On Eagle's Wings

On Eagle's Wings
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Learning Lessons

Going just a little bit further with things related to Purim, I acted on a couple of them today with peace, kindness and patience. It was very interesting the way things dovetailed together because the pastor/rabbi suggested that we find a way this week to offer kindness, turn somebody’s frown to a smile, give coins, send a gift, or offer the olive branch to someone with whom a relationship has been broken. And then this morning, in life group, the whole lesson was pointing to restoration and our pastor suggested the same thing and maybe having a little more patience when tested with an irritation. 

Now really, this is the way I try to live my life always, but it just so happens that a long time friend was recently offended by something I said. It shocked me greatly as we have always had great communication with each other and laughed over many things we shared. I can’t tell you how much my heart has been hurt over her refusal to accept my apology and my asking for forgiveness or even speak with me. My apologies and asking forgiveness had to be left in voicemail. 

Sooooooo, today I decided to extend the olive branch by sending her a gift and a note which will be delivered on Tuesday and I will be anxious to see how it is received and whether she will contact me. It is my hope that she will and we will resume our long time friendship. (And, in pondering some of the conversations we’ve had over the years, I can recall several times she had been insensitive, but I never addressed it in any way because I didn’t want to show my hurt. But I now find it sad that this would cause me to bring up things like that from the past.)

The other thing was today as I was to pick up my online grocery order at Wal-Mart, it was not ready at the time it was supposed to be. In fact, it was 2 1/2 hours late and it was greatly annoying to have to be tied down waiting for an email letting me know my order was ready for pick-up.  They have always been on time previously and I have been so pleased with the service.  Until today! 

I hate to admit how upset I was, but finally, when it was ready and I sat outside waiting, I felt bad for the employees who were bringing out orders and loading them in cars. As we waited, my heart softened because I knew it wasn’t their fault it had taken so long. The young man who loaded my car explained what was going on and why the delay and said they had been dealing with angry customers all day. So I helped him load the groceries and reached out my fist full of quarters and he gave me a fist bump. Oh? He was surprised my fist held a tip for him as I apologized for not having ones, but did have lots of quarters. We smiled at each other and I hope he was encouraged that not everyone was gonna gripe at him today!

Done! Kindness. Patience. Peace. Restoration. Praying the olive branch works.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 
Romans 12:18

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Celebrating Purim

Photo Credit

The Book of Esther is one of my favorite books in the Bible (although I can't really think of any part of the Bible that I don't love). Some are just easier to read and understand than others.  I've known about Purim for many years and didn't give it too much thought until we were in Israel about twenty years ago during the celebration of Purim. The partying they do with Purim lasts all night long and there is lots of noise and craziness. After all, the Book of Esther says they are always to remember Purim with celebration and rejoicing! Yes, they kept me awake all night and although DH was able to sleep through the festivities, I toyed with the idea of moving my mattress into the bathroom or the hall - their partying plus DH snoring made sleep impossible.

Anyway!!! Saturday morning's service was a celebration of Purim and I absolutely loved it! The pastor explained all things Purim … traditions, food, and read the tale which is told in the Book of Esther. It is known as the Megillah, which ends with Haman's hanging and the Jewish people being saved. All the children of the congregation are given noisemakers called graggers which they are to use every time Haman's name is mentioned! All of us were instructed to loudly BOO when his name is mentioned, sigh with a sweet ahhhh at the mention of Esther, and cheer loudly for Mordecai! What fun and the pastor made it quite the lively event. He was tricky sometimes as we anticipated what he was going to say! 

Here is a good link on how they celebrate and what is involved in the traditions.

There is so much interesting about the story, but a few things stood out to me. 

  • Knowing that even though God is never mentioned in the book, we rest assured that He was working during that crisis and that He is ALWAYS working in our lives, even when He seems to be silent.
  • In Mordecai's famous charge to Esther, he said "if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Mordecai was absolutely certain that his people would be delivered, whether it be through Esther's intercession or some other source. God had made promises to Abraham and through His prophets that His people would never cease to be. 
"It is the LORD who provides the sun to light the day
and the moon and stars to light the night,
and who stirs the sea into roaring waves.
His name is the LORD of Heaven's Armies,
and this is what he says:
'I am as likely to reject my people Israel
as I am to abolish the laws of nature!'"
Jeremiah 31:35-36

And a very interesting tidbit for sure is this one that has to do with strange parallels between Purim and ten of the Nazi war criminals who were hung at Nuremberg. In the story of Esther, when Haman was hung on the gallows, his ten sons were also executed! Julius Streicher, the Nazi editor of the anti-Semitic Der Stürmer newspaper, proclaimed before he was hung, “Purim Fest 1946.” You can read about it here

Saturday 9: Young and Beautiful

Welcome to Saturday 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme! Get the questions here and Join the fun!

Saturday 9: Young and Beautiful (2013)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Lana Del Rey wrote this song for the soundtrack of The Great Gatsby. She wanted it to reflect the feelings of Daisy Buchanan. Have you read The Great Gatsby

Many, many, many years ago.

2) In the 1970s, Robert Redford portrayed Jay Gatsby. In the 2013 version, Leonardo di Caprio played the part. In real life, both "Gatsbys" have helped raised funds for the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). Are you careful about recycling and conserving water/electricity? 

