United by Stories – by Beckie Horter

Would you like to add some thoughts to Beckie Horter’s story?
I am re-blogging this excellent work by Beckie for your reading delight today. Here ins PA, the snow is flying and the world turned white in the past hour. Good reading for a winter day. I think, in the original Biblical story, that the most important things to notice are that the sower – not specific gender indicated – and this person sowed the seed – it does not give the reader a specific place – like in a field or a garden or such – the seeds are thrown around – EVERYWHERE. The SOWER flung the SEEDS – they were NOT placed carefully in a GARDEN, nor even across a field – the implication is that they are flung over an immense distance.

“The truth that we are built for eternal life seeps into our hearts like a healing balm.  We instinctively know it’s right. And it quiets the longing inside us.”



Introducing my GUEST BLOGGER for May – Beckie  Horter

I am delighted to feature  a writer I met a number of years ago when she attended the college where I taught.  Beckie is a graduate of Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA. We  reconnected recently and she wrote this GUEST BLOG ARTICLE exclusively for SCANdalous! And, here she is……


United by Stories

Our hearts were made for stories. Fearfully and wonderfully made, said the Psalmist. And it’s true:  we were built for giving and receiving stories as a means of soul sustenance. It’s the gift of truth told, lessons learned, and humor offered to lighten the daily load.

I’ve been noticing the power of stories latelyas I spend time with my 86-year-old mother. Her short-term memory is terrible. But her capacity for long ago stories lives on. She remembers days on the farm, walking to school, and what an old…

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Stewardship – Take a Time Out


The inner life of a Christian  has to be different.

We don’t walk to the same drummer as many other people.  We need to recognize this and HONOR it.

A  gift  was given to us by our Creator. And, with every gift we are given we see a glimmer of how another person sees us.  With the  gifts we receive, we have insight into who we are. Each gift brings with it a responsibility to be recognized and honored.

Guard your time for it is precious. Set time apart to be alone in solitude. For in being alone and set apart, we can listen to the voice of God and know our purpose.

Busy-ness is not to be desired.

“Crazy Busy” is just that – CRAZY!

“BUSY” is not a virtue.

When is the last time you were still and quiet?  Perhaps you need to be a good steward of your time? Take some “time out” to allow the Holy Spirit to communicate with you and guide your day.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Ps

Psalm 46:1

Article and Photography by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Copyright, June10, 2017. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

Lynda  McKinney Lambert

.Front Cover



Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage (Kota Press), 2002.


Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems, DLD Books, 2017 

Lynda is a Peer Adviser  and writes articles on sight loss and blindness for  Vision Aware Blog

CONTACT ME: riverwoman@zoominternet.net

 Author – Blogger – Visual Artist

Symbols of Advent – Week 2 – Candle of Preparation

Symbols of Advent

Part 2 – Week 2

The Candle of Preparation

-Also known as  the Candle of Peace –

 by Lynda McKinney Lambert



The SECOND candle of ADVENT can be lit.

A miraculous world-changing event will take place.

For an awesome Christmas delight, you may click on the link below to listen to a Christmas song.  Peace to you today.

For an awesome Christmas delight, you may click on the link below to listen to a Christmas song.  Peace to you today.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, by Casting Crowns



As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

A voice of one calling in the desert,

‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.‘ (Luke 3:4-6)


God prepared this event in advance. Three kings were summoned to take a journey that would end up in a stable in Bethlehem where the kings would see the promised child.


Blog15_SCAN_12_Dec_SANTOS_4 figures



Three Kings prepared for their journey by selecting precious, costly gifts; they intended to offer the gifts to this child-king. The gifts were selected, and their long journey by night began. The traveling kings had the best GPS system possible – the enormous, bright star in the heavens!


“An old idea must die. The three wise men had to give up the present world view when they embraced Christianity,” T.S. Eliot


I’ve read the book, The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck, MD. several times. I read it when it first came out, and then I read the updated version that he wrote  twenty-five years after.

I find Dr. Peck’s thoughts on miracles timely. I am certain we must have a consciousness of miracles to understand the Christmas story. This leads me to ask,

“And, where do we find this kind of belief in the twenty-first-century world view?  How is a Consciousness of MIRACLES  discovered is the Zeitgeist of our contemporary world? ” 


Dr. Peck wrote:

“I am certain that miracles abound.

We are assisted in miraculous ways.

If we remain open, then we will see miracles.

If we routinely look at ordinary experiences, we will begin to see the miraculous.”


Ordinary, everyday experiences?

I have a hunch that it was through the subconscious mind (Peck says it is where the SPIRIT dwells in humans) that the three kings were inspired to start out on this most unusual journey. Some Christians would say it is through our spirit that we are inspired. Either way, I have wondered, “Were they shown images of what they would discover when they arrived?”

I think, maybe so! Each person in this Nativity Story definitely had Divine guidance and perfect timing. Was it the human spirit, the subconscious mind, or the intuition – or all of these?  there is definitely a PLACE  from which the wise men were guided as they looked into the miraculous night sky with the star that was there as a visual landmark for them to follow. We know that such a heavenly  sign was in the night sky and it did take place at this time according to contemporary astronomers.


