Tag Archives: Christianity

Y = You and You are NOT the Christ ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge


Dear Impersonator:

Y is for you, and you are not the Christ. Oh, but to have just one day to be the Christ! Can you imagine all the wrongs you’d right? Of course you wouldn’t do it the way Christ did. Dying on a cross for sinners? Heck no! You’d just snuff ‘em out with an enchanted twitch of your nose or a few hocus pocus words with a swirly twirl of your magic-wand-pen.  No second chances, sinners, you’re gone! Ha ha …now wouldn’t that be fun?

Sometimes you try to play God, point your finger to the ones who are doing wrong.  You try to put things in motion  to turn out a certain way. Sometimes you do things to make other things happen to get you the desired result. How do those times turn out for you? Never very good right?

Remember cutting the Cedar tree limbs because the road was blocked? The neighbors told you they took care of the road. (Course they lied, but you still had to exert your rights). Cops came told you NOT to touch the trees, even though they were on the right of way. “The Jones (not their real name) have a lot of entitlement in these parts.” Shit you not, the officer said so himself.

God took care of it all in the end, but if you had just left it alone instead of exerting YOUR rights, you wouldn’t have so many run-ins with the neighbors.  You also would not have the sheriff’s department giving you a “friendly reminder” every time you decide to start a new project! That name has clout in the these parts…don’t you forget it. You’re a Yankee and the South is gonna do it again (that’s a whole other topic, don’t get started!)

Do you wonder if other people think about having that kind of power? Wonder what it would be like to be the Christ for one day? Isn’t that why writers write? To live in a little bit of fabricated world to set aside the real world humdrums even for a short period of time. That’s why you write when you are writing to entertain yourself.

Even in a good short story with that kind of power you couldn’t handle it. You probably wouldn’t be able to handle three wishes. You’d screw up the first two, then have to use the last one to wish that you never had them in the first place. It’s better to live by these instructions.

1. It is all in God’s hands, you are not the Christ.
2. Any questions, refer to #1.

Thanks for playing along. This was just a silly-willy kind of letter. You were convicted a lot in that last Bible study. It’s good to be humble.  He’s got it all planned and mapped out for you if you just follow His prompting. Don’t try to do it on your own. You’ll mess it up and then you know what happens? 


Your constant and faithful,


I don’t know about you guys but I am ready for a break. Omigosh so many things that I’ve not done around the house. Tomato plants are dying to be transplanted (literally). I sure hope we can all stay in touch if not daily, weekly maybe or monthly. It’s really been nice to have you loyal bloggies come around for a visit.

Understanding Truths ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge


Dear Barbie

Understanding Truths, what does that even mean? Remember the truth or dare game you used to play as a kid? It was always intimidating after the question was asked knowing you had to be truthful or take the dare. Who knows what that dare could be? Kids had a funny way of making each other participate in silly and stupid things. And to be honest, how did they know if you were telling the truth or not.  Ever since the ballerina incident your conscience always got to you.  

Tall Cool ☺ne always says, “Say what you mean and mean what you say”. He is very literal. It’s hard for you because you write.  You write for effect and sometimes things need embellishment. You should work on articulating without trimming when communicating … you are not writing a story.

Point to mention, this new venture at work entails a full background check ~life time. Crazy, huh?  You are pretty good at knowing what is in your past since you’ve journaled about every little detail. While trying to get the documentation for one such incident from the court, the person on the other end tried to tell you it wouldn’t show up when they did the background check. Hello? Person on the other end of the phone, you’re seeing it, what makes you think “they” are not going to see it?

Why do people have an issue with truth? Do they think that if they don’t talk about it makes it not true? Do they think if they speak what they think is true that’s what it will be?  This is where Understanding Truths came to land on the list.



Just a quick look in your bible’s index and there are over 58 references to the word “truth”. Probably the most important one is John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” If you ask Him, He will give you all the truth you need. You don’t need to understand anyone else’s truths.

Learn about some truths here … today (4/24/21) only

 

That’s all for today. (Oh and you have a secret… )

Your constant and faithful,

 

Quiet Time ~Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge

Dear Barbie:

As you mentioned yesterday people are part of your life. While thinking about what to write in regards to quiet time, two very special people came to mind.  Your sister and your friend Rach.  A lot could be said about the quietness between you and your sister, but instead, we are going to dedicate this one to Rachel.  She knows a whole lot about quiet times.

Read about Rachel’s Quiet Time here.

What are your thoughts?  Do you know someone like Rachel?

If you have any Questions ❓ for Rachel feel free to send her an email.

Until next time,

your constant and faithful,

I don’t know about you but this has been so much fun writing and getting to talk to you guys everyday.  I really hope we will stay in touch.  If not every day maybe once a week, or a month?  I need the encouragement so I’ll help you if you help  me.  ☺

Opportunity for Growth ~ Letters from the Heart #atozChallenge

Dear Fortune Hunter:

What in the world will you come up with next? Opportunities for growth? What is it that you want to grow in? That chocolate cake is a great opportunity for thigh and butt growth. Pretty sure that’s not what you were talking about when you put that on your theme reveal list.

You were probably thinking more of growth being on the spiritual side. That Bible study you have been working on It’s All Under Control has helped a lot. The struggle is real, my friend and you will deal with it on a daily basis. Control is not your friend.

At the time of writing this letter you were a little convicted for letting an opportunity slip by. One of the crew members on Tall Cool ☺ne’s Crew was given the chance to move up on the crew and take a new position with a small pay increase. He just had to show some effort that he wanted to do it by going to get a permit and then doing some training to get a certain license. (All paid for and done at work.) His response was “The little bit of money is not worth my time and effort”.

This convicted you a little because it was similar to a response you used when a new opportunity came up at work. The opportunity you gave up was a new position that offered an increase in salary and flexible shift.

While writing this letter you just talked yourself through it. The thing that is different between the crew member and you is about 35 years. You have to take courses on your own time. What do you want to do with your free time?  It is not paid for by the company until you pass the test. Then you are not guaranteed the position. Also not sure that your hours would be the same.

Maybe you will regret not engaging in the opportunity. One door closes, another one opens. Sometimes you have to know when to say no. That, my friend, is opportunity growth.



Until next time,
Your constant and faithful

[Side-note: this is the short version. You promised your readers you would keep these posts short and sweet. The full version can be found in that cool Orange 🍊 journal you bought for yourself just for this project]

Examining Faults ~ Letters from the Heart



Today, for your listening pleasure I’ve included a song from one of your favorite bands. This song always brings forth some sort of self-examination.

Dear Barbie:

These letters we are writing to our older self are not only to humor you in your old age, but to help you in the now and present time. Isn’t is easy to look at someone else and pick out everything you see wrong with them? It’s E-Evil 👿 and easy to find fault with someone else. It takes a strong person to admit their shortcomings to themselves, let alone share them for everyone to see. Everyone should take a few moments every now and again to examine their own faults. The first part of fixing something is recognizing it’s there. So let’s go through the list, shall we?

→ You are as impatient as the night is long.
→ We already know you leave the cupboard doors open from a previous post.
→ You interpret a situation, then become irritated when the person doesn’t respond the way you think they should.
→ You snore.
→ Your hair is everywhere.
→ The piles of clutter are out of hand.
→ You take on more projects than you can handle by yourself and get upset when Tall Cool ☺ne doesn’t want to participate.

Ok let’s not beat you up too much. That’s a pretty good list to start. Very good, now you can ponder over that list, and tomorrow we will take a look at fixing some of those faults.

Galatians 6:4 ~ Let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone and not in another.

FOR MY FELLOW A2Z BLOGGERS:

I got my  A2Z Blogging T-Shirt yesterday so I can sport it today.  YAH for me.

Anyone reading who want’s to sign up for the challenge do it today, because the master list closes tomorrow. 

I’m trying to do some of the BONUS CHALLENGES for fun, are you?  

Until next time,

your constant and faithful,

What is A2ZBlogging? Using this premise, you would start beginning April First with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until you finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.  It doesn’t even have to be a word–it can be a proper noun, the letter used as a symbol, or the letter itself.  The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.

Lost a Friend

As the Blogging A-Z Challenge draws closer, it brings on a bitter sweet kind of feeling. I love the challenge and the opportunity to get back to writing. But this year, I am going to miss the comments from an old friend. Berta always had something nice to say. She even commented in a constructive critical way on the posts that she didn’t agree with. She was always there to offer words of encouragement, letting me know how much she liked my writing and how I had to keep at it. I’m keeping at it, Berta.

Whenever we spent the night when she was babysitting, Berta used to say “Bye” instead of “Good night”. She’d say if we didn’t wake up, she wanted to make sure she said “good-bye”. Last week she went to sleep and didn’t wake up. She was a trooper for sure but that seventh round with cancer finally wore her out and she was tired. God brought her home.

I think about those old adages: You never know how much you miss something until it’s gone. Appreciate it now because tomorrow is not promised. You never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory. We take so much for granted. Not just material things, like the GREAT TOILET PAPER SHORTAGE of 2020, but relationships, people … too many times we take people for granted. Relationships are a precious thing.

I have made so many mistakes in relationships. Let me tell ya, reconciling broken relationships is not as easy as saying what you think or feel at the moment. Kind of like losing weight is not as easy as eating a whole bag of jelly beans in one sitting. I’ve had some come to Jesus moments with taming my tongue, and I’m still restraining, I can assure you. But when someone you’re close to dies, you kind of think about the other people or relationships in your life that you’ve messed up, and haven’t take the time to fix. Or at least I do.

I wish I could right all the wrongs. I wish I had inserted my foot before the times that I opened my mouth. I wish I didn’t hurt people with tactless things I said or wrote. I can’t change the past. What is done is done. I can only press onward and forward. I hope one day to look back on all these posts and see how much I have changed from being the cynical controversial writer, to a more respectful humble journalist. This is my legacy. When I die, I want my writing to live on, and I can only hope it will be kind and noteworthy.

In closing, God has made each one of us. We all have a special gift to bring glory to the Kingdom. We should use those talents accordingly. We should never take for granted the blessings God has graced us with (people, relationships, l♥ve).

Thank you Berta, for always being that kind and encouraging person who pushed me onward with writing.  Thank you that no matter how hard and lonely it was while I was writing, I could always count on a comment from you when you were able. Thank you for always taking the time to read my posts. I am sorry that I never told you how much that meant to me.  I will never forget you.

Until next time,

~Barbie

 

Twenty Years from Now

It’s been awhile since I’ve been here. I’ve missed blogging. Funny how life gets in our way of doing the things we enjoy most. I’ve been praying a lot, asking God to lead me on my next blogging adventure. Sometimes if we are quiet and patient and wait, the answer will come. Sometimes it is right under our nose, but we don’t recognize it.

Today starts a new journey for me and my faithful followers. I’m calling this season, “Letters to Self”.




February 16, 2021

Dear Self:

I feel like I haven’t been a very productive member of society lately. With this whole Covid thing we don’t get out as much as we used to. I am definitely not the social butterfly that I remember myself being.

I’ve been spending a lot of time writing letters to family and friends. Writing has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Mom thinks it takes up too much time and it is a lot of writing. She’s right, it does and it is, but I enjoy it so much. I started thinking more about it, and wondering how I might be able to use my gift and share things with others, even the people I don’t know.

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith, or ministry let us use it in our ministering, he who teaches, in teaching, he who exhorts, in exhortation, he who gives, with liberality, he who leads, with diligence, he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:6-8   I have this gift that has been right under my nose all these years.

Every day is a gift and what better way to take the gifts that we are blessed with to bring glory to the Kingdom of God? In the past I’ve not used my gifts wisely. Today is a brand new day. I write this in hopes that you, -myself- will read this twenty years from now and be a different person. I’m being generous with the 20…hopefully it doesn’t take that long to be wiser, smarter, more patient, all the things I struggle with now.

My blog has been on hiatus for quite some time. I have missed my daily musings. As I sat down to start this project I reviewed some of my posts in the past. Some of them are mean, disrespectful, and not very nice at all. I considered removing them. But then I realized that that’s not going to change anything. That is who I was and if I take away the person I was, it’s nothing to show for the person I am or the one I want to be. That is all part of the growing and learning process.  I have to remember where I came from to appreciate where I am now. And where I am now is part of the growing process of where I might be twenty years from now (God willing).

I had a dream the other night. Elvis was in my dream.  He was coming to tell me something. He was the young Elvis before he was overcome with the fame and fortune and drugs and alcohol. I idolized Elvis. I wanted to be just like him. I even danced around and lip synced his songs. I’m not sure what he was going to tell me, but he was there to tell me something. Before he could a train came and I woke up.

A lot of things can be learned from dreams. Joseph had a dream and when he shared it his brothers sold him as a slave. Nebuchadnezza had so many dreams it caused him not to sleep. I know what happened to Daniel when he shared the interpretation of King Nebuchadnezza’s dreams.  I will skip the fire pit, thank you very much.

God gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things. He knows what is in the darkness and light dwells with Him. {Daniel 2:21-22}

I don’t know where this project will take me. I am living by faith not by sight. I know that I have a desire for my writing to be my legacy. I want to be remembered for something important. If my musings help one person find their way to Jesus, I’ve fulfilled my desire. In the meantime, I’m a writer, so I will write as long as these little fingers will strike a keyboard. And self, if you get this, twenty years from now, I’d love to hear your response.

Until next time,

your constant and faithful crackerberries

Tame The Tongue

 

Remember the old adage “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? Too many times I’ve said something and then wished I hadn’t. Open mouth, insert foot. Most times it’s been both feet. Words are something you can never take back. Once they are spoken they are out there for the duration of whenever that other person decides to let it go. Sometimes they never do.

We should use our words to encourage and motivate, build up and praise, compliment and applaud one another. How many times do we take the opportunity to say “hey good job on that project you completed”, or “wow that’s a nice coat you’re wearing today” or even just “thanks for being here today”? In my workplace it’s hardly ever. (Not that they can see a smile or a coat I’m wearing, but that is just an example.) More times than not people are complaining about having to be at work, or the weather, or the customers, or each other…and we work from home!

I can’t say I haven’t had my share of tongue flapping. Proof is in my earlier blogs. I could flap my jaws like nobody’s business. James 3:8 No man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Proverbs 18:2 A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart. I’ve grown a lot in my last twelve years of blogging. I cannot say it’s been an easy road. Wisdom comes with experience and if we don’t learn from past mistakes, we are not growing at all. 

People always have an opinion. Opinions are different than words. We are all entitled to our own opinion. What some people do is take their opinions and convolute them into something that they believe is truth. Sometimes those truths are not real and people who spread these words hurt other people.

Example: Terry and Toni work the same shift on the same team. Every day Toni clocks in fifteen minutes later than Terry. Terry starts noticing this and decides to clock in fifteen minutes later than his scheduled time. Later that week Terry’s boss comes to him and asks him to stay fifteen minutes over to make up for coming in late the day before. Terry is pissed. Instead of asking questions to find out if there is an underlying reason why he had to make up his time but his teammate Toni never does, he starts spreading rumors about Toni and why she comes in late every day. The rumors he spreads are false and hurtful to not only Toni but Toni’s family.  What Terry didn’t realize was Toni only took a 45 minute lunch to allow her that extra fifteen minutes in the morning to take her children to daycare.”

It’s just a silly made up example, but those types of things happen every single day. People make stuff up about someone they don’t know anything about and rumors start to fly. Look at politics. I’ll be honest , I don’t. My favorite author started making his views about politics known, and quite honestly, I think it’s disgusting. I feel bad for all of the people who are in politics and I pray for them…both sides.  They have it hard. I know we are entitled to having our own opinion, but if it involves putting someone else down, keep it to yourself. Tame that little beast in your mouth.

Take the time to build up, encourage, compliment. All good things. That’s what the world needs more of.   Galatians 5:16, 22 Walk then in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of your flesh. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control.

That’s all for today my friends…. until next time.

Cheers!


Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with this crazy pandemic. Being quarantined means people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new friends/contacts. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

ICONIC



So when I think of an icon, I think of those little squares on my phone that I have to press to open an application. Sometimes I hate those things because they often ask me for a password that I can’t remember. When I think of iconic I think of something considered important. The definition of iconic out of my eleventh edition Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary is this: “a conventional religious image typically painted on a small wooden panel and used in the devotions of Eastern Christians.” How ironic that the word iconic was brought to my attention on Good Friday. (Thank you, Michael)

I wanted to take a look and see what the world considers iconic. As I was scrolling through the history of pictures tagged to be iconic it struck me oddly because anything and every depending on who you are could be considered iconic. The definition for iconic changes as does the times we live in.

One thing that never changes and that is God’s love for you. Good Friday is iconic to remind us that our amazing Father sent His One and Only Son to die on the Cross for us. Not just for me, not just for you, but for everyone and anyone who accepts His gift. A gift so great that every human should want to accept it. Some people may not choose to accept the gift He offers so freely. Do not be ashamed of the things you have done. He will wash away your sin like a blanket of new fallen snow. He’s knocking at your door. Can’t you hear Him? Let Him into your heart.

May God bless,






Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.


Unsaved

Unsaved

Can you become unsaved?  Apparently there is much controversy over this topic. Personally I don’t think you can. I have no doubt that once you are saved, you’re saved. 1 John 5:11-13 is the assurance of salvation. God has given us eternal life. Eternal life is an infinite duration. He who has the Son has life, he who does not have the Son does not have life. Once we have the Son, nothing can separate us. Romans 8:38-39 states that absolutely nothing—neither death, nor life, no angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate believers from God’s love. If God, the uncreated One, is for us and no created thing can separate us, then our security in Him is absolute.

Take a look at Ephesians 1:4-5 “… He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” Why would God make a mistake? From God’s perspective, we have been glorified already because He sees us righteous because of the work of Jesus on the Cross. In the march of time we still must undergo the process of being conformed to the image of God’s Son. Romans 12:2 … do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

I don’t think you can become unsaved. There will be trials and tribulations. There will be mistakes made. There will be sin and temptations. Romans 8:36 For Your sake we are killed all day long, we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. For those who love God have always had to face death daily.

It’s a daily struggle. It’s why we keep short accounts with God. We pray, we struggle, we pray some more. We have assurance of forgiveness 1 John 1:9 if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He will guide us. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. He will strengthen us Philippians 4:13 I can do all things though Him who gives me strength.

Being like Jesus is not about keeping the rules, it’s about knowing His forgiveness and committing acts of grace and mercy on a consistent basis. It’s about living a life that values all people. It’s about surrendering our heart to the will of our Father in heaven. Matthew 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.

I would love to hear your thoughts on being unsaved.

Keep the faith and may God bless you.

Temptation

Temptations

Have you ever been tempted? If you say no, I won’t believe you. Temptations are all around us. We are tempted over and over again throughout each day. Tempted to say an unkind word to our spouse. Tempted to tell a customer off. Tempted to say something unprofessional to a co-worker. Tempted to skip school and hang out at the beach with friends because the weather is too nice to be in school. Tempted to call off work because there is something better or more fun to do than work. Temped to tell that dingbat barista what an idiot she is because you asked for soy and she gave you dairy.

Valid temptations that become reality. Those are things we can control. Bite our tongue when we’d rather not. Go to school. Go to work. Kindly ask the barista to remake the drink, even though it is going to set you back twenty minutes.

What about the things we have no control over? The temptations that catch us off guard. The other woman. The other man. The parking lot driver who backs into your car. The PTA meeting with the teacher who tells you how to raise your child. The two-year old throwing a temper tantrum in the grocery store because she wants candy. Moments where temptations have presented themselves and you are in the position to make a choice. You have the opportunity to respond or react. When you react, the temptation controls you. When you respond, you are in control. Easier said than done, for sure.

People continuously ask to not be led into temptation. It’s easier to not be put in a position where we have to react or respond. Matthew 6:13: And do not lead us into temptation…a good prayer to begin each day.  But if we are, we can always fall back on 1 Corinthians 10:13:  And God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able but with the temptation will also make a way of escape to that you may be able to bear it. This is one of my favorite verses. God is so good that He will not let us experience anything that we are not prepared for. We have a choice with every temptation that presents itself. It’s up to us to make that choice to react or respond. Endurance will bring reward.

 

Repeat After Me:

Repeat after me: Dear God, thank You for this day You have made. Lord, fill me with Your Spirit today. I can’t fix yesterday, and tomorrow may never come. Cleanse my heart from the fleshly residue of yesterday’s fallen humanity. Scrub my thoughts and motives so they shine purposely to follow Your footsteps.

