Friday, March 24, 2023

Oh Honey, I'd Never Say THAT!

"Without faith it is impossible to please God... When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers."   --- Hebrews 11:6, Proverbs 21:15


So I'm still reading folks' (wild, unsettling) comments after videos or Twitter/Gab posts and now I realize why. Blog fodder. So much blog fodder.  シ

And when Christians (especially) write, "Those scoundrels in leadership will never be punished! They always get away with their crimes," well, I shake my head.

Never would I speak those words! Why would I place more faith in injustice rather than godly justice? Why would I insist upon believing God won't carry out verses like this one?

"For I the Lord love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense..."   --- Isaiah 61:8

Yet Christians keep asking, " Why do poor leaders keep getting elected? Why does exposure of evil arrive so slowly?"

Months ago two Christian men (with shocked faces) spoke in a video the day following a godly legislative change. "I cannot believe I saw this day in my lifetime!," one said. "Right? I mean, I prayed for years, but never thought this day would actually arrive."

I gasped. My jaw dropped. Seriously? You guys (and probably millions of others) prayed, but never believed God would answer your prayers?

Man, no wonder "the wheels of justice grind slowly." Why are we shocked at slow justice if we're praying minus the believing part?


How about if we start speaking as though we believe God will answer our prayers? How about if we live with a heart-filled excitement that God will make all things new, that He'll bring justice where and when it's due?

How about if, in the meantime, we abide in the joy of anticipation?

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words."   ---Proverbs 18:21

"Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips."   --- Psalm 141:3


This week I created a list of the teachers/ministers/prophets I listen to regularly and came up with 16. Probably I could add another 3 I watch occasionally.
Is it difficult finding those who minister to my heart? Not at all! God easily brings to me via Youtube those who are repeating what the Holy Spirit tells me around the house while I clean, cook and live my life. They're all in agreement about most things and with what I'm hearing God say and He uses them to help keep me encouraged, growing, joyful and at peace.
Keeping my last post in mind, never let fear of hearing deeper insight of a Bible verse keep you from seeking those godly people God wants to place in your life! 
Without change there is no growth. Without growth, there is no change.
Without growth and change, there is only stagnation and boredom.

Did you know that Youtube lately added a ton of free movies? Here are a few places to begin looking: Bjg Tjme Faith Movies, Holy Critic, Indie Rights Movies For Free and Chicken Soup For The Soul TV.

"Be it unto you even as you have believed... and t
ruly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them."   --- Matthew 9:29


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

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Well, Hush My Mouth

"Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble."   --- Proverbs 21:23

(And personally? I believe it's time to return to a reverential fear of speaking against God's ministers.)


So a friend told me they'd read that an evangelist said ________.

I replied, "Really? I listen to that person sometimes and he usually doesn't say weird things like that. Did you hear him speak those words? Or did someone else say he said them?"

My friend replied, "Well, I guess I read it in an article about him."


Days later I found the evangelist's personal blog post about the afore-not-mentioned topic and good grief! What he'd actually stated was the opposite of what he was quoted as saying.

Probably we all have pet peeves and Honey? Here's one of mine: It makes me bonkers when people do not check out the original source, themselves. 

When they believe everything their trusted pastor/friend/spouse/teacher/neighbor/Aunt Gertrude tells them, even if the words sound 'off'. Even when God nudges them, saying, "Hey, you blasted through the conviction I sent to seek the original source."

Gossip: casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.

Uh-oh. And the real tragedy? When we believe gossip and then refuse to listen to a minister whose teachings may have changed our lives.

How careful we must be with our words! Mindful of our heart and its responses. 

How necessary to grow-up in Jesus, to obey Him, to mature so we stop making unintentional (but anointing-affecting) mistakes. Errors like these can, like a ship's rudder, guide our lives to choppy seas where wild waves thrash us around--

--when we could have sailed peacefully along in calm, smooth waters, instead.

"If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless."   --- James 1:26

  "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]."   --- Proverbs 18:21


Is this a perfect craft idea for spreading around Easter, or what? --

Okay, this short video was too cool--and helpful. Self defense for anyone, including out-of-shape me!

Ooooooo.... another new-to-me kindred spirit decorator!  She showed us how she decorated for Springtime and that reminds me--yesterday on Spring's first day? I spied my first robin of the season. Wow.

Sometimes here in Buffalo our first day of Spring resembles this--

--but not this year! No, yesterday was gloriously sunny and after wiping down the front porch, I sat outside in the warm morning sunshine reading and celebrating. Oh, how grateful I was--and still am.


If we desire to minister more meaningfully to others, God must be able to trust us with our words.

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God ..."   --- Ephesians 4:29,30

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

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Why This is a Most Beautiful Birthday

"Oh give thanks for He is good; His mercy endures forever."   ... Psalm 107:1


First, we survived covid. 

