Fall is in the Air in Western North Carolina

In October in western North Carolina, the leaves are brilliantly colored and there’s most likely a definite chill in the air. Here the Appalachians crouch beneath a thin layer of smoky haze. This is where we’ll run into Mara Adkins once again, on her way to visit yet another of her former conquests. But that’s another story told on another website (here).

Fall is a beautiful time of year, when harvest yields her bounty. We’re gearing up for the holidays and various family celebrations. And looking for places to go to view the wonderful scenes Fall provides. One such place is on my list of destinations I so want to visit. The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, with its extensive gardens…ah…who would want for more?

Well, there is more. There’s an arboretum nearby, botanical gardens, Carl Sandburg’s home, and Pisgah National Forest.

Weather permitting, you can stay busy for several days. And if you’re not into all those outdoor activities, they have the Asheville Mall, a Folk Art Center, an Art Museum, and the beautiful Basilica of St. Lawrence. Plenty for you to do while your more outdoorsy-type family members hike around gazing at flora and fauna.

And please don’t leave the area without a drive through at least a part of the famous Blue Ridge Parkway. That’s where I like to make my entrance to the area. The scenery is breathtaking and there are so many wonderful stops you can make a long the way. I won’t name them here. You can follow the Blue Ridge link to find them. Quaint little towns, lots of antiquing opportunities, and so many natural trails and byways you couldn’t possibly visit all of them. Well, unless you plan to stay in the area for a very long time.

I daresay, Mara Adkins enjoyed her short spell in western North Carolina. She encountered a bit of a mystery there, so if you haven’t already read Chapter Ten of A Dozen Apologies, you might want to head on over there now. And be sure to stop in at On the Ledge to read the hero interview (see links below).

Thanks for stopping by––

On Making the Right Choice

The story of Abram and Lot in Genesis 13 is proof that God’s blessing on your life is more important than appearance. Lot chose the beautiful land, Abram went into the desert. Most of you know the outcome.

Sometimes the best choice is not the obvious one. For Abram, the desert provided an oasis. Because God’s blessing followed him wherever he went. As a father-figure in Lot’s life, he graciously allowed Lot first choice. Neither knew what the future held, and neither picked up on any “bad feelings” about the verdant Jordan River valley.

If we use this instance as a lesson in life, perhaps it will help us to know that God is in control of the outcome. You are looking at a choice between two. Do you draw straws? Throw darts at a map? If it’s an important, life-altering choice, you’ll be less likely to leave it up to chance. Prayerful consideration and research of the pros and cons will usually leave you leaning toward one. But not always. Sometimes, the choices will be so equal, your decision is rendered too difficult.

Now what do you do?

Pray. Pray with the expectation of an answer. The deadline looms and you’re no closer to an answer. You can’t make a decision. You panic. My next step in this scenario is to open the Bible and begin to read. It makes no difference where. The Word always settles me. If I thumb through and read passages from the Psalms then lift my heart in worship, I feel the fear slipping away. Once fear is out of the picture, you can usually see the answer.

I’ve made many important choices in my life, in just this way. After teetering back and forth for days, the answer would suddenly come to me. When fear was completely out of the picture.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’re enjoying the beautiful Fall weather, and if you’re reading this on November 2nd, don’t forget to change your clocks!

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Comfort Food is on the Menu

It’s raining leaves. 

At least that’s how it looks. Summer has officially ended. As the weather cools, my instincts kick in. Time for comfort food. Summer’s sandwiches and salads were nice, but there is nothing like a good, hot meal to chase away autumn’s first chill. 
What is your favorite comfort food? I posted this question on my Facebook page and got a variety of answers. Chili. A big pot of pinto beans with homemade cornbread. Anything my momma cooks. Okay, that one came from one of my sons. 
Homemade chicken and dumplings, roast beef and whipped potatoes with rich, dark gravy. Potato soup and crispy cornbread. White beans and turnip greens.
Hungry yet? One thing all of these have in common, besides being high in calories? Homemade. 
Nothing beats it. Just like Mom used to make (if Mom could cook). But I’m not going there. This kind of weather makes you want to settle in with a bowl of something hot and delicious. My favorite? Homemade chicken and dumplings. Do you have a favorite that I didn’t mention? Leave me a comment to cast your vote. Happy Fall!

Due Diligence for Morning Glories

One spring, my neighbor planted morning glories in her garden. She dug a hole, dropped in some seeds, and covered them up with soil. 
We had a rather dry spring and though she checked on the seeds from time to time, nothing happened to them. No sprout, no vine, no glorious blooms. She was gravely disappointed. “They must have been bad seeds,” she said.
Fall came and with it, more rain than usual, followed by a winter of heavy snows that lay on the ground for weeks. Spring was blessed with rain as well and when my neighbor went out to clean away the winter debris, she found to her surprise and delight, morning glories sprouting. 
There are several hard-shelled seeds like morning glories and sweet peas, whose packages carry these special instructions, “For best results, soak seeds overnight before planting.” As well, you should keep soil uniformly moist until the plants are established. Though fairly drought tolerant, the morning glory likes a drink of water now and then. 
My friend failed to read the instructions on the packet and then she blamed the seed. Nature stepped in and provided what she had not. The seeds germinated and happily, bloomed profusely all summer long. 
Due diligence in most cases, brings us a quicker reward. What is due diligence? Fulfilling one’s obligations. In this case, it is following the directions on the packet. Soak the seeds overnight, keep the soil uniformly moist until the plants are strong enough to make it on their own. Enjoy their beauty.
You could apply those rules to many things in life: your giving, service to others, your profession, your family. Soak your little ones with love and keep them uniformly loved (watered, fed, protected) until they are old enough to make it on their own. Enjoy their beauty. 

For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:10-12 NKJV