RaIn!!

We have been praying for 3 weeks now, asking God to rain on the prairie. Thousands of acres burned leaving ranch land naked. Wind has blown topsoil and sand creating drifts in the ditches. Today, God has answered the prayers of many.

 R a i n ! !

Glorious rain has fallen throughout the day. The earth, like a sponge, is soaking it up as quickly as possible. This has not been our normal spring  isolated shower that dumps rain in a small area and then quickly moves on. This is cell is hovering over us, gently pouring. The weather radar indicates that it could continue raining throughout the next 24 hours or more. I not only celebrate for myself, but more so for friends and neighbors who needed this rain desperately to bring plant life back to their barren land.

Sing to the Lord with grateful praise;
    make music to our God on the harp.

 He covers the sky with clouds;
    he supplies the earth with rain
    and makes grass grow on the hills.
 He provides food for the cattle
    and for the young ravens when they call.
Psalms 147: 7-9 NIV

Thank you, God, for hearing and answering our pleas!

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I hope you will praise God with me, and please pray for these ranchers in my corner of the world that have lost so very much. This rain will cause vegetation to grow, but it will take much time to rebuild homes, corrals, barns, miles of fence, and cattle herds.

Freezing Rain

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In my corner of the state, moisture of any kind has been next to nothing for quite sometime now. Therefore, when the rain began to fall last evening, I was filled with joy even when it did soon begin to freeze.

It rained through the night, and continues as I type. Already branches are snapping from the heavy coat of ice. This harsh pruning is leaving jagged breaks. Sometimes, when God prunes me, this is what it feels like – harsh, jagged, breaks. However, over time, as I submit to Him and grow He smooths out the splintered edges.

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Choring with Hubby was a bit cold, wet, and slippery, but there were many reasons to be joyful. There was a slight breeze to keep the windmill pumping water for the cows, and although the fence is sagging look at how wet the lane is! That field of wheat will certainly benefit from this moisture.

One does not need to look hard to see that beauty abounds!

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He [God] gives a command to the earth and it quickly obeys him.
 He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes.
He throws down hail like rocks.
    No one can stand the cold he sends.
 Then he gives a command, and it melts.
    He sends the breezes, and the waters flow.
Psalms 147:15-18 NCV

PuMpKiNs

With a sure-to-kill hard freeze, it was time to cook up the pumpkins I’ve had setting outside for Autumn decor. Before I get into that, here’s a picture of the monogrammed pumpkins I grew for my grandsons.

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Back to cooking pumpkins…

After I have my pumpkin cooked and mashed it is ready to use in a multitude of recipes – pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, pumpkin soup, pumpkin custard, pumpkin pop tarts, pumpkin whoopie pies, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin french toast, and the list can go on and on. Today, I’m prepping for Thanksgiving. I am usually asked to bring dinner rolls to our family gathering, so I made pumpkin dinner rolls. Now before you turn up your nose, let me tell you that there is no pumpkin flavor. However, the rolls are a delightful golden color. The pumpkin also adds nutritional benefits to the rolls, and can replace half of the fat called for in your recipe. These rolls are moist, light, airy, and most delish when eaten warm with a bit of fresh butter. I admit; I could hardly wait for one to cool enough to sample!

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I also made pumpkin cinnamon rolls to serve for Thanksgiving Day breakfast.

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These freeze well, so I’ll thaw at room temperature Wednesday night. In the morning, I will warm them in the oven while I whip up some cream cheese frosting. It will be a quick and easy breakfast before we hit the road to join friends and family for Thanksgiving dinner.

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For your enjoyment, here is the Pumpkin Dinner Roll recipe.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups warm milk
2 Tablespoons softened butter
2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin
2 teaspoons salt
5 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons Instant yeast
5-7 cups all-purpose flour

In large mixing bowl combine salt, whole wheat flour, and yeast.
Heat honey, water, milk, butter until very warm.
Pour over dry ingredients and mix.
Add pumpkin and mix.
Add all purpose flour 1 cup at a time until dough can be handled.
Knead on floured board 10 minutes adding flour as needed.
Place dough in greased bowl and cover. Let rest 10 minutes.
Prepare/grease pans or baking sheets.
Form dough into balls and place in pans. Cover and let rise in warm place until double in size (about 30 minutes).
Bake 350 for 15-20 minutes.
Serve warm. Makes approximately 4 doz.

What is your favorite way to eat pumpkin?

 

Sunbeam

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Seeing these sunbeams radiating through the old barn wall, brought to mind a song I’ve not heard nor sung for many years. When I was a little girl, I remember my mom singing it to me.

Jesus wants me for a sunbeam,
To shine for him each day;
In every way try to please him,
At home, at school, at play.
A sunbeam, a sunbeam,
Jesus wants me for a sunbeam.
A sunbeam, a sunbeam,
I’ll be a sunbeam for him.
Next time I’m with my grands, I may need to catch sunbeams with them, and then sing the sunbeam song.

Not My Plan

I was all prepared to spend a long evening on the tractor, but God had other plans. These clouds passed over the field with darker ones building and following close behind dumping buckets of rain.

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I only remember using windshield wipers a couple times in the tractor, so it took some looking for the right switch. At first the wipers and sprinkles made mud on the glass, but soon the rain had it washed. By the time I made it to the field’s edge and pickup, it was an all out downpour! Obviously my evening plans were changed!

On my way home, I was thinking of how often my plans are not God’s plans. This rain not only changed plans for this evening, but for tomorrow as well.

Isaiah 55:8 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord

God wants us to seek and call upon Him (vs 6). Do I daily seek God and His direction, or am I too caught up in making my own plans and to-do list?

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

As a farmer during planting season, the next verse in Isaiah 55 speaks volumes to me. Many variables are out of my control when it comes to getting a good harvest, but God IS in control.

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater…”

When I give up control and truly seek God, His purpose will be evident in my life.
“…my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:11-12

Joy, peace, and bursting forth with song, that’s the life I want to live! God’s plan, not mine!

 

Refuge

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This guy is taking refuge from the rain in the skirt of my porch curtain.

When the rains come in your life, where do you take refuge?

But let all who take refuge in you [God] rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. Psalm:5:11

Victory in Jesus

Windows were open wide with a cool gentle breeze coming through. Coyotes were howling beyond the pasture fence as I drifted to sleep. I stirred when it began to rain, but was soon lulled back to slumber. Later, a death cry shriek jolted me awake! I recognized that squawk, and I knew instantly  I had one less guinea. I, however, did NOT expect nor need to see this out my kitchen door first thing this morning!!

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This is part of nature, but I’m ready for my dog to learn to share her barnyard! 

It seems there have been too many deaths in my corner of the country during the past several months. Deaths that have left a couple families with children to grow up without their dads; husbands and wives no longer have their soulmate; grandmas,  grandpas, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, friends have died leaving only memories and a noticeable void in community and family. I cannot begin to imagine the depths of grief my friends are facing.

There are so many “why” questions that keep running through my head that I will probably never have the answers until eternity. I do not know why God did not grant healing to the loved ones that so many prayed fervently believing God would work a miracle. However, my faith in God does not waver because I do not have enough faith to believe there is no God. I am also comforted knowing most of these friends lived their lives in a way that left no doubt they loved God wholeheartedly, placed their faith in Jesus Christ, and are spending eternity in the presence of God.

If you died today, where would you spend eternity?

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.  For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.  For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Romans 3:22-26 NLT

 For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16 NLT

Do you believe?

When our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.  But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 NLT

There is victory in Jesus!

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