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Let freedom ring! hpp

The 4th of July went deep with me when I was a child.

I felt the ingrained sense of “The land that I love.” I experienced a vast sense of honor, and a desire to stand “Stand beside her and guide her. Thru the night with a light from above.”

When our family enjoyed the holiday with our Army-based father in Fort Harrison, Indiana, we made it tradition to go fishing, hiking, to be a family and celebrate together, and we ended the day at dusk at the local Dairy Queen. I admit, a craving that I hold today — each and every 4th of July.  Summer sun, fireworks exploding into the early night sky, and ice cream go together. Right?

With the remnants of that sweet treat in hand, we drove a half-block away to the town park and watched the fireworks burst in the air. Boom…boom…boom rattled the ground, and with each shake, my heart swelled for America.

God Bless America…the land that I love.

What are your favorite Independence Day memories and traditions?

 

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everlasting God

We were returning home from a motorcycle ride when we became separated by a traffic light. I knew my husband was ahead of me somewhere. As I neared our apartment complex on my bike, I saw that he was straddling the tracks of our entrance gate with his bike to keep the gate open for me. He is good like that.

When I pulled up beside him, he pointed to the ground and said, “I found something that you are going to love! You’ll have to get off your bike and look at it.”

In the concrete next to the gate were incredible words that had been inscribed when the entrance was built, “You are the everlasting God.”

Today, the first day of a new year, these words play in my mind like a beautiful song that repeats in my head after hearing it on the radio.

Everlasting: perpetual or enduring through all time, eternal.

I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. (Genesis 17:7 NIV)

Our everlasting God! The One we love! His promise to us, an everlasting and personal covenant.

Your righteousness is everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. (Psalms 119:142 KJV)

His truth. His truth, evermore!

Father, help us to keep our eyes on you, neither here nor there, but on you. Your promise is unbroken, may our promise to you in faith hold fast without blemish.

Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.

(Isiah 41:28-29 NIV)

On this beautiful day, the day the Lord has given us, I am grateful for the inscribed words left for others to see. Thank you for bringing light to the world. Light filled with strength and power, through the sharing of God’s word.

God's peacemakers, children of God

As a child of God, remember this, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11)

You’ve heard the words “do not worry over the small things.” I believe, for children of God, everything is a small thing here on earth. Keep your sight on the finish line, for there are the big things.

Yes, unfortunately we are mocked when we say what we believe, and we are mocked when we do not say how we feel. For in our silence, we are judged. This is a form of persecution — an effort to steal our peace.

Satan is the author of confusion and frustration, he is not the King of Peace. Satan wants us to feel less than joyful, and he loves it when we believe the lies that he whispers in our ears, “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

“Blessed be the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9) Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, for God has a plan for you. The lies that the devil dishes out are of no substance.

There is work to do here, today, in our world. Let’s do it.

March on, Christian soldier.

french bakery www.hispasture press.com

Where this thought came from, I don’t know. A few nights ago I remembered a childhood friend and it dawned on me that I never got to see her grow up. I lost track of her. This is one view of growing up as a child of a father who was enlisted in the US Army, the difficulties, but let’s talk about the glorious ventures that a “military brat” can tell.

I started my life in Alaska. I do not remember any of it. My parents were very young, mom was in her upper teen years, and I was their first. They later showed me several color photographs of patches of lake ice that never melted. Dad told stories about their trips to the grocery store. While they were shopping the sun rose and set. It was dark when they went in and dark when they came out. He said that became depressing, to seldom see daylight during that season.

I was a toddler the first time we arrived in Indiana, and often when dad received a new assignment, we were stationed back in Fort Benjamin Harrison, Lawrence, Indiana, which is a town (suburb) of Indianapolis. We moved a total of five times within that same base in my first five years of life.

My father then received orders for France. I wrote a blog post about that adventure. It was amazing. Even though those two years in France were more than fifty years ago, I still have many fond memories. I remember my friends, the village that we lived in, the taste and smell of French food, the culture, gypsies in wagons, the architecture, and the beautiful countryside. School field trips to chateaus, surrounded by moats and garden mazes. Imagine unwrapped loaves of French bread displayed in cylinder shaped wire baskets on store floors. Locals rode their bicycles to the store, and left with a loaf of bread tucked under their arm as they cycled home.

