Monday, February 29, 2016

9 Leap Year Traditions

But first, if it's your birthday today...

a really good happy Leap-Year birthday to you!

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For centuries, people around the world have bestowed nine superstitions on Leap Year.  After reading these, you might want to indulge in them or forget them, however! February 29 happens only every four years, so here goes those nine traditions-superstitions.  Are ya ready?

1)  A woman can ask a man to marry her today!  If the man says no, he has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves.

2)  People in Greece say it's unlucky to get married today.

3)  Today, "Leap Year, Gloomy Year," say the Italians, or "anno bisesto, anno funesto."

4)  If you're Russian, you're extra cautious today because you believe you have a higher chance of dying and the weather's going to be extra freaky.

5)  If you live in Taiwan during this month, because of the greater risk to the parents’ life during this time, a married daughter should return home with pig trotter noodles for her parents – to wish them good health and good fortune.

6)  In Scotland, “Leap year was ne’er a good sheep year.”  So pay extra attention to your farm animals.

7)  In northern Italy, they believe it's whales' year.

8)  In southern Germany, there’s a tradition of boys putting up a small May tree in their love interest’s back garden during the night before May Day.  In leap years, the girls put up the trees.

9)  There exists a "Leap Year Capital of the World."  See more about these superstitions by following the link:

Leap Year Traditions and Superstitions

I'm still inspire by this true fact:  "God, in you I take refuge" (Psalm 7:1).

Superstitions are all around us, like fearing black cats and shattered mirrors.  No fears when we have God in our lives guiding us.

Have a God-inspiring day.

Follow the link to my book that has 366 Days of inspiration--one for today, February 29...

God Designed: 366 Days of Inspiration

Bye for today!

Friday, February 26, 2016

National Tell a Fairy Tale Day

Grab a seat or gather around an open fire ...
Today is National Tell a Fairy Tale Day.

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What's your favorite fairy tale?  I like Snow White by the Brothers Grimm.  In German, the title is written "Schneewittchen."  I remember reading it in high school German class.  I know most of you probably don't speak German, but I love the first sentence of this story written in German.  Don't fret!  I'll translate it after I give you the German words.  The story goes like this:

"Es war einmal mitten im Winter, und die Schneeflocken fielen wie Federn vom Himmel herab. Da saß eine Königin an einem Fenster, das einen Rahmen von schwarzem Ebenholz hatte, und nähte."

Here's the translation:

"Once upon a time in the middle of winter, when the flakes of snow were falling like feathers from the sky, a queen sat at a window sewing, and the frame of the window was made of black ebony."

It's pretty easy to see some of the German words that appear to translate naturally into English.  Let's take a phrase as an example:

"Die Schneeflocken fielen wie Federn vom Himmel herab" means, "The snowflakes were falling like feathers from heaven [the sky]."

There's alliteration with the repeated "f," and "h".  So beautiful!

If you'd like to read both the German and English versions side-by-side, you can follow this link:  Snow White

Yet, so many times it's hard to interpret--translate, really--the things people say and do.  Sometimes, I find myself standing back in a conversation and asking myself, What did he/she mean by that?  Words can have so many meanings, right?  In Greek, the word for "love" can be "eros," "philos" or "agape."  They each have different meanings.  So when you tell someone in Greek, "I love you," you're being specific about which "love" you mean.  "Eros" is romantic or attraction; "agape" is sacrificial love, and "philos" is brotherly love.  Wow!  But at least you know what you're dealing with if someone is specific, wouldn't you agree?  

When Moses asked God who He was, God told him:

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh [I am/will be what I am/will be]" (Exodus 3:14).

God doesn't change.  That quality about Him is in his name.  "I am, will be what I am, and will always be."  What does that mean?  We can count on Him.  He's listening to us, knows our situations, and is walking with us through our trials.

Bye for today, and have a God-inspired day.  Maybe you can use this day to write your own fairy tale, or tell one of those classic tales to a child.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Today in 1964: Sunny Liston Brawled with Muhammad Ali

He was born January 17, 1942 as Cassius Clay ... 

photo courtesy of:

He could "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee," as the popular saying of the day portrayed him.

I remember a little of that famous fight that occurred today in history in 1964.  It's the year Ali also changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali.  He was 22, and he won the world heavyweight championship.  At 22!  Amazing, right?  You want to know the sad thing?  He suffered great adversity.

