Saturday, May 31, 2008


Psalm 67 says, "God be merciful and gracious to us and bless us and cause His face to shine upon us and among us -- Selah." Then in parenthesis adds...pause, and calmly think of that.

I often wondered what "selah" meant, though not enough to remember to look it up. But my Amplified Bible helped me out. I should use this Bible more often. It means, pause, and calmly think about that.

I was asked to do chapel for the elementary students at a Christian school. For two weeks I listened as the Lord gave me a message to deliver to the students. As usual I began by choosing songs for the children. Pulling from the ancient recesses of my mind I found myself humming: I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. I’m in right, outright, upright, downright happy all the time. Joy is the flag flown high from the castle of my heart. Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice. If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands. Jesus' Love is a Bubbling Over.

That last song is a favorite with the chldren because it has motions and sound effects -- a bit rowdy and wonderful fun.

Corresponding Bible verses about joy were rattling through my head with each tune. Hmmmm???? I haven't been full of joy lately. In fact, I've been downright joy-less of late. Could it be that the Lord had a message for me? And he knew I'd hear it if I had to teach it. Yep, it seems that way.

I got out my Bible and read from Psalms, "Your sorrow will turn to joy." "Make a joyful noise." "Rejoice." "Weeping endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning." And from the New Testament, Jesus told his disciples, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete." James says, "Count it all joy when trials come your way..." And in Thessalonians "Be joyful always!"

So what was the message? Clearly we're to be joyful. But how? Matthew 13:44-46 is a parable about a man who finds a pearl of great value and he goes off in great joy and sells everything he has just to buy that pearl. It took reading that very familiar story for me to remember, Oh yeah...I found that great treasure too. And I gave away everything for the joy of having it. Whatever causes me distress in this life always boils down to this -- I'm worrying over things that aren't mine to worry over. I gave it all to Jesus a long time ago. In return He gave me peace, love and joy. I only have to look inside and remember, I've got a treasure, I've got a gem, I've got Jesus. Selah!

And when I calmly stopped to think about that I found myself singing: "I'm In right, Outright, Upright, Downright, Happy all the Time!"

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dog Days

I just got an email of quotes about dogs. This is my Favorite:
The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
-Andy Rooney

That tickled my funny bone. Earlier today I was thinking what a nice companion our dog is. She hangs out with me all day long, except for when I put her out and don't remember to bring her back in. When she's unhappy about that, she'll sit at the door and woof. Just a little "woof" every minute or so until I get the message. The thing is, I'm not a dog person. She doesn't get her due respect from me. But she doesn't seem to hold it against me. Our interaction is mostly, "Oh, you want out? Okay." Then I forget about her and...well...what I already said. I make sure her food and water bowls are full and pat her head occasionally. When she's bad I scold her. Bad means getting on the couch, begging while we eat, sneaking a snack off the table when no one's looking. We've never seen this happen, but food has been known to mysteriously disappear. I say, "Phoebe?" in a stern voice and she cowers, guilty as can be. So I put her out.

Still she likes me. I think Andy Rooney is right. My average dog is a nicer person than I am -- for sure.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What a Wonderful World

We're having a cold wet spring even while the rest of the U.S.A. is enjoying (enduring?) unseasonably warm weather. I don't feel sorry for them, I feel sorry for me. But be that as it's still an absolutely amazing world we live in. Daffodils and tulips have given way to lilacs and violets. The lilies and iris aren't far behind. The grass and trees are green. Wildlife never fails to thrill, whether it's song birds, turtles, snakes, chippies, squirrels, or deer. A good week isn't complete without a bald eagle sighting and a front yard visit from Ms. Turkey.

But on Sunday... we were graced with a rainbow across the sky above the barn. A perfect arc of color. Breathtaking! I would have gone looking for the pot of gold, but it was raining.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Special Music by David

This song brings back very special, but nearly lost, memories of bedtime rituals. I remember snippets of bedtime routines from days gone by. Daddy did the bedtime stories, then I rocked and sang until sleepy little eyes couldn't stay awake any longer. Funny since, in this household daddy was gifted musically and mommy was the reader/writer. You'd have thought he'd be singing and I'd be making up bedtime stories or reading them. But not so.

In You Are My Child, David captured the essence of what was most important to us in rearing our children. Nothing mattered more than that our boys would come to know Jesus and feel secure both in our love and God's love. To listen click on the title of this post, or the title of the song (or click here). Then click on "Special Music by David Henning" on the right just below the pastor's message.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


To all the moms I know, but especially to my mom...have a happy mother's day. Good wishes for a delightful day! Love, Betsy (Bebe, Liz, Lizbeth, L'il Liza)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pretty in Purple

The front yard must be mowed -- there's no getting around it. One more picture before the lovely lavendar, pretty purple, violet violets go bye-bye.

And look at this little fella...
It really is a jungle out there to him. If he's lucky enough to escape the mower blades and make it all the way to the lily pond, he'll no doubt fall prey to the resident Great Blue Heron. A tastey morsel he'll be. Poor little guy, what chance does he have against the circle of life? Then again, maybe he knows enough to enjoy every single moment of every single day. Perhaps he's thinking that today is a great day to be alive -- sunshine, warmth, green grass, fresh air. Surely there's a lesson in that for me. Enjoy, appreciate, give thanks, and bask in today! You too?

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Our yard is all dressed up!

The back yard has been mowed once and is in need again. Ditto the side yard, barn slope and way back by the volleyball court. But the grass out front is as yet untouched by the whirring blades of the John Deere lawn tractor. It's all because the front yard is covered with violets -- they are purple-y gorgeous. Who could stand to cut them down? Not me. Not Tom. So the front yard may turn into a jungle. But look! This turkey hen feels right at home in the high grass. And that's another reason not to mow. So Ms. Turkey bought the violets another week of blooming and the grass another week of growing.