30 September 2009

Word Filled Wednesday September 30 - Frost

And who do you think is the father of rain and dew, the mother of ice and frost? You don't for a minute imagine these marvels of weather just happen, do you?
Job 38:29 The Message

We woke this morning to a layer of white frost on the tops of our vehicles, a sign that indeed the seasons are turning in God's hand.



Amydeanne is hosting us this week at The 160 Acre Woods - join us!

29 September 2009

Home!

I can't quite describe the sweetness of coming home. I will have much more to blog, but at this moment, all I can say is:

I'm home. Thank You Lord, I'm home!

My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. Isaiah 32:18 NIV

25 September 2009

His peace

A white dove with an olive branch

This is a week devoted to serving my mother in whatever way she needs, making sure she eats nourishing foods, drinks lots of liquids, takes her medications and rests. She is stubborn and proud and does not receive help well. The very air around her is saturated with a spirit of heaviness. When I go to the care home to visit my father the heaviness is combined with spirits of confusion and discord.

In the middle of all this I am trying to find little spaces of time to rest at the feet of my Savior. I have been cherishing time in the shower, or alone at the supermarket, or here in the care home library. In those moments I am able to find the peace that Jesus promised us, the peace that only those who give their lives to Him understand.

Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] John 14:27 Amplified
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24 September 2009

Sweet peace

Looking at this picture of our granddaughter Aurora reminds me of the peace that fills those who trust in the Lord. It is a peace that the world cannot understand. A peace that I try to share with my family.

I pray that my life is a reflection of that peace.

"when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet." Proverbs 3:24

23 September 2009

Word Filled Wednesday - September 23

"Like cold water to a thirsty soul,

so is good news from a far [home] country."


This Word speaks volumes to me today as I have been cherishing each email and phone call from people who are supporting me with their love and prayers while I am far from home.


Susan us hosting this week at Forever His. Join us!


22 September 2009

Missing Home

While talking on the phone with Rick tonight I could her Faith barking and longed to have her at my side, giving me goodnight doggie kisses. I miss the scent of home, the sound of home, the feel of home in Rick's embrace.

Yet even as what is so familiar and beloved feels far away I can hear the Spirit whisper "There will ever be a longing, for even that place is not your home"

"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ" Philippians 3:20

21 September 2009

Jehovah Jireh - My Provider

This is a soup spoon.Image via Wikipedia


Sunday morning I woke early and could not fall back to sleep. My mind wanted to race and fret over the trip ahead of me, but I chose to try to focus on the Lord, praying in the Spirit and thanking Him for the new day.

Through the eyes of my spirit I saw a very large hand, stretched out and holding a spoon.

"What's this?" I asked the Lord.

His answer was short and profound.

"I will feed you"

I sensed that He was speaking of more than natural, physical food, but that He will make sure that my spirit is nourished and satisified. What a blessing of encouragement. What an awesome and loving God!

"And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen." Genesis 22:14 KJV

19 September 2009

Saying Goodbye

I fly off tomorrow to the Chicago area to care for and help my mother. Tonight will be the last night Rick and I spend together until I return home on Monday, September 28th. We have not spent more than two nights apart since I moved here in July of 2000, so forgive me if I dabble in melodrama for a few moments. I googled quotes on goodbyes and found a few I quite like:

"The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected." Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

Rick and are united in heart and spirit, but oh, for the flesh to be apart, to not be able to touch, and kiss and snuggle shall be painful indeed.

"Missing someone gets easier every day because even though it's one day further from the last time you saw each other, it's one day closer to the next time you will."
Author Unknown

What a positive way of looking at things. I think I'll adopt this approach and instead of thinking how long I'll be away, I'll rejoice in how soon we will reunite!

"Absence diminishes little passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and fans a fire." Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld, translated from French

I know that God desires to do a great work in both of us while we are apart, and I pray that He draws each of us closer to Himself as well as causing our love for each other to grow deeper and burn hotter. What joy will fill every fibre of my being when I return home to the flames!

"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be united firmly (joined inseparably) to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder (separate)." Matthew 19:5-6 Amplified

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18 September 2009

Happy New Year - Rosh Hashanah


It is traditional to eat apples dipped in honey on the first night of Rosh Hashanah. This is a prophetic act symbolizing hopes and prayers for a "sweet" year to come.

The following blessing for eating tree fruits is recited:

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the tree. (Amen)

Then the apple is dipped in honey, a bite is taken and prayer continues with a request for sweetness in the coming year:

May it be Your will, Lord our God and God of our ancestors, that you renew for us a good and sweet year.

I pray as well that all of the many fruits of the Spirit would grow more evident in our lives as we begin this new season.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

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17 September 2009

Fresh Start - God's Invitation to a Great Life - by Doug Fields


Have you been feeling stuck in a life that isn’t providing the abundance of hope and joy that Jesus promises us?

Do your struggles with anger, pride, guilt, disappointment and more seem to repeat day after day after day?

The good news is that it is never too late for a new beginning. Doug Fields shows us how we can cooperate with God, letting His power transform us, giving us the Fresh Start we need.

Doug’s words reached into places that we might not ordinarily choose to go. Using examples from his own life, he holds up a mirror that reflects the state of our hearts. If you’re like me, what you see may reveal places where you need renovations.

Doug gives us exercises to work through while his insights and humor guide us each step of the way toward the freedom of a new life in Christ. I found his words apply equally well to the life of a well seasoned Christian or a new believer.

In a chapter about conflict, Doug writes “As we seek Him, He transforms us into deeper, richer, and more meaningful people.” That’s exactly the kind of Fresh Start I need and desire.

Please visit Thomas Nelson's product page here

Here's a sample of Fresh Start --

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Read

More bread for my journey

Challah BreadImage by Afroswede via Flickr

I have chosen more scriptures to tuck into my heart and carry with me next week. His Word is my sword, mighty in battle.

Thank you to Rachel and Lainie for sharing with me the Words the Lord gave you.

If the Spirit places a scripture upon your heart for me, leave a comment. I will treasure each of your contributions.

GOD IS our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] John 16:33 Amplified

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid John 14:27

May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope. Romans 15:13

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully2giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:10-12

By [the help of] God I will praise His word; on God I lean, rely, and confidently put my trust; I will not fear. What can man, who is flesh, do to me? Psalm 56:4

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A Giveaway to check into - I think I’m falling in love

I think I’m falling in love

Shouting out to one of my new friends in cyber space - Kiva. We share a love for preserving the bounty that God brings our way.

She's giving away a great cookbook. Go check it out!

16 September 2009

WFW - September 16 - Fire

Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not. Jeremiah 20:9 NKJV

I know how it feels when the Lord is asking me to speak His words and I am trying to ignore His call. It is indeed like trying to contain fire within. Have you ever been unable to hold back what God desires to say?


Join us this week as Critty Joy hosts

15 September 2009

Bread for my journey

Holy Bible, dated 1885, antique gold lettering...Image by Wonderlane via Flickr

In a little less than a week I will be heading south to spend 8 days caring for my mother as she begins chemotherapy treatments.

I know this will be a difficult time for me, and in preparation I am asking the Lord to suply me with ammunition, scriptures to carry with me, tucked in my pockets and in my heart. I am trusting Him to provide the daily bread I will need for this journey into unknown territory.

I know that it is indeed the Lord Himself Who is sending me, for His plans and His purposes. This is His timing.

"Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” New King James Version (NKJV)

I will trust in the One Who is sending me, in faith that His Spirit goes with me to do His work.

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor." Isaiah 61:1-3 NIV

In the midst of battle, I will hold on to His Word which is my truth and there find peace even in the turmoil.

"You have put more joy and rejoicing in my heart than [they know] when their wheat and new wine have yielded abundantly. In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust." Psalm 4:7-8 Amplified

If the Lord happens to place a word on your heart for me to carry with me, please share. I am hungry, ever so hungry for more of His bread!

12 September 2009

Pickled Peppers

Yesterday I was checking our hot pepper plants and noticed how beautiful and varied were the colours of the fruits. The hot bananas in particular were bright shades of yellows and oranges. I thought they would look spectacular in jars mixed with the dark greens and reds of the other peppers, so this morning's job was pickling peppers.

FireFly's Pickled Mixed Hot Peppers

2 quarts assorted hot peppers
(I used banana peppers, hot portugals, big chilis and jalepenos)

2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
1 tablespoon salt

Remove stems and slice peppers
Combine water and vinegar and salt, heat to a simmer. Do not boil.
Pack peppers tightly into clean hot jars.

Pour hot vinegar solution over peppers leaving 1/2 inch head space.
Seal
Process in boiling bath for 10 minutes.

Makes 4 pints

I suggest wearing gloves from the start until the jars are sealed, and avoid wiping your eyes, nose or any exposed skin. The pepper oils can be quite volatile.

These are great for nachos, egg dishes, casseroles and for the very brave, on their own.

11 September 2009

Made for each other

Harvest time continues on in our garden. Corn is ripening. Cucumbers are still producing new fruits. Rick has been digging up potatos and sorting them for cold storage. Yesterday was a day for processing carrots for the freezer. As I was washing a sinkful, I came across an unusual pair.

I pondered a bit about how strangely things can grow. The smaller little curled up carrot looked so odd on its own. I imagined that other carrots might laugh at it, or call it names.

"Hey, what's up with you little curli-cue?"

How many of us have wandered through this life not sure why God created us in the particular way He did? How many of us have felt isolated in our "uniqueness"? It can be so hard to see God's hand at work and continue to walk in faith knowing that He indeed has His reasons and a perfect plan.

"But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations." Psalm 33:11 NIV

We grow impatient, unable to see the larger picture the way our Father sees it. One day, however, things begin to unfold. We feel foolish as we stand amazed at the perfection of His plans. Suddenly we can see why we are as we are. Every curve, every bump that seemed like a defect had a reason. When He formed us, He knew.

I reflect upon the days and nights I prayed for God's perfect match for me, afraid that He had made me so strange that I would never find my "fit". Rick has his own different bend to him as well. Placed together, bonded as one, we create something more than we ever could be apart.

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" Genesis 2:24 Amplified

Today I choose to rest in the knowledge that our mighty God sees all things, knows all things and holds us in His loving arms.

"I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he." Deuteronomy 32:3-4

09 September 2009

WFW - September 9 - Trust


Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.



Lori is hosting this week at All You Have To Give - why not join us?

08 September 2009

Sorting and sifting

As I have shared, with the failing health of both of my parents, I am going through a time of trials and testing. The voices of siblings, the world and my flesh compete for attention with the voice of guilt screamed out at me by the enemy of my soul.

Needing to know when I should travel home to help my mother left me anxious, tired and emotional. My choice (the choice of my flesh) would be to stay home, holding fast to my own life. Wise and loving friends advised me to act as God called, giving no attention to guilt, no matter how loudly that voice resounded.

My desire always is to follow the leading of my Lord, but I was not truly taking the time to listen, for I was afraid I might put my words in His mouth. Last week, I finally sat down to the following journaling session and offered that fear to Him --

Lord God, I so want to hear Your voice – I so need to hear Your voice. I feel lost and afraid that I have lost my grip on You. I have been reluctant to come away to this place with You, not because I fear what You will say, but rather that I would misinterpret, manipulate or some other way distort Your words so that I might hear what I already believe instead of Your heart and Your truth.

Pour out your heart, child.

I am afraid to begin, as if once started I could not stop, or that there is something so ugly waiting to come out. I have censors always on guard, judging my own thoughts and feelings.

Again I say, pour out your heart, little one, and I will do the sorting and sifting. You may not trust yourself or your feelings, and that is right, that is good, that is what I have taught you –

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

But can you trust Me? Can you trust the unconditional love that I Am?

I want to trust Your love Lord and release all that I am, broken and poured out before You, so what’s stopping me? Why can’t I begin?

Are you afraid to discover you’re not who you think you are? Trust that I know, even when you do not. And who you are is loved and chosen. Who you are is more, not less than you imagine. Who you are has limitless capacity for you are Mine, and all that I Am is available to you.


What a loving God. His words are deep comfort for my restless heart. He longs to speak into the spirits of His children. Have you taken the time to listen today?

07 September 2009

Praying for Canada

On September 18th a documentary about our nation's identity and destiny will be shown in churches from coast to coast, followed by a time of prayer for Canada.

I am privledged to be able to organize this event at our church for our region of Manitoba.

Here's a peek at the trailer:




“From the River to the Ends of the Earth” – The Destiny of the Nation of Canada was produced by Acts News Network, Inc. who say:

From the River to the Ends of the Earth examines a unique perspective of Canada’s national identity and calling. Couched in breathtaking visuals of Canadian rivers and landscapes, this 52-minute documentary explores trends that suggest Canada is moving swiftly towards an unprecedented spiritual revival. Such an event could profoundly impact the nation not only spiritually but also socially and economically.

From the River to the Ends of the Earth features First Nations and Inuit spiritual leaders who affirm, through dreams and visions, their belief that the entire nation of
Canada is on the verge of a powerful awakening.

“At every single level of life in Canada, this place will resonate with a destiny and a purpose and a clarion call that will be sent out to all the nations of the world,” states Rev. Dr. Alistair Petrie, one who has studied precursors to spiritual revivals.

From the River to the Ends of the Earth also steps back in time to explore the historical foundations of a spiritual link to Canada’s national identity and calling.

According to director/producer Marney Blom, the intention of the three-year Acts News Network project is to provoke and inspire. “Most people have little comprehension of the nature and magnitude of this nation’s destiny.” The film draws its title from the text etched in stone on Canada’s Parliament building;

“He shall have dominion from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.” (Psalm 72:8)

From the River to the Ends of the Earth brings to life a compelling vision of a nation’s destiny.

06 September 2009

Foggy mornings


After one of the coldest June through August seasons, September has arrived, finally bringing us summer. Each day now, the transition from night to day, heat to morning dew has created remarkable displays of fog. I stepped out early the other morning, still drinking my first cup of coffee, and was lucky to capture the scene above.

Fog hides all the rough edges, making things appear softer perhaps than they truly are. The mist blurs the boundries between land and sky. At times we'd like to choose this view of life, muted, nothing harsh, an all enveloping numbness.

When this kind of heavy moisture settles in it's almost impossible to see anything that isn't directly in front of you. It takes effort to stay on course. Our vision can't be trusted. People speak of fog "lifting" but I believe instead that the light and the warmth of the sun cut through the thickness and displace it. The air clears, vision is restored.

The same is true of our Christian walk. Without the Son to cut through and bring clarity we find it difficult to focus. It becomes easy to get distracted and lose our way.

I am learning that I must begin my day seeking Jesus, sitting at His feet and listening for His voice. That is what clears the spiritual climate around me and grounds me in His love.

"I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble." Proverbs 4:11-12 NIV

A foggy morning can indeed be uniquely attractive, but nothing can compare with the glorious beauty and encompassing joy when we find when we fix our eyes on the face of our Lord!

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2 NIV

04 September 2009

Relishing our harvest

This is one of the two pails of cucumbers Rick brought in yesterday evening. In this inside out season, our harvest is late but certainly bountiful. Many of these beauties are too big to make pickles, so it's time to pull out the relish recipes.

Today I decided to make a recipe that also uses our producing like crazy assortment of hot peppers. I thank God for our Cuisinart food processor that makes easier work of all the chopping that needs to be done this time of year.

FireFly's Sweet Fire Pickle Relish
8 cups finely chopped cucumbers
(since these were huge, I seeded them before chopping)
4 cups finely chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped sweet pepper
(I used sweet bananas which are somewhat hot this year)
2 cups finely chopped hot peppers
(I used a mix of portugal, hot banana, big chili and jalepeno)
1/2 cup salt
7 cups sugar
4 cups vinegar
2 tablespoons celery seed
2 tablespoons mustard seed

Combine the vegatables in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water. Let sit for 2 hours. Drain well, pressing out extra liquid. This is what the mixture looked like after draining, I like the flecks of red, orange and dark green from the hot peppers.


In a large pot, mix sugar, vinegar and the celery and mustard seeds. Bring to a boil. Add the drained vegetables and simmer for 10 minutes.

Pack into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Put on fresh lids and screw rings on. Process 10 minutes in boiling water. This made 9 pint jars.

02 September 2009

Word Filled Wednesday September 2 - Thistle Seeds


"You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit."

This is a picture of a Canadian thistle gone to seed. The wind will carry these tiny seeds, scattering them, multiplying thousands of times the plants we struggled with this year. Such it is with sin in our lives; what seems like no trouble at first quickly grows out of control.

I pray Lord God that in like manner my life would produce an abundance of good seed, each producing 30, 60, 100 fold and as I submit my life to You the bad seeds would cease to yield their harvest.

Join us this week at PennyRaine for more Word Filled Wednesday

Quente e doce

Here's what became of yesterday's peppers. The combination of red hot peppers and yellow sweet banana peppers created a stunning orange result. Since what I used were hot portugals I am giving this jelly a Portugues name - FireFly's Quente (hot) e Doce (sweet) Jelly.

Rick's plants are filled with abundant fruit, so more pepper jellies are ahead.

01 September 2009

Hot & Sweet

There are things I could sit and fret over today.

My mother has appointments with the surgeon who performed her last biopsy and also with the medical oncologist. Perhaps she'll learn results of last weeks MRI and if her adrenal gland is also involved.

Communication seems to be strained and breaking between myself and my oldest brother and sister-in-law.

Yes, I could sit and wonder, and worry, and work myself into a state of anxiety. Yes, I could do that quite easily, allowing the enemy of my soul to speak lies and fear directly into my spirit.

But I choose to remain deaf to his voice today, to trust in my Lord and busy my hands with the work of autumn.

Today's task is turning these lovely peppers into Hot Pepper Jelly. You can find my recipe here.

If you're passing by and hear singing, that will be me, worshipping the only One Who is worthy, as I work.

"She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27 NIV
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