Sunday, December 30, 2012

Never Grumbling or Turning Back

Being a 'New Testament Christian', I absolutely love the teachings of Paul and the other New Testament writers, through the epistles, etc. The Lord keeps bringing me back to the life of Jesus Christ though, in my daily time with Him. Jesus Christ was the ultimate example of living His life ONLY to please His Father. I hear people daily, weekly, who speak of Paul the Apostle. He was used greatly by God to teach the NT truths for our growth. There was no person who walked on earth, however, who could teach them as well as our Lord Jesus Christ.  In today's text from John 6 He told his disciples (many more than the 12) that a person must 'eat of His flesh and drink of his blood' before he could dwell in Jesus, or Jesus dwell in him. Verse 60 says that many of the disciples "murmured (v. 61)" and said that "this is a hard saying, who can hear it?" Jesus knew of their grumbling and asked if His words offended them. He never apologized for offenses, simply went on to give the truth. He knew that many of them did not believe (v. 64). At that time many of the "disciples" went away and walked no more with Him. Of the twelve, He asked, "Will ye also go away?" Simon Peter answered for them all, "to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life". Jesus (and now, we) knew that there was one who would still betray Him though.

I say all of this while I ask myself, "what truths am I grumbling about?" I read a quote which said, 
'In every setting which we are put, the Spirit of God remains unchanged and His salvation unaltered, but we have to 'put on the new man'. God holds us responsible every time we refuse to convert ourselves (turn ourselves about), our reason for refusing is willful obstinacy." 
The words "willful obstinacy" are 'hard saying(s)' and fully show the very real teachings of Jesus Christ, as He NEVER failed to give His will over to the Father! Humans will fail, Jesus never does! The life of the Lord Jesus Christ portrays the perfect picture of what a born again believer's life should look like.

The most important thing that the Lord is reminding me about is that of my WILL. Am I being willfully obstinate in even one area of life? Putting on the new man is something we decide to do every day, often many times per day. If there is one New Testament teaching that God reveals to me and I refused to 'come up to it' (by prayer and obedience, relying on God's power), that is the beginning of backsliding. Calling it what it is, backsliding, is the first step. By seeing Jesus' complete resolve to do only His Father's will, it has helped me to stop 'glossing over' sin. He never made excuses for it.

One last quote, this from Oswald Chambers: 
"There are whole tracts of our lives which have not yet been brought into subjection...Slowly but surely we can claim the whole territory for the Spirit of God." 
What a blessing if each step is taken, moving forward, never willfully sliding back! It is a privilege to be called by God to such a life as this; a life that can be conformed to the image of His Son! So much to meditate upon this Lord's Day. I'm looking forward to seeing what our Pastor preaches on and what Truths God opens up to my heart today.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pure, Undefiled and True

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." James 1:27

I do not question my salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, but I often question how it is being "worked out" in my life. I am to work out my own salvation, but the Word also says..."for it is Christ who worketh in you..." He is the one who gives the grace and who does the actual 'work', to make me like Jesus Christ.

A few days ago I mentioned that I wonder sometimes whether I just ask God for things and then sit like a lump before Him, waiting for His answers and blessings. The passage in James certainly teaches just the opposite of this. "Be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (1:22)
As a new believer I remember being more conscious not to let anything into my life that would influence me back into worldliness or defile the new life of Christ in me. Reading this passage afresh today, I am reminded that if I drift through this Christian life - gaining head knowledge ('knowledge puffeth up') without DOing and obeying, by God's grace, everything that God directs my heart to through the precious Word, will lead to a life of deception. To be a deceived Christian is probably worse than not being a Christian at all, except that we will be saved, 'yet as by fire', in the end.

I remember our pastor in South Carolina saying, "how long should you dig into a particular passage, praying for victory over a particular sin? until you're DOING it on a regular basis!" What wonderful advice.

"But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." James 1:25

These meditations brought this to mind: Those of us who are Christians know that if we simply 'talk the talk' we will deceive ourselves into thinking that we're walking the walk, when we may actually appear to the world as 'glorified unbeliever'. It does matter what the world sees, but it matters most what the Lord thinks of us. 

His Word ministered to me this morning and has given me much to meditate upon today. I thank you for stopping by the Hill and hope your day is a blessing.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Have you been in my Garden?

 It is 4:15 in the morning and I just got my hubby off to work. He called yesterday and left a message on our answering machine, "Guess what, I don't have to start work at 6:00 tomorrow morning...I start at 5:00!" We're just praising the Lord for a good job that has plenty of business!! He came home a bit early from prayer meeting and got right into bed by 8:00 and we're 'no worse for the wear'. Since I don't start work for another four hours, I thought I'd take this quiet time and write to you.

Eddy has been a dear friend of our family, church member and good neighbor to us for many years. Due to health issues, at 97, he is now living with his daughters in a nearby state.

The following account came to me because of a recent card Syd made and sent to Eddy. We've told the story a few times, but I'd never written it down, so will try to relay it here.

Eddy was an avid gardener. He raised and shared many vegetables throughout his lifetime. His favorite squash being the 'crook neck' variety. He also had a large potato patch located up the road on an old piece of his property that borders ours on Darling Hill. Syd often joked with Eddy that he was going to sneak over there one night and plant one corn kernel, so Eddy would have one stalk of corn among his potatoes!

When Syd was working at one particular job, sales at a furniture store, they were changing over some of their accessories. Among the fake plants that they were throwing away was a very large, silk banana plant in a large basket/pot. Syd just couldn't pass it up. He put it in the back of his truck and that evening, 'planted' it in Eddy's garden. Eddy came to church on Sunday, walked right up to Syd and said, "Have you been in my garden?" They got a good chuckle out of it!

A year or so later, as was Eddy's habit, he planted his favorite squashes, and like a good farmer, waited for the precious fruit. When the fruit came, he approached Syd at church one Sunday morning, "Hey, have you been in my garden?" Syd responded with, "No, Eddy, why would you think I'd been in your garden?" Eddy's reply was, "I planted my squash, and got these", showing Syd a handful of zucchini. Eddy does not like zucchini. They both laughed, while Syd assured him that he had not made the switch! The following day or so Eddy said that the packaging  and seeds had been switched before he even got them. They've joked about that story for some years now. The church ladies took Eddy's zucchini and made him lots of bread and cakes from it. He likes it that way!

My brother, Dennis, usually a very  mild-mannered man -not known for practical jokes, came over to us on the hill one day. He was carrying a handful of rocks, all of which looked very much like potatoes. Dennis is a stone wall builder and has many opportunities to look over rocks. He said, "I thought of planting these over in Eddy's garden (he'd heard the stories), what do you think?" Syd, of course thought this a wonderful idea. Dennis left them with him. A couple of them were just too gray in color, so Syd rubbed brown shoe polish on them. When it was nearly time for Eddy to dig potatoes, Syd "planted" them together near the end of one of the rows. We fully expected to see all of those either at the bottom or at the top of our yearly bucket of potatoes that he always gave us. Nope, they weren't in there! Finally, Syd's curiosity could hold out  no longer, "Eddy, didn't you find anything strange in one of the rows of potatoes?" he asked him. "Yup" was the answer. "What did you think of them? and were did they go?" "I just threw them in my little rock pile there", Eddy said.
THAT one backfired!!

I had shared in a post many months ago that we had a volunteer pumpkin plant in our compost, at the top of our driveway this year. You'll remember, it produced a lovely pumpkin. Originally thinking it was a squash plant, we were looking for squashes. Syd parted the leaves one day and, behold, a large round pumpkin. We were happy and Syd thought immediately of Eddy! We sent a box of things up to him last week. Syd printed off the following picture onto card stock and made a card which did read, "Have you been in my garden?"

There are many stories to tell of Eddy, I'm sure. On the day we started clearing our land, at least nine years ago, Ed was in his late eighties. He was the first to show up, chainsaw in hand. He stopped only for lunch then went right back to cutting trees until suppertime. Here is a photo of him on that day. Five men from our church cleared ALOT of land that day! Thank you!!

When we started building the house, some months later, Eddy would show up almost on a daily basis, to lend a hand in any way he could. He is a blessed servant of God. We love him very much. I don't know if he had a garden this year, but maybe he will next year and we can sneak up there with a little something to add to it!

Eddy, with us (and Coco) on his summer 2012 visit home
Eddy and the Zorns, helping Syd with flooring
Brad, Dad, Eddy, Dallas and Syd, putting up the walls. I think our friend Denny, is there in the corner too
often Eddy just came up to hang out and have some coffee

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wrestling? or Lazy?

I was so blessed in listening to a message, via, this morning. It was written by C.H.Spurgeon in 1858, entitled A New Heart. What an age we live in, when we can go to a website and retrieve these blessed messages from writings of old! One thing I have taken from the Word this morning is the amazing fact that God gave fallen man a 'second chance'; man, made in God's image...while the fallen angels were left to eventually be sent to the lake of fire. The message was so full that I couldn't begin to share all that was contained therein. One thing is for sure, when God gives us a new heart, He does not build up the old flesh. He gives us new life, as we were so completely in ruin from sin that we had to be totally made anew! We serve such a perfect, all-knowing God, don't we?

The Scripture that God was leading me through earlier on, this morning was from Ephesians 6:13-18. "Take unto you the whole armor of God...praying always...watching thereunto..."  We wrestle against principalities and powers all around us! Am I wrestling, or just sitting back and taking in truths, lazily floating through my days? Am I wrestling; discovering within my heart what God is telling me to do, and obediently doing it? "Work(ing) out (my) own salvation with fear and trembling"? I was reminded this day not to just sit lazily before the Lord, bringing my petitions to Him, and waiting for Him to drop blessings in my lap.

