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Hugging God…….Thirty things I’m thankful for

I once read that blessings are a hug from God and counting your blessings is giving God a hug back. I had a challenge earlier this month to daily write one thing that I am thankful for until Thanksgiving day arrived.   I have been faithful to that challenge but once I started writing them I began thinking of so many things, so I decided to add to my daily list by listing thirty random things.  Here we go:

 

  1. baby squirrels- Apparently these little guys are quite the popular internet search…and because I posted one little photo of a cute little baby squirrel in February, my blog gets a great number of hits daily just to look at my little squirrel. It is a great confidence booster when I look at my visitor numbers… I’m thankful that they help keep my blog alive.  I will definitely be embarrassed if I find out that “Baby Squirrel” is some rapper’s name or something like that
  2. creativity- I’m a person who loves to create…. whether it be a story or a sculpted caricature of someone….It is what I love to do… I’m thankful for a creative Creator and amazed at what He created
  3. gloves- don’t have to touch things that are yucky if I don’t want….
  4. crocs- the heavenly shoe of the wide-footed human like me… cavemen would have loved them…
  5. my parents-  by example they taught me how to work through arguments, dance, laugh, love each other and love God and church….
  6. my husband- he makes me laugh, is a great dad, incredibly dependable and is just an all around great husband…
  7. my children- such a great gift to be called “Mom”… they bring an unexpected joy… even when they are old enough to roll their eyes at you.
  8. bug spray- genius invention…. Take that, Mr. Mosquito!
  9. grace- thankful that I don’t get what I deserve…. because I can never do enough to get the good portion of deserving  all by myself….
  10. the alphabet- abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz…. may be a lot of them but thankful there are no ~ or ` or other symbols over the tops of them….
  11. medicine- had I been living 2000 years ago, I can imagine that without medicine I probably would have been one on the side of the road in need of healing when Christ walked by
  12. health- thankful that, though I should focus more on taking care of myself (I see a New Year’s resolution here) I can walk, talk, and do most anything I want to do because I have good health
  13. my home- I’ll confess…. there are times when I wish I had a bigger yard or one more bedroom or a live in maid, but I am blessed to have what I have and know it
  14. my co-workers– not too many have co-workers that feel like family…. I do and am thankful
  15. my family- I’ve already mentioned my parents so I’m looking at the other ones that I call family….no siblings but cousins, aunts and uncles… brothers and sisters-in- law, father and mother-in-law(deceased- but wonderfully remembered), a wonderful step mother-in-law…. so many great memories and wonderful little bundles of precious baby cousins
  16. my friends- some to laugh with, some to weep with, some both,  some who have passed in and out of my life, all have a special place in my heart
  17. waterfalls- not sure why they are so beautiful but it regardless of their size…. they are wonderful to enjoy
  18. cute animals-baby squirrels aren’t the only little things that are so cute… puppies, kittens, baby rabbits, baby bears, etc… well, except baby narwhals
  19. laughter- not at the expense of others but wholesome laughter might just bring the world together
  20. sense of humor- glad I have one, even if I am the only one who thinks I’m funny
  21. those who have sacrificed- sometimes I wonder why I live where I live…. how did I get to be so blessed?  Then I think about it …. not just happenstance that we live the way we do… some fought against much so we can have much freedom
  22. antibacterial items- can you imagine surgery without it??   that’s what I’m talking about
  23. the beauty of seasons- all goes back to creativity… I love red/orange leaves and the bright gray sky just before a good snow..and a loaded tree of cherry blossoms…. and the heat of sun on the concrete in the summer
  24. clay- maybe you have to be me to be thankful for it but it provides me with hours of entertainment
  25. computers- can’t imagine having to type this blog on a typewriter or by hand…. also am thankful that they have gotten smaller and smarter
  26. spices-cinnamon, garlic, salt, pepper…… just to name a few ……without them it would just be sugar toast for breakfast, bread with spaghetti….you get the picture
  27. chocolate-enough said
  28. peanuts- peanuts make peanut butter…. protein and yummy
  29. fruit-something good for you and tastes good too…. bananas, fuji apples, grapes, kiwi, raisins, watermelon, actually all melons, strawberries, cherries(my personal favorite)….. shall I go on?
  30. A Loving God- anyone who makes a way for you to get to them must love you a lot…. thankful that the Creator of all did that for me…. and for you…. so when I am thankful, that is who gets my thanks… without the Creator and his grace, all of the other things are pointless.

The challenge is on…. can you list thirty???

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2009 in Faith, Fun, Life Stories

 

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Summer Time, And The Livin’ Is Easy…. At least that’s the Big Picture….

appleIn the dark of the night, he silently slips into the room…. he stares at her while she sleeps and quietly searches for the blood he longs for… he moves quickly, she has no time to react…

You might be thinking that this is a selection from a Twilight novel or some other vampire romance, but hold on, keep reading….. this is reality..

She suddenly awakes… opening her eyes to confusion and mild pain…she lifts her hand and swats the blood thirsty, pesky little mosquito away…

Yes, summertime is great for the most part…. relaxed schedules, swimming, sunshine, hummingbirds, sandy beaches, ocean water, vacations, waterparks, flowers, sitting under the pergola.… but last night’s itchy attack was just about enough to make me ready for cold weather.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the mosquitoes in my backyard don’t have babies named Citronella because it obviously means nothing negative to them.  I’m pretty positive that those mosquitoes in my neighborhood have apparently mutated and are totally immune to the pretty little candles that sit on my porch.  I can picture the scene now…

“Citronella! Come on, sweetie, ”  says Mama Mosquito, “We are going to go have dinner on this nice lady’s porch.  She even has a nice warm fire to attract us to her home.”    ” Yea!! Can we have s’mores too?” replies Baby Citronella.

So now, through my bitterness, I’m sure that it is apparent that I have been a victim of the ever blood thirsty mosquito.  Not only has the little vampire gotten me, but my family was attacked as well. …. Twilight, nothing.  Okay, I realize that mosquitoes are not technically vampires but they still are in the same category.  However, I’m sure the difference lies in the fact that there could never be a bestseller or a blockbuster teen romance about mosquitoes and their vices.  There is absolutely nothing attractive nor glamorous about mosquitoes…… or is there?Mosquito

To conquer my itch I needed a remedy…something to soothe. So I began searching the internet for a homemade alternative to going back out to the store.  My search took me to something I never knew existed.   I found out that today is Mosquito Day.

Okay, since when did the mosquito become such an icon that it deserves it’s day in the limelight? A special day for Mosquito celebrating…. and to think that I thought a special Michael Jackson day was probably not a good idea…. Apparently there is something about the little itchy bloodsucker that I don’t understand.  I had always ranked it up there with all of those other annoying things that have peaked my curiosity as to why God created each.  You know, things like:

  • slugs (yeah, you know the story)
  • liver… of course I know it is important for our bodies but couldn’t a cow or a chicken do without it?? Does it really have to be a good source of iron for my anemic body??
  • ticks…just look at them… ewww….self-explanatory
  • poison ivy… not sure why a plant needs to protect itself… particularly one whose only apparent purpose is to make people itch

But since today is Mosquito Day and somewhere down in Texas they are planning an few days of good ol’ BBQ, country music and all sorts of mosquito competitions… not to mention, “Willie-Man-Chew” the 26ft mosquito mascot… what am I not getting???Williemanchew

I kept reading… the mosquito leg contest might be a competition that I’d rather not see but it looked like all other activities would provide good family fun.  That’s when I noticed something… I noticed that Dow was the host of this Mosquito Festival.  How convenient… could it be that Dow makes repellent for the pesky mosquito?  I’m thinking so.  I’m also thinking that if mosquitoes were obsolete then Dow wouldn’t need employees to make the chemicals to repel the pests.  Hmmm… now it is starting to make sense… at least to some degree.  We need mosquitoes so that Dow or any given chemical company can make repellent, hire people so they can have jobs and provide for their families.  Ah ha! I feel like I’ve solved a mystery. Okay,so maybe that was never really the plan that God … or maybe it was… regardless, God is so creative and I don’t always see the big picture.

I wonder how many other things I really don’t understand and instead tend to look at it through my narrow vision before I really give thought to what God is showing me.  Maybe the whole mosquito and insect repellent issue isn’t really some divine revelation from God but there are others…. Like knowing that we are supposed to take care of the “widows and orphans” and sadly taking care of them to a certain degree because of a feeling of obligation rather than love and care… and one day, while helping someone, I noticed her eyes…eyes of sadness, shame and helplessness…. that was a moment I needed… a realization to what I already knew but just didn’t understand… a moment I needed to make sense of what I was doing.  It opened a door to take my knowledge into the realm of compassion.

In Acts, Peter had a moment like that with Cornelius.  Peter knew that Jesus was for all, Jews and Gentiles.  But it wasn’t until he met Cornelius that it all truly seemed to click for him.  As you read the whole Cornelius/Peter dialogue you see Peter start out almost with obligation and routine but after listening to Cornelius speak, the figurative lightbulb turns on… Peter gets it.  He had the knowledge but just needed that “ah ha!”  moment. He needed to hear a Gentile speak about Christ in the same manner that a follower of Christ might speak.  It was like opening another door for him.

So what other big picture am I not seeing?  Hmmm, maybe like the slow driver who is keeping me from an appointment, or the rude driver who is honking at the slow driver who is keeping him from his appointment, or the waitress who seems distracted, or the person who looks to be abusing the system, or the child with the discipline problem… or big things like hunger, poverty and war…. maybe I’ll never view them as God does until he allows me to, if ever, but at least I can think about the situation and what the big picture is and hope for a compassion or an “ah-ha” moment.

Until then though, I will continue to swat at mosquitoes, but I will only swat at those who cross that barrier of repellent so as to not take away repellent making jobs and so “Willie-Man-Chew” can live on in Texas.  Live on, Willie!  Keep up the good work, Dow!

Acts 10

Peter at Cornelius’ House

The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa went along. 24The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”

27Talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. 29So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”

30Cornelius answered: “Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 32Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ 33So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”

34Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. 36You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2009 in Devotions, Faith, Life Stories

 

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