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Delighting in my God, I desire to dwell in His pleasure and to help others experience true delight.

"Delight Yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.  
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;..." Ps 37:4-7a

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z is for Zeal

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 This is my last post in the A to Z challenge for 2014.  It feels good to have reached this point and I must admit I am finishing with more fatigue than zeal, but I am glad to be able to complete the challenge and I believe it is still April somewhere.  Thanks again to Arlee Bird for starting this challenge ball rolling.        (Photo Source)

http://learntoembracethestruggle.com/in-praise-of-praise-pauses/
Zeal for my God
         by Maria Dunn

The Lord our God, the Lord is One. 
It is He Who deserves our zeal.
The Lord is worthy of my passion.
With ardor I will seek Him,
Fueled by appreciation for the Father's love for me.
The Holy Spirit sets spiritual fervor afire.
Avid devotion belongs to the Lord.
Enthusiastically will I testify of His love.
With keen appetite I am hungry for His Presence.


Eager am I to know Him more. 
I relish the Word.
May gusto and vigor be in my pursuit
Of wisdom and knowledge of my God.
With energy I will pursue godliness.
The intensity of my love for my King, my God,
Will deepen and grow nurtured by His Spirit.
How wonderful, how beautiful is my Lord Jesus,
To Whom I raise my hands in zealous praise. 
                                                                                  

A to Z Challenge

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y is for Yearn

 Yearning - to long for, to pine for, to passionately desire. 

 

                              "Yearn" (Shane & Shane)

 

A picture of Yearning:

 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God. Psalm 42:1

 

How lovely are Your dwelling places, O Lord of hosts!  My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord;  My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.  Psalm 84:1-2

 

If you are yearning for God, check out the website:  desiring God.

A to Z Challenge

 

Monday, April 28, 2014

X is for 'X' Words



Do you need some good 'X' words for your Words with Friends or Scrabble games?  Do you get hassled by friends when they don't know what the 'X' word is that you use, because they can't pull it up on their dictionaries?  Well I have found a few for you to use and given you the definitions so you won't be baffled.  

These are particularly interesting words because not only do they have a common meaning, most are also the names of companies and rather successful ones at that.  There are two that are not.  One is a non-profit foundation and the other is a city in the USA.  I didn't include Xerox, because it's common meaning comes from the company name rather than the other way around.  Enjoy! 

 

Xebec –  is a small Mediterranean 3 masted sailing ship.  Xebec Deburring Technologies produces deburring and finishing tools using ceramic. 

Xeric

Xeric –  means of or pertaining to an extremely dry climate.  The Xeric Foundation provides support and grants to comic book creators.  

Xenon
Xenon – is the chemical element with the symbol Xe, a colorless, odorless, gas occurring in trace amounts in the earth’s atmosphere.  Xenon is a company that produces automobile body parts.  

Xenics

Xenic is a noble gas compound formed when xenon trioxide is dissolved in water.   Xenics Infrared Solutions is a high tech company which produces a wide variety of infrared products and applications to meet the diverse ever-expanding needs of the global marketplace. 

Xenia, Ohio

Xenia -   is the ancient Greek concept of hospitality involving being generous and courteous to people traveling through your area far from their own homes.  The welcoming of strangers as honored guests.  Xenia is a city in Ohio which calls itself the City of Hospitality.  



Xylem – is a type of transport tissue within the vascular system of plants.  There are at least two companies who have taken the name Xylem.  Xylem Inc is involved with coming up with innovative solutions for global water challenges. 

Xylem

The second company, which goes by simply ‘Xylem’, is a bathroom furniture and fixtures company. 

Whitford products:  housewares
Xylan – is a yellow gummy plant substance ubiquitous in plant cell walls.  Xylan is also one of the trademark brands of fluoropolymer coatings of Whitford, an American company with branches worldwide.  The breadth of what this company produces is quite amazing

Xylol

Xylol – is a type of solvent, very volatile, also known as Xylene.  Klean Strip produces a brand of Xylol which can be purchased at your basic hardware store.  


Sunday, April 27, 2014

W is for Woohoo

Woohoo!!  We're almost through!!  
Joining the Challenge's big Woohoo!!  

Woohoo is one of my favorite celebratory words.  So it works for me.  

Woohoo! This we can do. 
Let's all shout a big "WOOHOO!"

I think I am getting a bit slap happy here.

Woohoo!! Me and you.
Finishing the challenge, Yeah! Woohoo!!

I have a lot of other words I wanted to write on:  Worldview, Word, Writing, Want, Wake-up, Winsome, but I will have to settle for woohoo, cuz I'm going to bed now.

A to Z Challenge

Vis for Visit Vikki at the View

There are several websites I really enjoy visiting.  I know you have them too.  One of those for me is Vikki Thompson’s blog, “The View from Outside.”  During the A to Z challenge, Vikki has been writing short vignettes with a twist for the letter of the day.  They are always fun and intriguing.

So today, I invite you to visit Vikki at The View and read her vignettes.  Her 'V' word was vengeance and since I am a day or so behind, her 'W' vignette is posted too.  Enjoy!


A to Z Challenge

Thursday, April 24, 2014

U is for Unless

Unless I make this one short, I won’t get through this challenge.  I wanted to write something uplifting, but unless is all I can seem to think of.  I’d like to write something on unity, but unless keeps coming up over and over again in my mind.  I was hoping to write something unique or unusual, but my brain is wrapped around unless.

So my thoughts, my mind, and my brain are uniquely and unusually unified on the 'U' word 'unless.'  How uplifting!


A to Z Challenge

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T is for Tongue Twisters


In April each year there is an alphabet blogging challenge to blog through the alphabet with one day off a week.  This A to Z Challenge is the brain child of Arlee Bird.  This is my second year attempting it, and its oodles of fun, though exhausting.  So today is the letter T, and I chose tongue twisters.

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I searched for some common ’T’ tongue twisters and came up with these.
Tom threw Tim three thumbtacks.

He threw three free throws..

A tree-toad loved a she-toad
Who lived up in a tree.
He was a two-toed tree-toad,
But a three-toed toad was she.
The two-toed tree-toad tried to win
The three-toed she-toad's heart,
For the two-toed tree-toad loved the ground
That the three-toed tree-toad trod.
But the two-toed tree-toad tried in vain;
He couldn't please her whim.
From her tree-toad bower,
With her three-toed power,
The she-toad vetoed him.

A tutor who tooted the flute
Tried to tutor two tooters to toot.
Said the two to the tutor:
"Is it harder to toot or
To tutor two tooters to toot?”

There are more, but that will do.  Try them out loud for some giggles.  The shorter tongue twisters are meant to be repeated for their tongue twisting properties.


Recently a study on tongue twisters and speech patterns by psychologists at MIT found what they say is the toughest tongue twister yet.   
“Pad kid poured curd pulled cold.”

Can you say that one 10 times?  How ‘bout 3 times?  Well, perhaps its the toughest.  I am not conceding that, but I like the old favorites better.  They make more sense.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

I like to play with tongue twisters because you can't help but laugh, and laughter is good.  Do you have a favorite tongue twister?


A to Z Challenge

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S is for Self-Refutation


Self-refutation – Self-refuting statements are those that basically deny themselves. They are self-contradictory in their very nature.

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In his article “Four Self-Refuting Statements Heard on College CampusesAcross America,” J. Warner Wallace gives this example:  “It’s intolerant to presume that your view is better than someone else’s’” / “Tolerance requires us to accept all views equally” and follows with this explanation:  An even more hidden self-refuting statement lurks here in this common errant definition of tolerance. Folks who hold to this corrupted view say they accept all views as equally true. But if you make the claim that some ideas are patently false and have less value than others, they will quickly reject your statement. In other words, they will accept any view as equally valuable except your claim that some views are not equally valuable. See the inconsistency? People who embrace this definition of tolerance cannot consistently implement their own view of tolerance.

Matt Slick in his article, “Refuting Relativism” gives this example, “There are no absolute truths.” And this explanation:  The statement "There are no absolute truths" is an absolute statement which is supposed to be true.   Therefore, it is an absolute truth and "There are no absolute truths" is false.

John Frame in his article, “Self-Refuting Statements,” lists a number of examples including this one:  Logical contradictions, such as “Socrates is mortal and Socrates is not mortal.” If the two occurrences of mortal in this sentence are predicated of Socrates at the same time and in the same respect, then the sentence cannot be true. The first clause refutes the second, and vice versa. 

Glen Smith on his blog, Thomistic Bent, gives a great list of self-refuting statements including this one:  I’m not saying a word.”

If you would like to examine some self-refuting elements in various world views check out:  Ten Arguments from Self-refutingworldviews at  the blog, 101 Arguments.

Can you think of any self-refuting statements that you may use or have heard?

A to Z Challenge

Monday, April 21, 2014

R is for Recipes

For Easter, I made my childhood favorite meal, Rouladen, which my German mom made a time or two each year as I was growing up.  I haven’t made it in forever.  Considering I had to pick my brother’s memory on how to make it ala mom, it came out pretty well.


Rouladen


Another holiday favorite in our home growing up was Canadian pork pie.  My father was French Canadian and this was passed down from his side.  I make it every New Years day in my own home.  It is similar to shepherds’ pie. The recipe as it was passed down to me, includes a mixture of lean ground pork and beef, potatoes and onions, and various spices including clove and nutmeg.



French Pork Pie

A winter staple recipe for us is homemade chicken soup.  Needing no one else’s accolades, I humbly admit I think my chicken soup is the best I have ever had.  I tweak it a bit each time I make it, so it is always a bit of a surprise, but I do love it and never tire of this principal dining delight.

 
Chicken Soup


We have several other “Mom will you make…” recipes or reminiscent recipes of days-gone-by that stimulate all the senses and bring a smile in the contemplation.   The recipes at the links above are not mine, but they look pretty good too.

What are some of your favorites you have from the family archives?


A to Z Challenge

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Q is for Questions


 
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We all search for answers to the big questions.  Not everyone realizes that they are looking for the answers.  Many of us don’t really want the answers, not the true answers.  We search for them in all the wrong places.  We find or we create confusion.  We are left with questions.  But there are answers if we look for them in the right places, or rather with the right person. 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.   John 14:6



A to Z Challenge


Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for Purpose

We all have purpose.  Tied to my purpose are p words :  passion, prayer, peace, praise, and being the person God created me to be.  

This is Good Friday, the day we Christians mark the death of Jesus Christ.    On Easter Sunday, we Christians celebrate His resurrection from the dead.  My ultimate purpose is to point to Him, our Lord and Savior.  

A to Z Challenge

 


Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for Owl

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“What was that?”   shouts came from upstairs.  

Seated at the kitchen table, I simultaneously turned to look towards the sound of the loud crash just outside.

“Oh my gosh!  Come look!’’

There sprawled across the porch was a huge barred owl.  He stayed perfectly still, his head turned, and I wondered if he was alive.   My daughter and I stared at him in delight and amazement for a while, chattering back and forth about what we should do.



“Can I go out and pet him?”

“NO! Absolutely not!  He could claw your eyes out.”

“What are we going to do?  We can’t just leave him.  I’d love to have a pet owl.” 

“I don’t know yet, what we’ll do.  I have to think.  He sure is beautiful; isn’t he?”

We were all getting ready to leave for church, but I knew that if this poor visitor didn’t take off on his own soon, I’d have to find a solution.  He still hadn’t moved, and we finally thought to take a photo.  We snapped and moved closer to the door to get a better shot. 

As I slowly moved to a different place to get a photo at a different angle, he took off, just fine.  There were a group of crows circling above that started to banter and badger him as he flew to a tall evergreen tree beside my neighbor’s house.  They had apparently been the cause of his earlier fall.  He was trying to wait long enough for them to get out of his way to fly off.

Later we found out from our neighbors that they had been seeing for a couple of weeks in the tree, which is apparently his new home.  As the weather has warmed, we hear him and his friends outside as dusk comes on and throughout the night, sometimes right outside our bedroom window.  We love having our own owl about, but wonder if we will soon sleep through his night calls or tire of them. 

Darla Sue Dollman at Compassion, Kindness, and Love  and Blessed Little Creatures has some fabulous wildlife posts.  I have so enjoyed my visits to her blog and learned a great deal in the process.  Check it out.  You won’t be disappointed.

 
A to Z Challenge

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for Nouveau Scarecrow



I love the A to Z challenge for the opportunity to meet and discover some amazing blogs.  One of those is Nouveau Scarecrow by author Michael Cahill.   Michael’s subtitle is “A ragged soul investigating the human condition,” and he does an amazing job of it.  He is a rare talent who has a way of touching other “ragged souls” through his words.

Bob Ross

I left a comment on his blog telling him he was like the Bob Ross of writing to me.   If you have never seen Bob Ross, he too is worth checking out.  Though he died in 1995, his art classes are still available for purchase  and some can be seen on You-tube.  As he painted his "happy little trees," he had a way of teaching and painting that just relaxed you and soothed the soul.  Michael has that same affect on me with his words.  I could go back again and again and reread his posts.  


How many blogs do you feel like that about?



A to  Z Challenge

Michale Cahill's prose can also be read at Word Worth, the online magazine of ideas and the arts.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for Mom Mantras



by Ginger Plowman


 “Go to what you know.” 


That’s one of my mom mantras.  


Another is,

“How do YOU think it’s spelled?”




You know what I am talking about, those truths and principles you repeat to inculcate them into your kids, to give them what you believe they need to overcome obstacles and become productive people, people who can figure things out and stand on their own two feet. These are Mom (and Dad) mantras.

We remember some that our parents spoke into our lives.

“I used to walk 10 miles to school, up hill and in the snow.”

“We never got to do that when I was growing up.” 

“Nothing good ever happens after midnight.”

“Chores first.”

Each of us has our own list, though some may be common to all if you are from similar cultures.  The mantras are meant to instill in us perseverance, strength of character, wisdom.  In my house, among the regular chanted mantras I used were messages about attitude. 

“Attitude ‘A’ every day.”

"Be a blessing and be blessed.”

“What you practice you become.”

"Hold on to the Lord."

Your mantras say something about what you value, about what you believe contributes to a good life, about what influences you.  Some of the mantras of our lives we don’t even realize are there.  They may be subconscious, repeated messages in the recesses of our mind, but shining through who we are none the less.  Sometimes others may hear what we don’t realize we repeat.  These can be dangerous mantras because they may be shaping us with something harmful to our character. 

It’s a good practice to occasionally do a mental check of the mantras we recite, to listen to that voice that speaks within us, the messages we let freely rerun on the screen of our minds.  Listen as well to the ones we speak into the big wide world of our children’s futures.  It wouldn’t hurt to check with loved ones.  Ask if there mantras we are missing that may be having an ill-effect on us or those around us.  We all have blind spots that we can use a little passenger assistance to see. 

  What mantras have been influential in making you who you are?

A to Z Challenge

Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Luke


          We are reading through and discussing the Gospel of Luke in our care group.  A care group is a small group from church that meets in homes to care for one another and to learn more about what the Bible teaches.  Sometimes we will focus on a topic; other times a book of the Bible.  Sometimes we just get together to have some food and fellowship. 


          I was glad we picked the Gospel of Luke in the Bible to look at over the coming weeks.  It’s been on my heart to spend more time just focusing on Jesus especially as we lead up to Easter, the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Often times we get caught up in what we are supposed to do as Christians, what we are supposed to think, what experiences we are having.  Jesus can get lost in our lives.   He becomes the buzzword, the pat answer for the Sunday school class, “Jesus, God, the Bible.” 



“Oh Lord, forgive us that we would allow You to become routine in our lives.”