On religious grounds, he objected to enlisting in the Vietnam War.  The government arrested him, and boxing officials stripped him of his title.  But he appealed that drastic judgement; and in 1971, they overturned his conviction. Still, bad press and hostile public opinion kept him from boxing for four years.  Four years absence as a boxer is detrimental to a boxer's career!

Isn't it something when we let people, situations, opinions, and judgements keep us from our dreams?  Many people quit under the pressures of criticism and hatred.

Muhammad Ali didn't!  In 1974 and 1978, he came back fighting and won the world heavyweight title again.  He was, and still is, a man of God.

"Love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your soul and with all your strength.  This is the greatest and most important commandment.  And love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:37-39).

Have a God-inspired day!


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

National Tortilla Chip Day

Eat 'em while they're hot, 'cause today is ... National Tortilla Chip Day!

You can eat them with salsa, munch on them with corn relish, dip 'em in various sour cream mixes, or enjoy them with tacos.  Here's an simple recipe for tortilla soup if you follow this link:  Easy Tortilla Soup Recipe .

Where did this national day begin?  In the 1950s, Rebecca Webb Carranza invented the tortilla chip.  She and her husband owned the El Zarape Tortilla Factory in Los Angeles, and they were the first to mass produce the product when Rebecca refused to discard the "rejects" but instead called them "chips."  The rest is history, especially since 2003 when Texas proclaimed the tortilla chip the state snack.  You can include this wholesome food in your diet plan today.

And God has a plan.  He is love, and He works in great ways for you and me.

"I know what plans I have in mind for you, plans for well-being, not for bad things so that you can have hope and a future. When you call to me and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you seek me, you will find me, provided you seek for me wholeheartedly" (Jeremiah 29:11-13).

This is great news, wouldn't you say?  Bye for now and have a God-inspired day!


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Celebrate National Banana Bread Day!

Today is National Banana Bread Day,

and Dog Biscuit Day,
and Spay Day USA,
and, today is the last Tuesday in February...

Photo courtesy of:  Banana Bread Recipe by Justine Marie @

I've discovered all kinds of banana bread recipes.  In my own recipe file, I unearthed twenty-seven of them!  Some recipe cards are peppered with brown stains and partial fingerprints from bygone years when my stepmom and I would measure all the banana-bread ingredients and the house smelled of cinnamon and bananas.  Those memories still linger so strongly that my mouth waters at the sight of those old tattered recipe cards.  Maybe you have some of your own such cards ... and it's been ages since you pulled them out of storage to bake with them.

If you're diabetic like my husband, follow this link to find a diabetic-friendly banana bread recipe!  Banana Bread Recipe for Diabetics

Or, maybe you're too busy to bake, but you have a pet.  You can feed your little darling a tiny treat for Biscuit Day.

Whatever we do today and are busy with, we can know that our Maker is standing alongside us all the way!

 "God, please let me succeed today; and show your grace" 

(Genesis 24:12).

Have a God-inspired day--Banana Bread Day!

J.P. Osterman

Saturday, February 20, 2016

High Tea

Delicate finger foods, exquisite little sandwiches, flavorful teas, and great company with friends all make for a wonderful afternoon high tea.  I attended a high tea this afternoon for the first time in my life, and my friends and I had a fantastic time.

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What is High Tea, or Afternoon Tea?  As a bridge between lunch and dinner, tea time is a mid-afternoon break.  Having tea used to involve eating veggies, bread, cheese, and meat.  The British upper classes indulged in High Tea and delighted in this extensive snack time while socializing at a formal table.  The lower classes ate in comfortable and at informal settings.  Now, everyone just partakes in afternoon tea.  But if you prefer to feel pampered, you can say, "I'm going to a High Tea this afternoon."  It just sounds really special that way, right?  Rather than just having "afternoon tea."  I'll tell ya, I sure enjoyed having tea this afternoon with my friends.  You can click here to find out more about High Tea and maybe find a restaurant in your area that puts on "teas" now and then.  They're fun!  Afternoon Tea

"For the sake of my family and friends, I say, “Shalom be within you!" 
(Psalm 122:8)

Bye for now, and have a God-inspired day.

J.P. Osterman

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

What Kind of Pizza Is Your Favorite?

Today is National Pizza Day ... so Eat up!

Whatever pizza you like, it's gotta be hot, right?

However, I remember eating cold pizza.  When?  At slumber parties, of course. Here's a picture of what looks like my favorite pizza:

Photo courtesy of:

Pineapple, sausage, thick tomato sauce, lots of cheese, mushrooms, and a bam of black olives.  Yes!

Yet, when I need spiritual advice, I turn to God for help, as I have today when I discovered my husband has to go back to the emergency room.  I'm a bit despondent.  Yet, I can't let turmoil win.  God can put all my fearful thoughts back into a sea of calmness.  I can't be any good to anyone when I'm feeling and acting "scattered."  

"A tranquil mind gives health to the body" (Proverbs 14:30).

Bye, and have a God-inspired evening!

J.P. Osterman

Monday, February 8, 2016

Best Friends

While on car rides, our dog Sparky always shares peaceful moments with our son Andrew.  He'll nudge Andrew's hand and stick his head over his arm.  Sparky is so full of love and caring.  Have you noticed, pets love people unconditionally?

God loves us unconditionally, too.

"God loves justice and will not abandon his faithful; they are preserved forever" (Psalm 37:28).

Nice to know we'll one day exist with Him forever.

Have a God-inspired day...

J.P. Osterman

Friday, February 5, 2016

Keep Your Heart Healthy

February is Heart Healthy Month!

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What are some ways we can protect our hearts?  Watch our weight, quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke, control cholesterol and blood pressure, drink alcoholic beverages in moderation, and get active with exercise.

Easy to do?  Sometimes yes; sometimes no.  But we have to stay well for those who love us and count on us.

God also cares about our health.  He asks us to care for ourselves, even though self-care might be difficult at time, so we can be the best for others.

"Don’t forget doing good and sharing with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" (Hebrews 13:6).

Have a God-inspired day.  Until next time,

J.P. Osterman

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Groundhog Isn't the Only One With Shadows

Everyone has a shadow, and everyone has parts they want no one--and I mean absolutely no one--to see.  Famous Swiss psychologist Carl Jung once said about shadows: "Everyone has an unknown 'dark side' to their personality."  You can find the link below to read more details about the source of the quote.

Yet, God sees everything.  He tells us in Revelation 2:19 the following:

"I know what you are doing, your love, trust, service and perseverance."

I think that God's ability to see everything and to see (and know) us for who we really are is a great wonderful attribute.  In every micro-second of our days and ways, He's there in all the spaces around us.  What's He doing?  Loving us, listening, waiting for us to ask Him into our lives.  "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son to die for us" (John 3:16).  You've probably seen this quote plastered in many places because it's the basic tenets of Christian faith.  It means that I don't have to hide from anyone because God sees everything anyway.  We can simply talk to Him, and know He's listening ... and watching.  

You can find out more about "the shadow" by following this link:

Have a God-inspired day today...

J.P. Osterman

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Yesterday's Winners and Losers

After yesterday's caucuses, can we finally take a break from politics?

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As long as we're alive, we're going to be part of a government system.  I don't know about you, but I'm so thankful to God and grateful that we living in a Democratic Republic and have one of the best governments in the world.  Our country, the United States of America, is not perfect; but nothing will be perfect until we arrive in our ultimate destination--Heaven.  One day, we'll have the greatest leader of all.  We'll share eternity with God.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no one’s heart has imagined all the things that God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Today, we'll see and read in the media, some presidential candidates dropping out of the race.  Gradually, as time ticks forward, more candidates will dwindle toward the quitting line.  There can be only one winner, right?

As we watch them experience their successes and losses, we'll have our own successes and losses--struggles and wins--happening in our own lives.  However, we can know for certain that God is preparing a wonderful place for us.  He's in control, and He can re-mold a success out of any loss.  One needs only ask: "God, please help me."

Bye for today, and have a God-inspired day.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy Black History Month

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We can look to Frederick Douglass (February 1818 - February 20, 1895) for inspiration today.  Here are a few facts about Mr. Douglass that will amaze you.  He actually escaped from slavery!  And did you know, in 1845, his book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, was a bestseller?  He was also the first African-American nominated for Vice President of the United States, and he advised President Lincoln during the Civil War.  He was also married to an underground railroad worker, Anna Murray Douglass, who helped slaves escape to freedom.  And he supported the women's rights movement.  What a trailblazer for his time.  Thanks, Mr. Douglass.

"Without a struggle, there can be no progress." -- Frederick Douglass

If you're struggling today, know that hard times will life, and you'll rise out a different and stronger person.  How do we know that hard times improve us, even as we look to Mr. Douglass for inspiration, hope and encouragement?

The Apostle Paul tells us:  "We know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope; and this hope does not let us down, because God’s love for us has already been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us" (Romans 5:3-5).

Be God-inspired today, and have a great day!  And don't forget to sign up to receive my inspirational right into your email box.

J.P. Osterman