“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” — Matthew 24:6-8 KJV
I recently wrote that nowadays the world seems on fire and I just can’t watch it burn. I believe in being informed. But, it’s also important not to be misinformed and it’s also important not to fall in the trap of getting emotionally worked up and either angry, fixated or hopeless. I mean that’s what the donkey and the elephant want. It’s what the ‘news’ media and social media want. But, it’s not what I want. It’s not what Jesus wants for us either.
I was raised to pay close attention to society, religion and politics. For many good reasons. however, that was long before the 24/7 instant news-tainment was a thing, much less a hand held device to keep it coming constantly, right?! I have to turn my phone face down at night or the flashing ‘urgent’ notifications wake us up at night! Lol.
I started pulling back from the news November 2018. But, at the turn of this year I felt the Lord encourage me to keep my eyes on Him, so that I don’t get distracted from what’s most important. For me, too much news crowds out what, for me, is most important to my assignment. (I believe we all have assignments, more on this another day!)
I stay informed. But, I keep it short. And I move on. The verse He put on my heart, I come back to over and over, it’s a commonly quoted verse on social media, because it’s bulletproof! — “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” — Isaiah 26:3. Says it all for me. And it’s so true!
I particularly like in the Matthew 24 verse above, that He tells us ‘See that ye be not troubled’. It means we have a choice in whether we get upset or not. By His grace we can relearn how to respond to the news. I have to try to not be shoved, mentally, into the quick reaction the media is hoping for, (and the political parties as well). I’m learning response is measured and I control it. Reaction is volatile and it controls me. That’s not going to work. It’s not what we are made for. Self control is my favorite fruit of the spirit. Now, I’ve come a long way in this regard, but of course, I still have far to go! It’s ok though! I’m learning and the Holy Spirit is a great teacher.
Here’s another fool proof verse for keeping our focus so that we are most effective at being salt and light wherever we are and whatever we do! — “Finally, brethren, 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.” — Philippians 4:8
For me, my goal is to not dull my shine, not waste my salt. Train my mind to respond, mentally to what I learn, pray and move on, not react and get emotionally worked up, which leads to (in my case) unhelpful attitudes, and words. It’s tricky. Because I do believe there’s a lot of evil in this world. And evil can cause a reaction for obvious reasons. But, in the darkness light shines the brightest! We have His light if He lives in our hearts, so I’m going to respond. In faith. And move on.
I’m learning. Like Robert Frost said ‘And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.’
This might be the start (or might not, we will see!) of a Tuesdays are for Thinking series!
I hope your day is filled with His peace and thoughts of virtuous, lovely and ‘good report’ things!
Batman and I have been navigating through a bit of Covid. Nothing dramatic, but as with and illness you have to get through it, and recover and get your stamina back.
While doing that you have to sort of be distant and be sure not to expose others to your flu. And for someone like me, that’s wayyyy to much time on my hands! Worse of all for me is too much time in my HEAD! Lol!
Anywho, I came across this post I wrote probably a week or so before Covid became a big deal in all of our lives.
I’m going to try to link it here, because Lord knew I needed to hear these words tonight, and maybe someone else needs them, too!
We have received numerous compliments on the Daily Sunrise posts and I thank you, I started sending sunrise photos to Peach that I took everyday I could when I was working on the Police Boat, some were good some were ok and ALL were sent so my Peach would know I love her and always want her to see the pretty things God creates every day.
I have been asked numerous times about more photos we have taken, Peach and I take photographs almost daily wherever we see something interesting or pretty, if you would like to see them they are on the web at: peachandbatman.smugmug.com
Thank you again and I will post the Daily Sunrises until I exhaust my supply, which hopefully will never happen.
“4 I sought theLord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.” — Psalm 34:4-5
Hey, Everybody! I pray you are sleeping well as Itype this! I know I’mfixing to!
Fell asleep and woke up…that’s never my best. Sometimes I’m too happy to sleep and my mind races…sometimes, the enemy of my soul wants to rush in and whisper things to imagine and worry about. Tonight I talk back with the Word. God’s Word is always the answer, and more effective if we speak it, pray it, declare it. Doesn’t necessarily mean you feel better instantly…but…you CAN know beyond what you feel…and your feelings WILL catch up. I think our culture talks about ‘anxiety’ too much. Gives it too much power. Not because it’s not a real thing. But, because it IS a real thing. Anxiety is a fact. Everybody deals with it. Its everywhere. It’s like humidity or clouds…it’s there…but, so is the breeze, so is the sunshine and the moonlight, and the morning dew and rain from time to time. 🤷♀️ it’s not everything. It’s not the boss. We have a Protector, if we will keep our eyes on Him, He will keep us in His perfect peace.
My closing Word to go to sleep with
—“47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.” — Luke 6:47-48.
That’s never sounded as good as it does tonight. I hope this encourages someone.🙏🏻♥️
“Return to the stronghold [ofsecurity and prosperity], youprisonersofhope; even today do I declare that I will restore double your former prosperity to you.” — Zechariah 9:12.
Hi, old friend!! It’s been too long!! I think about writing here every day! We have imaginary conversations! I couldn’t settle for an imaginary one today!
How is life treating you lately? Drop me a note and I’ll pray for you like we have been friends for life!
It’s definitely a new season. We are looking forward to Jerry’s retirement. We are thinkingofpresent and future endeavors. Still looking at campers, hoping and trusting we choose ‘the right one’! We are both writing more, but neither of us maybe writing quite as much as we want, but we are definitely more focused and making good progress at learning to adapt and juggle. Remember we have a new grandbaby on the way from the youngest son and his fiancé? Well, we found out that our oldest son and his wife are now also expecting! We just are amazed!! So, that’s number 6 and number 7 on the way!!
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” — Psalm 127:3
I’m kinda baby crazy right now!! 🥰👶🥰
In many ways everything is the same as last year, yet everything feels and seems different! We learned a lot. We have made decisions and taken actions a lot. Processes of timebrought some things to completion, some things to fruition, and the Lord has just blessed us. I’m of a mindset we are never without His blessing once we give ourselves to Him, but some seasons are definitely sweeter thanothers, though all He WILL cause to work out to our good because we love Him and are called unto His purposes. All in His time.
Right now, I feel content in pursuing a path that helps us be ready for our future, while also working as much as I know how, to be useful in telling the good news of Who I know Him to be.
Also s’mores! Lol! I have discovered I really like s’mores! They make a great dessert! I’m just saying!
Been studying a bit for this next podcast, number 5. The number of GRACE! It’s about The Blessing of God on us His people, how important it is to Him for us to have it, know it, and understand it, walk in it. And what (or whom) He has blessed cannot be cursed.
I get hopeful every timeI think of someone accidentally tripping across our podcast blog, or on Spotify or Stitcher, and learning, breathing in knowledge of the goodness of God, from a regular girl who isn’t an ‘influencer’ by today’s standards, but is an ambassador by His standards, just a Christ follower, a lover of family, and maybe s’mores! 🤣🤣 Somebody who runs to work, walks the dogs, gets groceries, cooks dinner, does laundry. Takes 4 insulin shots a day, and gets up and does it all again tomorrow, just likethem! I’m hoping it will be enlightening and uplifting, shining a light from Him on their path!
I pray this next week, your hope is strengthened in all number of ways. That you will find courage to take at least a baby step forward every day! “Return you to thestronghold, you prisoners of hope!”
Today is a great day, we finally got Peach’s podcast started. That’s right, I’ve harped and nagged and muttered and mumbled and she finally recorded one, the introduction to a series where Peach hopes to make a community of God fearing people, feel welcome and possible learn some things in the Bible. The podcast is on Stitcher and Spotify and we are trying to get it on Apple podcasts also.
This is a very first recording and you can tell Peach is a bit hesitant, but as it progresses she settles down and speaks easy and without hesitation about a subject she’s passionate on. I did my best to edit the audio so you all don’t laugh at my effort (my youngest son is the audio engineer not me) I think she sounds perfect when she gets going.
This is a learning experience for us as much as a teaching experience, we hope some will listen as the podcasts are put up, and someone who needs it gets something from them. I know in my heart that as Peach does more they will flow and give off valuable insight into the Bible and Gods word.
We welcome comments, critical (not demeaning) as well as encouraging ones, as we want to learn and give the information in a manner that’s easy to listen to and follow.
Y’all take a listen if you get time, they are never really long and we will post them on a more regular basis as we get in a rhythm. The podcast series is called:
“Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.” – Psalm 91:14
We go through things that isolate us, for a season. We pray. Yet, things get harder. We KNOW He hasn’t left us. But, we don’t understand what we are going through. Because NONE of it is good, feels right, or leaves us with any hope. Instead we feel betrayed. Bereft. Abandoned. Our hope begins against our will to crumble. Leaving in it’s place cynicism.
What is this?
Could it be that we are under construction? Think about Joseph.
What the enemy of our soul meant to sideline us, The Lord allowed to prepare us.What was meant by the enemy to make us bitter, was tempting, but God used it to enrich our heart’s capacity to empathisize and have compassion. What satan meant to isolate us from our support network and our divine destiny, the Lord allowed to develop our deep roots in Him, expanding our reach and tearing down unintentional walls we grew up with. Pain and suffering when submitted in faith to the Lord, somehow make wine out of juice, pearls out of grains of sand, diamonds born out of extreme darkness and pressure. Lord, make us shine, let us love, reach, mend. May we be sweeter, more gracious, more generous, more full of faith and great expectation, and in love believe the best, and not waste a drop.
Genesis 50:20 — Joseph to his brothers who sold him into slavery:
“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”
I can’t see one area of pain or trouble that He has not blessed us in the midst of. That we haven’t grown to KNOW Him more fully, more deeply, less surface knowledge, more in our bones knowledge.
I can think of many times my family, or family members, or myself were rejected, betrayed, treated unfairly. And we are none the worse for it. We are wiser than when we went in. We have more compassion than when things were ‘good’. We know the Lord and His ways (very importantly) better, than we did at the beginning.
He never ever leaves us or forsakes us. He never causes the trouble. IF He allows it, it’s because He has far greater in store for us to be a part in His plan, and He needs our foundation deep and strong.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” — Romans 8:28
If you or a loved one is going through one of these ‘Under Construction’ times, drop a simple comment, I will keep you/them in prayer.
He. Is. Faithful. He is for us. He is not against us.
All my life I have, as have millions of others have, hunted things. Be it animals or pictures or items, hunting is ingrained in my soul. I have hunted with my eyes, numerous cameras, rifles, shotguns, bows, crossbows, fishing poles, traps, and cages, you name it and I have probably tried it. The degree of success depends on what you think the outcome should be. There are times when I could walk out my door and trip over something I wanted to hunt, and there have been times that entire seasons have gone by without me getting any game at all. Both to me are victories as I get to participate in a sport/hobby/lifestyle that I love. I have written a few times about being out in the wilds and finding my “peace”, and sometimes it applies when I’m hunting, not always though, as it’s a different mentality to me.
There’s not a lot of danger hunting where I do, yes there are some bear at times, and wild boar, and even a white tailed deer can mess you up if you get it cornered and are careless. But for the most part it’s accidents, the occasional snake or your own clumsiness that will be your undoing. There are ways to make it challenging and even the playing field a bit. The object of hunting is to take game to consume (for me anyways I DO NOT trophy hunt, you can’t eat horns) and to do so in a humane fashion. Granted I could shoot an animal from 500 yards away with today’s modern rifles, but in my humble opinion, this is not hunting in the true sense, it’s more sport shooting. I have NOTHING against this way, it’s just not hunting to me. I prefer the close combat hunting where I pit my stealth, woods knowledge and skill against an animal that lives there, where it knows all the paths and ways. Out foxing a wild animal at close range in its “home” to me is the definition of hunting. Slipping up on a sounder of wild boar within 20,15, 10 yards armed with a bow or crossbow or even a handgun, is thrilling and scary as all get out, especially if all you’re doing is taking photographs and the “weapon” you have is not really adequate to stop a determined charge of a boar or momma sow with piglets. My point in this being, given the right circumstance even modern hunting can be challenging and dangerous. I can describe things like this and people might get it, here wait, come along on a hunt with me and see…
Quietly closing the truck door in the darkness after getting all my gear out and on, I look up and listen to the night sounds. 05:30 am, still at least 2 hours before first light, may have gotten here a bit early today, but it is the first day of the season. Silently slipping into my back-pack and then cocking the crossbow I get set, and take a few quiet moments to look up at the sky full of millions upon billions of stars and thank God for another day. Some days you just feel “it”, there’s something here not quite right today, but you shake it off and begin to make your way to the ground blind that Peach and I set up a few weeks ago, this will be the first stopping point until it gets bright enough to see to legally hunt. Moving slowly along the trail, listening to try and make sure I don’t spook any early morning game on the way to the blind. Hearing the softest sound of a footfall in the palmettos and briars to the side of the trail and immediately freezing, to try and determine what it could be. It’s pitch black, I truly wish there was a better description of the kind of dark it gets in the deep woods before dawn, an inky blackness that blocks all light, it’s like swimming in black paint at times. At times like this it’s the other senses that I trust, closing my eyes I listen, and try to catch a whiff of any scents (animals do have distinct smells and we can sometimes pick up on them) that may be drifting on the almost non existent wind currents. Time slowly ticks past, and here and there the errant mosquito buzzes around and still I stand perfectly still like an old oak tree with its roots firmly sunk in the rich earth. There is a feeling something is there but no sound, no movement, no smell to give it away, so I wait. Slowly the feeling subsides and the night creatures go back to making their soft noises, and I, even though I cannot shake the feeling that I’m being watched, move on down the trail towards the blind. Finally I reach the blind and settle in one of the two camp chairs slowly relaxing and waiting on the first signs of daylight.
Waiting in the blind, listening to the world wake slowly, the feeling is still there, muted, subdued but still there, the feeling of watchfulness. The first hints of daylight start showing through and yet I still wait, not time to move yet, cannot legally hunt. Slowly things start to take shape in the graying light and something moves across the trail I just walked 25-30 yards away, low but moving like silk undulating in the wind without making a sound. What was that? No idea, but it was quick! Silently putting my back-pack on again and picking up my crossbow I emerge from the blind. Put a bolt (crossbow arrow) on the crossbow and stand still preparing to begin my hunting.
Today I’m “still hunting” which unlike its name, involves moving. Taking two preplanned steps I settle and look, slowly all the way around me, starting close up and moving my eyes in ever widening arcs over the terrain. It never ceases to amaze me how animals can be standing right in front of me and I don’t even see them until I make a mistake and get too close or move when I shouldn’t and they bolt. Still hunting brings into play all the senses and skills learned.
Ever so slowly I move in the same pattern, 2 steps, stop, look slowly around me. In this fashion I take a great deal of time to go anywhere. The sun still hasn’t breached the horizon, so the world is a gray pallet and distant things blend into the background. Making it to the fork in the trail I have to decide to either go into the deeper woods or stay along the edge. Today I enter the trail that will eventually take me past a ladder stand and into the woods deeper eventually running into the creek and swamp parts. Slipping deeper into the woods I stop by the ladder stand and just wait, watching an open area where game travels at times, partially due to its location near wild persimmon trees. Squirrels hop about gathering the abundant acorns and chasing each other and I slip quietly on. The sun finally erupts over the horizon behind the trees in a burst of color like blood and orange all across the sky behind the trees lighting the woods. Carefully I move trying not to be noticed by the animals seen and unseen that I know are here as I can see and “feel” them. Freezing mid step I see a flicker of movement ahead, and try to determine what it is. Bird? Or maybe it’s the tail of a feeding white tailed deer. It’s a deer! Walking away it hasn’t noticed me, not in a position to shoot either, walking away, to much growth between us and farther than I like. Winds ok, blowing to me off my right front so it won’t smell me, so I ever so slowly, like the decay of time, inch forward on the trail behind it trying to stay where I can keep it in sight. It’s amazing how they can brush past bushes but make no sound, if I could do that I’d be the most efficient hunter in the world. Despite my trying to, I’m unable to keep the deer in sight and be quiet, so it fades off into the trail ahead, not spooked that I can tell, just feeding along. I slip along, hoping to catch a glimpse but never do again. Breaking through to the edge of the creek line the woods are darker but the undergrowth much thinner, making visibility better but not as much as one would think. Slinking along in the same fashion I make my way through the woods cautiously, stopping every 2 steps just as before.
I stop and watch a raccoon family tromp past and cross the creek 15 yards to my right, never noticing I am there, too involved with whatever thoughts raccoons have. Slowly and steadily, I make my way in a long circle eventually coming back to the opening in the woods, by the persimmon trees, again this time from the opposite side and as I approach the hair on my neck stands up and I know I’m being watched. Freezing in place I start methodically picking apart every piece of cover, searching for whatever it is causing the creepy sensation, my senses in full alert as my heart pounds in my chest so loud I think it’s audible. Nothing! I can’t see…wait There it is, holy cow He’s huge!! And he’s looking right at me!!! Bobcat “Lynx Rufus” aka “red lynx” Florida’s #1 ambush predator, sneaky, stealthy, ghostly killer, efficient at its art. Not normally a threat to humans unless trapped or cornered. This is what I have been “feeling” since I first arrived, why is it not slinking off like normal. Watching it sink lower almost flat to the ground it’s floating shoulder blades allowing it to almost appear flat, claws digging into the ground to get a better grip it is getting ready to charge! Honestly I can’t believe what I’m seeing, leveling the crossbow scope on his shoulder I hear the audible click as the safety clicks off not even realizing I did so and at that instant he explodes from cover, leaping 5′ before I realize, I drop the sights rapidly catching up to him and release the bolt and it travels the 20′ left between us in seconds hitting home and passing completely through. He somersaults mid-stride Breaking off his charge and dashing towards the briars where I hear thrashing and growling for a few more seconds then silence. I had no idea I had backed up so far as I try 3 times before I can get another bolt from the quiver and cock the bow never taking my eyes off the spot I last saw him. Letting my heart sink back outta my throat I finally slowly (and I cannot stress how slowly) I move towards the spot. Scanning scanning don’t see him, gotta be there, where.. there he is, not moving, not breathing. I drag him out and look at him, big “Tom” bobcat, looks healthy, why did he act so odd? Bolt hit him right in the shoulder and passed clean through, he was dead before he knew he was hit. The scared ****less shakes hit, and subside with time and I gather the “cat” and slowly make my way back to the truck. I will skin, and sell the hide as I am also a trapper and bobcats are in season.
Funny how hunting goes, sometimes when we think we are the hunters, we become the hunted. I did nothing to the bobcat mentioned earlier, for some reason he chose to stalk and eventually try me. Today was my day, next time…
I’m a creature of the woods like all the other creatures God put here, I’m at home there as much as I’m at home in my house. I know there are dangers in hunting as in every walk of life, but with the “Armor of God” and faith in Him I will continue to hunt and live my life with Peach.
“Next time you get to tag along Peach, 4 eyes see more stuff than 2″