Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Pleasant Chore


I bought a Bible for the writing room. I've wanted one in there for many years, but just didn't get around to it. I'd always walk out to the living room where I keep my Bible, or, if I didn't know where the verse was in the Bible, I'd pulled it up on Bible Gateway. No more! I finally bought one to use where I do my writing, praying, reading and picture creating!

         I love red barns, especially in the snow. The shed in red also, centered with snowy grass.

I decided to highlight the same verses in the new Bible that I have in my other Bible. I started with Psalms, and now have done Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs and Isaiah. I'm loving it!

Getting to read everything that is underlined in my Bible again is refreshing and fulfilling. It's also causing me to remember why I underlined certain verses.

                             I love lighted lampposts, and was happy when I found this one!

I use this verse when I'm talking about note writing: Proverbs 11:25: " . . . he who refreshes others will himself by refreshed." It is an inspiration to me and will help others realize how an encouraging word will help the receiver as well as the writer. And my ability to fulfill this is in Isaiah 5:40: " . . . to know the word that sustains the weary." A supernatural encouragement.

When I was a new Christian my sister and brother-in-law gave me Psalm 61 "that leads me to the rock that is higher than I" when my heart was breaking.

                  These horses must have been having a heavy conversation, nose to nose!

Isaiah 7:9a reminds me "if you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all." My faith is always strengthened when I read those words, reminding me I must take a stand.

Most of my adult life after coming to Christ, when I was depressed or there was nothing I could do about a situation, I would go to 2 Chronicles 20 and read where Jehoshaphat defeats Moab and Ammon and cling to these words: "We have no power to face this vast army that is attaching us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you . . . ( and the Lord said) "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle I not yours, but God's." Thank you, Father!

       This is our friend, Talmadge's, barns where I expect all the cows were warm and resting.

I'm reminded that God bought His light to the Gentiles when he says: "I will make you a light to the Gentiles that you may bring my salvations to the end of the earth" in Isaiah 49:6b.

When I'm caught in a desire to speak poorly about someone I found Ecclesiastes 7:22 that says: "you yourself have cursed others." A solemn reminder.

      The trees looked especially lovely early Tuesday morning, and I delighted in looking at them.

I thought this might be a chore to complete, but it is anything but. It's been a refreshing reminder of the past and a bright light for the future! It's amazing what doing a simple thing, unexpectantly, can do for your frame of mind. How fortunate I am to have thought to do this

Jo and Abby were sniffing something at the fence line, which prompted Abby to take a leap over and see what it was.

Loved this snow fall! Not too much and easy to get around. Thank you, Jerry, for taking me out to capture some snaps!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

About the Heart


"A heart in every thought renewed And full of love divine,
Perfect and right and pure and good, A copy, Lord, of thine."
Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

February is now upon us! The month is best know for Valentine's Day, except for those people who have birthday's in February, in which my sister does. Yes, there's some famous birthdays, and the famous Groundhog Day, in which I visited and saw where Punxsutawney Phil lives. There's also Mardi Gras Day. But I think Valentine's Day marks among the favorites in the hearts of people.

"God seems interested in little things . . . He makes much of little things--as much as He wants to . . . He probably wants more encouraging notes sent than books written . . That's good news for those of us who have only little things to work with . . . Or a word or deed so tiny it can't even be remembered--except by the recipient, who may never, ever forget." Sandra P.  Aldrich Y Bobbie Valentine, Heartprints

I loved these stamps that came out in 2007 in time for Valentine's Day. What goes better with love than kisses!

For so many years that I can't remember how many, I've made a habit of sending out 30 to 40 cards to friends and family, widows, those hurting and those forgotten on Valentines Day. I believe I was still in my single days, and had my share of broken hearts and decided maybe I could cheer other hearts on this special day.

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye." Antoine De Saint-Exupery (1900-1944)

And it has become an annual ritual I look forward to doing each February. You can imagine how many Valentine cards I've purchased and created. One that I still believe is my favorite was created from a graphic in my friend, Karla Dornacher's book: The Blessing of Friendship, A Gift from the Heart, published by Countryman in 2000. I got permission from Karla to create it with the names of my friends in the heart. It was a labor of love. I tried to find the one I created but haven't yet, so this is the one in her book

My friend, Gail, and I, got to meet Karla at a retreat held in Western Maryland. What a joy and honor to meet a friend with a kindred spirit! What a fun time we had! Gail and I also suggested Karla for a WMU retreat and had the honor of picking her up from the airport and enjoying one-on-one time with her.


Thank you, Karla, for the many times my heart has been encouraged by your art, your books and the words you share on your Facebook page. You can find her on Etsy too. Her website is www.KarlaDornacher.com

This annual practice also helps to cheer me on Valentine's day knowing I may have brought a smile to someone else. The recipient and me smile together!

"The widest thing in the universe is not space; it is the potential capacity of the human heart. Being made in the image of God, it is capable of almost unlimited extension in all directions. And one of the world's greatest tragedies is that we allow our hearts to shrink until there is room in them for little beside ourselves." A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)

I found this years ago, maybe on the web.  don't know who created it, but it certainly us a true statement from the Bible, found in John 3:16.
 
You have time to make a difference in someone's life this Valentine's Day. Just like an encouraging note, a Valentine's Day card cheers the heart and tells the receiver that they are loved. If cards aren't your thing, a call, a text, an email and any other new communication tool will serve the same purpose. What about it? Make a difference in someone's heart!

". . . I have you in my heart . . ." Philippians 1:17

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I Heard Snow

                          The calm after the storm early Sunday morning when all was quiet.

"I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says: "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again."
                                                  Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

I am so glad I live in the northeast area of the country where I can enjoy all four seasons! I can't imagine living somewhere where it was always cold, or always warm. So much beauty is lost to the eye of a single season.


"Winter . . . the ideal occasion to slow down. To invest a few extra hours in quiet reverence."  Charles R. Swindoll

God certainly made the snow as He did the rain, the wind, the sky, the air. As shared in Job 38:22: "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail . . ." And the great promise of washing our sins as white as snow is something to consider when you see the pure beauty of snow.

              The wind blew and the snow flew! I loved the scene in my neighbors back yard.

The snow of winter, the fragrance and beauty of spring, the shade and loveliness of summer and the brilliance and harvest of fall. It is all beautiful and a feast for the eye and soul.

"Each moment of the year has its own beauty . . . a picture which was never seen before and which shall never be seen again." Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
 
Friday afternoon I snapped this bird house with a bird peeking out the hole. Needless to say, the bird flew the coup and the snow piled it on! 

My famous snow poem (to me) February 23, 2003, Sunday morning, 7 a.m.

I Heard Snow . . .
 
When I opened the back door I heard it
Snow
I was amazed at the sound
A whisper different from wind
Yet, precise; like nothing else I've ever heard
Snow falling from the heavens
My heart rested and listened
I couldn't keep away from my back door
I heard snow falling and thanked God."

"You made both summer and winter." Psalm 74:17

Stunning! My sister-in-law, Bobbie, snapped this out her front living room window early Sunday morning.

"As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." Genesis 8:22

The girls are having so much fun! The snow's getting hard and they can stand on top of it. They come inside so excited!

I know snow storms makes everything hard for emergency personnel and those with health concerns, just like tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes do. God created them all for His purposes and He allows bad things to happen. He has given us free will and there will always be bad choices by the human race.

                                           From the warmth of the house I watched it fall!

So try and forget about the inconvenience of snow, or the ugliness of plowed snow, or the event that was cancelled because of snow. God has made it possible for you to slow down, rest your heart and consider His ways. How can you not be thankful!

From my snow heart to yours . . .
 my very own creation . . . a heart from Ridge Road

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Better Title

                                    This snap was taken one very cold morning driving to work.

David Jeremiah suggested a great book title in a recent devotion in his book The Upward Call. His devotion mentioned Christopher Hitchens book: God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything! Jeremiah suggested: God Is Very Good: How Jesus Enriches Everything.

                                             Found this little one in another field in winter.

I decided to list ways God enriches my life. Here's what I have so far:

He refreshes me! He's steadfast and true.
He provides peace and brings rest.
He enables me to do good things.
He helps me to do my best.
My worry's are limited because I know He's in control of all things.
He brings joy, rich and full joy.
He talks to me through His Word.
He thrills my soul when I hear others speak of Him and trust Him.
He guides my way, confirming choices and opening doors.
He cheers me when I'm scared and assures me He loves me.
He's always with me. I can always turn to Him when I'm in need. I'm never alone.
He provides a family for me to be a part of so I know I  belong somewhere.
He is trustworthy and true. He never lies.
His creation is glorious and majestic. It brings laughter, fun and satisfaction.

1 Timothy 6:17
 "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment."

                                         We're going to see some snow this weekend!

Psalm 133  " . . . but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm."

What a delightful exercise this was. What can you add to this list?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Welcome to my Writing Room/War Room

                                             Please come visit my writing room/war room.

At lease that's what I hope it will be. I've been cleaning out, getting rid of and organizing all week in hopes to get a level of peace and anticipation in my little room.

 
My baskets are full of matted prints and note cards. It may look a little crowded, but if you had a room as small as this room, you'd find you must use every space available.

 
All our DVDs are housed here, with more baskets of matted prints and note cards.
 
 
In this corner are my books, computer paper and writing journals.
 

This desk houses bills and important papers, all within reach when I'm sitting at my table. I just have to swing the chair around.


I love my view of the back yard, where I ponder over issues and new posts. I'm working on this post on my computer screen.


I've made room for some of my favorite devotions books to be at my fingertips. And, of course, I'm surrounded by more matted prints on the wall in front of me.


I already have a bulletin board I can use to place war time prayer requests. I'll just have to take down a few friendly faces to make room.


Some of my collections of that silly character, Eeyore, sits on the desk. How I love that guy!


In commemoration of the first book I sold, I have the cover and the original $10 framed. Also, below, the first check I received from my publisher (even if it is only for $4.07)!





Articles that I have written and sold are on two bulletin boards (one covered by the book case, unfortunately, for lack of space).


One of my favorite snaps is taped to my writing table so it is always in front of me! Our family of three fawns and Mom enjoying corn at our back gate.

My room is in the back of the house providing quiet, that is unless Abby and Jo are trying to get me out of there!

I hope you've enjoyed the tour of my room. Please pray that I will be diligent and faithful as I write to encourage others and intercede in prayer.
 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016

Where, oh where, is my beautiful snow! How I miss it! I love to watch it fall and listen to it as it comes down. It is beautiful and makes my heart glad. I love to consider how God will wash my sins as white as snow, all because of Jesus. Following are some snow snaps since I don't have any snow to look at.

I had the pleasure of watching War Room for the first time, as it recently was released on DVD. What a powerful stand for our Savior and God! Do you have a War Room where you go to intercede for your family? your friends? your country?

                    How excited I was when I saw this red barn a delightful, snowy morning!

I liked Miss Clara's attitude: strong belief and powerful prayers! They stirred my soul. I was thinking where I could have a "war room." Our home is small so there's not much space for my own private "war room." But I do have the smallest bedroom as my writing room. It's all mine. It would be the logical place to house my "war room."

                           These cardinals were content with the seed put out for them to eat.

But, if truth be known, I fail in my prayer life. Can I really live up to powerful prayers like Miss Clara, or would I be a hypocrite telling you I'm going to have my own "war room"? I don't want to give up. I want to be faithful.

I smiled when I found these two squirrels down where we put out corn for the deer having their own meal. 

And then there's those prayers that have gone on forever and I wonder if they'll ever be answered.
My friend, Carol, sent over these words from Max Lacado that I think fit in nicely here:

"Hang in there! Don't give up! Is anything too hard for the Lord? No!

"Easy for you to say! You have no idea how long I've been praying and asking--and asking again!

"Just when you least suspect it--the God of surprises strikes again! God does that for the faithful. (I like that.) . . . Don't quit! You may miss the answer to your prayers! God s faithful--He's always in time!"

                  The snow was falling heavy when I snapped this scene of sheep in the barn.

 God certainly is faithful. And I want to be faithful in my prayer life.

The other day I was reading one of my favorite psalms, 119. When I came to verse 147 it tugged at my heart. "I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word." Some thoughts on Psalm 119:

"This Psalm is called the Alphabet of Divine Love, the Paradise of all the Doctrines, the Storehouse of the Holy Spirit, the School of Truth, also the deep mystery of the Scriptures, where the whole moral discipline of all the virtues shines brightly. And as all moral instruction is delightsome, therefore this Psalm, because excelling in this kind of instruction, should be called delightsome, inasmuch as it surpasses the rest. The other Psalms, truly, as lesser stars shine somewhat; but this burns with the meridian heat of its full brightness, and is wholly resplendent With moral loveliness." Johannes Paulus Palanterius, 1600.

It is, indeed, a lovely psalm which thrills my soul!

                       A beautiful morning with bright sun and blue sky and ice on the branches!

Morning has always been my best time to pray and read God's word. But the many health concerns through 2015 kept me from my normal routine. But I long for the satisfaction and joy of previous years spending early morning with my God.

It sure would be a good way to begin 2016. So I will take my challenge and pray for the ability to persevere in prayer, in a powerful way, as Miss Clara showed me.

                                        The lovely snow heart I made one year!

We are at war. Soldiers are being killed and wounded right here in the United States. As Miss Clara said: "Raise them up!" (prayer warriors)

I like what Pastor Mark Batterson said: "God honors bold prayers because bold prayers honor God."


             Abby and Jo shortly after we brought them home, at 3 months old. They loved the snow!

I'm waiting snow! "When you decided to make snow . . . that was a really cool idea!" Hank Ketcham, Dennis the Menace