Saturday, September 22, 2012

Our Father Sees in Secret

Life on Darling Hill has taken on the morning chills. Many tomatoes are still hanging on the vines, as we truly have had not more than one night of frost warning yet. We still are in hopes that the Lord's sun is going to ripen the last several clusters of them!  A few days ago I was getting up at the top of the driveway and noticed a huge squash vine. The blossoms were full and nice but I knew that this dear volunteer (this is where we throw our old stuff from the garden) had little hope of making us any mature squashes. Yesterday, while on the phone with Syd, he informed me that we had a beautiful pumpkin!

In my haste, I had only looked at the surface; had even misidentified the plant! Syd took the time to step down over the bank and part the leaves, searching for even one little yellow, summer squash, when he was met with a pumpkin almost the size of a basketball! He said that it actually startled him.

In my hasty judgement I thought of the Scripture verse concerning a vine with no fruit, that it is "therefore good for nothing". Once the hidden fruit was revealed though, this reminded me of two section of verses from the Bible. "Man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh on the heart."I Samuel 6:17 and some verses from a text the Lord has been bringing me back to for many weeks now, "But when thou doest thine alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth; That thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee  openly. And ...when thou prayest, enter into thine closet, and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." Matthew 6:3-6.

Sometimes "fruit" is not obvious to the passive observer. Even as regular, Bible-instructed Christians, we do not always see the fruit that lies within another believer. This may be because we are looking for a person who "turns the world upside down", as Paul and some of the early believers did. Often there is true fruit laying deep down in the heart of a Christian; fruit borne of spending much time with the Lord in prayer, getting to know His heart. These may be quiet, behind-the-scenes people whom the Lord uses so greatly in His service. The fruit might be hidden beneath the leaves, but it is there, doing its work. This morning I read a verse from John 7:24, "Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgement."

The Lord used this "volunteer" pumpkin vine to help bring together in my heart, some teachings on judging others and to be careful not to look only for colorful, outward fruit, which the Lord does openly display in some of His servant's lives. Either way, the Lord will reward openly those who know Him as Savior and honestly walk with Him in truth. What a loving God we serve; One who wants to have close, intimate fellowship with His children.

Thank you for visiting the hill today. We hope you'll come up to see the colors that will be developing in the next few weeks!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Drying and Preparing

As I drove down Mud Lane the other day, what a picture the fields were with their rows of hay, piled neatly and evenly. The John Deere was working its way around the perimeter of the field. The air was perfect for drying hay.

This week was a busy one and the Lord is teaching me things about Himself (and myself) which I needed to learn. I am thankful that He is sufficient for all things. He is the one who brings conviction and forgiveness. I am so glad that, despite my sinful ways, He is there ready to forgive and to lovingly continue the work of grace. What a privilege, to be so intimately related to the Creator of the universe! As I viewed the neat rows of hay piled through the field it reminded me of how the Lord makes all things straight and keeps them in order if we will only let Him. He is "drying us" and preparing us to be useful in His service.

The colors are just starting to show in the trees. Here and there will be a splash of yellow and orange. This time of year is my very favorite, as the air begins to be crisp and mornings downright chilly. Our heater came on for the first time the other day. As I descended the stairs and heard it running I jumped down the last step and ran over to turn it down! It's just too early for the furnace! We will be covering the tomatoes before you know it.

Syd, Mom, Sarah and I headed over the hill to our local World's Fair last week. We saw so many people who we knew, talked and laughed a lot, walked a lot...and ATE a lot (though not nearly what I used to eat). An added bonus, we met up with our very dear friends, the Richardsons. Each year we see the same displays, walk through the same historic barns, eat the same foods, but the tradition of the fair is something I look forward to throughout the entire summer. As a child I used to be so happy that we were fortunate enough to live this close to THE WORLD'S FAIR! Mom even entered two items in Floral Hall this year.

Her saw, painted with the skyline view from her Darling Hill porch

Quilling Owl. Quilling is a method of twirling small pieces of paper on a small tool. These she fashioned on velvet to make a lovely owl in a little shadow-box frame
 My two small paintings and pen and ink brought a blue and two reds. Syd did not enter anything this year. We ran over one more time on Sunday evening, when we had to pick our items up. As the booths began to come down we made our way to the Barbecue tent, where we enjoyed just one more pulled pork sandwich.

I have been playing around with our tiny camera, trying various settings to see if we can start to get some CLEAR photos, to no avail. The three above were taken with it. Thankfully our computer does a great job at making them look like watercolor photos, which I like. Here are a couple:

A few photos of Autumns past:

a tiny Autumn tree, all decorated for the season!

Uncle Frank's cabin

Last night we spent time with Sarah and Mom, had dinner here and then just sat back and enjoyed coffee and a slideshow of friends and family photos on the computer. The rain is still pattering on the roof. A welcome sound, as we pray that the Lord will replenish the shallow well for us, as well as for others who have no water at this time.

Coco is with us again this week. They love having company