We were then relocated back to Fort Harrison. We moved twice within the village, and then my parents rented a small mobile home on the fort for us to reside in while my father did a couple of years in Korea.

Living on an Army base was pretty cool. It was safe. Summer break was amazing. I think I lived in the huge concrete pool. I loved the forests in which we roamed and played. These were deep woods filled with stunning beauty and adventure. This particular area is now a state park. It is difficult for me to grasp that the broad area where I roamed is now a paid-to-enter state park.

My parents decided to purchase a home in Indianapolis and then my father was sent to Viet Nam, which became three difficult years of our lives. On one hand, my brother and I happily grew roots with the neighborhood kids, but there was a feeling of dark clouds and worry over our home. Dad was in a place so far away, and he was always in danger. Mom was pregnant with my baby sister, and times were tough.

After several years, we were sent to Baltimore, Maryland, which was a great adventure for me. I enjoyed the culture of the east coast. I made many friends, yet, I knew it would be a short-lived two years, and it was. I believe I can still smell those Chesapeake Bay crabs. Crab feast anyone? Baltimore tunnel, rush hour traffic?

We trekked back to Indianapolis, to our home that had been rented out in our absence.

I feel blessed in the respect that I got to see many areas of the world that others have not seen. I was taught to speak French in kindergarten and 1st grade. We attended day school, no half days, and we had lunch in the mess hall. Mess hall food was fantastic. I later discovered a rosemary lemon chicken recipe in a book authored by Julia Child, that mirrored one of our mess hall lunches. It was that good. I enjoyed a full life on the Army bases – movies, swimming, bowling, Girl Scouts, and I absorbed Sunday School once a week. I was active, busy, and I loved my activities.

Forming long-term relationships was difficult and that bit into me. Yet, it made me strong. I think this is a good thing, that we learn resilience and agility, and I feel – for me – this was God’s plan. We lived in diverse places, lived in close quarters with people from all over the United States and the world. I clearly remember an evening on the fort when I smelled Chinese food wafting from one door, and two doors down came the aroma of Italian, mingled with the scent of a German dinner from another few doors down.

I cannot imagine living in the same house, on the same street, for an entire childhood. Yet, sometimes I wonder just how that would be. So, this is your place and turn, tell me how you perceive it. If you were a child and had a choice, would you have formed deep roots in one place, or would you have preferred travelling? What was your experience?

 

dreamstime_s_61457120You’ve seen the videos of bulldogs surfing, riding a skateboard, or rolling down a hill. Mine does none of that.

When Diesel was young, around 9 weeks old, I didn’t think he liked me. I obviously did not understand bulldogs because that unhappy look became the stern typical bulldog look.

Of course, my husband reminds me that when we first got our bulldog I was taking an aromatherapy course and I involved with my projects. He endured. He knew where my trial products were stored and he stared at the drawer every night until I opened a bottle for him to sniff. He loved the lavender concoctions.

I never trained our boy to do the correct things, like sit, stay, or don’t jump on people. He does – or does not do – all of this on his own, but not because I’ve trained him. Instead, I taught him “Brain Waves.” Yes, he thinks it is a normal thing to put his forehead against mine while we stare into each other’s eyes.

He recently learned how to “shake” paws, but instead of a high-five (which I sometimes get him to do), he puts his paw in my hand and I have to rub it, count his toes, and talk to him in a soothing voice. He loves it. I think I do too.

He also has a turkey leg. When he was a pup he was trained by our elder female boxer to go outside and do his duty. She was a very obedient dog. Out they would go, and back in they came. No fencing, out in the country. One day he barreled in through back door and quickly walked by me. I reached down to touch the cute little independant bellow. His back leg shot out like a tiny turkey leg, straight out. He stood rigid on all 3’s. It was funny, you had to have been there. I ended up laughing with tears streaming down my face. To this day, his favorite thing is a rub on the front side of his turkey leg. He’ll flop over and fall asleep, snoring seconds later, after a late night turkey leg rub.

