Thoughts and Phrases

I collect quotes and ideas as I go along day by day. Recently I realized I had a BUNCH of them and should begin sharing them. I try to record the authors, but at times I simply do not know who said or wrote it. Here are a few for you to ponder and apply.

Have you ever been hard on yourself? Critical of your every move and conversation? When you are having a particularly dark day this might help. I found it to be a great balm to my soul.

“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.”

Christopher K. Germer

I once had a spiritual director named Marie. Each time we would meet she would send me off after our sharing with the statement, “Be gentle with yourself.” We are usually our own worst enemy. Just sit down on occasion and be quiet.

“It is indeed a radical act of love just to sit down and be quiet for a time by yourself.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn

A little glimpse through my word picture …

“Low-lying black clouds were shifting in thick, grotesque shapes across a fat full moon.”

Molly L. Dutina

One of my very favorite new to me authors is Charles Martin. Does not matter if I am reading his fiction or other books, there is always more than one idea that stands out to me.

“The cross of Jesus Christ is the place where we give Him all the bad that has come upon us, and He exchanges it for all the good that was due Him.”

Charles Martin What If It’s True

What a grand exchange! Any bad that has occurred in my life can be exchanged in Christ. Rest in that truth. Go make that exchange if you have not already.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making His appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”  He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21

In case you did not quite understand, here is an elaborated version!

We are Christ’s ambassadors. God is using us to speak to you: we beg you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, receive the love He offers you—be reconciled to God.  For God took the sinless Christ and poured into Him our sins. Then, in exchange, He poured God’s goodness into us!

Living Bible 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

Have a blessed Sunday.

80th Birthday for an Acquaintance

She speaks with almost no filter. Words just seem to fall out of her mouth, tumbling over one another, often to the surprise of the listeners.

Her life is centered in old movies. She tells us she seems to like the wicked women.

I know she has wounds she has never addressed. Some were inflicted by her father and she refuses to tell her sons because they loved him. Her daughter left without a word many years ago. Her husband died suddenly. From what we could discern from the outside there did not seem to be much trust or love in the marriage relationship. Her mother died a few years after that.

She now lives in a retirement complex with other senior citizens where the staff provide all the meals. Never has to cook or wash dishes unless she chooses to in her studio apartment.

She calls the complex a prison. There are shared meals, activities both in the building and off the campus. During the Covid-19 lock down they were confined to their rooms in an attempt to keep them well. She can now take the van to stores and places of interest if she wants, for no charge whatsoever. They have organized games, a library, board games and sitting rooms for all to share.

After her birthday party when I shared these thoughts with Bob I was reminded of a prayer my mother really liked in her later years. God, help us all!

A Prayer For Those Growing Old

Lord, You know I am
growing older. Keep me from
becoming talkative and possessed
with the idea that I must express
myself on every subject.

Release me from the craving to
straighten out everyone’s affairs.

Keep me from the recital of
endless detail. Give me wings to
get to the point.

Seal my lips when I am inclined
to tell of my aches and pains.
They are increasing with the years
and my love to speak of them
grows sweeter as time goes by.

Teach me the glorious lesson
that occasionally I may be wrong.
Make me thoughtful but not
nosy; helpful but not bossy.

With my vast store of wisdom
and experience it does seem a pity
not to use it all. But You know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. Amen.

Keep me grateful. Empower me to adapt to my life and health, circumstances and abilities as I age and everything seems to change. You know I still feel inside as if I am nineteen years old. I know that I am no longer nineteen.

Left to myself I would be worse than the woman I observed and wrote about. Open my eyes to my own shortcomings and faults. I know they are abundant, Lord.

Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.

Matthew 7:3-5

Other House/This House

When we lived on Siesta Drive our large wind chimes, tuned musically, hung from a hook off the second story balcony. Even when we had constant wind, we rarely heard them. Now we have them on a “shepherds crook” in the back yard. We are enjoying their melody almost all the time!

Yep, that is temporary home for rain gauge!

At our other house we had the hummingbird feeder on the front porch. We often saw them through the living room windows or if we were sitting on the front porch. Now we have the feeder outside the office window. We tried it outside kitchen window but some sort of bees took over and would not let the hummers feed.

(Before tree was planted!)

Photos were taken through the screen, but those birds cheer me on while I write or sit here to pay the bills. Today I actually saw a male and a baby hummer on the feeder at the same time!

New house, new perspectives on old favorites. Bob hung a smaller wind chime just outside the office windows. When the one in the backyard is not ringing, the smaller one in the front yard often is! Cannot see it from indoors, but if the window is open can certainly hear it!

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

John 3:8 NIV

Hatch Chile

Have you ever visited New Mexico this time of year? From now until early October the chile is harvested, roasted, stored, eaten, made into sauces, etc. Last autumn I thought I posted about the roasting at Wagner’s market in Corrales. Cannot find such a post so I will recap!

During our very first visit to New Mexico in 2004 Dan and Betty took us to Wagner’s Farm to witness roasting and small the deliciousness of roasting chile.

This is how you find the market on Corrales Road.

I wish I could share the fragrance of roasting chile with you. Perhaps you can create your own! This year our local Kroger store was selling New Mexico Hatch chile for $.99 a pound. I have never, ever seen that before! So I bought a bag and decided to work the magic on our grill.

You roast the chile on the grill until they are charred. (Darker than this photo.) This makes for a great fragrance and easy peeling later. But wait, there’s more!!

Remove the chile from the grill and place in a plastic bag. This lets them steam and continue to cook a bit. When they are cool you can process them further. And gadzooks! our kitchen smelled like Wagner’s!!

There is just nothing like the fragrance of roasted chile. Before you place your order at Wagner’s you have to decide how hot you want the chile! Here are 30 seconds of prices and ideas from 2020.

Buy your bushel and let the magic begin! If you watch/listen to at least 1 min 37 seconds you can hear the chiles start to crackle over the flames.

Here are Bob and Dan in Corrales 2020 processing the chile after Betty broke her ankle in Colorado and Molly hurt her back.

After they cool, you MUST put on rubber gloves as the capsacian from the chile can burn your eyes and mucus membranes. You slide off the charred skin and remove the membranes and seeds. Now Betty says to taste them and see how hot they are. If you want them hotter leave some seeds in. I confess, I did not taste mine. If storing them, I lay them out on waxed paper and freeze. That way they are easier to separate later. Or just toss them in whatever you are cooking to add flavor and heat! Cuban Black beans, burritos, tacos, casseroles, toasted English muffins with melted cheddar, you name it!

When we visited New Mexico we double bagged the chile in plastic and packed in a plastic box in our suitcase. They made it home just fine.

So there you have it! Hope you can purchase and enjoy some in your home town!

My Apologies

I have made some friends through this blog. And my dear friend, Dan, who led me to this site to begin with! They read my blog and I usually read theirs. My life was turned up side down with our move 2-1/2 months ago and most of my disciplines were “shot to hell” as my mother would say.

So I apologize to my friends whose blogs I have only rarely been reading. I finally decided the only way to get back in the pace of reading regularly was to not worry about the ones I have missed. The many, many that I have missed. I know you guys post regularly and I have been here schlepping boxes around and arranging the new household. Then pooping out in the recliner wondering where my energy went 😦 and how did I get this old?

So please allow me to begin again and take no offense at my absence. It was quite a challenge to get unpacked and settled. I think we finally might be rounding the last stretch. Just need a deck in the back yard now. Our first open house to welcome friends who have not seen our new digs is August 29th.

Blessings to all my fellow writers and bloggers. In Christ, Molly D.

We have plants!!

When we moved here in May we placed a special order for what plants we wanted in our front flower beds. The first order they brought to us was wrong so we sent it back. Then we had to wait for the sod to get established before they could being us the correct plants since they would bring mulch and drive over the yard to bring the plants with machines.

So we waited. And Miranda in the office went on vacation. And we waited and finally one day they brought the plants!

Oak tree looks a little tipsy, but it will get established.

The shrubs are butterfly bush (near door) and sweet viburnum (near corner of building). We asked for Vitex which is a native butterfly bush. Not certain they found one, but the shrubs are in now. The other plants in front bed we brought with us from the old house. Rose and ferns. Bought the rose blooming brightly below. It lived in a plastic bag for a couple months before getting planted in a 5 gallon bucket. There is also calla lily which began as a spring houseplant. I find it amazing that all these plants can be grown, transplanted, re-established and flourish in new surroundings.

The edge of the sidewalk has some iris from the other house, oregano and columbine plus new Astilbe which are not blooming. (Well, there is one dried flower on the Astilbe.) I will eventually put spring bulbs in there. The broad leaves are amaryllis which will be taken up in autumn, dried and re-potted for winter blooming. You can just see the stone that says Bob and Molly’s garden – a gift from friends. And, of course, little black fence to discourage the dog from wandering into or taking a shortcut through the flower beds!

On the corner is a purple hydrangea that was a housewarming gift, hosta from other house and the new small decorative grass.

Hosta and decorative grass repeat on other side of garage door. We are delighted. Just praying and wishing for rain. Soaked the tree once and will need to soak it again until it seems established.

Watched a sermon on being rooted in Christ. Wonder how long it takes an oak to be rooted on Platform Street?

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:6-7 NIV

My Utmost

Shut out every other consideration and keep yourself before God for this one thing only—My Utmost for His Highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and for Him alone.”

OSWALD CHAMBERS

Why is this important? I want my everything to be for God. I want to yield to His will and His Word.

I found a quote in my notes. At the time I did not write down the notation of where it was from. Eventually I found it was by Oswald Chambers in the devotional My Utmost for His Highest, June 11.

He wrote regarding “And I will give you rest,” i.e., ‘I will stay you. Not – I will put you to bed and hold your hand and sing you to sleep; but – I will get you out of bed, out of languor and exhaustion, out of the state of being half dead wile you are awake; I will imbue you with the spirit of life, and you will be stayed by the perfection of vital activity.”

