Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Jedi Training Academy

At the Jedi Training Academy, Caleb learns the dangers of lightsabers and how to use them correctly.

I suspect Luke Skywalker was not teaching this class. If he were, this  is what he would have said,
"These weapons are not playthings. A lightsaber is a dangerous and destructive instrument, a powerful blade that can strike down an opponent—or a friend, if you're not careful."

When his instruction was complete, the audience got to see him duel.

We have quite a duel  going on in Washington. With every strike of Trump's pen, the media and stars strike back. It has become old already to see these people adamant about discrediting our president.

They all want him to fail and a lot of them want him  to die.  At least one person has said that bad mouthing the president and trying to make him fail is pretty much like getting on an airplane, and hoping the pilot crashes the plane.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Broadening His World at Disney

Here is more proof of Caleb's proclivity toward all that is China.  I can see the attraction here of the architecture. It is quite different from our own in this country. Even the colors are quite interesting.

I'm counting down now... three days from now, Caleb will be seven years old.

Please  pray for safety for our citizens.   It is sad to see so many many people falling apart and calling for violence.  I pray that someone gets through to them and convinces them the error or their ways, so that our children's lives will not be negatively impacted.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Disney Happiness

This has turned into a celebration of Caleb, who will turn 7  this week.

I am not familiar with him having a penchant for China before now, but it is a reality. He was very impressed by it at Disney World.

I'm anxious  for him to hear his first cousin, Aussie speak Chinese. Since Aussie started taking it when he was four, he has no accent. He is now 14. It is a pleasure to hear him and I'm sure Caleb will be duly impressed. Now if we can just find a trick to get them together. Perhaps the next time Caleb visits us, we can meet Aussie and family 1/2 way.

I've been wanting to see the life size model of the ark in Kentucky for some time now. That would be about 1/2 way and a super place to meet. Not only could we see that ark and more, but Aussie might be able to teach Caleb a few words in Chinese.

Oh, and I believe the Chinese character in the upper left corner for you, means 'happiness'. And last year was the year of the monkey.  This new year for the Chinese, which started January 27,  is the year of the rooster according to the Chinese Zodiac.

Please continue to pray that people in the states will decide to unite instead of trying so hard to cause more division.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Wishes Come True

Caleb is dressed and ready for his Jedi Training class. This is pretty serious stuff. He is intent in pulling this off well. He has long carried his Jedi sword at home. I'll have more pictures later to show his prowess.

It's  so great to be a kid, especially with all the cool things to help one's imagination, like Disney World.  There is so much more than was even available when our children were young.

But thinking  how innocent these children should be, makes me sad.  They have to see and hear so much these days because of the evil all around us...and so much of it is celebrated and pushed upon us.

There are too many truly mean adults who do not respect little ones at all.

Just recently our president's 10 year old son has been the object of hatred, due to no fault of his own.

Please pray for all the children, for their safety and innocence.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

That Smile

It (Walt Disney) all started with a mouse...Mickey, that is; but it's developed into much, much more over the years. I'm not sure when Pooh Bear came into the picture, but he is a well loved character.
I love these pictures of Caleb at Pooh's place.  He is posing at the door of Mr Sanders.  

Look at Caleb's smile. Isn't it heart warming? He has always been a smiler, a tradition passed down four generations starting with his great grandmother, then me, then his dad. I LOVE that smile.

Yet recently I've noticed him being more serious, less enthusiastic. He seems less happy. I hope that is not the case, and that perhaps it is just a stage. I surely hope that broad smile returns soon, like in these pictures.

After all there is more reason for pleasant faces now that we have a new administration that will work hard to remove the tax burden that has been piling up on our young children the last eight years.

Please pray for our nation. Pray that common decency takes hold and people grow up and quit behaving like savages. Please pray they come to understand they are hurting everyone and not helping anyone at all.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Everyone Likes a Parade

Whether or not this title it true, I don't know. However, I think the Disney Parades are pretty magnificent.  People will wait for quite a while to get a good 'station' for watching.  

John and Beth staked out a position for them to see this parade. It was lots of fun for them all.
It will leave them with Magical Memories for years to come.

Sp;making of magical memories. As far as I am concerned Washington is providing a lot of those now. I don't know how many of you are interested enough in the new administration to watch what is happening. I am. I'm duly impressed with the work ethic of all involved. No lazy people needed.

So far, I'm quite happy with what is happening day to day. Praying for continued progress.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Disney World is a Magic Place to be, however, there are times that a person just has to wait. Here Beth helps Oliver, in a stroller, wait by taking funny selfies. Love the results. They are memories that will entertain us for years. So cute.

Waiting is not something I am good with. I like to arrive at me destination right on time, not before and especially not so long before that I find myself waiting with nothing to do. However, now that we all carry cell phones, there is a lot that we can do while we 'wait'. The phone does help me somewhat when I am early, but I still prefer to arrive later.

I'm a little ashamed of being that way. After all, the Bible does talk about waiting, as a good thing.

Isaiah 40:31 "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

It also says in Psalms 37:9 "For evildoer shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.

Lamentation 3:26 says, "It is good that a man should both hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."

I could go on, but I've written enough for us to get the importance of waiting. So now, all we have to do is learn how and practice it.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Magical Vacation

It was the middle of November and the streets were decorated for Christmas, making the Magic Kingdom a bit more magical. This was taken of John's family and Beth's dad and step mom on their first day at the park...such a lovely time.

I have to admit, I'm a little jealous...not in a bad way. I'm super happy they were able to go; but oh how I wish I could do that as well.  Of course that might be a little hard for me. The last time I tried an amusement park a couple of years ago, I did fine. But because of the long drive both ways, we didn't spend the whole day at the park.  And of course, I am older than I was two years ago. Yet in my mind, I could do it just fine. Don't know if we'll ever get the chance to find out.

Guess I should rename my blog for the time being. It will be mostly, if not all, about this trip to Disney until I can finish a book. Then I'll get back to the book about late fall and winter that I've done 1/5 of so far.

Anxious to see what tomorrow brings at the White House. Praying for wisdom.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Big Smile and Tilting Hat

I totally enjoy this picture of Caleb at Disney World.  His Sorcerers' hat tilted to the side and the big jovial smile on his face tickles me. What fun it is to see children having a good time!

I wish I had been there.  Looking at the pictures, there isn't that much I can relate to from the last time I was there, which was about 16 years ago.  It was much smaller then. 

I'm wondering about the ship in the background here. I looks like it might be some kind of restaurant, but I can't read the sign and can't find anything like it online. I do see it is not far from the Chinese Theater; but that wasn't helpful in my search. I will have to ask John and Beth and I know they have extremely busy lives, so I don't like to bother them.

Speaking of busy...our new administration is already very busy working on fixes that will bring our great country back to its feet again. 

It is gratifying to watch and know that we can actually get the news now. The media tries to tilt it in a way that it is misunderstood; but we have found ways around that. If only all the people were privy to it. If only all the people actually knew good from bad. It is very sad now that many believe that evil is good and good is evil.  The Bible said there would be a time like that and it is here.  

It is sad that  many are so juvenile that they throw fits, break things and set fires because they are not getting their way about something, oftentimes, something trivial.  I mothered six and found that stage usually passed by age 4.

We need to keep up our prayers to the creator who will guide and protect us through even perilous times.

Friday, January 20, 2017

It's a Big Celebration

I love the fact that so many good pictures can be taken at Disney World. Action shots are great at times, but so are these posed shots where we get to see the whole family. And here they are, John, Beth and the three amigos, if we can Julia an amigo.  It is nice that Minnie and Mickey were there for the picture as well.

Disney World is fun, but it doesn't measure up to grown up fun. First today there was an unusually rewarding swearing in ceremony to which God had been invited. There were parades, shows and more shows and 3 balls, all celebratory in nature. We did not go, obviously, but it has been fun following Trump through this very long day. He certainly has great stamina, never seems to tire. 
That tenacity will certainly pay off for him as he has a lot to do, especially with the schedule they have set up for the first 100 days. 

Unfortunately we had made a lunch date, right at the wrong time today. We got a glance at his swearing in at noon. Thank God we had recorded it and was able to go back and see the whole ceremony later. But then, there was constant TV coverage all day long.

We were pleased with what Trump did today at the oval office. Even as busy as they've been the last 48 hours, they were able to work in the signing of several important things today.

Please continue to pray for our leaders. And pray that those who are organizing and instigating trouble all over this land, either come to their senses or are dealt with harshly enough that they abandon their plans to be disruptive over nothing but losing the election.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mouse Ears

As you might notice, I'm on a mission to make a book about the big trip to Disney World.  It will take me a while; but I really think they should have something to remind them when they are older of all the things they did and the fun they had.

