Graze: To feed on growing grasses.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

-Ps. 23:1-6

Growing up on a farm, I used to watch the cows, sheep & horses graze in the pasture. Each morning we would open the gate to the barnyard and they knew there was freedom from that small pen they were in. They also knew there was nice green grass beyond the barnyard. Once the gate was open, look out because those animals wanted to get where the tall, green grass grew – the pasture! They would take off sometimes even running up the old fenced lane that went up over the hill through the cornfield to the lush green pasture on the other side of the farm. There they would graze for a while then lay down and rest for a while then graze some more. They did this all day long. Come evening we would go over to the pasture’s edge and call the cows – 'come boss, 'come boss. They would gather at the pasture gate. Sometimes we would have to go round up a few stragglers and when all were accounted for, we’d open the lane gate and back over the hill they would go to the barnyard for the night. The next morning was the same routine, day after day.
What a life, huh?!

Oh that we could just graze and rest in shady green pastures all day long! But we can rest and graze in God’s green pastures and restore our souls . . . The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. (Ps. 23:1) I believe God wants us to slow down and “rest” and “graze” and “feed” on His Word. Life throws so many things our way and we are so busy – busy doing good things. But are we running on empty a good share of the time? Are we feeling stretched to extreme? Are we content with who we are in God’s divine providence? Slow down and take some time to just leisurely graze, rest a while, then graze and feed on the good things God has provided for you. Graze, rest, and enjoy the “shady green pastures” of God’s abundant love, grace, and mercy.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

National Zucchini Day is today, August 8th and we are getting zucchini from our garden. We got about a half of dozen the other day! They were beautiful and my head started spinning as to what I should make with these.  I started going through my stand-by recipes and then decided to search for some new possibilities!  I quickly realized that I could make a huge variety of things from these two zucchini.  I could make the traditional zucchini bread that I always make.  I could add some variety to this by adding chocolate chips or dried cranberries.  I could make my families favorite chocolate zucchini cake for all of us chocolate lovers!!  I could bread it and deep fat fry it or Air Fry it, or I could bake it or have grilled vegetable kbobs. I could stuff it, marinate it in a salad or I could make zucchini lasagna or zucchini meatloaf . . . and I could even pickle it!!!  How does one choose what to do with these two zucchini??!! Well, I settled on the zucchini bread and some breaded fried zucchini for supper. I still have a little left - just about enough to bake the chocolate zucchini cake to satisfy my sweet tooth!!  LOL!

As I was grating the zucchini I was thinking about all the different ways to use the zucchini.  It can be made into sweet things, sour things, greasy things, starchy things, breaded things, fried things, stuffed things, marinated things - you name it can be done!!  

I was thinking about how we as people are somewhat like the zucchini, believe it or not!!   We can be sweet, sour, greasy, starchy, breaded, fried, stuffed, and marinated. We too, can be all of these things! Our personalities all vary with the amount of honor, integrity, faithfulness, truthfulness, and loyalty woven into our very character. We each possess characteristics that state who we are, what we believe in and what we stand for. When I look at a zucchini - I don't automatically think of "chocolate" like a chocolate zucchini cake!! But when mixed with other important ingredients like flour, eggs, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, etc. a green vegetable called a zucchini takes on the mix of a wonderful chocolate zucchini cake!  

Just like the zucchini adds other ingredients to become a chocolate cake - we have important characteristics in our character that help us become who we are. Who are you?  What do you believe?  What do you stand for?  I hope you are adding the other important ingredients that make you stand out or stand up for who you are and what you believe is important in life.  Weave some honor, integrity, faithfulness, truthfulness, and loyalty into your character. Let God measure the exact ingredients just for "you" and let God's mix state "who you are as a child of God" and "stand tall" . . .

. . . like one of those Chocolate Zucchini cakes in one of those glass cake stands with the glass cover on them. Don't be just a zucchini - be something "special"!

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Qualified or not . . .

God doesn't chose people who are qualified. He calls people who are willing, and then He qualifies them".  - Richard Parker 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Raising Boys

I came across this article that gives us moms some good advice on what a mom should try to be to her kids.  I'm not sure who wrote this - but it is good "mom" advice for all of us moms! 

