Tuesday, April 17, 2018

We'd Like To Order Spring, Please


Photo by Mary Vee
The wintery Springtime photos are popping up in news and social medial like popcorn. They don't look anything like my photo from last year to the left! 

From all over the United States, Winter has its hold creating an irritant.

Yes we're kinda tired of the white lawns.

But, did you know snow has unique chemicals not found in rain? These chemicals seep into the soil and produce vibrant crops. Without the snow, farmers must enhance the soil with specialized fertilizers containing these same chemicals. 

I prefer the natural found in snow. Don't you?

Let's check back at the end of this growing season and see what the earth has produced.


Often times irritants sneak into our day. 

Here's a crazy one. This morning, I opened the fridge to get out cream for my coffee. My daughter came into the room and had an important story to share. I listened while grabbing the "creamer", poured said creamer into coffee while keeping eye contact with my daughter, put the lid back on then opened the fridge and realized I had the orange juice in my hand. Good grief. 

I am not one to waste. I am also one willing to try something new. I pulled out the creamer and thought, what would orange flavored coffee taste like? Could I endure it for this one cup? I'd only poured a few drops of the orange juice. Let's just say, the flavor surprised me. Not totally nasty. Not delicious. But tolerable.

Not all irritants are that easy to work with. Some impose upon precious prescheduled time. Some impose upon our health. 

I think of Hudson Taylor, the famous missionary to China long ago. Thousands came to hear him speak about God. He traveled all over China, spoke in his homeland, England, he organized a mission in China, raised funds, and so much more. One day, he injured his back and was unable to leave his bed for nearly a year. This was difficult to endure at first until he realized what he now had the time to do. He dedicated hours to prayer and writing books that are still evangelizing a world, encouraging missionaries, and uplifting the souls. 

When an irritant comes your way, not if, because one always seem to find us, endure. Endure until you can see, somewhere in the moment, there was a good. 


This post has been brought to you by the one word: SomethingGood

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Stories in Print- Animal Prints in Woods Tell Stories


Photo by Mary Vee
I heard a great interview with a nature expert on the radio this morning. The topic, of course, piqued my interest, especially since he was showing the interviewer signs of coming Spring.

With the snow still floating through the air in my neck of the woods, in April no less, I wanted to hear about these signs as an encouragement that yes, Spring really and truly would come.

When you live in a northern state, constant gray skies from November through April can get pretty dull. It's difficult to believe new blossoms are on their way. Animals are waking from hibernation. And the circle of life is not broken.

This radio interview, conducted in a northeast state, let listeners hear the crunch of boots while guide and interviewer traversed through nature. The guide stopped. "See here," he said. "This is a bear paw print. Almond shaped for the toes. A small indentation for the heal. This bear is on all fours. It is a cub. Probably woke before Mama and is out looking for food."

The interviewer told us the guide leaned down to imitate all fours to show positioning. The guide said, "These tracks are like a diary. In all my years, I haven't seen a bear on my hikes, and I'm glad. I wouldn't want to disturb them from their activity. I have, though traced their journey. From these tracks, I can read their journal. What interests they had. What came their way. What created a fear or caused an active response."

Interviewer and guide walked farther then stopped. "See here. These are porcupine tracks. next to them is a gray fox. Predator and prey. These prints are missed by most hikers."

I realized even when I hike I see the big picture all around me but miss these stories in print.

While the short interview ended a moment later, several points rang true. 

Animal tracks tell a story. 
Good details are often missed by the larger things around us.

Today's challenge for you, try to see the little things in life. 
The small packages.
The smile before the giggle.
The flap of a bird's wing.
The single snowflake.
The word on the piece of paper.
The bud.
The drop.
The background.

There is SO MUCH in our world that we haven't seen...and it's right in front of our eyes.


This post has been brought to you by the one word: TinyTreasures


My newest book is slated for a May 1 release. The story is suspense. Likened to a Tom Clancy story.

At one point, the hero, Staff Sergeant Ethan Hartman says to Liz, a woman who lost her job, four months later was evicted, then was trapped in her on sense of never being able to climb out of her situation:

"You can't leap into an invisible hot vat of unworthiness. It will boil all of your potential away. there is so much you can do. Daring to live will help you get up in the morning. I'm only starting to learn that. Helping you escape is my first step toward climbing out of that vat. Trust me." Ethan Hartman


Daring to Live will first be available in paperback on Amazon and other bookseller. Here is the cover: 




Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Finished a Huge Goal Today. One You Enjoy

Finishing a book takes a whole heap of work. I love using the word heap in settings like this. I heard it used by a Jamaican once and thought it sounded perfect.

Any way, I am bound to get today's post out to you before midnight, since it is still Tuesday. 

There's a great sense of fulfillment to meeting a huge goal when time is restricted. Mine was to format my manuscript for publication. No it's not finished, but the piece I assigned for today is. Even if it took the entire day minus making dinner and the other daily required duties, I know this, though, I can go to bed happy today's to-do list is finished. 

