Friday, July 18, 2014

MY YARD

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Welcome to my yard.

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Some flowers are new, with lush leaves, and so full of color.

This reminds me of the beginning of life.

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Some flowers are a single bloom.

This flower reminds me of alone time. Times when we are reading a good book, walking on a beach or having a quiet cup of coffee as the sun comes up.

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I transplanted a few of these red gladiolus and they have multiplied!

These flowers remind me of times when we are surrounded by family or friends.

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I like to make garden stones and they add points of interest in the flower bed.

These make me think of the things in our lives that add interest and a splash of color.

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I call this a brain and you never know where an angel will be.

Some things that add interest can be a bit strange, unusual.  In this case, the outside of the rock hides the beauty within.

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Still reading? Hang in there.

Only a few more pictures and I am trying to figure out where this is headed.

This rose has an aroma that hangs in there too. It used to be close to the house and, when the sun hits the siding where this rose used to grow, the sweet smell makes me breathe deep.

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Some plants are a joy to behold and some are a joy to eat.

This reminds me that we need to feed our soul with the beauty of God's world and our stomachs with those zucchini before they get too big and take over the yard.

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This sweet corn was growing tall. Tall until we had some strong wind.

This reminds me that there are times in life when everything is going great and then, WHAM, along comes a wind that knocks us flat.

As you can see, some stalks stayed flat and some stood back up.

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The rain came. The wind followed. The roses all lost their petals.

This reminds me that pruning brings new growth.

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The final picture. These blooms are dying. The end of life.

At first that sounds morbid. Then I realized that the end of this life means a new life.

That is the end of the walk around my yard and it does seem to represent my life. At one time, I was new and fresh. Sometimes I am alone and sometimes I join others in celebrations and worship. I add splashes of color to my world and I never know when an angel may appear. I pray my inside is much more beautiful than my outside. At times, I have been knocked down and pruned. So far, I have always gotten up and grown from the experience. I also know that I have more life behind me than in front of me.

My favorite scripture is Psalm 139. Those verses assure me that God is with me when I walk. God is with me no matter where I am.

You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Psalm 139:1-6

Now go for a walk in your yard. And talk to God while you look around. He loves to hear your voice!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

CELEBRATE AND RELAX

Please enjoy the next week or so.  I will not be posting again until July 18.

CELEBRATE – Remember your freedoms and cherish them.  They are dear and so easily taken away.

RELAX – Going to a class reunion and then to see an old friend. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

TOO PRETTY TO CUT

My hubby loves rhubarb pie so I was the every loving wife and made him one. I cut the rhubarb. I cleaned it. I chopped it. I added the ingredients. I put it into the crust. Okay. It was a Pillsbury crust. I put the pie in the oven. I waited. I took the pie out.

THE PIE WAS BEAUTIFUL!!!

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The edges were a golden brown and just enough juice had seeped out to make it shine. The top crust was perfect. And the smell!! The whole house had a sweet aroma with just a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg.

The pie was way too beautiful to cut! But I had made the pie to eat. What to do?

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There was a Samaritan woman at the well when Jesus came by and he said to her, "Will you give me a drink?"

The woman was more than a bit shocked. Why did this man even speak to her? Samaritans and Jews did not work and play well together.

Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that ask you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

Wow. Living water just for the asking!!

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There that pie sat. All I had to do was cut it and we would be rewarded.

Yes, we cut the pie and it was as delicious as it looked.

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There is only one piece left. Should I allow Bill to have the last piece?

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The Samaritan woman made a comment and Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Living water just for the asking!! Eternal life!!!

Scriptures from various verses in John 4:4-14

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If we had only looked at the pie, we would have missed out.

If we do not ask for the living water, we will miss out.

Do you want to look at what Jesus has to offer or do you want to receive what Jesus has to offer?

Friday, June 20, 2014

VACATION TIME

Our daughter, two (maybe three) grandsons and I are headed to Missouri in July. I am so excited because we are going to visit a fantastic friend and her family.

I had the best time this morning. Noah and Timmy and I planned the trip. We looked at the atlas and Timmy found the states we would be going through. We answered questions: Do you want to go on interstates or back roads? When will we eat lunch? (Well, they are growing boys.) Of course, that question was followed with, what snacks can we take? Which was followed with, what about supper? Grandma, you know we like to take a blanket and pillow don't you? Where are we staying? (We looked it up and they gave it their stamp of approval.)

We also set some rules: Since we have established a time frame and where we will lunch, you will not keep saying you are hungry or ask when we will stop. Trash will be put in the trash sack. If you feel sick, grab the throw-up bowl. (Hey, this is not my first trip with kids.) No game boys/video games/iPads used when we are not on interstates. (They admitted when they are playing games they forget to check out the countryside.)

Timmy and Noah are very excited. Part of that comes from helping make decisions. Part comes from knowing exactly where we are going and what to expect.

Vacations are fun and, although sometimes getting in the car and just heading out is okay, planning is a major part of the vacation. Planning is: Checking to see which road is the best to take where. Using your imagination to picture what you might see. Looking forward to the challenge of finding that out of the way place from Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Knowing your room is waiting.

Noah, Timmy and I spent time this morning making plans. I spent time this afternoon organizing those plans. We will pack. We will prepare. This got me to thinking.

Do I spend this much time preparing for the most important journey of my life?  Do I know where I am going and what to expect?

WHICH ROAD SHOULD I TAKE? I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8

WHAT MIGHT I SEE? He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. Psalm 23: part of verse 2

WHAT SHALL I EAT? On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. Revelation 22:2

WILL MY ROOM BE READY? In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. John 14:2

Do I spend this much time preparing for my journey with God?

Do you?

Friday, June 06, 2014

HELLO MY NAME IS

Don't ya hate it when a song gets in your brain and takes up residence? It just repeats and repeats. Around and around. You hear it when you wake up in the middle of the night. You hear it when the room gets quiet.

You even hear it when the radio is playing another song. Don't ya hate it when a song gets in your brain and takes up residence?

I have one stuck in there and it can just stay because that song has caused me to add something to my bucket list. I want to go see Matthew West!

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,

that we should be called children of God!

1 John 3:1

When I first heard the song, Hello My Name Is, I stopped in my tracks.

Hello, my name is regret -- Oh, how that fits my life. It fits all of our lives.

Hello, my name is defeat -- Yes, listened to that one too.

Voices, lies -- Why do I - we - listen to the voices of others and allow them to define us?  Why do I - we - listen to the lies?

I have believed them for the very last time -- Declaration of freedom!

No longer defined by all the wreckage behind -- Permission to let go!

Then my body stayed planted firmly on earth, but my Spirit soared. I am sure it circled the moon before it came back --

Hello, my name is child of the one true King! -- Yes! That is what I want to be called.

Saved! Changed! Free! -- Amen!

Oh, goodness! My fingers are having trouble staying on the keys. They want to get that CD, crank up the volume so I can sing along.

Hello, my name is child of the one true King

WANT TO JOIN ME?

Friday, May 30, 2014

JOE: TALKS AND KEYS

JOE

Joe and I worked auctions together. We packed out houses. We set up sales. We laughed and talked and laughed some more. Joe was the go-to-guy during the auctions. "Joe, could you go get a sheet? Thanks." "Joe someone is going through other peoples stuff would you go tell them to stop?" "Joe…" "Joe…"

We had an agreement: If one quit, so did the other. One day Joe told me he was not going to hold me to that agreement because he was ready to quit. You see, Joe's health had started to fail and, being a STUBBORN man, he would not go to the doctor. Among other health issues, he lost his eye sight. One of the ways Joe coped was to distance himself from people. I regret that I allowed him to do that. I should have been stubborn and kept calling.

TALKS

I just loved talking to Joe. He told me all about his "froggie." He loved Becky and his family. I told him about my family.

Being the same age, we talked about good old rock and roll music. We rarely talked politics. We often discussed religion.

Joe told me about Viet Nam and my heart broke with his memories.

Joe talked about fishing and being out on the lake.

We talked whenever we had a break and I sure did miss him when he quit.

KEYS

At the graveside service, all I could picture was Joe's keys. He had a set of keys that would open just about every door, drawer and cabinet imaginable.

"Hey, Joe, this drawer is locked. Think you can open it"? And out came the keys. He would eye the drawer. Size up the key hole and look at his keys. Sometimes he picked the right key the first time and sometimes it took more than one try, but almost always Joe would have a key that fit.

I realized Joe had used his final key. I picture him going right up to those gates and saying, "I know this is the key to eternal life."

I picture those gates swinging wide as Saint Peter says, "Yes, Joe, you have the right key. Come in."

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QUESTION:  Do you have the right key?

Friday, May 23, 2014

STRIVING TO SURVIVE

I attended a women's conference and they closed with a poem Keys to the Kingdom, by Regina Elliott. (seasonsofhopeministries.org) The poem began:

We are living in a world consumed with much distress,

People are on every hand discouraged and oppressed,

Questioning their existence, the reason they're alive;

Living without purpose - just striving to survive.

Wow! Is there anyone who has not felt like that? Just striving to survive. We were awakened by just such a person.

At 5:15 AM, we heard someone knocking on our back door. When we looked out the door, there was a young woman standing there. We did not know her so we only talked to her through the door. When we asked what she wanted, she was incoherent. We did understand, "I know someone who lives here." and "I'm sorry." Over and over, she kept saying, "I'm sorry."

We had options. We could have opened to door. That was not an option. (Such a distrusting society we have become, because it could have been an act. Another person might have been hiding, just waiting for us to open the door.) We could have told her to go away and turned out the light. That was not an option. The option we chose was to call the police. Maybe they could help her. She was coherent enough to leave when my husband told her that we had called and the police would help her.

Just as she was walking away from our home and into a neighbor's yard, the police came. They talked with her. We later saw in the paper that she was 22 and arrested for public intoxication.

Living without purpose - just striving to survive.

How lost do you have to be to knock on a strange door, early in the morning and have no idea where you are. What discouraged and oppressed her so much that the only relief she could find was in a bottle? Is the only reason she is alive is to take the next drink? Living without purpose - just striving to survive.

As we watched the police talk to the woman and then assure the officer that she had not been trying to break in, my husband kept saying, "That is someone's little girl." He felt such compassion as he watched a lost child being taken away in the back of a police car.

When we went to the police station the next morning, the officer said he could not give us any information. Thankfully, we live in a small town, because the officer understood our concern and said, "I can tell you that she is in a place where she can get help." Those were comforting words but the picture of "someone's little girl" dwells deep in my husband's heart.

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Just striving to survive. Is there anyone who has not felt like that? BUT there is help when our burdens are so big.

Jesus came to help with our burdens.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

All you have to do is go to Him. He will not talk to you through the door. He will open His arms and share your burden.