Instant Gratification

Fostering the Heart

Proverbs 25:4 Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel;

Hungry, I walked over to the metal box and read the simple instruction. Push the button, two minutes later, a pancake rolled out on a conveyor belt. Truly fascinating, no more work, just instant gratification in the world of sweet breakfast. On further inspection of this marvel, I noticed the flat, semi-brown pancake lacked my usual standards. It resembled a Frisbee. In the endeavor to speed the process of production, it lost the full richness of texture and taste.

To make a truly delicious pancake, requires us to crack eggs, whisk ingredients, add a splash of oil to the pan, pour a measure of batter and flip until the edges are golden crisp. It takes time to produce a unique golden, fluffy, mouthwatering pancake. However, it is worth it. The result not only fills your…

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#The Lost Princess and the Jewel of Periluna #Robert B. Sloan

I received this book  free; and did a review for Baptist Standard Magazine. Would make a nice gift for young readers.

The Lost Princess and the Jewel of Periluna is the second book in the Hamelin Stoop series. Book One, The Eagle, The Cave and the Foot Bridge, sets the background, explaining why the main character, Hamelin, lives in a children’s home.

 

The writing style of author Robert B. Sloan, president of Houston Baptist University, quickly engages young readers, as the Great Eagle leads Hamelin through the mysterious cave and across the footbridge once again in search of his parents. His continuing quest to seek his identity takes him through the dangerous Waters of Death and Life and into the Land of Gloaming.

 

Placing his quest aside, Hamelin joins forces with two new friends in their mission of freeing a kidnapped princess and recovering a stolen jewel. To aid in their journey, the trio receives special gifts—a scarf of sight, magical gloves, shoes of speed and a sword of death.

 

Sloan fills each scene with adventure and suspense. Young readers will look forward to the release of the third book in the series with enthusiasm.

 

A Father’s Sacrifice

This is my devotion that posted today on http://www.christiandevotions.us; you can read many wonderful devotions on this site daily.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4

As a young child, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and homemade gravy was our Sunday meal. Today, I still crave my mama’s fried chicken—a dish I can’t duplicate. Maybe it was the little can of grease sitting on the stove that gave it that extra flavor.
Years after the passing of my father, I mentioned to my mom how I couldn’t believe Dad really liked the chicken backs. A huge grin covered her face. She said, “He didn’t, but he ate them so you kids would have the best pieces.” That day, I saw a tiny glimpse of the sacrifice my father had made over the years.
The central event of the Christian faith is Jesus’ death on the cross. His Father’s sacrifice to all of us so we would have the best. He paid the price for our sins. Through His grace, we are allowed to have a relationship with the Father. Jesus’ death and resurrection are the only things that allow us to enter heaven.
My dad sacrificing his wants at our Sunday meal was the central event for me at our dinner table. Unfortunately, for years that sacrifice went unnoticed.
Let’s all remember the great sacrifice our Father in heaven made for us. I can’t even begin to imagine the magnitude of that sacrifice.

 

#Know Who You Are-Live Like It Matters by Tim Tebow, –Book Review

#Know Who You Are Live Like It Matters by Tim Tebow

This is a book review I wrote for the Baptist Standard online magazine. A wonderful book.

Readers will recognize sports icon Tim Tebow as Heisman Trophy-winning football player at the University of Florida—former NFL quarterback and now an outfielder with the New York Mets. Tebow shares his heartfelt journey of loving Christ, no matter the cost.

Tebow’s message, “The only identity worth having—is found in Jesus Christ,” is seen throughout the pages of Know Who You Are-Live Like It Matters. As he shares his successes and failures, readers are drawn into the events of his life. Tebow journeys back to his childhood and introduces his parents, emphasis the significance of family.

This book is intended to speak to the heart of home homeschoolers. Even so, being more than 60 years old and stepping out of my comfort zone with a new adventure, I was encouraged and reminded our identity is from Christ and not from this world.

The author guides readers through thirty-six lessons. Each begins with a Bible verse and concludes with the opportunity to journal thoughts, feelings, and opinions. The interactive guide is set up in four parts with nine lessons each.
It is a great resource for discovering or confirming our identity in Christ. In a world searching for significance, readers are reminded our identity is from Christ and Christ alone.

Creation Cries

This is my devotion that posted on http://www.christiandevotions.us today.

