Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Heightened Senses!


If you know me or have followed my blog at all, you know I am Canadian by birth and southern by marriage! While I love living in the south, my thermostat remains Canadian through and through! That's why I am so happy today!

We have a very lovely, fully-equipped home gym in our basement, but on days like today I simply cannot stand the thought of exercising in the confines of those 4 stuffy walls. Because of that I eagerly donned my workout clothes...shorts and a UPI t-shirt...and set out on my trek. The cold front has pushed through and the rain is gone,taking with it the humidity! Today has emerged cool and crisp...maybe a tad cold by some people's standards. I found myself instantly exhilarated as I set off, my exposed limbs experiencing the cold from without as they warmed from within. Aaahhhhh...I was loving it!

While my sense of touch was heightened by the cool sensation on my skin, my lack of glasses had a couple of other senses heightened as well. You see without my glasses, details are blurry and anything not in my immediate realm of vision remains hidden in the shadows. I can see, but all is not clearly defined and so a shift takes place.

I find myself hearing things I may otherwise miss...the hoot of an owl or the call of bird to its mate. I hear the siren at the local fire station just around the corner that signals a change of guard. I hear dogs barking and roosters beckoning the day! Acorns hit and roll out of sight and crabapples thud as they drop. It all blends together in symphony-form and I smile at its sound.

My ears, however, are not the only thing on high alert and I walk with head raised, sniffing out my surroundings. There is jasmine in the air, tucked out of sight but making its presence known in its uniquely fragrant way. As I pass the neighbor's house, I detect the slightly musty smell of the fallen leaves that have formed a haphazard carpet beneath their former home. Those for whom garbage day has come contribute to the aroma, too, but I hasten my steps to try and leave THAT unwelcome smell behind. Fall is in the air and I can smell it as surely as I feel it its touch.

As I neared the end of my walk I was reminded of this verse ~

Psalm 19:1 (MsgB)
God's glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.


I found myself so thankful for everything I was taking in. I found myself thanking Him for allowing me to sense His presence with more than just what my sight could take in. I found myself overwhelmed with all He has created!

Thank you, Papa, for the amazing sounds and smells you allowed me to experience today! Thank you for allowing Your glory to be made evident in such a powerful way! May I be found faithful in declaring You and all that Your handiwork has created!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Forgotten?


John 3:16 (NASB-U)
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.


Jesse and Hannah are attending Awanas this year and are having fun memorizing their verses. Although Caleb is not an official Spark, he has been working on memorizing Hannah's verses, too.

One of the first verses she had was John 3:16. She worked diligently and got it down and Caleb came to me proudly after the others had left for church and told me he knew his verse, too! He proceeded to recite John 3:16 from memory. He had it down almost perfectly except for one word...one word that vastly changed the verse!

Caleb's version said that God gave His only "forgotten" Son! Begotten is not a familiar word in our vocabulary these days and his mind had unconsciously searched his word bank and come up with the word that sounded like it should fit.

While it made me laugh out loud initially because it sounded so cute, I found myself pondering the implication of his wording and how sadly true it was. For a country that truly was founded on the principles of God by men who really did desire for His will to be done in their lives and their decisions, we have largely forgotten Him. Decisions that affect our lives and our futures are made every day without any thought being given to Him and what He would desire to see done. Seeking Him before making a decision that will affect the multitudes is largely a foreign or looked-down-upon concept.

Prayer is no longer accepted in too many public places. Nativities are being removed at an alarming rate so as not to offend and be exclusive. The day-to-day walking-it-out of other religions is being ushered in while He is being ushered out. He is being forgotten!

Funny how grown adults cannot see what is going on right in front of them on a daily basis while a 5yo can stumble upon it without even meaning to!

Deut. 4:9 (MsgB)
Just make sure you stay alert. Keep close watch over yourselves. Don't forget anything of what you've seen. Don't let your heart wander off. Stay vigilant as long as you live. Teach what you've seen and heard to your children and grandchildren.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Perspective...


Note: This is one of the pictures Mike took of his home away from home!

You've heard the saying, "Perspective is a beautiful thing." I was reminded yesterday just how important perspective can be in our daily lives.

We have had copious amounts of rain for the last week...like multiple inches of rain for days...enough rain to make Noah sit up and take notice. Whenever we have weeks like this, I am reminded just how much I love the sunshine. Now don't get me wrong, after a couple of years of very serious drought, this rain is a very welcome sight. It has just dragged on for so long, with another week of it in the forecast, that I found myself grumbling and complaining in my mind about how sick and tired I was of rain, clouds and humidity! Really complaining!

As I was driving yesterday, attempting to see through the swipe of windshield wipers which were doing little to make conditions better, I heard that Voice! The still small One that can bring you to your heart's knee in the blink of an eye!

