Sunday, February 23, 2020

Weekend Words

Live God's Way 

Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk and live in Your truth; direct and unite my heart [solely, reverently] to fear and honour Your name. (Psalm 86:11)

If we listen to God's voice, if we choose to serve Him, we can avoid long wrestling matches with Him.  Wisdom tells us to let God do with us what He wants, so we don't keep going around and around the same "mountain" all the time (see Deuteronomy 2:3).  I have met people who have been dealing with the same obstacles and issues for 20 or 30 years.  If they had simply obeyed God in the beginning, they would have moved on with their lives long ago.

No matter how much we might enjoy where we are when God finds us, He will not let us stay there and become stagnant.  He has new places to take us and new lessons to teach us.  He wants to keep us full of life, full of growth, and full of His purposes and plans.

God has said to us, "If you don't pay attention to Me, if you ignore Me and do not give heed to My reproof, I am going to cry out to you.  I will try to help you, but if you continue to give Me a deaf ear, you will come to Me in a panic when you get in trouble" (see Proverbs 1:24-28).  God is merciful and long-suffering, but there comes a time when we must realise that we just need to be obedient to Him.  The sooner we obey and start living God's way, the sooner we can get on with our lives and move forward in God's good plans.

(Hearing from God Each Morning - Joyce Meyer)


early morning cloud cover over Quamby Bluff


HIS WAY

It wasn't always so;
A heart that was soft and pliable
And heard the Master's voice.

Many years it went its own way,
Despite professing to trust and obey.
But it was in control,
And would not heed the Master's promptings.

So the Master brought it low,
To crush its independence.
It kicked and fought
And snapped and snarled,
But the Master held His hand
Upon its struggling form.
Till eventually it quieted,
And rested in its place.
To turn from its own way,
And gaze into His face.

It's for your own good He said,
I know which way is best,
You only have to trust in Me,
And I will do the rest.

(LHK - 2009)

Sunday sunrise this morning


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Books and February Yarn Along

My books arrived!  

See THIS POST for more on the books...
now the hard decision as to which one to read first

Which one would you read first?


Yay! Yarn Along is back!!

I'm continuing to work on the blanket squares...
and it's raining today, so a great day to be inside reading and crocheting


Go HERE to check out what others are making and reading.

xx

Monday, February 17, 2020

Catch up

I lost half of last week slowed down with headaches, so catching up now.  I attended the Sunday morning meeting at the annual Mennonite Conference Sunday before last and enjoyed the service, and catching up with folk I hadn't seen for awhile.

And yesterday (Sunday) I attended church with them and have decided to do so regularly (again).  Easing back into it slowly, but I have been feeling restless the last couple of months and not altogether happy with the services at the church I have been attending, so joining with the Mennonites felt like coming home.

For those of you who don't know, I fellowshipped with them for 6 months when I first moved to Deloraine, and then on and off over the last few years.  My heart has always been with them, just needed to wait for my head to catch up.  But I feel I am in a different place this time and that all will be well.  Will post progress reports :)

On the home front...

Fresh local homegrown produce from the Mennonite store...


And because I had an abundance of rhubarb, I took some to them to sell or give away...


Picking greengage plums from my tree...
actually picking off the ground because I can't reach them on the tree so need to wait till they fall 


The blackberries are ripening...


Mowing the grass...
this is only a small section of the area I have to mow, but it is the least untidy, so that's all you get to see :)

Making tomato relish...
with tomatoes from the freezer

And baking muffins...
blueberry, walnut and white choc chip


Still working on the blanket squares...


Have almost finished this book...


And one of the Instagram accounts (Bruderhof Communities) I follow, recently mentioned this book,
which I have...
So I pulled it off the shelf and might read it next, while I await my book order coming in the mail.  

Yes...I've bought some book!  

Not from the Mennonite conference I attended, but from Anabaptist Christian Resources, a book store in New South Wales.  They are not online, but if you are interested you can email them (enquiries@anabaptistchristianresources.com.au) and they will send you a copy of their flyers listing their books.  I'm hoping mine will arrive this week.  

And my new challenge?  
To not buy anymore new books till I read all (14) of these ones !!


But they did have some calendars at the conference.  I've hung mine on the kitchen wall.  Don't you just love this picture...
maybe I'll let it be February all year


Some shots from my mid morning walk today...





"I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."
-Laura Ingalls Wilder

xx



Sunday, February 16, 2020

Weekend Words


Our Thoughts

Philippians 4:4-9; 2 Corinthians 10:5

Matthan has never been to California, but he already knows it is a terrible place.

First, the thought of earthquakes terrifies him, and California has lots of earthquakes.  Next, one of his books is about a raging fire that consumed entire neighbourhoods - in California, of course.  And then he found a picture of a large poisonous lizard.  "Those don't live here," Laverne assured him.  "They live in dry desert areas, like parts of California."

That did it.  "I'm never going to California," Matthan told me.  "It has too many awful things."

A quotation from Barbara Garrison, one often seen on stickers or posters, says it well: "Fear grows out of the things we think.  It lives in our minds."

