Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

{Introduction} 31 days + Five Minute Friday :: Whispers from the Heart!

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Lord I come to You
Let my heart be changed, renewed
Flowing from the grace
That I found in You.
And Lord I've come to know
The weaknesses I see in me
Will be stripped away
By the power of Your love.

Hold me close
Let Your love surround me
Bring me near
Draw me to Your side.
And as I wait
I'll rise up like the eagle
And I will soar with You
Your Spirit leads me on
In the power of Your love.

Lord unveil my eyes
Let me see You face to face
The knowledge of Your love
As You live in me.
Lord renew my mind
As Your will unfolds in my life
In living every day
by the power of Your love.

(Song: Hold Me Close, Hillsongs United)

***
Join me as I take 31 days of the month of October to simply journal my thoughts and to pray.
Whispers ~ from the heart!  
This is where I will attempt to incorporate the prompts given via Kate's blog and her FMF link-up, to help formulate my thoughts and prayers. However, I will not limit myself to these specific prompts. This is going to be a real challenge.  Down deep.  I wonder if I'll even have the stamina for it all - but, we'll give it a go and see what comes of it!

  All in all... I hope to quietly take five minutes each day to write and I hope you'll join me in reading and prayer- as I do.  Each day will be linked back to this post - so that you can better follow along; finding all that I've written - located in one place. I will also be linked to write31days.com

My intention and goal for this time of writing, 31 days straight, is to simply grow in my writing style and ability... all while lifting up needs both yours and mine in prayer.  I know that prayer is a very personal thing in any one person's life - and at the heart of it, it isn't necessarily a public thing.  But - Scripture reminds that where two or three are gathered {in Jesus' name} there HE will be - in their midst.  This is what community is.  Growing together.

So, if this in any way will help my readers by way of encouragement or blessing, then, so be it.  Aside from giving God all the glory, this is what really matters most, after all.

 The comment section will be open for you to add in your own thoughts and prayers, as well...and I would truly appreciate your input and participation.

Day 1: calling
Day 2: Five Minute Friday :: family
Day 3: capture
Day 4: embrace
Day 5: home
Day 6: possible
Day 7: love
Day 8: purple
Day 9: Five Minute Friday ;; trust
Day 10: ready
Day 11: rest
Day 12: storm
Day 13: patience
Day 14: fly
Day 15: laugh
Day 16: Five Minute Friday :: green
Day 17 and  Day 18: offer and worth
(I intentionally combined these two posts into one.)
Day 19: honor  whisper
Day 20: temporary
Day 21: wave
Day 22: value
Day 23: Five Minute Friday :: Joy and Courage
Day 24: silence
Day 25: crash
Day 26: whisper honor
Day 27: perhaps
Day 28: hope
Day 29: sea
Day 30: Five Minute Friday :: bacon
Day 31: almost always includes patience

***


Thank you for your support by reading along!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Easy Oven-Baked Rice

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Recently, I've been asked to share my recipe for oven-baked rice.
Today is the day!!

This is so easy.  Super easy and fast (prepwise) to bring to the table... with little to no mess.  You know how cooking rice - stovetop - can do that!!  I appreciate that this dish can slide into the oven alongside any meat dish I have planned to go along with the meal.. and it all bakes at once!

Bevy's Easy Oven-Baked Rice
Generously grease 1 1/2 quart baking dish, with butter.
1 1/2 cups rice* 
3 cups hot tap water
2 T. butter
1 tsp. salt (to taste*)

Give this all a quick stir before putting into the oven - just to ensure even baking!

Bake covered dish at 350* for one hour.
Fluff with fork to serve.


I like to mix in some brown rice (about a 1/2 cup worth) - with the white.  Note: If you use all brown rice, you might need to adjust the water amount and/or bake it a little longer.

I also use only Seasoned Salt - from Tastefully Simple.   Maybe a 1/2 tsp. or so. I just dash it on there... I don't measure.  And, another tip.  Sometimes, I substitute chicken broth for the water...which results in an even more added flavor.

