Friday, December 30, 2016

Ditch the Resolutions…Count Your Blessings Instead!

Are you making any resolutions this year? If so, are any of them new, or are you simply digging up last year’s in the hope that THIS will be the year you follow through? While as tempting as that sounds, I am happy to announce that once again I will not be joining the millions who are.

“Why not?” you might be asking.

I do not believe in them. They do not work. Did you know that nearly 22% of people who make resolutions give them up within the first week? Or that by the end of March almost half of those who made resolutions are back to the same old routines and habits that they swore they would do better at? And by the time the next year rolls around how many people do you personally know that have actually kept the resolutions they previously made?

You’ve heard the phrase, “New Year’s Resolutions are made to be broken.” Well, I’d have to agree!

Of course, there are a few people out there who generally do much better at keeping resolutions, but, if we’re honest, these people are the ones who most likely began implementing these new goals before the previous year even ended.

This year, instead of making a resolution that I know I will never keep, I am going to keep track of my blessings! I’m sure you’ve seen this idea on social media, it usually makes the rounds again around this time of the year, but for those of you who aren’t aware of it, here’s the instructions for making a “Blessings Jar”.

You will need…

                                                                                    A CONTAINER...

You can use whatever container you want to…a jar, a box, a cookie jar...just about anything that is large enough to hold 365 days worth of little folded up notes. You can buy a fancy one, or decorate the jar yourself…for me, I am using my Pumpkin Cookie Jar!


The possibilities are endless! Use index cards, notepaper, colored or not…just make them small squares that are easily folded. I’m starting off with this adorable little notepad of blank paper that my Hubby found for me. (I think at Walgreens). It has a metal loop, so I can hang it on my bulletin board above my desk. (Just a note-I’d stay away from post-it notes, otherwise you’ll need to fold down the sticky band at the top so your notes don’t get stuck together).

A PEN or pencil, or a marker…whatever you can write with is good!


It’s pretty simple…write down one thing every single day (or weekly, if that works better for you) that blesses you, makes you happy, gives you joy. It could be a scripture that God gives you at a crucial moment in your life. It could be a memory you thought was lost. It doesn’t even have to affect you directly! Whatever you are thankful for, write it down on your little paper, fold it up, and slip into the jar. At the end of the year, on New Year’s Eve, sit down and read about the amazing, blessed year you had!

I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me in 2017, and I’d love to hear what God is doing in yours! If you have any idea’s to tag onto this one, or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to post them.

Let me leave you with a blessing…

“I pray that the Lord
will bless and protect you,
and that he will who you mercy
and kindness.
May the Lord be good to you
and give you peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26 (ceb)

Monday, December 5, 2016

When Your Name is No Longer Just a Name...

If you were to ask God to change your name, what would you want your name to be, or mean?

Someone asked me this once, and it made me pause and think.

To be honest, my name has always been just a name to me, nothing more than a way to identify myself from among the millions of other human beings living on the planet.  It means no more, or no less, than any other name.  At least, that’s what I’ve always thought.

The Bible says this in Proverbs 22:1…
“It is better to be respected than to be rich. A good name is worth more than silver or gold.”

A good name…but, what does this mean exactly?  How can a name be good, or bad?  Perhaps, just maybe, a good name means more than just words on a birth certificate. 

Let’s play a game.  I’m going to name a few names and you take note of the first thought that comes to mind when you read them.  Ready?

  • Hitler
  • Jeffrey Dahmer
  • Ghandi
  • OJ Simpson
  • Helen Keller
  • Billy Graham

What were your first thoughts?  These names are after all, just names.  But for me, when I think of them I can’t help but think of what they are associated with.  Each name carries with it their reputations, their acts, whether for good or for bad.  Each name is defined by who they are, or were.

A good name is more than just a name, and that places such a huge responsibility on my part.  My name will be shaped by my decisions, by my actions, by my words and by my heart. 

Who I am now will determine who I am in eternity.

To be honest, I don’t know what name I would choose if given a choice, but I do know that I want my name to mean something, to be a reflection of God’s grace.  And when I finally reach heaven, and see God face to face, I want to be worthy of whatever name He gives me.

So I’ll leave you with this question…

If you were to ask God to change your name, what would you want your name to be, or mean?

Blessings, Kathy

Thursday, November 3, 2016

30 Bible Verses to Get Your Thanksgiving Mojo Back...

It’s the beginning of November, and the prelude to one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving. However, unless you live under a rock, it’s getting tough to be thankful in a world crammed full of negativity. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Thankfulness is more than a one-day-a-year-holiday. It’s more than sending ‘good thoughts’ and ‘happiness vibes’. Being thankful is a choice. It’s opting out of the negativity and refocusing our thoughts on the good things in life, the things that we hold most dear…God, family and friends.

But if you’ve been feeling a lack of thanksgiving in your life, don’t despair! It’s easy to get it back. To help you out here is my list of “30 Bible Verses to Get Your Thanksgiving Mojo Back…”

1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
2 Chronicles 5:13
The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang, “He is good; his love endures forever.” Then the temple of the LORD was filled with the cloud,”
Psalm 7:17
I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High.
Psalm 9:1
I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
Psalm 30:11-12
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me in gladness, to the end that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
Psalm 34:1
I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
Psalm 95:2-3
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.
Psalm 100:4
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 106:1
Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Psalm 107:8-9
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
Isaiah 12:4
In that day you will say: “Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.”
Jeremiah 30:19
From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained.
Luke 17:15-16
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
Romans 6:17
But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
1 Corinthians 1:4-5
I always thank my God for you because of his grace given in you by Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way-with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge.
2 Corinthians 2:14
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
2 Corinthians 4:15
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 9:11-12
You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supporting the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
2 Corinthians 9:15
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
Ephesians 1:15-16
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
Ephesians 5:20
Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Colossians 2:6-7
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
Colossians 3:15-17
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 4:2
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful, and thankful.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 4:4-5
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
Philemon 1:4
I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers.
Hebrews 12:28-29
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire’.

Whew!  That's a LOT of thanksgiving! Do you have any other favorite Bible verses about thanksgiving? Post them below, I'd love to hear them.  

Blessings, Kathy

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Do You Lack Direction? Why Waiting is Always the Best Option.

I feel like God is tugging on me. I’m at a crossroads of sorts, no clear path in any direction for me to follow. I’m like an arrow spinning on its axis, searching for the next step in my life but the map is blank, shrouded in possibilities too far away to see.

And so I stand. 

I stand and wait.

And that’s okay, because sometimes standing and waiting is a part of God’s plan.

The world doesn’t always agree with me. The world tells me to hurry, life is passing by so grab all that you can before it’s too late. The world tells me standing still is folly, that I will become nothing more than a speed bump in life, something to get trampled on or a hindrance to someone else’s path.

But the world doesn’t know, or understand, what I know.

Sometimes waiting is the best plan when you’re faced with the unknown. Sometimes moving too fast in one direction causes you to miss the little detours in life that are crucial to a life dedicated to following God’s will. Sometimes moving too fast causes you to miss God all together…the blessings, the joy, a life filled with purpose…sometimes these are only found when we stop, and wait for God’s direction.

The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5-6..."Trust the Lord completely, and don’t depend on your own knowledge. With every step you take, think about what he wants, and he will help you go the right way". (erv)

I wait because I know…I KNOW…that God’s plans for me are good, far better than anything the world has to offer. It’s tempting, I know, to take that golden fruit of promise the world holds out, but in the end, taking that first step without God’s approval will ultimately lead me in a direction God never intended me to follow.

So while the world is rushing by I am waiting…waiting for God to lead me.

And that is more than okay. 

It is everything.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Following Celebrities Isn't All It's Cracked Up To Be

So in the wake of recent newsworthy events I’ve been following I recently found myself a bit shocked at the various reactions by people that I don’t know, but love.

Let me explain.

While I don’t understand the premise behind it, I am an avid follower of people on Twitter.  I’ve tried posting my thoughts but have found the lack of response quite…well…frustrating.  So instead I follow people and get my kicks out of reading their tweets, although lately the tweets have gotten a bit heavy-handed.

You see, I follow a number of well-known celebrities.  Why?  For the simple fact that I love the characters they portray in the shows that I watch, and I thought it would be fun to ‘listen’ in on their real lives.  Normally their tweets are funny and lighthearted, but due to recent events in the news I have found myself at odds with them and their belief systems.  It’s come to the point where I am questioning my sanity at continuing to follow them.

Reality has collided with fiction, and I’m not sure I like it.

It’s easy to forget while watching the latest episode of the show you love that these people on the screen are playing a part.  They are not reflecting who they are in real life.  The way they talk, the way they react, they way they live cannot be accurately portrayed through the lens of a camera.  Their beliefs and values are radically opposed to my own, and it is at this point that I have found my love for them a bit tarnished.

That’s why I am so thankful that Jesus is not like that.   In Hebrew 13:8 it says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”.

What does that mean?  It means that His love never changes, that His laws abide forever, and that He will never go along with the crowd for the sake of ‘fitting in’.  He won’t be swayed by political correctness, He won’t base His life and His decisions by the latest trend or fad, He won’t punish people after they’ve been forgiven and their sins are washed away.  In short, Jesus will never change who He is for the sake of worldly vision or values.

And I find that immensely comforting.

I don't have to base my life and beliefs on what someone else believes because I am serving a God who never changes.  I can enjoy the characters these people portray while resting in the knowledge that who they are in real life are people who need the Savior as much as I do.  So let those celebrities rant and rave over supposed injustices, let the world fly their flags of tyranny and political correctness, it will not change who my God is and it will not sway me from following Him.  As it says in Joshua 24:15…

If you have no desire to worship the LORD, choose today whom you will worship, whether it be the gods whom your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. But I and my family will worship the LORD!"


Friday, September 2, 2016

A Surprise Trip to Wisconsin...Just the Highlights.

I love surprises!

Well, the good ones, at least. And last weekend was one of the best surprises I have ever been given. My sweet husband, knowing how much I wanted to attend the annual Fritchen Family Reunion (of which I am a 'card carrying member' ha ha), surprised me with tickets to attend! So we spent 4 days in the land of 'Cheese, Kringle and Green Bay Packers' and soaked up as much family time as we possibly could!

If you are my friend on Facebook you've no doubt already seen the following photo's, and more, because I already posted them in an album. But these few that I am posting here deserve a bit of explanation, so without further adieu, here we go...


This is my Daddy. 

He was born in 1935 in Whitewater, Wisconsin. 

He was the best father in the world to me. Once he drove from Denver to Pueblo, Colorado, just to bring me a little black kitten for my birthday. Although it may not seem like much, it meant the world to me!

Daddy loved fishing and camping, working on cars (he was a mechanic), and spoiling us kids (my siblings and I) with love and ice cream.

We lost him in 1991, and he's been sorely missed. I was blessed to be able to visit his final resting place in the Waldo Cemetery. 

I don't have many pictures of him, and in fact, I have none of him and I together, so I asked my husband to take a picture of me and Daddy together. This is it. Love you Daddy!


I'd like to introduce you to 'Scary Doll'!  

No, I'm not kidding. This is the name the doll was given by my cousins, I was informed, due to the fact that her little wooden eyes move and often roll back in her head. In fact, when I mentioned that I saw Scary Doll to them at the Reunion they all shuddered and couldn't believe I even wanted a picture of her! ha ha. In fact, I had to convince my Aunt Mary to hold the doll close in the picture, she wanted me to take a picture of it at arm's length!

In reality she was the doll of my Great-Aunt Kathryne Eugenie Casson. Here's a picture of the two of them. We think the date this photo was taken was in 1908 or 1909, since she was born in 1906. The doll was made in 1899 and my Aunt thinks it was a Floradora Doll, which I am researching at the moment.

At any rate, 'Scary Doll' is now, officially, 117 years old! She's in amazing condition, with a wooden body and a bisque head. I was so happy to actually get to see her!  


We were so blessed to have spent time with some family members besides the Fritchens. Here's just a few pictures I wanted to highlight...

These lovely people are my husband's sister and her family! They live in the area and we were able to spend an evening with them catching up!

This is my Uncle Marshall, Aunt Joan, and cousin Pauline. He's my Daddy's brother. I was incredibly blessed to have been able to visit with them!

This is my Uncle Gil & Aunt Mary, and Aunt Ellen. Like me, Aunt Ellen traveled in for the Reunion. I also managed to see my cousins, Cindy and Tony, and his better half, Elsa.


Finally, I'd like to introduce you to a few people who are no longer with us, but are still very much loved and missed!

My Grandparents...Clarence and Marjorie. Unfortunately, I didn't know my Grandpa, he passed when I was just a baby, in 1971, but my Grandmother was a permanent, much loved fixture in my life! In fact, my Daddy's parents both died before I was born, so my sweet Olama was my only grandparent, and she spoiled me! 

I wish I had more room to write about her, but it would take volumes to express all that she meant to me. She passed in 2009, and I was blessed to have spent some time with her in 2008, just months before she went on home. She now resides in West Lawn Cemetery, with my Grandpa.

This is my beloved Uncle Clarence and his wife, Aunt Sue. They found love late in life, but what they had was amazing! I didn't know my Aunt Sue as well as I wanted to, they lived too far away, but from all that I've been told she was a wonderfully sweet companion to a man who was an important part of my life.

Uncle Clarence was my Godfather, and the life of the party! When he came to visit he brought laughter and fun and wacky gifts. 


Here's my favorite picture of was at a Fritchen Family Reunion, one of the few I remember from my childhood. Love you Uncle!


Just a quick mention...this is the chair that my Grandmother had when she was a little girl! My Aunt Mary had it tucked away. It's hard to imagine my Grandma actually sitting on this, but what a treasure!


In closing, I'd like to leave you with one more highlight. My hubby not only surprised me with tickets to Wisconsin, but for the first time we flew 1st Class!  What a treat!  For breakfast we were given Greek Yogurt with Granola and a Blueberry Muffin, other meals included a Cheese and Cracker Plate, and warm, gooey, chocolate chip cookies! They gave us non-stop drinks and warm towels to wash our hands, and along with the leg room it was awesome! If you've never flown 1st Class you should at least once in your life, it's a great way to fly!  

So in closing, I'm going to leave you with one last picture. My hubby and I on the plane getting ready to come home.  Be blessed my friends!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Getting in Touch with Your Feelings is Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be.

There is a great push in today’s world to ‘get in touch with your feelings’. Self-help books and popular speakers all urge that we need to ‘find ourselves’ and the best way to do that is to ‘embrace our emotions’. We are told to accept our negative emotions, channel them, and turn them into the positive through listening to what our hearts are telling us.

While this advice appeals to our deepest human nature, for the Believer, living life based on our emotions goes directly against the will of God.

The Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

The problem is that our feelings can change, quite frequently and without warning. And not always for the better. Have you ever seen a toddler throwing a tantrum? Not pretty, is it?  Now, have you ever seen an adult throwing a tantrum? While we expect the toddler to have no control over their emotions, as an adult, emotional outbursts are an awful thing to witness. When feelings (our hearts) take precedence over finding God’s will the outcome can be not only embarrassing, but downright deadly to our eternity.

Matthew 5:18-20 says this…”But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander. These are what defile a man…”

As a Believer I am expected to look for my direction and guidance from God, not my heart. My heart will often lead me in the wrong direction. Just because I ‘feel’ something is right, doesn’t make it right. If my ‘feeling’ doesn’t line up with what the Word of God says then I am living my life in error, which is a polite way of saying I am living in sin.

Ephesians 5:15-17 tells us…”Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Now, emotions are not evil. They are a part of who we are. God gave us emotions and feelings. But allowing our emotions to control us is not godly. Living our life based on the feelings that our hearts produce is not godly either. The key to managing our emotions is daily spending time with God.

Prayer. Bible reading. Attending church. Spending time in worship. These are the building blocks of the foundation that our emotional stability in God is built on. When our foundation is right, our life will be right, and when our life is right, our feelings will no longer take us where they want us to go.

I think Proverbs 3:5-6 says it best…”Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Blessings, Kathy

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Scarier Side of Blogging...

There is a side to blogging that no one tells you about, and one, that I have found, to be immensely scary at times...

...just how much of "me" should I put out there?

As a blogger it can be difficult to determine just how much honesty and transparency to put in my writing.  How fine a line should be drawn across a personal life? The “do’s and don’ts” of sharing are not quite so clear. I have read blogs where, literally, every life’s detail is laid out moment by moment, to the point of it becoming not so comfortable to read.  I have also read blogs where it’s nothing but statistics and facts which are informative, but not so entertaining.  Neither of these types of blogs keeps my attention for long.

I am trying to fall somewhere in the middle.

It’s a hard tightrope to walk. I tend to lean more toward the conservative side, my natural tendency is not to reveal too much because, let’s face it, I am a people-pleaser. While this is not a personality trait that should be encouraged, it is, however, a distinct part of my life.  I am also, to be brutally honest, terrified of being hurt or misunderstood.  You see, people-pleasing and hiding-your-feelings-to-avoid-disapproval-and-hurt go hand-in-hand.

Does anyone else feel this way?

I want to be authentic, I really do, but at the same time I don’t want to overload you, dear readers, with way too much personal information that will leave you feeling uncomfortable at the end of reading my blog. There has to be a middle ground, some way to bridge that gap, and I think I've found it...

Just write.

So here we an effort to overcome my natural tendencies I am going to just start diving in...well...maybe not diving, more like dipping my the 'scarier' parts of blogging.

I can't wait to begin! 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day ain't Happy

This Memorial Day I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the brave men and women who have given their lives in service to the United States.
I hesitate to say, “Happy Memorial Day” for the simple fact that labeling this day as ‘happy’ seems a little insensitive.  It is, after all, a day to commemorate those who lost their lives, and not, as some would think, a day to gorge ourselves on potato salad and burgers, or snag the latest deal down at the local mall.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good burger as much as anyone else, and maybe it’s just me, but, the blatant commercializing of the day to honor our military dead seems a bit irreverent, and well, to put it plainly, disrespectful.

How many of us ever think of the real meaning behind Memorial Day? Do we know why it was created? Do our children know?

I’m not advocating that we all walk around in sackcloth and ashes, but I am saying that a part of our ‘celebration’ should be to take a moment to reflect and remember the dead, those men and women who willingly gave their lives so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have today.

In fact, in the year 2000, then President Bill Clinton passed a resolution called, the “National Moment of Remembrance”, which asks that at 3 p.m. local time all Americans do just that, pause for a full minute of remembrance and respect to honor our fallen military heroes.

So instead of wishing you a "H---y" Memorial Day, I leave you with this quote from President Truman...

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Is God still tasty?

Anyone who knows me knows that I love my dehydrator. I haven’t met a fruit or vegetable or applesauce yet that won’t find its way upon my trays. There’s nothing quite like those dried fruits and veggies that allow me to munch and snack without regret, and just the thought that they came as a result of my labor sends little trills of joy shooting through me!

Due to my love…er…obsession with this wonderful mechanical wonder my cupboard truly overflows with its tasty wares, which caused me a slight dilemma. I ran out of storage for the tasty treats I loved to make and over the last few weeks I have been munching and snacking my way through my containers, wistfully avoiding the produce aisles for lack of space.

But this weekend I found myself smack dab in the middle of the produce aisle, eagerly reaching for not just one pineapple but two, as well as a bag full of shiny granny smith apples. Throwing in a bunch of bananas and a couple of pints of strawberries caused my heart to sing and I could barely control myself with the thought that soon, very soon, I would be slicing and drying again! What joy!

