SuperScruff- reviewed by Fabulous and Brunette

MY BOOK REVIEW:

This book was such a fun, exciting, amusing, and entertaining children’s book!!!

This book is also filled with strong, inspiring, motivating, and encouraging passages that appropriately fit, stimulate, and appeal to young readers.

This book also contains Christian religious themes with actual verses incorporated into the story.

I also loved the fun, adorable, brightly colored illustrations that truly complimented the story and were a joy to follow along with!!

This book is Book Two in the Goat Tails Book Series.

Being Super…what does it really mean?

Hi Again, everyone!

I am continuing on my quest, today to find out what it really means to be Super.  Last post I explored one of the pitfalls of thinking that we were Super, when I described an adventure in which I lead my campers the wrong way while trying to paddle down the French River.

Well Scruffy is well on his way to learning a similar lesson…just listen to his “thoughts” at the beginning of this escapade!

“Scruffy thought that he ought to practice, but his head was all puffed up by all the attention he was getting. Clearly he was already “SuperScruff” to his adoring fans so he couldn’t let them down. Inside he had always known that he had Super powers…it was time to show his stuff so he jumped on top of nearest bale of hay, so everyone could see and hear him.”

Oh my…Scruffy  is finally accepted by all of the barnyard critters…but acceptance and friendship were not enough for him. He had to be number One…the best! In his mind he felt that he had to prove his right to be number One by showing the others all the wonderful things that made him special… Super! The problem for Scruffy was that he really didn’t have a clear view of what it meant to be Super! Do we?

One dictionary defines Super as follows:

“The adjective super comes from the Latin super-, meaning “above,” “over,” or “beyond.” Super is another way to say “the best” — you are above the rest. Super can also describe something that’s really big.”

In contrast the Bible defines Super as follows:

Matthew 20:26-27

“…whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served…”

Which type of Super really counts…I wonder?

Something to think about.

See you next time.

Lynn

 

So…you want to be Super?

 

Hi Everyone;

Well, SuperScruff has arrived! It is available at Amazon, Chapters, Book Depository and in Espanola at Robinson’s Pharmasave and RemedyRX and I am “Super” excited about it!

Let me tell you a little bit about this newest edition of Goat Tails. Scruffy has arrived back home following his big “lost” adventure, but instead of being glad to be back…he was a little afraid. He really thought that he was in trouble again and would end up back in Pen Prison! But this adventure actually ended up making him famous….he had become a SuperStar! For once in his life other critters looked up to him and thought that he was wonderful! Well, as you can imagine this new fame felt pretty good…actually it felt GREAT and it went right to his head! And so a new journey of discovery…to find out what it means to be Super began…!

I can really identify with Scruffy in this adventure…can you? Have you ever set your sites on a goal…worked really hard…sacrificed your time, your relationships, perhaps even your finances to achieve it and then…after what seemed like an endless wait you have done it? You’ve achieved your goal and perhaps for a brief, sunny moment been at the pinacle of success..been recognized, even rewarded for your…greatness?? Ouch…none us like to appear that prideful…but deep inside we can be pretty pleased with ourselves and our achievements.

Well, I am (and I admit it) an eager, beaver over achiever…I love a challenge…love a contest…want, ernestly to be at the top of my…whatever I’m into at the moment. But this attitude has landed me in an emotional muddle many, many times in my life…probably because it totally goes against God’s design for me (and for all of us, I think). But God knows me and is intimately interested in my growth, so He allows me to dig the pit…into which I eventually fall…to teach me to walk humbly.  Let me share a story with you…!

Quite a while ago…in my early 20’s…I lead an outpost camp, at Camp Mini-Yo-We. One of the goals of this outpost camp was to teach 14-16 year old girls how to enjoy and survive wilderness canoe trips. Well, I was the leader of that camp and as such had a fair amount of experience in canoe tripping and campcraft skills. I loved it and thought I was pretty good at it.

Well on this particular year…things had been going pretty well at the camp and I had planned a difficult canoe trip for the most senior, experienced campers. I was to lead it (of course) and I had a university student with some experience as my co-leader! Can you hear the attitude behind these words…I was so puffed up it was amazing I even fit into a canoe! Anyway…the trip was planned to go down the French River South channel, was 4 days long, was a moderate white water trip and I had done it once before…so easy, peasy…right?

Wrong! I made several crucial errors at the beginning of the trip….I had not studied the maps well enough to discover that there were 3 possible exits from the lake that we began on…I let the girls practice their navigating through the myriad of islands that dotted that lake….I failed to pay attention to exactly where we were on the map, assuming that we would just paddle to the end of the lake and naturally go down the South channel…big MISTAKE!

Well…the wind blew, the waves built and we were pushed to the north side of the lake (unbeknown to me) and so when we finally came to the end of the lake…we were well North of the South channel and I spied “the channel” straight up ahead…everyone cheered as we paddled down it, until I began to realize that it looked nothing like the South channel…had cottages on it…was not a wilderness at all…so I stopped at a dock and asked the fisherman to pinpoint our location on my map (which I now had in my possession). “Right here, Miss, ” he said as he pointed to spot on the channel! Then he said, “we don’t often get canoe trips going down this channel.” “Thank you,” I mumbled, “I bet you don’t…we were just, ah…exploring,” I explained, as I shouted for the girls to turn around…(to a chorus of moans and grumbles).

We paddled out of that channel and I assured that girls that I was in command of the map so no more mistakes would happen…(there I sat all puffed up just about ready to fall into that “pride pit” that I was digging). Up ahead I finally spied the channel, everyone cheered, happy once again! After a couple of km, I ordered a rest stop to have a snack…it was getting late…but that wasn’t really the reason for the stop…the real reason was that this channel didn’t look familiar either! I pulled out the map and once again found that I was on the wrong channel! This time there was no one else to blame…I fell into my pit, figuratively speaking and had to confess! (for the outcome of that story see…”Stuck on the Rocks, Again”)

What a difficult lesson that was…but one that I really needed to learn….one which needs repeated teaching! God has been patiently teaching me over the years…thankfully He never gives up on me!

Proverbs 16:18

Pride goes before destruction,
    a haughty spirit before a fall.

I hope you enjoy the new book!

Happy Reading!

Lynn

 

Faith displayed in living each day for Him

Hi Everyone;

I had a few thoughts this morning that I would like to share with you. As I have sat here pondering my morning devotions…the impact of faith upon life has really struck me. Faith in God, in Jesus His Son and the His purpose in and through my life has always been a central theme of my writing. Upon reflection I have looked back upon the many adventures and stories of my life and have seen the consistent thread of God woven through the whole. Each event…good and bad,  has helped me to grow in faith and character…which is why God tells us to “count it all joy.”  Well in today’s readings I have been challenged to live out my faith in my actions…”faith without works is dead” it says in James 2:17,20,26.  The faith that counts is the faith that shows in all the aspects of life…it was this thought that reminded me of a story, of a quiet unassuming man that I got to know…at least a little while we lived on our farm in Manitowaning.  Listen…to his faith in action!

Scruffy Finds His Way by

A middle-aged man sits by a stall, bending to check on the progress of the faithful beast beside him. Sounds of quiet munching overlaid by the steady hum of pumps fill the air. A peaceful scene spreads before him as he goes about his work. He stands and stretches before moving on to the next cow. His work is to manage a dairy farm; gruelling, back breaking work that draws him from bed at 5 am and puts him back there again in the early evening. As he surveys the old barn he stops to consider the path that brought him back to this century farm with its hereditary work. He sure hadn’t planned it; it was not what he thought he was called to do. But God had other ideas and although he would never feel that his work was anything special; being humble in nature, others would. Looking back you could see that his life had been used mightily for God right here on the family farm, not in some distant land.

From an early age studying the Word had been an integral part of his life and as he grew he knew that following this Word was to be his lifelong calling. At first he had dreams of far off missions to reach and teach those who had not had the same opportunities as he. With that goal in mind and a thirst in his heart, he went off to Bethel Bible College in Indiana to prepare for the work ahead. There he met his lifelong partner, who, though small in frame was a firebrand for God. Together they headed to the mission field in Jamaica. Being a quiet, humble man who sometimes stumbled over words, he felt a bit awkward in the pastoral role, but he had a heart for God and so he served. Through continued study and prayer he came to realize that not all were called to be pastors and so he resigned his position as pastor confident that God would have some other work for him to do. He returned once again to the dairy farm where he was raised and began farming as his father had before him. This truly was the real beginning of his ministry.

God always prepares us for ministry. He gifts us with the tools and expertise we need to do the job that He has prepared for us. How was this man gifted? He had many skills that equipped him to do his daily work and a common sense approach to life that appealed to the country folk around him. He had an unshakeable faith in God and thirst for learning the Word. His wife was also gifted for service, as a musician, a teacher, a homemaker and a tireless servant of all. So how did God use these gifts; what work were they brought home to do? They bloomed where they were planted and produced an abundant crop. They worked together to spread the Good News of the Gospel in their community, at church, at home and in places far off as they touched the lives of all who visited. She taught Sunday school, music, led choirs, and welcomed all new comers to their home, while serving her family that had now grown to five. He served as a Deacon and an Elder, and became an abundant source of wisdom for the church. He reached out into his community helping with all manner of causes and charities even becoming the Reeve of the small town in which they resided. He brought Jesus into the council rooms of government…to show them a better way.

These seedlings were planted by God and fertilized by His Word.

SuperScruffy finally arrives

Hi Everyone

I am so excited to announce that Book 2 of the Goat Tails series will be available in September!! SuperScruff will catapult onto the scene with a brand new, crazy adventure…but this time he is no ordinary kid…he is SuperScruff…protector and hero of the barnyard!

Here’s a sneak preview as Scruffy arrives back to the barnyard following his great adventure…

“Everyone was curious to know how he had survived out there… in the terrifying world beyond the fence. He shut his eyes and then shook his head in wonder… he wasn’t in trouble at all… he was a Super-Star!

Joyously, he began hopping around the barnyard baa, baa blabbing to everyone he met.

The lambs wanted to know how he beat the wolves…

The chicks wanted to know where he hid for so long…

The piglets wanted to know what he ate

(pigs always think about food)…

All the youngsters followed him everywhere…

Hopping when he hopped…

Flipping when he flipped…

Repeating every word he said…

Like he was a Super-Hero.

It suddenly struck him!

He was Super… the Super, Duper, Hopping Hero of the barnyard!

SuperScruff… the fearless… leader of the Scruffkids!

“Look out, world… here I come,” thought Scruffy. And in a flurry of little hooves, he was off to find adventure… followed closely by his adoring fans.

The adults looked on, with heads shaking. “Oh no,” bleated Nellie, “here we go again.”

So…look out world…here comes SuperScruff! Find out how the barnyard survives it’s newest SuperHero…stayed tuned because SUPERSCRUFF IS COMING SOON!

Lynn

God’s Love can clean up all our mud!

 

Hi Friends;

Have you ever found yourself “stuck in the mud” like Scruffy?

Oh, I don’t mean stuck in real mud, but the mud of life!  That space where things are just not going our way, where no matter what you do, the mud seems to just keep sucking you in and under. This mud sometimes comes from bad choices that we have made…like Scruffy leaping off the roof of the hen house or over a forbidden fence or sometimes  mud just seems to be thrown at you by bosses or even friends or mud can just represent the repetitive boredom of doing what appears to be the same thing every day. Well whatever your mud is….I bet you would like to get out!

Scruffy needed help to get out of his mud…oh he tried to do it on his own, probably because he didn’t want to get caught in disobeying Papa and because he felt that he was big enough and strong enough to do it…have you felt this way? I sure have! I have found myself stuck in the mud because of some really bad choices and no matter what I did…I could not get out of the mess myself! Here…let me share one little story, (unfortunately I had many such events! to choose from)!

