Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Foggy thoughts



Should I blog when I have such a bad headache? Probably not.

The fog outside my kitchen window reflects my current mood quite perfectly today.

Should I blog when I am in such a mood? Probably not.

But then...I was reminded to praise Him. Should I praise Him while feeling so down?
ABSOLUTELY!

Should I blog about it? How can I not blog about it...

 God is the same no matter how we feel. We are to praise Him as long as we are able to!

 If I only share my good days, then people might think I am only praising my Jesus when things are going well, and what would that say about my Christian walk? It would say I am a phoney who only wants to share the sun, but who doesn't understand the 'Son' that is the true light of the world. Our source of true HOPE and JOY!
So I am sitting here in the recliner, yelling at Buddy to 'be quiet!' as he wants to do his hound dog singing.
 (doesn't he know I have a headache?)
Meanwhile, I am listening to the labored breathing of my elderly chihuahua, Emma who may be living out the last of her days upon this earth. I am also worried, I am NOT worried about an elderly Christian friend whom has been a mentor for almost two decades, as she is in the hospital with heart problems. I am not worried, because if the Lord chooses to take her home at this time or not,
 (either way) I will know she is a faithful woman of God, and her life stands as a testimony to that. One can not achieve higher success than that!

I had plans to visit another dear friend today to teach her to blog. She canceled at the last minute, but I can see how that turned out for the best now. When she canceled last night, I made plans to do some de-cluttering and cleaning around the house today instead...that is not going to happen, and I find my frustration growing.
The Lord is telling me that it is good to sit at the feet of the Savior, and I am forced to quell the Martha side of me today in order to do so.

Well, since the hound dog finally decided to trade in his sing time for an afternoon nap, and it is quiet once again. I think I will take a nap too. ~God Bless~

Rom 5:3-5  ... but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.


 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Where I live

Here I sit in the middle of the 'Mitt'
watching the snow turn to rain
One thing I know
is the rain will be snow
and the snow will be rain again!

What's that you say?
wait just a day...
if we find ourselves really 'in it'
But, change will come
in the state with a thumb
if you wait but only a minute!


by: Lisa Stager


I have lived here all of my life. I was born in the
thumb, I’ve lived in the ‘palm’ for nearly twenty years…
and I love the ‘pinkie’ the most!
I love the dense forests where we live now, but I really miss being on the shoreline of
one of the Great Lakes!

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Did you know that in 2011 Sleeping Bear Dunes
 (in the pinkie) was named “The most beautiful place in America” by ABC news!
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/beautiful-place-america-revealed-sleeping-bear-dunes-michigan-14323307?tab=9482930&section=1206852&playlist=14322444
I did a post about our visit to this amazing place here: http://www.theheartandhome.blogspot.com/2011/10/winds-and-waves.html
If you plan on visiting the place, you will need a good windbreaker, or at least a jacket with a hood…and if you don’t wear glasses already…sunglasses are advised, since there is a lot of wind and sand and it can really sting!
 (hence the title of my post)

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Sailboat in a Port Huron harbor

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Me and Sasha on a dock in St. Ignace

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Me and Sasha in Ludington
(1 &1/2 hours west of us on Lake Michigan)


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Me and Sasha on the shore of Traverse Bay
(Best place to watch a sunset)
 
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 I took a hike along this shoreline at E. Tawas (Lake Huron) before attending a seminar for work 4 yrs. ago. I barely had time to change my clothes and drive to the seminar, but I made it on time!

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We went back for a second look just this past spring!

~And then this past fall we spent a glorious afternoon here:



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Lake Michigan at Point Betsie Lighthouse
Where I was inspired to write this poem:
http://www.theheartandhome.blogspot.com/2012/10/sunday-september-30-2012-breath-of-life.html#links
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Point Betsie is said to be one of America's most photographed lighthouses.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_Betsie_Light

~And last, but certainly not least…~MY FAVORITE~
summer 2009 (76)
White Fish Pointe (Lake superior)


A little closer to home

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Me at a state park Sunday… Just chillin’
 (quite literally)


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Nearby town  (walking trail)

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Sasha following a trail on state land near home.
(Notice the crooked tree?)

Keeping the home fires Burning

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Camping in the back yard!
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2010_090007 - Copy - Copy  …My artwork 
(we sold this camper)


Another favorite location where you may often see me and my husband…regardless the season is in
   Hartwick Pines State Forest: http://www.michigandnr.com/publications/pdfs/wildlife/viewingguide/nlp/59Hartwick/index.htm  
   

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Tree Hugger
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Which way?
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Wilderness chapel
  
~A vanishing wilderness~

I used to hike in the state forest adjacent to our subdivision nearly every day before work for several years rain or shine sleet or hail (not exaggerating)…But for the last year or so, the state decided to sell off much of it’s standing timber throughout the 500 acres or so as well as other areas. The recession has forced many land owners to do the same. Also, because of a lack of DNR patrol officers,(recession) there has been a lot of illegal hunting/shooting back there. (yep, you guessed it, the recession again)
 Therefore, we have been forced to hike in other, better regulated and groomed trails in nearby towns and counties…This is a heartache to me…as I really miss letting Sasha and Buddy off leash to explore.
That's okay,  I am happy living in the middle of the Mitten not too far from everything!

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But more often than not, you will find me and the dogs walking around the white cedar swamp looking for wintergreen, or animal tracks along the edge of our yard.

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...Unless I am busy at the computer writing, of course!

No matter where you are...You also live in the middle of a hand... if you are a child of the Living God...

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. John 10:28

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hast thou entered into the The treasures of the snow?



