light," I said.

Ha!  シ

Ok, some of the Christians were a delight. They shared verses and biblical perspectives and also prayer requests. Some are emboldened to speak out against Today's tyranny. All those are wonderful.

But many others? They concentrated upon these, below, which all my life I've never liked, stuff which appears like Christianity, but I wonder--


The Bible says it's ok to drink alcohol. How much do you think is ok?
Calvanism vs. Armenianism. Pick a side.
Mega churches. Ever godly?
Exactly what was the Apostle Paul's thorn?
Birth control. Does God ever allow it?
Hymns or modern worship songs? Which does God prefer?
Women in churches. They shouldn't speak, right?
Some one-piece bathing suits are more revealing than bikinis so bikinis are ok, right?


Oh, for Pete's sake!




To me, anyway, that is not true Christianity. Sorry.

Then today they argued about there being too many black people in commercials. When I said I'd witnessed a new broader spectrum of all races, the crowd chewed me up and spat me out.

Darn ol' Twitter anyway.

Well, a girl needs to go where God can use her most efficiently. Where He can best use her time, her gifts. So I'm moving forward. Oh, I helped some folks there, but mostly I spied people who made excuses to stagnate remain the same.

What would I rather talk about?

Loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Loving our neighbors as ourselves.
The Holy Spirit's place in our lives. And Grace.
Expressing gratitude daily.
The presence of God.
Revival. Repentance.
Heaven.
Spreading hope. And joy. And encouragement.


Frankly, I love how God nudges us to change, especially when it sets us a whole level more free. 







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Speaking of Truth.......by the time we finished attempting to declutter our basement, we discovered it was a bigger, badder secret than we'd imagined. Never again. Oh my, never again will we collect that much stuff.


Oh, and for the record--I'll be returning to Gab. It's similar to Twitter, but there's a whole different spirit about it; a friendlier one. And the inspiring, emboldened folks from Twitter often post at Gab, as well.

P.S. I was going to bail out of Twitter, but instead, went back and unfollowed the vast majority, keeping only those folks I know by name or reputation or with whom I've had meaningful interactions. Not promising to stay there forever, but just seeing if this makes a good difference.



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Oh my! Kindred Spirit City. (My fellow lovers of autumn may enjoy this young woman's ideas, as well.)


And this weekend Tom and I watched an older documentary on Prime about Babe Ruth. Bittersweet, but inspiring.










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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Following Grace. Yes, Another Post, But With New Stories.




“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal."   --- Matthew 6:19

--or--

No moments of procrastination ever felt nearly as marvelous as taking an active step.

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For 11 years Tom's and my basement was Our Bad Secret. By comparison, some folks from Hoarders looked like neat freaks.

Oh, over the years, Naomi and I did what we could. Yet no matter how many bags we carted away or how many boxes we rearranged or relabeled, still, yeah. Bad Secret status down there.

But next Monday a waterproofing crew will arrive (all I understand about that procedure is I'll be writing a gigantic check) and Tom asked if they would also haul away junk. 

"Sure! For a price, Buddy.

Yet all these Bad Secret years later we're oh-so-willing to pay it and call our Estate Sale Season done for good and forever. No more tempations from yard sales, either.

While we wait, we wade through those 11-year-old boxes, lifting stuff other people could probably (not?) use. Then ol' Debra bags it and lugs it down to the Salvation Army drop-off (she needs the exercise).

At 4:30 this morning, Tom was basement bound, again, being as ruthless as possible. (Some of this clearing is so the waterproofing guys won't mutter, "Lazy, hoarding bums.") Back up here I asked, "Have you learned your lesson yet?" to which he replied, chuckling, "Oh yes. Definitely yes. Never again."

And although our minds wander too often to that crowded, mildew-ish (even with a dehumidifier) basement--other than that--much grace is upon us. Finally we're getting this sorted, released, cleared and done and wonder of wonders--in peace!

See, years ago we'd have worked on that basement simultaneously rather than apart, each complaining about the other's hoarding tendencies, each growing more heated until yelling may or may not have occured.  ツ

But go being married 4 decades and--hopefully--you're wiser and can give your partner lots of space and time because you, also, are learning lessons monthly. Again, hopefully.

And oh! That estate sale season. Those 25+ years felt like real-live time travel episodes and provided memories, instances of imagination and blog fodder, as well.

Yet even the Bible states no season lasts forever so yeah, probably it's best we avoid estate sales altogether. That long season of grace was remarkable, but while aging I'm noticing it's best to veer far from anything which might bring discontentment.

My house in Heaven? Already I'm certain of this: it's gonna be one 'blast from the past', indeed, and yet I can wait till God's correct 'season' for that. 

Come visit me there someday and I'll show you around.





Have trouble releasing things from your past seasons? This always helps me:


"But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt."   Genesis 19:26


"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."   --- Hebrews 4:16


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Speaking of estate sale houses... I do have grace to view these haven't been-changed-in-decades houses locally at Realtor.com. This one reminded me of many of those estate sale houses I dreamed my way through--










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Tom and I watched a good movie this weekend, A Dog Year. 

We watched via Prime. Just a small amount of language, but an animal does pass away, though not the star (dog) of the movie, which ok, is probably a spoiler, but personally? I prefer knowing ahead with these animal movies whether the dog is gonna die--or not.  ツ


Oh, and this! The 50th year celebration of the tv show, Emergency!


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Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 
 *** 

 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Not For Book Lovers Only

"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace..."   --- 1 Peter 4:10


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Uh oh. My book snobbishness is showing.

See, from my 3 favorite 'booktubers'--






--I've compiled a (long) list of books they made sound remarkable. 

Yet now? I'm thinking probably it's the women, themselves, who are the remarkable ones. They make me smile and inspire me to previous Avid Reader of Books status, even while recommending books I'm iffy about or even, uh, no-ish.

Book talk--any book talk! How it motivates us bibliophiles.

But anyway, finally I'm attacking that list of mine. Most of these booktubers' recommended books are at Open Library so I zip over, begin reading and uh-oh. Eight times out of ten I'm disappointed.







I'll not share specific titles (lest I offend scads of you and you never return here again), but below are some actual comments I noted about certain books on my list:

 
Read it all, but well, it barely kept my interest. Meh.
Began great, but a ghost appeared. I skipped toward the end and discovered it was real. Sigh.
Read part, but far too depressing.
No. Just no. Too complicated to say why.
Began it, didn't like it. Immediately lost interest.
So-so. Maybe I'll continue reading later. Probably not.
Started, but it's too silly and I don't care that it's a classic, either!


But you know? From age 14 I've experienced this, and well, after 50 years you get used to loving books no one else has even heard of (or desires to read).

Speaking of age 14 (or 13), that's when I realized which gifts God gave me:

Encouraging others
Writing
Teaching

I knew and other people noticed and told me, as well. God never meant our gifts to be a confusing secret! (Where's the wisdom or efficiency in that?)

And still it shocks me (no, really) the comments at various ministry sites where elderly older folks exclaim, "I have no idea what my gifts are. Please pray God will show me."

We'll all use our gifts in Heaven to also keep it running smoothly and what I'll always appreciate? That I began practicing those gifts early. That (mostly) I didn't let being a goofy kid stop me from doing what I loved, including reading books my same-age friends never did.

This all created traveling a unique pathway. 

One of not only joy, but an awareness that Jesus remains beside me even when others quietly walk away. Always He'd, instead, direct me toward those He knew would want (and receive, not reject) my help--and Life went on.

And I wouldn't trade a moment of it.






 "For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them..."   --- From Romans 12


Still not sure of your God-given gifts? Go here (scroll down). (And for Heaven's sake, don't complicate it! Complication ruins everything it touches.)  シ


The more we know what we like and what we don't and where we want to go, the less confusion we'll experience.


Our God-given gifts are not to be treated as a hobby. Instead, much of our time should be devoted to ministering to others through them as God meant we should, not part-time, but as full-time as possible. In Heaven, we'll be held responsible for this and for our serious thought and action given to His individual calling within us.


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My Top 8 Favorite Books:


  1. The Bible
  2.  Chicken Every Sunday
  3.  Thoughts of Home
  4.  Anybody Can Do Anything
  5.  Mary Emma and Company
  6. . Mama Makes Up Her Mind
  7.  The Calico Year
  8.  Martha's Vineyard Isle of Dreams


My Top 8 Favorite Book Series:


  1. Tobey Heydon series by Rosamond du Jardin
  2.  Little Britches by Ralph Moody
  3.  Judy Bolton by Margaret Sutton
  4.  Janet Lambert's 2 teen series
  5.  Nancy Drew (originals only) by Carolyn Keene
  6.  Ramona Quimby by Beverly Cleary
  7.  The Ladybug Farm series by Donna Ball
  8.  Gladys Taber's Stillmeadow series


I discovered Downie Live, a new-to-me Youtube traveler and Tom and I are enjoying his latest train adventures.




Seriously, I was one goofy kid. I used to love watching Lawrence Welk and often sat upon our couch viewing it alone.  シ

(Thanks for sharing this at Facebook, Dolores!)


Coming soon to a nation near you!








Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 

 *** 

 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Hope Stealers. Boy, Will They Be Sorry.


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."   --- Romans 15:13


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So daily I used to read a certain Christian financial blog, but now? 

Super rarely do I peruse its 'the-sky-is-falling!' titles. I roll my eyes while scrolling down and pity this guy with the enormous fatalistic outlook.

I mean, hey, I totally understand warning people. These verses in Ezekiel 3 haunt me (like crazy) and that's why I slip warnings into my blog:


... when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin ... I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”


But last week? The warnings in that financial guy's blog made me mad. Seriously, livid. (The underlining is mine.) --

"Our economy is imploding, inflation is out of control, the housing market is starting to crash, our weather patterns have gone completely nuts, the western half of the nation is enduring the worst drought in 1,200 years, we are dealing with three major pandemics simultaneously ... And if you think that there is hope on the horizon, you are going to be severely disappointed.  The current crop of politicians in Washington is the worst that we have had in our entire history, and all of the “solutions” they give us just seem to make matters even worse."


Oh, for goodness' sake!





Yes, God calls us to warn others, but never does He say, "Annihilate people's hope. Preach that all hope is gone and making changes won't even save them. Tell them it's too late and too impossible."

And if Christians insist upon pushing that message? I feel they're in danger.The scary, don't-stand-too-close-to-me! type.

(And to be clear, for 2 years this guy's posts have resembled this one, hence why I stopped consistenly reading. Sometimes he'll say, 'barring a miracle, such and such is gonna happen', but 'miracle' comes out sounding like a sneer.)

Anyway, yes! Times are tough. They are.

But, oh how thankful I am to God for pouring out wisdom to those who ask. 
For showing the 'askers' how best to spend their money or where to safely save or give it away.
And how and when to stock up on groceries and emergency items.
Where to find delicious cheap recipes. 
When to move and when to stay.
Who to follow and who to leave behind.
And how to experience joy in the midst of it all.


Oh, the truck loads of hope God gives to those who unfailingly trust Him! To those refusing to cower in fear. To those with assurance that He hasn't washed His hands of this planet, but instead, will be bringing changes soon, even remarkable revival.

And in the meantime? We can live daily with great anticipation, all those who--no matter how things appear--keep gazing upward 'for the redemption that draweth nigh'.






"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."   --- Jeremiah 29:11


"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."   --- Hebrews 11:1


There's warning people, then there's stealing their hope. They are not the same!







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Yesterday I enjoyed this Charles Kuralt documentary. His On The Road series is always a delight to rewatch and you can find those episodes also at Youtube, especially this overview one.

And for those who adore splashing around in all things Autumn? Here's this.



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"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."   --- Romans 12:12






Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 

 *** 

 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Do It--Or Something Like It--Now


"Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened."   --- Dr. Seuss


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Well, this was sad.

Via Youtube, Justin Scarred took us to Henry Ford's Greenfield Village and wow, if you go there, you'll feel time travel does exist. What a dreamy, old-fashioned town.

Afterward, on Facebook, a woman wrote this and got me all teary-eyed:

"Justin, In January my husband had a major stroke and today I turned on the last four videos you’ve done at Gettysburg and this one above. It’s sad-- at first my husband didn’t remember who you were. I explained to him we used to watch you all the time, that you’re my favorite guy, but when he got done with those episodes he wept and cried and said, "I want to do that! I wish I could go." It made me so sad, it was like a little kid, but thank you for entertaining my husband and giving him that awesome video that you did."

Oh. My. Goodness. Haunted me for days, perhaps because it reminded me that much of what I did in my earlier years, I can no longer do today. 

Yet truly, color me grateful that Tom, Naomi and I --

moved 3000 miles to New York state,
that I used our Autumn Cottage as a 14-year decorating class/project. 
That we later bought that 3 acre farm
and took those 4 cross-country train trips. 
That we walked through hundreds of old houses via estate sales
made the friends we did, 
went camping
and had myriad other adventures.

And today from age 63 I would tell you do it now. Or begin making plans now. Or discover do-able alternatives now.

Why? To everything there truly is a season and wow. Most seasons are short! And many evaporate while we procrastinate, doubt and fear.

Take the trip now. Or make the plans today.
Or travel vicariously through others via Youtube, books, etc.
Decorate that room. Or study the how-to's first.
Visit that family member, that friend, now.
Learn that new skill (prepping, maybe?). ッ
Train for that new career.
Introduce yourself to that neighbor.
Start that exercise program or vitamin regimen.
Write that book. That song. That play.

But let the Holy Spirit lead! Take tiny steps or huge ones, whatever He says is timely. Truly, in this case, timing is everything, for only at the right time does Grace hop up and down, declaring "I'm here! I'm available for all the help you require. But just if you act now."

Yet if we wait? Only struggle or even impossibilities remain. And regret, oh dear, too much regret.

Do it now or begin it now before Grace, as they say, has left the building.






"The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied."   --- Proverbs 13:4


God places certain dreams within our hearts so to accomplish specific things, like His will, upon this Earth. Take nothing for granted, count nothing too small!


Oh, and just because 2022 Times are rough does not mean our dreams must end! The dreams God gives us will happen if we keep believing, staying open to miracles and doing our part to see them through.


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 Never let anyone steal your hope!





Did you know that A Christmas Story sequel is coming to HBO Max in November? Could be cute--I'm not going to join in with the naysayers, at least, not until I watch it for myself. heh.




Already I've told you I love traveling Route 66 via Youtube videos, somedays 5 days a week! But I keep forgetting to mention the Little House On the Prairie sites also via Youtube. Sometimes I travel to those, too, but along with families. It's like sneaking inside their vans, then walking along beside them all invisible-like. (Nah, that doesn't sound creepy at all.)  ツ


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And always remember.... God can make a way where there is no way. He excels at that.


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Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 

 ***

 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Saturday, September 03, 2022

Where She Lives In Buffalo But Can No Longer Eat Wings And ---



"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."   --- James 1:17


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As I wish Tom every Saturday morning, "Happy Saturdate to you!"

If you've read here long, you know that at noon on Saturdays we, online, order to have lunch delivered. We close the curtains and pretend there's no big bad world out there. Lunch arrives and we watch a Blue Bloods rerun then a couple movies, ending with an episode of Hawaii 5-0.

We chat, remark how so-and-so on the screen is aging well--or not (bad, bad us). Or when the movie folks act foolish we squeal, "Wait for back-up!" or "Honey, you're in a dark alley alone. You deserve what you get." heh.

Yet regarding lunch, oh, how I used to love ordering Buffalo wings (or fingers), first with medium sauce, then I had to switch to mild.

But this year? My 63-year-old body revolted. No longer can I handle either sauce nor can I eat onions on hamburgers (or anything else) nor can I drink half of the berry kombucha we used to share.

All in one year this happened and trust me, for awhile 'I was shook' (as the kids say).

No more Buffalo wings, except maybe the not-as-great garlic kind? Oh my. That threw me. As I mentioned, we live in Buffalo, for goodness sake!

But a month after The Great Body Rebellion of 2022, Tom sat at his recliner, gazing at the Chili's menu online and he said, "They have honey chipotle chicken strips--do you want to try those? They even come with corn on the cob and coleslaw."

Still a bit nervous at the mention of restaurant chicken, I replied, "Hmm. I guess I'll try it. Go ahead and order."

                           
(Picture mine with coleslaw, not beans.)


Oh my goodness. Let me count the ways I love that Chili's Honey Chipotle chicken meal. Ok, I'll just say, my body tolerates them well and whenever it's my turn to order on Saturdays, I choose Chili's. That chicken meal for me. Every. Single. Time.

(And please: no lectures on how it's probably horribly unhealthy. heh.)

Today's lesson? This, which I believe with all my heart, factoring-in God's wisdom--



Often we must give up certain things for varied reasons, sometimes simply due to godly conviction:


Some foods
Some friends
Some dreams
Some travels
Some music
Some movies
Some tv networks/series
Some social media
And  some _______ (fill in the blank.)

But what I've discovered? When we're faithful to release what God asks (or what we must health-wise), if we truly rely upon Him, giving Him time, He will provide something even more wonderful, yes, even in this wild, nothing's-fair 2022.

Or, He'll send us something super-extremely close, that is, if we remain open rather than shutting ourselves away in a dark misery.

And on this Saturdate day, I hope you've found that to be true, also.





Did you notice my mention of giving God time? I try hard not to be one of those big complainers, people who often quip, "I tried that for 2 whole weeks, then I gave up." Oh my. Those people make me loopy, especially when they are me.  ツ


Oh and Blue Bloods? That's one show where I can say, truly, I feel sorry for folks who don't watch it. 
Weekly it's about family. Loyalty. Doing the right thing when it's hard. Excellence of character. Unconditional love. Common sense. Courage and much, much more.
It has remarkable 'rewatchability' and we watch via Hulu. (We always start our rewatching with season 2. In season 1 they were still 'finding themselves' shall we say.)  シ




"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work."   --- 2 Corinthians 9:8


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Oh wow! Ariel Bissett did it again. She transformed another part of her house, this time a small hallway, using wallpaper. Check it out here! (Currently I'm decorating vicariously through Ariel.)


Do you ever watch History Hunters at Youtube? Very informative and I like this guy's calmness, his sense of humor and all I learn from his research.


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Movies we've enjoyed lately?


Top Gun Maverick
The Greatest Inheritance
The Oyler House (documentary)
Red Dog
Waffle Street
Megan Leavy
WarGames (yes, the old one)
The Aeronauts (2nd or 3rd time)
One Fine Day (again, old)
My Spy


And we recently discovered 2 tv series we enjoy--

Perception (tho' we did skip 2 first season episodes due to themes)
Almost Paradise
















Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. *** "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15