Been Traveling!

For our 50th anniversary my sister gave us the gift of staying at her ranch in Colorado! We have had a wonderful trip and travel home Tuesday, Sept. 22. Oh that is today!!

For those of us from the east, that TN reminds us of Tennessee!

You will hear much more in the weeks to come, once we get home, open the mail, get the groceries in and begin writing! So if you don’t see a post for a while now you know the reason why!!

We were able to stay with our best friends, Betty and Dan, a few days before and after the Notch. They also went with us for a few days. Our daughter’s family went, too. Our son was unable to go as the young kids were starting school and it was deemed best not to take them out of class for a full week.

Our actual anniversary is not for four more days, but we have been celebrating with great joy!

Promises and a Meaty Quote

From Streams in the Desert

“Beloved, God’s promises can never fail to be accomplished, and those who patiently wait can never be disappointed, for believing faith leads to realization. Abraham’s life condemns a spirit of hastiness, admonishes those who complain, commends those who are patient, and encourages quiet submission to God’s will and way.” – Unknown

Is that a meaty quote, or what? “His promises can never fail to be accomplished.” He is not a man that He should lie. He is faithful and powerful to do what He wills. Numbers 23:19

“Those who patiently wait can never be disappointed.” But wait! I have often been disappointed! Does that mean I am doing something wrong? Well, in my experience, most often my disappointments with God are because I have not waited long enough to see the fulfillment or I misunderstood the will or word of God.

“For believing faith leads to realization.” Do you have things in your life that you have had believing faith towards and then eventually you saw it come to pass? Do you, like David, review those things with joy and thanksgiving to inform your brain when your faith is weak? Speaking with a friend recently we stated that we see fruit from our faith walk most often in the rear view mirror or over our shoulder after the fact. Perhaps you have never listed the times that your faith has lead to realization? Maybe now is the time to review your walk and be reminded of the times this has occurred in your life?

“Abraham’s life condemns a spirit of hastiness, admonishes those who complain, commends those who are patient, and encourages quiet submission to God’s will and way.”

Hebrews 8:11 reads: “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.”
He went, EVEN THOUGH he did not know where he was going. Do we have the same sort of quiet obedience? Dallas Willard taught that hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. The author of the quote above calls it a spirit of hastiness and says that Abraham condemns it. No hastiness, no complaining, be patient and quiet.

I have tried to keep myself in line with the remembrance that God calls me to Quiet, Gentle, Yielded, Peaceful Obedience to the Almighty. Holy Spirit help my life to be true to this call.

But wait! There’s more!!

Recently in the milkweed garden I witnessed something I had never seen! Here are several very short video clips! Usually the monarch caterpillars are chomping away at the leaves, reducing them to mere veins. This caterpillar and then another (which is featured later in the blog), ate their way through the top of the plant. I assume they began from wherever their particular egg hatched. I suppose when all the upper leaves are gone, this is the fastest way down the plant to fresh greenery!

Then a bit later I checked on it’s progress.

Yep! Bent that leaf right down! How do they know those things?

A different one found the fastest way down was to climb! But he seemed to be seeking shade rather than food. Resting at the end.

Tap here to see video https://youtu.be/KQxi_OIEf9Q

So here is chewer #2. Watch for the little caterpillar on underside of lower leaf! You may have to scroll down to see all of it!

So I guess the message from nature is if you have a weighty problem, chew through it?!?

Do Not Presume

I attend a weekly prayer meeting on behalf of our church leaders. Those of us in the group take turns writing the outline and presenting it for the group to pray. Here is one of my recent outlines.

“But oh! GOD is in His holy temple! Quiet everyone – a holy silence. Listen!”

Habakkuk 2:20 MSG

Most of us are familiar with the traditional translation that read “The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him.” The message expresses that differently. This passage is from the Old Testament. In the finished work of Jesus we learn that we are the temple of God and He inhabits us through His Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 3:16)

During this pandemic it has often been difficult to remember to pray. Covid quarantine seems to have numbed my brain. Paul understood not knowing how to pray. He wrote

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.  And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

Romans 8:26-27 (NLT2)

When I ponder “What is the place of my deepest need?” I so often turn to the Holy Spirit to illuminate that place for me.

There is a prayer from the Book of Common Prayer, Communion Rite 1, that has always blessed me. A portion of it reads:

“We do not presume to come to this Your Table, O merciful
Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in Your manifold
and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather       
up the crumbs under Your Table. But You are the same Lord
whose property is always to have mercy. …..”

In lifting our prayer requests for the church leadership I reminded the group that we do not presume to come to this Your table trusting in our own righteousness. We do not presume to know how to pray for You to touch the deepest place of need in others, even in those closest to us, even for ourselves. We are not God. You are on the throne. You are seated among us.

Use us as You see fit in the call to stand and pray. And having done all, help us to stand.

 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 6:13 NIV

 In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Ephesians 6:18 MSG

Lord, help us silence our thunderous thoughts regarding what others need. Help us to stop pouring words upon words and thoughts upon thoughts and listen for Your voice regarding the needs of the church and even our own deepest needs.

I challenged the group to copy out their portion of the list of names and carry it them for one week. Lift those situations to the Throne Room. Simply place them in the Lord’s presence and ask Him to speak wisdom and peace, guidance and compassion to each one. Then as the Holy Spirit guides, pray specific things.

Perhaps this might help your prayer life, too?

Lilies of The Field

 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:27-34 (NIV2011)

My eyes almost popped out. I stumbled for words trying to ask “What is the world is that?” Never expected this much excitement from this hike!

Well her name is as weird as she is lovely! May I introduce you to Hoary Puccoon of the borage family. Stan Tekiela in “Wildflowers of Ohio Field Guide tells me, She ” is one of at least six species in Ohio. There are eighteen species of puccoon found in North America. The fine hairs that cover its stems and leaves give it the “Hoary” name. “Puccoon” is an American Indian name for any plant used for color dye (the roots of the puccoon make a red dye.) I am amazed!

When I saw the next one I recognized it from our Smoky Mountain hiking. I started to call it bellwort. As I have researched for this blog it turns out that no, it is actually called Wild Oats. Both plants are part of the sessilifolia family, but wild oats only have one flower. The term sessile refers to the fact that the leaves lack leafstalks. Isn’t that weird? Look again and see for yourself!

Sessile – no leaf stem

Oh the wonders of the glory of God!