Easter is around the Corner!

During the pandemic many choirs picked up this song by Andrew Peterson and created videos on YouTube. I just have to share it with you again to bring honor to our Christ! I just love Andrew’s smile in the top video. There is more than one person shedding tears during this song. Yes, there are 3 versions! Why not? Review the lyrics and confirm your heart in the truth! So many Scriptures in this song!!

Pandemic Version
Youth Version

Give This Thought and Practice

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.

Omar Khayyam

This moment. Right now. Just now.

How many of us even think about that idea? We are so far off in “If only” and “What if” that we are usually barely conscious of right now. But we can be conscious of right now? We most likely will have to train ourselves to do this present moment thinking. I cannot overstate the benefits!

Can you stay focused on God for more than a moment?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

Mark 12:30 NIV

This moment is your life and your chance to love the Lord your God. This moment. Right now. Just now. Many people before us have tried multiple methods to accomplish this. What is your method? Have you developed a practice towards keeping happily with His presence in each moment? Turn your heart towards Him as you sip iced tea or hot coffee? As you walk through a door frame do you remember you are walking in His presence.

There are countless methods to mind the moments. What is yours? As we turn our hearts and minds continuously towards the Trinity we will find more satisfaction and happiness in each moment. Take the challenge for yourself. Practice His presence and find ways to be happy in this moment with Him.

Recently I was hit with a bout of nausea and other sickly symptoms. I had to stop everything I was doing to cope with my body and symptoms. Talking with a dear cousin she also was ill for a few days. She mentioned that she just cried out to the Father, “I know You have taken care of me and met all of my needs. I know You will do that just now, even while I am not feeling well.” And indeed, God did. Though she was not as energetic as usual, she was able to take care of herself and her attitude by staying conscious of God’s good care.

“Be happy for this moment.” Were either one of us happy to be sickly? Absolutely not! Rather than wasting time awfulizing or bemoaning our state of being we both made a decision to stay aware of our good Father and invite Him into the situation.

Photo by Valentina Ivanova on Unsplash

Humor While Walking Lucky

Like most modern subdivisions we have a drainage pond. There are usually Canada Geese there spoiling the sidewalk with there stool. Sometimes on the water we get Wood Ducks. They are so lovely. Last year they hatched their eggs at our pond but I think the local coyotes got most of the goslings. The wood ducks seem particularly fond of one yard where they keep the feeders filled year ’round.

While walking Lucky the other day, I wondered if the Wood Ducks thought they were camouflaged? You decide!

Mr Baker, why do you have decoys in your yard? Oh, those are real!!

Just Silliness

Is a hearse on a tow truck twice dead? Not what Scripture teaches:

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment

Hebrew 9:27 KJV

“Going to hell in a hand basket.” Now wait a minute. you cannot fit very much into a hand basket! Maybe a dozen eggs; certainly not a person! If you study the idiom, it means is to be rapidly deteriorating – on course for disaster.

Sign said, “Right on red arrow after stop.” Explain that to me! Lane only goes left.

And for a snippet of poetry:
The moon smeared the cloud strips with a large brush
She used a small brush to paint through my window

Humor at Church

We recently visited an Episcopal church to worship with friends and to hear a presentation from a series on Healing. Both of the altar boys were wearing the alb.

It is not unusual to see various brands of gym shoes and jeans below the alb. What startled me was the edge of a hoodie inside the alb collar that read under armor.

 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 

Ephesians 6:10-11 NRSV

Hoping the kid knows that Scripture!

Turning Away?

Is seeking for treasures in plain sight a turning away from the things of reality, especially challenging things? Not at all! The goal of seeking treasures in plain sight is to bring the reality of a relationship with the Almighty into the everyday world. Learning to seek the blessings surrounding us, regardless of the bleakness and in times in spite of the bleakness that sometimes accompanies human day to day life. Our paths are strewn with delights if we will open our eyes to see and believe.

Paul wrote:

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8 NRSVA
God used a donkey, (Numbers 22:21-39) He want to use you, too!
Petrified Wood – Lord, protect me from congealing or solidifying!

Brother Lawrence, named Nicholas Herman, “Seeing a dry, lifeless tree in the dead of winter, and realizing that soon it would burst forth into life as the sap rose in the spring, Herman knew that he was spiritually dead and asked God to give him a rebirth. It happened, too.” https://www.guidelines.org/devotional/brother-lawrence/

photo by r m dutina

I am ever aware that the LORD blesses me with seeing things for encouragement. He did not have to let me see this land snail in the heart of the nasturtium backlit by sunshine, and yet He did.

Blessings surround you and me. As I watch snow squalls whip about our yard, the male and female bluebirds are perched at the top of the oak tree. The tree is barely more than a stick!

Keep your eyes open for blessings abounding to you!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Weird Advertising

In Cincinnati we have some good advertisers that are creative and humorous. They have a bakery ad for Busken’s that shows a high school graduate and says “He’s done. Put a fork in him!” They decorate sheet cakes with photos and cookies with school colors, etc.