I know, this blog post is like hearing long stories about someone else’s children, which is nice for short periods of time, but eventually…yawn.

I want 2 or 3 bulldogs, but I have enough on my plate for now. Someday…someday.

If you want a well-behaved dog, this is the one to get. If you want a dog that does not drool. This is not the dog to get. If you want a dog that seldom needs maintenance. This is not the breed to get (I will explain in another blog post). If you want loyalty, this is the dog to get. If you want a dog that snores. This is the dog to get.

I love my boy.

What is your favorite dog breed? BTW…I like mutts too. Me and the dog from the third floor touch noses when she walks down the stairs. Yes, we go nose-to-nose when she reaches my level and she now expects it. Our lovely gift from God, animals for companionship and fun.

blog www.hispasturepress.com

I am at the middle point of the Indie Business Blog Your Brand Challenge. I will admit, there were nights when I thought I was too tired or too busy to stick with the blog ballgame. I am determined to cross the finish line.

Officially, this my 954’st blog post. I am an oldie blogger, not a newbie. I have un-officially, counting a couple of blogs that I’ve scrapped when I’ve reinvented myself, published over 1,000 blog posts.

I needed a big b-l-o-g-g-e-r-sized nudge, however, and here’s the transparent truth in the values that this blog challenge brought to surface for me:

  1. I had drifted away from frequent blogging. I have re-discovered that I have plenty to write about. Life itself blooms with topic upon topic.
  2. Deliberate writing is a mindset that becomes habit.
  3. I have met new friends through blogs, and I’ve discovered things that I didn’t know about old friends.
  4. In the business of social media, my followers have increased through blogging.
  5. Small businesses support small business, and bloggers support bloggers. Need I say more?
  6. I have been uplifted, and I have learned through reading my comrade’s blogs.
  7. I enjoy blogging. What would the world be like without the freedom to write?
  8. Blogging is a part of our online voice. Unique, and self-owned.

In reality, blogging is an integral part of social media that I, or any small business owner, should not ignore. Blogging can be free, or inexpensive, and it only takes minutes to accomplish. Three hundred words, an average-sized blog post, is fairly simple and quick to write.

What have you learned from this blog challenge (if you are part of it), or from blogging in general? I have heard “experts” say that blogging is a dying form of social media, do you agree? What do you like or dislike about blogging?

dreamstimefree_140799.jpg

Our temperature has been right at a scorching 100°F for about three weeks now. When our friends ask us, “Have you been on your bikes lately?,” our response has been “No, it is too hot!”

Tonight, my husband handed me my bike keys, “I think we need to at least start them.”

As soon as I heard the engines running I wanted to ride.

We took off without a plan, “Let’s head east.”

What was east? We did not know.

After the first 20 minutes we were out of the city and still did not know where “heading east” was on the map.

We kept going…and going.

After a while, my husband pulled off the road “Are you okay? Wanna’ keep going?”

“Yes! I am having the time of my life.”

I was hot and I felt dehydrated, but the feeling of freedom was incredible. I wear a helmet, but this sense of elation could very well be described as the wind in my hair.

I thanked God for the beautiful countryside.

I wanted to etch the scent of fresh mown grass, and of corn being harvested, in my head.

The crazy goats that looked up from their evening hay were an image I will not soon forget. We could have ridden by all day, made several trips in succession, and the goats would still stretch their necks and ears in airplane position, with “surprise” written in their expressions.

The cows with coats that looked like velvet chocolate. Lazily grazing with calves at their side.

Thank you God for reminding me to enjoy the gifts that you’ve made for us.

We stopped at a convenience store. We didn’t know where we were. I was not ready to turn back.

After quenching our thirst, hi-ho away we went, to an unknown destination in the east.

By this time the air felt cool as we passed under trees along shaded creeks. The countryside filled with the heavenly scent of dusk that mirrored the gorgeous sunset.

Two hours.

Time well spent. Heading east to nowhere.

Food for the soul.