Streams in the Desert

Mrs. Charles E. Cowman compiled quotes from Sunday School lessons, sermons, books and Scriptures that were published under her title “Streams in the Desert” in 1925. A friend gave me a copy that was in the 29th printing in 1950. My friend did not like it due to the older style of speaking. Now it has even been published in contemporary English.

In 2005 Bob bought me a copy that was published as a journal with lines to make notes. I have noted things over the years. IN 2018 I posed the question, “Molly can you read sea charts and navigate by the stars? No.” This morning when I opened it the bookmark fell to June 1st. Ha! I love her quote from Charles Spurgeon, known as a “Prince of Preachers” during the late 1800’s.

Why dost thou worry thyself? What use can thy fretting serve? Thou art onboard a vessel which thou couldst not steer even if the great Captain put thee at the helm, of which thou couldst not so much as reef a sail, yet thou worriest as if thou wert captain and helmsman. Oh, be quiet; God is Master!

C. H Spurgoen

It reads something like: Why do you worry yourself? What use can your fretting serve? You are aboard a vessel which you could not steer even if the great Captain put you at the helm, of which you could not so much as reef a sail {I do not even know what that means!} yet you worry as if you were captain and helmsman. OH BE QUIET; God is Master!

I got the OH BE QUIET part. Aren’t there times when we need to tell ourselves to shut up and sit down? Lately I have been in an orthotic boot trying to recover from Plantar fasciitis. That pesky ligament in the bottom of your foot that can get inflamed. My trusty foot surgeon basically told me to go sit down, do icing, stretches, rest, Tylenol, steroid tablets, wear the boot and rest: i.e., quit walking so much. Once out of school, does anyone heed when they are told to go sit down? Well, if the pain is bad enough this one does.

Molly, OH BE QUIET. You are not a foot surgeon and you do not know what is best for you. Sit down and hush. As the weeks have plodded on with me thumping along in this orthotic boot, strapping and unstrapping the front blade on with the tearing sound of Velcro, I have repeatedly told myself, “Buckle up, Buttercup and Hush! Stop complaining and be grateful you have good medical care. How many women on the run from Ukraine need an orthotic boot and do not have access to one?”

What am I worried about? Bob has had to do the dog walking a minimum of twice a day for the long walks. I do the short ones at 11 AM and 8 or 9 PM if I am able. Bob has been doing the shopping except when I go to a store and get a wheelchair cart. I am really trying to get better and store the boot until next time I need one. We have not walked along the lake road in a long time. No museums. An occasional movie. yep, fairly sedentary here. It is truly a pain for me to drive any place as it is my right foot and I cannot drive in the boot. If I drive for more than about 30 minutes it hurts to drive even with a slipper on.

Oh be quiet, Molly. Go sit down and write your blog.

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;

    do not fret 

Psalm 37:7 NRSV

Three times this psalm says ‘do not fret.” I always say God knew to write it 3 times because I would not catch it otherwise. Be quiet. Be still. Jesus, my Captain says: “Do not fret, over dog walks or shopping lists, or housework or other errands. Yield to this current situation and heal. Ride the storm of right now and let Father be in charge, because Molly dear, you are not.”

Humor and Aging

Without your glasses are you using the Spray ‘n Wash stain stick or Underarm deodorant?

With your glasses off are those eye drops or scalp drops?

Steroid cream says do not use internally. Doctor says apply to your gums. Go figure!

If you are on a low salt diet is it okay to soak your foot in Epsom Salts? How about swimming in a friend’s in ground salt water pool?

Level of pain determines which cream I use on my face! Arthritis and TMJ are NO FUN!!

How come we find time to do so many things, including visiting others, and rarely find time to do things for us (like shooting photos downtown or cutting quilt squares)?

Since I never learned how to cook for two I have plenty of food to share with others!

My, oh my, this life brings humor if we are willing to look for it! I do not envy my kids or caregivers as I age. How come I think many of those comfort options will be dropped then as non-essential? A counselor who did her internship at a nursing home said she wants to hire someone when she grows old to pluck the hairs that grow in unusual places. How about my left elbow? Can I count on you to do that for me?!?

