Saturday, June 28, 2008

Taking Time To Breathe

With all the things going on, I thought it was important to stop and take some time to just breathe. I took a few therapeutic pics. I also took some time to visit my forgotten flower bed. I cleaned it up so nicely a number of posts ago, though you wouldn't know it now -- It's a mess!

It's important to take time to enjoy life. Getting your perspective on things back in balance. Your focus back on God, He truly works wonders in your life and gives you peace.
But, back to the flower bed. I didn't weed at all, yes I was shock at myself. I located some flowers I've enjoyed over the past few years and took a few cuttings.
My favorite cuts are Lavender. If you enjoy Lavender here's a helpful link. http://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/lavendercareandtips.htm

Talk about a relaxing smell. I love it. I fell in love with Lavender, visiting Aaron in Port Angeles, WA . (I have another story about PA, I'll post another time). We went to Lost Mountain Lavender http://www.lostmountainlavender.com/. Aaron also loves it; and uses a pouch full of lavender bud to smell when he gets stressed. Don't laugh, it works, I use it too. I lost a couple plants from a harsh winter but, I've been getting some cuttings off a couple newer plants. Jim built me a small above ground garden bed for herbs and it's worked out well.

When I move, I'll miss my flowers, but I can plant more. I always do, and I'm getting better at it. Ha Though I think I'll really miss my kitchen.

Interesting note about lavender. I read where Lavender was mentioned in the Bible but under a different name. Here's a history link you might like, though Lavender is a better sounding name. http://www.lavenderfarm.com/history.htm

Song of Solomon 1:12
When the king sitteth at the table, he shall smell my Nardus


John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful. [HCSB]

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Walk This Morning

I'm impressed this is my second post today. . .

I sure enjoy being outside. I also enjoy taking pictures. It's a good way to remember some of the beautiful things around you that God has blessed us with. Photography has always interested me. Someday I'd like to take some classes. In the meantime I take a lot of pictures so good and some not so good. I was reading an article in Natural Solutions, May 08 issue.
The article was called; "Turn a Lens Toward Your Life." It was about a form of contemplative photography called miksang. Miksang is Tibetan for "good eye." As in seeing something for the very first time, split second, and not as your brain habitually interprets and judges them. The photographic examples they used, in the article, awesome. And, were the type of photos I've always enjoyed over the years. I've also taken similar photo's though, never new it was a particular form called miksang. The article continues to share that miksang, doesn't explicitly strive to create pretty pictures (though many miksang shots are breathtaking just the same). Instead, it focuses on what our conscious mind tends to glaze over - even if it's a crumpled gum wrapper. I'm not indorsing it as a form of meditation though for that would be against who I am in the Lord. The link below has the full article. http://www.naturalsolutionsmag.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/articleSearch.article/articleID/14874/keyword/miksang/TurnaLensTowardYour

Anyway, some of the photo's I took might be concidered miksang. All I know it is a stress release to take pictures that are of interest to me and well as being out and about enjoying all the beauty God has given us to see.












If you are interested in looking at miksang photograph's, you can go to the Miksang site and check out the many galleries; http://miksang.com/







Tuesday, June 24, 2008

This Is Funny As In Odd. . .


"When You're Down to Nothing, God's up to Something"
"Worry looks around, sorry looks back, Faith looks up."
I was sent the above from a friend via email and liked it, I had planned to use it in a future posting -- although it was not my intent to use it today -- but something strange happened.
When I got up this morning and turned on my computer & web browser, my homepage didn't come up. It was acting as if the Internet were down or I wasn't connected to broadband. One thing I've learned is that if your homepage doesn't come up, try a different site as it may be nothing more than the homepages server, so I checked my blog site and sure enough the system was working. Now the really strange or weird part of all of this is that the above caption is what came up as if I were to have posted it. Wow, odd, weird or maybe a sign from God. I had been searching and seeking the Lord for something to share, I guess that this must be what God had in mind for me to share today.
"When your down to nothing"
How does God get your attention? Does He have it when your down to nothing? Often times, we do, or react, to things in a way that we believe is "right" or the "right thing" at the moment only to learn in the end that the result was not what we had intended. I'm quite sure that everyone has experienced this many times in their life; and could offer an interesting story or two. In church, and at home, we've been studying the book of Ephesians; this is an excellent book as noted in my last posting. In chapter 2, verse 10 says:
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
This isn't talking about attaining salvation by works, it's the good works you will do after you have received the free gift of salvation. The good works God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. It seems to me that you can do this the easy way or the hard way. Why is it that a lot of us choose do God's works the hard way? On a previous post http://refractedlite.blogspot.com/2008/06/to-see-beyond-fog-part-2.html I wrote: "We lack the patience needed to allow God do what He does best. And, in reality, we delay moving forward." Meaning we step out on our own to do what we believe we should be doing. Thus, making it much harder on ourselves in the long run. Sometimes reaching that place where, "when you are down to nothing." A friend commented on my use of the word "allow," I believe he may of misunderstood where I was going with it. He wrote: "We do not have the capacity to allow or disallow the Lord to do anything He desires." Yes, this statement is true; however, we still have free will to choose to do things our way or God's way. Our way means making stupid decisions or choices, running in circles, hurting ourselves, family and friends, ending in failure or at best a less than desired outcome. By not seeking God for His divine direction we make it that much harder to get where God wanted us to be to begin with. As stated we really can't allow or disallow what God desires -- we just make it harder on ourselves.
1 Thessalonians 5:24
Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
"God is up to something"
God has already made provisions for us, that we will be able to walk according to His will and purpose. It's like planning a trip to the beach, there's a number of ways to get there, each with its own pros and cons. Whether you drive, take a plan or train the destination is still the beach -- the question is which means of travel is the safest, easiest and fastest? In the same way we're able to choose the direction or means of getting to God's appointed, predestined, destination with or without His help. Our prayer should be:
"Dear Lord, let us not step out on our own, help us to trust you for our every step, with your Holy Spirit as our guide, in Jesus' name, amen and amen"
Why is it that when taking a trip on an airplane we're able to trust the pilot, a man or woman we've never met to safely fly us to our destination? If you felt the pilot needed help, are you qualified to sit next to him and control the aircraft? Then why don't we afford our God, a person in whom we are to be close friends with, the same respect? Yet, we feel we ought to jump in and help God with the controls. God will get us to His destination regardless of the choices we make -- like taking the controls and flying the plane into the ground.
"Worry looks around"
We shouldn't worry, we can go to Him for help anytime. There are times when I allow myself to look at the overwhelming number of tasks in front of me. Without going into details, the size and number of things I have to do can be so overwhelming, literally to the point of tears. I know I can't do it all myself but I know I can through Him. I also know I have to trust Him to get me through. I can't look at what's around me, or let the mire that I'm in, keep me from seeing God and His many blessings. I believe God is continually answering prayer, and is working through His Holy Spirit on my behalf. He's answered our prayers often before we utter the words. It's not all that uncommon for us to not see the answer(s) even when its right in front of us. He is - for He has already predestined where we will be. And, if we don't see the answer right now should we stop believing? Unbelief and its thought come from Satan, why should we listen to Satan? Worry is the opposite of faith. For it is written that "Without faith it is impossible to please God," and:
"By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith." Hebrews 11:5-7
During one of my recent web searches I came across this article -- Is Worry a Sin? by Dr. Larry Ollison, Ph.D.. You'll find it at the following hyperlink: http://larryollison.com/cutting/0026.html. It's worth a moment of your time reading, especially if this post hits a spiritual nerve or two.
"Sorry looks back"
We are not to live in the past. When a person is unhappy she or he might look back for what was once a happier time; a time when she or he was as happy as a child, forever wishing things remain the same. Sorry looking back means holding on to the negative events of our past. An example might be: not getting that job you thought should have been yours, being angry or bitter that it went to someone else instead. Another example is the inability or unwillingness to let go of the loss of some material/worldly object of sentimental value or desire. Missing departed loved ones is a normal human response, but holding on and not letting go of the pain and grief of the loss is not normal or health for ones mind, body and sole. Past hurts or regrets over the poor choices we've made along the way creat bitterness and unforgiveness of ones self. Being sorry for what could have been, or for missed opportunities to share the Gospel or to say a kind word can cause one to lose focus on the opportunity in front ones face. How about being sorry for not forgiving a person that hurt you? Any of these examples, and there's many more, represent sorrow for the past and are bad places to be. Paul tells us in Philipians 3:13
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Jesus said in Luke 9:62 "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
"Faith looks up"
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 KJV It's the belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith Praise God that "Everyone is given a measure of faith." Romans 12:3 How we grow more in the Lord and strengthen our faith is simply stated in Romans 10:17 "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." The time you spend reading and meditating on God's word the better you'll know Him. The closer we are to Him, the better we'll know His voice and the easier it becomes to have full faith and trust. Our faces and eyes should be focused upward toward the heavens; looking to the Lord. He's able to work best when our focus is on Him and not on our circumstances. Remember our victory is in the Lord. I strongly suggest reading all Romans chapter 8.
Things that I write about are from my experiences or from what I've observed. Sometimes bad things happen to God's faithful and we don't always know the reasons why. It may not even have anything to do with ones walk (what you maybe doing or not) like Job. I've experienced bad things that after careful, and prayerful review, didn't have anything to do with my walk, but were just one of the many bumps along lifes journey. In this, as in previous posts, I've discussed how God allows us free will to make our own choices. Let's move forward in the Lord and not hinder our walk by stepping out of His covering. God gave us a mind to use; we can start by using it wisely.
Above all God loves us; He showed us this love through His mercy and grace by sending His son Jesus to die for us that we might be forgiven. It is because of His love that we're able to go directly to Him any time with our prayers.
____________________________________
Now for a real funny.
This was also sent from a friend via email. . .
A new pastor was visiting the homes of his parishioners. At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door. Therefore, he took out a business card and wrote "Revelation 3:20" on the back of it and stuck it in the door. When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, "Genesis 3:10". Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of laughter. Revelation 3:20 begins "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." Genesis 3:10 reads, "I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked."
Remember when the funniest jokes were the clean ones? They still are!
"A cheerful heart is good medicine"
(Proverbs 17:22)
Now, pass it on!God Bless!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's Been Awhile

