The Saga continues.
This is Jack.
Cute isn’t he? Yes. To answer the question. He’s adorable.
Jack is also completely blind.
If you watched him, wander around our house, or in our yard, you’d never know. Unless, that it, you looked him in the face and saw his very thick cataracts. Jack is diabetic.
Jack still plays tug-o-war. He plays fetch if he can hear the object hit the ground, he loves keep-away and doing tricks for treats. Jack, can also recognize, by the sound of the engine, vehicles, that belong or do not belong in our neighborhood. Pretty remarkable.
This morning, I took Jack out to the back yard, as we do twice a day, to feed the horses. This is a chore, he’s been helping me with since he was very small. Jack sees it as his duty to walk with me and the feed, then the hay in a hay net to Twila first, then Murphy. He loves to sample the fresh water from the hose when I turn it on to fill tubs.
I had a little extra to do, because my “hay guy” is coming with a fresh delivery. This means I have to condense and sweep the barn to give this wonderful man, room to stack the new bales.
It was during this chore, that I looked up, and noticed that Jack was missing.
I stepped out of the barn, in time to see the rear end of my blind dog, running down the neighbors yard to the woods. He had found a hole in the fence and took the opportunity.
Now, I expect any dog to run when given the chance. The woods are so appealing, the lakes refreshing and the squirrels so much more fun to chase when they’re on THE OTHER SIDE of the fence.
Nonetheless any dog that has escaped my yard and they will once in a great while, has sent me into retrieval mode. Because those aren’t just woods behind my house, it is The Ocala National Forrest. And the lakes? Swim far enough, and any dog, will become food for a hungry alligator.
The only consolation, with all my other animals, is that they can see, and perhaps escape a gator, bobcat, coyote, or criminal looking for a bait dog. Jack, happy-go-lucky, wouldn’t see it coming.
So, here I am, early morning. Running the length of my yard, out the gate and then down the road to see my blind dog, having a great time.
I called his name and he knew right away, that he was where he shouldn’t be.
Jack dropped his head, and let me catch him. (he’s a dog, but a great dog)
I walked him back to the safety of the yard, and then inside for breakfast and his insulin shot. Currently, my wayward pup is sleeping on my feet.
How often do we go blindly outside of the parameters that God has set for us? A little lie? A little gossip? Just a little promiscuity? We skip, happy-go-lucky, not knowing that sin has a price?
The thing is, like Jack. We know our parameters. We know the boundaries God has set, not to spoil our fun, but to give us a happy and full life.
Will we, like Jack admit to being wrong? Will we, willingly submit to His will for us? Will we let God walk us home to feed and care for us? Or will we wander down a road we can’t really see, to dangers, we don’t know are there.
Lord God, keep my eyes set on you.
Grace and Peace,
A few years ago, when I sought to write Messina, Book 1, The Casa Bella Chronicles. I’d been motivated by the idea of writing stories to inspire people to live with reckless abandon for God. If I made a little money along the way, that would be great. If I could turn novel writing into a career, that would be a dream come true.
Eight years later, I’m looking at the launch of Book 3, in the Casa Bella Chronicles; The Iron Door.
God has changed a lot in my heart, yet, a lot has remained the same.
I lost two brothers, since book two came out. One each year. Both Pete and Phil, insisted on rooting me on, so to speak, in my writing. Pete, in particular, was the brilliant illustrator for both Messina and Anna Lucia . My brother Phil, always a quiet listener for my ideas. Both, such a gift from God, both missed terribly.
Now, after a months recovery from covid, and a near-death experience, myself, I find that God is, once again, changing my heart. A goal, right? I want my heart to be like His.
Selling books is no-longer a priority.
Writing the stories that God gives me to write is.
So. These stories are now my ministry. You’ll not see a ton of adds from me.
If you find a blessing in them, if you know someone who will be inspired to live for God, because of them, I’d love to hear about it. If I can figure out how to put what you say, on this website, I will. (I’m awful at computer things)
If, you find a blessing in your heart, please condescend to give an actual review on whatever website you’ve purchased from.
If, and this is a statement of honor, because I am not wealthy, you find someone who would benefit from one of my stories, let me know. I can’t promise, but if I can, I will help.
Be blessed, Be God’s. Live with reckless abandon.
Welcome to the world of Casa Bella, where we’re all famiglia.
Grace and Peace,
On August sixth, my life changed. I was diagnosed with Covid-19 and told to quarantine for ten days. Eight days later, I was on my way to the hospital with Covid-pnmonia.
The ambulance ride was cold. My head pounded with extreme thirst. Sitting, quietly, next to me, the entire ride, a young paramedic. His kind words of comfort eased my mind and let me knew I was going to be okay.
Laying in the hospital for seven days, a lot goes through your head. Things about life. Things you need to let go of, things you need to give to God. The most profound thing that I kept coming back to, was, that in my crisis, I was able to rely on the care of complete strangers, who gave their all, to help me.
This is who America is.
America is a nation of people who truly believes that God made us in His image. And in that view, we help. We are not, as the media or colleges or even some school systems want us to be; racists, and selfish. We are not a bunch a narcissist’s, more concerned about our selfies and the next meal.
Fiercely independent? Yes. Stubborn to a fault? Yes. But it’s our backbone that makes America a group of people who will stick our necks out, to help our fellow man; no matter who they are. If my neighbor needs something, I’m there.
Stuck on the side of the road? Give it time. Someone will stop. Run out of change at the cash register? Nine times out of ten, a perfect stranger will “pay forward” the missing change.
We’re tired of being told how we fail. Or how intolerant we are. When nothing could be further from the truth.
The news from Afghanistan devastated us all, the other day. In the crisis, Americans didn’t cower, we LEANED FORWARD.
Why? Because we want to help. That’s who America is. We are ALWAYS the first to run to the emergency. Our frustration comes from people who try to keep us distracted, with busy work. Who treat us like we’re stupid. We’ve never been a nation of whiny butts.
So I think its time. Time to speak up. EVERY time someone says something denigratore abut our Nation or its people. I personally am over it.
The left wing media is wrong. We all know it.
If you want to see our great country, look around you.
I have come to the conclusion, lately, that we live in a “post Christian world.” Sometimes this knowledge sets my teeth on edge, sometimes it breaks my heart. You see, I grew up in the heart of what is popularly called “The Jesus Movement.” Christian music regularly played on pop radio, people carried their Bibles with them everywhere, it was so easy to find a Bible study and very common for a perfect stranger to ask you, “Have you found Jesus?” When I was in high school and even well into the 1980’s, it was cool to be a Christian. So what happened? How did we go from a culture that aspired to serve God to one that both abhors and knows nothing about Him? Where did the Jesus People go? By principal we should have multiplied not diminished. The first thing that comes to mind is the parable of the sower: “The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matthew 13 20-23 NIV) (If you’d like to read the rest of this parable, look it up!)
So I wonder, how many of us let the cares of the world choke out our love of God? Have we become too wrapped up in our own lives to notice where this world is going? Or too busy to care about the needs of a neighbor? How many of us decided to go after riches, and in money, now find security? If you find yourself sitting, disgruntled, at Cracker Barrel after church on Sunday because your poor waitress got your order wrong, or grumpy in the grocery store because the lines are long and the cashier is too slow, you might be in this category. (what are you doing shopping on Sunday anyway?)
Believe me, I’ve known a fair amount of extremely wealthy people, very few of whom had peace. The next thing that draws my thoughts is how we as Christians approach non-believers. Do we listen, respectfully to what they have to say? Do we understand that now, many of them have never heard the Gospel before, ever? How often do we assume they have any understanding of a Christian world view? How often do we hammer people with our own perception of Christianity when the Gospel, in it’s truest form, offers forgiveness, and a relationship with God.
“But I always preach the Gospel.” I’ve heard this so often. If the you’re “talking Jesus” in a public place, I can almost guarantee that no one is listening. You’re just making noise. Folks, instead of preaching, maybe we should shut our mouth’s and LIVE the Gospel. This is where rubber meets the road. Are we consistent in our speech? Accepting in our love and truthful, but not judgmental, in our answers? We have our work cut out for us. To live Christ in this world is not an easy thing, but this world desperately needs the peace that only Jesus can give. This is a lost generation, but every generation is lost, even the Jesus generation. Where are they? ” The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (Matt 9:37) Loving this generation unconditional, in action, pointing them to Jesus and allowing Him to make the changes. “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (1 Cor. 13:1)Lord please make me more like you. Please help me to lead this scattered flock home. ~ Liz Galvano Harshbarger
Change happens. Sometimes expected, most often, not. A while ago, I found myself cruising along, with few obstacles in my writing path. My webpage had plenty of visitors, my books, doing rather well. I should have expected it. I should have known, that growth never happens when things go smoothly. In one fell swoop, my website was taken down, without explanation, and two years worth of content dumped into the sea of unobtainable internet writings. Gone. Nowhere to be found. And best of all (insert sarcasm) the propagator of the dumping disappeared as well. This was a writers worst nightmare.
I had two choices before me: to curse the darkness and never write again, or to lay my hopes and dreams at the feet of Jesus and wait for the wind to fill my sails again.
So here I am. Ready to start again. Book 3, of the Casa Bella Chronicles, all but finished, and a re-launch on the horizon. This new website is a “self service” one, and I’ve no idea if I’m getting it right. But I’ll keep at it and hopefully make a few new friends along the way. – Grace and Peace, Liz
Thank’s for joining me.