Sunday, March 22, 2020

COVID-19 vs. Sin

  "Where's all the toilet paper? Where did all the baby wipes go? What will we do without enough sugar?" People (including usπŸ˜‰) are now walking around town with little bottles of hand sanitizer. Church services are being held live on Facebook. We can't go through a day without asking how many cases of the coronavirus are in Maine. How many cases are in the world. How many people have died from it.
  All this hoarding, too. People are CLEANING OUT the paper products, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes. NO bread left (except for the expensive kind.) NO sugar or flour. And where are they keeping all these extras?
  This got me to thinking; if the whole world can go into a frenzy over something like a virus, then why aren't Christians going into a "frenzy" over sin? You know--why can't people be hoarding Bibles instead of toilet paper? Why aren't people asking how many people in the world today have died without knowing Christ? Maybe this virus will make some think about their souls. I hope so. It's hard for me, as an introvert, to mention Christianity to someone, but I could certainly get out from behind my comfort-zone respirator (that protects me, supposedly, from the sin virus) and tell them about God!
  Remember, that man with the cart-load of flour and bottled water needs to hear the Gospel! The woman who wears a face-mask and disposable gloves, who wipes down every nearby surface, and who stays 6 feet away from everyone needs to become a Christian! There are many dying from the coronavirus, but there are MANY more who die without Christ.


Sunday, February 16, 2020

Pets

  The first pet our family had was when I was fairly young. It was mostly my pet-a lop-eared rabbit I named Chet. We kept him in a rabbit hutch outside.

  Our next pet was Timothy, an orange tabby. He stayed in the house the first year or two we had him, then he moved to the outdoors, finding shelter in our storage tent. He was so tame he let me push him in my doll stroller. Unfortunately, he was too independent, and took off when Daddy tried to transport him from one of our houses to the next.
  We had an Australian Shepherd  named Dusky, a really loud dog who loved to jump up on people and was trained to shake hands.
  Also, during the time we had Timothy and Dusky, we got a kitten we named Josephine; we should have named him Joseph, it turns out.😏The two of them tolerated each other, but had tussles every once in a while. Josephine wasn't the smartest cat in the world, so when she disappeared one day, we weren't all that surprised. Here are the two of them-Josephine is the one in the rabbit hutch. (Don't worry, we had sold Chet, so he wasn't in there too.)


   After those two cats were gone, we were given a gray cat we named Martha, and another orange cat we named George. George was a pig, stuffing himself with whatever food he could find, whether it was meant for him or not!😊 Martha had four kittens, which we named Albert, Buddy, Polly, and Ginger Ale. (My brother named Ginger Ale, but he HAD wanted to name it King Darius, for some reason.) Martha hid her kittens just before we moved, so we didn't bring any of our cats with us. There were plenty of warm barns for them to find refuge in.
  Since we were Amish at the time, we had a horse named Abby. She was 16 years old when we bought her, retired from the racetrack. She knew how to go at a fast clip down the road! She had a habit of tossing her head from side to side, which is why she came with the name Flipper.
  After we moved, we got a free orange tabby at the local animal shelter. We named him Shuffles, since he would shuffle around at first, before he got used to us. We had him for about 8 years before he disappeared one day and never came back. He was probably around 9 or 10 years old, so perhaps he died of old age. Whenever there was an available lap, he'd jump right in, settle down, and go to sleep. And if a lap wasn't available, he'd jump on your back!

  Our current two pets are Leonard (a Lionhead rabbit, that we bought while we had Shuffles) and Hope, a black and white cat that's over a year old. Leonard has a mind of his own, and doesn't always like to be held or brushed.


  Hope is very friendly, and loves to be held and petted. She catches rodents, the occasional bird, and even eats earthworms and slugs! Here she's having fun with a mouse:


  She also enjoys the outdoors, unless it's too cold or wet, and climbs a lot of trees, as you can see:


  So that's an overview of our pet experiences! I wish I had pictures of all of them, but we either didn't bother taking pictures, or were Amish, and couldn't take pictures.




Thursday, January 23, 2020

Addictions

  I'm not addicted to drugs, or to cigarettes. I'm not into following the latest fashions. But...is there any possibility I could be addicted to something else? Such as reading? or to watching videos? or to any number of things?
  In I Corinthians 16:15, it says: "...and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints." What a thing to have said about yourself! Why can't we be addicted to that? or addicted to reading the Bible? or encouraging others?
  This year, let's think about what we're truly addicted to. Yes, addiction sounds bad, but if it's channeled in a good direction, it is a good thing!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

This Year

I plan to...
  learn to drive,
  grow and thrive,
  ride my bike,
  take a hike,
  skim new books,
  ply steel hooks.

    This year,
      I want to...
        grow in grace,
        run the race,
        do and dare,
        pray and care,
        read God's Word
        and be assured.

          This year,
            I get to...
              serve the King,
              praises sing,
              fellowship,
              mercies sip,
              cheer and bless...

  I'll be busy, I guess!

 

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Bird Nerd

  I don't remember when my interest in birds began, but in recent years I've taken my interest to a new level.
  I've started a life list of birds, which so far is in the 80's. My newest lifer on this list is the tufted titmouse. I saw that one on my trip, when we stayed at a friend's house in central Maine. No one could understand my excitement at seeing a new bird. (They're not big birders.) I ran for my camera and took numerous photos of the two titmice in the bush out the window.

