Friday, February 29, 2008

One Year Blog Party! Come celebrate with me!

Hey fellow bloggers. Please join with me in celebrating my one year anniversary as of Feb. Please take a minute to post me a hello this week as your passing through. I see the crazy dots from all over (even though they just re-started my map?), but many of you don’t stop by long enough to say hi. I would really love it if you just dropped me a line or two in honor of my one year anniversary. I will then add your name to the pot for my door prizes of two garden related books, and two little simple water color landscapes that I painted, to mark my passion of gardening. So there will be three winners for the door prizes. All you have to do is post me a message to be in the drawing.

I wanted to take this moment to reflect a little about this first year of my blogging experience. First I must thank my dear friend Nadine, who got me started and helped me set up my blog. She was very patient and a good teacher. She has an amazing blog that gets quite a bit of traffic. She writes from the heart and everyone just adores her. Notice her awards on her sidebar.

I just jumped into blogging land head first, and started having a grand time. At first I mostly hung out with my church community. My church has a very strong blogging group. Did I mention Nadine? (Hint she is our pastor’s wife) She has been an influence on many of us getting into the flow here. If you notice my sidebar, Family & Friends, 90% of those blogs are people from my church. It is a great way for us to keep in touch with each others lives. Then I ventured out and just floated around here and there. After awhile I noticed I started revisiting certain blogs over and over again. They eventually became my "Blogs I Enjoy List.”

As the year has gone on, I have found so many wonderful and interesting blogs that have caught my attention. I have quite an eclectic group that I like. I notice lots of people tend to stick with a theme in their blogging. They have a common hobby or interest group. I have so many different interests that I find it hard to hang out with just one community. I love the garden groups especially this time of the year. There are some very amazing Christian woman’s groups going on. Praise and Coffee has a great big following. Sue's "The Two Shall Become One Tues." is a blog I am avidly reading. I am just getting hooked on the foreign travelers, brave American's on foreign soil, sharing their journeys. Frenchless in France is one to check out. There are the vintage groups, the decorators, cooks, tea lovers, book clubs, artists, knitters, writers…it just goes on and on. Probably the ones I find the most interesting though are the people that tend to do more of a personal journal approach. They tend to share many aspects of their personal lives for people to enjoy. Ramblings from and English Garden, is one of my favorites for this very reason. First of all Barbara lives in England, a place I adore. She has been sharing her life story, her travels around and about many famous and beautiful places in England, her gardens, and her walks around the English countryside. Her practical sensible approach to life is very heart warming to me for some reason. I just love how English she is :] Brin over at My Messy Thrilling Life has one interesting story going on there too. She is one busy gal, and she shares so many of the things going on in her life that she is so busy doing. Her cooking, crafting, reading, gardening, traveling, decorating, and just her exuberant approach to life is always a draw for me. Do check out her "Monday Moments!" If you are at all interested in how to raise charming, loving little girls who are learning manners and kindness and other such old fashion delightfully charms. You need to look up the "Balcony Girls" on Sandy's blog 4 Reluctant Entertainers. And yes, you will find a gazillion tips on how to live a lifestyle of hospitality that is most excellent. Then there are some blogs that don't say much...but when they do, people take note. My husband's blog Desert Reiver, is very much a reflection of who he is. He doesn't say much, but still waters do go deep. I think that is one of the main reasons we were so attracted to each other. I talk alot...he listens...alot. But when he does say something, it really matters, to me and to others.

So this was just a brief highlight of my year in blogging land. I think I will keep exploring, visiting and learning about new blogs, new friends, and new communities. Blogging is a very fascinating new world of communication. It is like an electronic version of the village watering well, where people met once a day to exchange news, have a sense of community and get their water for the day. I kind of like hanging out at the well.

I do want to add a great big thank you to all of you that have posted here, and especially to those who drop by on a regular basis.

I was very touched to receive my first award from a lovely gal over at A Haven for Vee

Vee you happen to be one of the folks who Make My Day. So here it is right back at you!

Rules: the recipient of the award will pass it on to 10 recipients of their choice; you may receive this award more than once; you must list your 10 recipients; say why you are choosing them; link to their blog; and finally leave them a little note to drop by your blog for a surprise!

So to all the regulars that make my day, please pick up your awards:

Just Being Me Grace
Knitting Mania
Tiffany Tea in My Cup Deb's Random Thought's Swimming in Light Barbara Weighty Thoughts

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tagged - 123 Meme

Okay I am it! Danni over at Unmistakeableimprint tagged me. So I thought it would be fun to play.

Here are the rules to the game:

1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
2. Find page 123.
3. Find the first 5 sentences.
4. Post the next 3 sentences.
5. Tag 5 people.

John Paul Jackson "Needless Casualties of War"

We have the honor and privilege of presenting our prayers on behalf of others before the Maker of the universe.
Wonderful results are promised to us.
Jesus said that if we abide in Him and if His words abide in us, we can ask whatever we wish and it will be done, so that our joy may be complete. John 15:7; 16:24

Well that was interesting. I have been so focused on prayer lately, and this book was just hanging out by my computer from a few weeks...or so ago. I haven't even read this far in the book yet.

So let’s see, I will tag Chris, Vee, Strider, Tiffany; and Hannah

Bleak but it's own kind of beauty...

Re Barbara: Believe it or not I am only 5 minutes away from the mall. We are smack dab in the middle of urban sprawl. This piece of land behind me Amon Creek Waterway is about a 50 acre preserve, that they are trying to expand and save from development. The Tri Cities WA where I live has a population of about 170,000. The next largest city is about an hour away. We live on The Columbia Plateau, a shrub steppe desert . When I first moved here with my family from N.Y. in the 70's I thought we were living in an old John Wayne movie, tumble weeds and all.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Walk around the block

We are going on a walk around my neighborhood today. Several weeks ago one of my blogging buddies over at "Ramblings from an English Garden" took us on a walking tour of her neighborhood, and asked us all to talk her on a walk. It has taken me a bit to get to it, but here we go.This is stepping out my front door looking directly west.
We are heading straight east to the backyard, and heading off into the wetlands/sagebrush behind my house. Bella my cat is going to accompany me only as far as the property line goes it seems. We have a little tiny lot in the middle of Eastern Washington, backing up to a "sage belt" that is being saved in the middle of all the encroaching development. It is highly valued for its old growth sage and wildlife preserve. What has gotten the attention of our local environmentalist is the baby salmon spawning in our Amon Creek. This is a rare (in the middle of our of a desert) natural spring that flows into the Yakima River, which in turn dumps into our great big Columbia River.
Here is the view I see out my back. Pretty bleak looking, especially in the winter.
Here are the new houses in my neighborhood sitting right on the edge of the desert.

I am looking back and taking this picture of my house sticking out seemingly in the middle of no where while I am heading due south.

Now we are heading down into the wetlands.

In the summer I can't get this close because of all the willows. My development is aptly named Willowbrook. We have a lot of ducks and geese that spend the winter here.
Now we are heading east into the open sageland.

As you can see there is a lot of off road vehicle traffic that the environmentalists are trying to keep out, because they are causing so much erosion to this old growth sage area.
Some more water area on the other side. We are still heading east.

This is now looking back west at my neighborhood across the sagebrush.

Now we are taking a turn across the back of this reserve heading north.
Heading back west looking at some of the desert. I know it looks bleak, but this walk is so peaceful, no human noise, just birds and such. A great place for me to talk to God. We are bordered on the northside by a city park. You can see some of the winter dead grass and a peek at my house in the distance.

Zooming in on the back of my house across the Amon Creek.

The back of my development and the surrounding hills and houses. That hill is called Little Badger Mt.

We have gone a bit south, and are now heading back over the creek into the neighborhood.

At the end of my street they have tried to set up barriers to keep the off road vehicles from accessing the sage lands/wet lands.

This is a raw brand new development. We were one of the first homes built here in 2006. Plant some trees people!
My home is coming up on the far right. We are heading north.
Here we are.

My front courtyard is lovely in the summer time.

Here is kitty waiting for me. She sure sticks close to home. Good thing, there are plenty of coyotes out in the desert. They love to eat kitties :[

This one is for you Barbara! Not as lush and lovely as your English countryside. In the summer I do garden intensely to give me that oasis feel.

Friday, February 22, 2008

One Thing

In my last post I was sharing about how my Pastor encouraged us to stop channel surfing and focus on one show. Metaphorically he was saying choose to stay focused on what is grabbing your attention in the Kingdom right now. Well as I stated in my past post, for me that has been prayer.

At this point I would like to apologize to my blog friends for my lack of contact over these last few weeks. For my focus has been else where. Yeah, you are getting my point. It has been focused on prayer. Now I know to some folks that may sound like a lame excuse. And I am not trying to spiritualize myself here by any means. It is just that for some reason, could be all the City Wide Fasting and Prayer that has gone on, my prayer life, as well as those around me has gone into over drive.

