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!

How Can I Express My Gratitude? Let’s Worship

What can I say about the Resurrection? I have been redeemed and given access to my Heavenly Father – free, unmerited access. I can go to Him at any time with no middle person. Direct contact with the Holy.

The curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom during the crucifixion. No longer limited to only the High Priest once a year, but open to me. Open to all those who believe that Jesus is Lord and risen from the dead.

And the SAME POWER that rose Jesus from the dead now lives in us! His promise before the crucifixion is fulfilled.

And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you.

Romans 8:11 HCSB

How can this happen? In John 16:5 Jesus said He was going to Him (God) who sent Jesus to us. Verse 7 reads “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” The Advocate is the Holy Spirit. Jesus returned to Heaven to give the Holy Spirit access to us. He died for our sins that we could be indwelt by the Spirit.

Years ago there was a popular Christian song called The Champion. You can likely find it on YouTube. In it the enemy of our souls thought he won by killing Jesus. Then to his horror found out that Jesus lives in and through each of His believers. Ha! The last laugh is on him.

Instead of one Christ, there are now millions of Christ followers walking around with the Holy Spirit dwelling inside. THE SAME POWER THAT ROSE JESUS FROM THE DEAD DWELLS IN US!

That is something to celebrate. Live into that! Pray with that power! Smile! Your are His and He is yours!

May the truth of the resurrected Lord resound through your heart and soul today!! Once I spoke with a Pastor who questioned if I really believed that (as In The Garden goes) He walks with me and talks with me. I was shocked! I asked him, but don’t you believe that? He did not. I was out of there in a flash!

I grew up being taught (on car trips , no less) to sing harmony on In The Garden. Now, if that song is not to your liking, how about “He Lives! He Lives!” Same idea there. “You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.”

The Lord is Risen! The Lord is Risen indeed! Hallelujah!!

And I do miss worship with my friends from “Having The Courage to Change!”

I love how she puts it! You go, Sister! 🙂

And last, but not least, one of Bob’s favorites!

May you experience an increased awareness of the Presence of God in and through you this Easter season and always. Blessings to you and your family.

Why Center and Meditate?

I have a great free app on my iPad called Insight Timer. It is available for iPhone and Android. I have been trying to learn to center myself in quiet and meditate for years. This app offers a timer you can set, or guided meditations, music, sleep settings, talks, courses, etc.

For me this interest started in guided Christian meditation and also reading about research by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph. D. regarding the power of mediation to heal and reduce suffering, most notably in his volume Full Catastrophe Living.” (What a title for today!) Then in 2006 I read J. David Muyskens “Forty Days to A Closer Walk with God.” John Main, a Benedictine monk, wrote many works. “The Way of Unknowing’, “Word into Silence”, and “The Heart of Creation” among others. In each book I read the emphasis was upon PRACTICE. This is not a sudden talent. Only practice draws us deeper and closer to God and helps us into as the Quakers call it “the center down silence.”

If you are interested in any of these titles you can likely find them used at Abe Books or new at other online stores.

The guided meditation I have listened to the last two mornings has reminded me that centering, meditation, etc. can help us strengthen our immune system. If there were EVER a time we all need strong immune systems, that time is now.

Even if you have never tried meditation before, I urge you to try it this week and the weeks to come as we battle the pandemic. One method is to recite Ps 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” Then say it again with “Be still and know that I am,” deleting one word each time until you get to “Be.”

Center your mind, slow your breathing, rest in the quietness. Let thoughts float past. Do not cling to any thought. When you realize you did cling to a thought, gently say “thinking, thinking” and return to your breath. Some say while breathing in, think “Breathing in” and while breathing out think, “Breathing out.” Whatever helps you detach from the angst of 2020 and be still.

Why does this strengthen our immune system? If we do not detach from all this fear, our flight or fright response stays engaged and soon we are weaker than we could be.

Tennessee and Decades Later

In 1975 we were expecting our first child. The photo below is from our first vacation to the Smoky Mountains. In 1982 we were learning about the Full Armor of God (Ephesians 6) and starting to teach Bible study together at our local church.

I Loved You in That Creek Bed © 1982 Molly Lin Dutina

Oh I loved you in that creek bed
Full of gallantry and suave
My flashing debonair knight.

You didn’t even know
What holy armor was then.
And now my love for you
Far surpasses and encompasses
The emotions at that creek bed.

Father, show us how to flow together
To the glory of Your name.
You split the rocks with
A blade of grass and
A finger of ice.

Split our shells that we might
Merge in Your kingdom work.
1978 Before Kids

Now in 2020, our children are adults with children of their own. We are still learning more about how to walk together in the Spirit. As we celebrate our 50th year of being married by knight continues to court me, woo and win me with his humor and grace.

I love you more than ever, Robert Dutina!

Cooking Creatively

Before the Super Bowl the stores were chock full of dips and treats. When I bought Bob some French Onion Dip I saw a container of Tzatziki Spinach Dip. Had never seen that one before! Tzatziki is a Greek yogurt sauce made with yogurt and cucumbers. I thought, “Why not try it? If I don’t like it I can use it in cooking.”

Was not as thick as I expected, certainly not as thick as French Onion dip! Just okay. So a few few days later I had some chicken to bake. Put that Tzatziki on it. Baked. Turned it and put some more on it. Baked. Added some just before I served it. Delicious! I love when I think outside the box and do not waste an ingredient!