A Slow Hike

We drove to a trailhead and hiked a while with Emily and her girls. It was slow going as it is hard for people with compromised lungs to hike at 8,000 Feet.

Some of the aspens were just beginning to turn their bright yellow. “Quaking Aspens” fascinate me. They remind me of the Bible verse Isaiah 55:12

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

So here are the old folks hiking with the young’uns, who were actually far ahead of us. Our daughter though did decide to stay at our side at all times.

The trail is basically between our shoulders!

Since the trail did not go where the girls wanted, we went separate ways back at the parking lot. As Bob drove the other side he pulled over for these photos of the canyon the stream had carved.

We could never see where the trail we had been hiking went! Oh well. It was a lovely day and we enjoyed the walk.

Bob Liked Stars, too!

See this lovely cabin?

This is the “Dot” where we moved after the Cookseys went home. See the lovely landscaping? the reflection on the storm door? the huge poles around the porch with one right at the stairs?

Bob was also getting excited about the stars. One night I was already in bed reading. He went outside to look at the stars and decided there were too many lights on in the cabin. So he went in and turned them off. He thought he knew just where the pole and the stairs were. I had left a flashlight right at the door, but he never noticed it. He never even thought to grab one.

He fell off the porch and thanks be to God he did NOT crack his head on those large stones!! I thought I heard him cry out. I called to him. No answer. I called louder; no answer. So I went running to the front door just in time to see him coming through the door dripping blood from his leg and arms.

I am so thankful my sister keeps a first aid kit in each cabin! I cleaned him up, got him bandaged and put to bed with some Tylenol. His right knee was already bruising. And sadly, that is the same knee upon which he has had meniscus repair – TWICE!

Next day he was stiff and sporting many bruises. We were so thankful he had NOT hit his head. We were too far away from civilization for emergency medical care. I decided I should increase my prayers for safety for the family for the remainder of this trip! Yikes. “Here I am at, Camp Grenada!”

Now his gashes and bruises have healed up. He has a new scar on his leg to remember Colorado! Those stars were lovely, though.

 He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.  Our Lord is great, vast in power; His understanding is infinite.

Psalm 147:4-5 HCSB

 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD rescues them from them all.

Psalm 34:19 NRSV

Oh the Stars!

 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.  They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.  Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

Psalm 19:1-4a (NIV2011)

One thing I dearly wanted to see in Colorado was the night sky without all the light pollution of Greater Cincinnati area. Being older, and full of excitement, we went to bed at our usual early hour. The first night when I awoke, I glanced out the window from the Honeymoon cabin. Even without my glasses I could see stars. With my glasses, I was absolutely amazed.

The next evening we went outside before bed, but it was not quite as dark as after midnight and not as impressive. At 1 AM I tried a different window, but it was not as startling as the first one. Still too cold to go traipsing about in my nightie. And, alas, too tired to try a camera. Bob had assured me that I would need a good camera with a long (or was it slow?) exposure. My iPhone 8+ just would not get it.

Our friend, Dan Cooksey, captured it for me! Click on the link below to open his blog. He wrote about it On September 9th at https://danandbettysplace.blog/2020/09/20/stars-in-the-heavens/

And he has a gorgeous portrait of Jessie the traveling dog as his blog banner. Hope you enjoy the words and photo from one of our “besties.”

“This is What It’s All About”

Please listen while you look at the photos! Psalm 136:1-6 (NIV2011)  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever. who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.

Oh the voices of those children! Don’t they bless your heart?

Do you see the Notch? Thus, the name ….
Bob especially liked the heart shape on the hill.

Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV2011)  I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

This is It! The BIG 50!!

Bob read that only 5% of married folks make it to fifty years! And here we are! Half a century. Five decades. Unbelievable!! I began the morning with Bob saying, “Look at the mailbox!” I had one eye open and no coffee yet. Look I did and I was as surprised as he had been. “Who did that?” we both asked.

When I went out to get that photo it was my turn to say, “Bob, look at the locust tree!”

Spangles and streamers in case anyone missed the balloons!

