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Why I Love Dandelions

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3)

Some people consider dandelions an annoying weed that they most destroy at all costs. Our neighbor had been one of those, out every day with herbicides and garden tools killing the plant the moment it popped its tiny head above the ground’s surface.

I, on the other hand, love dandelions.

They mark spring with their bright yellow faces. But that’s not why I love them. They make good wine. But that’s not why I love them. Served with a hot bacon dressing, they make a fine side dish for ham. But that’s not why I love them. They also make mighty tasty jelly. But that’s not why I love them.

                          Dandelion Smiles

I love dandelions because nothing puts a smile on a child’s face more than giving her mother a bouquet of freshly picked flowers. And what kind of flowers are readily available to children? Dandelions.

This week, my daughter and her two-year-old daughter ushered me down memory lane about thirty-five years, as I watched them pick dandelions. Little Lilly’s eyes sparkled with delight with each pluck of a stem just like her mother’s eyes sparkled when she and I picked dandelions so many years ago. She was so proud of her accomplishment. What a cherished memory.

In many ways, dandelions remind me of me.

Cancer has left me with the mark of suffering. I’m not as strong and vibrant as I had been. I don’t have the motivation to do the things I once did. I can’t even walk like I did. I lack stamina. To make matters worse, like a dandelion, my yellow hair has turned white and flighty.

It may be difficult to find beauty and value in my current condition, but my Father loves me with an everlasting love. When He looks at me, His eyes sparkle with delight. He draws me near and holds me when I’m feeling down. Even when I’m feeling good, He’s there admiring me. Oh not because of anything I’ve done or how I look but because of who He is and what Jesus has done for and in me. When He looks on me, His glory shines over me. I’m precious in His sight.

That’s why I love dandelions.

How about you? What flower that speaks to your heart?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

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Advent 2016

My apologies for falling behind on our Advent 2016 devotions. I’ve missed them. But sometimes life gets in the way of our good intentions, causing us to fail at the things we value most.

I have, however, found the time to create a short time-lapse art video to wish you a blessed Christmas.

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

(Isaiah 9:6 NIV)

V is for Vague

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)

Learn from the Magi

Learn from the Magi

Although learned astrologers of the day, the Magi who followed the star from the east to Jerusalem had a vague understanding of the one whom they sought. Knowing the star represented someone of great importance, they expected to find him in the king’s palace born of royalty. Instead, they found him in a common house born of a lowly young woman. (Read about the Magi in Matthew 2:1-12.)

Like the wise men, people still have a vague understanding of who Jesus is and where to find Him. He is no longer the babe in a manager. He’s the resurrected Lord, victorious of sin, death, and hell. He’s our soon coming King to whom every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is LORD of lords and KING of kings.

How about you? What reminds your of Jesus that begins with the letter V?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

G is for Giggles

Giggles

Giggles

Today my “grandactives” filled the house to the rafters with giggles. They had a blast building a fort, capturing Big Foot (me), and saving Angel Baby (their two-month-old sister). And yes, there were some squeals, yammers, and sobs in the mix. But mostly—giggles. I love listening to children at play. And I love their giggles.

But there’s more to giggles than just a proud grandmother’s cheerful heart. It’s a promise from God.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22).

How about you? What are you thankful for that begins with the letter G?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

A is for Apples

Apple of God's Eye finished 4 WEBA is for apples. The blossoms in the spring … the tasty fruit in the fall, apples bless us all. They’re great as a sauce, a butter, a pie, or a dumpling. Why, they even keep the doctor away, providing you eat on a day.

However, as wonderful as apples are, don’t be conceived. They were not the fruit that caused Eve to go astray. Personally, I believe that was a special, delectable chocolate fruit. But I won’t go into that theory now since I can’t make it tie in with the letter A.

Nevertheless, I am thankful for apples. Not only are the beautiful and delicious, David used apples—well the apple of God’s eye—as a plea to seek God’s protection.

“Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings” (Psalms 17:8).

That’s why I’m thankful for apples, they remind me that God cares for me and protects me as He protects His own eyes.

How about you? What are you thankful for that begins with the letter A?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Everyday Thanksgiving

Forgive me for neglecting my blog for the past month and a half. I was busy creating an Advent devotional with ADULT COLORING PICTURES. It will be available soon on Amazon. I’ll let you know when the date arrives. Here are a few sample pages.

Now back to my regularly scheduled blog.

Since I missed an entire month of blogs, I decided to do an acronym using the word Thanksgiving and post every day from now until Thanksgiving Day. Each day I’ll post something I’m thankful for that begins with the appropriate letter. It’d be fun to see what you’re thankful each day too, so let a comment.

Apple of God's Eye finished 4 WEBT is for trees. Without trees, birds, squirrels, and lots of other animals wouldn’t have homes. Come to think of it, many of us wouldn’t either. We wouldn’t have paper to write and draw on. That would make me very sad. We’d have to do without luscious fruits such as cherries, apples, peaches, and plums and all the wonderful desserts we make with them. I wouldn’t have me desk or firewood or frames for my paintings. My husband’s job (he makes cabinets) would look very different.

But mostly, I’m thankful for trees because Jesus hung on a cross made from a rough cut tree so that I could have eternal life.

Yes, I’m very thankful for trees.

And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food (Genesis 2:9).

How about you? What are you thankful for that begins with the letter T?

Be Thankful!

See you  in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Follow Me!

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Follow Me!

Follow Me!

Follow me on Facebook. Those words have become commonplace in our society. When we meet someone, whether an old acquaintance or a new friend, our departing words are often follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Good Reads or a half-dozen other social media sites. Social media has gotten so big, businesses entice us to follow them by offering discounts on their products if not free merchandise.

To some Jesus’ call to “Follow Me” sounds as inviting as following a business on Facebook. He offers rest (Matthew 11:28), the light of life (John 8:12), and peace (John 14:27). Ah, yes, let’s rush over to His page and click the follow button before the offer expires. We accept the deal with great expectations of a life of ease. We treat Jesus’ call the same way we treat 99% of the people we follow on social media. Sure we read His posts … occasionally … when Bible verses pop up on Twitter … if it’s a convenient time. We even like and share Scripture on Facebook, along with those catchy little sayings that make our spirits say, “Yes and amen.”

That’s all fine and good—except when we get right down to it

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Next week:

We’ll look at breaking with the past. Please prepare by studying Ephesians 4:17-32.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks