There just ain’t nothin’ like it.
Good to the last drop — 24/7
I posted this painting a couple weeks ago, but later I discovered that my muse just insisted on creating a little poem to go along with it. So here’s the poem and, of course, it’s only right that I show you the picture again, since it was the inspiration.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Then set up a stand near the road, in the shade.
Offer to passersby at a fair price
For lemon juice, water, sugar and ice.
Most likely, no one will stop and consume.
And some may imply you take up too much room.
But in the end, if no money you’ve made,
Just kick back and chug all that sweet lemonade.
To participate in “Weekend Coffee Share,” visit “Eclectic Ali”for the details.
It’s been a while since I shared weekend coffee with all of you, but I have been on hiatus. That’s just a fancy way of saying I took about 3 weeks off from doing any online writing. In fact, I didn’t even work on a novel, a short story, or a poem during those three weeks either. It was good for me.
I did, however, turn to focusing on my art. Now, let me hasten to say that I am not into art to promote my work or make money. It’s something I do mainly to de-stress. I paint or sketch only what makes me feel good, and I hope if or when others see it, it makes them feel good too. I never expected to sell anything I worked on, but, to my surprise, people have been interested in purchasing some of the work that I do. It’s made paining and sketching even more fun.
But — back to my hiatus from writing: During those 3 weeks, I set up a website just for my art — to be able to share it with more people. There is no text on that site — and absolutely no stress to write something or say anything that matters. Just pictures of artwork that makes me happy. I’ll put the link to that site below in case you want to visit — but PLEASE do not feel obligated to do so. We are all so busy that I don’t feel at all offended when people don’t try to keep up with everything I’m doing.
Other than what I just shared, I don’t actually have any news. The main reason I decided to jump in to the coffee share is just to be able to talk a little about coffee. I love coffee and enjoy a few cups every day. And one of my favorite pastimes is visiting with friends over a cup of coffee and conversation. Unfortunately, there’s no place to do that in my area because so much is still closed down — or open only if we sit out in the miserable heat at tables made scalding hot by he direct sun on them. So that’s a ‘no-go’ for sure.
But coffee is good, summer, winter, spring, and fall. When I was a kid, I asked my dad once how he and Mom could stand to drink coffee in the hot summer time. He said, “Oh it cools me off.” My reply, of course was to ask how that could possibly be so. He said, “Well, when I drink the coffee, it makes me sweat, and then when a breeze comes along, it passes over the beads of sweat and cools me off.” Now, I’m not sure I believed that, and, frankly, I can’t say that I’ve ever experienced it that way myself. I think that was just a “Dad” answer on the spur of the moment. But I do enjoy coffee even when the weather is hot, and, for some reason, it doesn’t add to my discomfort at all. I am not a fan of iced drinks to begin with, though, so perhaps that plays a part as well.
Either way, I’m off to put on a fresh pot of my favorite brew, and I do wish we could sit down and enjoy a cup together face to face. But maybe someday soon, we’ll get back to that good life. Until then, I hope you’re enjoying your very own pot wherever you are
My art website: Beulah Rest
In routine life on Planet Earth, there’s one rather ordinary looking piece of equipment that is used by thousands of people every day. It’s called a compass. Hikers, hunters, military personnel, navigators on ships and planes, and even 12-year-old boy scouts and girl scouts out on field trips use a compass as a normal part of their activities. Most of us have used one at some point in time, or at least played with one just to see how it works. Its job: to make geographical directions clear so that we can find our way safely and expeditiously from one point on this earth to another.
But that compass will not help us — it will, in fact, lead us the wrong way and get us into trouble — it is fails to point its arrow accurately to the North. It it’s off just a tiny bit, it can cause us to go miles in the wrong direction and totally miss our destination. That compass must point its arrow to TRUE NORTH, or it does us no good at all.
Now for individual journeys from one geographical place to another, any average compass in good working order is good enough. But what about our life-long journey — our time from birth to death — when we make our way along the road of life with all its twists and turns and possible detours? What provides our source of accurate directions for that journey? Well, there’s only One who knows for sure how to navigate that life path successfully and wind up at the right places at the right times — as well as how to wind up in the right place at the end of the journey — and that person is our Creator — the One who made us to live this life in the first place.
We hear people today talk about how different people have different “moral compasses” — to each his own — everyone lives by his own standards. But the truth is that all moral compasses that don’t point to Jesus Christ are extremely faulty and will lead the followers into trouble — and eventually into destruction.
Jesus Christ is the only TRUE NORTH. If our life compass focuses on Him, we will be able to stay on course — with joyful results. It if does not point to Him, we’re lost — in more ways than one.
