Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Lord's Day Snowstorm

We had a surprise snowstorm that started during our afternoon church service. When I left my mother off after church we only had about 1 inch. When Syd took a peek out the window around 7 p.m. he saw this. In just two hours we've gotten a LOT more. You can see his lights at the top of the driveway as he's getting his truck cleaned off to get out there to plow. It takes him a little over three hours to do all of his customers and the church lot too. This is a wet, heavy snow so he doesn't want to wait till early morning this time.

We've been blessed with beautiful snows this season so far. I still believe that it's what Winter is all about in the north. The leaves fall from the trees and they go dormant for a time, building up all that wonderful sap. We all wait "patiently" for the Spring when cold temperatures at night then above freezing ones during the day cause the sap to flow & (after much work by those diligent sugarers) give us sweet syrup.

Look, they even make Pennsylvania Maple Syrup! I never knew...ha, ha!

Syd's PA Cousin made syrup this past year and we were blessed with some for Christmas
 I wanted to share with all you readers the lovely chickadee drawing that our friend, Hosea, drew for us. He is truly an artist. Thank you so much, Hosea. We are looking for just the right frame to put it in!

While the balsam log cabin is pumping out it's sweet incense; a warm living room, hot peppermint tea and snow falling outside all make for a pleasant Lord's Day evening. The dogs are curled up on the sheepskin. The only thing missing is my hubby. It is time to listen to a good sermon which will prepare me for a pleasant night's sleep. Good night, all.

Friday, December 27, 2013

He Cares About People

Just because Jesus was asleep upon a pillow, in the stern of the ship...may this not lead me to believe that He was not in complete control of the situation.

"Carest Thou not that we perish?" It is amazing what we "know" in our minds, but we sometimes forget to let it affect our hearts by casting our dependence on Him in obedience to God's Word.

I am blessed to be home for an extra few hours this morning. Today's "kitchen sermon" was from a fundamental pastor named Carl Wood, Anchor Baptist Church in Little River, SC

It is almost the end of 2013. Syd and I do not send out Christmas cards but wait until the New Year to send greeting cards to loved ones and friends that may need special encouragement. At this time we are in prayer as to which neighbors we are to send to and how to share the message of care, concern and especially salvation that they so desperately need. It is so easy to share our concern for them but only God can give us enough compassion to truly love them and wisely share with them what they truly "need".

God reminded me of His command...
"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Phil. 4:6

...which results in a decision on my part...
 "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee." Psalm 56:3

"Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you." I Peter 5:7

In the Gospel account from Mark 4, the "other little ships" must have felt the calming effect once the sea was stilled. I am again amazed at the things that I read which I never noticed or thought about their significance before!

Dishes are done and it's time to step out into the "world" of my little office on the neighboring hill. Thank you so much for stopping by to visit Darling Hill today. I pray that those of you who know the Lord Jesus as Savior will be led of Him to people who need to receive Him as well. 

The rains and warm temps had melted our snow. I'm thankful for the snowstorm yesterday that blanketed us in white
This is my grandfather's barn. My mother grew up in the yellow house across the way

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Clear and Frigid

The sky is a pale pink and snow lays on every branch and twig outside our sitting room window. These days have been below zero and the little furnace and wood stove pump out the heat. Though the drain and water are temporarily frozen up, I am thankful for the warmth of a little cabin. It is a blessing to know that God has given us shelter from the cold not only physically, but especially through our Lord Jesus Christ. This old world is a barren wilderness but the Lord has taken my sin away because I know that Jesus took my death when He shed His blood on Calvary. This fact is the "nail (that we have) in this holy place", and no circumstance can remove the fact that Christ dwells in my heart and gives true joy! Who have we to boast in but our Lord Jesus Christ?

We were blessed with snow over the weekend. That surely helps to insulate around the houses. We did, however, have to cancel the church service. There's no sorrier place to be on a Sunday morning than NOT in church, but so few people were going to be able to make it that it seemed the wisest thing to do. Again, we thank the Lord for one good use of the internet, to be able to bring Bible sermons right into our home! If you've never visited you might try it. Beware, there are ALL kinds of preachers on there so it's great if you already know of the name of a good one. We were blessed to hear Mike Allison (Madison, AL), Not Being Ignorant of the Devil's Devices. Syd can listen to sermons on-line on his little pocket thingy (don't know what it's called) while at work, and came home yesterday after listening to "Lessons Learned from Judas Iscariot". This was the one I heard while doing dishes this morning - what a blessing! We have so MUCH at our fingertips here in America, yet people all around us are "broken" because of sin and acting it out with horrible acts of cruelty.  It is our privilege to go out and tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ Who will come in and take their sin away. I pray that I will tell others more, but I have to act on that prayer and be obedient.

The sun is hitting the hill top over the North Road, so it looks like time to get up and dressed to brave the cold. The dogs really don't know how "lucky" (I guess you can say that for dogs) they are to be able to stay inside. You'd never know it by Ruger's grunts and groans this morning - begging to go out to freeze his paws off. It's 5 below, so he'll be out for all of 10 minutes at the most. The little birds are back and forth to the feeder. I fill it but they have it empty before the day is over, especially on these frigid days! Life is moving quickly here on Darling Hill. Thanks for stopping up for a short visit.

Reading from Psalm 119 this morning I am reminded that it is God's Word that quickens us. I am thankful for the Living Word, aren't you?

"This is my comfort in my affliction; for Thy Word hath quickened me" Psalm 119:50
I hope your day is a blast!

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Warm Kitchen, A Snowy Day

The snow is gently falling and the ground outside my kitchen window is blanketed in white. Before starting the dishes I switched on yet another message from Pastor Allison from Madison, Alabama. God has laid on my heart to take any opportunity where my hands are busy in the kitchen, to listen to His Word. Oh, how we need our hearts revived; daily, our minds renewed in the Scriptures!

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return  unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." 
Isaiah 55:9-11  

We had a blessed Lord's Day! God is answering prayer in so many ways. More than ever we need revival in Christian's hearts and to go out to the lost, filled with His Spirit. I tried to post our Pastor Rhodes' Sunday message. When I got the CD home, it was blank. The wonderful message was from Romans 1:9. "God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit..."
No man may ever know what God is doing in the depths of each of our hearts, but God is our witness (which can be a blessing and a warning, combined). The verses Pastor shared concerning serving in the spirit were precious. I pray that I can get the message on CD and Pastor has agreed to let me share it with you via the blog.

A warm kitchen; 
snow on the windowsill; 
the sweet sound of God's Word 
and the smell of cranberry muffins... 

I pray that you have a blessed day in Him, those of you who are "IN Him". I pray for those readers who have not this precious relationship with our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. God is "near at hand" and ready to save any who will call upon Him in truth.

Ruger wants us to come out and play!

The entrance to Darling Hill on a snowy day last year

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Feelings Come and Go

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God." Romans 12: 1,2

God, Himself beseeches us to get into His Word whether we "feel" like it or not. It is the Bible that cleanses us, corrects us and renews our mind. This Scripture does not say that it takes into account our "want to"s. Feelings come and go but God's Word stays the same! He convicts and comforts and the Holy Spirit is the one who renews our mind as we are obedient to Him. I am thankful for His working in my own heart this morning along these lines.

I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We spent ours with family, as many of you probably did. Three great-nephews and two great nieces were the youngest ones at our gathering. It was a joy that Mom could enjoy these young ones again, as they're growing up so quickly! After we all dispersed I realized that we didn't get a group picture, how sad.

Mom and great granddaughter, Riley (4 years old)
Mom and Titus (now 8 months) playing peek-a-boo!
Look who did ALL the dishes! Nathan! He shared that in years past, as he rode home, he would often think about all those dishes ---and WHO did them? This year he did something about it. Thanks, Naje!

It was a beautiful day for sliding, which the children spent a lot of time doing. I'm sorry that my camera was not more at-the-ready. It was a good day of renewing relationships with family members who we don't get to see very often.

This year is quickly coming to a close. The Lord has convicted me to be praying for revival in my own heart and in the hearts of individuals in the body of Christ. As I listened to a sermon this morning, the preacher (Mike Allison, Madison Baptist Church) quoted "...if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us...we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him". (from I Jn. 5:14,15)  It is the will of God that the true believers on this earth are filled with the Holy Spirit of God with power. This is not using the Holy Spirit wrongly, as some groups do. He is the One who fills us, revives us and makes believers powerhouses for Christ!

