The Wind Blew My Hat Over The Bluff,…

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Life happens,…usually when we least expect it.

Take a few weeks ago while on a lunch-time field trip to the bluffs rising above our city. I knew they were high,…hello you can see them from a distance, but I didn’t know the view was so beautiful, or that the local history so fascinating, or the wind was so windy!

Granted this was the first jacket day of Fall 2018 for us. It had been a very long, very hot summer and it was a pleasure to need a little protection against the crisp air. Lunch was blessed serendipity as we fell in with a bluff resident who was only too happy to relate the varied history relating to the locale. Talk about getting a history lesson, first hand!

After lunch we were admiring the views when all of a sudden,…poof,…a gust of wind took my baseball hat and sent it on a brief, but glorious flight down the hillside with no hope for recovery. Oh we spied it, but the drop off was too steep, and to my knowledge it yet resides beneath a thorny bush,…no doubt protecting some type creature from the fierce winds. Or if nothing less it will provide it’s own local history – in the years to come, should the relicts be found.

“Look,” someone may say, “I think this tattered bit used to be a baseball hat. I wonder how it ever came to be here.” – if they had ever read this blog,…they’d know! ūüėČ

Needless to say our little guy was very mixed about that ol’ wind that blew Mama’s hat over the hillside episode,…half he was amused,…that sudden gust was funny, but then the other half his tender heart was concerned. Mama lost her hat.

A great lesson in Life Happens.

Did I want to lose my favorite baseball hat,…hello I live in a hat,…it makes life super simple. No, no I didn’t want to lose my hat,…those quick-dry kind are hard to find on sale. Was it the end of the world? Duh,…of course it wasn’t,…it was just a gust of wind,…blowing at the precise angle in relation to how I was standing. My husband didn’t lose his¬†hat. Or actually he did,…as he’s a gallant gentleman and offered his to me,…as guys don’t care about hat hair and much as us gals.

That’s another great lesson for our little guy.

We’re not alone.

My husband was there to help me out.

Thinking back upon my life to greater instances of Life Happening,…more serious, more significant, and even life threatening,…I’ve never been alone. Someone has always stood in the gap,…helping,…usually loved ones, but sometimes strangers.

When I was newly married,…only nineteen years old and way before the advent of cell phones the muffler fell off my car on the way home from work,…it was downtown at dusk,…on a very lonely street. Boy was I scared! And crying,…and praying. I didn’t know what to do,…that muffler was wedged somehow on the curb.

Two seconds later,…a car pulled up behind me,…and two linebacker sized men got out. Never a word did those men say to me. Seriously,…not a single word,…they just dislodged the muffler, tossed it into my hatchback, and left.

Whoa! Talk about an eerie answer to prayer.

Or perhaps just proof,…that God will never leave nor forsake you.

The nice part of getting older is that you can see patterns in your life where stuff happens,…and it’s okay,…somehow,…someway,…and it’s always for the best. Yeah, I know we all face life situations at times that are much harder than the wind blowing the hat off your head,…but that’s where faith comes in,…

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ¬†Romans 8:28

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.‚ÄĚ – Joshua 1:9

When I was nineteen, I lost a muffler, but gained some faith. Now in 2018,…I lost a hat, but I gained an opportunity share a life lesson with my little guy.

Can’t close this post without a shout out to our veterans for Veterans Day! Thank you for your service.

My Daddy was a veteran,…sure do miss him!

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God bless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need Any Math?

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“What have you been writing, lately?” – has been the query from several in the past few weeks,…and my honest answer has to be, “Lesson plans.”

Homeschooling here,…a little unexpected as we didn’t anticipate homeschooling our little guy until next year. That was kinda the plan with self-publishing my books as I’ve several waiting in the wings and the strategy was to get them out before next summer,…but have you noticed,…life never seems to go by plan.

Change is always in the air,…and usually when you least expect it. Sometimes it is welcome, sometimes not,…but I am very blessed to have a very wise big brother for a mentor, “Change might not be what you want,…but what you need.

My little guy “needed” to begin homeschooling,…and with him it’s always no contest for top priority. The one-on-one instruction has yielded FANTASTIC results,…as our little guy is hitting all of his academic and social goals out of the ball park.

“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach them they way they learn.” – Ignacio Estrada ¬†

Yes, please!

Let’s get real, the world is not going to stop spinning if I don’t get my books out on their production schedule, and trust me,…I am not lacking for creative outlets. I am pecking at the editing for those books, sketching some ideas for a children’s book, but mostly I am creating targeted educational content for my little guy.

Have you priced educational workbooks, lately?

Forget fiction, perhaps I should dive into penning textbooks,…the price point is mind-boggling! However,…DIY,…is always an option,…and one I love, but the time factor if you make the stuff yourself is lengthy,…that’s why I was wanting to share,…some math. Or rather math worksheets,…that can be used as is,…or laminated for reuse. No laminator? Stick the sheets in a clear plastic paper protector to use with dry erase markers,…although I suspect you already know that tip,…if you are interested in gleaming free work sheets.

Speaking of free,…

“…for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith‚ÄĒand this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God‚ÄĒnot by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God‚Äôs handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2: 8-10¬†

Can’t ever take Salvation for granted, especially when we are coming up on the holiday season when the true message of Christmas gets so lost in the glitz and glitter.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.¬†For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” – John 3: 16-17¬†

Exchanging the glory of heaven for a humble stable,…

What a change in life plans.

For I know the plans I have for you,‚ÄĚ declares the Lord, ‚Äúplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ¬†Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” ¬†– Jeremiah 29:11-13

Maybe you don’t need any math,…today, but I hope you can take away some encouragement,...that you are loved,…you are valued,…your life has worth!

Think not?

Pointing you back to that stable,…the first step toward calvary,…for you,…and for me. It really makes any blip in our life plans come into perspective.

Now the other free stuff.

Please notice these worksheets aren’t ‘cutesy’ by design, as I find the ‘cutesy’ stuff distracts my little guy, but one could always use stickers or stamps galore to individualize these sheets if that’s what motivates your students.

This first (pdf) sheet is a simple number assessment,…we use number cards at random or roll dice to generate the numeral.

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Number Assessment Sheet  

These targeted (pdf) worksheets can be individualized (Addition/Subtraction/Multiplication/Division) according to what is needed. 

Math Lab (10) (20) Grid Worksheets

Plain ol’ Number cards 1-200 (pdf),…’cause my little guy doesn’t get tired of counting!!!

These cards are a labor of love,…it’s not exactly quick to type 1-200 into the application, but here they are they are DONE,…and if these can save another time-pressed teacher a little time, then, “Hurray!” ¬†Tip: I first glued the card sheet to a plain sheet of paper,…let dry so glue won’t gunk my scissors, and then cut out and laminated. The plain sheet of paper makes the laminated cards stiffer, blocks the numeral when face down so zillions of memory games can be played, and the glued sheets makes the laminating process so much easier.¬†

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1-200 Number Cards

 

The next PDF is kinda a hodgepodge of worksheets,…

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Shout out to this 100s chart worksheet,…my little guy loves a 100s chart so this was right up his alley!¬†

 

The beauty of these next worksheets is that you can use them for so many different applications!

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My little guy likes it a lot when HE gets to pick the numbers to put into his worksheets, and he’s a sport about not just picking the easy stuff!

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Hodgepodge Math Worksheets

 

Another new day = another chance to make a difference.

God bless!

 

Happy,…What?

 

Seen any pumpkins, lately?

This past month my little guy has been to Fall Festivals galore! ¬†Pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins as far as the eye can see! Go into any store in our area and there are pumpkins and candy and spooky stuffy galore. That’s for Halloween.

Just for the record we’re not into spooky stuff,…or gore,…it’s not our idea of fun. Sorry, but it’s kinda hard to equate,…“Love one another,…be kind to one another,” — with horror houses and such. ¬†It’s a tough holiday to navigate for a believer. Who wants to be a wet blanket? Yet toeing the line on wholesome and horror is a tricky dance step.

Lots of folks in our area really, really, REALLY like Halloween. It’s “Happy Halloween this, and Happy Halloween that,” and that’s fine,…the kids are cute,…giving out candy or goodies is fun,…and who doesn’t like to dress up as a favorite character or hero for the evening? It’s the other side of Halloween,…the dark side,…dabbling in the ‘other world,’ which really isn’t the ‘other world’ because if folks really saw what the ‘other world’ was truly about they’d freak out worse than the Witch of Endor – in the Bible. Remember: Saul commanded that she summon the departed Samuel,…and hocus pocus, the LORD allowed Samuel to supernaturally arise from the dead and the woman became unglued to the nth degree, (1 Samuel 28) –¬†THAT’S SPOOKY stuff!!! — Yet, never fear, “…the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4.¬†

My real beef with October 31st,…is that you rarely, but rarely ever hear, “HAPPY REFORMATION DAY!”¬†

“Happy,…what?”

