Celebrating Knowledge

28 Apr

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

Do you know why I think it is essential to learn something new?
Or why I try to glean new insights from observing what you do?

 

You generously share your thoughts with me,
‘ tho you might not be aware.
I listen carefully to your actions.
There is wisdom and insight there.

 

To learn something new each day,
listen with your heart.
There is a message in our actions
that words fail to impart.

 

Actions speak louder than words.
Body language can be strong.
Watch carefully before you judge someone.
Keep in mind, you may be wrong.

 

Thought for the Day

Yesterday is a cancelled check.
Tomorrow is a promissory note.
Today is the only cash you have.
Spend it wisely. Kay Lyons

 

 

 

Matching My Mind to My Location

27 Apr

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Yesterday we loaded up the car and left Florida behind. Today we are saying hello North Carolina mountains. Both are beautiful and we are blessed more than we deserve to have precious friends and family in both places.

My first step toward settling in was a trip to the grocery this morning.  I was intent on mentally checking off the items on my list and taking advantage of the large store to get in a brisk walk. I wheeled around a corner and almost crashed into another shopper. People walk slower here, they take the time to smile and ask how you are. I realized I needed to switch my mind to match my location.

This past weekend I attended a women’s retreat at Park Avenue Baptist Church.  Old Things R New blogger, Janet Perez Eckles was the featured speaker.

Janet’s sessions were filled laughter, but with the purpose of leading us to think more deeply and to see how God equips us with strength and courage. In the days before the retreat I had been mulling a mental change of direction. I was tired of rehashing old hurts in my mind. I knew they were attacks from the enemy and I was so over the attacks.

Step back in time with me, about forty years or so. I was expecting our first child and even though I watched my food intake, I dreaded the monthly weigh in at the Obstetrician office. Being a football fan, I had heard that a good offense is the best defense, so at my next check up I took up an offensive approach. I moaned about my weight gain and was so dramatic in my distress that the doctor ended up comforting me rather than exhorting me!

At the conference I decided to go on the offense with the one who accuses. Each time an already confessed and settled episode comes to mind I am going to fling it like a flaming sword straight to heaven, but on the tip of the sword will be prayers of good  for the person.  I am changing my mind to match my eternal location.

Peru and Amazon River~Part 3

25 Apr

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

Shaman of the Amazon rainforest

After waking and eating another delicious breakfasts on the boat that always included delightful papya and bananas, we were off on our walk through the rainforest to meet the Shaman.

 

 

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We sat in an open hut in a circle. We were all given a personal blessing. The Shaman would walk among us saying prayers in his native tongue and blow smoke on us as he chanted. We spent about an hour there. The experience was quite interesting. He had eyes full of knowledge and concern. His head dress was of meaningful feathers and his apprentices head dress was made of seeds and forest elements.

 

 

To some, the term “Shaman” may conjure up images of tricksters more than healers.

 

But authentic Shamans are masters of a sacred craft, living repositories of centuries of therapeutic wisdom.

The depth of shamans’ knowledge on preventive medicine and diagnostics has astonished even physicians who have studied their approach.

Shaman know the forest and medicinal treasures better than we do. And better than we ever will.

 

They will tell you that many human afflictions and diseases are from the heart, mind and spirit. Western medicine can’t touch them. He cures them.

Most medicine men and women and shamans remaining in the Amazon Rainforest are 70 years old or more.

Most of the shamans today do not have apprentices. So when a shaman dies, thousands of years of accumulated knowledge come completely and irreversibly to an end.

On our walk back we stopped in a location that had been logged. Each of us had an opportunity to give back to nature and plant a brand new tree.

 

Back on the boat and we will be stopping at our next excursion to a village that makes distilled rum from sugar cane. Please join me next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 23

24 Apr

Painting and Paraphrase by DiVoran Lites

 

Day 23,

Home

Jeremiah 29-4

 

Beloved,

Naturally the world is a foreign place to you.

You become homesick now and then, feeling as though you have been exiled to a place of confusion.

That is because you were created to live with Me.

All humans experience aloneness from time to time.

It can come from bitterness, a twinge of fear, or a long miserable stretch in a foxhole of anxiety (often of your own making).

Dear one do not despair I have a special place for you.

You may come into it whenever you please by communing with me, helping others, and exercising your spiritual gifts.

What you do now is make a home wherever you are.

Do not pine for your real home which is in Heaven with me.

Thrive where you are while I bring Heaven to you.

Use My discernment to know the truth about who to trust.

Your times are in my hands.

In my own time I’ll bring you home.

I take care of you now and forever.

When you pray I listen.

When you look for me I’m right here.

I constantly improve your life.

I make it what I plan for it to be.

Memories of New Mexico~Part 9

23 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

More random memories….

 

A fun memory is of the winters in Albuquerque. It can get quite cold there,

 

 

and when the milkman delivered the milk to our back door – we would find that the liquid had “frozen” and the cream on top had pushed the cardboard liner out of the neck of the bottle, and it was standing several inches above the top of the bottle – with the paper cover on top! We always got a laugh out of that!

 

Daddy shoveling a pathway to the street.

18″ of snowfall this time.

 

While there was a doorbell button outside the front of the house, if one passed through the screened area, then you had to knock on the wooden front door to enter the house proper. Another interesting point is that there was also a doorbell button at the back door of the house! I had never seen that before – or since. It had a little different tone to it, so we knew someone was at the back door, rather than the front door.

I remember there was a huge weeping willow tree in the back yard. I remember it, especially, because when it was time for me to get a spanking, my parents made me go out and “pick out” the “switch” with which I was going to get my spanking! And if the switch wasn’t to their liking, then I had to go get another one! Fortunately, I don’t remember getting too many “switches” like that! When my parents put in the concrete fence, they moved the clothes lines to behind the garage – and it gave the back yard much more open space. And the weeping willow tree was gone!!

I remember starting piano lessons the day I started first grade. I would ride the bus from near our house to my piano teacher’s house – by myself at age six – clear across town. Of course, “across town” wasn’t too long a ride then. It was somewhere around 10+ miles travel. And remember – times were simpler then – and safer. My parents had no problem with my riding the bus by myself. It was a great adventure for a 6-year-old child!

 

Me at our old upright piano – notice my hair in pigtails!

 

Eventually, my teacher persuaded my parents to let her come to our house and teach the “northeast heights” students at our house. She wouldn’t charge for my lessons. So my parents purchased our new piano (which I still have), and the lessons began.

 


Our beautiful new piano

 

For the most part, I think my parents were glad to have them there. The only time they didn’t like it was when one of the students put an apple core down the toilet and plugged it up! What a mess that was!

 

I seldom saw my mother afraid of anything, but one time I did, and we had a good laugh out of it – after she calmed down. I’ve written about our cats – and especially the one who stayed with us the longest, Boots, or Bootsie, if you were baby-talking to him. He was a good old cat, and we really loved him. He was both an inside and outside cat, and back in those days, cats were not declawed, so he had his full complement of claws. For many years, Daddy had an apricot tree back behind the garage. Boots would go out and just sit and wait for the birds in the tree. Eventually, he would catch one. I never saw him actually catch the bird (my brother, Bill, says that he would shoot the birds with his bb-gun, and then Boots would pounce on it), but then Boot would bring it to the back door and just yowl until one of us – usually Mother – would find it, praise Boots for being such a good boy, and then he would kill and eat the bird.

 

Bill, myself and Boots

 

All that story to say that, there was one evening, after dark, Mother and I were coming home. As she parked the car in the driveway, we thought we saw “something” streak up and over the fence onto the patio. But neither of us were sure. That is, until she opened the back door – and in ran a mouse! Mother was absolutely dancing from foot- to-foot trying to get away from that mouse!! The funniest thing then happened: Boots came out of nowhere – and that mouse ran right into his mouth!! All you could see was that tale swinging back and forth! He took it outside – after we had praised him effusively – and made quick work of that mouse. And that is the last mouse we ever saw in our house!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Can you pass this test on how to get rid of worry?

22 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

Reblog April7, 2017

 

We sat for lunch outside the Christian camp. And a warm Cuba breeze brushed through. I shooed a fly, and then another and another. “I’m used to this,” I said to my friend beside me. “When my family and I lived in Bolivia, flies buzzed all over. No one complained. We accepted the nuisance as part of life.”

And although in the United States, flies have no place, worry does. Its effects buzz around and show up no matter how often we try to shoo them away.

Here’s what I discovered: Worry is a language, a specific way of communicating with God. Our worry talks to God. Which of these is your worry telling God?

  • You are not capable of resolving what causes me fear.
  • You are not able to rescue me on time.
  • You are not aware of the details of my situation.
  • You are not able to heal my hurting heart or restore my broken plans.
  • You are not powerful enough to protect me from the evil one or from his lies.

If you checked at least one, you got a low score as you’re talking the language of worry…unacceptable to Him and destructive to us.

Worry-talk contradicts God’s Word and discounts His promises.

But what if we use the language of faith? We would speak of God’s strength. We would declare of His mighty power to correct the wrong, to heal the wounds and to soothe the pain.

Believing He can, we in turn can shoo worry away, bringing peace back. And once in the place of peace we repeat what God has been saying through the ages. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:34).

If we listen, we’d be singing, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust…” (Psalm 91:2b)

Pray with me: Father, Thank you that my worry dies in the truth of your Word. Thank you for that freedom. Thank you for your power at work in me to live with reassurance instead. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What has been worrying your heart lately?

Janet

 

Source: Can you pass this test on how to get rid of worry? ~ Janet Perez Eckles

Stop That Thief

21 Apr

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

His name is “Loneliness”.
He steals our contentment.
I didn’t recognize his strategy
until I suffered from resentment.

 

Being alone is not always a choice-
Circumstance plays a role.
Prepare your heart for the inevitable.
Prevent it from taking a toll.

 

Use your ‘alone time’ as a blessing.
Plant the seed of creativity and watch it
grow.
You may amaze yourself.
You are far more talented than you know.

