Got Five Minutes? 

21 Oct

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

His Way

 

Reblogged October 21, 2017

 

Next up in our October guest blogger series is Letitia Suk.

We are so busy, we’re so productive and we’re so . . . stressed. Can you relate? Here’s Letitia’s practical way to bring back what makes victory shine in our days.

October 20, 2017

“Take five minutes to pray for your work each day and see what happens,” was the challenge proposed by our pastor to the congregation years ago. I remember thinking something like, “Duh!” Of course, I already pray at least five minutes a day for my work…don’t I? Surely all the praying-on-the-run I did each day for all the flying curveballs added up to more than five minutes.

The nudging continued so the next morning I grabbed a timer on the way to my prayer chair, set it for five minutes and began to pray specifically for my work. Wow, that timer took a long time to ding! Challenge accepted—I was ready to see what would happen.

Like many of us, my work is multi-faceted. So, I decided to give a minute to each of the five areas for my day-to-day projects. It seemed like one minute would be easier that five. I know, wimpy, right?

The first minute I gave to my coaching clients. They invested time with me to bring focus and intentionality to their lives and I wanted to give them my best work. My writing got the next minute. The current projects, the longed-for projects, my skill and wisdom in putting words on a page. Good thing the timer rang because it was easy to zone off into work mode instead of praying.

Speaking ministry was next. Events already scheduled and those I wanted to schedule. For my communication skills to grow and for lives to be changed. A lot for one minute.

My part-time chaplain work got minute #4. Patients, sensitivity, staff and overall blessing for the hospitals.

The last minute I saved for specific work stuff on that day’s agenda: marketing, blogging, networking. This time the five minutes flew by.

He was right—things happened! I felt more partnered with God in all aspects of my work. Not just that I was working for Him but with Him as I laid the concerns out each day. I saw clearer productivity and greater results.

All these years later, I still set my timer most days. My work depends on it.

Each day holds 1440 minutes…hard to claim a legitimate excuse for not finding five of them to invest in prayer over your work. You might be amazed at the return.

P.S.—The same five-minute principle works for other areas of your life too!

Source: Got Five Minutes? ~ Janet Perez Eckles

Facts About Cats

20 Oct

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

 

CATS DO NOT COME!

Cats sleep an amazing amount of time-
close to three-quarters of the time,
counting, of course, the kind of nap
they have made famous.

 

I am a firm believer in the theory
that one of the ways in which
cats show happiness is by sleeping.
They don’t feel threatened,
so they can relax.

 

Cats do not “Come”.!
But they do respond to a treat!
Just rattle the bag
and they will come running to your feet.

 

Cat toys are not expensive-
a bottle cap will do.
A string or a ping pong ball
will keep them running to you.

 

Note- If I want to get this published,
I better stop being a snail.
I’ll give my cats a treat
and rush to put this in the mail!

 

Road Trip~ Alabama to Arkansa

19 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

September 8, 2017 Day 2

 

Hurricane Irma continued to confuse the heck out of those in her path. Our daughter had offers of homes to share, should she decide to evacuate but like the storm, she couldn’t make up her mind.

Leaving Florence, Alabama (after getting a half-dozen of Krispy Kreme doughnuts for the road) we continued on US highway 72 .The road was for the most part, four lanes with a good distance between towns and light traffic. We marveled at the blessing of this laid back travel. Even though I had multiple books downloaded, should we become bored with the road or each other, I had yet to play one. After 46 years of marriage, we still found things to talk about.

Our back roads adventure ended in Memphis, Tennessee where we had decided to travel the rest of our westward journey on Interstate 40. Once we navigated through the city of Elvis, the interstate was not horrible.  We decided to stop at the Arkansas welcome center for a bathroom break. While I was browsing their brochures the hostess asked if we were evacuating from Hurricane Irma. I explained that we were on a planned vacation and was surprised to learn that the welcome center was seeing a lot of evacuees. This did not ease my “mother” heart.

Later,we enjoyed a late lunch at a rest stop. I had bought two pecks of apples before our trip and ate one everyday at lunch. We hauled those apples over 5,000 miles!

 

 

We arrived at our hotel in Fort Smith, Arkansas, tired and hungry. One of my goals on this trip was to not eat in chain restaurants but Denny’s was nearby and an Original Grand Slam sounded good. I was too tired to work at chewing!

 

 

When I made our travel plans, I scheduled in a rest day, every third day, so we spent two night in Fort Smith. My hope was to explore the nearby Adirondack mountains but hubby was exhausted and needed a rest. When we were going up to our room the first night we spoke with an older couple in the elevator. They were from Jacksonville, Florida and fleeing Hurricane Irma. They appeared dispirited and weary. My heart broke for them.  On our rest day, we visited the local shopping area and saw the couple again. I hope that meant they had decided to end their evacuation.

 

America’s North Country Trip~Part 6

18 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

 

 

Day 6 (Wednesday)

 

I headed southwest on I-94 this morning. I had been noticing, for the last couple of days as I traveled through the North Dakota and Montana plains country, that the round hay bales were everywhere I looked! They were all over the fields, in huge stacks (40-50’ high & 200-400’ long) and even in the right-of-ways along the Interstate. This was a very unusual site for me, as I was used to the right-of-ways in Florida mostly being swales full of water.

 

 

My first museum visit today was the Range Riders Museum located in Miles City, MT. This was one of the most amazing museums I have ever seen! There were some 20 separate galleries under one huge roof, with 8 additional buildings outside. Every inch of every wall was covered with Indian, Pioneer, Homesteader, Westerner and Rodeo artifacts. I was informed that every single item in this entire museum had been donated by someone over the years, including the large main building.   I couldn’t begin to explain all there is or to try and show you about this museum adequately. Just Google “Range Riders Museum” and click on “Exhibits” to get a slideshow for a better idea of just how much there is to see.

 

 

On down the road a ways I saw a sign advertising the Brinton Museum Store located in Hysham, MT and decided to run up U.S. 10 a couple of miles to check it out. This turned out to be a one-room museum store consisting of a beautifully restored antique soda fountain and some local historical artifacts. The museum was closed but I was able to get a photo thru the front window.

 

 

Next I took a small side-trip, south on SR-47, to visit the Big Horn County Historical Museum located in Hardin, MT near the Crow Agency Trading Post. This museum is another frontier type museum with 24 relocated and restored buildings arranged to represent a 1850s Montana frontier village, with artifacts depicting those of that era in each building.

 

 

Another few miles down the road I visited the Battle of the Little Big Horn Monument, commonly known as the location of Custer’s Last Stand. This monument was packed to overflowing with visitors. At the battlefield there is a monument commemorating the 1876 engagement between the U.S. Army and the combined forces of the Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian tribes. There are headstones positioned on the hill where the 7th Cavalry solders died and were originally buried. There is also a new section set aside as a National Cemetery.

 

 

I was interested to learn that several relatives of General Custer were among those who died with him during this battle. There was Captain Thomas Ward Custer his younger brother, Boston Custer his second brother, 1st Lt. James Calhoun his brother-in-law, and Henry Armstrong Reed his 18-year old nephew. History seems to indicate that most of the Custer relatives (including General Custer) looked upon this trip as an opportunity to experience the west in all its grandeur and beauty. I think they got a lot more than they expected!

 

 

Now I headed northwest on I-90 to visit the Moss Mansion Historic Museum located in Billings, MT. I thought this was going to be a museum I could just walk thru, but no, it was a one-hour guided tour and I didn’t think my knees would be able to handle all those stairs. So I just took a couple photos and went to find the next place on my list.

 

 

That turned out to try to find the Boot Hill Cemetery there in Billings. When researching this trip I had discovered this location was going to be a little difficult to find, but I thought Greta (my Garmin) could handle it. However, now that I was relying on her to get me to the exact location, she was confused and was leading me in circles. I finally found it, using my trusty paper map, and was not impressed. I’ve seen much better Boot Hill cemeteries on other trips.