Any leftover rice freezes well in a ziploc bag... to use for another time.  Sometimes, I'll make extra rice for this purpose - only.

Let me know how you enjoy!!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Love your neighbor!

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Today, see if you can stretch your heart and expand your love
so that it touches not only those to whom you can give it easily, 
but also those who need it so much.

 ~ Daphne Rose Kingma

***
In lieu of National Good Neighbor Day....

I wonder how the ripple effect of being a good neighbor will impact today - will it start with you?   Will you be on the receiving end?
What will it look like - even yet - tomorrow?

When asked what the greatest commandment of the law was, Jesus answered...

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.  ~ Mark 12:30-31

Happy Monday!!

Friday, September 25, 2015

five minute friday :: doubt

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Linking up again with this lovely group of writers - through Kate's blog and her Five Minute Friday linkup.  All writing on a one-word prompt.  Today's prompt is: doubt

****
Doubt sees the obstacles,
Faith sees the way.
Doubt sees the darkest night,
Faith sees the day.
Doubt dreads to take a step
Faith soars on high.
Doubt questions, "who believes?"
Faith answers, "I".

I don't remember where I found that piece - but it comes to mind often and I know I've shared it here before.

Thinking about doubt.  This all came to mind.

Imagine standing on one leg for an indefinite but significant amount of time.  Even for just a few moments you'll notice that you really can't do it (well) that long.

Try it!

Try standing for even five minutes.  It won't be long before you'll start to sway.  You'll feel shaky.  You'll even want to shift yourself or hang on to something to help keep your balance.  At least, this was my body's response.

Doubt does this very thing to our souls, doesn't it though?  It shakes us up.  It unsettles.

To think we can stand on one leg, on our own; that we can really do this!
But, we're never really sure, are we?
Doubt never stands true.

Reality is right there...with its reminder!!
You need to have Faith.  Standing firm!
Two feet down; two legs strong... on the rock that never moves.

And, friend.  That rock is Jesus!!

***

The other morning I found this bee - sleeping!  Sleeping sideways, at that!!
Made me chuckle to think about adding this photo to this post.

I doubt it's only one leg he's using to hang on, there, and you can see this for yourself.  He's hanging on with all he's got!!  Even while asleep.  I promise you - this bee was sleeping!!

I want to be like this.

Firmly resting in my Lord and Saviour without a shadow of a doubt.
He is all I need!

I want to leave you with a song from the Collingsworth Family. Pardon the video quality... but, please.  Please, listen to this beautiful hymn.

It's called: Jesus is All I Need



Blessings on your weekend!!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A moment I will never forget...

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Oh where do I start?

I could tell you about the time I got locked out of my house.  Oh, there was the time, too,  with the car and my baby still inside.  But-- the time with the house -- that was because someone accidently locked the screen door and no door key will ever open that.

How about the heart-so-full moment when you hold your brand new newborn for the 1st time and you're left to wonder how in the world it is your heart could possibly have room enough or grow to a larger size to hold all your love for yet another.  But, it does!!

I could recount (again) the day...that time when my sister literally saved my life!

How about when specific prayers are answered bold and clear.  Almost instantaneous.  Those moments still slay me...increasing my faith and continue.  With more fervor and hope!

I could tell you the feelings to a "t" of how it was walking down the aisle and seeing my man, at the end, in a pool of tears and the biggest smile on his face.  Loved that moment, then and I still do.

How about the times when I've said "yes"... as a mom.  And the times when I have said "no"... that may or may not have led to regret.  Which, there is a necessary balance  needed - for sure.

Oh yes... and, this one!!

I haven't deep belly-laughed in a long, long time but there was this one time during an exercise routine that well... let's just say, the laughter probably did me way more good!  Even another.. similar... was the time I was learning how to drive stick.  My dad and I waving on more than 30 cars on a rinky-dink back road, in the dark of night (hoping no one would see me - fail!)...as I tried and tried to coordinate clutch, gas and gears... oh my!!!!

