Mustard Seed

Good morning!

I went out to eat last night to a Chinese restaurant.  As I was dipping my spring roll into the hot mustard, I was very careful to use it sparingly.  It only takes the slightest amount of hot mustard to taste it.  Too much and your sinus passageways will be incinerated.

That reminded me of the mustard seed. It is one of the smallest of seeds but produces some of the largest of trees.  Just like that hot mustard, the slightest amount of faith, as small as a mustard seed, is all it takes to move mountains.    A little bit goes a long way.

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It’s summer time.  Time to fire up the grill.  Hamburgers and hot dogs. I would encourage each of you as you pass the mustard, to be reminded of the power of the little mustard seed.  Then trust the power that God has given you in just a little faith.  Then start praising and praying.  For big things.  Ask God to help you move those mountains in your life.  Then believe it will happen.  A little mustard.   It will spice up your life like you never imagined.  Try it. 🙂

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17 : 20

31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.
Matthew 13: 31-32

Love and laughter,

Sandy

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Prime Rib

Good morning!

I was treated to the most delightful dinner last Sunday. I had joined a precious family for the Memorial Day weekend.  It was a sit down dinner for 16 at the yacht club. And I had prime rib!

This was a very special occasion.   You see, I am not normally a meat eater at all.  I’m the soup and salad girl. And desserts. 🙂  But if I am inclined to eat meat, bring on the prime rib!  Medium rare.  With lots of horseradish.  It was delicious!  Such a carnivirous treat!

What’s your favorite meat?

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I very rarely will be seen eating a steak. But there is something about prime rib that tantalizes my taste buds.  It must be the word PRIME.  Best, choice, supreme. I settle for nothing but the best.  Or then again, maybe it’s the word RIB.  If I go back to my roots,  where exactly did Eve, the mother of all the living, originate?  Why Adam’s rib, of course!

Just like I made a conscious choice to eat only the best cut of meat, so it is with my faith.  I consciously choose to follow only one God.  The best.  The one and only true God. And believe in His son, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit. Why would I choose anything lesser?  After all, He gave us His best.  He gave us His only son so we could have eternal life.

How about you?  Are you serving the one true God?  Giving Him your best?
If not, I’d encourage you to start now.  It’s never too late.   A simple little prayer will do it. If you have doubts or questions or want help, this believer that we came from Adam’s rib straight from God would love to be of assistance!   Just ask!

Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
Genesis 2:22

Love and laughter,

Sandy

50 Ways To Say I Love You

Good morning!

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I love you!  Luv Ya! ,\,,/ ! I♡U!  I ❤ U! Ditto! 143! 831! Iay ovlay ouyay! Ana behibak! Yes kez sirumem! Obicham te! Soro lahn nhee ah! Tsi ge yu i! Ne mohotatse! Ngo oiy ney a! Wo ai ni! U kamakutu nu! Mi aime jou! Volim te! Miluji te! Jeg Elsker Dig! Ik hou van jou! Amin mela lle! Ma armastan sind! Afgreki’! Doset daram! Mina rakastan sinua! Je t’aime! Ta gra agam ort! Ich liebe Dich! S’agapo! Aloha Au Ia`oe! ohevet Otach! Nu’ umi unangwa’ta! Taim i’ ngra leat! Ti amo! Yo Te Amo! Aishiteru! Sarang Heyo! Te amo! Bahibak! Kanbhik! Ayor anosh’ni! Eg elskar deg! Doo-set daaram! Kocham Cię! Eu te amo!Ya tebya liubliu! Volim te!

Quite possibly the three most difficult words to say. But quite possibly the three most important words we all need to hear.

No matter how you express it, in what language you are speaking,  it means the same thing. According to Webster's dictionary it is how we express an intense emotion of affection, warmth, fondness, and regard towards a person or thing. I'm not a big fan of loving "things", but that's how Webster defines it.

From a Christian perspective it is God's benevolent attitude towards man, and man's attitude of reverent devotion towards God.

God did not go for quantity when it came to the manner He used for expressing His love for us. It was quality all the way!  He expressed it like no other.  He gave His one and only Son. For us.  He didn't have to say it. He showed it. After all,  we all know actions speak louder than words.

Now that's love. The ultimate precedent.

How about instead of thinking up 50 ways to SAY I love you, we use our resources more wisely and think of 50 ways to SHOW others how we love them? Walk the talk.

That's your challenge today.

Here's my #1. This blog. It's my way of  showing the world how much I love all those in it.  Through my written word. Through expressing what's on my heart. Revealing to you,  my readers, who God made me to be. How He uses my successes and my failures to touch others. And hopefully, somewhere along the way, I can offer you a little encouragement to look within, and see how He is working in you.  We're all in this together.  We're here to glorify God and love and serve others.

I want each of you to read these final words today, and truly let them sink in to your most inner core.

Because I mean it.

And God means it.

He's sent me to be His hands and feet. I choose to believe, His hands. I write. I'm kind of lazy when it comes to the feet. 🙂

I LOVE YOU.

Don't ever forget.
You are loved. ♡

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Mac And Cheese

Good morning!

Let’s talk about comfort food.
Mac and cheese is my all time favorite comfort food!  Gotta love it!  ♡ Preferably homemade. Shells or large elbow macaroni are my fave. With lobster. With panko bread crumbs. With bacon.  With everything on it from the food trucks. White cheese.  Orange cheese. Any cheese. Just bring on the mac and cheese!

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What’s your favorite comfort food?

When you really think about it, does food really truly comfort you?
In actuality,  I’d have to say no.   It brings temporary satisfaction to my taste buds, but once it’s passed through my mouth, I’m left with nothing but a memory.  Of how good it WAS. Past tense.  And usually a little guilt for over indulging.  And I want more.

Instead of seeking comfort in a calorie ridden bowl of carbs, why not seek The One who truly is Our Comforter.  The only one that can offer us true comfort.  Eternal comfort.  That never causes us reason to need comforting in the first place.  Our God.

Then once we are comforted,  let’s pass it on. Comfort others. You can always find someone to offer an encouraging word or smile or hug to.  We live in a broken, fallen, hurting world.  They’re out there.  You just have to see through God’s eyes to find them. Jesus tells us “Seek and you will find”.

And let me know if you ever need comforting,  that’s what I’m here for. 🙂
I’d be glad to whip up a batch of mac and cheese and get together and chat anytime!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Pomp And Circumstance

Good morning!

Most everyone at some point in their life has sat through a chorus or two of the old familiar graduation march of Pomp and Circumstance.

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It’s that time of year again.  Graduation. Caps and gowns.  Diplomas.

I went to a very poignant high school graduation party last night before going in to work.  It was a true celebration.  A time to honor one of the first major accomplishments most face in their lives.

There was a vast assortment of guests in attendance.  They were compiled of the many friends and family members who had crossed paths with both the guests of honor and their parents across the span of their combined lives. These were people from their neighborhood, their church, their work, and their playtime activities. These were the people that influenced them in some way or another to be the young man and young lady they’ve turned out to be. Quite impressive.

The guests of honor were a precious set of twins.  A brother and a sister who have always stood beside each other.  Always gone to school together.  They will soon be attending separate colleges in separate cities. Living separate lives than they are accustomed to doing.  Their lives will change considerably. That got me thinking.

I’m planning on attending a college graduation in a few weeks.  More years of education. More successful accomplishnents.

One leads from your parent’s home to the world of higher education,  college. The other leads from college to the outside world, usually bringing independent living on your own, a job, a marriage, a family.  The accomplishments go on and on.

It’s safe to say that graduation, whether it’s high school or college, brings with it a rite of passage. A time of change.  Usually from adolescence to adulthood.
In our beginning stage of life, as an infant we could not handle solid food.  We are raised on milk.  As we mature, we can better handle solids.

So it is with our faith.  We cannot understand God’s Word in its entirety in our early walk.  We have to take it slowly.  Digest a little at a time.  Read a little at a time. Meditate on it. Be still and let God speak to us through it.  God is too great for us to comprehend Him all at once.  It’s a journey.  It’s a slow and steady process.

