Old Ladies Get to Sit in Rocking Chairs and Sing Hymns

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Old ladies get to sit in rocking chairs and sing hymns. I just figured that out. I can almost hear some readers asking, “Why would you think that?” My answer: Because I’m sitting here right now in the early morning, rocking contentedly and singing one of my favorite hymns:

“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.
Oh what a foretaste of glory divine.
Heir of salvation, purchase of God.
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.”

It’s one of my favorite ways to start my day — this rocking and singing and reading God’s Word. I have some of my best chats with the Father in this old rocking chair. And a few days ago it suddenly hit me that I was doing exactly what other women of God have done for generations — particularly in their senior years.

I remember vividly staying overnight with my grandparents on my dad’s side of the family and waking every morning to the sound of my grandmother Daisy singing hyms quietly as she sat rocking in the living room. The bed where I slept was positioned so that I could see far enough into the living room to see her sitting there with a cup of coffee and enjoying that quiet time wiht the songs about the  Lord on her lips.

But it was my great-grandmother on my mon’s side of the family who made the greatest impression on me. He name was Rosie, and she was a little woman, but strong and sturdy inside and out. She was a strong Spirit-filled Christian. She prayed in tongues, twirled and danced before the Lord in church services and generally lived her life as something of a fanatic for Jesus. She and her husband farmed, but even after she became a widow, she planed her own huge garden every year, tilled it, harvested it, and walked down hot, dusty country roads to take the bounty to other families.

She was also a no-nonsense person with great common sense. Grandma Rosie never sat waiting for her cup of coffee to get cool enough to drink. She simply poured some into her saucer so it cooled instantly, and she slurped it from that saucer.

She really believed what she read in God’s Word. She trusted the Lord for good health all her life and never even saw a doctor until she broke her arm when she was in her nineties.

Grandma Rosie had a rocking chair as well. A place where she rested and prayed and worshiped the Lord in her own heart. And I’ve often thought she must have spent at least a few hours sitting in that chair praying for her children and grandchildren.

The most important thing to me about her rocking chair is that I now sit in it every single day. It isn’t just a family heirloom to me. It means so much more. I know for sure that the generations of believers who have gone before us have prayed for us and opened doors to God’s involvement in our lives in more ways than we will ever know until we meet those people in Heaven. Their faithfulness in times of struggle and their prayers of faith on our behalf have helped forge who we are and what we’ve accomplished.

Every time I sit in this rocker, I think of my Grandma Rosie, and my heart overflows with gratitude for her and her life. But even more, my heart overflows with gratitude and worship to the Lord for all He’s done for me — and all He’s still doing.

This quiet time in my rocking hair with the Word is unique.The Lord draws close to me — or perhaps I should say I draw close to Him, for He’s always as close as I’ll allow Him to be. But I’m very aware of His closeness as I sit here meditating on His Word and the words of faith that flow with the melody of the hymns I sing.

Am I an “old lady”? I don’t feel like one at all. I’m only 71. But I’ve decided that just for this one purpose — having he right to sit rocking and singing to the Lord for a while each day  — I think I do want to be an “old lady.” Because it’s true: old ladies get to sit in rocking chairs and sing hymns.

“This is my story; this is my song:
Praising my Savior all the day long.
This is my story; this is my song:
Praising my Savior all the day long.”

 


Hymn lyrics by Fanny J. Crosby

 

 


 

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Weekend Coffee Share 3/3/19

COFFEE PLOPPING -- AnnieSplatt -- PX

If we were sharing a cup of coffee today, I’d tell, first of all, that the only reason I’m able to share this morning is because it is snowing too hard for me to get to church. I go to a church that is about 30 miles from my house, and right now the visibility is way too low to make a trip like that — especially with the roads rapidly being covered with snow and the temperatures dropping. I did go out and clean off my car (from the earlier morning snow), thinking it would let up, and I could go, but that didn’t work out at all.

Anyway, there’s not a whole lot to tell you about this week. I taught my “Writing Fiction” and my “Biblical Pathways to Health & Wholeness” classes.  The students seem to be enjoying both classes, so that’s always a good thing.