Honestly.  There are so many, many more moments - as I thought about this.  So many more specific, unique, personal, delightful and "real" moments that I could share with you.

Instead, all in all, here is what you simply need to know...

Each one, in its own right, is a moment I will never forget.  And  - it felt good to slow (there is that word, again!) and intentionally go down memory lane; really taking a moment to relish each memory, as they came. The moments of my life - that are mine - to really remember them as they are.

***

May you have a wonderful rest of your day!

** linking today's post with Finding the Grace Within - Tuesday at Ten!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

beauty full

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I knew this particular morning was a beautiful one - just wasn't aware how much so.
Sometimes...it's that simple first step around and beyond the corner -  that changes everything!




Listen to my heart...
I never, never, ever want to get or be so busy that I miss the hush; the quiet; the simple of beauty of a brand new day.

I am thankful for this word  - slow!  Oh, how I ponder it often.

Slowing both with intention and without.  And -- and, I hope you'll find it in your heart-schedule to do the same...especially, if you have a hard time doing so.

Slow down and simply enjoy!  At least, more often than you may already do.
It may simply take your breath away!!

May you have a beauty full day!!

Friday, September 18, 2015

I hope and celebrate! {five minute friday :: tuesday @ ten}

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A beautiful morning, indeed!
The mist of the morning across the meadow and the view I had while looking across my neighbor's porch (a.k.a. my brother and sis-in-law) - gave me pause.
A moment for reflection.  Reminding me...
This (growing) season is passing away.  A new thing is coming.
This world is passing away.  A new heaven and new earth - is coming!

Taking aim with my camera I zoom in on just a small portion of the decaying greenery and tried to find some form of simple beauty.  There were a few blooms to classify as still "going strong".
But - to look dead on - they got lost in the bush

I had to go deeper.  Look further.  Look past the dismal and decay; all the dried up and withered.

Hope does that.  It holds on - for more!  It sees beauty where ashes once lay.
 It finds strength.
And fervor.
It rejoices in the truth.

When the realization hits that all is not lost.
Why. Let the celebration begin.

My conclusion: Go! Gather a few blessings and share this hope!!

***
Finally, I felt this to be fitting. I want to share a form of song (lyrics) written by Gloria Gaither.

DO YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU?
Oh daughter, did you know how much I loved you?
Through all the voices did you hear me say
That you are my great heart's dearly beloved?
When every road was gone, I was the Way.
Through the fires of hell I came to find you.
Pursued you down the corridors of time --
Though satan sold you cheap and stole your virtue
I bought you with my life and your are mine.

I love you with a love that has no limit;
You're flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone.
I love you with a love that has no limit --
I will not rest a moment till you're home.

Oh son, in your rebellion did you hear me?
Hear my love song ringing in the night?
When acid tears of guilt burned hot to blind you,
I was the soothing balm that gave you sight
When fast and far you ran pursuing pleasure,
I was the hound of heaven faster still --
I could not let you go because I loved you,
Loved you all that time and love you still.

I love you with a love that has no limit;
You're flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone.
I love you with a love that has no limit --
I will not rest a moment till you're home.
***

Linking up today with my two favorite link-ups!  Five Minute Friday - whose prompt was the word "celebrate".  And, Tuesday @ Ten - whose prompt phrase was, "I hope..."

Thursday, September 17, 2015

On the homefront: Recipe and The Quilt, The Hemlock House Healing Salve and Journaling

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Ahh.  Comfort food - there is nothing like it, especially for this time of year!  And casseroles are certainly a way to obtain that for a measure of comfort.

I mentioned the other day that I would share another recipe.  One, using cooked rice, broccoli and kale. This was a recipe that I quickly threw together - for our little family - and I think it just might have become a family favorite.  Later - looking online - I did find this similar recipe...that perhaps you would enjoy as well.  But... truthfully.  Mine might be a tad easier to put together.  I don't know.

A couple of things.