Reformation,…the Protestant Reformation begun in 1517 when Martin Luther literally nailed his 95 Theses to the Twitter of the Sixteenth Century,…being the door of the All Saint’s Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The biggest beef, Martin Luther detailed in his 95 Theses was the selling of ‘indulgences’,…in other words the unscrupulous were shaking money boxes, “Give x-amount and your sins are FORGIVEN,…” — which totally goes against Ephesians 2:8 ”¬†For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith‚ÄĒand this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God,…”

Think,…Bibles like the Gutenberg Bible, which was first published 1450’s were extremely rare, only 150-180 copies were reportedly printed all together, and no doubt would have been beyond the cost of most minor dukes and duchesses, much less commoners. Also literacy wasn’t advanced much beyond the wealthy. So if some important looking dude tells you, “Hand it over,…if you want to get to heaven,” – how are these hard working people suppose to know different?

So thanks, Martin Luther for putting a bulls-eye on your back. Those money boxes folks were not a bit happy with this professor-priest,…and the rest of the resulting ruckus is Church history,…and important World History. Hello,…the pilgrims crossing the ocean blue to the New Land in 1620 were (Protestant) Puritans fleeing religious persecution,…a butterfly effect that was set in motion with the pounding of that hammer as it drove those nails through the thick sheets of parchment on that wooden door in Wittenberg.

What future impact do you think your life might have? Most likely we’ll never know. I am sure Martin Luther had no idea,…he’d be the subject of a blog post 501 years later,…yet it is something to consider.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,the new creation has come:¬†The old has gone, the new is here! ¬†All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: ¬†that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people‚Äôs sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ‚Äôs ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ‚Äôs behalf: Be reconciled to God.” – 2 Corinthians 5: 17-20

Reconciled.

Can’t help think of Calvary,…Jesus’s sacrifice to bring us reconciliation. There on the cross our sins were paid for,…a free gift.

Did Martin Luther think of the nails nailed into Jesus’s flesh as he was nailing those nails into that wooden door? Just wondering,…both those nails have shaped my life,…eternally and here on earth,…as I live in the United States,…and as an American, we trace our country’s history to the pilgrims,…who were inspired by the Reformation, begun by Martin Luther,…who, of course,…was inspired by Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.

Butterfly effect? Or just the fact our lives are all more intertwined than we realize.

So last year was the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Did you know that? It’s a big deal when you think of the cultural and historical significance, but there was nary a blip in our local news. No parades, firework displays, or at least none that were advertised and promoted. Germany did give it a nod, as well they should,…hello 500th anniversary is something to celebrate, but the rest of the world was pretty mute,…which is mind boggling even when you set the PC stuff aside. October 31, 1517 had a HUGE impact upon world history.

Our poor upside down world.

Oh well,…stepping off soapbox. We’ll still be celebrating Reformation Day on the 31st in tandem with that local thing that’s going on with the pumpkins. When we offer Reformation Day greetings to others,…we well understand the reaction will be,…”Happy,…What?”

God Bless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explaining The Universe To Your Child

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Ah,…parenthood,…the joys,…the challenges,…the monumental tasks set before us like explaining the universe to your child.

Have you considered the universe, lately?

Homeschooling here, so the universe has been front and center as we kicked off our Bible study with Genesis, which literally translates: In The Beginning. 

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1

Cool!

According to the Bible God spoke the universe into existence! No one else was there to report if it was a Big Bang,…or just voila and everything popped into place. Obviously something happened,…here we are x-amount of years later with the universe swirling around us, or we are swirling around in the universe. It can get all very technical when you count in all the different galaxies out there.¬†Hello,…the earth, itself, is spinning on its axis around at 1000 miles per hour,…and I haven’t noticed lately.

The exact tilt of the Earth axis is responsible for our seasons,…unless you live at the equator, and as we all know the seasons are essential for growing healthy crops like French Fries, which of course come from potatoes. But when you are teaching an eight year old, French Fries alway catch their attention,…imagination,…and belief.

Belief?

It takes belief to know that a mud-covered brown spud pulled from the soil can be turned into a delicious mound of crispy golden fries.

Belief is also essential for explaining the universe to your child. Either you believe God created the universe or you don’t. Exactly how everything came together can be debated,…although the Bible clearly states that God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Then the Lord lovingly crafted the seas and sky,…getting the oxygen ratio in the atmosphere jusssst right before dry ground and plants appeared on the third day.

Here is the really interesting part of the universe’s tale. There was light, sky, water, dry ground, and plants galore, but the sun, moon, and stars didn’t show up until the fourth day!

“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:¬†Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,not one of them is missing.” – Isaiah 40:26

How many stars is that?

According to science websites it debatable between billions and trillions or billions of trillions. Lots of zeros, and that’s just in the universe we can observe.

Please note,…every star has a name. Not one is missing. Have you counted the hairs on your head lately?

Ah,…what does that have to do with the universe?

Everything.

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” – Matthew 10:30

Okay for some of us,…some hair might be missing,…getting older and all,…but even if that is so,…the Lord still knows how much is left.

Every hair on every person on this planet,…only 7.5 billions or so,…and then keeping up with all those stars in all those swirling galaxies makes it safe to say we serve an awesome God.

Explaining the universe to your child all comes down to faith.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1

Not see? Or not seen, as in having not witnessed the creation of creation,…but knowing God’s handiwork is in evidence for if you study even a speck of science you cannot help but marvel how perfectly exact the universe has been created with not so much as an atom out of place. ¬†Wow! What show it would have been to have seen the universe created¬†with all the glory of God on display.

Looked at a sunrise or sunset lately?

“The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
 They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.” – Psalm 19: 1-4

Obviously such an event as creation would have beyond our kin,…also the oxygen ratio wasn’t jusssst right for our mortal flesh. Hello, just think of all that radiation swirling around until it was put into perfect order for Adam and Eve’s arrival on the sixth day.

The coolest aspect of explaining the universe to our little guy has been to point out how lovingly God created all the essentials needed for our welfare,…the earth, the sun, the moon, and stars, the water cycle, the seasons, how plants grow and nourish the earth and us. Seriously it all fits in together so beautifully like a symphony,…and of course as an adult,…I know this, but we do tend to get busy with our lives,…and forget how loving is our God,…how caring,…and how compassionate. No detail is too small,…not even the hair on our head.

Add to all this, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

Yes, it’s safe to say we serve an awesome God!

 

What Do You See?

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Hi! Thanks for stopping by and welcome!

Another day has dawned,…another chance to make a difference!

So,…notice the pix,…what do you see?

“Ah,…it’s a tree,” you say, or let’s get specific, “An evergreen with artificial lights on the branches. Gee, (yes, we all hear the sarcasm), could it possibly be a Christmas tree?”

Yes, and no.

Technical this is not really a tree,…it’s made of metal, fire-proof nylon, polymer-who-knows-what, and other do-dads, but it represents an evergreen tree. Just throw a little belief into it.

Actually this artificial Christmas tree has been up at our local hardware store for quite some time, and I’ve not especially noticed it, except the first time we walked in the door and saw the display and that was only to sigh, “Labor Day has jussssst barely passed,…and (groan) Christmas stuff is already up!” Talk about retail taking the cheer out of a holiday season, but that’s for another post!

Today we’re talking about perspective. Or rather the topic is ‘blessings.’ Noticed any in your life, lately?

Please understand, I realize if you are walking through a difficult season of life this can be a challenging question,…and even seem cruel.

“BLESSINGS? YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM GOING THROUGH! NONE!”

I know, I don’t have that insight, but the LORD does.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.‚ÄĚ – Deuteronomy 31:6

Never leave nor forsake, means NEVER, EVER, EVER,…like in never!

Hello, even before the world began,…the Spirit of God was there,…hovering over the waters.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” – Genesis 1:1-2

What was in the waters that was so precious?

YOU,…were in the waters,…and me,…and every other elemental element that makes up the universe.

Before time began,…there was God,…guarding us. So it’s not like the LORD is going to give up on us now in the 21st century.

Even now blessing abound in our lives,…and we are so unaware. Hello, the big blessings are obvious, but the small, every day blessings are beyond measure. Have you had a paper-cut lately, or scrape your knee (I’ve got a very active eight year old, so I know all about scraped knees). Aside from a bandaid, and little antibiotic ointment (other blessings of our modern age) what did YOU have to do to get that cut to heal?