Actually, I did have one student who complained a couple weeks ago because the Writing Fiction class didn’t give him “what he wanted.” He had taken that class from me a few terms ago, and complained then as well. He seems to think that since he wrote non–fiction for years that a lot of the writing basics we cover are way too elementary for him. The course description made it clear what we would cover, but that didn’t seem to register with him. Not only that, but a good deal of the things we’re covering are things he is not nearly as proficient in as he seems to think — as evidenced by the work he turned in for the assignments.

The first time he took the class he decided to drop it after about 4 weeks. Then when we offered it again this term, he suddenly e-mailed me to see if this class would offer something he could use. I told him clearly that I would be covering the same things I covered in the class he had dropped, which includes all the basic skills needed to write good fiction: developing good strong plots, developing believable characters and learning how to introduce them into the story in interesting ways, learning to use dialogue and body language well, learning how to develop and present setting, learning how to edit, and learning how to choose the best publishing options (along with several other helpful tips). Now, I ask you: what more could a student want from a Writing Fiction class???

But I suggested to him that since I would be covering all those same things, and he didn’t find them helpful a few terms earlier, I didn’t think he’d be interested in this class. But he enrolled anyway. He came to class long enough to be an aggravation and then dropped the class again. It turns out that what he’s looking for is some kind of writing theory and philosophy — whatever that is — and for what purpose, I can’t begin to figure out.

I told him that, in my opinion, teaching theory and philosophy did absolutely no good for the students who want to learn to write good stories that will entertain people and sell books. Theory and philosophy don’t help you plot a good story or create engaging, true-to-life characters, or help you jump through all the right hoops to get those stories published.  I can honestly say I’m relieved he dropped the class. I hope he finds what he’s looking for.

Well, it looks as though I’ve taken our coffee time to vent. Hope you don’t mind. And, guess what: it has almost stopped snowing!  Yay!  I think I’m going to get a fresh cup of coffee and a cookie to celebrate.

Hope you have a great week. And if you’ve never taken part in the “Weekend Coffee Share,” visit Eclectic Ali , check out the easy instructions, and share about your week.

 

 


 

Weekend Coffee Share 2/10/19

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If we were having coffee together this evening, I’d tell you that this has been a very, very busy week, but I did get a lot of positive things accomplished, so I feel good about it. I’d also tell you that our roads and walkways were so slick today (like snot) that I didn’t go to church this morning. In fact, the pastor cancelled services because he felt it was way too dangerous for people to be out on the roads trying to get to church.

Not only that, we’ve had horribly heavy rains for most of the past two weeks and have been under flash flood warnings almost all of that time. We got a reprieve for two days, but the flash flood warnings kicked back in at noon today, because our temperatures warmed up enough to melt the ice and give us regular rain again. And it’s supposed to rain heavy again tomorrow. This is just too much. I think we’ve seen the sunshine only two days in the last couple weeks.

I’ve been so fed up with this miserably gray world we’ve been living in — also with a good deal of fog — that I finally just sat down to my watercolors today and, in my art journal, I painted myself a bright yellow umbrella. I’ve posted it below so you can see how hard I’m trying to think positively. I titled it “Sunshine In The Rain.”  I’ll be soooooo glad when the real sun comes out to stay and play for several days in row.

Well, I didn’t mean to complain almost the whole time we shared coffee, but I guess it turned out that way. Next time I’ll try to do better. Hope you all have a good week — with no heavy rain or flooding.

 

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Sunshine in the Rain

 


 

Thanks to Eclectic Ali for hosting our coffee share every week. If you’d like to take part, just hop over to her site and get the simple rules.

 

 

 


 

New York is Our Name: Killing Babies is Our Game

mother & baby -- hollygirl18 - px

Let me get this straight: All of you folks out there who support New York’s newest abortion law — You’re saying you believe that it is perfectly okay for medical personnel to kill a healthy baby just one day prior to its being born by normal delivery on its normal due date. And as you see it, no one should be considered guilty of murder.

Where is your brain??????

Due to a comment by an individual who was troubled by this post, I’ve added the following information by way of showing a bigger picture of the situation:

I realize the terminology in the bill refers to a mother’s life or health being at risk. I also know that the same terminology was used when abortions were first legalized, but we didn’t stick with that criteria. We slipped very easily and quickly into allowing the abortions for any reason at all, and the same human frailty that caused us to do so then is still at work now.

Moreover, for generations, we have had a relatively safe and life-saving way of taking care of late-term pregnancies when they threatened a mother’s health or life. It’s called a Cesarean section surgical procedure. In almost every case, it has been successfully used to save both the mother and the baby. We didn’t deliberately kill the baby. We at least tried to save it. So this bill isn’t about saving a woman’s life; it’s about getting rid of unwanted children.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Must Have List for Snowed-In Days

man at door deep snow

 

We are in the midst of a white-out. What was originally supposed to be a wintry mix for just a little while this evening suddenly became a terrific snowstorm about 1:30 this afternoon. Lots of snow and even more vicious wind. We have not been able to see much of anything at all through the blowing snow for hours. I had to be out in it for the first two hours, but, thankfully, I am now snuggled in at home, and my car is snuggled in as well (translate that ‘wedged like a sardine into my over-full garage’).

I couldn’t get back out to take my own pictures because the snow is blowing so very hard onto my front porch and back porch that I get hit with biting snow and ice if I even open my doors. And, yes, I did say both the front and back because the wind keeps changing directions. It blows from one direction for a couple minutes and then swirls around the other way. But tomorrow I might have a couple pictures for you.

In the meantime I got to thinking about the items I find to be most important to me if I know I’m going to be snowed in. I made a list, and I thought some of you might like to share your own list as well. So if you have a list of the 10 most necessary items (to you personally) when you’re going to be snowed in, share it with us in the “Comments” section below — or share a link to your own site where you’ve posted your list.

Here’s my 10 most vital things when I’m snowed in:

  1. Plenty of good books
  2. My keyboard so I can play music
  3. My computer so I can write
  4. My watercolor paints and paper
  5. Plenty of bottled water
  6. Plenty of coffee
  7. Plenty of peanut butter
  8. Plenty of chocolate
  9. Plenty of bread
  10. Plenty of toilet paper

That should hold me for a few days.  🙂

 

 

 


 

Weekly Smile 1/14/19

Taking part in Trent’s Weekly Smile again this week. If you’d like to join in, just hop over to the link and get the simple instructions for participating.

My smile this week comes from a little poem I heard during the Christmas holidays. I had forgotten about it for a few days, but this week it popped back into my mind, and I found myself grinning every time I recited it. Just couldn’t help it. So, of course, now that I’ve told you about it, I’m sure you’ll want to hear it. I wish I knew the author so I could give credit, but unfortunately, when I heard it, there was no reference to its originator.

snowball in hands -- pub dom -- pxMY SNOWBALL

I made a little snowball,
Cute as it could be.
So I took it for a pet
And let it sleep with me.

I made it some pajamas
And a pillow for its head.
But when I woke, it had run away;
But first it wet the bed!

 

 

 


 

Weekend Coffee Share 1-12-19

coffee - purple cup -- a-mblamma -- pxIf we were having coffee together today, the first thing I’d say is, “I cannot believe we are already almost half-way through the first month of 2019!”  Then I’d tell you that our ground is covered with snow. We didn’t get as much a the forecasters told us we might, so I’m relieved about that fact.

I’d probably tell you about how I spent a good deal of time this week getting more Bible teaching videos made and posted on YouTube. Most of my visitors are familiar with my ministry YouTube channel, but just in case some of you are not and would like to check it out, I’ll give you the link here: Radical About Jesus Ministries YouTube.

We’ve already had a lot of visitors and quite a number of views for the two videos I posted this week. We’ve had a couple comments. I have to laugh when I tell you that one of the comments was pretty irate. That gentlemen was unhappy with something I said, but, of course, I can’t help that. I taught the truth, and what he does with it is between him and the Lord. I did leave him a comment that will, hopefully, help him understand a couple things better, but, for the most part in those situations, I just pray and leave it to the Lord to handle. When we post anything publicly, we are inviting people to respond publicly, and the vast majority of the time, that’s a very good thing. It’s what keeps the world connected.

But I can’t help but chuckle about it because I just watched a video a couple weeks ago by one of the artists in England that I follow regularly, and he was answering some very unkind comments that had been made on one of his videos. One point he made was that he couldn’t understand why someone felt compelled to give another person’s video a “thumbs down” sign or leave a negative comment. He said when he watched videos, if he didn’t like one he saw, he just stopped watching and went on to something else. There are tens of thousands of videos on YouTube, so it’s easy to just switch over to a different one.

He has a good point, and I’ve thought that very thing myself. If I really like someone’s video, I try to let them know, but if I don’t, I generally just shut off that video and move on. It’s less stress and aggravation for me. And there’s so much negativity in our world already that I don’t see any point in adding to it if I don’t have to. But everyone’s different, and I do invite people to share their thoughts and feelings if they want to do so. Most people have been very appreciative of the videos on that channel. And whether or not people are appreciative, I know the Lord is. I teach God’s Word because it’s my calling, and that’s all that really matters.

I’ve had people ask me from time to time if I’m ever ‘really, truly happy’. My reply has always been the same for years. I am truly happy at two times in my life: when I’m teaching God’s Word or when I’m writing. Now, however, since I’ve jumped into the painting world to help myself de-stress, I can say that — at least most of the time — I’m also happy when I’m painting.

And anyone who really knows me will tell you that, without a doubt, I believe a good cup of coffee is a recipe for happiness all by itself.

Well, I’ve begun to ramble, and your coffee is probably getting cold. I need to offer you a warm-up and let you get into the conversation for a while. I hope you will find that you are having a ‘really, truly happy’ day today.

 


Thanks to Eclectic Ali for hosting our weekend coffee share.

photo courtesy of a-mblamma @ pixabay.com

 


 

Weekend Coffee Share 1-5-19

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If we were having coffee together, I would have just poured you a fresh cup from a pot that just now finished brewing. Mmmmmm. My house smells wonderful. I think one of the reasons I love coffee so much is the aroma and all the memories it arouses. In my family, coffee was the main drink at our meals. And if company came over for a visit in the evening, we served coffee. So did all of our friends.

Also, in times of stress or when we were working through a problem together, we’d often put on a pot of coffee. Somehow, just sitting around the table together drinking the warm aromatic beverage — and maybe munching a cookie or two — just added a positive element to the atmosphere. And right now, I’m enjoying remembering all those times.

You would undoubtedly be drinking your coffee from a Christmas cup. I have loads of them, you know. And after all, it’s still Christmas. The official Twelve Days of Christmas celebration is not over until the end of the day today, January 5. I like to celebrate the whole season, and I’m still enjoying my Christmas tree and the Christmas lights on my front porch.

Tomorrow is Epiphany. I love that holiday. That’s the time during the year that Christians celebrate the fact that Jesus Christ came, not just for the Hebrew people, but for everyone in the world. The Gentile world (those who were not part of the Jewish heritage) recognized Him and worshiped Him as the Savior as well, and that’s why we celebrate the coming of the Wise Men to pay Him homage.

Many people don’t realize that the Wise men were gentiles from the Middle East who had studied the scriptures so carefully that they recognized that one particular brilliant star as the sign that had been prophesied hundreds of years prior to Christ’s birth. That star was their sign that Christ had finally come, and that’s why they made the journey to bring Him gifts. They didn’t arrive to visit Jesus and His family until Jesus was already about two years old. We often include the visit of the Wise Men with that of the shepherds at the manger, but the official celebration of their visit is actually scheduled into the church calendar for January 6.

Epiphany means “a sudden or great revelation,” and that’s why we use that term to commemorate the revelation to the Gentiles that Jesus Christ is the Savior for the whole world. So if we were having coffee today, I’d be talking about the wonder and joy of that revelation. And I’d also probably share that I’ve been working on some new videos for my YouTube channel that will spread the great news of that Gospel farther and wider.

