Six of One and Half a Dozen of the Other

Six of One and Half a Dozen of Another 2--mountainsI love mountains. I love oceans. Which one I visit is six of one and half a dozen of the other. I simply want to hit the trail.

Six of one and half a dozen of the other means I have two equal choices.

Six of One and Half a Dozen of the Other--oceanThe result of those choices is the same or almost the same. (A dozen is 12, and six is half of 12.) Therefore, what I decide makes no difference.

Six of one and half a dozen of the other is sometimes true for:

  • Travel—which way I go
  • Jobs—which one I take
  • Free time—what I do for fun
  • Meals—what food I eat

Some choices are equally good.

Good choices for me include:

  • Hawaii (been there) or Alaska (want to go there)
  • Writing or speaking
  • Reading or walking
  • Chocolate or almonds (or chocolate covered almonds, yes!)

Other choices are equally bad.

Bad choices for me include:

  • Car races or casinos
  • Math teacher or scientist
  • Science fiction movies or heavy metal music
  • Gravy or liver (or gravy covered liver, no!)

Six of one and half a dozen of the other also refers to people.

Two people may:

  • Be equally qualified for a job
  • Share equal fault for a problem
  • Have little difference in personality

Neither choice stands out.

Six of one and half a dozen of the other choices matter little. However, the results of more important choices make big differences.

Enjoy the variety of unimportant choices. Choose wisely for decisions that matter most.

“He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way” (Psalm 25:9 NIV).

Thanks to Carole Fite for the suggestion.

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Fixing to


Fixing to-Lake Cumberland viewMy mother, sister, cousin, and I were fixing to eat when I took this picture. We planned to enjoy both our food and this great view of Lake Cumberland.

When we are fixing to do something, we are getting ready to do it.

In the southern United States, we often say, “fixin’ to.” However we say it, we mean we are:

  • About to begin
  • Preparing
  • Starting

We plan to do something. For example, we may say we are fixing to:

  • Cook dinner
  • Start a new semester
  • Go shopping

Sometimes people rush us to do something.

We have not tackled a job as soon as they think we should. They want us to get the ball rolling. When that happens, we might say, “Don’t rush me. I’m fixing to do it.” That often happens with:

  • Children doing their school work
  • Teens cleaning their room
  • Husbands or wives working around the house

Are we fixing to do what matters most?

Will what we are fixing to do:

  • Make life better?
  • Help anyone?
  • Have lasting value?

“You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Luke 12:40 NIV).

Thanks to Carol York Patterson Brangers for the idea.

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For the Birds

For the Birds--ducks and geeseMy list of things for the birds includes:

  • Football
  • High heels
  • Gravy

I see little good in any of them. Neither do I understand why anyone likes them. Yet, you may enjoy all three.

Anything for the birds has little or no value.

We consider it:

  • Undesirable
  • Nonsense
  • A waste of time

For the birds can also mean something is:

  • Stupid
  • Boring
  • Frustrating
  • Annoying

This phrase may refer to birds picking seeds out of horse manure. Probably none of us want to do that. I love the country and long walks in the middle of nowhere.  Yet, I prefer to stay away from manure.

Although I don’t like to be near manure, it does have value. Manure provides a natural fertilizer for the soil. Some people buy it, so it is not just for the birds after all.

Perhaps we need to be careful what we consider for the birds.

What we think worthless may be a blessing in disguise.

However, I still don’t like football, high heels, or gravy.

“Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word” (Psalm 119:37 NIV).

Thanks to Melissa Graham for the suggestion.

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Begin to See Daylight

Begin to See Daylight -- a sunriseIf we get up early, we begin to see daylight as the sun rises. After a long night, daylight appears. We enjoy the promise of a new day.

Sometimes our lives feel like a long night.

We face problems with no end in sight.

  • We think we will never get out of school.
  • Our job never seems to end.
  • Goals appear too far away to reach.

We begin to see daylight when success seems possible.

  • Classes are almost over.
  • We near the end of our long task.
  • Our goals appear within reach.

We finally see light at the end of the tunnel.

We don’t see daylight when we look the wrong way.

If we fail to look outside, we never see the sun rise. If we always look on the bad side of everything, we never see the good. We remain down in the dumps.

As this New Year begins, we choose.

  • Will we focus on our problems and the dark side of life?
  • Or, will we look up and begin to see daylight?
  • When we begin to see daylight, will we let our light shine?

“My God turns my darkness into light” (Psalm 18:28 NIV).

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Give Birth to Something

Give Birth to Something-Mary, Joseph, Jesus

Some people complain about problems. Others give birth to solutions.

They:

  • Try to make life better
  • Explore changes
  • Work to make those changes happen

Kate Thomas, a writing friend, gave birth to the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference in 1996. She knew Kentucky writers needed training and encouragement. Her conference offers help to writers every year.

To give birth to something means to begin something new.

People give birth to new:

  • Ideas
  • Ways to work
  • Inventions
  • Schools

When God sent Jesus to earth, Mary gave birth to more than a baby.

Jesus came as:

  • Son of God
  • Prince of peace
  • The way of salvation
  • Hope for a hopeless world
  • Love for all people
  • Joy for the joyless

Jesus gave the gift of Himself.

Anyone who accepts Jesus as personal Savior receives a new birth.

God gives that person new life — eternal life. That is why Jesus came. That is what Christmas is all about.

Merry Christmas!