Whenever I made rice, I bake it in the oven.  Apparently - I'll need to share this method sometime - as  another recipe. It's something I've talked about quite often - but have never shared how.  Stay posted.
Oven baked rice is the best idea (ever!) and so efficient plus it keeps your stovetop clean.  However, we always have leftovers - whenever it is I make rice.  No problem - I'll just bag it up in a ziploc and throw in the freezer.

Having a cup or two of cooked/baked rice in the freezer - has been another time saver for me.
And - so easy for casseroles - such as the one I'm about to share.



Here are the ingredients ...

2 cups of cooked rice (if frozen, thaw it out)
1 cup of frozen broccoli flowerets
1/2 - 1 cup kale, chopped
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 - 2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
seasoned salt
paprika

Lightly steam broccoli and kale together - for a couple of minutes.  In another bowl, add the veggies, while hot, with some of the vegetable water to the rice.  Add the cream of mushroom and cheese and stir well.  Put into a nicely buttered casserole.  Sprinkle seasoned salt and paprika - to taste.

Bake at 350* for 20 - 30 minutes or until heated through (bubbly and golden).

Simple, creamy and delicious!!
You're welcome!

***
I also promised you would get to see the baby quilt (in full) once I've finished working on it.  I realize since taking the photos that I really didn't get a full photo of it.  Just partial bits and pieces.  Oh well... you do get the idea.  Truth is. I'm sad to have this sewing project be done and gone.  :) I so thoroughly enjoyed working on this.  Hand quilting is very theraputic for me...I guess.  My friend said, she might have another for me to do in the near future, Lord Willing.  I said... "sure!"


***

I've been meaning to give a shout-out; a plug-in for my friend Amanda and her Etsy Shop!


See the two little jars, here on the shelf?

The smaller jar, with the black lid, is Plantain Salve and the other (the one with the tag) is her Healing Salve.  I ordered this healing salve the other week - and I don't know how many times we've dove into this jar - even in one day alone.  Several times.  My family and I are sincerely convinced this is the best stuff since sliced bread.
It works.  From bug bites, and cuts and scrapes. to just a bump or bruise.  It always produces a smile!
Even my hubby is a believer!!

Thank you - Amanda!!
***

Ending on this note.  I was recently a recipient of a wonderful giveaway and awarded this beautiful journal.

It's become a wonderful addition to my kitchen counter. :) A great place to capture and collect thoughts and ideas as I go about my day.

It is often life's smallest pleasures and gentlest joys
that make the biggest and most lasting difference. ~ Unknown
***
Enjoy the remainder of your day!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

{Bags by Bevy} CoffeeMates Mug Warmers

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***
A couple of weeks ago, now - my sister celebrated her fortieth birthday!

Thinking of her with a small flower bouquet and a few other homemade goodies 
I tucked in one of my versions of a CoffeeMates Mug Warmer - by wrapping it around the flower vase.  She knows it's for her coffee mug. :)  Actually, I have given quite a few of these away - as gifts. There is one set for sale, right now, in my Etsy Shop, as well.  Feel free to take a look!

I've been mostly making these unique-looking mug warmers with a white background and black lettering.
 But, lately...I'm really enjoying the Chalkboard look.  So, for this one I used a black chalkboard paint, and use a white pen.  I would not recommend using chalk on it.

((Note: these should not go in the microwave, nor should they get soakin' wet.  Spot clean - if needed. They are for decoration and mug identification purposes only. Smile! ))

I've made a few of these with the the inscription of :
 "his" and "her" Coffee (set of two)
 "Mr." and "Mrs." Coffee (set of two)
"all mine" Coffee

Obviously, you see a:
"not yours" Coffee

So.  I'm asking for ideas! 
I ask you.  If you were to own one, or a set of these CoffeeMate mug warmers, either to use or to give away as a gift  - What would you like it to say?
And which do you think looks the best?  The white lettering on black or the black lettering on white?

***

Monday, September 14, 2015

Changes!

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Change is in the air.  I love it!!  Although, I don't necessarily love change, per say - I do like what this particular change is bringing!!  Fall is just around the corner.
We feel it with the warmer days and cooler nights.  The temperature changes in their fluctuation keep us guessing - at times.

Comfort food (I promise another recipe, soon) and candles all aglow are a must!

School is in full-swing - my older two fully enjoying every minute. My little-one eagerly awaiting her turn... and well...
Today is the day!! - my baby heads off to Preschool, as her first official day of school!  
Wow!! here we go!  

My middle child...Aubrey... celebrated her 7th birthday - earlier this past week.  I feel bad - but, life has been so busy, lately - that even a simple cake didn't get made.  
She was happy, nonetheless, with brownie bites in it's place.  Oh - and we'll see in about two weeks if Aubrey's elbow is healed and her cast can come off - to stay.  We're praying to that end.

It's been a busy past several days.  And that busy will continue on into this week.

With my husband being cubmaster for our son's Cub Scout pack  - we have Recruitment and Popcorn Fundraising going on simultaneously.  I'm just doing my best to stand by and offer full support.  Even though it requires less of "us" in these moments - we can still make the most of what "us moments" we can muster.  :)
The clock does not lie in the hour of what time we've been retiring most nights - here of late.

With all of this... we take the time to slow and notice.  There is one last bloom with the gerber daisy and our bunny-friend is still on visitation mode. :)  We enjoy seeing our little friend almost every day-the kids especially - and a hush falls to the room as every one looks on and watch her enjoy her green-grass-nibbles.
I'm in my last few stitches to the baby quilt I've been working on.  I promise to show it when completely done.  In the same breath - there are doctor and dentist appts.  Scout pants to re-hem as my son has grown several inches from last year's Scout year!  There are the girls closets and drawers to go through again. 

 This is what the seasons bring.  Changes!!

This is what I like to remind myself...

Don't let yourself get so busy that 
you miss those little but important extras in life --
the beauty of a day...
the smile of a friend...
the serenity of a quiet moment alone.  ~ unknown

Have a wonderful week!
***
** This post was linked to the Art of Home Making Monday link-up!

Friday, September 11, 2015

{Never} the same!

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Yesterday, today, forever - 
Jesus is the same!
All may change, but Jesus never.
Glory to his name.

If you're like me - you notice the clouds of the sky.  Each flower that blooms.  Each bird that flies.

How about the "shoulders we rub" and the faces we pass each day?

While things and people and places are similar and yes!... a lot alike... they really are never quite the same.  Ahhh... seriously...have you sat down and looked through old family photos lately?  Oh my word, how we change...!!!  It brings on the tears and the laughter...doesn't it?

One of my most favorite things about myself - and this is certainly not to brag - is the ability I have to make what might appear to look and sound like the same recipe - but each time I make the dish (I'm preparing) it'll turn out differently.  One of my little quirks (on purpose! shhh) that keeps my hubby happy and my friends and family guessing. :)  But.. again... it's never the same.

I don't know about you... but, I'm grateful to serve a loving and gracious God who never changes.  Who provides us with variety to enjoy and in some ways - keeps us guessing.  I mean my kids think that each day is the same... that each day runs into the next and nothing ever changes.  Obviously, they don't flip the calendar or understand fully the concept of time...yet, outgrown clothes tell all! {snicker}

Yet - His constant surety is something we can grasp and take hold of.  While His mercies are new every morning - He is still the same.  Yesterday, Today and Forever!

***
***Linking today's post with both Five Minute Friday (who's prompt was: same) and Tuesday @ Ten (who's prompt was: what I love most about myself).

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Crabapple Jam and more...

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While thumbing through a magazine at a doctor's office - I snuck a photo with my rinky-dinky cellphone. ;)
I just loved the simplicity of this photo... and the memories it produced within.


This welsh proverb is true and gave me something to ponder, as well.  
My thought was...

A tiny seed in one - can really do a bumper crop of business for another.  

This is true for either good or bad.   Do you know the kind of seed(s) hidden in your heart?  What seeds are you and I depositing into others...?  Hmmm, again, something to ponder.

A tree is known by the fruit it produces...

 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.  Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.  A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. ~ Luke 6:43-45

***
So - I have this friend from church who put out a call of "anyone need or want crabapples?".  I said, sure!!  As, it reminded me of my Grammy.  She, and Grandpop, would always be making an apple something or another with all their apple trees (small orchard).  For one, Grammy would make crabapple jelly.  While I like jellies.. I do prefer a jam or preserve better.  So, I was on the course for finding a relatively easy recipe for making crabapple jam.  I found one!!  And - have been enjoying the fruit of my labor ever since.  Even sharing a jar, here and there, as gifts.

Here is the link to the recipe I used.  Crabapple Jam.

***
To be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter....
to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring -
these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ~ John Burroughs

And, I would add.
The gift of a simple little ole crabapple.  I know some folks see crabapples as a pest.  A beautiful tree in the spring but a bother, just the same, as these aren't the friendliest apple (to eat!) but hidden deep inside is a small taste of goodness... if you only take a moment to seek it out. 
And, if you take the time to make that happen.

I know my kids didn't quite necessarily enjoy the process of sorting and destemming the crabapples... but they, too, sure enjoy(ed) the fruit of their labor as we slather crabapple jam on hot buttered toast or as a side condiment for pork tenderloin.  Yumm!

***
Enjoy your week!!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Five Minute Friday :: Say, yes!

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Today's prompt word: yes

I could link you to this one - The Joy of Summer :: Saying Yes!  Or, to this one. Yes + Mess = Bless; a couple of my favorite posts.  And, that would be super easy.  To just stay here in the "fun" and smiles...but, today! - my heart is fuller than this.

On the outset I want to say that while this post may allude to something rather personal going on in my life right now... it's really not about one person, per say.  It's in no way a finger jab or a point-to. Just a gentle plea... and a reflection on where I've been.

So - the question posed... is. What happens when a loved one - is saying "yes" to the wrong thing(s). Choosing to act on something that is completely against - what is right and honorable (God's Word and authority). Depending on who this loved one talks to - it's okay!! All they hear is YES, YES, YES!  And, because of that acceptance and love - this person feels "okay"; sure and confident that this is right!  They feel they are loved and that they are accepted.  And, that is all that matters. Period. End of story.

The thing is.  I am that one person.  I too was, for sure, at one time, the one who felt loved and accepted by peers and giving little or no thought or care to the One calling my name.  The One. Whispering his love-truths deep into my soul.  Wooing and pursuing me.  Oh, I may have looked the part.  Felt the part - based on my "circle of influence"... but really, looking back... I didn't really KNOW this Jesus.  Honestly, years, decades, later I'm only still learning about Him... and how to love like he loves.  How to see like He sees.  And, to act like he did.

I still make mistakes.  And - so when he whispers this....


Well.  This is patient-grace.  This is the way that HE loves.  I imagine this might be what He is speaking to your heart and soul - today - as well?  Ponder these words...

If I go before you, you might now follow.  If I follow, you might not lead.  Instead, let's walk together.  Shall we?  Hand in hand.

Maybe you don't know this to be true.  But I can assure you, we can always trust Jesus to lead and we will be able to follow HIM safe and securely.  The thing is.  He's holding mine.  And, wants to take your hand, too.  To gently guide you along.

Walk with Jesus!  The LOVER and HEALER of your soul.

Say - yes!!  Please?

***
I appreciate this quote by Charles Stanley...
One of Satan's most deceptive and powerful ways of defeating us is to get us to believe a lie. And the biggest lie is that there are no consequences to our own doing. Satan will give you whatever you ask for if it will lead you where he ultimately wants you.
It alludes to another question. Another thought.  There are many hands reaching.  Reaching.  To go where?  Whose hand do you grasp?  Who will you say yes, to?


Writing today for Five Minute Friday!!
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