25 February 2009

Losing the road and finding the field

Winter continues on here in Manitoba, with February and March generally the months of greatest snowfall. This can make for adventurous rides home on our country gravel road. Yesterday, if one were to pay heed only to the reported amount accumulation, you would think there shouldn't have been any problem travelling.

But then, we have the winds.......

The new snow and the snow in the fields had blown across the roads so badly that it was almost impossible to see where the gravel ends and the ditches begin. Slowly, impossibly slowly it seemed, I inched my way along. I made it to our own private road, around one curve, and almost around the next. Almost.

The two tires on the passenger side found the field and then the vehicle refused to move any further. The 3/4 mile walk home through the snow was spent thanking God for keeping me safe and the vehicle stuck but unharmed. The tow truck didn't want to risk the roads last night, so we got pulled out about 10 this morning. I'm always thankful to have a CAA membership to cover the costs.

We haven't had more snow yet today, and the winds have been fairly calm. The ride home tonight should be relatively uneventful. I'll let you know.

21 February 2009

Saturday morning

"Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you." Isaiah 60:1-2

I stood at the window early, drinking my first cup of coffee, watching the effects of the sun as God began to light another sparkling day on our snow crusted prairie land. I found myself awestruck as He revealed His majesty.
The same God that lights the skies afresh each morning also painted each feather of the jay that stopped in the yard just long enough for me to catch a picture. He is a God of enormity and vastness, yet also a God of detail.

I thank You, Lord God for the evidence of Your creative power that surrounds me. Everywhere I turn, I see the work of Your hands. May words of praise and wonder be ever on my lips.
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!" 1 Chronicles 16:31

20 February 2009

Praise on a Friday morning

As I walk through this journey called life, facing the day to day challenges that arise, I can do so with confidence based on the truth of God's Word. In the midst of the darkest problem, I remind myself that He is still in control.

I have been accused of too often trying to put a positive spin on things. Yet think for a moment, if God created the day, and God is almighty, and God's will prevails, then the day will unfold as He desires, even when we can't comprehend it's events.

"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

How can I not be glad? My God reigns!! I will arise each morning, and praise You, my Lord, for all that You are. I will submit my life to you afresh, for my flesh to be crucified so that Your Holy Spirit can reign full and free in me. I will choose to rejoice in all things, for all is held fast in Your mighty hand. If others think me foolish, then let me be foolish for Your sake, my God, that they might come to know You.

Be glorified this day, Lord God, in all that I say and all that I do, in Jesus name, I pray.

18 February 2009

Milk & Honey Bread

I spent the better part of the late morning/early afternoon baking bread, an activity I didn't seem to have the time for last winter. Rick and I much prefer home baked to store bought bread. I like to experiment adding more whole grain flours and reducing the amount of refined white flour. When the recipe produces multiple loaves, one loaf stays out to be eaten fresh and the rest get wrapped, labeled and put into the freezer as soon as they cool to be savoured at a later date.

Todays recipe was called Milk & Honey Loaf eventhough it contains no milk! I added to the amount of rye and whole wheat flours in the original recipe succesfully. Here is the resulting recipe:

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup rye flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Allow yeast to sit until it begins to form bubbles.
Add honey, butter, and salt to the yeast mixture. Stir in flours one cup at a time, beginning with the rye. When the dough begins to stiffen, turn it out on to a well floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes, adding flour as needed. Place into a greased bowl, and turn once to oil the surface of the dough. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, approximately 1 to 2 hours.

Punch down dough, and knead again until smooth. Split into 2 loaves, and knead for a few more minutes. Place loaves in two oiled pans. Allow to rise until double, 1 to 2 hours.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto counter or wire rack to completely cool.

The name of this bread was speaking to my spirit all through the day as I meditated on God's promise to His people:

But I said to you, "You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey." I am the LORD your God, who has set you apart from the nations
Leviticus 20:24

I have been praying about what my promised land is to look like. Am I already here? At times it seems so, at other times, that land seems quite distant. I pray that the Lord will reveal to me what steps He desires me to make to possess the inheritance He has in store for me. I don't want to be content with yesterday's bread when I can feast on a fresh word each day!

17 February 2009

Eyes of faith

It is the middle of February and here in Manitoba that means we still have many weeks of winter snow and cold. Sometimes when you look outside you might start to believe that the seasons will never change. That's when we have to trust what we cannot see.

“Now faith is [the] assurance [or, substance] of [things] being hoped for [or, being confidently expected], [the] confident assurance [or, proof] of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1) Analytical-Literal Translation

I will keep this image in my mind to help me endure the seemingly endless days of winter here, knowing that in His time, God brings the seasons back full circle. Seed time and harvest are yet ahead!

14 February 2009

Happy Valentines Day

"Dear friends, let us continually love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God. The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God's love was revealed among us: God sent his unique Son into the world so that we might live through him. This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if this is the way God loved us, we must also love one another. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. This is how we know that we abide in him and he in us: he has given us his Spirit. We have seen for ourselves and can testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. God abides in the one who acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, and he abides in God. We have come to know and believe in the love that God has for us. God is love, and the person who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. This is how love has been perfected among us: we will have confidence on the day of judgment because, while we are in this world, we are just like him. There is no fear where love exists. Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear involves punishment, and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us."
1 John 4:7-19

06 February 2009

In The Garden

As I have been praying and preparing to speak next Sunday morning in church about "Abiding in Christ" I knew I had to ask the worship team to sing the song the Lord gave to me some years ago.

In the garden, in the spice grove,
I am waiting for you there
In the garden, I will linger
I am waiting for you, My bride to prepare

Make yourself ready, make yourself ready,
Make yourself ready for Me
And for all you cannot do
My Spirit I send you
Make yourself ready for Me

Oh the fragrance of the garden
Love everlasting and free
I will give riches of heaven
To the one who surrenders all unto Me

Make yourself ready, it's time to get ready
Make yourself ready for Me
For My bride must be pure
And My bride must be holy
Will you be ready for Me?

I am calling, from the garden
I am waiting for you here
But the time is growing shorter
And My message to you right now must be clear

Make yourself ready, make yourself ready
Make yourself ready for Me
Make yourself ready, you need to be ready
Make yourself ready for Me.