Tuesday, December 29, 2009

When I was Fifteen

When I Was Fifteen

      Today as I brushed the pony we got our grandchildren for Christmas, my mind drifted back to another time, a time when I was young and my hand stroked the mane of a much bigger horse. For a moment I forgot I wasn't fifteen. Wasn't I, just yesterday? I am still filled with hopes and dreams like I was then...they have changed a little. I still love horses. I still see out of the same eyes, one blue and one brown. But everything looks different in light of the experiences I've had through the years. Why does the sky look bluer than it did before, and why do I notice how beautiful the hills look as they kiss the sunset goodnight? I don't remember noticing them so much...when I was fifteen.

      I walk on the same feet I did back then but now they don't run as fast, and they are more careful about where they go. They like to wear shoes now instead of being bare; they have become more tender over the years. I still wear blue jeans, but the ones I have on now reside at my waist and not my hips, for reasons I do not have to explain to other women over fifty. A smile bubbled up from somewhere deep within the day bell-bottoms returned to the stores, and they reminded me of the days when my figure came in size 3...when I was fifteen.

      Oh, how much that girl has changed, and how much she is still the same. Still active inside, she is the part of me that remains young; dreaming, dancing and singing. It is hard to remember what she looks like as I search for her in the mirror, but the twinkle in my brown eye convinces me that she is still there.

      At times I need her advice. I need her to remind me now-and-again to take chances, to be daring. It is because of her that I am a poet. It was in her that God began a rhyme and made my life into a poem for Him. She did not know at the time that He had a plan for her life, and through the years His plan would mold her into me.

      She was rebellious - and I? Not so much now. Yet even then her heart ached for a closer walk with Him, to know Him more; to believe that He was real. It is the same seeking heart that beats these many years later. It was her who received His promises and me who saw them fulfilled. The questions she asked Him were answered in the valleys and on the hilltops of a lifetime stretched out from her to me. The answers were loud and clear - He loved her, He was faithful, and He was real.

Oh, if I had only known it then...when I was fifteen!

A touch of yesterday,
Brushed against my hand.

Not knowing what to say,
I tried to understand.

It did not come in sadness,
But sweetly to remind.

That everywhere I looked,
God's presence there I'd find.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Light of Life

Jesus ~ Light of Life

      There is an opening in the dark clouds just big enough for the sun to pour through my living room window. Knowing it won’t last long, I am trying to soak it up and pour out its warmth into the writing of this letter. We are expecting storms for the next few days and I am hoping they will limit themselves to the weather outside.

      Sometimes Christmas itself can bring a storm of rushing, unrealistic expectations, or disappointment; qualities that were never intended to be a part of its character. They are a sad attempt to counterfeit the true character of Christmas which is love, joy, and peace.

      It is the simplicity of a baby, birthed by a promise; God’s answer to the world’s crying question - “Where is God?” His answer came in Jesus. The Christmas baby born in a manger now lives in our hearts. His character is still love, joy, and peace; it does not change in changing circumstances. It is not affected by the storms of life. As I lose the sunshine behind the dark clouds, I will cling to this truth from His word, “I am the light of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

To those who are thirsty, He is the Living Water.

To those who are hungry, He is the Bread of Life.

To those who are lost, He is the Way, Truth, and Life.

To those who are in turmoil, He is the Prince of Peace.

To those who are sick, He is the Great Physician.

To those walking in darkness, He is the Light of Life.

He is everything we need!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Snowstorm!

      We weren't expecting any snow until Monday evening, so when we woke up Monday morning to find a winter wonderland outside we were pleasantly surprised. We don't often get snow at our elevation. We are teased with the forecast of it now and again, but seldom does it materialize. So we don't really take the weatherman seriously until we actually see it with our own eyes. Well, this time we saw it.

Day 1 - The snow came and it was beautiful!

"Make a snowman, quick before the snow melts!"


Mr. Snowman

I rolled him in a big round ball,
Then added snow to make him tall.
I gave him button eyes to see,
So he could look right back at me.
"Something was missing," I did suppose,
And thought to add a carrot nose.
Stickly arms of walnut wood,
Seemed to do the job they should.
A scarf and hat, now I'm done,
Making a snowman - oh what fun!

Day 2 - "It is going to melt, isn't it?"

Making a sled-run on the hill

A Snow Ride

Snowy flakes dance in the air,
Calling children everywhere.

"Put on your boots, hat, and coat,
Run outside with sled in tote.

Right out back to find a hill,
One awaiting, white and still.

Steep enough to bare the task,
Perfect ride, not slow, not fast.

Nipping wind against your face,
Swiftly by the trees you race.

To the bottom first - you win!
Climb the hill and start again.

Day 3 - "Burr...I'm ready for the power to go back on - really, I'm ready...please!"

      We were without power for three days and couldn't drive out our steep road because of ice. Around day three, the - I've had enough camping - feeling began to creep in and take over me with something I refer to as "The Mood." God must have noticed I was having a melt-down faster than the snowman outside and He had mercy on me. At 9:30 PM, just as I was about to head for the freezing bedroom and call it a day, I heard the refrigerator motor turn on...power! I blew out the candles and started flipping on switches, just because I could. It felt good! Like being back in civilization.

      I have a new appreciation for all those things I have taken for granted, like electricity and heat. Just the conveniences of flipping on a switch to light a room and reaching into a refrigerator to get something cold are blessings I enjoy every day and yet I seldom stop to thank God for them. I also seldom stop to think of those who do not have those luxuries, and how hard life must be for them.

      The day before it snowed, I remember seeing a man at the gas station wrapped in blankets. It was apparent that he was homeless. I remembered that I had two pairs of gloves in the car so I started rummaging around looking for them. When I finally found them, he was gone. The thought of him or anyone being out in that cold weather haunted me, but I'm afraid it did not bother me enough. Not enough to leave my warm safe car and go look for him. Not enough to see beyond the unpleasantness of a man in filthy clothes or smelling like alcohol - to the man inside who was cold. Or enough to see beyond how he got to that place in life and pray against the strongholds that held him prisoner there.

      I want to care enough about my fellow man to ask God what I can do to help, and not act like I didn't hear Him when He answers me with something I find hard to do. And to remember daily that everything I have and anything I have to offer others, all come to me first from the hand of a generous and loving God.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christ is Christmas

His Name is Jesus

By Charlotte Foster

May Christmas time be filled with Him,
The one who came to heal our sin.

The child laid within the manger,
One whom angels hid from danger.

Though in a wooden stable bed,
He wore God’s crown upon His head.

The babe who came to be our king,
To Him heavenly anthems ring.

Prince of Peace quietly laying,
People all around were praying-

To send His Light, and God had heard,
In manger laid the Living Word.

 The Father's Son, the Lord of Hosts,
The very one He loved the most.

He came a ransom for our sin,
To heal the broken hearts of men.

This Holy One, the Great I Am,
To be the sacrificial Lamb.

And as He slept that Christmas day,
In shadow of the cross He lay.

So as we give our gifts of love,
Remember the child from above.

And give Him praise for all He’s done,
The King of Kings, God’s only son.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Reading the Signs


      The Monday before Thanksgiving my husband and I decided to go to Livermore and look at a pony. We had been searching the Internet for a few weeks hoping to find a pony suitable for a beginner rider (in this case four beginner riders)…our grandchildren.

      Since we moved out of the city into the country seven years ago, it has always been a thought in the back of my mind to eventually get a horse. It is one of the fondest memories I cherish of my childhood. I still remember when I was four years old visiting my uncle in Arkansas and being sat on top of a pony, handed the reins and told to say, “Getty up.” Word to the wise – before you tell someone how to start a pony, make sure they know how to stop it. In any case, I loved it! A part of my heart has been a cowgirl ever since.

      As a teen I hung around the stables at the fairgrounds as often as I could, taking care of friend’s horses when they went on vacation, for the privilege of riding them. We sold our home in town around the time I turned fifteen and moved to the country. Our one acre parcel was soon filled with chickens, ducks, and to my delight – horses!

      That seems like such a long time ago. I have raised a whole slew of boys since then and now I am watching my grandchildren grow up before my very eyes. Every time I see them, they are inches taller. Children grow up too fast! Sometimes things you put off never happen at all (like getting a horse). That saying, “Time stands still for no man,” is true, it doesn’t. It has finally come down to getting a horse, or stop dreaming about doing it.

      I prayed that God would show me His will and help my husband and I be discerning. I have ran ahead of God’s will before and it has gotten me in places I didn’t want to be. That was the last thing I wanted to do again. This time I consulted with Him first. Just the fact that my husband was looking on the Internet with me at horses and discussing the possibility of getting one, was a miracle in itself. He is not a cowboy, and the only things he will ride are things with engines, like tractors and motorcycles.

      Now, I’ll get back to the Monday before Thanksgiving. There we were in the car headed for Livermore. I was very nervous. It had been so long since I had a horse, so much was going through my mind. Would I remember how to care for it? How to put the saddle and bridle on? What if it got sick or died because I didn’t know what to do? I prayed again and asked the Lord to help us know if this was right or not; to give us signs or a bad feeling about the horse if it wasn’t right.

      We pulled off the freeway into the town of Livermore and followed the directions leading to the home with the horse. Right before we turned onto the last street, we stopped at a red light with a big sign that read, “Charlotte Way.” I grabbed my camera and took a picture since I had never seen a street sign with my name on it before. I thought it was kind of funny and I said to my husband, “Maybe that is God’s way of letting us know we are on the right path.” He made some remark about how the sign was there long before we decided to go looking at horses, (but I knew God’s plans reach farther back than that).

      To make this already long story a little shorter, I’ll just tell you…we bought the horse. In retrospect I see now that it is just like going to “look” at a puppy. Once you feel its breath on your cheek and touch its soft fur, it is almost impossible to resist. Now we will be going back before Christmas to pick up our pony and bring her home.

      That night I laid in bed thinking about how little I remembered about horses as I dosed off to sleep. In the morning I woke up with this troubling thought, what if that sign we passed – Charlotte Way - really meant Charlotte is going her own way? What if I am doing my own thing, my own way (again)? I mentioned this possibility to my husband and he just gave me that look, you know, the one that says, “I can’t believe you’re still thinking about that pony stuff.” In his mind it was all over, the decision had been made, and he had already moved on to other things. He reminded me that we asked God for wisdom and to give us a bad feeling if it wasn’t right. Neither of us had a bad feeling about the horse, so we shouldn’t misread a street sign with my name on it.

      I am not a superstitious person by any means, and I don’t usually look at street signs in any other way but to name a street. It’s just that I have learned over the years that I do not know what is best for myself and I have occasionally misread obvious signs, and for that reason, I want to be careful to bring God in on all the decisions made in my life. He knows everything and sees the things that I can’t see. Nothing is hidden from Him. When I call on Him to direct me, He brings all of who He is into the situation, and I have great confidence in that. He doesn’t always say yes to what I think I want, but He always says yes to what is best for me.

      I’m not sure how a pony fits into the big picture He sees of my life, but He knows. I’m hoping that it will be a part of many happy hours spent with my grandchildren, as I pass the reigns to them and hear them say, “Getty up!”

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Thankful Heart

"I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonders,
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High."

(Psalm 9:1-2)

These words went from the heart of David to the ear of God. He continually prayed for God's help and then followed it up with praise and thanksgiving. God said of him, "He is a man after mine own heart." Why? What did David do that God would say this about him?

When I read David's journal - the Psalms, these are some phrases I see, "Teach me; come to me; You are my portion; I lift my eyes to you; I call with all my heart; Out of the depths I cry to you; I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I cry aloud to the Lord; I will exalt you; Praise the Lord, O my soul; How good it is to sing praises to our God."

I think God called David a man after His own heart, because David continually sought God's presence in his life. He sang praises to God and urged others to join him. He was a man with a thankful heart even when his life was in peril. He called out in despair and ended in praise.

This Thursday will be Thanksgiving. It has become a tradition to celebrate with a feast that represents the abundance of our blessings.  As we set our turkey dinners on the table and join together with family and friends, may we set a place in our hearts for His presence. May we lift up our voices in praise and thanksgiving to the One who has provided for our needs and blessed us beyond comprehension.

Let's enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise; let's be thankful to Him and bless His name!

Along with all the other things in my life that I will be thanking Him for, I will thank Him especially for you - my friends.

Counting my blessings,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our Dwelling Place

Our Dwelling Place

By C. Foster

A house is only made of wood,
With hammered nails and mortared stone.
Where men have worked to frame a place,
That others someday call their home.

A living space for families,
Moving trucks with boxes fill.
Unload a home with fancy things,
And in the yard a garden till.

They hang a sign above the door,
That reads, “All Welcome Here.”
There’s only one whom they keep out,
And don’t allow Him near.

The One who builds a different house,
Not made with earthly hands.
One that’s built upon a rock,
And not on shifting sands.

He wants to be our refuge here,
A place out of life’s storms.
The Most High God will be our home,
That only He adorns.

He prepares for us a mansion,
Where we will see His face.
And while we wait to take that move,
He’ll be our dwelling place.

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
(2 Corinthians 5: 1)

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.
(Psalm 127: 1)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"Move Out Of The Way!"

      Today I was driving back from my women’s bible study at the church when I noticed in my rear view mirror a police car following very close behind me with its lights flashing. A few thoughts went quickly through my head and then settled into this one – “I need to pull over!” I have no doubt that my driving got worse just because of the guilt I felt being tailed by a highway patrol officer. In the mirror I could see the frustration on his face but I couldn't see his eyes through the sun glasses he wore (This probably didn’t help my driving). It took a while before I could find a suitable, safe place to pull over on the winding road, but eventually I did. I knew I hadn’t impressed him with my driving ability so I thought I would try to impress him with my parking. I even took his safety into consideration and left enough room behind me for him to park out of the way of traffic.

      Funny thing is, when I turned around after all of my thoughtful consideration, he wasn’t there- he was gone! As I glanced back at the road ahead of me I just barely caught a glimpse of him rounding the next turn and then disappearing from sight. There I sat thinking about how silly I had been, how guilty I felt, and how I totally misinterpreted the whole situation.

      The officer was after someone else, not me. I was just driving along minding my own business (not sure why I felt guilty about that) and I got in his way. The frustration on his face was probably him biting his lip to keep from yelling, “Hey lady, get out of my way!” He apparently wanted to go faster than my “just moseying home from bible study” four-cylinder minivan was traveling.

      I think there are times when that very same thing happens with me and God. Sometimes (a lot) I misinterpret what He is doing in other people’s lives around me (especially my children’s) and I get in His way. Sometimes I even take on unnecessary guilt, or start the “thoughtful” plans to handle the situation with the least amount of suffering or harm to others as possible. I wonder how many times He has wanted to blow me out of the way with His mighty breath or pick me up and move me. How many times has His Holy Spirit whispered into my heart, “move out of the way?” Sometimes it isn’t about me, it is about someone else and I need to move over and let God pass. Let Him do His work in that person’s life without getting in His way.

      At first I was thinking it might be nice if He had lights to flash at me or maybe a siren. That way I would know to pull over, but now that I’ve thought about it for a minute, I am reminded of 1Kings 19:11-12. God didn’t choose to speak to Elijah in the light of fire, or the sound of a powerful wind, He spoke in a gentle whisper. I’m pretty sure that is how God wants to speak to me. I think He chooses that way because it requires me to really listen hard, to be still (and quiet) and know that He is God. Today perhaps He did choose to use the lights of a police car to get my attention and teach me a lesson. I hope I learned it.

      I’m going to do my best to mind my own business, watch my own speed, and keep my eyes on the road ahead of me and not the road ahead of someone else. Hopefully, God won’t have to keep patiently speaking into my life, “get out of the way!”

And when it is me He is after…well, that is another story!

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by,”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. (1Kings 19: 11-12)

Monday, November 2, 2009

What Time is It?

This blog is named “For Such a Time as This” for a reason. I began it shortly after doing the Esther bible study at my church. I was so impressed by what I learned in the study that I felt compelled to do something to share my Christian faith with others.

