Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Through waves, and clouds, and storms He gently clears the way."

Since 1997, when I received Streams In The Desert, 366 daily devotional readings /[compiled by]
L.B. Cowman, first published in 1925, I have read  almost consistently for 18 years, deriving comfort and encouragement from the daily entries.
Today, July 29th, is no different. A touch of today's blessing reads;

"We must trust the Lord through the darkness, and honor Him with unwavering confidence even in the midst  of difficult situations."      J.R. Macduff

                             " If  we could see beyond today
                                    As God can see;
                               If all the clouds should roll away,
                                     The shadows flee;
                                O'er present griefs we would not fret.
                                Each sorrow we would soon forget,
                                For many joys are waiting yet
                                      for you and me.

                                If we could know beyond today
                                       As God does know,
                                Why dearest treasures pass away
                                       And tears must flow;
                                 And why the darkness leads to light,
                                 Why dreary paths will soon grow bright;
                                 Some day life's wrongs will be made right,
                                         Faith tells us so.

                                "If we could see, if we could know,"
                                         We often say,
                                  But God in love a veil does throw
                                          Across our way;
                                  We cannot see what lies before,
                                  And so we cling to Him the more,
                                  He leads us till this life is o'er;
                                  Trust and obey.
"I have loved you with an everlasting love;
          therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you."   
                                                                                                  Jeremiah 31:3 

                                                                               Post dedicated to anyone so broken in heart,
                                                                               yet, not beyond the healing touch of One, who
                                                                               carried all our brokenness to the Cross, and
                                                                               redeemed  sorrow for inexpressible joy.

Monday, July 27, 2015

"These things I have spoken unto you that in Me you may have peace." John 16:33

This morning, on my walk, I listened, yet again, to this sermon, from many years ago, by John MacArthur, but oh, so timely in the days we are now living. I invite you take time this Monday to listen, ponder the truths he speaks, then share with someone in need of peace in their life.

Peace: A By-Product of Faith, Hope, and Love, Part 2

http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/1563/peace-a-byproduct-of-faith-hope-and-love-part-2 









Have you noticed all the Queen's Anne Lace, also called wild carrot, bird's nest, bishop's lace, now in bloom along roadsides and fields- such striking beauty for our enjoyment by our Creator!


I love the quiet, serene time of early morning walking.
                                                                                                    Stargazer lilies, my favorite,and actually all lilies, casting their fragrance throughout my garden, and enjoyed gracing our table. 
                                                                                    






I could sit for hours, on our front porch, and even from my computer room window, watching the many birds that frequent our two feeders, affording us such enjoyment.

In one of my gardens, I have a small patch of  Blue Paradise Phlox, which I will replant in the fall, in full sun for it to flourish and spread.
It's easy to grow, very fragrant and attracts butterflies.
But the real reason for my love of phlox is that so many memories of my youth are attached to this flower. Oh, how I remember it well in my grandmother's garden!


Come sit, friends, and give thanks for His many
daily blessings- a good way to start the beginning of a new week.
Front porch beauty of petunias and sweet potato vines
Morning glories entwining "Old Glory"


May faith, hope, and  love abide in your hearts,
my friends, through knowing Jesus Christ.

"These things I have spoken unto you 
that in Me you may have peace."

spoken by Jesus
 from John 16:33

Friday, July 17, 2015

Abiding in the Vine During Dark Days

http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/1556
We're living in a very hostile world, each day is affirming this no matter where you make your home on this earth.  But I continue to say that there is hope, found only in a relationship with Christ, a surrender of one's life to Him; then peace reigns in the heart. If you desire a relationship with God and His peace, please read, "Steps to Peace with God" on the right side of this blog or visit www.godlife.com  or  www.peacewithgod.net
As I'm out walking, morning and evening, I now listen to sermons from John MacArthur, whom I believe is a most outstanding Bible teacher of this day. I have been studying the Gospel of John for several weeks, now being in chapter 15; The seventh "I Am" statement of Jesus.

"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit...
By this My Father is glorified that you bear much fruit and so prove to be  My disciples. As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you."    John 15:1,2,8,9

The present series that I am listening to is called "Abiding in Christ" and can be found at
   www.gty.org/resources/sermons
 
http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/1556

 This is a resource I find so helpful during these days when I just want to go so much deeper into
God's Word.

So my gardening friends, are you overloaded with an abundance of that dark green vegetable that seems to grow overnight, in our July gardens?
All sizes and shapes of zucchini are grown in our garden and used in all kinds of recipes, our favorite being Italian Zucchini Pie.
But there is a recipe that tops that and it's Zucchini Bread. I first received this recipe in 1993, from a neighbor across our backyard who brought us a fresh loaf of her bread.
Today, I made 12 small loaves to freeze, to be enjoyed even as late as our Thanksgiving dinner.
Thanks to my dear friend, Cheryl, and happy birthday today!                                        

Blessings upon you, friends, and in prayer for all,
maureen


 Our mother mourning dove used her previous nest and had one more chick.
 This little one is so delightful, and stayed on the porch for a couple days before venturing into the flower garden with the other doves.

                                   

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Praise You In The Storm







As I walk through these days of sorrow, I see His hand is everything around me, knowing He has never left.
Today, as the busyness of kitchen chores keeps me engrossed, yet ever listening to praise and worship music, I was drawn to these words from "Praise You In The Storm".
Thank You, Lord, for this gift at the time I needed it most.
I know many of you, friends, are going through your own storm right now; know that He is with you, and will never leave you. Trust in Him to see you through- just keep praising Him in the storm!
(silence the blog music, lower left, and listen as He talks to you) God bless you!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Your Grace Is Enough


I heard it in his voice, I saw it in her eyes, the unbearable anguish of heart, wringing out pain moments
through the days, since the moment of heart piercing, when death reared its ugly head upon one so loved.
                Even so....

                                        Your Grace is Enough

I heard it in his voice as pastor spoke, Sunday, from Psalm 18:2
                                        The Lord is my rock and my fortress
                                               and my deliverer,
                                        my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
                                        my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Doing "the hard" comes to pastors, too, in the words, "it's cancer", to daughter in her prime years, yet, can answer her father's heart-felt question, "Do you still trust God", with, " Oh yes, I still trust God, no matter what ."
                                         Your Grace is Enough

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness."
                                                                 Jesus   (2 Corinthians 12:9)










Saturday, July 11, 2015

"And God Will Wipe Away Every Tear..."

"...from their eyes; there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. 
There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

Then He who sat on the throne said,
                      "Behold, I make all things new." 
And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."
                                                           Revelation 21:4,5

God of all comfort, heal us, we cry.
It was a soft drizzle that wrapped around the morning graveside service, like tears from heaven falling upon
broken hearts kneeling on interment ground.

"Let not your hearts be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so,  I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
And where I go you know, and the way you know."
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
                                  Jesus' comfort in John 14: 1-4, 27

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Lord Is My Shepherd


Just a few short hours ago, I wrote words of the heaviness  upon my heart- burdens that we carry about life, but most tender and deep are the burdens we carry in our heart for our loved ones.

Did not I say that we must turn them all over to the Lord, to trust Him with our every care, worry, sorry, grief, even all joys, and happiness- He wants it all; we are to surrender it all. He carried our sins, our pain to the cross and it was nailed  with each blow of the hammer upon His precious hands and feet. Then Jesus died in our place.
All because of His deep love for us.

Now,within this last hour, I received word of the death of one so young, so tender, and so very dear to our hearts.
Ask,"Why God?"  No.
I will only trust in my God, my Savior and Lord.

                   Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
                                                                      He makes to lie down in green pastures;
                                                                       He leads me beside the still waters.
                                                                       He restores my soul;
                                                                       He leads me in the paths of righteousness
                                                                       For His name's sake.
                                                                       
                                         Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
 I will fear no evil;
For  You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.
                                           Trust in God,  our only hope.                                                                


Saturday, July 4, 2015

"When God Whispers Loudly"

This is the title of a very small book, by Chris Hibbard, I found in my Kindle collection yesterday. So small it took only minutes to read, but a profound message that I needed to hear, at just this time, when days can seem overwhelmingly stressful and out of control in our world and National situations, and questions arise, "Why God?"
Throughout the day, God loudly whispered,"Trust in Me.Stay close to Me."
So, I say to you, friend, whatever is heavy on your heart today, give it all to Him, because He cares for you, and has promised to carry all our burdens, if we but trust in Him.
                                    "Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
                                     and do not lean on your own understanding.
                                     In all your ways acknowledge Him,
                                     and He will make straight your paths."  Proverbs 3:5,6
As I walked early this morning, singing my praises to God, I was aware of the many displayed flags flying from homes around my neighborhood in honor of the memory of  that day in 1776, when our founding fathers wrote;
" We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."     From the document  In Congress, July 4th, 1776, A Declaration by the Representatives  of the United States of America In General Congress Assembled.

                                                            "Is It the Fourth?"
"Those were the last words recorded of Thomas Jefferson. He had authored the Declaration of Independence exactly fifty years before he took his last breath. He died July 4, 1826. That same day, his great rival and dear friend, John Adams, died five hundred sixty-two miles to the North. Adams' last words were; 'Thomas Jefferson still survives.'" 
  quotes from newsletter from Tony Perkins' Washington Update for July 3, 2015

As we celebrate with family and friends this 4th of July weekend, let us remember and affirm together,

                                "In God We Trust "

Friday, July 3, 2015

This Fredom Weekend...


Let us be in prayer of thanksgiving, of praise and glory to our God, who has given us our freedoms in this Country, our godly heritage, yet, now so fragile and threatened. Lift your voices, asking God to heal our land as we seek His face on our knees.

Join me in prayer with Intercessors for America, today, first Friday of the month prayer.
Today, thanking God for our godly heritage.  12:15 EST

www.ifapray.org/resources/first-friday-fast  Thank you, and may God's blessings be upon you this weekend.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Grace Moments Through It All





 "Through it all,
   Through it all,
        My eyes are on You. Through it all.
 So let go my soul and trust in Him
The wind and waves still know His name.
        It is well with my soul."
                                               from Bethel Music

Yes, my friends, through all the dark, dreary chaos of the days, our God still controls all. His plans are so far above ours in every trial, tribulation, sorrow, strive, you or I may face. I always come back to my favorite
Psalm 46 for comfort.
                                         God is Our Fortress
                         "God is our refuge and strength,
                          a very present help in trouble.
                          Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
                           though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
                           though its waters roar and foam,
                           though the mountains tremble at its swelling...
                           The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
                            He utters his voice, the earth melts...
                            Be still, and know that I am God.
                             "I will be exalted among the nations,
                             I will be exalted in the earth."...

Do not fear, nor be troubled, trust in Him, alone. There is such peace in knowing Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Jesus said of Himself, " Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me."  John 14:1
           www.godlife.com/look-to-jesus

As our rainy spring season has passed, I have lots of grace moments to share, like the opening cloud picture
that I was able to capture after one of the exceedingly heavy rain storms. As I gazed upon the sky, I was filled with the wonder of God as He displays Himself in His Creation. I could only humbly say, thank You, God.

 My camera is always within easy reach, otherwise I might miss moments like a beautiful butterfly
stopping from a flight to land on a chaise cushion.


 Father's Day, we were blessed to have all of our children and some of our grandchildren here with us in celebration.
 Gifts ready, flowers on the table, food prepared, but why the picture of the glass swan that sits on my kitchen window shelf?
Because that amber colored swan belonged to my
husband's mother, and for me, it is a constant reminder to be in prayer for all of my children and grandchildren as she did every day of her life, even to the day that she entered eternal glory.
Prayer, for her, was an essence of living. I know my husband is a man of God, because of prayer-her prayers as he was growing up, and every day thereafter, and now mine.
For many years I have read, daily, in my devotion time;
The Power of a Praying Wife and   The Power of a Praying Parent,
now using,      The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children.
                                                                                         by S. Omartian
Prayer changes everything! 
 























Every year,it seems, we have a different bird stopping by to build a nest on our porch- this year, it's a mourning dove.

 In early June, a very flimsy nest began to be built on an inside porch  log. Mama bird nestled there for two weeks, undisturbed by the opening and closing of the porch door. Neither did she mind my watching as I busied myself with yard work, using the porch often.
I "Googled" my way to a better understanding of my new neighbors, to find that the male and female take turns sitting on the eggs; male daytime nesting, female nests at night.
They are
 so very quiet, not even chirping when the two nestlings hatched two weeks later. The parents feed their young crop milk,(pigeon milk), by opening their mouth wide; the nestling sticks its head inside to feed on the milk. Both young doves took their solo flight on June 7th. From then on, they stayed around the grounds close to the porch, waiting patiently for their parents to feed them.
After flight out of nest, this one liked the comfort of my shoe!

Mother dove with one of  her young
Both parents

Preparing the nest
Tender moment

Parent watching

The young spent hours sitting close to the house among the flowers

Watchful parent on porch log

Parent and young one's first flight to tree branch.
Now, my two new friends, are no longer sitting together on the fence, but I know they're among the birds at the feeders, on the ground or in the close-by trees of our yard, while their parents are busy again sitting on the same porch nest preparing for two more nestlings-soon!
I'm totally blessed to be close-by observant of God's nature moments.



June is also a time for homeschool testing. I am forever grateful to be a part of administering tests to four dear children, belonging to a loving, very inspiring Christian family. Truly my honor to spend two days with this family.




Summer! The time of extra hours with my youngest granddaughter.
 Outdoor fun, reading and new paper-mache project!

On-going book What Would Jesus Do?, reading few chapters at a time during our visits.




















Endless garden hours devoted by husband, preparing lots of vegetables, especially tomatoes, lettuce, cilantro for summer salads.








This same hard worker, now picking cherries from our tree, and then off to our son's trees; hours of picking from bountiful branches!
I spent the last day of June preparing them into concentrated juice, using my new steamer; making cherry pies, freezing bags of cherries for winter use, and making cherry preserves.
Thus, the month of June ended, and through it all; the fun times, family gathering times, the hard news times, the work times and sleep times- and all the grace moments between,
            through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You. Thank You, Lord, for all your grace moments.
And to all of you, friends, who took the time to read this blog, I pray God's abundant blessings upon you, and yours, especially my friends reading this in Russia; so blessed to have you here.