Heroes

Good morning!

A hero is a person who combats adversity through impressive feats of ingenuity, bravery or strength in the face of danger while often sacrificing his or her own personal concerns for some greater good.

Here are a few of my favorite heroes.

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Mother Teresa.

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Ghandi.

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The passengers of United Flight 93.

We’ve been hearing a lot about heroes these days. They have been a popular subject matter for many a motion picture as of late.

Take for example 13 Hours. American Sniper.  True stories of American heroes.

Heroes don’t just have to be American. Or Christian. There are countless other heroes whose brave efforts go unnoticed each and every day. Those that battle not just religious and political warfare, but  illness, poverty, injustice just to name a few. Those that sacrifice their lives for a bigger, greater good. And to all those heroes I say thank you! ♡

As Americans,  we will never forget the myriad heroes of the September 11th attacks. I can only imagine being one of those average citizens on United Airlines Flight 93, a domestic scheduled passenger flight that took on al-Qaeda hijackers on September 11, 2001. Those brave souls untrained in combat that risked their lives to gain control of the aircraft which during the struggle crashed killing all on board yet saving the lives of an unknown target. A target believed to be either the White House or the Capitol Building.

I know I for one would not have been able to sit tight if put in that same situation.  Fear would not have paralyzed me. Faith would have enabled me the courage to fight for what I believe in.

That’s what being a hero is all about. Common people believing in a cause.  Enough to die for it.

Isn’t that what Jesus ultimately did for us?

He sacrificed His own personal concerns for the greater good for mankind. He took on our sin then died on the cross. A hero. So you and I could live.

Jesus Christ. The ultimate hero.

Let’s all be heroes each and every day. We don’t have to just battle the big stuff. Like wars. We all have our own personal battles we struggle with daily.

We can be heroes each day in the little stuff. I can take the hand of an insecure child and walk him or her into his or her classroom. I can be his or her hero. You can buy the groceries of a struggling young mother in line in front of you. You can be her hero. The list goes on.

I encourage each of us to look around.  Follow Jesus’s footsteps. Be somebody’s hero today. 🙂

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
Romans 15:1-2

Love and laughter,

Sandy

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Google

Good morning!

I have no addictions. But if I was to, you could almost bet I would be addicted to Google.

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Google, the most visited website in the world.

Thanks to our modern technology and the internet, we can now carry on seemingly intelligent conversations with others about subjects unbeknownst to us and write blogs about any subject matter whether or not we are truly knowledgeable about it, at the touch of a screen. All simply because we can Google it.

Google offers us:
Instant intelligence.
Instant worldliness.
Instant gratification.

In days of old, if I failed to know something, I would have to search through an actual book, an encyclopedia.  Remember those sets of books your mom could purchase each week at the grocery store?  Or if your parents were really well off, you had your own set of Encyclopedia Britannicas.

To find answers regarding current events depended on actually being present at the event, reading a newspaper article about it, or catching the daily radio or television newscast to find the answer you were searching for.

Or one could simply say, “I don’t know.” That was an acceptable answer. Back then.
Not any longer.

Anytime I don’t know something,  I immediately Google it.

A few quick hits on my smartphone and voila! Instant brilliance!
You gotta love it!  ♡

Google is the ultimate Web search engine used to help you find an answer to virtually anything and everything!

But did you know that the ultimate answer cannot be credited to Google? It came from Jesus when He answered, “No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

That answer can be found in a plethora of locations,  but it was originally found in one book, the Holy Bible. Chapter 14 of John, verse 6 to be exact.

It’s the most significant answer there is. It doesn’t even matter the question.

Let’s all Google to our heart’s content to find the answers to all the worldly trivial information we are seeking. But let’s all hold in our hearts the one, the only, true answer to everything, Jesus Christ.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
John 14:6

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Separation Anxiety

Good morning!

I’ve had a new house guest for the past several months. Her name is Nellie.  She belongs to my youngest daughter. 

