New and Old

Can almost go without orthotic boot except when walking long distances like at the Sisters of Charity convent from meeting room to cafeteria last weekend. Still doing my stretches and will likely need to do those the rest of my life. Long HOT summer in that boot, but at least I was able to get up and out with it!

Old computer would not run Windows 11 and all the other programs were going like molasses in winter. New computer set up has begun.

New computer, so much to wade through
Turn this security off
Install this other security
Connect to internet
Where is the chrome browser?
How will I ever get ready for writing
Sixteen hours from now
Download these files
Forget these, but I do not have patience 
to do that complicated technical stuff right now
Then suddenly security is installed.
Add this to taskbar.
Get this working
This will be weeks in the process
As I learn to look here
Forget there
Go over to this place
Learn something new every day?
This could be my brain bank building
For weeks on end!
Where are my music files?!?

intel CORE i7 Dell says there is blue some place on it, guess the dark ridged cover

Ha! Surprised myself being able to write this morning using this new computer and stuff.

Investment in writing, blogging and posting

I suppose without the technology most of you would not be able to read this unless I wrote it out on paper, had the photos developed, had access to your home address, put it in an envelope and sent it off with the proper postage. Yes, I am grateful for the means to be able to obtain the new computer, consult my son-in-law for the best model in my price range, etc. etc.

Most of all I am grateful to God for you, the readers, the gifting to put things in words, access to photos, etc. Learned at my retreat this weekend that I can find free photos at a site called Upsplash. I am looking forward to learning how to use that sight and not be using anyone’s photos without permission. SO here is the keyboard that brings you the blog words, but I use a desk top computer rather than a laptop most of the time.

Photo by Dell on Unsplash

Thank you, Lord, for making provision for this blog. Please bless the readers and the subscribers. May You be glorified in the work I do here. All glory be to You. Amen.

Transitory Impermanence For All

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
  -  Robert Frost
Maple Trees Starting to change color | Maple trees just at t… | Flickr

Remember the first buds on the trees? I always think they predict the colors the leaves will take in autumn. Autumn is advancing here and the oak leaves out front are turning yellow then rapidly brown and falling to the ground. These deciduous trees should remind us of the impermanence of life. Things sprout, grow, endure, then change. Yet I am often surprised by the changes as if I were not 71 years old. I have seen this happen every single year I have been alive (except when I was in the California SF bay area for a year and a half. The seasons were strange. Daffodils blooming in January is just WRONG for a Midwestern woman.)

Why are we so surprised when we realize our very lives are impermanent? We expect childhood friendships to last forever. Rare occurrence in my experience. Our strength and flexibility wears down and sometimes even vanishes. Oh yes, they mean it when they say “Use it or lose it!”

We age. We change. Our opinions change. Nothing gold can stay. I have been saying they told us after 40 it was patch, patch, patch. I think after 70 we just start to crumble! Yet I am alive and intend to make the most of whatever time I have left.

Been working in that book Everyday is a Poem. This morning my life did not feel like a poem, but then I realized why not write it out? So I did. I surprised myself at what could be mined from a gray morning after a rough night. Will post that another day.

Nothing gold can stay. Rough nights may lead to gray mornings. Sun blasts them both away. These are things we are going THROUGH. We likely will not stay this way forever. If we do, God will give us grace and strength to endure.

Remember Ephesians 3:16-19?

that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

NKJV

Praying that you, BEING ROOTED AND GROUNDED IN LOVE – that you may know the love of Christ. In season and out of season. With leaves or no leaves. Be rooted. Grasp hold of His love, the love that is reaching for you in the midst of this transitory life. His unchanging, everlasting love.

Grasp tightly with your roots!

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

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

Remember This Song?

John Denver, may he rest in peace, wrote “Anne’s Song” with part of the lyrics being:

“You fill up my senses like a night in a forest,
like the mountains in springtime,
like a walk in the rain, like a storm in the desert,
like a sleepy blue ocean.
You fill up my senses, come fill me again.”

