Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Little Pencil

"Great works do not always lie in our way, but every moment we may do little ones excellently, that is, with great love." Saint Francis of Sales, 1567-1622

                     There are now four little eggs in the Robin's nest in the Rhododendron bush.

Malcolm Muggeridge writes about a challenge that Mother Teresa wrote to him: "Now let us do something beautiful for God."

"Very often I would feel like a little pencil in God's hand," she said. "He does the writing; he does the thinking; he does the movement--I have only to be a pencil and nothing else."

"A pencil," Muggeridge wrote. "Just a little pencil . . . When we are little pencils in God's hands, we see his work appear in our circumstances."

Mom was keeping a watchful eye on me.

What is your little pencil? It may be your mouth as it teaches Sunday School. It may be your hands as you drive the school bus. It may be your feet as you deliver the mail.

We all have the capability to do something beautiful for God. "I love the idea of being simply a little "pencil" in your hand. Write with me what you desire."

Muggeridge found the phrase enchanting, with a sparkle and gaiety. "Do something beautiful for God." That is why we're here. Why we've given our life to Christ. Why we have decided to serve Him.

We put up two hummingbird feeders this week. We have four coming around to drink. This is a favorite perch one of them flies too .

I actually use a little pencil. Well, a little pen. But your little pencil can be anything. It's your life. Do something beautiful for God.

This butterfly was enjoying the lovely flowers of the Rhododendron bush.

"All service ranks the same with God." Robert Browning, 1812-1889

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Half Price

Shutterfly did it again. They lured me into creating a new book during their half price sale. I put all of my hope bookmarks in with scripture that I love to read. Hope you enjoy it! Copy the link below and paste in your browser.

http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AaMm7Fq4Ys3D5A&eid=112


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trees Talk. Can You Hear Them?

I saw this beautiful magnolia tree on the way to Lancaster a few years ago. It was alive with life and it's lovely blooms were a delight to behold.  
Today's post is from a devotion I read recently by Phillip Keller from his book, Songs From My Soul. In this beautiful month of May, I thought it would be a fine thing to think on.

"Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young--a place near your altar, O Lord almighty, my King and my God."  Psalm 84:3

                 Nothing quite stirs the soul as springtime when all nature comes alive with beauty.

"There are certain values in life that money and material wealth can never purchase. Gold and silver, stocks and bonds, bank accounts and investment securities are not sufficient to assure peace of mind or serenity of spirit.

"What price can be placed upon a life of simplicity, free from the fret and strain of trying to keep pace in a man-killing society? What will a person give in exchange for the quiet ecstasy of living gently in harmony with the seasons? What consolation can surpass that of the secure inner assurance that this indeed is my Father's world, in which He cares for me with intense personal interest?


 I saw many seasons with this tree as I drove back and forth to work morning and night. It was a sight I drank in as it stood in all it's glory, whether spring, summer, fall or winter.

"I am constantly reminded that this caring is not confined or directed only toward us human beings. It embraces and enfolds the whole world around us: the trees and shrubs, with their foliage shining in the sun; the soft, sweet, fragrant grasses and flowers that flourish on our hills; the birds that build their nests and rear their young all around us; the insects that hum in the sun and flit across the lake; the wild deer and mountain sheep and mink and beavers and bears whose realm we share. All these remind us that we are friends and neighbors. As the ancient Indians would say, we are all 'brothers beneath the sun.'


I can still hear the rustling of the leaves as they fell to the ground.
The vibrant yellows, red and rust were beautiful.

"We delude ourselves if we believe our Father cares only for human beings. His assurance to us is otherwise. It is He who clothes the flowers of the field in great glory; He knows when a fledgling falls. He's the Creator of all!"

If you've never read Phillip Keller's Lessons From a Sheepdog I highly recommend it.

                    A lone tree in the dead of winter. Enchanting. Mystical. The season of winter.

"If you have never heard the mountains singing, or seen the trees of the field clapping their hands, do not think because of that they don't. Ask God to open your ears so you may hear it and your eyes so you may see it, because, though few men ever know it, they do my friend, they do." McCandlish Phillips

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

It's Your Choice

"The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are." C. S. Lewis

What a wonderful time I had as I met my friend, Brenda, at The Country Cupboard in Lewisburg, PA. It is a favorite establishment of mine for enjoying a good meal and shopping delightful little shops all under one roof.

Do you choose your friends on how wise they are? People who appear to have integrity, be honest and show wisdom in their choices.

Even though I've "felt unequal" in knowledge and intellect than many people I'm drawn too, each person I've made friends with have inspired my life.


You can be sure that I'm not putting myself down or think less of myself than I should in writing the words "unequal". I know I'm a child of the King and He made me to be exactly who I am, and I'm fine with that. "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:14  But I do know and accept that I'm limited in a number of areas. Then again, I guess we all are.

One of my weaknesses is in pronouncing words. I have a difficult time remembering and pronouncing words, and it has kept me from making comments and participating in conversations through my life.


I also can't express myself when in a group of people. The words just don't come to my mind, so again I remain quiet. It's always makes me feel uncomfortable. If I had the ability to remain a homebody all my life I probably would have done that. Anything than be in a group of people.

There's a commercial on television for a medicine named Rexulti. It is to help people with depression, etc. In the commercial people hold up a sign in front of their face with a smiley face on it. But their own face is sad. Well, that was me during a lot of my working years. I just couldn't open my mouth to say anything in groups of people. And I felt unqualified.


As I wrote last week, I worked for a State Convention for 16 years. Through most of those years I never felt as capable as most of my co-workers. I was a sponge that soaked up good behavior, intelligent decisions and honest living.

