Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Comfort and Joy!

A popular English Christmas carol called "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen" features the phrase Comfort and Joy. This video of a warm crackling fire next to my decorated Christmas tree depicts that phrase quite nicely. :)

Stay warm inside this holiday season - it's chilly out there!


Monday, December 25, 2017

Have A Heart

Just For Today

For just one day, we can do anything we set our hearts on. 

So, for this day only, let us resolve to be unafraid of life, unafraid of death, unafraid to be happy and vow to enjoy the beauty around us and believe only the best of others.

Just for today, let us live this day only. Let's forget yesterday and tomorrow and not try to solve the whole problem of life in one fell swoop.

Lincoln said people are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be. He was so right! 

We must vow to adjust ourselves to what is - our family, our business, our opportunities.

To try to make the world over to suit us is a big order. If we cannot have what we like, we can like what we have.

So, just for today, let us be agreeable, responsive, cheerful and kind. 

Let us look our best, walk softly, praise people for what they do and not criticize them for what they cannot do. When we find fault, let's overlook it. 

Don't you feel thankful when you get a second chance? Remember that the next fellow would appreciate it, too. 

-- Cheer Magazine via Voice for Health Magazine, Sept - Oct 2004


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Miracles Are Always in Season!

Photo by Laura Moody - Dec 1, 2017 - Tree located in Franklin, TN
My friend Nadeeda put this article together for our church newsletter years ago. It was so good, I thought to share it with the masses especially since it mentions Jesus, whose birth we celebrate this month. 

Happy birthday to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He is a miracle along with the love he creates to be shared between all people. Experience true love today! 

Growing always - Laura

~ * ~

March 1997

Dear Friends, 

I sit here at my kitchen table listening to the heavy rain falling and so glad it's not snow! I'm looking forward to spring. Is winter over? Could spring be around the corner? I hope so! I love spring and always look forward to celebrating Easter. The day Jesus Christ arose and gave LIFE! The miracle of Easter - the miracle of life. 

Max Lucado said, "If you want to see a miracle try this. Take a seed the size of a freckle. Put it under several inches of dirt. Give it enough water, light, fertilizer. And get ready. A mountain will be moved. It doesn't matter that the ground is a zillion times the weight of the seed. The seed will push it back."

Every Spring, dreamers around the world plant tiny hopes in overturned soil. And every spring, their hopes press against impossible odds and blossom. Never underestimate the power of a seed. 

Do you know the power of a seed sown in fertile soil? "Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness." How good are you at sowing seeds of peace?

Jesus modeled this. We don't see him settling many disputes of negotiating conflicts. But we do see him cultivating inward harmony through acts of love.

- washing the feet of men he knew would betray him
- having lunch with a corrupt tax official
- honoring the sinful women whom society had scorned

He built bridges by healing hurts. He prevented conflict by touching the interior. He cultivated harmony by sowing seeds of peace in fertile hearts.

Do me a favor. Pause for a moment and think about who makes up your world. Take a stroll through the gallery of faces that are significant to you. Mentally flip through the scrapbook of snapshots featuring those you deal with often. 
Can you see their faces?

Want to see a miracle? Plant a word of love heart-deep in a person's life. Nurture it with a smile and a prayer and watch what happens. Sowing seeds of peace - it works! You don't know why it works; you just know it does. Seeds are planted, and top soils of hurt are shoved away. 

Don't forget the principle. Never underestimate the power of a seed.

God didn't. When his kingdom was ravaged and his people had forgotten his name, he planted his seed. When the soil of the human heart had grown crusty, he planted his seed. When religion had become a ritual and the temple a trading post, he planted his seed.

Want to see a miracle? Watch him as he places the seed of his own self in the fertile womb of a Jewish girl. Up it grew, like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in a dry and sterile ground. 

The seed spent a lifetime pushing back the stones that tried to keep it underground. The seed made a ministry out of shoving away the rock that cluttered his father's soil.

