Archive | July 2013

Praying for Him

How often do you pray for your husband, or do you? As the leader of the family, husbands have incredible responsibilities weighing on them. Rather than nagging, complaining or criticizing, praying for him daily is key for any Christian wife.

There are so many different things to pray about: health, work, knit-picky things that would drive any woman crazy. Don’t stop there. Have you thought about praying for his integrity and reputation? It is often the husband’s reputation that sets the status for the family. A good reputation can take years to build, yet it only takes an instant to tear down.

Dear God, May he trust in You and not be afraid of what man can do to him. (Ps.56:11)

Do you pray for him to be strong and able to flee temptation? We would be naive to think that our husbands will not face temptation. Evil is all around, so pray he will be able to take a stand against whatever temptations are thrown at him, and that he will see the way out that God will provide.

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Cor. 10:13 NLT

What happens when he fails? Too many times, wives are quick to point out the failure over and over. Instead, he needs love, forgiveness and support from his wife.

“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32 NLT

Do you pray for your husbands relationship with God, his spiritual journey?

Dear God, Your word says that those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please you. (Rom. 8:8) So I ask that you would help my husband walk in your spirit and produce fruit of the Holy Spirit in his life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Gal. 5:22,23) Let him follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of his life.

These are only a few topics to pray about; the list could go on and on. To see change and growth in your husband, you and your marriage, daily pray for him.

Sometimes There Is a Bigger Plan

I was visiting with a friend this week, and we were talking about all that has transpired in the past year or so in our lives. We’ve had some expected and some very unexpected twists and turns. She in fact is approaching a huge crossroad right now. Seeking my advice, I responded with, “I really don’t know what you should do IF _______ happens. I do know from my own experience that if I had known ahead of time where and what God was taking me, I probably would have said, ‘No thanks; I can’t do that; God, you have the wrong person.'” Sometimes there is a bigger plan up ahead just around the next bend that we can’t see now.

I have been challenged as I study the life of David: King David, Shepherd Boy to Man After God’s Own Heart. I have always appreciated David’s open honesty of his feelings especially in the book of Psalms. He shares the good, the bad, the ugly, and joyful praise to God. David does not stay angry or in the pit of despair. After he pours out his heart to God, he clings to faith and trust in God, giving “thanks to the Lord for His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136)

Following David’s example, we too must not let fear, disappointment or anger cripple us. We must work through these emotional responses. “O my people, trust in him [God] at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8 NLT God knows and understands all our emotions and reactions. We may not know the outcome, yet we can intentionally choose to trust God, because He does know. We don’t have to know what is on the road ahead, around the bend, or beyond the hill to trust Him. God has a plan for me; God has a plan for you, and sometimes there is a bigger plan that right now we cannot see.

Crafty?

Are you a crafty person? Not so long ago, it would not be a compliment if someone said you were crafty? Being crafty meant you were skillful in scheming underhandedly and deceitful. Today, on the other hand, the common meaning is one who is skillful, artsy, creative. Some of my kids have been blessed with the crafty gene. They seem to be able to create things in a broad spectrum from detailed and elegant to simple from a little-bit-of- nothing.

My exterior garage wall is the back drop for the patio table. It has been bare for all these years because I have been at a loss of what to do on that blank canvas. My youngest son came to the rescue. He was resourceful. He started by reclaiming an old barn board. To that he got the necessary hardware to attach a couple jelly jars and a jar candle. To set off the simple, rustic beauty, I painted some shutter doors from a vanity that had seen better years. Together they complete the patio dining area.

patio wall

Isn’t it neat how God gives each of us different gifts and talents? I was reading recently in Exodus where God was giving very detailed instructions for the construction of the Tabernacle.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft! “And I have personally appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make: the Tabernacle; the Ark of the Covenant;  the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement; all the furnishings of the Tabernacle; the table and its utensils; the pure gold lampstand with all its accessories; the incense altar; the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils; the washbasin with its stand; the beautifully stitched garments—the sacred garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments for his sons to wear as they minister as priests; the anointing oil; the fragrant incense for the Holy Place. The craftsmen must make everything as I have commanded you.” Exodus 31:1-11 NLT

Can you imagine being one of the chosen craftsmen to construct the tabernacle and all that was to go in it? This was the tent of meetings, where the people were called to meet God. God gave the blueprint, and the craftsmen gave their time, skill, hard work and sweat. You may not be a skilled craftsman or even a smidgen crafty, but God has given you special gifts and talents. Are you using them for Him and for His glory, or for your own esteem?


I Want to be FAT

I see and hear many comments about this diet or that, zumba & water aerobics, and what makes the tastiest green smoothie. I’m wondering, “How are you doing with your summer diet and fitness program?” Have you acquired a bikini body yet? Gardening has replaced my winter workouts; I have a hard time drinking anything green, and you wouldn’t catch me in a bikini even if I had a bikini body! I have decided I want to be fat. That’s right! I really do. I want to be FAT!

Fear not, I promise not to binge eat or stop being active, but I know God wants me to be fat, too. Are you laughing at me?! Do you think I have for sure lost my marbles? Well, think what you want, I’m not changing my mind! You may wonder why I believe God wants me fat. The simple reason is because when I’m fat that is when God really gets my attention.  I learn, grow and am willing to use my gifts and talents for his glory.

                                                           F aithful
                                                           A vailable
                                                           T eachable

Yes, God wants me to be fat, and I want to be FAT!

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17

Show and Tell Saturday

It has been a while since my last show and tell, so on this Saturday morning that is what I’ll do. First, I have a question for you. What do you do on a summer afternoon when the temps are in triple digits? I was working outside yesterday afternoon, and really didn’t mind the heat too much. Of course, the Kansas breeze (or wind depending on where you live) keeps the air moving so it feels much different than ninety degrees, calm and 100% humidity.

I have a patch of bamboo. I really don’t know what type of bamboo it is, because I got a start from a friend close to twenty years ago. It grows tall and green, is drought tolerant, and spreads. This spreading could be a problem in some areas where there is a lot of moisture, but I have not had any problems with it being invasive in our dry locale.  I very seldom water it, yet it still gets lush and about 12 feet tall, with big bushy plumes in the fall.

green

In the winter, this bamboo dies back so it can grow knew stalks in spring. Some people let the dried stalks stand, but I don’t like the straggly look when the new growth comes up. Instead, I cut them off. A chain saw makes quick work of them. The first couple years, I threw the pile over the alley fence, and they are still there! They do not decompose quickly at all. So then I started hauling them to the brush pile in the pasture.  They seem to make a great protective habitat for many critters. The beginning of May, we cut the old stalks off , and they’ve  been piled since.

bamboo

A few years ago, Hubby bought a small, portable wood chipper. It is not made for heavy duty tree branches, but works great for shrub clippings and such. Yesterday, Hubby graciously started the chipper for me. I am neither strong enough nor tall enough to get enough leverage on the pull rope to crank the engine. Besides, it makes him feel special to know I need him. 😉   I quickly went to work turning the pile of bamboo into chips to use for mulch. Although it was hot, I did not mind the work at all. It really was not a difficult job, and I was excited about the growing mound. Today, I’ll cart it to the yard and spread it under some young trees.

mulch

I ended up with 4 bags of free mulch. All it took was a little time and a bit of sweat. What project are you working on? My next one will be on the patio. Check back to see what it is.

  I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him? Ecclesiastes 2:24, 25

To Sell or Not to Sell

This morning Hubby and I were discussing “to sell” or “not to sell” as we prepare to bring cattle off rented pastures. As farmers and ranchers know, we have no power over the weather. Our corner of Kansas has seen too many years-in-a-row of drought. The dry parched grassland is taking a toll, and can’t seem to catch up with new growth.

Knowing the grass was going to be in short supply, we sold part of the herd in late spring. We had hoped to get enough rain showers to meet the grazing needs of the rest of the herd. This afternoon as I was traveling home from town, I could see clouds in the southwest and rain streaks in the sky. I am not good at judging distances so I couldn’t tell if it was close to our place or down in the Oklahoma Panhandle. But I just began pouring out my heart to God and thanking Him for the rain he was sending.

When I left town the thermometer read 102! About halfway home, big drops of rain began to splat on my windshield, and the temperature began to do a nosedive. In fact, by the time I pulled into the garage the thermometer had plummeted to 78 degrees!! Cooling, refreshing rain on a scalding summer day. Thank you, Lord for this blessing from above!!

Since summer showers in our part of the country can be so spotty – rain here and dry 2 miles away or the other way around – I took pictures for proof! (Please excuse the poor quality of photography. These were taken from within my vehicle while rain was still pouring down.)

Image

The corner of our field.

Image

Muddy Lane

The question still remains “to sell” or “not to sell”. We’ll see if this rain is enough to give the grass a growth spurt.

“O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer.” Psalm 63:1-4

Joyful Singing

As I was working in the yard, the mockingbird siblings were trying to out do one another in their singing. With a bit of imagination, I could almost here them sing:

“I can sing anything you can sing better. I can sing anything better than you.”
“No, you can’t!”
“Yes, I can.”
“No, You can’t!”
“Yes, I can!”

Whatever it was, their chorusing back and forth was a joyful tune.

Oh how I love music. It can express any emotion and tell any kind of story, but the music I enjoy most is singing praises to God. Have you ever heard 130 third through eighth graders worshiping God in song? They sing without caring if they are too loud or on the right tune. They sing their hearts out to God. The praise and worship music from last week’s camp was that kind of singing!

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” Psalm 98:4

“Singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.” Ephesians 5:19

Now that I think about it, maybe those mockingbird siblings were singing:

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart….