Monday, September 28, 2009

Peace Be Unto You

Even the weak become strong when they are united. ~J. Von Schiller

It was special to unite with friends from the blog world yesterday to lift up a banner of prayer over Andrew. We literally had people from coast to coast. It was powerful; if you missed it, I’m sure we’ll be doing it again.

I’m thinking about the miracle that is the nation of Israel today as they observe Yom Kippur. Peace is not the norm in Jerusalem, but it’s evident at least on this day as the whole nation pauses. The airport is shut down, TV and radio stations are off the air and all businesses are closed.

At our house, there’s a new peace between predator and prey. Yes, the 3 chickens who survived the Night of Terror have made peace with the dogs who were the perpetrators.
"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers."~Martin Luther King, Jr

On a lighter note, I have to say that one of the few bumper stickers I’ve considered putting on my car is this one:
Shalom aleichem! (Peace be unto you)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Urgent Prayer Call - Sunday, Sept 27th- Join Us

Melanie’s 12 year old son, Andrew is in critical condition with a brain tumor coming against his life. We need to join all of our individual prayers together to take a stand, looking to God.

What WILL God do when we call upon Him? What WILL God do when we put our trust in Him?
He will listen. He is faithful. He wants us to call upon Him! Let’s ask.

Sunday, Sept. 27, 3 PM EST
Access Code 81560

My husband Jim and I will lead and the line will be open. You can talk or not, it’s up to you. Come as you are. Now is the time.

*From the U.S., normal domestic long-distance charges apply. Cell phones work fine.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


In today's news, I bring you the Fowl Report.

The chickens have set up housekeeping in the cackle house. Oh yes, it’s a house with windows and a door, laying boxes and a large screened porch that is as secure as Fort Knox. Builderman simply doesn’t know how to just slap something together. This chicken house is built to last- just like everything else he makes. I still smile when I recall the year the church asked him to make a crèche for the manger scene. No problem. Except they had something crude in mind. Builderman simply doesn’t do “crude.”

The funniest thing about the chickens is one of the roosters is learning to crow (somehow we ended up with FOUR roosters- so one is Sunday dinner sooner than he knows). I was up before daybreak one morning and heard a weird noise break the quiet of the approaching day. I couldn’t identify the sound. When I heard it again, I went out to the back porch to listen. It was one of the roosters trying to crow. It reminded me of hearing a middle school student practicing a band instrument. Rough. I wish I could have figured out how to record it so you could hear it. It's really quite entertaining.

I refuse to be that interested in these critters. I figure they are a food source. Period. It's supposed to take 5 months until they start laying, so I'm watching all this from a distance until then. Builderman, on the other hand, thinks this whole project is the bombdiggety. Happy Friday!

P.S. I'm sure he would want me to note that the roof hasn't been shingled yet. You mean you didn't notice? LOL

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Difference 6 Weeks Can Make

Wordless Wednesday gives me a wonderful excuse to post pictures of our Rosebud.
Same chair, same baby.... just 6 weeks later. Seems like a speed frame to me.

In the south, we snuggle a baby and tell them, "I'm going to get your sugar." Now you know why- don't you see the sugar crystals on her cheeks?!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Long and Winding Road

Most bloggers have participated in a meme at one time or another. My fascinating friend, Protégé, who lives in Scandanavia, wrote a fascinating post several months again about the origin of memes. I used to wonder how to pronounce this word but Protégé enlightened me. Meme is pronounced like "meem", which rhymes with "dream". Another version is a short "mem", as a in "memory".

Heidi at 2 Thinks to Share posted a meme the other day that I thought would be fun. She gave me 5 words to write about so you can get to know me a little better. To participate, leave a comment (with your blog address or email) that you want to play and I’ll send you 5 words.

Energy – This is one of my defining characteristics. If I channel it right, I get a lot done. On other days, there’ a lot of singing, dancing and going in circles. If I was a child in the last decade instead of being a child in the 1960’s, I would probably be labeled as ADHD. You know how our culture likes labels! The polite rebel in me resists labels.

Park – Builderman is full of adventure and loves to camp. When the children came along, I set the standard that we had to camp in places with a bathroom, so we’ve seen a number of the beautiful parks in the South Eastern US. I like camping for the primary reason that he does all the work and all the cooking. I take a good book and park in my camp chair.