Many centuries earlier, Solomon mentioned the same thing, "For as [a person] thinketh in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23:7)

What we feed our minds is what our mind turns around and feeds us.  Thinking fearful thoughts all day long will make us fearful.  Sad thoughts will make us depressed.  Dwelling on everything that is wrong is enough to deject anyone.

But it also works the opposite way.  Thinking of praise, gratitude, and worship or dwelling on joyous and happy thoughts will brighten one's heart and spirit.  Think happy thoughts if you want to be happy.

A touch too simplistic?  Yet it works.  What we dwell on is what we become in our thoughts, and it spills over into words and actions.  

In todays scripture reading, Philippians 4:8 instructs us on the whereabouts of our thoughts: "Whatsoever things are true...honest...just...pure...lovely...of good report...virtue...praise, think on these things."

As Christians we're commanded to "[bring] into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5) and to dwell on things that are pleasing to God.  Obviously, when I'm focusing on things that discourage, depress, anger, or deject, I'm not focusing on things that are positive.

If I fill my mind with bitterness or with fears, I'm just like Matthan, who has never seen the magnificent coastline of California or it's mountains, forests and parks of superlative beauty.  I miss so much that is good in life if I choose instead to dwell on the terrible and the unjust.

Thoughts follow well-worn grooves in the mind, so it takes much effort and self-discipline to develop healthy thinking patterns.  But no one has to do this alone: "My help cometh from the Lord" (Psalm 121:2)

God is always ready and willing to help us if we ask.  Such a thought is true, just, pure, and lovely to dwell on.



Sunday, February 9, 2020

Weekend Words


The Path Ahead

My heart is heavy.  A shadow of dread
Looms over my pathway, beclouding my head.
The challenge I face is bigger than I;
I don't have the answers, don't understand why
God allowed this to happen, to bring such a test
That I can't find solutions, I cannot find rest.

I look in the past and I know it is true
That I've made some mistakes as most people do.
Have I brought this on us by something I've done?
Have I been defeated where I should have won?

Then I turn my vision and look up ahead,
But when I look there, faithless worry is fed.
Our eyes are not suited the future to see
Unless our perspective is from bended knee.
Even then we must view it through faith's special lens
In order to know there'll be good when this ends.

So if we can't see up ahead, or behind.
Are we not sightless and hopelessly blind?
But, no!  God gave us some landscape to see,
Those things all around and on both sides of me.
And though what is past can never be changed,
And though from the future as yet I'm estranged,
The task for me now is to be occupied
With the here and the now, in front, on each side.

To do all the things that I know must be done,
And leave all the rest in the hands of the One
Who will show us the way, who will give us our hope.
Who will heal all our sickness or help us to cope.

by Gary Miller

a recent sunrise

Friday, February 7, 2020

Another year older...

But thankfully not deeper in debt!

Had a birthday this week, and Marnie took me out for the day.

Lunch in Devonport...
Yes...I ate it all!!!


Then to the movies to see...

We had both wanted to see it and were both disappointed.  Chopping and changing time frames making it a bit hard to follow, and rather long (over 2 hours).  

I also found it very LOUD, but maybe that's because I'm another year older :)  And lots of scene flashing/jumping in the close ups.  Hmm...definitely a year older...

And I did not like the way they had modernised (and politicised) the characters/storyline.  It seems these days every one feels they have to make a statement!?  I'm going to search out some of the older versions (of which there are many) and see what I think.  Just my opinion...  Have you seen it?


The cinema selfie...



And a trip to the op shop during the week...
Picked up this bundle of new fabric for $5.  I particularly wanted it for the plain patchwork fabric as I think it would make some nice little Amish style wall hangings/small quilts.  Will probably donate some of the other fabric back .


Also an old 8 ply classic style jackets/cardigans/jumpers (pullovers/sweaters) pattern book (50c).  I like the classic style and fit and have some lovely Australian pure wool that I could probably get 2 garments from.  One day...
And The Zookeeper's Wife ($2), based on a true story.  I had no problem getting through January with my 'no new books' challenge, and was considering extending it.  But...

I hope to get to the Mennonite Conference (details below) this weekend, and I think they will have a book stall.  It may be my undoing...


Crocheting squares for a future charity lap blanket...
And reading more of  Sunlight Through Dusty Windows.  It is actually 3 books and I read through half of it last year (or was it the year before?), but each chapter is a stand alone read so easy to pick up and put down at random.  Delightful stories!

A healthy lunch...



And if you are in the Deloraine/Meander area this week end, you might like to attend...






where it says Saturday morning, it should read Sunday morning.  Kind of obvious, but just saying...



I hope to get to at least one of the sessions.

Maybe I'll see you there :)

xx

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Weekend Words

This article is from Signs of the Times magazine.  A bit longer than I usually post, but worth reading...

