Tag Archives: Phillipians

BREADCRUMBS: Little Things

For the past few months, we have not been able to figure out why the dogs go crazy when we let them out at night. They run into the side yard and start barking. The youngster, torn ACL completely forgotten, runs into the woods and comes back with the biggest smile on her face.

One of my friends came over last night and as we sat outside, kitties started appearing at our feet. One, two, three – We petted them and enjoyed their company as we talked. Later, I remained outside for a little bit and started counting again. There was a herd of kitties.

Our yard was a kitty amusement park.

You see – I haven’t taken down my last Christmas light that shines into our woods. It is one of those star projectors with dancing red and green lights. They roam all over the trees, bushes, shed and grass right off our porch. Hubby and I enjoy watching those silly lights bounce around. Apparently, the kitties do, too.

So last night, I spent some time watching kitties run hither and yon while pouncing on every light they could see. Laughter gurgled. I closed my eyes and let the little kitties tamp down the sadness of our broken world and resurrect that peace that the Shepherd always brings.

It is in the little things, right?

“He made everything beautiful in its time.”~Ecc 3:11

Prayer doesn’t come easy for me. Since I was little, I haven’t felt like I am good at it. My mind skips around to everything under the sun except being still. It even as the audacity to yak at me when I already told it a thousand time to shut up because I need to listen. Even after reading tons of – alright – maybe not tons – – but quite a few – devotionals on how to pray, I still end up with a stumbling tongue and a frustrated head.

It is then – in that choice moment – that I start giving thanks.

Thanks for a stumbling tongue that makes me work a little harder. 
Thanks for role models in my life who can string pearls as they pray. 
Thanks for the WORD who lifts me up from my bruised knees by His grace. 
Thanks to the Holy Spirit who groans – probably with a chuckle at how often she has to jump in for me – speaking the words I cannot find. 
Thanks for a millisecond of quiet from my brain every now and then when I can hear My Shepherd call my name. 
Thanks for a Savior who carved my true name in the palm of His hand and cradles me when there is sadness beyond explanation.

Thanks for the little things.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”~Phil 4:6-9 

[personal images]

SNOWBOUND THOUGHTS

“We are fragile creatures, and it is from this weakness, not despite it, that we discover the possibility of true joy.”~Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “Book of Joy”, p11

Snowbound. Icy 15 degrees. Sun reflecting off pristine snow.

Our neighborhood was darn near silent yesterday until about 10 A.M. First one 4-wheeler appeared. By the time, it had made the circle there were 3 and eventually 4. An avalanche of kids and sleds followed. Bundled into huge shapes of warmth and squealing laughter that eeked through our windows and scared the birds away from the feeders kept me focused on the windows with a smile on my face.

I’m sure the roadway will be treacherous when I eventually decide I really have to run away from home. But for right now – I’m content to crochet, read, bake, read some more, watch a couple of movies, bake and enjoy the visual purity of the world around me. After all – by Friday it will be 65 again, and my world will return to normal.

“Joy subsumes happiness.”~ D.T., p32

Extremes in weather always prove we are pretty fragile creatures. We find ways to cope. Lots of clothes. Less clothes. Boats to float. Sleds to slide. Air conditioning. Heating. We find ways to cope and flourish. I have a friend who even flourished in the South Pole and would love to go back. (I have always thought he was always touched by a strange angel at birth – after all – he liked the Beatles over the Dave Clark Five.)

It continues to amaze me that God choose to send part of Himself into such a fragile container. He who was timeless became temporal. He who was eternal became finite. He who created became crucified.

Epiphany has passed. I’m waiting for a warmer day to venture into the garage and start putting away the inside Christmas decorations. I am way too fragile these days, I guess. Hubby laughs at me as he stands in front of the toasty gas logs before he goes out to join the 4-wheeler club. The dogs do, too. They bury their nose in the snow and send it flying while they tuck their butts close and run at each other in mock battle. Laughter wells up inside of me as well. Life is joyous.

“Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.”~Dalai Lama, p.37

The manifestations of pain in our world seems to grow larger every day. I started out this paragraph listing all the painful incidents that circle through my prayer time day after day – night after night. Then I erased it all. “Pain is inevitable…” You already know that. You hear the news. You read the posts, memes, comments. “…suffering is optional.”

When we stand before the two trees of the Garden, we always have a choice. To eat the fruit or to talk with Our Father first. I choose to talk with My Father who understands our frailness because He became fragile. I choose to walk back to the Garden where there is joy that subsumes happiness.” With all my intellectual capabilities employed, I walk away from the ugly, tempting fruit. Instead….

I choose joy.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be obvious to everyone. The Lord is near.” Phil 4:4

Because of Christmas #10: Crown to Cross

Excitement is the day after Thanksgiving. It is the day to put all the fall things away. Play Christmas music all day. Do several loads of laundry. Plunk out Christmas carols on the Clavinova. Walk the girls and wave at neighbors. Get soaking wet while trying to make dirty snow turn white on several tiny fake houses.

Impossible, right? I was afraid so. When I first looked at them, I was pretty sure the paint would be coming out and this would be a several long days’ process. That was depressing, and I was pretty sure I didn’t have enough paint or time or will to accomplish that project.

“In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God
God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,a
and his life brought light to everyone.”~Jn 1:1-4

As I was debating my strategy for making all houses new, I began to wonder if Elohim ever felt the same way? Which led me to hitting myself in the head and saying, “Duh!” Of course, He did. He gave up His crown and took on a body just like mine. The Creator of all things left behind His crown, didn’t even get a cradle in which to rest
this new body to become human – like us.

Love. Wonder. Walking. Talking. Anger. Silliness. Hormones. Temptation. Frustration. Pain. Death of a parent, pet, friend… Political upheaval. Torture. Death.

I carried my little houses outside, hooked up the fire-hose nozzle, applied dish soap liberally and sat down to wait for the soap to do its work. It was a great day to be outside. Warm. Sunny. Birds singing. A praying mantis sitting on the railing of our deck. The girls lifted their noses and watched the birds come to the feeders while I pondered how God made “…all things new”.

“Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”~Phil 2:7-8

Amazing. I whine about a couple hours of work to make fake snow look white again on little houses for a fake village. He “humbled himself unto death” to wipe away the sooty sin covering His real creations carry. Best of all, He is still sitting there, waiting for Elohim to signal the cleansing complete by the blasts of the trumpet.

Lucky for me, His plan is so much better than my own. Although – I have to admit, my little fake houses don’t look too bad tonight and tomorrow – I will decide where to place them in my own little fake kingdom.

“But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
On your own front door.”~Meredith Wilson, 1951

This song is 65 years old. I know that because I was born in 1951, and as the world has probably figured out by now – great songs and people were born in that year. However – the best year ever was the one when Christ gave up his crown and began his journey to the cross. [google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #70

This neighborhood continues to amaze me. Our cul-de-sac actually has kids that ride bikes, carry kittens and play games that sound an very similar to the “pretend” games that my friends and I used to play. Grown-ups meander over to say ‘hello’ and check on our progress, or grab their quads to visit other neighbors or haul their kids to homes a little further down in the neighborhood. It is a throwback neighborhood and it fits us well.

This week found us completely changing the front of the house again. When Hurricane Matthew sent a bunch of rain into NC we noticed waterways that were not beneficial to our little home in the woods – maybe to the mosquitoes – but definitely not to us.

Hence – we are completely revamping the front of the house and driveway – once again. Hubby, of course, does the hardest part while I mostly fetch and shovel all my new plants, mulch and dirt that he has dug up into new spots. In true Stumpman style, it is far more elaborate than I thought at the beginning.

Tractor running, stump grinder throwing red clay-crusted stones everywhere, and various hand tools shaped the outline of the new patio and retaining wall while the dogs held their supervisory positions. Although a cut water line was a minor hold up yesterday, we now know where it is and are a little wiser.

Life is good. God is even better. Blessings abound at Eli Covenant.

