Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Family Members

    Last weekend Dale Gentry spoke at Elevate 2011 on Saturday night, and then at our church on Sunday morning.  He operates out of the belief that "just one word from the Lord can change your life forever."  He has a wonderful gift of giving prophetic words to people.
      We first heard him and had the experience of him praying for us twenty-six years ago when we lived in NE.  The words he speaks over people are often words of how God sees them and he calls out the giftings God has placed in each person.  Someone wrote highlights of the word Dale gave me at that time and I still carry them in my Bible.
     I had the privilege of transcribing the words Dale spoke over several who came for prayer in the Prayer Tent Saturday night.  I was totally amazed at the accuracy of the things he prayed for people!  The first person I encouraged to go for prayer even accused me of telling Dale things about her in advance.  Of course, I hadn't.  I purposefully kept from mentioning anything about anybody, including family members, because I wanted to see what came out in the prayer time.
    On Sunday, right before Dale was to speak at our church, a young woman came up to him who he clearly recognized and was delighted to see.  When he got up to speak he introduced her and asked her to tell her story.  She said that several years ago she went to a meeting at her church when Dale was to speak.  He asked if he could pray for her and when she said yes he asked her name.  She said, "My name is Tanya."  He said, "No, your name is Dr. Tanya."  She continued with her story by telling us she had applied to medical schools but couldn't get accepted to any.  She had been very discouraged and ready to give up when Dale spoke that word to her.  It was what she needed to hear to help her persevere, and now she is "Dr. Tanya" having completed medical school and is working in Champaign while waiting to be accepted in a residency program.  It was a wonderful testimony and an example of how "just one word from the Lord can change your life forever."  She said she would have given up if God had not spoken to her through Dale that night and therefore she never would have realized her dream of becoming a doctor.
     We invited her and the other 2 girls she brought with her, who also turned out to be doctors, to our house for lunch on their way back to Champaign.  I rode with them so they wouldn't get lost and on the way back we were discussing how amazed they were at Champaign being out in the cornfields.  I told them they would definitely feel 'out in the cornfields' when they got to our secluded place.  When I mentioned we have horses, they were amazed!  They said that on the way to the church they were discussing how they wished they knew someone with horses because Lincy had never been near a horse or ridden one, but thought they were so beautiful.  God had answered their prayer that very day!   By the time the afternoon was over Lincy had sat on a horse, and the three of them had experienced several other things they had never done before.
      Sunday afternoon Country Guy and I adopted these three girls into our family.  They are all originally from different countries.  Lincy's parents are from India, Tanya's from Jamaica, and Patty's (Nydia's) are from Columbia.  They have no relatives close-by, so now they have a place to hang out and escape the pressures of their work to have some fun.
      We are amazed at what the Lord has done and is doing.  Meeting them Sunday definitely was a Divine Appointment.  All three of them love Jesus and feel just as we do, that He has brought us together for a purpose.  How amazing is that!
     They will be here to celebrate the 4th with us, and will be bringing Patty's parents who are visiting her this month.  We are eager to meet them and to see what else transpires through, and for, our new family additions.  Walking with Jesus is exciting!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Olive trees and following our gifts

     This is an extremely busy time at our house, but I will try to add posts whenever possible.  Dale Gentry, who spoke at Elevate 2011 and at our church, left Monday.  Today I will be picking up my friend, Jan, who has been my friend since first grade, at the airport in Indy.  She will be here a couple of weeks and since she hasn't been here for over 4 years we have lots planned to do. How much fun it will be to get re-connected!  I'm sure we will talk for hours! 
    We have more friends coming Sunday night and staying for the 4th.  These are new friends that I want to write about when I can.  It is amazing how the Lord brought them into our lives last weekend, and the connection we feel toward them--as if they are members of our family.  To me it is an amazing story so stay tuned.  :o)
     This email meditation was sent to me today by my friend, Mary.  I thought it worth posting and pondering. 

Following Our Gifts
I am like
an olive tree
in the house of God.
 –Psalm 52

Life is not about going through the motions from birth to death. Life is about the development of self to the point of unbridled joy. Life is about trusting our talents and following our gifts. But how? Olive trees hint at the answer even today.

Olive trees are a very important and very meaningful image in Jewish literature. To the Jewish mind, to "grow like an olive tree" is no small thing. It isn't easy to grow trees in the Middle East. Sand is hardly a conducive environment for forestry. Yet, there is one wood that seems to thrive on the difficulty of the process. There is one tree with a natural talent for life in the middle of nowhere. The olive tree grows hard wood on barren ground, with little water, for a long, long time.

To "grow like an olive tree," then, means to grow without much help, to grow hardy, to grow long and to grow on very little nourishment. The olive tree doesn't need much to develop, it gives good wood at the end of a long, slow process of growth, and it doesn't die easily, sometimes not for thousands of years. The olive tree has a talent for life. There are some olive trees in the Garden of Olives, in fact, that scholars estimate were there the night of the Last Supper when Christ went there to pray. Startling, isn't it?

In this culture, in this age, on the other hand, the temptation is to think that everything—including our own natural abilities—ought to come easily. We want fast service and quick results. We want a lot for nothing. We want the greatest degree of return for the least amount of effort. And we want out of whatever doesn't work the first time. There is very little of the focused, the hardy, the persistent olive tree in us. There is very little talent for talent in us. 

Yet talents that lie dormant in our souls destroy us from the inside out. If we do not learn to slowly, patiently, painfully, if necessary, let them come to life in us, we risk our own robotization.

We give ourselves over to the pain of a living death. Talent is the gift that will not go away.
from Songs of the Heart: Reflections on the Psalms by Joan Chittister (Twenty-Third Publications)

Monday, June 27, 2011

What a wonderful concert!

Elevate 2011

      What a wonderful time we had Saturday night!  The weather tried to stop us, but we were determined!  It began to rain just as the concert was about to start, but we were assured by those in the know that it wouldn't last long.  Many came prepared with umbrellas which made a colorful picture as they popped up.
      The rain slowed to a trickle so at a little after 4:00 Rebekah Dennis and her band were able to begin.  Even though this was their first time on a big stage they did an excellent job!  They were followed by 'the broken' who were also great!
       Each band 'elevated' the Lord and the audience through their music and testimonies.  JJ Heller was a crowd favorite.  Her music touched many hearts and lives.  We are receiving testimonies of changed lives because of her testimony and songs.
      Dale Gentry gave a good word about making your dream a reality by "hearing it, seeing it, saying it and doing it."  
     Gungor was a great surprise to many people who had never heard of them.  They are such talented musicians with a wonderfully inspiring message.   
     A huge storm threatened so Sanctus Real had to cut there performance a little short, but not before playing their favorites and giving some moving testimony.  
      The kids loved the bouncy houses and the freedom to run and play in the grassy field.  
      As clean up began, so did the storm, but it wasn't able to stop a wonderful, glory-filled evening that honored the Lord Jesus.  I hope you were there, because if you weren't you missed a very special opportunity to praise the Lord in Martinsville, Illinois, with so many exceptionally talented musicians!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sydney and Goatey

Sydney and Goatey won the "Most Unusual Pet" contest at the National Road Festival on Saturday.  Not only did they look really cute in their "Elevate 2011" t-shirts, but they also were walking advertisements for the concert coming up this Saturday. 
    Since Syd's parents had other obligations, it became a really fun day for us to take the two of them to the contest.  But it was even more fun for Sydney.  She was hoping the winning prize would be that she would get her picture in the newspaper.   Gary Strohm, who owns several newspapers, was there with his camera.  When he asked her name and address and learned of her desire, he said with a smile that he believed he could make that happen.  Therefore we are eagerly awaiting tomorrow's edition.

       This is Granddad's favorite picture.  Goatey seems to be wondering what Syd has gotten her in to.  Isn't she an attentive pet?

