Friday, November 30, 2012

Changing Our Thought Patterns

by Lysa TerKeurst

Brain research shows that every conscious thought we have is recorded on our internal hard drive known as the cerebral cortex. Each thought scratches the surface much like an Etch A Sketch. When we have the same thought again, the line of the original thought is deepened, causing what's called a memory trace. With each repetition the trace goes deeper and deeper, forming and embedding a pattern of thought. When emotion is tied to this thought pattern, the memory trace grows exponentially stronger.

We forget most of our random thoughts that are not tied to an emotion. However, we retain the ones we think often that have emotion tied to them. For example, if we’ve thought over and over that we are "unglued," and if that thought is tied to a strong emotion, we deepen the memory trace when we repeatedly access that thought. The same is true if we decide to stuff a thought – we’ll perpetuate that stuffing. Or, if we yell, we'll keep yelling.

We won't develop new responses until we develop new thoughts. That's why renewing our minds with new thoughts is crucial. New thoughts come from new perspectives. The Bible encourages this process, which only makes sense because God created the human mind and understands better than anyone how it functions.

A foundational teaching of Scripture is that it is possible to be completely changed through transformed thought patterns:

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2, NIV)

Scripture also teaches that we can accept or refuse spots. Instead of being held hostage by old thought patterns, we can actually capture our thoughts and allow the power of Christ's truth to change them:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV)

I don't know about you, but understanding how my brain is designed makes these verses come alive in a whole new way for me. Taking thoughts captive and being transformed by thinking new ways isn't some New Age form of mind control. It’s biblical and it's fitting with how God wired our brains. I can't control things that happen to me each day, but I can control how I think about them. I can say to myself, "I have a choice to have destructive thoughts or constructive thoughts right now. I can wallow in what's wrong and make things worse, or I can ask God for a better perspective to help me see good even when I don't feel good." Indeed, we gain new perspectives, we can see new ways of thinking.
I can face things that are out of my control and not act out of control. This would be my new thought. This would be my new memory trace. This would be my new pattern.

But I couldn't just say it or think it. I had to believe it. And in order to believe it, I had to settle a matter of trust in my heart. You see, if I know there is a potential good hidden within each chaotic situation, I can loosen my grip on control.

It's easier to loosen my grip when I can see the good. When I can't immediately see the good, loosening my grip becomes a matter of trust. Either way, as long as I believe -- really believe -- God is there and that He is out to do me good, I can stop freaking out trying to fix everything on my own. I can rest in the fact that God is in control. Which means I can face things that are out of my control and not act out of control.

Yes, this is a hard lesson to learn. But it's crucial.

Taken from Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst.
Copyright © 2012. Use by permission of

Related Resources
Power To Change Your Mind
Stroke Of Genius On Emotions
Taking Thoughts Captive
Getting Out Of Negative Loops
Fighting The Darkness

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Forgiveness vs. Relationship Restoration

I know that forgiveness is a huge hurdle for many people to jump because they think by forgiving they are saying "it was okay" to do whatever was done to them. That's not the case as has been explained in a variety of ways since forgiveness actually frees us more than the person who offended us, especially if they are in denial or not interested in addressing the issue.

Sometimes we may think we need to be back in fellowship with this person if we forgive them, but that's not what the Bible teaches. We can forgive as Jesus tells us to, but we do not have to trust the person. An illustration was given to me at a teaching a few years back that we are commanded to forgive, so if every time you see a person he punches you in the face, you are to forgive him, but there is absolutely no reason to place yourself within arm's length of this person.

Forgiveness is not restoration of relationship. As this devotion below mentions, it takes repentance on the offender's part to have restoration of relationship.

by Andrew Wommack

Luke 17:5 "And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith."

It is very interesting to note that the apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith after He spoke of forgiveness. They observed all of the wonderful miracles Jesus performed and yet that never inspired them to ask for greater faith. Truly, walking in love and forgiveness with each other takes as much faith as any miracle we will ever believe for.

The basis of forgiveness is the love and mercy of God. It is only because God first loved and forgave us that we can love and forgive others. If we aren't walking in the forgiveness of God, we won't minister it to others. He forgave us before we repented or asked for forgiveness.

The scriptures admonish us to forgive as Christ has forgiven us. God offered His forgiveness towards us while we were yet sinners. Therefore, forgiveness was offered to all unconditionally. But only those who receive the offered forgiveness through repentance and faith are received as sons of God.