Fair – I love fair weather. Good thing I live in Florida. I realized toward the end of our recent solid week of rain that I’m really very fond of the sun. It would be a huge adjustment for me to live somewhere where it rained all the time or had very little sunlight.

Clue - The board game with Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White and the rest of the inhabitants of the mansion with a mystery has always been a favorite of mine. We still play this at our house! In fact, I pretty much love games. Catch Phrase, DiceCapades, Monopoly and Scrabble are just some of those in my cabinet.

Long – The long and winding road that leads to your door will never disappear – wow that Beatles song holds memories. I live down a long and winding road. It was a 3.5 mile very bumpy dirt road until a year ago. Now it’s smooth blacktop and I’m thankful each and everytime I drive on it. Lead me to your door! I’d love to get to know you better. Remember to let me know if you want your 5 words.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Inestimable Wealth

Sunny Florida? Not so much. We are growing a fine crop of toadstools in our yard. Our lowest humidity level this week has been 97%. No kidding.

This kind of weather makes me want to curl up with a book and just read. I certainly have a nice selection of books waiting for my attention, but the one I just finished is noteworthy. Rich Church, Poor Church by John Muratori is thought-provoking and full of wisdom. I had listened to an interview with the author and my curiosity was heightened enough to order the book.

He starts out with a defense about not ascribing to the “name it and claim it” philosophy and spends time distancing himself from any worldly thought patterns. I certainly believe that God wants to bless us, so I wondered about his emphasis on this until a recent conversation with an acquantance. She called to see if we would be interested in purchasing 40 acres of land she has for sale near us. I indicated that we would love to buy, but right now it just isn't possible. She mentioned that Mr. X. was interested but she didn't want to sell it to him because he’s wealthy. She sounded derisive and critical about that fact (I know him and admire him). I responded by saying, “I aspire to be wealthy, what’s wrong with that?” She was horrified and went on a rant about how money ruins people. Ah – that’s the mental attitude that Muratori’s book addresses!

Let me make note that Muratori is a pastor as well as a recognized authority on organizational management and strategic planning for businesses and ministries. I thought his discourse on the Jewish culture was most enlightening. Despite centuries of persecution, almost to the point of extinction, the Jewish people have always grown to be prosperous and influential in every country they’ve settled in. The author goes into great detail about their adherence to the teachings of the Talmud and their unwavering emphasis on education (historically for both males and females ) and God's money management principles.

I've personally observed that having more money doesn't change who you are, but allows the expression of who you are to be magnified. A jerk on a budget can be a really big jerk if given a lot of money. A generous, kind person can give a larger expression to that with more resources. I believe that true wealth is having enough to accomplish God's purpose for your life, so there is indeed a wide latitude in how money is distributed.

I was challenged and intrigued by this book and highly recommend it. Despite the weighty topic, it's extremely well-written and is enjoyable to read.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Taking it Up an Octave

Not a half-step. Not even a key change. Taking it up an octave is a BIG change. It requires stretching my comfort zone. I've been pondering this concept this week and today I choose to step up my kindness and sensitivity.

Two elderly ladies I encountered yesterday prompted my focus on kindness. Both were lonely and and in need of someone to take a moment to listen. That's all it took really... a few minutes. I thought about my mom and my grandmother and how many times they've listened to me, even when what I had to say was probably unimportant. I'm thankful for the many people who take time to be kind to them as I'm not physically present with them on a daily basis. I want to take it up an octave today.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. - Mother Teresa

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. - Mark Twain

To cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life. - Samuel Johnson

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. - Aesop

Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution. - Kahlil Gibran

The ideas that have lighted my way have been kindness, beauty and truth. - Albert Einstein

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves. - James Matthew Barrie

Hitting the high notes while dancing in the daffodils - I'm going to see how that Works for me on Wednesday!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Carousel of Time

I left my heart in Sarasota but I plan to go back soon and get it. It was a very rainy weekend – perfect baby-holding weather.

Mocha with Linda spoke some words recently that have really stayed with me; “It never ceases to amaze me how some of the days (and nights!) can pass so slowly and yet the years just whiz by.”
I couldn’t agree more. It seems when you want to drag your feet to slow down the carousel of time, it can’t be done. And the times you’d like to fast forward through seem like they’re mired in slow mode.

