Monday, October 27, 2014

beautiful birds & full feeders

It's that time of year again! The cold weather birds are returning to my feeders! All of my feeders were purchased at stores, but I'd really like to put out a couple of handmade ones. I've seen so many unique and whimsical ideas (especially on Pinterest), but most of these I can't make...(yet).
A nice natural feeder.
I know this isn't handmade, but I'd love to have one!
Nice! This would last at least two days!
Love this whimsey! But, not designed for rain & snow.

If I could drill glass, this would be full of seed!

Neat idea to keep seed dry! I'd use a brightly colored umbrella.

Love this! I have to learn to drill glass!
Not sure if this one is handmade, but I really like it!

Cute idea! However, at that angle, rainwater would wet the seed.
Peanut butter & seed...a favorite!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday songs

I have always loved this song.  I can imagine being in that little valley, sitting on a pew inside that little church, a warm ray of sunshine beaming thru a small window, feeling joyful and peaceful and thankful, and singing ‘oh, come, come, come, come...’.
*(Below is the history behind the hymn: Little Brown Church in the Vale, as told by its composer, William S Pitts)
Little Brown Church in the Vale
William S Pitts (1857)

There's a church in the valley by the wildwood
No lovelier spot in the dale
No place is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

(Oh, come, come, come, come)
Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

How sweet on a clear Sabbath morning
To listen to the clear ringing bells
Its tones so sweetly are calling
Oh come to the church in the vale

There, close by the church in the valley
Lies one that I loved so well
She sleeps, sweetly sleeps, 'neath the willow
Disturb not her rest in the vale

There, close by the side of that loved one
'Neath the tree where the wild flowers bloom
When farewell hymns shall be chanted
I shall rest by her side in the tomb.
*One bright af­ter­noon of a day in June 1857, I first set foot in old Brad­ford, Io­wa, com­ing by stage from Mc­Greg­or. My home was in Wis­con­sin. The spot where the “Lit­tle Brown Church” now stands was a set­ting of rare beau­ty. There was no church there but the spot was there wait­ing for it. When back in my home I wrote the song ‘The Lit­tle Brown Church in the Vale.’ I put the man­u­script away. In the spring of 1862 I re­turned to Io­wa and set­tled at Fred­er­icks­burg…

In the years of 1859 and 1860 the good peo­ple of Brad­ford were de­ter­mined to build a church…By the ear­ly win­ter of 1864 the build­ing was rea­dy for ded­i­ca­tion. While I was hold­ing the sing­ing school, near its close in the spring, the class went one ev­en­ing to the church. It was not then seat­ed, but rude seats were im­pro­vised. My man­u­script of the song I had brought with me from Wis­con­sin. It had ne­ver been sung be­fore by an­y­one but my­self. I sang it there. Soon af­ter­wards I took the man­u­script to Chi­cago [Ill­i­nois], where it was pub­lished by H. M. Hig­gins. It won a speedy re­cog­ni­tion lo­cal­ly and with the years won its way in­to the hearts of the peo­ple of the world.

Soon after its pub­li­ca­tion, the church at Brad­ford, which had been paint­ed brown (for want of mo­ney to buy bet­ter paint, some say), be­came known as “The Lit­tle Brown Church in the Vale.” My hope is that it will stand for a thou­sand years and call the old man and his de­scend­ants to wor­ship.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

sentimental songs

Sometimes I just have to sit back and listen to this song...

What A Wonderful World
Louis Armstrong

I see trees of green........ red roses too
I see em bloom..... for me and for you
And I think to myself.... what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue..... clouds of white
Bright blessed days....dark sacred nights
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world.

The colors of a pretty the sky
Are also on the faces.....of people ..going by
I see friends shaking hands.....sayin.. how do you do
They're really sayin......i love you.

I hear babies cry...... I watch them grow
They'll learn much more.....than I'll never know
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world

The colors of a pretty the sky
Are there on the faces.....of people ..going by
I see friends shaking hands.....sayin.. how do you do
They're really sayin...*spoken*(I

I hear babies cry...... I watch them grow
*spoken*(you know their gonna learn
A whole lot more than I'll never know)
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself .......what a wonderful world.