1.  A safe place to figure themselves out.
It happens almost every day, and sometimes many times a day:  Teenagers are always changing.  They will change their clothes.  Their mood.  How they walk, talk or what they’re into.  Some days they just need to figure out what feels right.  Some days nothing feels right.  Being a teenager is hard.  Sometimes our greatest job as Mom is to act like we don’t even notice.
2.  Boundaries.
Our boys need to know what is absolutely ok, and what is absolutely not.  They may resist rules, but deep down they feel safe when there are clear cut rules without exceptions.  Make them clear and consistent, and have absolute consequences in place for when they break rules.  Boundaries = Security. 
3.  Freedom.
Within those boundaries, teenage boys need the opportunity to stretch their wings.  Teenage boys should be encouraged…Even pushed–to try new things, to take some risks, to find adventure.  Given enough opportunities for healthy adventure, they will avoid a lot of trouble.  (Remember–”Idle hands” and all of that…)
Keep boys busy doing character building, exciting activities and watch them become men before your eyes.
Side note: **My personal Mom-motto has always been “With Freedom comes responsibility.”  The minute my boys act in irresponsibly, they will lose freedom.  So the freedoms we give are taken very seriously.  
4.  A Listening Ear.Boys need to talk.  Even the quietest ones will open up when given the chance.  Get them alone, in the car or wherever you can, and make it clear that you WANT to hear about their interests, and their lives.  Be patient, and try different times and places until you figure it out.  I push through the ‘awkward,’ and bring up subjects that make my boys squirm (hello puberty!) but no one has died yet.  This makes it clear that I am OK with any and every topic and I will always be available and comfortable talking.
**When asked what he most needs from me, this was the first thing my oldest son named.  A Mom that can listen and not criticize or manipulate is a really valuable thing. (call me a work in progress here.)
5.  A Sense of Humor.
This is the good stuff.  Teenagers…are hilarious.  This may be my very favorite thing about these years.  No more knock-knock jokes or bad made-up jokes that never seem to come to a conclusion.  Teenagers actually GET STUFF.   There’s hardly anything like the bond of a good laugh with my boys.
When one of my boys come out laughing and want me to watch a funny Vine or Youtube Video, I drop everything for it.
Side note #1: As for us–**We have a rule of “clean” entertainment only.  No swearing or off color anything.  And they know that if I find them following anyone inappropriate, I’ll remove their Vine/YouTube etc account(See #2))
Side note #2**I have a “I can check your phone, computer, etc anytime I want to–no questions asked.”  This keeps everyone in check.
There is plenty of FUN and FUNNY entertainment out there if you look for it.
it’s a hard world:  A good sense of humor will get your kid through many trials in life–So encourage it.
6.  Touch.
Your teenage son will likely pull away from you physically, and that is normal, albeit painful.  But even the most rigid, sulky teenage boy needs hugs from Mom.  Don’t get awkward and keep a distance.  Create a “hug a day” rule or something that makes it routine and normal.  He’ll love it even if he refuses to show it.
7.  Genuine interest.
What does your teenager love?  Learn to love it too.  Know at least enough about what they are passionate about so that you can have a decent conversation.   This will keep doors open greater than any other gesture you can make.
8.  Forgiveness.
Teenagers will make mistakes.  Lots of them.  They’ll act selfish.  They’ll space out.  They’ll get insecure and do stupid things because of it.  They are going to mess up so much you’ll wonder where you went wrong.  If you know it’s coming, it won’t throw you off.  Consequences may be in order, but so is a whole lot of grace.
9.  Direction.
Listen Mom:  Your teenager actually WANTS you to give them guidance.  Sure, they’ll act like they don’t, but they do.  Keep it relevant, and as brief as possible, but when you see them facing forks in the road, go ahead and speak some good solid words of advice to them.  Share a Bible Verse that fits their situation.  Quote someone they might respect.  You are their greatest resource they have, and they need your direction.  They’ll thank you, even if it takes twenty years.
10.  Encouragement.
It’s hard to be a teenager.  (remember?)  The world will yell and scream all kinds of negatives to your son.  So be his greatest fan.  Be his cheerleader.  Believe in him with your heart, and tell him that you do.  Every.  Single.  Day.  I’m not talking about phony, contrived encouragement (Everyone is a winner!) but the authentic kind that finds their greatest gifting's, and speaks them boldly.
11.  An example.
Our kids are watching us.  They get a lot more of an idea about what is right, wrong, good and bad from what you do than what you say.  So take your position seriously.  No, you’ll never be perfect, and you can tell your kid that–but don’t use that fact as an excuse to be lame.  If you don’t want them to swear, don’t swear.  If you teach them to speak well of others, make sure you do the same.  Probably the greatest thing you can do for your son is to model the kind of person you want them to be.
A common key to pretty much everything I have named is that Mom is involved in the teen’s life.  To listen, or share a joke, or a hug…you need to be in close proximity to your kids.  For those moms that work long hours or cannot be physically involved in your children’s lives, I encourage you to creatively find solutions for this.  You will never regret making sacrifices or adjustments so that you can be present for your children when they need you.   And the thing with parenting is–you’re never really sure when they’ll need you.  So being there as much as possible is key.  Do what you are able, rely on others to help when you’re not able, and put your job as parent before anything that you possibly can. 
Finally:  If you’re like me, you’ll love parenting your teenage son.  However at times it can feel like a crazy balancing act…Do they need more grace?  More rules?  Do they need space, or hugs, or advice, or WHAT!!!???  It’s ok.  Pray a lot.  Keep communication open and let your kid know that Frankly You don’t know what they need…But you want to be there for them.  If you have invested in the early years, then the doors will be open and they will trust and respect you as teenagers too.

Friday, July 5, 2019

God Understands Our Prayers Even When We Can't Find the Words to Say Them . . .


Have you ever been to that point in your life where you realized that . . . God understands your prayers . . . even when you can't find the words to say them.

I have literally "been" there - right at that very point in my life.  In my own feeble and frail circumstances, I was there.  My simple prayers and utterings were not only heard by my God but God understood every one of my prayers - even when I could not find the words to say them!! Yes, I believe He heard them and understood every one of them knowing far more than I myself knew. I didn't realize that I had two brain tumors each one the size of a tangerine! I had know idea that they were pressing on my brain gradually limiting my speech, communication, and even my thought processes.  It was so gradual, that I didn't realize until I went to the doctor and was told to check into the hospital by 7:00 pm that very same evening.  But I believe my God knew ALL about me and my circumstances that very day.  I had NO WORDS to say or to pray at that particular day - I couldn't find any words to say.  But God knew the "prayer of my heart" even when I could not express it.  He knows and He truly does understand. I thank God for that "Blessed Assurance" we can have in Christ.  
Here's some things that
many kids today don't 
know how to do. . .

Friday, December 7, 2018

Pearl Harbor Day

December 7th was Pearl Harbor Day. I could not help but remember 6 years ago when I had my own personal "pearl harbor" day. There were no sounds of airplanes in the sky bombarding our ships or brave men serving our country. No fire arms or bombs or sinking ships. No screams or blood shed as was on that dreadful Dec. 7, 1941. My pearl harbor day - Dec. 7, 2012, was not at all like that. My daughters took me in for an MRI, which confirmed that I had 2 tumors the size of two tangerines and  would have to go to the hospital that same evening to prepare for brain surgery. (I guess you could say it was a "no-brainer"... they had to be removed and soon!) That year, there was no Christmas shopping for me - I was busy recovering. But I received the best Christmas gift that year - my very own Christmas Miracle!  God's healing touch is such a blessing - I give God all the praise! I went through 6 months of speech therapy and  the only real side affect is a little "aphasia" in my speech especially when I get nervous!!  Now 6 years out and  my recent MRI was great. God is so good!  But … I will forever remember my own "pearl harbor" day each year when I stop and reflect on our country and the many, many sacrifices made on Pearl Harbor Day.

Friday, June 30, 2017

He will Cover You with His Feathers!

Psalm 91:4 - "He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection".

This picture captures it all, doesn't it?   Here - a mother bird - but in life among the living - our hope is in God who "covers" us with his feathers!  His feathers of protection, love, care, togetherness, shelter, companionship, trust, hope, nurture, need, mercy, meaning etc. God can and will be our "all" in "all" if we put our trust and faith in His promises. Promises to lead and direct our daily routines . . . every day; to protect and care for our every need . . . every day; to cover us with His feathers - his blessings, his grace, his mercy as we trust "Him" to provide out of the abundance of His ultimate love. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Advice from an Old Farmer

Shared photo by Ty Brown
The following is a bit of advice that would do us all good to read and take to heart.  Some's a bit humorous, some's just common sense - but all is worth taking time to read it for what it's worth!!

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around
the stump.
A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere
Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.
Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
You cannot unsay a cruel word.
Every path has a few puddles.
When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
The best sermons are lived, not preached.
Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna
     happen anyway.
Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older and
     think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
Don ‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop
Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal
     with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that
     comes from bad judgment.
Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’
     it back in.
If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try
     orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight,
     he’ll just kill you.
Most times, it just gets down to common sense.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

"Don't Let Me Miss The Glory" Gordon Mote

I just recently ran across this song and fell in love with it. I guess it is because I can relate to it so well. 

April 29, 2013

In light of discovering I had two brain tumors last December, I am realizing every week that I have "missed" a lot of things this last year and half! Things in my own life, my families lives and life in general. This realization comes to me as I talk with my family and friends.  They will mention things that I have no recollection of hearing or being a part of or if it sounds somewhat familiar - it is sometimes very vague and distant to me.  The kids will say, "mom, you probably don't remember this but ..." and they then begin to expound on the event, person, place, things involved in that particular situation.  It is so mind-boggling to come to this realization that for the past year and half, I have actually "missed" out on so many things and I didn't even realize it. It would appear that the two brain tumors were actually squeezing the "living-life" right out of me or I should say "right out of my thoughts and brain"! Each of the two tumors was the size of a tangerine.  When I think about two tangerines inside my brain cavity pressing and compressing my brain - I guess it is no wonder that some things were squeezed out of my memory and I "missed" out on a few things! 

As I listen to this song, "Don't Let Me Miss the Glory", I'm reminded of the day-to-day "glory" that God gives us. The blessings both big and small for us to enjoy and make our days "joy-filled" and "God-focused".  Are you looking at life through the eyes of God?  Are you seeing the grandeur of His design or are you "missing the glory"?  To look through His eyes is to see the glory of God's ultimate creation!

Lord, I pray that you would open our eyes so that we do not go through life "missing" the blessings of life, the real purpose of life, the ultimate gift of life through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. I would like to challenge you to look at each segment of life whether it is a sunrise, a bird singing, a baby crying, a hurting heart, a brain tumor, or a tragic encounter as a part of the "glory" God sends our way ... the good, the bad, the heartfelt, the tenderness ... all in the many forms of His ultimate blessings and glory. The whole earth is vibrant with every aspect of God's creation. It is alive with His blessings and most of all His presence.  "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart ."  (Jeremiah 29:13 - ESV) Seek Him and His Glory . . . . He is right there with you in the cool of the day, when the rooster crows, when your hope may be faltering - look to Him - "Don't Miss His Glory" wherever He takes you and in whatever your situation is. Take hold of His glory and "don't miss it!"  

My hope and prayer is that you and I experience every part of His creation and that we "Don't Miss The Glory . . . any of His Glory"!  But that we experience God's glory to the fullest extent that God Himself intended for each of us.

"Don't let me miss the Glory - Don't let me miss the Grace - Don't let me miss the wonder - Don't let me miss the grand design! Lord open up my eyes - Don't let me miss the Glory!"

Friday, October 16, 2015

Apple Butter Ginger Snap Cookies


1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 egg
2 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t cinnamon
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 cup apple butter
Simple icing (optional):
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 T milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg; beat until smooth.
3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir until soft dough forms.
4. Form dough into 1 T balls, roll in remaining 1/4 cup sugar to coat, and arrange cookies 2” apart on prepared baking sheets.
5. Using the back of a round measuring teaspoon, create a depression for the apple butter (Tip: If you hold the sides of the cookies with gentle pressure as you create the thumbprint, it reduces the size and number of the cracks).
6. Evenly divide apple butter between cookies and bake for 14 minutes, switching baking sheets between racks halfway through. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.
7. Make optional icing: Combine powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Transfer to a squeeze bottle. Drizzle over cookies and let dry completely.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Professional Prayer Answerer!

Image result for car key lock in car clipart
Here's a little story that reminds us of the power of prayer!!

She hurried to the pharmacy to get medication, got back to her car and found that she had locked her keys inside.

The woman found an old rusty coat hanger left on the ground. She looked at it and said, "I don't know how to use this."

She bowed her head and asked God to send her some HELP.  Within 5 minutes a beat-up old motorcycle pulled up, driven by a gruff bearded man who was wearing an old biker skull rag. He got off of his cycle and asked if he could help.

She said: "Yes, my daughter is sick.  I’ve locked my keys in my car.  I must get home. Please, can you use this hanger to unlock my car?"

He said, "Sure."  He walked over to the car, and in less than a minute the car was open.

She hugged the man and through tears said, "Thank You God for sending me such a very nice man."

The man heard her little prayer and replied, "Lady, I am NOT a nice man. I just got out of PRISON yesterday; I was in prison for car theft."

