" ... he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."

Encourager . . . Notewriter . . . Friend . . . Photographer . . . NOTEworthy Card Creations

I'm a notewriter at heart and bring encouragement to the lives of others through note writing. Proverbs 11:25, above, is my life verse. Touching someone's life through a note is everlasting. The note is always available for the receiver to read at any time. You can be "NOTE"worthy for God too!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A "WOW" Moment


"I'm not sure what I did, but I trust you. Help me to understand." That's what I said walking home after giving my life to Christ. It was a revival series at my home church in Rockville. Pastor Crowley spoke on Elijah one of his favorite subjects to preach about.

Coming not from a family of believers, it was a huge step for fraidy cat, Carol, to walk the aisle and make a commitment. I know what I did, but I wasn't sure of what I really did.

I've been reading "The Legacy of a Couple: Ruth and Billy Graham." The inside flap cover says: "Full of anecdotes that reveal a winsome couple completely committed to one another and their mission. This biography uncovers the foundation of faith and love that made the life, ministry, and legacy of this influential couple possible." Chapters focused on their partnership, humility, integrity, faith and grace, to name a few. Gigi Graham provided the foreword.

I enjoy reading how Christian people have lived their life. Whether it's present day Christians or those that have come before me. They're inspiring, encouraging, and it's a great a learning opportunity.

I was reading the "integrity" chapter in the book and Billy Graham recounted his salvation experience. I knew about the revival series he was saved under when Mordecai Ham preached. We have the movie "Billy: The Early Years of Billy Graham." What I didn't know was what Billy said to himself after he was saved: "Lord, I don't know what happened to me tonight. You know, and I thank you for the privilege I've had tonight." WOW. That sure sounded familiar. I said the same thing Billy Graham said when he was saved!

We don't have to understand everything, we just have to believe in our heart that we've made the right choice. Understanding will follow as you read the Bible, study and listen to the Word being preached. And hymns also provide an opportunity to learn

I've enjoyed reading this book. And my WOW moment is one I won't forget! Today I know exactly what I did and why I did it. I am His and He is mine. WOW!

As we celebrate Easter this Sunday, when our Lord died and rose again and forever more lives for you and me, I hope you can say WOW!

"Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!"  Luke 24:5b-6a

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A new friend . . . Gladys Taber

Recently, while browsing Susan Branch's website (www.susanbranch.com), I was introduced to Gladys Taber. She was a well known author through the middle 1900s. Having never heard of her before, I picked up one of her books at the library: The Best of Stillmeadow. I've found a new friend.

Gladys lived in an old farmhouse in Southbury, Connecticut. One reviewer likened her books to"a hearth side visit with a wise and understanding friend," and another said: "Her homespun humor is delightful, and able to bring a smile to your face as you feel right at home in her home." The farmhouse was purchased with an old friend, and the two families enjoyed many years of happiness there.

The Best of Stillmeadow is a series of meditational stories following the calendar month. I've just finished April. Let me share two portions of her writing that I particularly like:

"For a time we shall have both winter birds that companioned us during the long cold, and the migratory ones coming from strange southern lands. The air is filled with the excitement of wings. However, much as I welcome the wanderers, I love most the chickadees, nuthatches and woodpeckers, for they have shared the bitter season with us, and never a blizzard too fierce for them to chatter away at the window feeder. I suspect we always love best those who share the hard things with us. Spring and summer friends are delightful, but give me winter friends for my dearest." . . . "A couple of cats and a bevy of cockers and an Irish liven things up considerably. It is hard to be melancholy with somebody playing leapfrog around the room. Paw marks on the windowsill are a small price to pay for joy." (emphasis mine :)

Gladys was an editor and columnist for Ladies Home Journal and Family Circle for over 40 years.
Her best loved books are about her life at Stillmeadow. She wrote about her happiness found from living in the farmhouse and caring for both cat and dog, numbers of them. She raised prized-winning cocker spaniels, with the exception of a beloved Irish Setter.

Susan Branch spoke about her in one on her blog posts: "Through her eyes, we experience the passing seasons from her 1690 Connecticut farmhouse; share in her passion for animals, gardening, cooking, and homemaking. Her books are filled with practical advice and her common sense view of the way things are."

She was born in 1899 and died in 1980. She's a good read regarding life in the middle 1900s. Thank you, Susan, for introducing me to Gladys Taber. It's a pleasure to learn about this remarkable and humble women.

Following are two more quotes of interest: "Perhaps, after all, our best thoughts come when we are alone. It is good to listen, not to voices but to the wind blowing, to the brook running cool over polished stones, to bees drowsy with the weight of pollen. If we attend to the music of the earth, we reach serenity. And then, in some unexplained way, we share it with others."

"But housekeeping is fun. It is one job where you enjoy the results right along as you work. You may work all day washing and ironing, but at night you have the delicious feeling of sunny clean sheets and airy pillows to lie on. If you clean, you sit down at nightfall with the house shining and faintly smelling of wax, all yours to enjoy right than and there. And if you cook--that creation you lift from the oven goes right to the table."

