Abraham Knew Not

I do not know much either about where we are going on Platform Street! The people we have met are all friendly. No idea where they stand as far as their faith life.

I have two other acquaintances who are moving to other neighborhoods about the same time we are. One is praying, “Lord, show me what you want me to do next,” as in Bible study, neighborhood ministry, etc. The only thing that has crossed my mind so far is to put out my garden flags that praise my Lord, thereby declaring my heart.

I have also heard of people who begin prayer ministry in their neighborhood by putting boxes outside for people to submit prayer requests. I could do that! Of course, at first all I will have are cardboard boxes! That’s not likely to work in summer rain storms.

ACTS 7: 2-3 NIV “To this he {Stephen} replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.'”

The Lord led us to the area of Kline Station when we could not find a newer house with laundry on the ground floor. Many thanks to our faith filled realtor, Taylor!

 “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.” Heb 11:8 NIV

I have always been impressed by Abraham’s obedience. He obeyed. He went. He did not know where he was going. He left all control in God’s hands. I want to be like that!

I heard this song on YouTube Music and had to share it.

“Life Sayings?”

This seemed to show up for a few folks. I am sending it again for those who did not receive it. Hope it strengthens your faith.

When I used to mingle with some folks they would speak of their life verses from the Bible. I have those, but what I want to examine here are sayings or sentences that have influenced my faith life over the years.

How often I am walking outdoors and a feather comes on the breeze. At times it is from a bird on the roof or in a tree. Most times I cannot locate the source of the feather. Can you imagine yourself as that feather?

“‘Held by God … like a feather which has no weight from its own strength and lets itself be carried by the wind” – so wrote the medieval mystic, Hildegard of Bingen. Her image of a feather lightly floating on the wind is more than spiritual poetry; it gives us a way to live. Being like a feather on the wind is particularly necessary in these difficult days that teeter-totter two millennia.”

-Unknown

This one came from my struggles to obey the Lord my God regardless of circumstances.

Constant peaceful yielded joyful obedience to the Almighty.

I have made alphabet-beaded bracelets in so many forms to remind me of this. In the Old Testament the believers were told to take the commandments of God and “Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:8-9 So I have worn them, recited them, shared a few with friends, lost a few bracelets and made a few more. Recently I shipped most of my collection to my friends in Nepal.

One year tired of hearing myself complain about chronic pain I wrote the following and posted it on the bathroom mirror.

I have determined that this day, each time I am drawn up short by pain, I will praise You for I love You better than life – even better than quality of life.”

I so needed to type these out this week, especially about being drawn up short by pain and what reaction I will choose. Chronic pain never takes a vacation, but God is ever-present and loves me. When I was first diagnosed I heard Him say, “I will be with you in this.” What could be better than to have the Lord with you?

Influencer

Can you call to mind people who have impacted your life in simple ways? Do you remember how they showed their faith? What do you recall about them?

When as an adult, I first had an intense experience with the Risen Christ, the priest at the Episcopal church did not know quite what to do with me. He did know who to refer me to though! Mary Dirkse quickly became my spiritual mom. My birth mother had already died. In fact, grief over that loss is what sent me to the Lord, seeking His comfort as I anguished over missing her.

Blessed are those who mourn,

    for they will be comforted.

Matthew 5:4

Mary did simple things for me. She would listen to my woes without correcting me or throwing out trite sayings into my tumult of grief. When I became pregnant with our son I was So Very Nauseous the entire nine months. Mary would fix me an egg, cooked thoroughly, put it on buttered toast and urge me to try to eat. Her fixings always stayed down. After the delivery of my first child I was nervous and frightened about climbing onto the delivery table for another C-Section, wide awake. Mary and others prayed me through the experience. To this day she continues to pray for our son.

When I was eager for more of Jesus, she took me to a Women’s Aglow meeting. I continued going to those monthly meetings for ten years, eventually holding some of the offices to keep the local meeting afloat and operating smoothly. I met many Spirit filled women who inspired me to surrender myself to Jesus.

When Mary moved from Ohio to Wisconsin I was so saddened. After her husband passed she moved to Washington state to be with her children. Mary SHOWED me the love of Jesus. She would play her zither and sing worship songs with me. I was enchanted. Mary simply loved God and was willing to share that love in any way the Lord required.

We often shared the parallels of raising toddlers and teenagers. So much alike, yet so different in size, language and body maintenance.

Who has the Lord sent into your life to influence, guide, encourage and show the ways of Christ? I hope you have someone to nurture as Mary nurtured me. If you are not nurturing anyone, ask God who He might like you to reach out to with His light and love. Yes, she lives very far away now. We do try to email and share cards on occasion.

Mary, if you are reading this, I have no more words except thank you from the bottom of my heart for your inspiration, guidance and continued intercession. You certainly pulled a grieving young woman from the waters of sin and confusion. May the Lord bless you abundantly for the multitude of ways you have served Him during your long and fruitful life. I love you.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Titus 2:3-5

Saying Goodbye

When we moved here 15 years ago we named the house “Treetops.” The driveway and front entrance are on the street level. The yard slopes down sharply so that the walkout and basement level and actually a story down. The upper story windows are almost level with the treetops. With the sloping yard it has always seemed larger than the dimensions.

After the backyard slope there is a small drainage ditch. Then our yard slopes up rather sharply and is covered with woods. We have enjoyed watching the seasons change and the wildlife that populate the woods, especially the birds.

Our new house is on a tiny level lot. The neighbors behind us have a sprinkling of trees. Kitchen, dining room and bedroom windows have the view there. Our windows on each side of the house look at the siding of the houses to our left and right. The office windows look out on the street. This will be a major change!!

So many major changes in store. I have been grieving the loss of this lovely home. And that grief is healthy. This has been a gorgeous place to live. We simply cannot do those stairs to the basement any longer.

One day this week our son gave me his Christmas gift to me. He dug up a few plants for us to take with us to the new house. They will not go in the ground until we get some sort of planting beds. At this point we are uncertain if we will even have sod before we move!

As Jeff dug, I walked around consoling myself that next year I can easily purchase pink bleeding heart and lily of the valley. See we have spent the last 15 years enjoying and improving our flower beds here. Funny, one rationale for moving 15 years ago was I could no longer take care of the flower beds because of arthritis. My husband and I spent 15 years making new flower beds here. I am shaking my head, “Go figure!” Guess as long as there is a spot to grow things I am unlikely to learn not to garden!

We will move to a little green house on Platform Street. What a place to launch last era of life! Fooling around with trying to think in haiku (to me, sparse words to contain broad thoughts) I recently wrote:

Loved living in treetops
Spring mornings I grieve
Packin' I land on the ground
Lot 49, soon to be 27 Platform Street!
Gloomy day, but the rock work is done!

We are so blessed I am at a loss for words.

Humor

Since we began looking at moving, buying a house with laundry on the first floor, and finally realizing we would have to build to get that – my greatest fear has been what if one of us dies before we move in? With the pandemic and both of us health compromised it was not an outrageous fear. Now that we are both immunized and within 3 weeks of moving I have begun to breath much easier.

I was on YouTube looking to identify the sparrow in the tree outside the office when I came across this joke. It is SO fitting for our age and situation, though I do not play golf.

Too many sparrows and none recorded with the song I am hearing, but laughter is BEST and I think God approves!!

Even to your old age and gray hairs

    I am He, I am He who will sustain you.

I have made you and I will carry you;

    I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Isaiah 46:4 NIV

April in Ohio

Praise Him and highly exalt Him forever!! Enjoy the photos! If you click on each photo you can see more detail!

(The heron was right of the two large trees, showing white amongst the twiggy branches.)

Yes, we had inches of snow yesterday morning! Likely there will be tree leaf damage. No broken trees around us that we have heard or seen. When the leaves are out like this the wet snow can cause so much damage! The sun is out, blue sky shining and the birds seem to be shaking their feathers in disgust. Hopefully this was winter’s last hurrah, though they are saying one more night of freezing temperatures!

