Spiritual update, fall of 2016

4 Sep

A recent sermon at the Wesconnett Church of Christ was about whether we are a Christian.  I’m not going to even try to relate all that was covered.  You can check it out at:


The thought I retained is that being a Christian is so much more than just saying, feeling and believing we are one.  I really connected with the idea that beyond being persuaded to be a Christian we must become a disciple.  A disciple is one that has disciplined their life to be like their master.  The term Christian was given to the early disciples because they were so like Christ–in thought, word, and deed.  This ideas is not new to me–as I have heard it most of my life.  But now I’m hearing it afresh.

Yes, I now worship at the Church of Christ.  And it’s with trembling gratitude that I can say I’m a part of the church of Christ.  This is the faith I found last year.  It’s where things were finally explained in a way that makes sense.  It is a place that doesn’t run from questions–in fact they welcome questions!  I had known for some time that good teachers like questions.  And that everything that is really true can stand up to any questions. But in my former religion we were taught not to question–as if that was somehow wrong,  I was always given the answer ‘”do you want to be contentious?”  Or “are you questioning God’s way?”  These ‘answers’ never answered my question and only left me feeling like I was ‘bad’ and something I shouldn’t be.  Another thing I began to notice was that it seemed to be “the way” of God that was worshiped, almost more than God or Jesus.  In fact that was one of the things I remember that started to really bother me–we didn’t sing hardly any hymns that praised God.  We didn’t really seem to worship Jesus as our Savior.  We looked upon Him more as an elder brother, someone to pattern our life after.

The Church of Christ wasn’t  the kind of church I thought I was looking for.  In many ways, it seems a lot like my former religion.  There are not musical instruments in the worship service, communion is served every Sunday, both claim to follow only the Bible and they are not churches that you “join”.  Yet this new church is so different.  As I look back, it seems to me that my former religion tried to pattern after the New Testament church.  Whereas, this faith seeks to only follow what the New Testament says to do.  This may sound the same, but it isn’t.

This spring I was telling one of my daughters of how much I liked the church I have been attending.  I explained to her of how I had came to first attend the church and how warm the people were.  I told of attending the Ladies bible classes and then of the personal bible studies I had with two of the ladies.  Now I tell her of how much I am still enjoying it–how that there are no ‘off limit’ subjects and how everything is explained in ways that make sense.

I remember how—at those early Bible studies—as they answered my questions and I read the scriptures, I could see things that my former religion did that were not according to scripture, along with not doing some things that were scriptural.  But then the topic of baptism was introduced.  This was a hard one for me.   I had been baptized as a teenager and it seemed wrong to be baptized again.  (My former church had the same idea of being re-baptized–although I never understood why).  But there was one big difference between the two.   In my former religion baptism came a year or so after conversion, after the person had ‘proved them self’ (although I’m still not quite sure who we were supposed to be approved by).   In this new church the teaching is that baptism is a part of being saved.  This was a new concept for me.   But as I read more, I realized that is what the scriptures say!   Then one day in the study, I was asked if I had been baptized for the remission of sins and I realized “no” I don’t remember those words being said at any baptism I ever attended.  (When I ask my daughter about this she says that she thinks it was implied.  But this doesn’t add up for me.  Shouldn’t my sins have been forgiven when I was saved when we “professed” or made our choice to serve God?)

But back then, as I thought more about the things I was learning about baptism and as I continued to really read the Bible–what it says, not what I thought I knew–it just suddenly came to me.   It was so simple–it’s what the Word says, so just obey it!  And so I did.  I was baptized–if I remember correctly–in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for the remission of sins.  It was such a different experience for me, nothing at all like my former one.  This baptism was not solemn, instead it was joyous!  The ladies and minister were happy–I was a new sister!   And as I was telling my daughter–I never expected to feel any different after the baptism–but I did!   I felt new, alive and oh so joyous!  And such a peace!  I thought I had peace before, but never like this!  This is truly a ‘peace that passes understanding’.  It’s with me all the time, a constant joy.  I can’t even find words to explain it.  As time has passed, as I continue to learn, I now have a deeper understanding of baptism.