For several years I have written poetry to express my beliefs and share them with others, but I never knew exactly what I was supposed to do with the poems or who I was to share them with. The one thing I did know, especially after doing the Esther study, is that God has put me here on this earth at this specific time to do something for Him…for such a time as this.

What kind of time is this? What is He calling me to do in these days, at this spot on His time-line in history? When I look around I see a lot of things He may be calling me to do. Things are happening that will be logged in history books for my children’s children to read when I am long gone. Just like Esther, some of the things happening today are being done for the destruction of my people. And just like Esther I am left with a decision to speak or to remain quiet.

Esther chose to speak, yet she didn’t run into the king’s presence the moment she heard of the evil plans set against her people. Instead, she asked everyone around her, and all her people to fast and pray with her. Her pleas came before the ear of God long before they came before the ear of the king. She knew where her help came from so she went straight to the source.

God had been working all along. He had been carrying out His plans, and in obedience, Esther joined Him. She became a part of what God was already doing. That is what I would like to do in this period of time God has placed me. I would like to join in the work He is already doing, to say yes to His calling, whatever that may be.

Esther spent a lot of time contemplating what she would say to the king and how she would say it. She was aware of the fact that the best time to speak was in God’s timing, not her own. He set the stage and brought in all the characters just at the right time for everything to play out as He knew it would. Esther didn’t have to say much, just a few simple facts, the rest spoke for itself. Before the day was over, everything was turned around and those who planned destruction were destroyed. Every evil thing planned in secret was revealed in the light of truth.

So what was Esther’s role in it all? I think it was to be obedient to God. He didn’t need her to accomplish His will, but He chose to make her a part of it. He gave her the opportunity to experience His power in her life. He gave her the opportunity to join in His work and to say yes. I think that is what He wants me to do, to just say yes to Him. Whatever He asks me to do, I know He can do it without me, but He is giving me the opportunity to join in His work and experience His presence and power in my life. Why? Because He loves me!

He loves you too!

What is He calling each of us to do? How will we be a part of His plans…for such a time as this?

Such A Time As This

By Charlotte Foster

As His royal daughters,
He placed us here today.
To be a light of hope,
In a world that’s gone astray.

Not to hide in silence,
Secluded from the crowd.
But out among the people,
Wearing faith out loud.

He’s promised us His presence,
No matter where we go.
His Spirit dwells within us,
His power ours to know.

His Truth in us stands ready,
To counter every lie.
The destroyer has been preaching,
To the people passing by.

We hold in us the answers,
Asked by dying men.
And knowledge of the only One,
Who saves the world from sin.

Will we embrace our destiny,
Or His calling will we miss?
Let’s have no doubt He’s chosen us,
For such a time as this!

(“And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Cracked Pot

      What do you do with your old cracked flower pots? Do you throw them away? Sometimes I turn them around so the crack is facing a wall or in a direction that no one will see them, and other times I bust them up and use the pieces in the bottom of another pot for drainage. I am so glad that God has another plan for His cracked pots; He actually uses those cracks to make His pots stronger! What we would consider an eye sore, He uses to create beauty. What we look at as a weakness in the pot, He uses to demonstrate strength…His strength. Sometimes He allows the crack to leak out some of the stuff in the pot so He can fill it up with something better…Himself. Other times He dumps everything out -dirt, plant and all, and begins again- new. But throw the pot away? Never!

      We are God’s cracked pots. Some with more cracks and damage than others…but all cracked in some way. Many times the cracks are on the inside, away from view or they have been filled up with God’s grace over the years to the point that they no longer look like cracks. He will only allow us to be broken into pieces if He has plans to remake us into a more useful vessel. To put us back on the Potter’s wheel and reshape us into something better. Something He can plant His seeds inside and use to grow a thing of beauty. There are no pots He cannot use, no damage too great for Him to mend.

      Have you ever seen a flower pot that is bursting with flowers of all colors, full and beautiful, hanging over the sides? That is His plan for each of His pots, for each life to be overflowing with the goodness of His will – cracks and all. Are you hiding your cracks? Have you turned them toward the wall in an attempt to keep others from seeing them? Dear sister, you could be hiding the very thing that God will use in your life to bring Him glory. It may be the very weakness that He will transform into His strength; the crack that allows Him the most access to your heart and the one He will use to shine His light through.