          I was determined to get to know my Jesus more fully, and the Gospel of Luke is just the place to go to do that.   Spending time with Jesus in the Gospel of Luke is an eye opening, a heart opening experience.  I have been reminded over and over again, not only from the text, but from voices all around me that this Jesus is no ordinary man.  The text certainly bears witness that this is someone special.  Is it possible for Him to have been anyone but God?  I am trying to listen more closely and look more intently, remembering Who it is I am walking with in this narrative.  These are the words God wanted recorded that we would know the truth. 


          Learning is a good L word too.  The more I can learn, the more I know.  The more I know, the more I understand.  The more I understand the more I realize just how little I know and how much there is to learn.  You could study the book of Luke for a long time and not learn or know or understand all that’s there to be revealed about the person of Jesus.   One thing for sure:  He is not mundane in any way. 

                       Faith is based in knowledge and I want to know more. 

 “It seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.”  Luke 1:3-5 


A to Z Challenge

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for to Know



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To know:  to be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information.  To have knowledge about, to have a relationship with, personal experience with, or familiarity with a person, place, thing, idea, or field.

How do we know things?  What do you know?  How do you know that’s true?  What makes you think you know?  What can we know for sure?  What can we know by examining the evidence and coming to a reasonable conclusion?  How many of the things that you know end up being false?  If we have to change our direction because what we thought we knew was wrong, does that mean we can’t know things at all?  


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People discuss and argue about these questions all the time.  They study knowledge, and the acquisition of it, truth and whether or not we can know it, what’s real and what’s not.  They have official sounding names for these studies and theories.  What it points out to me is that what is and what we think about what is may be different.  What is true and what we think is true may be different.  However, What is and what is true, doesn’t depend upon the knowing of it.  If something is true, it is true whether we know it or not.  The knowing of it just makes it mine.  

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.  Proverbs 1:7

 
A to Z Challenge




Friday, April 11, 2014

J is for Juncture

 



We all hit significant junctures in our lives.  We have insights that open our eyes.  We have experiences - emotional, physical, spiritual - that change our lives.  We do things that make a difference.

We think, we feel, we do.

Sometimes these junctures change us significantly, not just our thinking, feeling, or doing, but our very being. 
Who am I?  Why am I?  Isn’t there something more than what’s here?

                            A juncture.  Questions.  Answers?

Jesus came with answers.  He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”  (John 14:6)

Meeting Him, the Christ, welcoming Him is a significant juncture

We start out already behind in life.  No encouragement can conquer all doubts and uncertainties or solve the problem of the human condition. 

He can, the One Who has given His allFind out what it is to know Him.  Then hold on to Him. 

It’s the juncture that matters.

A to Z Challenge


Thursday, April 10, 2014

I is for I AM

 

I am convinced it is often better just to let the Word of God speak for itself.  As it does, I hope you will be encouraged to find out more about the Christ, and let go of doubtGive it your all as you hold on to something oh so much better - the Great I AM.



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 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”   Exodus 3:14

“As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you,”
                                        Genesis 9:9

“… Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”  Genesis 15:1

And that very night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you and make your offspring numerous for my servant Abraham’s sake.”  Genesis 26:24

He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.  Exodus 3:6

God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”  Exodus 3:14

Say therefore to the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.  Exodus 6:6

He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in his sight, and give heed to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will not bring upon you any of the diseases that I brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”                                                  Exodus 15:26

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;”   Exodus 20:2



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Jesus said to her, “I am He, the one who is speaking to you.”  
                                                                           John 4:26
                           
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty.  John 6:35

Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little while longer, and then I am going to him who sent me.”  John 7:33

So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am He, and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed Me.”  John 8:28

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but He sent Me.”  John 8:42

Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.”  John 8:58
                              
So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.”  John 10:7

But He was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus said, “I am; and ‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,’ and ‘coming with the clouds of heaven.’”           Mark 14:61-62

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in Me, even though they die, will live,”  John 11:25


            God bless, Maria

A to Z Challenge