 

 

I tried to find the Rimrocks there in Billings, but here again Greta was unable to locate a specific address. I thought it was a city or county park, but as it turned out it was an area of high cliffs cut into the mountain side by the Yellowstone River that borders the east side of Billings.   I finally found the right road and enjoyed the natural beauty as I followed the road from the river level to the top of the high plateau.

 

 

By now it was time to head for the motel there in Billings, get checked in and relax while I enjoy my leftover CC’s Ground Beef Steak dinner which included green beans, mashed potatoes & gravy with Apple Crisp for dessert. Yummm!!

—–To Be Continued—–

 

Hearts Like Wildflowers

17 Oct

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

I hope you are blessed
with a heart like wildflowers.
Strong enough to rise again
after being trampled upon,
tough enough to weather
the worst of the summer storms,
and able to grow and flourish
even in the most broken places.
Nikita Gill

 

 

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

Circuitous Travel~Part 8

15 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

Following breakfast at the B&B, we again took the Tube into London.

Although I don’t have a lot to mention for this day’s events, what we did took quite a bit of time.

We did manage to be at Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard. Unfortunately, we were so far back that we couldn’t see very much, as these pictures will show. But it was enough for us to claim to have seen the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace!

 

 

 

Victory Monument in front of Buckingham Palace

 

I don’t remember how long we stayed there, and how much we saw of it, but it was thrilling for us to be there.

In my memory notes that I wrote at that time, I said that we had lunch at Pizzaland! Perhaps that is a pizza restaurant that is wholly British, as I don’t remember a “pizzaland” in the U.S.

One other event we took in was wandering through the British Museum.

 

Credit Google Search and Wikipedia

 

I suspect our girls weren’t too interested in it, but Fred and I certainly were. While we, neither of us, are terribly interested in paintings, we both thoroughly enjoy sculptures. And the British Museum has quite a few of those for us to admire. Here is one picture of a stained-glass window – I’m not sure just where it was located in the museum, but it looks like the angel Gabriel telling Mary that God had chosen her to bear His Son, the Saviour of the World. Really beautiful.

 

 

When we first went to Heidelberg in 1980, Fred began asking what countries/cities we thought we would like to visit. Our Karen, at that point in time, was fairly interested in Egypt, even thinking of becoming an Egyptologist. We thought, since we were already half-way around the world from the U.S., we might just do that. We never did, unfortunately, but it was a good thought. And Karen never became an Egyptologist, either. All of that to say, that I have one picture we took of the Egyptian room in the British Museum.

 

Credit Google Search

 

 

I had been interested in Greek culture for quite a few years – Fred and I had even made a trip to Greece in 1969 – and so we were rather surprised to find many Greek “artifacts” in the British Museum. We’ve been told that there are more Greek antiquities in the British Museum than in Athens! Much to the Greeks chagrin! This one is a “Winged Victory Temple” and rather beautiful.

 

 

 

While I’m sure we saw many more things in the British Museum, unfortunately, these are the only pictures we took there.

Following that lengthy wandering around the museum, we headed back to the B&B to do some mundane thing like washing clothes! After all, we had already been on the road for over one week, and we were just about out of something clean to wear! So we found a laundromat and did that chore. But it was nice to have clean clothes.

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

 

 

 

 

Caregiver Guilt: Confessions of a Walking Glue Stick 

14 Oct

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

His Way

 

Reblogged 10/13/17

Continuing on in our special October filled with guest bloggers, I invite you to enjoy a writing from Dr. Linda Cobourn. It will stir your heart, bring fresh inspiration to your day.

October 13, 2017

Forgiveness is a sticky subject. Letting go is a difficult thing. And forgiving oneself seems nearly impossible. But Linda gives a fresh perspective of the pain of self-condemnation compared to the freedom that forgiveness brings.

I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”

My father-in-law blamed me. It was unreasonable, hurled out of frustration while we stood in the trauma unit, waiting to see if my husband would survive. I was thirty miles away in a graduate class when the driver of the pick-up truck broadsided Ron’s Taurus, but the reproach stayed with me for seventeen years.

I’m a walking glue stick.