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She’s a Pocket Bully. Just a puppy. And an adorable one I might add. Until my daughter, her “mama” or owner or Pack Leader, leaves her home alone without her. 😦

That’s when she quickly begins wearing out her welcome with me!

She chews everything in sight!
The harder the better!
Things that she shouldn’t! 
Like remotes (Lots of remotes! They are her favorites!) and shoes and reading glasses and brand new wooden Adirondack chairs still in the box. 😦

She suffers from separation anxiety.
It’s a real live condition where a dog is hyper-attached to its owner and cannot cope when the owner is not there.

The signs and symptoms include excessive chewing to relieve the stress it feels or continual barking or whining.

For Nellie, the answer to her separation anxiety and my sanity is now a crate when her mama is not home.

The crate should be your dog’s safe haven, a place he or she feels secure and enjoys. She even gets her favorite bone and or toy to be used as a stress reliever while she is in there. 

That’s how we are wired as well. Just like Nellie, we get separation anxiety when we are separated from our Heavenly Father, our God, our Master. Out of His will. No longer listening to Him. 

Just like Nellie has destructive behavior patterns when she is away from her master, so do we when we are separated from ours.

Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to help us by being with us at all times. No separation anxiety necessary. He convicts us of our sinful, wrong behavior. He guides us in the right paths for our lives, and is our seal that we belong to God.

Let’s all find confidence in the fact that we will never be alone. We will constantly have the Holy Spirit guiding us. Let’s step out of our crates, our safe havens, today and into the world and share the love of God to all that cross our path.

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;
John 24:16

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Snowball Fight

Good morning!

This is the floor AFTER a snowball fight in Miss Marilyn’s classroom.

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Our most recent unit has been about winter. We’ve been learning about snow and with it comes snowmen and snow angels and sledding and ice skating and hats and mittens and scarves and boots and hot chocolate with marshmallows and throwing snowballs!

And boy have we had fun throwing snowballs! 🙂 Not real ones of course. And our snow isn’t real either. And our forts to hide behind may not have really been made of ice, but rather just our chairs. And our hill to slide down on our sled may just have been a slight incline in our inside heated hallway sans snow. But our hot chocolate with marshmallows is real! ♡ And the excitement that is shared by all the kids as we “pretend” couldn’t be more real!!!

When’s the last time you had a “Snow Day”? A day when temperatures were below freezing and you dressed up in your winter outside gear and just went out and played. Played until you couldn’t feel your toes. Then went in and sipped hot chocolate.  With lots of marshmallows! 

If you were a kid when you last remember doing so, then that’s just too long! You can do it inside!  Just like we do! Just pretend! 🙂

Nothing is more precious than the smiles and laughter of young children as they engage in play. It’s their work. Their imaginations are limitless.

The next time it’s Brrr cold outside,  bring the outside in. Bring the winter play time indoors. Move the breakables and have a snowball fight with rolled up socks. There’s something about it that you just can’t resist throwing just one. 🙂

Let’s all let our inner child out. Out to play. Jesus wants us to all have the faith of little children any way. Then pour yourself a cup of hot cocoa in your favorite mug, sit and savor it, and thank God for play.

And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls at play.
Zechariah 8:5

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Things You’ll Never Do Again

Good morning!

How many of you have done something in your life for the sheer purpose of saying you did it?

I know I have!

Have you ever not necessarily wanted to do something but peer pressure sways you into it?
A little “I double dog dare you” goes a long way! 🙂

How many of your parents have responded to your,  “Everybody else is doing it!” with an “If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?” in jesting?

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I am here to tell you I would do just that! I have!

Lake Tenkiller in Oklahoma is known for its cliffs. It’s almost a rite of passage for any high schooler once the weather begins to warm. The big daddy of them all is the 120 foot bluff, aptly named, “Pure Hell”.  It’s no longer accessible to the public due to the number of lives it has taken over the years. But I’m sure there are still those thrill seekers that manage to take the plunge.
Been there done that.
Smart?
Good decision?
Of course not!

