Monday, April 22, 2013

Scenes from the forest

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Look who I’m following! (at a distance)…
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And look who’s following me…Can you see him?
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Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creeps upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth from the ark.
And Noah built an altar unto the Lord, and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the alter.
And the Lord smelled a sweet savor; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every living thing, as I have done.
Genesis 8:19-21
Happy Earth Day!
~God Bless~ & remember, we are…
~NEVER FORSAKEN~

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Can’t wait until bed-time!

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Could it be? Is it really?…Spring is here! And I have been waiting to do this all winter long…Dry my down comforter on the line!!!YAY!!!

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Our little cottage in the forest.

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The dogs were running all over…It was hard to get a shot of them in one place!

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I found a bit of green, but no buds yet…

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Well, except for one!

 

 

~ Praying for the victims of the Boston bombing~

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
  Isaiah 26:3

Friday, April 12, 2013

April showers!

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Garden pond
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Keeping the birds in suet!
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Still falling!
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Flower bed

I had to cancel my dental appointment this morning. Jeff was called into work to help plow the roadways at 3:a.m. this morning!
And it is still coming down…steadily. The poor robin was back tapping, albeit very slowly and intermittently, at the window this morning until I placed an eagle statue in the window (Thanks for the idea Child of God!)

Here is a flashback from last May…

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…I guess it is still early, plenty of time left for those buds to start appearing!

But I will hope continually,
and will yet praise thee more and more
Psalm 71:14

If April showers bring May flowers…
Do April SNOW showers count?
~God Bless~
Never Forsaken

Thursday, April 11, 2013

More angry birds…

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Oh how I wish I had brought the camera with zoom ability!
CIMG2627Oh good! They are swimming closer!CIMG2628
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Look how fast they are coming!CIMG2649
Okay, Mr. Swan I understand! This river belongs to you. Have a nice day.
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We will visit with Mr. and Mrs. Mallard instead, since they have been following us along just begging to have their picture taken!

Well, it is finally silent around here. Either Mr. Robin got too tired and gave up, or the reflection finally won the territory.
So the walk in that park a couple weekends ago, and then the drama that has been unfolding with the crazy robin at the windows has brought to mind a lesson about boundaries.
Guarding my own and respecting those of others. And most important of all learning about what the Bible has to say about boundaries…

God's boundaries:

The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man. Acts 17:24
(He has no boundaries...you cannot put God in a box!)

National boundaries:

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,  Acts 17:26
I wish our president believed this, especially in regards to Israel!

Personal boundaries:

Our thought life

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

Our conduct

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.- Philippians 1:27-28a
 Do to others as you would have them do to you.  Luke 6:31

Our relationships:

~With God
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

~With fellow believers

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 
   
~With unbelievers

 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-16

In this modern world it is rare to see mankind behaving in a manner that is in accordance to these biblical boundaries.In fact, sometimes there seems to be little to no boundaries at all when we observe human behavior! There used to be clearer societal boundaries based upon common decency that everyone at least seemed aware of. Now it seems like everyone is walking about aimlessly in the darkness without a guide.
Who moved them?
But understand this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God. They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power.  2 Timothy 3:1-5

Even believers overstep the boundaries from time to time. But we are without excuse as we have been given the map of the path in which we are to follow, the path that was forged ahead of us is well lit by the WAY himself…He is TRUTH…and leads us to LIFE. The roadmap has clear boundaries in which we are kept safe by our loving Shepherd…especially in the shadowed valleys…as he guides us with His rod and staff lest we wander from the path of righteousness.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  John 14:6



Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
   Psalm 23:4

“I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”   John 10 


 Isn't it wonderful to be kept safely within the boundaries that God has set for us? No wonder the Psalmist described the Lord's rod and staff as a comfort, and not something to fear or resent!
 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

One crazy bird?

I did not intend to write a new blog post today. No, my plan was to visit everyone else's blogs instead; and that was going quite nicely until I became too distracted by this crazy robin who seems to be trying desperately to get into my house. First it began at the window in the spare room and after awhile when I closed the drapes it seemed to have left. Then came back last evening and even though it should have been busy nesting or something it just continued to tap at and try to get in that window!