I thought I had been a Christian since high school, so the idea of being termed a ‘new convert’ at first seemed really strange to me.  But I realize it’s what I am!  I am learning what it means to obey the Word.  I still have lots of foggy areas—a lot of former concepts that need correction.  There is so much I still need to understand.  But the wonderful thing is that I’m learning as I go and that’s ok.  Because at last, I’m on the right path–learning and following the New Testament Word as it is written.

I’ve had several good discussions with my daughter and hope to have more.  I want to be able to tell all my children, family and friends the wonder of what I now have.  My blog posts, along with other media, are my way of starting to reach out to others.  I hope with God’s help and prayer I can continue to be a disciple of Christ forever!



tumbleweeds2seashells–Working out bugs–again

21 May

If any visitors read my post introducing my new sister site–tumbleweeds2seashells–I doubt you were able to access it from the link.  I have no idea why it didn’t link, or why my attempts to correct it were a failure.  Especially since this link seems to work:


I have been customizing the new site in order to obtain the apearance I like.  I am presently using the Twenty Sixteen theme, which allowed me to create page titles (widgets) across the top of the page.

I will continue to customize, changing the appearance and layout in the months ahead until at some point I will be satisfied.

My spiritual journey a year later

3 Apr


I’ve been writing this post in my mind for several months, composing and decomposing it.  I started writing it a few times, but always had trouble. Even with the title.  One title began ‘I have found’, but that didn’t convey exactly what I wanted to say.  Then I came up with ‘My spiritual journey has ended’.  But immediately my heart said ‘no, NO’!  Because I never want this journey of learning more of my Lord and Savior to be over.  I think it will take all of eternity to learn and understand the infinite heart of God.

Sometimes it’s hard to put words to feelings.  And throughout this journey I’ve experienced a multitude of feelings.  It’s a scary thing to realize that something I’ve had confidence in for most of my life no longer brings me peace.  And it’s hard to leave the comfort zone and go into unknown territory.  But it was something I realized I must do.  I can’t live without peace in my soul.

Although it has taken me quite awhile, I’m greatful for God’s patience with me.  I would never have been able to take in, change my whole line of thinking and accept what He is showing me without the time to search my soul and reflect.

Soon after the time I described in my April 1st post, I moved.  It’s true that I had liked the community church, but I decided to check out some closer in my new area.  I attended one in the downtown area with a friend,  But in had a tone of some of the things I could no longer handle in my own church.  Then I tried one that another friend recommended.  But to me the sermon was as dry as toast.

Last Mother’s Day I was going out with my daughter for brunch, so searched online for churches nearby with an evening service.   One that came up was Baptist.  When I was living in Missouri I had attended a Baptist church a few times when staying with friends, so I decided to try it.  i enjoyed my brunch and a leisurely afternoon, then in the evening drove to the church–only to find no one there!  Evidently they had cancelled the evening service due to the holiday.  While driving around, wondering what I was going to do with the rest of my evening, I saw two ladies outside of a church.  I drove in and ask if it was a church service.  (I wanted to be sure it wasn’t some other activity related to Mother’s Day.)

They said yes, to come join them.  So I did.  Everyone was so welcoming, greeting me with smiles and handshakes.   Immediately I was struck with the ‘feel’ of the place.  I’ve been in places that were welcoming, some that were friendly.  But this was a warm welcome.  I could feel that they were glad I was there!  I’ve never felt such acceptance.  It brings tears to my eyes, even now, as I write this.

I don’t remember now what the sermon was about, but I liked it. Afterwards there was more greetings, everyone telling me how glad they were I had come and to please come back.  I was invited to the Tuesday morning Women’s Bible Class, which I attended.  I attended the Wednesday evening service, and both the Bible Class and the church service the next Sunday.  And every service possible since then.

Writing this now, I realize it’s going to take more than one setting to relate.  Because of content length and the emotions that I’m feeling as I write, I’m going to end here and contine my story later.


Visiting Area Churches

1 Apr

As I was –finally–attempting to write an update on my Spiritual Journey, I found this draft which I thought I had posted a year ago.

I attended a Christian church last Sunday.  The first one I went to was a community church.  As I mentioned before, I liked the community church.  I liked the music, the casual atmosphere, friendliness and the music.  The sermon was ok.  I like the emails they send me.   But I wanted to check out more churches in the area.

I was attracted to the Christian church because I liked online sermons.  And I felt the sermon this morning was very reverent and helpful.  I also like the friendliness of the congregation and it had a casual feel.  But the funny thing is, although I love music and crave to worship with music, the music in this church might be the reason why I’m not sure if I will go back.  It seemed more of a show, and not nearly as uplifting as at the community church I visited.

I plan to visit a Presbyterian church next Sunday, the contemporary worship, which is before the traditional worship.  The contemporary appeals to me more than the robed choir.  Next on my list is possibly a church up in the city.

After visiting these four for worship sevices, I plan to check out their bible studies and outreach.  I’ve read about each online, but I want to feel the atmosphere and see where I seem most at home.  It occurred to me this morning that there might be a possibility that none of them gives me completely what I’m searching for.  If that should happen, I’m wondering about the possibility of attending the parts of each that I am I tune with.  I don’t know if this is frowned upon or not.  It seems from what I’ve read that most people attend one church.  Yet, if we are all followers of Christ, should it really matter?

As I said, that was a year ago.   My next post will be in real time.


17 Feb

I’m in the process of creating a sister site tumbleweeds2seashells.  Since I haven’t been able to find the Bueno theme that I use on this site, I’m trying one called Plane.  I will need to refer back to my early posts in the Technology category where I recounted what I was learning as I created this site.

Although I will be working on the new site, I still intend to post to this site.  One of the posts currently in process in an update to My Spiritual Journey.

Please consider following me to stay abreast of future postings.


Site Navigation

11 Feb

For those of you who haven’t yet read my website/blog and for my technically challenged friends-here is a description that might help you find your way around. Across the top are these selections: Home–displayed when you come to the site; About–where I tell why I started the blog and the things it contains; Feature Photos–I only have a few up, but plan to add more; and Art–like Photos, I have some but plan to add more. There are drop down selections for the Photos and Art.

Below these headings, on the left side are the two options for navigating the site: Categories–I presently have 10 selections; and Archives–where you can select posts by month. The number beside each selection shows how many posts are in each category/month.

Also on the left is where you can follow my blog. Below that are the top Posts and Pages that people have viewed. Under this is the Calendar, where you can click and see the number of posts in any given month to display.

The right side of the page displays my posts, displayed consecutively beginning at the most recent. At the bottom of each post is a place to like, share, and comments. The very bottom of the page lists the WordPress blogs I follow , plus a link to my Facebook page ‘LeNel’.

I designed the site myself and even though at times it was very frustrating (see my early posts in the Technology category) I learned so much and am pleased with my results. Please check it out and leave your opinion.

What I learned from my 2015 blog stats

30 Jan

I like that WordPress compiles my stats and it’s a plus that I can post the summary.  It thrills me to learn people from 78 countries have viewed my blog in 2015!   I enjoy blogging and am glad that people are interested in reading it,   I’m pleased that I have followers.  And I always enjoy the comments.

Yes, I’m glad for the stats.  For they tell a story.  And what they told me this year was a surprise.  Although I was pleased to see the attention my blog is receiving, I was a bit appalled to realize how few posts I actually wrote last year!