You see, we have a friend who has been serving in Afghanistan for the last 6 months. He is home on furlough for 2 weeks to visit his wife and 4 precious daughters and then he has to head back. I have seen pictures of where he is stationed...hot, brown, dry, sandy, dirty...as far as the eye can see! Land that has obviously not seen much, if any, precipitation and is parched as it can be.

I realized that this rain, and the lush green that it is producing, is probably a most welcome sight to this one who has endured these harshest of conditions! To Mike Brown, rain on his face probably feels glorious! Seeing the long, green grass and humidity hanging in the air is probably something he is thanking the Father for while I am grumbling away about it! How wrong of me!

I promptly asked the Lord to forgive my grumbling and told Him it could rain as much as He saw fit and I wouldn't say another negative thing about it. I would rejoice in the fact that Mike, and others like him, were able to experience this rain! I thanked Him for setting me straight and reminding me that life is about so much more than what I can see or what matters to me! I am but a small piece of His very big puzzle and He is quite capable of controlling the elements without my help!

Philip. 2:14 (NASB-U)
Do all things without grumbling or disputing;


Thank you, Mike, for all the sacrifices you make on a daily basis to help continue to provide for our freedom and safety! I pray this rain has been a tangible reminder of how much Papa desires to minister to your needs and wants and I pray His blessings on you as you prepare to return to that dry and dusty land! Thank you, Mike, and thank You, Papa! You have both blessed my heart this week!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Great Movie!

We saw a great movie tonight! It is called The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry and is very open with its Gospel message! It was so refreshing to be able to go to the theater to see a movie like this and I highly recommend it!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Is It Fall Yet?


I am sure that in many parts of the US, it does not come anywhere near to feeling like fall yet. I must admit, it is my favourite time of year, though, and so I hasten it's arrival whether the temperatures concur with me or not. In fact, I am a firm believer that fall is a state of the mind and kitchen!!

For that reason, I have decorated for it and started baking for it in an attempt to beckon its arrival!! One recipe that is sure to put us in a fall kind of mood is this one ~

Barb's Apple Chip Cake

1 1/4 c. oil (I use olive oil)
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3 c. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped nuts
3 c. peeled, chopped apples

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In mixing bowl combine oil, sugar and eggs. Beat until smooth. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon and beat into the wet ingredients to form a stiff batter. Add vanilla, chopped nuts and chopped apples and stir to blend. Spoon the batter into a greased 9x13 pan and bake 1 hour.


To say that it is yummy goes without saying and to say that it makes your home smell delectable is an understatement!

I have a friend who lives in another part of the world who made this recipe this weekend. Where she lives the temps indicate that fall is a long way off. She made it anyway and said that it transported her back to her childhood and a recipe her mom had often made from recollection, not from any pass-downable recipe. (Not sure if pass-downable can be found in the English language, but it seemed to fit! ;O) ) She said it brought back sweet memories and made her feel close to her mom for an evening.

That's why I love cooking and love having foods that are a family tradition. There is nothing better than taking a whiff of something, only to be transported back to another time and another place where all the cares of the world were far off and the comforts of home were wrapped securely around us!

Are you creating traditions that are special for your family? Do you have foods that represent comfort and tradition for your kids?

Why don't you light some fall candles, sprinkle some brightly coloured leaves around and get to baking? It just may be something your kids will never forget!!

ETA: Think food doesn't trigger memories? Read this note I got today from a friend who had made this cake today for someone she knew...

The cake was so good..thank you for sharing! I love to have something yummy for the patients who come over on Tuesdays...one patient tasted the cake and started to cry...she said her sister (who passed away recently from cancer) used to make her apple cake every year for her birthday...she hasn't had it since.
It's amazing how food brings out memories and feelings of special people and things... thank you for sharing the recipe and allowing that wonderful cake to touch Carol's heart.

Friday, September 11, 2009

We Remember...

8 years ago today, life as we knew it took a tragic blow when the enemy of America terrorized us like never before! The day started like this...




and ended like this...



Unimaginable...inexplicable...tragic!

To try and find a reason for how this horror could occur is futile. To say that it is rooted in a spirtual battle is to come to the only logical conclusion!

Ephes. 6:12 (NASB-U)
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.


So many lives were instantly changed in a moment on this fateful day. Mamas and Daddys, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, friends and co-workers...all gone in an instant! Those left behind with nothing but their grief to wrap themselves in and, for those who believe, the assurance that their loved ones who had embraced Him were at peace. Comfort that would be sadly overshadowed by their grief initially, but comfort none-the-less!

None of us knows what the future holds. None of us knows what evil may be lurking right around the corner. I've read the final chapter, though, and guess what? Ultimately...He wins!

Rev. 17:14 (MsgB)
They will go to war against the Lamb but the Lamb will defeat them, proof that he is Lord over all lords, King over all kings, and those with him will be the called, chosen, and faithful."


This doesn't mean we'll never be touched by tragedy or mourn again as a nation, but we may take comfort in the fact that the One we call Faithful does have the final say! So until then...




WE REMEMBER!

Thursday, September 10, 2009



Psalm 18:2 (MsgB)
God is bedrock under my feet,
the castle in which I live,
my rescuing knight.
My God—the high crag
where I run for dear life,
hiding behind the boulders,
safe in the granite hideout.


I know quite a few people dealing with some heavy stuff these days and this is my prayer for them...that they would run toward the "rescuing knight"...for He alone can save them!

Note: This is a picture my friend, Jori, took while she was in Scotland! Beautiful!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

So Funny...



Hannah, pictured above, loves for me to give her words to spell! She will sit for a verrryyyyy looonnnngggggg time writing word after word, forming long lists of (usually) correctly spelled words. Today as I was fixing lunch she asked for me to play this game (so funny she doesn't even know she is REALLY doing school ;O) )!

I decided to give her the word "horse" to see what she could do with it. She sounded it out and spelled it correctly, down to the silent "e" at the end. I asked her how she kew it had an "e" at the end to which she replied...

"Sometimes you can just feel it in your brain!"

Ah, I certainly wasn't ready for that one, but I loved it! We've all had that feeling, too. You can't necessarily tell anyone how you know something to be true...sometimes you just feel it in your brain!

Kids! :O)

She Would Love It!

Before my Granny died, she gave me 2 sets of sheets. After she died I knew I wanted to do something with them that was special! I think she'd love it...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Billy: The Early Years

I have been listening to the soundtrack from Billy: The Early Years and I just love this song ~

Glory!


If you know me at all, it is no secret that FALL is, by far, my favourite time of year! I usually try to wait til September to pull out my Yankee candles ~ Harvest ~ and my fall decorations, but this year I fudged a little.

I did wait til the final weekend of August, but the anticipation was killing me so I changed out the white curtains for the green damask and the flowered lampshades for the neutral ones. My Harvest candle is smelling delightful on the counter and I am enjoying the site of my pumpkin and scarecrow stuff that I set out!

Did I jump the gun a little? Probably! Do I care? Not at all...I am happy as can be in my own little fall-created world. :O)

I was contemplating my actions this morning as I walked and I was struck with the reason why I could, with assurance, get out my fall decorations. It wasn't because the temperature had changed that drastically...it's still warm and humid. It wasn't because the calendar had changed and it was a month that most consider a fall month. It's not because the trees are full of their colorful foliage. It was for no other reason than the fact that, in all my 45 falls on this earth, I have witnessed the seasons change and have experienced fall in all its glory!

I was struck with something else as I walked, though...I have, in similar fashion, been able to wait expectantly for the Lord in situations that didn't look that promising because I have witnessed His provision and His care in the past. Do you see it?

My experiences with the Lord's care of me and provision for me have given me hope that He will continue to provide and continue to show Himself faithful in my future. The climate and what I see may not always look that promising, but He has never let me down yet! His answers may not always come when I want them to or in the way I expect, but I can prepare for them with hopeful anticipation!

As I was winding up my walk, I passed by a maple tree. Being Canadian, maple trees are part of who I am! This maple had barely begun to show hints of fall and there were a few leaves scattered at the base of it on the ground. As I surveyed the ground, I zeroed in on one particularly beautiful red leaf lying on its own off to the side. As I locked in on it I heard that still small voice that said...


That leaf is your promise! That leaf represents the hope you have in Me that I AM coming and I WILL show forth my glory! \O/


Psalm 97:6 (MsgB)
The heavens announce that he'll set everything right,
And everyone will see it happen—glorious!


Psalm 19:1 (MsgB)
God's glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.


Psalm 26:8 (MsgB)
God, I love living with you;
your house glows with your glory.


Psalm 26:8 (MsgB)
God, I love living with you;
your house glows with your glory.


Psalm 63:2 (MsgB)
So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open,
drinking in your strength and glory.


Psalm 63:2 (MsgB)
So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open,
drinking in your strength and glory.


Psalm 72:19 (MsgB)
Blessed always his blazing glory!
All earth brims with his glory.


Psalm 89:17 (MsgB)
Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us—
you've been so good to us! We're walking on air!


Psalm 96:3 (MsgB)
Take the news of his glory to the lost,
News of his wonders to one and all!


Psalm 108:5 (MsgB)
Soar high in the skies, O God!
Cover the whole earth with your glory
!