Repeat after me: Lord, fill me with Your Spirit today. I am not smart enough or strong enough to know what is best for me and choose what is righteous. The tasks ahead of me are too much to go it alone. Lord, fill me with Your Spirit right now.

Repeat after me: Lord I pray for Your forgiveness of the sins I have committed, the sins I will commit, and the sins I don’t know that I have committed.  I pray for them to be revealed to me so that I may ask for Your forgiveness. Lord fill me with Your Spirit to see these things and guide me righteously.

Repeat after me: Father in heaven, thank You for doing for us what we could never do ourselves.  Help us not to forget that, if You are for us, no one can ultimately win against us. We don’t want to forfeit any of the challenges that will ultimately reflect on You. Please work through our weakness to show Your strength today. I pray in Jesus holy name, Amen.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. May you make your peace with God today so that you may have everlasting life.

 

 

Naked Northeast

My name is Nemesio and I’ve been sober for 10 years. It has not been easy and I struggle each day, but each day I get through gives me the strength to wake and face another day. When I was growing up, my parents would send me off to camp each summer. I remember gathering at a local school parking lot with the other kids whose parents were sending them off to camp as well. We all used to complain about not wanting to go to camp. We didn’t want to be away from our friends and more importantly the laziness of summer where we could sleep in and do whatever we wanted each day. Truth of the matter is, now that I think about it, camp was probably one of the best times of my life. It was where I learned about the naked northeast.

Our team camp was called the Lake Warriors and our fearless leader was camp counselor Mr. Jackson. He let us call him Jax for short. He was a fun counselor and taught us a lot. The most important lessons came from sitting around the campfire hearing stories he told of his war battles. I didn’t realize it then but as I grew older the lessons he taught us over the course of five summers, came with me into adulthood.

I met Nina when I was twenty-six. We fell in love immediately and knew we wanted to be together forever. We wanted to make babies and grow old together. We started that journey and had two boys which we sent to summer camp. I told Nina of the stories and lesson I had learned as a boy. I told her about the Lake Warriors and fighting with the Tree Troopers and how we settled our differences at the naked northeast. She wanted our boys to have the same experiences.

She loved the naked northeast lesson and we incorporated that into our marriage. It was our neutral ground. Marriage is difficult and too often spouses take each other for granted and don’t give each other the freedom necessary to say things that should be said. Naked Northeast was a place where there was no judgement, no anger, or no hurt feelings. It was our healing ground.

Fifteen years later, there was an accident and life with Nina would never be the same. My heart was broke. Nina was not the woman I fell in love with. I was committed to her because of the vows I took, and I did what I could to help her though the pain and suffering. She never knew much of the pain and suffering she was going through. I took to the bottle to soothe my own pain and suffering. It didn’t. Right before Nina died, she held my hand. I’m pretty sure she was in her right mind at that time because she looked at me with tear filled eyes and told me she had to go. I nodded that I understood. I couldn’t speak because I was trying to hold in my sobs. As I held her hand she drew me next to her and she whispered in my ear, “See you at the naked northeast.”  And that was her last breath.

Life is never easy and you never know what will happen. I don’t know if I will ever see my wife again. We never talked about Jesus and how He came to earth to die for us and if you ask Him into your life, He forgives all sins. When I quit drinking I gave my heart to Jesus and asked Him to forgive me for my sins. The naked northeast is not a real place. It sounds good in my stories that I tell. Jesus is real and His story is real. I want to tell you to get right with Him and share with those you love. That way, when the time comes around and they are gone from this world, you won’t be questioning whether you will see them in the naked northeast.

 

Outliers

Sometimes intentions are misunderstood
Taking on more than we probably should
To our chagrin we fail others desires
Passion sucked out like blood-thirsty vampires

We strive to please and make everything right
Even when we win, we’re still in the fight
It is certain always we will have strife
Betrayals and downfalls cut like a knife

His power, His glory is full of grace
Mistakes we’ve made we need not feel abased
Not focusing on failures – take a peek
For in our hindrances, HE we must seek

A world of our own apart from the rest
Our goal is perfection, to be the best
Though it won’t happen while living on earth
Corralled together his chosen rebirth.

The blogging challenge is over, but I still have that desire to write and share and help others where I can.  Thanks to Robyn for this picture of Inspiration.  Hope this inspires you as well to trudge on, even when you feel like you can’t win… you can.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Nightmare

Nebuchadnezzar

I love the story of King Nebuchadnezzar. He had a dream which made him afraid. The things he saw in his dream he did not understand. He called all of the wise men of Babylon before him to interpret his dream. There was only one who could interpret the dream. Betleshazzar (A.K.A. Daniel) who was friends with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.

Belteshazzar told King Nebby to break off from his sins by being righteous and showing mercy to the poor. The king was a narcissistic old bugger and one day as he was parading around through the village of Babylon speaking of how great (sound familiar) everything was. While he was letting everyone know the city was built from his mighty power, a voice fell from the heavens.

Immediately King Nebby turned looney tune and started running around like a crazy man, eating grass and rolling around on the ground naked, letting his hair grow long and unkempt. While his actions were insane and animalistic, it was during that time he learned more about God than ever before. Nebuchadnezzar had to be humbled before he could be exalted.

