Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Power of Thankfulness

Admit it. You enjoy being thanked. We actually expect it. We become deflated, wilted if thanks are withheld from us. Giving thanks and receiving it is more than courtesy taught by your parents. Thankfulness is an expression of the heart. Joy shared from one being to another invoked by sincere gratitude.

God gives us power in many ways. His power. I know you. You just thought,  "Well, I don't have any of God's power." Actually, yes you do. Imagine this. You notice a family member, co-worker or friend looking sad. The stress of life is visibly compressed in the lines on their frowning face. God sends you a memory of them. You smile as you remember the compliment. You walk over to them and say, "Thank you for being you!". They turn quickly answering, "What did I do?" You explain the time they gave you a compliment on the very day you needed it the most. A brilliant smile replaces the burdensome look on your friend's face. Amazingly, instant joy and contentment! God just used you to give power to the faint! Your one simple kind act also increased your friend's strength! They have the power to make it the rest of the day, week, maybe even month. Can you believe that? Have you ever thought about serving God in this manner? One of the easiest ways to see God's power at work is through thankfulness.

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Isaiah 40:28-30 Life is a puzzle to us that God is fitting together one piece at a time. We may not think small actions are important. They are! There is no searching of his understanding. We must simply be obedient and follow his instruction.

During this planned season of thankfulness, strive to exercise God's power in you. Tell the man at the shelter, "Thank you for coming to eat this meal." Tell your children at the dinner table "Thank you for spending this time with me."  Everyone wants to be thanked, especially God. Here's a catchy phrase to help you remember you are God's workmanship and he wants to use you in the smallest yet mighty way.
Purpose the Power you Possess! 

In His Power,
The Happy Handicap

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Five Things Christians Should Learn From Veterans

photo credit:

Thank you to each and every man or woman, past and present, who has served in any branch of the United States Armed Forces. I personally can never repay you or thank you enough for your sacrifice.

As I reflect on Veteran's Day this November 11th, 2015, I quickly recognize so many things Christians should learn from veterans. Please allow me to share five:
  1. Train for your service. Soldiers have to make it through Basic Training before they enter the battle. 2 Timothy 2:15 says "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." You cannot battle the enemy without adequate training. 
  2. Willing and ready to fight. A true soldier stands armed and ready to do their job. Philemon 1:14...., that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.
  3. Unashamed. Soldiers don't challenge orders and act responsibly. Psalm 119:6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
  4. Stick together. Once a soldier always a soldier. There's a special bond between the band of brothers. Psalm 34:3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.
  5. Love their fellow man. Soldiers love people above themselves even unto death. I John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Happy Veteran's Day!

So thankful for freedom,
The Happy Handicap

Friday, November 6, 2015

Nobody Comes


Rana Elyse Mashburn (12/03/1997 - 10/22/2015) continues to impact my life daily. I followed her recent journey with HLH from Day 1 - July 13, 2015. The calendar makes her journey seem short. Rana's courage and words make her journey everlasting.

I read this note written by Rana shared by her mom on September 24th. (Please take a moment to read the entire passage if you did not already.)  I felt the anguish Rana was experiencing trying to understand and cope with the situation, her circumstances. Hundreds of miles from home in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people, except her Mom. Her words won't leave me. "Nobody comes." 

You and I know what Rana meant. People were coming. I saw visits posted on facebook. She knew people were coming also. Those closest to her were there every possible time they could be. Her mother never left her. I believe Rana was sad because her extended family and friends didn't visit her for whatever reason. It was a critical time in her life. She knew more than us. She couldn't wait.

God used Rana's words to show me his heart. He said, "She's right. Nobody comes." As I began to ponder the phrase, the magnitude of  "Nobody comes" enveloped my mind and sank into the depths of my heart. Jesus shares...

Every time people worship me in public places, those closest to me are there every possible time they can be. I am sad because those who need me as Savior, those who have accepted me but not totally dedicated their lives, those who have turned their back on me, those who say they know me but don't, those I died for never comes. Nobody comes. My Father has never left me.

It is a critical time in all our lives. Praise God. Jesus waits... 

The Happy Handicap

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Trunk or Treat Idea: Alice in Wonderland

We're All MAD Here!

the mad hatter
Alice, The Queen of Hearts and The Mad Hatter
My daughter and I decided to decorate a trunk this year for our church Trunk or Treat Night. I looked at a lot of great ideas on Pinterest. Then, I had one myself. I love to do over-the-top, super imaginative stuff so I came up with Alice in Wonderland. So simple and turned out beautifully. This trunk works best in an SUV type vehicle.

What you'll need for The Trunk:

  • a psychedelic brightly colored fleece blanket or towel
  • stuffed white rabbit 
  • teapot, sugar/creamer and a couple of tea cups with saucers
  • printed directional signs taped to a cardboard post (see pic below)
  • bucket with rocks to stationary cardboard post
  • cardboard and white paper for clock
  • string of 50 Christmas lights (optional)
  • large butterflies or flowers (My butterflies are about 10 years old. They were so pretty I hated to throw them away so I stapled them to our garage wall. I KNEW they'd come in handy one day!)
  • printed cheshire cat taped to cardboard for stability
Here are some examples of our trunk: 
trunk or treat idea
Before adding the sheet that doubled as a tablecloth,  the tea pot and lights.
alice in wonderland trunk or treat
The trunk lighted after dark with my precious granddaughter enjoying the ambiance!
The homemade costumes added extreme excitement and some fright to our trunk.
mad hatter and alice
alice in wonderland

So MUCH Fun!

A brief summary on making the Queen of Hearts costume. I took an old long skirt slit the front and sewed in 2/3 yards of the silk "royal" looking fabric I found at Walmart for $3. I took an old black t-shirt and sewed in the pouf sleeves using a rubber band to keep them in place. You can sew or glue the felt heart on the front. The red gloves are from Walmart Halloween section. Added some costume jewelry, a crown, makeup and red paint on my hair. I got the skirt to look full by wearing my daughters' stand out slip (kids size 10-12). I didn't think I was a hoarder until I pulled that slip out of the cedar chest! 

I hope this gives you an idea of how to create your own Alice in Wonderland Trunk or Treat. If you have questions on any of this, please feel free to email me at or comment below. I'll be happy to help you create your own fairy tale any way I can!

Not coming out of the Rabbit Hole,
The Happy Handicap

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Exemplifying Christ

Rana Elyse Mashburn, 17, received her wings Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, from Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), an auto immune disease in which a person’s immune system will attack its own tissues and organs.

Her mother Kathy writes in her obituary, Rana was a brave and faithful warrior for Jesus Christ, and I'm honored He found favor in healing her of this awful disease. She fought a courageous fight from day one and she never once stopped thinking of everyone else. She participated in several research studies and procedures in hopes others would be successful in like battles. Rana witnessed many times about her love of God and her salvation. She spoke and wrote more than once of talking to God and Randy, and I know she did. I believe she flew swiftly with wings to be with them in God's paradise. I am thankful she is in Heaven, and I praise God for calling her to an eternal life without sickness or sorrow. If anyone should not believe in God, remember Rana's battle, because she lived victoriously and loved unconditionally. She lived #RanaStrong! Celebrate her with love and happiness because that's what she would want. My heart breaks, but my soul sings, "How Great Thou Art!" God is faithful and He has blessed me beyond what I deserve. Rana was a gift I treasured, and I will love her forever!

The picture above shows a couple of things Rana said and asked while she was intubated for several months. "I actually have been praying for a testimony that God would use me." This gives me chills that a 17-year-old would be this wise and forthright about her living (and dying) sacrifice for Jesus. I can only hope to be so selfless.

Matthew 10:37-39 

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Rana was a good disciple worthy of Him. She is #JesusStrong.  I dedicate this blog to her. May her memory and testimony speak forever. #ranastrong

In loving tribute,
The Happy Handicap