Well, my first cup has cooled while I’ve been writing this post, so it’s time for a warm-up. I’m headed for the kitchen — and maybe a cookie as well. I hope all of you had a joyous Christmas season, and I wish you the best New Year ever in 2019.

epiphany banner

 


Thanks to Eclectic Ali for hosting our coffee share.

coffee photo courtesy of Mammela @ pixabay.com

 


 

Experimenting with the New Editor

COMPUTER WITH TONGUE OUT

Readers, you can totally ignore this post if you like. I am just experimenting with the brand new editor — and as a result of my experiment, I am venting profusely. As usual, over the last 6 years, WordPress will not leave well enough alone. They do not understand the meaning of the advice: “If it isn’t broken, DON’T FIX IT!”

What don’t I like?  Well, to begin with, I asked where in the heck are the tools to make text bold, to underline, to insert special characters? Not only are they not visible, but WP does not even give me a note in this editor to tell me where I can find them.  I will stop here and say that as I wrote this paragraph, I searched in the block search window for a “bold text” button. The editor told me there was none.  But then all of a sudden I got a row of tools with a bold button showing up along the top of my post. Now, where did that come from? I have no clue how I got it, or how I will get it again if I need it?

And I still can’t find an “underline” symbol or a button to click to let me insert special characters. I did finally find a section called “Keyboard shortcuts.”  That will let me use my keyboard to get something underlined or switched to italics. Then, after about half and hour, I finally saw a button that let me add the “classic editor tools,” but they come in on the bottom of the post instead of the top, and you have to tell it to “hide the block settings” before the tools will work in the text. But all of these features are twice the work that the old editor required to accomplish those jobs. Why on earth would any writer want that??? 

And I still can’t find a way to insert special characters — like the copyright symbol — which we all need from time to time. What is it that makes WordPress believe that we will appreciate having to learn how to do almost everything from scratch again? And what’s with the paragraph symbol all over the place?  It pops up right and left when there should be no need for it. Previously, all we had to do was space down an extra line, and we had an automatic new paragraph. Not anymore. Also, I tried to right click and choose “select all” so I could copy the text, but the editor will not select all. It selects only the paragraph that I’m close to when I right click. I finally hunted around for an option that said “copy all content,” but when I did and pasted it into a document, it pasted all the HTML codes into the text as well.

I went to my admin page to see what I had available for help there, and there’s a link that says I can “try a live demo which will highlight some of the key features of the new editor.”  But when I clicked on that link, it took me to a page with 4 black boxes with a label for each feature, but did absolutely nothing to show me what they actually are or how they work. Supposedly, this new editor is great for what they call “media-rich” posts and for people who worry about whether their content looks good on all sizes and kinds of devices. WordPress has claimed for years that they have themes that can be relied on for those features. If there are a some bloggers out there who really need a new kind of editor, then WP needs to develop a couple separate themes that will allow those bloggers the extra technology. But for those of us who are actually writers — who want to use our sites to “say” something in a simple, easy, quickly-posted manner — they need to just leave us alone, for pity’s sake, and let us get on with blogging.

This whole editor looks like a lot of mumbo-jumbo junk to me. I have to laugh when I see that they are naming the new editor ‘Gutenberg.’ Holy cow, the man would roll over in his grave if he had to deal with an editing program like this one!  But then why should WordPress care what I think? I’m just the creator and administrator of 5 blogs/websites on WP (all under different names and e-mail accounts to avoid confusion.) And since I  have only 5 sites, why should my concerns make any difference, right?

Not only does the problem affect me personally, but since I teach blogging classes —  and, by the way, have been responsible for getting several new bloggers to do business with WordPress over the past 4 years — this change drastically affects my students as well. I can tell already that this new concept editor is going to be much more difficult for brand new bloggers to get a handle on, and, frankly, I’m concerned that they will give up and just quit — which would be a shame for them, for me, and for WordPress.

Anyway, they are not going to allow us to stick with the old editor window — which is actually the new editor window from just about 3  years ago — and which caused a lot of confusion for multiple bloggers, particularly those new to the blogging world. Now that everyone is finally pretty comfortable using that editor, Word Press feels they MUST get rid of it and force something else new on us.