      If you get to know me well enough, you will discover that I have many cracks. You will also learn that there are some I do not like to reveal immediately - usually the deep ones. Those are the ones I am tempted to turn toward the wall. I have been chipped a few times and those pieces have been lost along the wayside. I have at times been too weak to hold dirt or flowers, and at those times I felt pretty useless. I've been broken by sinful choices, and I've been tossed around by others; once I was thrown away. Then the Potter picked me up and put me back on the wheel and made me into something new, useful, and His. When I look into the mirror of my life, I still see some of the cracks in my reflection but they seldom bother me. Instead of reminding me of how they happened, they remind me of the One who filled them with His grace and mercy. Instead of fearing the future, I am excited about what He will plant in the pot next. Which beautiful flower will it be? Whatever it is He plants, I can be sure that He will use those cracks to make the plants stronger in some way and use them for His glory.

How about you, have you given God your cracked pot?

(2 Corinthians 12:9) But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Creamer

by Charlotte Foster

Just a little creamer,
May not seem much to you.
To me it represents a love,
That’s always fresh and new.

It comes to me in many ways,
Some simple and some not.
At times it’s unexpected,
And other times it’s sought.

Little trinkets of Himself,
To find when unaware.
Confirming in my heart again,
That He is always there.

He follows me to silly places-
My favorite antique store.
Reveals He knows my every thought,
And that He’s gone before.

For on my knees down on the floor,
And moving things aside.
I got a glimpse of something,
That someone seemed to hide.

Around in back, behind a vase,
No, it just couldn’t be!
The red rim of a creamer,
My Father hid for me.

All alone it sat there,
No more useful role.
I didn’t mind because you see,
I own the sugar bowl!

Only He would know that,
And only He would care.
Only He could know that day,
That I’d be shopping there!

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man, The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

If He is so loving and good to us here, how much more can He possibly be preparing for eternity? I cannot even imagine!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Stepping Around The Ugly

      How many times do you pass by something ugly in your life before you remove it? Obviously (for me) it is too many times! Today as I walked around my circular drive, spending time in prayer, I almost stepped on something ugly – a squished frog. Apparently he had lost his life to a passing car circling the drive, and well, he looked exactly like you would expect him to look after being rolled over by a 2-ton vehicle. I changed my stride long enough to step around him and continued walking. Round and round I went, each time looking down at that poor frog and thinking to myself, “Yep, there he is again! Yah, he’s an ugly mess.” Then I would step around him. After doing this several times, I began thinking about ugly things. How sometimes I get so accustomed to them, I allow them to be a part of my life.

      On one trip around the drive I noticed an old leather glove that had been unearthed several months ago, still laying next to the driveway in the dirt. Today wasn’t the only day I noticed it. I noticed it every time I took my morning walk! It’s just another “ugly” thing I have grown accustomed to in my daily life. Today I took a picture of it for this post, because today will be the last day I walk by it. I’m pretty sure that while I walked and prayed, God told me to pick it up and throw it away! Not because He’s tired of looking at it or it really bothers Him so much, but because I think something else bothers Him more and He wants to teach me about that. Something more important than ugly old leather gloves or smashed frogs I step around on my daily walk.

      I think He wants to teach me more about the ugly things I sometimes allow in my heart – the ugly little sins I step around (not to mention the big ones) and become accustomed to living with; like irritability and impatience. Whenever I do notice them, I just think, “Well, that is ugly!” Then I keep moving on without really addressing them, without asking God to remove them from my heart.

      It was pretty easy to pick up the glove and throw it in the trash and to shovel up the frog and toss it over the fence into the pasture. The ugly things of my heart can be gone too, because God Himself promises to take them away if I give them to Him. Then as long as I don’t go digging in the trash to pull them back out, they will stay gone.

      I know it may sound weird, but I’m going to keep the picture of the glove to remind me of this lesson today (I’ll spare you the picture of the frog). I love the way God answers prayer when I ask Him to teach me something. I never know what it will be, but I know it comes from the One who is Faithful and True; the One who loves me. It’s time I stop stepping around the ugly things in my life and remove them; apparently, this includes some irritability and impatience!

