Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tree Planting

Okay I have been completely distracted from my blogging. I am desperately trying to choose a great tree for my front yard. It has to be a great tree, because in this tiny lot, I only have room for one medium size shade tree. So I decided to bring it to blogger land. I know there are a lot more people peeking at my blog than our commenting. Please if you have a preference; give me some help on this.

1. Autumn Blaze (seedless, roots could be problem, fast grower, could have brittle wood)
2. October Glory (small seeds, great color, smaller tree, rounder shape)
3. Autumn Flame(x between a Red Sunset and October Glory, I had one in my last yard, has lots of seeds)

Yes they are all maples and how hard of a choice could it be? I am just so picky, and having a hard time getting detailed accurate information on the differences. I want it to be smallish 40 ft. no seeds, no root problems, or brittle wood. Okay most of you are yawing by now, what is the big deal? Every time I plant a tree I think about the long term part. What I plant today is really for the next generation.
Why can’t I stop thinking about that and just think about me! :>)

I think there are some spiritual analogies here, but I am too tired and to obsessed with picking a tree to care. SAD!

If there are any true tree lovers out there, it would be great for some feed back. I have tried the Tree Forum, and they are a little scary. They hate most of the trees I have planted, and are very opinionated. Yikes this is driving me crazy. How hard can it be to pick a tree!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Calling all Bridge peoples!

Guess what I got to do today! Prune vines in the Gabriel’s newly acquired vineyard. This is exactly how a newly pruned vine should look. I had so much fun. What a beautiful day. What a glorious way to fellowship with God and man. (In a garden)

It was an amazing way to get a feel for what God means when he talks about pruning.

Joh 15:1 &2 I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away. And every one that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bring forth more fruit.

You can't believe the conversations I was having with the vines. I was lamenting the sickly ones, telling the more robust vines to calm down. All the vines, weak and puny, or strong and out of control had to come under my pruning shears and be shaped for the most productive production of fruit.

It is quite an interesting view to be the one pruning verses the one being pruned!!! LOL

So all you Bridge people out there grab your pruning shears and give it a go. They could really use the help! Lots and lots of vines!

Burst of Spring

Oooh I am missing my old garden, I think I better go out
and buy some roses, quick!

Monday, March 19, 2007

What are they?

Spiritual weapons are the promises of God. I thought I might clarify myself a little further. When God gives us a promise in His word, we can grab hold of that promise and believe God. The word of God is a powerful weapon as Eph. 6:17 tells us. One weapon that is not always listed by people when they go through Eph. 6 is the weapon of prayer. Eph 6:18 In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. When we can take the word of God and pray it on behalf of ourselves and our loved ones, I believe we are yielding some powerful tools. Thank you Father that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty to the pulling down of strongholds. I need to pull out some spiritual swords this week. Thank you that no weapon formed against me shall prosper. All those that rise up against me shall fail. I thank you that the battle is yours. Just typing His promises brings victory back to my spirit. The truth, that is a mighty weapon also, against the lies of the enemy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spiritual Weapons

I have been thinking a lot about spiritual weapons this past season. I have had opportunity to wield a few, and discover new ones. What are spiritual weapons?

Waiting on God
Rest (not being engaged in activities that drain your strength for what He really wants you to focus on)

These two I touched on in "Unforced Rhythms of Grace" see previous blog.

I delightfully discovered a new one this weekend. Or rediscovered it I should say. I learn these lessons, then when a test comes low and behold, I have spaced it. I guess there is a very good reason we are referred to as sheep by the good shepherd.

Once a month I participate in an outreach we have to our downtown neighbors. Our church is in the old down town area of our city which comprises of mostly bars, tattoo parlors…you get the idea. So we basically open up our place and serve free coffee, and light jazz till two in the morning. God has led us down this path of low keyed outreach, and in this process we are gaining peoples trust. It has truly been a very good experience. But, and this is the big but, The Den as we call it stays open till 2:00 am. At my age, this is quite the effort for me to just get there and face the looong evening. This last Sat. I was resting in the early evening when a young person from our church dropped by. He sat and visited with my husband, till finally I got dressed and went out to the kitchen to see who had stopped by. I was secretly thinking, rats I wanted to rest just a little longer. (We had been doing yard work all day) As I sat down and began to talk with this young man, something wonderful started to happen. We started to share about what God had been doing in our lives recently. We told each other some of our testimonies. Pretty soon, I began to notice my energy beginning to soar. I had gained so much passion and energy from this simple encounter that continued through out the evening. I was so enriched by this time spent visiting. As I contemplated my reaction to the fellowship, and the testimony we shared and how it had an impact on both of us. I thought this is another weapon for my arsenal. Sharing our simple testimony with one another can stir up our spirits and encourage others around us. Who knows the impact we can have, by simply just sharing with each other.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Unforced Rhythms of Grace?

Mat 11:28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." The Message

Three or four years ago when my family and I went to The Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center, I found this scripture on the flyer in our room. It was kind of embarrassing. We had come with another family and they were all hanging out in our room when I read this scripture and just started to weep. Something deep deep down in my spirit was hit, and hit hard. I was trying to grasp what an unforced rhythm of grace would possibly look like in my life. Grace or graciousness were not exactly how I would have ever described myself, compound that with unforced rhythms? There was definitely something here I needed to grasp… For a while now every time I read that scripture, I have sensed the cry of my spirit saying, "Get this one figured out." So I have been asking God to show me, and teach me about Unforced Rhythms of Grace. It has been a long journey, and I still have much to learn. The other day a friend and I were talking, and she was sharing with me about some dryness in her walk with God. As we were talking I happened to mention that one thing I had learned recently from my pastor, that rest was a weapon. Well her eyes just popped. What do you mean? Well out came this passage of scripture,and how I thought there was a connection. Later she asked me what did I know about this Unforced Rhythms of Grace. I had a hard time explaining to her what I knew. So here is an attempt to focus my thoughts.

I think I know more about what it is not than what it is:

1. not losing my patience with store clerks and people who steal my parking spots.
2. not being anal about my messy family
3. not jumping into a good idea full speed ahead of God’s timing and green flag
4. not worrying about….
5. not to hold on to my expectations about life, and people
6. not to look at the glass half empty
7. not to manipulate situations or people

What I do know:

1. To watch what He does and do it His way, not mine.
2. Walk with Him, not down my own path.
3. Get close enough to Him so I can hear the rhythm of His heartbeat to pace myself to follow His stride.
4. To use rest as a weapon, and spend that time simply waiting on Him.
5. That to wait on Him saves me an others a lot of grief.
6. to trust God in the middle of the storm, especially if he said get in the boat

What does,“Unforced Rhythms of Grace” mean to you?

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Vision for the next season

So we just came back yesterday from yet another out of town excursion. Went to Portland to see a specialist for my husbands eyes. He has had many problems over the years with everything from detached retina, lasik and lensik surgery for major vision issues and now glaucoma. He is only 52, so it is a bit early for this. The doctor isn't even sure what to do. He has low pressure in his eye, but a very fragile optic nerve. I have been praying as of last week for new vision for my husband, both physically and spiritually. God can do that, He can! After our whirlwind trip I came home with lots of new idea's for our home. Yes we went furniture shopping again. Can I just say I just love 23rd Street in Portland. It is soooooooo interesting. We did buy a sofa table, and well I found myself rearranging a bunch of things in my house. It seems everytime I add something new to our home, I find myself rearranging everything, a bit compulsive I think. Then I started planting. The wind is blowing outside and I need to feel dirt. So I planted grass seed in various pots through out my house. I know I am a strange girl. But how fun will it be at Easter? So what does all this have to do with anything. Gardening, decorating, vision, oh I don't know...I just think I needed another excuse to post a picture of my garden. I just need to have a little vision myself that this new home and this new dirt will someday feel for reals.
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