Guilt is a common emotion for those who find themselves in the position of caregiver. The 2015 State of Caregiving Report noted that 81% of spousal caregivers feel guilty, making guilt the #1 emotional trap. We think we should do it all without complaint and we become frustrated with ourselves because we can’t. We self-punish for simply being human.  I beat myself up for an accident I did not cause, questioning every decision I made concerning my husband’s care. Yes, I agreed to the emergency surgery and it damaged his heart. My fault. Yes, I let him be put into the rehab unit where his slippers were misplaced and he caught pneumonia. My fault.   I even had occasional thoughts that it might have been better if Ron had not survived the accident.

That thought stuck on with Gorilla Glue.

But God is a solvent to even the strongest of adhesives. I began to search the Scriptures for a way to dislodge my self-reproach. One day, I wa

 

Source: Caregiver Guilt: Confessions of a Walking Glue Stick ~ Janet Perez Eckles

What is your expectancy?

13 Oct

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

author of Window Wonders

 

 

God will prepare everything for our perfect
happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dogs
being there, I believe they will be there.

Billy Graham

 

Corky and Angel are my little feline friends,
A gift from my Lord above.
They are my constant companions.
They fill my heart with love.

 

Family and friends are a gift from above.
God knows how important it is to love.
To love and be loved is our basic need
On this one fact we are all agreed.

 

Thank you, dear Lord, for your tender care.
I see you in people I meet everywhere.
One fact I have come to accept as true.
“Lord, I owe my life, my dreams to you.

 

You have blessed me with three great children
that I love and wish the best for.
Lord, thank you for your promises.
You are the one we all adore.”

 

 

 

Road Trip~ Florence, Alabama

12 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

September 7, 2017 as Hurricane Irma churned her way across the Caribbean and the Atlantic ocean, we left our home in Western North Carolina for a three-week road trip. Irma was having a hard time deciding on a track and I was having a hard time hitting the road not knowing how my family in Florida would fare.  From North Carolina, I could get to them in ten or twelve hours but each day we traveled west extended that time. We lifted them up in prayer and began our journey.

We decided to minimize our time spent on interstates for the first two legs of our trip. Day one began with a scenic drive on US Hwy 76 through Hiawassee, Blairsville, Blue Ridge and Ellijay, Georgia. Beautiful area!

Have you ever been driving, or in my case, riding down the road and see a place flash by and wish you had stopped to investigate?  That is what happened to me after we entered Tennessee on US Hwy 72. I saw a sign that I thought read Lodge Factory. I began mumbling about the sign, wondering if it could be the real Lodge Cast Iron factory, and not one of the factory stores one sees in outlet malls. I must have been mumbling louder than I thought as my husband asked if I had wanted to stop there. I admitted that I did and he found a turn around and back we went.

 

 

The ladies working in the store were friendly and helpful and the best part is they seemed to genuinely enjoy working there. I told them I was hoping to buy some of their factory “seconds” and I was directed to a fairly large section. Of course, I found some pieces I needed. Just between you and me, a couple of them will end up under the Christmas tree.

Back in the car, we headed toward Scottsboro, Alabama, home of Unclaimed Baggage. My daughter had told me about it and it became a must do on my adventure list. The company purchases unclaimed baggage from airlines as well as freight that is unclaimed. They assess it, then decide whether to donate or sell it. If they decide to sell, the items are cleaned and sanitized before being placed on the shopping floor. It was a fascinating place, and of course my mind wondered about the stories behind the items.  I found the numerous racks of clothing to be overwhelming but enjoyed shopping in the smaller last call area and purchased an amazing stainless vacuum water bottle for $2.00. It was my daily companion on our trip.

 

We ended our first day in Florence, Alabama.  My husband loves pizza and I love Krispy Kreme doughnuts. We took it as a good omen for our trip that Cici’s Pizza and Krispy Kreme were in the same shopping area near our hotel. Pizza for supper and KK  the next morning.

 

 

 

America’s North Country Trip~Part 5

11 Oct

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

 

 

 

 

Day 5 (Tuesday)

This morning I headed west again on I-94 a short distance, to visit the Fort Lincoln Trolley Co. located in Mandan, ND. This is an attraction that utilizes 1890s open-air trolleys that travel from the old Third Street Station in downtown Mandan to the Fort Lincoln State Park and back. Since they weren’t open and I didn’t have the time to wait for the next trolley (1:00pm), I saved that ride for another trip.

 

 

While I was there in Mandan, I decided to check out the North Dakota State Railroad Museum. This turned out to be another small museum which was also closed. Their website indicates the museum displays mostly local railroad memorabilia; however, they do have several nicely restored items of rolling stock outside.

 

 

On the way to my next museum, I saw a sign for the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and decided to stop in and see what it was all about. The park is located in western North Dakota where the Great Plains meet the rugged Badlands. There wasn’t much to see from the Visitor’s Center, and I didn’t want to take the time to drive around the “Loop” which would have passed the Maltese Cross Cabin where President Roosevelt once lived.

 


After using the restroom there at the Visitor’s Center, I continued west for a visit at the Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum located in Medora, ND. This museum tells the story of the northwest plains horse and cattle culture which is a unique way of life in western America, and includes the Native Americans of the area, Western Ranching and Rodeo history.

 

 

 

 

In the Rodeo Hall of Fame Inductees area I saw several photos mentioning the “North Dakota Six Pack” of Rodeo champions spanning the 1850s-1960s, when North Dakota rodeo riders ruled the National Rodeo Circuit. When I asked the curator where I could find additional information about these men, she directed me to the “Cowboy Café down the street, where the wife of one of the sons of a “Six pack” was the owner.

 

 

 

So I walked down to the Cowboy Café and ordered one of their special Buffalo Burgers. I asked the waitress if the owner was there, and she said she would get her from the kitchen. It turned out that she was the daughter of Thomas J. Tescher, who was one of the “North Dakota Six Pack” champions. His family had been cattle ranchers there in North Dakota for generations. She was very nice and gave me a quick run-down of the family history and their involvement in the National Rodeo Circuit. Her father, Tom, one of 15 Tescher children, entered his first rodeo at age 17 and went on to be ranked in the top 10 saddle bronc riders from 1955 to 1958, and qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in Dallas in 1959.

 

 

Note: “The North Dakota Six Pack” was a group of North Dakota rodeo competitors who dominated the national rodeo scene during the 1950s and 1960s. They included (L to R Below) Tom Tescher, Duane Howard, Dean Armstrong, Joe Chase, Jim Tescher, and Alvin Nelson.

 

 

With a full tummy, I now headed west again, crossing the border into Montana, to visit the Wibaux Railroad Museum located in the little town of Wibaux, MT. This museum turned out to be one train car (the museum) one caboose, and a monument sign telling about Pierre Wibaux, the founder of the town of Wibaux.

 

 

Heading west again, I next visited the Frontier Gateway Museum located in Glendive, MT. This was a small museum that was a mix of displays including fossils recovered from the local area, Native American artifacts, homesteader’s items, settler’s tools, cattlemen’s paraphernalia, and Northern Pacific railroad information.

 

 

Located just down the street was the Glendive Dinosaur & Fossil Museum. This museum has more than 23 full-sized dinosaur and fossil exhibits. It claims to be the largest dinosaur and fossil museum in the United States to present its fossils in the context of biblical history. This unique museum also sponsors “Dig-for-a-day” fossil digs in the badlands close to Glendive, which gives participants an opportunity to experience paleontology first hand as they learn how to identify, collect and interpret fossils from a Biblical creationist’s perspective.

 

 

While I was in Glendive, I stopped by to check out the Makoshika State Park. The word Makoshika (Ma-ko-shi-ka) is a variant spelling of the Lakota phrase meaning “bad land” or “bad spirits.” The park was closed and from the map at the visitor’s center, there didn’t seem to be much to see. So I headed for the motel, to get checked-in and look for a place to eat.

 

 

The motel clerk recommended CC’s Family Café down the road, so I headed that way and enjoyed their delicious Ground Beef Steak dinner which included green beans, mashed potatoes & gravey with Apple Crisp for dessert. Very satisfying!

 

 

—–To Be Continued—–

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