Such a misty day on Darling Hill. Everything is gray outside, but my heart is bright with the working of  God, as only He can do. I hope that yours is also!

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Two Clean Corners

Yesterday was a good day for cleaning! Getting ready for Thanksgiving seems to make me want to clean up corners that have been neglected, as I know what a mess I'm going to be making tonight and tomorrow morning, perhaps? The kitchen corner got it yesterday; just scrubbing greasy spots and re-lining the shelves, rearranging for ease of use, etc. Of course, with open shelving, unused dishes get pretty greasy too. Ha, ha! I covered some of them with plastic this time!

A blessing that I forgot to share, a new stove! It's not something we were shopping for at all. We've been using our little apartment-sized stove for many years. After moving out of the little camper several years ago a friend loaned us the little stove (which was quite a bit bigger than the one in the camper was). A neighbor called us several weeks ago and asked, "would you guys like an almost-new stove?" They'd had it 5 years, but you'd never know it, and were troubled about a part that it needed for the oven (the neighbor won't fool with anything propane if it gets broken). Syd got the new part and voila! a new stove! I thank the Lord for this unexpected blessing. The turkey will fit in this oven, even with our huge turkey roaster, which we haven't been able to use for years. I won't have to buy a foil roaster and bend it to fit anymore!

Due to an ice storm today, I will work at the PO during the afternoon, but this morning's corner was up in the "bath-room" which is simply a corner of our bedroom (only a tub and shelving). LOTS of stuff got thrown away after going through the plastic "shoeboxes" that house all our toiletries, etc. Shelves scrubbed down and now it's neat and orderly.  No pictures, as the bedroom is still quite the "storage-area", having no storage sheds, etc.

The new "Butch" arrived. Poor little beat-up butch had to be thrown away. I would have let Stum keep him, except he's full of little plastic beanies. THAT's why he's called a Beanie Baby!
The other night Mom pointed out a cute picture, as she was sitting on the couch beside them. I didn't think I could get it without waking one of them. Ruger was asleep on the floor too, but these two just seemed to need their picture taken alone. You know, some people say that dogs and their master's start to look alike after a while? Maybe it's just the hair and shirt color... One thing for sure, they're both SO CUTE!

Yes, they're both really asleep, no faking
Today's sermon was from Mike Allison, a preacher whom we have grown to really be blessed in hearing. "Being Disciples". He really challenges me and provokes me to love and to good works.

Salvation is free; Discipleship costs

Thank you so much for stopping up on the hill today. We hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving. Take care in your travels, as it's icy in our corner!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Fire of God's Word

In speaking with a dear friend over the phone last night we learned of a preacher who has touched his heart in a holy, special way. This morning I got online and looked up the preacher's name on I do believe that this on-line medium is SO useful in blessing the hearts of Christians who are willing and desirous to hear and heed the Word on a daily basis. I don't use it in place of getting alone with God, but we listen to sermons in our home in addition to our daily, personal Bible study. Sunday morning we listened to the old-time preacher, John Rice and also to a dear friend, Evangelist Chuck Crabtree. These prepare our hearts for coming together with our church family and being fed by our own pastor on the Lord's Day.  Today's sermon was one that our friend, Mike, had mentioned to us last night. It was of God. The sermon, Why No Revival, was given by Mike Allison from Madison Baptist Church (Madison, Alabama). I know nothing of this man, except that Mike asked us to listen to one or two sermons by him. God used it in my heart.

Probably more than anything, the Church of God today needs revival. It can start today in my heart and in yours, if you are a born again believer. It, no doubt, has started in other hearts of people within our church already, who are praying for me. Our buddy, Mike, is burdened for his church in South Carolina. Mike's prayers for revival among that family can start a great hunger in the hearts of others for whom he is praying. I need to remember not to put limits on the power of God!

After hearing John Rice preach on Sunday morning, while sitting in the pew, God was working in my heart along these lines. You know in your own experience how He does it, sometimes only by a thought or verse of Scripture that starts in your mind then comes to rest in your heart. I'm trying to learn not just to let these go, to become "fleeting thoughts". One of the things that God reminded me of on Sunday was not to let anyone thwart God's work in my life, by 'a discouraging word'. Just keep on going with God no matter how someone reacts to you or misjudges your motives. Remember that we do the same thing from time to time and need to keep these confessed to both God and our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Part of revival is being so close to the Lord that we are super-sensitive to how we treat Him and others, but not super-sensitive to how others treat us. God is so perfectly balanced. He is the only one Who can balance us, as He created balance!

I am encouraging you in the Lord because of the way He encouraged me today. I hope you have a wonderful Winter day. It is cold outside (21 degrees) but God gives the warmth of the cabin and most of all the warmth of His Spirit in my heart. I pray that He will set the Church on fire for Him.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Early Winter Musings

Well, it's certainly been a while since I've seen any of you! It's not that you haven't been stopping up on Darling Hill...I just haven't been home!

Winter has come to the hill, as it has to many of you. Snow still lays all over the ground, with tufts of grass interspersed all around. The sun did its best to chase the snow away yesterday and I noticed it did down in the lower lying areas. Here on Darling Hill it's still hanging on. It is so nice to look down through the trees out back and see wayyy down into the woods. That is something my Mom always enjoys and I notice it more and more each year. The first time is when I am driving out of her driveway and realize that Mom can still see me from "her waving-window", as the leaves of the big birch tree are completely gone. She can now watch and wave us out the entire driveway!

Butch is on the right, if you can't tell
Poor little Butch. He's Syd's Beanie Baby - ha, ha! Well, he has a story. It's a short one. Evidently Beanie Babies have "birthdays", and it's printed on their tag. All the years Syd was growing up his nickname was Butch. ALL of his father's side of the family called him that. His uncle Brent still does. Aunt Euleta (our DEAREST Aunt on Syd's side) passed away only a couple years ago now. Some years before, she picked up this little Beanie named Butch. Syd just HAD to have it because his birthday is October 2nd - just like MY Butch's birthday! We thought it was uncanny, so he's sat around in our living room for quite a few years now. Sturm stays in his crate when we are gone from the house. WELL, evidently the crate got just a little too close to the bookshelf the other day. Sturm and Butch got into a fighting match, and Butch lost.  That evening Syd looked over at the shelf and said, "Where's Butch?" There he was, laying in the crate, without an eye and a nose. I think Syd felt quite bad, though he didn't let on. The next morning I got on Amazon and there's a new Butch on his way to us as I type. (Don't tell Syd, o.k.?)

"Who, me?" yes, he looks innocent here
Ruger went through a time late Fall. He had a "problem", unmentionable, and had to wear a cone. Here he is waiting for his supper. Poor guy. Thankfully we only had to leave that on him for one day. He had alot of trouble maneuvering around our little cabin, believe me!

yep, he figured out a way to EAT!

While he was in the cone, I saw a T shirt in a catalog. A picture of a black lab, wearing one. It read, "It's all fun and games till somebody ends up on a CONE"

I do not remember if I had a picture of how TALL our zinnas got this Fall. I love zinnias and gerbera daisys because of their intense color. One of these photos shows what Syd's starting out at our front door. The stone posts will be where our log pillars will rest, holding up the stoop. I know I said I wouldn't post pictures till the project is completed, but couldn't show you the zinnia without the post.

Another thing uncovered when the leaves left us. We had no idea this nest was in our nearby tree.
The Lord has brought me to the end of my "OIC" position at the post office. Officer In Charge just means acting-postmaster but no raise. That's o.k. He had me there for a reason. It was a whole year ago when the position started. I can't believe how quickly the year went! The past two months were the most intense, as they were 5.5 days per week. Thankfully God answered prayer and brought along a couple of people from nearby offices to come and fill in from time to time. All in all it was a good experience, but I am happy that it is over and I do feel a little more free. Now I can take Mom to doctor appointments once in a while and also help out at the office where I do bookkeeping. Poor David, my boss up there, he is incredibly patient, having TWO women work for him who also work for the post office! I'm thankful that he's so flexible. The Lord has also brought along a few side jobs for me. I have three chair caning projects to get started on. Will post pics another day.

"Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous; and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart."

I'm thankful that God has made me "upright in heart" because of His Son, Jesus Christ! My acceptance of His blood shed on the cross, to take away my sin. Jesus, rising from the grave and conquering death - - This is life indeed!

