Friday, October 21, 2011

Great Names

Thanks, all of you for all the wonderful names that you've suggested for our little Garden Friend.  I've had over 20 so far.  We'll run this contest through the end of October.  Then comes the hard part, choosing one!!
Syd and I have enjoyed all the suggestions.

In the original blogpost I had not decided on a prize.  But, as you see on the left side of our page, we're offering a pair of Syd's hand-tied earrings or a hat/lapel pin of a fishing fly.  We have lots of styles and colors to choose from.  Be thinking of what you'd like, because around Nov. 1st we'll be letting you know if you're the winner.

I will be posting a serious blogpost soon.  Work has been keeping me busy lately and it doesn't allow much time for writing.

I hope you all enjoy your day and the upcoming weekend!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Our Garden Friend

He doesn't look it, but he is over 50 years old!  I'm talking about our little garden friend who contentedly sits in the corner of our garden.  He has spent most of his life outside, and used to know the luxury of sitting in Syd's grandmother's livingroom during the Northern winters.  The other week, when Mom and I were sitting in the front yard, Mom exclaimed how she loved looking over at this little guy and seeing his happy face smiling back at her.  It prompted me to give a little of his background.

Back in the 1960s Syd's family traveled to Quincy, Michigan, to visit family.  While there, Grammy saw this little guy, unpainted, at a business that catered to people who like to collect such cement garden ornaments.  She took to his smile, his sunny disposition, perhaps, and expressed the desire to have him sitting amongst her flowers.  Grandpa said that they just did not have room to take him back home with them.  After they returned to their family's house, Grandpa and his sons took off for "a ride".  They purchased the little statue and pushed him wayyyy at the front of the car's trunk, right under the center of the back seat.  Little did Grammy know, she sat on him all those miles home!  When they returned from their trip she was surprised with their little secret and happily gave him a shiny paint job and he took up residence with them for over 30 years.  There was only one brief separation, which I will describe next:

One morning, Grammy discovered that every one of her little garden ornaments were missing.  Assuming that they did not all up and defect, they concluded that it was the act of thieves!  It was reported to the local police and Grammy was assured that everyone's eyes would be on the lookout for misplaced gnomes and elves.  One evening, Syd's aunt, Olie, was watching the news.  There had been a drug bust in the hometown.  The news cameras were showing the inside of a livingroom.  As the camera panned across the floor, Olie suddenly spotted the little statue; his face wreathed in smiles, despite his desperate situation. She called the police station then made a call to Grammy.  Within a day or so all of Gram's ornaments were returned to their home.  Our little friend spent most of Grammy's remaining years on the porch or in the livingroom.  When Syd and I were newly married, I gave him a much-needed paint job, which he is still wearing today!

Syd and I inherited our little friend when his aunt moved to Florida.  Up until right now I have not even thought to give him a name, as he's always been called "the little elf" or "our little friend".  When I painted him, all those years ago, I thought about covering his pointed ears with red paint, to look like his hat, but it just would not work, as they stick out so.  I decided to stop worrying about it and just let him keep his funny ears. I know a lot of PEOPLE who have large or even pointed ears, so we don't worry about it anymore.

Can anyone think of a name for this little guy?  This is my 83rd post - not that this is a great milestone, but, in honor of our 83rd post, we're asking for suggestions of names.  The winner will get something special- I don't know what yet, but something.  THERE's great incentive to come up with a name! huh?

I hope you all have a nice day....and keep smiling!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Hills Beyond

I sit at my desk and can now see the hills atop the North Road.  The beautiful orange and gold leaves are loosing from their twigs and the sturdy branches are standing out; reaching toward one another as if in an attempt to hold hands.

This is a beautiful time of year.  It is about now that my mother would begin exclaiming happily, "Now we can see out into the woods", as she and Dad would take their regular drives over the countryside.  Each year I get the impression of this more clearly. When all the leaves are on the ground one can truly see so much of what is going on deep in the woods.  It is yet hard to pick out the form of a deer and sometimes even a chipmunk as they stand still behind a tree trunk or rocks on the stone wall.  These two were down behind the house, trying to elude the camera's eye.

Our cabin is set with quite dense woods behind.  The late Fall and Winter open our vision just as the fresh, crisp air opens our lungs. At this moment the sun from Mom's side of the hill is lighting a knob above the North Road.  Soon each hillock will begin to appear, one or two at a time.  It happens every morning but today it is revealed to me afresh, as until now the leaf cover had hidden it from my view.

There are mums to plant.  I suppose I was slow in buying them this year, but the opportunity had not opened up until this weekend. Soon the urns will be filled with the bright yellow and russet blossoms that reflect the leaves strewn across the walkway.  I am willing to cover them every night just to delight in a couple weeks of their company;  a few short weeks before the ground is completely blanketed in white.

Have a crisp day.

Humility and the Bondslave

Lately the Lord has been leading me to study the life of Jesus Christ.  What a joy to read through the life of the One who came to this earth to manifest our heavenly Father, as Jesus Christ himself WAS God on earth!

Yesterday morning our pastor was preaching from II Corinthians and he mentioned a missionary who had used the term, "bondslave mentality".  This missionary told of other men and women who went out to the foreign mission field and had no thought or intention of coming back alive.  Most all of these missionaries died for their faith while serving their Lord.  A bondslave is one who serves their master, no matter what the cost.  I am pleased to say that the Lord has brought me into the presence of many such christian people. These have been a true and pure example to me of ones who have wholly given themselves over to God's service and manifest it every day of their lives. However, the world-wide "church" as a whole has, unfortunately, fallen into the rut of the world and many who say they are christians, and even some who truly do know Christ, let Satan keep them in that rut.  I am not excepting MYSELF when I say this.  In the past I've walked in the rut too and, by His grace (to only His honor and praise!), have not been pleased to remain there.

Coupled with the study of our Lord's life, I have started reading (again), "Humility, the Beauty of Holiness" by Andrew Murray.  It has been the perfect accompaniment to the beautiful voice of our Lord's life in the gospels.

A verse came to my mind this morning after I had finished my Bible reading.  It is found in Hebrews 4:13.  When we studied the book of Hebrews a few years ago this verse stood out to me and has never left.  It is written for all of mankind and says, "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight; but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do".  In the Greek, the word 'naked' means "uncovered"; the word 'opened' actually means "to bend back the neck, make bare the throat".  The end of the verse makes it clear that we all will "have to DO" (deal) with God one day.  We will have no way to hide anything from Him (we have nothing that can be hidden from Him NOW).  We will also not be able to make any excuses or accusations against God not giving us enough light to lead us to Himself.

The price has been paid by the Lord Jesus.  What we do with it, whether we now are an unbeliever OR a believing christian, is up to us.  We will each answer for the things that are done in our body.  (God pleads with unsaved ones: please put your trust in the blood of Christ that was shed on your behalf. He died so that you would not have to).

These are not light thoughts, by any means; but a Monday morning is a good time for God to get us thinking on some heavy topics. Often God's 'Monday teachings' help guide me through the rest of the week with Him.  

My friends, I hope that this day is filled with good things for each of you.