I'm sure Caleb, in the picture above, really liked this ice cream bar. It was not his last one!

It is thrilling for me to scrapbook this event. It's the next best thing to being there...and not as hard on the knees.

Something else is thrilling to me. We were watching some of the Trump celebration on Fox news this evening.  It was quite lovely. And after I had heard so much in the news about people who refused to take part in it, I was delighted to see so very many people out there in the cold at the Lincoln Memorial. The music was wonderful. I love the song 'I'm proud to be an American'. I also love God Bless America. If that would have been all the music there was, I would have still been fully satisfied, but there was more. It was great.

I love hearing Trump speak to us as if we are the reason he ran. He did it for us, those hard workers in the states who are suffering from a lack of jobs and oppressive rules and regulations. Those were not his words. He said things much better than I could.

There were fireworks that were phenomenal. Ron said he probably bought at a discount the ones Hillary had ordered, then canceled at the last minute when she saw she was going to lose.

Then he and his great looking family filed up the stairs to where the grand statue of Lincoln stands.
They all stood there as if mesmerized by this great man's presence. It was awe inspiring to see the respect in their eyes for that Republican President of long ago who did what was right for his country.

Through it all, I saw Trump's love for his country.

It makes me really sad to hear comments by those whose attitudes will not allow them to really listen to him and take comfort in his presidency.

How many decades does it take one to become an adult these days?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Happiest Place on Earth

Mommy and Daddy are very happy at Disney World.  Julia is trying to figure out what is happening. The very moment the picture was taken, she just wasn't sure yet. but I can tell you, later she really got into it and had a lot of fun.

Well I've been looking for a theme book, so that I could just drop pictures into the slots and make a Disney Book quickly...but I was not happy with anything I saw, so this next book will be very simply done, so that I can continue work on my book covering last November, through Christmas and beyond. 

The pictures are a lot of fun to work with, but I still need to do them simply. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Hugs from Pluto

Disney is such a fun place and even though I wasn't there with these boys this November, I have lots of great pictures. So, of  course, you will be seeing some layouts now and then. Here they are enjoying hugs from Pluto. 

I love the Disney service that takes all the pictures all around the park. It takes away the burden on taking pictures oneself. I think it would be nice to not to have to worry about getting those pictures while having a good time at the park.

On another note. This is no Disney event coming up this weekend. I think I would feel more at ease about it if it were, since Disney seems such a safe place to be. 

As it is, we have people threatening violence during the inauguration ceremonies. I would think the threat in itself should get people arrested, especially since we don't have to guess about it. They have announced it proudly and where everyone can see.  It is no secret! 

This is the United States of America. We are all in this together and we should all work together so that the best results come about. Why would anyone want violence. Who has been teaching these wild individuals?

Please pray that no one is hurt...NO ONE.  I don't want to see even those who threaten violence injured. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Year is Still New

As far as I'm concerned, it is still a new year, only a couple of weeks old. 

Invariably the last few years my husband couldn't force himself to stay awake or has just chosen to fall asleep around 10:00 on New Year's Eve.  Because of that, it is relatively quiet around here while I sit at my computer by the window. 

I joke that people who live here at the lakes seem to like to 'burn money'. It happens on the fourth of July and again at the new year. Pretty close to midnight, the fireworks start. This year, the only ones I heard were directly across the lake from us to the south, where I've seen them the last few years. Generally more groups do it, but this year it was only from that one house that I saw the bursts of sparkles  and heard the loud bangs.

Not only were there fewer this year, but they were mostly white. Yet, I still enjoyed the show and 
celebrated the coming of 2017...just me and our little dog, Maggie, who has grown to understand they are not a threat.

On a different note, I have been blessed knowing that those loved ones who have passed away in my family are now in heaven. Because of that knowledge, I have not really mourned their passing. I have missed them, but I haven't grieved. I hadn't even kept the dates in my head. However this evening, I began thinking about my dad, knowing that he left this earth in January on 2002. I got out my photo albums and realized it was on this day, January the 15th, 2002. It brought back sad thoughts and comforting ones as well. One of the sad things: our youngest son came home from college for the funeral, which was on his birthday, January 19, 2002.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Missed the Celebration

The story behind these pictures is written on the layout, but I'll reiterate. Confession is good for the soul. 

"This was a gathering to celebrate Phyllis' upcoming birthday on Saturday (today). I missed it because I was stupid. (Still am.) I drove separately to save time...and went to Bravo instead of Brio. It was too late and too many miles away to make the correction; so I went home with a pouty face.  But because I was really happy about the other girls having fun, I smiled for a picture. 


