Sharing the Inspiring

Here are a few things I found inspiring this week that I wanted to share with you!

These Stunning Photos in celebration of Earth Day. Here are a few examples of the wonders of God’s creation.

This great reminder from Kristen Welch about learning what really matters and letting go of what doesn’t. Click here to read: Dear Parents, Let It Go

This message from Cheri Gregory that’s both encouraging and convicting called, Where Complaint Free is Taking Me.

This gorgeous video that takes away stress and takes us into the heart of worship with a reminder of how great God is.

And finally, this important and inspiring film, releasing on May 6th…

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

My Top Five Favorite Inspirational Easter Songs

Easter is right around the corner so I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite tunes for this holiday.

Here’s my TOP FIVE FAVORITE Inspirational Easter Songs (in no particular order):

I love both the Keith Green version as well as the original performed by the group 2nd Chapter of Acts. But could not find a very good version of the latter so here you go…Keith Green singing, The Easter Song!

I think Dolly does a great rendition of this Don Francisco classic, He’s Alive!

How could I leave out one of the most popular inspirational hits of all time? Here’s Dallas Holm singing, Rise Again!

This is another gem by Keith Green. The record is great, but seeing a live performance from back in the day is a treat. Enjoy listening to The Victor!

Finally, this Matt Papa tune reminds us why the Easter message is so important and challenges those of us who say we believe Jesus is alive, to live like it. Take a moment and be blessed by This Changes Everything!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE EASTER SONG?

All About Green

I love the color green. It is said to be a color of balance and harmony. One that is soothing to the eye, bringing relaxation to the mind and body.

CloverI believe that’s true.

With that in mind, and with ST. PATRICK’S DAY right around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to write a post celebrating all things green!

First, you’ll want to check out my GLORIOUS GREEN Pinterest Board!

 Next, for anyone who wants to grow a GREEN THUMB check out this Vegetable Garden Guide from Martha Stewart.

MarthaStewart.com

MarthaStewart.com

“Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive—it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there?”    From Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

 ANNE OF GREEN GABLES is always a favorite.

If you’re looking for ways to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, there’s tons of info to get you started here with GREEN LIVING 101

Here’s a sweet song from our favorite GREEN FROG, KERMIT –  He sings it’s not easy being green but then realizes all the wonderful things about it.

For me, it’s a reminder to rest in the knowledge that we are loved by God just as we are.

Check out this link to a beautiful video featuring one of my favorite artists, KEITH GREEN, singing the 23rd Psalm.

FTI Psalm 23 verse 2

I wonder if that’s why God chose to spread that color so liberally throughout His creation.

So that, within the calm green of earth, we could have a sense of the true glory of heaven.

Peace

I’ll leave you with music from late songwriter Rich Mullins, who seemed to grasp the wonder of the color and the Creator of it in his song, The Color Green.

Enjoy!

Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods.
John Muir

Do you have a favorite green to add to this list?
I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Finding The Inspiring Just In Time For Christmas

If you search, as I do each year, for some glimpse of the true meaning of Christmas amongst the gloss and glitter of this well-marketed holiday, you’ve come to the right place.

I’ve put together a few links that will hopefully bless and inspire you!

Photo: The Nativity Story

Photo: The Nativity Story

Start here – Read this touching news story about the response to a man who asked for a friend at Christmas.

And listen to this sweet song from Matthew West and Amy Grant. It might make you want to “Give this Christmas Away.”

If you’re looking for ideas on how to keep Christ in Christmas, here’s a fun list of 30 ways to do just that.

I’ve talked about this song here before but I can’t get enough of it. Enjoy “Winter Snow” with Audrey Assad & Chris Tomlin.

And, it may seem like this doesn’t fit at first, but I love this message in the new Hallmark  commercial. If you want to see it, click here.

Maybe this Christmas we could give the simple gift of sharing with loved ones the sentiments we sometimes forget to express.

Along those lines, this might come in handy…

I happened to see this $5 Coupon from Hallmark online. Thought you would like to have it too! 🙂

Have a blessed Christmas!

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11

Coming Home – A Harvest Party Guest Post

It’s hard to believe that next week will be the last of my Harvest Party post series, and I can think of no better way to wrap up this particular gathering of inspiration than with an inspiring guest post from Joan Hall. As she recounts her special Thanksgiving memories, I couldn’t help but be reminded of my own and I’m sure you will be as well. Enjoy!

Coming Home

I love the Thanksgiving Holiday—decorations of cornucopias, pumpkins, acorns, and autumn leaves. I enjoy having family for dinner and family traditions. It is a time for special memories of past years. It’s a time of “coming home.”

One of my earliest memories of Thanksgiving was 1962. It was the first year in our new home. As a four-year-old child, I recall being excited because Christmas was just around the corner. Mom always said she wished she had time to sit and watch the Macy’s parade, but never found the time. She spent hours in the kitchen, roasting the turkey, making dressing, green beans, and pecan and pumpkin pies.

Another special time was in 1978. The day was warm and my father and brother spent some of the time building my brother’s new cabin. I helped mom with the meal and we took numerous walks to my brother’s house. Around this time a new item was added to our traditional menu—Watergate Salad. Later that evening, I flew to Los Angeles to visit friends. My Dad passed away a few months later, so I cherish the memories of this day.

In 1984, I was newly married. Uncertain about dividing time between families, I’m thankful my mother-in-law was gracious enough to serve their meal on Wednesday evening. This allowed John and me to spend all day Thursday at Mom’s house. By this time, we expected my brother to bake homemade bread each Thanksgiving. We also introduced John to what had been a long-standing Thanksgiving custom—walking to the top of the hill on our property.

The Hill in Autumn - courtesy Joan Hall

The Hill in Autumn – courtesy Joan Hall

In 1988, my brother, his wife, and two daughters moved away, but they were able to come home for Thanksgiving. We all had a special day together and everyone except Mom climbed the hill. Ironically, I asked Mom if I could help make the dressing, because I didn’t know how. I didn’t know this would be her last Thanksgiving.

The year 1993 was also special. We celebrated John’s release from the hospital for cancer treatments. My brother and his daughters visited. The weather was icy and cold—no climbing the hill that day. While John and my brother watched football games, my nieces and I gathered in the bedroom to watch movies. With Mom gone, it was up to me to cook the meal.

Times change. We don’t walk the hill very often these days. My nieces, now grown, have children of their own. My oldest niece, Jessica, lives nearby. She and her family always come for dinner and she insists on my making the Watergate Salad.

I still cook the majority of the meal, but I’ve never been able to make dressing like my Mom. I improvise with an easier way. I don’t spend hours roasting a turkey—we order a smoked one. Yet our meal would not be complete without my brother’s homemade bread and the Watergate Salad. As Jessica says, it’s like “coming home.”  

Watergate Salad

1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
1 pkg. pistachio instant pudding
1 cup miniature marshmallows

½ cup chopped pecans

1 8 oz. carton Cool Whip

 

Combine pineapple, pudding, marshmallows, and pecans. Stir in Cool Whip. Refrigerate a minimum of one hour.

Do you have special memories of Thanksgiving? Does your family have special traditions? Please share in the comments.
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From her earliest recollection, Joan Hall has always enjoyed listening to a good story. Now she enjoys sharing stories about life and faith. Her desire is that her writing will cause people to reflect upon living a simple life, strong family bonds, and most important, faith in Christ. Connect with Joan on her blog at www.joanhallwrites.com, on Facebook—www.facebook.com/joanhallwrites, or on Twitter—@joanhallwrites.

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