Sunday Glory

Prayer for our Country

Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our
heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove
ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will.
Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and
pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion;
from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend
our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes
brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue
with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust
the authority of government, that there may be justice and
peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we
may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth.
In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness,
and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail;
all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

                                                                  From The Book of Common Prayer

Gail ♥

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Sunday Glory

A Prayer attributed to St. Francis

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.  Where there is hatred, let us sow love: where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union;  where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.  For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.  Amen

Gail ♥

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Temptations Snacky Mouse Cat Treat Toy

Several months ago I came across this little gizmo  while at the grocery store.

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It’s a plastic bottom-heavy wobble mouse with 3 holes in it to dispense cat treats when the cats move it around.  The mouse’s head screws off so that treats can be added.  The Snacky mouse comes with a .42 oz. bag of chicken flavored Temptations treats (both my cats’ preferred flavor).   I usually refill with Temptations brand treats but have used other brands of treats that have worked just fine.  It works on both hard floors and carpet but seems to be more effective on the carpet (or easier for the cats to get the treats out).

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Cat’s are predatory animals and so they actually enjoy working for their treats.  I attended a veterinary seminar in February and sat in on several feline lectures.  The feline speakers talked about these treat dispenser toys, highly recommended them, and said cats love them.  They weren’t kidding.   They also recommended hiding your cat’s treats to let the cat fulfill that predatory instinct.

I have two cats who are strictly indoor cats so having a variety of toys and enrichment for them is important.  One of my cats picked up on how the Snacky mouse worked fairly quickly.  It took my other cat a while to catch on but once he figured it out, he gets the job done!  It’s interesting to me that they both have different techniques.  Dakota, my gray tabby, is a very tactile cat and the one who figured it out quickly.  He uses his paw to bat the mouse around.  Nugget, my blonde tabby, (and who may or may not be missing a few brain cells but shhh, we won’t tell him) roots the mouse around with his nose. Both methods work well although Nugget’s rooting technique seems to get more treats dispensed.  But Nugget is the lazier of the two and if Dakota is around, Nugget will let Dakota do all the work as he just sits there reaping all the benefits (as you can see in the photos above).  If Dakota is not around, Nugget will work hard at getting the treats himself.  It is fun to watch them and it provides both fun and enrichment for the cats.

One word of warning.  One day I filled the mouse and put it down.  My phone rang and I went to the next room to answer it and got distracted.  When I returned in about 4 minutes, Snacky Mouse was empty.  My cats were sitting there looking right pleased with themselves and still working to get even more.  There might have also been some diarrhea related to this story, but I digress.  I now only fill Snacky Mouse with the alloted number of treats.  And I ALWAYS keep Snacky Mouse out of their reach when not being used for obvious reasons.

I wish I could show the cute video I made of Dakota and Nugget playing with Snacky Mouse but I am not able to download it to my blog.   So instead, I’ll post a video I found on YouTube of two other cuties being introduced to Snacky Mouse and trying to figure it all out.  As you will see, they succeed!  I love this gizmo and in my opinion, whoever came up with this idea is a genius!  Since I purchased mine, I’ve seen other versions. Most grocery stores and retail stores carry them.

 

Gail ♥

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Things I’m Loving These Days

  1. Listening to God- by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz

Listening to God

This is a new devotional I’ve been reading for a few weeks now.  The readings are short, easy to understand, and with a powerful meaning.  The devotionals are presented as if God the Father is speaking to you in the first person.  There are seven themes– one for each day of the week:

  1. Monday-God
  2. Tuesday- Jesus
  3. Wednesday- Holy Spirit
  4. Thursday- God’s Word
  5. Friday- Your Life
  6. Saturday- The World
  7. Sunday- The Church

2. Iced tea with lemon on a hot day

Iced_Tea_from_flickr

Photo credit: By Melissa Doroquez – Flickr: Iced Tea, CC BY-SA 2.0,

We’ve already had many days this spring and summer where the heat index has been over 100 degrees.  I hope this isn’t a hint of what we’re in for in July and August!  Don’t think I could survive without my iced tea.  I’m a southerner through and through!

3. Patriotic Patio lights

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Red white and blue globe lights

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I’m loving these in our screened in porch at night!  My photos don’t do them justice.  You’ll just have to trust me when I say they’re beautiful!

4.  Decorative Bat metal art

Those who know me know I love bats.  This was a gift from my oldest son when he came home for a visit on Mother’s Day last month.  He knows how to bring a smile to his dear old mother’s heart!  I have this guy happily dangling in our screened in porch above my patio table.  I think he’s adorable!

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5.  New Patio table and chairs

The time had come to get new patio furniture as our old aluminum Sunbeam table and chairs were 25 years old and about worn out and let’s just say no longer comfortable. We found this black steel chair set on sale and then found a steel table elsewhere, also on sale.   The first chair assembly was a test of our patience but it was smooth sailing from there and we’ve been very pleased.

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Gail ♥

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Awe

This post is in response to the WordPress one-word daily prompt: Awe

When I’m outside in nature, I’m in awe of God and His creation.  I see his beauty everywhere– in fiery sunrises and sunsets, in azure skies and white fluffy clouds, in majestically colored spring, summer, and fall flowers,  in the birds singing in the trees, in fall leaves that take my breath away, in the doe with her white spotted fawns I see in my own backyard, in white glistening snow, and shimmering lakes and ocean beaches.  The list goes on and on.

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beautiful fall maple tree

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How can one look at these things and not know there is a God?  I open my eyes and ears and I find God in all of these things.  I feel his presence in gentle breezes all around me. I look for Him.  I listen for Him.  I’m learning to find him in every moment.  I am awed.

Gail ♥

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May We All Choose Love

I just started reading a book I’ve had on my bookshelf for many months.  It’s called Choose Love: The 3 Simple Choices That Will Alter the Course of Your Life by Stormie Omartian.  While I’m not very far into the book, I know I’ll like it.  I say that because I’ve never read a book by Stormie Omartian that I didn’t like.  And I love the title.  Choose Love.

Choose love

Can you imagine…  really imagine…  how different our world would be if every single person living on this earth chose love?   Just sit and think on that for a while.

What is love?  I think the best answer to this question is found in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth.Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.  1 Corinthians 13:4-7  Good News Translation (GNT).

Here is the same passage found in a different translation, The Message (I love it!):

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 The Message (MSG)

When I was in college, I took a sociology course called Marriage and Family.  One of our assignments was to read 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 in the Bible and rewrite them in our own words.  I thought that assignment would be a breeze.  Boy was I wrong!  Talk about writer’s block!  It ended up being one of the toughest homework assignments from a professor in my entire 4 years of college.  No kidding.   It was also one of the most meaningful.  And it was one I will never forget, that’s for sure.  Doing that assignment sincerely got me thinking about the true meaning of love.  I put a lot of thought into that homework and somewhere tucked away in a drawer, I still have the assignment written on the piece of notebook paper with the two-word comment the teacher wrote on it in red ink. Very good.  It’s wrinkled and perhaps a little yellowed and the ink is faded, but it’s one I won’t throw away.

I’ve always considered myself to be a loving person but in all honesty, after reading that passage, I realize I have a l-o-n-g way to go!  God gave me such an example of love by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.  I  know too often I take that love for granted.

God is love and he wants us to share that love.

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:37-40 New International Version (NIV)

I think of how I can’t turn on the news these days without hearing all kinds of bad things happening in the world.  The Orlando mass shootings.  School shootings. Rapes. Robberies. Beatings. Kidnappings.  It’s depressing to pick up a newspaper or turn on the news.  And then I think about how there would be much less bad news to report on if every single person living on this planet chose to love.  If only we would ALL choose love, gain a deeper understanding of it, model it, and pass it along to others.  We’d be so much better off. It just sounds so simple doesn’t it?

Some parting words of wisdom:

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:7-10 New Living Translation (NLT)

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So…  I’m looking forward to reading this book.  I pray that I can show love in every situation I face– good or bad, that my heart and mind will be so full of love that it continuously will spill out to others, and that I will always speak words of love that seek to lift others up and glorify God.  I pray to have a spirit of love in my everyday life and especially in my blog writing.  I pray I will gain a much better understanding of what love is but also of what love is not.  Above all, I pray to be constantly reminded that love will always be more powerful than hate and that in the end, love. will. win.  

Gail

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Summer

This post is in response to the WordPress one word daily prompt: Summer

Ah…… summer.  This seems to be the year for Hydrangeas which always scream summer for me.  Ours are in full bloom and never looked prettier.  Isn’t it wonderful that our glorious God gives us such magnificent beauty to enjoy?  Last night my husband and I had his parents over to spend some quality time on Father’s Day.  They are 84 and soon to be 87.  I love my in-laws dearly and enjoy spending time with them.  We grilled chicken and had corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, green shelly beans, yeast rolls and iced tea (with lemon of course)!  We sat on our back porch watching lightning bugs light up the backyard and feeling grateful for a nice gentle breeze at the end of a hot summer day.  It was heavenly.  For dessert, we ate a big bowl of my husband’s homemade strawberry ice cream  (I do believe it was the best he has ever made).

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Summer always brings back fond memories of childhood.

  • My mother getting out the “summer clothes” to see if my sisters and I could still fit in the shorts we had worn the previous year or if some shopping was in order
  • Playing in the backyard sprinkler….  even the dog joined in and had as much fun as all the kids
  • Catching lightning bugs in jars with neighborhood friends, then having a sleepover where we would put the jars by our beds
  • Swimming, swimming and more swimming
  • Sunburns
  • Long days spent at Opryland Theme park
  • Strolls in the woods
  • Sweet tea with lemon
  • Neighborhood Kool-Aid stands and bake sales
  •  Neighborhood games of flashlight tag, tether-ball, softball and kickball
  • The Great Tennessee Airshow and growing up watching The Blue Angels and The Thunderbirds
  • Fourth of July picnics and watching displays of fireworks
  • Camping out under the stars
  • The smell of Hawaiian Tropic suntan oil
  • Sunbathing and applying baby oil with a few drops of iodine (does anyone remember the purpose of the iodine)?
  • Riding bikes
  • Roller skating
  • Charlie the Popsicle man
  • Walking to the local library with friends and then walking back home carrying large stacks of books that we couldn’t wait to read
  • Climbing trees
  • My dad picking fruit from his beloved Nectarine tree in the back yard
  • Barefoot days and stepping on bees
  • Making clover chains
  • The smell of mimosa blossoms
  • Honeysuckle
  • Ice cream cones on hot summer days and walking to the
    Dipper Dan ice cream parlor with friends
  • Days spent at the airport with my father watching planes take off and land, exploring the cockpits of jet planes and going up for airplane rides
  • Summer vacations to Florida
  • Lazy summer nights in backyard patio chairs under Japanese lanterns enjoying time with much-loved neighbors

Happy Summer!

Gail ♥

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