1942 Daily Ration: Read: Philippians 1:9-14

” ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you.’~1 Peter 4:12

“At Glacier Park, a ranger remarked that the lodgepole pine is the only tree that will grow in the wake of a devastating forest fire. The heat open the cones and releases the seeds which find their way to the soil and new life.

“The enemies of Christ thought they had put an end to him and his teachings forever, but he arose with new life and power. Persecutors have been dismayed to find down through the years that their fires have given new life and growth to Christianity. Born of a crisis, Christianity has found its most fertile soil in the great crises of history. The English martyr, Latimer, being taken to the stake, cried out, ‘We shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace in England, as (I trust) shall never be put out.’

“So in individual Christian experience testings bring to light the unsuspected life and resources. The invalid wife of Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote as they sat listening to the crackling of an oak log on the fire: ‘Suddenly I heard a sweet soft sound, a clear musical note, like a tender trill of a robin. . .The fire was letting loose the imprisoned music, garnered up by the old oak when soft sunlight decked its tender leaves with gold. We are like this log. We should give forth no melodious sounds were it not for the fire!

“Prayer: Help us, Our Father, to pray unceasingly for those who are caught in the fiery trial of persecution today. Bring the comfort of the Holy Spirit to their heart and keep them in thy love. In the name of Christ, Amen.

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #42

Well – that was interesting. Got on-line to write a little and find out that my FB account had been hacked.

It made me sad, mad, bad.

It also threw all my writing plans out the window for the night.

It put me in a grumpy mood and spoiled the peacefulness of a Sunday evening.

It- – – – – – sigh.

Happy dogs and sleeping hubby keep me company in a smelly room where one of the dogs passed some gas. I laughed and took a break from my whining to read tonight’s Ration.

Somehow, reading God’s message from 1942 put everything into proportion. In the craziness of bombings, abductions, murders, treachery, treason, genocides against brothers, a FB hacking just doesn’t even begin to deserve a single, whimpy whine.

As I prayed the America’s Prayer Minute tonight with the prayer at the end of today’s Ration, I prayed not only for the Church to get a new vision, courage and unity, but I prayed it for our leaders, our country, and the hacker who had nothing else in their life than to try to drive me away from my path. So here I am, setting out from my computer, ‘doing good’ with courage, vision and unity with my Father.

I totally love the blessing Our Father has brought my way today.

1942 Daily Ration: “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.’~Cor 5:19

Here is the whole Christian message in fewer words that are found in an ordinary telegram! The WORD became flesh long ago in a tiny, obscure country, when a Carpenter left his home to go about ‘doing good’. It became a timeless reality when that Carpenter was crucified and rose again. It is our only hope today when the world lies crushed and bleeding.

“As a time when the world has fallen apart in its secular forms it is drawing toward a common center in its spiritual form. There is no movement among men that brings such a challenge across the barriers of race and nation and class as that which comes from the Christian Church as it expresses its world consciousness. Each time the loaf and the cup are lifted up in countless Communion services this world consciousness is expressed. Let us enter the church with a prayer of thanksgiving for this fellowship of Christ,

‘And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself.’~John 12:32

“Read: Philippians 2:1-11.

“Prayer: Eternal God our Shepherd, give to us and to thy Church a new vision and a new charity, a revival of courage and a renewal of Christian unity, that the eternal message of thy Son may be hailed as the good news among men in all the world. In his name. Amen.”

THE VOICE BEHIND ME

vintage-sheet-music-the-exodus-song-pat-boone-ernest-gold-paul-newman-60c-89bac1663aac6d751984b7935a006499“This land is mine,
God gave this land to me
This brave and ancient land to me
And when the morning sun
Reveals her hills and plains
Then I see a land
where children can run free.”

Long ago, I would sit at the piano,  mom standing behind me as she said, “Brynie, play this for me”. Generally, I would play the song, she would sing it a few times and off we would go in our different directions. But somewhere, buried deep in the creases of my brain, that familiar voice is still behind me just as loud and clear as ever.

“Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’~Ez 11:17

Mom didn’t play piano well. It was something she tried to teach herself, but her digits never found the right path easily, and as her fingers became more arthritic mom 1990sand deformed, it became even harder. She didn’t take well to things that she couldn’t do well, so she would ask me to play for her. Sometimes it was for some performance she was working on – a Republican gathering, a minstrel, a choir performance somewhere. Sometimes it was just a song she found and wanted to try out. Most of the time, especially in my teen years, it was a space where our souls met. A place where we stopped arguing or butting heads over principles and found the love and peace that brought us together as mother and daughter.

“So take my hand
And walk this land with me
And walk this lovely land with me
Tho’ I am just a man
When you are by my side
With the help of God
I know I can be strong.”

If I learned anything from my mother, it was watching her adhere to her principles. It didn’t matter if it put her family on the opposite side of her stance. It didn’t matter if it put her on the opposite side of those whom she admired because they went to college and she hadn’t. It didn’t matter if they made more money or had more “stuff”. She stuck to what she believed. That can be pretty daunting to the rebellious teen who got a lot of her own stubbornness from the one she was watching.

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these .”~ Phil 4:8

img700 - CopyI have been thinking about principles and our country all day. After all – it is Super Tuesday. It is – perhaps – the reason I heard her voice behind me singing this particular song. I can still see the picture on the front of the sheet music as I would open it up on our old, dark upright piano and begin to play. Later, I sang this song as well with my singing buddy/sister. The intricate harmonies circling a prayer around us just like it circled around my mother and I when we would made music together.

“…To make this land our home
If I must fight
I’ll fight to make this land our own.
Until I die this land is mine!” ~ Pat Boone, “Exodus”

Known as the “second national anthem of Israel”, the words and melody of this song still circle easily in my head. A blessing from God on this night of clashes between principles and politics. I’m wondering if I still have the sheet music tucked somewhere in the crates of music sitting by my Clavinova. Hmmmmm….if not, I guess I will be getting on Amazon and seeking out a new copy. My fingers, although slower and not so “piano-fluent” as they once were, still manage to make music. And for a moment – a tiny moment in time, I am back on Riverside Drive on a warm spring night. My mommy pulling me away from the telephone or the latest book find, and hearing her say, “Brynie, I need you to play this for me…”

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, That we would be called the children of God; and such we are.”~1 Jn 3:1

[google images]

MONDAY

content“1A Psalm of Thanksgiving. Shout to Jehovah, all the earth.”

It’s Monday.

A back-to-work day.
A drag-myself-out-of-bed day.
A first-day-without-Aleve-in-over-a-year day.
A day to humble myself and give thanks.

“2Serve Jehovah with joy, come before him with singing.”

Today, NC is having a break in the heat – in fact – this whole week is supposed to be beautiful. Rain is nearby but not close enough, so – per my usual whiny self – I am praying for more. Yet, even in this seemingly small thing, I know that God has got this. Hummingbirds dart in and around our windows. They sit on the fennel stalks and peek in the window. They don’t worry about how much rain has fallen. They are thankful for what is. I know what I “think” is best. But God – – – – God “KNOWS” what is best. So I sit here tonight in my comfy chair, with an eye half on the tv and half on the computer screen, dogs sleeping at my feet, hubby sleeping on the courch, and I am thinking about just how much I have to learn.

“3Know that Jehovah He [is] God, He made us, and we are His, His people — and the flock of His pasture.”

Today, the Grands came over, and per usual, we read the comics. The past few months, they have been trying to figure out the humor in newspaper comics. These days, I often join them in that pursuit. Comics are not the same “haha” funny that they were when I was growing up. At least – that is the way I remember it. Today, however, we discovered “air quotes” and that was funny to all of us…especially since their mama was here to laugh with us.

“4Enter ye His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise, Give ye thanks to Him, bless ye His Name.”

Today is a day of Thanks-Giving for me. It is a day, to put aside my petty self and enter the “war room” of prayer.

A peace-beyond-understanding day. (phil 4:7)
A “faith-living-by-grace” day. (ep 2:8)
A “on-my-knees-groaning-in-the-spirit” day (rm 8:26)

5For good [is] Jehovah, to the age His kindness, And to generation and generation His faithfulness! ~ Ps 100

Today, I didn’t have to take Aleve. Today, I didn’t have to use “air quotes” to talk with those I love. Today, I didn’t have to dry any tears over Common Core practices. Today, I am entering my war room and giving thanks to My Father and His Son who is the ultimate prayer warrior. Blessings!Be!

[images: BabyBlues comicstrip]

New Years Eve 2014

new years eve 2014All right. 2014 trash is out the door (literally and figuratively)…check. House is clean (well…relatively)…check. Clean sheets on the bed (a Mama Mick tradition)…check. Pork ribs in the oven for a midnight snack…check. Shirmp waiting to be snatched from the freezer…check. 2015 comin’….Bring it on!

Your grace and mercy, brought me through
I’m living this moment because of You
I want to thank You, and praise You too
Your grace and mercy, brought me through

I was trying to not write anything for a week, but sometimes, I just get overruled by Someone. When you get morning devotions that suddenly appear in a magazine article; a caddie who has caddied for presidents and celebrities of all types in Pinehurst, NC,; it is hard (at least for me, anyway) to argue back by saying, “I don’ wanna…busy…got plans…seriously? Today? Do I havta?”.

Thank You, for saving a sinner like me
To tell the world salvation is free
There were times when I just didnt do right
But You watched over me
All day and night

This summer as I battled through a rather extended illness, I wondered about a lot of things. Why me? Why now? Is this the way the golden years start? Who wants to hang out with a gimp? Will I ever feel like me again? Typical questions that slide in under the radar when the battle is on. We like to think that illness is just a “physical” battle. But I tend to think, illness is more spiritual than anything else. The evil one finds that weaken space between the body and the spirit and starts the real battle. Choosing to re-enforce that battle line with prayer and time in the WORD was, perhaps, the hardest thing I have ever attempted and yet – was one of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned.

Justice demanded, that I should die
But grace and mercy said oh, no, oh, no, oh no, we’ve already paid the price
I once was blind, but thank God I can see
It was because grace and mercy came along and rescued me

It is time to look at my Gratitude list that I wrote in November. It is time to remember 2014 for all the blessings and lessons learned. It is time to look up at the midnight sky and say, “Thank You, Father, I can’t wait to see where you take me in 2015….well…with maybe just one caveat…can we please skip the illness part this time???” I am, afterall, still human…kinda…maybe… Happy New Year to all and to all a Blessed New 2015.

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil 4: 4-7

Attitude of Gratitude #8-14

porch days

Gratitude #8: Books. Books. And more Books. As much as I like technology – especially typing things instead of writing things (it goes so much faster…especially when I make mistakes ), but books are my still what I love best. Fiction. Non-fiction. Humorous. Informational Text. Devotionals – or spirit filled. Biographies. Autobiographies (obviously, as all my students will tell you). The WORD. Even books that are in the “oral tradition” (storytellers) capture my attention and hold me enthralled. Touching pages that others have touched. Smelling the paper on which it is written. Entering a world that was once in someone’s mind or is part of their knowledge base challenges me to get out of “me”. I am deeply thankful for books – especially the WORD which always challenges, humbles and blesses.

Gratitude #9: Laughter. After starting my Sunday with Tim Conway,Carol Burnett, Vikki Lawrence, and Dick Van Dyke – how could it be anything else. Our world needs more laughter. Laughter transcends so many barriers and elevates our perspective on life. My father used to say, “Thunder is God’s laughter,” and I loved the image of God’s laughter booming over our house every time a storm rolled through. Somehow, I was never afraid of storms. Though I might have cringed when mom told my boyfriends some risque joke, I loved the fact that she could tell jokes so well and so often. Our home was filled with laughter – commediennes on LP records, TV variety shows, minstrel late-night-endmen-joke-planning. So who better to end my day than – Bob Hope? Gotta the internet’s access to old video clips. With Veternans Day approaching, I chose an overview of all Bob Hope’s trips. I am thankful for laughter and so thankful for those who can tell jokes – cuz I sure cain’t.

Gratitude #10: Unexpected gifts. Holiday season – decorations going up – gifts wordare on the mind. Those to buy – those to make – those in need. But sometime – it is the unexpected gift that means the most. A butterfly on a beach. A choc lab that whines to sit in your lap. A child’s trust. A late fall flower in bloom. The sound of geese flying low over the lake. A hug from a stranger at church.on Sunday who said, “Your mom said you needed a hug today.” All gifts that I didn’t deserve and yet blessing my life in more ways than I could ever imagine. I can’t be thankful enough to Our Father for dropping unexpected gifts on to my path these last few days.

Gratitude #11: Veterans. This one was obviously the choice of the day. Originally, the world set aside this day to remember those who had died in WWI. Whether it is called Armistice Day – Rememberance Day – or it’s more modern freedom to voteterm: Veterans Day – it is now a day to remember all veterans and say thank you. In America we have Memorial Day, so 11-11 at 11 A.M. was changed in 1947 to honor all Veterans and the sacrifices they made for our country. Leaving home. Leaving family. Leaving the comforts of home. Heat. Cold. Impossible tasks and choices…Life…Death. They have made sacrifices that I can’t even imagine. I admire all the veterans I have known growing up: my father, my brother, my uncles, my peers, my former students. Veterans are truly an example of: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Jn 15:13

Gratitude #12: Mothers. I was talking to one of my FB friends about how I have had many mothers in my life, and I couldn’t get that thought out of my mind as I said my devotions. Who would I be without my “mothers”? They carried so much 254942_1682499116937_4399549_nknowledge, practicality and wisdom that proved invaluable to my life. They emerged from my family, extended family, peers, collegues.and miraculously (as if God didn’t plan it that way ), they manage to appear right when I needed them. They “mothered” me through those tough times and stepped back when I spread my wings. Lucky for me, I had a great mother, so I was able to recognize it when I saw it. So thankful for the many mothers in my life – but mostly thankful that Our Father sent me to learn from the best. Still missing her and still thankful.

Gratitude #13: Devotions. A day can be so-so and then something happens that makes it – the same – great – or terrible. The interesting thing is that we often have normanvincentpeale130593a choice. Each day I try to spend a couple different times in devotions (needless to say – this does not always happen…to my detriment ) A new Jewish wisdom story started the day (seeing the OT in a new way made me wonder all day long) – a preacher who (with lots of jokes and stories thrown in for fun) reminded me why one little verse in the NT can change the way we think – then change our heart – then change our mouths – was the way I ended my day. Thinking about God always makes me truly thankful. “…whatsoever things are TRUE, whatsoever things are HONEST, whatsoever things are JUST, whatsoever things are PURE, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are of GOOD REPORT; if there be any VIRTUE, and if there be any PRAISE, think on these things.” Phil 4:8

Gratitude #14: Excitement. There are days that are totally “God-blessed” from start to finish. An unplanned day trip with the hubby to Nashville – not OH, too small – not TN, too big – NC, ahhhhhh….just right! And in that small town there was a cafe. Good food, interesting local arts and used books. The excitement comes in here. We went to Nashville to buy a kitchen island with a slate top that we had been looking for since last year. It is beautiful and perfect. That is still not the excitment. It was finding two books out of hundreds that I found in 5 minutes and knew deep within me that I was supposed to bring them home as well. You know – that little voice that nudges…”look at the books…old books…that one that you can’t read the title…don’t leave…look at that other book two cases over…” Excitement builds as you pull out the first one: His Eye Is on the Sparrow: the Autobiography of Ethel Waters. One of my favorite jazz singers/actresses from my mom and dad’s era. The second was: The Best-Loved Religious Poems by James Gilchrist Lawson. Excitement is bubbling. There is much more I want to share about these wonderful gifts, but that’s not the message of the day. Sometimes (as I am reminded by that same small voice} we must stay focused on the message – I’m just thankful for God-blessed excitement of the day and where it is leading me. Long video but such a great example of Ethel Waters talents.