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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Plaque on the wall at Swedish Cancer Institute, Seattle

Last month diagnosed with a new primary cancer, I visited a lot of doctors with testing and surgery.
The Lord gave me peace and the message "Do not concern yourself with tomorrow for today has enough troubles of it's own." I was prepared to hear the worst, but since I believe in a sovereign God who has a purpose for those who know Him, I was willing to go the route if needed. The tumor, "angry and large" according to the biopsy reports, when fully removed in mastectomy surgery became small and no other involvement. I praise God for healing and His grace. Praise Him with me.
At Christmas, God gave us the most incredible gift. He sent His son, Jesus, part of the triune God, three in one, to earth to become one of us, like us in every way except He did not sin. It was the most wonderful gift because we are fallen beings, needing hope, joy, peace, a transformation and healing. There was no other way to experience this but for this babe, God/man, to come to earth to be like us, and unlike us, to sacrifice all for our benefit. He took on our transgressions, and for those who  believe, granted us benefits of peace, joy, transformation and healing so we might come to know God and live the life we were created to live. Celebrate with us the real meaning of this season.

"Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him my help and my God." Psalm 42:11

"The LORD will comfort Israel again and make her deserts blossom. Her barren wilderness will become as beautiful as Eden - the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found there. Lovely songs of thanksgiving will fill the air." Isaiah 51:3

You, Oh LORD, take those places of hurt and pain that affect all our living and you alone bring hope and new beginnings and beauty. Can there ever be joy and gladness again? You promise and your promises will not be broken. Help us to sing again.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Peace

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving.
May thanks giving be your daily living.

Being thankful in every circumstance
Gives peace and joy a chance.

Here's a post from over a year ago that is still apropriate.

I pray that you learn to have peace in each of your circumstances as well.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Speaking through the Garden and Word

In October, breast cancer awareness month,  a dove appeared outside our window the week before my regular mammogram. I had experienced God sending a white dove only once before when I needed encouragement. Through a dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, He let me know his forknowledge of all things in my life ,and that He will not leave me. I took a video of it but, my camera, needing repair did not capture it. My new computer also not working well. Now, I guess I'm the one not working well. My regular mammogram and subsequent biopsy revealed a new primary cancer after 19 cancer free years. God speaks to us through all things. To me it is through our garden.

A year ago I posted this about breast cancer after our daughter-in-law was diagnosed. It now speaks to me and hopefully you.

In September the Lord clearly told me to start a women's Bible study on a regular night at our cottage, and to set aside the time no matter if anyone comes or not. People came and the clear  message has been to us all "Do not be afraid, only believe", "Do not fear. I am with you," repeated consistently before I knew that I had a new primary cancer. How can I not believe He will care for me? I have had peace knowing there was a greater purpose in this all and nothing passes by our Lord without it being for His glory for those who love Him. Although I don't look forward to the treatment, I look forward to this adventure and hope you will join me.

"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 you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:8-20

Does God speak to you in your garden?

Where do you need hope and encouragement?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Strange garden

Tomato fellas contemplating their future
Alien potato clan rescued from down under
Another strange tomato appears
I don't like Halloween, but in our garden this month, some strange creatures appeared. Often God forwarns us of things to come by His creation as well as incidents around us. The shattering of glass myteriously in a door pane, dishes flying out of the cupboard several times this summer caused me to believe this was a warning, either to pray for our family more, to bind Satan's hold on any of us or pray for our country as I see it heading perhaps to a crash and in a wrong direction.
These strange October produce critters were  warning for me as well. Strange lumps appeared in my body and it was determined this last week it is cancer. I am at peace because I know nothing passes by God without his approval. His "peace that passes all understanding" is present and I know he has a greater purpose in this all. I am thankful for the garden and how God uses all things, even strange , for his purposes as well.
"May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at al times and in every way. THe Lord be with all of you." 2 Thess 3:16 NIV
How is God speaking to you through your garden and through things in your life?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

September 11 remembered

Classes at the potting shed, Great Dixter in England 9-11-01 right before we heard

9/10/01 Christopher Lloyd teaching us to not be "subtle"

I remember the morning after 9/11 in England visiting Beth Chatto in her garden. She was quite concerned over our welfare and county and I replied truthfully, "We couldn't be in a better place in times of distress, if not with family, then in your garden,"

 As I place our tomatoes to ripen on our window sill, I remember these at Great Dixter..

We were there for an "in the garden week long seminar" through Horticulture Magazine. I thought this might be a way for my husband and I to get on the same page as far as a common understanding of gardening. Ten years later, we now both garden in harmony. As we wonder about the winds of change in our country, we still know that the very best place to be and to commune with our maker is in the garden. May you find solace there as well, or here from these pages.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Doubt in the rocky places

 Lessons from the seed falling on rocky ground

 "...the soil was so shallow and held so little nourishment and moisture, the heat of the sun soon withered the sprouting seed so that it died. It is always easier to begin a thing than it is to finish it." Barclay commentary on Mark 4:5-6  1  
Such it is with writing, including blogs, discipling new believers in fact anything of importance started.

What is the key that keeps us from finishing? ( I have many unfinished, unpublished blogs this year)

"Others, like the seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root they last only a short time and when trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away." Mark 4:16-17 NIV 
Why does "joy fall away?"