I often think of this as a love song between myself and the Trinity. Bob and I took a walk on a paved trail above Harsha Lake at Eastfork Park last week. It was such a delight to my soul. Brought refreshment on the deepest level. When we first arrive at the parking lot Lucky cries and whines in excitement. Bob teases her to be a good dog while we walk and she remains in the car. She would likely tear up the car and try to break a window if we ever left her behind!

Besides being a bright sunny day with flawless blue skies, the first thing we heard after we crossed the bridge was a Bob White!! As a child I would lie in bed on spring and summer mornings and hear this distinctive bird calling. As the website https://www.farmanddairy.com/columns/can-the-bobwhite-quail-come-back-to-ohios-fields/35205.html reports, “Bobwhite fell by a devastating three-quarters in the 20 years between 1984 and 2004, a dismal crash that illustrates the trouble quail are in.” AND “Bobwhite quail are just one of many sub-species of quail but the only one native to Ohio. The call of a bobwhite quail, just two notes in length, sounds just like the word “bobwhite.” Though we never laid eyes on it, the song was unmistakable! I could have stood there for hours!

Also heard the Wood thrush, though we never saw it. I heard thrush all the time at our last home. Charming, bell-like song.

Wild geraniums were in bloom as was a white violet and white clover.

The Honeysuckle fragrance was strong and enticing. The dog roses were competing in the most fragrant category.

A bullfrog burped in the pond through the weeds. Do you get the idea of “God fills up my senses”?

Red-winged was putting its entire being into his song.

But ah, the Great Blue Herons always capture my heart. In the distance one was wading along the shore of the lake. If it turned sideways it would seem to vanish. Then another one in flight came right in front of us. Neither of us were able to get our cameras out fast enough!

The video below was made in the Philippines. Honestly, it is so difficult to get a good video, in focus of these giant birds in flight, I just had to share this one. They remind me of a prehistoric being! Maybe related to the Pterodactyl? Steve Vantreese of The Paducah Sun writes:

“He is more pterodactyl than tweety bird, a killing machine to all manner of smaller beings that will fit in that bayonet of a beak.

“The great blue heron is our top shelf predatory wading bird hereabouts. The long-legged thing is the largest North American heron — not a crane — and well adapted to habitats all over our continent.

“Our great blue is a relative whopper, weighing as much as a goose but more elongated. This heron is up to about 4.5 feet long, and that is about the height at which it stands on those lanky bird legs. When it flies, it spreads those wings an impressive 6 feet or more.”

As we turned towards the return walk up the path the burbling stream reminded me of my constant access to living water.

The sun was getting hotter but a cool breeze accompanied us.

Lucky was going nuts with her beagle nose to the ground. All the scents of other dogs who were walked here, but more so the wildlife that traverse this path when humans are not around!

I saw one milkweed shoot along the trail and instantly missed our milkweed garden at the other house. Perhaps we can grow some here if the new backyard garden ever gets put in?

Never once heard the Bobwhite on our return walk. My senses drenched, we returned home with one exhausted dog. Not that the walk was too long for her, I think she wears out her brain sniffing!

Not treasures in plain sight, but perhaps treasures in our ears and eyes!?!

Musical Rejoicing Over Jesus’ VICTORY

Celebrate His Victory with me and other Christians around the world.

May you enjoy the resurrection power that flows in your veins and use it only to His glory and honor.

May this, our high, holy holiday be just the beginning of new life for you.

Most of all, may you gain understanding of why Jesus made the sacrifice of His life for you. Truly, He died for you.

No rights

This seemed to me to be fitting for Good Friday reflection. I have no idea who taught me this truth, but it was many years ago. Since I have given my life to Jesus, I have no rights. The life I now live ….

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:19b-20 NRSV

Those who are crucified die. No one gets partially crucified. Jesus wants only our full surrender to Him. When our son was in nursery school (oh about 40+ years ago) I was driving and worshiping one day. I was led to a little hillside cemetery. Imagine my surprise when I, a daughter of God my Father, came upon this headstone.

I realized that this point in my walk was where ‘daughters come to die,’ for “Christ lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith.” From then on it has been a continuous lesson for me as to what that means. Dead women do not have rights. I do not have the right when I get angry to remain mad. I am to walk like Jesus. Oh, so much to learn! I do not have the right to get my own way. His ways are higher than mine.

 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who though he was in the form of God,
    did not regard equality with God
    as something to be exploited,
 but emptied himself,
    taking the form of a slave,
    being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
     he humbled himself
    and became obedient to the point of death—
    even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:6-8 NRSV


One writer said, ” It doesn’t matter what you want. The only thing that matters is what God wants.” Patti Callahan wrote a wonderful book entitled Becoming Mrs. Lewis, a fictionalized version of the love story between Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis. I just loved that book and will likely read it again. She mentioned that C. S. Lewis did not have Christianity ‘all figured out.’ He is purported to have said, “It is an unfolding. A constant unfolding to new life – or at its best that’s what it is.”

I get that explanation. Yes, as a child of the King, though I am an inheritor of the Kingdom, I also have to die to my desires and yield to His. Unfold into the right here and right now that God is asking me to walk in and live in.

I combined two ideas recently for my own object lesson. I went on Facebook and asked if anyone locally knew how to make origami. I wanted something to illustrate to me that my life is unfolding. Sure enough, some friends came up with Joe’s name. We found a pattern on line and he was able to make a few of these for me.

“heart box” is open and unfolding

There is another lesson about marbles in a jar representing how many weekends you have left in your life, or working life, obviously I do not remember the details. The point was how are you going to spend that time? So this is what sits on my desk now.

This daughter is finished playing games with God. I want to live truly and fully to His glory. At our house we used to have some marble shooters, you know, the larger marbles you use to shoot the smaller ones in marble games? Well I suppose God has all the marble shooters now since I cannot find ours. That is fine with me. He is in charge of this. I will simply contemplate how well I am using the time I have left with the marbles I have in this unfolding life.

Occasionally I remove them from the paper box, like when I took the photograph for the top of the blog. Ha! yep, you guessed it! They rolled all over the desktop. Thought I had caught them all until I found Lucky trying to chew on one. Goofy toothless beagle. (At this point Bob is likely thinking, “I knew she had lost some of her marbles!”)

I am the daughter. He is my heavenly Father. I am learning to be like Jesus, my Brother. Father is teaching me His will and His ways.

Keepsies Playing for keeps. God gets to keep all the marbles He wins. He is a master at this game! I am His and He is mine. Glorious.

Are you willing to yield to Him, even though it means death to your SELF and your desires? Consider this and respond to His call upon your heart. He is a good, good Father.

Psalm 1

Like a tree planted by streams of water …..

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely. They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper.

Psalm 1:1-3 Living Bible

We recently got away for a few days. It was so refreshing just to get out of town and break up the daily routine. Whew! When we arrived at our room it was gloomy, early evening and beginning to rain. We did not notice much outside our windows except for a pond/lake. The next morning I could not wait to get outside when I saw this!

I had already been thinking for a few days about Psalm 1 and the tree planted by the streams of water. Been wondering how to write about that tree theme and there it was!

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,

    whose trust is the Lord.

They shall be like a tree planted by water,

    sending out its roots by the stream.

It shall not fear when heat comes,

    and its leaves shall stay green;

in the year of drought it is not anxious,

    and it does not cease to bear fruit.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NRSV

The willow tree! Her lower branches almost touch the water.

There was a willow tree that grew on the edge of Kuhner’s field. I played there when I was growing up. Daffodils, a stream and a willow tree. Land snails that left me their discarded shells. I was close to heaven there. I used to play under the branches of the willow assuming that no one could see me. Hidden there in her long wavy arms my imagination was allowed to be still or run wild. The tree did not care which I chose.

Bob and I have been fascinated for decades how the tendrils and buds on the willow turn yellow before other things are giving a hint of spring to come. Now I am in room 303 and out our windows are 3 willow trees planted by this water.

From my journal: “Wood ducks and Canada geese vie for position on the water. Those ducks glide past as if propelled by some force other than themselves. Lord, help me relax and let You propel me today. Help me not to talk too much. Hush me from giving suggestions. Let me just look, watch, ask You for ways to follow You more closely. Increase my trust in You I pray.”

And yes, those trees sent out lots and lots of roots! Look at the opening photo (top of page). Not always easy to see the path of tree roots, but these are easily delineated in the strange winter grass that almost looks like moss.

We arrived in rain. Enjoyed a day of sun and our last morning there was SNOW! I did not venture out to get a shot of snow on the willow buds.

My photo above taken indoors and the chandelier light is reflected on the window (oops!). What a difference in weather!

You can see those willow tendrils in these photos. “Their leaves shall never wither. Never having fear or anxiety.” Yes, Lord! I want to be like these trees. Help me to trust You and drink daily from Your Living Water. Help me to delight in You and meditate on Your word day and night. Make me deeply rooted and grounded, established in Your love. (Ephesians 3:17)

You Lord are my hope and my salvation. Help me become a tree to Your glory, a living testament to Your power at work in 2022. Help me delight in doing everything You want me to do.

Inspired by Visit to Teampall Bhreasain, County Galway, Ireland

©2011 Molly Lin Dutina

Through the window of the ages
Past the thick walls of time
Stands a symbol of death
Nay! Bright resurrection
Hope of all men

The rough stones placed
In geometrically sound patterns
Of worship, of honor, of praise
Roofless now 
that heaven may freely break through 
to us of long ages later
Arches , capstones, edges of time
Torn by the worship of long ago
Until our hearts are lifted up
To worship the same lovely truth

You came for us
You come to us still
To have us for Your own
Encircling with Spirit
Invading with Holy
Illumine our techno age
With truth of heaven
Power of Holy
Spirit of Life

All That Glitters

-is not gold. Some things are more precious than gold. Some do not last but an hour or two!

r m dutina 22-2-5

The winter storm we had brought over 2 inches of sleet at our house, sheet of ice beneath and topped by a couple inches of snow. The weatherman said in 25 years of forecasting he had never seen anything like that sleet accumulation. It will take many days for us to thaw out. Especially since we no longer live on the sunny side of the street!

That is sleet piled up , not snow. And Claudia’s cheerful sunflowers! Can’t see the flower bed edges for the sleet.

Bob insisted after the last storm that I buy Lucky some boots. Previously she would get salt in her paws and be in pain during his long walks with her. This morning she made it about 3 steps out the door before losing the boots. Walked like a weird untrained soldier in them, trying to get them off. Today, no troubles with salt. Go figure. Returning those things to the pet store. I failed to grab the camera after putting her boots on. 😦 Lovely yellow silicone items with velcro straps.

Even the tree trunks were glazed with ice. Very strange and hoping for NO MORE of that type of storm. I do not mind snow. I HATE ICE.

Shine on the trunk is ice reflecting the sun

One thing fascinated me. From morning to night the sleet ticked on every window, sort of like fingernails tapping the glass. The front office windows gave us new art-form. Not even certain what to call it. At first glance it looked like coral to me. Remember riding in the car as a child and watching raindrops go down the windowpane? Choosing one and racing against a sibling?

Here is how it was made. If you turn up your volume you can hear the ice ticking on the house.

Keep trying to put that sleet sound into words. Maybe Suzette can write something for us!?! She is my haiku Queen.

He spreads the snow like wool

    and scatters the frost like ashes.

He hurls down his hail like pebbles.

    Who can withstand his icy blast?

He sends his word and melts them;

    he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.

Psalm 147:16-18 NIV