Saturday, June 28, 2014

Women Walking with Jesus ~ A Collection

In recent months it has been my privilege & pleasure getting to know the collection of women penning for the ministry of Lisa Shaw by way of Women Walking with Jesus.  I am blessed to join them; twice-blessed to learn from them myself; & thrice blessed to call them friends.

Today I share the most recent of their thoughts ~ devotionals, encouragements, testimonies & more.  From assorted walks of life, various denominational (& non-denominational) ties, & different cultural backgrounds, we have this in common: Christ, and Him crucified.  There is no better common denominator.

Grab your Bible and a quiet spot.  Sit a spell.  Then join us as Women Walking with Jesus (men, too).

Trust in the Lord, by Bernadine McIntosh
Living confidently, knowing our faith is tethered to the God Who can be trusted. 

I Have Two, No Three by Tammy Rude
Living beyond the shame of abortion in God's tender mercies.

Rescued from Another Nasty Habit by Mary Zatkalik
Finding the resolve & support necessary to overcome bad habits.

A Father's Integrity by Adriana Shaw (Lisa's own daughter)
A wise & loving Father's Day tribute to the power of a father's integrity & love.

For God So Loved the World by Belinda Bullard
The beauty of learning to live from the platform of love that God does.  


You'll find even more wisdom if you page through the additional posts.  

One thing's certain, walking with Jesus is no dull or dire effort. Every step takes us exactly where we want to go ~ if not in the moment, then ultimately.  Every step takes us where He leads.

Come on along ...

The Lord makes firm the steps of the 
one who delights in Him ...
~ Psalm 37:23

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; 
and lean not on your own understanding.  
In all your ways acknowledge Him, 
and He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

I will instruct you and teach you
in the way you should go.
I will guide you with My eye.
Psalm 32:8

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hidden in Plain Sight

Indeed, the Lord will give what is good, 
and our land will yield its produce.
~ Psalm 85:12

Little did I know when relocating right, smack-dab in the middle of an orchard ~ two orchards to be exact ~ that they'd provide daily lessons in living.  This is orchard country, and even beyond the fields that border us are are stand-after-stand of fruit trees ~ apples & cherries in wide variety, apricots & plums.  They provide much to consider, even when it would appear that nothing's changed from one day to the next. 

To the front of us is a smallish crop of pears that are, just this morning, basking in the summer sun.  They're still quite small and won't be ready for harvesting until much later in the summer.  For the time-being, they are quietly going about their pear business, growing intentionally, albeit slowly before the observant eye that takes the time to see (which is vastly different from a mere look).  They are also playing host to a rather large contingent of finch, which means we have a regular symphony of trills ~ a delight to the listening ear that hears them.  

To the back & side of us are cherry orchards where a large stand of Royal Ann cherries are taking their sweet time navigating the color spectrum.  They've gone from tiny little moss green nubs to yellow, and now to reddish green orbs.  They're not quite ready for harvest, but you wouldn't know that by a mere glance.  Take one bite & all doubt is erased.  Taste is a powerful index. 

Years ago I discovered a lovely collection of organic thought called "Secrets of the Vine" by Bruce Wilkinson.  It remains among my favorite reads which is why, I'm sure, I am keenly aware of principles associated with farming.  Even so, I am aware of so much more when I take the time to consider what is right in front of me.

Many of God's best secrets are hidden in plain sight. 

For there will be peace for the seed; 
the vine will yield its fruit, 
the land will yield its produce and 
the heavens will give their dew; 
and I will cause the remnant of this 
people to inherit these things.
~ Zechariah 8:12

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Purple Sage, Pickles & Pears

God waits to win back His own flowers
as gifts from man's hands.
~ Rabindranath Tagore

Here we are, living our dream.  

Over the past several months we've known more snarls & snags to home buying than ever we cared to know, much less experience.  Funny how dim that all seems now that we're home. And never has that word, home, resonated so deeply.  

I'm especially fond of the pear & cherry orchards that surround us, as well as the purple sage growing on our side hill.  (Photo: This morning's squall brewing over the pear orchards & valley below.)

Many are the moments I glance through a window and am struck anew by the beauty surrounding us. What's more, I look across the valley to that long ago place of my father's childhood, Jackass Butte; from whence he walked to & from school every day, & where his parents homesteaded at the turn of the century.  I know I will have many moments ~ planned & unplanned ~ when I consider the deep things of family from this vantage.  My pen is already eager.

But now to finish unpacking.  I'm nearly done emptying & breaking down boxes, which means each room of the house is looking more and more intentional.  In the past few days I've organized closets & drawers; the fine-tuning stuff.  Just today I hung a couple of pictures and made a basket of purple, silk Hydrangeas for my bedroom.  

Interspersed with settling is family time.  My father's sister's children & their children reside here ~ a rather large contingent who are well acquainted with the rural, farming/ranching life.  To my great delight, they re-acquainted me with sliced dill pickles on a ham sandwich last week.  It's my new go-too food for lunch!  Our shared history and many co-mingled childhood memories make for marvelous jabber-jawing.

I'll be back in earnest soon.  But for now I've got my work cut out for me, and I like that just fine.

God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame.
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning