Category Archives: Life Lessons

When Tomorrow is Uncertain

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

I chose this image of a beautiful butterfly because it is obvious the poor little thing has seen some stormy weather or difficult times.  Yet, it is still a butterfly, doing what butterflies do.  The storms it has encountered may have frayed its wings, but it flies on.

As we age, the storms of life assail us, but we weather them and press on.

My dad recently had colon cancer surgery.  Sore, frightened, and discouraged from the process, he has not failed to reach out to people around him and share the love of God with everyone who will give him a few minutes and listen.

We don’t know what tomorrow holds for him or for our family, but we will continue to fly on these old wings and weather the storms around us until God calls us home and replaces all things old with new.

Philippians 3:14 (KJV)

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Bibliography in Book Covers

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

The following book covers include books I currently have in print and available on Amazon.com and Kindle. The first section includes Christian faith based books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have written one Christian Romance novel:  In the Circle of His Arms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next section includes books appropriate for middle school, junior high, and high school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next section includes book of Appalachian folklore, culture, and interest.    

 

 

 

                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following books include short stories I have written as part of their project collection:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following books resulted from student projects at Wallins Elementary School and Junior High in Harlan County, Kentucky in the 30 years of my teaching career. The students are also featured in a book called Hope and Heroes by international photographer Barry Shainbaum, and illustrated the book Odette, Goose of Toulouse by the late, beloved Earl Hamner, Jr. (creator of the Waltons).       Their work was also highlighted by Steve Flairty in his Kentucky Heroes book series.

                                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Doors We Hide Behind

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

decorative-door[2]

No matter how beautiful a door might be, once we have locked ourselves in behind it, we become in effect prisoners of our own making.  While we lock ourselves safely in, we lock the world out.  Until we are brave enough to unlock and go one step beyond the door, we never know what awaits us.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Fearmongering is a Weapon of the Enemy

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  Psalm 111:10 says, “The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [his commandments]: his praise endureth for ever.”

Any other fear is unhealthy and unnecessary.  If our faith and our confidence is in God alone, every other fear is diminished.

The enemy of our souls uses fear to control, manipulate, divide, and conquer.  Fear outside of God brings insecurity, mistrust, suspicion, and paranoia.  Even within our churches, the enemy uses fear to stir up false prophecies, and as a means of controlling people.

There have been so many prophetic words about this year of 2015 and the dreadful things that are supposed to unfold, that many are fearful.  Allowing this fear to take over our thoughts and behavior is a means of taking away our confidence in God and His divine involvement in our lives, and His divine protection.

The Lord has given me specific instructions about September, 2015 for my own life and began to speak to me over a year ago regarding a time of transition in the earth and in the United States.  Although I have a dread about hardships that will come at some point in the future, that is not the same as fear.

What has happened in me is a desire to spend more time studying the things of God, listening to sound preaching, less television, more LISTENING TIME where I hope to hear from God.  I’m less insecure about stupid things like how I look or trinkets I’d like to own.  My priorities continue to shift, but NOT out of fear.

In the very near future I have seen by the Spirit things that will affect the United States and the world, but I am not the only one seeing these eventualities.  Earthquakes, flooding, barren fields, famine, a tsunami unlike anything recorded by man before, military rule in our streets, curfews enforced, illness, isolation, military attacks inside the US, financial collapse, and even the appearance of an entity CLAIMING to be an extraterrestrial who will influence governments and people.

The Bible says that in the last days, men’s hearts will fail them because of fear.  Many nominal Christians will fall into the melee  of fearful madness.  Not having time to have developed relationship with God, they will embrace world events as if they are proof that there is no God or that God has abandoned us.

Fear of hunger.  Fear of death.  Fear of losing finances or material goods.  Fear of suffering.  Fear of disease.  Fear of being abandoned or alone.  Fear of fear.  All of these things are weapons in the hands of our enemies.  All of these are tools of control.

If our confidence is in men, there is much to fear.  If our confidence is in God, we shall be delivered into His hands and nothing else matters.  I believe I will not leave this life one day early or one day late.  My steps and my purpose have been established by the Lord.  I will live long enough to fulfill my divine destiny.  To me, that’s all that matters in the big picture.  I am thankful for the blessings, joys, people, opportunities, and wonderful life I have along the way.  I will not let fear of the future or the unknown rob me of the gifts God has given me each day.

Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 8:13 – The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

Matthew 10: 28 – And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.

Proverbs 14: 26 – In the fear of the LORD [is] strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

Job 28:28 – And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding.

Psalms 33:8 – Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

Deuteronomy 10:12 – And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,

Proverbs 14: 27 – The fear of the LORD [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

Proverbs 3:7 – Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Psalms 25:14 – The secret of the LORD [is] with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

Luke 1:50 –  And his mercy [is] on them that fear him from generation to generation.

Psalms 111:10 -The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [his commandments]: his praise endureth for ever.

Psalms 86: 11 – Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

Isaiah 41: 10 – Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Philippians 12: 12 – 13  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Proverbs 16: 6 – By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD [men] depart from evil.

Psalms 34: 9 – O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for [there is] no want to them that fear him.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Where would we be without them?

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

DSCF7010 DSCF6983 DSCF7030

I am happy during this Fourth of July week-end to give honor where honor is due.  Thank you to all of our veterans and all of our service men and women who are active.  Those of us who dwell safely at home might take for granted the freedoms we enjoy, but our military men, women, and families, know the price it costs to insure that our freedom remains.

