Weekend Coffee Share – 1/18/20

COFFEE - POKA DOT CUP

Wow, this is my first ‘Coffee Share’ for the new year! If you’d like to participate in having coffee with friends this weekend, just hop over to Eclectic Ali’s place and get the details.

I’ve just been visiting Trent at “Trent’s World” to have coffee with him, and if you want to see some super gorgeous photos of a sunset on the beach at Cape Cod, hop over to his site and enjoy them. I don’t have anything nearly so spectacular to share, but I did enjoy his.

If we were having coffee together this morning, I’d probably tell you that I’m gearing up for the two classes I’ll be teaching at the local college this term: “Biblical Pathways to Health & Wholeness” and “Writing Poetry.”  I love teaching both of these courses. I’m often a little disappointed that we don’t get larger groups in the “Writing Poetry” classes. More people come to the classes to learn about writing prose, and I guess that’s natural, but I do believe that if more people understood how much fun the “Writing Poetry” classes are, they would sign up. I think a lot of people think writing poetry will be too hard for them, but the truth is that a great many people can write good poems once they understand a few basics.

Well, enough of that. It sounds as though I’m trying to talk all my readers into taking the course, and that’s pretty well impossible, since most of you live hundreds — if not thousands — of miles away from the college. So, on to other subjects. I started a new group on Facebook this past week for Christian artists. Anyone who wants to create art that glorifies Jesus Christ can join. The main purpose of the group is to have another avenue to connect with other artists of like spirit, and to help us focus on God’s Word as we create. Twice a month (on the 1st and the 15th) I post a scripture prompt. Then all the members take some time to meditate on that scripture and see where it leads them in their creativity.

They are free to create any type of art in any medium, as long as it’s something inspired by that scripture. Then when the work is finished, they take a picture of it and post it with the prompt on the group FB page so everyone can enjoy it. People who are not members of the group will be able to see our work as well.  (By the way, in case any of you out there are Christian artists and would like to participate, I’ll give you the link to the group page so you can read the description and rules for joining:  “Art From God’s Word” FB Group).

Well, I’m going to close out our chat now and think about doing laundry. But maybe another cup of coffee would be in order first — with a cookie or two to give me energy for the chores ahead. 🙂

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11 Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2020

2020 LOADING -- Elisa Riva - PX - purple letters

I do not make New Year’s resolutions.  But each year, I do look to the Lord and seek His face and His heart to learn what His plans are for my upcoming year, and what He wants from me during that time.  And, of course, there are things that I want for myself as well. This year, I decided to just make a list of all the things I’m wanting to accomplish in 2020. Some of them are on God’s list as well as mine, and some of them — well — they’re probably on my list only —  but God will tolerate them out of His merciful love for me.  🙂

Here’s my list — so far:

1.  Eating lots of chocolate  No surprise there, right?)

2 . Drinking gallons of great coffee  You didn’t think I’d forget coffee, did you?

3 . Finishing the three novels that got shelved after my best friend/best editor died. I’ve recovered from the grief of losing my best friend, who was also my most trusted and efficient editor — and my reservoir for all kinds of creative ideas. But even though I don’t deal with the intense pain of the loss as much, I’ve still found it impossible to let my creativity flow back into those projects that he was working on with me. I know I’ll be able to do so eventually, and I’m trusting the Lord that this year will see a breakthrough.

4.  Writing scores of Cinquain. I do love Cinquain — as most of my readers know. And I can’t wait to dive into all kinds of subject matter that can be disciplined into this wonderful poetic form this year.

5.  Writing scores of Tso’i.  This new poetic form that I created last year is still a challenge. Of course, it had to be somewhat intricate in order to be a genuinely “new” form. If I had followed the disciplines that are comfortable, I’d have been staying in the same groove of all the forms I’ve written in all my life. So, I accept the challenge to write loads more Tso’i  in 2020.

6.  Writing a new series of Christmas stories  I haven’t written anything holiday-themed in a couple years, and that’s surprising, considering how much I love Christmas. I did put out my Holiday Planning Journal last year, and that was loads of fun. But this year, I want to do some more short stories that relate the special excitement, warmth, and love that belong to the Christmas season.

7.  Painting more than I did last year and arranging for a showing of some of my work.  During this past year, some people have been encouraging me to do a showing of my artwork at a couple local places, but I haven’t had the confidence in my work that they seem to have. However, I think it’s time I considered it seriously.  This venture is more a “maybe” than a sure thing, but I’m definitely going to consider it.

8.  Making connections with more Christian artists. I’ve taken the first steps in getting this goal accomplished by creating a brand new Facebook group called “Art From God’s Word.” It looks like there are quite a few other Christian artists out there who want to participate. Twice a month, I’ll post a scripture prompt on that FB page, and all the members will meditate on that scripture and then create artwork that the verse inspires. They are free to use any medium and form of art that they choose, as long as it relates to the scripture passage. It’s a way to focus on God’s Word and fellowship with others who are like-spirited and want their gifts to glorify the Lord.

9.  Teaching more”Writing Poetry” classes.  It’s been hard to get people to sign up for the “Writing Poetry” classes. They come to other creative writing classes, but the poetry always lags behind in enrollment. It’s such a fun class, and if people realized that, they’d want to come. So, I need to work more diligently this year at making them understand how much fun it really is.

10.  Taping a number of live videos, where I teach in front of the camera.  Except for a very few, my Bible teaching videos are mainly audio teaching — with the help of a few pictures or graphics for people to look at as they listen. I’ve never been photogenic, and have a complex about being on camera — video or stationary cameras either one — so I’ve held off on this venture. But I do believe the Lord says its time — maybe past time — that I got this part of the ministry off the back burner. As long as I don’t go back and look at the old live videos that I do have of myself, I think I’ll be able to accomplish this goal in 2020.

11.  Increasing my focus on the Lord and becoming more conscious of His presence within me.  This desire is last on my list in this post, but it is certainly not least. In fact, it is the most important thing I will do this year. And, in truth,  unless I do manage to accomplish this one, most of the others will probably fall by the wayside unfinished. But I have faith that this year will be a year of new growth — even great growth — for me spiritually. So, with the Lord’s help, I’m expecting to get this last item on the list accomplished, as well as the other nine.

If you’d like to share your goals, desires, or plans for this new year, please do. Use the “Comment” windows below to tell us about them — or put a link there to a post on your own blog where you share in more detail.

HAPPY 2020!!!


Graphics courtesy of Elisa Riva @ pixabay.com (edited for this post)
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12 Days of Christmas Coffee – Day 12

 

COFFEE W. GLASSES - Gerd Altmann - PX

Wishing all of you the happiest, merriest, most carefree new year ever — and lots of great coffee to enjoy in 2020!


In case you missed some of the earlier posts in “12 Days of Christmas Coffee,” just drop down and click on “12 Days of Christmas Coffee” in the tag line at the end of this post. That will take you to a page with all 12 posts.


photo courtesy of Gerd Altmann @ pixabay.com

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12 Days of Christmas Coffee – Day 8

MUG WITH BOW - PUB DOM - PX

Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas includes giving gifts each of the 12 days to someone we care about. Why not treat yourself to the gift of a great cup of coffee, along with some little tarts — or a chocolate bar — or some peanut butter cookies — or some of all three.

Not only is it Day 8 of the 12-day celebration, but it’s New Year’s Day, after all. And there’s no better way to welcome in 2020 than with coffee and sweets. Enjoy!

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12 Days of Christmas Coffee – Day 6

CHRISTMAS CAROL BOOK & COFFEE - Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Coffee and Reading: They go together any time of the year. But when reading A CHRISTMAS CAROL, if you don’t have a great cup of coffee at your side — well, all I can say is,”Bah-Humbug!”


 

photo courtesy of Joanna Kosinska @ unsplash.com


 

Celebrating the Real 12 Days of Christmas

CHRISTMAS SWIRL -- Gerd Altmann -- PX

TODAY, DECEMBER 25TH, IS THE BEGINNING OF THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS — the period which, for centuries, has been set aside to focus on the joy of Jesus’ having come to us in the flesh: 12 days when believers rejoice and celebrate by giving gifts to others every day.

Gifts do not have to be extravagant. They can be very simple. It’s the meaning behind them that matters — Giving something to someone you care about because you want to emphasize God’s gift to us. Probably many of you have given loads and loads of gifts to family and friends during the past couple days. But spreading out the joy and the giving over a much longer period of time intensifies the treasure of this celebration in our own hearts. And it helps to reaffirm for us that the true meaning of Christmas does not come to a close at midnight on December 25th.

In the United States especially, a majority of people seem to have the attitude that after the 25th, everything “Christmas” should come down and be packed away — and wait for another 11 months before being seen or heard from again. How sad. We would do well to take a lesson from believers of previous centuries — particularly in many of the European countries — who relished the celebration of 12 full days of joy that just got started on December 25th.

If you’ve never celebrated the 12 days of rejoicing and sharing the joy with others, try it. Begin today and celebrate through January 5th, 2020. The following day, January 6th, is Epiphany — which is it’s own celebration — focusing on Jesus’ manifestation as savior to the Gentile nations and the whole world.

Get out of the rut of making Christmas a 2-day party and then a “let-down.” Instead, get a fresh start today and let Jesus bring you a brand new revelation of who He is during this 12 days of Christmas and Epiphany season.




photo courtesy of Gerd Altmann @ pixabay.com