What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Tuesday 4 - Books and TV

 


Books/TV


Welcome to Tuesday 4 in memory of Toni Taddeo...



This week let's talk about books and TV programs you enjoy.

1. Are you enjoying a book right now and would you tell us about it?  

I am sorry to say that I have not been doing much reading these past few months. Not sure why...I got out of the habit when the library was closed for Covid, and then when it opened back up I just never got around to checking out any books.  But I stay busy with our Ladies' Bible Study on Monday, studying the book of Joshua and the Bible study guide "Winning the Worry Battle", a Bible study by Barb Roose.  It is taking us many months to get through it as we spend as much time talking about our "worries" as we do studying how not to worry.  When you get 8 or 9 women together to study how not to worry, you can be assured we do a lot of talking about the worries that we shouldn't be worrying about. But thankfully our Bible study guide helps us learn how to handle those worries by putting our concerns and anxieties in God's capable hands. Our key verse for this study has been Joshua 1:9

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed,  for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."


2. Do you have a list of books you are looking forward to reading in the near future?  
Not at the moment.  Again, I seem to be stuck in a no-read-mode. I try to keep up with our blogging friends and writing my own posts, and just don't have a lot of "spare reading" time these days.

3. What's on television (or YouTube, etc.) at your house?
Well, I will answer that more completely with the next question.  One thing that is NOT on the TV these days is the news....we have pretty much stopped watching the news except for a little bit in the morning while we eat breakfast.  We might touch base with the news again in the late afternoon, early evening, but if we find it too distressful (which it most ALWAYS is) we turn it off.  My hubby has been watching a lot of ice hockey lately, and other sports. He has some YouTube things that he likes to watch, but I am not much of a TV person. I'd rather visit with you here, or be outside taking pictures with Lily Grace.

4.What series have you followed religiously and why? (can be TV or book series)
Okay, I wouldn't say religiously, but I do enjoy watching Hometown

on HGTV when it is on, and Maine Cabin Masters on DIY. They've been on a little break right now and I am getting anxious for them to start up again. I love that one in particular because we used to live in Maine, and I love to hear them talk and see how they do things because it reminds me of of my son Matthew, who lived in Maine before he passed away, and these people on Maine Cabin Masters just remind me of his friends and they way they all enjoyed life there. Plus I've always wanted a "cabin" or "camp" of our very own and seeing how they do those so wonderfully for people really makes me happy. 

But right now the show hubby and I have been watching the most is the old British series, "The Saint", starring Roger Moore.

We have really enjoyed this old action/mystery/private eye series.  They call him "The Saint" because even though he gets involved in some pretty gritty stuff, he always ends up on the right side and does something good for somebody in the process.  Of course, he really isn't a "saint"...he loved women, gambling, and a little too much champagne for my taste, but the shows are fun to watch and Roger Moore as Simon Templar was pretty good looking too!  I told our son Scott that he reminds me a lot of him as I watch him in action...I could picture him playing that kind of a role if he was an actor.  

But thankfully Scott doesn't have that same kind of lifestyle as "Simon Templar".  
The Saint had six seasons, and we are in the sixth season now, so not sure what we will do when this is over.  We also have enjoyed watching the old Sherlock Holmes series, but there just weren't enough of them!

Well, I know this was a completely frivolous post, probably not in keeping with "Holy Week", but it is fun to do something a little different and fun once in a while.   Oh, hubby just called me from the living room and said it was time to watch "Simon" again (meaning "the Saint").  We usually watch one episode while we eat lunch...so I guess that is also my cue to get lunch ready.  Hey, trust me, it is better than watching the news any day!

I hope you are having a blessed and wonderful week.  The rose from the Memorial Garden is blooming for Holy Week. Just another special blessing from heaven...



Now let's go see what others are sharing today on Tuesday 4.




Sunday, March 28, 2021

Hosanna! It's Palm Sunday!

Happy Palm Sunday!



This LINK is to my usual Palm Sunday post entitled "Deliverance" that I have shared for the past eleven years.  If you wish to go back and read it again, it is interesting to see how not much has changed in the message that was shared originally 11 years ago and today.  We are still in much need of "deliverance", and Jesus Christ is still the only ONE Who can deliver us from all our foes, fears and sins. 


And if you would like to join in with us as we worship the Lord in song and message, here is our church's service for today, Palm Sunday, 2021.



The choir is singing a song entitled
"Who Is He?"

"Who is He Who comes in triumph?
Who is He who comes to die,
Comes in peace and comes in power,
Hidden One now lifted high?
Jesus, Jesus, Lord, Messiah,
Mighty master of the grave!
See Him ride, the King of Glory!
God Himself has come to save!

See Him there in humble splendor.
Hear them shouting all around.
Joy explodes in wild procession.
Praise is now the victor's crown.
"Glory, glory in the highest!"
Like the angels hear them sing,
Dancing round the Long-awaited -
Once their hope, and now their King.

Rise and join the glad procession!
Hear them passing by again -
All the ransomed, all His children,
Marching to Jerusalem!
Look ahead! The gates of splendor!
Hear the everlasting hymn!
Open wide Your hearts in worship!
Let the King of Glory in!"

(words by Ken Bible, tune "Hymn to Joy" by Ludwig von Beethoven

Today is the beginning of what Christians know as "Holy Week", as well as those of the Jewish faith celebrate Passover. It is unusual that both of these most holy of all religious holy days fall during the same week this year. That does not always happen, but of course it did happen back in the year that Jesus was crucified and when He rose again from the grave, which is why we celebrate Easter.
Jesus was on His way to celebrate the Passover in Jerusalem when he rode into the city on the back of that donkey colt on what we now know as Palm Sunday.

If you wish to listen to the message from our pastor above, he will be teaching all about this special event from the scriptures found in Luke 19:28-44



The Triumphal Entry
Luke 19:28-44
"28 And when He had said these things, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 
29 When He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, 
30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 
31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 
32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them. 
33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 
34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 
35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 
37 As He was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 
38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 
39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”



Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem

41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 
42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 
43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 
44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”


I hope you will be able to celebrate this special day today in some way, even if you are unable to attend church in person. We, as believers in Christ, have much to consider and rejoice about even during the difficult times of this Holy Week, because we know that Jesus lives!!

"Because He lives,
I can face tomorrow!
Because He lives,
All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And live is worth the living just because He lives!"
Amen.




 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Wednesday Treasures: Vintage Easter Memories

Hello my friends! Here it is about a week and a half before Easter already! 
And that got me to thinking about old family photos and happy Easter memories.

This was my family when I was just a very little girl...yes, that's me down in front with the red hair.
This was Easter Sunday, probably around 1953.  We were at my Aunt Audrey and Uncle Paul's house for Easter dinner apparently, because I know that is their house.  We were all dressed in our Easter Sunday finery. Since this was in Pennsylvania,  I'll bet we wore our winter coats over those pretty little spring dresses. As you can see, we kids all have our Easter baskets on display. We probably weren't allowed to eat any candy out of them until after we had our Easter dinner.   I am also thinking my Grandparents probably were there because my Grandpa always took pictures that became slides. Those were the only pictures that were in color back then, and I know this picture came from a slide because I took a picture of the slide when it was up on the screen at our last family reunion so I could get this photograph. That's probably why it isn't very clear.



Now I am sure that somewhere there are more pictures of Easter day between this one and the next one, but I don't have them...they are somewhere in boxes of photographs that are stored at my sister's house waiting for us to explore someday when she decides to retire and we have lots of time.

I just added this picture a little later...this was my Sunday School on Easter back in about 1957 probably. Notice many of us little girls are wearing hats. I am sitting down on the floor, on the left side, behind a little boy with a dark string bow tie and has on dark pants and light jacket. I have on a hat.


This one I had in my own little album, and here we are in Florida about 8 years after the previous picture. 
This is me, my sister Doris, and my mother.  Mom made my dress, and it was a lavender tiny gingham check.  Don't you love the crinolines?  
My sister made her own dress. She was a very good seamstress, especially for a teenager.  Her dress was also a lavender and white check. The jacket was lavender.  My Mother's dress was a light blue if I recall correctly. I don't think she made that dress, but she worked full time as a secretary at the Sheriff's Office, and I don't know how she had time to make my dress, let alone do everything else she did so wonderfully. 
Please note that we are all wearing white gloves, have white purses and I am sure we had white shoes too.