We have four cards and then this

Flowers from our dear friends the Cookseys!

Next up came a cake from Emily and Dave.

Tiny cake for two! Bob said, “We need company to share this.” I replied, “Heck no!”

Such lovely fragrance in this bouquet! Our daughter was at it again. Showering us with love and affection.

Tonight we are off to a fancy dinner. I have had “Table for 2” on my calendar for weeks now. So for whoever it was that made bets at our wedding that our marriage would never last, “Well, how much did you lose?”

Tomorrow I will honor Bob by posting his Facebook entry from today. I am not the only one in the family who can craft words. Gosh, I love that man!!

1970 Berkeley, California

And now!

September, 2020 The Notch, Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Promises and a Meaty Quote

From Streams in the Desert

“Beloved, God’s promises can never fail to be accomplished, and those who patiently wait can never be disappointed, for believing faith leads to realization. Abraham’s life condemns a spirit of hastiness, admonishes those who complain, commends those who are patient, and encourages quiet submission to God’s will and way.” – Unknown

Is that a meaty quote, or what? “His promises can never fail to be accomplished.” He is not a man that He should lie. He is faithful and powerful to do what He wills. Numbers 23:19

“Those who patiently wait can never be disappointed.” But wait! I have often been disappointed! Does that mean I am doing something wrong? Well, in my experience, most often my disappointments with God are because I have not waited long enough to see the fulfillment or I misunderstood the will or word of God.

“For believing faith leads to realization.” Do you have things in your life that you have had believing faith towards and then eventually you saw it come to pass? Do you, like David, review those things with joy and thanksgiving to inform your brain when your faith is weak? Speaking with a friend recently we stated that we see fruit from our faith walk most often in the rear view mirror or over our shoulder after the fact. Perhaps you have never listed the times that your faith has lead to realization? Maybe now is the time to review your walk and be reminded of the times this has occurred in your life?

“Abraham’s life condemns a spirit of hastiness, admonishes those who complain, commends those who are patient, and encourages quiet submission to God’s will and way.”

Hebrews 8:11 reads: “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”
He went, EVEN THOUGH he did not know where he was going. Do we have the same sort of quiet obedience? Dallas Willard taught that hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. The author of the quote above calls it a spirit of hastiness and says that Abraham condemns it. No hastiness, no complaining, be patient and quiet.

I have tried to keep myself in line with the remembrance that God calls me to Quiet, Gentle, Yielded, Peaceful Obedience to the Almighty. Holy Spirit help my life to be true to this call.

Prayer

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

Isaiah 65:24 NIV

PRAYER© 1979  Molly Lin Dutina



A prayer
Prayed in truth and faith
Through the Blood of Jesus,
Is as a drop of water
Upon the river of life;
Sending out endless
Ripples and waves
Throughout creation.
 
As the prayer is said
The answer begins movement.

Not always given eyes to see, I lift my concerns in prayer. As I wrote above, I release them in truth and faith through the Blood of Jesus. Your will be done, Lord. Your will. As one friend says, nothing, else, nothing less, nothing more.

Song of the Month?

By now if you have read my blog for any amount of time you likely know I talk about the Holy Spirit “haunting” me with a song. A song I cannot get out of my head. A song that usually ends up being just EXACTLY what I need for that season of my life.

Here is the latest. I repeatedly kept looking it up on YouTube. Finally purchased it. And now I share it with you. I won’t be climbing up on a horse like Chris Tomlin, though it looks like fun. I won’t be climbing up on a huge rock, but I might get to the mountains soon!

Most recently the song reminds me that no matter how dark I THINK things are, Jesus is right there loving me and helping me carry any burden that I am willing to give Him. More than once lately I have said, “Well, Lord, here You go!”and I cast it into His arms.