The woman hugged the man again sobbing, "Oh, thank you, God! You even sent me a Professional!"
        Is GOD great or what?

Matthew 6:8 says, ". . . your Father knows what you need before you ask Him".  

Isn't it awesome - God KNOWS our needs before we even ASK!!!   It continues to amaze me that God not only "knows" - He "knows" what is "best", what is "available", even "how" things will come to pass - God knows our needs and He knows how He is going to answer our prayers in advance of our human utterances.  And the best part . . . just as the lady in the story said, "God even sent a 'professional' to answer her pray"!!!  You can't beat that, can you?! 

Take a few minutes and stop to reflect on the answers to some of your prayers.  It's easy to set those answers aside and as the days, weeks, and months go by we sometimes put them out-of-sight / out-of-mind!  But let's stake stock and "remember" how blessed we really are - both in the little answers and, of course, in the big answers to our prayers.

P.S.  Don't forget to thank God when he answers our prayers!!  

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

No Bake Praline Cookies

  • 2.5 cups sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2.5 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  1. In a bowl, combine coconut and pecans; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, milk, corn syrup, & butter. Heat while stirring until the mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Let it boil while stirring for 3 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from heat & stir in the vanilla extract along with the coconut/pecan mixture. Stir the mixture well to combine after you remove it from the heat.
  4. Drop by large spoonfuls on wax paper or nonstick aluminum foil. Allow to cool so that the cookies harden completely.
  5. Serves: about 2 dozen cookies

Friday, July 3, 2015

Diamond Rio: In God We Still Trust

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding". – Proverbs 3:5

Have you ever been at a place in your life where you thought you understood what was going on around you? You knew where you were going, what was up ahead, what was around the corner . . . you just knew what was up . . . and you "understood completely"! 

Then right under that umbrella of understanding you slipped and slid totally out of control not knowing or understanding where you were headed at that moment in time.  What do you do in times like this?  Do you try to handle the situation on your own?  Do you retreat into your own little world and separate yourself from all that is out there in this world that you fear will hurt you?  Or do you "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your OWN understanding"? Proverbs 3:5 

God has us in His best interest . . . He knows the plans He has for us . . . His Word tells us this much.  He said it and we can believe it.  We don't have to lean on our own understanding we can trust in the Lord with all of our heart.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Red Marbles Story by Devonay Potter

  Red Marbles! . . .

I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone an
d feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a basket of freshly picked green peas.
I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.
Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr.. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.
'Hello Barry, how are you today?'
'H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good..'
'They are good, Barry.. How's your Ma?'
'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.'
'Good. Anything I can help you with?'
'No, Sir.
Jus' admirin' them peas.'
'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr. Miller.
'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.'
'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?'
'All I got's my prize marble here.'
'Is that right? Let me see it' said Miller.
'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.'
'I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked..
'Not zackley but almost.'
'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'. Mr. Miller told the boy.
'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.'
Mrs... Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.
With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances.. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever..
When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.'
I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.
Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.
Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket.
Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes...
Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.
'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.
They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size.....they came to pay their debt.'
'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho ..'
With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.
The Moral :
We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.
Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles:
A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself...
An unexpected phone call from an old friend .....
Green stoplights on your way to work...
The fastest line at the grocery store...
A good sing-along song on the radio...
Your keys found right where you left them.

Share this with the people you'll never forget.  I just Did...
                                                                                         -  Devonay Potter
I too will think of this little story of the marbles, bartering and miracles in the days ahead!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ritzy Chocolate Pecan Nuggets

Ritz Crackers   36
Payday Bars    6
Chocolate Almond Bark
(24 oz)
Buttery Pam Spray

 Preheat oven to 350.

Cover cookie sheet with heavy duty foil. Lay out 36 Ritz crackers on cookie sheet.
 On wax paper, using Pam on sharp knife for non-stick, cut Paydays into 6 chunks per bar. Place on top of crackers. Bake in oven for 4 minutes (to soften candy). When finished, remove from oven and lightly mash Payday down. Use fork sprayed with Pam. (Need to respray about every 6 cookies. Return to oven for 2 more minutes. Set out to begin cooling.

 Melt chocolate according to package directions. Spoon onto cookies. Remove cookies onto wax paper and allow to cool until chocolate is no longer shiny.

This is quick and easy and oh, so good!!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Difference between a Hymn and a Praise Chorus!!!