 “If for any cause whatsoever we doubt His (unconditional) love, then our joy be darkened….” 2
The "rocky place", where "trouble and persecution come", has to do with doubt and doubt takes away joy.
"Don't doubt that love, know that He loves us unconditional. You just need to bring worries, sins, inabilities, anxiety and guilt to Him"  The Lord Prays for His Own, p. 242

 Do you believe:
  1. That  God is sovereign in dark, troubled and persecuted places.
  2. That God has a plan to bring you and I through any difficulty.
  3. That He can give us the ability to meet His calling.
  4. That God might not abandon us when we most need Him. 
In what circumstances of your life do you need to have Jesus turn doubt into joy?

Listen to what he has to say to you, let Him heal you and set you free.

1. William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible Series, The Gospel of Mark, (Philadelphia: The
Westminster Press) p.92
2   Marcus Rainsford, The Lord Prays for His Own, (Chicago: Moody Bible Institute, 1978), p.240-241

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The well worn path needs a change

Pansy (Panola Beaconsfield) seed on path

"Some people are like seed along the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them." Mark 4:15 NIV
 Here are some insights to help you sprout, thrive and bear more fruit.
  1.  Step out of the box off the trodden path Birds devour seed that falls on the wayside, the well-worn and hardened path that we all travel. It is where we have traveled most of our lives, routine, comfort in sameness, stability, solid ground beneath our feet, no chance of slipping up, going the wrong way. So we think. God's word has no meaning on this hardened ground. Heal us from the fear of change and the wounds that keep us hardened.
  2. Till our soil. Only Jesus can till up the soil to make it good. It is painful I know. Comfort goes when we can't travel that same path again. Help us let go of regular routine, find a different one that honors You Lord. Better yet, show us the different path to trod and make our way straight and stable.
  3. Bear good fruit.  But You, Lord, say that You are the seed* that flourishes in the right soil, not us. Help us humble ourselves so You can work through each of us. Help us to empty our seed container and let you in. We cannot bear fruit without you for sure.

"God's mark is on everything that obeys him." Martin Luther

What routine do you need to examine in order to bear fruit?

*"holy seed" Isaiah 6:13

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Peace Like a River

Sunday morning as we strolled out on the back deck to view the garden we saw an amazing sight. Rising from the northeast horizon, these high streaming clouds reminded us of a river. It was almost surreal like a warning or a message.

 We stopped to ponder the beauty and perhaps its reason, preparing us for our church service later that morning of self-examination.  Here are some thoughts:

1.        "Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” Isaiah 48:18.
 Is it God’s warning to us of judgment for our disobedience as revealed in His Word the Bible?

2.        “Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.” Psalm 119:165.
 Is it encouragement to keep studying His word, the Bible, so we know what He desires of us?

3.      “For thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream.’” Isaiah 66:12
 Is it a chance to look at where I have anxiety (lack of peace) and where I stumble so I might humble myself to hear God’s remedy?
What would you glean?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Paperwork and the cards we're dealt

Dealing with Paperwork

How do people who grew up in times of difficulty get rid of the stuff they think they will need? Is it compounded by living on a small island? Perhaps, but  FedEx by ferry and UPS by plane eliminates what used to be island isolation.  I am waiting for the mail to deliver a Fujistsu Scansnap to help with the paper piles after reading Michael Hyatt’s blog on leadership. I want to take some leadership over my desk and writing aspirations/ inspirations as we consolidate houses and contents. It's really the paper piles that gets me down.

1.       The more you have, the more you have to deal with and this is not an advantage except in card games.

2.       The time it takes to shuffle possessions around could be used for shuffling around ideas in your head and put to use (like here on a page) instead of a shelf or table.

3.       The extra that you don’t need can benefit others. In the same sense, what I want perhaps I probably don’t need and if I need it, I pray the Lord will direct me to the former, like the blog above.
We keep and don’t get rid of “stuff” mostly because we think we may need it tomorrow. Does saving it in a small island out there called a “Cloud” like Evernote just transfer the piles out of sight like stuffing it in a huge drawer? But then, the cloud is so big, I won't have to worry about tomorrow.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34 NKJV
How do you make decisions about what you keep or not?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Four evidences of help and encouragement in tough times

1. Encouragement can sometimes come vicariously from other's positive care in tough times.

UMC memorial in front of Hospital entrance when I arrived to help my hospitalized brother.

2. When seemingly frozen in time, awaiting tests, decisions, options, risks, answers, may you understand God's timing is always perfect no matter how "hobbled, hackled and hogtied, short-leashed" you may feel. Remember that the tubes, that arrest you, increase your risks of survival.

Fozen fountain at Four Point Sheraton airport Tuscon

3. Never undersestimate the value of friends to love and encourage. Who would believe the value of a post on facebook to reconnect?

A needed breath of fresh air from friends, who discovered my Tuscon arrival on facebook

4. A chance to heal the wounds of an earlier related stress through present circumstances (the same hospital in which my other brother died).
Waiting room aquarium outside the ICU UMC Tuscon

Brother Wally made it through major heart surgery, Dr Smith making his heart new.

"Create in me a pure heart O God, and give me a new and steadfast spirit. Do not drive me from thy presence or take thy Holy Spirit from me, renew in me the joy of thy deliverance and grant me a willing spirit to uphold me." Psalm 51:10-12

You, God, are Jehova Rapha, the healer of all wounds to the heart, lies we have believed about ourselves, circumstances that keep us from seeing You, and all disease which prevents our connection with You.

How does your heart need reviving? Just ask Jehova Rapha and receive help.