Looks Can Be Deceiving

Have you ever been deceived simply by the look of something (or someone)? I know I have. You can scroll on social media for this truth to be revealed in a matter of seconds.

I thought of this reality as I took a picture of part of my lunch the other day…

 Look at it. It looks like such an incredibly healthy lunch. Life coaches all over would be so proud of me eating zucchini, cucumbers, carrots with hummus and a huge bowl full of fruit! Let me tell you, it was delicious, but what I’m going to tell you next might be surprising… I didn’t eat all of what’s pictured here, and I, also, ate a piece of pizza and a handful of fried pickles!

Sorry, only two were left when I thought to grab my camera!

Now, I really didn’t write all this to debate the merits of healthy foods or even brag on what I had for lunch. I am sharing all this to emphasize a point: Looks can be deceiving, and in this modern age, where technology reigns supreme, those looks can become downright atrocious!

The Word tells us to guard our hearts, for everything we do flows from it. (Prov. 4:23) We must keep it honest. We must keep our minds pure. We must maintain a standard of integrity even when we think no one is looking.

Let’s get real. Everything you see posted on Facebook, Instagram and every other social medium, isn’t always the truth. Sometimes, people will post falsehoods to help themselves feel better, to outshine someone else, or to simply draw better attention than they would have otherwise, but what is it worth in the end? Nothing! It only leads to heartache, loneliness, anger and despair.

So, be truthful with one another. Be real. Don’t put forth a bunch of junk. For those who long for a real relationship with you deserve the truth, and even more so, your own soul deserves it. If all we have portrayed is fallacies and deception, the long term consequences are so much worse than the short term truths ever would have been. Your heart needs truth to reign supreme for your life to uphold dignity, grace and integrity.

“Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:23-27

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Press on Through

Thinking about a inward struggle today and realizing, sometimes, you’ve just got to keep pressing through till the end. It WILL be worth it!! 😉

the grizzle grist mill

(Sorry, these pics are only of the backs of the shirts to protect the camp name and location. 😉 )

This week, I was at Youth Camp with 400+ 3rd-5th graders. It was hot. It was loud and crazy, and I had to do tie-dye, outside, at 2:30 in the afternoon for 3 days! On Tuesday, I mixed up some yellow dye, and apparently, I had an allergic reaction to whatever I breathed in, because by the time we finished the craft session, I had totally lost my voice and felt like I’d been hit by a Mack truck.

By the end of the night Tuesday, I really felt awful, and this feeling kind of came and went the rest of the week, mostly coming. Yet, I just made a decision early Wednesday morning that this wasn’t about me, and how I didn’t feel good, how I’d really just like…

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Tuesday’s Treats #22

Aunt Catfish’s

Location: Port Orange, Fl (Daytona)

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This is this is one of our favorite places to eat in Daytona. The seafood is wonderful, and the huge salad bar and “fixin’s bar” is to die for! It. Is. SOOO. Good!! The salad bar has so many great choices, and the fixin’s bar is full of cheese grits, baked beans, fried cinnamon apples and cornbread. You could simply fill up here, but the seafood is worth ordering. They have tons of choices, from fried shrimp to blackened swordfish.

We have had several different entrees, and the menu is quite extensive. I think our absolute favorite is the blackened swordfish and the bblackened mahi mahi. Oh. My. Word! It is so delicious!! You even get a homemade cinnamon roll served with your meal. Oh, I’m craving these things right now. Yum!!

Check them out here:

http://auntcatfishontheriver.com

When It Rains, It Pours

Sometimes, when it rained, it pours…

Yesterday, I talked to a gentleman whose mom passed away last week. Just a few days prior to this news, his wife was in a diabetic coma and had to have a stint put in so her heart could work properly. The same week, the family received a call concerning her mother, who had fallen and broken a hip. She lives in a different country, and his wife is in no condition to travel to see her.

Just got off the phone with someone whose parents are no longer able to go out on their own. They think her father may have had a mini stroke, and both her parents seem to be growing more feeble as the days progress. This same lady has an aunt who has to be taken to every appointment she has, and she’s the designated driver…seems she has several appointments each week.

Another friend is facing the grief of a divorce while another is living in a marriage she hates. An old friend is traveling back and forth to the Children’s Hopsital almost every day. Her teenage daughter has been diagnosed with cancer, and they’re giving her high doses of chemo. One more is weeping for her child whom she will never know, because she miscarried the only child she may ever have.

All of this is just within my little orbit of the world. I don’t even want to think about the daily news or the paper headlines which come out every 24 hours or less. If I continue to focus on all of this brokenness, I will become overwhelmed, drowning in a puddle of tears and hopelessness.

Sometimes, when it rains, it really does pour, and if we are wise, we will let the clouds roll on…

For when it rains, the water replenishes the dry places. The rains bring new life where there were parched and dying lands. The rains drown the fires and can even put out the smoke.

When the storms come, and the rain pours down from the skies that don’t seem to relent, just hold on. Don’t lose hope. Maybe, you even need to seek out the Hope you never had.

For after the rains stop, and the clouds roll back, that’s the only time for the rainbow to shine…

Answer to Friday’s Angle #71

How did you do yesterday?


If you guessed a napkin, you guessed right! 😊



Please join me on Monday for a new post and next Friday for another new angle.

Friday’s New Angle #71

It’s FRIDAY = NEW ANGLE! 🎉

  
Answer here tomorrow. 😊

How Do You Pray?

Wow. Read this in my devotion today and thought I’d share. I hope it’s as meaningful to you as it was for me…

The English word, prayer, means to ask for or beg … But the Hebrew word for prayer – tefillah – means to “self evaluate”. So to the Jews of the Bible, prayer was not a time when they asked God for things … it was a time when they examined themselves. They would use prayer as a way to compare their actions, behavior and attitude against God’s holiness.” – Dave Adamson, Instagram.com/aussiedave 

What kind of prayer life would we have if we self evaluated more and begged less? Our prayers are, so often, filled with a long checklist of things we need, problems we wish were solved, and various changes or resolutions we want. Yes, we need to place our petitions before the Lord, I get it. The Bible does say, bring your petitions, but I believe we miss this point of self evaluation sometimes. I think that’s why the acronym PRAY is often taught to us in Sunday School when we are young. 

P = Praise – praise Him for He is good and He is God. 

R = Repent – this is where self evaluation comes in. Clean up time. 

A = Ask – here’s the supplication or petitioning part. 

Y = You – focus turns back on ourselves once again. Might be a reason He created this word, “pray” and it’s Hebrew translation. 😉

Lord, help us to be more aware. Help us to be more honest, with You and with ourselves. Help us to self evaluate in our prayer life.  Help us to be more like You and so much less like ourselves. 💗

  

We Are Moms

Ok, so, if you’ll indulge me, I’m going to rant for just a moment. I am so sick of all the bickering across social media, blogs and other “news” mediums, and I just want to shout this from the rooftops: STOP IT!!  *Please note before I start, I am not looking for a debate, and I am not trying to offend. I just feel the need to say something, and I hope you will read till the end…

There is so much shaming, fingerpointing and backbiting that, too often lately, I feel as if I’m back in kindergarten, or better yet, I’m back in junior high listening to the 12 year old girls bickering over who’s fault it is that the popular girl doesn’t like them anymore! 😁 It’s silly, and it’s really becoming annoying.

We have had several MAJOR tragedies in our country over the last several weeks, and the news media and social media feeds have been lit up like Christmas trees. Everyone is trying to find someone to blame for the gorilla, the alligator and the night club violence, because after all, it couldn’t be as interesting as simply be sympathetic toward the families who are grieving over their lost loved ones! It couldn’t be as intriguing as trying to reach out to the ones mourning.

These mothers will never hug their babies again in this life. (And yes, I realize the nightclub was not filled with ‘babies,’ but to a mother, her child will always be her ‘baby,’ no matter his or her age.) These fathers will never rescue their children from another emergency. These grandparents will never see their grandbabies smile those beautiful smiles that made their hearts swell with love. Why can we not stop all the fighting for a split second and observe the value of a life? Observing the value of life does not mean I must agree or disagree with the person or his or her lifestyle for that life to be valuable.

Why? Because this country has become too accustomed to shaming anybody and everybody who avails him or herself to the public eye. We have become too comfortable with setting ourselves as judge and juror,  bondsman and, even, the thought police. This ought not be.