I'm looking forward to seeing Phyllis tomorrow for lunch. Still pretty disturbed with myself for missing the party!

I have to apologize for my blog yesterday. When I posted it, it was fine, but for some reason, it is too wide for the page now. I'm not sure why this happens at times, but it is not the first time for me. 

I figure if it isn't wider than what I've written at the top of the blog, it shouldn't come out wider when posted.  

I would redo it, but am not sure how. Guess I'll have to study up on that.

Friday, January 13, 2017


I can't resist posting these pictures of John with little Julia and her pretty dress. The picture of her on Santa's lap will not be remembered by her Christmas dress ;) So I just have to show her cute little self in this traditional dress. What a doll she is, says her Gramma.

I am seldom as enthusiastic as I am when I speak of my children and grandchildren. they are so special to me.

However, some days I feel less enthusiastic about what I am doing...things I really need to do. I need to be motivated at all times.

Well yesterday, in my email, came a piece by Rick Warren that addressed that need to me. I finally read it today and really like what he said. Perhaps you will as well, so I'm copying it here for you...

To Get Enthusiastic, Get in God
By Rick Warren — Jan 12, 2017

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, 
serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, 
faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:11-12 NIV).
In order to reach your goals, you have to figure out how to maintain
your enthusiasm over the long haul.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great is ever accomplished
without enthusiasm.” I believe that with all of my heart. I have found
it to be true in my life. You’ve got to have passion, you’ve got to have
enthusiasm, or you’re never going to make it to the finish line. 

Most people would consider me an enthusiastic person, and I am.
But I haven’t been an enthusiastic person for a week or a month. My
enthusiasm has not waned over a year or five or 10 years. I have
been consistently enthusiastic about the goals that I’ve set for more
than 30 years.

How do you do that? How do you stay enthusiastic day after day in
spite of delays and difficulties and dead ends and problems and
pressures and criticisms? How do you stay enthusiastic for more than
30 years?

Positive thinking is not enough. Pulling yourself up by your psychological
bootstraps is not enough. Talking yourself into optimism is not enough.

The way you stay enthusiastic for a lifetime is found in the word
“enthusiasm.” The word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek phrase
en theosEn is the Greek word for the English word “in.” Theos is the
Greek word for “God.” So en theos means to be “in God.”

When you get in God, you will be enthusiastic. It’s the kind of enthusiasm
that isn’t affected by the economy or the weather or your circumstances.
It’s eternal because you are tied to the eternal God. You are in Christ.

Paul tells us how to do this in Romans 12:11-12. He says, “Never be 
lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful 
in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (NIV).

If you want to reach your goals this year, you need to get God’s power by
being joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.

Pray this prayer today: “Dear God, I don’t want to go another day without
you in my life, controlling every part of my heart. I offer you my body. I
dedicate myself to you. In light of all you’ve done for me, I give myself as
a living sacrifice to you as a spiritual act of worship.

“I humbly admit that I need help. I want you to help renew my mind. Help
me to think the way you want me to think. Please forgive me for my pride.
I don’t want to think more highly of myself than I should. My faith needs to
grow, and I need your help to set goals that can be measured so I can
manage them. Forgive me for trying to change on my own.

“I want to fill my life with love. I want to fill my life with you. Help me to get
group support. Help me to take delight in honoring other people, to focus
on giving my life away so that you can take care of my needs. I want to
nurture my enthusiasm by being in you. Help me to be joyful in hope,
patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. I give myself to you.
In your name I pray. Amen.”

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Visiting with Friends

I suppose most of us remember Christmas Vacation from school in a pleasant way. There have to be exceptions, but that break was a good one. The triplets are enjoying time off from school here with old friends who no longer go to the same schools. The boys are visiting from Chicago. And I am guessing that Abby is still home schooled, whereas the triplets are not this year. Glad they had this chance to get together...like old times.

Well, I was going to be with my 'old' friends today. We had planned it just last week to celebrate Phyllis' birthday, which was Tuesday. It had been too long since we've done anything fun...well at least a month.  But I messed up on directions.

We were going to Brio. We planned to meet at Robin's and ride together from there. OK, so nothing hard about that, except that I decided to make a large batch of chili for Ron and I wasn't left with a lot of time; so I decided to drive alone, taking a short cut from my house and meeting them there.  But there was a BIG problem. When I got there, the restaurant's name was Bravo, not Brio. Brio was quite a long way from there and it was dark and I was not familiar with that area of Cleveland, at least not while driving alone at night, so I chose to go back home. boo hoo. I missed the fun and was quite understandably disappointed.  

Right now, I have about 20 minutes left until midnight and a third  bad thing  could happen. Third? you ask? Yes, the second was, while making the large batch of chili, I measured out the amount of hamburger on a small kitchen scale. I was able to put one pound on that scale...I forgot the other pound. Yes, that was very bad, because I didn't realize it until the chili was supposedly ready to eat.
Ron had to finish what I had started, adding the rest of the hamburger.

Don't things like this come in threes?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


I never wore braces, but I can surely imagine it is a great relief to have them removed.  Mason is showing his appreciation that they are gone.  It is a great smile, Mason! Congratulations on your freedom.  You look great...I would say handsome, but it might go to your head.  LOL

Well here I go quoting James Chilton again.   I didn't really know what to expect from his first sentence in his encouragement letter today. 

Before he began with his discourse, he quoted Matthew 5:14-16, NIV. “You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven”

Read his first sentence... Today, let’s have a conversation about Collaborative Christianity. (Read on. You will be glad you did.)  We no longer huddle and hide.  We live and work with unbelievers cheerfully.  We serve a common good.  We get degrees, get skill trades, and take our places alongside unbelievers and we do such an exceptional job that they take note.  This is being the light on the hill that Jesus spoke of in the above text. 

       This is what Joseph did.  He worked for the government, a pagan government.  He carried a light that illuminated his work and his faith.  He believes in Yahweh.  He may be the only believer in the land, but he’s savvy.  He doesn’t assault the culture.  He serves it with his God-given gift.

        From the inside we have a say on the flow of culture.  We serve and trust God to open the doors.  We are bankers, janitors, chemists, engineers, teachers, welders, medical professionals, accountants, and we contribute.  And then we wait.  Joseph had to wait seventeen years in adverse conditions before the unlocking of the door.  We serve a “fullness of time” God.  

        Remember Paul?  He had a gift and a trade.  He supported himself making tents and was asked to speak because of his intellectual position and gift.  It disturbs me when I hear Christians say it is the function of the church to figure out what one's gifts are.  It is our responsibility.  Joseph had no church but figured out what God gave him.  The church builds a family environment whereby we can grow and practice what God has given us, but it is the individual who discovers and deploys.

        Joseph was not hateful toward the Egyptians.  He collaborated.   Colossians 3:23 captures this:  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (NIV).  Joseph got this right, and because he did, he made a place for himself and his God in history.

        Tangent over.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Do It for Dray


Our granddaughter, Lauren...she's the one active in Cross- Fit, was among  the group to raise money for a poor and unfortunate child, named Dray, for Christmas.  They were able to donate over $1,600. to Dray and other families so that they could have a nice Christmas.

That is the kind of thing God would have us do. We should think of others more highly than ourselves.

This reminds me of the Bible verse  Acts20:35  "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

So one of the best ways to celebrate Christmas is not by making a long list of things we want, but to supply gifts to others who really will appreciate them.  Seeing the joy in their eyes is worth more than  silver or gold.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

ORU Christmas

It's been a month since our little group has gotten together. It is time again, we even have a birthday to celebrate.

It is hard to believe how difficult it has become with so many leaving the state, especially during the winter months, to socialize. Right now, our small group has two vacationing out of town, leaving only four of us here, with one of those leaving much too soon.

Ohio is becoming a very lonely place for many of us 'older' ladies these days.  OH, and WE DO have a birthday to celebrate.

I suppose we will soon need to celebrate those winter birthdays in the summer as 1/2 birthdays.
It would help if all those who weren't here were in the same state. Perhaps then we could all fly there. But that is not the case. Anyone have a better idea?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

They Hit the Jackpot

Julia was just 8 months old when this was taken. She had not yet experienced Christmas; but look what just happened near the kiddie gate... Someone hit the jackpot! Looks like a whole box of Cheerios to me!
WOW! Look at that smile? Didn't take her long to join her big brother, Oliver. Mmmmmm.