Take a step beyond the door of reality and try to imagine our nation without the people who pledge their allegiance and serve the ideals of American freedom. What if no one enlisted?  What if no one followed orders?  What if no one fought the enemies of freedom on the battle field?  The dismal images of lawlessness, hedonism, chaos, and rule by the rich elite is staggering.  We would still be in the Dark Ages under the tyranny of those with the resources and might to take control of the rest of us.

It is a sobering thought to consider what our lives would be without the freedom others fought for and paid so dearly for the rest of us, from the first settlers to our young men and women serving today.

THANK YOU men and women of military experience.

THANK YOU police officers and first responders.

THANK YOU politicians who are ruled by truth and right rather than popularity or fear of offending a few powerful people.

THANK YOU to those who fight behind the scenes on special security assignments who are never seen, recognized, or acknowledged, but strive daily to keep our enemies at bay and keep our country safe.

THANK YOU to all who serve our nation and keep freedom alive.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Celebrating Independence Day

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

brosi wedding 243_edited  Our freedom was bought with a price.

Whether we are speaking of being a free citizen of the United States of America, or being free from the wages of sin, someone paid the price for our freedom.

If one person tries to silence the thoughts and convictions of another, they have instantly nullified freedom on both ends.  To ask another person to abandon their personal belief system and their moral compass because they are not popular or make one person (or group) is self defeating.  To force one person to abandon their personal convictions in order to serve the desires of another is the beginning of the end of freedom.

Let us not take lightly the price that was paid  in blood by those who loved us and our nation enough to risk and/or lay down their lives for us.  Let us never forget the sacrifice that Christ made for us that we could be free from sin.

Thank you, FATHER GOD, that we can be free because of Your great love for us and Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for us.

Thank you VETERANS for loving your country and cherishing this nation’s freedoms enough to risk your lives in order to assure our freedom.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Don’t Overlook the Little Joys of Life

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

IMG_0849 (3)  IMG_0849 (2)

I recently spent a couple of days at the lake with my son and his family.  With the hustle and bustle of kids and parents getting up and getting ready for a big day in the water, I retreated to the back porch with my camera.  Early morning light shifted through the trees as branches swayed in the breeze.

I kept seeing movement among the leaves, but couldn’t quite spot the culprit.  Finally I spotted a squirrel.  It seemed like that little guy could be everywhere at once.  Then I realized there were three of them romping through the foliage, chasing each other, and showing off.  They were amazing little scamps, leaping from tree to tree, running up and down the trunks, and chasing each other across the lawn.  At times it seemed like they were playing peek-a-boo with me.

All of God’s creation is full of wonder.  I’m so glad I took the time to watch these little furry cuties for a few minutes before the sliding glass door opened and I was summoned in to breakfast.

IMG_0855  IMG_0848

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Rusty Hinges

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

arrowmont saturday canon 025 - Copy  2009_0612WB2Wedding0089

As the days tick past, I find that I can not move as easily as I did when I was young.  You might say I have a little hitch in my get along.  It isn’t as easy to do anything that I used to enjoy doing, but I refuse to give up.

Maybe I have a few snap, crackle, pops, and a few squeaky parts, but I will not let that stop me from getting up, getting out, and going beyond my front door.  Even if a hinge is rusty, it still serves its purpose and functions as it was intended.

So may it be with all of us as we grow older, still trusting that God has a plan and a purpose for us,  and as we continue to force ourselves to take steps beyond the door of our comfort zone.

DSCF6729

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Following the Calf Path

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

I recently discovered the poem below and love the message.  Sometimes we follow a bizarre and winding path only because it is there, without knowing WHY or HOW or WHO created it in the first place.

Begley Wildlife management area - 1 311

The Calf-Path

      by
      Sam Walter Foss  (1858-1911)

One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail, as all calves do.

Since then three hundred years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.

The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way;
And then a wise bellwether sheep
Pursued the trail o’er vale and steep,
And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bellwethers always do.

And from that day, o’er hill and glade,
Through those old woods a path was made,
And many men wound in and out,
And dodged and turned and bent about,
And uttered words of righteous wrath
Because ’twas such a crooked path;
But still they followed — do not laugh —
The first migrations of that calf,
And through this winding wood-way stalked
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane,
That bent, and turned, and turned again.
This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load
Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.
And thus a century and a half
They trod the footsteps of that calf.

The years passed on in swiftness fleet.
The road became a village street,
And this, before men were aware,
A city’s crowded thoroughfare,
And soon the central street was this
Of a renowned metropolis;
And men two centuries and a half
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout
Followed that zigzag calf about,
And o’er his crooked journey went
The traffic of a continent.
A hundred thousand men were led
By one calf near three centuries dead.
They follow still his crooked way,
And lose one hundred years a day,
For thus such reverence is lent
To well-established precedent.

A moral lesson this might teach
Were I ordained and called to preach;
For men are prone to go it blind
Along the calf-paths of the mind,
And work away from sun to sun
To do what other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,
And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.

They keep the path a sacred groove,
Along which all their lives they move;
But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf!
Ah, many things this tale might teach —
But I am not ordained to preach.

spring misc. 2010 243  DSCF6295 DSCF3287

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest