Sunday, November 17, 2019

Weekend Words

Thinking Positive Thoughts

...Whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honourable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things (fix your minds on them).  Philippians 4:8

If you want to improve your life, one of the first things you can do is improve your thoughts.  There is tremendous power that comes when we choose to be positive people...  

Having a positive mind-set and attitude does not mean you are not facing reality or ignoring real problems.  It simply means that you are agreeing with the Word of God and dwelling on God's promises rather than the negative, depressing things of the world.

Notice that throughout His life Jesus endured tremendous difficulties, including personal attacks, and yet He remained positive.  He always had an uplifting comment, an encouraging word.  He always gave hope to those He came near.  We can follow that example today.  When we choose a positive outlook, maintain positive expectations, and engage in positive conversations, we are following the example Jesus gave us...

Your life will follow the direction of your thoughts.

(Closer to God Each Day - Joyce Meyer)

sunset in Canberra (from Jefferson)

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Weekend Words

Take time to Listen

In the morning you hear my voice, O Lord; in the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart].  Psalm 5:3

In order to hear the voice of God, it is necessary to find times just to be still.  This is an important part of living in close fellowship with God.  It is how you recognise God's leading in your life.  A busy, hurried, frantic, stressful lifestyle makes it very challenging to hear the Lord.

If you are hungry to perceive God's voice, find a place to get quiet before Him.  Get alone with Him and tell Him that you need Him and want Him to teach you how to receive His guidance and direction.  Ask Him to tell you what He has for your life and what He wants you to do that day.

And then I encourage you to do this: Take time to listen.

Even if you don't feel an immediate prompting in your spirit, God promises that if you seek Him, you will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). You will get a word from God.  He will lead you by an inner knowing, by common sense, by wisdom, or by peace.  And each time, however He leads you, His leading will always line up with His word.

I have found that God doesn't always speak to us right away or necessarily during our prayer time.  He may end up speaking to you two days later while you are in the middle of doing something completely unrelated.  Though it may not be in our timing, God will speak to us and let us know the way we should go.

(Joyce Meyer - Closer to God Each Day Devotional)

Friday, November 8, 2019

November Yarn Along

Joining Yarn Along again this month.

This granny blanket finished...

Still sewing together these squares...
Three top rows done.  So many ends to weave in!!!

Working on an 'autumn' (even though it's spring here) blanket, and almost finished A View from the Buggy...
 Such a delightful read!  
Short (2 or 3 pages), varied, true stories from 'real' Amish folk

My sweater is almost done.  Just finishing off the second sleeve...
And these two books came in the mail today: Wilderness Essays, and One More River...  (which I will start tonight).  Even if I never read them I could be content to just gaze at the covers :)

And your nature fix...
After the rain.  At the river this morning

Reading, knitting, crocheting, walking...

A blessed life!


Sunday, November 3, 2019

Weekend Words

"But I want first of all ... to be at peace with myself.  I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can.  I want, in fact - to borrow from the language of the saints - to live 'in grace' as much of the time as possible.  I am not using this term in a strictly theological sense.  By grace I mean an inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony.  I am seeking perhaps what Socrates asked for in the prayer from the Phaedrus when he said, 'May the outward and inward man be at one.'  I would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God.

Vague as this definition may be, I believe most people are aware of periods in their lives when they seem to be 'in grace' and other periods when they feel 'out of grace', even though they may use different words to describe these states.  In the first happy condition, one seems to carry all one's tasks before one lightly, as if borne along on a great tide; and in the opposite state one can hardly tie a shoe-string.  It is true that a large part of life consists in learning a technique of tying the shoe-string, whether one is in grace or not.  But there are techniques of living too; there are even techniques in the search for grace.  And techniques can be cultivated.  I have learnt by some experiences, by many examples, and by the writings of countless others before me, also occupied in the search, that certain environments, certain modes of life, certain rules of conduct are more conducive to inner and outer harmony than others.  There are, in fact, certain roads that one may follow.  Simplification of life is one of them."

(Gift From the Sea - Anne Morrow Lindberg - p29)

Monday, October 28, 2019

Another week

Marnie and I had a day trip to Wynyard (and the sea) last week...
 Fossil Bluff beach

from Table Cape lookout

Bought fish and chips at the wharf for our lunch...
Inglis River

And on the home front...

Tried a new fruit cake recipe.  It's good, but next time I will add more fruit and spices...
tea and fruit cake anyone??

Working on the border rows on this blanket...
and picked up this lovely Herbs book at the op shop for $1

Have laid out the squares for this blanket I started last year.  Need to sew it up now...
just as well I have a large lounge room because my crochet projects invariably end up on the floor

My next project is an autumn toned crocheted blanket...
which colour co-ordinates beautifully with my new book that I'm eager to get started on

And sunrise from my kitchen window this morning...

Hoping your day brings you some unexpected pleasures!


Sunday, October 27, 2019

Weekend Words

a (Connecticut) walk in the woods... Thanks Natasha!

"Silence is where you find it.  Or at least it can be.

Some of us have particular places where the silence and stillness are most apparent to us.  A walk in the woods, perhaps, or through a park near the place where we live.

Some would choose a great cathedral or a quiet little chapel.  Still others, when you mention the word silence to them, fix their minds on a corner in their home or in their own backyard.  Or a favourite spot on a hillside or near a stream that they love.

Some of us remember times of day or seasons of the year.  Times when we noticed that the world was a quiet place and that it welcomed us into its stillness.  And that we felt at home there somehow, in a way that we had not before.

Even those of us who claim to enjoy the silence the least, or whose lives are the most filled with hustle and bustle and noise, have within us a longing to be still and to be quiet.  It is a part and parcel of who we are and how we are made.  And it is a part of us that calls out to be claimed and cherished and nurtured and fed.

Our consumer society urges us to go and do as often as we can.  And sometimes it seems as though every step we take leads to another step or six or seven, and before we can make one or two in that direction we are going further and doing more and trying to be something else.

Sometimes I am a little afraid that the world is going so fast that it will pass me by.  Other times I worry that I cannot get the world to go away even on the days that I want it to.

But if the way in which I live does not have some silence and solitude and stillness and rest, then there is only one person to blame in the end.  There is only one person who can, in fact, get me to do less and not more, to stop moving and be still, to slow down instead of speed up.  And I am that person."

(from: A Good Life - Benedict's Guide to Everyday Joy - Robert Benson)

Inglis River, Wynyard, TAS

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Weekend Words

A Solitary Place

Scriptures: Mark 1:35 "And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose up and went out, and departed into a desert place, and there prayed."

Reflection: It is imperative that Christians retreat from the noise of their busy lifestyle and get alone with the purpose of seeking God. If Jesus retreated, surely we must follow His example. If Christians would stop regularly to commune alone with God, we would share fresh insight right from the heart of God. To be still is imperative!

I believe the time that the apostle Paul spent in prison alone with God gave him deeper spiritual insight. If he would have had more free time to go about as he pleased, we might not have had the letters of Paul today. That journey of solitude gave him an open door to reach the world. God knows what He is doing even when we do not seem to have a clue.
We could also call on Moses, Elijah and David to give us testimonies of their times of solitude with God.
Moses was on the back side of the desert when God spoke to him through the burning bush; David was out in the field watching sheep and writing Psalms; Elijah discovered God tends to whisper, as he was at the entrance of a cave. Those who walk with God will tell you, God does not ordinarily shout to make Himself known.

In our seclusion from the many sounds of the world, we can definitely hear the sounds of heaven. Yes, God can speak anywhere, but it is imperative that we get away and retreat from the busy lives most of us have chosen to live. Just find a quiet place and be still! If you do not linger long enough, you might hear Him say, "Don't go yet!" God loves for us to spend time with Him. 
The two years my family and I spent in Alaska has proven to be much more profitable than I ever thought it would be.
My memories are still so vivid about my personal experiences while there. I have had to ask God to forgive me for the times I complained about being so far away from the rest of my family. I found myself at times crying and saying, "God, I feel like I am in a foreign land and totally isolated from my children and grandchildren."

Today, I still share my experiences learned while in Alaska.The stories are fruitful to those who hear what God taught me about solitude. My point is, "do not despise the times of isolation." God will do whatever He must to get the attention of His children. God wants us to reflect His image. The one you spend the most time with is the one that you will imitate. If we commit to times of silence and solitude with God, our discipline will soon become our desire and our desire will turn into our delight.

When storms of life are around me beating,
When rough the path that I have trod,
Within my closet doors retreating,
I love to be alone with God. (Cowman)
Jesus, our example:
Matthew 14:13; "When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities.

Matthew 26:36; "Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there."

Mark 3:7; "But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea.."

Luke 4:42; "Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place.."

Luke 6:12; "Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God."

Luke 5:16; "So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed."

Matthew 6:6; "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly

Joan Buchanan