Monday, February 20, 2017

The Great Artist

Yesterday we spent some very enjoyable hours with our grand girls at the 
Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver. 
I am posting some of our photos to give glory to our God who filled our earth with so many reasons to be awed at the beauty created by a Mind so infinitely greater than ours. 
Scroll through these photos as an act of worship to our God of Wonder. 
"Oh that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! 
Let them exalt Him.... !" 
 Psalm 107:31,32a

Hmmmm..... wonder if that would work for my nest ! 

      Worth a try ...

Its hard to see but there is a bird inside the nest trying to pull the plant into his nest !

 Every spring this bird loses his long tail, and then grows it again.

 "Just sayin' ......"

"It was just Christmas, wasn't it ?"

"Green with envy ... nah ... just like the color."

"Thought I'd dress up for the photo-op."

"Ain't I the brightest bird out on a limb !"

"Do you like my new eye liner?|"

Latest designer colors....  wouldn't these colors make the prettiest room decor?

"All these feathers make me itchy ... uggg"

"There .. that feels a little better .... "

"Ok.... I'm all feathered down again !!"
This bird is apparently the 'naughty' boy ....  and he speaks 40 phrases.
I was sorry he refused to converse with us! 

Perhaps the black-headed is the male? the red-headed the female?

 Like my new fascinator?

And a few of the lovely plants creating a Paradise for the birds 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Treasures in Dark Places

It was a life-changing revelation to me when I realized that in God's Kingdom I was NOT just one of the crowd, as I had grown up surmising.

I am unique  - a one-of-a-kind creation.
I am made in His image for His wonderful purposes.
Because God took the care to make me someone He knows by name ... I know He also knows every detail about me.
He knows how I work,
He knows what interests me,
He knows what gets my attention,
He knows what motivates me,
He knows what excites me,
He knows what delights me !
It is all this He takes into consideration when He plans the path of my life -
when He chooses those things that will best teach me what I need to know,
when He allows those circumstances/events/trials into my life that will mature me without breaking me,
when He comes to me in relationship and fellowship, when He draws me into friendship with Him.

I am not alone in being so chosen !
Every one of God's children can boast of the same uniqueness.
Since  I am a ferocious reader, I have read  many people's life-journeys of faith and how God worked in and through them. One thing is common in all of them - whether they lived in Bible times or in the thousands of years after Acts -  their stories all are of a personal nature, fitted to their personalities and purposes.
Just when I think, I can't possible read someone's story that is radically different than any other I have read ... I come across a story that expands my mind-folder  in which I have filed all the ways God interacts with His children.

"Treasures in Dark Places"  is such a book! 
 (it can be found here)

 It drew me in, it excited me, it deeply inspired me and tore down the walls we all so easily erect to separate this earthly realm from the heavenly.
The author, Leanna Cinquanta, is modern day proof of the truth of Jesus' prophetic words in John 14:12, 
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also, and greater works than these he will do because I go to my Father."

Leanna's story, while definitely outside any box,  leaves no doubt in the reader's mind as to it authenticity - the proof is built in.
Leanna holds a paint brush instead of a pen, the words flowing across the page are so rich, that the descriptions she paints draw you into the movie produced in living colour on your mind's screen. Your emotions and your senses are heightened and engaged  - and you are loath to put the book down.

I love this book ... and have read it aloud to my husband - and I have ordered hard copies to give to my grandgirls.
I am not a book spoiler (smile)  so if you desire  a mind-blowing, inspiring read I highly recommend "Treasures in Dark Places."

Friday, December 30, 2016

Not Possible !

                                                   crocheted insert panel on back of knitted sweater

I love the relaxing benefit of knitting or crocheting.  My mom died early December, after months of being bedridden.  The stress of caring for her was telling on my physical health and I reached for something that would help me find a quiet, healing inner space.  My knitting needles and crochet hook were what I needed.

Today, I was enjoying a cup of coffee with my husband at our kitchen table, crocheting in my hand. My husband, watching me, commented, "Isn't there a crocheting machine? I know there is a knitting machine."
I was surprised to admit I really didn't know !  A quick internet search revealed the answer.
No, there is no crocheting machine.  There is a machine with multiple needles that is able to weave threads into a pattern resembling crochet, but the authentic look  of hand crochet worked with a crochet hook, is not possible to do by machine.
If the craft fails to entice artisans, it will become a dying skill.
Hand work takes patience and practiced skill over much time. But it is worth the end result and its value increases when the investment to produce it is recognized.

Not much in our world cannot be automated, to save time, money, work.  I am more and more valuing the things that cannot be done 'by machine'.

I thought of things the scripture speaks of  that cannot be gotten quickly or easily. Things that we must 'work' by hand heart to get.  Things of great value that are also in danger of being a lost 'art' in our world today.

Patience -- We all speak admiringly of someone who has 'the patience of Job' ... but we wish there was an easy fix to possess it.  James 1:3,4 reminds us that patience comes only with 'work', and 'testing' and 'time'.  While its worth is eternal, it requires our diligence to work it into our character.

Wisdom --  Ahhh ...  if only we had the wisdom of Solomon!  An old Amish saying goes .. "Too soon old, too late smart."   How true !  If only we could live our life backwards!
 Proverbs 8:11  points out to us that 'wisdom is worth more than rubies!"  Earthly riches easily ensnare the pursuit of man, but how many make wisdom their goal?  We are not born with wisdom - knowledge and experience and time teach us wisdom if we are willing to learn. James 3:17 describes the beauty of  godly wisdom -"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy."  

Faith/Trust -- In our cynical world, it is not easy to trust. Deception and betrayal abound. Yet, we are told in Hebrews 111:6  that without faith "it is impossible to please God".  All that we do in service for God,  all that we may give of our time, resources and money - none of it matters if we do not first have faith!  What does it mean to have faith?  It means that we so know the character of God that we trust Him --  trust His word, His promises.  We trust Him so much we willingly walk in obedience to the things He asks of us, lays out for us in His word.   Does trust come easily ?  No... it means getting close enough to someone to know them, to observe them, know how they think and act.
That takes time and commitment and perseverance.  

Relationships - God is love and He commands us to love.  It is impossible to love without having relationships.  God called us into a family of brothers and sisters and friends - a people that are to be known for their love for each other. Jesus said in John 15:12,  "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."   We live in a fast paced world where technology over-rides face-to-face conversation.  We are more and more isolated in a world full of people. Why? Because to build relationships means vulnerability, and self-lessness.  It takes time and caring, a forgiving attitude  and commitment.

The year 2016 has only hours left before it is slips into the 'past'  ... and a new year will begin.
Let us resolve that in the new year we will focus our diligence on the things that cannot be easily obtained but whose worth is eternal.  Let us pursue those things that are important according to how God defines worth and value.  For in these things we will find the fulfillment - the value of life -  that we all seek.

I wish all of you, my readers, a very blessed 2017 - may the Lord Himself be your 'Gift' that keeps on giving all year through.