Being the "farm-girl" that I am and also being born and raised on music, this funny little story sure got the point across!!  And the fact that I grew up on Hymns and watched the emerging of choruses in the church-world made this quite humorous . . . Martha, Martha, cows, cows, corn, corn and more corn!!!  LOL!

 A Funny Little Story About Hymns and Praise Songs  By Author Unknown
An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended the big city church. He came home and his wife asked him how it as.“Well,” said the farmer. “It was good. They did something different, however. They sang praise choruses instead of hymns.” “Praise choruses?” asked the wife. “What are those?” “Oh, they’re okay. They’re sort of like hymns, only different,” said the farmer.  “Well, what’s the difference?” asked the wife.

The farmer said, “Well it’s like this …
If I were to say to you, ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ well that would be a hymn. If, on the other hand, I were to say to you, ‘Martha, Martha, Martha, Oh, Martha, MARTHA, MARTHA, the cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cows, the white cows, the black and white 
cows, the COWS, COWS, COWS are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn, in the CORN, CORN, CORN, COOOOORRRRRNNNNN,’ then, if I were to repeat the whole thing two or three times, well that would be a praise chorus.”

As luck would have it, the exact same Sunday a young, new Christian from the city church attended the small town church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was. “Well,” said the young man, “It was good. They did something different, however. They sang hymns instead of regular songs.” “Hymns?” asked the wife. “What are those?”  “They’re okay. They’re sort of like regular songs, only different,” said the young man. “Well, what’s the difference?” asked the wife.
The young man said, “Well it’s like this … 
If I were to say to you, ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn, well that would be a regular song. If on the other hand, I were to say to you, Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cry inclinest thine ear to the words of my mouth.

Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by to the righteous, glorious truth. 
For the way of the animals who can explain there in their heads is no shadow of sense, hearkenest they in God’s sun or his rain unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced. 
Yea, those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delight, 
have broke free their shackles, their warm pens eschewed.

Then goaded by minions of darkness and night they all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn chewed. 
So look to that bright shining day by and by, where all foul corruptions of earth are reborn where no vicious animal makes my soul cry and I no longer see those foul cows in the corn . . .  

Then, if I were to do only verses one, three and four, and change keys on the last verse, well THAT WOULD BE A HYMN!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

David Phelps - The End of The Begining

As I celebrate this Easter, this song has been running through my head this entire week. 

What a message it tells - the "end" of the "beginning".  What an impact it can and will make in our lives - if we will really listen and look at the words.  It really does tell it all!!  It sums up the Jesus that was born as a babe, lived, walked on the water, healed the sick, raised the dead, and the ultimate sacrifice of "His Own Life" only to be raised from the dead on what we call Easter . . . the end of the beginning!  

This is a powerful song! I encourage you to enjoy, listen, look and live out the "end of the beginning" in your life this Easter season and all of the days ahead.  


Friday, February 6, 2015

Strawberry Danish Heirloom Cake

So Light and moist ~ Not Too Sweet ~Perfect after a heavy meal!! This recipe is so different from any cake you have ever tasted!! Give it a try....I know you will love it!!
You can Freeze the layers easily and have a picture perfect cake ready at the drop of a hat!
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup of sugar
pinch salt
1 egg
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 + 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pint whipping cream - whipped and sweetened with 1 Tbsp. icing sugar
1 - 2 pounds sliced slightly sweetened strawberries - or fruit of choice
In a medium bowl, mix together with a whisk or wooden spoon, yogurt, sugar, sour cream, egg, salt, baking soda, baking powder. Add flour and vanilla.
Grease or spray 3 - 9" layer pans and divide batter evenly between pans. (the batter will seem skimpy....but spread as evenly as you can with a spatula in each pan - layers will rise on baking).
Bake at 350 oven (325 if using Convection oven 325 oven) Bake for only 10 - 12 minutes....till Very Light Brown. Cool on racks...and remove from pans with a plastic spatula onto racks to finish cooling as soon as you can handle the cakes.
IMPORTANT: Do NOT over bake!! If not using immediately - put wax paper between layers, cover with plastic and refrigerate or freeze till ready to assemble cake.
Layer Cake Layers: 1/3 sweetened whipped cream and 1/2 sweetened sliced strawberries, or fruit of choice - then 1/3 sweetened whipped cream and 1/2 berries. Last layer - just sweetened whipped cream. Decorate with berries.
This cake tastes even better the next day and the day after that....if there is any left!! The Trick is Not to Over bake the layers...or it will be dry and not nice and moist.

This will soon become Your Favorite Family Cake too!!