Here I am again:

Now fast forward a few more years, to probably around 1966 or 67.  This is my cousin Becky and me.
We were always together for holidays (and have lots of fun memories of the things we did). She and her mother, "Aunt Marion", lived in the next town over from us. My grandparents also lived in that same town. We all moved to Florida in the late 1950's.
I believe this is in my grandparents' back yard.  Oh, and guess what?  I made my dress for that Easter. I remember it well.  It was a pale blue kind of a smooth crepe knit material, and the sleeves were a see- through chiffon material of the same color. (I think. I may have my fabrics confused, but I remember the sleeves were see-through, and I don't remember lining the dress, so it must have been something else, but then again, maybe I did line it. I kind of doubt it though. That would have been a lot of work!  That was a long time ago...)   ( just noticed my shoes matched my dress! Wow! I wonder how that happened?)


Fast forward a couple more years, and here I am with my fiance', (who is now my hubby of 51+ years) the Easter before we were to be married in August.  And again I am wearing a light blue dress with white polka dots on it. I made that dress as well. Since this was 1969, the skirt length was inched up a bit, but that was the style. I wish this picture wasn't so faded, but you can see that my hair was still quite red!  This is in the front yard at my parents' home.


That same Easter I gave John this card:



Please note that I circled the "Steiner" in Helen Steiner Rice's name above. I thought that was pretty cool that her name was Steiner, and soon my name would also be Steiner.  I also underlined words that were meaningful to us at that time as we made preparations for our marriage. John was soon to be a senior in college, and I was finishing my freshman year of college and looking for a job so we could get married in August.  I also love that this card showed that we were very much aware of seeking God's plan and purpose for our lives as well as believing in the real meaning of Easter.


Fast forward a few more years, about 9 or 10, and here is our little family on Easter, with my hubby's parents and his brother Billy.  I guess I took the picture since I'm not in it. The folks had come to visit us at our home in Ft. Pierce, where John pastoring our first church.  Precious memories...


And then fast forward another 26 years, and here we are at my parents' home, with most of my extended family...four generations.  Our one and only grandson is on the far left below on the front row, in a red shirt, holding his blue Easter basket. He was about four years old. He is now 21 years old and 6'4" tall.
This was a wonderful day, filled with Easter egg hunts and seeing who could find the golden egg with the prize $5.00 bill in it, along with many other eggs filled with candy and money. It was a lot of fun for all the little great-grandchildren. Priceless memories that still linger.

And now we come full circle from the beginning.  This is that same family that was up at the very top.
My Mom and Dad, (who are now both in heaven)
My oldest brother Russell (who is also now in heaven), me, my brother Clifford, and my sister Doris.
Sadly, this was the last Easter (2005) that our nuclear family was together for Easter, as my mother passed away the following spring.


Of course there are many other happy Easter days that I don't have time or space to share here. Our immediate family still gets together for Easter dinner, and our family tradition is to hide an Easter basket for each member of the family somewhere in the house. It gets pretty challenging for "the Easter Bunny" to find new places to hide the baskets each year so that it won't be too easy for these smart big kids to find them.  Yes, our kids are in their 40's now, but it just wouldn't be Easter without them having to look for their Easter basket. Some traditions just have to be kept. That is how my family did it when I was growing up as well, and so it is a happy tradition that must be continued.

Here's a few pictures of some of my favorite Easter bunnies:

These are each special...the little one with the butterfly on its foot belonged to our son Scott when he was little, the long dark brown one belonged to Benton, and the light brown one in the back belonged to Matthew. My mother had given them to them many years ago. 

This green bunny is mine from my childhood. My maternal Grandma Tedlie gave it to me,
so it is a real treasure (and quite old).


These fun bunnies are swinging into Easter and having such a good time:
This was a gift from a good friend many years ago.




Just some more bunnies that I've accumulated, again, they were gifts.


But please rest assured, I know Easter is not about the Easter bunny or Easter baskets or Easter egg hunts, or even about new dresses or white gloves or a ham dinner with the family...
(my grandparents always had leg of lamb for Easter, which I loved, but my family doesn't care for it so I don't get it anymore)

 Let's read "An Easter Meditation" that Helen Steiner Rice wrote once again:


That sums it up pretty well.

"There is comfort just in knowing
That God triumphed over sin,
For our Saviour's Resurrection 
Was God's way of telling men
That in Christ we are eternal...
and in Him we live again..."

That is pretty good news, wouldn't you agree?

I hope you enjoyed this little walk down the Easter memory lane with me.
May God bless you as you prepare for and contemplate the real meaning of Easter as well.