I'm glad you've been patient and have come to visit Darling Hill even though I've not posted in SO long. I hope you have a good day. The sunrise was GLORIOUS this morning. Mom and I were up and watching the orange and pink spread across the sky. Enjoy this early winter day!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Freely Given to Us

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."  I Corinthians 2:12

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We certainly did. Ours started off with Syd and myself spending Friday, our 33rd anniversary, on a nice outing together. We had a doctor's appointment, ran errands, did some food shopping and then walked 9 holes on a beautiful country-farm golf course. The weather was lovely and the company was extraordinary!

Our Saturday afternoon was spent with special friends, Paul and Susan.

You know, there are certain friends who just uplift you in the Lord. These are two of them. I love spending time walking and talking with Susan and my mom, both bubbling over with the love of the Lord Jesus! These friendships are freely given to us of God. What a wonderful place Heaven will be when true believers are all together, worshipping and serving God together for eternity!

A few photos of our day...

The apples are SO abundant this year!

Mom and Susan on Mom's prayer rock

Boaz got the jump on Ruger in "the dog race"

Sturm just LOVES Boaz
The dogs were thrilled to see their friend. Several nights ago we said, "Ruger, is BOAZ coming to see you?" He went to the window and sat, looking out for quite some time, and whined.

We had lunch and then took a walk to the top of Darling Hill for some apple-picking and then homemade apple pie plus a wonderful Maine blueberry pie that they brought. Coffee and a long time of talking finished up our afternoon. We were sorry to see them go.

Lately my sweetie has been working on some stone pillars out at our front door. It's always been my vision to have stone posts for our log pillars to rest upon (holding up the roof of our stoop). Somehow field stones just give the front of any house a sturdy look and it's what I've hoped for for quite some time. He's almost got them done and I won't show a picture till they are. Part of Friday was spent driving out along back roads, scouring the ditches and side banks for "that perfect rock". Isn't it wonderful that the Lord gives us these simple, FREE, pleasures? No one has to ask permission to stop on the side of the road to pick a wildflower or to pick up a toad or turtle crossing our path. These beautiful rocks alongside the dirt roads are here for us to freely take and use. We are still waiting for the perfect, matching (or closely) top-stones to finish off the pillars before we cut the final logs to rest upon them.

The verse at the top of the page was from the Scripture passage I was reading this morning. The most important FREE gift was that of Jesus, Who died upon the cross in our place. He took the sin that we were born with. He took the death that we would have had to die. Jesus did that for everyone, the payment has been made, but we must TAKE the free gift before it can belong to us. I have believed God's Word and taken that gift - Have you?

We have the freedom to worship God according to our conscience. Praise the Lord that we still live in a "free" country.  Many of our freedoms are being lost. I am in prayer this morning concerning the court decision that is soon to be made in Greece, NY. It has been challenged and is coming to court, that the chaplains cannot close prayer "in Jesus' name". Without Jesus, His death and resurrection, our religion would be in vain. God's Word commands believers to pray in Jesus name.

Thanks for stopping at the Hill. I hope you can get out and enjoy the freedom of the beautiful Fall day. Most importantly, if you have not taken the most important Freedom, that of salvation through Jesus, I hope you will receive that today!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Walk in the Leaves

The house smells like apples and squash today. Mom and I have been walking up and down the lane, as we can't get enough of this blue sky and orange leaves! After lunch at my house we walked back up to pick bags of apples, back down to the house to get them cooking, then the dogs and I walked Mom back up, leaving her to stroll up on her hill.

Some photos from this lovely Fall day:

Unfortunately, the town is 'upgrading' our road to a class 3. It may not look it here, but they cut brush away from the edges of the road and have had several loads of new gravel put down, widening the road by a few feet. We suppose it will cut down on some wear-and-tear on Syd's truck this Winter. Still, something about not being on the class 4 lane makes me feel a little sad.

The first thing I thought when I saw this was, "A running dog gathers no leaves".

More apples are waiting to be made into sauce, so I will go for now. You picked a gorgeous day to visit the Hill. Hope you'll stop back up soon!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Apples A'Plenty!

The apple trees are laden this year. As you can see, some of them are as large as store-bought. Ours are not treated and the trees really have not been sprayed or pruned at all. One of these years we plan on doing some severe pruning.

The apple to the left is one of the wild ones. I just set the store-bought one there to show the size.
After church some of our friends came up to get a bag-full for applesauce. We walked around picking from the various trees and comparing the sweetness (or tartness, of some). There are many varieties up here, but we don't really know one from the other.

Here are nine of the ten "R children"...they left one at church. Can you believe you could forget a kid at church? Kidding...he stayed to help with throwing wood the into church basement. See? They even left a place for him so we can 'photo shop' him in!

It's rare to get a picture of Josh and Nikki alone. I took the opportunity to snap this shot.

It was a perfect Autumn afternoon. The Bible teaching, sun, fall leaves, warm weather and good friends all made for a good end of a blessed Lord's day! Thanks for stopping by and hope you all have a good Autumn week.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Mom's Feeling Better

I'm sorry it's been so long since I wrote (again, I have to say it!). Thanks to those of you who've prayed for my Mom. She's doing much better after the Doctors found that she had yet another hernia. The operation was a week ago last Tues. and as of Thursday night this week she walked down to our house to have dinner, just like old times! I wish I had a picture of her walking down the road to meet Ruger and I. Of course, she met Ruger first, as he runs up to greet her. She was bearing bread and cookies, her offering toward dinner. We were having eggs, sausage, cereal and toast! Yes, even cookies for dessert after 'breakfast' are good.

After we ate we sipped coffee and enjoyed some R & R. As you can see, Sturm was SO glad to have Grammy back too!

No other pictures from that night, but these certainly show how welcomed she felt.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

In Strain or in Sunshine

It has been so long since I've written and I haven't even been home to say "hi" to those of you who've walked up Darling Hill to stop in and chat! My mom has gone into the hospital and we've been spending days and nights staying with her there. What a blessing that God gives strength and stamina as we wait upon Him.

Today I was reading in Matthew 5 where it says, 
"Ye are the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under the foot of men. Ye are the light of the world, A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid...Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."       vs. 13-16
Though these verses were spoken by Jesus to His disciples and we Christians are to take them as examples for us also, it's such a blessing to look at the fact that God is actual SALT and LIGHT, we who know Him as Savior are the salt and light that men here on earth look at and watch. They see our good works (or bad ones). Am I bringing glory to Him in my walk? In the strain of life, can I be relied upon because I am relying upon God's grace moment by moment?

I read a quote: "Worship aright in your private relationships, then when God sets you free you will be ready, because in the unseen life which no one saw but God you have become perfectly fit, and when the strain comes you can be relied upon by God."

I am happy that we can walk with our Lord whether in the strain or in the sunshine! I hope to be able to write more soon, but for now it's off to work then the hospital. We would thank those of you who are "pray-ers" and will pray for Mom at this time.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Double the Love!

We had a really delightful time with Dustin, Bethany, Katelyn and Madison last night at my brother & sister in law's house. I took many pictures but have these handy at this time, I'm still editing some. Syd took them with his phone camera, so some had to be lightened, etc.

Katelyn Olivia and Madison Nicole
Born Tues. August 13, 2013
Aren't they sweet?! They had eaten, been changed and swaddled up to take their sleep. We had fun passing them around, watching their facial expressions and of course, kissing them.

Great grammy Dotty gives little Katelyn a smooch
I wish I had some of the other photos ready. Uncle Syd and Katelyn were both looking to the right, neither of them smiling, in the first photo, then they looked over toward me and smiled. It was so funny!

We're a little fuzzy here, but happy!
Daddy's pretty good with that bottle. See how tiny Madison looks?
Aunt Cyndy got a turn too...actually, lots of turns (:

Aunt Cyndy and Madison, color-coordinated!
We were happy to spend this time, as tonight is the shower and I have a feeling we won't get to hold them as much - everyone will want to!!

When the family left, they came upon a bad accident down the road. A car, with a young driver in it, had gone off the road, through the wall and INTO someone's living room! They said the car was just sitting like it was parked in the middle of the room. Evidently the young person (people?) was o.k. The woman who lives in the house had just gotten up to go to the kitchen for something to drink! I do hope that she knows how absolutely fortunate she is, and that the Lord got her out of there at just the right moment! This is a perfect opportunity to be a witness to her. Please pray for the testimony of us and the other Christians here, and that she'll have an open heart toward the Lord Jesus.

Glad you stopped by to gawk at these new babies. It's really special to meet twins this young - my first time!
Take care.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Late Summer Senses

Today was one of those hot, humid but breezy August days. These thoughts came to my mind as I see Summer coming to an end.