Friday, October 24, 2014

callie cat

There is something about the presence of a cat that seems to take the bite out of being alone. 
~Louis J. Camuti

To err is human, to purr is feline. 
~Robert Byrne

Any household with at least one feline member has no need for an alarm clock. 
~Louise A. Belcher

Thursday, October 23, 2014

quick quotes

“I spent twenty years of my life trying to recruit people out of local churches and into missions structures so that they could be involved in fulfilling God’s global mission. Now I have another idea. Let’s take God’s global mission and put it right in the middle of the local church!”
~ George Miley ~
“The best remedy for a sick church is to put it on a missionary diet.”
~ Anonymous ~
“In Luke 19:10, Jesus clearly stated His primary mission: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Jesus knew that the main problem of mankind is sin, and that’s why His primary mission was to die on the cross to deliver us from it”

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

share a smile

Each Life Affects Another

We may not always realize
That every thing we do,
Affects not only our lives
But touches others, too!

For a little bit of thoughtfulness
That shows someone you care,
Creates a ray of sunshine
For both of you to share.

Yes, every time you offer
Someone a helping hand ...
Every time you show a friend
You care and understand ...

Every time you have
A kind and gentle word to give ...
You help someone find beauty
In this precious life we live.

For happiness brings happiness
And loving ways bring love;
And giving is the treasure
That contentment is made of.

- Amanda Bradley

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

the tender heart of a six-year-old...

A Facebook friend posted the following and I would like to share it with you:

I know this is bragging but our six year old granddaughter deserves it and this is why. Tonight before her Awana class at their church she face timed Nana and Pop. She quoted 13 bible verses and quoted the New Testament. I couldn't believe it. This is how they raise money for some of the missionaries the church supports.

Her blessing at dinner tonight was thanking God for dying for our sins so we don't have to go to Hell. mother said she tried not to look shocked at the word Hell coming out of her mouth.
At bedtime her prayer was that her brother would grow up to be a good Christian.
I believe God has very special plans for this precious child of His. God has blessed all of us with this beautiful little girl and her sweet spirit. The world is a better place because of her.

Monday, October 20, 2014

now i've said my ABCs

Second to None
by Bernard Colasurdo

A is for Amazing we all wish to be
B is for Blessings that help us to see

C is for Caring which humbles our world
D is for Dancing where joy is unfurled

E is for Empathy that makes a great friend
F is for Friendships we hope never end

G is for Goodness that makes our light shine
H is for Hope in a world so sublime

I is for Incredible, which stands out in a crowd
J is for Joy that smiles so loud

K is for Kisses that make our hearts sing
L is for Love that trumps everything

M is for Memories that highlight our life
N is for “Never” that causes us strife

O is for Open that closes out hate
P is for Persistence in following fate

Q is for Questioning, cause wisdom it brings
R is for Ressurection and the Hope that it springs

S is for Sensational which all love should be
T is for Thankfulness for what God gave to me

U is for Unconditional love that is treasured
V is for Volumes that cannot be measured

W is for Wondrous, Joy to extremes
X is for Xanadu that resides in our dreams

Y is for Yearning as it helps us find bliss
Z is for Zealous Love, that made me write this

So if all these words were bound up in one
Ahhh! There’s a life that’s second to none!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

feather facts

Eastern Bluebirds
Of all the backyard birds I see, the beautiful bluebirds are my very favorite.  Even though I have around 150 pictures, I still take advantage of every opportunity I’m given.  The males are a brilliant royal blue on the back and head, and warm red-brown on the breast. The grayer females have tinges of blue in the wings and tail, giving them an elegant look.  They are amazing creatures!

I’ve been quite fortunate that they’ve used two of my birdhouses.  The male attracts females by bringing nest material to a birdhouse or a natural hole.  After the female has accepted him, he lets her finish building the nest.  The male bluebirds are highly protective and aggressive towards any threats. 

Bluebirds eat mostly insects, wild fruit, and berries.  I’ve seen crickets and caterpillars in those cute little beaks.  They enjoy the seed and suet I put out, and I occasionally provide mealworms just for them. Both the male and female feed the young.

Bluebirds typically have two broods a year.  Eggs are laid and hatched over a period of a few days. The light blue eggs hatch in about fifteen days.  Then they’re out of that nest between eleven to nineteen days later.  I have yet to see any leave the nest.  I haven’t given up.  I’m still waiting...

In the summer, the first broods leave the parents and set out on their own.  But, the later broods generally stay with their parents over the winter.  I have a great number that hang around in the winter.  I’m looking forward to an abundance of bluebirds very soon!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

and He loves my anyway, reprise...

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Psalm 9:10 NAS

Considering how vast and infinite this universe is, I’m just a minuscule speck on planet Earth.  In this world’s population of nearly seven billion, I’m a tiny little speck that God knows very well, and He loves me anyway!  I trust in God, I’m forever His, I’m His child, and I’ll live forever!
Yes, I’m a sinner, and yet...

God knows my name
He created me
He loves me
He knows my heart
He died for me
He has saved me
He is with me always
He gave me faith
He cares about me
He blesses me
He is my strength
He gave me grace
He has redeemed me
He understands me

Wow!  God knows everything about me, my past, my present, and my future, and yet He saved anyway!

Friday, October 17, 2014

a life of love

For all in Pain
Dear Lord, for all in pain
We pray to Thee;
O come and smite again
Thine enemy.
Give to Thy servants skill
To soothe and bless,
And to the tired and ill
Give quietness.
And, Lord, to those who know
Pain may not cease,
Come near, that even so
They may have peace.
~ by Amy Carmichael

I came across this poem by   This is a “short” synopsis of what I read about her life.
Amy Carmichael (1867 – 1951) and did a little research. She was a prolific writer of letters, books, and songs. It’s much easier if I copy directly from the many sources I found.

Just a few examples of her books: Gold By Moonlight: Sensitive Lessons From a Walk with Pain is not only for the ill. It finds its way into many rooms of human need. It’s for all who walk in difficult places or are caught under any sort of harrow. Figures of the True is comprised of devotional thoughts written to help the ill, the troubled and the bewildered by showing the sufficiency of the comfort offered us by God. If is a life-changing book of poetry. Most of the entire book is based on the premise that, "If I am thus...., then I know nothing of Calvary love." It’s a wonderful devotional book, very convicting, and shows us how shallow our love is compared to the love of Calvary.

It was at the Keswick Convention of 1887 that Amy Carmichael heard Hudson Taylor speak about missionary life. Soon afterward, she became convinced of her calling to missionary work. She became a Protestant Christian missionary, went to India in 1895, opened an orphanage, and founded a mission in Dohnavur (situated in Tamil Nadu, thirty miles from the southern tip of India).

In due course, she built up a large Christian community known as the Dohnavur Fellowship. She cared for the spiritual and physical needs of God's children claiming "…One cannot save and then pitchfork souls into heaven…Souls are more or less securely fashioned to a bodies…and as you cannot get the souls out and deal with them separately, you have to take them both together."

Amy Carmichael suffered from a disease of the nerves called neuralgia, which made her whole body weak and achy and often put her in bed for weeks on end. In 1931, she was badly injured in a fall, which left her bedridden much of the time until her death. For the last twenty years of her life, she was in constant pain.
She died in India in 1951, after serving there for fifty-five years without furlough. She asked that no stone be put over her grave; instead, the children she had cared for put a bird bath over it with the single inscription "Amma", which means mother in the Tamil.

Her example as a missionary inspired others to pursue a similar vocation. Noteworthy examples are: Jim Elliot and Elisabeth Elliot.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

quick quotes

Our prayers have stains in them, our faith is mixed with unbelief, our repentance is not so tender as it should be, our communion is distant and interrupted. We cannot pray without sinning, and there is filth even in our tears.     
Charles Spurgeon

Whatever is your best time in the day, give that to communion with God.
Hudson Taylor

All Christian power springs from communion with God and from the indwelling of divine grace.     
James H. Aughey

Thus may we abide in union; with each other and the Lord, and possess in sweet communion joys which earth cannot afford.       
John Newton

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

three things...

Excerpt from Jimmy Valvano's speech at the 1993 ESPY Awards:

To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

a detestable act

Friday, October 10, 2104:

This date, in my home state of North Carolina, was one of the most disgusting events I have ever witnessed.  With the stroke of a pen, a US District Court Judge made same-sex marriages legal.  There, on the TV screen, reporters were interviewing homosexual couples thrilled they could finally and legally marry.  I almost became physically sick.  I’m a Christian, and it was a horrifying blow in the face of everything I believed, the Holy Bible, the Word of God.  It seems this nation is horribly and terribly sick, possibly on life support.

About two years ago, NC voters approved a constitutional amendment recognizing marriage only as a union between a man and a woman.  This judge overturned the ban, allowing homosexual couples to marry.  And so it has began...

Here are four Bible verses that are the clear and true words of God on the subject of homosexuality.  It’s a sin, not open for debate, it’s a detestable sin against God.

Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.
Leviticus 18:22 NLT

If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.
Leviticus 20:13 NLT

Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality,
1 Corinthians 6:9 NLT

The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching
1 Timothy 1:10 NLT

Below is an article about the new law approved by man...  But, God’s law plainly says it’s a sin, a detestable act...
Gay marriage now legal in North Carolina

RALEIGH — Same-sex marriage became legal in North Carolina on Friday after a dizzying day of court filings that ended with a federal judge in the western part of the state nullifying the ban on such unions.

Scenes of jubilation, relief and an emotional sense of history erupted across the state.
U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn set off the rush to courthouses throughout the state with the stroke of his pen.

Cogburn was assigned this week to a lawsuit filed last year by clergy challenging North Carolina’s 2012 constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

At 5:32 p.m. Friday, he issued a ruling that is likely to become a part of the history books.

“The issue before this court is neither a political issue nor a moral issue,” Cogburn stated in his ruling. “It is a legal issue and it is clear as a matter of what is now settled law in the Fourth Circuit that North Carolina laws prohibiting same-sex marriage, refusing to recognize same-sex marriages originating elsewhere, and/or threatening to penalize those who would solemnize such marriages, are unconstitutional.”

All day Friday, gay couples had gathered at county register of deeds offices statewide, hoping to be among the first in North Carolina to legally wed.

“This is a historic day for freedom and equality in North Carolina,” said Jennifer Rudinger, executive director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “Thousands of North Carolinians are now able to marry the person they love and receive the dignity and legal security that comes with having that marriage recognized in their home state. For countless couples and their children, this victory is nothing short of life-changing.” 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Happy 4th Birthday Jack!
I love you bunches!

Friday, October 3, 2014

i was amazed

This past Saturday, hubs and I took a day trip to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.  We drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway, stopping at almost every overlook for pictures.  It was an incredible day with warm sunshine and gentle breezes.  There was a hint of autumn in the crisp clear air.  An absolutely perfect day.  And I was amazed with all I was blessed to see.

It was almost intoxicating as I took in the magnificent beauty God had laid before for us.  We hiked up an easy trail that was bursting with things I hold dear.  I stopped often along the way taking pictures of beautiful wild flowers, delicate ferns, odd mushrooms, soft green moss, unusual lichen, a cave tucked away into huge boulders, trickling natural springs...  I paused to soak in the prelude of color that was beginning to sweep thru the mountains.  Such beauty that our Creator spoke into existence.  And I was amazed with all I was blessed to see.

It was dark as we drove along the parkway on our way home.  Hubs pulled over onto an overlook and said ‘let’s see the stars’.  As I got out of the car, it was totally dark, not a single light to be seen, high above anything that could block our view.  I mean total darkness.  As I looked up at the dazzling, spectacular sky spread above me, I could hardly speak.  There were trillions of brilliant, twinkling stars across the wide canopy of sky above us, around us, just for us, at that moment in time.  It was mesmerizing as I turned around and around and then leaned against the car.  All I could say was, ‘and He knows the names of each and every one’.  And I was amazed with all I was blessed to see.

Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years.  Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened.  God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars.  God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:14-18 NLT

Thursday, October 2, 2014

prelude to autumn

Blue Ridge Mountains NC - Parkway, Overlook
Blue Ridge Mountains NC - Parkway
Blue Ridge Mountains NC - Parkway
Blue Ridge Mountains NC - Parkway, Price Lake
Blue Ridge Mountains NC - Parkway, Overlook
Blue Ridge Mountains NC - Parkway, Grandfather Mountain

Blue Ridge Mountains NC - Parkway Overlook
Blue Ridge Mountains NC - Parkway, Overlook

Blue Ridge Mountains - Parkway, Sims Pond
Blue Ridge Mountains NC - Parkway, Overlook
Blue Ridge Mountains NC - Parkway, Sims Pond
Blue Ridge Mountains NC - Parkway, Sims Creek
Blue Ridge Mountains NC - Parkway, Grandfather Mountain
Blue Ridge Mountains NC - Parkway, underneath Linn Cove Viaduct
Blue Ridge Mountains NC - Parkway, Overlook