I’ve been behind on my blog reading lately and was catching up some on the drive down Friday when I was stunned to read what had transpired in Bella Mella’s life in just the past two weeks. The short version is that a little more than 2 weeks ago, Melanie’s family was engaged in the normal rhythms of life when they were interrupted with the shocking news that her 12 year old son has a "stage 4 inoperable brain tumor." You can read the story yourself on her blog, but the bottom line is that Friday, his life was saved through a miracle surgery. Andrew still faces a hard road of treatment. Our prayers make such a tremendous a difference.

I’m reminded that life is so precious. Hug your family, love your friends and give praise in all things. Every day’s a gift.
Pray for Andrew

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Socialnomics 101

I started this blog in January of 2008 for fun. And it has been fun… making new friends, writing, sharing life with an extended group. In April of this year, I started working with Wendi McNeil, a coach with CharliJane Speaker Services and she told me it was essential to join the Social Media sites; FaceBook and Twitter for starters (I’m on LinkedIn now too.) I reluctantly followed her advice, as I really didn't understand the value and figured I was already online enough.

It’s been interesting and some days I think we all feel we need to disconnect and unplug to avoid overload. However, I find this fact filled video speaks the truth with the proclamation “Social media isn’t a fad. It’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.”

I think bloggers have led the way, don’t you? We have it all, product recommendations, content, relationship…

I’ll leave you with a recommendation… I’m totally biased but you can see for yourself that my daughter is a gifted baby & children’s photographer. She just launched her website this week. Jessica Hays Photography is for the lucky moms in the Sarasota area.

P.S. I'm BeverlySpeaks on Twitter and Find Me on Facebook!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Grand, Divine, Eternal Drama

To me it seems as if when God conceived the world, that was poetry; He formed it, and that was sculpture; He colored it and that was painting; He peopled it with living beings, and that was grand, divine, eternal drama. ~ Emma Stebbins, 1816-1876
Two of the greatest musicians I’ve ever known have moved to heaven but continue to have a profound influence on me. One of those is my dad and the other is a man by the name of Bernard Franklin, a music minister and amazing pianist. Both were incredibly gifted and talented, however the depth of their influence resides in the fact they were tuned in to imparting their gift to others; or more accurately, at calling out the gifts in others. They gave inspiration and encouragement to free others to flow with the talents within themselves.

I want to invest my life in people. I think it matters a lot less what I’m capable of as what others are capable of that perhaps lies buried and unexpressed under doubt, fear, indecision and uncertainty. Our most valuable natural resource is people. What a diverse lot we are. What a grand adventure to look for the beauty in others.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Be Prepared

Hurricane season is always in the news this time of year in Florida. When a tropical disturbance develops near Africa, we start getting updates on the developing storm. There are never-ending public service announcements and billboards about being prepared. There’s a list of things to have on hand including bottled water, flashlights, cash, medicines and such. No doubt, in the last 5 years there have been some devastating storms. However, the constant news coverage of even the smallest disturbance tends to desensitize me to the seriousness of the bigger storms.

I’ve had the thought recently, “what would I take if we had to leave in one vehicle – quickly?” (Not likely to happen as we are about 25 miles inland. Tell that to the people hit by Charlie – they were at least 45 miles inland) It makes me laugh to remember my son’s idea of getting prepared while he was away at college. I called him at one point when there was a serious storm headed our way (I believe that was Katrina!) with instructions to use the credit card and go stock some nonperishable food, bottled water and basics. He reported back that he’d been to Sam’s and bought a case of hot fries, a case of boiled peanuts and water. Basics? I laughed.

I pretty much keep the basics covered, but if you could take a few comfort items, what would they be?

Here’s my short list:
1. My pillow. I’m very picky about my pillow.
2. My Gardenia lotion from Bath & Body Works that they’ve discontinued! (The nerve!!) It makes me happy.
3. My laptop. You know why.
4. My iPod. Music can help my mood a lot.
5. My vitamins and herbs. When I mentioned mood, I immediately remembered these.

What would you take? Remember, it’s got to fit in the car. ONE car!