Gossamer mountains, there in the distance;
barely able to make out their shape and whether covered with the low hanging clouds~
or do they simply disappear between nothingness and sky?
The color drains from once-vibrant trees. Ah, late August.
All of September we will watch as one after another,
the leaves turn the corner to their end of life.
A little brown dog pounces on hopping prey.
Crickets and grasshoppers seldom escape his watchful eye and deft movements.
I'm sorry for the insect when he lingers between agility and the ability to stand any longer.
There he's left to die a slow death while the hunter moves on to livelier game.
         Such are the end-of-summer sights.

The familiar voices are gone.
Once echoing, gleeful cries of children and the sharp bark of small dogs;
they had covered the hill in past months.
At evening the quiet talk around a campfire,
slowly hushed as one by one we would leave to take our sleep.
Back and forth goes the lonely porch swing now;
my feet 'pumping' in time while a gentle and regular
squeak of the chain drones overhead.
No longer is heard the hiss of the locust
but steady breezes whisper across the treetops
       ~the sounds of summer's end.

This day is heavy with dew that presses against my skin
and squeezes as one would a sponge.
Likely it will be one of the last of its kind.
We'll welcome the drier and cooler period
when we feel the soft fingers of
       the touch of late summer.

I reach into the tomato patch to pluck little red balls of goodness.
The leaves brush across my arms and the bitter-sweet odor rises;
      the summer garden scents, soon to be put to sleep.

-Cyndy Veysey

At Liberty, and Choosing Joy

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:2-4

I just noticed that it has been two weeks since I visited my page and wrote you all a note! At the time of the last post I had no idea the turn of events that would come. Not that it is of any consequence to any of you (and I won't bore you with it for long), but a situation has been dropped in my lap that I would never have chosen. The above verse is the one that I have been hanging on to and trusting God to perform in me. As our pastor went through the book of James years ago, he brought to my attention that, "when ye fall into diverse temptations" means "when you find yourself in the midst of a testing that is 'all around you'".  At this time, without my choosing, I am working full time (five and 1/2 days per week) at my post office job, which is a testing that is suddenly "all around me", and there is nothing I can do about it except choose to count it all joy! I keep being reminded that a neighboring PO clerk only took her position in another office for a two month period (this decision directly affected two other offices). For me that seems like a long time, but I know that it is not. 

Today the Lord used the chapter that constantly reminds me to choose God's precepts. 
Psalm 119:41-48 "...for I trust in thy word. And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgements. So shall I keep thy law continually forever and ever. And I will walk at liberty; for I seek thy precepts." 
I understand 'at liberty' here to mean 'in a wide place'! The Lord brought to my mind that as long as I am walking with Him, claiming His Word and obeying it, I am at perfect liberty even if feeling hemmed in and 'bound' by my circumstances. What joy, that a Christian who is walking by faith is walking in a wide place with their Lord. I am thankful to the Lord that I have this freedom in Jesus Christ. 

I'm glad that you walked by Darling Hill and hope that you have a good day.

Tomorrow evening, Lord willing, we will be going to see the new babies. Our nephew and his wife had their twins: Madison and Katelyn were born on Tuesday the 12th. Thank you to those who prayed (as it's listed as one of the requests here). I will post a picture or two when I finally get to see them!

Choose Joy even amongst unchosen circumstances!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pick Up Things Set Aside

It is 5:40 a.m. and still quite dark this morning; overcast, 'tis true, but you can surely see the shortness of the days reflected already! It's going to be a morning to pick up "something set aside". Do you ever set things aside and just say, "I'll do that when I get a minute"? I do! After spending time in the Bible this morning I looked around and saw a few things that were still waiting for me to finish them up. A wall to be painted, emptiness where the backsplash is supposed to be, two jars of oil steeped with comfrey and plantain...that's the one that I plan on accomplishing today. Over 6 weeks ago I got this recipe and lots of comfrey from my friend, Dottie.  As soon as I got home that day I picked my plantain, which is growing profusely from the edges of our dirt road, and got all the greens washed, blotted dry and into the oven (I have a pilot light) to dry. They've been well steeped now, over 7 weeks later (supposed to infuse for at 4-6 weeks).  Here is the very simple recipe:

Comfrey and Plantain Salve (one of the very best for healing cuts)

Supplies: 1 quart mason jar; small pot; small kitchen scale (optional, I eyeballed)

Ingredients: plenty of good, cold-pressed olive oil; 3 oz. dried comfrey leaves; 2 oz. dried plantain leaves; 2-4 oz. beeswax, shaved

Process: Place dried, broken up comfrey and plantain in mason jar. Cover with plenty of olive oil, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Leave on counter for 6 weeks (this is where the "setting aside" starts). Strain  infused oil through a cheesecloth into a small pot. 