So there I was late Monday night, loving the sound of the familiar thwack-thwack-thwack of the apple slicer, my heart at peace, when a scripture came to mind.

“Taste and see how good the LORD is! The one who takes refuge in him is truly happy!” Psalm 34:8

I am often amazed how awesome God is. He knows just the right words to make my heart sing, and these words were perfectly suited to minister to me at that time.

This scripture is an invitation from God to get to know Him, an opportunity to discover the ‘tasty’ side of Him. Living for God has been sweet, and a joy, and so full of goodness that I cannot get enough of Him. From sunrise to sunset and every moment in between I can only testify to how good He is to me, even when I am less than perfect.

You see, I have not been totally faithful to Him of late. I’ve let my personal devotions slide a bit. Due to…well… life, I’ve put Him up on the shelf and closed the lid. I can see him through the clear containers, I just haven’t been making room for Him in my life like I used to. But just as I needed to open up those containers and actually eat that sweet fruit, I need to open up God’s word and devour it. I need to get to know God all over again, to taste what He has to offer.

It’s so easy to just go through life, days sliding into months, without realizing that through my own neglect I am missing what I am most craving, a deep relationship with the God who saved me. It’s time to take down that container and open up the lid, to eat that sweet fruit and take refuge in the One who knows me better than myself.

And from now on, when I hear the thwack-thwack-thwack of the slicer, I pray that it be a reminder of just how tasty my God truly is.


Kathy W

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Discovering Arizona at the OK Corral!

Arizona is not just an oven-bake state.  In spite of its reputation for intense heat and dry summers there are months where the weather is beautiful, cool and breezy.  Like today.  A sunny 85˚ offset by a refreshing westerly breeze is a more than welcome respite from the coming summer months when venturing outside requires shoes and sunscreen at all times.

This beautiful weather drew us out of our air-conditioned home and out into God’s creation, where we headed off to two popular tourist destinations, Goldfield Ghost Town and the OK Corral.  If you’ve never been to either of them I urge you to get up, get out, and get going!

They are located next to each other on the Apache Trail, snugged up to the Superstition Mountains, in Apache Junction, Arizona on Highway 88.  For the sake of space today’s post will just review the OK Corral, next week I’ll be sharing about the Goldfield Ghost Town.

Bryan and Tex, me and Dallas, enjoying our view of the Superstition Mountains.

If you love horses, then the OK Corral is for you!  Open year round, you will need to call ahead to make a reservation, but we found them very accommodating.  We called from the Ghost Town and an hour later we were sitting on our very own horses!

The gentleman who welcomed us was friendly, and after some good-natured ribbing about our lack of preparation (we were both wearing shorts, and I didn’t have any sunscreen) the Hubby and I opted for our first ride to be just a half hour, any longer and I might’ve broiled in the sun! After signing a waiver we headed out to the corral where we met our trail leader, Hank, and received instructions on how to mount, and operate, our horses.  The staff…er…cowboys were all friendly and helpful, and made us feel completely comfortable despite the fact that both my Hubby and I hadn’t ridden since childhood.

We found the cost affordable.  We paid $30 per person for a half hour ride, but for just $10 more per person we could've rode for an hour.

Here are some points to remember…
  • Wear sunscreen…especially if you’ve got super fair skin like me.  Even when the weather is cool, the Arizona sun can be merciless.
  • Wear long jeans or pants…if we had expected to ride horses we would’ve been a bit smarter about our wardrobe choices.  As it was, we were in shorts, which is fine, but by the end of the ride my legs were sticking to the saddle.  Also, obviously, pants prevent scratches by bushes and whatnot when your horse walks too close to them.
  • Wear tennis shoes, NOT flip flops or sandals…luckily my feet were appropriately attired, unlike the time I climbed to the top of Diamond Head in Hawaii in flip flops. (Yeah, that happened.)
  • Wear a hat…but make sure it’s not floppy or loose.  A ball cap or a hat that ties beneath your chin is good, it has to fit snug so the wind doesn’t blow it off. 
  • Bring a bottle of water…if you’re going out longer than half an hour, make sure you bring water to drink.
  • Leave your purse or backpack’s in the car…I didn’t realize my shoulder slung purse couldn’t be worn and had to leave it at the desk.  However, it was perfectly safe, so there were no worries there.
  • Bring a camera…the trail guide encouraged us to take pictures while we rode, and he stopped us several times to take a picture of us together.  If you’re worried about dropping it, use one of those wrist thingies.

Overall, our experience was fun, and informative, as Hank pointed out plants and critters, and filled in some of the history of the area.  Our horses were gentle, and in fact we rarely had to do anything other than sit on them as they fell into line behind Hank’s horse and adjusted their speed to his.  My horse, Dallas, tried to snatch a bite to eat from a bush, but she responded to my correction quickly and got back in line.  My Hubby’s horse, Tex, did seem to have a mind of his own and required much gentle urging to keep pace with the rest of us.  I think he just wanted to enjoy the scenery as much as we did!

I would definitely recommend the OK Corral, and we are making plans to come back for a much longer ride.

For full information, including prices and location, visit their site found here:  Superstition's O.K. Corral Stables

First View of the Stables!  So excited!!

Rule for going up a hill...hold the saddle horn and lean forward.

Rule for going down a hill...lean back and hold your feet out to the side.

A beautiful view!

Dallas and I

Bryan and Tex

Our last photo op.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Happy Spring!

I love Spring.

I love the flowers blooming, I love the freshness of a morning breeze, the cool nights spent gazing at the moon.  I love the sound of the birds singing outside my window and the happy chatter of children playing in the park.  I love the smell of freshly mowed grass and fresh fruit for breakfast in the morning.

Spring is a time of renewal, a time to push aside the heaviness of winter and to count the blessings that God has given me.  It’s a time of rest, peace and restoration.  In this fast-paced life that consumes us, it’s good to sometimes, quite literally, stop and smell the roses...or in my case, the cactus blossoms!

It’s also the perfect time to give praise to the One who created it.

If you’re like me life can become pretty hectic, rushed and full of well, just every-day-run-of-the-mill busyness.  Life can overwhelm us, so much so that sometimes we forget to simply tell God thank you.

So this Spring, let’s take a moment out of our busy lives to just give God some of the love that He so richly pours out on us. 

The Bible says in Psalm 95:1-11

“Come, let’s shout praises to God, raise the roof for the Rock who saved us!  Let’s march into his presence singing praises, lifting the rafters with our hymns!

And why?  Because God is the best, High King over all the gods.  In one hand he holds deep caves and caverns, in the other hand grasps the high mountains. He made Ocean—he owns it!  His hands sculpted Earth!

So come, let us worship: bow before him, on your knees before God, who made us!  Oh yes, he’s our God, and we’re the people he pastures, the flock he feeds.”  (The Message MSG)

Blessings! - Kathy

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Let's Talk!

People love to talk. We talk about everything and anything, it seems as though there is no topic that is taboo. There are talk shows and shows that explore our feelings, shows that allow us to air our differences or spout off about our various pet peeves. Social media is jam-packed with people talking about everything, and nothing, and all that is in between.

Unfortunately, in today’s society, there is very little restraint included in these conversations. People are encouraged to let it all out, whether good or bad, to ‘express yourself’, no matter if what you say is hurtful, or mean-spirited, or rude. It’s almost as if the goal is to make yourself feel good without regard to those around you that have to listen to your words.

And sadly, a lot of Christians are the same way. As a Christian we are called to be different in everything we do, and that includes the way we talk.

The Bible says in Colossians 4:6

Let your conversation be gracious and attractive, so that you will have the right response for everyone.” (New Living Translation)

I’ve been around Christians who are brash and rude, who think that because they have found a new life in Christ that entitles them to blast others with the gospel message, no matter how hurtful they sound. Instead of attracting people to Christ, our words push the lost away. If we want to win others to Christ, we must be very careful how we present ourselves to the world because it’s through us that the world will see Christ.

Let’s break this scripture down:
  1. Be gracious – this simply means to be kind in our speech, to pause before we speak so that we can choose our words carefully. It’s called tact and understanding. Simply put, we must put the needs of others first in our conversations.
  2. Be attractive – other translations say “seasoned with salt”. Salt is tasty. It adds flavor to a dish to make it more palatable. Our speech should be just as tasty, filled with the good things that God has done in our lives so that when others hear our words they get a taste of what the Lord could do in their lives. Like bee’s to honey, our words need to attract the lost to the Savior.
  3. Respond rightly – people are unique, so the way we respond to them should also be unique. Some people respond with a firm hand, some don’t. We all come from different backgrounds and upbringings, our experiences have shaped who we are and how we react to those around us. As Christians, we need to be sensitive to how we respond to those around us.

A conversation is worthwhile when it is gracious, kind and tailored to fit the one we are speaking to. As Christians we must choose to be different in our speech. As it says in Proverbs 25:11, “A well-spoken word at just the right moment is like golden apples in settings of silver.” (the Voice) 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Is God Happy with His Living Space?

Recently in one of my Small Group discussions 
we discussed the fact that our body is God’s property and that we are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17). The main topic of debate was how this truth affected the way we see ourselves and would we do anything differently knowing this? 

I’ve got to say, this truth makes me realize the importance of what I do, what I eat, what activities I participate in. I have to ask myself the questions…“Since God lives in me, is He happy with His living space? Does He approve of what He is drinking, eating, seeing, listening, doing through me?” – faced with these questions, and my knowledge that God lives in me, I can no longer justify my bad behavior or outright sin. The sobering fact is that my actions can actually hurt the very God I claim to love and serve.

The Bible says this….”But the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23 erv)

Self-control is one of the evidences that we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us. And self-control applies to more than just dieting, it’s controlling what we allow our bodies to take part of-what television shows we watch, what movies we see, what music we listen to…where we go and what we participate in affects our walk with Christ.

I think as Christians we have to be careful with how we treat our bodies because we are a reflection of Christ to the world. As stewards, or caretakers, of God’s temple it is our responsibility to keep His temple clean. And if, as a Christian, the world cannot clearly see Christ in me, then am I truly a Christian? Now, I realize that I am not, and cannot, be perfect, but there should be a difference between me and the world because I walk with Christ.



(this post can also be found on Vineyard Women)

Friday, January 1, 2016

Looking Forward...

So last night we rang in the New Year by watching a marathon of the “Thin Man” movies. Outside firecrackers popped and exploded, but for me and the Hubby it was a perfectly ‘quiet’ celebration. We are not big fans of all the hullabaloo that New Year’s Eve brings.

I’m also not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. Most of them tend to last as long as it takes to roll out of bed the next day, and a lucky few manage to tag a long for a few weeks before they, too, get lost along the way.

Don't get me wrong, I think that making resolutions can be fun, and my hat is off to those of us who not only make them, but manage to keep them long enough for them to bring about lasting change in our lives, but I think most of us are in the same boat...we love the thrill of making resolutions, but lack the conviction to follow through. (I'm actually speaking mostly about me, ha ha)

Yet it is the tradition of the New Year, isn’t it?

So in that spirit of tradition I am going to make one resolution this year. Just one!

I resolve to continue living an authentic life, to be the real me in all situations, to continue to embrace the good parts of me, and to acknowledge the parts of me that are…well…not so good, to look neither to the left nor the right, but to keep my eyes firmly fixed forward as I live out the life my God created for me.

There you have it!  My one resolution.  Certainly not ‘earth-shattering’, but it will do. I gotta say, I am kind of excited about what 2016 will bring.  Just think, an entirely new year, a blank slate that is just waiting for your story, whether your resolutions succeed or fail, it's certainly going to be an adventure living it.

Happy 2016!

Do you, dear readers, have any resolutions that you would be willing to share?