Queen of Ordinary Loves Flowers – June 28, 2014

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Give Me My Flowers Recorded by Rev. James Cleveland

GIVE ME MY FLOWERS
WHILE I YET LIVE
SO THAT I, I, I CAN SEE THE BEAUTY
THAT THEY BRING

FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES
MAY GIVE ME FLOWERS
WHEN I’M SICK?
OR ON MY SICK BED
BUT I’D RATHER HAVE
JUST ONE TULIP RIGHT NOW
THAN A TRUCK LOAD OF ROSES
WHEN I’M DEAD

SPEAK KIND WORDS TO ME
WHILE I CAN HEAR THEM
SO THAT I, I, I CAN HEAR THE BEAUTY
THAT THEY BRING

 

 

Queen of Ordinary – Mesothelioma

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I want to keep a promise on today’s blog to help spread information about mesothelioma.  I had no photo on file to support this topic, so please forgive the disconnect.

Mesothelioma is a result of having been exposed to asbestos.  Buildings used to be full of the stuff.  I taught in an older school and the building was full of it.  Supposedly/hopefully it has all been removed and the school environment is now clean.  It was dealt with years ago, but many of us who spent our entire careers in that building were constantly being exposed to an unhealthy environment.  After they came in one summer and “removed” the asbestos, a reddish, grainy dust continued to settle over our classrooms and students’ desks for months.

The following information is from Wikipedia:

Mesothelioma (or, more precisely, malignant mesothelioma) is a rare form of cancer that develops from cells of the protective lining that covers many of the internal organs of the body. The most common anatomical site for mesothelioma is the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall, but it can also arise in the lining of the abdominal cavity, the sac that surrounds the heart or the sac that surrounds the testis.

Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked in jobs where they inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers, or were exposed to airborne asbestos dust and fibers in other ways. Washing clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos also creates a risk for developing mesothelioma.

Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath due to fluid between the lung and the chest wall, chest wall pain and constitutional signs such as unexplained weight loss. The diagnosis may be suspected based on a chest x-ray and CT scan findings, but must be confirmed either by examining serous effusion cytology or with a biopsy  (removing a sample of the suspicious tissue). Research about screening tests for the early detection of mesothelioma is ongoing.

Queen of Ordinary Loves Hills and Mountains – June 27, 2014

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Today was a good day for a drive with my mother and brother.  We passed through many little mountain communities and on into hill country.  The scenery was beautiful.

I realized that I am in love with mountains, hills, and valleys.  This is the landscape that  pleases me aesthetically, calms me, and gives me such a strong sense of God’s presence through His creation.

The Appalachian Mountains are among the oldest in the world.  They are no longer the tallest because of wind, weather, and erosion that has worn them down over time.  The beauty of these mountains nurture my spirit.

I grew up in the Midwest in land as flat as a pancake, the mountains never stopped calling to me.  As soon as I was old enough and went off to college, I promised myself that I would make my home in the mountains I love.

There are a lot of mountain ranges I’d like to visit.  Hopefully the Scottish Highlands will be among those I visit before the end of the year.  I’d love to visit the Adirondacks and the Rockies.

What the soothing sounds of lapping waves, ocean breezes, and white beaches do for some people in calming their spirit, mountains and hills do for me.  “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.”  Psalm 121:1

Queen of Ordinary – Kentucky’s Stone Fences – June 26, 2014

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Kentucky is full of stone fences, otherwise known as rock fences or dry stone walls.  It is claimed that we have more of them than any other place in the country.  They are well documented in photographs, both beautiful and sobering all at the same time when you take into account the amount of man hours and skill that went into these structures.

I’ve heard about specific stretches of wall and read about others that also called them “slave walls” because they helped gather the stones for the building and the building technique was passed on to them from the Irish.  As land was cleared across these regions, especially the Bluegrass, it is claimed that the stones found on the land were put to the purpose of building walls.  Other walls are specifically built of quarried stone.

Some of these fences marked pastures to keep animals in.  Others marked land boundaries to keep others out.

Irish immigrants are given credit for the design and “know how” of building these amazing structures – without mortar.  Built in the 19th century, miles and miles of them still remain, but even so, one article I read says that is only 10 -15% of the original amount built.

Dry stone walls are not unique to the Bluegrass and other regions of Kentucky.  It is just that there is reported to be more of them in this region than any other in the US.  This type of wall without mortar has been used around the world and even the Incas left this type of structure behind.  The Bible also makes reference to stoned walls.

II Chronicles 14:7 – For he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours because we have sought the LORD our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side.”

Isaiah 58:12 -“Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; You will raise up the age-old foundations; And you will be called the repairer of the breach, The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.”

 

Queen of Ordinary Offers Hope As Solution to Depression – June 23, 2014

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I know more people with symptoms of depression than I care to count.  Life has a way of throwing tough things our way.  Sometimes we get hit with so many things at one time, it is really hard to cope with it all at once.  I am not immune to these emotional quagmires, but I have discovered the cure – at least for me.

When life is beating the stuffings out of me, I take time to remember all the things I am blessed with in my life.  I remind myself of all the tough things that God has already brought me through.  If that doesn’t work, I get busy doing something for someone else, like trying to give them hope in their tough time.

When I saw the little rag doll in an antique shop in Cumberland Gap, Virginia, I thought it was the saddest little doll I’d ever seen.  “Hope deferred makes a heart sad…”  I can’t imagine why anyone would make such a depressed looking doll.  A lot of people are walking around with that same expression.

It made me start thinking of Bible verses about hope that are uplifting.

Romans 15:13 – Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Isaiah 40:31 – But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.

Romans 5:2 –  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Deuteronomy 31:6 -Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he [it is] that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Psalms 39:7 – And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope [is] in thee.

Psalms 71:14 -But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.

Queen of Ordinary Scatters Seed – June 22, 2014

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In the parable of the sower and the seed, the sower went out and scattered seed in many places.  In the end, some was fruitful and some was not.  However, the sower had only been instructed to sow.  That was his job.

Sometimes we take it on ourselves to worry about the end results of the good we do before we ever do it.  That is not what God calls us to do as Christians.  We are to sow seed, do good for others, and let HIM take care of the end result.

The Parable of the Sower

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Queen of Ordinary Advises Keep Your Lamps Ready – June 21, 2014

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The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins

25 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

 

 

 

Queen of Ordinary Finds Beauty in Weeds June 19, 2014

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There are no weeds in God’s garden.  Every plant that brings forth a blossom is beautiful in its own right.  The exquisite design of the common weed, Queen Anne’s Lace, is an intricate combination of tiny blossoms that come together to form the “head” of the plant.

Queen Anne’s Lace is also known as “Wild Carrot.”  The juice of the root can help sooth itchy skin.  The roots are also rich in Vitamin A.  It is said to have been introduced into the United States from Europe where it was a very popular plant during the reign of Queen Anne.

According to information I read on the web, the large taproot of the plant can be eaten and is much like the carrots we eat – perhaps and ancestor.

Even a plant considered to be only a weed that springs up in ditches, fields, and along roadsides has value, beauty, and purpose.

 

Queen of Ordinary Needs Path Direction – 6/18, 2014

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A footbridge is a wondrous thing.  When I was small, they were very common in the hills of Appalachia.  To get to many houses, we had to park our vehicle on the far side of the river and walk across a footbridge to get to the house.

My cousins always delighted in getting me in the middle of such a structure and bouncing or making the thing sway if they could.  City raised as I was, the feeling of just walking above the water on such a flimsy thing was bad enough.  to have someone making it move beneath my feet was terrifying.  Sometimes there was a handrail or cable to hold onto, but at other times it was a matter of pure balance.

These little works of ingenuity are scarcely seen these days, but it somehow seems a loss.  Each one was different, built out of necessity, but with the builders own sense of design.

One thing was for certain.  Going across the footbridge was greatly to be preferred over wading through the creek or jumping from rock to rock to get across. Yet, as Christians, we so fear God’s plan for our lives being something undesirable that we would rather wade the waters of life by ourselves or hop from stone to stone rather than taking the clear and direct path that God has set before us.

Over the years I have learned that all goes much smoother when we put our trust in God’s plan for us and let Him direct our paths.