Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sauerkraut & Jelly Jam

Did you ever taste the delectable delicacy of sauerkraut topped with jelly jam?  Yum – what – yuck! That’s right, how awful would that be!  Even I don’t wish to imagine the combination!  Why – you ask- would I mention such a concoction and get your stomach churning?  Well, when you think about criticism and judgment that are delved out, by us— oh no never us— or others, it’s just about that tasty. Have you ever been misjudged or criticized by others that don’t have the facts, or those that have not thought too deeply about your situation?  Or worse yet, have you criticized another and not comprehended what their situation entailed?  Jesus understands those criticized and those that have delved it out.  His grace covers all. Leave it at His wonderful cross that paid for every sin imaginable. Even those that taste as delicious as sauerkraut and jelly jam.  Now, get busy and be loving even in line for the perfect gift.  Even if the last one gets snatched up right before you get to it!  Rejoice in Him and remember that He loves you and is there for you always……

Friday, November 26, 2010

Scuba Diving Anyone?

Scuba diving enthusiast Barbara Malcolm met with me at Applebee’s today to reveal her knowledge and expertise.  Thank you Barbara for generously sharing your time. My work in progress novel will shine true because of your influence everywhere my characters take a dive!  I could almost imagine the underwater visions you have enjoyed on your adventures.  Your insights have caused me to ponder why so few venture into the depths to enjoy the strange water world first hand.  Many say that there is nothing to do around here.  Surprise, surprise right under our noses there is a watery landscape complete with shipwrecks and scurrying creatures waiting for inspection!  Anyone want to dive in and try a new experience?  Go ahead I dare you – jump!!

Zoe's Word

While spending time with me in my writers room, Zoe our feisty gray cat muses over the word. She finally settled on John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full. That is right Zoe, can cat food in the morning to start the day right. A warm bed anywhere you choose in the house and you’re so important that you have been elevated. The new title you bear is “Princess of the Household.”  What passes over your royal mind tonight your majesty!   Warm weather – out of the question. You live in Wisconsin after all!  But you can still be happy in spite of less than perfect conditions!
March 5, 2011
Zoe's scripture for today is one of my favorites. She is a long winded cat given to long drawn out meowing conversation so the Amplified Version of the Bible appeals to her the most. Her scripture for today was rolling around in my head...oh, her head...
The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoyce over you with joy: He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing. 
I remember looking this scripture up word for word in the Strongs Concordance and the picture this scripture paints for the part where, He will rejoyce over you with joy, God actually spins with joy over us!! Imagine our Creator, Abba Father, Lover of Our Soul spinning with joy over us as we march, skip, or hop through our days taking on one mundane thing after the other.
And He smiles and spins over us!!!

Dog Day Decision

Scooby Do our Chow/Sheltie mix passed from this life a year ago late December.  For eleven years, he greeted, loved, and served us the best he could.  Even when he pulled a fast one, he could make me laugh.  I’ve never been adored more by any of his kind.  He could cripple my attempts to catch him by moving extraordinarily fast on very short legs. The fit of laughter that dropped me to my knees was so unfair!  I think he may have planned his escape by being deliberately cute and tickling my funny bone. There is nothing like a faithful loving dog to make any day seem right. 
This spring I desire to add a canine to our family once again.  I’ve been looking online at different types of dogs and I just can’t make up my mind.  Maybe you could help me by sharing your favorite breed of dog and why that breed is special.  Maybe you have an endearing story to tell.  I would love to hear from you. 
One thing is sure, I miss being greeted and entertained by one of the best friends anyone can have on planet earth!  I look forward to a new addition to our family this spring.  At this time, I have no idea what type of dog we will settle on.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts and advice on this important decision!  So what was that you were about to say?
March 5, 2011
I've fallen in love wth the Leonburger breed.  They are HUGE, they are AMAZING and I've had this desire growing inside me to have whatever dog we adopt trained as a therapy dog.  I have a lady friend that is willing to help  train me - no, no, no the dog with obedience classes.  This is HUGE in my life and growing in improtance each day.  There is a shift in my opinions on what I feel God may do with my life. I feel myself focusing on new directions and observe from afar possible new doors to venture through. A walk with God is never boring if you are not plugging your ears and screeming your own thoughts at the top of your lungs. My prayer today is...
Lord don't let me miss your whisper, and do let me sense your heart beat in my situations because you are the bread of life.  You offer abundant life and I want to live fully in it!
Yesterday I hit a speed bump about the Leonburger, maybe this dog is too big? Too strong, and to imature for too long?  It takes 3-4 years to mature and settle down.  Of course it's okay that I'm still imature and in my 50's but thats besides the point!  Will I become like a kite flying behind a running Leonburger and holding on for dear life during our daily walks?  I've changed my mind and investigeted so many wonderful breeds of dogs only to feel concerned that they might eat my cat if I turned around. Or when I found out about the energy level or companonship needs of certain breeds I grew concerned that they might be equal to the destructive scenes in the movies. {The movies where there is a tussel in the house that messes up everything and makes me cringe! } That is if we don't give them 3 + walks per day!  When I considered not pursuing this dog my heart took a dive.  I greaved as though I just lost Scooby all over again.  I think I must arrange a visit and check out first hand what I sense from this magnificant breed. I want my spring puppy to be a perfect fit!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Devotional Memoir from a Wisconsin Black Squirrel

The Sounds of Fall
Devotional Memoir from a Wisconsin Black Squirrel
©By Susan Marlene Kinney
"The branch cannot bear fruit of itself."
John 15:4
Whoosh, the wind pushed mightily through the branches of the naked trees.  I held onto the sturdy oak for dear life as my fur ruffled and parted in the power of such invisible strength.  Another gust forced me to wink my eyes almost shut. I refused to shut them since a huge creature sat in a peculiar way at the base of my tree.  There were various creatures of various sizes from this particular house . These giants wrapped themselves in diverse colors and shapes especially in winter.  Were they not silly since I still recognized them. They were of course the bringers of my nuts and seeds. Every now and then, they would flash a bright light in my direction and I would see dots as I made my way back up the bark to the wavering branches.  Basically they were harmless and useful for my store of winter foods. Today only one of the gigantic creatures sat in the stillness and shivered.  What the wind didn’t caress off her cheeks, her shaky hand did. She spoke aloud, “The branch cannot bear fruit of itself.”  Of course I thought to myself, I am the one that bears the fruit up the tree and to my hiding place.  I am strong and flexible and no one doses it for me.  You should see what I provided for myself, you should see my store of seeds.
The mightiest gust of wind stole my breath. When it eased, I breathed deeply the sweetest aroma, like fruit and nuts at the perfect ripeness.  There was no rustle of leaves, like I hear in the summer. Instead, the echo of the loud silence stilled my movement for a moment.  Something exciting engulfed the very air around us— me and my giant.  I turned sharply to the left then the right and chirped and chirped and chirped again— a warning.  No, not really a warning, this was the most exciting moment in my life and it was still invisible and intangible.  What would my family safely tucked in the nest above me say if I tried to describe this?  Again my human spoke, “Sorry Lord, I’m sorry for thinking that I didn’t need You. I have not honored you or given you credit. 
Stirrings of wind whipped the branches around us.  Then all the rowdiness of motion surrounding us stopped.  This was a deeper silence and I felt the warmth of His presence.  I knocked my head against the tree limb when I tried to bow my head in reverence.  I’ve never felt this way before.  All at once I realized that He was the provider of the nuts even if He did use the huge creature below to bring them to me. He was the provider of the strength I borrowed to climb the tree and He was the breath of life I borrowed to breathe. The human smiled toward the deep blue sky that held very few wispy white clouds and  sang the most soothing melody. I chirped along with her and flicked my black tail in time with the dipping and lifting of her voice. This excitement far surpassed the excellent feeling I enjoyed while escaping the giant’s four-legged barker.  I know it wasn’t that great a challenge to avoid since the beast couldn’t even climb a tree.  Ok, so giants and black squirrels alike receive everything needed from His hand. Hum, I really see that now.  I hope that He will provide my giant with the generosity to bring out the peanuts, and sunflower seeds.  Those are my favorites.  I paused in my pursuit of food and glanced around, even all creation praises His name. Chirp, chirp…..

Friday, November 12, 2010

POV- Problems, Praise, and Prattle

Our Pens of Praise Christian Writers Group is meeting tomorrow at 10:00 till 12:00.  It is my turn to offer a teaching and I chose POV – Problems, Praise, and Prattle for the topic of the day!  It is amazing what excellent point of view can do for a novel.  I have all my notes and referenced together and I’m possibly ready to go…..  I will write more tomorrow!! 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Write His Answer Seminar, Oconto Falls, WI

Marlene Bagnull taught this wonderful Write His Answer seminar. I would advise any writer to attend one of her seminars.  She wove worship, the word, and wonderful elements of writing into a day and a half long seminar.   Sorry, I couldn’t resist the urge to write all those “W’s”!!  Now back to the seminar! Marlene is skillful, informative, and transparent.  I am grateful for her willingness to share not only her successful experiences but also those that were difficult or hindered her progress in her writing career.  Marlene is an encourager and networker for those seeking publication.  Thank you Marlene for all you shared and the bur you placed in our saddles to get us on the move!  May the Lord our God bless you richly and at all times!
Susan Marlene Kinney

Country Memories Farm Event

It is chilly out here in Wisconsin but us girls braved the night and dressed up a little.  Vanessa was a bumblebee, Sarah was a teacher in a coat, and I was a scary housewife with a pink robe.  Where oh where were my pink rollers?  Thats right, I forgot to purchase them on the way to this Country Memories Farm event!  Vanessa painted faces and hands with cartoon figures. Sarah and I bowled with a pumpkin and picked up bowling pins. We all ate delicious chili. We washed it all down with hot chocolate and sat around the fire after we fed the alpacas!!! Sorry about your shoes Sarah!!  Ok, I'm still chuckling! We would have taken photos of the alpacas but they are shy and we didn’t want to get stampeded in their pen. Yes, that is a tall tale, we did forget all about the camera when in the presence of these lovely fuzzy creatures.  I look forward to the next event Becky and Joe will hold at Country Memories Farm in November!!  Thank you for a wonderful night Becky and Joe!

Susan Marlene Kinney

Friday, October 29, 2010

NKJV – Word of the day: For you….

Zephaniah 3:17
The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.

John 15:16
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in my name He may give you.

I Love Old Trains

Trains, Trains and More Trains

Trains always draw my attention and fascinate me. There is something about the steady rhythm of motion and sound that causes me to smile.  When I was a child, we enjoyed a large black train, maybe an O scale, that seemed to complete the Christmas tree. It was as much a part of Christmas decorations as the ornaments on the tree.
 Many years later Christmas was nearly upon us.  Cal discovered my attraction to what I call the “pretty trains”.  He bought me my very own Pennsylvania Flyer O-scale train # 8602.  I love to see this train under our Christmas tree and hate to put it away to hide in a box for the majority of the year.  I am happy if it just sits there or if it runs the track.  Calvin, I discovered, is happy with elaborate track formations and moving, sound activated trains.  The next year he bought more track and had a snazzy layout for the space available to us in our front living room.
This year when I finally realized his love for trains and complicated track layouts we decided to dedicate a room for “our” new hobby.  My husband and I are at the ground floor of creating our train room.  Cal has torn up the spare bedroom, even as far as tearing out the closet!  He has been diligently building the train tables.  Cal and I never settle with simple.  With our imagination and “his” skill we plan to make the most of our space.  I buy the train magazines and  Cal investigates.  Then we talk and dream together.  Cal is the track planner and I will be working on the scenery once the train tables are finished.  Cal built a helix for the N-scale train set up in our garage.  It took time and ingenuity on his part and he finally achieved building a working helix so that our trains can travel to the upper level track. More than one curious neighbor popped over to ask Cal what in the world he was building.  We may have a few angry wives in the neighborhood since at least one man wandered home wondering just where his train has been! 
This is our helix and the mess of our beginnings.  Do you have a photo or a story you want to share about your train room or train collection?

Susan Marlene Kinney