Remember to Rest  

Sunday afternoons were a sacrosanct time when I was growing up in Argentina. Everything seemed to quiet and slow down between 2:00 and 5:00 pm, during siesta. Even shops would shut. All you could hear was the sound of the cicadas as the whole neighbourhood took a nap. Young and old, rich and poor were unified by this wonderful tradition. At least, I now think it is wonderful; as a child, I felt sleeping was a complete waste of time!
Many of us still think that. On one hand, we feel exhausted and desperate for rest. On the other, our half-hearted attempts at carving out time for relaxation prove we think we have better things to do with our time.   
I believe our love-hate relationship with rest is based on three misconceptions: that time is money, that busy equals important and that speed can protect us from pain. But, if we are willing to shift our perspective, we will find the delight that rest was always meant to bring us.

1. Time is not money.  If time is money, we should treat it like an all-you-can-eat restaurant. With sickening gluttony we should keep pouring activities onto our overflowing plates. When our stomachs ache, instead of stopping, we should unbutton our trousers to make room for dessert. If time is money, the more we manage to pack into a 24-hour period—no matter how much it nauseates our souls—the better returns we get from our investment. 
But what if time is not money, but life? Think about it: You cannot save time; you can waste it, but you can never save it. You will spend each of the 86,400 seconds of today, today—no matter how fast you go. As Zen minimalist author Leo Babauta points out, “Life is better when we don’t try to do everything. Learn to enjoy the slice of life you experience, and life turns out to be wonderful.” All we need is one slice of life, not the whole buffet.
Time is far more expensive than money. It is the raw material of our existence; it is limited, precious and fleeting. Once you run out of time, no money will help. Choose wisely how you use your days. Babauta again: “Doing a huge number of things doesn’t mean you’re getting anything meaningful done.” Instead of quantity, aim at quality; aim at having time for what you really love.




2. The tyranny of productivity.  A couple of months ago I got the flu. I called work and said I could not make it in, and then spent the whole day sleeping. I’ll be honest with you, even though I was feeling awful, I was actually happy: I could finally rest without feeling guilty!
There is pride in being busy; it makes us feel useful and important. But there is a big risk too. When our sense of self-worth is too tied to being productive, we feel guilty if we rest. As author and enthusiastic rest advocate Alex Soojung-Kim Pang points out, “If your work is your self, when you cease to work, you cease to exist.” Without the fig leaves of work, we feel naked and exposed.
In his book, In Praise of Slowness, Canadian journalist Carl HonorĂ© insightfully notes, “When people moan, ‘Oh, I’m so busy, I’m run off my feet, my life is a blur, I haven’t got time for anything,’ what they often mean is, ‘Look at me: I am hugely important, exciting and energetic.’” In that sense, resting is an act of humility. It is saying, “I am finite, I cannot do all things. I am not God.” Resting makes us see the difference between “doing” and “being”. It forces us to hop off the treadmill, and remember who we are. 
  

3. Numbing with speed.  On a deeper level, I believe we fear rest for the same reasons we fear silence. If we decelerate, our anxieties and worries may be able to catch up with us. So, we travel at full speed, with the music blasting, to silence the still, small voice inside asking about meaning. We get busy to numb our loneliness, our vulnerability.
However, as American researcher BrenĂ© Brown shrewdly points out, “We cannot selectively numb emotions; when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” Speed will make us feel less pain, but it will also make us feel less joy. Less love. Less everything.
Resting is an act of emotional bravery. It's an act of war against consumerism and triviality. Peace and quiet do take some getting used to. Silence can be deafening at first; but it beckons us to a deeper sense of meaning, a clearer sense of purpose and an awakened sense of pleasure. The price is high, but the reward is great!


Sabbath as antidoteI realise that our postmodern world is weary of universal claims. But please allow me to shed some light on the fourth of the 10 Commandments: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy” (Exodus 20:8). Here, God is basically saying, “Remember to rest.” Work six days, but take the seventh to rest. Why? Because if we forget to rest, we’ll overwork and numb ourselves to the tender nuances around us. We’ll forget that our identity does not come from doing, but from being. If we forget to rest, we won’t have time to love, to laugh with our children and to wander in nature.
So, as Wayne Muller, the author of Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest, points out, God says, “Please don’t. It is a waste of a tremendous gift that I have given you. If you knew the value of your life, you would not waste a single breath. So, I give you this commandment: Remember to rest.” The fact that it is a commandment, rather than a lifestyle suggestion, is an act of mercy. Much like a mother who insists when her exhausted toddler refuses to nap, God knows this is best for us. It is not a capricious rule of a mean-minded god, wanting to diminish our productivity; it is the rule of a Loving Father who cares for our needs.
Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man (Mark 2:23–28). It is a day that dissolves the artificial urgency of our routines and the constant bombardment of media. It is the antidote to workaholism. Sabbath restores a sense of natural rhythms: inhale and exhale, give and take, work and rest. But it is much more than that: Sabbath restores our true identity. It is a revolutionary invitation to—unhurriedly and contentedly—simply be. To be sons and daughters of God (1 John 3:1). Sabbath affirms that our identity and value are settled. Sabbath asserts that God the Father delights in us. “To keep a Sabbath is to give time and space on our calendar to the grace of God,” says author and Sabbath enthusiast AJ Swoboda. We do not need to earn our value or our rest, we receive them from our loving Father as gifts.    
Vanesa Pizzuto is a freelance journalist and radio broadcaster living in London, UK.