Monday, February 8, 2016

My Friend who is "Counting Cardinals"!

Do you count the number of birds that visit your feeders?

If so, do you focus on one special bird?

...Or do you count all different kinds of species?

Almost a year ago, I did a blogpost about my friend Terri Sigafus,
featuring her new children's book entitled

Terri has just released a new book...
It's called
What is the significance of the CARDINAL to Terri?

Terri states in a recent blog post that she feels they are
(Click on the link above to take you to her blog.)

In her words, Terri says "Counting Cardinals" is
"a memoir written in free verse poetry,
depicting the events that transpired in
that stillest of all summers--
the summer my mother passed away..."

This past week she sent me a copy of her newly released book,
The "free verse poetry" made for an easy style to read,
and I couldn't put it down!
I invite you to order your own copy from her website at
In her book, you will journey with Terri
 as she shares her reunion with her estranged sisters,
and you will find out how a cardinal was used by God
to help her learn to live and laugh again 
after the heartbreaking loss of her mother!

Thank you, Terri!
I think I'll never look at cardinals in the same way again!
...I counted 9 male cardinals at my feeder!

(By the way, Terri is also on Facebook.
Find her by clicking HERE.)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Pottery or Jars of Clay?

I love pottery!
To me, pottery is art.
and is usually created with a purpose in mind.

I had often read this verse from 2 Corinthians 4:7,
"But we have this treasure in JARS OF CLAY
to show that this all-surpassing power
is from God and not from us."

This past week I was pondering the thought about being a
I read the passages both before and after its mention
by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians.

Paul talked about how Moses had to cover his face with a veil
after he had spent time with the LORD,
been in His presence, and seen His Glory.
Moses wore the veil because his face shone so brightly
with the LORD's glory
 that the people couldn't stand to look at him!

Paul says that when we spend time with the LORD,
His glory shines out of us,
and God doesn't want us to hide it.

This was not a new subject to me,
but then God opened my eyes to see an answer to something 
that I had been struggling with.
It had to do with a seeming unanswered prayer.
Awhile back I had believed that God had given me faith
 to believe a certain person would be healed,
but he wasn't...
I've struggled with this and asked God for answers.

God showed me that sometimes He gets more glory
 from letting us go THROUGH something,
then He does from delivering us FROM something.

This is how Paul said it:
 "Everyone can see that the glorious power 
within must be from God and is not our own...  
We are perplexed because we don’t know 
why things happen as they do,
 but we don’t give up and quit... 
 God never abandons us. 
We get knocked down, 
but we get up again and keep going... 
We never give up." 

Sometimes our "Jars of Clay" are sick,
chipped, cracked or broken... 

We are not our own bosses to live or die 
as we ourselves might choose.
 Living or dying we follow the Lord. 
Either way we are his."

It's all about God's glory!

"And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

I don't know about you,
but I don't want to be just an empty piece of pottery,
but a JAR OF CLAY through which God shines!

Thanks for dropping by!
Have you checked out my Names of God on Rocks lately?
Click on Rock4Today to take you there!

Monday, January 25, 2016

"Sweet Tea"

Today I made my husband a cup of tea.
I thought it might make him feel better.
He agreed to give it a try...
I don't think it has the same effect on him as it does on me...
...or on my good friend who wrote this sweet poem:


As a fair-haired, toddling child small,
With whimpering voice to Mama I'd call,
And she would place me on apron'd knee,
And share with me her warm sweet tea.

And oft through those childhood years came times,
That chills would grab, and fevers climb.
She'd put me to bed as quick as could be,
And Mama would bring me warm sweet tea.

And there were times that I'd pretend,
So that the day with her I'd spend.
I'd moan, "Oh I'm as sick as I can be",
Though not convinced, she'd fetch the tea.

When I was grown with babes on the way,
enduring nausea every day,
She'd ring me up, concerned you see,
and advising, "drink warm sweet tea".

And, I recall when my head would ache,
Mama would say, "you need a break",
And she'd say with parental authority,
"Go fix yourself a cup of tea".

Just think how lovely would be this world,
If all the leaders under flags unfurled,
Would extend their hand to their enemy,
And offer up some warm sweet tea.

Today up in Heaven, I know,
Where streets do shine and mansions glow,
There's a dear sweet saint who's waiting for me,
And in her hand is a cup of tea.

(Printed with permission of the author.)

(Click on the highlighted letters above to take you to her blog.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

DONKEYS for a King?

Last week I was quite amused by our neighbor's donkeys. 

It was hard to tell if they were fighting or playing.

After looking closely at the photographs,
I decided that it was all in fun to them.

They nuzzled each other,
and appeared to be whispering secrets!

As I looked at the photos I had taken,
I thought about when Jesus rode a donkey...
Here it is from Luke Chapter 19 out of The Message:

28-31 After saying these things, Jesus headed straight up to Jerusalem. When he got near Bethphage and Bethany at the mountain called Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: “Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you’ll find a colt tethered, one that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says anything, asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘His Master needs him.’”
32-33 The two left and found it just as he said. As they were untying the colt, its owners said, “What are you doing untying the colt?”
34 They said, “His Master needs him.”
35-36 They brought the colt to Jesus. Then, throwing their coats on its back, they helped Jesus get on. As he rode, the people gave him a grand welcome, throwing their coats on the street.
37-38 Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed:
Blessed is he who comes,
    the king in God’s name!
All’s well in heaven!
    Glory in the high places!
39 Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, get your disciples under control!”
40 But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.”
(That last verse is the one that got me started painting God's names on rocks!)

Did you notice that the donkey had never been ridden?
Jesus the Master who could calm a troubled sea,
could tame an unbroken animal to ride instantly!

(If this photo looks familiar,
you may have looked at my
 Rock4Today with the Names of God on Rocks.)

When Jesus rode that donkey into Jerusalem,
the people were looking for A DELIVERER,
to free them from Roman rule.
Zechariah tells of this in Zechariah 9:9-10 from The Message:

“Shout and cheer, Daughter Zion!
    Raise the roof, Daughter Jerusalem!
Your king is coming!
    a good king who makes all things right,
    a humble king riding a donkey,
    a mere colt of a donkey.
...He will offer peace to the nations,
    a peaceful rule worldwide,
    from the four winds to the seven seas."

Because Jesus did not meet these expectations, 
they quickly turned from praising Him,
and were ready to crucify Him.

But the day they were looking for will come.
 Jesus will reign!

John tells about this in Revelation 5:12-13 NIV
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
    and honor and glory and praise!”
 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
    be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Candle Lighting Ceremony

It was my privilege to help with this quarter's newsletter for our area's Compassionate Friends.
May I share it with you?

The Compassionate Friends of the Twin Lakes Area
Quarterly Newsletter for October-December 2015

The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting unites family and friends around the globe in lighting candles for one hour to honor the memories of the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, and grandchildren who left too soon. As candles are lit at 7:00 p.m. local time, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor the memory of all children gone too soon.
Now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, the 19th annual Worldwide Candle Lighting, a gift to the bereavement community from The Compassionate Friends, creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone. TCF's WWCL started in the United States in 1997 as a small internet observance, but has since swelled in numbers as word has spread throughout the world of the remembrance. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten.


Here's another way a family found to honor their loved one.
You can find this article in its entirety on her blogsite by clicking HERE.

From Jill persenaire Sullivan,
 Author of “While We’re Waiting”

“Today I went birthday shopping for my daughter.

I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some fun fall decorating items, and even a "JOY" Christmas ornament.  

I found the cutest wooden block that says, "You are loved" ... and I just couldn't pass it up. I love the "present tense-ness" of it.

...That's all I'm going to get her this year, because I really don't know what else she might want.  You see, she'll be turning 24, and I haven't seen her or spoken to her since she was 17.  She was just a teenager then, interested in clothes and boys and American Idol and politics.  (Yes, politics.)

 …But, although my daughter is absent, she is not lost.  And she is not under that headstone.  She is where she was created to be ... I am the one who is out of place.

I can thankfully say that on a day-to-day basis, God has restored my joy and I do not grieve with the intensity that I once did.  But there are still days when the "missing" is enough to bring me to my knees, and birthdays are one of those times.

But God has given us a promise.  Isaiah 25:8 (ESV) says, "He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken."

Death will be swallowed up, the sting of tears will be wiped away, and I will see my Hannah again.  I just have to wait.”


The Compassionate Friends of the Twin Lakes area wish you
A Joyous Christmas Season!

Monthly Meetings: 1st Thursday of each month 6 to 8 pm, led by Charlotte Repp, LSW, Bereavement Coordinator
Location:  Hospice of the Ozarks Administrative Building (Behind hospital @ 701 Burnett Drive, Mountain Home, AR 72653)
Phone:  870-508-1789
Compassionate Friends Mission Statement:  “The mission of The Compassionate Friends is to assist families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age and to provide information to help others be supportive.”

The Compassionate Friends                                         David and Dana Penn
PO Box 3696                                                                 Phone 870-759-1299
Oak Brook, IL 60522-4696                                          Email:

ADVISORY BOARD:  Esther Hunter and Steve Cushing
STEERING COMMITTEE:  Chapter Leader – Charlotte Repp
Co-Leader/publications – Jacqueline Grafton
Secretary – Jo Cushing
Treasurer – Norma Rollinger

Communications Coordinator – Lavon Lannoo


A related post on The Compassionate Friends can be found by clicking
on the highlighted letters above.

Also, drop by Rock4Today sometime to check out
my Names of God on Rocks!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

70 years of "Turkey Trot"

It had been several years since my husband
 had been to a "Turkey Trot" festival.
For 70 years the little town of Yellville, Arkansas
has hosted this event.
The smell of funnel cakes was in the air!

Live music...

...Funnel cakes...
Food of many varieties...

... Fried Twinkies!
...and more funnel cakes...
Many hand-made crafts...

...More funnel cakes...

And of course, Arkansas Razorback items!

So what does all this have to do with turkeys?
Well, check out our local newspaper's article on this by
clicking on The Baxter Bulletin!

And if you were looking for a bit more inspiration,

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"Sukkot", Wagon Trains, and Thanksgiving!

Last weekend on a trip to the Buffalo National River,
we ran into some old friends from school days!
They were taking their mules down to the river for a drink,
and getting prepared for a covered wagon trip the next day.

They invited us to come watch them take off the next morning.
The sun was barely rising when we headed back to the river.

Some campers were still asleep,
and some had camp fires going, fixing breakfast.
The sun's rays were only beginning to hit the valley.
(Notice the hedge apples on the trees...
If one of them had fallen on their tent,
it probably would have awakened them!)

The crew we came to watch were not quite ready to leave...

...So we went on down to the river to wait,
and enjoyed watching the foggy mist in the early morning sun.

Finally, here they came!
We had been privileged to take a ride in that first wagon awhile back.
(The blog post on that can be found by clicking HERE.)

The wagons crossed at a shallow shoals upstream.
It looked like the trailing supply wagon stayed dry,
even though it had plastic to protect it if the water had been too deep.

The last wagon to come was the mule team...
"Dolly and Molly" were the names of the mules.
They appeared to be distracted,
and so did my husband.

Looking downstream,
I saw quite a little commotion!

The rider did a great job hanging on throughout the performance!

We detained the occupants of that last wagon a bit,
so they hurried to catch up with the group,
planning to camp together overnight before returning the next day.

I think this wagon camping trip has become a yearly tradition.
For some reason, it reminded me of how the Jewish people celebrate
"The Feast of Tabernacles", also called "The Feast of Booths",
or Sukkot, celebrated around this time of year.  
(Click on the colored letters for more information.)

The "Sukkot" was a hut built by the Israelis.
They would live in it for 7 or 8 days,
reminding themselves of when their people camped in the dessert
after their exodus from Egypt.

Moses gave instructions regarding this feast in Deuteronomy 16:14-15:

You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, 
your male servant and your female servant,
 the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, 
and the widow who are within your towns. 
 For seven days you shall keep the feast to the Lord your God 
at the place that the Lord will choose,
 because the Lord your God will bless you
 in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, 
so that you will be altogether joyful.

This feast also sounds a bit like our Thanksgiving
which we Americans celebrate in November.
Canadians, however, celebrate it in October...
and I believe their holiday is coming up next Monday.
So, HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you Canadians!

I'm still pondering on a Rock4Today,
so give me a little time I'll have a new post!