Friday, June 17, 2011


    I am fascinated by hummingbirds, aren't you?  They are so tiny and fly so fast!  I saw this little guy perched on the daylillies as he was waiting his turn at the feeder.  The setting was so beautiful I couldn't resist snapping his picture.
     Obviously there is a pecking order for hummingbirds because some will only feed if others are not nearby.  Even though there are 4 feeding stations at the feeder and only one was occupied, the bird on the daylillies didn't try to eat until this one left.
     We have 3 or 4 who visit regularly which is just the right number for me because they startle me when I am tending the flowers as they buzz around feeding.  My mom probably has 30 or 40 that feed at her feeders most of the time.  If you're inside, they are fascinating to watch, but I don't enjoy that many buzzing me if I'm near the feeders.
     Here are some interesting Hummingbird facts from a couple of articles I found on the internet.  I am trusting the facts are accurate because I haven't checked them out.
          Fun Facts About Hummingbirds--combined from and

1. There are seventeen species of hummingbirds in North America and they are the tiniest birds in the world.                                                                  

2. Hummingbirds flap their wings 50 to 200 times per second. Generally the faster time is in courtship. 

3. They can fly up, down, right, left, backwards, upside down and even loop-de-loops! 

4. They have tiny little feet that are only good for perching, scratching or preening. This means if they wish to move, even a few inches, they must fly. 

5.  When hummingbirds sleep at night, they go into a hibernation-like state called torpor.  Hummingbirds enter torpor to conserve energy.  When a hummingbird goes into torpor, their metabolic rate is onefifteenth (1/15) of normal sleep.

6. They eat every 10 minutes throughout the day. 

7. A hummingbird can eat anywhere from half (1/2) to eight (8) times its body weight a day and will visit an average of 1,000 flowers per day for nectar.

8. Their main diet is sugar which they get from plant nectar or from kind-hearted people with feeders. 

9. They also eat bugs for protein. 

10. Hummingbirds have grooves on the sides of their tongues. This is to help catch insects. 

11. Their tongues can take up to 13 licks a second.  A hummingbird will use its tongue to lap up nectar from flowers and feeders.   A hummingbird's tongue is grooved like the shape of a "W".   Hummingbirds have tiny hairs on the tip of the tongue to help lap up nectar.  A hummingbird's beak is generally shaped like any other bird beak, just longer in proportion to its body. Hummingbirds do not drink though their beaks like a straw. They lap up nectar with their tongues.
12.  A hummingbird's brain is 4.2% of its body weight, the largest proportion in the bird kingdom. They are very smart and they can remember every flower they have been to, and how long it will take a flower to refill.

13. Visual displays are how they communicate with each other. 

14. These tiny little birds establish territories and will fight to keep others away. The males fight to keep a constant food source and the females to build a nest and feed her babies. 

15. They use their bills and claws to fight but do not usually harm each other during a fight. 

16. Hummingbirds will sometimes attack larger birds even hawks or crows! 

17. Do hummingbirds sing? Not really, but they do chirp and make deep-throated guttural sounds. 

18. They are sun worshipers and love to take sunbaths. They do this by facing the sun and fluffing out their feathers. 

19. They take baths by using a cupped leaf, a birdbath, puddle or even sprinklers. 

20. A hummingbird’s feathers are iridescent. Actually only a third of the feather is iridescent. 

21. Hummers can fly up to 25-30 mph and  dive up to 60 miles per hour.

22. Their wings flutter in a figure 8 motion while flying. 

23. They are only found on the American continent. 

24. The Bee Hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world and only measure in at around 2 inches. 

25. The Giant Hummingbird is the largest. Gee, that’s an original name. 

26. A hummingbird called the Reddish Hermit weighs the same as a fly. 

27. Early Spanish explorers called them Flying Jewels. 

28. Hummers are the only bird that has an insect that will eat it. Praying mantis's think they are yummy! 

29. Hummer’s average lifespan is 3-6years. The record is 12 years. 

30. They lay two eggs that are about ½ inch long. 

31. The eggs hatch in 13-22 days depending on the species. 

32. Will hummers nest in bird houses? No. 

33. They make their nests from plant fibers, plant down, moss and spider webs. 

34. The nests are about the size of half a walnut shell.

35. With no feather the average hummer is about the size of a bumblebee. 

36. Hummers migrate generally south for winter and north for summer. 

37. Some hummingbirds migrate up to 2000 miles from their summer home in Canada to their winter home in Central America. 

38. A few are only found in one or two states. 

39. Why do we call them hummingbirds? They get this name from the sound their wings make when flying. 

40. The iridescent feathers found at the throat of many hummers are called gorgets. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The DR Brush Trimmer