Shortly after her death, the Friends of Gladys Taber was formed by a fan. The group is still active, numbering 400 women and men around the world. They meet annually at places associated with her birth, early childhood and adult years, to study and discuss the influences on her life and to celebrate both her fictional and nonfiction works. Yearly visitors appear in Southbury and approach the Southbury library to find out if Stillmeadow still exists.

Maybe I've wet your appetite to some good reading. I'm always on the lookout for good authors. I've already requested another book from the library. I leave you with this quote:

"But in this season, it is well to reassert that the hope of mankind rests in faith. 'As man thinketh, so he is.' Nothing much happens unless you believe in it, and believing there is hope for the world is a way to move toward it."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Description of a Palace

The March 20th reading in Streams of the Desert, Volume 2, was interesting. W. Duns provides a picture of the Bible expressed in a unique way. I googled W. Duns to see if I could find out anything about him, but to no avail. Yet, he was important enough to Mrs. Charles E. Cowman to include something he wrote in her book.

Sit back for a different description of the Bible:

"The Bible is a beautiful palace, built up out of sixty-six blocks of marble--its separate books. In the first chapter of Genesis we enter the vestibule, which is filled with the mighty acts of creation. The vestibule gives access to the law courts, the five books of Moses. Passing through these we come to the picture gallery of the historical books. Here we find hung upon the walls scenes of battlefields, representations of heroic deeds, and portraits of eminent men belonging to the early days of the world's history. Beyond the picture gallery we find the philosopher's chamber, the Book of Job. Passing on we enter the music room, the Book of Psalms, where we listen to the grandest strains that ever fell on human ears. Then we come to the business office, the Book of Proverbs, where right in the center of the room stands facing us the motto: 'Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people." From the business office we pass into the chapel Ecclesiastes, or the preacher in his pulpit, and thence into the conservatory, the Song of Solomon, with the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valley, and all manner of fine perfumes, fruits, and flowers. Finally we reach the observatory, the prophets, with their telescopes fixed on near and distant stars, and all directed toward the bright and morning star that was soon to arise.

"Crossing the court we come to the audience chamber of the King, the Gospels, where we find four lifelike portraits of the King Himself. Next we enter the workroom of the Holy Spirit, the Acts of the Apostles, and beyond that the correspondence room, the Epistles, where we see Paul and Peter and James and Jude busy at their desks. If you would know what they are writing about, their Epistles are open for all to study.

"Before leaving we stand for a moment in the outside gallery, the Revelation, where we look upon some striking pictures of the judgment to come and the glories to be revealed, concluding with an awe-inspiring picture of the throne room of the King."

It was enjoyable to me reading W. Duns description of the Bible. But have no doubt about it-God's Word, God's Truth and God's Light is what it's all about.

Owning a Bible is one thing; reading it is another. The Bible is God's primary message to us. Reading and studying it has revolutionized millions of lives--it can revolutionize your life too! You can't escape God. If you will not hear the word of God today, there will come a day when God will speak to you directly.

In my 65 years, I have read the Bible through twice, from beginning to end, also reading the same passage each day in a commentary for clarity and understanding. This is one of the greatest things I've accomplished in my life. I recommend it highly.

If you never have read the Bible from beginning to end I encourage you to start today. I'd also suggest purchasing a single volume commentary to read along with it.

In John, chapter 14, verse 2, Jesus says: "In my father's house there are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you." That's the palace I'm looking for!

Top to bottom: lovely bouquet; sisterly love; crocus in bloom; a great pyrenees resting in front of the barn.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Puppy Tales

Yes, that's me getting clobbered by Abby and Jo when Jerry let them in from outside. From the floor to the ottoman to my lap! Try pushing 60 pounds worth of puppy away from your face! Do I love it? YES!

You'll have to indulgue me a few posts along the way as we bring up Abby and Jo. They are now a day away from 15 weeks, bringing love, laughter and smiles to my face. They dash everywhere, especially when I call them to come inside. Abby weighed in at 27 and Jo 30 when we visited the vet last week.

Dear Sam is making progress. She actually layed down close to them the other day. She's still setting a precedence of who is boss with growls and teeth, but she hasn't bit them. Jerry even caught her playing with them in the yard a few days ago.

Take a look at that paw! The vet thinks they're going to be on the big side, between 80 and 100 pounds. I'm still hoping they'll be about the size of the mother, closer to 70. It's time to begin training so they know who's in charge.

We're sleeping better now. The last few days I've been averaging 6 to 7 hours at one time. They're settling down in the large crate easily now, and feeling very comfortable in Sam's house outside. They took to her dog house right from the beginning and go in there to rest after a wild run in the yard.

I've been noticing a lot of stars at night when I go out with them for a midnight stroll. It's very peaceful and quiet. Early evening when it was still dark, we'd sometimes scare deer from our back gate as they were having a meal. It's been a long winter of not seeing my deer. I'll be so glad when the weather warms, and I can see them outside once again.

