Sunday, April 30, 2017

Photo of the Week #17: Staying Focused

Last weekend, we visited David's family a few hours North of us. While we were there, Grandpa John and David gave JJ and me a lesson on shotgun shooting. It was fun. The above picture is me shooting a .410/.22 Over-Under Rifle/Shotgun. I was only shooting the shotgun part.

After that, we moved up to a 20 gauge double barrel shotgun, which had a little more of a "kick" to it. Here are a few short videos of us shooting that one...









Along the same topic as shooting and hitting targets, here is a hunting parable I found online about staying focused on the things that are above....


PRAY, AIM HIGH AND STAY FOCUSED
Author Unknown

There was once a man who had nothing for his family to eat. He had an old shotgun and three bullets. So, he decided that he would go out hunting and kill something to eat for dinner.

As he went down the road, he saw a rabbit and he shot at the rabbit and missed it. Then he saw a squirrel and fired a shot at the squirrel and missed it. As he went further, he saw a wild turkey in the tree and he had only one bullet left, but a voice came to him and said "Pray first, aim high and stay focused."

However, at the same time he saw a deer, which was a better kill. He brought the gun down and aimed at the deer. But then he saw a rattle snake between his legs about to bite him, so he naturally brought the gun down further to shoot the rattlesnake. Still, the voice said again to him, "Pray, aim high and stay focused.'"

So, the man decided to follow the voice. He prayed, then aimed the gun up in the tree and shot the wild turkey. The bullet bounced off the turkey and killed the deer. The handle fell off the gun and hit the snake in the head and killed it. And when the gun had gone off, it knocked him into a pond of water.

When he got up to look around, he had fish in all his pockets, a dead deer and turkey to eat for his family. The snake (e.g. Satan) was dead simply because the man listened to God: Pray first, Aim High and Stay Focused.

Bottom-line: Pray first before you do anything important, aim and shoot high in your goals, and stay focused on God and you will come forth successful.

Colossians 3:2 - Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (ESV)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Photo of the Week #16: Stream of Living Water


This past week, JJ attended a "live-in" program at the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site near Charleston, IL. He was able to experience what life was like in the 1800's and took part in things like cutting a log with a two man saw, filling the wood shed, and dipping candles. I did take pictures of him and the other boys working, but don't want to share the pictures without the permission of the other boys' parents. So, I am sharing a picture of this stream instead. While JJ was working, EL and I took a walk on this beautiful day and we crossed a little bridge where I took a picture of this stream. It reminds me of the streams of living water, mentioned in Scripture.

John 7:37-39 - On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him." He said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been received because Jesus had not yet been glorified. (HCSB)


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

500th Post on "He Holds My Right Hand"


I have been blogging for about 8 years, and this post is the 500th post! I have written about many different topics over the years, including devotionals, hymn studies, ways to encourage others, my cancer journey, autism, tourette syndrome, guest bloggers, book reviews, and more. It has been fun, and a huge learning experience for me in many ways.

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you have been blessed in some way by at least one of my posts. Below you will find links to some of the most popular posts that have been published here. I listed two from each year...



June 26, 2009 (My very first post)

April 24, 2010


Do you have a favorite?



















Sunday, April 16, 2017

Photo of the Week #15: Full Moon in St. Louis

David was at a conference in St. Louis this past week. Even though this was a work-related conference, I know he enjoyed the chance to get away for awhile and to wind down from some of the pressures he has been under. 

While he was there on Tuesday night, there was a full moon. The weather was nice, so he went out to the plaza of his hotel and was able to take this awesome shot of the full moon positioned directly in the middle of the Arch. I love this shot. It is a reminder of how God's majestic creations can be found anywhere in the world. It is also a beautiful combination of man's God-given creativity (the Arch) with God's perfect handiwork (the moon).


Genesis 1:14-15 - And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so.  

Psalm 19:1 - The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Photo of the Week #14: Brother Helping Sister


Last week, I mentioned how EL has been saving up her money for a "My First Flyer". Well, she was finally able to buy it this past week. The picture is a little blurry, but here you can see JJ helping his sister learn how to control the flyer. She loves it, and is doing well getting it to take off, and also with steering it. She still has trouble landing it without crashing but, with help from her brother, I'm sure that will improve over time.

Romans 12:10 - Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (ESV)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Photo of the Week #13: "A REAL Helicopter!" (EL's Words)

On Wednesday, we were in St. Louis for EL's 6-month Neurology checkup. All is well. She's doing great, and hasn't had any seizures for 8 months! (Yayyyy!) So, we will continue to keep her at the current medication dosages and return again in another 6 months.

While were were at the hospital, a helicopter landed. EL has had helicopters on her mind lately because she has been saving her money to buy "My First Flyer" (a remote-controlled helicopter she has been wanting). So, when she saw the helicopter on the landing pad, she looked at it and said, "Oh, its a REAL helicopter!" She was so excited to see a real one up close. She said she doesn't want to ride in one, but just likes to watch them fly.

I don't have any interest in riding in one either, especially not for emergency medical issues. And, I agree with EL that they are neat to see in flight. However, if you see one of these medical helicopters flying in your area, I encourage you to take a moment to stop and pray.

Pray for:
  • the safety of the pilot and crew,
  • the skill of the medical staff caring for the patient,
  • for the life of the patient on board,
  • and for the peace of the family members who are worried about their loved one. 
  • Also, take the opportunity to pray for their salvation (if they don't know the Lord), or that this difficult time will help strengthen their faith (if they are already Believers). 

1 Timothy 2:1 - First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people (ESV) 





Sunday, March 26, 2017

Photo of the Week #12: A Kind Man at Church

Every Sunday when we are at church, EL sits quietly during the service and loves to draw while listening to the sermon. She will go through several sheets of notepad paper, drawing a new picture on each piece; and she always makes sure to write, "To Gib, From ELS" on each piece. Then, after the service, she immediately meets up with Mr. Gib to see if there is a drawing he would like to have for his collection. Mr. Gib chooses a drawing he likes, then asks EL, "Will you take a dollar for it?" She always says yes, takes his dollar, and then (with a big smile on her face) hands it to me to put into her wallet.

I don't remember when Mr. Gib started doing this, I know it has been at least a year, maybe two. But, last Sunday, I took a picture of one of these little transactions. If you are reading this, Mr. Gib, I want to thank you for being such a blessing to our sweet girl in this way! You have developed a sweet connection with her, and she looks forward to seeing you each Sunday.

Proverbs 11:25 - Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Photo of the Week #11: Hot Potato Morale Booster

Today's photo is of EL and JJ playing a game of hot potato in our schoolroom earlier this week. It's amazing what this quick little game can do for our morale - just look at those smiles! (Prior to this game, none of us were in the mood for smiling).

Since EL recently bought this Electronic Hot Potato game, playing it has become one of our newest ways to: 
  • take a school break
  • relieve stress and/or tension
  • practice hand/eye coordination
  • and have fun as a family.

It is a a fun family game for ages 4 and up, and is just like playing any other hot potato game, only this one talks and plays music (Pop Goes the Weasel). As the music is playing, we take turns tossing the potato to each other. The last person to touch the potato before the music stops is given one "potato chip," and the first person to get three potato chips is out until the next game.

Whether you have kids or not, if you are looking for a fun way to boost morale in your home, school, or office, I encourage you to get this little game (or even just a rolled up sock), and start tossing!

Proverbs 15:13 - A glad heart makes a cheerful face...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Laura Story CD - Open Hands [GIVEAWAY CLOSED]

Available for Purchase:  Laura Story's OPEN HANDS CD
You may remember Laura Story's well-known song about Blessings, which was inspired by her real life trials, specifically about her husband's diagnosis of a brain tumor. If you love that song, as well as the many others she has sung, then you need to grab a copy of her 5th studio album, Open Hands. The more I listen to it, the more I like it!

Laura says this about the songs on this new album:
We have this picture all the way through the Scriptures of all these great leaders in this process of surrendering everything. What the Lord is asking them is not, "You need to hold on tighter. You need to manage this better." What the Lord asks us is to surrender. It’s about learning to live with open hands, learning to live life in this constant state of saying, "Lord, my life is Yours. My time is Yours. My resources are Yours. All of this is Yours. Do what You will."
Here is the official lyric video of the title song OPEN HANDS:




What a great song about surrendering your life to the Lord! But, I have to say, my favorites on this album are the songs of old hymns that have been refreshed with new music. I love hymns. They have such great, timeless truths in them; and,then, adding new music to them really brings them to a new level. Laura obviously loves hymns as well. She says this about them:
"I’m pretty sure that the theology that I learned as a kid was from old hymns. It’s amazing, even now as an adult, how those hymns come back and really provide that sturdy foundation for life. It reminds me of how important it is for me to teach my kids those old hymns,” Story reflects, adding, “As long as I am singing, I will be singing hymns."
Here are two of my favorites on the album:

Please enter below to be included in a random drawing for a copy of this CD. Entries will be accepted until Saturday, March 18, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. Central time. One entry per mailing address. Must be 18 or older to enter.
 

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Photo of the Week #10: Jobs at the Senior Center

Friday, March 10th - EL preparing coffee filters at the Senior Center

Friday, March 3rd - EL rolling napkin

I mentioned in PHOTO OF THE WEEK #7 how EL and I have started volunteering at the local Senior Center. This past month, we have continued going there every Friday, and have been wiping tables and chairs, dusting, vacuuming, emptying garbage pails, filling napkin dispensers, rolling napkins around silverware, and (new for this week) preparing coffee filters. Vacuuming is still EL's favorite (even though she says it makes her arms tired), but she is doing a good job with everything she has been asked to do. I am proud of EL for doing this with me each week. She is a hard worker, and this has all been a great learning experience for her.

Side note:  She also enjoys eating lunch there on the days we are working. She loves to eat (don't we all!? Hee Hee); so, having lunch there is an added bonus for her.  

Colossians 3:23 - Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men (NASB)