Remember that applies to you also. But only any burden you are WILLING to give Him. And if you take the burden back, you must be willing to give it to Him again, and perhaps again, and again, and again.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:6-7 NIV2011

My Friend Mike Powell and 1669

He seems to follow me everywhere! His interest in dragonflies, butterflies, flowers and nature in general keep me intrigued with his blog. Until he gets to the snakes. Then I tune him out. Yuck. http://michaelqpowell.com/2020/09/04/dragonfly-and-duckweed/

Because of him I am exponentially aware of dragonflies, though I cannot identify hardly any of them. As my oldest friends are aware I love butterflies, but Mike researches his and posts details about them. I merely admire. Well, except for the monarchs and especially their caterpillars. My husband and I garden milkweed especially for those!

Recently Bob and I made a trip to the Cincinnati Art Museum, wearing our masks and social distancing in the almost deserted museum. One exhibit was called “Women Breaking Boundaries” and this painting was done by Maria van Oosterwijck in 1669 entitled Flower Still Life. I was admiring the flowers: nasturtium, peony, tulip, lily of the valley, carnation or dianthus, rose, iris, poppy unfolding and greenery and POP UP! There was Mike Powell! Almost center of the painting is a dragonfly. Closer inspection brought two butterflies into view. Perhaps a beetle, wasp or fly on the edge of the table? Makes me want to return to the museum with a magnifying glass to identify the insects 🙂 Maybe you can study the painting below and use my list as a hidden object puzzle. You might even find more details than I did!

I wanted to purchase a copy for Mike, but alas they only had one small print and a large poster. Then I remembered I do not even know his address, just contact through his blog and mine!

So here is the painting description:

Even with Bob’s best computer photo enhancement tools we have trouble seeing that confident signature!

This is my favorite (without the frame). Thanks Mike for keeping me on my toes!

https://secretimages.org/2019/11/06/flower-still-life-1669-by-maria-van-oosterwyck/ wrote on the blog Secret Images about Maria, “Her signature motif, a Red Admiral butterfly, appears in most of her significant paintings; scholars believe that van Oosterwyck included the boldly-patterned insect to send a hopeful message about resurrection.”

Well I for one love that hopeful message about the resurrection!

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

1 Peter 1:3 NIV 2011

Do Not Presume

I attend a weekly prayer meeting on behalf of our church leaders. Those of us in the group take turns writing the outline and presenting it for the group to pray. Here is one of my recent outlines.

“But oh! GOD is in His holy temple! Quiet everyone – a holy silence. Listen!”

Habakkuk 2:20 MSG

Most of us are familiar with the traditional translation that read “The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him.” The message expresses that differently. This passage is from the Old Testament. In the finished work of Jesus we learn that we are the temple of God and He inhabits us through His Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 3:16)

During this pandemic it has often been difficult to remember to pray. Covid quarantine seems to have numbed my brain. Paul understood not knowing how to pray. He wrote

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.  And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

Romans 8:26-27 (NLT2)

When I ponder “What is the place of my deepest need?” I so often turn to the Holy Spirit to illuminate that place for me.

There is a prayer from the Book of Common Prayer, Communion Rite 1, that has always blessed me. A portion of it reads:

“We do not presume to come to this Your Table, O merciful
Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in Your manifold
and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather       
up the crumbs under Your Table. But You are the same Lord
whose property is always to have mercy. …..”

In lifting our prayer requests for the church leadership I reminded the group that we do not presume to come to this Your table trusting in our own righteousness. We do not presume to know how to pray for You to touch the deepest place of need in others, even in those closest to us, even for ourselves. We are not God. You are on the throne. You are seated among us.

Use us as You see fit in the call to stand and pray. And having done all, help us to stand.

 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 6:13 NIV

 In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Ephesians 6:18 MSG

Lord, help us silence our thunderous thoughts regarding what others need. Help us to stop pouring words upon words and thoughts upon thoughts and listen for Your voice regarding the needs of the church and even our own deepest needs.

I challenged the group to copy out their portion of the list of names and carry it them for one week. Lift those situations to the Throne Room. Simply place them in the Lord’s presence and ask Him to speak wisdom and peace, guidance and compassion to each one. Then as the Holy Spirit guides, pray specific things.

Perhaps this might help your prayer life, too?