Saturday, July 2, 2011

Nourishment through Sorrow

I read today that "sorrow burns up a great amount of shallowness". How true that is. Sorrow and suffering are a fact of life. I was reading an excerpt from Beneth Jones a few weeks ago. It was about a christian not being an exception, but an example. She was saying that God does not keep us from trouble just because we have received His Son's death on the cross. In the past, when reading some of the Psalms I had formed the opinion that God is going to keep me from adversity, though I know that He does not choose to do this all of the time. We cannot expect NOT to go through troubles and sorrows. In II Corinthians 6, Paul gives quite a list of things that he went through: afflictions, necessities, distresses, stripes, imprisonments, tumults, labors, watchings, fastings...Verse 10 sums it up when he says, "As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing all things."

Reading further in the passage by Oswald Chambers today, it said, "You always know the man who has been through the fires of sorrow and received himself, you are certain you can go to him in trouble and find that he has ample leisure for you. If a man has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous, he has no time for you. If you receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people."

In spending time with the Lord in prayer, I ask, "Lord, in sorrow, help me to be always rejoicing; In times of humility, give me what is needed to make another rich; during times of having a little, allow me to show forth your glory that you have given me ALL things." I am thankful that He has given us all things. He is "...the living God, Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy." (IITim. 6:17)

I hope that this is a good day for you. It's beautiful on Darling Hill. Lord willing, later this afternoon, we will be riding in the little town parade. The Kawasaki is all decked out with red, white and blue. And I get to have our oldest citizen in town riding with me! (though he's not in this picture)
Enjoy your Fourth of July weekend!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Early Morning Garden Talk

I was finally able to show you the elusive petunia. As you can see, I hate being beat out by a machine and was bound to post this!

Ruger and I were seeing Syd off this morning. As I walked through the garden area, reminding him repeatedly to "watch where you walk"...and finally shooing him back onto the driveway, I can see where my several workdays in a row are revealing garden-neglect. Those of you who know my yard "in-person" laugh, as you know just how little the garden is...but you must admit, it's a WILD area. I have burdock that could easily win a blue ribbon at any fair; for their strength of stock, stunning height, and especially broadness of leaf. I wish I really knew how to use the roots to the fullest of their potential. We have a goldmine here!! The entire bank was once completely covered with berry bushes. Anyone who has chosen to put a garden plot in where once were wild berries knows what I'm up against.

If I dared take a picture of this part of our yard, I would show you the strangest plants. I have 5 or 6 of them but no one seems to have any idea what they are. Before I'm done typing here I'm sure this urge will get the better of me and I'll head out to snap a'll see; though I don't want you organized onlookers, whose gardens are nicely weeded, to see my jungle...I won't be able to suppress it much longer.

Okay, you win! Now is your curiosity satisfied? You see, it is an unusual plant. It will grow taller than I am (5' 4") and does get a flower of such, but I think it is just a fringe-like top. I only started seeing these last year, after taking out most of the berry bushes.

Yes, and I knew you wanted to see the prize-winning burdock, so here she is. By September she should be quite ready to enter into the fair!
Sorry I didn't have time to mow the grass behind her, or up the center of the driveway for that matter.

Well, happy July to everyone! After I read, it's on to making pies for the weekend. I hope you have a very happy 4th of July holiday.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

You Were There

A very close relative passed away the other day. He suffered from Alzheimer's and other physical infirmities. His loving wife cared for him in their home to the end. He will be greatly missed and it got me to thinking about changes that could take place in any of our futures. These words came to my heart:

You Were There

during sickness in the night --
there, to hold my hair back;
a need for help with a project --
there to lend a hand, a tool;
a move, across town - across the country --
there, toting, lifting, putting into place;
to tend a child --
there to take him in, feed and lay him down to sleep;
in trying a new idea --
there to lend a thought, a suggestion;
at time of sorrow --
there to shed a tear, provide a shoulder;

Now as infirmity moves in; changes surface --
still there trying to understand, still helping, encouraging,
being the same person you have always been;

Where am I? Where will I stand?
Lord keep me "there"

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


The morning is fresh and cool.  I was just out with Syd, seeing him off to work.  Thanks to a close neighbor we have a huge, lovely petunia cascading over an old stump at the entrance to our driveway.  Though recent rains have attempted to pepper its leaves and flowers with holes (with much success), there has been ample sunshine to sustain beautiful fuschia and white blooms.  I have a bent for owning plants that need steady care.   I've been trying to get out of that rut.  My gardner-daughter upbringing reminds me that this flowering beauty will only flourish with attention.