Can I tell you? I am a mom. I love my babies, and I do my very best to take care of them the best way I know how. Do I always do everything perfect? By all means, No! I wake up everyday and pray the Lord help me and guide me, because I am human, and humans make mistakes, and accidents can happen.

Now, just because I do my best, does that put every mom into that same category? No, unfortunately, I can’t say that it does. Some moms are so focused on themselves or their own agendas that they are neglective or oblivious to their child’s needs. Some moms are so jacked up that they cannot cope and function the way they should. Other moms are just simply wrong in how they handle life, children and all of the above.

Yet, it’s not my place (or yours) to get on social media or any other news medium and blast that mom for what I believe she did or didn’t do right. I don’t even know the woman. If we are not within her orbit, didn’t see exactly what happened and have no tangible access to her world, how can we sit in judgement and shame her, or praise her, for what we have drawn as our own opinions?? …and why should we? Don’t we have better things to do with our time??

If there has been a crime committed, the authorities will figure that out. It is their job. That is what they are trained to do! That’s what they are doing at that nightclub. They’ve determined it was an act of terrorism; so, why is the bickering still focused on gun control and the life of the homosexual? The news media and liberal agendas seem to enjoy stirring up the opinions on everything else but the real issue at hand. The fact is, we are all Americans, no matter race, origin, religion or sexual orientation, and we have some real enemies in this world. These enemies would like to see us ALL dead, and our fighting amongst ourselves is not going to change this fact, nor will it help to bring resolution to that fact. Sometimes, there is a war to be fought, and we must fight it. Shooting in amongst the troops isn’t going to kill the enemy. It will only hinder our efforts to win.

On the two other tragedies, if there is a wrong to be found, those involved in the situation will be called upon to right that wrong. If she (and he) is found to be untrue, and she is to be chastised for her faulty ways, then those closest to her and those in leadership surrounding her should speak into her life for reprimand and change, but who are you and I to think it is our place to publicly shame her? Do you really think that is going to make a difference in her life?

Sometimes, shaming is for coping, and sometimes, it’s for competing. We are moms. We shouldn’t do either, but it all comes from vanity. Either you feel better than someone else or worse than them. So, you compare. You compete. You tear them down to lift yourself up. It’s all wrong.

Matt12.34

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“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:34b-37

 

 

We are moms. This is a battle of life and death, and the victory is the breath and legacy of our children. We should just fight the good fight. Link arms together when we can, and pull each other up when we’re able. If we see wrong within our orbit of influence, we should not hesitate to speak up; however, often times, we must have built a relationship long before the tragedy to make any real impact in the lives of those whom we speak truth.

If we witness a crime, by all means, stand up for the innocent! Yet, when it comes to men and women we know nothing about, a situation in which we have no first hand knowledge and a location in which we were not present, sometimes, it’s better for everyone involved, including ourselves, to keep quiet, give grace and just pray. Pray for wisdom. Pray for truth. Pray for justice and grace.

Life is hard sometimes, and we all need a friend and a cheerleader to help us along the way!  … Okay, I will end my rant now. Thank you for letting me unload that mess…

 plankeye“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew.7:3-5  

 

Tuesday’s Treats #21

Uncle Maddio’s

Location: Buford, Ga

This place is great! It has a comfortable atmosphere, and you get to “direct” the making of your own pizza. It’s almost like a Subway for pizzas. You walk in, and the staff is usually very friendly with a shout out, “Welcome to Maddio’s!” You can see the menu at the beginning, but you really don’t need it, as you walk down the line telling the staff what you would like on your pizza. You can choose from white and whole wheat dough, sundried tomatoes, spinach, sauce, pepperoni, grilled chicken, steak, veggies, and even anchovies. You can do the same thing with a salad.

The salads are great. You can choose the toppings, or they can simply make you a garden, Greek or Ceasar salad. Personally, I love the Greek with the dressing. It is delicious. Oh, you also get a little breadstick with this. It is just as good, and, I think, you can order a bunch, too. The prices are pretty good, too. You can order a pizza and salad for $8.99. I can’t remember the cost of the drinks, but the sweet tea is just as it’s supposed to be in the South, and the cookies are maybe $2-3 (a little steep, but oh, so worth it!) So, for about $15, you can fill your tummy to overflowing. When we go, I am usually taking half of my pizza home, cuz I eat my dessert before finishing. Now, let me tell you about that…

You MUST have a cookie for dessert, too! Oh. My. Word!! These things are delicious! Being LOTR fans, our family calls these The Arkenstone, because they have this yummy goodness in the center. You can choose from chocolate chip and oatmeal cranberry. They are both incredible, but you definitely must like oatmeal for the latter. Our boys don’t much care for it, but I love it. It’s always hard for me to decide which one I want; so, usually, I order the oatmeal cranberry and just steal a bite of their chocolate chip! (…best of both worlds. haha!)

 

These drops of yumminess just came out of the oven…

If you haven’t been to Uncle Maddio’s, you must find one soon. You won’t regret it. I’m just so glad they are building so many of these around. You can find them many more places than there used to be. Check out their website for all of the locations, as well as, the menu and other needed information.

His Delight

Over my lifetime, I’ve heard so many people talk about how God is our Father…that He’s really like our “Daddy.” He’s the one who delights in us. He’s the one who thinks we are precious; we are the apple of His eye; we are simply like a treasured child in His sight. He loves us that much.
I am precious in my Daddy’s sight
This analogy is great… unless you never had a Dad who delighted in who you were as a child. This is a wonderful illustration for those of understanding; however, for those of us who grew up without a dad present, without a father who showered us with hugs and smiles, without a Daddy who daily convinced us of His love, this picture of a loving Father just doesn’t quite make sense. It doesn’t quite bring the measure of comfort and peace that those who propagate it may wish to convey.
So, how do we translate this kind of love to those with whom a father’s love is foreign? How do we paint a picture of “Daddy’s little girl” or “Dad’s little buddy” to that one whose own father was abusive, neglective or even absent all together? How in the world do we portray this image of a wonderfully, loving father who enjoys seeing His children happy and full of life? The only way I have found to communicate it is by learning about it myself and sharing my life experiences with those whom I encounter.
…He delights in me…
Sometimes, it’s revealed to me by a surprise, tangible blessing like what happened last year on two different occassions: I was on a mad-dash Easter dress hunt the night before Easter. At the very  last minute, I decided I was just going to drop by a store and see if I could find something new. As I was pulling into the parking lot, I had a little prayer conversation with God. I said, “It sure would be nice if I could just walk right in and just a cute pink jacket to go with my pants. I know, I don’t have to have it, and I’m okay with not. I can always wear that old suit I have. I just don’t feel comfortable in it, but it’s really ok, not a big deal.” I went in, looked at one rack, went to next, and there it was. Right size. Right fit. Perfect. Two weeks later, we were at a ladies retreat, and they had a white jacket on display that I just loved! I thought it was so cute. At the end of the retreat, I mentioned this to the lady who owned it, and she handed it right to me. She said, “You enjoy it!”
…I am His precious child…
Sometimes, His delight is shown to me by what others share with me. A widowed friend of mine told me one day, “I am spoiled. I asked Him to help me see Him, and He has. I see the little things He does all around me, the little blessings He does for me everyday, and I feel treasured by my Father. I am cherished by Him.” Another friend was recovering from major surgery. Someone brought her a quilt the very day she returned home, and the person didn’t even know she had had surgery. The quilt was made with scriptures on every square. She said she felt blanketed in The Word while she recovered, and it was a reminder her of God’s love for her. She said, “It was as if in that moment, I could feel Him saying “I love you, you’re my precious child.”
…I am the apple of His eye…
Sometimes, I am simply reassured of His delight in His love for me in nontangible ways…a prayer unanswered, a wound healed, a moment of protection, a feeling of peace through the storm, or a simple reminder of His faithfulness even when I am not. He loves us, and He delights in us, His children. No matter what type of earthly father you may have had during this lifetime, you can be certain that your Heavenly Father loves you more than you could ever imagine! You ARE the apple of His eye. You are His delight!
 
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 “In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft.
The Lord alone led him; no foreign god was with him.”
Deuteronomuy32:10-12