What is God teaching you today?

I could find no scriptures in the bible about ugly old gloves or frogs (except the ones in Egypt), but I found plenty about the heart. Here are just a few ~

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 138:23-24)
My son [duaghter], pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body. Above all esle, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. (Proverbs 4:20-27)
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. (Ephesians 1:18-19)

Friday, October 9, 2009

It's Harvest Time!

It's Harvest Time (2007)

Yesterday I took my morning walk through the neighborhood. As I headed back up the last hill to my house and walked through the gate, I noticed the small vineyard on my right was overdue for picking. The grapes were here when the property was purchased – the benefit of someone else’s labor. The vines were loaded with fruit, probably due to the abundant rain this past winter. The birds were having a feast! It was now October and the grapes were ready to pick in September.

I remember the month as only a blur of activities. No time for harvesting the grapes and making jam. It made me sad to see the fruit there on the vines. The plants had done their jobs, but there was no one to bring in the harvest. Busyness stole away the time and energy.

I thought of the spiritual application of this situation. In Matt. 9: 37 Jesus is talking to his disciples about a different kind of harvest. He saw the multitudes around him ready to be gathered up and brought into his kingdom and he said, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few;”

The rotting grapes in my little vineyard are insignificant compared to the fruit the “Lord of the harvest” has planted and watered in the hearts of those who need to be harvested into His kingdom. When the fruit is ready, that is the time it must be picked! Let us not leave the fruit to spoil on the vine because the workers are too busy with other things. “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.” (Matt. 9: 38) Then let us pick up the empty baskets and be ready to go! I’m pretty sure it will be us whom He sends!


It is October – again! Why am I always so surprised when it comes around again, after all, it happens at the same time every year. I guess what surprises me is how fast it gets here. Can the days really be passing that quickly? I am happy to say that this year all (or most) of the grapes were picked and used (thanks to a friend). The birds did get a few, but only the ones stolen before they were ripe enough to pick. Sorry birds, you’ll just have to eat at the bird feeder instead!

I hope I am busier this year with the other harvest, the one I mentioned above – the Lord’s. I hope I am spending more time in prayer for the lost and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those who don’t know him. That is one of the reasons I started this blog. Along with encouraging my fellow sisters (and any brothers who happen by), I want to share my faith in the One who is the Lord of the harvest and point those who are lost in the direction of the kingdom of heaven. Two years have passed since I wrote the devotion above; what have I done in those two years? Is my basket getting fuller?

People come into my life each year, just like the grapes come. I pass in and out of the vines of those lives as a worker under the authority of the Lord of the Harvest. Have I tended the vineyard faithfully or have I missed some of the grapes, or left them for the birds? When that final day comes, and I sit my baskets down, what will He say of me? Was I a good worker? I pray the baskets of my life will be overflowing with good fruit from the vineyard He assigned for me to tend.

How about you…what will be in your basket?

This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

(John 15:8)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Stroll through the Garden


Yesterday I saw two blogs displaying their gardens and they were encouraging others to join in on the fun. I thought, "What a wonderfull idea!" I love gardens and flowers...the beauty of the Master Gardener's handywork. I decided to join in on the fun today, except I couldn't find the link to those other blogs! They just disappeared! I know it was late last night when I came across them, but I don't think I was dreaming.

Instead of giving up, I decided to go ahead and share with you what the Lord planted into my life this past year in the way of flowers (and a few other things). He is so good to scatter seeds so liberally...even in places that were once barren and lifeless. He sends the rain to moisten the hard ground, and brings forth life!

Come on in the gate...

      From the colors of Fall to the blossoms of Spring,

God's hand was seen everywhere I looked!

The old, old apple tree was filled with blossoms and the
Morning Glories gave Him glory!

                                         The Lilac's scent was heavenly!

          A Rose of Sharon


 Poppie seeds planted by the wind!                                                  

The yellow Iris' that came up purple!  Even the garlic bloomed.


        Heavenly Bamboo

Out back where I watch the sunsets, my Father saying, "Goodnight."

And those who came to eat!

Thank you for taking a stroll with me through the garden God has planted in my life!