Tag Archive | God

Weedy Mess

My garden has been a weedy mess! The soaker hoses are strung out, but they have not had to be used much. Weeds have flourished, and vegetables have needed pampering because in the past month my garden has endured heavy frost, a blizzard, hail, wind, and rain.

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Yesterday and today, I finally had some time to eradicate those pesky weeds. Between animal chores and running errands for my Farmer, I pulled weeds, installed tomato cages, mulched around plants, planted remaining vegetable seeds, and swept the carpet paths.  Whew!!

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What a transformation! The early potatoes are blooming and second planting of peas are almost ready to pick. It’s much more enjoyable to pick and dig without weeds. Also, the tomato plants survived the frost and blizzard, and they are blooming on strong stalks.

What’s the past month been like for you? Have you weathered some storms of life? Are you growing stronger, or have you let your guard down allowing weeds to take over? It is time to tackle those weeds! The following is part of David’s prayer of repentance found in Psalm 51, and I pray these verses often.

Wash me clean from my guilt.
    Purify me from my sin.
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and make me willing to obey you. (NLT)

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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

Unhurried

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Early morning I headed to the garden to pick green beans and cut lettuce as coffee dripped filling the pot. With those tasks complete, coffee cup full and Bible in hand I headed to the porch. It was a beautiful morning as the sun tried to rise above low lying clouds on the eastern horizon. The sun seemed to take its time before it burst forth bright and warm. Not only did I enjoy this slow progression, I also allowed myself some much needed unhurried time with God.

As I read my Bible, I began to ponder the vast difference between “knowledge OF God” and “relationship WITH God.” The Bible reminds us that even Satan knows who God is. (James 2:19)  I can have knowledge of God, and in my own strength try to do what is right. I can also go to church, sing on the music team or in the choir, read my Bible and pray. However, if I am doing all this for show, self gratification, or to check it off my to do list, I am doing them for the wrong reason. God invites us to have a relationship with him.

Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. James 4:8

Do I check God off my to do list; is my loyalty divided, or is God my heart’s obsession? Other things and relationships are no substitution for my personal time with God in prayer, reading His word, in worship, and listening for his guidance, wisdom, and instruction.

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3

Do you have a relationship WITH God, or do you simply know about Him? Take some unhurried time to pray and read the Bible. As you draw near to Him, He will come close to you.

Too Many Glitches

I can’t think of a much better way to begin my day than some time with God and then coffee and breakfast outside with my hubby. This morning dawned a beautiful, calm morning with pleasant temperatures so that’s exactly what happened.

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Now, just because the day has a great beginning, it is no indication that the entire day will follow suit.

For a few years, my washing machine has had issues with the cold water. For some reason, the cold water just dribbles in. However, the hot water runs great. With the wash setting at “warm”, the water is actually hot which has resulted in too many outfits shrunk. The other day Mr. Plumber replaced the cold water pipe from the main line to the washer hook-up. I don’t usually get excited about doing laundry, but this morning was different. I was eager to see how quickly I could run a load through with a better cold water supply. I left the laundry room door open so I could hear the washer while I began my office work. I was pleasantly surprised how quick the washer filled and began agitating. I was in the process of categorizing an invoice when suddenly I heard water forcefully splashing in the laundry room. I raced to see what was going on. The washer was emptying the dirty water onto the floor! Mr. Plumber apparently forgot to put the drain hose back in the drain. UGH!! My stacked washer/dryer combo full of work jeans and half full of water was too heavy for me to pull it away from the wall to clean up the water mess. Fortunately, Hubby was still at the shop, and graciously moved it for me. Mopping the laundry room floor, and deep cleaning behind the washer was not on my agenda for today, but I can now say my spring cleaning has officially begun!

With the laundry room scrubbed, I finally returned to my office tasks. Bill paying and preparing invoices should not have taken as long as it did today. Let me just say that when a deposit does not get entered, the books do not balance.

When my office duties were complete, I was finally able to work outside. As I was walking through the yard, my dog ahead of me suddenly stopped and began to raise a ruckus. I cautiously approached, but couldn’t see what she was fussing about. Swiftly she flung something in the air, then pounced at it, barked, grabbed it in her mouth, and slapped it to the ground. It was just a garter, but there’s one less snake to startle me.

Towards evening I went for a walk/jog. My dog was having a hayday, scaring up rabbits and giving them a good chase. My heart rate quickened as I high stepped over this critter!

image Yes, those are little button rattles on his tail!

Today had more glitches than I fancy. However, I am thankful for …a washing machine, clean scrubbed floor, helpful Hubby, balanced accounts, God’s provision,  protective dog, God’s protection, humor, and oh so much more.

