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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Remember November

The last remaining sweet pea picked Nasturtium sprouted out of the drain, after two year wait, too late to bloom

Rhode Island Greenings picked before the storms

First the wind and rain - broken leader on ornamental pear

Thunder and lightening and then hail.

Then a glorious morning before the next storm.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

God's island bounty at worship service Sunday

“Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with Praise.
Give thanks to him and praise His name,
For the Lord is good, and his love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations!” Psalm 100:4

Our Thanksgiving celebration this year will be non-traditional. at our son Chris’ restaurant, PALISADE, in Seattle where they are serving over 800 people (that's a lot of turkeys plus regular menu). We’re hoping we can catch him on the run.
Here is a 2007 Thanksgiving video of Chris cooking prime rib. We won’t see him cooking this year, but we can’t wait to sample his new creations today.

We will keep one tradition and tell what we are thankful for this year; I'm thankful for friends, family that bless our lives and God’s grace every day that renews my heart, mind and spirit, and for new friends here on this blog. For our bountiful gifts, we thank you O God.

At the restaurant we may not have 5 kernels of corn on our plates as a reminder of our Mayflower ancestry (Stephen Hopkins our ancestor) but will be grateful for God’s provision and heritage that continues through all generations.

What is your Thanksgiving tradition?
What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Gate is Open

from 11//20/09
Gate torn open by a severe wind storm
The huge November windstorm last week took the double garden gate, swept it off the poles, heaved the pins and latches about the yard and scattered the now single gates down the rock stairs leaving a wide hole open to the destructive deer.The timing was perfect. I needed a reference image.

As I toil fighting weeds, I've  often pondered the relationship between the original garden called Eden and the gardens we have here now. In Eden, Adam and Eve walked and talked with God in childlike dependence, and bindweed and thistle behaved. Adam and Eve had free will yet chose to obey God in every way, until the serpent, Satan in disguise, convinced them otherwise. They ate of the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and for their protection, God banished them from the garden with no longer access to the tree of everlasting life.

"God said to Adam:
 'Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, '"You must not eat of it," 'Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field....'" Genesis 3:1718 NIV

As you know, everything changed from then on. The gates locked behind them, cherubim were placed, guarding the entrance, and now began pain, weeds, toil, work and death on this side of Eden for all generations forward.

 Yet because God so loved us, He sent His son Jesus, that whomever shall believe in Him shall have everlasting life.(John 3:16) and the Holy Spirit comes to live in our hearts and open wide the garden gate with the wind of the Spirit to enable us to walk and talk together once again.

Thank you LORD for hope, renewal and life, and your great wind of the Spirit that opens Your gates so we can commune. Thank you, that I can even talk with you about the bindweed and thistles.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

On the Road to commitment

Don't look back
(Lincoln Brewster singing )

Following my husband's advice to have more music and joy in my life, I stepped away from the garden writing and hit the road with our praise and worship team (I'm one of the vocalists) to CMS 2009 (Christian Music Summit) at Overlake Church in Redmond WA. . For two full days we heard top name performers, song writers, artists on stage and in workshops: Brentan Brown, Brian Doerksen, Paul Baloche, Lincoln Brewster and many more. I admired incredibly skilled Laura Story, Andy Leftwich and groups like Newworldson and secretly wished that I had decided to spend more time perfecting the music I loved to perform when I was younger. Off and on throughout the weekend, this background video of the road stripes as seen by someone looking out the back car window became the background for the song lyrics and for what God was saying to me this weekend.

Over and over I saw and heard the importance of dedication, - time each day, one day at a time, for practise, exercises, writing, doing what you are called to do. The message was loud and clear "commit." I decided If I look back too much instead of forward, by tomorrow, today will be backwards and I will have lost the chance for today. Does this make sense? For this week and each day I am looking forward, committing to writing the proposal and continuing the blog, (with time out for music) Pray I will rejoice in each day. I'll do the same for you.

Thank you to those who encouraged me.

Philippians 3:12-14 Press on to the high calling
Psalm 118:24 "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Proverbs 16:3 'Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."

Monday, November 9, 2009

On quitting where there's no joy

Away from the garden. In a Victoria BC hotel room.
written November 9, 2009

God speaks to me through this morning’s devotionals. “The cost of Quitting, November 9” Tozer on Christian Leadership:A 366-Day Devotional, “The Spirit-filled life is not, as many suppose, a life of peace and quiet pleasure. It is likely to be something quite the opposite….sometimes there is a pitched battle with our own nature where the lines are so confused that it is all but impossible to locate the enemy to tell which impulse is of the spirit and which of the flesh….” (just where I am)
“Satan will not bother a man who has quit fighting. But the cost of quitting will be a life of peaceful stagnation. We sons of eternity just cannot afford such a thing.” That Incredible Christian p. 73

And from the Gideon Bible in the hotel room.
“…Pray for you and to ask that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously…” Colossians 1:9b-12

To be honest, I have been wrestling with quitting the blog lately. My husband complains that I have no joy when working on it and suggests I spend more time with music where I seem to have joy. Since most people are too busy to read my blogs, it may be time to quit. Not being able to know “which is of the spirit and which of the flesh,” and therefore not have “knowledge of His will,”  This morning I have decided to test the Spirit and not quit just yet. I will try to improve the content for God’s glory and continue to learn a little more about social media and marketing. I guess I really don't ever want to live a life of "peaceful stagnation".

When have you felt like quitting and what changed it?

1Compiled by Ron Eggert, (Camp Hill,PA, Windspring Publishers, 2001)

Sunday, November 1, 2009


It seems that whenever I start a larger writing project, a tidal wave comes and sweeps me into the ocean with no pen, paper, nor thoughts other than to get back to shore with solid ground on which to stand.

I put an essay on aging regarding sinking sand here for three days until someone mentioned that if I published it here, I couldn't anywhere else. I'm not sure I will publish anything anywhere else anyway and I am still out to sea trying to get to solid ground.

In the meantime, here is some wisdom from others on writing from Michael Hyatt

"Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work." Steven King (I don't think time learning about social media marketing counts.)

"When I write I am inspired and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning." Peter Devries (I pray we writers can keep the set regular time.)

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." Helen Keller (How many trials and sufferings does it take?)

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do." Helen Keller.

The song "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand," comes into my head. Lord, I don't want to be swept out to sea with nothing written or without a return to my commitment to honor you in what I believe you have called me to do. James 1:6 "But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because you who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." NIV (Italics, my rendering)

Where is your slippery slope and where is your hope?