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Monday, October 26, 2009

October remembered

Quercus (Oak)

Colchicum (Autumn Crocus)



"Red sky at night sailor's delight"



Sunday, October 18, 2009

Proud as a Peacock

"Proud as a Peacock" showed up at our door and stayed for three months.
The Lord has been talking to me about pride lately. I am a slow learner.
In trying to organize pictures for the book that I’m working on, I discovered this peacock picture, taken about 9 years ago. I remember that he strutted and fanned out of his feathers in front of the cottage door. I thought then that pride was all about blowing your own horn, giving credit to yourself and not to God, not so..
(As an aside, pride is not the reason for the peacock behavior, but a territorial defense and mating ritual, seeing its reflection in our window thinking it was another bird).

Two months ago, August 20, I read a passage about pride from The Best of Andrew Murray on Prayer*, that has stayed with me.
" God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." James 4:6 NIV
Andrew Murray asked us to offer one prayer to God continuously for a month which I have continued.
“…show me and take from my heart every form of pride...Awaken in me
the depths of humility so that I might be open to Your light and Your Holy
Spirit...O God....(I pray... from the bottom of my heart)...Pain and darkness
results, but meets with Divine Love."

This week a sample of where pride was in the way, the Holy Spirit quenched, and pain resulting:
  • What I say: trying to interrupt people with my thoughts and not letting them finish, thinking I will forget what I wanted to say if I don’t. If it is important I won’t forget. Pride keeps me focused on myself and not what others are saying.
  • What I like: My husband wanted to throw away an old milk pail bucket filled with what I use to clean the bathroom, kept under the sink and get a plastic bucket instead. I love the old bucket and have intended to make curtains to hide it better so I bristled, besides, he doesn’t clean the bathroom. Pride puts my desires and wishes above other people who may be just testing to see if I love them more than a bucket.
  • Defending myself: Arguments in the morning, he criticizing, I arguing back. My pride in the way. Why do I need to defend myself? God knows my circumstances.
  • What I look like: A young couple showed up at my door at noon. I was up at six, but with the rainy day, I still had pajamas on. At first I ignored the knock, thinking my husband who was outside would see them, but then I noticed them still there. I had no robe handy so just as I am, I opened the door. I thanked them later for coming and helping me deal with pride in another way.
“But as this prayer of humility is met by divine love, the mercy of God embraces
it. Then your song is changed into songs and thanksgiving.”*
I just realized that the creatures at my door in blog post Focus September 20 was exactly one month from the time I prayed the prayer above. Praise God for his divine love and mercy, blessing and encouragement.
I pray you also might experience His love and mercy and encouragement in a special way this month and hope you might be a faster learner than I.


* Andrew Murray, compiled by Edward A. Elliott, (Uhrichsville, Ohio: Barbour Publishing, Inc., 1997)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ask

McCoon apple tree bearing much fruit
John 15:16 "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit and - fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name." NIV

Because I was thinking of writing a book and interested in social media marketing, I found the site:

6 Reasons Why You Should NOT Write a Book
By Laura Christianson
Reprinted with permission. Here are partial clips of 2 out of the 6. ( my words in italics)
Check out the link if you want to read the whole article.

"Over 80 percent of the U.S. population believes they have a book brewing inside them. I’ll bet you do! But should you write that book? Probably not. Here are six good reasons why you shouldn’t. "
"5. You just want to write."

" Marketing your book takes 10 times more energy than writing it does. "

....."But it’s a reality of the highly-competitive publishing industry. No one but you is going to market your book. So, in addition to being a superb writer, you must become a savvy marketer. You have to be willing to put everything you’ve got into marketing your project. " (This is where I got discouraged)

"6. God told you to write a book."

"If you’re a Christian author, you have an obligation to honor God with your words. If your manuscript is riddled with typos, misplaced modifiers, passive voice, and run-ons, how does that honor God?

If you’re unwilling to hire a professional editor who will help make your book shine, how does that honor God?"
"... I strongly urge you to equip yourself for writing. God isn’t going to just call you to writing and then leave you hanging. He’s going to send you critique partners, teachers, editors, and proofreaders to help you become the best writer you can be.

Take advantage of these resources, and thank God for sending them your way."

I thank God for directing me to Laura. Here is the letter I sent to her:

"After reading your blog, I must admit I was
discouraged so prayed 'God, if you really want me to write a book, I need to
know once again.' Then I got in my car and drove the four miles to get the mail.
Outside the post office sat a friend, the former editor of Seattle Times, who
immediately asked me, 'Why aren't you in your loft writing?'"

Father God at every turn shows his loving kindness to his child who continues to doubt.

"I don't think I have what it takes," I responded to my friend.

He admitted it was a lot of work, like anything else, which I agreed. He then suggested I read Ann Lamott's book Bird by Bird, which I have read several times. Once home, I got it out and found underlined "persistence, faith, and hard work", much of what you were saying. Another encouragement came from the book back cover where Ann talked about her brother who was trying to write an assignment about birds and was "immobilized...by the task" Her father, arm around his shoulder, encouraged by saying, "Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.

It happens to be a bird lover's devotional I am writing. All this just to let you know I am ready for the "persistence, faith and hard work."

Dear reader, I hope God encourages you as well. Don't let go of what He is calling you to do.




Sunday, October 4, 2009

The glorious days of autumn

Quick tour of the kitchen garden borders to gather pictures for the seasonal book.

Scarlet Runner beans

Dahlia guarding the greenhouse door


Echeveria agavoides mother plant

Echeveria agavoides progeny spilling over steps



Some kitchen garden produce ready for pesto and pizza
"Holy, holy, holy, the whole earth is full of His glory." Isaiah 6:3
"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory, and honor, and power: for you created all things, and by your will they were created, and have their being." Revelation 4:11 NIV