Friday, August 28, 2015

The Anchor Holds

There is a beautiful hymn, that was written by Lawrence Chewning and Ray Boltz, titled "The Anchor Holds".  Our little church's Minister of Music, Bro. Eric, does this song like no one else.  He did it for us last Sunday.  I cannot listen to this hymn without tears coming to my eyes, because I know first hand the impossible truth of the song and what it means to be carried in the hand of God.

Are you in the midst of one of life's storms?  Loss of a loved one.  Troubled marriage.  Child gone wild.  Betrayed. Depressed.  Life in this world sends storms.  If you live long enough, you will go through at least one or two.  If you try to navigate the storm on your own, your ship will break apart. Even if you survive it, you will never be whole.  Never be complete.

If you turn to God to help you in the storm, you'll find Him waiting with a strong extended hand to lift you up out of the angry waves.  You'll find the strength to endure it, for He will lend you His.  You'll find comfort, for He'll wrap you in his arms.  You'll find a friend that understands completely.

"How do I do that?", you say.  Get a Bible, get alone and read and pray.  The Psalms are a great resource.  And a concordance can guide you to verses that speak to your plight.  But it is in how you read where the help lies.  Take just one or two verses at a time.  Read them.  Pray about them.  Be honest and don't be afraid.  Then read them again. Listen and be still.  Let God's Holy Spirit have a chance to speak to your heart.  Confess any sin on your part that He points out.  Thank Him and praise Him for any comfort you receive.  Ask Him for clarification and direction.  Don't be afraid to question Him.  Honesty is key, as He already knows the truth of your thoughts, intentions, pain, hopes, etc.  

Go to Him often.  Even when you hurt too much to word a prayer.  Just go to Him and be still and let your heart speak for you.  The Holy Spirit will pray for you.  And don't give up! Keep at it, even if it takes weeks or month's for the storm to subside.  

Along the way, keep you eyes open for changes, for answers to your prayers.  Never neglect to thank Him and praise Him for even the "smallest" answer.  You'll find yourself growing and changing.  Becoming a salted seaman.

When the storm is over, whether it ends the way you imagined or not, you'll find a peace and know a way to proceed.  Don't keep it to yourself.  Share it.  There are others experiencing a storm who need an Anchor that will hold.  

At some point down the road, you'll look back on your time in the storm.  With a twist on Dickens, you'll realize "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times."  Because, you'll find you cherish that close, personal relationship you had with the Lord.  It will stand out like a bright beacon in your mind's eye and be a treasured memory of your heart.  The God of the Universe took the time and care to hold you in His hand! Even though you'd never choose to go through that storm again, it will be a treasured, sweet memory in your soul.

The closest thing I could find to Bro. Eric's version

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I Saw it on Facebook

I was shocked when I realized I hadn't made an I Saw it on Facebook post since the middle of July! That's just crazy.  So, tonight, I'm going to rectify that.  While most of my "saves" from Facebook are on the funny, lighthearted or sarcastic side, this one is more on the serious side and involves a truth that can free you if you learn to apply it.

As much as human nature leads us to try to change others, the plain truth is that the only person you can change is yourself.  The converse side to this is that no one can control you, unless you allow it. 

It takes a combination of introspection to determine what is important to you, what things matter in the long run, and how much weight and value you are going to give to each.  And it takes evaluation of the scenarios that upset you, or yield an outcome that unsettles you.  

Questions to consider include:  What could make him always act that way toward me?  How do I usually respond to it?  How much does this matter to me? What other ways could I respond?  You have to think it through.  You have to come up with an idea of what you might try differently.  If you don't, you'll just do what comes easily to you, which is what you always do and you'll have the same outcome. 

The next time you are placed in that situation or those words are spoken to you, try your new response.  Afterward, things to consider are, how did your response change their next behavior or words? Was this outcome more agreeable to you?  If not, what could you do differently the next time?  Can you do anything to change how it makes you feel even if the outcome doesn't change much?

There are people in our lives we can't avoid, that upset us or hurt us. All we can do is try to divest them of some of the power to do so.  Then there are others in our lives that we can choose to avoid or expunge from our lives.  Who's important enough to you to do the work?  Remember, also, that forgiveness frees you from the burden of the pain and anger.  Forgiveness does more for the one forgiving than it does the one forgiven.

Whether a dear friend, a family member, a boss, a clerk or a stranger; remember and be aware that most of the time however much they hurt, disappoint, annoy or make you angry the larger part is the response you choose, the lesser is what they did, said or didn't do.  

No matter how high the pile of shit, it's your perspective that makes it a mountain or a molehill.