Yesterday afternoon as my mom and I were on a walk, passing by our drive, we both glanced at the petunia and dutifully stepped over and began plucking off the spent and, very sticky, heads; removing that which is old, allowing the remaining life-sap to flow into yet unfurled blossoms.  It is an unspoken rule and an unnoticed position that we take when tending things that have the potential of lending beauty to the world.

I have spent an hour or more trying to post the picture of the petunia, even trying to trick the blog by editing out the picture of Ranger (to the right).  Alas, my time has not been well spent, as there are some problems with adding pictures today!

I am now enjoying a cup of coffee in the cool of the day, ready to open the Bible for cleansing and fellowship.  I do pray that the Lord will do some deadheading in my life this morning.

I hope you all have some unexpected pleasures pop up in your path today.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Season Warmed with Friends

Summer camping season has begun on the Hill!  I love this time of year.  There are four campers up there now.  They'll stay until Fall.  That is about the limit, but sometimes another one will show up for weekend stays.  We have a campfire every Friday - Sunday night.   My sister in law was here unexpectedly yesterday, so we even had one last evening.  Most everyone shows up on Friday.  Nieces, nephews and their friends will often stop in just for a "lead fest" shooting, LOTS of it.  This Saturday we'll stay up there and watch the fireworks from "downtown" in the comfort of our plastic adirondack chairs, toes warming by the fire.

Our old dog, Ranger, went through many such summers.  He was a malamut/wolf who died at over 15 years of age.  Ranger tolerated other dogs well, but especially liked being with people.  He would stand around in the circle of conversation, like an old man who's there just to enjoy the stories, not necessarily to say much.  Wherever people were gathered, Ranger would be there.  At end of Fall, as the last camper pulled away, Ranger would go find a shady spot to lay. For a long time he would grieve the passing of another Summer with friends.  His headstone reads, "Ranger ~ 1991- 2006 ~ 'Good Dog' "  --and that is just what he was.

Ruger loves this time of year too, as there is the potential of six or more dogs present.   Ruger thinks that he is a "dog-person", rather than an actual dog.  I think we should stop calling him "Good boy" and remind him once in a while that he IS a canine.   He lives to play with dogs.  Though, when there are none around, a little child will do.   He is a Lab.  You Lab-owners understand.

So, Summer is here and it's hard to believe that this is Fourth of July weekend! When we were living in the South, people thought of this as the beginning of Summer.  I view Memorial Day as the beginning.  Once the 4th hits in our state, Summer is almost half over!  We are praying for beautiful weekends; rain a couple days per week, then only after 10 p.m.  To our eyes that would be perfect weather.  The Lord has reason for sending the rain when He does.  I praise God that "He maketh HIS sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth the rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matt. 5:45)  Our Creator is the one who sustains us.  He sustains those who believe in Him and those who do not.  As I come in contact with those who choose to live their own way, I pray that I will show forth the proper praise to the God who loves them as much as He does me.  He sent His Son to die for them also, most of them just do not know that yet.

I hope that this Summer brings wonderful opportunities to you all.  As we make contacts during this season, may we be praising the Lord by the way we live and speak.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Clean through the Word

"...every branch in me that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit."  I am still studying in John chapter 15.  Verse three goes on to say, "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."  I came into this study with some misunderstandings.  The Lord is teaching me that 'purging' or 'cleansing' or 'pruning' is not always done through affliction.  Today, when I read verse three, I see more clearly how this cleansing can be accomplished through God's Word.  Of course, I realize that the Bible does say that tribulation works patience; patience, experience; and experience, hope.  John 15:3 simply says that the Lord can cleanse or prune us by using His Word alone.  It is not a new thought, it is just that I had not coupled it with this section of Scripture before.  I think back on how many times I have read something from the Bible and said, "I have been disobedient in this area!" then go on to confess that to God, receiving the forgiveness that only He can give.  When I leave from those teaching-times, I know that I have been rebuked by Him, like a spiritual "spanking", and restored to the fellowship of a child with her Father.  For many years I have known that God's Word cleanses us, but when approaching John 15 in past studies I have thought about the 'pruning'--cutting away, in a more severe manner; as in affliction or adversity.

May I be an obedient child who hears her Lord's 'faintest whisper' and rushes to please Him.  It does not free me from future adversity but it keeps me clean before a holy God.  He wants me to come to Him 'as a little child'.

I hope that you have a beautiful day.  It is a sunny one on the Hill!