[Mary] “gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger(Luke 2:7 NIV).

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Tall Tale

Tall Tale--whales divingA tall tale is a whale of a tale.

It is a big tale — a big story — much bigger than what really happened.

Because a tall tale is so big, it captures our attention. Most people don’t believe it but listen to it anyway. A few of us swallow a tall tale hook, line, and sinker. We believe the story teller until people start laughing. Then we become part of the joke.

Comedians often tell tall tales. They base many of their stories on truth but add to them. They make their stories:

  • Bigger
  • Funnier
  • Crazier

We also share tall tales with relatives and friends. Some of us hold contests to see who can tell the tallest tale. We often tell such stories around campfires.

Tall tales grow bigger the more often we tell them.

I could tell you just the facts about a recent whale watching trip.

  • We saw between 10 and 20 whales.
  • The whales swam close to the boat.
  • Their tails and fins came out of the water as they dived to find food.

In a tall tale about those whales, I might tell you:

  • We saw at least 100 whales.
  • They swam so close to the boat, we could rub their backs.
  • Those whales gave us high fives with their tails and fins.

Most tall tales offer a few moments of fun.

They become lies when told to hurt or deceive. Often when we lie, people know something’s fishy, and we end up in the doghouse.

Avoid tall tales that deceive. Enjoy tall tales told for fun.

A good man is known by his truthfulness; a false man by deceit and lies” (Proverbs 12:17 TLB).

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Snug as a Bug in a Rug

Snug as a Bug in a Rug--baby in blanketAs I small child, I loved to snuggle with my parents.

They made me feel secure – snug as a bug in a rug.

They would wrap me in a blanket or quilt and hold me. We would:

  • Talk
  • Read
  • Sing or listen to music

I thought everything was okay as long as my parents held me close.

Like a bug in a warm rug, I felt:

  • Cozy
  • Comfortable
  • Content

As an adult, I know much in our world is not okay.

However, some things still make me feel snug as a bug in a rug.

  • A warm house on a cold winter night
  • Hugs from family and friends
  • Long walks in the middle of nowhere
  • A good book by a favorite author

One day everything will be okay for those who believe in Jesus.

Jesus loves me (and you) more than the best parents. He offers everyone:

  • Forgiveness of sin
  • A personal relationship
  • A home in heaven
  • A fresh start

Jesus guides through life’s good and bad times. His peace, joy, hope, and love fill my heart. That makes me more secure than any bug in a rug.

Will you accept His offer?

“They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord” (Psalm 112:7 NIV).

What makes you feel snug as a bug in a rug? Please comment.

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Thanks to Darrin and Danielle Jenkins for the photo.

A Right Smart

A Right Smart--Niagara FallsA right smart of water flows over Niagara Falls. On this rainy, windy day, the amount of water seemed a right smart more than usual.

Many people have never heard this expression. It has nothing to do with how smart we are. Rather, it means a large amount.

If I own a right smart of something, I own a lot.

For example, I have a right smart of:

  • Cousins (I love all of you.)
  • International friends (I love you too.)
  • Allergies (I don’t love you. Please go away.)

If I give a right smart, I give a lot, such as:

  • Food to people who visit our home
  • Children’s books to new parents
  • Gifts to organizations that help people in need

I have no control over a right smart that happens to me:

  • Trouble
  • Illness
  • Duties

I do have control over my:

  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Love

To let go and let God have control is a right smart better than any decision I can make.

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” (Ephesians 3:20-21 MSG).

Thanks to Laura Claycomb for the suggestion.

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Count Your Blessings

Count Your Blessings-cornucopia with pumpkinsI love to hear Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney sing “Count Your Blessings” in the movie White Christmas. I also love the words of the hymn “Count Your Blessings.” In recent years, Laura Story’s “Blessings” has become another favorite.

Laura wrote “Blessings” after she learned her husband had a brain tumor. I first heard it after my husband’s brain tumor diagnosis. Laura tells her family’s story in this video.

All three of these songs remind me (and you) to be thankful.

We can count our blessings at all times.

  • During good times and bad
  • Whether rich or poor
  • When alone or with others

Hard times can be blessings in disguise.

  • Illness often gives us a greater love for life.
  • Job loss sometimes leads to a better job.
  • Pain can make us stronger.
  • Money problems can teach us better spending habits.

Let’s think about the good in our lives and give thanks. When life gets hard, let’s ask God to show us the blessings in those experiences.

Happy Thanksgiving!

“May God our Father shower you with blessings and fill you with his great peace” (Colossians 1:2 TLB)

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Let Your Light Shine

Let Your Light Shine-Nauset Beach LighthouseWhen lighthouses let their lights shine, they guide ships and protect them from danger.

Like a lighthouse, you need to let your light shine.

You let your light shine when you:

  • Show people the way to go.
  • Warn them of danger.

Let your light shine in your own special way.

Every lighthouse is different. No other lighthouse looks exactly like Cape Cod’s Nauset Beach Light. Ships use that difference to know where they are and where they need to go.

Likewise, no one is exactly like you. Therefore, you have your own special gifts to offer. Share them as only you can. Give the gift of yourself.

Let your light shine every day.

If you see people in need, don’t be tightfisted. Help them.

  • Give food to the hungry.
  • Help the sick receive care.
  • Teach people the truth.
  • Guide people who are in the dark.

As a popular children’s song reminds us, let your little light shine.

“Let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NIV).

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