These little reminders make for huge meditations throughout the day. I hope that you have much to meditate upon from God's Word today. Thanks so much for stopping by the hill. I'm sorry that I have not been more vigilant in posting lately. I wish for days to be home more often, but that is not what the Lord has for us at this time.  Take care, friends.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

There's An Individual In the Way

I just finished reading from God's Word and was not going to post this morning, but the Lord impressed me with such a wonderful comparison, that I thought I'd share it with you. Of course, I may not be able to put it into words but will try. The thought between 'individuality' and 'personality' was the basis. The Scripture was 
Matthew 16:24, "Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man  will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." 
I also read a statement in a devotional by Chambers, which said, "Individuality is the husk of the personal life." I remember VERY well being an 'individual' as a teenager and dealing with that individuality as a young believer. Still at times it rears up in defiance at me and at the Lord! The comparison came when I read 
John 17:22 "That they may be one, even as we are one." 
I had a personality deep down inside me, something that had been forming since the day that I was conceived in the womb. Having come to know Jesus Christ at the age of 16, this personality had already built up a tough husk of individuality, through choices and rebellions that I had made and allowed. Even as a new believer I hesitated to let Christ take that crusty husk away! When Jesus came in He wanted my personality to be conformed to His person; that I may be one with Him and with the Father. What a blessing! 

I think of this fiddlehead fern, breaking through the earth. Before it's beautiful green color appeared and before it could be used up to its potential and purpose for growing, it had to break through the ugly brown husk under which it had been 'protected' from the elements under the earth.

After hearing of the tragic events of  yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with these families who lost such young children. I could not help but think of the shooter though; the act of him truly "losing his life" in the Lord Jesus Christ would have prevented him from being so caught up in his own individuality that he would take precious lives into his own hands and end them so viciously. Every day we hear of happenings that would never have occurred if the individuals had given their hearts, their 'persons' over to  the salvation of Christ. 

I am just thankful to know Him and to know that He would even WANT me to be "one" with Him!
Aren't you?

I hope that you all have a sunny Winter day, and thanks for coming to the chilly Hill this morning.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Early Morning Rambles

The temperatures are in the teens this morning but it feels much colder. My car sat at the post office yesterday, covered in snow. It was just chilly enough for it not to melt off most all day. People came in asking, "where had YOUR car been?" as there was no snow down in town. This will not be the case soon, as our little village is notorious for having snow when others do not. It is hard to believe that we are 1/3 way through December already!

I could hear the frigid temperature under the dog's feet this morning when they went out at 4:45. The still-clinging snow was crunching under their steps. It was not long before they returned to the door, perhaps not so much from the cold - but that they were ready to eat!  Then just before I leave for work, they watch me get a little "treat" prepared in their doggie bone (though, Ruger will go with me today and tomorrow). Knowing they're getting that before I head out keeps them near the house and not following their noses, off to the neighbor's compost pile. Lately they have even been getting a little mouthful of food before we head up to bed at night; it was suggested to us because Ruger was having trouble with acids in his stomach, causing him to throw up in the middle of the night. Since we started with the handful of food before bed, we haven't had one episode. ANYWAY, they seem to think now that every time they come back through the door, it's time to eat! I wonder who's fault that is...hmm.

In their positions, ready to eat; NO, those are not bibs (:
The same chill is creeping over our floor. I am happy to have a couple mornings, mid week, to spend more time curled up in the blanket to read from the Word and pray. The woodstove is doing its work and we are SO thankful for the free hardwood that comes from Syd's workplace. It's clean, hot-burning scrap wood. My hubby even left me the full pot of coffee today (it's a tiny pot), as the coffee is "all" (my Grammy, from Pennsylvania Dutch country would leave off the "gone") so that I could enjoy two cups this morning, while he got his at the Mini-mart on the way to work. What a sweetie! He knew that this Wednesday morning, away from the post office, would not be complete without that second cup of coffee. Have I ever mentioned how thoughtful he is?

"Meeting with new friends" is another bonus of going to work with Cyndy
Here, a little fawn that he met last Spring
The verdict is still out as to whether I love this new "position" at work. I did my first stamp order yesterday (I've done them before, but it was over 8 years ago when I did an "OIC" detail in a nearby town). It's a joy to have two days "off", mid-week. Though I do work at my little bookkeeping job, I can start later and am only there until about 1:00 p.m. on those days. This is the place where Ruger can come along and enjoy the woods and fields, able to bark to his heart's content. Little Sturm is safer in his kennel at home, as he doesn't pay heed to boundaries nearly as well.

Yes, a lazy morning

This is truly a rambling post! I have not posted in almost a week and I guess, just felt like thanking the Lord for a lazy morning. It is now 6:30 and I still don't have to be rushing off to dress or fix my hair.

The computer seems to be cold also. I haven't been able to get the pictures to show up where I want them, on the page!
I Corinthians 15:10 "But by the grace of God I am what I am; and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."

