Thursday, May 15, 2014

Newsletter - 5/15/14

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"The tendency today is to put the emphasis on service.  Beware of the people who make usefulness their ground of appeal.  If you make usefulness the test, then Jesus Christ was the greatest failure that ever lived.  The lodestar of the saint is God Himself, not estimated usefulness.  It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him.  All that Our Lord heeds in a man’s life is the relationship of worth to His Father.  Jesus is bringing many sons to glory."
 -- Oswald Chambers

Hello Dear Friends!

Me & My Hunk - 3/16/78
Chosen For Makeup Demo
Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA
During the first year of our marriage, while we were living in Oklahoma, we took a trip north through the Grand Canyon and out to California.  We entered the incredible highway system of Los Angeles and visited Universal City Studios in Hollywood.  There were many things of interest ... getting to see how they filmed the parting of the Red Sea, which we rode through on a tram, was very interesting.

While attending a demo on how they do makeup, they chose Randal and me to be the folks to be transformed into Frankenstein and His Bride.  They placed us back-to-back so we couldn't see what was going.  As the audience had a giggle now and then, I wondered what we were going to see when it was all over.  When they turned us around, it was quite shocking! 

I had this photo they took with my camera made into wallet-size photos and as I wrote to people back on the East Coast (we didn't have email then), I said we had only been married a year, but it had already taken its toll on both of us.  Our first anniversary was 3 weeks after the photo.

For those who are married, do you remember how delightful and wonderful it was to think about your soon-to-be husband.  Dreaming dreams of the terrific couple you will make seeking life's goals together.  Having somebody to understand and be in total interest of your every emotion and need? By now I am hearing giggles.  It doesn't seem to end up that way.  Of course, one of the reasons is that we don't get a relationship so we can fill our needs ... we get a relationship to give 100% to another human being. 

For so many, that's a HUGE awakening.  Reality is that nobody can get that deep-on-the-inside hole filled with another human form.  We weren't designed to be able to do that.  God put that empty area within us so we would crave and desire and spend time with Him, the only One who can bring peace and joy into our lives no matter what the circumstances.  However, God did provide for us if and when we choose a mate.  He made male and female different so that as one flesh we would be made whole to operate and function in this world.

There is scientific evidence that men and women are built differently to complement each other, but we tend to see those differences as something frustrating and difficult.  We each have unique strengths and need each other to complete the picture in all of life's issues.  Even if you are not married, everybody has relationships with the opposite sex and will still need the other's perspective.  We are not to be the same.  These differences are built-in by design.  Watch this 22 minute program from "Mad About Marriage" to get some divine revelation on how you can improve your relationships with the opposite sex.

Looking at the "mess" of the Universal Studios photo made me think about how we must have looked to God before Jesus paid the price for our sin.  We were placed in Him on the Cross and risen with Him from the grave to become the righteousness of God.

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor. 5:21).

We are now joint heirs with Christ.  The whole idea that we share equally with Jesus who has inherited everything is beyond my comprehension.  It's a huge blessing, but also a big responsibility as any such inheritance would be in the natural world.  Consider it this way:

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Great-crested Flycatcher
In the same way in which a check made out to two people cannot be cashed without the endorsement of both parties, so our joint-heirship with Jesus cannot be taken advantage of without our cooperation. Unaware of this, many Christians are just trusting that the Lord will produce the benefits of salvation for them. They are acutely aware that they can do nothing without Him, but don't realize that He will do nothing without us (Eph. 3:20).

The way we place our endorsement on the check is to believe what God promised in His Word and act on it as if it were true. IT IS! Jesus has already signed His name to every promise in the Word. We aren't waiting for Him. He is waiting for us.  (Source:  One Year With Jesus in the Gospels)

Our Great-crested Flycatchers finally returned on the 2nd of the month.  They are such pretty birds.  They enjoy our deep woods in the back for nesting locations.  One year they nested in a box that wasn't far from the screened porch.  That was fun to watch.  These birds generally place a snake skin in their nest and let a bit of it hang out of the hole apparently as a "threat" to any that might consider entering.

The easiest time to watch these birds is when they choose a dead limb on a tree to perch and hunt for insects on the wing.  They fly out from the branch grabbing the insect in flight and then return to the same branch to eat it.

Although bug-eating birds are beneficial at times, like the Flycatchers that do eat beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, etc., these birds enjoy a variety of food that we would not want to see eaten, such as butterflies, dragonflies, and bees. It will also take a small lizard or skink and dine on fruits if available.

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Indigo Bunting
We had an Indigo Bunting visit on the 4th.  Randal and I both got a chance to see it but the only picture I got was blurred since he had gone from the ground to a tree much further out.  However, we've had them visit before, so I include a previous photo taken in another year.

They are so bright blue that they seem to light up the area they are in.  There's no way to miss seeing it when they are here.  They actually don't turn bright blue until their second breeding season. 

This bird is actually a member of the Finch family.  They prefer brushy pastures and edge habitat where brushy fields meet the forest.  That's definitely not our habitat so we only see them for brief moments as they migrate through to their preferred nesting areas.

Indigo Buntings consume grasshoppers, beetles, cankerworms, flies, mosquitoes, cicadas, weevils and aphids. Obviously beneficial for the garden.  They also eat grass, goldenrod, dandelion, thistle and other weed seeds.  A very beneficial bird to have in your habitat.

The Gray Catbird is singing his song while the Mrs. tends to the nest.  He sits from a perch and sings away.  Watch Video of Gray Catbird Singing.

In the evening the male kind of "mews" to the female.  She will sometimes respond also.  It sounds like whispering sweet nothings in her ear before bed.

Our Eastern Fence Lizards are doing their pushups and the males are fighting each other for the females.  We place some stumps of wood around the property for habitat for lizards since we enjoy their antics so much.  They love disappearing into the bark or crevices of the stumps as they age and crumble.

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First Eastern Gray Tree Frog on Deck This Year
A few years ago we had an Eastern Gray Tree Frog mate on our deck and deposit the eggs in the birdbath.  [Read more on Eastern Gray Tree Frogs.]  We have a small pond that we put in for frogs, dragonflies and such, but this must've been one lazy Missy that didn't want to make the trip from the deck to the pond ... or one smart Missy because that year we had a high number of Green Frogs which are large frogs and they do enjoy eating eggs and tadpoles.

So, I had the decision to make on what to do with the eggs.  I decided to get a 5-gallon bucket and put them in and watch the process of growth.  Little did I know .... you can only have so many eggs per area of water .... and a whole lot of other things too.  I decided to take the challenge on raising some of them and you can read all about my Eastern Gray Tree Frog Adventure beginning with this post. 

It was a time-consuming job in some ways but it was very exciting to see the little guys sprouting those legs and that cute little face beginning to form.  My husband began calling me Mama Tad, a name I still have today whenever one of what we assume to be the offspring visits me on the deck ... like this first one of 2014.  He arrived when I was sitting on the deck.

He was right by the chaise and since my hands were clean (they are VERY sensitive to chemicals and should only be handled if you have no creams or substances on your hands.  Their skin is super thin and absorbs such things quickly, which is why they are an indicator species of environmental issues.  I talked to him and told him I was Mama Tad in case he'd heard his mom's story about me, and that he was very welcome to enjoy our deck and all the moths that fly about the light at night.  We turn it on specifically so the frogs can get their fill.  After our chat I put him on the deck again and he went about 3 feet away and settled in the shade of one of the railing posts to watch me.

Since there is such a problem with loss of pollinators, we are so happy to see so many of them in our  habitat.  We have so many different kinds of bees and wasps.  It's truly exciting.  They are very evident when our holly bushes and trees are in bloom.  They go crazy over those tiny little blossoms.  I filmed a video of the pollinators on the holly, if you decide to view it, there's an enlarged option at the bottom right of the video screen that will let it 'popup' to full screen.  Be sure to notice all the wonderful Spring bird songs in the background.  How many of them can you identify?

Thanks to Rainbow for sending me this graphic on fear.  One of my major verses right now that I am using to stand in faith is Proverbs 3:5:

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."

I found in this healing journey walk that I really had no trust in the Lord.  I would say that I did (religious answer) but when I would have conversations with God, He would point out to me that the foundation of my healing journey is faith and without trusting Him, faith is not activated.  [Related Article:  Totally Forgiven, Is That How You See Yourself?]

The example that gave me a visual picture is that of a Daddy telling his child to jump into his arms.  If the child has been raised to see his Daddy as always providing good, there will be no hesitation.  But if the child never got to see his Daddy because he was serving in the military and was told that his Daddy killed people and didn't provide any care or concern for the child, he wouldn't be able to jump when confronted with this command.

We've been told that God does a lot of bad things in this world.  We're told He kills people because He needs them in Heaven.  He sends tornadoes and hurricanes to destroy towns that have sin in them (what town doesn't have sin in it).  He makes bad things happen to you to teach you something.  Although we might say we love this God, it's not hard to understand that our minds and heart would definitely not agree with that.

We have to know that the devil does evil and God does good.  We must begin to expect good from God because what we expect or imagine will become real in our lives.  Jesus said He was the exact representation of the Father (Heb. 1:3) and Jesus never put disease on anybody.  The Bible tells us many times that He healed ALL.  If it was God's will for somebody to be sick and diseased, then Jesus would not have been able to heal all.

Many people will believe that disease is God's will.  They believe that He can heal, but that He probably won't heal them.  The question I want to ask when people tell me that God puts disease on people so they can learn something is this:  "If you truly believe that, why are you going to the doctors to fight against the will of God?"  If you don't learn the lesson this time, you'll be going around the mountain another time with another disease.

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Me At Brookgreen Gardens - Murrells Inlet, SC
There's a home in our neighborhood that has some huge Chaste Tree bushes/trees.  They bloom all summer long and in my favorite color, purple, and actually have a fragrance.  What is there not to like?  They are drought tolerant and the bees and butterflies love them.  I thought I'd do a bit of research on the bush to see if we had any spot that might allow one.  [Article: Chaste Tree For The Garden.]

I have known about Chaste Tree as an herbal remedy since it helps with PMS and menopause symptoms.  I used a formula called Wild Yam and Chaste Tree while going through menopause.

Here's a tidbit of health information to close with.  Don't cut yourself short on sleep hours.  Sleeping only 4-5 hours a night induces mental impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level above the legal driving limit. (Read More)
Much Peace and Many Blessings to YOU!

P.S. Anything in here that might help somebody you know?
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written by Donna

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