That’s kind of sort of how it is with God. We often are tempted, whether it be by our own selfish, fleshly desires or Satan himself, into doing things that the Holy Spirit (that Christ left us with) tells us are not safe or in our best interest.
But we do them anyway.

Let’s instead listen to the Holy Spirit. To Jesus not our peers. He tells us to “Come”. With Him the only leap we need is a leap of faith to trust Him. We do not need cliffs. Instead we can walk on water. It’s much calmer. All we need is a little faith. And a whole lot of Jesus He’ll always be there to save us.

28 Peter said to Jesus, “If it is You, Lord, tell me to come to You on the water.”29 Jesus said, “Come!” Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water to Jesus.30 But when he saw the strong wind, he was afraid. He began to go down in the water. He cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 At once Jesus put out His hand and took hold of him. Jesus said to Peter, “You have so little faith! Why did you doubt?”
Matthew 14:28-31

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Dining Apps

Good morning!

This is a screen shot of one of the app pages on my phone. As you can see, I have several fast food dining apps.

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I work in education. 
Therefore, I am paid very modestly, so I live on a frugal budget. And lucky for me, I work very near Tulsa Hills Shopping Center. A dining app lover’s paradise! In or adjacent to it reside a QuikTrip, a Panera, a Subway, a Chick-fil-A, and a Starbucks. I happen to have an app for each one of them. And I frequently visit them all. I’m a soup or salad and coffee kind of girl!

Every day I receive texts for free or discounted food and/or drink items from one or another of these. Often times one of us from our classroom will hop in her car and make a fast food or drink run for us all for lunch.

Oh, the simple pleasures in life! 🙂
It truly takes so little to please me!

How about you?
What little things in life please you?

Food and drink and making merry? 🙂

Not so sure I want an app for the latter.
Making merry. 🙂
I’m sure there are many out there.
Not so sure they are in agreement with God’s plan for my life if you know what I mean. 😉

I’d prefer to stick with my dining apps and make merry through the companionship of those I love. Sharing in food and drink and conversation and smiles and laughter as I toil through my remaining time here on earth.

Let’s all enjoy our lives. Through the good and the bad. Find pleasure in the little things as well as the big. But more importantly, let’s bring pleasure to others. Leave them better than we found them. No app necessary for that. Just good ol’ fashioned God’s love. ♡

So I commended pleasure, for there is nothing good for a man under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry, and this will stand by him in his toils throughout the days of his life which God has given him under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 8:15

Love and laughter,

Sandy

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Good morning!

This is the cover story of yesterday’s Sunday edition of the Tulsa World newspaper.  An article on gambling addiction.

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I get it. Gambling has touched my life. I’ve lived through the devastation it can cause. Second hand.

What really gets me is immediately following the article, at the bottom of the page, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is advertising you can win 100,000 in cold hard cash Saturdays in January!

And you wonder why there just might be a few lost souls walking around our fair city with a gambling problem?

Who proofed the Sunday paper this week anyway?
Seriously?!  
Very inappropriate advertising on the same page as an article against gambling if you ask me.
But they didn’t.  😦
I thought about writing a letter to the editor.
But I didn’t.
Instead I wrote this blog.

Whether it’s the lottery or the casino, the thrill of striking it big is always out there enticing us to get rich quick. But there is a price to pay for such pipe dreams. Such illusory or fantastic plans. You may win. One time. Enough to reel you in. Until you need your next fix. But you oftentimes lose your soul in the game. As the article states, it’s not just a game.

When you notice the casinos constructing additional square footage to their properties, it’s a sure sign they are not the ones losing. You are. The gamblers.

Let’s stop taking a gamble with our lives. Let’s let the chips fall where they may. Let’s accept where God wants us to be content. Let’s stop wasting our valuable time and resources throwing away our finances, our marriages, our families, and our precious lives.

God wants us to invest of ourselves.  Little by little.  In His kingdom not the fleeting riches of this world. Let’s invest in eternity,  that’s where the true treasures lie. And that’s not just a game.

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
Proverbs 13:11

Love and laughter,

Sandy