I am thankful for this testimony of Paul and was reminded that we Christians should not be in the habit of exclaiming how incompetent we are. God has made us saints, completely able to work for Him, by the grace of God which is in us. Paul admitted that he was not worthy to be called an apostle because he had persecuted the Church of God but he went on to exclaim, "by the grace of God, I am what I am"! How true, it is only by the grace of God that we can be saved and used of Him. That He would even think upon us and send His Son to shed His blood and die on the cross for humans, who did not love Him, is hard to imagine. But since He has saved me, I ought not to slander Him with my impertinence; but declare that He has made me a saint and I'll be fully willing to be used in any way He sees fit. This was a blessed morning with the Lord and I'm glad you stopped by to read a rambling post.
Take care.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Keeping Full

In following a little devotional, The Feature, this week, God has blessed my heart from the book of
I Kings. It is the passage of Elijah, being sent to the woman of Zarephath. God had been providing for Elijah with the brook of water and the food from ravens, when "the book dried up" for lack of rain. He has allowed our brook to dry up before, and He always sends us another means of provision. Elijah was sent to Zarephath. For this same lack of rain, the widow woman was providing for she and her son to eat their last meal and die. Elijah made a request, one that would seem irrational and presumptuous in our worldly-thinking minds. I love that it was prefaced by the words, "Fear not"! She was to make him a little cake first. For her obedience, her cruse of oil and barrel of meal would not fail "until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth"!

It reminded me of the passage in II Peter 1:5-8. Christians are commanded to ADD to our faith by 'giving all diligence'...virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity. That is quite a list! The promise follows..."If these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." Our cruse of oil and barrel of meal will not fail!

We should never fear to take God's promises to ourselves. By His grace we will take each step, "giving all diligence", taking His promises as absolute truth. God keeps us FULL all the time when we are obedient to His Word.

I hope that, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, you will come to believe the finished work that He did on the cross, by dying in your place and shedding His blood so that you could be forgiven of sin and reconciled to God. I'm so glad you all stopped by Darling Hill today. We've had another skiff of snow in the night and the temperatures have dropped. A poem would be in order here, but my creative writing juices have not been flowing for a while. The brook is a little dried up right now, but I know it will eventually be replenished!

Have a nice day, all.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Glorifying in the Simple Things

"Whether, therefore, ye eat or drink, or whatsoever you do; do all to the glory of God." I Cor. 10:31

I was reminded today that the "shallow" amenities of life, eating and drinking, walking and talking, are all ordained by God. I am most thankful for those who have simply lived the Christian life before me through the years. "Think deep,  speak and live simple", could be a good quote for today.

The above picture was on my computer screen when I sat down after reading from God's Word. I had not planned on writing this on my  post, but what a perfect description of walking simply through the day. Not only were the children stepping out of the 'ordinary' of snow-sledding, they were innocently enjoying a Summer day, taking their spills and getting up again, to start over.

I love that God speaks to us, practically, through His Word. The simple, day to day things are what take us through life. As much as I love reading the "old" writers, reveling in their old-style language (lost today)... Lord, please keep me simple.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

God's Sufficient Grace

Three times Paul prayed that his thorn in the flesh would be taken from him. The Lord answered with, "my grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness." I have always been thankful for "down times" when the Lord has set me (or laid me) down on the couch or bed for rest, to recover from overload on the body. As I  think back, several times when I've run a fever, the warmth and high temperature caused me to thank the Lord that He was letting my body battle the sickness out of me! God always brings us through. Joy truly does come in the morning. Without these times of pain and weakness, where would be the ability to feel someone else's sorrow or pain? There was a time that I had the idea that Christians would be kept from tragedy and pain. I had bought into a false teaching that believers should never suffer adversity (some even believe, never suffer sickness). Scattered throughout the whole of Scripture we are given instances where brethren are in adversity and we are told to "remember" them (Hebrews 13:3). Please forgive me for not putting in all the references. I am simply sitting here, in the dark, tapping on the keyboard and am reluctant to turn on lights and possibly wake my sweetie.

This "down time" I really do need extra prayer. When the pain is at its worst, I plead with the Lord to make it subside or to take it away all together. He always answers, it always subsides for a time. Sometimes it will be for a couple hours, lately for about 1/2 hour until another "surge" comes. I really do not mind knowing that something is brewing in there (whether in my tooth or sinus, somewhere) I am just thankful that the Lord sustains through each instance. I do pray for a little sleeping time and He has given almost three hours, in the beginning of each night. At this time I can only sleep sitting up but am so thankful for those few hours. Today I will see the dentist and they'll do some x-rays.

In the meantime, I am reminded of the passage when Jesus foretold Peter that he was going to deny his Lord. Jesus said that Satan had desired that he may sift Peter as wheat. "but  I have prayed for thee, that thy strength fail not; when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." Peter did go through that terrible time of denial and penitence (his was one of the worst spiritual battles). He certainly DID strengthen the brethren when he came out on the other side! Victory! Perhaps I have the opportunity to be a better wife, daughter, sister and friend because the Lord is taking me through a time of pain. It is amazing the things you think about when you are sitting in the dark. I am thankful that the Lord of light is right here beside me. Aren't you?

If you are going through hardship of spirit or body right now. I hope, first of all, that you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior. Then know that He brings ALL things into our lives for a reason. Without some of these battles we would go astray perhaps. A verse in Psalm 119, "before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept thy Word." The Lord is good to us ALWAYS, no matter whether in adversity or in a day when the path is perfectly clear. I am praying that it, first, makes me more empathetic. My poor hubby suffers from a deviated septum, therefore experiences much sinus pain and almost constant pressure. Tonight I helped him with extremely hot compresses, as I was experimenting with them on my own head; this I should have been doing all along (I have, many times when he has had migraine in the past). It took personal pain to make me more sympathetic. If this is what it takes, Lord, bring it on.

"Lord, please make me the wife you want me to be," that is my daily prayer and has been for 32 years. This is just one other means for Him to do just that. I am so thankful.

I'm glad you stopped by the Hill. I hope you have a beautiful day.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I am praising God this morning for His wonderful blessings daily. Reading in Ephesians 1:7, "In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins."! It is easy to reflect on the fact that I am forgiven from sin (though I do not grasp the full meaning of it) but I must keep before me, most of all, the huge sacrifice that it took for that to happen ---the tremendous tragedy of Christ's death on the cross.  God would never have been able to forgive me without the payment of Jesus' blood. I lose sight of His holiness sometimes. What a blessed reminder and great meditation for the day and days ahead.

My husband started a new job today! Praise the Lord for this. I was thinking, as he was driving out the driveway this morning, what a blessing it is each time there is a change in job status. If it were not for these times, we would not experience need and answer to prayer (perhaps). I do believe that God brings into every couple's life (individuals also) some means of their deep NEED to depend upon the Lord for provision. I am very thankful that Syd was not a "professional" in a particular field, with "job security". It has been a 32 year road of dependence upon God for provision, though, as I said, He has His means of bringing everyone into this dependence, even if they are professionals. I am just thankful for the way He has lead us.

I am on my way to my 2nd job today. If you are reading this and would care to pray, my sinuses are killing me and it is affecting my face and teeth immensely. Thankfully it comes on in "surges" and only lasts 15-20 minutes at a time, but I would love for it to stop. Have been doctoring myself and praying a lot. Thanks for your prayers.

Thanks, too, for stopping by the Hill today!! I'm sorry I've been so lapse in writing.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

For These, we are Truly Thankful

Coming into this Thanksgiving week, we have so much to be thankful for. With upcoming turkey brining, baking of cornbread for stuffing, finalizing recipes for pies and last minute grocery buying, it is so easy to let the day go by without really reflecting on being thankful! I have tried to meditate on it more this year, perhaps because I am getting older and the days seem more fleeting now.  The truth is, I need to be thankful every day. Many weeks ago I mentioned starting a blessings list, which I did. I tried to think wayyyy back, 32 years ago, when Syd and I first were married. Going through the years in my mind, remembering the ways the Lord has lead, and even instances where He taught me specific lessons. The list is long already, and still growing.

In my Sunday School class we have been studying in the book of John. Last week we read the account of Jesus when He was speaking to Nicodemus. He said that the wind bloweth where it listeth, and we do not know from where it comes nor where it goes, likening this to being born of the Spirit. Christians are now "born of the Spirit". Tonight in our Bible time, Syd and I read from Philippians 1. Verse 6 says that, "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Sunday, the children and I talked about how we do not understand the way the Holy Spirit works in our lives, leading us and teaching us to grow, but we believe it and walk with Him each step of the way. When we were young in the Lord we may have read a particular verse or sang certain hymns day after day, or week after week. Now, many years later, we read these verses and they hold so much more meaning to us than they ever did then. On Sunday we sang the hymn, "Living for Jesus". As new believers, we sang that song practically every week; but meditating on the words last weekend, they were more alive to me than ever they were in years past. The Holy Spirit has lead me along, tempering me and broadening my understanding. I did not see it happening, but He is faithfully doing it.

Isn't it wonderful that the Lord just draws nearer and nearer to us as we draw near to Him? I love Him and hope that if you are reading this, but do not know Him as your personal Savior, you will trust the work He did on the cross of Calvary. He hung there, bearing all your sin and shedding His blood to take the death that we all deserved because of sin. It's the thing that I am most thankful for - my Savior!

I am praying for so many of you; There are so many who are going through hardships at this time, and yet I know that you are looking at your blessings instead. Knowing some of you personally, I want to let you know that I am thankful for YOU too.

Syd and I wish you all a really happy Thanksgiving.

Being that it is Deer Season (as we have always called "Hunting Season") Here are a few deer shots from us. The first one was just down behind our cabin, hiding amongst the trees.

See me?

These two turkeys walked up to the two deer, they looked at each other, then the turkeys just kept going

On Mom's front lawn

Monday, November 12, 2012

Love Lessons in New Circumstances

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing." I Corinthians 13:1, 2

It has been so long since I've come to the blog-world! I'm hoping to catch up on some of my fellow blogger's posts this morning. Many things have happened since I last posted. It is amazing how one or two things that come into one's life can throw off the schedule.