I think the crazy bird is just trying to interact with his reflection. I do not know for sure, but he seems to think he has found his mate!
 Every time I go out there, he flies a short distance to where the other robins are doing their normal robin things like picking the juicy worms from the ground and looking for a suitable mate etc...But, as soon as I come back into the house he returns to wooing himself at the windows or door even though there appears to be many other robins to choose from.

This morning I was awakened by that familiar clunking again, only this time it is trying to get into the back door. Even the dogs are not scaring it away...In fact, Buddy is afraid to walk down the hallway because of the crazy bird at the back door!
So I have tried closing blinds, even tried scaring it away and still it persists!

Here is the video I took yesterday morning when I still thought it was cute:
(Fast forward to 3:16...that is where the action starts, and apparently may never end, LOL!)

http://wordsonmywindow.blogspot.com/

 All the blinds are pulled and the dogs have both gone back to bed since they seem to be able to ignore it...I wish I could.
I'm sure as soon as this is over, I will be able to use this for a post with a lesson illustrating some scriptural truth. I know there is one in there somewhere....but for now...IGN (I got nuthin')

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

Monday, April 8, 2013

Seasons of Growth


To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1
Every believer goes through seasons or phases throughout their Christian walk.
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.        2 Timothy 4:2
Hopefully each new season brings forth growth in both the individual’s own faith as well as a fine-tuning of his or her spiritual gifts. Above all else, a Christian should hope for a renewed love and fervent passion for the Savior, but that does not always come easily.
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It is not uncommon for a Christian to experience some dry spells when it comes to their walk with the Lord, however, it is important to understand that a dry spell, (those times in which it is difficult to pray and to get into the Word, or to actively seek fellowship with the Lord or other believers) does not necessarily signify that you have lost your faith or that you are no longer sincere about your commitment to Christ. It can actually be an opportunity for you to  see how God can grow your faith, taking it up a notch, by being obedient to the Lord in spite of how you may feel emotionally, instead of because of it.

2 Corinthians 5:7
We live by faith, not by sight

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In other words, it is easy to have hope and joy and to fill our spirits with nourishment from the Word when we are feeling happy and comfortable; but that is not where the rubber meets the road in terms of our faith. The heart of our faith is: “believing in what we cannot hear or see…This type of faith is the knowing and trusting in Jesus that is the heartbeat of our spiritual life.
I like to approach those spiritual dry times the same way I do when my arthritis or depression flares up…I make it a point to exercise and reach out to the Lord. I keep moving through the pain, and I acknowledge that the condition exists, but I determine to do all that I can to get through it in order to come out on the other side…The pain will eventually fade and there is always a light on the other side of the tunnel!
When you are too sick or weak to eat a meal, it is still imperative that you take in daily nourishment in order to get healthy and grow stronger even though you have no appetite. Likewise, when you seem to lose your spiritual appetite and find yourself picking at the Word without truly taking it in and digesting it, you are allowing your weakened condition to take over and it will only become worse.
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Confess this to the Lord, you will not shock God when you admit that you really don’t feel like talking to Him just then…He already knows, and He wants you to admit that you are in need of His help in order to be able to hear from Him again! This is a time to engage your mind in making the decision to talk to God, to ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to intercede for you. No matter how inept you may feel right now, God is always able, and Jesus has promised that when we are weak…He is strong…You do not need to rely or have faith in your own abilities. God is the one in whom we put our trust, and he NEVER disappoints!
Romans 5:1
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
 
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And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. Mark 4:19
Another thing we must never forget is that we do have an enemy who looks for any opportunity to bind us in order to prevent our spiritual growth…After all, God is forming us into the image of His own Son day by day, and if there is anything that the devil hates as much, or possibly even more than God’s own Son, it is a whole family of sons and daughters!
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage Galatians 5:1
So do not give into those negative or neutral feelings and thoughts, but instead give them up to God, and He will turn even this into something good in your life!  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his  purpose  Romans 8:28

