Hard Work among a Group

United Christian Outreach joined the Christian Help Center to put on a “Turkey Crusade.” These are the bags of groceries that were donated for the event. Mind you, the donations had to be collected, sorted, and bagged according to the pre-registered needs of each family.

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Our home church hosted the event. We were some of the people who met with families to listen to their prayer requests and then pray with them about each concern.

Then each family was given their groceries and one or two turkeys to prepare for their celebration of Thanksgiving. Sure hoping their celebrations are joyous and festive!

 

Rocks and Your Voice

Luke 19:35-40 (HCSB) Then they brought it (the donkey) to Jesus, and after throwing their robes on the donkey, they helped Jesus get on it. As He was going along, they were spreading their robes on the road. Now He came near the path down the Mount of Olives, and the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen: “The King who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven!”  Some of the Pharisees from the crowd told Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out!”

They obeyed by finding the donkey for him. They helped him get on it.

I saw this in South Dakota.

Cathedral spires and He said “if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out.” Can you see the man in the right photo above, just waiting to cry out to God in praise? I saw him.

This was by far my favorite though! I see a stately woman in  an evergreeen gown with a turban-like head dress, waiting in prayer and praise before the Lord. Like His handmaiden.stones-cry-1.jpg

Have to wonder if Jesus remembered later when He prayed in the Garden that “as they came near the path down the Mount of Olives the whole crowd had been praising God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen God do.” He knew abandonment and sorrow. I believe we can bring Him joy by praising and crying out to Him with joy now!

Hope you will listen to this song all the way through. When I play it I want to just sing it over and over!

One less stone, one more voice to praise Him!

Autumn!!

It is SO difficult to capture a photo of falling leaves! There is one upper left!

The drama of autumn has been happening very rapidly here. Just thought I’d share the changes.

Loved waking up to this flaming tree in the distance!

Same trees less than one week later!

This morning some leaves were falling one by one. Then a gust of wind took bunches at a time. The back hill is mostly naked tree trunks now. We can see more activity with the birds who remain. The grandeur of watching the seasons change that hill is one reason I delight in this house. Our lot is pie shaped and the back hill is just natural woods. It is as if we have a different backyard four times a year!

 

Sword and Shield

Ephesians 6 teaches us about the full armor of God to use for spiritual warfare. Paul wrote that we should not only dress in our armor, but “take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God and the shield of faith with which we can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”

This is not the sword of King Arthur. These weapons are “mighty for the pulling down of strongholds.” (1 Corinthians 10:4) There are several ways to memorize the verses about the armor. One is to recite them while doing something like exercises you must count. Another is to envision dressing yourself in them every morning. I like to put them on head to toe and then the hand pieces. Some teach the belt comes first.  I envision the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, and gird your loins in truth (as if putting on panty hose, you remember those, right?). Shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. Put on the robe of righteousness that Jesus bought for you. Take up the sword and shield and stand. And having done all, stand and pray!

Once we were in Smoky Mountain National Park driving the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail just outside of Gatlinburg. This is a spectacular drive that begins up in the mountains and follows Roaring Fork river. There are many parking areas to get out and explore spectacular views of rivers, rocks, tumbling water, old buildings, overall fun.

Imagine my surprise when we parked and stepped out in the parking lot to this rock: IMG_2333

After years of putting on the armor this is an image I will never forget. Truly a treasure in plain sight!

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Quietness? Trust?

Isaiah 30:15a is what Baptists would call my “life verse.”

In returning and rest I am saved; in quietness and trust is my strength.

The remainder of the verse says “BUT YOU WOULD NOT.” Daily I am challenged to enter the morning this way or stick in the WOULD NOT arena.

For example, the dryer broke last night and there were two loads of wash waiting for it’s warm air to fluff them. I hung wet sheets on the basement lines and began to ponder with my husband what to do about the situation. We found no obvious cause for the failure to work.

Posted my situation on Facebook. One friend came up with a trustworthy repairman to call.

This morning I wondered how to proceed? I have a birthday lunch apppointment in another area of town at 11:30. Cancel? Proceed? Pray and get quiet. And here came the Isaiah verse. “In returning and rest I am saved; in quietness and trust is my strength.”

Inhale in returning and rest I am saved. Exhale in quietness and trust is my strength. Quiet my   mind. Quiet my heart. Listen and rest. Glancing out the window I saw a white cloud scudding across a brilliant blue sky. High winds in the forecast today and that cloud was bookin’ it. And then the cloud was gone.

poof… as if it had never been here. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” NIV Ps 19:1

Return to the quiet Molly Lin. Rest and trust that my life is in His care. Quietly push back the cares and concerns and stay present. Here. Now.

There is a quote attributed to both Winston Churchill and Mark Twain, so obviously, no one is certain who said it first! “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”

 

So took my shower and decided to adopt that wait and see attitude towards the day. Called repairman and left a message to please call me. Another friend offered to dry the soaking wet towels at her house. Set that up. Repairman called and could meet me late this afternoon after my luncheon appointment. Sweet! And there was still time left in the morning to write this.

The God of Creation has me and each situation I face. If only I will return to Him to rest in quietness and trust I will find salvation and strength to meet each situation.

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Hillsong United states it so very well for me. Enjoy!

 

Yep, Been Not Writing!

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Remember when we took that lovely boat ride and saw those tremendous whales, seals and birds? The next day I got violent vertigo. No signs or symptoms while on the boat. Had been boats before. Rats! This may kill my wish for at least one cruise before I depart the earth!! The illness was like riding the tilt-a-whirl unwillingly! I never did enjoy amusement park rides.

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The worst sensation was as if I were lying flat and then like a board, my feet were rising over my head.  Eventually I was diagnosed with two types of vertigo that required medication and then physical therapy to reset crystals in my inner ear….right side. I never even knew I HAD crystals in my inner ear! Did you?

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So they flipped me back with my head turned to one side, therapist holding my head.  My eyes felt as if they were spinning like the fruit on a slot machine. I gripped the table in fear that I would fall off it. When the spinning stopped, the therapist moved my head to another position and had me hold that for a time. Then yet another head position. Then eventually I sat up on the sie of the exam table. My husband was uncertain if this was a treatment or just smoke and mirrors.

The first treatment  I gradually felt worse for 18 hours. It set me back a week and I had to walk in our house with a cane for a full day. Did not seem like progress! I was staggering and stumbling and decided I could not return to California for our second trip which would require lots of walking and no rental car. I had to sleep elevated on two pillows. Not allowed to lie on my right side to sleep. Did lots of resting. Not supposed to look up or down. Made sitting at the sewing machine a no go. Headaches, dizziness, increased weakness – NOT A HAPPY WOMAN.

Second treatment only set me back about 1-1/2 days. Third treatment I was fine. So weird. Husband a believer!

Yep, I missed a few days writing, but hey! Saturday November 3 I drove for the first time since October 10th. I made a new friend who was my shower sitter (present in the house while I took a shower when Bob was out-of-town). A neighbor provided a ride to church while Bob was gone. I met a new PT group where I will return if this ever flares up again.

We may never know if I actually had an inner ear infection, too. At least someone knew HOW to correct this awful experience.

 

Halloween

Now I know, some of you are opposed to any Halloween celebration of any kind. But let me just tell you about my Halloween trick or treating growing up! We never had any evil attached to October 31. It was just a day to collect free candy. Our focus was upon Hershey’s and Mars and any other sugary item available to us.

I have a fond memory of my Dad buying me this product

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for you see, Halloween is the day BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY!! So one year this was my treat to share with the class. Had to be elementary school because he died before I went to middle school.

It wasn’t until I grew older that I realized I could tell the people who were passing out the candy “Tomorrow is my birthday!” And

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They would usually give me extra candy. What is not to like about that? And the best part is it was a true statement 🙂

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Of course, we did not have plastic pumpkins in the 1960s. Just grabbed one of mom’s pillowcases ( with permission) and hit as many doors as possible.

Be sure to brush your teeth after you sort the kids’ candy and choose your favorites! Just sayin’!!

Love, The Birthday Girl

 

 

Not Quite Plain Sight

… unless you travel out a ways by boat.

We went out on the Sanctuary Cruise in Moss Beach, California to whale watch.

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The white plume to the right is a whale exhaling. The naturalist on board taught us to look for bird activity, with seals and stirred up water. Shortly the whales would appear. They stirred up food from the bottom and that attracted the birds and seals. These were humpbacked whales and not seal eaters.

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This one shows the seals and other activity. Sadly the man taking photos next to me is blurring the left side. I am not accomplished enough to remove him from the photo and keep the left whale.

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And the fun continued! The mist from the plume drifted our way. The captain asked how we liked liked whale breath! It was fishy and fun in a whale sighting kind of way!! My favorite is the one minute video I took, but I have to pay lots more for the blog if I post videos. The video went to my facebook account.

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Our trip was worth every penny. We had such fun. I marveled the God did not HAVE to allow us to see theses fantastic creatures. And yet, He did! So with the flip of the tail I say good day!

 

 

 

Authority and Faith

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This photo was taken by my husband for me at the Cincinnati Art Museum when  a few soldiers from the terracotta army China toured at our museum. Dating from 210 BCE they were amazing. WHen I first saw this General I immediately thought of the Centurion from Capernaum. That man understood authority.

Matthew 8:5-13 (HCSB)
When He entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him,
“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible agony!” “I will come and heal him,” Jesus told him.
“Lord,” the centurion replied, “I am not worthy to have You come under my roof. But only say the word, and my servant will be cured. For I too am a man under authority, having soldiers under my command. I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”
Hearing this, Jesus was amazed and said to those following Him, “I assure you: I have not found anyone in Israel with so great a faith! I tell you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Then Jesus told the centurion, “Go. As you have believed, let it be done for you.” And his servant was cured that very moment.

With just the signal of a finger this general told his army what to do. The Centurion understood that Jesus did not need to travel to his home. With only a word our Savior healed a paralyzed servant.

I used this photo and scripture recently for a meditation during church wide prayer night. We have a time of confession in that meeting and I wrote, “Lord we ask Your forgiveness when we have not understood Your authority in our lives and over the powers of darkness that torment us. Forgive us, too, for not using the authority You have given us to push back against the darkness. Increase our faith that we might serve You mightily in all things. Help us Lord, to go when You say, “Go,” to come when You call us to come and to do the things You show us to do.”

LK 18:6-8 (Parable of Unjust Judge) Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay to help them? I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on earth?”

This question often rolls about in my mind, will Jesus find faith on the earth when He returns? The Centurion was not even a believer and he amazed Jesus with his faith and understanding of authority. Do we have faith like the persistant widow in the parable about the unjust judge? Faith like the Centruion? Do we have faith that pleases God, for Hebrews 11:6 says “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who come to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

That sort of faith.