I hear people say things like this: “Well, there are people who do good an live right in this world who aren’t Christians.” And i agree that I know some people who love their families and who try to live by rules that are, for the most part, kind. But the fact is that the only reason those people act as positively as they do is that they’ve been taught the basic rules of God’s Word.
Now they may not recognize those words as coming from the Bible. And they may not have learned them in a church. But they were influenced by others — even by the laws of the land — to understand a lot about what’s right and wrong. Every law of the land in any nation that protects people and guides them to act in ways that avoid hurting someone else came originally from the plans for living right laid out in God’s original law.
The truth is that the only foundation any society — indeed any human being from Adam and Eve down — has for determining what’s right and wrong is God’s Word. That’s why God gave the original ten commandments: so man would know what was good and what was evil. And all the civilized nations in the word have laws that follow those ten commandments. No human being came up with those ideas on his own. His Creator taught him right and wrong.
Why did the Creator need to teach man? Because the only good there is in the universe is in God Himself and what proceeds out of Him.
Let me say that again: There is no good in this world except what proceeds out of God. Man is born sinful — selfish, self-centered, and out for himself alone. Prove it you say? Look at any little baby. He wants his needs met, and when they’re not met, he cries — and cries — and cries — until Mom and Dad stop whatever else they are doing and give baby whatever it is he wants. And as a child grows, he knows to focus on his own needs and wants without being taught. His wants come first.
Most parents — if they are responsible in their child rearing — begin teaching their children about kindness and consideration for others at an early age. But those things have to be taught. They never come naturally to any human being. Goodness, kindness, and generosity are learned behavior — coming either from instruction or environmental influence. There is no inherent good in any human being when left on his own.
The Word of God says it simply and succinctly when it says, “There is none good but God.” (Luke 18:19) and “There is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10 and “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). There is no inherent good in any human being when left on his own. He must receive his goodness from God.
Now, living on this earth in the right environment may help some people soak up understanding of some of that goodness. And they may exert some effort to make it active in their lives. Anyone who gets out in the rain gets wet. Anyone who gets out in the sun gets warm. But those conditions are superficial and temporary. So, in the same manner, anyone who is reared and nurtured in an environment of good, loving ways will, no doubt, soak up some of that attitude and that philosophy of life — and its accompanying behavior.
But as with the sun and the rain, those things are superficial and temporary. They will carry that person only so far and for only so long. He will ultimately fail in his morality and goodness. I have lived 72 years on this earth and been actively involved with thousands of people from all over the world, and I have yet to see an exception to this rule. Nor do I know any other people who have come across an exception. No human being other than Jesus Christ has ever lived without failing in morality and goodness. Until we receive Jesus Christ and put Him in control, everyone of us fails to live up to the goodness of God — the goodness required to be fit to live with Him for eternity.
The only good we know and do apart from Jesus is what we acquired by osmosis because God’s goodness managed to penetrate our soul a little. But without our spirit being born again by the entrance of Jesus Christ, that “goodness” is nothing but a garment we wear. What’s inside will eventually come to the forefront. And, yes, I realize I am repeating myself here, but with good reason. My experience with humanity has taught me that very few people can capture and hold onto a new concept the first time they hear it. And, for many people reading this article, the concept I’m sharing is new indeed. So explaining the same truth again — and in slightly different terms — is a safeguard and an insurance that more people will grasp this truth and let it help them move forward to what they need.
The exciting part of this truth is that once Jesus is allowed to come in and take control, His own righteousness is transferred into our being. At that point, we aren’t just trying to be good and do good because of some training that will eventually fail us. No. Jesus gives us His own inherent goodness and holiness. It becomes who we are because He has become the controller of who we are. We are one with Him.
And since He alone is TRUTH (John 1:17; John 14:6), He provides the infallible compass for our life from that point through all eternity. Do our souls and bodies sometimes fail to measure up? Yes, but Jesus, our unerring compass, lovingly points us back to the right direction, and the wrong steps we took gets corrected so that we don’t ever get completely off course again.
Jesus Christ is our TRUE NORTH. If you haven’t yet made Him the compass of your life, right now is the best time to do it. No matter how far off course you are at present, if you’ll turn your life over to Him, you will immediately see where “True North” is, and you’ll never have to worry about being lost again on this journey through life. Not only that, you’re guaranteed to wind up at the destination you were always intended to reach — in this life on earth and for eternity.
photo credit: Efraim Stochter (MW) @ pixabay.com
Hey, you watercolor artists out there — and all of you who have ever thought you might like to dabble in watercolor — did you know that July is World Watercolor Month? I’m posting my entries for the first four days’ prompts below. But entrants do not have to follow the prompts. It you’d like to paint anything at all in watercolor, you can post it on any social media sight with this hashtag — #worldwatercolormonth — and it will be connected to the main gallery that records everyone’s entries. If you’d like more information on participating — which is totally free by the way — just hop over to the Doodlewashsite and check out the details.
Here are my entries so far:
DAY 1: REJOICE
DAY 2: TEXTURE
DAY 3: PLAYFUL
DAY 4: QUIET
Well, my three-week hiatus from writing for any websites — and focusing on my art instead — has done me some good. I’ll try to get back in the saddle now and focus on some things that have to be written out in words. But even if I’m back in the saddle, I think I’ll move forward at a trot, rather than racing speed. I’ll work my way back to writing publicly in as relaxed a manner as possible — beginning with this light-hearted poem:
Can be a joy,
Except when it’s a drag.
Words must be disciplined,
And that’s the gag.
I took a break
From writing anything.
And gave myself to art,
And had a fling.
I’m in the mood
To write a thing or two.
Thoughts that have been backlogged
Are now in queue.
I mentioned last week that I was taking a hiatus from public writing for a while. That includes all my regular websites — although I will be devoting some time privately to working on a couple new novels. But during this time, I’m going to concentrate more on my art — mainly because it’s a terrific de-stressor, and that’s a must for me right now. So I thought I’d at least post a link to my new art website, in case you’d like to hop over and visit there. That site has no text and no stress — just happy pictures of my own original art. Here’s the link:
Just a little note here to say my life has taken a bit of a turn lately, and I haven’t been posting on any of my websites in any kind of normal patterns. Nor have I been visiting other friends in the WordPress family. Hopefully, by the end of the month, I’ll be a little more back to normal.
I want to say how much I appreciate all my visitors and followers on this site — as well as my poetry site and ministry sites. I haven’t left the planet, just experiencing a much needed hiatus and figuring out now much of myself I need to devote to online work as compared to other matters of importance in my life.
Hopefully, you’ll still find plenty here to enjoy from the last 9 years of my sharing online.
Blessings on you as you visit here.
What happens when twenty-first century technology comes face to face with the most powerful force the human race has ever known? Find out in this story of intrigue, romance, courage, and faith: QUENTON’S HONOR.
A man’s love for his country; a man’s love for a woman.
Securing a nation; capturing a heart.
It’s a story of patriotism. It’s a love story. It’s a story of one man’s journey to God.
American industrial magnate Quenton Sutherland’s efforts at humanitarian aid carry him on a fact-finding tour into the Middle-Eastern hotbed of war-torn Pakistan. While there, he uncovers a terrorist plot involving three cells already poised for attack back in the U.S. Before he can foil their plan, he is taken hostage to prevent his exposing their plot.
In the days that follow, Quenton comes face-to-face with his need for the God he abandoned decades before — while he, along with investigative journalist Honor Fairfield, and the Department of Homeland Security, begin an ever-twisting adventure and discover life-changing connections that none of them could have foreseen.
I wrote this book years ago, and it was first published in 2004. But this is the first time its been offered in paperback through Amazon. I still love the story. Even though I’m the author, the story still makes me cry in all the right places, makes my heart beat faster with each embrace of the lovers, and thrills my soul when the characters encounter a God whose love is focused on blessing them every step of the way on this journey.
The story has been called a cross between ‘You’ve God Mail’ and ‘Song of Solomon.’ I don’t know about that, but I do know amazing things — even spiritual things — can happen through the wonders of computer technology and in the world of cyberspace. You’ll just have to see for yourself.
Get your copy in paperback or digital here.
The E-book is on sale for $1.99 through June.
You can read a short sample at this link, but bear in mind that Amazon’s samples on the product page are sometimes a little screwed up. Hopefully, you’ll at least get enough of the text to make a decision on whether the story’s for you or not.
My short story anthology Stories That Leave You Thinking is on sale during the whole month of June.
A collection of diverse and slightly unconventional short short stories
Have you ever come to the words “The End” when reading and just couldn’t seem to turn off your own imagination? Did your mind keep working on the plot and planning out possible ways in which the story could continue? Did you enjoy the process? Then you’ve come to the right book. The stories included here, on a wide variety of subjects and themes, offer the reader the opportunity to keep thinking past “The End.” Each story comes to a stop, to be sure, but most of them will tempt the reader to let his own imagination get involved and do some thinking about what would happen next – if the story continued. A refreshing approach to short story telling.
Paperback only — $5.00
Find it here: