Water Prayer

[First photo by r m dutina]

While traveling in the Smoky Mountains one year I bought what could be a flower vase. It was pinched in the middle giving it two ‘spouts.’ The longer I looked at it and handled it the more it became a vessel for my prayers. We were always near the running water of the spring rivers be it the Little Pigeon or “one of the 2,100 miles of rushing mountain streams and rivers that flow through the park.” I would show you a photo, but when we downsized I let the vase/pitcher go. 😦 sigh

Here was part of my inspiration

And so my morning prayer gradually became

Jesus, I pour out this water
before the undivided Trinity:
Let my living be this day
an offering and thanksgiving.
This day caress me.
This day possess me.
Open my ears and eyes
to Your Love for us.

Try making a ceremony around your prayer time. I have taught that many ways. When you get a drink of water, say a prayer, turning your attention to the Holy One. Are you a coffee addict? Dedicate each sip to the Trinity. 

Keep a glass near the water faucet and try a water prayer of your own. Or use mine. 
The idea is to turn your heart and mind to Him who loves you best.

Our soul is like a stream of water, which gives strength, direction, and harmony to every other area of our life. When that stream is as it should be, we are constantly refreshed and exuberant in all we do, because our soul itself is then profusely rooted in the vastness of God and his kingdom, including nature; and all else within us is enlivened and directed by that stream. Therefore we are in harmony with God, reality, and the rest of human nature and nature at large.

Dallas Willard in Renovation of the Heart

Duckweed Thrives in Ohio

Are you old enough to remember “Sunday Drives?” Recently while we were driving around part of Eastfork Lake we went to one of our favorite little places where a road crosses a pond. With this orthotic boot still slowing me down, Bob has been very kind to try to find ways to entertain me. Going for a “Creamy Whip” ice cream and a drive is one of our amusements.

We hiked a trial here last autumn and delighted in the colors of the falling leaves. We also drove there last winter when things were frozen and cold. This day was totally different. Here is a summary from Aquaplant about Duckweed.

Where Does it Grow?

Duckweeds tend to grow in dense colonies in quiet water, undisturbed by wave action. Often more than one species of duckweed will be associated together in these colonies.

Is it Invasive?

Although Duckweed is native, it can be aggressive invaders of ponds and are often found mixed in with mosquito fern or watermeal. If colonies cover the surface of the water, then oxygen depletion and fish kills can occur. These plants should be controlled before they cover the entire surface of the pond.

Pros and Cons of Common Duckweed

Many kinds of ducks consume duckweed and often transport it to other bodies of water. Duckweed colonies provide habitats for micro invertebrates, but if duckweed completely covers the surface of a pond for an extended period of time, it will cause oxygen depletion. These colonies will also eliminate submerged plants by blocking sunlight penetration.

Aquaplant.tamu.edu/plant-identification/alphabetical-index/duckweed/common-duckweed/

In the height of summer this is what the pond looked like! Kermit would be totally camouflaged!

In the background are ducks on the log like turtles sunbathing. Plant blooming in the foreground is a common Mallow. Not photo-shopped! Just Grinch green pond.
Reeds in the distance on the right

Here is part of the trail we took last October. Lucky was thrilled with new things to smell and mark. Our friend Pat from Columbus calls it “pee-mail!”

Notice who is walking the board walk! Some loose boards made us leery of it.

And this will be the scene here very soon!

Autumn is a many colored thing!

Here is the same place in winter

Yes, this is the same place in January! photo by r m dutina

We both found this so funny, decided to share it with you. Look in the center of Bob’s photo for skid marks where a duck tried to land.

photo by r m dutina

So I guess we had better be grateful for the greenness and the heat! Before we know it there will be falling leaves, ice storms and who knows what! Be on the lookout for treasures in plain sight!

I will bless the Lord at all times;
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
    let the humble hear and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt his name together.

Psalm 34: 1-3 NRSV

My Poetry

I have published a bit of my poetry on this blog. Recently I finally ordered a new-to-me book that I have wanted for a couple years. It is titled Every day is a Poem, by Jacqueline Suskin. If I want to be a good poet I need to practice and work on that skill. This book is already helping me take that discipline seriously.

On one of our recent vacations to North Carolina the shelling where we were staying was lousy because they were dredging to fill in the shoreline only a mile or so from our Air B & B. My eyes are always peeled for not only shells, but stones and other things that draw my attention and speak to me. I found a lovely yellow rock with I think a bit of quartz in it. The rock went nto my hand, then eventually as hands got busy, into my pocket. Then into my suitcase. Now in my bedroom windowsill. (I just love that Bob paid to have a few windowsills built and installed for me!)

Here she is on the kitchen counter in the brightest light.!

Palm Rock © Molly Lin Dutina 22-8-23

Palm rock
Yellow power
Absorbs light
Cannot pass it on though
Too dense
But glows

Flat side rests upon
Curled fingers or windowsill nicely
Curved side delights my palm
Absorbs my heat

Where have you been for eons?
What forces formed you?

You absorb
Calm, smooth me out
Thank you for
Coming home in my pocket

Resting on the sill
You gather the light
And glow
Reminding me to look
Observe
Note 
Write

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Luke 19:37-40 NIV

Praise Him and rejoice that He gives us the Word of God, stones and shells, countless ways to praise the God of heaven and earth.

Hatch Chilis!

First time we visited Betty and Dan Cooksey in New Mexico they took us to Wagner’s Produce where they were roasting green Chilis.

Last year, 2021, the local Kroger store advertised that they had Hatch Chilies. Hatch is considered the best of the green chilis. They grow in one area.

The New Mexico tourism site says:

30,000 people flock to this small community situated along the fertile Rio Grande river valley in southern New Mexico. Any time of year, visitors can find stockpiles of roasted chile. During harvest time, you can hear the sizzle of chile skins searing and smell the sweet roasted fruit pods with every inhale. You can see ristras being made and may catch a glimpse of the glamorous Chile Queen.

Well, phooey! New Mexico tourism spelled it chilie. I thought it was chili. Anyway you spell it, think TASTY! ( by the way, ristras are the string of drying chilis.)

Hatch or otherwise, once you get a hankering for the taste of chili in your food, you know nothing else is like it! Theses are not the peppers that roast your tongue (unless you choose hot or extra hot which I never have). You are likely thinking of jalapenos.

Green chilis are large, growing to 6 inches long, with a blocky shape that narrows at the end. “Jalapenos” are very small, rarely growing longer than 3 inches. They have a more uniformly narrow shape.

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/difference-between-green-chillies-green-jalapeno-peppers-75402.html

When the Kroger advertisd arrived with the announcement that the Chilis were in I bought about 6. Unfortunately we forgot to take them out of the plastic bag immediately once I got home and one spoiled within a couple hours. I put the remainder on a paper towel with the reminder to roast them the next day on our grill.

So above is the progression. When they were fully charred I put them in a plastic bag to rest on the countertop. Wish I could have sent you the fragrance.! Yum!

When I was peeling them I tried to remember if the heat was in the seeds or membranes inside the pepper pods? I think Dan told us membranes, so I tried to remove both. I am after the flavor not the heat. While I had the grill turned on I cooked burgers for our supper. Bob had a piece of chili on his and loved it.

Last time I roasted them I froze on sheets of waxed paper. Bad news – the waxed paper stuck to the chili, so this time I tried plastic wrap instead.

Opening the wrap for the second photo about had me drooling! I forgot to tell you! The chilis get peeled and seeded with GLOVES ON! The active ingredient is capsacian. You might have heard about that from pain relieving rubs? I tasted a frozen bit of chili juice when I unwrapped the ones above for the photo. Rinsed my fingers, but did not scrub with soap and water. Just rubbed my eye a few hours later. Ouch! Heat!

In case you think this is only a New Mexico thing, for several years now Kroger’s has been selling green chili bagels in Cincinnati. Dan makes the best ones though. Toast the bagel, add chili, bacon and cheese. Heat until cheese melts. Yummy! In Albuquerque MacDonald’s sells green chili hamburgers. There is even green chili ice cream in a few places.

I think I need to make some mac ‘n cheese with chili. Yep, I feel the craving growing!

Deliverance from Self

“Faith in Him can bring an immediate and effectual deliverance from self.” Are you sick of self-rule yet? The idea of self-rule is almost like a slap-stick comedy scene performed by Carol Burnett. Like when I tell God, “Thanks, Lord, I can take it from here!” My next step is usually face-down in the mud. The Word says only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we hope to control ourselves. Even then we are weak and fumbling. Self-rule? I think that is an illusion presented by the powers of death and hell. It will not end well.

Are we willing to place our faith in God? Do we desire deliverance from self? Another way to state it,” who really sits on the throne of your life”? When I first saw the main altar in the Washington National Cathedral it took my breath away. The image of Jesus high and lifted up over everything stated what my heart knew.

Washington National Cathedral Main Altar

Is Jesus on the throne of your life? There was a time when many thought He was on the throne of the heart of this nation. I wonder how many people actually believe that now? I, for one, want Him enthroned over my life.

There is shame we feel about our sin. Yes, sin. This current societal mindset seems to resist that word. Yet we all do sin. Every day and every night. Like it or not we are sinners and we need deliverance from that sin.

Shame has also become a nasty word mostly because so many of us have had shame inflicted upon us by parents, peers, and national advertisers. Yet feeling shame over our sin can be a healthy thing that should lead us to repentance. Acknowledge your sin, turn from it, confess and patiently ask ‘Thy will be done’ and God will act.

You need to see that it is not only in your morning devotions when you ask and expect strength for the day, but through the whole day for every moment of it that the clothing of humility is to be worn.

William Law

“The clothing of humility.” Where did he get that idea? The Bible.

 You are the people of God; He loved you and chose you for His own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 

Col 3:12 GNT

All day long, asking God for strength and the wisdom to stay dressed with humility. Every moment and every day? Yes, Paul wrote to the Colossians be clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. If Jesus remains on the throne of my heart this should be what my clothing looks like.

Older praise chorus below, but worshipful!

Check the throne of your heart and mind daily, even hourly. Who sits there? Make sure to yield that seat to Jesus!

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.”

Traveling with Artificial Intelligence

We are on a road trip and using the Apple Maps app. She tells us to turn left, go right at next light, etc. I’m just waiting for her to say “No Doofus! I said the NEXT light, not here. (sigh)”

They say this is Doofus and his remake.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we ended the route and she said, “Good job, Bob! We had a great day driving together!!”

Bet it is boring being all artificial and so unemotional.

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.

Hello Again!

We were on vacation and I have been trying a medication change. Put together I not only did not write, I did not even post that I would return in a week or so.

What was I thinkin’? Not much evidently! Close friends told me to take a break. Somehow I thought I could press on. Oh well.

In case you have not been to the Atlantic ocean lately, here is a sequence of sunrise photos for your enjoyment. Bob said I would have to get up early if I wanted to see the sunrise. I was up before he was that one day. It was the ONLY morning I got up for the entire display!

5:37 AM Yes, Mercury, Venus and I do not know what else shining up there!
5:45 AM Can barely see planets now
6:20 AM Wondered will it rain here today? {It did not}
Another 6:20 image further to the left
6:26 AM Here she comes!
6:29 AM There she is accented with a Pac Man smile
6:36 AM

And then it became too bright to photograph or write on the deck!

In the last photo you can see the gulls began to awaken and scream over the sea. Soon the pelicans would begin to patrol in troops seeking breakfast.

I hope the 7 sunrise photos amused you. I was delighted to break our usual routine and see the ocean once again. I stand and praise as in Nehemiah,

And the Levites—Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah—said: “Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting.”

“Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

“You are the Lord God, who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and named him Abraham.

Nehemiah 9:5-7 NIV

So, too, may the Lord God call you out of enemy territory and name you as His own. I pray you will follow wherever He leads you, just as Abraham did. Amen.