Dews and storms of snow, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all for ever.
Ice and cold, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all for ever.
Frost and snow, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all for ever.
Nights and days, bless the Lord; bless and exalt him above all for ever.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all for ever.
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all for ever.
Let the earth bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all for ever.
Mountains and little hills, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all for ever.
All things which grow upon the earth, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all for ever.

- Apocrypha Prayer of Azariah 46-54


Regardless of the weather, I will praise Him and highly exalt Him forever!!
This morning, 21-4-22, we have another 1-1/2 inches of snow. Yesterday it melted before noon.

“Drench me Lord”©2009 Molly Lin Dutina

Not meaning to offend anyone, but if the Spirit and the bride say come, then certainly might we bathe in the free gift of the water of life?

 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

Revelation 22:17 NIV

Drench me, Lord, come and flow.
Wash, renew, and overflow.
Show me how to soak then splash
Rest and float in Your life-giving bath.

Let anyone who wishes take (REV 22:17)
Let anyone?
– so unlike human ways!
Let anyone who wishes
– even those who just wish
Let anyone?
What are we to make of this holy declaration?

Come one and all, old or small
Drink from the provision of the Manger King.
All heaven says to you,
“Come, freely have this gift,
the water of life from Jesus Christ.”

Why do we so often choose to remain parched?

Choices to be made here! Examples of spiritual truth in nature! What will your decision be?

Spring Inspiration

I was in the living room chair watching the news when the light seemed to change outdoors. I looked out the window and was wowed. I am always fascinated with the creation. God did not have to make it so diverse and He did not have to share it with us. Daily there are things to marvel at. The photos below could not quite capture the intensity of the stormy looking sky.

Golden Lace © Molly Lin Dutina 2021

Golden lace in treetops
Against storm cloud sky
Evening sun highlighting
Tenuousness of life
Bear forth wooden boughs
Bring us spring delight

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
    their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
    he puts the deep into storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
    let all the people of the world revere him.
For he spoke, and it came to be;
    he commanded, and it stood firm.

Psalm 33:6-9 NIV

Hearing Spring

Sometimes my husband asks me if I am writing poetry recently. Well, actually, yes. Here is one!

21-4-6 Hearing Spring © Molly Lin Dutina

Under the bird song
Below the raucous calls of mating
Rhythm of tree frog
Melody of spring peepers
Ah breathe in spring
Through your ears

Hmmmmm they seem to say
This is lovely
Exhale on their melody
Inhale during the chorus
Slow your breathing 
Tempo of April

There are pauses
In their score
Wait for next stanza
Focus here now
Find your center
Cadence does not vary

Catch the next bar
Tame frantic monkey mind
Bring all to peace 
Lower your shoulders
Tiny amphibian power
Tames futile mind race

7:27 and song seems to cease
I listen and recall
I have this power within 
Enter center down silence
Direct me Lord
On cusp of next breath I am led

How About Some Poetry Posts?

The other day I was thinking of this poem from 2014. Enjoy!

Pot Bound © 2014 Molly Lin Dutina

Spring rains
	wind	thunder
	fragrant hyacinths
		hillside purple with flowers
	demure trout lilies quickly go to seed.

Forsythia blooms
	lilac buds opening
		pussy willow full blown
		soon to send out leaves
Twisty willow branch from florist
	rooted in the arrangement and sent out one leaf!
	hope to nurture it and plant it outside
February Primrose is pot bound now
	ready to live in the garden

I’m pot bound in homemaker duties
	Lord help me enter
	Your center-down silence
	and glory in praising You
	even in activities of the mundane

Oh fragrant April morning
	gusty hyacinth perfume
	raindrops glisten on garden border fence
Symphony of bird song
	sidewalk littered with night crawlers
Insistent bird cries, “Awake! Spring is here. Now."

I praise You in the work You have given me
in this part of Garden Earth.