Recently I saw a billboard by some other company that I found weird and distasteful. If you were searching for joy, would you search for it in a cemetery? With the rise in suicide awareness I think the idea behind this billboard is objectionable. Maybe it’s just me? Maybe I am reading it wrong? At another location teh same billboard for the cemetery reads “Find peace here!”


And then Bob found this one a few years ago. Thankfully it is starting to fall apart now so maybe we won’t have to endure it much longer?

Yuck, closet space and divorce!

There are companies that help arrange things so you have more closet space. In my opinion, this is not how anyone should do that.

Did I Post These Already?

Do you know these sayings and prayers?

At a retreat I was taught this wisdom regarding our Father:

Even now, He is with me. Even now.

Years ago Bishop or Priest leading CT Retreat

I went so far as to cross-stitch this and give it to those who might be struggling with their faith or difficult situations. It is a good thing to remember. No matter what befalls us or what we are going through, even NOW, Christ is with us!

About 2013 I wrote this prayer- mantra. When I am thinking ouch, pain, pain! If I will turn my brain instead to Him Who loves me best, praise will come forth. Just as Muslims have the 5 times a day call to prayer broadcast in the area of the mosque, I am called to remember my Lord even when I hurt. David turned to prayer multiple times a day as did Daniel. Jesus often went away by himself to be with the Father. He also addressed the Father as in Matthew 25 with a familiarity that showed he spoke with Him throughout each day. Since I have not used my 2013 prayer in a while I have had to retrain my memory to call it forth readily. It is amazing if I use each pain situation to lead me to praise, how those pain situations begin to decrease in occurrence and intensity. Even if they do not decrease, my attention is turned to Someone greater than my pain.

I have determined that this day, each time I am drawn up short by pain, I will praise You, for I love You better than life – even better than quality of life.

Molly L. Dutina

Are these at all helpful to you? Will you take them into your spiritual practice? Perhaps copy out onto 3 x 5 or 4 x 6 cards? Carry the quote. Read it while waiting in line or at an appointment. Ask for wisdom to apply it to your life.

The important thing is not to think much,

but to love much; and so,

do that which best stirs you to love.

St. Theresa of Avila

I have a friend who repeatedly gets herself in spiritual turmoil by thinking too much. Are you guilty of that? At times, I am. When I find I cannot shake something or someone out of my mind, it is usually because I have been thinking too much about the situation or person. If I can move simply to loving and stop so much thinking, my way is simpler.

“Held by God like a feather which has no weight in its own strength and lets itself be carried by the wind.”

Hildegard of Bingen

The Holy Spirit is often compared to wind. When I remember I have no weight in my own strength, I can let the wind of God carry me wherever He wishes.

Self care involves self respect.

Self care is not selfish.

My mother often harped on the theme of her children being selfish. Need I say I was not taught self care or even self respect? Now into my 70s I have learned that self care is wonderful and God insists that I do it. No one is going to do my self care. It is up to me to honor Him even in caring for myself.

Sometimes I am not so hearty.


I was a revelation to realize that I can admit the above. “Not so hearty” is okay. At times we are all like that.

PERSEVERANCE is a l  o  n  g obedience in the same direction.

I think Charles Swindoll said or wrote the above

My friend who lost over 100 pounds loved this quote. I like it because of chronic pain issues.

s f g t dSomething For God To Do

There are things we are aware of that need changing, but we must remember that most of those things are something for God to do – not us!

If a prayer here or quotation spoke to you I hope you will explore it more deeply with the Holy One. All wisdom resides there, not with me.

Christ himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  Colossians 2:2c-3 NRSV

Wide Open Gratitude!

“Living gratefully offers a merciful path for walking through life with our eyes and hearts wide open.”

Kristi Nelson

“A merciful path,” think about that. Hearts and eyes wide open.

Let’s do that!

Walking about the yard I play Pick-up-Sticks with nature. The wind has brought down many twigs and branches that were loose or just waiting for a gust of wind to propel them to earth. Later I see my neighbor participating in the same game.

I see where the dogs have left their “pee-mail” as my friend Pat calls it. Tufts of grass higher than the others. Soon the neighbors will ask the Home Owners Association Board when the hired help is going to begin mowing!

Hearts wide open – I realize just how many folks my sometimes introverted husband has gotten to know by walking our beagle. Lucky will not ‘do her business’ unless we walk her. So 4 times a day we are out the door.

Bob told me recently about the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus. Walking Lucky for her last walk of the evening I have been enjoying the moonlight, clouds, stars and seeking out those two planets in our sky.

online photo

Last night when I walked Lucky the almost full moon was behind huge clouds. The interplay of light and shadow, the warmth of the evening, made me wish for a lounge chair outdoors! I could hear voices and knew others neighbors were outdoors, too. Could not see what deck though.

Gratitude, merciful path, today is gray and cloudy but the grateful memory of last evening still makes my heart light. What have you seen or heard lately that keeps your eyes wide open? Watch for those treasures in plain sight. They surround us for the discovering!

Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever!
Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord,
    or declare all his praise?

Psalm 106:1-2 NRSV