Miracles are found when we are open to the ordinary and everyday.

Miracles abound when we decide  to live a life that is expecting miracles  and guidance from God in our ordinary daily life.



From the beginnings of recorded history in Genesis, we are told repeatedly to look towards the heavens for miraculous events in the Sun, Moon, and Stars. I intend to keep looking!


Preparation means to “get ready.” God takes our passions and our desires and He makes a way for us to live the life we were meant to have from the beginning.

The Three KINGS had no “Plan B” – no “back-up plan.”

What have you been preparing for?

What are your dreams?

Bring them to the one who has a PLAN A for your life.


Far away from Bethlehem, on an island in the Atlantic Ocean, Christians celebrate Christmas and Epiphany in Puerto Rico. They commemorate the ancient journey to Bethlehem.




A unique and particular tradition by Puerto Rican artists is the hand carved SANTOS. One theme that is popular for SANTOS is the THREE KINGS. They hold a special place in the art of Puerto Rico culture.

Santos are traditionally twelve inches or less in height. Each piece is signed by the artist who made it. Every Santos is one-of-a-kind art.


More About the SANTOS:

Christmas music celebrates the Preparation and Hope for WEEK 2 of Advent.  Notice on the SANTOS of the 3 Kings, above, how they each are holding  a musical instrument.  Think of the importance of MUSIC in the universe – and certainly this divinely orchestrated event would have been accompanied by the MUSIC of all of creation.

Below, I give you some links to music for this holy season.

Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel”

OH, Come! Emmanuel.



This link will take you to a performance of the same Christmas Carol and there are images of medieval stained glass windows. Be sure to watch the images with the music and you will see many ways a rose has been depicted in them. We discovered the meaning of the Rose in my previous essay for the First Week of Advent – symbolic of Hope.


Link to Week 1 – The Candle of Hope at this link:

Go To Week 1 – the Candle of HOPE





Here is one final link to explore –

Look close to see:

Roses appear in the hair and halo of women; in bouquets and clothing ornaments, in the colorful mosaic pictures.



Note: Photos of SANTOS from the authors collection. Photos by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved.

This essay was written by Lynda McKinney Lambert.  Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Please share it with your friends! Thanks!


Next week, look for Week 3 – The Candle of Joy (The ?Shepherd’s Candle).


Lynda McKinney Lambert is the author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” published by  Kota Press. She authors two blogs on writing, the humanities, arts, and faith.  She is a free lance writer and her poetry and essays appear in numerous books and literary journals.  She is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities and she exhibits her fiber arts in exhibitions world-wide.
 Currently she has two books in development for publication in 2016.



Little Step #3: Choose Better Words

Part 3 – Little Steps at the Beginning of the Journey

Part 3 of 7-Part Series

CHOOSE BETTER WORDS – Eliminate Feeble Words

Discover the Past

Recover the Present

Revise the Future


In my previous article, Little Steps #2, I spoke of my personal  challenge to STOP speaking words of  criticism, complaint, and gossip.  It is an ongoing challenge – much more difficult to do this than I could have imagined.

 In today’s article, I introduce you to  Little Steps #3 when I move on to discuss HOW we can develop our words more carefully and change them from negative or weak words, into powerful, life altering words. If you are a writer this Little Step might be what you need to think about in developing your work. This Little Step is a good one for anyone, in any profession.


I created  2 lists and tacked them on the wall beside my computer. I need to look at these 2 lists often to remind myself to use more powerful and direct words.  I use my 2 lists to edit my writing. Create your own lists and check them often until you get in the habit of looking for the words that are weak and feeble in your writing.

List #1:  Passive Words – they give a feeling of uncertainty  to your writing.  You want to be direct and certain, not wishy-washy.  Go through your writing draft  and change the passive voice  into strong active voice.

Eliminate:  was; were; are; is; have been

List #2: Feeble phrases and words to eliminate from your writing:

Eliminate: amazing; awesome; actually; really; very; things; it; quite; got;

perhaps; maybe; literally; stuff; in my opinion; incidentally

Review your writing, then get out your blue pencil or hit the delete button on every word from this list. Replace those “busy work” and “filler” words with powerful clear words that make your piece strong.


This link will take you to a good page to read on Active and Passive Voice in your writing:



When you CHANGE YOUR VOCABULARY, a better choice of words  enables  you to speak and write better.  You will feel like a WINNER!

The next time you feel the words, “I can’t because…” coming up in your mouth, switch  it to “I will figure out how to do…!”

When you say “I can’t” you’re  telling yourself, or others,  “I won’t.”  In Little Step #2, we decided “NO MORE EXCUSES for YOU – Change your words – change your mind. Recognize feeble words and self-defeating excuses.  Just don’t say those words anymore! You can do it.  Be a GOLDEN APPLE in a SETTING of SILVER.

I love this verse from Proverbs 25:11 (ESV)

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”



Written and published by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright, 2015. Al Rights Reserved.

~ Our spirit whispers to us – listen for the message!  ~