Thursday, January 28, 2021

Love Your Neighbor


He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" ~Luke 10:27

Last December, right before the yearly ritual of Christmas baking arrives, our Thermador oven goes on the fritz.  This is a top-of-the-line appliance that we splurge on because Danny, being the chief chef in the house, has put up with a run-of-the-mill Maytag for decades.  Yes, it is a definite upgrade, and one that gets lots of use and appreciation.

We purchase the stove in April of 2019.  A renegade fault is the last thing we expect with an appliance so new.  To make matters worse, the oven dies when Danny is preparing to bake pizza for our dinner along with a loaf of bread.  The inconvenience couldn't materialize at a more crucial moment.

We freeze the bread/pizza dough, and Danny immediately phones Best Buys where the unit was purchased.  Turns out, when they return the call, they are unauthorized to repair any Thermador product within the first two years of purchase.  We have to contact Thermador personally.

Once we do this, we are greeted genially, and guaranteed a visit from a service tech promptly.  I'm encouraged by this, but I'm also thinking how grateful I am that this is one Christmas when we won't be hosting loads of family members.  There is no timetable as to the oven's recovery, but we can at least rely on the stove top burners to work while we wait.

When Sheila, our service tech, arrives, she determines that, indeed, our heating element in the oven has failed.  She will have to order a part for it. >Sigh<  More waiting!

The part arrives in a couple of days, but when Sheila returns to install it, lo and behold, it is faulty!  Probably damaged in transit.  Now, it's back to the drawing board once more.

Two days before Christmas Eve, Thermador calls to tell us the heating element has arrived, but it will be after Christmas before it can be installed.  More disappointment!  I am so hoping to be able to bake at least one traditional Christmas favorite, a variation on the classic cheese straw, but hope is growing dim.

Then comes an unexpected and welcome call from Sheila.  "I will be more than happy to come on Christmas Eve morning to replace the part," she tells us.  "I can't bear the thought of anyone not being able to cook their Christmas meal."

Godsend!!!  Good as her word, Sheila arrives promptly the next morning, and our oven is saved!  We are so touched by her willingness to sacrifice her Christmas Eve for her customers, we hastily prepare a gift bag with the first two books of The Glade Series, plus a bonus check as a thank you.

Sheila certainly demonstrates what it means to love one's neighbor, and we pray that God will continue to bless her and her family.

May we all be that selfless.

And do those cheese straws (squares) get baked?  You bet they do!


Monday, January 25, 2021

He Rules the Roost


. . . which God will bring about in his own time - God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see.  To him be honor and might forever.  Amen. ~1 Timothy 6:15-16

If you've followed my blog for some time, you probably recall the photo above.  It's a mother turkey with her young one making another of their many visits to our yard to partake of the birdseed we scatter on the ground.  How we love it when they drop by!  They add an extra aspect of delight to our day.

Sadly, sometime in 2020, mama bird passes away, leaving a now grown son to fend for himself.  And by the looks of him in this photo, he's done pretty well!

We call this guy Major Tom from the lyrics made famous by David Bowie.  And although he doesn't frequent our yard anymore, he has boldly claimed an area in our neighborhood for his sole territory.  Not only that, but this either insanely stupid or incredibly crafty bird has decided that he is immune to the threat of oncoming vehicles.

I can't begin to describe how many times I'm wheeling out of the neighborhood only to find Major Tom smack dab in the middle of the road.  Not even an angry car horn phases him!  Instead, it seems to lure him even closer to the car.  No doubt, this turkey thinks he rules the roost, and will go to great lengths to prove it.

So, when my husband, Danny, spies this post on Facebook from the Kennesaw City Police, I simply have to share their hilarious description and photos of their recent encounter with this feathered perp.

Today on Moon Station Rd., we rolled up on what appeared to be a traffic jam in the area of Kennesaw S. Industrial.  After a quick investigation, we located the turkey that was holding up traffic . . . literally a turkey.

To protect the actual identification of the turkey, we will call him Tom.  As we attempted to make contact with Tom, he yelled something that sounded like a gobble and took off running.  As a patrol car caught up to Tom, he quickly realized he was no match for the Ford Explorer Interceptor; actually, it appeared he took a liking to it.

Tom began running alongside of the Explorer where we escorted him to a more suitable area for a turkey of his stature.  After a short rest from all the running, Tom received a verbal warning and was encouraged to stop playing in the roadway.

LOL!  It looks like even our police have acknowledged that Major Tom is a formidable character to be reckoned with!

Although many folks imagine they rule the roost, and they are the ones in control, that couldn't be further from the truth.  God is the blessed and only Ruler of the Roost.  King of kings and Lord of lords.  And everything in His creation, even Major Tom, are under His watchful eye and precious care.

Let us give thanks and praise and honor to the Lord each and every day, knowing that all we have and all we are is held in His loving hands.


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Refuge, Mercy, Hope


Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge.  I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the storms of destruction pass by. ~Psalm 57:1

Covid 19, the China virus, has stopped many of us in our tracks.  The promise and delivery of the vaccines have been cheered and celebrated by all of us.  But, how are they being distributed?

President Trump makes the right call to let the states administer their allotted doses in the best way they see fit.  Distribution is best done on the local, not federal, level, and I'm grateful for the wisdom he has shown in this circumstance.

However, when my husband, Danny, gets a notification from our hospital group here in Georgia that he can make an appointment for the vaccine, I am not included in that invitation.  We had so hoped to get the shot in the same time frame, but that is not to be.

Danny receives his first shot, with no complications, on January 13th.  Terrific news!  He is at greater risk from the virus, so we think this is why he is one of the first chosen.  Turns out, as we hear from other friends in our age group, this is not a deciding factor.  It seems to be random.  I need to wait my turn with a patience that is growing ever thin.

After contacting my doctor, hoping he can speed up the process, I learn that his office has no control over who will be chosen in the ranks of those aged 65 and older.  Quite troubling, to say the least.  So, Danny enters my information on an alternate waiting list, hoping that my name might pop up more efficiently and advantageously.  As I pen this post on Monday of this week, I am still in waiting mode.  Rats!

But I will not give up hope.

God knows I want to be able to visit with my aged mother as soon as I can, and to be allowed to travel to see daughter, Sarah, son-in-law, John, and the three grands over their spring break.  All it takes is immunity in time to make these dreams come true.

Until then, I will take shelter in the protective and healing wings of the Lord, who will keep me safe and secure.  He holds my life, and yours, in His hands.  He will not fail us ever!

I will take refuge in God, trust in His mercy, and hold out in hope.


Monday, January 18, 2021

The Time is Near


Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. ~Revelation 1:3

One of my greatest joys during this pandemic is our weekly Face Time chats with my daughter, Sarah, and the three grands, Virginia (pictured above), Savannah and Alexandra.  While it can never be as satisfying as in-person connections, it certainly has been a comfort since we can't travel to be with them.

Our conversation the other week turns to my word of the year:  Hope.

"Have you ever heard of choosing one word for the New Year?"  I ask Virginia.

"No," she confirms.  "What word did you choose, Gammie?"

When I tell her, she responds without skipping a beat.  "What was your word for last year?  Apocalypse?"

Oh, how we enjoy some hearty laughter over this quip!  I don't even think I knew the word "apocalypse" when I was Virginia's age, much less how to use it in context.

And she is right.  2020 was a disaster on so many levels, not just for our country, but for the entire world.  Plagues (Covid), locusts, earthquakes, fires, cities destroyed by rioters . . . the list could go on, but you catch my drift.  Many Christians watched and waited.  Are these end times?  Is the apocalypse upon us?  Will Jesus soon return?

I look up "apocalypse" at  Here is the definition in the way Virginia has implemented the word:  any universal or widespread destruction or disaster.  Yep, that fits the bill for 2020.

But there is also a biblical definition, one of hope and promise:  a prophetic revelation, especially concerning a cataclysm in which the forces of good permanently triumph over the forces of evil.

Did you catch that?  The forces of good permanently triumph.

I don't know about you, but that's the kind of apocalypse I want to experience!  And it will only happen when Jesus returns to claim His own.

John tells us the time is near.  But since God's time is vastly different than anything our human understanding can grasp, we cannot know the day nor the hour.

So, let's keep the faith.  Let us walk in love and pray for one another.  Let us trust that God will fulfill all His promises and prophesies when His time is right.


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Speak Up, Speak Out!


His (Gamaliel) speech persuaded them.  They called the apostles in and had them flogged.  The they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.  The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.  Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah. ~Acts 5:40-42

No matter what side of the political aisle you stand on, the shut down of free speech by Twitter, Facebook and Google should shake you to the core.  Maybe, you're one of those who thinks President Trump deserves to be censored.  You don't like him; you never have and never will.  That's fine.  That's your opinion.

But if you understand the First Amendment of our Constitution, you should be profoundly worried and dismayed.  The freedom of speech that protects your opinion is supposed to apply to the millions of other American citizens who don't see eye-to-eye with you.  We are currently witnessing it being maligned and defiled in ways our Founding Fathers could never have envisioned.

There are serious and legitimate questions surrounding the outcome of this presidential election, and the subsequent run-off in Georgia, my home state.  Dominion voting machines, just recently implemented here, call into question, because they can be manipulated, how a traditionally red state flipped blue in both contests.  The vast majority of Georgia residents honor our freedom of speech, integrity of the vote, and the upholding of our Second Amendment.  How did things go so awry for a population that treasures God and country?

The simple answer?  Pre-meditated fraud!  Yes, call me a conspirator, but there is such overwhelming proof, I dare you to deny it.  Doubt?  Look beyond CNN, NBC, and even Fox to find the truth.  It's out there.

The question is:  Are you curious enough to look it up?  Or, maybe a better question would be:  How passionate are you about preserving America as founded?

As President Trump declared, "America will never be a socialist nation."  Do you want socialism?  Communism?  No future for the American Dream?  No bright and better future for your children and grandchildren?  That's what not questioning this election and fighting back will get you.

And if you have somehow been convinced that socialism is best for our country, please leave in the comments and example where this system has worked for any nation that has embraced it.

The apostles willingly suffered indignity, rejection and imprisonment for the sake of the Gospel,  God's truth.  In spite of the flogging and the directive not to preach the Good News, they never backed down.  They persevered in the face of seemingly impossible odds.  They knew in their hearts and souls that preaching the love and saving grace of Jesus was paramount to their mission.  And they refused to be deterred, no matter who it was that told them not to speak up and speak out.

Christians, the time to speak up and speak out is now!  How long have our churches been shut down because of this pandemic?  Will they stay that way in the next administration?  We must persevere, as these apostles did, to ensure the Word of God is not silenced by those who wish us ill.

Twitter, Facebook and Google have no power over God and His people.

Will you stand up for Christian principles?

Will you stand up for our one nation under God?


Monday, January 11, 2021

Hope Prevails


Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. ~Romans 12:12

The naked trees

On crest of hill

Barren branches

Stark and still

Hold a promise

Not yet seen

Of leaves abundant

Season's green

To be revealed

In time and place

Hope prevails

And gains apace.


Thursday, January 7, 2021

Wait for the Lord (And the Order You Placed!)


Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. ~Psalm 27:14

It has literally been years since my husband, Danny, and I have exchanged Christmas gifts.  Historically, our gift to each other has been a get-away to a cabin in the mountains.  The arrival of the China Virus alters any hopes for travel, and on top of that, we've been pretty much isolated and insulated in our own "cabin" in the woods for all these long months.  Any trip we will take in the after-vaccine future will be to spend much needed time with the people we love.

That being said, we decide to exchange gifts in Christmas 2020.  Now, friends, you have to understand that Danny is one of the hardest people to buy for.  If he sees something on the internet that he perceives as a want, he goes ahead and orders it, as long as it's in his budget.  It's difficult to play one-up-man-ship with him on the best of days!

As November is winding down, I keep my antenna poised to discern any hints that might drop into my lap.  We are watching Fox News one evening, and Pete Hegseth's latest book, Modern Warriors, is featured.

Danny isn't much of a book reader, but he declares that this might be one he'd enjoy.  Duly noted!  I'm also conscious of his frustration in discovering new dishes to try as he is the ultimate chef at the Orlando Cafe.  So, after seeing some cooking segments on Fox by Steve Doocy, I decide that ordering his wife's and his latest, The Happy in a Hurry Cookbook, might fit the bill.

How convenient it is to order both of these gifts from the Fox News Shop!  That's what I surmise at the outset.  But, oh, how I am mistaken!

I place my order for both books on December 4th; that's got to be plenty of time to arrive for Christmas, right?  And to make it for Danny's birthday on the 19th?

Guess again!  Luckily, Modern Warriors shows up in good time, but the other book?  MIA!  Panicked, I turn around with fresh hope and order a T-shirt for Danny for good measure.

Hooray!  The inconsistent and unaccountably late mail does pay off with this order.  At least Danny has a birthday and Christmas gift just in the nick of time.

A few days ago, in giving up hope for the arrival of the cookbook, I turn to Amazon for a second shot, guaranteed to be delivered in two business days.  As Fox Shop has no tracking, I've lost confidence in the knowledge that the original gift will ever arrive.

I should have held out with the hope I've committed myself to this year.

Monday morning, January 4th, the long-awaited book arrives.  The order from Amazon is scheduled to get here the following day.  Oh, how I should have waited upon the Lord, trusting that He is at work in all things, and would see this through successfully!

So, in all of this, what have I learned?  I must never give up hope, even when circumstances say otherwise.  I should be content to wait upon God's timing in everything, knowing that His plans are for the best.  It is never advisable to act precipitously because something we've hoped for hasn't yet arrived, but to simply wait with patience and trust.

And what will I do with the second book?  Save it for my daughter, Sarah, as a future birthday gift.  Nothing is wasted in God's economy!


Monday, January 4, 2021

Keep Hope Alive!


We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. ~1 Thessalonians 1:3


What a marvelous and faith-filled word that is!

2020 teaches me more about patience and endurance than I ever thought possible, but through it all, I know that hope is the instrument that enables me to put one foot in front of the other through all the dark, bleak days that seem never-ending.

Toward the end of the year, the word "hope" keeps creeping into my consciousness.  I see it in friends' blogs; it speaks to my heart when I least expect it.  And when Danny and I light the candle of hope during the Advent season, the flame leaps up, virulent and vibrant, unique in its affirmation as the fire grows higher and heartier as it glows.

That sign seals the deal for me.

I'm assured, in every fiber of my being, that the Lord wishes me to live in hope for the year 2021.

So, what are my hopes?

Oh, I have so many, yet I'm sure God will help me realized these in His good time.

But I'd like to share this sentiment with you, dear friends.  When you hope in Christ Jesus, your hope will never be in vain.  He hears your prayers, your heart's desire, and He is mindful of your every need.  He will provide richly for all of us if we remain filled with hope in His promises.

As this New Year begins, I'm praying for each and every one of you to keep hope alive in your hearts.  God, our Father, has given us this precious gift, the ability to look beyond what is to what can be.  He is calling us to have faith, to share His love, and to always place our hopes in Him.


Remember God's Covenant

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