Speaking of eating, someone at dinner tonight had a great idea...anyone who wanted could buy a brick for the Big Wall.  Sounds like a great idea to me. Of course, it could take way too long to build it out of bricks. lol

Friday, January 6, 2017

Busy Lives

April and her husband Tim were here for Thanksgiving; even though their lives are extremely busy right now.  Between things being up in the air and moves and building and remodeling and multiple jobs, etc, they still made time to see us. We really do appreciate it.

Families are important and we have a large one. We had a quiver full, one might say.  But they are scattered over the US from one end to the other. With families of their own, it isn't easy to travel.
We are proud of them all, but do miss seeing them often.  

I admit I feel a little jealousy, when I hear of others who see their children often, even though they are many miles away. I do fight that feeling, but it comes back now and then. And, I am always thankful for FaceTime, which is a new technology that our parents didn't have when we moved away from them.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

NSA Christmas Concert

I'm out to prove my dedication tonight. Although I am feeling terrible and running a fever, I'm still here at the computer, as I have been all day. 

I'm posting a layout of our grandson, Mason, who is a member of the Nashville School of the Arts.
Of course his mother took some good shots of him on concert night this Christmas season.  The black and white picture was taken the same night and Mason is visible in it; however, it isn't that easy to recognize him. The picture is just too small. 

He dresses up nicely, I'd say. His first time for a tux, but not likely his last. 

I wish we could have been there to hear them sing. If the rest of them sound any way near as good as he does solo, then it is a great choir. Of course, it certainly is. After all it is a high school whose curriculum centers on the arts and he was chosen to attend because of his voice.

Changing the subject a bit: I received this message yesterday by email and want to share it with all of you. If you don't have anything you want to change about yourself, wonderful. However, that can not be the case for many people. Here is Rick Warren's advice on changing one's habits. It is very good advice. 

To Change How You Act. Change the Way You Think
By Rick Warren-Jan3, 2017
“Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (Ephesians 4:23 NLT, second edition).
Change requires new thinking. In order to change, we must learn the truth and start making good choices, but we also must change the way we think.
The battle for sin starts in your mind, not in your behavior. The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel determines the way you act. If you want to change the way you act, you start by changing the way you think. In addition, if you want to change the way you feel, you must start with changing the way you think.
For instance, I can say, “I need to love my kids more,” but that isn’t going to work. You can’t fight your way into a feeling. You must change the way you think about your kids, about your husband, about your wife, and that will change the way you feel, which will then change the way you act. The Bible says, “Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (Ephesians 4:23 NLT, second edition).
Let me sum it up this way: You are not what you think you are. Rather, what you think, you are. The battle to deal with those defects in your life that you don’t like starts in your mind. If you want to change anything in your behavior or anything in your emotions, start with your thoughts and your attitude.
The renewal of your mind is related to the word “repentance.” I know repentance is a murky word for a lot of people. They think it means something you don’t really want to do or something painful. They think of a guy standing on a street corner with a sign that says, “Repent! The world’s about to end!”
Repentance has nothing to do with your behavior. It’s about learning to think differently. “Repent” simply means to make a mental U-turn. It’s something you do in your mind, not with your behavior. Changing the way you think will then affect your emotions and your behavior.
When I repent, I turn from guilt to forgiveness. I turn from Hell to Heaven. I turn from purposelessness to purpose in life. I turn from no hope to new hope. I turn from frustration to freedom. I turn from darkness to light! 
That’s the kind of change I need to be able to change the rest of my life.

Love you all. Take care and pray for the new administration, that things will get better here in the states.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Two Months Ago

Two months ago to the day, this was our view from the front of our home. I had never seen it prettier. It is always colorful in fall, but this beat all years for color in this area. And as I've mentioned before, the color lasted much longer than usual.

Today, it has been a dreary, sometimes foggy day. It has rained quite a bit. It was hard to see anything through the fog this early morning. Even saying that, I like the changing seasons. They each bring new joys. Looking for snow this time of year. Hoping for the kind that gets a new coat each day and stays white the rest of the winter.

This year has been much too warm. The germs are strong. It isn't cold enough to kill them. Everyone seems to have a cold, including myself.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Can't Let Go

Can't let go of my Christmas spirit just yet...not when I have such fun pictures for my scrapbook.  Being Julia's first Christmas, she didn't appreciate sitting on this old man's lap. She wanted her daddy...or anyone she knew would do right then. Neither Oliver or Caleb could cheer her, even though they felt the spirit of Christmas very strong.

Let's keep the spirit of Christmas all year long, giving of our ourselves and of our means to make this a better world.

God bless us all as we travel the path ahead.