Winter: A Dirge
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Robert Burns (1781)
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The wintry west extends his blast,
And hail and rain does blaw;
Or the stormy north sends driving forth
The blinding sleet and snaw:
While, tumbling brown, the burn comes down,
And roars frae bank to brae;
And bird and beast in covert rest,
And pass the heartless day.

"The sweeping blast, the sky o’ercast,"
The joyless winter day
Let others fear, to me more dear
Than all the pride of May:
The tempest’s howl, it soothes my soul,
My griefs it seems to join;
The leafless trees my fancy please,
Their fate resembles mine!

Thou Power Supreme, whose mighty scheme
These woes of mine fulfil,
Here firm I rest; they must be best,
Because they are Thy will!
Then all I want—O do Thou grant
This one request of mine!—
Since to enjoy Thou dost deny,
Assist me to resign.

.It is exactly as the above poem says in the ending...Since winter is God's will, it must be best, so I am resigned to really appreciate the season! Well, that may be a somewhat loose translation of Robert Burn's poem.
 And there is much to appreciate in the forest where we live...I think I truly have a love/hate relationship with winter. I wish it was always as pretty as it is when the snow first falls and everything is covered with that fresh white blanket.





 
Yes, I think I will put on some layers and go for a winter hike, breath in the crisp clean air, and take some time to really appreciate this great white north country that we call home. See you when I get back!
 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? Job 38:22,23

Monday, January 21, 2013

God has a Dream too





Today the whole world remembers .A man who had a dream...
The Reverend Martin Luther King. ( Jan 15, 1929 - Apr 04, 1968 (age 39)

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”Martin Luther King Jr. A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.

 
 As I was reading my Bible this morning and thinking about doing a post on how Jesus is the light in this darkened world, I remembered that today is Martin Luther King Day, and I struggled with whether or not I should post a short memorial about him instead...And then I saw the Quote above, and knew it would fit right in with a post about Jesus as the Light of the world.
 
 
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16



God gave Him to the world, and He obeyed His Father because He loves us. If you accept what Jesus did for you, repent of the sin that keeps you separated from your Creator and choose to walk with the Savior of your soul for the rest of your life and beyond. Come out of the darkness into the light and live freely knowing that you have the promise of everlasting life...This is LOVE speaking, not hate.
The enemy of your soul (Satan) does not want you to believe what your Creator is telling you...He is the one who hates you just like he hated Jesus. He would like nothing better than for you to remain in the darkness where he can continue to decieve you!
You have the right to walk out of the shadow of darkness and into the light and
 be free...Free at last!
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“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance 2 Peter 3:9   
...See, God has a dream too!

 


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Casting Down Idols


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The book of 2 Chronicles has much to teach us about God’s attitude towards idols.


 And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God:  For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves: 2 Chronicles 14:2-3   
There even came a point where Asa had to remove his own mother from her position as Queen because she had made an idol in a grove.
An example of idols se upt in a grove
An example of idols set up in a grove

And also concerning Maachah the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove: and Asa cut down her idol, and stamped it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron 
 2 Chronicles 15:16

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A time to listen

~The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.~ Romans 8:16


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Grab your camera and go outside.

But it's cold outside, and gray and...well, not too pretty out there!

Learn to see with your heart...and with my Spirit that is within you.

Okay Lord.

So I donned my long johns, put on my boots, and scarf;  grabbed my camera, and walked outside into the cold dampness....
 
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It is at times like this when things look so dormant and lifeless, that the enemy will try to entice us into a 'greener pasture' type of thinking...taking our mind away from the things that we should be focusing on, enjoying the blessings God has given to us...And if we are not careful we will find ourselves feeling discontent and depressed...Winter is only a phase, a passing but necessary one...Think of the animals asleep under the ground or in their dens...not worrying about needing to hunt or scavenge for food..it's like they are resting in the Lord...Not dead, just resting. This is a time where life seems to slow down, sometimes to a (seemingly) grinding halt.
It's a time to listen...

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Buddy, ever the over-achiever!
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Let's dance with a branch!

I'm glad I listened..I have a smile on my face, roses on my cheeks, and a new perspective.

5 Your lovingkindness, O Lord, [d]extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
6 Your righteousness is like the [e]mountains of God;
Your judgments are like a great deep.
O Lord, You preserve man and beast.
7 How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
8 They drink their fill of the [f]abundance of Your house;
And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.
9 For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light...... (Psalm 36)

Thank you Lord for all your blessings!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Joyful!

 

Proverbs 17:22 

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones

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My resolution for 2013...( It took me a while to decide on one) is to be more joyful!
Of course, I will remain deligent, and sober in the Lord...But I will not dwell on what is happening in the world around me as much as I did last year. Things are going to happen according to God's will, and if we have placed our trust in Him, then we are not to fret and worry...Just remember to pray that His spirit will draw all men to Jesus...So I'm gonna wear a smile, instead of a frown, and trade in my 'worry lines for laugh lines, lol!  Hey, even some wrinkles can be a good thing!

Wanna join me?

Here's a few scriptures to get us started:

Psalm 126:2
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting

Ecclesiastes 3:4 
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance

Proverbs 15:13
A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.


 
*This is one of my favorite authors...I have not read this yet, but I think I might like to...

Joyful Christian

 
 
C. S. Lewis, himself a convert, wrote of being "surprised by joy" when he discovered his belief in Jesus Christ. In these 127 devotional readings, selected from Lewis's many works on faith and spirituality, Christians everywhere can share in the joy of this master theologia... Read More

 

So do not fear,  for I am with you;      do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen  you and help  you;      I will uphold ...