Likewise, we are to forgive others their trespasses, just as God has forgiven us our trespasses. We forgive whether or not the other person repents or wants our forgiveness. But we cannot restore such a person to complete relationship until there is repentance on his part. Failure to distinguish between forgiveness and restoration with their different conditions, has caused some people to make themselves vulnerable to unscrupulous people and suffer tragic results.

In marriage, we should forgive our mate for anything, even adultery. But If there is no true repentance on our mate's part, it would be foolish to trust him or her in a sexually tempting situation.

We should forgive a business partner for stealing from us whether or not he repents, but that doesn't mean we ought to put ourselves in a position to let him do it again.

Complete restoration is dependent on repentance. Walk in forgiveness today.

Visit Andrew's website.

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Survey Reveals Keys to Happiness

From Huffington Post

If you want to be happy, focus on health, relationships, simple pleasures and achieving a sense of control of your well-being, according to a survey of more than 4,000 adults age 35 released today by the AARP. The study looks at how happiness changes over time and how age impacts the factors that are most important to well-being.

The survey confirmed two decades of research suggesting that happiness is U-shaped over the life cycle: It peaks in one's 20s and begins to decline, bottoming out in the mid-to-late 40s and rising again in old age.

A study by David Blanchflower and Andrew Oswald, leading researchers in the field of subjective well-being, found that after controlling for factors such as income, education and marital status, "happiness bottoms at age 49 for American males and 45 for American females, and ages 44 and 43 respectively for male and female Europeans." Read the entire article.

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10 Tips for Outwitting Squirrels

From National Wildlife Federation

George Harrison, an experienced birder and the author of several books—including Squirrel Wars and Other Battles with Backyard Wildlife (Willow Creek Press, 2000)—interviewed people around the country who shared the following tips for keeping squirrels out of bird feeders.

#1. Duct Distraction
A man in St. Louis, Missouri, found that a length of aluminum duct mounted under the feeder foils the squirrels. "The squirrels go up the post and into the duct, but no farther," he says.

#2. Slinky Surprise
For about four dollars, a Quincy, Illinois, homeowner has enjoyed 99 percent squirrel-proof feeders – using a Slinky. He attached one end of the Slinky to the top of the pole and allowed the rest to hang so that the pole runs up through the center of the Slinky. Typically, he says, "the squirrels will try to jump onto the pole, grab the Slinky and promptly find themselves dumped to the ground." Read 8 more tips ...

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Monday, November 26, 2012

How's Your Gratitude Level?


What's so important about gratitude? Well, simply put, gratitude is a powerful force for attracting and creating more of what you want in the world - and in your own life.  Here's one place to begin, but don't miss reading the rest of the information on gratitude in our lives below.

If you don't see the video here, click this link.

If you look at the Creation Process, in everything that we do and create in our lives we Think -> Feel -> Act -> Experience. We have a thought about something. That thought creates a feeling in us, which magnifies or adds power to the thought. That feeling motivates us to Act on the Thought. Our actions create results - cause and effect. Those results become our Experience. As much as this might appear to be a linear process, it is actually a cycle. Because our Experience forms our beliefs, or our paradigms, which then influence the way we Think about and interpret our future Experience.

Gratitude is a critical part of this process because it focuses your Thoughts on what you want to create rather than what you don't want to create. So many of us are focused on negativity, pain, suffering, and conflict in our lives when what we really want is to be positive, happy, joyful, accepted and loved. By focusing your Thoughts on what you're grateful for in your life, and feeling the feeling of Gratitude, you add power to that, and you attract more of it to you. You Act in a more positive way, and your positive actions create positive results. People respond to you in a more positive way.

When I am grateful to those who serve for me, I am affirming that I am Free, and I am Safe, and I have literally millions of people who care enough about me and my Freedom to dedicate themselves to serving to protect and defend it. I am telling the world and the universe that I like and value Freedom, and Safety, and Service to others. And in doing so, I am giving more energy and power to those things, and not to the culture of Fear and Isolation that has created so much conflict in our world.

Just imagine, if you will, what your life would look like if you had more Freedom and Love, and less Isolation and Fear. How would that look on a personal level? On a local level? On a national level? On a global level? It all starts with being grateful for what we already have.