 

Church in the Wildwood by DiVoran Lites

Critter in the Attic

19 Apr

 

A Slice of Life

By Bill Lites

DiVoran and I moved to East Central Florida in 1965 and bought our first brand new house. At the time, the area was booming with the Manned Space Program, and the construction industry couldn’t keep up with the demand for new houses. Our new house was located in a small new sub-division, and was typical for the time and area; concrete block construction, with pitched roof, jalousie windows, and minimal insulation.

 

 

Having both been born and raised in the southwest, we were not used to the heat and humidity here in Florida. As a result, I spent a lot of my spare time during those first several years in the attic building board walkways, installing lights, and wiring ceiling fans for every room in the house.

 

 

There were stories of how the contractors were cutting corners to meet their schedules and reduce costs. We didn’t pay a lot of attention to the stories at first, as we were just happy to have been able to find and buy a new house in such a “Buyer’s Market” so quick. However, working in the attic gave me a good idea of some of those shortcuts.

 

 

For instance, the attic insulation was very flimsy. It was made of Aluminum coated corrugated craft paper! Try to imagine, in the picture below, that the top and bottom layers are corrugated craft paper (somehow bonded together) with the aluminum coating on the outside surfaces. The aluminum coating, we were told, was supposedly to reflect the radiant heat from of the sun. The open area between the top and bottom layers was an “insulating air space” to keep the heat from reaching the ceiling. I can’t imagine how any building industry standards organization could have ever approved such a flimsy and ridiculous design. But, there it was. And of course, there was NO insulation of any kind over the garage area.

 

 

DiVoran and I always had pets while growing up, and of course we had to have a pet to go with our new house. Our beautiful long-haired gray and white tabby’s name was “Pepper” and he was a very active in-door addition to our family. I can’t remember just when the following episode occurred, but suffice it to say it was some years after our move to Florida.

 

 

In the middle of the night, I woke to hear what sounded like a small critter in the attic above our bedroom. It sounded like it would scurry around quickly, on that flimsy craft paper insulation in the attic, and then it would stop and I could hear it gnaw on something. Then it would scurry around some more, and then back to gnawing. For the next few nights, I pondered on how I was going to get rid of that pesky critter. I could just see it gnawing through the insulation on an electric wire and starting a fire. And, I didn’t want it to make a home in our attic and start raising a family to add to the potential problem. Then I believe God gave me an inspired idea!

 

 

The next evening I put Pepper in the attic and closed the access door. He circled the access door a few times, meowing. When he finally realized I wasn’t going to open the access door and let him out, I heard him walking across the craft paper insulation to the vent holes in the soffit.

 

 

He kept moving from one vent hole to the next, looking for a way to get out of the attic. He progressed around two whole sides of the house until he got to our bedroom, when his movements stopped. All this time our pesky critter had been busy gnawing and scurrying around its usual area of the attic, just above our bedroom light fixture. There was silence from Pepper for a full minute, while the critter kept gnawing. Then there was a loud thump! And then complete silence. We heard no more sounds from the attic for the rest of the night.

 

 

The next morning, I opened the attic access door and called Pepper. It took him a while, but then I saw him walking toward me on the walk-way board, meowing all the way. I lifted him down and he seemed happy to be back in the house with his family. As it turned out, we never had another problem with critters in our attic. Who knows, maybe Pepper left his scent up there, and it deterred any other adventuresome critters from making a home in our attic. Whatever the case, we are happy they have stayed away. Just in case you were wondering, we did put some real insulation in our attic not too long after that.

 

 

 

—–The End—–

 

Peru and the Amazon River~Part 2

18 Apr

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

Amazon River Commerce

As we traveled to our next location on the live a board, we saw several rafts along the way. They are going to a market to sell their goods.

They would build live aboard rafts with everything sellable even the balsa wood that makes the raft. They would live in them for days or weeks until reaching their destination where they could sell the goods. Then take a water service back home.

 

 

There are no bridges that cross the Amazon, mostly because there is no need, the majority of the Amazon River runs through rainforests rather than roads or cities.

The river is the principal path of transportation for people and produce in the regions, with transport ranging from balsa rafts and dugout canoes to hand built wooden river craft and modern steel hulled craft.

 

 

 

The river markets are busy. This is their grocery, pharmacy, household supplies and gathering place. They can buy many things including natural medicines for healing from the rainforest.

 

 

 

Some goods are brought to street markets in other locations. We were able to walk around here, but the guide would not allow us to bring money or cameras because of the pick pockets. A small distance away was a tent village full of the extremely poor.

 

Back on the boat, we docked at our next location where we will take a walk in the rainforest and visit the Shaman.

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 22

17 Apr

Painting and Paraphrase by DiVoran Lites

 

Day 22,

Teacher

Isaiah 54:13

John 8:32

 

Beloved,

I am the teacher for all your children.

I bring them back to you.

I give you, and them, truth, grace, and wisdom.

I set all of you free.

Listen to Me and follow my ways.

Truth, like a laser beam, will zap the locks on your minds and open the doors.

The truth will create rooms for healing, peace, and joy.

It will bring progress and growth into your life.

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