Here they are resting between Jerry's legs after a hard time of play!

Unequivocally YES! I'm still so happy we got two puppies. There's still a lot of work to be done, but they have added laughter and joy to the household. Oh, Jerry still wants to call them Godiva and Hershey, but Abby and Jo it is and forever will be!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Familiar Theme

Friends. I like friends. I thought the above box of chocolates fit in real well with a post on friends. Especially since I now have two chocolate pups. Friends overflowing!

This is my birthday week, and I want to thank all my friends for their friendship. My life is richer and happier because of the ladies and gentlemen I call friends.

I have all of you bunched together in my heart, just like those chocolates above. Each one of you with your own special gift that I draw from when I'm with you.

You've read this poem before on my blog, but it's one of my favorites on friendship, by Edgar A. Guest.

A Friend's Greeting

"I'd like to be the sort of friend that you have been to me;
I'd like to be the help that you've been always glad to be;
I'd like to mean as much to you each minutes of the day
As you have meant, old friend of mine, to me along the way.

"I'd like to do the big things and the splendid things for you,
To brush the gray from out your skies and leave them only blue;
I'd like to say the kindly things that I so oft have heard,
And feel that I could rouse your soul the way that mine you've stirred.

"I'd like to give you back the joy that you have given me,
Yet that were wishing you a need I hope will never be'
I'd like to make you feel as rich as I, who travel on
Undaunted in the darkest hours with you to lean upon.

I'm wishing at this [Christmas] birthday time that I could but repay
A portion of the gladness that you've strewn along my way;
And could I have one wish this year, this only would it be:
I'd like to be the sort of friend that you have been to me."

This week in Choosing JOY by Angela Thomas she talks about the joy of friendship and hospitatlity. (Now isn't that a coincidence? I decided to write about friends for this post and my next chapter in her book is about friends!) Angela spoke of her misfortune of losing friends because she busied her life with too many other things and missed out on the joy friends. She said: "I am missing the swettest kind of joy that comes from pursuing friendships . . . choose the joy of togetherness, shared joys, and friendship in the Body of Christ."

As Karla Dornacher said in her book "Friends are Forever": "The warm rays of love, generosity, integrity, honesty, sharing and caring kindle the spark of life and blessing in the heart of true friendship." (Thank you, dear Karla, for being a kindred spirit and friend.)

I love you friends! Everyone of you! The old and the new--you all mean so much to me! Just like chocolate kisses, I never get tired of my friends!

"The happiest moments my heart knows are those in which it is pouring forth its affections to a few esteemed characters."  Thomas Jefferson

"I count myself in nothing else so happy as in a soul remembering my good friends."  William Shakespeare

"Friends are like chocolate, they are sweet and wonderful, and like it's calories, they stick with you."  Unknown

"Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow-ripening fruit." Aristotle

So thank you friends! You make my life rich! And thank you, Jesus, my very best friend of all! Now what is Abby doing with my shoe?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Meet Abby and Jo

"No! I don't want two puppies," Jerry said, over and over again. "No!" But two weekends ago I found the two puppies I wanted and printed them off the computer and presented them to Jerry. I guess I wore him down. We brought them home nine days ago.

Early in our marriage we were going to get two dogs and a cat. They're names would be Emma, Abby and Jo. I can't remember why, but we only got one dog and called her Emma. Twelve years later when we were looking for another dog, Sam came home with us. She just didn't look like an Abby or Jo, and the name Sam fit her well.

Sam was just eight weeks old when we brought her home, and after three months I said I'd never get another puppy. Of course, I was working then, so the loss of sleep was difficult. With retirement brought new opportunity.

So the names Abby and Jo have been playing in my head for many years, and my heart desired two puppies. Labrador Retrievers were my second choice, with Golden Retrievers being first. But they were out of our reach, so I found these two sisters from a breeder in Bird-In-Hand.

The Amish family were friendly and easy to chat with. Mrs. Glick works in the Amish Market in Hunt Valley on Saturdays, and one of the daughters works in the Germantown market. Misty, the mom, was calm and friendly, and it was a joy watching the puppies run around their yard. The two females were picked up and made the ride home to Mt. Airy.

Abby, with the red harness, is aggressive and loud. Jo, with the green harness, is calm and quiet, although we've seen her do her fair share of attacking as they play! At 12 weeks I can hardly pick one up. Their paws are huge and they look healthy and strong. I love the snap below of Jo chasing Abby. Note Abby's eyes. They look terror filled and she was moving!

Sam's having a difficult time adjusting to their presence, but we've seen good progress through these early days. The little ones certainly want to be friends with her! Sam turns 10 his June. Just Monday afternoon we observed Sam trying to play with them for the first time.

March brings my 65th birthday. I not only got Medicare, but I got two sweet puppies to love and enjoy. Now that's a gift!

Below are some snaps from the beautiful snowfall on Monday. Abby and Jo loved it!