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ONE LEAF TOO MANY
Book One in a New cozy mystery series, The Relatively Seeking Mysteries.

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Bailey finds a hidden photo of a girl inside her grandmother’s album from fifty years ago. But her mother only had brothers. 

As she searches her family tree to discover her identity, Bailey finds secrets pointing to a long-ago crime. Did she find one leaf too many?
The truth is definitely relative!

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Age of the Earth

A great post by my friend and author, Ernie Carrasco

Ernie's Musings

“And the earth was without form and void” (Genesis 1:2)

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:11)

Many Christians find it difficult to believe that the universe and the earth are only about 6000 years old. After decades of assault from all sides by evolutionists touting that billions of years of evolution are well-established scientific fact, Christian scholars, intimidated by the prospect of appearing uneducated while at the same time desiring to uphold the veracity of the Bible, seek compromises that attempt to “shoehorn” evolution into the simple text of the creation account recorded in Genesis.

Several of the compromises exist today even though solid biblical and scientific scholarship has shown them to be false. The Gap…

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Appearing today on E. A. West’ s “Wednesday Words”. Please stop by and let me know what state you’re from.

The West Corner

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Please welcome author DiAne Gates to The West Corner!

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Those of us not born-and-breed Texans love to say I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here soon as I could! And those wise words applied to our family too. There’s something about Texas hospitality, food, and folks that slips under your skin and transforms a person into a new Texan from the inside out.

Twisted cover artI’ve photographed miles of Florida sand and waves, but when we arrived in Texas my heart’s desire was to become a rodeo photographer. But somewhere along the way the urge to write about Texas Rodeo families won the coin toss—and The Roped Series was born.

Kids today need to be challenged to crawl from in front of their computers and X-boxes, and there’s no better way than learning to rope and ride. Rodeo kids are good kids… at the end of the day they’re…

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LIFE-CHANGING MEMORIES

New post just published this morning…hope it helps younger moms!

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Stored memories. Every day. Some etched in technicolor, others fade…

Last week, in Part One, I wrote about seeds of rage. Seeds we see harvested on the nightly news and in the headlines. But these aren’t the only kind of seeds growing and being harvested in America.

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A friend read the following article in the Wall Street Journal and passed it on to me and now, I’m passing this on to you. ‘Cause you certainly won’t hear this on the evening news. But could you imagine what would happen if every town U.S.A. adopted the attitude and actions of the citizens of North Platte, Nebraska.

While the story in and of itself is wonderful and amazing, be sure to catch the information this wasn’t the first generation of North Platte citizens who planted seeds of a town united…when called on this isolated town in Nebraska again repeated what they had been taught for several generations.

Thank you, Wall Street Journal, and  Author, Bob Greene, for carrying this very important story on July 22, 2018. To see photos of this story go to Wall Street Journal and type in North Platte, Nebraska.

*          *          *          *          *          *

We were overwhelmed,” said Lt. Col. Nick Jaskolski. “I don’t really have words to describe how surprised and moved we all were. I had never even heard of the town before.”

Col. Jaskolski, a veteran of the Iraq war, is commander of the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade of the Arkansas Army National Guard. For three weeks earlier this summer, the 142nd had been conducting an emergency deployment readiness exercise in Wyoming, training and sleeping outdoors, subsisting on field rations. Now it was time for the 700 soldiers to return to their base.

A charter bus company had been hired for the 18-hour drive back to Arkansas. The Army had budgeted for a stop to get snacks. The bus company determined that the soldiers would reach North Platte, in western Nebraska, around the time they would likely be hungry. The company placed a call to the visitors’ bureau: Was there anywhere in town that could handle a succession of 21 buses, and get 700 soldiers in and out for a quick snack?

North Platte said yes. North Platte has always said yes.

The community welcomed more than 700 service men and women, North Platte, Nebraska.

During World War II, North Platte was a geographically isolated town of 12,000. Soldiers, sailors and aviators on their way to fight the war rode troop trains across the nation, bound for Europe via the East Coast or the Pacific via the West Coast. The Union Pacific Railroad trains that transported the soldiers always made 10-minute stops in North Platte to take on water.

The townspeople made those 10 minutes count. Starting in December 1941, they met every train: up to 23 a day, beginning at 5 a.m. and ending after midnight. Those volunteers greeted between 3,000 and 5,000 soldiers a day. They presented them with sandwiches and gifts, played music for them, danced with them, baked birthday cakes for them. Every day of the year, every day of the war, they were there at the depot. They never missed a train, never missed a soldier. They fed six million soldiers by the end of the war. Not 1 cent of government money was asked for or spent, save for a $5 bill sent by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The soldiers never forgot the kindness. Most of them, and most of the townspeople who greeted them, are dead. And now, in 2018, those 21 busloads from the 142nd Field Artillery were on their way, expecting to stop at some fast-food joint.

“We couldn’t believe what we saw when we pulled up,” Col. Jaskolski said. As each bus arrived over a two-day period, the soldiers stepped out to be greeted by lines of cheering people holding signs of thanks. They weren’t at a fast-food restaurant: They were at North Platte’s events center, which had been opened and decorated especially for them.

“People just started calling our office when they heard the soldiers were on their way,” said Lisa Burke, the director of the visitors’ bureau. “Hundreds of people, who wanted to help.”

The soldiers entered the events center to the aroma of steaks grilling and the sound of recorded music: current songs by Luke Bryan, Justin Timberlake, Florida Georgia Line; World War II songs by Glenn Miller, the Andrews Sisters, Jimmy Dorsey. They were served steak sandwiches, ham sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, deviled eggs, salads and fruit; local church groups baked pies, brownies and cookies.

Mayor Dwight Livingston stood at the door for two days and shook every soldier’s hand. Mr. Livingston served in the Air Force in Vietnam and came home to no words of thanks. Now, he said, as he shook the hands and welcomed the soldiers, “I don’t know whether those moments were more important for them, or for me. I knew I had to be there.”

“It was one soldier’s 21st birthday,” Lisa Burke said. “When I gave him his cake, he told me it was the first birthday cake he’d ever had in his life.” Not wanting to pry, she didn’t ask him how that could possibly be. “I was able to hold my emotions together,” she said. “Until later.”

When it became time to settle up—the Army, after all, had that money budgeted for snacks—the 142nd Field Artillery was told: Nope. You’re not spending a penny here. This is on us.

This is on North Platte.”

Mr. Greene’s books include “Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen.”

 

*          *          *          *          *          *

These seeds are called KINDNESS, GRATITUDE, CARING, RESPONSIBILITY, OBEDIENCE, AND LOVE!

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The parents and grandparents during World War II planted seeds these next generations in North Platte would harvest, and their children and their children’s children will continue to harvest these seeds as long as they are careful to plow and reseed as God instructs.

The people of North Platte didn’t ask these young men and women if they were liberal or conservatives—Republican or Democrat—they were Americans—American soldiers who were giving their lives so we can be free. The people from this generous city chose to stand in the gap for these young heroes, knowing united we succeed, divided we fail.

We might want to ask all news media why they didn’t cover this story? I guess without   violence or name calling it’s not an attention getter…well, this story certainly got my attention and changed Part Two of this series.

Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35 NKJ).

He also said, “As you go preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:7-8 NKJ).

But God’s Word said, “They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind” (Hosea 8:7 NKJ)

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of whirlwinds, I think it is time to plow the prairie’s, fields, cities, and towns of America planting Gospel seeds in each and every metropolis, city, town, and county in this nation before America follows Venezuela down the path to suicide.

Part Three…next week!

 

PART ONE

 

“You’re always harvesting what you’ve previously planted. So be careful

         what seeds you plant today!”

 

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Truth is you’re always plantin’ and harvestin’ something. But the simple truth is…if you don’t like the harvest, change what you’re planting.

But we don’t like change. We’d rather wallow in the rancid mud of the pig pen of lazy deception than climb out, clean up, and make friends with something other than lies.

We’ve lived in farming and ranching country over twenty years now and I love watching the seasons and crops come and go. Watching the plowing process…all those straight rows carved in the black-land-dirt ‘til the gentle curves that outline the edges and movement of the land draw the perimeter. This has added another slot on my bucket list—I want to drive that tractor, cut those rows in the fertile soil, and plant some seeds!

But one thing is forever certain—you will always reap a crop according to the seeds Row after row of blessingsyou’ve sown in that field. You’ll reap more than you’ve sown, and much later than you’ve sown. That’s the law of the harvest.

And that principle applies in your life also.

 

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (Galatians 6:7-10 NAS).

 

Peaches don’t grow on apple trees, nor does corn grow in rows where hay grasses are planted. I can’t pick blackberries off a watermelon vine. And unity doesn’t suddenly

Fruit of Harvest

appear where seeds of discord, deception, and disdain are sown. Nor does rancid rage produce righteous love and purifying peace in a life, a church, or a nation.

The problem is we’ve been euthanized by the lies of a do more, get more, have more society. A society where any word of disagreement against those who shout the loudest must be silenced.  Where everyone must blend into the mis-mash of trends and dollar signs rather than stand upon the proven truths of the Word of God.

We are drawing the battle lines for perhaps America’s final war. Lies vs. Truth. Righteousness vs. Unrighteousness. Law vs. Lawlessness. Satan vs. Jesus.

For at least two generations we’ve allowed our tax dollars to fund public schools who teach there are no such things as absolutes. What??? Absolutes begin in the cradle and follow us to the grave, whether you agree or not. If I abort my baby, my baby is dead…murdered…gone. That is absolute truth. If I stick my finger in a flame—I’m going to get a burned finger. That is absolute truth. If I jump out a three-story window—I’m going to get hurt, perhaps killed. If I can’t breathe—I’m going to die. If I don’t teach my children the Truth—someone’s going to teach them lies. And if I don’t know and accept the forgiveness of God through the blood of Jesus, I’m going to spend eternity with the Father of Lies.

Corn blessed corn

This no absolutes sham is where parents should have appeared before school boards and said, “NO!” Then removed their children from the public school and university systems. Think about it…No God…No right or wrong…No genders…No absolutes. What part of no,  do you not understand, Christian?

For several generations many mothers and fathers allowed a TV tube to babysit their offspring because they were too busy. And they’re either not paying attention or don’t care that junk food’s been substituted for deductive reasoning. The greater percentage of high school and college kids can’t take several options and make a wise choice, according to truth, as to what’s best for them, their families, and their nation. They believe whoever promises the most, requires the least, and shouts the loudest.

Discipline’s been kicked to the curb, and arrogant, self-absorbed children are dictating what’s acceptable and unacceptable in the home, at school, and in the streets. They have no respect for civil authority—police authority or our Constitution. Because they’ve been taught lies.

It would seem the man of lawlessness is their leader, but he’s just waiting in the wings, waiting for God’s Word to allow him his moment in time. And this may well occur in our lifetime.

HARVESTING SEEDS OF RAGE — PART TWO — NEXT WEEK

IS JESUS ENOUGH?

 

Ellis Farm

A year ago, last April our lives took an abrupt “U” turn, slowing us to a crawl, forcing my husband and me to tread rocky terrain we’d never traveled during our forty plus years of marriage. And we were forced to adjust and reconsider the challenges we were going to face.

After weeks of uncertainty, tension, and prayer I heard the Spirit of God whisper during one of those worry-in-the-night pre-dawn hours—

 

  • IS JESUS ENOUGH?

 

Eighteen years ago, after the death of our daughter, and in the middle of my Why God rants, His Spirit asked—Do you trust Me? Again, this night, I sensed Him waiting for an answer. And again, in the middle of my chaotic emotions my scratchy reply came out more like a question than a confession. “Yes Father, I do trust You. And Jesus is enough for whatever You allow in our lives.”

But day by day that question still plays in my heart as I watch this Christian nation change by deception. Anger has now become an acceptable response. And hatred a normal reaction to anything about God’s truth or righteous. How did American tumble into this deep, dark chasm of evil?

Are we living in the End Times spoken of in Revelation, Daniel, and the prophets? Maybe. But for weeks I’ve felt the urge to ask you…

“Is Jesus enough for you?”

Yes, it’s easy to trust Jesus when your job is great, your kids are well, and your bank account is in the positive column—when you’re lookin’ good and feelin’ good.

Perhaps you glance at other brothers and sisters in the middle of their trials and troubles and muse… I wonder what those folks did wrong to cause God’s judgment? I need to know, Lord, so I won’t make their mistakes.

But then we offer anemic prayers and go about our lukewarm lives—’til we’re blind-sided by the jaw-dropping reality of tragedy—A life threatening diagnosis from the doctor. A deadly car accident. A home destroying catastrophe. A job loss. A miscarriage, affair, or divorce. A murder, rape, or an abortion—and Satan’s sly insinuation punches you in the gut as he whispers to you like he did to Eve…Is Jesus is really enough?

Spring Tornado

 

  • SATAN’S TRASH TALK

 

Do you realize you talk with yourself more than you converse with anyone else? And Satan’s right there, lobbing fiery arrows into your mind with his first person singular point of view, laced with southern accent jabs at God…

God has turned His back on me because…….

God doesn’t love me; His promises never apply to me.

I knew He wouldn’t answer my prayers.

My sins are too ugly. God will never forgive me.

If you’re not on the alert to recognize the difference between the voice of the Spirit of God or the Father of Lies your soul will be tormented with a constant barrage of artillery fire from this roaring lion. And unless the armor God gave you is in place and your mind filled with the sword of the Spirit—the Word of God—you’ll be fighting this battle in your undershorts.

 

“For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18 NAS).

 

 

  • CAN YOU TRUST GOD EVEN WHEN YOUR LIFE IS SHATTERED?

 

Stormy skies 

When you don’t know what to do or where to turn, will you allow Jesus to be enough in that moment? He told us trials would come. He said they would be hard and we would grieve. But the choice is ours, rest in the peace of His presence or writhe in the lies of the enemy. Scripture tells us waiting in His rest during chaos and fear is a learned process:

 

“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5 NAS).

 

  • THANKFULNESS IS THE KEY TO ENOUGH

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Thank God during your current crisis.  It is doable. However, it’s hard and tests the fiber of who you are in Him. Faith and trust will be enough during this step by step journey with Jesus through bleak, dark times. So why are we caught off-guard when grief and pain barge in—Jesus told us they would. He was tested—we don’t get a pass.

Iron rods are tested to be sure the tempered ore is strong enough to bear its assigned load. That’s what must transpire in the lives of God’s children. Not for God’s information—He already knows…but for our understanding. Testing identifies our weak areas. Areas that need the Spirit of God to change and strengthen for His use now and in the coming Kingdom.

His continual strengthening during difficult times proves He is enough.

 

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary” (Isaiah 40:28-31 NAS).

 

  • BUT GOD OWES US, RIGHT?

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We struggle to find time at the gym to build our physical bodies, and likewise, we bog ourselves down with busy excuses about the daily diet for our souls. We might even rehearse: We’ve paid tithes, gone to worship every Sunday, memorized a few verses, prayed when there was trouble—Right? So, God owes us—Name it and claim it.

But that’s not what the Word says:

 

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer…Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:15-19 NKJV).

 

Our forefathers knew God. Yet they faced enormous trials—even death. They knew right from wrong. Truth from lies. And righteousness from unrighteousness. Were they perfect? No, but they walked according to the truths of the Word of God. And they suffered and died for their faith. I wonder today if you and I will choose to educate ourselves in God’s Word; because it’s impossible to live and teach the next generation what we don’t know.

 

  • THE FIRST SCHOOL PRIMER

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The Bible was the first primer in our early schools. This treasured book was hauled across the plains. Coast to coast. And until 1962 the Bible was read and the Lord’s Prayer prayed every day in America’s public-schools. Scripture verses were engraved in stone at the courthouse, school house, and in the home—and Jesus, ever patient, carried this nation through the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and two World Wars because His people, who were called by His name, humbled themselves and prayed. But the ideology of a large group of Americans has changed, and the war we are fighting is an internal, person to person, house to house, family to family, nation-dividing-combat.

 

“You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands” (Hebrews 1:10 NKJ).

 

  • WHO ARE YOU WILLING TO LIVE AND DIE FOR?

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Jesus died for you and for all who proclaim He is the Christ, the Son of God who died to save us from our sins. And as forgiven sinners we are called to surrender our will and our lives to Him. Choosing to walk in obedience to the Father’s Word—trusting Him in all things.

After the death of our twenty-eight-year-old daughter, I moved to Ft. Leavenworth to help our son-in-law put his family back together. One evening while drowning in a king-sized pity party, I slipped a DVD into the receiver and punched play. Bible teacher, Kay Author, pointed her finger right at me and quoted a verse that still pierces my heart.

Here I sat in the security of an Army post, the day or two after 9/11, grumbling and complaining. My grandchildren were safe. My son-in-law would not be deployed because of the death of his wife. And all I had done for months was groan, cry, and murmur over our daughter’s death.

I believe Jesus asks you the same thing He asked of me that night—

 

“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5 NIV).

 

If Jesus isn’t enough for you in the daily trials of your life, how will you be able to stand firm for Him in the trials yet to come?

 

Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23 NKJ).

 

Only Jesus is able to give you the strength to keep on keeping on. Only Jesus can transform the way you act and react as you seek Him. Only Jesus will be enough for you in the midst of your storm—if you allow Him. And isn’t that what this gigantic multitude of lost, angry, deceived people need to see? Isn’t that the purpose of studying the Word, going to worship, praying? Allowing God to chisel the rough patches out of our lives, and chunk blemishes that look like our before picture—before Jesus transformed our hearts. Shouldn’t those hopeless folks be able to look at you and me and expect to see what a believer in Jesus looks like?

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 NAS).

 

  • ONE LAST QUESTION

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Are you willing to rest in His promises? God loves you so much He allows you to choose—Jesus or Satan, but there’s no middle ground. Fence sitting is in itself a choice. So, while we may labor through pain and heartache, acting like colicky babies to the point we think we may break in two, please remember the words of the great Scottish minister, Samuel Rutherford— “Whatever happens the worst will only be a weary traveler receiving a joyful and heavenly welcome home.”

And in that day, we will know for all eternity only Jesus has been and always will be enough!

 

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. And let patience have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4 NKJ).

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