Then last week, nearly all my hearing returned. (Scary stuff before that: the infection happened in my only 'good ear'. Then God used this no-nonsense guy to show me how to fix what could've become permanent. Yikes!)

After all that? I entered into a deeper level of gratitude than ever before and wow. May I never leave this serene, incredible place. Ever.

This morning Tom gave me a dvd I'd wanted for years (this one, which inspired my favorite drama, Early Edition) so 6:30 a.m. found me on the red couch watching it while snacking upon the dark chocolate, organic mint ice cream and cranberry seltzer water from Naomi.

Friends at Facebook are leaving me sweet messages. Our purple crocuses are blooming, my daylilies are poking their stems from the ground.

Yesterday I did extra housework so today I could do only what I wish and on this birthday the sun is shining. These 36 degrees felt warm, even, while I walked down to the Salvation Army drop-off and the little free library around the corner.

Update: In the afternoon I sat upon our sunny concrete steps reading If These Walls Could Talk (mentioned below). Oh, my heart's celebration!

During a Buffalo, NY winter? It barely gets better than all that.

I highly (highly!) recommend these limitless layers, hills of gratitude. From here, all appears brighter, sweeter and of deeper significance.

May I never step away, but rather, venture even deeper still into this happy land where tiny things appear huge and glorious.

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."   ... 1 Thessalinans 5:18

Do we consistently thank God for giving us Life?  Are we asking Him to help us make this gift of life an incredible one?

"Gratitude makes everything we have more than enough." ---  Susan L. Taylor


Places you may enjoy visiting:

I own two beautiful I'll-never-give-these-away books of essays about memories of home. You can now read both at Open Library:

(If anyone can recommend similar books of essays, please let me know, ok?)


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

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Groceries. Can We Afford Them?

"Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter."   --- Proverbs 6:6-8


Now, don't bail out till the end of this, ok?  ツ

Call me insane (you might), but I'm enjoying this challenge of buying high-priced food. It's like playing a game and celebrating when I win.

No, really.

These past three 'covid years' I've spent less than $55 per week on groceries delivered from Aldi. I prefer giving money (tips) to kind delivery folks rather than my gas tank and oh the dollars I save by not roaming aisles picking up tempting-but-not-on-my-list items.

That $55 includes items for my prepper pantry, the occasional salad or hoighty-toighty eggs (I call them) for Naomi or her organic coffee, daily snacks for our delivery folks and $15-ish of foods Tom chooses.

To that let's add $40 monthly on groceries from Target or Walmart deliveries, bringing the total to $260. (I'm not counting cat food here.)

And yes, we do order-out once weekly (unless it's snowing) for our Saturdates and often Naomi makes lunch for us (her $) on Sundays, plus, we don't eat evening meals, but rather, a snack. But there you go.

Two-hundred sixty dollars for groceries per month (actual grocery costs minus tips and small delivery fee) while stocking a 6-month+ supply of prepper pantry foods.

(Wanted to add: if I had to cut way back on this budget, I could. It actually feels rather extravagant some weeks.)

Pretty much what I paid pre-covid years and yet am I bragging? No. Rather, I'm encouraging you that high prices barely matter. Our creativity, curiosity and hard work are way more important.

We can complain or we can search for cheapo, healthy meals from not only cookbooks, but videos like Youtube's '$5 or less meal plans' ones. (Links below.)

And we can--

--experiment by using just half the meat recipes call for.
--make our own chicken or beef stock. Snacks. Soup. Coffee. And taco/chili seasoning mixes.
--use our regular cooking oil to grease baking pans rather than buy the expensive spray bottle type.
--make our own scented room sprays, fabric refreshers and liquid hand soap.
--and so much more.

Are we diligently searching for new ideas/recipes online or elsewhere? Or are we throwing up our hands and sighing, "It's impossible to live cheaply during inflationary years."?

Life consists of seasons and I believe this inflationary time will calm down. That's encouraging, but so is knowing that God will always provide if we-- 

use wisdom
give to others
stay open to learning
remain determined
live in the joy of gratitude
and seek Him with all our hearts.

What a challenge! But with God all things are possible--and during inflationary days-- all things can still be a joy, as well.

Here's a prayer I like to pray: "Lord, please ignite my creativity! Restore unto me the joy of ________." (Gee, I've filled in that blank with lots of stuff).

God helps us stay victorious by sending us help: the Bible, people, videos, blog posts, books, magazines. It's a scary thing actually to ignore this help, to think, "That was a nice thing to read/watch," then move on and forget what now became our responsibility to live-out.
Take nothing for granted, consider nothing a coincidence, ok?

Some seasons are more about survival. What can we give up in order to keep the things we truly need? Will we remember that someday we can make different choices, but for now we still have the ability to remain happy in our current challenges?


$5 Dinners (Julia Pacheco. Love her! She's such an example of the happiness you'll find while doing what you were created to.)

Eat For $3 a Day Per Person (See Mindy Mom. Another joyful, accepting-the-challenges blessing in my life.)

Frugal Fit Mom is also a delight.

Tons more videos like those exist online. How many others can you find?

Last week I discovered another wonderful vintage teen book: True to You by Viola Rowe. Devoured it at Open Library. Perhaps it resonated with me because it involved changing schools (you may recall I attended 3 high schools!).


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

Thursday, March 02, 2023

Was It Possible to Enjoy These Past Three Years?

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."   --- Psalm 118:24


So can you recall when the whole 'flatten the curve', social distancing and working from home stuff began? I can. My birthday week, 2020.

Since another birthday is rushing my way (oh goody?), that 3rd anniversary of the world's tipping sideways is also. So as a sort of homework-that-encourages-me assignment, I began a Good Things Since March 2020 list.

Wow! The list ran longer than I'd supposed. 

Anyone else desiring bits of encouragement? Go for it. Create your own list of delights, provision and successes and may you find, as I did, that the positive far outweighs the negative. Perhaps you'll discover your ability to stay joyful increased even when Life threw garbage. 

Of course, some Christians--no matter where we are in History--huff and puff, "God never intended us to enjoy this life. We're just meant to plod through this veil of tears as best we can, anticipating Heaven where then we'll experience consistent joy."

(Yes, there are people like that. I've known some. Oh dear.)

Yet to them I would insist--

 " ... be joyful and do good as long as you live; also eat and drink and take pleasure in all your toil—this is God's gift to man...  You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy...  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly ... A joyful heart is good medicine ... the joy of the Lord is your strength... and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior."

Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13, Psalm 16:11, Proverbs 17:22, John 10:10, Nehemiah 8:10, Luke 1:47

Oh, the challenges of these past three years! 
But also, oh, the opportunities to not fear, but accept the challenges with a can-do-in-Christ spirit. 
To recognize when (and how) to fight and when to stand still in faith. 
To learn ways to feed ourselves cheaply even when grocery prices zoom upward.
To still believe for (and recognize) divine protection and godly favor. 
To remain patient, knowing God will not only care for us, but that He has wonderful surprises yet to manifest.
To simply enjoy God--

---and to seek to voice gratitude way more than complaints.

These past 3 years for me? They caused me to finally grow up in some areas where I'd dawdled too long with toes at the water's edge rather than just diving in and giving-in to what God desired. Planned.

Much good has happened and I hope you'll make your own Good Things Since March 2020 list today. May it encourage you that the goodness of God is always present even during times it's not obviously so.

When we purposely keep our eyes open for what God's fingers have touched in our world, we'll be blown away by the incredible.

These past three years? They were our chance to know God better. To draw from Him what we'd only before imagined: strength, friendship, comfort, trust, calmness, godly confidence, peace and much indescribable joy in believing.


Did I already give you this hawk video? (How anyone can look at birds, people and nature and not believe in God, I'll never understand.)

Looking to find a second income? Youtube has zillions of ideas. Here's one.

If you're into crafting and have some extra jars, be sure to check-out this video.

Resilience. God is incredible at making us resilient.


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

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

A Different Sort of This And That

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever."  ---Psalm 107:1


Last week? Celebratory. Finally my energy returned (!) and after carrying a bag of clutter and also this 'Simply Fit board'--

                                        (minus the arm bands)

--to the Salvation Army drop-off, I didn't even feel weary. Oh and yeah, ol' Debra no longer believes it's wisdom for her to twist around upon that green thing. Other forms of exercise still exist, though, she reminds herself.

Anyway, may I forever recall this deep, joyous gratitude of our having survived covid. Truly God can bring good out of dreary, renewed strength from extreme weakness and a clear head out of fogginess.

And all that during February? Surely that's saying something. ツ

My hearing's improved a bit, but guess who (while lecturing herself not to feel old) purchased hearing aids? I mean, in time, the infection will clear and the tinnitus will return to its normal 3 phones ringing rather than 6, but since a child, I've grown used to the ringing. Some folks never do. Yikes.

So a special thanks to all youtubers who are helping me via their let's-fix-your-ear-problem videos and to God for reminding me that, if I truly believe He'll heal me, I'll not obsess over this. Oh that temptation!

And lest I become one of those folks speaking only of their ills, let's move on. (Pul-ease, right?)

Last night our neighbor brought over a still-warm loaf of homemade bread. Oh my! What a treat and an obvious reaping of the good Naomi, especially, has sown into his and his sister's life.