Well, what can I say? I've been sitting here trying to think of something creative or witty to write about, but keep drawing a blank. So, since I don't have anything particularly creative or witty to say, I'll use this post to bring everyone up to date on some of the things that have been going on in my life.

As I'm sure everyone has noticed, I've not posted anything in awhile as I've been to busy to write for a couple of reasons. About three weeks ago I started a job working in the produce department of a local grocery store. I've already had my fill of it, so last Sunday was to be my last day. However, on Saturday I slipped on the floor as I was walking through a doorway; I was able to break my fall by swinging my right forearm and left leg into the doorjamb -- this prevented me from going down to floor. But needless to say, I was still badly bunged up (my grams words), because of how I was angled in the door frame and by the force of my forearm hitting the jamb. This happened because a co-worker was mopping and left the floor wet and without warning - end of story. By Sunday morning I was at a crawl, so I called off my last day. . .but, wasn't so bad that I couldn't make it to church.

Reasons for quitting? Well, the biggest reason is we are putting our house up for sale. As much as we may like the house, it's way too large for the two of us to take care of by ourselves. Also, and perhaps the biggest reason, without a steady income the mortgage is way to expensive. So after much prayer for God's guidance and direction, we decided to place it on the block. What this means in the short term is down sizing -- getting rid of all the stuff we don't need or want by giving it to our kids or selling it. In addition we've got a ton of minor repairs to make before we can let anyone see the place. This means painting, cleaning, and yard work -- the whole enchilada. Whatever it takes to sale! There's too much work for Jim to do by himself, and I can't do all that work and work at the grocery store, especially given the schedule they had me on. I have to admit though, that was the most physically challenging job I've ever had -- and I've had many challenging jobs in my life. Whew!

The most exciting news to report is our eldest son, Matt, finally proposed to his girl. Mathew and Dannielle are finally and officially engaged. They both love the Lord and each other. It's Awesome!
Unfortunately, there is a sad bit to it all this as Matt leaves today or tomorrow a for a six month deployment around world, or at least most of it. Following an old tradition, Matt asked her father for permission to ask Dannielle to marry him -- and that was very sweet. Dannielle snapped this picture and labeled it the Shotgun Talk June 8, 2008. ha Of course we don't know when the big day will occur, and since Matt will be out to sea for the next six months it may be awhile before a date will be set. But, nevertheless we're excited with anticipation whenever it takes place. Dannielle told me she's been planning this day ever since she was a little girl. We now just have one son left to tie the knot. hehe
I've been reading in Ephesians; my favorite New Testament book. We're also studying the entire book of Ephesians in Church. Our pastor came over yesterday for lunch, we were truly blessed to have him for a visit, he has a pastors heart with a genuine love for his flock. We were able to share with him how awesome and meaningful Ephesians is because it can easily be personalized when read. I learned this years ago when I was listening to Kenneth Hagen on TV, he shared how to replace many of the words Paul used with your own name or the name of someone you're praying for. I was reading verses to my husband and personalized them with his name -- it was powerful -- as is all of God's Word, we're very blessed to have His Word in our lives. You should try reading Ephesians in this way. For example: Ephesians 1:1-14, 2:4-6, 3:14-21 personalize with yourself and use the name of someone you're praying for when reading Ephesians 1:17-19. You can place yourself there as well.

I found a cool web site the other day and thought you might like it too http://www.studylight.org/ . I found it when I was researching the word "fear" and how it was used in Psalm 130:4. This came about as I've sign up for daily scripture verses on FaceBook.com. Anyone who receives the daily verse is able to discuss it in a blog. Fear is just one of many words used that can have a different meaning depending on how it's applied in the particular verse. The meaning in this case meant reverence. It may not be best site's out there, but it's worth taking a look. It has Hebrew and Greek applications. If you are one of the millions of people on Facebook, be sure to sign up for daily scripture verses. It's interesting to discuss the verses with others; and its an opportunity to witness to others and to pray for them as not all who receive the daily verse are believers.

On the fun side, my husband and I had pre-paid tickets to the movies. So we were tossing around Indiana Jones or Narnia Prince Caspian. It was Narnia, voted for its showing time. We are happy we did as we really enjoyed the movie. (We would have seen it anyway sooner or later.)

A couple of people that I spoken to said that it wasn't exactly like the written version or true to it. Another was a bit disappointed and thought she wouldn't care for it. The other liked the movie, but loved the book. I haven't read the Narnia Chronicles but have loved the books I have read by C.S.Lewis. The recent movie was wonderful as the analogies presented between man and his relationship with God were dead on, and easy to relate. For instance, at one point King Peter decided that he had waited for long enough Aslan (God) to help defeat the enemy and stepped out on his own. The result was a complete failure with many more dieing then necessary. The message was clear, when we act on our own without waiting for the Lords direction the result is usually bad. Another analogy presented, was that we can only see God when we seek God -- the only one who could see Aslan was Lucy, but when she took her eyes off of him to look or listend to the others, she would lose sight of him. It would take more of an effort for her to see him each time she sought him. When she had finally found him near the the end of the movie, she ask him why he had left her as she couldn't she couldn't see him. He said her that he was always there and it was her who looked away by listening to the others. Even though she believed in Aslan she was afraid she'd be alone on the journey to him. It all turned out well as Aslan was always ready to help, he just needed to be asked, which was what Lucy did -- she asked for help. If you haven't seen it go. I think I'd like to see it again. I thought it was better than the first.

And lastly, I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you (all who read) a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us (all) who believe. Ephesians 2:17-19 NAS

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

To See Beyond The Fog -part 2

It's been awhile since my last couple posts. I now have a job and I have to re-learn juggling my time. As well as, getting my physical strength to work for me. I haven't worked outside of the home for many years now. Though I still have my website business, and, if I was as active as I should be - I wouldn't be working this other necessarily. I also have another app. out there, so will see.
Anyway, I wanted to do a part two of my last post. I felt like something more should be added. So the past couple days (week) I've been searching my thoughts and heart as to what to write. I'm hoping it all makes, at least some, sense too those who are reading.
As in my last post of June 1, - To See Beyond The Fog. The fog is starting to move out, as we seek the Lord and acknowledge that our prayers are being answered.

It's interesting to me, how we, get so focused on ourselves and situations around us. We can't see for the fog. We take our eyes of the Lord and sometimes as a result, we don't clearly see the answers we’re seeking. Sometimes the hurdles we face - are things we placed there ourselves. “Sometimes things just happen.” We make things harder than they should be; and, don’t always do what we should do. We try to get through on our own abilities and fail miserably in the process. We can be stubborn and try to be in control. Even if it feels, as though we’re “just” doing something. We lack the patience needed to allow God do what He does best. And, in reality, we delay moving forward.

People (we) seek the Lord for many different reasons. As we seek in God’s word and through prayer. It’s important that we listen carefully and understand what we are reading. I would suggest reading all 2 Peter 1 (I used the Amplified Bible) But, in verse 20 [Yet] first [you must] understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is [a matter] of any personal or private or special interpretation (loosening, solving). http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=68&chapter=1&version=45
Isaiah 55:8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.

What are some of the things we seek? Maybe a job, the sale of a house, physical or even inter-healing. What if it’s for direction on your journey, or answers for all the above. The list could go on and on I guess. When we seek answers to a few and don’t receive them ASAP. What then? I think sometimes we tend to complicate matters and start adding to that list. This can cause us too become overwhelmed or at times even feeling disparate. It’s happened to me and it can be detrimental for you and your spiritual growth. Don’t give the enemy any foot hold to do his work!
And above all; don’t loose heart –all is not lost. The all may not be what you are thinking it to be.
The all is what God himself knows to be important for your growth. Your walk to help you on this journey called life, and what He has called (purposed) us to do.
So wake up from the sleep – the fog is being lifted.
Ephesians 5:14-16 Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.
No more pity parties.. Being still and waiting on the Lord doesn’t mean to do nothing... 15,16 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
To do nothing is simply what it means, “doing nothing”. And, that can become easier do to overtime when we are focusing on the problems.
In v17,So then do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is. To do this you have to trust the Lord in all things, don’t worry. He supplies our very needs. 1 Timothy 6:8 And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
Many may say “I need the strength to go on.” He will supply this too. . . He is the one thing we can count on.


May you hear God’s voice;
In your heart.
Know His touch;
In your life.
And, feel His love
In each new day.
Unknown


I think I wrote this, I do jot thoughts down everywhere. To be on the safe side, I’ll place unknown
.
Lastly, you may remember Mylon LeFevre (Christian musician/singer) Go to this link http://www.tributetomylon.com/ scroll to bottom and listen to the newest it will be a blessing to you.





Sunday, June 1, 2008

Rustic French

All I can say is that it took all day. I stated last night with the starter. Went to church this morning. Came home got right on it. It's way to much to deal with posting. Here's pictures right from the oven. It was out at 9:30, of course, it would've been done soon if I hadn't been at church. (Church was good.)The baking stone is 14 1/2 - 15" sq. The bread is 5 1/2 - 6" tall. The recipe link is: http://etherwork.net/ejmtph/recipes/rusticbread.html I'll let you know how it tastes. Tomorrow. . . .



*NEW ENTRY. . . . .THE BREAD IS AWESOME, AND WORTH MAKING AGAIN . . . ;)

To See Beyond The Fog

1 Corinthians 13:12 (The Message)
We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!


Fog is a cloud based on the ground, rather than in the atmosphere. Fog forms when there is a lot of moisture near the ground, or when the air near the ground cools to the dew point.

Sometimes on our life's journey, we can't (or don't) always see the direction we are going. Like trying to see through a fog. It may even be hurdles we are trying to get over. (As we discussed in church). This life isn't always easy. And, we were never promised it would be. Our promise is that He will always be there and help us through. I know it doesn't always seem like He is but, I know He is.

As sunlight penetrates the layer of fog and warms the ground.
The air near the ground is warmed as well.
The warmer, drier air mixes upwards with the cooler, moister and the fog is dissipated.

As we keep praying, seeking for those many anwers. As the sun helps to dissipated the fog. So the Son will help lift that fog to help us see clearly.

Early this morning;
All was quiet and calm.
Outside, while the birds were sweetly singing.
The air moved across the field.
And, as it kissed the mist,
We were blanketed, by the fog.
Now, as the sun began to rise
Its warmth had touched the ground.
Then slowly lifting upwards;
It all became so clear.
To see beyond the fog.

VB 6-1-08

Below just another version of verse above.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (Amplified Bible)
For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God].