31 October 2009

I didn't lose Faith!

At a little after 4 this afternoon I could hear Faith barking outside, certainly not an unusual sound. I went out on the deck to see what was troubling her, only to hear growling and whining accompanying the barks. I saw her out in the bushes behind the compost pile about to tangle with what looked like a coyote. With my heart racing I began screaming her name -- "Faith!! Faith!!!" but she would not come to me. She took off chasing the other animal.

Rick has always said that a dog will never win a battle with a coyote, and heart sick I felt that I would never see my beloved dog whole again. I ran into the house to get shoes, then back out still yelling her name, to see if I could find her.

She came running back out of the trees, tail between her legs, dirty but unharmed.

I am sure someone must have been praying for us. Who ever you are, thank you!


Listening

The Anointing of the Holy Spirit (Poetry)Image by Loci Lenar via Flickr

This is a weekend of teaching, activation and equipping at our church home. Joining us is Alistair Petrie of Partnership Ministries. This is Alistair's fourth visit with us and we are always blessed by his encouragement and his corrections. We are never sure of what he will share with us, for he often waits to sense the spiritual climate in our region as he arrives.

Yesterday, in the early afternoon, I wasn't sure why, but I was sensing that we needed to anoint the ears of the team that would be leading us in worship, that they would hear only the voice of the Holy Spirit. I shared this with the rest of the prayer team and received the green light to proceed. I anointed the ears of the prayer team as well, as a prayer to "hear" more clearly the voice of the Lord.

As Alistair began to unpack truths for us last night, one of his major themes was that God is going to restore "hearing" back to His church!

My spirit began to leap with delight, realizing that God had just given me a precious gift. He had once again confimed in a very clear way that I do hear His voice. I felt as if He was tapping me on the shoulder, turning me to face Him and saying "See! I told you!"

I am honoured and humbled that the King Almighty would choose to speak His mysteries to me. May my ears remain open, not only to hear, as Alistair said, but to listen.

And the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, Samuel! Samuel! Then Samuel answered,
Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.
1 Samuel 3:10 Amplified

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30 October 2009

Shaping a heart

Recently, while sharing quiet time with my Lord, there have been numerous appearances in my spirit of a heart shaped mold, much like the one that hangs in my kitchen.

I didn't take long for me to catch on to what He was trying to share. He wants me to know that He is shaping and molding my heart.

He washes and purifies what has been sullied by the world:

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 NKJV

He takes the broken jagged pieces of my old heart, melts them in His refining fire and pours them into a mold to form what He desires, a heart that is undivided and obedient:

Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Psalm 86:11

Let this heart beat with rhythm of His Spirit.
Let this heart reflect His glory.
Let this heart delight Him as it pour itself out in worship.
For mine shall ever be a heart redeemed.


29 October 2009

Taking the needle

The ShotImage by Scott Ableman via Flickr

After much inner debate, questioning and prayer I decided to get in line for the H1N1 vaccine this afternoon. I didn't want to give in to fear, or a "crowd mentality" when all you hear or read in the news is about the flu. But, in 10 days I will again be visiting and caring for my mother in the States for a week, and in her immuno-suppressed condition I can't afford to shed and share viruses.

I went to a community mass immunization clinic and people watched while I sat in lines for two hours. I saw children wiggle, squeal, whine and cry, while others sat stoic and brave. Most displayed their small after injection bandaids with pride and smiles of relief.

I feel fine tonight, save the expected sore upper arm. Now, to stay healthy until the vaccine kicks in will send me back to where I started. Prayer.

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28 October 2009

Word Filled Wednesday - Two of each

You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.

Thank You, Lord God for saving what You created, like these beautiful loons that swim in the lakes of Manitoba!

is being hosted this week by Susan at Forever His


27 October 2009

Tuesdays Unwrapped - Lingering


It is rainy, damp and dark this morning as we draw closer to the end of October. We have already had snows, hard frosts and temperatures dripping well below freezing.

Yet some of the colours of summer linger with an amazing tenacity. These johnny-jump-ups are still blooming under our deck.

Yes, there is joy in tiny things, great and unspeakable joy in a God that loves to surprise and delight us!

Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. Song of Solomon 2:12 NIV

What have you unwrapped today? Come share at Emily's Chatting at the Sky



26 October 2009

Winterizing


The snows and rains have been held at bay, giving farmers time to complete their harvests and allowing Rick to finish final garden and yard tasks to prepare for winter.


Faith lives outdoors all year, and Rick fills her dog house with straw and surrounds it with bales as extra insulation for our cold winter temperatures.

Rick did all the hard work, I simply walked about snapping photos!




Faith likes to find shelter from the wind in the hallway of bales, but only spends time "in" the house when the temperatures fall to -20F or lower.

Here she is resting in a pile of fallen leaves, watching as "the boss" works.

She's a carefree dog. Her happiness is simple and comes from giving and receiving love. We could learn much from her.

My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love! 1 John 4:12 The Message


25 October 2009

Follow me to Teri Lynne's

Do you ever feel like wheels of worry start spinning out of control? Come on over to Pleasing to You, where Teri Lynne has graciously allowed me to guest post today.

While you're there, read some of her wonderful words, I know you'll be as blessed as I am.




24 October 2009

Time of turning

This is the scene that greeted me as I stepped out onto the back deck yesterday morning.

Limbs growing empty, their former clothing scattered about the yard.
Leaves adding splashes of yellow and gold
on grass this is still remarkably green.
No signs of the snows of early October.
The season holding its breath, knowing.
Quite aware that change is due.
A time of turning.
Soon colour will shift to black, white and shades of gray
as winter settles in for a prolonged visit.

Yet even in their growing barrenness
the trees stretch out their arms
to worship the One Who formed them.

Seasons change. His love remains.

Then the trees of the forest will sing, they will sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:33-34 NIV


23 October 2009

Enough tomatoes

I was seeing tomatoes in my sleep last night. Pails of tomatoes. Pots of tomatoes. Piles of tomatoes. I feel a bit guilty complaining about having too much of something when so many have so little, yet I am ready, more than ready for our tomatoes to be gone.

Today I am using all that are ripe or nearly ripe in a homemade pasta sauce for the freezer. I created this recipe to use lots of tomatoes quickly, for while my salsa and chili sauce require peeling the tomatoes, they go into this sauce simply washed and chopped with skins on.


FireFly's Homemade Tomato Sauce

8 quarts washed and rough chopped tomatoes
6 medium onions rough chopped
6 cloves garlic minced
4 stalks celery chopped
13 ounce can tomato paste
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/8 cup salt
pepper
oregeno
basil

Saute onions, garic and celery in oil until limp and fragrant
Add chopped tomatoes and cook until soft
Puree (with immersion blender, blender or food processor)
Add remaining ingredients and simmer until thick
Check for taste and add more sugar, vinegar or seasonings as desired
(I leave this on the stove for hours when I have time)

I freeze this in 1 litre containers.

I will be serving this sauce on 4-cheese tortellini this evening while doing the "only 2 pails of tomatoes left to ripen" happy dance!

You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. Psalm 65:11 NIV

22 October 2009

Stepping out of the boat


The organizers of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) say that for most people writing a novel is one day event, as in "I'll write it one day". My voice has too often been a part of that chorus.

Yesterday, as I stumbled across info about this November challenge I sensed the Holy Spirit urging me to jump in. Dive. Take a step on the water. 50,000 words in one month. I can't imagine doing that it my own power, but He reminds me I am not alone. He will and does take my hand.

Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
"Come," he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" Matthew 14:28-31 NIV

Let me pay no heed to the wind and waves. Abiding in Him and eyes fixed upon Him I can do all that He asks of me. So as of yesterday, my name is entered. Beginning November 1st I begin a task much larger than I can accomplish on my own. When I cross the finish line, the glory will be His!


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21 October 2009

Word Filled Wednesday October 21 - Fear of the Lord

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.

This picture was taken at the Laroo Boarding Primary School - For War Affected Children in Gulu, Uganda. To read more about our visit click here


Christy is hosting us this week at Critty Joy



20 October 2009

Quiet simplicity

a w:slow cooker Oval Crock PotImage via Wikipedia

It's been a quiet day. Time to take pleasure in the simplicity of housekeeping. Laundry washed, folded and put away. Fresh sheets on the bed and clean fluffy towels in the bathroom. A roast in the slow cooker. Fresh baked bread.

I am able to offer my husband a hot meal and a clean home. I can greet him at the end of his day with love to share for I have spent time at the feet of my Savior.

Once I would have sneered at such a life, yet the life I lived then was filled with discontent.

Now I find peace. Now I find love. Now I find joy.

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11 NIV

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18 October 2009

Random bits of Autumn

Thanks be to God that the early snows of October melted quickly. Farmers are back on the fields, with a sense of urgency, to reap what harvest remains and to cultivate the land in preparation for the planting to come when the seasons turn again.

Berries left on the branches after the frost. Could they be sweet to the tongue? The enemy tempts with tastes unknown, but there may be poisons hiding there. Such things are best left untasted, untried.

At higher elevations, the snow lingers, early and unexpected, caught on not yet fallen leaves, branches bending under the weight of it. The trees remind me that all things shall bow before the Lord of Lords!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11 NIV

17 October 2009

Down Time

Outside it has been a lovely day, warm and bright. No clouds to hide the sun this afternoon.

Inside, however, feels unusually gray. I have been lazy, not wanting to move, yet at the same time, restless. I am ever on the edge of tears without knowing why. My spirit is struggling with something that I don't yet understand.

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11 NIV

Yes, I shall yet praise Him, the only One worthy of praise. Through the fog that descends and emotions that bend and twist I will declare that my God reigns.

He will take the scattered pieces that I am today
arranging them into a mosaic
far beyond any design I myself can create.

Today I am an offering upon His altar.
It is a day of breaking and reshaping
upon the wheel of the potter.

My mind is sure of His love, I know beyond knowing that His plans are perfect, so why should my heart find it so hard to trust His hands?

Yes, I shall yet praise Him
in worship my heart will find stillness
the place of faith.


16 October 2009

Who is man?


When I view and consider Your heavens,
the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars,
which You have ordained and established,
what is man that You are mindful of him,
and the son of [earthborn] man that You care for him?

Psalm 8:3-4 Amplified

The Holy Spirit placed the above passage on my heart in my quiet time before rising from bed this morning. I was at once humbled and awestruck. The Creator of heaven and earth desires to be in relationship with us, as imperfect and foolish as we are.

How often have you felt that you needed to change or improve something about yourself before entering into His presence? I know there have been times I have hesitated while He waited patiently for me. He knows us inside and out, every scar, every wrinkle, and still He desires that we come, just as we are.

This morning, I went running into His open, loving arms, to worship and adore Him. It is the very best way to begin the day.

What about you? Where will you be tomorrow morning?

Pumpkin day

PumpkinsWe didn't grow pumpkins this year, but dear friends had more than they could use and gifted us with a few when we were visiting them on Thanksgiving Day.

Yesterday was pumpkin day. I made pumpkin puree for the freezer. I roasted pumpkin seeds two different ways, with garlic salt and with a salt/cinnamon combination. Both varieties were a hit with Rick. I also made the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins Kristen wrote about at A Day in the Life and they were delicious.

Finally, for dinner I cooked up the following pumpkin soup. I enjoy making up recipes as I go!

FireFly's Pumpkin Soup

bunch of scallions - white and green parts chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 can sliced mushrooms
(fresh sauteed would be better but there were none in the house)
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
3 cups water
1 tablespoon chicken broth powder
black pepper
garlic powder
cumin
1/2 cup cream
toasted pumpkin seeds

Saute green onions in butter until limp
Add mushrooms, pumpkin, water and broth powder
Season to taste with pepper, garlic and cumin or spices of your choice
Cook slowly until thickened and hot
Stir in cream
Serve topped with toasted pumpkin seeds

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15 October 2009

Feeling lost

I haven't had access to my regular email account since mid-day Tuesday. I do not know why the account has been locked and can only wait while the situation is being investigated.

I am mad. I am sad. I feel out of sorts and out of touch. I also feel a deep sense of conviction by the Holy Spirit because this truly should not matter quite as much as it does!

Who is it that I really serve?

No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. Luke 16:13a NIV

I pray that I learn to lean on my true Master during this time, that I might honestly and whole heartedly declare -

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15 NIV

14 October 2009

Word Filled Wednesday October 14

O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!
In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your creatures.


Join us! Lori is hosting us today at All You Have to Give


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