The Daughters

On April 15, 2022 I wrote a post about daughters and dying to self. You can read that at https://wordpress.com/post/treasures-in-plain-sight.org/8594

I have since decided to adopt that headstone. Why not? My parents are buried across town. I have never gotten much from visiting burial sites, but this headstone calls to me with the reminder that I need to die to myself. There is this huge headstone with the family name. As far as I can tell there are no other graves around it except theirs. How sad. I would like to figure out how to clean it off from years of weather stains.

After I visited last time, I researched Mr and Mrs Daughter on line. There was very little revealed about them. Only the location of their graves.

W. P. Daughters was born 1855 and died 1914. Fannie M. Daughters was born 1859 and died 1915. Come to think of it, for all I know they might have been brother and sister? One listing had Fannie as Fannie M. Bennett Daughters. So unlikely they were brother and sister. Perhaps this might get me to the Clermont County court house records? I have been meaning to go for years since I learned of the purported divorce my mother had that it is rumored my father paid for so they could get married?

I do not want this to be the only legacy when I die. In fact, Bob and I do not have a grave site, unless of course the kids decide otherwise after we die. We purchased a brick with Dutina engraved on it at Sawyer Point Park, downtown Cincinnati. So if the kids or grand-kids feel a need to pay us tribute they can go for a walk in the park to find the brick. Column 30E. 16 paces towards stadium. 3 rows N from Drain #5. If you see power plugs you went too far.

Good luck!!

A Lamb in Childhood

When I was a child my parents had a small farm and fishing lake in Loveland, Ohio. The lake was a pay lake called “Lake Cast-A-Line.” (It has since been drained to make a subdivision.) I can still remember being allowed to give a lamb a bottle of milk in the kitchen. That lamb was one messy eater, but I was delighted! I was perhaps 4 years old? Due to my Dad’s poor health we had to move by the time I was 5.

The milk was mixed from powder and perhaps explains why that scent draws me to this day?!

Has the Lord assigned someone to feed you? Here is your challenge: Have you thanked them?

Here is John Michael Talbot singing Psalm 23. I wore out the album, I bought the CD. I about wore that one out also. I listen to this collection regularly even today!

Trust in the Lord. He will keep you, feed you and shepherd you forever.

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

2 Thessalonians 3:3 NIV

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NIV

Mustard Plants?

1970’s Sonoma Vineyard, r m dutina

Bob took this photo many years ago. Some of the debris in the sky is actually damage done to the slide by mold. We thought the yellow flowers were mustard. This was one of his mother’s favorite photos of his.

When we made our long cross country trip a couple years ago we saw similar plants in the fields.

See the yellow in the distance? Photo by Molly

When we asked a Texas farmer what those plants were, he looked at us with skepticism and answered, “Damned yellow cross pollinators.” Well, now we know for certain!

When we take drives these days and see yellow flowering wild plants, you guessed it, we call them “Damned yellow cross pollinators.”

Now what?

Three oldest of five siblings

Like most of us, the siblings above seem to be asking, “Now what?” We usually expect something negative or ornery or at minimum unexpected when family gathers. As we carry this worrisome aspect around we more often than not lose sight of the power of God to change and rearrange things.

When we recently traveled to the beach I was quieted to realize again God is in control, even when I might not sense His control. If only I will accept His love and power over my life, I can come to a place of rest instead of expecting turmoil.

And the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?

Matthew 8:27 ASV

The Waves 22-5-6 © Molly Lin Dutina
I stand on the firm soil
The waves roll in
I waver and change
The waves roll in
Regardless my state
The waves roll in
Whether I’m on the beach or landlocked
The waves roll in
Thunderous love of God
Roll over me
Like relentless ocean waves
Wash me continuously
Aware or oblivious
Keep me in Your power
Just as
The waves roll in.

Bob Walks Lucky

Almost every morning at 8 AM Bob walks Lucky. As they went around the retention pond recently they came across these lovely deer.

As soon as he got home Bob said, “I have something to show you!” And shared those two photos. Moments later, a neighbor texted me saying, “I was taking a picture of the deer and look who entered the frame.”