When I spoke about the ministry of note writing to groups of people, my talk was typed up, word for word, and I read the script in it's entirety. That's the only way I could stand in front of a group of people and tell about the ministry I love so much. And I got good at it. You really couldn't tell I was reading a script.


Let me not forget to say that even people of wisdom are human and make mistakes. I'm not looking for perfect people to associate with. But I am looking for people who I've seen display qualities of goodness, respect and care for their fellow beings.

"We reform others unconsciously when we walk uprightly." Madame Annie Sophie Soymanov Swechine (1782-1857)

My friend, Brenda, and me.

I can sure remember a few choices I've made in my life that didn't put me in the company of good people. And I've suffered because of it.

I believe the words C. S. Lewis wrote are true, and worthy to be applied to your life. I know I've been helped by associating with people I believe are "quality" people. Like I said, I'm a sponge soaking up the good in others in hopes of helping myself along the way.

As a child of God knows, true wisdom comes from God. And His instruction book is the right choice! There are many fine folk in the world who have walked with Him, and their behavior and presence shows it. That's my choice. No matter my weaknesses, I want my presence to show I'm a child of the King!

"When I think of those who have influenced my life the most, I think not of the great, but of the good." John Knox (c. 1514-1640)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Introspection

"Faithfulness in little things is a big thing."
Saint John Chrysostom (c. 347-407)


A look through my journals recently, which contain pictures and quotes and stories I like, I came across this quote that describes me:

"Although I never rose above the position of secretary, my reputation as a woman of notes was recognized by many in my day."   Bernard Barton, Quaker Poet

Secretaries have not always been thought of as a desirable position. But I found it to be fulfilling, and it used the gifts God gave to me.

This quote brought back memories from a girl in school. A friend's mother was a secretary, and I wanted to be one. I couldn't understand shorthand in High School, and thought, "I can't be a secretary.

After a few years with the local telephone company, I was given an opportunity to be a secretary. Even without shorthand. A dream came true. I never thought it would happen.

Then a few years later when I became a Christian, I was walking down the church hallway. As I passed the church office I thought: "I'll never be able to work in the church office because I've been divorced." Some twenty years later I found myself working in a church office. I never thought it would happen.

After a few more years, I found myself working as a secretary in a State Convention. I never felt worthy. Why would they want me? I've been divorced. But God said I was worthy.

Being a secretary was all I've ever wanted to be. I was offered management positions in the telephone company, but I turned them down. And I did inspire to a higher ground with the convention but still in the Administrative field. I knew my talents and gifts were specifically meant to work as a secretary. And God fulfilled each dream.

It may not seem like much, but for me it was everything. And early in my career I started writing notes. And the purpose of my writing notes was to encourage others with God's love. And because of Him, I have been recognized for my service of note writing.

Little things. A secretary. A note writer. Little in many eyes. Big in my eyes. I've found it's not what you are. It's if you're faithful with what God has given you to do.

This isn't a pat on the back for me. I am unworthy of everything. It's the faithfulness of God when someone gives their life to Him.

"Is your place a small place? Tend it with care!--He set you there.
Is your place a large place? Guard it with care!--He set you there.
Whate'er your place, it is Not yours alone, but his Who set you there."
John Oxenham (1861-1941)

So never fear in how big or small the things are that you do for God. Use the gifts He has given you and be faithful.

"God has not called me to be successful; he has called me to be faithful." Mother Theresa of Calcutta

Abby and Jo waiting for Mom to finish typing.



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Farmer's Inn

A popular Inn opened for the season just down the road from us. I visited it a few times when Jerry and I would come up for a long weekend. On a beautiful spring day we drove over to enjoy a meal. The slide show is from their website.


Located a few minutes from Clear Creek State Park, and down the road from Cook's Forest State Park, it's a well know establishment that offers food, a small zoo, golf, play areas for children and on this lovely day the goats were showing off their newborns!

As always, I had my camera with me. Hope you enjoy the snaps!


The spring season started a little late for me. Daffodils are only now blooming. They were in beautiful form as we went to church on Easter Sunday morning.


While out snapping the daffodils I found these three turkeys practicing their fanfare!


We'll visit The Farmers Inn during the spring and summer. A few years ago they had a bear, but I must admit, he didn't look very happy to be there. Advanced in age. In a rut. But, a bear is a bear. 



Our new driveway up to the front porch is now complete. They put down fine gravel over the limestone on Monday. The worker said it would harden and be similar to concrete. As I mentioned on Facebook, it has been a long four months of snow, rain and mud walking down to the vehicles. It's so nice to be able to walk down the porch steps and have the vehicles right there! 






I read a short work on "The Power of Humanity: Why Women Need Their Girlfriends" by Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis.  It speaks for itself. "Our girlfriends can't save us, for only God can do that, but girlfriends can help make a tragedy bearable. They can read our mind and our emotions, intuitively recognize what needs to be done--then do it. They can listen, empathize and show compassion. They can be used by God to comfort us and provide a timely shoulder to cry on."



I do write a lot about girlfriends. I think one reason may be that I don't have family members close by, like my sister who lives in Oklahoma, or my estranged daughter who lives in Florida. Their presence is missed.

Relations in my family have not been good through the years. So I've built my life around friends. It's been a good relationship all these years, but at special occasion times, like Easter, a side of me hurts for not having family members near. I am thankful and grateful for the joy I receive from my friends, and will always carry them close to my heart.

If you are fortunate to have close family members to enjoy, say a special thanksgiving today for those people.



And if you're like me, with little or no family around you, thank God for bringing you into His family and fulfilling a need that we all have.


And now a thought to leave you with . . .

"If we are involved in doing what we were put on earth to do, a joyful heart is almost guaranteed--even in the midst of deepest difficulties."
Thomas Kinkade, Lightposts for Living