Oh well, they are still a better platform than Blogger — barely —  so I guess I’ll stick with them for a while yet and see how things go. Since I have 5 blogs to deal with, that would be a whole lot of work if I decided to change them to another platform. Staying put sounds like the easier choice, but I’m not sure how long that will be true. Maybe — just maybe — I’ll be able to make friends with this new editor at some point — if I don’t give up first. After an hour of frustration, I finally switched back to the old editor to get my post to look normal before I hit “publish,” but how long will I be able to make that choice???????

 

 


 

We Have Another New Neighbor

HOUSE AND CAT -- croppedI’m excited to tell you that another writing friend of mine has decided to take up residence at WordPress. His name is Ken Hill, and he writes some pretty neat stories.

He’s also a grandpa, and I think he gets a lot of his inspiration from making up so many stories for his grandchildren, but he writes for all ages and about a lot of different subjects. I’m sure my followers will like Ken and what he has to share.

The name of his site is “Stray Cat Alley.” Now, you’ll have to ask him yourself what that title’s all about. But I hope you’ll stop by his site for a visit and get to know him. Just follow the link in the blog title.

 

 


 

Share Your World 8/27/18

Question # 1: Do you prefer eating foods with nuts or no nuts?

Well, of course, it depends on what I’m eating. Nuts are great in cookies, candy, salads, and even ice cream. But I can’t tolerate the thought of having nuts in my mashed potatoes, green beans, pork roast, lasagna, or chicken soup (yuk).

Question # 2: Do you sleep with your close doors open or closed?

I generally leave them open. Two of those doors belong to a walk-through closet between bedrooms. I leave them open all the time because it just doesn’t make sense to keep closing them only to open them to walk through again. And, frankly, I don’t see any reason to close bedroom closet doors at all. However, when I lived in a house that had closets in the front foyer or the living room, I did close those.

I used to be a little negligent about closing kitchen cabinet doors, until my Dad got onto me about it. He had a “thing” about closing cabinet doors, and I got pretty good about doing it. Now, every time I get something out of my kitchen cabinet, I think about hearing him say, “Close those doors.” I’d give a lot to have him back here with me to tell me that again.

Question # 3: Are you usually late, early, or right on time?

I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that it may incriminate me.

Question # 4: What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?

I really appreciate Angela Fehr’s watercolor instruction videos. She’s a watercolor artist from Canada and very down-to-earth and unhurried when she explains techniques. I watched several of her videos this past week. Here’s a sample of one of them in case you’re interested:

 


Visit Cee’s Photography to get the scoop on how to participate in this weekly challenge.

Share Your World 8/20/18

If you’d like to take part in the “Share Your World” weekly get-together, just hop over to Cee’s Photography and get the details.
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GLOBE - PIECE OF THE WORLD w. text.

Question # 1:  Which tastes better: black or green olives?

I love both, so I can’t choose between them. However, since I do try to watch how much extra sodium I take in, I tend to eat more black olives than green.

Question # 2: What’s your favorite room in your house? 

Well, again, I can’t really choose. Depends on what I’m doing. I love my kitchen because I love the blue and white color scheme and the light, friendly atmosphere. But I enjoy my living room for a lot more hours of any given day. I have my computers, most of my books, and my watercolor materials in that room, so whether I’m writing, reading, researching, or painting, I’m enjoying the living room. The only things not in that room that I need periodically are my musical keyboard and my bed, and they both reside in the bedroom just off the living room. The only room I don’t actually enjoy is my second bedroom, which has been converted to a laundry room/storage room, and it’s a reminder of how very unorganized I am.

Question # 3: What fictional family would you be a member of?

Oh, definitely the family of characters I created in my Smoky Mountain Series novels. Of course that ‘family’ is made up of about 4 different families who are tightly intertwined. They are the kind of people I want to be and the kind of people I want for family and friends. Plus — they all live where I want to live: right smack-dab in the middle of the Smoky Mountains.

Questions # 4: What did you appreciate or what made you smile this week?

Ahhh!  There’s no need to even think about this one: I paid off the mortgage on my house this week!!!!!!!!!   Yes!!!!!!!!  And I am smiling reeeeeeeaaaaallllly big.  Thank you, God!