This was not a tedious chore. Well, maybe it was a bit when the computer didn't do what I wanted. There is a lot of give and take, downright compromising when dealing with computers. In the end I won.

After more than a year invested, the book is due to be released May 1 in paperback. It will be available in Kindle format as part of a boxed Patriotic novel set later in May.

This is the finished cover. What do you think?


Look intriguing?

Zoom in on the back cover and read the blurb. Intriguing, right?

This is a story of two individuals under fire. As a result they both feel a hefty dose of worthlessness. Even though their issues are different, one answer promises to help.

I hope you're excited now about the release.

Let me know what you think in the comment section below.


Again, please forgive the short post. I should be back on track next week. 



Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Week That Changed Eternity - part 5

We are in Israel this week. Walking the streets Jesus walked years ago.

Today is quiet. It is the day after the crucifixion.

Except those who still weep. 

Many are shocked.

The earth became so very dark we could feel it yesterday. The earth shook. The veil in the temple ripped in two.

Then He died.

Joseph received permission to take the body and bury it in his tomb. 

All of that happened yesterday.

The disciples didn't know what to do. They stood dazed. 




This week, I am sending you daily posts to break up this deep discussion into portions because it deserves our attention. ALL PHOTOS and videos in this post are by Mary Vee.

Last year, about this time, I went to Israel with hubby and recorded the stations of the cross. It is a moving journey. One that slips events found in the Bible from words to reality.

Walk with me. You don't have to pack a bag or save for a long airplane trip. You can go with me. Right now. Stations 1-12 are in the posts below.



Station 13: The anointing stone where Jesus' body was first laid.  







Station 14 The Tomb. There are two places remembered as the place of the tomb. One is in the Holy Sepulcher, the other is the Garden Tomb. I have no idea which it is, but think to myself does it matter? To go to both places, which we did, gave me an opportunity to focus on what Jesus did for me. 

Inside the Holy Sepulcher we stood in a very long line to enter the place in the photo. Guards strictly enforce a no photography rule.  Ten people were allowed in the inner room at a time. We were given about two minutes before asked to leave to let the next group in. It was a busy, crowded place.  













At the Garden Tomb beautiful gardens lined the narrow walkways. There are about five covered gathering places for groups to sit, talk, share communion, sing. I enjoyed this place much more.














And so on this day after the crucifixion we sit in silence and ponder.



With the conclusion of these Fourteen stations, 
I will give you a chance to think on these things and respond. Scroll down to see the previous posts with the first twelve stations.





This post has been brought to you by the one word: WhatJesusDidForUs

Friday, March 30, 2018

The Week That Changed Eternity - pat 4

We are in Israel this week. Walking the streets Jesus walked years ago.

We call today Good Friday to remember what was done for us.

This week, I am sending you daily posts to break up this deep discussion into portions because it deserves our attention. ALL PHOTOS and videos in this post are by Mary Vee.

Last year, about this time, I went to Israel with hubby and recorded the stations of the cross. It is a moving journey. One that slips events found in the Bible from words to reality.

Walk with me. You don't have to pack a bag or save for a long airplane trip. You can go with me. Right now. Stations 1-9 are in the posts below.

Station 10: Pain and suffering was not enough for those who wanted to torment and rid their nation of Jesus. The soldiers added humiliation. 

Not that the walk through city streets lined with masses screaming at Him wasn't humiliation, utter rejection alone. They stripped Him of his clothes before nailing Him to the cross. 


 







Station 11 Here, Jesus is nailed to the cross. Long metal nails pierce his skin penetrating through his hands and sinking into the wood. The cross is lifted. His body jarred. Jerked into place. The strain of His body mass pulled down.

Jesus, our Savior, could have stopped them. But He didn't.

This was the only way to fully pay the punishment required for the sins of the people He created and loved. 

To visit this site, we had to bow to enter a narrow, dark, staircase to the upper level.


  



Station 12 Jesus the Christ died. "It is finished." Forgive us, God, for we did not know what we did.

At this place, we knelt and crawled under to touch the rock said to be from the hill Golgotha.








There will be posts Saturday and Sunday as well. We found out there is also a station 13 and 14.  So much to share with you on this trip!! 



With the conclusion of these twelve stations, 
I will give you a chance to think on these things and respond. Scroll down to see the previous posts with the first six stations.





This post has been brought to you by the one word: WhatJesusDidForUs

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Week That Changed Eternity-part 3


We are in Israel this week. Walking the streets Jesus walked years ago.

Two days left, counting tomorrow. Days to remember what was done for us.

This week, I am sending you daily posts to break up this deep discussion into portions because it deserves our attention. ALL PHOTOS in this post are by Mary Vee.

Last year, about this time, I went to Israel with hubby and recorded the stations of the cross. It is a moving journey. One that slips events found in the Bible from words to reality.