   I've seen quite a number of new birds this year: a Baltimore oriole, a black-and-white warbler, and a Canada jay, to name a few.
  I post some of the new birds/birds I count up for Birding Big Day, on a website called eBird: www.ebird.com, where you can see what birds are being noted in your area, or give bird lists of your own. I've taken part in two Birding Big Days so far.
  We also have a neighbor who lives just down the road who also enjoys bird-watching and photography. Whenever we get together, we compare pictures and bird sightings. 
  And by the way...I nicknamed myself The Bird Nerd. :) It's very true, though!
  Have you been seeing any new birds, or are you interested in birds? Tell me about it in the comments!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Answers to Prayer

  Sometimes God answers our prayers in big ways--when the test results come back clear, or when the head-on collision is avoided. But what about the little things? Here are some of the "little" ways God has answered prayer for me in the past couple years.
 
  I was riding my bike on a trail not far from our house, and as I rode, I prayed. "I'd like to see a deer, or a moose, but what I'd really like to see is a bear," I told God as I pedaled. 20 minutes later, I came in sight of a bend and...I stopped short. What did I see? A black bear!! I had never seen one before in the wild before. Well, that was definitely an answer to prayer! After taking a quick picture of it, I started back, hoping my answer to prayer didn't chase me back home! :)

  Daddy and I went to Presque Isle early this year because I had a doctor's appointment. Then we went to get an ID for me; I didn't have a proof of residency with me. Our last stop was Lowe's. How boring, right? Well, as I was browsing the gardening section, I noticed a sign that read: End of Year Sale. All Perennials and Shrubs 90% Off. Of course, seeing as how I had wanted rosebushes for a long time, and not being willing to pay $30 for one rosebush, I jumped at the chance...and bought three!

  I was crocheting a blanket for a friend's newest brother; but I ran into a problem. I didn't have enough yarn to finish! I thought of using white, but I really wanted the blanket to match all the way through. I'm not sure if I prayed about this one or not, but I went to the thrift store not long after, and decided to look in the totes full of yarn they had for sale. (The yarn I had been using had been given to me by a neighbor who had purchased it years ago.) I found a ball of yarn in a little bag, which looked promising, and when I brought it home, it was so close to the shade I needed that you could hardly tell the difference!
   
  So there are a few examples of answered prayers. They don't have to be dramatic. They can be as simple as finding missing long underwear, like happened this afternoon. :) As a Christian, keep your eyes open, and you can see God's hand at work in your life!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

My Bible School Adventure

  On November 3, a red Buick Century pulled into our driveway, signaling the beginning of an adventure! Grace Vermont & I were headed to PA for a week of Bible School.
  After stopping at Beacon of Light for church, we continued on our way, finally arriving at Paul & Laura Lloyd's house at around 11:00 P.M. Lugging my heavy suitcase upstairs was a feat; I don't know how to pack lightly, and probably never will! Two other girls were already asleep on an inflatable mattress in the same room when we arrived; Grace & I slept in a bunk bed.
  The next morning, as the others got ready, I asked one of them if she was a Lloyd. She said, "No, I'm Rebecca."
  "Rebecca who?" I asked.
  "Rebecca Sidor," was her reply.
  "Oh, I know who you are! I know your sister, Elizabeth!" I exclaimed.
  "Are you Courtney?" she quizzed. When I nodded, she said, "Elizabeth and Jaleesa (another of my friends) are sleeping in the next room. I'll go get them." And she was off.
  When they came in the room, we were all delighted to see each other. I had prayed tentatively before I came, that maybe God could arrange for us to stay at the same place, but I didn't expect it to actually happen! And, with no planning from any of us, it happened!
  After breakfast, we, and the rest of the BS students staying there/living there, piled into car and van to begin a week of Bible School.
  The first day seemed strange and unfamiliar--a huge building, with 200-some students, most of whom I had never met. But as the week progressed, I became used to the routine.
  There were four messages preached basically every day, covering such topics as A Way of Escape, taken from I Corinthians 10:13, or practical applications to a Christian youth's life, such as in the area of evangelism. Mark Miller preached on that topic, and he had two $100 bills, one for a young man, one for a young woman. Whoever wanted to could take it, with the understanding that it would be used for evangelism, whether it be Bibles, or tracts, etc.
  Saturday mornings are reserved for shopping, or sleeping in...I chose to go shopping with some other girls. Our first stop was Good's, which is right in the same area as Shady Maple Smorgasbord. We were cheap, though, and went to Burger King for lunch, using coupons. :)
  I did make some new friends, but I did have trouble not feeling like a wallflower. I kept using the excuse, "I'm not a social butterfly," and not getting out of my comfort zone more to meet new people. Sometimes I'd just sit in the chairs in the back, feeling sorry for myself. :) But maybe if I attend next year, everything will seem more familiar to me.
  Grace and I left for home on Monday morning. Once we got into Maine, it didn't take too many hours before it started snowing. Grace was driving along the highway, when suddenly, she started weaving in and out. I wasn't sure what she was "trying to prove" at first, but I soon realized she had lost control of her car when we spun around and backed into the grass beside a rock wall! We stopped with only 2" between the back of the car and the wall.
  Grace called for assistance, but a few people stopped, willing to help us. A man tried to drive the car out of the ditch, to no avail. Eventually, after Grace's phone call, a tow truck and a policeman showed up. The tow truck driver pulled us out with little trouble. The policeman advised us to stop somewhere for the night, which we did...for two MORE nights! :)
  I've been home for a few weeks now: what was my perspective of my trip? Well, I think it was a worthwhile experience, overall. I enjoyed singing in the choir, made up of all 200+ students; you can listen to former years on YouTube. The new videos should be posted in another month or so.
  Would I advise you to go? Yes, I would! Just don't end up being a wallflower, feeling sorry for yourself...be a bird, flitting here and there, enjoying yourself, as a friend advised me.
  And if you do go, be prepared to come home changed, in some way or other--you'll become as close to God as you want to be!