It’s why we start at kindergarten and progress each year in our learning.  All the way to graduation.  Same goes for our faith.  Except I imagine our graduation party on the faith scale will be much more grandiose.  Jesus will be The One handing out those diplomas with a “Well done good and faithful servant. ” 🙂

I encourage each of you to never grow stagnant.  To continue evolving into the best you can possibly be. That means your knowledge and your faith.  And if you already know enough.  Then teach. Reach one, teach one.

12For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
Hebrews 5:12-14

This is for you Ashley and Clayton.  May your life continue to offer you successful accomplishments.

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Orphans And Widows

Good morning!

I went to the lake for the Memorial Day weekend. On Sunday morning we attended a local church service where we had never been. Instead of a sermon, they had a guest speaker, a woman from the Sparrow’s Nest, an orphanage and child and family crisis center in Latvia.

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She shared the heartwarming and the gut wrenching stories about several of the children by first name only that had been there.  She told us about siblings currently awaiting adoption by a family in the states. Everything was in order. She shared about Satan’s plans to thwart the adoption by sudden loss of employment for the husband and their own birth child being struck with seizures.

My heart was moved. Kind of like the ASPCA television commercials move me.  They pull at my heart strings and bring me to tears. Except this was real people, so more so. I just hate those things! I want to immediately go rescue ALL of them and bring them home to live happily ever after with me!

But I can’t.  😦
What CAN I do? What can you do?
First of all we can pray. Preferably that their own families and homes can be restored. If not, we can pray for new, healthy homes for all of them. Pray for continued staffing and resources to offer them the best care and love in the interim.   Pray for healing in their loss due to death, abandonment or abuse.

We can adopt an orphan. This is a bit more demanding, but the best solution for these children. Or foster.

We can donate.  Our time and our resources.  Cold hard cash works wonders. God accepts it graciously.  After all, it’s His to begin with.

And most of all, we can love our own children wholeheartedly.  We can teach future generations the value of love and family and service to others.  To take care of orphans and widows. And to love Jesus.  We can stop the vicious web of destruction.  Drugs.  Alcohol.  Lying and cheating. Divorce.  Materialistic and narcissistic ways. The world’s way.

We can outsmart the enemy. We can do it God’s way.

Individually we each can make a difference.   United, we can change our world.

27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
James 1:27

Love and laughter,

Sandy

In Memory Of

Good morning!

Happy Memorial Day!

For many Memorial Day means nothing more than the start of summer vacation.  The pools are officially open, and school is out. Woo hoo! 🙂

But for most, it’s a time to remember the true meaning of the federal holiday, those who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  That’s why we decorate the gravesides with flowers and flags.

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It is a time that stirs up emotions.  Usually painful ones of loss.  But often times victory. As we see the more fortunate soldiers who are fathers return to surprise their kindergarten daughters’ graduations.
The tears shed are both.  Tears of sorrow and elation.

tt’s also a time to remember those who served for our freedom as Americans and are still living amongst us . Those who risked their lives for us, and those who are still risking as we are eating charcoaled burgers and partaking in water activities and not giving the true meaning of Memorial Day another thought.

As I reflect on this holiday today, my thoughts go back to another man who  served us and gave up His life for our freedom many years ago.  His name was Jesus.  We need to honor Him each and every day.  With our best.  Continually offering up our love and our service to Him and others. Let’s all serve Him proudly. God first.  Country second.

I urge each of you today as you gaze out at all the red, white, and blue to take  a moment of silence in remembrance for the brave men and women who protected and protect this awesome country we call the USA!  Remember the dead, but honor the living. Thank a soldier.  Buy him or her their meal if you see them out.  Donate to the Wounded Warrior Project.  Say the Pledge of Allegiance to yourself the next time you see an American flag.  And mean it. We still live in the land of the free.  That’s pretty awesome in itself.  And you can thank an American soldier for that.

Thank you to all the men and women who have and continue to serve in this country I call home, the USA! You all are my heroes!  I love you!

12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.   .                                                            1 Timothy 6:12

Love and laughter,

Sandy