My out-of-the-home job has shifted for a time (projected, a year and a half). One of my fellow-workers wanted to be free from the position that she's held for almost two years. She had been told that it would only be for "three months" when she took on that particular job. By my agreeing to a change, it allowed the superior over me to step to the position that this co-worker wanted "out" of. I am praising the Lord that this new work-schedule keeps me in the hometown at all times now. Between the 28 hours at this little office, plus the 10 hours at my bookkeeping job - they are just up the road from one another and less than two miles from my house in either direction!  It took much prayer, even though it seemed like a "no-brainer" to some people, to decide if this was a responsibility I should take on. The Lord has given peace about it and I am amazed that in the week that I've spent at it, there seems to be no 'overwhelming' or over-burdened feelings (which is what I experienced before, when I stepped into a similar, short-termed position).  I think that most of you "readers" know that I try not to speak about my job often. I would rather be at home any day of the week, but God has had other plans for me and thankfully He has given me jobs that are non-career,  yet help my husband pay the bills.

Most recently the job of juggling home and away-from-home-work has become so much simpler also. What a blessing that is! It used to be a constant fight and struggle between my time and emotions. There has been an inner shift and peace that only the Lord can give. Between giving it over to Him in my mind (first) then performing the tasks with my hands, it has become a peaceful experience. He is also reminding me not to 'sweat the small stuff' (totally my words, of course).

Having my husband at home more often is a total joy! I do pray that one of the applications and interviews does turn into a job soon, of course, for his sake, but I just love having him here. He has been able to get some of the unfinished jobs done that he's been wanting to and, as many of you know, is also a great cook! The smells that greet me at the door when returning from lunch are SOO good. Just to sit and sip hot soup in the middle of the day with the love of your life - well, that is a treat!

We've almost left another Autumn behind us. That is hard to believe. Last year I had so much time to spend with Mom; picking apples, making sauce, walks in the woods and swinging on the porch swing. This year we could literally count the apples on the trees. Circumstances come in the way of so many things, but when we belong to the Lord, He orders the things that come into our lives. I am thankful that Jesus died on the cross, shedding His blood for me, and because I trusted this as the only way of salvation, He now leads me along the path that He's chosen for me!

God is teaching me that how I react to "circumstances" can either make me soft and pliable or hard and bitter. He has been bringing me back to I Corinthians 13 often throughout these last several months. Without charity, love, all of life is fruitless. Dear Lord, teach me to separate my "common sense life" from my life which is to be totally immersed with love and with YOU. This is something that He has been impressing me with. Common sense is what I have, naturally. "Christ-sense" is what He is putting into me. Oh, may I learn the lessons!

I hope that you, my friends, have a really beautiful day today. Thank you so much for stopping by Darling Hill along your way!

Just a couple of pictures to make you smile:

We celebrated puppy birthdays (Nov 1st) along with our friend, Sarah's! They weren't totally impressed with the hats.

"Queen Elizabeth and the Duke" My dear aunt and uncle. They are so fun!

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Prayer of True Worship

It is such a privilege to have a relationship with the God of this universe! Because Jesus reconciled me by His blood, shed on the cross, I was talking with Him this morning and spending time in His very WORD!

"...the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him." John 4:23

Oh, that I might worship the Lord with honesty in my spirit, complete openness with Him and with others, always in truth, never lying (even to myself) about my sins!

The word, truth, brings thoughts of God's Word and 'honesty'; it also reminds me of "reality". As a new Christian I used to think that the Lord just shields all believers from extreme sadness and tragedy. How untrue that is. Believers go through tragedy, heartbreak, trials and everyday temptations just like anyone. It actually sounds ridiculous to think otherwise now, but I suppose it was just child-like ignorance that bred that thought in my early Christian life. There is a 'rugged reality' that a Christian is taken through, to mold and to shape each lump of clay into a beautiful vessel that He can really use. What a blessing, to be able to go through any circumstance truthfully, with open face before God and man! If I do not let God have His way in these everyday "way"s, I will be a hinderance and a clog to His work and I won't be a "true worshipper" in experience.

We are often reminded by our Pastor to 'live what you ARE'.  I am a true worshipper, now BE a true worshipper!

Sunday morning sunrise; wish I'd been at Mom's THAT morning!
One other thing that it seemed the Lord was reminding me of this morning was; let others Christians be led of the Spirit into this reality of being a true worshipper. If I can help them along in any way, wait for the Lord to humbly take and use me and don't run ahead to "serve" Him...those thoughts as I mused on being a 'hinderance and a clog' to the Lord's work.

I hope you have a wonderful walk today; Christians, as you walk along in the way the Lord is leading you. Thanks for stopping by Darling Hill today!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

To Be Used of God!

"To be used of God; to sing, to speak, to pray. To be used of God to show someone the Way. I long so much to feel the touch of His consuming fire; To be used of God is my desire."
- writer, unknown to me; a spiritual song learned many years ago.

This is a post of serious thoughts and even not-so-serious rambles.