For every 8 oz of oil you end up with you will add 1-2 oz. of the shaved beeswax; as you can see, the measurements will vary. I have always tended not to be too picky with weights, etc.

Over very low heat allow the oil to heat while the wax melts into it. To check if it's the right consistency, place a tablespoon of the mixture in a small cup and into the freezer for a minute or two. If it stays too soft, add a little more beeswax to the pot; if it becomes way too hard, just add a tiny bit more oil. Spoon the oil into small jars or tins. As they cool they will harden nicely. An herbal salve prepared in this fashion can keep in a cool dark place for up to 5 years, though mine doesn't stay on the shelf that long.

A comfrey salve should not be used on deep puncture wounds. This is because it has the power to regenerate new cell growth over the top of the wound before it has had time to heal the deeper tissue. This salve, as well as the calendula salve (which is the one we have made and used for many years) are for scrapes and normal cuts, or healing the skin after deep, inner healing is well underway. It is also good for healing very dry skin and many rashes.

Have I set the Lord Aside?
"Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" I read, in Luke 2:49 this morning. Just as Jesus Himself was occupied always with God the Father's business, aren't I supposed to be? I am a child of God. Am I simple enough to identify myself with my Lord in innocent, constant contact with my Father? or is my life so filled up with hurrying and scurrying that I have set Him aside, only picking him up in small spurts or when it is convenient? I read a quote today, "am I continually saying to my common-sense life - why do you want to turn me off here? Don't you know that I must be about my Father's business?" When I pray, am I one with the Father's heart? or am I dictating to Him? These were good reminders to me, not to set Him aside (even for one minute) but to be constantly, honestly, innocently walking in communion with Him, every step of the day.

I hope you have a wonderful day. Here it is 6:20 and it's getting quite light, though it looks like we may get some rain. I actually had to water the garden yesterday, so it is needed rain! Take care, all.

broad-leaf plantain

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Short Account

It's chilly on the hill this morning. August loves to bring us those cool mornings; the ones where the furnace almost wants to come on. I had to turn Mom's down yesterday morning, as I detected the "smoldering dust smell" around 5:00 a.m.  The zinnias have just started bursting and there's a nice month of Summer left, but doesn't time pass so quickly?!

This morning I read from Hebrews 3. The Holy Spirit exhorted me to guard against an "evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God". It's amazing how one "little" evil thought can come in, and if left unchecked and unconfessed, can grow into more and more "little thoughts" (the little foxes that spoil the vines) until our whole thinking can get cloudy and confused! Days pass so quickly and one day rolls into one month in no time. It's easy to get "preoccupied" with worldly things and stop being "occupied" with a moment by moment walk with the Lord, isn't it? Keeping short accounts is the only way to avoid it. Sin deceives and hardens our hearts. As the writer of Hebrews used the nation of Israel an example, these reminders challenged and blessed my heart today. I cannot enter into "rest" without being obedient to God in this all-important area!

Our weekend was special, resulting from a day with "the Mothers" and Syd's stepdad on Saturday, then a special blessing with the church family on the Lord's day. This clear air over the weekend was so welcoming as it wafted through the window screens! We all enjoyed a long sit out on the back porch. Of course there was a lot of eating going on too!

We don't use sugar much, except in cooking, therefore I don't have a sugar bowl (usually just dump a little out into a shallow cup to serve to guests). I was outside when Bob needed sugar for his coffee. He used the BIG sugar bowl! I couldn't resist a staged picture, after the fact.

This is golfing from your living room chair. The guys checked out the leaders on the PGA Tour, via computer...

...while the ladies put the dogs to sleep, I guess! We had a delightful visit.

I hope you will enjoy your day and am glad you took a minute to stop by Darling Hill.

"For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12