Walk with me. You don't have to pack a bag or save for a long airplane trip. You can go with me. Right now.

Station 7: By this time, Jesus could barely walk. Soldiers forced him to keep walking. He neared the city gates. Crucifixions were done on a hill outside the city.



Station 8: A little farther, at the city gate, Jesus meets the daughters of the city. This refers to young and old, all women. Jesus speaks to them with His tender love, showing how important they are and how much he cares for them, like he does the men and children. And so we know, whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. He came not to condemn. But to rescue a world that could only be saved by His perfect sacrifice.





Station 9 Weary, physically spent, Jesus falls a third time at this place, now a courtyard for a church built to remember. Soldiers force Him to enter the area of the crucifixion. He thirsts. No water is given to the condemned even if innocent.


Please walk with us to the courtyard by clicking the video.

 



With the conclusion of these nine stations, 
I will give you a chance to think on these things and respond. Scroll down to see the previous posts with the first six stations.





This post has been brought to you by the one word: WhatJesusDidForUs

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Week That Changed Eternity - part 2


There are three days 'till Good Friday. Days to remember what was done for us.

This week, I am sending you daily posts to break up this deep discussion into portions because it deserves our attention. ALL PHOTOS in this post are by Mary Vee.

Last year, about this time, I went to Israel with hubby and recorded the stations of the cross. It is a moving journey. One that slips events in the Bible from words to reality.

Walk with me. You don't have to pack a bag or save for a long airplane trip. You can go with me. Right now.


Station 4: To remember the place where Jesus met His earthly mother. Imagine her heart as she watched Him struggle to walk. Beaten. Blood dripping from him. The crowds yelling and mocking Him. She could do nothing to help. She couldn't petition. She couldn't break through the crowd to run to his aid. She loved Him not only as her son but also as her Savior. She couldn't do anything to stop His crucifixion. She was about fourteen years older than Him was all. She loved Him.

He knew how she felt. He KNEW how her heart ached about the situation, and yet He loved her and us so much, He chose to continue rather than using His power to call on ten thousand angels to aid Him in His pain. To stop the crucifixion.

This is the place remembered for where Jesus saw her on this walk. There is a courtyard before the church symbolizing where she might have stood.




Station 5. A soldier was bent on getting his job done as ordered and timely. He was to escort Jesus to the hill. The soldier pulls a man from the crowd to speed things along. His name was Simon the Cyrene. The soldier forced him to help carry Jesus' cross. Simon was given no opportunity to resist. The soldier yelled for them to get moving. He forcefully prodded both to obey.




Station 6. These are the narrow streets where Jesus walked. The city is built on a hill, so to walk the street is to either walk up a hill or down one. Here he walked up a hill with only remnants of physical strength. 
It is said that a girl named Veronica stood at this point of the journey. She is reported to have longed for an image of Jesus because of her love and belief in who He is. Such an image is said to have appeared on her veil. The name Veronica has since taken on the meaning: true image of Christ.





With the conclusion of the first six stations, 
I will give you a chance to think on these things and respond. Scroll down to see the previous post with the first three stations.




This post has been brought to you by the one word: WhatJesusDidForUs





Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Week That Changed Eternity part 1


I have looked forward to this post for more than a week. 

There are four days 'till Good Friday. Days to remember what was done for us.

This week, I will send to you daily posts to break up this discussion that so deserves our attention. ALL PHOTOS in this post are by Mary Vee.

Last year, about this time, I went to Israel with hubby and recorded the stations of the cross. Walk with me. You don't have to pack a bag or save for a long airplane trip. You can go with me. Right now.

Station 1: The overwhelming, heart stirring stations of the cross. There are no words one can recite, no song powerful enough, no hug strong enough, no help for legs sturdy enough .., because the power of this walk is mightier than what I imagine Paul felt that day on the Damascus Road.  The Chapel of the Flagellation where Pilate convicted Jesus.






Station 2. The Chapel of Condemnation. There is rough tiles on the floor where soldiers walked. These soldiers played a game: King for a day. See the photo with the game etched on the tile. Soldiers selected one of the prisoners to torment, ridicule, mock, any torture they felt like. Jesus was chosen. The put a crown of thorns on his head. Scroll down to the photo of the tree with thorns. They are a good three inches long. These were used for Jesus' crown. We cannot begin to fathom the brutality our Lord suffered at this time.







Station 3. The place to represent where Jesus fell the first time. Beaten, bleeding, thirsty, awake all night, hadn't eaten since the night before. Crowds lining the street watching, some yelling insults, some not sure what was happening, some standing in silence, some weeping. The uneven stoned street so difficult to walk. Drained of human physical energy He fell.







With the conclusion of the first three stations, 
I will give you a chance to think on these things and respond. 




This post has been brought to you by the one word: WhatJesusDidForUs