Moral of the nightmare: the chastisement of God is always for a holy and helpful purpose. So if Donald Trump starts running around eating grass like the oxen, praise God!

N

Beers and BBQ’s

bean fire

 

“The beers’ on ice, the tea is extra sweet and the grill is smoking. Plenty of burgers, hot dogs and chicken for everyone so make sure you come with a big appetite.  Save room for dessert because your grandmother has made an apple pie, banana pudding and strawberry shortcake and a whole table full of cookies.” 

My grandfather could get us all excited about anything, even the simplest things like a BBQ.   My grandmother said he could lure a hibernating bear in with the smell of his cast iron pot of beans.

We never knew who would show up for the afternoon cook-outs.  We just did whatever we were told: go get the ice from the big freezer in the barn and restock the buckets of beer, go in the cellar and bring a few more jars of bread and butter pickles that were canned the year prior.  We always had plenty to keep us busy and out of trouble. Grandfather always said idle hands were the devil’s workshop.
 
I always watched to see who would show up.  Sometimes it would be the rich people from the other side of town just coming over to make fun of what my grandfather was doing.  Most times it was just relatives and good friends.  They came, arms filled with bowls of potato salad, macaroni salad, watermelons and many other mouth-watering treats.
 
Today the first visitor was a bony older man with wispy, thin white hair.  I didn’t know it then, but that was the first and only time I saw an albino person. He was dressed in white from head to toe; white shirt, white pants, white shoes and he even wore white gloves.  My grandmother told me that he dressed that way because he worked on type writers and it was very important that he keep clean so when he went to work on them, there would be no dust or anything to ruin the keys.  I think she made that story up. He was just so strange-looking and I never noticed him eat a thing.
 
An hour later while making a trip to the barn to fetch some more ice I saw a little girl named Cecilia.  She always wore ragged old clothes to school, and she looked like she didn’t own a comb or a brush.  Everyone made fun of her and no one wanted to be her friend (me included). At one point she caught lice and after that she never had any friends.  She was with a man somewhat skeletal in stature, with a drawn in face.  He wore a green Army coat and his hair was stringy but combed back with some sort of Brylcreem or something similar.  He was a strange cat that would walk and stop every few feet. He would put his index finger up to an imaginary chalkboard and he would seem to be carrying the numbers of a complex math problem. He was quite interesting to watch, but I didn’t want to be caught staring so tried my best not to.
 
As I was stuffing my third hot dog into my face I saw Bobby.  He was known around town as the freak of freaks.  He had Tourette syndrome and would go off at a moment’s notice on a tirade of explicit language filled with vehement.  I thought it was funny. He walked around town always in a hurry and occasionally he would look back and brush away the imaginary people he thought was constantly following him.
 
My grandfather welcomed every one of these eccentrics.  He offered them the comfort of his home and did not judge them for their idiosyncrasies.  I thought they were a wayward group of minorities and I didn’t want to have anything to do with them. They were just weird.
 
Later that day after everyone went home, Grandfather asked me what I thought about our special guest.  I didn’t know what he was talking about.  “What special guest?” I scoffed.  “We didn’t have any special guest!”
 
“Oh, but we did,” my grandfather spoke with such wisdom.  “Today, Jesus visited our cook-out.”
 
“No-saar!”
 
“Oh, but yes, He did, more times than I think you realize.  You see, he was the man with the wispy hair, the little girl who didn’t own a comb, the counting man, the man who spoke obscenities’.”
 
Isn’t it interesting how people can exist in the background of our survival and we can live our lives not even acknowledging them or giving them the time of day?  They stick out in our mind and we remember them, not for anything great that they have done, but for who they were.  Nevertheless, we shy away from people like them because they are not like us.  They are different.
 
Our human nature is to crave attention and appreciation.  We all crave to have a pat on the back or an occasional “Atta-boy”. The people mentioned above got plenty of attention, but not appreciation; laughed at, pointed at, ridiculed, made fun of, mocked.  Most likely not the attention they craved. 
 
My grandfather spoke with such wisdom.  “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some have unwittingly entertained angels, that’s Hebrews 13:2,” he recited from memory.  “Obedience to His word will gain us much wisdom and knowledge.”
 
I can’t wait for the next BBQ!

 

The Challenge

B

Perilous Times

soar

 

I spoke truth and came under attack. Co-winkie-dinks? Doubt it. A photo was under fire for containing nudity — it was a picture of the White House decked out in gay pride colors. My aliases on WordPress were questioned, and I was accused of having multiple personalities (don’t all writers?) Facebook decided I wasn’t who I said I was, and prohibited me from my account until I agreed to use my given name, and not my pseudonym. It appears that Facebook is okay with pets having their own accounts, but writers can’t use their pseudonyms.

If you don’t think perilous times are here think again. 1 Timothy 4:1-2 – Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron … some people will depart from their faith — not losing salvation, but failing to walk obediently. Walking obediently. Walking according to God’s word.

It’s difficult to walk the straight and narrow when the world around us is filled with sin. It would be so much easier to conform to the way of life around us because everyone else is doing it. I won’t lie, these past few months have been difficult.  I feel angry, hurt, disappointed and deceived all wrapped up into one huge-mungus sucky emotion. But it is not okay just because everyone else is doing it.

Praise God Tall Cool ☺ne and I both have our health. But staying positive hasn’t been easy. No matter how bleak things seem, how much we feel like some people use and abuse us, there is ONE we can always count on. He is always there, along the way. He will guide us through the good, the bad, the evil and the positive. He laid down His life for us. He has brought us through all kinds of experiences and I have no doubt He will bring us through this one, too.

Confederate Pride

flag

 

Politics and religion will divide people every time. I don’t care how good of friends you are, it will separate you. You either don’t talk about it with each other, or you argue about it, get mad, tell each other to ‘fuck off’ and then don’t speak to each other for the rest of your lives, four weeks, or the next morning. I’ve experienced all realms of this. I’m okay with it whichever way it goes. People who matter to each other agree to disagree, and the ones that can’t come to that agreement, don’t matter.

People tell me all the time to stop putting my views out in public. My views are my views and it really doesn’t matter what the public thinks. “But you’ll lose friends,” or “People aren’t going to like you,” and let’s not forget, “You have to be careful out there.” Yes, I put my perspective views and opinions out in public for everyone to read. People don’t understand that whether they agree with my views or not is not the point. God knows YOUR heart. He knows my heart. Yes, my views might be peppered with racist remarks or just plain ignorance. But my views give people something to think about. I don’t expect everyone to applaud all that I write. Pffffft that would be a waste of my time.

Oh, it’s great when I vent or write about something that someone agrees with me on. But it’s more fun to say one little thing off-color so shit hits the fan. Speaking off-color I made a comment about black being black and gay being gay and that Satan was attacking America. People cannot change their skin color anymore than they can change the condition of their heart. That’s how that comment was meant, no more no less. I can’t help that people see it differently. Was it racist? Maybe. I didn’t mean it to be. I considered taking the post down. But I know what I meant. God knows what I meant. If people see it differently, that’s between them and God, not them and me.

Social media has been crazy these past few days. The confederate flag comes down and the gay pride banner goes up. Both sides taking a stand and speaking their mind. It’s America, what we have the right to do. Don’t get angry because someone disagrees with you. That’s why we choose to live in America. If you want to be told what you can have for opinions or what you cannot say publicly go live in a third world country.

Everyone Has One

a friend

 

Everyone has a story to say

Everyone carries a burden with flare
Not everyone has the courage to share
Some wear their heart on their sleeve
Engaging those, who with them, will grieve
Others will cower and rather just hide
Ashamed to tell how they feel inside.
All characteristics will darken our door
Well-versed and rich, or tattered and poor.

Everyone has a tale to convey

Everyone faces a time in their life
All they can see is despair and strife
Some fight the fight with all that they’ve got
Others back down without giving it a thought
All physiognomies appear on our path
Showered in cologne, or in need of a bath

Everyone has a story to hide

Some keep the skeleton in seclusion
And worry about facing aspersion
Do you have a secret you wish to convey?
You can reveal all without dismay
Get on your knees and simply confess
No need to worry about trying to impress

Everyone needs a friend on their side

Some will ignore the free gift He gave
Some will stay chained to their sin as a slave
Jesus gave all when He died on that cross
Even to those who live in full chaos
Get on your knees and ask for compassion
Forgiveness is free with a simple confession

Everyone has a story to say
Everyone has a tale to convey
Everyone has a story to hide
Everyone needs a friend on their side

Antagonist Strikes Again

good_vs__evil___with_cats

I found it interesting and convicting that Our Daily Bread’s lesson today was based on the tongue and how words can be used to edify or destroy. I had a disagreement with someone last night and my words were cruel. I am convicted by that, and I feel terrible about how I spoke to this person. I do not feel bad, however, for the message I was trying to relay, nor my view on the subject we were discussing. I’m right, they are wrong.

Satan will use the people you love to cause you to sin, “…because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Satan is our self-confessed enemy. He never ceases from being hostile toward us; he is constantly accusing us before God. He is both cunning and cruel and he attacks when least expected desiring to destroy completely those whom he attacks.

God’s word is powerful and those who do not ‘get it’ do not understand the concept of the two-edged sword. They cannot fathom what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. They accuse, they attack, and thrust their worldly wisdom regarding what they believe on the subject of God and the Bible. They are angry if you don’t agree. It is important to always be ready, pray fervently, and continue to seek the will of God, so when these attacks come, we are ready.

I haven’t been challenged by anyone about the Bible and my relationship with Jesus Christ in quite some time. But when someone tells me I don’t know God, and I’m wrong following scripture because the Bible was written by man, I have to take a stand and tell it like it is. I know I stepped on toes, hurt feelings and said some things I probably shouldn’t have. I even used bad curse words. I hate those pissing contests. But MY GOD, the God of the Bible knows my heart and I have no doubt in my mind where I’m going when I die.

Satan will attack. He will use the people you love, the people you trust, and the people you care about. He will use the things that are important to you to cause you to sin. You must always be ready. Study God’s word always. Pray always. Ask for godly wisdom, biblical knowledge, and spiritual discernment. Trust in Him and He will give you what you need to dominate the attack of Satan.

Satan Attacks

Ephesians

You know how you can tell when you are following God’s calling? When Satan attacks. He will attack in any way, shape, or form, and cause strife in your life. Everything will be going along well, hunky-dory, and peachy-keen. Then KA-POW! Out of the blue, here comes the attack. It can be anything, small and large alike. Even stupid little things.

For example, the other day I read a blog about this dumb challenge where people were trying to summons a Mexican spirit named Charlie. I did not watch any of the videos, but reading some of the articles gave me the willies and a chill ran up and down my spine. My daughter, trying to be comforting, insists it’s just gravity causing the pencils to move. I know better. Satan is real and he will take any way into your life that he can get,to cause strife, if you open the opportunity for him to enter.

That night, I was afraid of the dark. I’ve been afraid of the dark all my life, but God has kept the fear at bay. That night I heard creepy noises, and I thought I was seeing things. I could feel myself getting worked up, and an anxiety attack was coming on. My heart began to palpitate, and I could feel my body drenched with sweat. I told Satan,”Back the hell off!” Then I asked God for help. I prayed and prayed for His hand to calm me. He did. I went back to sleep, and the dark hasn’t been an issue since, although I do continue to pray about that.

Satan attacked again. Another stupid little thing. Sometimes he uses the stupid little things and tries to make them big. Social media is good and evil. Sometimes when you are joking others take it seriously. We all have different views and opinions on different subjects. Not everyone thinks the same. Some people take what others post as a personal attack. Satan will use whatever he can to crush you and cause you to sin.

When you are moving forward and bringing glory to God, Satan will attack. Know this, accept this, and move on. He will try to bring you down, degrade you, and make you think what you are doing is wrong. Stand up to him, and don’t back down. Keep pushing forward. If it’s God’s will, He will stand behind you, or in front of you every step of the way.

Win An Inn

IMAG1894

 

March 19th was the day I finalized my draft for the Center Lovell Inn Essay contest. At that time it was the only thing I could think of. I had tunnel vision. I wanted to own and operate a Bed & Breakfast. I had no idea what owning and operating an Inn entailed, but I was willing to try.

 

My husband was in the process of getting his CDL. He used all of his vacation time from his current job to go to truck driving school. I didn’t think it was going to amount to anything. The only thing I was focused on was what I wanted.

 

Why? Why did I want to own and operate a country inn? Share your answer in 200 words or less. Here’s my entry:

Or not

Just a reminder that entering the contest gave Ms. Sage the copyright. She might choose to publish some or all of them in the future, so please do not publish your essays. Thank you.

 

Yesterday the Center Lovell Inn FB page shared the top 17 by entry number, town and state. I did not make the list. Today sometime before noon, Ms. Sage will call the lucky winner. Two months ago I couldn’t wait for this day to come.

 

I was so busy worrying about what my family wanted (us to move back to Maine). I was trying to figure out a way for us to live in Maine, be together, and earn a living. I lost sight of God’s word and what He taught me. “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands…” 1 Peter 3:1

 

I certainly know this will not set well with a lot of people, believers and non-believers alike. Quite frankly it didn’t set real well with me at first. When my husband told me he was going to get his CDL and drive a truck over the road to provide for us, I stomped my feet in retaliation! I didn’t want him to go. I told him, “I didn’t sign up for this!”

 

 

We prayed a lot and continue to pray. God is amazing when you let go of what you think is best for you and follow His calling. Everything has changed so quickly in the past two months. Things I didn’t think possible are happening and as scary and unknown as it is, it’s also exciting.

 
I have no doubt Ms. Sage will call the rightful winner of the Center Lovell Inn today. I am thankful for the opportunity to have entered the contest. I honestly believe it is not what God has planned for us. He is taking us in a new direction. As long as we follow what He is leading us to do, and not our own fleshly desires, we have nothing to lose. We win!

YeLoDoT

yellowdot

When I look in the mirror,
the person that I see
is someone I used to know,
staring back at me.

For each blemish,
mole, and every strand of gray hair,
has earned it’s own special place,
on my head in there.

I wonder if those wrinkles
on the face of me,
are what one considers,
as aging gracefully?

Stories I could share
would make a heart skip a beat.
But I always made it through,
landing on my feet.

Some will blame their parents,
for things they might have done,
For my faults I lay no blame,
I’m the only one.

Things that I’ve been through,
I admit I’m not too proud
Events caused much innocence
in my mind it did becloud.

I always give credit
where the credit is due
for those who helped influence
my life as I grew.

But all of the mistakes
are mine alone to own,
not in my parents face
will they ever be thrown.

Too many people now
are living in the lies
hiding behind the veil
or some other disguise.

Lives are not certain,
tomorrow not guaranteed,
we take the path we learn
whether or not agreed.

I’m still learning some hard lessons
as I’m growing old
much of that instruction
I don’t like to be told.

As I reflect on
the tests that I’ve been through
you may disagree,
but in my mind it’s all true,

Life is not easy
and we won’t get all we crave.
I won’t give into my wants
or let them me enslave.

No trials, tribulations,
nothing in defect,
there’d be nothing to live for
if we were all perfect.

I give all the glory
to the One and the Only.
Jesus Christ, my Savior
Who died on the Cross, for me.

Of course there is a much deeper story to the yellow dots than this poem, but this is part of my reflection on being a yellow dot and I am what I am because of Jesus Christ and Christ alone.  Hope you have enjoyed my Y blog and be sure to check out some of the other great bloggers taking part in the challenge.

Y