Incredible Bluebird

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.

James 2:19 NIV
Incredible Bluebird © 1991 Molly Lin Dutina

Incredible Bluebird!
Are you aware of your beauty?
As you ride upon your twiggy perch in the wind,
I watch in wonder and listen
as you speak to your mate.
“Aah!” I gasp as your colors burst forth in flight.
Unconscious of your beauty
yet cognizant of His call
you sing forth the praises
of God who made you.
Sing out, my soul,
in praise of God your Maker.
Take flight and rise,
above your deepest fears.
God is in charge,
and all the demons shudder,
as I rise to His call
soar upon His heights.
Even so, God’s company in heaven
gives a victory shout,
we rise upon our wings of faith.

This video is about 5 minutes long, but great images. Did not remember that Saint Francis is credited with the lyrics!

Relax Like A Dog

If you have ever struggled with tension, perhaps you have tried a guided meditation to relieve stress and tension. I have done many guided meditations. Some with more success than others. A series of the most famous are by Jon Kabat-Zinn and used by medical patients in the Stress Reduction Clinic.

Healing comes out of the practice itself when it is engaged in as a way of being. From the perspective of mindfulness, you are already whole, so what it the point of trying to become what you already are? What is required above all is that we let go into the domain of being. This is what is fundamentally healing.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn “Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to face Stress, Pain and Illness”

Mindfulness meditation can truly help us regain a place of calm and peace. Not unlike the powerful peace the Lord of Peace gives us. Very much akin to it.

This video is funny! Guided meditation for relaxation following dog behavior. Actually if you try it with an open mind, it can help you relax all the whilst laughing!

What a hoot!

Doggie in the Window

When I was a child in the 1950’s this was a popular song. Perhaps one of the first choruses I learned to sing?

Lately we have called our new Beagle “Lucky-To-Be-Alive!” Bob was working in the yard one day while I was out. He decided to let Lucky be on the deck and watch him so she would know where he was (which is on the second story of our house). As he was working down below he would call to her and she would put her head between the bars of the deck. This happened several times. Then he called to her and – no dog.

As he came in the house to see what was going, she met him at the door. She had caught the screen, ripped it with her claw and come in to try to get to him. Oops. He was able to fix the small tear in the screen. Eventually, all was forgiven.

They say the first few days a dog is withdrawn and getting used to their home pack. Then the next few weeks they are learning the routine of the household. Then you finally get to know the dog’s personality. This beagle has quite the personality! She knows what she wants and does not hesitate to tell us.

Yesterday (August 20) I finally found monarch caterpillars in the milkweed! SO EXCITED. One was about a quarter inch long, one about half inch and one fat and older. He was curled on the leaf so I could not tell his actual length. I came in to get Bob and he grabbed his camera to join me in the garden.

We had opened many windows and the door on the lower level to let some of the cooler, less humid air in over night. I actually forgot about the open sliding door in the basement.

As we tried to capture photos in the bright sun, a neighbor came over to find out what we were doing. As we were telling her about the milkweed, monarchs, caterpillars, etc., we could hear Lucky barking and barking. Next thing we knew, Lucky was running around our feet and then across the street to explore. Yep! She had ripped the downstairs screen and let herself out. She was in SO much trouble!!

She ran around the neighbor’s yard. Resisted the urge to come and be loved on. We were grateful she did not take off into the woods. That side of the street would be very difficult to navigate if we had to attempt to capture her. Finally she was so curious about Lisa that she came to her . Lisa held her collar. I said she was okay to pick up . Eventually I took her in my arms. Then Bob took her as he was getting ready to leave. We put her in the kennel. Inspected the screen damage and in some ways blamed ourselves. We could have tied her out, or put her in teh kennel, our taken her with us on a leash. But the sight of those caterpillars was so exciting!

I mean she really tore the thing this time. Our neighbor was the second person to tell us they now make a stronger screening material that is supposed to deter dogs. I don’t know if this one wouldn’t rip that, too. AND I had just gotten her nails cut on Wednesday!

How much is that doggie? Veterinary fees. snacks, kibble, screen doors!, leashes, tags, flea drops, heart worm medication and she is SO worth it. But at times she makes us growl.

For all her eagerness to be part of the pack she is still timid at many times. Cowers if I hold the leash over her when we are getting ready to go out – as if I might hit her? Is reluctant to come to Bob when he offers her a treat. It makes no sense to us, but perfect sense to her.

We may never win her full trust and affection, but she has us as her furever family!

