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Brave

God’s love penetrates so deeply & fills you so completely that there’s no room for fear! If you’re not feeling strong & courageous you need to meditate on how deeply you are loved.

“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” I John 4:18 NLT

Since it is Musical Monday…here’s a great reminder from Nichole Nordeman: His love makes me brave!

Mark Twain and Halley’s Comet (AKA Random Chat with my Coworker)

Halley's Comet, 1986 Halley’s Comet, 1986

My coworker and I were talking about Halley’s Comet. It was last visible in March of 1986, when I was 10 & 11/12ths. He glared at me, because he’s like a decade older, then said something about Mark Twain being born and dying the same years as Halley’s Comet. I thought that was odd so I looked it up. Turns out it is true!

Here’s what Wikipedia had to say: Mark Twain was born on 30 November 1835, exactly two weeks after the Halley’s Comet. In his autobiography, published in 1909, he said, “I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.’” Twain died on 21 April 1910, the day following Halley’s Comet.

Feel free to tuck this little random nugget away for conversation lulls.
Happy Friday!

PS: If you are wondering, Halley’s Comet will visible again on 28 July 2061. Mark your calendars!

Vortex of ideas…

My head has been a swirling vortex of ideas this whole week. SO many things on my mind. I’ve thoughts and even notes but I’ve struggled a bit with getting them in a format that is understandable or readable by anyone but me. So I haven’t blogged this week.

And now it’s Friday.  Meaning it’s my last chance for the week to put something encouraging into the blogosphere. I can’t let that opportunity pass me by. So please ponder this…

God spoke everything into existence.  (Genesis 1:1-25)  Do you know the only thing He didn’t speak into existence?  Humans.  We were formed and lovingly created.  (Genesis 1:26-28)  We were given life when God breathed into us. (Genesis 2:4-7)  We are the clay and He is our potter. (Isaiah 64:8)

You were made by God with purpose, for a purpose and on purpose.

Everything God makes is beautiful.  God made you.  Therefore you are beautiful.
Happy Weekend!

Quote of the Day: What we are is God’s gift to us. Who we become is our gift to God. -Unknown

One Thing Led to Another

On this day in history…28 June 1914…Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, was assassinated in Sarajevo.  His wife, Duchess Sophie, was also killed.  The thing that I’ve always wondered is how the assassination of one guy start a world war.  I can understand Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia because of the assassination, but why would that start World War I?  It seems odd to me.  So when I was checking into it I found this site (http://firstworldwar.com/origins/causes.htm) that said that the war started because one thing led to another.  I did not write the following I copied it from the page: 

One Thing Led to Another

So then, we have the following remarkable sequence of events that led inexorably to the ‘Great War’ – a name that had been touted even before the coming of the conflict.

  • Austria-Hungary, unsatisfied with Serbia’s response to her ultimatum (which in the event was almost entirely placatory: however her jibbing over a couple of minor clauses gave Austria-Hungary her sought-after cue) declared war on Serbia on 28 July 1914.
  • Russia, bound by treaty to Serbia, announced mobilization of its vast army in her defense, a slow process that would take around six weeks to complete.
  • Germany, allied to Austria-Hungary by treaty, viewed the Russian mobilization as an act of war against Austria-Hungary, and after scant warning declared war on Russia on 1 August.
  • France, bound by treaty to Russia, found itself at war against Germany and, by extension, on Austria-Hungary following a German declaration on 3 August. Germany was swift in invading neutral Belgium so as to reach Paris by the shortest possible route.
  • Britain, allied to France by a more loosely worded treaty which placed a “moral obligation” upon her to defend France, declared war against Germany on 4 August. Her reason for entering the conflict lay in another direction: she was obligated to defend neutral Belgium by the terms of a 75-year old treaty. With Germany’s invasion of Belgium on 4 August, and the Belgian King’s appeal to Britain for assistance, Britain committed herself to Belgium’s defense later that day. Like France, she was by extension also at war with Austria-Hungary.
  • With Britain’s entry into the war, her colonies and dominions abroad variously offered military and financial assistance, and included Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and the Union of South Africa.
  • United States President Woodrow Wilson declared a U.S. policy of absolute neutrality, an official stance that would last until 1917 when Germany’s policy of unrestricted submarine warfare – which seriously threatened America’s commercial shipping (which was in any event almost entirely directed towards the Allies led by Britain and France) – forced the U.S. to finally enter the war on 6 April 1917.
  • Japan, honoring a military agreement with Britain, declared war on Germany on 23 August 1914. Two days later Austria-Hungary responded by declaring war on Japan.
  • Italy, although allied to both Germany and Austria-Hungary, was able to avoid entering the fray by citing a clause enabling it to evade its obligations to both. In short, Italy was committed to defend Germany and Austria-Hungary only in the event of a ‘defensive’ war; arguing that their actions were ‘offensive’ she declared instead a policy of neutrality. The following year, in May 1915, she finally joined by siding with the Allies against her two former allies.

One thing led to another.  Ok that I understand.  Been there.  Done stupid things without thinking.  This ‘one thing led to another’ idea gets a whole lot of people in trouble on a daily basis.  But seeing nations on multiple continents get sucked into ‘one thing led to another’ really makes me want to put my hand up and say “Hey, leaders.  Take a minute to stop and think.  Is what you are about to do worth the cost?  Have you even counted the cost?” 

I guarantee that the powers that be did not consider that upwards of 20 million people (military and civilian) who would be killed, wounded or be missing in action.  They didn’t count the cost of the widespread carnage that the war would leave or what it would do to the next generation, including a young man named Adolph Hitler. 

The lesson from this, my friends, is to stop and think.  Count the cost and consider what you are doing on a daily basis.  Where are your choices leading you?  Your choices matter.

Imagine if Emperor Franz Joseph had worked with Serbia to punish those few guilty of Franz Ferdinand and Sophie’s deaths rather than declare war on Serbia…

 PS Also on this date, exactly 5 years after Franz Ferdinand’s assassination, the Treaty of Versailles was signed ending the Great War aka World War I.

PSS Whether you agree with conflicts and wars or not, our veterans deserve respect.  Don’t take out your opinion on someone who chose to stand and serve our nation.  There’s no honor in disrespecting veterans.  To you veterans, I say thank you.  You have always had and always will have my respect.  God bless you and your families and all you do for us.

Fun Fact Friday: Pearls

Since I there were 3 of my family members born this week, I was thinking about birthdays and birthstones.  One of June’s birthstones is the pearl.  I personally like to wear pearls.  It makes me feel like a grown-up.

Here are some facts about pearls…..

– Any mollusk with a shell can grow a pearl, but usually they are created by mollusks with 2 shells.

– Most natural pearls are formed from a parasite or injury. The mollusk senses the foreign matter and coats it with a mineral and a protein.

– A pearl can take anywhere from months to many years to form. It all depends on the environment and the size and the type of mollusk.

– The ancient Greeks believed that pearls were drops of water that fell from Aphrodite as she emerged from the sea.

– The pearl has long been considered a symbol of purity, love, wisdom and wealth.

– Jesus used a pearl as a parable of the Kingdom of God, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:45-46

– Most “real” pearls are cultured. Here’s more about how pearls are created: http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5147163_do-pearls-grow.html

– One of the most famous pearls is La Peregrina. It was owned by Phillip II of Spain, Napolean, Queen Mary I (Sister of Queen Elizabeth I), and more recently Elizabeth Taylor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Peregrina_pearl

Something that I’ve been pondering this morning is about how most pearls are formed from injury or parasites.  Did Jesus know this when he said, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” in Matthew 7:6? Something to think about.

Happy Friday.

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Fun Fact Friday…Miles and Miles

rearviewI’m in dire need of a road trip.  I want to get into my car and drive somewhere.  It’s one of two things I do when life gets stale or I need a change (the other one is to either dye or cut my hair).  When I was unemployed in 2010, I spent 3 weeks driving around because I was frustrated that I couldn’t find a job.  I drove 5800+ miles in 17 states all by myself.   I wasn’t alone the whole time though, I visited cousins in CA, friends and an uncle in AZ, friends in Missouri and friends in Georgia.

So that all being said did you know that a mile on the ocean and a mile on land are not the same distance.  A nautical mile is 1.1508 miles, or 6,076 feet.  A mile on land is 5,280 feet.

So if people were going to swim a marathon they’d actually swim an extra 20,696 feet or 3.92 extra land miles.  I don’t see myself ever running or swimming that far.  Ever.  That’s why we have cars and boats.  Just sayin’….

Chickens Don’t Have Belly Buttons?

annegeddesToday’s fun fact is that animals that lay eggs don’t have belly buttons. Only mammals have belly buttons.  Soooooo that means dogs and cats have them. Cows and elephants have them. Even whales and dolphins have bellybuttons.

Frogs, fish, lizards, and chickens., however, do not have bellybuttons.  How sad for them!

If you want to read about some belly button love….check this out… http://www.bellybuttonlove.com/

Photo Credit: Anne Geddes