 

I stand in awe at the unending beauty of God’s creation.
A towering evergreen, a tree stump, or a fluttering hummingbird, each tell their own story. As I walk the beaten paths of a state park, I see visitors with cameras in hand documenting their stay. The captured beauty will soon be pasted in a scrapbook or transform a plain wall into a colorful mosaic.
Sadly, the forest tells another story. Visitors who view a healthy tree as firewood. Campers who rush away, forgetting to extinguish the embers. Hikers who mark the trails with liter. Homeless who take shelter among the pines. These narratives are visible to the world, and the pain is felt by many.
Consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The Creation waits in eager expectations for the sons of God to be revealed. I rejoice in these words from Romans and lean into the hope that creation will be liberated from man’s disrespect. Nature will be magnified when we get to heaven, and creation will be free from the hands of our neglect and abuse—free to sing.
We have hope in the message that God will liberate us from the bondage of this earth and that we will stand in awe of a place we can’t imagine. Until God returns, let’s care for this beautiful earth. Be mindful of the discarded gum wrappers and cigarettes butts that dot the land.
Your actions can change the landscape of God’s creation

 

 

The Journal Box

This is an article I wrote for the Care Connection Magazine.                                                                                                                The Care Givers Ride
As a child, I would write in my diary, then as a young adult, I would fill the pages of decorated journals. All those adventures and emotions are now trashed.
However, I started writing once again, but now I call it journaling. I believe journaling is the voice we can use to travel into the caverns of our heart.
As caregivers, it is important to have a safe place to visit. We spend so much of our time providing for our loved ones— creating a safe place for them. We sometimes forget about “us.”
I would like to share several pages from my journal.
April 26 2004
“I love flipping through cooking magazines, day dreaming about the wonderful meals I am going to prepare. However, I know it is only a dream. I barely have time to get a batch of pancakes thrown on the griddle, before my duty as a caregiver pulls me in another direction.
May 7 2012
Two more flips of the calendar will greet me with my 63rd birthday. Billy is only 2 years older than I am. I lost the brother I knew in 1987.He cannot change the fact 25 years ago someone kicked him in the chest and the life he knew is forever gone. He struggles daily to accept his imprisonment. Remnants of bull riding and serving his country decorate his room and overshadow the tubes that hang from his distorted body.
I haven’t always been the care taker of Billy. It doesn’t seem that long ago I questioned Mom’s decision to bring her total care son home from the nursing home. Mom died a little over eight years ago. I now fill that role of primary care taker. Yes, friends and family warned me of burnout and reminded me “You have a life of your own”. My first thought was to run away. I just spent the last 6 months caring for my dying mother. I wanted nothing more to do with sickness and responsibility. I tried to convince myself Billy would be better in a nursing home. But, something tugged within, an invisible string running through me—binding love, duty, faith. It runs deeper than I can imagine, reasoning and logic hold no power over this force. I now know what unconditional love is all about. I had a choice to walk away and give the responsibility to someone else. To my surprise I chose the role of the caretaker. When I enter Bill’s room I escape the reality of my world. I leave my to do list on the kitchen table. Gunsmoke and I Love Lucy re-runs entertain us. We recall old childhood memories and laugh together. For a moment, Mom, Dad and our oldest brother dance in our laughter then quickly return only to a memory. I wish I could say I never grumble about the work and responsibility, but I can’t. This choice can’t be justified to the outside world nor does it need to be, it is a connection between brother and sister that has no boundaries. Bill’s slurred words, “thank you, thank you” warm my heart.
August 10 2014
!! Hospice
December 18 2014
As I write Christmas cards to my friends, something is missing, for over ten years I always signed my cards, with Billy’s name also. This is the first year I cannot.
There is a going to be a lot of firsts for me this coming year, the first Christmas not buying “Big Red” or gathering in his room around his bed playing a silly word game.
Billy died sept 4th and his death has left a hole in my heart, a disjointed feeling. He was more than a brother he was an extension of me, you see I have been his voice for over ten years. I chose his clothes daily, his tv shows, the time his light would come on and the time his light would go off. My total care brother and I merged 27 years earlier when an accident left him  total care.

That is where I am now, stepping into the emptiness. This pain and emptiness would be black if I didn’t have the light of Jesus to guide me through. Jesus mourned for his friend John, so I know nothing is wrong with mourning—my care giving ride has ended.
Compassion fatigue is often the silent pain caregivers carry deep within,

Last week I wrote about stepping out of my comfort zone.
But this morning I see it from a different view. Why God would choose a poor Texas girl with a speech problem to write about his daily provisions and mercies still amaze me. And now I am stepping out of my comfort zone and sharing my testimony with others. Last night, I shared my journey with ten strangers. I spoke about giving God 100 percent of my tears and fears when I didn’t think I could go. I was so encouraged with the warm affirming response I received from these ten women.
I was nervous on the way to the meeting, but I soon remembered friends were praying for me. So today, as I reflected on the affirmation from the ladies and how my story touched their hearts, I realized that I had been lying to myself, when I said, “I am stepping out of my comfort zone.” If I am with Christ, how can I be stepping out of my comfort zone? He is my strength.
As I prepare to share my testimony/book with Hope Springs Mother and Daughter Tea this coming week, I will hold fast to the knowledge God is my comfort zone and His arms will be surrounding me as I share my story.