I told myself, it’s because it was a year spent more by doing things than by writing about them.  It was a busy year.  However, upon more reflection I had to admit that I wish I had written about more of the things I was doing.  The blog is sort of like my diary–it provides me a record of  what I do and what I think.  It also provides reflection and learning for me.  There were many times I thought of something I could write about, but I just didn’t take to time to do so.  I gave myself the excuse–I don’t have wi-if here.  Yet, I could have written the draft and posted later when an online connection was available.

And although I was busy, there were lots of times that I could have written.  So, I’m hoping that this year I will write more.  My church (my ‘church search’ post is currently in draft form) had a sermon relating to “more” for a New Year resolution,  I like that idea.  Instead of saying I will write so many post and then fall short, just resolve to do more.

As always. I welcome feedback back and comments on all my posts.  Have any of you had any surprises when reviewing your stats?


2015 in review

2 Jan

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 750 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 13 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Lately I’ve been dabbling in

5 Dec

Fermented foods.  When I mentioned this to my children last year after I had attended a soda fermenting class, they were like–‘oh no, mom’s going to be high on alcohol soon’.  I tried to explain that there is a difference between fermented and the alcohol ferment.  They weren’t convinced–or perhaps more likely–just wanted to have a laugh at another of mom’s crazy ideas!   And there have been a few times (ok, maybe more than a few) when things didn’t turn out exactly as planned.

Like the year I tried to make brandied pears.  My daughter’s tree had produced abundantly that year.  And I hate to see anything go to waste.  I dried lots of them. Then hit on the idea to use up my alcohol on hand (leftover from a sampling spree I went on went on some time back) to preserve the pears.  As always, I wanted to do it as simply as possible.  I searched websites and concocted my own recipe.  I cored and sliced the fruit then poured brandy over them, put the lid on and set them under the sink.  After all the brandy was gone, I still had pears.  So, if I remember correctly, I also made whisky and then tequila pears.

Later that fall my daughter-in-law was there and we got onto the subject and I remembered the pears.  Of course, I hadn’t really forgotten about them, I just wasn’t brave enough to sample them.  So we tried them.  VERY strong!  But we did agree the syrup would be good over ice cream.  A few months later I strained off the liquid–which I saved–and threw the pears into the compost pile, since the pears themselves were completely tasteless.  All the flavor was now in the liquor.  I’ve used it in recipes since then.  I still have a tiny bit left that I’m saving for some special occasion.

Another fermenting was years ago when we had wood heat.  One fall I decided to make vinegar from the skins, peels and pits leftover after canning apples.  I had a large crock which I covered with a towel. I kept it behind the wood stove.  I don’t remember how long it took, but I believe it had it there for several months.  And I had vinegar!  It usually needed diluted a bit when using in salads and recipes calling for vinegar.  I remember when we got near the bottom and I showed my kids the ‘mother’ which they thought that was gross. I can’t remember now what I did with it.

Also during those years I kept sourdough starters.  I had at least two ongoing ones,  a sweet one and the regular one for bread.  I remember one time I kept it for over two years–freezing it when I was going to be gone for several days.

I’ve also made cheese, which is a culture kind of ferment.  Some of my earlier posts have been on my varrying degrees of success with that.

But now, I’m trying something different.  Fermenting fruits and veggies. When I was growing up mom, and every family I knew with a garden, always made kraut. But mom always canned hers.  I remember being at a friend’s house where they just packed the cabbage and salt in jars and put them I a dark cool place.  I realize now, that was probably fermenting.  I remember I always liked their kraut better than ours.

A recent success is kimchi.  Last year on one of my trips I stayed overnight where at breakfast was this strange stuff near a cooker of rice.  Being inquisitive I at first ask other diners what it was–no one seemed to know, except someone said it is what Koreans eat for breakfast.  So I tried and liked it.  Encouraged, a few of the other tried it.  Some liked it while others didn’t.  After I got home I researched it and found it was kimchi.  So….

I have eaten nearly a quart of my homemade kimchi the last couple of weeks!  As I was dishing some out just now I realized I need to make some more.  Well really I should have started more a couple of weeks ago, if I want a steady supply–and I think I do, because I really like it.  I’ve found websites that have up to 21 ways to use kimchi.  But so far I’ve had it mostly plain.  One day I did mix some with some instant brown rice I had on hand.

I tried fermented soda last year, but it didn’t turn out like the one I had received from the class.  After reading more about the process I believe the reason was because I used city water.  The chlorine seem to inhibit the bacteria needed to ferment.

So I’m going to try the soda again.  I have a ginger bug going at present.  Even though it is cooler in the apartment than it was during the summer, the bug seems to be doing well.  It is a bit cloudy, bubbles–especially when I add the sugar–and has a zingy smell.  I’m going to start some fruit juice sodas next week.

I also want to try honey fermented cranberries, fermented bananas, kraut and maybe a few others.  I joined a Facebook group–Wild Fermentation–where I’m learning a lot. I will try to keep my success/failures posted, along with the websites I have used to gather recipes and info from.

Wish me fermenting success!

After a long break

1 Oct

After a long breakI traveled all summer, during which time my raw food diet was on hold. I ate whatever was served, wherever I was. This seemed the simplest solution. I felt it best just to fit in. However after about three weeks I began to have bad stomach upsets. It didn’t even seem to matter what I ate. It took my daughter (who had offered to let me use her blender if I wanted to do raw) to offer a possible reason. Maybe, my stomach was rebelling at the non-raw diet! In my research of how to start a raw diet I’ve seen that too much, too quickly can cause an adverse reaction. I must have added raw food gradually enough that I didn’t notice any symptoms. But I definitely had the experience in reverse! Yet, even with this adverse reaction because it was more convienent. I continued to eat whatever and after about a week or so my stomach adjusted. It was certainly a learning experience,
Once I returned to Florida I was trying, again, to go raw. For some reason it doesn’t seem quite a easy as this spring. Maybe partly because I came back fairly exhausted and just didn’t feel like making the effort to restock and prepare. I have been looking at websites, getting ideas, planning menus, etc. This week I started making my morning blended drink. I appreciate the wake up, energizing feeling it gives me. And most days I have eaten a large salad for lunch.
Dinner, however, remains a problem. I often have activities during the afternoons, and come back tired and hungry. I quickly consumed all of the snack items leftover from my trip. I then usually opened a can of something and snarfed it. Or I munched on something in the fridge, only to be left feeling dissatisfied.
Last night as I turned onto my street I smelled the burgers at Wendy’s. I told myself it would be ok, just this once. The reception at the drive up was a little fuzzy and I ended up purchasing a double cheeseburger, small cheese burger and large unsweetened tea. Boy did that burger smell delicious, I could hardly wait to get into my apartment! Since I was so hungry I started with the double burger. It did taste good. But before I was even halfway through my stomach started feeling strange. I told my self–no way–it has to be just my imagination. It couldn’t have an effect that quick. I continued to eat, finishing the large burger and starting on the small one. But after a few bites, into the fridge it went-along with the tea.
By then I wasn’t feeling too bad, just a little burping, and after a bit went to bed. I often wake up at night, so it wasn’t unusual when I awoke at 2am. But the way I felt wasn’t usual. In vain I tried to find my tums. (Did I mention I am not completely unpacked from my trip yet?) Instead I turned to the old remedy of baking soda in water. It did the trick, along with leaving me thirsty. Lol
My smoothie this morning really hit the spot. Yet now at lunchtime I am, again, feeling upset. I don’t even want to think of that half of sandwich in the fridge. It will probably become cat food to one of the strays around here. I’m thinking I will have only the tea for lunch. Perhaps not the healthiest–but my grandma always gave me burnt toast with tea for upset stomach. I’m just omitting the burnt toast!

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