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Repeat: Another Treasure in Plain Sight

This post has been republished due to a technical issue preventing some followers from seeing the initial publication…. So I guess the pressure to write this week has been taken off!

So did he hitch a ride from the flower grower to the flower shop at Kroger’s to my house or come in to find this fragrant place from outside in our yard? I will never know. I was delightfully surprised when I found him, snapped his photo, then caught him in a tissue and sent him on his way in the yellow begonias outdoors.

Where are you from tiny guy?

I will never know his origins or destination!

Jodi Picault wrote a novel entitled Small Great Things. In it was this quote which had me pondering.

I hear the flow of the fountain behind me, and I think about water, how it might rise above its station as mist, flirt at being a cloud, and return as rain. Would you call that falling? Or coming home?

Jodi Picault
water as vapor

These are the kind of thoughts that make me praise God. We have had severe humidity, then thunderstorms, then water flowing from the yards. Is it falling, or coming home?

“Water flirting at being a cloud” thunderstorm brewing
water on the earth – storm runoff

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 

Matthew 5:45b NIV
Photo by Molly – He causes His sun to rise on all

Ponder this and share your own discovery in the comments section!

Our Favorite Company!

This post has been republished due to a technical issue preventing some followers from seeing the initial publication…. So I guess the pressure to write this week has been taken off!

Dan and Betty Cooksey have been visiting with us for a couple days. What a delight to see our oldest friends from New Mexico. We are always at ease with them. We share approximate ages, they are married about 3 years longer than us, but best of all we share a deep and abiding faith in Christ.

It has been a whirlwind here. If I have missed a posting or two that is because I have been too busy for my own good! Or perhaps this is all FOR my good? I am lumping along in my orthotic boot with plantar fasciitis, writing a group lesson plan for Saturday (trust stands guard), group lesson plan for Thursday (Philippians Chapter 2), the blog (you are reading), company and preparing for the backyard landscapers to arrive any minute here to create a new garden strip across the back of the yard. All that amidst high humidity and nasty high temperatures, etc.

photo by r m dutina

We did get to visit our son’s food stand created with his friend Ryan, at Findlay Market. He has been making sour dough biscuits and serving them with either fresh eggs, cheese and optional sausage or berries and whipped cream. I opted for the eggs and told Bob I did not think I could possibly get it in my mouth.

photo by r m dutina

Well look at that BIG mouth!

photos by r m dutina

As you can see for a photo I can eat that with determination! Could not finish it until the next morning for breakfast. It was SO delicious! From scratch sour dough biscuit, 3 eggs fresh from a market vendor, cheese from a market vendor, prepared by Ryan and Jeff with care and attention. I will probably opt for berries and whipped cream next time!

Shel Silverstein summed it up perfectly in his verse about Scale:

Once Again, Anchovy Rain

This post has been republished due to a technical issue preventing some followers from seeing the initial publication…. So I guess the pressure to write this week has been taken off!

Did you hear about the glut of anchovies in Marin County, California? To me it would just stink. To Bob it would be like quail in Numbers 11:31-32!

Bob said just put down a pizza crust and let him bake it! Ugh!!

Not raining quail, but something like that!

Now a wind went out from the Lord and drove quail in from the sea. It scattered them up to two cubits deep all around the camp, as far as a day’s walk in any direction. All that day and night and all the next day the people went out and gathered quail. No one gathered less than ten homers. Then they spread them out all around the camp. 

Numbers 11:31-32 NIV

Another Treasure in Plain Sight

So did he hitch a ride from the flower grower to the flower shop at Kroger’s to my house or come in to find this fragrant place from outside in our yard? I will never know. I was delightfully surprised when I found him, snapped his photo, then caught him in a tissue and sent him on his way in the yellow begonias outdoors.

Where are you from tiny guy?

I will never know his origins or destination!

Jodi Picault wrote a novel entitled Small Great Things. In it was this quote which had me pondering.

I hear the flow of the fountain behind me, and I think about water, how it might rise above its station as mist, flirt at being a cloud, and return as rain. Would you call that falling? Or coming home?

Jodi Picault
water as vapor

These are the kind of thoughts that make me praise God. We have had severe humidity, then thunderstorms, then water flowing from the yards. Is it falling, or coming home?

“Water flirting at being a cloud” thunderstorm brewing
water on the earth – storm runoff

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 

Matthew 5:45b NIV
Photo by Molly – He causes His sun to rise on all

Ponder this and share your own discovery in the comments section!

Sunday!

I did not get this post written on my usual writing day. And next week looks even worse as far as quietening time for writing. But seize the day! Here I am for the Sunday posting and when I opened my computer Bing told me we are at “Halfway Day.” Frankly, I never remember hearing about this day in my entire 71 years!

“It’s Halfway Day, the midpoint of the year. We’ve lived through 182 days of 2022, and today is the first of 182 days left—we’re halfway there. It’s up to us whether we see this as a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty day… But the past is gone, so we’re all for making the most of the remainder of the year.”

Saith Bing

That certainly rang a bell though! Let’s make the most of the remainder of this year! Last week in our group study I mentioned that Psalm 118 is the center book of the Bible, (someone taught me that years ago), and verse 8 in the center verse of the Bible.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord

    than to trust in humans.

Psalm 118:8 NIV

Now I think that is certainly true!

Pondering what to write I remembered a praise song based on 1 Thessalonians. It does not seem to be on You Tube, but the words are easy to read, something else to accomplish EVERMORE!

Rejoice evermore.

Pray without ceasing.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 KJV

So how would you finish this blog? What could you write? Here are some of my thoughts.

Getting along with a family member much better. My closest neighbor/friend has finally gotten home from Florida. Our entire home is finally painted inside. Tiles in bathroom are repaired and cleaned. Josh did our windows! Cliff built some window sills. Holy Spirit is present with us always. The Word is powerful and has never lost its power. We got 3 turkeys thawed, baked, cut up and stored, (not to mention shared and eaten). Awful heat and humidity broke long enough for some outdoor chores to get done. Now it is back. Free online photos to enhance my writing. I have never learned to cook for two – and that benefits others. I love to read and books are abundant! I am grateful for upcoming Doctor appointment as plantar plantar fasciitis is not healing much on its own with boot though I rest, stretch, soak, ice, etc. I pray without ceasing for Cathy and Kathy and Kathy. Others are often in my prayers including Kassie, Sue, Pamela, and Ginny. I give thanks for Jeff, Melissa, Natalie, Juanita, Angie, Bob, Terri, Jessie and Lee. Emily, Dave, Liz and Ellie are delights. Almost every single plant I brought from our old house survived in new flowerbeds. Ferns are flourishing. We really like our new church home. Our marriage continues to flourish though we are aging and slowing down. It is nice to walk Lucky without coat, hat, gloves and scarf. Though a sun hat, ice pack and a bandana are helpful!

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2 NRSV

“A living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.” He desires your sacrifice.This is seen as your spiritual worship! “BE TRANSFORMED” by the renewing of your mind. Gain the discernment towards what is the will of God. What is good and acceptable and perfect.

Oh there are so many things we CAN do to please God. No time to focus on the “Thou shall nots” if we are doing the things God desires.

Rejoice

Evermore.

And if you find typos here, yep, Molly wrote it!

Baking in Early Spring

I wrote this in 2015 when we still lived on Siesta Drive.

Goldfinch in early spring
Marshmallow Chicks for Real © Molly Lin Dutina 2015   

It’s the time of year
bakers make cupcakes
with green coconut frosting
a marshmallow chick on top.

Deck banisters are lightly coated with frost
Six goldfinch in spring plumage
not yet brilliant summer yellow
wait for chance at the feeder.
Hill in background covered
with King Edward daffodils.

Bakers have nothing
over reality!
Summer Goldfinch
photo by r m dutina

I once called goldfinch in summer plumage “Flying daffodils.” Look about you. Never know when you, too, will discover a …. and just now the tapping on the window screen … revealed right next to me a young goldfinch in full summer plumage picking insects from the edge of the screen. Oh my! He surprised me!! pink feet and all!! At least I think it was a goldfinch! No camera nearby.

“And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Revelation 21:5

“For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.”

Isaiah 61:11

…treasures in plain sight! June, 2022

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.”