Oh, yeah,…it did kinda heal on it’s own,…didn’t it!

Have you studied that water-cycle lately or at least considered it? Home schooling here, and we have a water filled plastic bag taped to our storm door so we can witness the miracle of the water cycle in miniature.

The blessing of rain,…so automatic,…down it falls without our input on a dry and thirsty land.

Of course, sometimes there is too much rain, and too much wind, like the recent hurricanes. And I don’t have the answers for the whys and wherefores of such natural disasters, but I know that blessings are being provided to the survivors: water, supplies, help,…our church has work crews in both hurricane locations, nor were we the only body of Christ moved to serve those in need. “Never will I leave nor forsake you!”¬†

Back to the Christmas tree,…an artificial tree at that. Why would a holiday sales display prod my heart to count my blessings? Well, it’s all about perspective. What I see, what I don’t see, what I can see,…if I have the right equipment.

Ta-dah!

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These are 3-D glasses, holiday themed. My little guy discovered them. Coolest things ever. Put them on and every small point of light turns into a snowman, or a snowflake, or a pile of gifts. Looking at big overhead lights don’t work, nor do the larger Christmas tree lights,…the ‘magic’ only works with the tiny lights.

Funny thing is that I tried to take a picture of special effect,…and nothing happened. Duh, it’s an optical illusion that needs both eyes to work, which means no one could look for you. One has to look for themselves.

The blessings application came to me when I looked at the Christmas tree. Green tree with lights, yawn, but then I put on the glasses, and it turned into a green tree surrounded with teeny little snowmen,…so cute.

The glasses made all the difference,…like faith.

Often we don’t see the blessings in our lives,…until we look.¬†The ugly stuff in our lives is easy to see,…and it can really color our outlook.¬†Whoever seeks good finds favor,¬†but evil comes to one who searches for it.” – Proverbs 11:27

Life’s messy,…and no where in the Bible are we promised an ‘easy’ life, but no matter what challenges we face,…we are promised the LORD will never leave nor forsake us.

¬†“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.‚ÄĚ – Deuteronomy 31:6

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In all fairness (and humbleness) I have to point out, at first, I didn’t see the potential of those 3D glasses. How kitschy can you get? I thought they were over the top hoopla, and didn’t even look the first time our little guy played with them. “Hello,…,” says, I, “What could 3D glasses add to my life” ¬†I did mention humbleness, right, cause I got a swift taste the moment I put on those glasses.

Ah,…how cute,…teeny little snowman, with my little guy giggling at my side. He knew the entire time those glasses were cool, and that we were surrounded by snowmen, or snowflakes, or gifts galore! Yeah,…it was really humbling.

Big blessings like my little guy are easy to see, and thank the LORD daily for, but the smaller blessings that surround me,…and are there,…always there,…and yet I don’t see them unless I have the right perspective of faith.

What a blessing, and how’s that for irony,…the LORD can use anything to bring joy into our lives, to teach, to instruct,…to reproof, even a fakey Christmas tree, and cardboard glasses.

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8

With or without 3D glasses may you noticed all the blessings surrounding you today!

 

God bless and keep you!

 

What Am I Sowing?

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It’s Fall, the harvest season with cooler temps, falling leaves, and harvests to reap. Most definitely a Pumpkin Patch field trip is in our future. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies, by the way, are even more amazing when made with fresh pumpkin,…and yes,…you can actually cook and eat those orange pumpkins you purchase a the grocery store! Bonus: you get pumpkin seeds,…and yes,…you can eat those, too. Just soak in a little salt water, and then carefully roast in the oven,…very delicious!

With homeschool we’ve been discussing Autumn, and all the seasons: Spring is a time for sowing, Summer is a time for growing, Autumn is a time of harvest, and Winter is a time of rest,…preparing for the next Spring.

Also we just completed a unit on ‘seeds.’ Our little guy was fascinated to learn that seeds have all their “future’ potential within their framework. In fact split a ‘bean’ seed and you can see the little rootlet,…ready to take off, already pointed in the right direction to grow and produce roots in one direction, a stalk, leaves, blossoms in another, and ultimately the harvest of ‘fruit.’

Those roots are buried deep,…seeking nutrients, they spread out providing stability to the entire plant, and that plant can only grow upward in measure to the root structure below. Without healthy roots, it’s impossible for a plant to thrive, much less produce fruit.

Jesus taught the Parable of the Sower in three of the gospels, Matthew 13: 1-23, Mark 4: 1-20, Luke 8:4-15,…where some of the seeds fell along the path and were eaten by birds, some fell along rocky soil, no where to root, some fell along thorns and were swallowed up, and yet others fell on good soil and produced a harvest,…“a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.” – Matt 13: 8

“What was sown?” – something to ponder.

Even more pertinent, “What am I sowing?”

Galatians 6:7 “…you reap what you sow.”

Hello,…that’s a big gulp.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

Obviously one would want to harvest ‘good’ fruit, but then it does reason in light of ‘…reaping what you sow,’ that one should be mindful of what seeds are being sown in their life.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” ¬†– Galatians 5:22-23

“Am I sowing: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?” – a humbling question to consider, and no doubt the Lord equates us so often with sheep as we so easily get distracted with life.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable‚ÄĒif anything is excellent or praiseworthy‚ÄĒthink about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me‚ÄĒput it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4: 8-9¬†

Practice? Such as being mindful when we slip up. Oops, I could have handled that situation a little more lovingly. Or perhaps extended more kindness, or forbearance to others,…and/or myself. Let’s be honest, quite often it is easier to love others than ourselves. But then we’re supposed to “…love others as yourself.” What a paradox that can be. How loving, patience, gentle, kind,…ect,..are we to ourselves,…and by extension to ¬†others.

The best news here is that the Lord knows we’re not perfect,…and yet loves us.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

John 15: 16-17 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit‚ÄĒfruit that will last‚ÄĒand so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.”¬†

“What am I sowing?” Or rather “What should I be sowing?”

Love,…is the only answer. It’s the first Fruit of the Spirit mentioned. All the others sprout from its vine. “…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, ¬†may have power, together with all the Lord‚Äôs holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge‚ÄĒthat you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19

 

 

 

 

 

Author’s Note: Sharing My Heart

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Writing a story is easy, but talking about it,…not so much. Or at least not for me.

When I wrote Becoming Portia – New Beginnings,…I didn’t have any Beta Readers, so I didn’t know how anyone would react to the story or characters. Let’s make no mistake, Anne’s story faces some hard realities, and she’s less than perfect herself, but real life is not perfect, either. I am grateful to those who have expressed such positive feedback, “Thank you.”

When I sat down to write Becoming Portia – New Beginnings I had hoped to write a story about the forgotten, and who in our society is more forgotten than foster children, and their struggles when they ‘age out’ of the system? And yes, Anne is a “Whoa! Did she really just say that,” – type character, who takes intense to the next level, but she learns, she grows, and despite tragic challenges in her life,…she finds the courage to love herself,…and others.

Modern marketing is never going to be me. Seriously, I just can’t consider every click onto my website as a ‘potential’ email I can gather and horde,…because emails are suppose to be marketing gold. No thanks, I wouldn’t know what to do with a horde of emails, nothing is exclusive here. I post a weekly devotional, some good, some okay, but always from the heart. I am now in the process of editing my next book,…Affinity For Food,…which is a collection of food fiction short stories,…much lighter than Anne’s tale,…and I’ll have it out as soon as our homeschooling/therapy schedule allows.

Sharing your writing is always a little harder than one expects. Only looking for eunoia,…which is ancient Greek, “…beautiful thinking,” or even more applicable, “…good will toward one’s audience, having their best interest at heart.”

Looking to build community on this website.
Katherine Johnston Books,…doesn’t just mean ‘my’ books. Writers are readers, too, and I love to read, and I do write book reviews on Goodreads in my mythological spare-time. If book reviews on this website would be of interest, I’d gladly slip a few into the blogging schedule, Or if articles about the writing process are of interest, I’d be glad to share what it’s like to write and edit with such a busy schedule. Special needs? I am thinking about starting another blog about homeschooling a special needs child, as if I didn’t have enough on my plate, but it’s our life, and I am only too grateful for those blogs who are have been so encouraging to our journey. One thing for sure, the weekly devotionals are definitely a fixed feature,…it’s a joy and a blessing,…to be able to share what is on my heart with the hopes that it will help others with whatever challenges they are facing as we are all in this thing called ‘life’ together.

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable‚ÄĒif anything is excellent or praiseworthy‚ÄĒthink about such things”

God bless and keep you!