All but two of these pictures were taken on our hike last week. I did not feel very inspired to take photos since it was such a cold and dreary day and walking on thin ice on the trail left me tense and sore.
Even the dogs could not wait to get back home, and I know I annoyed Jeff whenever I stopped to shoot what looked like very ordinary almost colorless landscapes displayed before us.
I found my mouth speaking words of gratitude to the Father for giving us each day, and I prayed through the pain and the dullness of the day, and only after I came back home and transferred these pictures onto the computer did I begin to notice God’s hand in each one.
And I am thankful that I stopped to take them.
*Note: the pic of the fallen tree was taken by Jeff just before that day. He said he thought it might go well with a blog post.
The idea of a healthy tree falling over because  of a disconnection of the root system from the source of it’s life sustenance seemed quite relatable to the idea of  how even a Christian who is firmly rooted in  their faith in Jesus, if they begin neglecting the daily nourishment through the Word of God, will not be able to stand, and they will soon wither away. Even though the living water runs just underneath the tree, the benefit is lost as soon as the tree becomes disconnected. 

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:10,14)


We are saved by His grace, but we are kept steady and strong by our connection to the living water who is THE WORD made flesh.

~Jesus is the Living Water~

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

KEEP GOING!

~Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel~ Proverbs 12:10



I wish I had my camera with me yesterday. The above picture is from 'Google images'.
Jeff and I were driving down a very woodsy road just north of us. On this same road two of our daughters encountered a bear a few years ago, and Jeff and our youngest saw a wolf. I was driving and missed seeing it myself. And two years ago Jeff and I saw the mysterious and elusive panther, (that the DNR just recently confirmed the existence of in our area!)  it ran just in front of us, it's movement very fluid as it covered the expanse of the pavement before disappearing into an adjacent meadow!
But yesterday's encounter was a bit strange.
We approached what looked like a big ball of fur in the middle of our lane. I thought something looked off as it appeared the animal was not dead or even injured, just balled up.

Then Jeff drove around the animal but thought he saw something in the rear view mirror creeping up towards the animal. He decided to turn around. I reminded my tender-hearted husband to not interfere if there was another animal making a kill in order to eat, as that is the way of nature as God has designed it. (once we got close there was nothing there except the furball in the center of the lane.)
The closer we got honking the horn, the little furball just twitched his ears a bit. So we sat there for a moment off to the side of the road. I decided to grab a small trash can from behind my seat while Jeff grabbed a towel. As I approached the animal it finally raised its head and rose onto it's feet. Jeff said "be careful" and I was. I remained where I stood but firmly told the young racoon to "get going!" It gave me a short hiss before it walked to the other side of the road, and then stopped to look back at me. I said "Keep going!" and it turned and ran into a hollowed log safely on the other side.
You bloggers know how it goes when you find yourselves in a certain situation and you say"There is a blog post in this somewhere". That is what I said as we walked back to the car.

I told Jeff it was funny how stubborn that little guy was at my command for him to get going. I only wanted him to be safe, something common sense should have told him anyway.  Jeff just laughed and said "It's as though he just wanted to end it all right there or something." Of course, it is possible he was only doing what we have seen other animals do on cold frosty days, lay down on the pavement to generate some heat. As it did not appear to be hurt or rabid, this was likely the case.
It made me think about how we can get into a certain comfort zone in our lives. We seem to just curl up and close our eyes and choose to be oblivious to certain danger approaching us.
When we hear our Master say "Get going!" we often hesitate, and then when we finally decide to obey, we stop to question His wisdom.....
"KEEP GOING!"
Or when we see things that are happening all around us, we may be tempted to just ball up and hope for it all to just go away and not affect us or anyone we care about..."GET GOING!" we hear our Master tell us. We had better listen. He doesn't care if we hiss at  question Him or not as long as we keep going.
 God is trustworthy, we must not lean upon our own understanding...he will never lead us into the path of destruction...always away from it!

I found it very interesting how Proverbs 12 ends...

In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death Proverbs 12:28

God bless, & remember, we are...

~NEVER FORSAKEN~

 

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 ...