“I’m lost…no, I’m not…if I just go back to the beginning, I know I can figure it out!”  It was just that mentality that got me into trouble in the first place. It was a cloudy fall day and I went out partridge hunting with my dog and made the catastrophic mistake of following him! Never a good idea. Anyway long story short, there I sat at the top of a hill, trying to spy the logging road that would lead me home, but finding only trees. I had been walking in circles – probably, for hours…following each brilliant idea that I would get about how to extricate myself from this really bad situation…you see…I hadn’t told a soal that I was going hunting. My husband was at work, the neighbours were away and we lived in the bush…the very bush that I was lost in! And night was coming quickly. I had done everything I could think of to get myself out of this mess…everything that is, except to pray!  Well desparation had finally come..so I prayed and the Lord answered me…as I sat there in despair. Suddenly, the sun shone- something it had not done all day…suddenly a logging road was visible- somehow I had not seen it before…suddenly I just knew the way home!  A miracle…it sure was to me…a rescue…you bet!

Stuck in the mud? Call upon the Lord and He will “clean up” your situation!

                                      Lost??

Romans 10:13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Philippians 4:19 “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”

God is our all-powerful, all-compassionate, all-wise and all-loving heavenly Father…call upon Him in your need…He is waiting!

 

Count it all Joy…does God really mean ALL?!!


Hi again, everyone!

Is there anything more fun, more joyful than to puddle jump? To leap into a puddle full of mud and water and delight in the mess? Well oddly enough, it is this Joy…this delight that God wants us to have, because we trust Him.

Today I want to share a word that came to me while doing my devotions this morning. I am reading the book of James and this morning I began, as one would expect at the beginning and only got as far as the first 4 verses. After the opening Greetings…James hits me right at the heart with something with which all of us have struggled.

It reads, “Count it pure  (ALL) JOY, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

Well that little statement, “Count it pure (all) Joy.” really is the problem! I must say that there are and have been things in my life that I can hardly call worthy of Joy…that indeed, I have not handled with any type of joy. I bet you have too!

Let’s start with the simple, little everyday things like…socks on the floor, beside the laundry hamper instead of in it or dishes on the table instead of in the kitchen sink or better still…in the drying rack! Well you might say that these are little inconsequential things that should not or could not remove or even impact our joy…but added together, they do. But our Lord says to count these little things as Joy…hmmm…I guess with a small effort, I can do that.

Ok…starting today, this very minute, I am determined not to let these little things steal my Joy (get behind me Satan…I’ve conquered this one!)

But what if…the Joy Stealing Event isn’t so trivial…what if it involves the loss of a loved one or the slow lingering death of another or being Stuck on the Rocks of a fast flowing river. These things are life changing…these things are life stealing…does God really want me to Count these as Joy?

The clear answer from scripture is a resounding…”YES!” God says right in this passage that there is a purpose in trials that is very important to our growth. We need to aquire perseverance so that we can become mature and complete. God is intimately interested in our growth and it takes a lifetime of big and little trials to produce that growth. God doesn’t often tell us why we need a particular trial in order to grow, but He does say that He will give us wisdom (understanding) if we ask…in faith.

I have had many adventures in life…not some of the tragedies that others have had but life threatening events that have tested and tried my faith…and as promised…have helped me to grow. Check out some of these events in my book, “Stuck on the Rocks, again.” Did I have Joy at the time of these events…no, I can’t say that I was rejoicing when I was stuck in the middle of a raging river with my canoe bending around a rock…but afterwards…when the waters were once again, calm…I reflected and smiled.

God is at work in my life and He is at work in yours. Do not give in to the temptation of letting the events of life steal your JOY, but approach each new day with an attitude of JOY and persevere…because our loving, heavenly Father in is Control and we prove our belief in this by showing our JOY.

Joy is the echo of God’s Love in us…share it today!

Lynn

God is an amazing gardener and we are all part of His garden

 

Scruffy wondered if God could still love him, when he made so many mistakes…but in the story “Scruffy Finds His Way”, he discovers that God never stops loving him…never gives up on him. 

We are all made by God for a purpose…each of us is nourtured in a different way…each of us looks different…acts different…but is never-the-less still part of His creation…His garden!

I love to garden. It is such a joyful release for me to putter away in my gardens turning the soil, rearranging perennials and planting annuals. Soon after the snow melts and the earth warms I enthusiastically dive into my gardens and begin the process of preparing the soil for another season. Then I plant small seedlings in the spaces in between the perennials with the hope that the garden will explode into colour and beauty. I sit back to admire my work, filled with the anticipation of what the next few weeks of sunshine and rain will bring. Morning after morning I wander by my gardens looking for the blooms that I worked so hard to produce. As I peruse the vista before me I notice several things. Although planted at the same time in similar soil, some of the seedlings grow faster and better then others. These seedlings seem anxious to burst forth into bloom, to produce that for which they had been planted. Others are growing but at a much slower rate, some are barely struggling to survive and sadly some have been plucked out by the birds and lie dead on the ground. My response to this is to pour a little more effort into the struggling plants; to gently dig around their roots to encourage their spread and growth, to give them extra feedings of fertilizer to strengthen them. The better the plant, the better the bloom! Another thing that I notice is this; the same type of plants can produce different looking blooms. No two marigolds look exactly the same. Each section of the garden provides a different display of colours, heights and shapes. It’s food for the eyes! How dull a garden would be if it were filled with identical plants and flowers!

I’m positive that our heavenly Father loves gardens as much as I. Indeed, He created the endless variety of plants and flowers and gave us eyes that could discern the subtle variances in colour. In scripture it describes God as being a gardener- like me (but much, much better)! He too, works in His garden, pruning and cultivating to produce the best garden. He does whatever is necessary to produce good results. Just like my little seedlings need to be planted in good soil, so too do his vines need to be connected to the food source in order to survive. (John 15) We are all part of God’s garden. It is His desire to have us burst forth into bloom in the garden where we are planted. Like the branches described in John 15 have to be connected to the vine in order to thrive so too, we seedlings need to be buried deep in the soil that will nourish us – Jesus. Without this soil, we will not survive. Once we are planted in Jesus, God makes sure that we grow and flourish. And just like in my garden, some may take longer to bloom then others and no two blooms are alike, but together we make the garden beautiful.

St. Mary’s Students learn life Lessons from Scruffy

 

Scruffy Finds His Way by

 

Scruffy sends a big goaty “nudge” to all the children of Mrs. Howe’s grade 2/3 class for reading his book and finding the lessons!!  Well done EVERYONE and thank you!

What we learned from Scruffy Mrs. Howe’s grade 2/3 class

Lo: You should never do something that you are not allowed to do. If you do, you will have some sort of consequence. Scruffy says…”some of the consequences are baaaaa…d!

Wa: There are natural consequences, like falling through the chicken coop or getting “bit” by the electric fence. Or, you might get punished, like being put in a time out.  Scruffy says…”oh my but that chicken coop was stinky…never fall in one!”

Ch; God has a plan for everybody Scruffy says…”it’s so nice that God plans for kids (goats and humans)”

O: It’s ok to be who you are! We are all unique and God created us in His image, which means that we are PERFECT! Scruffy says…”and I thought that only my mom thought that I was perfect…everyone else thinks I am too scruffy and baaaaa…d. Nice that God  agrees with Mom”

C E.: When people love us, they will forgive us even when we mess up. God will also forgive us. Scruffy says…”it is nice to be able to start over every day…forgiven”

M: No matter what happens, your family will always love you! Scruffy says…”even if I’m baaaaa…d my Mom and the Scruffkids always loved me, so does God…I never need to feel rejected”

C: If everyone was the same, life would be boring. If we tried to play a game, it would always a tie. Scruffy says…”That is really true…I’ve never been boring…God made all of us special and interesting.”

A: If we need help, we should ask for help. Praying to God is a good idea! Scruffy says…”I forget this part sometimes…so God continues to teach me how much I need Him.”