Saturday, May 30, 2020

Weekend Words

From Beside the Still Waters...
Rejoicing or...? - Read Nehemiah 8

Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous; for praise is comely for the upright - Psalm 33:1

In frequently driving through the city of Columbus, Ohio, we get to see all manner of people.  Some appear to be frustrated and upset, taking unnecessary risks as they weave in and out of traffic.  Some seem to be on edge, ready to explode.  Many can't wait, so they rush ahead and then at the last minute crowd the line, hindering the flow of traffic.  Some apparently got up too late and must eat breakfast on the run.  Other drivers are apparently set on becoming statistics as they seemingly must use their phones, regardless of how many others have been killed while doing so.  Some frown and some smile.

As Christians 'driving' thorough life, do we act the same as the rushing, frustrated masses around us, or are we noticeably different?  The phrase "rejoice in the Lord" appears seven times in the Old Testament and twice in the New Testament.  The word "joy" is found 161 times and "rejoice" 184 times in the Bible.  Do we get the message?  As Christians we are different not just for the sake of being different but because of our personal relationship with God!  Joy is simply a by product of being right with our Maker.

Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you... Let not your heart be troubled" (John 14:27).  As God's children we have reason to be joyful, yes, even in the midst of frustrating difficulties.  In the traffic jams we face, do we demonstrate that "praise is comely for the upright"?  When others observe us, can they see that we have joy in our heart, or do they observe furrowed brows of impatience?  The predicaments we encounter may be the very circumstances God wants to use for perfecting us.  Don't hinder God's working.  Rejoice!
Denver Yoder - Somerset, OH

Sermons We See - Edgar Albert Guest

I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I'd rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye's a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing, but example's always clear;
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.

I soon can learn to do it if you'll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I'd rather get my lessons by observing what you do;
For I might misunderstand you and the high advise you give,
But there's no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.

When I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles and a strong man stays behind
Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me
To become as big and thoughtful as I know that friend to be.
And all travelers can witness that the best of guides today
Is not the one who tells them, but the one who shows the way.

One good man teaches many, men believe what they behold;
One deed of kindness noticed is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,
For right living speaks a language which to every one is clear.
Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say,
I'd rather see a sermon than to hear one, any day.

And a new song from Sounds Like Reign has just been uploaded to YouTube.  Enjoy! 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

It's beginning to feel a lot like winter...

Winter has arrived!  Some very cold frosty minus C temperatures earlier in the week, but it has 'warmed' up a bit the last two days with fog and cloud cover.

On the home front:

Finished knitting grandson Jaya's vest and it is in the mail to him...
working on one for his big brother now

Still loving working with this yarn...
and browsing the latest Australian Country Style mag

On to my 6th Little House book.  One more to go...
and The Kingdom...  is my daytime read

May re-read one of these next, off my bookshelves...
the libraries are still not opened :(
And this little cutie turns 18 tomorrow... 
eldest grandson Denver
Down at the river this week...
clear but cold

late afternoon shadows


bare trees

gotta love it!!
See you next post :) 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Weekend Words

From a Year's Journey with God - Jennifer Rees Larcombe

What Do You Need Most?

'What do you want me to do for you?'  Jesus asked him.  The blind man said, 'Rabbi, I want to see.' 
(Mark 10:51)

Suppose one night you had a 'Solomon dream'.  Or, like the blind beggar, Jesus asked you, 'What do you want me to do for you?'  What would you say?

'Lord, my family's in turmoil; my parents (or children) row continuously and treat me like dirt.  I need a happy home.'

Or would you reply, 'My finances are a mess; I need more money!'  'My marriage is in trouble; I need my wife (husband) to love me again.'  'My job is getting me down; I need a change.'  'I'm lonely; I need a friend.'  'I need more time every day!.'

Some of us have so many needs that our list would be tragically long, but Solomon asked for only one thing - wisdom.  God-given wisdom allows us to see people, problems, events and situations through God's eyes, with His perspective; then He helps us act and react to them as He would.  So, rather than asking for a happy home, God's wisdom would help us manage family members so well that peace would be restored and we would gain their respect.  Wisdom helps us handle our existing money efficiently.  Rather than asking for the love of a spouse, wisdom shows us how to be a better spouse ourselves.  Instead of asking for a change, wisdom gives us the ability to cope where we are.  Wisdom would bring friends because it shows us how to relate, and be a good friend to others.  Most of us need wisdom to manage time and juggle priorities rather than more hours in each day!

Stop for awhile in God's presence and 'walk with Him', by imagination, through the various areas of your life, asking yourself where you most need His wisdom.

With a view to contemplation...
the view from son Ben's office.  I doubt I'd get much work done with a view like that!

Where Choices Lead - Psalm 1

'The Lord watches over the way of the righteous' (Psalm 1:6)

With no cell service and no trail map, we had just our memory of  a fixed map at the trailhead to guide us.  More than an hour later, we finally emerged from the woods into the parking lot.  Having missed the turn off that would have made for a half mile hike, we took a much longer trek.

Life can be like that: we have to ask not simply if something is right or wrong, but where it will lead.  Psalm 1 compares two ways of living - that of the righteous (those who love God) and that of the wicked (the enemies of those who love God).  The righteous flourish like a tree, but the wicked blow away like chaff (vv 3-4).  This psalm reveals what flourishing really looks like.  The person who lives it out is dependent on God for renewal and life.

So how do we become that kind of person?  Among other things, Psalm 1 urges us to disengage from destructive relationships and unhealthy habits and to delight in God's instruction (v2).  Ultimately, the reason for our flourishing is God's attentiveness to us.  "The Lord watches over the way of the righteous" (v6).

Commit your way to God, let Him redirect you from old patterns that lead nowhere, and allow the Scriptures to be the river that nourishes the root system of your heart.

- Glenn Packiam

What friendships or habits do you need to make a break from?  How can you create more time in your schedule to read the Bible?

Dear Jesus, give me the grace to turn away from the things leading me down the wrong path.  Lead me to the river of Your presence, and nourish me with the Scriptures.  Make my life faithful and fruitful for Your honour.


On the right path...
granddaughter Hazel: with God's help throughout life, on the right path and headed in the right direction

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Weekend Words

Two of the readings this week that I particularly enjoyed - comforting, encouraging, but also challenging.  From Beside the Still Waters devotional (an Amish Mennonite publication)...

Be Still  (Read: Psalm 46)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. - Psalm 46:1

We live in a day and a society of much noise and very little quiet.  Satan is making good use of opportunities to drown out the still small voice of the Holy Spirit in the conscience.  Consider Psalm 46 and listen to all the noise.  The earth is removed and the mountains are carried into the sea.  The waters roar and are troubled.  The mountains shake with their swelling.  The heathen rage and the kingdoms are moved.  God speaks and the earth melts.  He breaks the bow, cuts the spear in sunder, and burns the chariots with fire.  Yet amid all the noise we find the words, "Be still, and know that I am God."

When the children of Israel had left Egypt and were approaching the Red Sea, they were pursued by Pharaoh's army and expected nothing but certain death.  But Moses made the profound statement, "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord" (Exodus 14:13).  To be still in the midst of a crisis is contrary to human nature, yet God's servants are called to quietly trust Him at such times.  "Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart" (Psalm 27:14).

Noise, noise, noise! From cell phones, radio, and television; from news outlets, social media, computer games, and other sources.  It's all designed to take up our time and drown out the still small voice that cannot be heard in the strong wind, fire, and earthquake (1 Kings 19:11-12).

Try each day to have some quiet time with God.  Read His Word and allow it to speak to you.  Move away from all the noise, listen to the voice of God, and meditate on His goodness.  You will be greatly blessed.

Denver Yoder - Somerset, OH

Hopeless (Read: Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 10:1-15)

And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel - Mark 16:15

Recently a prison inmate shared his testimony as follows: "After being genuinely converted to the Christian faith, I felt our Lord urging me to witness to the many lost and lonely men around me.  One man, however, was so vile and dangerous that I mentally wrote him off as hopeless, and I determined to spend my efforts on others that I thought would be more receptive to the Gospel.  But several weeks later I heard him tell another man that he was fed up with his rotten lifestyle and wanted to change.  He asked, 'Do you think that God could possibly help me?'"

As I reflected on what my friend wrote, I realized that our witnessing can often be subconsciously controlled by the response we expect from people we want to reach out to, instead of by a burden for their deep need.  None of us likes when someone opposes or ridicules us, but often these are the people who are most desperate not only for the truth but also for some compassion and understanding.  Zacchaeus, Mary Magdalene, the Gardarene demoniac, and the Syrophoenician woman probably didn't seem like very good prospects to the early disciples, but Jesus knew their heart's hunger and reached out to them in love.  

The  bizarre hairstyles and weird ornaments that are so commonplace today are often evidence of a heart crying for something solid and enduring in the decadent and frightening society around us.  It doesn't take much perception to observe that since people in general have rejected a loving God in favour of pleasure and self-will, not only the family structure but also the very foundation of our entire nation is steadily crumbling.  As Christians we have the answers, so let us all be faithful in proclaiming it.

Pete Lewis - Halsey, OR

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Mother's Day

Mother's Day goodies from the family (near and far)…

The 'near ones' (Marnie and Denver) came for a visit, and Denver brought me some cake that he had made...
yummy chocolate :)

I'd been itching to see how this yarn would crochet up that I got the other week when I was buying the buttons for Hazel's cardigan.  So I made a start last night...
it's light and soft (20% wool and 80% acrylic) and I'm loving the muted colours and the way they blend together

And I'm on to book 4 of The Little House series...

And because it was Mother's Day last Sunday, here is a photo of some of the 'far ones'.  My two sons with my two youngest grandchildren.  It was taken about 7 months ago, when Ben and family were relocating and had a half way stop with Jefferson and family...
Jefferson with his son Jaya on the left, and Ben with his daughter Hazel on the right
Cute aren't they!  All four of them :))

And what post would be complete without some fog photos.  It was pink this week...

That's it for today...
Adios Amigos!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Weekend Words

Two of my devotional readings this last week, from Hearing From God Each Morning - Joyce Meyer...

Crisis Management

Surely I know that it will be well with those who (reverently) fear God, who revere and worship Him, realizing His continual presence. (Ecclesiastes 8:12)

God has taught me some valuable lessons about crisis management.  Jesus said, "Come to Me" (Matthew 11:28); He didn't say run to the phone and call three friends when we face an emergency.  I am not against asking people to pray for us, but if we run to people, we won't find a cure; we will only find a bandage.

We face many challenges and crises in life.  Sometimes the crises are major; sometimes they are minor.  To avoid living in a constant state of emergency, the Lord impressed on me to seek Him continuously, or diligently.  I used to seek time with God once in a while or when my life was in big trouble.  Eventually, I learned that if I ever wanted to get out of crisis mode, I needed to seek God as if I were in desperate need of Him all the time - during hard times and during seasons of great blessing.

We often give God low priority when things are going well for us.  But I have observed that if the only time we seek God is when we are desperate, He often keeps us in desperate circumstances in order to keep us in fellowship with Him.

God will always rescue and help us when we come to Him.  But if we want to stay in a place of constant peace and victory, we must diligently seek Him at all times, as the verse for today urges us to do.

Pray at All Times

Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all (manner of) prayer and entreaty. (Ephesians 6:18)

In the verse for today, Paul is basically saying that we are to pray in every circumstance, following the Holy Spirit's direction, using different types of prayer in different situations.  But how do we "pray at all times", as the Bible instructs?  We do it by keeping an attitude of thanksgiving and total dependence upon God as we go about our everyday lives, turning our thoughts toward Him in the midst of doing all the things we have to do and listening for His voice in every situation.  I believe God really wants us to live a lifestyle of prayer and that He wants to help us stop thinking about prayer as an event and begin to see it as a way of life, as an internal activity that undergirds everything else we do.  He want us to talk to Him and listen to Him continually - to pray our way through every day with our hearts connected to His and our ears attuned to His voice.

We often hear about a prayer need or think about a situation and say to ourselves, I need to pray about that later when I pray.  That thought is a stall tactic of the enemy.  Why not pray right that minute?  We do not pray right away because of the wrong mind-set we have about prayer.  It would be easy if we just followed our hearts, but Satan wants to complicate prayer.  He wants us to procrastinate in the hope that we will forget the matter entirely.  Praying as we sense the desire or need to pray is simple, and it is the way we can pray continually and stay connected to God in every situation throughout the day.

And another one from Sounds Like Reign.  Enjoy...

Saturday, May 9, 2020

May Yarn Along (and the rest)

May already!  And another Yarn Along.

I finished the cardigan I was knitting for granddaughter Hazel and have mailed it off to her.  Hayley wanted one in pale pink yarn (which arrived from Bendigo Woollen Mills a couple of days ago), but I already had this dusty pink yarn so made one up in that while I was waiting for the other to arrive.  But before I start the pale link one, I'm knitting a vest/sleeveless pullover for grandson Jaya...
and while I was in the store buying buttons, I succumbed to a yarn purchase of the variegated yarn in the photo (2 balls).  I don't know what I'll make with it yet, but I thought it was pretty :)

I've finished the crocheted squares for this blanket and am sewing them together.  It's smaller than I wanted, but I only had one ball (200gm) of each colour, so will possibly buy some more yarn to do border rows around the edge... 
and I'm reading my way through the Little House...books (on to book 3) and watching some DVD episodes when the mood takes me.  Good escapism to 'another time, another place' :)

Also been doing a bit of redecorating.  Changed the display on the top of my chest of drawers, and added another  brick frame to the wall (the one on the right - a dried fern leaf)…

This week we had a lovely foggy morning.  And you know how I love fog!!

And then I found these fog quotes by Mehmet Murat ildan…
When you are happy, you feel the sunshine even inside the fog; when you are unhappy, you feel the fog even in the sunshine.
Without trees, mountains, fogs or rain, the sun cannot create its own magic.
You can walk in a dream while you are awake: Just walk in the misty morning of a forest.
We need clear days to see the horizons; we need foggy nights to see beyond the horizons!  Man sometimes can think much deeper when he sees less!
And perhaps the last quote is one of the reasons I love fog.  When walking in it my thoughts seem to be clearer and more focused.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Weekend Words

From Beside the Still Waters devotional:
What Seeds Are You Sowing? - Read Luke 8:4-18

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. - Galatians 6:7

It is interesting to observe different ways that people do their seeding.  In my youth we used horses and seed drills, later we used tractors, and now some people use big air seeders.  When we were in India, we saw people broadcasting seed by hand as farmers did in Bible times.  In the parable of the sower, Jesus taught several lessons abut the sowing of the Word.  We all are sowing in some way.  Today's key verse talks about sowing to the flesh and sowing to the Spirit.  Both kinds of sowing will produce a harvest, either corruption or eternal life.  That's why it is important that the seeds we sow are good according to the Bible.  Hosea 10:12 says, "Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy."  Proverbs 11:18 says, "But to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward."

Let's consider the seeds we are sewing in our homes and elsewhere.  Do people see the joy of the Lord on our faces, or are we grumpy?  Do we show that we are thankful in every situation?  We also need to sow seeds of kindness wherever we go.  Are seeds of honesty and fairness evident in every business deal we make?  Do we sow the seeds of gentleness, or are we bossy?  Seeds of forgiveness are important too.  Are we sowing those seeds regardless of how we are treated?  What about seeds of friendliness?  Proverbs 18:24 says, "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly."  May we never sow to our flesh, but always be sensitive to the Spirit of God so that the seeds we sow will glorify God.
Cleason Martin - Stratton, ON
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. - 2 Corinthians 9:6

Psalm 1:1-3 (KJV)
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law he meditates day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

A bit of everything

Lots of headaches this week due to very unsettled weather, but when I wasn't slowed down, I was building weed boxes...

I need to build it up even higher because I've already almost filled it with the blackberry prunings…
I'll probably come out one morning and it will have all come crashing down!!!
On the days I had to take it easy, I was reading my way through the Little House books...
and watching the DVDs
Still working on my crocheted blanket...
also working on Hazel's cardigan and hope to show you the finished article in my next post
And in between, there are cups of tea, rock cakes and new magazines to browse...
I've taken my indoor plants outside (and given some away) and put them under cover on the back deck.  They were always looking ratty and half dead, so I've decided I will just bring greenery in from the garden every few weeks to brighten the house...
The autumn colours at the river are beautiful at the moment..

And I'll leave you with this one Hayley sent me of Hazel...
who like many of us, is waiting for the church doors to reopen

Time to shut up the house, light the fire, and cosy in for the evening :)