Friday, April 28, 2017

Daddy and Daughter

When I first saw this picture, I thought John was taking a selfie of himself with Julia, but it turns out, he took it while FaceTiming us.  I love it. Daddy and daughter, so sweet!

We would all like to see this little one grow up in a peaceful world.

Today's article from Rick Warren is very timely. People these days want peace, but they don't want to make peace. They would rather point fingers and blame others.

Rick Warren's title is How to be a Peace Maker (part 1). Besides his written words I've copied here, he also broadcasts each day. You could probably find it by googling 'Rick Warren" daily broadcasts.

“Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness” (James 3:18 TLB).
Our natural tendency is to hate our enemies or at least to avoid them at all cost. But if you run from conflict, you’re going to be miserable most of your life. Jesus calls us to a higher standard. He calls us to be peacemakers — not peacekeepers. There’s a huge difference. Peacekeepers avoid conflict and pretend it doesn’t exist. But peacemakers resolve conflict and reconcile relationships. 
The Bible promises this: “Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness” (James 3:18 TLB).
When you plant a seed, you always get back more than you started with. If you plant an apple seed, you get a whole tree full of apples in return. It’s the law of sowing and reaping. If you plant a seed of conflict, you’ll wind up with a lot more trouble than you bargained for. But the Bible says if you plant seeds of peace, you will reap a harvest of peace, kindness, and goodness in return.
So how do you do that? One of the most important life skills that you will ever learn is conflict resolution. Over the next two devotionals, I’ll share with you seven keys to becoming a peacemaker in the midst of conflict. Here are the first three.
Make the first move. Don’t wait for the person to come to you. You take the initiative. Buy that person a cup of coffee or go to lunch together. Jesus took the initiative to show mercy to us. The Bible says, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us .... While we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Romans 5:8b, 10a ESV). Jesus didn’t wait for us to apologize. He didn’t even wait for us to feel bad about our behavior. Jesus made the first move. And he wants us to do the same thing.
Ask God for wisdom. God is always glad to help you when you’re doing what he says. The Bible says, “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you” (James 1:5a TLB). Ask God to help you decide the right time and the right place to plan a peace conference. Ask him to give you the right words to say and the right way to say them. The Bible says, “The right word at the right time is like precious gold set in silver” (Proverbs 25:11 CEV).
Start with your own confession. Don’t start with a bunch of accusations. Don’t start with the ways you’ve been hurt. Start with what’s your fault. The conflict may be 99.99999 percent the other person’s fault. But you can find something to confess. Instead of accusing the other person — and instead of excusing yourself — start with your own mistakes, even if it was your poor response. But you begin with what was your fault. 
We’ll look at four more keys to peacemaking in tomorrow’s devotional.
Talk It Over
  • If you make the first move and reach out to someone who has hurt you, what assurances do you have that the person will change his or her behavior and/or apologize to you? Does it matter, from an eternal perspective?
  • How should this make a difference in your life: Jesus didn’t wait for us to apologize. Jesus made the first move.
I pray that all of us can gain something from this lesson. We can be what is needed in this world...the light of a dark world.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Ladies' Retreat

Ladies' Retreat began one week ago tonight. We started things off with a really good dinner, to which we had all provided something. As with all this type of dinner, It was wonderful. So many tasty dishes with more than we needed to eat.  We had cookies for dessert.  But then later that evening, we had an ice cream break with all kinds of toppings available. Wow! It was a big treat.

Thank God for bountiful blessings.

Teresa and I were some of the first there at this table. With our name tags in place, because there are always guests, we had plenty to talk about. What woman doesn't?  Oh, and of course, now this year, we have two services and some ladies do not know ladies from the other service. Name tags are useful.

The younger ladies have stepped up to bat and are now pretty much organizing and doing all the prep work. They are doing a fine job and I applaud them wholeheartedly.  Old people like me, can pretty much just enjoy the fruits of their labor.

The whole weekend was a great success and I'm already looking forward to next year...which at my age will come very soon.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Butterfly Bench

This is by far the prettiest picture I've seen of Ashley in a long while. She seems relaxed with a  sweet smile...can you tell I'm a real fan of a face of sunshine?  

This butterfly bench lent a nice note to the photo as well. It is so nice, that I would love to have one like it down by the lake.  Perhaps if I stand by the lake (once the boat traffic gets a little heavier)  with a sign, asking for donations,   I might  eventually get enough  to  bring one home.                                                                              

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Easter Egg Hunt

Somehow, I forgot to post last night. However I did this morning, so if you checked for it last night, you may have missed my post this morning about Oliver. 

Finally, I'm getting to Caleb. I love his big smile showing his new teeth growing into place. I have several really good pictures like this one taken on Easter Sunday in their own backyard.

They got a little practice  run the day before at a city park, so Julia got the hang of it better on Easter Sunday. If you remember, she seemed a little puzzled by the whole thing the day before.

I love Caleb's smiles. He is the king of smiles, if you ask me.

By the way, Caleb is doing very well with his soccer team this season. The other day, he played defense and no one was able to score against him. He also scored twice himself. Takes after his maternal grandfather with his sporting ability...and his mom as well. He certainly didn't get it from our side of the family.

A Little Pizazz

My memory is getting so bad. I forgot that I had not posted last night. Thought all day that this would be the layout and then didn't do it.

On Easter, Oliver, Caleb and Julia had an Easter Egg Hunt in their backyard. That's when these pictures were taken. Oliver added a little pizazz, with his unique pose and big, big smile.

By the look of his shirt and arms, one can tell he's been having big time fun for a little boy. A little dirt never hurt!

Well last night I was blessed. I was able to watch Tucker at his brand new spot on Fox News at 9:00, Bill O'Reilly's old spot. Well, I don't know about you...but I prefer Tucker. He is easy to look at and very informed and quick thinking. He also brings humor with his little laugh that says so much. If you haven't seen him, try tuning in to Fox at 9:00 tonight. He is on each week Monday through Friday. You will be glad you did...even if you disagree with him, because he lets others express their opposing views. You get both sides and can choose with whom to side...if indeed you want to pick sides. Often I find some truth on both 'sides'.

God bless  you and may you have a peaceful day.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Little Goat Kids

After the family returned from Disney World, they were still up for having fun. An invitation  out
to a friends farm was a winner. They were really excited to visit these little kids.  Babies of all kinds are precious, but little goats are sooooo cute! They bounce around nothing I've seen before. 

On the government front, the great plan we've expected that would actually fix a lot of our ailments as a country, such as building a wall, cutting taxes and getting rid of Obamacare are all still on the burner. I understand congress is to be a body that has opposing views, but somehow comes together to do the best they can. However, Republicans have been the only ones willing to give at all for many, many years now. Democrats seem determined to turn us into a one party dictatorship or throw fits.

I'm praying God will hear our prayers and help us pass some laws that are actually beneficial to our people over our career politicians. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Julia's First Easter

I would have loved being there, but the commute is too long. FaceTime and photos keep me up to date with her progress. What a sweetie! What a cool basket.  Looks like a happy girl. I have to admit that most of the pictures I received showed her more serious side. Not that I don't appreciate that. I do, but some pictures just must show that pretty smile.

On the news front... this weekend is our Ladies' Retreat time. I'll be having a great time about the hour I generally post here. So this is an early one.

Please pray that all those attending will grow even closer to Jesus our Savior and God, our father.