That is the sort of motivation I need. I need it regularly. I need a call to constant infilling with the spirit of life.

You can go to https://utmost.org/ to read the Utmost devotion for each day or sign up for it to be sent to your mailbox. If you want to read the full text the quote above is lifted from go to https://utmost.org/getting-there-1/

Jesus, Grandma Snapp, GBS, Mrs. Cowman, Oswald Chambers, Molly Lin Dutina. The Lord is powerful in His weaving and creating. I praise You, Lord! How majestic are His ways over all generations! How majestic is Your Name!

LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?  
You have made them a little lower than the angels  
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8 NIV

God’s Bible School

God’s Bible School (GBS) is a Bible college in Cincinnati founded in 1900. It is of the Wesleyan-Arminian (Methodist) tradition. These facts come from Michelle Ule writing at https://www.michelleule.com/2020/08/11/gods-bible-school. This interests me because my Grandmother was a teacher at this school. I think my mother was especially proud about that! Imagine, my grandmother may have prayed for me to spread spread the Gospel all those years ago!

I went to visit the school about 1979. Emily was in a pre-school class. I loaded baby Jeff into the backpack and went to see the school. I was not aware until I arrived how out of place I was. The women all wore skirts and I was in jeans. None of the women wore their hair braided. I had a ponytail. The baby on my back made it difficult to wear it any other way!

It was nice to tour the grounds. There were Scriptures carved over the doorways. Also some messages in parts of the sidewalk. I loved the fact that my grandmother had been there often.

Recently I recalled that Oswald Chambers had visited the school. That is how I became aware of Michele Ule’s writing. She reports that “GBS and Chambers loved each other. Oswald Chambers was welcomed in 1907, 1908, 1909 and 1910.” She also reports he “returned several times in the years to come to teach at camp meetings.”

I was delighted to read “The first enrolled students (of 72 total the first year) were Charles and Lettie Cowman on their way to the mission field.” You may recall that Mrs. Cowman gathered the devotions for the ever popular “Streams in the Desert.” I have one copy published in 1925. Another is in journaling format.

Tomorrow I will write more about how all of this pulled together for me. Until then, try to read Streams in the Desert. You can read it for free online at https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/desert/

Lucky Dog

I often take Lucky out into the front yard and brush her. And brush her. and brush her. This beagle seems to shed huge amounts constantly.

The other thing she really likes is a good massage. I told her she was in for a treat when she met Dan and Betty last week for the first time. They do not just pet a dog. They massage!

Three handed massage!!

(An aside: Oh look! Bob and Molly have hung a picture in the new house!!)

We do not have a guest room in this new house. After Dan and Betty went to their motel room every evening I would get out the vacuum and clean up the beagle shed. I kept the pet hair roller next to Betty’s place on the sofa.

You can see in this photo that Lucky turned around for a Dan massage. Sadly, Dan likely has dog hair in his eye.

Lucky has seemed sad the last couple days as Dan and Betty are no longer visiting here, but continuing their tour of Ohio to see their son and Grandson and Greats.

I am sad, too. I miss them terribly. The four of us are great friends and have even done ministry together over the years. So unusual. They are much more like family than friends! I believe the four of us could live together comfortably!

Delta Variant

The Delta variant of Covid-19 is sweeping the USA right now. It brings to mind things we thought we could forget.

CDC says all people should wear a mask again in crowded areas. Remember to have your mask with you. If you mask is homemade, remember to put the paper towel liner in it. I am telling myself these things again daily.

The hand wipes package in my car was getting low. Thought I might just go to a tiny package. With the Delta Variant I have once again taken a large package, poured alcohol into it and put it in my car, AGAIN. Washing my hands with those after every interaction in shops.

Many people are credited with saying, “The only certainty is the lack of certainty.” Plodding along with the rest of the world, hoping we all get smart and get this thing under control soon.

Does that mean it is risky to eat out in restaurants again? Oh geesh! we were so enjoying the return of that activity!

Another quote: “Wait it out. Be patient. Try to stay alive.”

“What can’t be cured must be endured.”

During the last go ’round I was trying to express what so many of us felt regarding the many deaths and our sense of helplessness to change things. One author wrote that a person ‘gave a shuddering sigh’. You know, that breath that does not inhale smoothly, like after a really hard cry? George MacDonald in 1905 wrote, “shuddered and breathed deep.”

I am trying to use wisdom regarding the Delta Variant. It is said that with full inoculation (which Bob and I have) we might catch the Delta Variant (more infectious than common cold) but are unlikely to require hospitalization. Bob’s Pulmonologist has told him to stay out of crowds. So we are thinking we need a return to regularly wearing masks, staying out of crowds, washing our hands, and praying those who have not had their vaccines will get them before another variant can pop up and spread among the peoples of the earth!! Another quote: “You can’t cure stupid.”

So many interviews on the evening news with people in hospital beds urging others to get the Covid shot. Almost all of them say they wish now they had gotten one before they got sick.

Like Lester Holt says, “Take care of one another!”