And wow, the thick layer of ice outside! I can't even chip away at it now. Fortunately 6 days ago I cleared two small sections outside our doors, but even so, Tom and I did not order food delivery on our Saturdate. Why risk someone slipping? Instead, I made spaghetti (easy), my favorite food (yes, seriously).  ツ

Thankfully not every winter brings thick ice which refuses to melt and how grateful I am that we need not travel from Hobbit Cottage where life is sweet, no matter how the world's behaving

And not every year brings the same trials to any of us--none last forever and God, always, loves and heals us through them. Remember that.

What a blessing during my recovery February to discover videos like these --

The Great Chicago Fire: A Chicago Stories Documentary  (It wasn't Mrs. O'Leary's cow!)  ツ

These two books:

And this film (which ok, was predictable, but much better than I'd hoped)--

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."   --- Philippians 4:6,7


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, February 18, 2023

Giving Myself Permission To Be a Slacker

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness."   --- Romans 8:26


(Oh, and this post is for anytime any of us are thrown a 'curve ball season'. Doesn't have to be sickness.)

That first night with covid inside my (dearly loved) light blue and white striped closet bedroom? 

The Holy Spirit whispered, "This will be only a short season. If you'll express gratitude rather than self-pity, this won't be terrible. Rest upon your pillow, welcome God's sweet presence."

And of course, what a difference that made.

Yet also, in my near delirium, self-pity tried to yank me down to depths God never meant for us. But I fought--limply, but still. And through my opened closet door, I Love Lucy dvd's played and I dreamed, drifted, and thanked God that--still--these are a delight.

(What I think He told me? Satan hates it when people laugh and because God gave Lucy and Desi Arnaz extra portions of humor and creative intelligence, they faced enormous evil pressure. Satan's goal was to shut it, them, down early, to deprive us all of their gifts.)

Anyway. The permission to be a slacker part. Yes, the early weeks, especially, I'd think--

--- but I need to carry the bucket of snacks out to the porch for the delivery folks!
and feed the birds!
and clean the kitchen counters, what with all their bottles and cups!
and vacuum the living room!
and trim my hair!
and encourage people online!

But oh, the Holy Spirit. Gently He'd say, "No, Debra. You need to rest in Presence. In Peace. You're expecting more from yourself than even God does--again. I'll lead you in what must be done. You can do those things in Christ."

So I Love Lucy played on (and on) and somehow I made breakfast and lunch for Tom and myself. (I recall breakfast, but oh my, lunch is a forgotten memory. How did it get done? Besides the meals Naomi made us, what did we eat?)

Oh, the strengthening, encouraging presence of God, especially when one is sick! Especially when we actually trust.

Coughing, remaining in pajamas, feeling feverish, blowing my nose and extreme fatigue. Ugh. Yet what I'll always remember most?  Sleeping better at night than usual, I Love Lucy, and the comfort of Presence whenever I refused self-pity's wooing (both cannot co-exist. Remember that.).

Yes, for nearly a month, ol' Debra gave herself permission to be a slacker (while the Holy Spirit reassured her He'd not let it become a lifestyle).  ツ

The Holy Spirit, Wisdom and Grace? They do all things well. They place  hands on fevered brows and repeat and repeat, "This is only a short season. Soon all shall be well."

And it was. And is. And will yet be to come.

"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

Oh, the varying length of Life's many seasons!


What also helped us through covid? --

Sleeping on our sides, not back
Pineapple, pineapple juice
We did breathing exercises
Resting whenever we felt the need.
Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, elderberry pills, zinc
Hot tea
We ate eggs for breakfast
Not stressing out about it
Holding our faces over steam
We walked around often, flapping our arms (read this helps)
Homemade carbonated water, sometimes with tonic syrup
Not feeling rushed to return to real life
Lots of water flavored with a bit of juice
Oh, and asking for prayer online.


Okay, this was wild! (I'm still trying to figure out how he did that.)

Oh, and I enjoyed watching this young woman build her dream library (or did I share this already?)  シ


The Asbury Revival? What a joy to watch and only a beginning of the Great Outpouring of the Holy Spirit! 
And oh how it reminds me of the incredible renewal we experienced back in the 90's. That, and learning from Joyce Meyer (especially) how to sustain renewal/revival--both--changed me forever and left me with such love for Jesus, a desire to obey Him and a longing to remain in His sweet presence.

‘For I will pour out water on the thirsty land
And streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring
And My blessing on your descendants..."

“It will come about after this
That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions.
“Even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days."   --- Isaiah 44:3, Joel 2:28, 29


After the first two weeks of covid, the sun finally shone and outdoors felt like Springtime! What a dear, dear gift.

Yes. Oh my yes, indeed.

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