Very much so. We recycle on a daily basis, water bottles, boxes, paper, etc. and since we can see the levels of the lake which supplies water in our area, I am very conscious of conserving water. It’s scary the years we have a drought. 

3) Lana Del Rey admits that she dropped out of college because she simply could not get the required math credits. When confronted with basic addition, subtraction, multiplication or division, do you do it in your head? Reach for pencil and paper? Sometimes. Or do you take advantage of the calculator that's on your desktop or phone? Usually the phone for the big numbers. Haha.

4) She enjoys Kurt Cobain, Eminem, Elvis and Sinatra. Which of those four gentlemen did you listen to most recently?
I guess Sinatra since he was the guest on a John Denver special I watched this week on PBS. 
5) Speaking of Sinatras, she has described her high maintenance look -- big hair, long nails, elaborate eye makeup, full lips -- as "Gangster Nancy Sinatra." How long does it take you, on an average day, to prepare to face the world? 
30 minutes if I washed my hair, shower, make-up, blow dry and getting dressed. 

6) She's a big soccer fan, and her favorite team is Liverpool FC. Here in the US, college basketball fans are currently obsessed with March Madness. What's the last sporting event that you watched? Watching our favorite girl play softball. 

7) Her younger sister, Caroline, studied photography and is responsible for some of Lana's publicity pictures. Have you ever gotten a job because of a relative? No

8) In 2013, when this song came out, Pope Francis became the first pope from a Latin American country. Latin America generally includes Mexico, most of Central and South America, and in the Caribbean, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. What's the farthest south that you've ever traveled? 
Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, many moons ago!

Me with Texas Rangers hat and long hair!

9) Random question -- What button would you prefer your life to have: rewind, fast forward or a pause? 
Since I wouldn’t want to relive the past few years, (although it would be fun to visit the highlights), and don’t need to know the future, pause might be okay. I’m content right here. 

It might be fun to re-visit a few of these days!

Friday, March 22, 2019

Friday Foto Friends

Although I really don't have much to share, I was happy to see and want to join everybody for Friday Foto Friends with Deb!

What I see on my walks with Annie

What I'd love to see!!

What I hope to see in a couple of weeks when we travel to Austin!

For over a month now, I have been attending a Messianic congregation in our area! I absolutely LOVE it because it, of course, is a mix of our Jewish foundation, and the knowledge and teaching of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Last week the pastor/rabbi began a series on the Gospel of John which he estimates will take about a year and a half to cover. It is my hope to attend every Saturday, although I know there will always be circumstances that won't allow, but I'm still going to aim for that! The above is a word cloud of the main words from the Gospel of John, which I think is really cool. You notice the biggest words are the ones that are repeated in the Gospel most often. Believe! Know! Disciple!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Springtime Wednesday Medley

If you want to play along, please visit Terri's blog tomorrow and link up with others who have also joined in! She’s provided us with interesting facts about Spring and fun questions to answer. 

Spring begins on the March or vernal equinox, which is when the amount of sunshine is approximately 12 hours long.  The amount of sunlight will incrementally increase until the first day of Summer.
The vernal equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator.  This is the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator, from south to north. This happens on March 19, 20 or 21 every year in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, this same event marks the beginning of fall.  Meteorologists actually mark the spring from March 1 through May 31st.
In 2016, spring arrived a little earlier due to it being a leap year.  On Leap Day, there’s a little math lesson regarding the Gregorian calendar.  To keep our calendar following the seasons so that spring happens when flowers grow and winter arrives when snow falls, an additional day was figured into years divisible by the number four. This has caused the 2016 spring to occur earlier than any living human being alive had ever seen. Before 2016, the earliest spring on record took place in 1896.
For more information visit almanac.com.
Get ready for longer days and increased sunshine. Tune up the lawn mower.  More sunshine means the grass will be growing. Use #SpringBegins to post on social media.
Human beings have been following the sun and creating a calendar based on seasons since the beginning of time.  
1.  The first spring flowers are usually daffodils, dandelions, lilies, tulips, iris. and lilacs. Which one of those choices is your favorite?  
I’m going with tulips, then iris a close second, and daffodils third. Have you seen any yet? No, only in pictures. I’m ready to see some. 

But I know Spring has arrived when I see these bursting out around the neighborhood!

I wish they stayed in bloom longer.

2.  What is your least favorite thing about spring? 
Seeing the weeds pop out first and then the bugs!
3.  Okay, what puts a spring in your step? 
Getting good reports from doctors does seem to cause a spring in your step when you sometimes feel you have been dragging a bit dealing with stuff. 
4.  What is your favorite springtime song? 
It has to be A Beautiful Morning by the Rascals. 

5.  What really says spring to you? 
Stepping outside and the sun feels sweet as a gentle kiss … there’s no wind ... the air just seems to caress you with that feeling of perfection in the great outdoors. No mosquitos yet, the sun won’t burn, the wind is kind, and the air smells sweet. Everybody comes out to walk, ride bikes, visits with neighbors! 
6.  Tell us something random about your week.
Pretty much the usual routine. Bible studies, dinner with friends, breakfast on Wednesday with the guys, preschool tomorrow evening. I like routine. I have it on my calendar this week to attend a meeting about fostering children ... not that I will foster, but there are ways for us to help those who do foster.