Let me share with you two days in my life this week to give you some understanding as to my rantings and ravings. On Tuesday I was leaving town to head down to Portland to see a friend and connect with my daughter and Puddin Toes, and drive them home from the last leg of their trip to the beach. It seemed like a good opportunity to go early and visit a very dear friend of mine who lives in Portland. I had to teach a class on the Holy Spirit Tuesday morning before I left town for some young people, doing an Internship program based out of Portland Bible College. I usually start the morning with an hour and half of prayer and then teach for an hour and half. Since I wanted to get on the road early to miss big city traffic, I asked the director if I could teach first and let some one else lead prayer. She said no problem. Well interestingly enough I was ahead of schedule this particular morning. If you knew me well, you would know that I am not a great morning person, ahem to say the least. Being ahead of schedule was very unusual. I got in my car and headed to the church early. Why, I don't really know, I was just ready to go. I started to play a new CD by Misty Edwards, Relentless, and by the end of the first two songs I was caught up into such a place of prayer and intersession, I was having a hard time driving. I got to the church and the director lets me in, takes one look at me and says I knew I should have listened to God. Apparently she sees that I am early and she had something else planned that she wished she hadn't scheduled, I think. Any ways I see that the kids are talking to some one about a conference coming up. So I head down to the prayer room next to the classroom in the basement. I just want to pray, I can't stop praying, my spirit is so stirred up.

I find that the prayer room is already occupied by a young gal, so I go next door to the classroom and continue to pray and intercede. When the kids are dismissed from their meeting they come down stairs for class, and I just can't settle to teach. I tell the director, I wish we could just pray... she says" Its your class do what you want." So I am like okay, let me just pray with the kids for a few minutes through these two songs I had just listened to in the car, and then I will teach and be on my way. Well to make a very long story short, I never did get to teach the class. Prayer ignited with those young people. The director ended up staying to pray with us. She called up another intercessor and said "Get down here, quick." We just went deep and heavy into declarative type prayers, by quoting scriptures God was showing us for the region and this season we are experiencing in God right now. Then it flowed into a time of the three adults imparting and praying for the kids. We were half way through the kids when I looked at the clock at 10:37 and had to slip out of the room and get on the road. I found out later they kept praying for the rest of the morning, while I drove away. Well, I put that CD back on and for the next three and a half hours as I drove, I continued to press into God and pray. It was so intense. But this was only the beginning of my two day prayer event, let's call it. When I arrived at my friends house somewhere around 2:00pm I walked into another very intense prayer meeting. I kid you not. I tried slipping in; not wanting to interrupt what was going on. But one of the gals spied me, and drug me into the room to join them. Join them; I was already there in spirit, phew! So I just joined in and it was 3:30 before we were finished. When everyone left, my girl friend and I compared notes. Apparently their prayer meeting had started the same time mine had...9:00am. She looked at me, I looked at her, and she said let's do it again tomorrow. OKAY! She immediately called up two of the gals that were with the group at her house and said tomorrow we are praying again, come when you can. At 10:00 am the next morning we slipped in my CD, and we were off. I think somewhere around 11:30 the other gals joined us. We took a quick lunch break and then proceeded to pray till 4:00pm.

I am not even sure how to explain this to someone, who may have not experienced this long of a prayer time for two days back to back. Honestly I have never prayed that long and consecutively before myself. My daughter arrives at the house at about 4:30 pm and looked at my friend and me and was like, what happened. All I can say is that time didn't seem to matter while we were praying. We somehow were tapping into the very heart of God on some matters and we just knew we had God's attention, and we needed to keep agreeing with Him in prayer. During prayer it was exhilarating, as well as tiring, but we just didn't want to stop. After wards we felt like limp wet wrung out dishrags. All we could talk about though, was when could we do that again. I know for me, it has been about ten years since I have had this kind of a drawing to pray. Please do hear me on this. I know it is the Holy Spirit who is drawing me and pulling me and others into this season of prayer. This is something I could not or would not be able to manufacture in the flesh. It is just simply God.

It certainly seems like my pastors advise to stop channel surfing and focus on one thing was a very good word. My prayers for all of you reading this, especially if you have read this far :] is to focus on that one thing you hear God speaking to you about. Pause for a moment in the mad rush of what we call our lives and watch what He is doing, and do that.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Draw Me/ 40 Day City Wide Prayer and Fast

Sarah Westergren of West Richland prays along with around 2,000 other Christians to songs of praise and worship that were performed by a band composed of members from various local churches during the final prayer meeting at Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.
This is the picture that made the front page of our local newspaper on our final night of our City Wide Prayer and Fasting season.

Well I for one am feeling undone by this week, in a very good way. (I haven’t been able to give much time to blogging) God has been pouring out and filling up my spirit, over and over again this week. It has been such an amazing week for me. Those of you that have been following my postings on our City Wide Prayer and Fast know that last Sunday night was our final meeting. Over on my Pastor's blog he has posted a copy of the local newspapers coverage, plus a video done by a local TV news cast. So you can catch up with all the facts and the cities reaction to this season of prayer. Do check it out!

What I would like to share though is this, what went down in my spirit through this last day and the following week. It was like the heavens were parting and for this season right now, we have God's attention. Ten years ago when there was revival at a weekly city wide gathering of young people at a place called The River, I heard a guest speaker (Benny Perez) pronounce, "Tri Cities, you have got God's attention." I can still here the ringing in my ear, his voice carrying a weight of the Lord's heart. That revival went on to last five years in this region. I was privileged and blessed to be a part of that season in the Kingdom. Over 1500 young people gave their lives to Jesus. Those were just the ones we were able to record. Many, many lives were changed and permanently set on course for the Kingdom. Today I look around and see the fruit of that precious time, young people established in churches and ministries through out the region. Two brothers, Elijah and Jordan, from the worship team are now worship Pastors in mega churches in Seattle and Portland, leading thousands and impacting many, many more young lives.

This week as our time of fasting came to a close, I began to hear those words in my spirit again. “Tri Cities, you have got God's attention!" It seems to be vibrating in the soil around here. That is a strange way to put things, but I don’t know how else to describe it. What I do know is this; I am seeing the same signs in my spirit and in those around me that I saw ten years ago, before revival hit our youth. I will try to share just one of the things that I am seeing. The one thing that is most significant to me from my perspective. This morning our pastor spoke about this being a NOW time for healing (Isaiah 58:8) and focusing on the one thing God was showing you. I couldn’t agree more. His analogy was to stop channel surfing, and stick with one show and focus. Well for me that focus has been prayer. The one significant thing I was focused on in the last revival was prayer. This whole movement amongst the youth 10 years ago was definitely colored and marked by the intense spirit driven prayer life of the youth that preceded and followed this move of God. Well in these last two weeks, I am ecstatic to say, that the young people I have been around in this city have had a huge, noticeable increase in their desire to pray. I have not seen this level of hunger since The River days. I could go on and on and on about this. But I won’t. I will let the hunger speak for itself. I for one though am going to stay focused and run along side the youth in their reaching out and embracing the Lord and His prayer request list in the arena of prayer. I have made a decision to be available to the youth when ever they want to pray. Many are hungry to learn how to go deep in prayer. Not just the supplication type of prayer that says this is my request list God. But the type of prayer that asks God, what is on your prayer list?

There is no other friend
There is no other friend like You, oh Lord
No other brother
No other brother like You

There is no other love
There is no other love like You, oh Lord
No other sweeter
No other fountain but You
And how long until I’m satisfied
I must have more of You
For I was born in Zion
Awakened love is crying out for You
It must be You

And if I’m healed by
Just one touch
of your garment, Lord
Then how much more
of Your love is for me
than I’m tasting, Lord?
Draw me, take me and I will run
Over the mountains and down into the valleys
I will run with You
And how long until I’m satisfied
I must have more of You
For I was born in Zion
Awakened love is crying out for You
It must be You

All, all my fountains are in You
All, all my fountains are in You
All, all my fountains are in You
All, all my fountains are in You
Copyright © 1996 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

This song was sung last Monday night by a former River worship team member who now goes to my church. He sang this song prompted by the Lord after an intense time of prayer. This song, NO OTHER, by David Ruis was one of the songs that marked the past revival. The call to God, released in the spirit realm as he sang this song was definitely one of begging God to draw us.

Son 1:4-5 Draw me, we will run after You. The King has brought me into his chambers; we will be glad and rejoice in You, we will remember Your love more than wine; the upright love You.
I am black, but (beautiful) comely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon.

Son 4:9 You have ravished My heart, My sister, My spouse; you have ravished My heart with one (glance) of your eyes, with one chain of your neck.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New Puddin Toe pic's

Valentine Baby
Auntie Christina Booties
Happy Baby Nana feeds the baby

Nana baths the baby

Whee goes the baby

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Blow winds blow!

Act 3:19 Therefore, repent and turn to him to have your sins blotted out,
Act 3:20 so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord and so that he may send you Jesus, the Christ whom he appointed long ago.

There has been movement this week in the Spirit. The winds have begun to blow. And as always it seems it has started with the youth. That is why I love to hang out and be involved with that age group anyway I can. In two of our high schools, through a local intern group on campus outreaches, five kids got saved this week. On the very same day in two different public schools Jesus was drawing young people to Him. Meanwhile across town at a local Baptist private school chapel service another drawing was going on. As worship was being offered, a spirit of repentance began to be released from the worship team. Weeping began and seemed to spread to about fifty or so young people. They fell on their faces before God and wept. Teachers began to go about and pray for these kids, and some were even prophesying over the students. School got put on hold; God was moving on the hearts of these kids. Last I heard the next chapel service was being scheduled as a time of worship, prayer, and prophecy. This may not seem like much to some, but it is movement, more than we have seen in quite awhile in this city. Thank you Jesus, that you are beginning to pouring out your very Spirit on our youth.

Let the wind blow!

Monday, February 4, 2008

7:14 City Wide 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting(Update)

sweetly broken

Well I promised and update. As the forty days of our city wide prayer and fast is coming to an end this weekend, I thought it was time to share what has and is taking place in our city.

In my first post I shared that our city with 30 plus pastors had come together for a season of prayer and fasting based on the scripture 2Ch 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

By the third meeting, we had an estimated 900 people and 30 pastors coming to pray on a Friday night. The service and time of prayer was very cool, but what happened at the end of this meeting began to take center stage in the whole season of fasting and prayer. We had a word from God, shared out of Ez. 8 that was a strong serious call to the body of Christ. If we were serious with God, then the first order of business was to the house of God. It was time to clean the temple, both corporately and personally. The call to repentance from God sat heavily on many across the city the following week. My biggest prayer was that the pastors would know that this was just the beginning really. A time to let the Holy Spirit search all our hearts and respond to Him, was what was being called for. What happened next was more then I could have imagined. As we met for our fourth week at the mega church in town, with approximately 1000 in attendance, the pastors hit the mark. The whole entire meeting was focused on repentance. I was so blessed to know these men of God were not fooling around. They were taking God and His word to us, very seriously. What happened next, felt like a surge hope released into the body of Christ in our city that night. Like a bomb of hope going off in our midst. The pastors went to the altar (all 30 plus) fell on their knees; some lay prostrate and began to repent to us and God as shepherds. They had met and decided on the points of repentance that they needed to acknowledge, they passed the mike from pastor to pastor, as each offered repentance on a point that God impressed on them personally. After that momentous moment the pastor that was hosting this evening turned to the church and asked us to repent not only for ourselves but also on behalf of our city and nation. He shared with us a righteous mans example of repentance on behalf of a nation that took place in the book of Daniel. On the overhead were many areas of transgression and sin that we could use to help us begin to pray as Daniel did. Quietly many dropped to their knees and began to repent and weep before God. But that was not all. The final and third part of the meeting was a public repentance to a representative of our local Hispanic church community and the white Anglo pastor of this large mega church. They both began to repent on specific points of sin and judgment towards each people group. The Hispanic pastor ended on a note saying that we needed to start building a bridge of unity that needs to start on both sides of the river to meet in the middle. You see our city is divided by the Colombia River and the white community predominately lives on one side, while the Hispanic community lives on the other. It was such a powerful moment. Truly only something our God has done. Remember this is not just one type of church; this is a broad spectrum of many Christian brothers and sisters from across our city.

Last week we met again, and this time was still marked by serious repentance. The emphasis was now on the body of Christ making judgments against each other. There was another prophetic word shared from some intercessors about a vision one lady had that week. She saw a bride who had fallen down, and got herself all muddy and dirty. When she fell she had injured herself and had a big gash in her arm that was full of dirt and gravel. The interpretation for the vision was that we had been throwing stones and rocks at each other in the form of gossip. That basically, and this is putting it in rather blunt terms (sorry) that we had trashed our pastors and leaders, and each other with our tongues. At the end of this time of repentance we did a really cool thing. We were asked to go find people from other churches then pray for the individual and for their church in a blessing type prayer. Praying blessing, instead of cursing, the opposite spirit of our sin. One man I got to pray with was a recovering alcoholic, who told me he was here with a Catholic priest, and that through out the week was attending not one, not two, but seven different churches including his faith based recovery program. His prayers for me were the most heartfelt and powerful I received that evening.

Our last meeting is this Sunday. It is to be held in our convention center at 7:14pm. They are expecting 2000 people. I must mention, that at the last meeting it was shared that the pastors are so overwhelmed by what is going on. They all recognize this as the hand of God. They are meeting weekly and are seeking God as to how to proceed. They stated that this was just the beginning, and I couldn't agree more. I feel that we have only touched the tip of the iceberg in the area of repentance and coming together in unity. We need to really come clean as people, as the church of the Tri Cities, as Washingtonians, as Americans. God have mercy on us; break up the fallow ground of our hearts.

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