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Friday, November 23, 2012

The Bible Is Confusing

by Donna L. Watkins
"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." -- Matthew 21:22
How many times have you prayed for something and not received it? Verses like this can get us a bit confused about the Bible. 

That causes non-Christians and Christians to doubt that God's Word is really true.  Some will say it's confusing, some that it's just not interpreted correctly, and some that it's not really inspired by God at all.

That leaves humans without an instruction manual of how this life is to be lived, written by the one who designed them.  A pretty sad situation having to "wing it" in life.

© Donna L. Watkins - Orchid
Daniel Stowe Gardens, Belmont, NC
Click For Enlarged View

If you look at Matthew 21:22 (and many other Scriptures) a different way, it will be easy to see where the problem is. Turn it around. If you're not receiving what you are praying for, could it be that you are really not believing?

There is a qualification to the verse. "whatsoever you ask in prayer, believing ..."  We can't just toss a prayer up to heaven expecting God to instantly answer it. Christ died to give us the ability through faith to have all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3).

Jesus gave us power and authority over the earthly realm we live in (gaining back the dominion that Adam and Eve were given by God in Genesis).
"And having called the twelve, Jesus gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases."-- Luke 9:1
In case you think this was for the disciples only ... consider Paul who was not a disciple.
"From his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them." -- Acts 19:12
Even salvation comes with a qualification.  Romans 10:9 says, "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."  We must believe in our heart, not in our head. Maybe because the heart is more willing to believe things that are not seen than the mind is. We naturally believe what we see, but salvation and healing are a package deal, both of the spiritual or unseen realm. Our minds have a hard time grasping that.

What about this Scripture spoken by Jesus?
"For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says." -- Mark 11:23
I've had a lot of mountains in my life that haven't budged a bit by praying about them, but I can definitely admit that I had no belief in my power to change things. It's easy to get buried under circumstances if we focus on our physical realm.  We have to believe that God's Word is truth no matter what we say and hear.  It's not easy to be victorious, but the method is simple to understand.

The previous verse from Mark 11 is spoken by Jesus after the disciples noticed that the fig tree that Jesus had cursed the day before was now dead.  I find it very comforting to realize that even though Jesus cursed it the day before, it didn't instantly die.  It helps me to realize that I'm not losing the battle just because something doesn't happen in the physical realm instantly.  Some things take time to wither up and die.  I'm finding my long-term diseases to be like that.

My whole perspective was that my role was to pray, whine and beg expecting God to respond to that kind of prayer. Jesus said we must speak to our mountains.  Where was my faith and belief in that kind of prayer? The scales tipped decidedly towards doubt and unbelief. If we are going to be victorious in life, we have to stand in battle against our enemy.  Christianity is not for wimps.  It doesn't take long to figure that one out.
"The thief (the devil) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." -- John 10:10
It's our responsibility to know The Word and apply it to our lives.  Many people will say they don't know where to begin, that the Bible seems so vast and tying it all together is difficult because you truly do need to know more than just the Scripture you're currently reading.  If you don't know where to begin, I suggest this video series from a conference by Andrew Wommack: Changing The Way We Think (The Importance of the Word). You can also download MP3's if you prefer an audio version for the car. My husband and I have been super blessed with the down-to-earth teaching of this man that has been deeply in the Word for over 40 years.

Get into the Word and begin to win your battles in life.  Jesus came that we might live an abundant life.  It is possible.  Salvation is not just for a ticket to heaven and out of hell.  It's about living life well while we're here.

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OT Law vs. NT Grace

by Andrew Wommack
LUKE 9:54-56

Luke 9:55 "But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of."

Jesus was constantly being accused of breaking the law of Moses. He taught differently than the law of Moses (Mt. 5:21-48), and now He rebukes His disciples for desiring to do what an Old Testament prophet did with God's blessing and power. However, Jesus didn't come to destroy the law but to fulfill it.

Jesus came not to destroy men's lives but to save them (Jn. 3:16; 10:10).

"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them" (2 Cor. 5:19). Jesus was just in doing this because He bore our sins (Isa. 53:4-6) and the accompanying wrath of God (Mt. 27:46; Heb. 2:9).

Jesus didn't reject God's judgment against sin; He bore it (2 Cor. 5:21). Therefore, He was able to extend the grace and mercy of God to those who would have been doomed under the law of Moses (Acts 13:38-39).

The Old Testament law was like a judge passing sentence upon sin. Jesus became our advocate (or lawyer). Even more than that, He became our substitute, bearing "our sins in his own body on the tree" (1 Pet. 2:24).

He didn't destroy God's judgment; He fulfilled it in Himself, so that we could go free. This forever changed God's dealings with sinful man. In light of what Jesus has done in the New Covenant, we would be rebuked for trying to release God's wrath upon others as was done in the Old Covenant.

Likewise, if Jesus would have been on the earth in His physical body, reconciling the world unto Himself in the days of Elijah, then Elijah would have been rebuked for his actions, as recorded in 2 Kings 1:9-15.

There is a difference between Old Testament law and New Testament grace. "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (Jn. 1:17). Grow in grace.

Visit Andrew's Website.

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Cats Behaving Badly - Part Two

A source of love and affection for tens of millions of Americans, cats make wonderful companions. Unfortunately, even a typically well-behaved cat can exhibit surprisingly ferocious behavior, seemingly without warning.

In a post last year, Dr. Jane talked about some techniques to deal with feline aggression towards humans. Since then, we‘ve received questions from several pet parents worried about cats who display aggression towards other felines in the same household.

Fortunately, Dr. Jane Bick’s on the case and has some fantastic ideas about how to deal with this issue. Read the entire article.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

RECALL on Dog Treats

Concerned about potential Salmonella contamination, Charlee Bear Products is voluntarily recalling some of its Protein Crunch Bar treats for dogs. A finished product sample tested positive for Salmonella. At this time, there are no reported cases of animal or human illness associated with these products.
The following products are being recalled:
Charlee Bear Protein Crunch Bars – Chicken Recipe with Carrots
5.5 oz packages; UPC Code: 8710890000
Lot number 19812; Best by date: 07-16-2015
Lot number 19912; Best by date: 07-17-2015
Lot number 20012; Best by date: 07-18-2015
Lot number 20212; Best by date: 07-20-2015
Charlee Bear Protein Crunch Bars – Chicken Recipe with Sweet Potatoes
5.5 oz packages; UPC Code: 8710890001
Lot number 20112; Best by date: 07-19-2015
Lot codes can be found on the back panel below the UPC Code. These recalled products were distributed around the U.S. in September and October.
If you purchased any of these products, you can return them for a full refund. Questions can be submitted by email to or by phone at 1-800-396-8893.
Signs of Salmonella Infection
  • decreased appetite
  • fever
  • abdominal pain
  • lethargy
  • diarrhea, bloody diarrhea
  • vomiting

If your dog has eaten these recalled products and has symptoms of Salmonella infection, contact your veterinarian immediately.
People who touch products contaminated with Salmonella can also become infected. If you have handled the recalled products and have symptoms of Salmonella, contact your physician immediately.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Hearing God's Voice

by Andrew Wommack
Study:  JOHN 10:1-21

John 10:2-3 "But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out."

This verse promises all who are God's sheep that they not only can, but that they do, hear His voice. Many born-again people doubt the truth of this statement based on their experience. They don't think they can hear God's voice. However, the Word of God is true - not our experience.

The harmony between what this verse says and what our experiences say is that it is our new born-again spirit that hears God's voice. Although God has spoken and still does speak in an audible voice at times, very few people experience this.

God speaks to our inner person (spirit) and our inner person hears Him. The problem comes when we aren't sensitive to, or controlled by, our spirit but are walking in the vanity of our mind. The Bible calls this walking in the flesh instead of the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-18).

Man is a spirit, soul, and body. Our spirits are as perfect as they will ever be in heaven. If we will change our thinking so that we believe what God says in His Word about who we are and what we have, then this agreement between our spirit and soul forms a majority and our flesh will experience the life of God that has been deposited in our spirits.

Prayer, Bible study, fasting, fellowship, etc. are ways of refocusing our mind's attention away from the voice of this world and back to the voice of our Shepherd who is constantly communicating with our spirit.

If we fail to renew our minds, we can live our entire time on this earth without experiencing the abundant life that Jesus provided for us. Listen, and you will hear His voice speak to you through His Word today.

Read more of Andrew's devotionals.

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What’s a Pawpaw?


The Common Pawpaw is the northernmost New World representative of a chiefly tropical family, which includes the popular tropical fruits Annona, Custard-apple, Sugar-apple, and Soursop.

It produces the largest edible fruit indigenous to North America. The plant has large oblong leaves and many observers think it looks like a tropical plant, although it is native to over 25 states in the eastern U.S. It’s generally found in patches in well-drained, deep, fertile bottom-land and hilly upland habitat.

The wild fruit was once harvested, but the supply has now decreased greatly due to the clearing of forests. The small crop is generally consumed only by wildlife, such as opossums, squirrels, raccoons, and birds. Read the entire article.

There's been a lot of research on Pawpaw for cancer. This herbal formula was created by the researcher at Perdue University: PawPaw Cell-Reg

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Microwaves Drastically Reduce Nutrients


The industry has claimed that microwave cooking protects the nutrient content of foods. Somehow, in tasting foods that came out of a microwave oven, the texture was changed as was the flavor. Foods cooked or reheated in microwave ovens became rubbery and lacked the savory smells and layered flavors that come from cooking foods slower and longer.

Nevertheless, people bought the convenience aspect, the speed, the simplicity of heating and eating prepared foods. The science, which has been supported by the food industry, has continued to claim the health benefits of microwave cooking.

Recently, published data from reliable sources questions the health benefits of microwaved food. Does this mean an occasional microwaved meal will be harmful? Not likely. But what about a steady diet of eating foods cooked at such a high heat?

Do the sensitive compounds in food, such as amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and phytonutrients change? It appears so. Read on ...

Editor's Note From Donna:  

This kind of information is not new.  When microwaves became popular within the home environment, Randal and I decided it was not for us.  We moved into a home with one in the wall in 1981 and never used it.  When we built a home we did not include one.  When we moved here the house had one installed above the stove and we considered it "our herb cabinet" where we keep our herbal teas since we like to have a large variety of them.

It just didn't seem "natural" with the high heat factor certainly destroying nutrients ... and then you had to wonder what kind of toxins were being released from the containers that the food was cooked in.  We've kept that stand for 31 years, using a tabletop convection oven which is faster than a regular toaster oven, but a bit slower than microwaves.  It's been great!  By the time you have the table set and drinks poured and other cold side dishes placed, your heated item is ready to come out.

Prevention really does make a difference ... and many times it keeps life much simpler.  FAST does not make life simpler, it just speeds up the human drive to accomplish more within each minute of time.

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Non-native Palm Trees Put Wildlife at Risk

From National Wildlife Federation

Stanford University students researching marine life and birds at Palmyra Atoll, a U.S. territory in the north-central Pacific Ocean, found last year that replacing native trees there led to a decline in the number of manta rays cruising coastal waters.

Through analysis of nitrogen isotopes, animal tracking and field surveys, biology students Douglas McCauley, Paul DeSalles and Hillary Young showed that replacing native trees with nonnative palms led to about five times fewer roosting seabirds (they seem to dislike nesting in palms), which led to fewer bird droppings reaching the soil below and washing into surrounding waters.

The decline in sea nutrients led to smaller and fewer plankton, resulting, finally, in fewer manta rays. The research highlights the need for nontraditional alliances—among marine biologists and foresters, for example—to address whole ecosystems across political boundaries.
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Newsletter - 11/15/12

Hello Sweet Friends!

We had a glorious weekend of warm days. Oh, how I enjoyed it. Cut down some perennials that were bare of seeds and others that have no seeds the birds are interested in. We still have our mums shining bright yellow in various massed areas of the front yard. They spread so quickly. They are a considered a "heritage mum."

Butterfly Bench In Shop
View Enlarged Image
I will look forward to any warm day we can grab during the dreary Winter time.  I expect to have some beautiful warm and sunny days every month of Winter!  Our lowest temp so far has been 30 so it's not so bad.

November is a wonderful month to reflect on blessings ... things and people you are thankful for.  Each of you hold a place on that list for me.  You've been an encouragement and some of you have offered up many a prayer for my health.  I treasure that love and those thoughts deep within my heart.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Thank you for journeying with me at "The Nature In Us."

Speaking of friends, many of you will remember when we received the steel Butterfly Bench made by a friend.  We went to Charleston, SC to meet friends for a long weekend: Charlie and Louise from Alabama, and another couple, Robin and Steve from Atlanta. We were all friends and had a grand weekend [photos of downtown Charleston, SC and nearby areas].  Our favorite place was Cypress Gardens in Moncks Corner, SC.

Butterfly Bench From Charlie with Bluebird Sitting on Wing,
Symbolic of Bluebird Cove, The Name of Our Wildlife Habitat
View Enlarged Image
After a wonderful Italian dinner downtown we took a stroll and looked at window displays.  In one shop we saw a gorgeous green butterfly bench with a big frog sitting on it in a shop near the restaurant. It was so awesome and I wanted to touch it but all the shops were closed. Didn't matter much since the price tag was over a thousand dollars.

Well, the meal was so good we went back the next day for lunch and afterwards did stroll down to touch and feel the beautiful butterfly bench. Charlie, our friend, suggested I take photos of the bench.

He had made us a steel gong and some signs for our wildlife habitat but I just knew this was not within his abilities. He's never done anything "artsy," but I took the photos because I wanted to have them too.

Hey! Never doubt the inspiration of the Holy Spirit! Even his wife didn't think he could do it, but he made one that looked just like it, although mine is larger and has a big solid steel base to it, so it's not walking anywhere. Compare the photos. I love that he added antennae to my bench.

Garden Hose Holder Made By Charlie
View Enlarged Image
My friend Louise died over four years ago now, but Charlie still comes to visit at least once a year. We enjoy his visits since he likes to play games and cards and demands we have something for him to fix, so he and Randal enjoy a project together and Randal's always blessed to learn something from him.

He always asks if there's something he can make and this year we'd mentioned that we haven't been able to find a garden hose holder that works with the cheap plastic they're making them out of. We didn't want one attached to the wall of the house either, so the ones we tried Randal returned.  There was a heavy-duty one for almost $200 that would probably do well, but I refuse to consider putting that much into something to hold a hose! 

So, Charlie arrived for his usual 5-day visit with a creation of his own made from a wheel he cut in two and then welded to some other steel to make it larger since we have quite a bit of hose to put on it. I love it.

Steel is so easy to maintain with spray paint and definitely isn't going to blow away or deteriorate in our lifetime. I consider it a cool creation and a unique design made just for us. God is so good. Charlie stays plugged into the Lord, so we are continually amazed at what he can do through Him.

© Donna L. Watkins
Baby Tree Frog
View Enlarged Image
I'm missing the sound of our frogs.  I suppose they've all found their spots to winter over. The silence of winter would be deafening if we didn't have our cheery White-throated Sparrows singing away all winter long. And the Carolina Wrens fuss a bit as does the Tufted Titmouse which we have a lot of this year.
© Donna L. Watkins - Baby Tree Frog
View Enlarged Image

Back in October I went out to the deck and found a tiny tree frog on the post cap. He had just come out of the pond the day before most likely since he still had a bit of a pointed end on his rear where the tail was.

I laid a dime down beside it and the dime was bigger as you can see. I wonder where this little baby is wintering over. I am already longing for Springtime!

I sure would appreciate your prayers for a stray kitty that's been visiting our yard to have a home. It's the first stray we've seen in the 12 years we've been here. It's still rather young and quite skinny as you can see looking at the backbone.

 Beautiful face and gorgeous eyes. Looks rather healthy for a stray so I imagine somebody just dropped it off at the shopping center that is behind us on the other side of our woods. So sad!

Stray Kitty at Our Bird Feeder
Pray We Will Find Her A Home
We can't take in another cat since we have an elderly (16 years) FIV cat, Squeek, so we can't expose the new kitty to her and Squeek doesn't need the stress to weaken her immune system and put her into another immune battle. As many of you know, we've had quite a few. As some would say she's used up some of her nine lives.

She's been doing well, other than seemingly weakened kidneys, so we continually pray healing over her for that. She drinks a lot of water and that's good, but urinates a lot also. Common problem for older cats, but for us, that doesn't mean we have to accept it.

Squeek would appreciate a prayer from you also.  She loves to lie on the Word (Bible) above all other books.  It's quite interesting to me.  There's so much communicated in ways other than speaking, which is why we have the Holy Spirit.  However, it seems animals are more in tune with this unseen realm than most of us.

The holidays are coming up and people's lives seem to go mad. I thought when the economy bottomed out years ago that we'd see less cars on the road and certainly less shopping during the holidays, but it seems that has not been so. I guess when so many folks use "plastic" to buy rather than real money the mind doesn't mentally catch up with it all. Although we keep it real simple for the holidays (no shopping or huge menus). I do enjoy the stillness that seems to surround us as the rest of the world goes into hyper gear.