- The stones of legalism that burdened backs.
- The stones of oppression that broke bones.
- The stones of prejudice that fenced out the needy.

But it was the final stone that proved to be the supreme test of the seed. The stone of death - rolled by humans and sealed by Satan in front of the tomb. For a moment it appeared the seed would be stuck in the earth. For a moment, it looked like this rock was too big to be budged.

But then, somewhere in the heart of the earth, the seed of God stirred, shoved, and sprouted. The ground trembled, and the rock of the tomb tumbled. And the flower of Easter blossomed.

Never underestimate the power of a seed.

With Love, Nadeeda


Monday, November 20, 2017

Poem by Arnold Watts and Happy Holidays!

It is amazing how quickly time passes! Already the holiday season is upon us. 

A Believer and fellow co-worker recently shared with me his sentiment that skin color is irrelevant when it comes to faith in Jesus Christ and how right he is! Our Lord and Savior made all different types of people to know and love him. How diverse his human creations are and were meant to be!

Over the weekend I found a copy of this poem in a church bulletin I had saved. I thought how much it reminded me of the conversation with my co-worker as well as the above video created by members of a wonderful church body that resides in Northern Virginia, McLean Bible Church


The Beautiful Color of Love

by Arnold Sparky Watts

What color is God,
Asked the child with skin so fair
Is he white like me,
Does he have light hair?

Is God dark like me,
Asked the child with skin of golden hue
Has he hair that's dark and curly,
Are his eyes black or blue?

I think God is red like me,
The Indian boy is heard to say
He wears a crown of feathers, 
And turns our nights to day

Each one of us knows that God is there,
In all the colors of love
So when your soul goes to Heaven,
When your life comes to its end
He will be waiting, and his hand to you 
Will he extend.

There will be no colors in Heaven,
Everyone will be the same.
You will only be judged by your earthly deeds,
Not your color or your name

So when your time comes, 
And you see God in his Heaven above,
Then you will see the only color that counts,
The beautiful color of love.


Friday, November 3, 2017

Rainy days and learning to see...

Raindrops and Rose Nov 3 Downtown Nashville - Photo by Laura Moody

Photographers - It pays to circle the subject you find so interesting! 

As you move around the object the camera picks up outside light differently depending on the sun or angle of the brightest light. 

Design skills are utilized as the photographer decides what to capture in the space the camera frame offers. As the shutter closes and opens again a snippet of  perceived reality is picked up and transformed into tiny pixels. Voila!

What is super amazing is that the light looked totally different when I stood 50 degrees away from the spot where I took the above photo and this image below was captured:

Symphony Fountains Nov 3 Downtown Nashville - Photo by Laura Moody

Light, design and a steady hand (most of the time!) yields favorable images.

Click here to read a robust blog entry on learning to see.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Smile and Share With Others

Thank you to the couple who now call this painting their own. :) I had it hanging on my patio for the longest while and so happy to give it away so that they and their friends will now enjoy it. 

The border is made with acrylic paint. A white chalk message is written over the navy center. The colors are painted atop an up-cycled kitchen cabinet door. 

Happy Fall!


Friday, September 8, 2017

Edelweiss - A Twist!

Looking forward to seeing this flower in person one day! 

When viewing some of my great aunts' memorabalia I found a paper with these words featured:

(Edelweiss Melody)

Bless our friends,
Bless our food.
Come, O' Lord and sit with us.
May our talk
Glow with peace,
Come with your love and surround us.
Friendship and peace -
May it bloom and glow,
Bloom and grow forever.
Bless our friends.
Bless our food.
Come, O Lord and surround us! 


Monday, August 21, 2017

Movie - Risen

The journey is incredible for each believer... the Truth sets humans free from the trappings of this world. To come to know Christ as one's Savior is THE pursuit that all should experience. Risen is a film that captures the emotions perfectly of the recognition and realization of what has transpired in our history. Believe!


Monday, August 14, 2017

US Total Solar Eclipse - Aug. 21 2017!

It hasn't happened in a century but what goes around comes around! :)

To celebrate the US Aug. 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse many festivals are happening in the towns along the moon's path. Do read the details in the link in the previous sentence for further information.

Plus, the US postal service created a groovy 2017 Total Solar Eclipse stamp that is triggered by heat to change the image on its front. Very creative!

If you look at the eclipse, remember to wear specially issued sunglasses when you look towards the sun. Have a fun day! 


Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Proper Hand Shake Makes a Positive First Impression!

Negative first impressions are hard to un-do so please please please do yourself a favor and learn how to shake hands correctly! 

Social etiquette matters and leads to more positive encounters.

Check out this web site for more details: 


Thursday, August 3, 2017

One Man's Trash... Someone Else's Treasure? Let's Hope So!

Wow - so I finally saw the movie Wall-E and what a creative effort! 

Not only that, those who wrote the script filled it with lots of topics for the average human to consider.

Stuff, stuff, stuff - when will we make too much? What about all those plastic bags, glass bottles, newspapers, etc. that should be recycled?! And of the items that are not recyclable, are they available for others to re-use them?  Where is all our trash going to be placed if it is not able to be destroyed or re-used in a different way?  

Love - Loving your neighbors matters... have you met them? How are you able to support and help each other in times of need? Do you practice patience and make the effort to try and understand what others might be going through?

Our planet Earth - are we making good decisions on how to care for it? Or as in this movie Wall-E, will we allow it to become uninhabitable for a period of time due to our Stuff creating unbreathable air, lack of space and plant suffering/degradation? 

Many themes to consider.
What are we each able to do in our own community to make our world a better place to live? 

Think about it! :) 


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Some things in life are FREE!

Photo by Laura Moody, Nashville, TN

Not everything in life costs money! Take magnificent lake views for instance. The image above was taken from a park trail at Radnor Lake in Nashville, TN. If you are able to get there, the experience is worth it. The area offers much wildlife and many walking trails.

If one is on a shoe-string budget or just wants to be a savvy consumer, here are a few web sites that offer for "free" the stuff we might want or need (such as couches, tables, books or DVDs). Usually you just have to go pick the item up at a designated time and place.

Many items are gently used or perhaps able to be fixed with a little elbow grease. Be sure to ask questions of the person offering the item.

Craigslist - Look up your closest city, then peruse the For Sale section for the Free area.

Freecycle - Become a member for free and meet people in your zip code as you offer/pick-up items.

Nextdoor - Your neighborhood's social network!

Have fun! :)


Monday, July 3, 2017

End Hunger - Grow Food and Share!

Planting herbs, vegetables or nut and fruit trees isn't hard. It just takes a little time, a little sun, a little water and some soil in pots or garden plot.

Here are a few web sites that offer ideas on what, how and when to grow certain plants.

Want to garden or farm with others? Many areas have community gardens.

Enjoy fresh edibles and share the harvest with your neighbors and co-workers. If you have tons, learn to can items and freeze others.

Food wealth always benefits many! :)


Friday, June 30, 2017

Happy July 4 - Independence Day!

One of my favorite perennial flowers is Bee Balm - of the red variety! They remind me of fireworks and they bloom just in time for July 4 celebrations.

Hummingbirds, bees and butterflies love them too. :)

If you are looking for a way to spread some visual joy, buy some red petal Bee Balm for your garden! 

Additionally here is a web site whose artist offers some very creative animations, complete with fireworks, flowers, dogs and cats for Independence Day. 

<>< Enjoy!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Good Deeds Day!

Many days of the calendar have an idea attached, including one very special one during the month of April. 

Click here to learn more about Good Deeds Day! :)


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Affirm Films - The War Room

If you haven't seen this 2015 film called The War Room it is a wonderful example of how we should call out to Jesus, asking Him for help with every detail of the lives with which he has given us and blessed us with. It also shows well how prayer, whether in written form or verbalized, may coincide with our submission to the Lord's will for our daily lives. Patience grows character. Our Lord and Savior is powerful and is more than capable of fighting our every battle!

Enjoy! <><

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

An Opinion of Fear

Created and photographed by Laura Moody

I saw the DVD of  After Earth, a film that the actor Will Smith stars in. Was incredibly pleased to hear his character's monologue utter these words to his son:

“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice.”

Note: This quote above was featured on the web site


Friday, January 27, 2017

Driving Techniques

Mill Creek Greenway: Lenox Section, Nashville, TN.
Photo by Laura Moody.

How well people drive is as varied as the flowers around the stop sign featured above. 

Alas, in most cases folks are not paying full attention to the task of driving itself. Distraction is real. 

Drivers' attention spans are tempted and diverted by technology in the car with them (radio, CD player, GPS, cell phone) or other passengers in the car or people or scenes outside the vehicle. 

Top that with some drivers believing that they have a right to tailgate other cars, merge into lanes too close to the car nearby, run red lights at intersections and drink alcohol before driving or while operating a vehicle and you've got one stressful environment on the road. 

While there is no perfect person who will ever drive on our roads and highways, there should be more earnest desire by vehicle operators to respect other drivers. 

Noone ought to be speeding. 

Noone ought to be ignoring the lines painted on the roads. 

Drivers should pay attention to the road signs and certainly use their lights to alert others when changing lanes, driving at night and when having an emergency.

Driving skills on the road are so important for the obvious reason - so that noone will have a car accident and potentially harm personal property or human life and limb.

Be safe on route so that when you stop you'll ultimately be able to enjoy your destination!

Click here to view more driving tips!

Also - have you considered downloading an app to your phone that will encourage safe driving? Here is one to consider: SafeDrive. The idea is to earn points for good driving behavior and then spend them in their marketplace. Google Play features other app options.

Peace to you. :)


Monday, January 9, 2017

Pumpkin Butter Oatmeal Cookies

These are my first creations of the year! :)

Pumpkin Butter Oatmeal Cookies

No egg needed. :) Use organic ingredients when possible.
In this recipe my salted butter, brown sugar, vanilla, old fashioned oats and chocolate chips were all in packages that had the USDA organic label on them.

Required -
Large mixing bowl
Medium size mixing bowl
Large spoon
Butter knife
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Electric hand mixer
Cookie sheet
Storage containers

1 1/4 cup salted butter (2 and a half sticks) - softened to room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
10 ounces pumpkin butter (I purchase mine from Trader Joe's grocery - sadly this item is only available for purchase between Sept. and January as it is a seasonal item - so stock up if you are interested in experimenting; pumpkin butter is a wonderful substitute for egg in baking recipes; tastes great in this cookie as well as pancake batter!)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I purchase mine from Trader Joe's grocery)
3 cups rolled oats (quick, old fashioned, uncooked)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Place the salted butter and the sugars in the large bowl.
3. With a hand mixer, beat the salted butter and sugars until light and fluffy (Some of the batter may a-fix itself to the beaters; use the butter knife to pry the batter away and back into the bowl)
4. Beat in pumpkin butter and vanilla
5. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and spice. Stir with a fork.
6. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Beat well.
7. With a large spoon, stir in oats and chocolate chips.
8. Drop batter by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
(The butter knife could be used to push the batter off the spoon onto the sheet.)
9. Bake 8 to 9 minutes for a chewy cookie or bake 10 to 11 minutes for a crisp cookie
10. Cool one minute before removing cookies from tray. Then place on wire rack.
( Alternatively, I placed my first cookie batch on a glass plate. When the second batch was done and cooling, I then moved the first batch to a Pyrex container with accompanying lid. I repeated this process until my Pyrex containers were full.)
11. Do store your cookies in a tightly covered container.
12. Enjoy! p.s. Links above are to articles about the Trader Joe's products used in the recipe. Read for more ideas on how to use them in baking and cooking.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Days to Spring!

Garden Iris and My Feet, Nashville, TN by Laura Moody

Click here to view the number of days 'til Spring 2017 begins. 
Are you already planning your garden? :)