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Psalm 68:19

 

 

Pray without Ceasing

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)

This verse could easily be devoted to 3 blogs, but today let’s focus on verse 17, “Pray without ceasing.” There are many times throughout my day that I, myself, need God’s wisdom or intervention. In 1 Peter 5, we are encouraged to cast all our cares on God because He cares for us.  Isn’t it wonderful that God cares for each one of us?!  Galatians 5 instructs us to  share in each other’s problems and troubles, carrying each other’s burdens. There are people hurting all around us, and one way to carry their burden is praying for them.

If we pray without ceasing/stopping, how can we get anything else done? Just think of your typical day; work, school, family needs, meal prepping and cleanup, household duties, laundry, bill paying, church and community volunteer responsibilities, after school activities, and …

Pray all day?!

How can we continually pray?

Obviously, we cannot physically be on our knees, head-bowed, and eyes-shut in prayer all day. Prayer is an attitude as well as an activity. Did you catch that?

Prayer is an attitude as well as an activity.

Here are three steps to get us started in our quest:

  • Diligently seek and depend on God throughout the day.
  • Intentionally turn thoughts of others into prayers. For instance, a friend pops into my thoughts while I’m working. I can use that opportunity to pray, “Thank you God for (friend’s name). She is hurting today; comfort her.”
  • When thoughts turn to worry, fear, discouragement, or anger, turn those thoughts into prayer. In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul reminds us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (ESV)

As we practice and are more intentional to “pray without ceasing”, our focus will change. Constant, never-ending, persistent prayer, longing for God and his help, being humbly dependent on God, is an essential part of christian living.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2 

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Good Morning

“Good morning, merry sunshine,
How did you wake so soon?
You chased away the little stars,
And shone away the moon!”

I remember my mom singing this little verse to wake me on summer mornings when I was young. I’ve tried it a few times with my camp girls, but they did not appreciate my early morning song!

Are you a morning person? Although my days have started early for so much of my life that even on vacation I usually wake with the sun or before, I naturally am not a morning person. I do enjoy starting early mornings with Jesus and the sunrise. A vast expanse of eastern skies with very little to block the view is right out my bedroom window, and the scene from my porch bench for warmer mornings. As I read my Bible and pray my eyes are often lifted towards the dawning sun. I begin the day with the assurance that God knows what lies ahead, and I do not need to try to tackle the obstacles on my own.

Morning by morning he wakens me
and opens my understanding to his will. Isaiah 50:4b NLT

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Those who live at the ends of the earth
stand in awe of your wonders.
From where the sun rises to where it sets,
you inspire shouts of joy. Psalm 65:8 NLT

 Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,
 so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.                                                                                  Psalm 90:14 NLT

Do you remember this little chorus?

“Heavenly Sunshine. Heavenly Sunshine.   Flooding my soul with glory devine.  Heavenly Sunshine. Heavenly Sunshine.  Hallelujah! Jesus is mine.”

 Have a blessed day, and if the sun is not shining in your part of the world, I pray the SON will brighten your day!

The Word is “Kind” Part 2

2015 has been quite the year! Throughout these past 12 months I have been on a personal study of the word “KIND”. You can read about that decision HERE. My eyes have been open to the kindness around and in me. However, at first it seemed I was mainly aware of UNkindness.

Have you noticed how negative our society can be?  The daily news bombards us with doom and gloom reporting. TV and social media is full of backstabbing, criticism, lying, and cheating. Workplaces become a battle ground of gossip, jealousy, and sometimes a celebration of someone’s failure. It was disheartening to recognize the magnitude of this ugliness.  In the midst of these observations I was reminded that my word is “Kind” not “unkind”, and Ephesians 4:32 became my verse for the year.

 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

I soon changed my focus to:

  • Intentionally looking for kindness in others
  • Expressing my appreciation when I witness kindness
  • Working on my attitude and behavior to be kind

Kind is a willingness to do good or give pleasure, a sympathetic attitude towards others, having a good or benevolent nature or disposition, considerate, helpful.

One day as I was subbing, I had a student that was being a pest to anyone that came near him. In fact, he had a girl in tears from his unkind words before the morning bell rang! Our day was not off to a great start, and I dreaded what might take place at morning recess. I breathed a quick, “Thank you, Jesus.” prayer when the boy left the basketball game to play with another student. As the class was lining up to return to class, I quietly told the boy I noticed and appreciated how kind he was on recess. The rest of the day was near perfect, and I have not seen the negative behavior on days I’ve been back in his classroom.

Opportunities to be kind present themselves every hour of the day. Growing up, my mom often said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!” I oftentimes know very little of the trials others are dealing with. They may be having the very worst day of their life, and I have a choice. I can encourage or discourage.

Love is patient and kind” 1 Corinthians 13:4a.

This word study has been a great and challenging exercise, but more than that it is an ongoing life changer. It takes time and practice to overcome and rise above negativity. My goal was not to merely recognize kindness, but for my life and love to be overflowing with kindness. I have not yet accomplished that goal; I am a work in progress.

Did you choose a word for the year? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Will you be choosing a word for 2016? What will it be?

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