Have a wonderful week.





 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

"Once Upon a Tree"

Happy Sunday!  I hope you are having a beautiful day.
It is rather chilly and cloudy here in "our neck of the woods".  Doesn't feel like a spring day in Florida at all...but maybe more like spring feels a bit further north. However we know it will warm up soon and we will be wishing for these chilly days again when it is in the hot humid days of summer, so I shall not complain!


This morning our choir sang the following song in church:

"Once Upon a Tree"
by 
Pepper Choplin



We were unable to record it due to technical issues, so here is another choir singing this same song. I hope you will click on this and listen along, as it is so beautiful, and is a wonderful song in preparation for the Easter season:

(Woodlands UMC, 2015)

Here are the lyrics:

"Once upon a tree, a good man died,
And though He did no crime, He was crucified. 
If the story ended there, I would have no song to share, 
But my heart will ever sing the story.
 
Once upon a tree, so the story goes, 
And all its mystery surely no one knows. 
Could the Father's will be done through the suffering on His Son? 
And there comes the answer, "Once upon a tree." 

For God so loved the world, He gave His priceless pearl. 
What greater love could there be? 
He died, He rose again, still the story doesn't end, 
For His spirit is living in me.
 
What tale of human love could there ever be told? 
What song could compare with the one I hold? 
Through everything I am and through everything I'll be, 
Let me sing my story: 
"Once upon a tree." 
Once upon a tree."

I hope you enjoyed this as much as we enjoyed singing it. Of course our little choir isn't quite that large, and we don't have an orchestra to accompany us, but we sang it with all our hearts and prayed that the message reached the hearts of those who were listening. 

Here is a link to our online service for today. There is another song at the beginning, "Chariot's Comin'", which we actually sang several weeks ago, but because of the technical difficulties in recording the other song, this one was substituted for the online service today.   The Pastor's message that follows is from James 5:13-20, which is a timely and wonderful message. I hope you will listen in.



Hard to believe next Sunday will be Palm Sunday and the beginning of "Holy Week".  Our little church is looking forward to Easter Sunday in particular, as we will be moving back into our Sanctuary for our service after all these months of meeting in the Fellowship Hall due to social distancing issues.  We will still maintain social distancing as much as possible and wearing of masks, but we have missed being in our beautiful sanctuary and are so looking forward to worshiping the Lord in that special place that has been dedicated to God for a place of worship and praise.

Here is a picture from two years ago when we had our Easter cantata:

Of course last year it was about this time that we had to stop having worship services completely for several months, so we were unable to meet for Easter at all.  Therefore, Easter will definitely be a time of celebration for all of us to be together again to worship our Risen Lord.

I hope that you will be able to attend the church of your choice for Easter this year, but if not, we will have our service online for those who can't come. Our choir will be singing the Easter Cantata
"Our God Reigns". 
I will share it here for you on Easter Sunday.

Well, I guess that's all I have to share today.


Psalm 122
 
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
2 Our feet have been standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem!

3 Jerusalem is built
As a city that is compact together,
4 Where the tribes go up,
The tribes of the Lord,
To the Testimony of Israel,
To give thanks to the name of the Lord.
5 For thrones are set there for judgment,
The thrones of the house of David.

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
7 Peace be within your walls,
Prosperity within your palaces.”
8 For the sake of my brethren and companions,
I will now say, “Peace be within you.”
9 Because of the house of the Lord our God
I will seek your good.



Friday, March 19, 2021

Friday Foto Friends

 Friday Foto Friends is being hosted over at The Adventures of Lily Grace today.  Please come on over and see what Lily is sharing today...  It's just easier to only post in one place or the other, and I am trying to rotate them back and forth so both sites get equal time.  


You might see a "Painted Lady"...


or an amazing sunset:


Or just have some fun with Lily Grace and the family at supper time...

You never know what you will discover, so please come on over and join us today at

Have a blessed Friday and weekend!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

A Visit to Ireland- A Creative Adventure Revisited

Our dear friend Toni Taddeo,  also known in the blogging world as Treasures By Toni, passed away over a year ago.  Toni left us with such a wonderful heritage of creative writing adventures, poetry, and interesting blog themes. Those of us who were privileged to have been Toni's blogging and Facebook friends miss her daily smiles and wisdom.  Our friend Annie over at Cottage By The Sea has picked up where Toni left off with a Tuesday 4  weekly theme in memory of Toni.  You may want to check that out.

But today I wanted to do something a little different, in memory of Toni.  Toni used to do a "Toni's Creative Adventures" meme, where she would give us several unfinished sentences that we needed to complete with our own special creative adventure.  Here is one that I did, using Toni's prompts, back in March of 2018.  Since tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day I thought I would share this one again, as I also did last year at this time. So here we go, back in time and space to a happy place...won't you come along with me? Some of you have already commented in times past, but there are a few new friends who might not have ever seen this before. I hope you will enjoy it.

Original Post 3/12/2018

So, what did YOU do the Monday after the time change to spring forward?  I know what I did...I took a nap!  (I did yesterday too...and the day before that, and the day before that...) I actually look forward to nap time!  I snuggle down with my blankie and pillow and fall asleep within one minute (wish I could do that at night)...and I stay asleep for at least fifteen minutes...sometimes twenty or even thirty!

Well today I must have either fallen into a much deeper sleep, or perhaps something else happened...I'm not exactly sure... but I found myself...

1.   "Walking in a countryside in Ireland,  and I see a strange green glow coming from behind a large tree. Walking up to it I find a large pot of shamrocks...



 They were so lovely, they seemed to be glowing and smiling up at me...




2.   Being the curious kind I decide to pick a little bouquet...

3.   Much to my surprise as I bend to pick them, a sudden gale blew up and whirled me around and round and finally sat me down on a lovely garden bench. 

As I recovered from feeling a bit dizzy, I looked around, and sitting there beside me was a delightful little tea tray, with the prettiest little Irish red haired girl blinking her bright green eyes at me and asking me if I'd like to have some tea!

Well, of course, I said yes!  

And then she asked if I would do the honor of pouring since the teapot was so hot and a bit too heavy for her to lift...and so I did.  

As we sat there together, sipping our tea,  it was so peaceful and lovely in spite of the wind...and I noticed some dainty little wildflowers blooming across the lawn, and thought how perfect they would be for our tea table...

The little yellow flowers looked like miniature dandelions. 

The tiny purple flowers were so delicate and airy...it seemed as though they belonged in a fairy garden.  (Perhaps it was???)




4.   Deciding this must truly be an Irish fairytale, I laughingly think to myself that I must have fallen out of bed or hit my head or something, because how could I really be sitting in that lovely little garden in Ireland, sipping tea with this lovely young maiden when just a few minutes ago I was taking a little nap in my own bedroom many miles and oceans away?




Suddenly I woke up, sprang out of bed, rubbed my eyes and looked around my room. Everything looked just the same as it had before my nap.

And then I got up and went into the kitchen, and there on the windowsill was this tiny little bouquet...


But where did that shamrock come from?...  What do you think?

Thank you, Toni!  This was delightful!!!

Well, You have just come along with me on another of Toni's Creative Adventures...  and I wish Toni were still here to share more of her creative ideas with us.  These were a lot of fun, and I am sad that I didn't participate in them very often, because now all of her special creative adventures are lost to us.  Perhaps there are some of you out there who might have some of them saved in your blog archives, and maybe we could revive them again in memory of Toni...just a thought! It's another way to keep her memory alive and we could all benefit from the wonderful ideas she shared with us.





2021: Current picture in my kitchen! The little Irish Maiden found a little Scottish Maiden friend, and they picked some fairy flowers for us to enjoy for St. Patrick's Day!  
They had a little help from another little "Irish Lass", 
who is all dressed up in her Irish Green so she won't get pinched!


And perhaps some help from the fairies as well...



Proverbs 17:22 (NKJV)

 "A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones."

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

 I hope you all enjoyed this little adventure in fairyland with me. In the midst of  the current world situation we need a little levity and creativity to lift us above our troubles and help us to enjoy some lighter, happier moments.  Have a blessed and beautiful St. Patrick's day...and be watching for the little fairies and leprechauns to bring some cheer to your day!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Sunday GRACE

 Good Sunday Morning! (It is actually after NOON now, but I started out trying to write this morning, but ran out of time!  That time change messes me up every time!  Hopefully everyone set their clocks ahead last night and you made it to church on time!  We did, but my body time clock is all messed up and it takes a while to adjust.  It's 12:09 DLS time, but my body tells me it is still 11:09 a.m.   (and after several interruptions, it is now 3:06 pm before this is published!)

Anywho...We had a good service at church today. Only one dear soul walked in at the closing, having forgotten to set her clocks...but she was heartily welcomed as soon as the pastor gave the benediction! She was laughing, and we were all just glad to see her, no matter what time she arrived!

Our choir sang a beautiful song this morning, entitled "Grace". I hope you will enjoy listening to it, and reading along with the words. They are so meaningful. I am giving you two options for listening...this first video is from the internet, and it is so beautifully done, with the lyrics on the screen as as it is being sung.


Grace, by Carolyn Hamlin

"Lord, as I seek your guidance for the day,
I find my thoughts unyielding; confusion crowds my way;
But then when I bow to you, the challenges you guide me through.
Your promises are ever new, I claim them for today.
 
Your will cannot lead me where your grace will not keep me.
Your hand will protect me, I rest in your care.
Your eyes will watch over me, your love will forgive me,
And when I am faltering, I still will find you there.
 
Each new day’s design is charted by your hand,
and graciously revealed as I seek your Master plan.
Keep my footsteps faithful when from you I go.
Return me to the joy that your blessings can bestow.
 
Your will cannot lead me where your grace will not keep me.
Your hand will protect me, I rest in your care.
Your eyes will watch over me, your love will forgive me,
And when I am faltering, I still will find you there.
 
Your eyes will watch over me, your love will forgive me,
And when I am faltering, I still will find you there."

This second video is from our church choir, followed by our Pastor's sermon from James 4:13-5:12, which was excellent.  I wanted to include both videos, because the first one has the lyrics so you can fully appreciate the song as you hear it. Also, our choir was missing several members when we practiced and recorded the song this past week,  including me. I was not feeling well that evening, so I missed choir rehearsal. But even without several members, our choir still did a lovely job of singing it. I hope you will enjoy the words as well as the melody.


I recently learned a wonderful acrostic from our Pastor for remembering the true meaning of the word GRACE:

God's
 Riches
 At
 Christ's
 Expense

Christ paid for our salvation with His own blood, and gave us eternal life as a free gift. That is GRACE. We cannot earn it nor did we deserve it. It is totally a gift from God. It is up to us to accept it, however. You know, no gift, no matter how wonderful, will do us any good if we don't accept it.  Something to think about!

Now, on another note, I think our Bluebird family has flown the coop, or birdhouse, that is.  This is what we discovered early this morning:


It looks like the nest is being pulled out of the hole, and there are no birds in sight.

I asked Mr. and Mrs. Canada Goose if they had seen or heard anything unusual,
but they just turned their heads and ignored me and kept eating their breakfast, acting as if nothing was different at all. 



Yesterday morning Mr. Bluebird sat in the tree nearby and let me take his picture:

Isn't he beautiful? 

 I am thinking he was sitting there to watch the nest, and didn't even seem to mind that I was right nearby. Maybe because he knew the babies were getting ready to come out and he couldn't take his eyes off the nest.


But I must admit to being a bit disappointed. I had hoped to get to see the babies before they left.
But when I got home from church today, this is how the nest looked...
No sign of any activity around it. Could the babies have flown that soon? Or do the parents move them to somewhere else to teach them to fly? I need to do some reading about the activities of Bluebirds, I guess.  I hope a predator didn't invade the nest and make them move away prematurely.  I have a lot to learn, I guess. I'm kind of thinking something happened, because it seems like we should have seen the babies before they left. Hmmm...

Some thoughts come to mind from the book of
  I Peter 5:5-9

"5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 
7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 

9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world."


Perhaps Mr. Bluebird was watching for any predators that might be lurking about...I know he chased off some Blue Jays several times. I don't know, but I hope Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird are safe somewhere and that they will be steadfast in their "faith" and keep persevering.    

I believe we should take heart...God notices and takes care of the "sparrows" (and bluebirds) of life, and if so, He will also take care of us.   
Luke 12:6-7
6 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 
7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."

Back to refrain in the song, "Grace":

"Your will cannot lead me where your grace will not keep me.
Your hand will protect me, I rest in your care.
Your eyes will watch over me, your love will forgive me,
And when I am faltering, I still will find you there."

That is a beautiful thought to close this post. Let's leave it right there.
Amen.