Diving in Honor © 1999 Molly Lin Dutina

Summer is winding down with schools getting ready to try reopening here in Ohio. Sadly, there were not any summer swim meets at the local swim clubs this year. Our family always enjoyed those. Thought you might enjoy this vignette.

ISA 43:4a NRSV   “You are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you,”
[says the Lord your God.]
The journaling question was:
 ‘When I think about God loving me unconditionally as I am, I …’
Well, I get bashful, knowing Your Word and Your love are true
– but hardly daring to believe You, Lord.
In Your sight I am honored? Why?
I believe, as a servant,
I have only done what You asked me to do –
so, why honored?
And I remember reading Rick Joyner’s book,
the multitudes worshiping the Lord in the heavenlies
– and they – and I – are honored for obedience to the Lamb.
Again I argue,
but whom have I in heaven, but You, my Lord?
To obey is the source of my life –
the Source of all my joy –
honor seems too high a reward.
Perhaps my next obedient step
should be to read Isaiah and
write down Your words of comfort, love and honor?
You say You sing over Your people,
that Your faithfulness is a shield about us.
Oh Jesus, as I come to know You more deeply
there is so much more to learn.
I will never come to the end of your love.
A boundary wall will never appear to stop me from
entering Your unfailing love.
So help me, Jesus.
Finally, I want to learn to dive!

Help me jack-knife into Your love
            Triple somersaults of joy into
                        Your endless bounty of love and mercy.
Back flips – with no fear of knocking my brain out-
            empowered by Your Holy Spirit.
I tirelessly race up the ladder
            to make another grace-filled, magnificent dive.
Slicing into Your bounty of love and honor
            and before Your sight Precious
                        barely making a splash.
Diving deeper, deeper,
            never able to reach the bottom of Your kindness
but surely drenched, washed, renewed in Your water of Life.

And You, on the side
            watching with Your cronies alongside my enemies
            flashing high scores for me
            pleased by my obedience.
You are delighted by my yielded heart.
More of You, Lord
            more than my next gulp of air
 I want more of Your drenching,
Your overshadowing.
Come upon me, power of the Most High
soak me, enfold me, permeate my very cells.
Then guide me forth
to do Your will upon this earth.
But wait!!  I must clamber up that ladder
            one more time in joy and glee
            and as Your child
do a tremendous cannonball –
sending Your love splashing out
on all those around.
I’ve even gotten the grouchy old lady
who never wants to get wet!

It was not the wife who said,

“Touch me not!” Remember this photo from July 2nd of Jewel weed?

Well with Bob’s help we were able to sort of capture the action of the seed pod. At first I did not touch it hard enough. When I turned it in my hand, you miss the action of my touching it, but get to see the seeds released in my hand. The pod curls up into a spring. The second pod is not ripe yet.

And one from Oregon

Guess who hatched and got large enough to be seen? Hint, on first photo – look at top of plant!

Had to wonder on second photo above if weight of caterpillar dropped it down to the next leaf?
Making that hole larger!!

Miss Muffett

From my post July 25th remember about how the fear had no power unless she gave it to him by swatting at it in fear? Been trying ever since then to get a good spider web photo. This time of year the spiders seem to spin the largest webs. How’s this? See the body about center of the center tree?

How much power are you giving to your fears? Are you able to sit still in their presence and know that fear is a choice? There is a debate now how many times the Bible says ‘Fear not.” For me, whether it is 100 times or 365, reworded as be not afraid, we are instructed how to cope. We are also told not to entertain thoughts that draw us away from the Living God. (2 Corinthians 10:5) We are told to LET NOT our hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:1) The choice is ours. Whether reading Genesis 15:1 or Revelation 2:10 fear is not our best choice.

“Molly Lin, the spider is fear. It has very little power on its own. But you give it your energy by flailing and struggling and assuming it is more powerful than it is. Think through this same scene and SEE that had you chosen to sit still and watch that spider, it would have dangled from strings and been as impotent to harm you as the one holding its frames. He has no power over you unless you give it to him. Fear is a choice!”

Taken from Miss Muffett © 1982 Molly Lin Dutina

Look What I Found!

Out walking Lucky on August 11, 2020, last week. With the cooler temperatures for a few nights at our house this week, the leaf was a welcome reminder that even summer swelter does not last forever.

During Covid it seems as if the days last forever, and then suddenly we are repeating the task of yesterday. It is all so ‘daily.’ We often ask “How did we get towards mid-August already?” Seems like a time warp that circles and twists in upon itself. How many months have we been doing this?


Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.  He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.  He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.”

Daniel 2:20-22 (NIV2011)