Disclaimer:  While I can practice this far better than I could in my younger years, I am still on the journey.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Windows 10 - To upgrade or not? That is the question.

I had a PC with Windows 8.1 for the operating system.  It wasn't my choice.  I have free replacement on my PC through AOL and last year my mother board died in my old Vista system and when they sent my new PC, it had Windows 8.  I had finally learned how to get around to everything I use regularly, but it had been a long, hard fight.

When I started getting the notices about a free upgrade to Windows 10, my first thought was "Oh, no!  Not another system to learn to navigate."  Over the weeks leading up to it's release, I started reading up on it.  I found the start menu would be back.  By and large, mostly a good word for the new system.  Things I loved and missed about Windows 95 and Windows 7, and new things that might be cool or useful.

I finally decided to put in my reservation for the free upgrade. When I found it was ready, I used a tool I had to create a system shot on a DVD in case of emergency.  Then I downloaded a program to create a full system backup on a partitioned part of my hard drive to make sure I could go back to Windows 8 if I so desired.  

I was able to schedule the upgrade to a time that was convenient for me and that wouldn't eat up my any time data. I went to bed, and the system did it's thing.  The next day, there were a few choices to make for personal preference, and in no time Windows 10 was up and running!  Easy, peasy!

I immediately, liked what I was seeing, compared to Windows 8! The start menu is back, and in my opinion better than ever! If you were one who actually liked the boxes in Windows 8, they are still there, just moved over to the right side under "Life at a glance".  On the left, you get a quick view of the most used.  But here's my two favorite things about this new start menu:  one, it has an option to display all your programs in A to Z format!!  Click on All Apps in the bottom left-hand corner.  No chasing down through endless popup panes.

If you right click on the Window pane that identifies the start menu, you get a useful set of short cuts to things like System, Control Panel, Run.  Awesome!

Another great plus, is that the search bar is now right on the task bar!  You can set it to be an icon that opens search or leave it to type straight in!

There are oodles of new programs and tools in this build.  
3D builder, music apps, readers, camera app, useful things for students like dictionary, encyclopedia.  If you are into the whole share it across devices from anywhere scene, then you have a system made to accommodate that.

I've been using Windows 10 for 10 days now.  There have only been a couple of negatives that I have found in my experience.  One, when it upgraded, my McAfee Security Center didn't work.  The Windows 10 covered me with Windows Defender and Firewall, so I wasn't left unprotected. When I went to investigate, I found I had to totally remove McAfee and reinstall it.  Everything went fine.  I have had no problems with any other apps or software that I use on my PC.  My other issue with this new Windows is a cranky old woman issue.  I like to choose when I get Windows updates so that they download only on my Bonus Bytes and not on my Anytime Data.  In this new build, I can't find where I can choose to do that.  It claims it won't download over a metered connection, but do they understand the concept of how Hughes Net works?  That I want all of my Anytime Data for fun and to use the Bonus Bytes for the workhorse stuff?  I will be investigating this in the near future.  

By and large, I love the new Windows 10, compared to Windows 8.  If there are things about Windows 8 that aggravate you, I'd recommend the upgrade!

Do you currently use Windows 8?  Have you upgraded to Windows 10 for free? What was/is your favorite Windows version?

This is an account of my personal experience with the Windows 10 Upgrade and Windows 10.  Your experience could be different, depending on your system and what apps and software you regularly use.  I am a PC user of moderate experience and tech savvy. - Barbara in Caneyhead


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Weekend Coffee Share

Well, hello!!  It's so good to have the time to visit with you once more.  Life got a little out of control for awhile.  

Come on in where it is cool.  It has been so hot here in Texas!  You say, "How hot is it?"  

Seriously, the
hens aren't 
laying very much 
at all!

And here is me when I get home in the evening.....

That's why I think we'll have some iced coffee today. 

Doesn't that look refreshing!  I found this image and a yummy recipe by Domestic Goddess on  Very similar to how I make mine.  I use fresh brewed coffee so I can use my Folgers's Half Caff.  I switched to it a couple of years ago, so I could have my caffeine without over indulging.

Let's take our drinks outside under the shade of the pecan tree.  There's a sweet little breeze blowing this morning. 

So, to the reason I have been so absent on Saturdays. Well, to tell the truth, for the first couple of weeks in July, I was just blown away and in shock from the things I was seeing and hearing online.  

Then I spent a Saturday taking Hannah shopping. She made out like a bandit!  My girl is practical.  We went to Ross's and she found five adorable new tops there.  Also picked up a new swimsuit top to go with her swim shorts.  Then we stopped by a Goodwill store that we know gets a lot of high end, gently used merchandise and she picked up three new pairs of jeans.  New wardrobe:  $95  A day with Hannah: priceless.  

That very next day, I ended up taking Pete to the hospital after church.  Severe stabbing chest pains and some shortness of breath and a severe headache on his right side.  He had also been extremely dizzy and having some of his "blind spells", too.  They kept him two days.  Once again, his heart checked out all okay.  They checked his arteries this time, as he has had these symptoms recurrently for years.  The cardiologist said his arteries were lovely.  So, he came home, still hurting and with a two week recovery time from the procedure.  

While we are all very thankful and grateful his heart keeps checking out good considering all of the family history, we are stumped as to what to do about the recurring chest pain.  He is supposed to have sinus surgery in the near future to fix a deviated septum and rinse out all the crud in his sinus cavities. We are so hoping that will solve most of the headaches, dizziness and blind spells.  

I myself, have fought off a summer cold and recently been having issues with my blood pressure.  Some days I've just preferred to sleep in and some I just felt too dreadful to sit and stare at a computer screen.  Looks like a visit to my doctor is in order in the very near future.

My son has been home from South Texas and I've enjoyed spending some time with him and his whole little family.  They are very near closing on a piece of land and a home up here in the woods, not too far from us. I'm very proud and happy for them.  Glad they are getting off the side of that little highway they live on.  

Easter 2015
And of course Baby Ruth is amazing!  She told me recently that I was her "bestie". You don't know how it touched my heart to hear my grand baby say Maw-maw was her best friend.  Or at least one of them.

Well, I've also been very lapse in visiting others in these past few weeks, so forgive me if I go in and get ready to start catching up.  You're welcome to enjoy the quiet as long as you like.  

Bye, y'all!
Join the fun of the #WeekendCoffeeShare at Part-Time Monster.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Misconceptions: God's Law

The law of God is contained in the Bible.  It started with the first instructions to Adam:

 Genisis 2 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. -KJV
When He brought the Israelites out of Egypt, he gave them many more laws.  He was establishing for them their religion and their nation.  Therefore, He gave them both religious law and civil law.  Exodus 21 is an example of the civil law.  
This is where this famous verse is contained.
24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, - KJV
He was expressing that if someone harmed another in a way that caused the loss of one of these, then that person should suffer the same loss.  
Nations are free to establish their own law, and many chose to exhibit more mercy than these original laws. One does wonder at us presuming to know better how to rule ourselves than God Himself. God was making the nation of Israel and example to the nations.  

Leviticus, delivered religious law and set up the priesthood.  God says to us "be ye Holy, as I am Holy".  In Leviticus He sets up the sacrificial system that Christ will one day make complete once and for all. Here is an example from Leviticus:
16 “Don’t gossip. Don’t falsely accuse your neighbor of some crime,[a] for I am Jehovah.
17 “Don’t hate your brother. Rebuke anyone who sins; don’t let him get away with it, or you will be equally guilty. 18 Don’t seek vengeance. Don’t bear a grudge; but love your neighbor as yourself, for I am Jehovah. - TLB
Then there is Deuteronomy, which is a "retelling" of the law that God gave right before they entered the promised land.  This is the book that Jesus quoted most often!  Here is an example from Chapter 25:
13-15 “In all your transactions you must use accurate scales and honest measurements, so that you will have a long, good life in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 16 All who cheat with unjust weights and measurements are detestable to the Lord your God. - TLB
Please notice two very important truths here:  One is that God does not see telling someone something is sin as being opposed to loving them as yourself! The prevalent view today is that to say doing a thing is wrong is unkind. This is opposed to God's Own Word!
The other is, notice the language on cheating measurements, "detestable".  Too many are often referencing the fact that God calls homosexuality an abomination like it's the only sin  that God hates, despises, finds abominable.  The Truth is that God sees all sins all those ways!  He is a Holy God and cannot look upon ANY sin.  Therefore ALL sins separate us from Him and His fellowship. And that is why He feels so strongly about sin, because He wants to have that relationship with us!

Thankfully, through Christ Jesus, we can have that relationship with God, imperfect as we are!  

As to the law, it all stands, it all remains!  None of it has ever been "done away with"!  It is all still pertinent and all still true!  Christ Jesus Himself tells us that in Matthew 5! 
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.- KJV
Notice how He said, "to fulfill".  Sacrifice was never done away with, but was finally fulfilled by the "complete" sacrifice of Christ on the cross for our sins!  His blood shed there washes the sins of those who call upon Him away!  The priesthood was never done away with, but was fulfilled because now we have One High Priest and He is in Heaven on the right hand of the Father to intercede for us there!
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