Sunday, February 28, 2010


"Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
Chords that were broken will vibrate once more."
~Fanny Crosby~

Friday, February 26, 2010

You Come Too - Part II: A Visit to the Pasture

Come along for a trip through the pasture (and surrounding farm) that we are most familiar with! To get a closer look, just click on the picture.

Before you go through the gate, please read the post just below this one - if you haven't already done so!

"Take the blue of the sky and the green of the forest,
And the gold and the brown of the freshly mown hay;
Add the pale shades of spring and the circus of autumn,
And weave you a lovely today."
~Bill and Gloria Gaither~

Thursday, February 25, 2010

You Come Too! - Part I

The Pasture
By Robert Frost

I'm going out to clean the pasture spring;

I'll only stop to rake the leaves away

(And wait to watch the water clear, I may).

I shan't be gone long. -- You come too.

I'm going out to fetch the little calf

That's standing by the mother. It's so young,

It totters when she licks it with her tongue.

I shan't be gone long. -- You come too.

Love this simple, but full-of-meaning poem! It speaks of companionship and sharing the simple pleasures of life with someone we love. Even everyday tasks and sometimes-mundane chores can be opportunities to "seize the moment" and enjoy God's creations - together. Making memories doesn't take a lot of time . . . or money . . . or elaborate planning. All it takes is an invitation: You come too.

I think Jesus, who desires a close relationship with us, says to us, "Come with Me; follow Me. There's much to be done. I'll be ministering to a hurting world, and I don't have long. You come too!"

And He is pleased when we, with our words and our lives, say to someone else, "You come too!" Makes the trip even sweeter!

"Going together, enjoying the trip,
getting used to the family we'll spend eternity with . . . "
~Bill & Gloria Gaither~

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Cold, gray, drizzling . . . words that fit the morning. Until this beautiful cardinal lit right outside my window. Suddenly my view changed . . . brilliant color arrived . . . winged cheer lit in the dead, brown grass! What a contrast his presence made on a dreary, winter morning!

Contrasts are a part of life: day and night . . . light and dark . . . good and evil . . . ups and downs . . . winter and summer . . . ins and outs . . . good times and bad times.

But I can't think of a greater difference than the contrast of our lives before and after we allow Jesus to take control. What a difference His presence makes! Think about it:
a stony heart a pliable heart
despair hope
fear peace
focus on self service to others
indifference compassion
bondage freedom
death LIFE

"I can't explain it,
and I cannot tell you why.
But, oh, what a difference since Jesus passed by."
~Bill Gaither~

Monday, February 22, 2010

Caused Any Ripples Lately?

I watched as our grandson tossed rocks into the water on a beautiful day last week. One small splash soon became a distinct circle in the blue water . . . then another . . . and another until the effects of that small stone extended far across the pond. And I thought of the ripple effect of our lives.

A life of service to God and others has a ripple effect . . . even when our sphere of influence may seem so small. Our prayers and efforts to reach out to others are used by God in an ever-expanding way. One small act of kindness, a simple prayer, an encouraging word, a shared Scripture or praise can touch a life in far-reaching ways, and that life touches another . . . and the circle widens and God works. We may never know the extent of our influence this side of heaven, but Ecclesiastes 11:1 encourages us to "cast our bread upon the waters."

Just think what happens when we join our hearts and hands with other Christians . . . in prayer . . . in giving . . . in loving unconditionally! Just think what God can do with that kind of ripple effect!

"Cast thy bread upon the water,
Christ will watch the rolling wave,
As it ripples slowly onward,
To the soul He seeks to save."
~Barney E. Warren~

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Things Are Popping Up Everywhere!

This has been the coldest winter we've had in a long time, but I have enjoyed the cozy fires and the rare snowfall. But like most of you, I'm ready for spring!

Today has been fairly warm and sunny, and I've enjoyed the the very subtle hint of spring. While outdoors with our grandson, I noticed several signs that winter won't last forever. I know that we'll have more cold, dreary days before spring actually arrives, but it was refreshing to see some of our trees budding and tiny flowers blooming amidst the deadness of winter. Let me show you!

Pink Honeysuckle

Tulip tree

Plum tree

Fig tree

Tiny green growth peeking through the browns

And three generations of our family went fishing in a nearby pond. It really was the perfect spring-like day to be outdoors!

Even though spring won't officially arrive for another month, we can be sure that winter will end, and new life and new growth will announce spring's arrival! It's never failed to happen since the Creator set the seasons in motion.

Likewise, we can be sure that the winter seasons of our lives - those difficult times marked by coldness and bleakness and deadness - won't last forever; spring will come, and newness . . . and growth . . . and beauty . . . and warmth will spring forth.
Isaiah 42:9-10 says:
Behold the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise from the end of the earth.

"Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love."
~Thomas O. Chisholm~

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wings of a Snowy Morning

"If I take the wings of the morning,
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
even there shall Thy hand lead me,
and Thy right hand shall hold me."
Psalm 139:9-10

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow Day in the South

"Snow Day" in the South . . . what fun!! About five inches of snow fell yesterday, and the views were spectacular. Getting out of bed, looking out the window, and seeing the blanket of snow were as exciting as those long ago Christmas mornings when we awoke to gifts under the tree! This snow was indeed a beautiful gift from the Creator . . . and one that we'll talk about and remember for a long time.

I've so enjoyed seeing pics of snow-covered bird houses and feeders posted by my northern blogger friends. Now I get to share some of my own!

I believe God enjoyed creating our amazing world; that's the idea I get from this Scripture in Genesis: "God saw all that He had made, and it was very good." (I want to put a few exclamation points at the end.) I think that He delights in looking down and watching us enjoy His handiwork today.

Our "snow day" is turning into "slush day," but yesterday was good . . . very good!!!!

"For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies . . .
Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise."
~Folliott S. Pierpoint~

Wednesday, February 10, 2010



Young, energetic,
Can't understand my slow pace.
Where's my second wind?

"Oh, the old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be . . .
Many long years ago."

Hope you weren't expecting a hymm!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

In Praise of His Wonders

Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us no one can recount to you.
Were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.
(Psalm 40:5 NIV)

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them.
They would outnumber the grains of the sand.
(Psalm 139:17-18a NIV)

"To God be the glory!
Great things He hath done!"
~Fanny Crosby~

Monday, February 8, 2010


"I will lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."
(Ps. 121:1)

Tomorrow I'll have a medical procedure, one that's labeled "minor," I'm sure. But since MY body is involved, it's "major" to me! Thinking about it, reading about it, and hearing the stories of others have brought me many anxious moments and caused my imagination to run wild. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, I guess!

But if I really believe that He cares for the little sparrows (as I wrote in an earlier post), and if I really believe He cares about every detail of my life, then I can depend on Him for the strength that I need to face tomorrow. And once again, He hasn't failed to comfort me and let me know that it's in my weakness that His strength shines.

I was overwhelmed this morning when I opened my much-used Streams in the Desert to the page marked "February 8th." In part here's what I read:
Do not look forward [ahead] to what may happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow, and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.
How perfectly those words fit my needs on this day in 2010! Yet they were written long ago by Frances de Sales and placed in the first edition of this powerful book in 1928 by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman! Coincidence that I read those words today? Absolutely not! God knew that I would need them and orchestrated what happened in my quiet time today. He's not a God of coincidences but One who planned my days even before I was born.

I can trust Him! I can depend on His strength to be MY strength tomorrow. Does that mean I'll not have any anxious moments or that I won't dread the procedure? Not at all! It does mean that when I am afraid, I can lean on Him . . . the Creator of Heaven and Earth . . . my Refuge and my Strength!

"Learning to lean - I'm learning to lean;
I'm learning to lean on Jesus."
~John Stallings~

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"I've Got Your Back!"

Isaac & Abby

The simple, pure bond between big brother, Isaac and his sister Abby is strong. As with any brother/sister relationship, they have their "moments," but there is no doubt they are best friends! There's nothing quite like the friendship enjoyed by siblings! It's a treasure . . . a gift from God! I'm so thankful for the bond of love that exists and grows between myself and my sister and brothers.

Speaking of a love that binds, I think of the Scripture in Proverbs 18:24 that says: "There is a friend who sticks closer that a brother." One who always has my back! I'm so thankful that Love Himself is my friend . . . and Savior . . . and Redeemer. The friendship between us, which He initiated, can't be separated by "death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation." (Romans 8:35)

And as my Friend and I walk this uncertain road of life, He whispers: "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

What a friend!!

"Beautiful life with such a Friend;
Beautiful life that has no end!
Eternal life, eternal joy,
He's my Friend!"
-Will L. Thompson-

Friday, February 5, 2010

Who Cares?

Jesus, The Master Teacher, used simple, familiar things to teach some of life's greatest lessons: sheep, coins, seeds, planting . . . and birds. I'm so glad He included birds! Listen to His words found in Matthew 10:29-31 (NLT):
What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
Flocks of sparrows, including the one pictured above, feed outside my kitchen window every day - rain or shine! I love watching them. They are not powerful and majestic like the eagle or brightly colored like the cardinals and blue jays. Nevertheless, these seemingly insignificant little creatures came to Jesus' mind as He gave instructions to His twelve disciples.

His Words remind me that He cares! He knows me inside and out, from the graying hairs on the top of my head to the soles of my size 6 feet! He cares about the smallest need that I have. He cares about the situations that look impossible.

And my part is . . . to cast all my cares on Him. (I Peter 5:7). That's the easy part! The difficulty comes in following the next step: Leave them there! Remember the old song, "Take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there . . . "? I have trouble with that! But since He knows me - better than I know myself - He's fully aware of my weakness. And since He cares, He will teach me and gently remind me and help me in this area - if I ask.

The Psalmist, who so honestly exposed his weaknesses, writes: "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you." (Psalm. 55:22a) Notice he didn't promise that the cares would be removed; instead he declares that God's grace is enough to keep us in the midst of difficulties. We can identify with Paul when he said: "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." (II Cor. 4:8)

Hard pressed . . . perplexed . . . persecuted . . . struck down! BUT . . . not destroyed! Why? Because He cares! He cares about the little sparrow . . . and He cares infinitely more for you and me.

"I cast all my cares upon You;
I will lay all of my burdens down at your feet.
And any time I don't know just what to do,
I will cast all my cares upon You."
-Kathy Willard-

Monday, February 1, 2010

And the Winner Is . . .

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)

"Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith . . . "
I Peter 5:8-9a (NIV)

"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you."
I Cor. 15:57-58a (NIV)

"We've been made more than conquerors -
overcomers in this life.
We've been made victorious
through the blood of Jesus Christ."
-Bill & Janny Grien-