I liked this article I posted last year entitled, "Have a Holiday Revolution." It gives you a totally different possibility for celebrating the holidays. If you've had a loved one depart for heaven this year, you will find comfort in this: First Christmas in Heaven. You may want to share the link with somebody else to give them some comfort.

We tend to relate to holidays as we did as a child. There are a lot of emotions surrounding holidays and especially Christmas. It's a very lonely time when circumstances leave us "Alone For The Holidays" Maybe some suggestions from that article can prevent those feelings of deep despair, depression and discouragement.

Our pets need some extra consideration and care during this time of year to prevent anything horrible from happening. Here's some "Do's and Don't For Pets During The Holidays."

Murphy, Our Niece's Dog, Doesn't Seem Crazy About Christmas
If you think it's too late to call a truce for this holiday, bring up the subject when you do get together with family.  When we began to contact friends and family about stopping the "madness" I was surprised to find the majority of folks relieved and excited about it.

I have some friends I exchange "donations" with for Christmas.  We each pick a few favorite charities and email each other what they are and then we each get to choose from them and make a donation in honor of each other.  It's a fun and very gratifying experience!  I get all my Christmas shopping done within an hour in December.

Many folks have told me that they've brought this up and also had willing and ready people to stop the madness of Christmas.  Even if people weren't interested in totally giving up the gifts, you could limit the purchased gifts to one within the family group, rather than everybody buying a gift for everybody.

Rather than getting another ugly tie, more toiletries, or yet another pair of bedroom slippers, they decided on an amount to spend per gift and then made a Wish List at  Even if you don't buy it there, you can choose items you'd like to have and it's easy and free to use that feature of the website.  You can find a lot of things under the price of $10.  Nobody needs to increase their debt.  Bring back the old-fashioned focus of Christmas ... CHRIST!  It's a time to give to the less fortunate, not a time to fill our already full houses with more toys.

Thanks to the warmer weekend, I did more outdoor painting.  Finished the lamp post and light, mailbox and three coats of burgundy paint on our front door.  I painted our metal frog black in the backyard. It was green, but once I get started I have a hard time stopping.  I'm so grateful to be able to do any little thing that sometimes I get carried away.  I may have been seriously ill for only a seemingly short time considering the severity of the heart issue, but I believe I will be forever grateful for every health advantage and ability I have.

I thought my thyroid was healed, but it was hopeful thinking.  I'm on my way there, but My Thyroid Isn't Healed Yet.  I'm learning and growing every day as I spend time in the Word.  The Word is alive and active.  Its works to change us as we sow its seeds into our heart.  I want to hear God's voice more clearly.  I want to know His love with a deeper and deeper revelation of it.

When asked which was the greatest commandment, Jesus replied in Matthew 22:37-40, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."  

Love is the foundation of all life and God is love.  When Adam and Eve sinned and handed over dominion of this world to Satan, most of us would've said, "That's it! Back to square one." But God loved them too much. I wonder how many months or years God had walked and talked with them in the Garden.

Did you notice God didn't stop talking with them?  Some will say that God can't look on sin or fellowship with us if we're in sin.  God wouldn't have anybody to look at if that were true.  Even when Cain killed Abel, God came to him asking about his brother.  He lied (another sin) but God even gave him a mark on his forehead so he wouldn't be killed.  He even said that whoever killed Cain would suffer vengeance seven times over (read Genesis 4).  That's not the God most preachers preach about.

No matter how old we are, we still learn more and more about ourselves if we seek to understand the why and how of our identity outside of Christ.  The article below, "Do You Believe Life Is Tough?" has been something the Holy Spirit has been working out in me.  I've already received emails from others who had an "awakening" about themselves after reading it.  God is ever faithful to bring forth fruit as we sow the Word into our hearts.

Thank you for your encouraging emails! You are a treasure to my spirit and healing balm to my soul.

Love, Hugs and Oodles of Blessings,

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Do You Believe Life Is Tough?  (DLW)

Don't Focus on The Devil's Work

Debunking Myths and Misconceptions about Dogs

Water Can Make Your Yard Irresistible To Birds

Meditating Day and Night

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Newsletter - 11/1/12  (DLW)

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