  Have you ever seen, or used a DR Brush trimmer?  I have the electric start model.  Here's a picture:
     I love this little machine!  I could not keep up around our country place without it!  We have so much mowing and trimming to do!  It seems to exhaust me to carry a weed eater, but this mower is actually fun, I think.  Of course it is very tiring, too, when I need to trim inclines and uneven ground, but if I'm just trimming around the yard or on a flat surface, it is so easy and the results are beautiful.  I have practically worn one of them out, so I got a new one for Christmas.  Such a romantic gift, huh!   
     Country Guy replaced several parts on the old one so I would have a spare, because I am pretty hard on them as I mow the tall grass and brush along the lane and the pond and through the woods and wherever I decide to trim or mow a path.  And I usually push them to their limit right before we are having company because I want everything trimmed up and looking great.  Of course, that's when one breaks.  That's what happened a few minutes ago, but the problem is, both of them are now in need of repair.   Last week Country Guy took the old one in to the elevator to let them try it out.  Something broke and I have ordered a new part for it so it isn't working right now.  I was trimming this morning in the horse pasture in tall grass and either broke the belt on the new one, or it came off.  I don't repair them--only break them, so now I have to wait to finish.  
     I was accomplishing much today, but I guess I will have to find some other job to do the rest of the day--like pulling weeds.  It won't be a problem to find something to do because work is never-ending in the country.   It is a good thing I enjoy it.  Country Guy was telling me last night that I am not a very good delegator--that I try to do everything myself.  I pointed out to him that he is only person in my sphere of influence to whom I can delegate and he didn't seem to be volunteering.  I don't know how long I can keep up this pace, so if you know anyone looking for a part-time job, let me know.  I'll even let them use my DR.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Grace Magnets

       This is an excerpt from Francis Frangipane's email letter today entitled "Grace Magnets."  How good it is to be reminded of God's grace and some of the attributes that attract it!  There is nothing I desire more than to walk in His grace.  Isn't that your desire too?

       "I'll call these "grace magnets."  What I mean is that walking in these four truths actually attract the grace of God to my life.  Remember also that grace is not just unmerited favor, it is the workmanship of God in our lives (see Eph. 2:8-10).  We are saved by grace and also changed by grace.
      So, what things attract grace (that is, the workmanship of God) to our lives? I narrowed my grace magnets to four principle realities:

1). Passion to be like Christ. Rom 8:28-29. God works all things for the good of our conformity to Jesus Christ.  If we expect grace to change us, we must have a vision for the goal God has for us.  That goal is Christlikeness.

2). Humility.  The Bible says repeatedly that God gives grace to the humble but resists the proud.  If we want to change, we must desire humility.

3). Prayer.  It is one thing to humble ourselves and become dependent upon God, but prayer liberates us to obtain the promises and provisions of God to meet our needs.

4). Unity.  Oneness with other Christians is the first expression of spiritual maturity.  We must know the power of Christ in us as individuals, but also the corporate manifestation of Christ, which is actually the substructure of revival.  We are to be perfected "into a unit" (John 17).   Without the revelation of Christ-centered unity, we have no hope of seeing citywide revival."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Gungor - Please Be My Strength

The words to this song are beautiful! The musicians are so incredibly talented! And we get to spend an evening listening to them live with JJ Heller and Sanctus Real on June 25, at Elevate 2011. It is going to be an evening to remember!  Hope you can come.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Father's Love--Team Hoyt

      Since it is almost Father's Day, I wanted to share this video with those of you who haven't seen it before and maybe those of you who have will want to see it again, too.  I know that every time I watch it, I am touched deeply and re-inspired to know that all things are possible with God.
      I heard a rumor a couple of years ago that Dick Hoyt had passed away so I looked Team Hoyt up on Wikipedia.   It seems the two of them are still racing.
      Here is the info from Wikipedia ( of it was included in the video--if you are interested in knowing more about their lives. What an incredible family!

"Rick Hoyt was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth after his umbilical cord became twisted around his neck, which caused the blockage of oxygen flow.[3] As a result, his brain is unable to send the correct messages to his muscles.[4] Many doctors encouraged the Hoyts to institutionalize Rick, informing them that he would be nothing more than a "vegetable."[4] His parents held on to the fact that Rick’s eyes would follow them around the room, giving them hope that he would somehow be able to communicate someday.[4] The Hoyts took Rick every week to Children’s Hospital in Boston, where they met a doctor who encouraged the Hoyts to treat Rick like any other child. Rick's mother Judy spent hours each day teaching Rick the alphabet with sandpaper letters and posting signs on every object in the house. In a short amount of time, Rick learned the alphabet.[3]
At the age of 11, after some persistence from his parents, Rick was fitted with a computer that enabled him to communicate and it became clear that Rick was intelligent.[5] With this communication device, Rick was also able to attend public school for the first time.[6]
Rick went on to graduate from Boston University in 1993 with a degree in special education and later worked at Boston College in a computer lab helping to develop systems to aid in communication and other tasks for disabled people.[7]
Dick is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard.
Team Hoyt began in 1977 when Rick became inspired by an article on racing he saw in a magazine.[8] Dick Hoyt was not a runner and was nearly 37 years old. After their first race Rick said, “Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.” After their initial five mile run, Dick began running every day with a bag of cement in the wheelchair because Rick was at school and studying, unable to train with him.”[3] As of July 2010, the Hoyts had competed in 1032 endurance events, including 68 marathons and six Ironman triathlons.[6] They had run the Boston Marathon 26 times. Also adding to their list of achievements, Dick and Rick biked and ran across the U.S. in 1992, completing a full 3,735 miles in 45 days.[9][10]
They also compete in triathlons with Rick sitting in a boat for the swim portion, Dick pulls him in a boat with a rope attached to his body. Then he pushes Rick for the run.[6] For the cycle portion of the triathlon, Rick rides on the front of a specially designed tandem bike.[4][11]"

Thursday, June 9, 2011


     I don't know if any of you have noticed the inconsistencies in spacing and type size--especially in the "Pages" sections--of this blog, but it sometimes drives me crazy!  I know I am possibly a little too perfectionistic, but that is just who I am.  As I often say, it is a strength and a weakness, depending on when it happens and who is looking at it.  :o)
     Just today I was searching for a recipe on the "Recipes" page and as I scrolled down through the Entres I noticed huge spaces between the lines of instruction on three of the recipes.  Of course, as seems to always be the case, everything looks fine in the composition page when I'm writing the post, but then once it is posted there are huge discrepancies which I often can't correct and have no idea why they are there!
     I once asked a question on the Blogger Help Forum on how to delete unwanted spaces.  The answer was to go into the HTML code and change it.  Of course, I know nothing about HTML codes, but I tried deleting a couple of things which seemed to be duplicate lines.  (One of the tips was to only delete things between "<" and ">",  in case for some reason you decide to try this.)  Sometimes it works--sometimes it makes it worse!
       I finally decided to cut the affected recipes and re-paste them from the Word document where I store them.  When I did that, the three recipes, including the text before them, were all underlined!  Nothing I did removed the underlining.  I couldn't see anything in the HTML that looked like an instruction to underline, so I did what I have done many times since beginning this blog, I deleted the whole Recipe page, copied the Word document, re-pasted the entire document on the Recipes page, and then re-posted it.  (Do you see how time consuming this can be?)
     Surely, I thought, that will fix it.  It did solve the problem of too many spaces between some of the recipes, but now there is a large space at the top between the page title and the beginning explanation, and all the recipes are in Italics except the first one!  How does that happen??   Adding posts to this blog can be SO frustrating!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pesto Pasta Salad

     When we went to Italy several years ago, I tasted pesto for the first time in a little hotel in the Cinque Terre and loved it!  The tour guide had arranged a demonstration on making pesto because that is one of the specialties in that part of Italy.  When I saw how easy it was to make, I decided right then I would be growing basil so that I could try duplicating the wonderful taste of fresh pesto.
     Last year my basil didn't do well, so I have been looking forward to a new crop this year.  A couple of days ago I noticed the four plants I have growing had almost enough leaves to make pesto, and then the weekly email came from Cook's Illustrated highlighting a Pesto Pasta Salad.  I could hardly wait to get to the grocery store for pine nuts and baby spinach so I could try it!  My basil had only grown enough to produce two cups of leaves so I had to reduce the recipe ingredients by one third, which still made a large amount of salad.
     Of course, as soon as I put the salad together, I had to taste it.  I was so hungry for pesto that I couldn't wait for it to cool completely in the refrigerator.  It was wonderful lukewarm, so I imagine it will be even better cold.  If it isn't, I'll let you know.  I'm thinking it also would be really good with cooked chicken added to serve as a main dish.
    For any pesto lovers out there--I highly recommend this salad!  (I also posted the recipe under "Salads" on the "Recipes" page.)

Pesto Pasta Salad
     Bring 4 quarts of water and 1 T. salt to a boil.  Drop in 2 cloves garlic and blanch 1 minute.  Remove garlic and set it aside, then add 1 lb. Farfalle pasta to the boiling water.  Cook till well done—about 12 minutes.  Drain pasta and toss with 1 T. olive oil.  Spread on baking sheet to cool.
     Add to food processor:
3 c. basil leaves
1 c. baby spinach leaves
¼ c. olive oil
2 T. lemon juice
½ t. pepper
¼ c. pine nuts
1 t. salt
¾ c. (1 ½ oz.) fresh grated Parmesan
6 T. mayonnaise
    Process till smooth.
    Add cooled pasta to large bowl.  Toss with 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size and preference.  Add pesto mixture and ½ c. toasted pine nuts.  Mix well and refrigerate till well chilled.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Love This Tree!

I love this tree--especially at this time of year.

       It is a sweetbay magnolia and it is in full bloom.  Right now the hot humid air is filled with the most heavenly fragrance as the blossoms open.  I wish I could attach a sample to this blog post so you could smell it!  To me it smells similar to roses but much stronger.
     What makes this tree so attractive and desirable is that it will continue to have blooms periodically for 6 or more weeks after it begins flowering, and then the flowers turn to bright red fruits that are attractive to birds and squirrels.  The leaves are a shiny green with a gray tint underneath.  The tree is semi-evergreen, meaning that if our winters aren't too severe some of the leaves will remain throughout the winter.
     A landscaper recommended it to me when we first moved here and were planning the landscape for the front of our house.  I had never seen one before--or at least not noticed--until he brought it to my attention.  He suggested planting it near the edge of the house and said it would only get about 15 feet tall.  On that he was mistaken.  It is already about 20 feet high so I wish we had planted it a little farther away from the house.  I recently discovered that in Florida, where these trees are called swamp magnolias, because they prefer moist acid soil, they can grow to 90 feet.  Since I took the landscaper's advice and let him plant it near the house, I was relieved to see in a description I was reading that they rarely get above 30 feet in the north.  That's still larger than I wanted in the space where it is planted, but it is so beautiful I don't think I could ever cut it down.
     If you are looking for a new tree to add to your landscaping, I highly recommend sweetbay magnolia.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Periodical Cicadas--or what we call "locusts"

        This is a familiar site right now around our place.  The 13 year locusts have emerged from the ground!  Their shells are attached to tree trunks and branches and especially to the undersides of leaves.

       Every morning they begin their mating sounds until by late afternoon the sound reaches a crescendo that can be almost deafening.  One article I read said a group producing sound in unison can reach sound levels of 100 decibels!  Once the sun sets they become quiet until sunrise.  What a relief!
If you startle a bunch of them while walking near the leaves they're in, they may fly into your hair and onto your clothes.  Fortunately, they are harmless.

      For those of you who would like a little more information here is a short excerpt from an article on Wikipedia about them:  "Nearly all cicadas spend multiple years growing underground as juveniles, before emerging above ground for a short adult stage of several weeks to a few months. The seven periodical cicada species are so named because, in any one location, all of the members of the population are developmentally synchronized—they emerge as adults all at once in the same year. This periodicity is especially amazing because their life cycles are so extremely long—13 or 17 years. Cicadas of all other species (perhaps 3000 worldwide) are not synchronized, so some adults mature each summer and emerge while the rest of the population continues to develop underground. Many people refer to these non-periodical species as annual cicadas since some are seen every summer. The life cycles of most annual species range from two to ten years, although some could be longer.
       Periodical cicadas are average-sized for cicadas, but they are slightly smaller than the annual cicada species found in the same regions of the United States.   Imagos (or adults) have a size of 2.5 to 3 cm (1.0 to 1.2 in).    Periodical cicadas are black, with red eyes and yellow or orange stripes on the underside. The wings are translucent and have orange veins.
      They are harmless insects; they neither bite nor sting. They are not venomous, and there is no evidence that they transmit diseases. They generally do not pose a threat to vegetation, but young plants may be damaged by excessive feeding or egg laying. It is thus advised not to plant new trees or shrubs just before an emergence of the periodical cicadas. Mature plants usually do not suffer lasting damage even from a mass emergence."
      One of the articles I read said they will be gone by mid-July.  That will be a relief because the sound can get quite annoying if you don't ignore it.
      I am so impressed by God's creativity!  Who could imagine creating something so unique--that only gets above ground a few weeks every 13 or 17 years?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Be anxious for nothing

      This is one of my favorite verses!  I repeat it to myself often when I begin to get anxious.  It is the truth!  Since Joseph Prince does such a good job encouraging us with the verse through his devotional today, and because I know several of us are going through things that can cause anxiety, I'm posting it as a reminder of what God says about our situation.  He will help us through.  He wants to give us His peace and guard our hearts as we turn to Him in prayer with thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is big, I think.

Joseph Prince's "Daily Grace Inspirations" today.  6-4-11

Be Anxious For Nothing    
Philippians 4:6–7
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
When faced with a challenge or crisis, our tendency is to get all anxious about it. But God does not want us to react this way. He does not want us to be anxious about anything. Instead, whatever the problem is, He wants us to go to Him in prayer and supplication, telling Him what we need and thanking Him for the answer. When we do that, His peace, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds from all worries, anxieties and fears.

“Pastor Prince, it is easy for you to say, ‘Be anxious for nothing.’ Try living with my husband for one day. Try disciplining that wayward teenager of mine. Look at the balance in my bank account! How can I not be anxious?”

Hold it! I am not the one who said, “Be anxious for nothing.” The apostle Paul said it. Yet, it was not him — he was prompted by the Holy Spirit. And when Paul wrote that, he was a prisoner under house arrest in Rome. He had been sent to Rome because he had appealed to Caesar regarding his death sentence. The Jews in Jerusalem wanted him to be put to death. (Acts 28:16–20)

Yet, under those trying conditions, he wrote these words: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

My friend, if you are anxious or worried about something, remember those words. Let’s say that you are anxious about a huge debt. Go to the Lord and pray, “Lord Jesus, I no longer want to be anxious about this problem. I hand it over to You and ask for supernatural cancellation of this debt. It is in Your care now. You are in charge. I thank You for taking care of it.”

God is true to His Word. As you pray this prayer and cast your care to Him, you will find His peace setting your heart and mind at rest. So be anxious for nothing — let the One with whom nothing is impossible take care of it for you!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Israel Today Online

     Karen, a friend of ours who has lived in Israel for the past 10 years, introduced me to a helpful and insightful Israeli magazine entitled Israel Today.   It can be read online here.  Since our news is so slanted, I find it a good source in helping me discover different perspectives and to hear "the other side of the story."
     I am a strong supporter of Israel and feel that the destiny of the U.S. (and the rest of the world) is linked to our treatment of her.  God specifically tells us that in the Bible.

"On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves," says Zechariah 12:3. 

Obadiah 1:15  says, “The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As you have done (to Israel), it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.” 

In Joel 3:2 God says, "I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.  There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land."

     Israel Today helps me to understand how the Israelis see what is happening in the world in relation to their future--and that helps me to see what our future may look like.  As the Bible says, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem."  It also promises that if we bless Israel we will be blessed, and warns that if we don't we will be cursed.  I believe we need to take God seriously when He gives warnings, and that we also can trust Him when He gives promises.  I choose to follow Him into the promise of blessings by blessing Israel, don't you?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A funny picture to illustrate a helpful tip

      Country Guy couldn't resist taking this picture this weekend when I ran into the kitchen to get a drink after working outside.  He thinks it's funny and jokingly said I should add it to my blog.  After thinking about it a little bit, I decided he was right.  
      These plastic bags are a great tip I read about a few years ago.  I keep several in the garage near the backdoor so that when I need to run into the house for something but don't want to waste time taking off my shoes, I can slip them over my muddy shoes, tie the handles together and "voila," clean shoes for walking in the house.  Even if it does look funny it certainly has saved me a lot of time, so I'm passing on the tip in case you haven't tried it.