The property taxes are paid and this is such a relief! It is amazing how many things you can find to sell or do without when it gets into September and October, hee, hee!! The Lord is so good and provides in amazing ways. Syd is still waiting to hear from a job prospect where he has had three interviews. We are praying that he gets this job. At the same time though, I am praising God for a new headboard and bedside tables that he has been working on for the past few days and I have just LOVED having him home, being able to have lunch together and even to see him in one or another of my little post offices throughout the week. Last week an arm reached in through the window, holding a steaming cup of coffee! It's the little things that bring us such pleasure, you know?

Last night I was experimenting with gluten-free bread recipes! how hilarious! Maybe before this post is through I will have decided to show you pictures, though I doubt it! The white bread came out of the oven all nicely puffed up and beautiful but (as with the pumpkin loaf which rose nicely also), as it cooled it almost fell flat,or lopsided at least. I don't know if the barometric pressure added to this failure, or what. Eating the pumpkin bread is like eating a piece of pumpkin pie in loaf form. It is extremely DENSE, to say the least. Obviously I can only serve it to Syd, not company. I toasted a piece of each bread this morning and both are very tasty. Perhaps when (if ever) I perfect these gluten-free loaves I will share some secrets!

okay, I decided to show you the funny photos:
what was a beautiful, puffy bread while hot...settled!
this pumpkin bread looked promising; rose high and nice. Cooling took all the air out of it!
As you can see, I have no secrets to share yet. Will keep experimenting with gluten-free.

"Be kindly affectioned one to another; in honor preferring one another." Romans 12:10
"Look not every man on his own things. but every man also on the things of others." Phil 2:4

This morning, these two verses came to my heart as I prayed for the needs of others. I prayed that the Lord would use me to meet someone else's need today. My heart especially goes out to those who have lost a most important person in their life, whether it be a child, dear friend or spouse. We are here to glorify God as we give out the Gospel of the Lord Jesus, "do good" and to "relieve the fatherless and widows in their affliction". While I sorted mail into little post boxes this morning the Lord was reminding me that every single person who I encounter is worthy of the same care as she who would be considered my very best friend. What have I got to lose in making every person who crosses my path feel special and cared for? Yesterday I meditated on the thought, "what have I to gain by thinking evil of another person?" I Corinthians 13 tells me that charity (love) thinks no evil and does not rejoice in iniquity. It "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things". What a love to strive for; to ask God to make real in my heart and to make come out, daily, through my mouth and hands!

This is a special kind of Godly love, that truly believes and expects the best of others and situations! wow! Please don't quote me on knowing and trying to teach you what to think on these verses. I meditate out loud when I blog; daily musings. Putting things down in this form is such a blessing to my heart and thanks to all of you who comment, when they are a blessing to yours also.

We gave our friend, Sarah, her birthday gift early. As you can see, she wastes no time unwrapping!

 We three girls, at lunch today...

Ruger knows he can usually talk Grammy into giving him a bite. He also knows this isn't allowed!
Thanks for stopping by the Hill today. It may be rainy outside, but it should be sunny in the Christian's heart!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Gearing Up for a Storm

It is 3:00 a.m. and I am doing something that I have never done before. I read in bed for over a hour (which is typical if I cannot sleep) but this is the thing that's different...I did not fall back to sleep, so came downstairs --in the middle of the night! In thirty two years of marriage I cannot count on one hand doing it (unless I was really sick, for peppermint tea, etc). Now I'm checking out my friend's blogs: unheard of!

While spending time in the car with Syd, Mom and Sarah yesterday we began talking about getting strength from the Lord. Not having a Bible in hand, we were trying to remember what Colossians chapter 3 was teaching. After arriving home I was reading through it. What a blessed chapter!  "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly" ~ verse 16. That is certainly the answer to receiving spiritual strength from the Lord. Obedience to God's Word is all we need. This chapter seems to cover every area of life, including home and family. It speaks of "the greatest of these", which is charity. "And above all these things, put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness." What a complete picture of the obedient Christian life is portrayed in this chapter.

In gearing up for a "nor'easter" that is to be hitting the East within the next few days, what better  picture can we get than applying God's Word, by His grace, to gear us up for any spiritual storms that may come in the future? I'm praising God, this early morning, for preserving His perfect Word and for having a copy of it to carry with me and to gain nourishment from daily.

If you are in the track of the storm, I am praying for you and for God's physical protection. I'm praying also for fellow Christians, as we face the battering storms that come in from day to day. Aren't you glad that, armed with the sword of the Spirit and "praying always", we have everything we need to withstand in the evil day?

"And above all these things, put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him." Col. 3:14-17

Early morning ponderings

Our big doe and her fawn

praying that this storm does not bring ice

may we all care for one another even more than Ruger cared for this little fawn and attempted to meet its needs

Thursday, October 25, 2012

In the Train of the Conqueror

"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ..." 2 Corinthians 2:14

It is a wonderful fact that we have already triumphed over any sin or any circumstance that we "fall into". We can certainly "count it all joy", can't we? Jesus' only interest was to do the will of His Father and to finish the work that He called Him to do. Paul's job, as should be mine and any Christian's, was simply to be a "captive" of the Lord.

I read a quote which said, "The viewpoint to maintain is that we are here for one purpose only, to be captives in the train of Christ's triumphs. We are not in God's 'showroom', we are here to exhibit one thing-the absolute captivity of our lives to Jesus Christ."

How easy it is to fall into a habit of saying, "well, I got victory over THAT one today"...or "it is so difficult to live this Christian life, trying to thwart Satan at every corner", etc. How grieved the Holy Spirit must be when I do that. He has already given me the victory. I just want to be so much His "captive" that I'm there with Him all the time!  I Corinthians 1:30 tells me that Jesus is already made unto me "wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption".

I caught a picture in my mind once of Jesus hanging on the cross with each of my sins, written out- in the form of small signs,  hanging on Him. The picture of Christ is hazy, but my sins stand out as they weigh Him down more and more. What grief the weight of this sin caused Him as the Father's face had to turn away from His Son for the first time, so that I (and you) could be reconciled to this Holy God. What a shame it is to deliberately allow a particular sin to take precedence over this perfect act of ultimate sacrifice! Praise the Lord that Jesus did shed His blood, bearing our sins, and triumphed over sin and death when He rose from the grave. When I accepted this sacrifice He put me on the train of the Conqueror!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Stepping Into A New Day

"Be strong and of good courage...Only be thou strong and very courageous...Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the LORD thy God is with thee wherever thou goest." Joshua 1:6,7,9

My morning Bible study had gotten jumbled up in the last few days and there is a little study tool called "The Feature" that is a blessing to my heart. This morning I read the account of how the Lord told Joshua to take the nation of Israel into the land, "over this Jordan." God's servant, Moses, was dead and it was Joshua's time to lead the people into the promised land.  All the promises of God went with him as he obeyed the LORD God, Jehovah.

It takes courage to step into the new day with God. What a blessing to know that God has not changed. He is still the one who tells His faithful servants of today to "endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ", in II Timothy 2:3 and to "be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might." (Eph. 6:10)

Last night I wrestled with the giants, while allowing God to reveal areas where He wants to see change.This morning, though this devotional was read out of sequence, Joshua 1:1-9 was exactly what my heart needed to cement the things that the Lord revealed to me about myself.

Our God is so personal! We have an eternal God who has spoken His Word, which will never pass away. This is the God who lives within my heart and I know lives in the hearts of many of you. I hope that you know Him as Savior too.

I'm so glad you stepped on to Darling Hill today. If you know the Lord, I pray that as you go on, stepping through the day, you will allow God to lead each step of the way. Be strong and of a good courage, knowing that no matter what giant comes in your way today, you can face it and defeat it with the Lord's strength!

In closing, I'm still going through some old pictures and scanning them into the computer. Here are a few Fall ones and some "oldies"...

Up through the trees

those of you who know Mom, here she is at her last home. She had beautiful gardens

Look at those glasses!! this is sometime in the 90s

One of our all-time favorite Autumn shots. Dear, Ranger
"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." Joshua 1:8 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An Autumn Afternoon, Richly Enjoyed

Today was one of those 50 degree days that felt like 70 because of the beautiful sun! Mom and I had lunch then took the dogs for a walk. We sat out in front of our house to enjoy some coffee before heading back up the hill.

Sturm poses in Gram's lap

As we headed up the hill we wanted to take a shot of the BLUE sky against these birches, wow!

I'm using the little camera today, which really takes terrible pics; the sky truly was brilliant though
Just a couple of everyone at the stone wall. Trying to get them all looking in one direction is nearly impossible.

Sometimes I can get the watercolor effect, somewhat here
These Fall days are numbered and I was so happy that we could get out and enjoy one like it!
Three more puppy shots:

resting on the warm rocks
If these sunny, Autumn days hold out, come on up and enjoy a trek up Darling Hill. Thanks for stopping by today!

"Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy." I Timothy 6:17

Friday, October 12, 2012

Count Your Blessings

It is a blessing to me to still have my mother upon this earth. I am sorry for those of you who do not have yours and I hope this post doesn't make you feel sad as I speak of my wonderful mother.

In a phone conversation the other day, my mom and I were talking about the many blessings the Lord brings us every day and the way that He has always provided for us in the past, as in the present. She said that she had been out on her deck thanking Him for all these blessings and I was telling her how He often has impressed me to write them down, which I have done - and the list just keeps growing! I have many journals, some of them even have excerpts written in them! Others are still blank. One of these would serve as a good vessel in which to write this list, starting from the time I began my Christian life and continuing to the present, leaving plenty of room to list the future ones as well.   If you're like me, you can still think back 30 years or more and remember the things which God brought into your life to shape you into what you are today. I want to start this Blessings Journal soon. What a joy, if the Lord tarries, it will be to read it in my old age. I do pray though that the Lord comes to take us out of this old world soon! don't you?

Mom was hard at work this day, while 'you-know-who' rests at her feet!
Just some thoughts on blessings. I want to count mine daily, like Mom does.

Thanks for stopping by the hill today.