We live in a fun neighborhood!

Often while walking Lucky Bob is listening to Morning Prayer or a devotional blog. I think these verses fit these photos perfectly!

Just like a deer that craves streams of water,
    my whole being craves you, God.
My whole being thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When will I come and see God’s face?

Psalm 42:1-2 CEB

Lucky and Noodle

The winter weather broke and we were going to sleep with the windows open. On that warm evening there many dogs out of doors and they had lots to say. Lucky was uneasy with all those canine voices. She looked out the window with her paws on the sill. Had trouble making sense of it. She laid on the floor next to my side of the bed, under one of the open windows. Seriously restless.

Finally she decided the only safe course of action was to scoot 1/2 way under bed.

Later in the night when I got up she was on her sleeping pillow as the other canines had retired to sleep and were no longer causing a racket.

Lucky has not yet met Noodle, but we have a Great-granddog puppy! Baby Corgi! Congratulations Lizzie and Drew!!

I think my favorite name for her is pinky toes!

When she is awake she has loads of energy. When she is asleep she is out cold. There is a little eye make-up on one eye and a faint black stripe down her back. She is quiet vocal and for now has a tiny bark. With her personality they are going to have their hands full!

I can’t wait for her to get all her shots so Lucky can meet her!

Are You Full Yet?

Did you get a Chocolate rabbit? What part did you eat first?

Years ago when I saw this in a hospital gift shop I purchased it immediately. Fondly remember my mother teaching us about “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.” Now bunnies demonstrating their limited abilities after someone ate the ears, ate the eyes, ate the mouth. Ha!

Has your Lenten discipline brought you to a new place in your walk with Jesus? Or like so many New Year resolutions have you already forgotten what you were aiming for in what you ‘gave up’ for the 40 days of Lent?

I hope and pray that the Easter Season brings you into a closer and richer fellowship with the One Who died for each of us. He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!

Nothing Impossible

I saw an advertisement recently that used a quote from Audrey Hepburn. I had never heard this one! She said,

I just love that! The word itself says I’m possible. That is just the optimism I believe the Lord had when He created you and me! He makes us possible and He provides what we need to fulfill His plan on the earth.

His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature.

2 Peter 1:3-4

He has given us His Son. The power of resurrection life through the sacrifice of Jesus and the indwelling Spirit. Everything we need for life and godliness is ours. Are we taking advantage of the things we have been given? Are we telling ourselves “I’m possible.”

There was a time when it would have been thought impossible that people of color could star in Cinderella, and I would ask “Why not?” There was a time when my mother took my sister for modeling lessons while I stayed home to strip the wax off the kitchen floor on my hands and knees. I called myself “CinderLinda.” (Molly is a nickname.) Yet the following shows how very possible “impossible” things are!

You may have asked God if there is some way He can use you in His Kingdom. I would cheer a resounding, “Yes!!” Our Pastor often quotes Henry Blackaby.

“We don’t choose what we will do for God; He invites us to join Him where He wants to involve us.”

― Henry T. Blackaby, Experiencing God

So have you asked the Father where He wants to involve you? If He shows you where He is working will you be willing to join Him? Even if it is not a place you choose to serve? Are you willing to declare through His power “I’m possible!”

Many years ago the following praise chorus was popular. Praise choruses are a great way to learn Scripture. This one quotes Jeremiah proclaiming praise in The Amplified Bible Jeremiah 17:32. ‘Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! There is nothing too difficult or too wonderful for You—. The outstretched arm is the weakest position. You will get the idea after the first minute!

God can use anyone yielded to Him for the growth and building of His kingdom. The best question is “Are you willing to serve Him?”

Ode to Joy

Bob’s favorite hymn came to mind recently as MUSIC WEEK developed on this blog! Praise can be a powerful part of your spiritual discipline. The word says that God inhabits the praises of His people. (Psalm 22:3 KJV) Christianity. com comments on that verse saying

The word “inhabits” is not suggesting God is only present when people are singing praises about Him. Obviously, God is not confined to one place. As the Creator of the universe, the world, and all the people and things within it, God has no bounds. But what the writer of the psalm seems to be saying is that God is present and glorified when His people lift His name in honor. God enjoys it—perhaps it brings Him peace and rest. He draws nearer to us when we praise Him.

https://www.christianity.com/wiki/bible/what-does-it-mean-that-god-inhabits-the-praise-of-his-people.html

Have you ever attended a symphony performance of Beethoven’s Ninth? It is very difficult for me to be there and not break out in loud singing when they get to this melody. One of my favorite hymnals has it as selection #1. Below is an updated version that I like also!

The keyboard work is so fun to watch! And participants of all ages! Love it!

Original lyrics Henry J. van Dyke, not exactly what they are singing, but I like this updated version!

  1. Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
    God of glory, Lord of love;
    Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
    Op’ning to the sun above.
    Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
    Drive the dark of doubt away;
    Giver of immortal gladness,
    Fill us with the light of day!
  2. All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
    Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,
    Stars and angels sing around Thee,
    Center of unbroken praise.
    Field and forest, vale and mountain,
    Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
    Singing bird and flowing fountain
    Call us to rejoice in Thee.
  3. Thou art giving and forgiving,
    Ever blessing, ever blest,
    Wellspring of the joy of living,
    Ocean depth of happy rest!
    Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
    All who live in love are Thine;
    Teach us how to love each other,
    Lift us to the joy divine.
  4. Mortals, join the happy chorus,
    Which the morning stars began;
    Father love is reigning o’er us,
    Brother love binds man to man.
    Ever singing, march we onward,
    Victors in the midst of strife,
    Joyful music leads us Sunward
    In the triumph song of life.

Keep praising! There is so much power in praise.

Pearls

 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

Matthew 13:45-46
Purported to be the largest pearl ever found

So what do you value the most? The parable says this is what the kingdom of heaven is like …. Do you value the Kingdom and your relationship with the Trinity above everything else? Would you give everything you have to get this pearl?

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.”

Matthew 6:33

Jesus said the above after telling the people not to worry about clothing or food or anything else. If we are willing to seek Him, the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, we will have everything else we need.

St. Isaac of Syria, from the 600s, continues to influence Orthodox spirituality today. He is known as one of the greatest spiritual writers of the Christian East. His writing was suggested to me in 2009. Remarking on this parable he wrote:

A swimmer dives into the sea naked, in order to find a pearl.

A wise monk journeys through life, stripped of all that he has, to find within himself the pearl, Jesus Christ, and finding him, he no longer seeks to acquire anything else beside him.

Daily Readings with St. Isaac of Syria

I believe the first thing we stumble over in this pursuit is naked, or stripped of all that he has. We are simply way too attached to our things. If you were from Ukraine right now you would either be putting your life on the line for your country or running for your life with few, if any, possessions. Are we willing to turn loose of our hold on possessions so we might grasp the Lord firmly as our source of life and reason for living?

Have you forgotten –

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

and naked I will leave this life.

Job 1:20a

The saying goes “You can’t take it with you” but what if you turned loose of the all-encompassing life-draining drive for power and possessions now? It is unlikely you will move to a barren wasteland and become a desert father or mother. You could however focus your life upon the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. You could pursue this pearl of great price and find treasure you never suspected was available to you in 2022. Never will the question be answered in your own heart unless you experiment with opening your hand, letting go of the tenacious grasp of things, so you can grab hold of the Lord.

Do you have a Halloween store near you? Once when I was having difficulty turning loose of my teenage children the Lord had me buy a rubber hand like the ones below.

I took it home and easily cut off the red line of ‘blood.” I placed it palm up on my dashboard. The Lord had said I could turn my kids loose to Him or He could pry them out of my hands. Every time the car hit a bump those fingers would vibrate and wiggle. Yes, it was a clear object lesson for me and it made me laugh to boot. God has such a sense of humor!

Perhaps you need to visit the local part supply store and get a hand for yourself? Turn loose of a few obsessions first, trusting that He is able to be in charge of those. Then a few more things. Then a few more, filling your time and mind with His word and presence. He is able to inspire and help you with this if only you will ask.

Yield to Him and find out what He has in mind.