Friday, November 28, 2008

Giving Thanks Challenge

Latest P.T. Photo...See my daughter's webpage on side bar Twinkle Toes
she does some beautiful work!

Bloggin Friends

Just wanted to post my Thanksgiving Challenge before I removed it from the sidebar. I have been having some pesky computer problems...hope to be back to posting and commenting soon. I think it is a problem with Explorer. Hubby tried another fix tonight. It started with spam & pop-ups and has gone down hill from there. I can't seem to make one comment without Explorer shutting me down. So hang in there with me till we get it fixed. I still will be reading your posts when I can.

( I just got shut down in the middle of this post...not might be awhile till we actually wipe the hard drive and start over...errrrrh)

Thanksgiving was a wonderful time; spent with family and good know who you are! Love ya

I am thankful for...
that my son made it home for T.G. and that we are all together
the body of Christ
the Holy Spirit leading, guiding, and revealing the truth.
God teaching me about "Unforced Rythmns of Grace"
the gift of friends
health and wholeness returning back to my body
my precious family
Sunday brunch with my family
the Kingdom of God..righteousness, peace, and joy
God, and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build me up
a husband who takes care for me when I am sick
the many men and women who have fought for our country
the creativity gene being passed on to my children
Young people who run after God!
The freedom to gather and pray with other believers
A new grandbaby on the way!
For the freedom to vote
God's faithfulness
An exceptional fall

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

The painting project as of this evening is done! Six coats of paint later after my[so very good to me] husband sanded the whole thing down to the bare wood, a gel stain that was not very cooperative, and several clear coats later...dah dah! Wow, that was excruciating. My husband took on the task of sanding this old mahogany secretarial for me this summer. I know I wrecked a good piece of furniture, but the fact of the matter was, it was given to me by my mother- in law when I first got married, in 1977 and the first thing I did was paint it. Oh dear...what did I know. I don't think it was an expensive piece to begin with. 30 some odd years later...the original paint job was a mess. This time I went for a shabby chic look. After I finished it I deliberately sanded off some of the paint.(click top picture to see artistic sanding job!) Now that it already looks worn, what will a few more chips matter down the road right :o) My daughter loved it and said it looked very Pottery Barn. I guess all things old become new.

I haven't added the glass doors back on yet...mainly because they aren't finished...but maybe I will leave it as is???
Thanks Vee for the side line cheering. So interesting that we both picked the same finish for our projects. I just loved pulling all the little decorations together for the shelves from around the house. I just have one more job to do, and all will be complete. Find my favorite picture of Puddin Toes to put in my frame.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Unforced Rhythms of Grace...revisited :)

I have been asking a certain question of God these last few weeks. God, show me what it is you are doing? Now the reason I have been asking this question is out of a sincere heart of wanting to know. You see I spent many years as a Christian, heading down pathways and following certain journeys only to find out, to my great surprise half way through that I was in the race or on the journey all by myself. Thinking I was doing the will of God…but to my great shock finding out that I was doing the whole thing in my own time, my own strength, my own way… what messes I would find myself in.

Funny thing though, I wouldn’t even notice my solitary walk till I found myself burned out, or really frustrated about what I was doing.

One year I was at the Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center and I walked into our room with another family and kids swarming all around me I picked up this leaflet that was the theme of the conference that week and this is what I read…

Mat 11:27-30 Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. "The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.
"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."

I remember sudden tears springing to my eyes, my heart was caught in my throat, and all I wanted to do is run from the room and pour out my pain to God. I came to a quick deep realization at that precise moment that I had no idea what in the world on God’s precious green planet was an “unforced rhythm of grace” …and then I knew I was in for it big time. I needed a lesson on understanding this concept of walking with God. There was a great big hint right there in the passage…walking WITH God…oh yeah…dah!

Well I have had ample opportunity to share this lesson lately with a few young people. And you know how when you share a truth with someone, you find yourself being held accountable to it? So here I am focused, watching, waiting and looking to see what it is my Master is up to, so I can simply join with Him and do that! It is so simple, right? Well is should be ;>)

I think it is a good heads up as we head into the Holiday Season, where so much is going on to distract us and get us off course…His course. So I hope you will join me on my journey with the King this season…following in His footsteps, watching what it is He is doing, and just doing that… living in that “unforced rhythm of grace.”
You can click on unforced rhythm of grace to see my first post if you want on this scripture.
By the way Vee...painting project is almost complete and I will post it for you my dear encouraging has been horrendous, but I am pleased with how it is turning out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Giving Thanks Creates a Grateful Heart

I am really enjoying this seemingly little exercise of the "Giving Thanks Challenge." We all know that of course we have so much to be thankful for. And this exercise may seem a bit simplistic in its practice. But it is not! Cultivating a grateful heart by simply giving some attention to the blessings that float around us on a daily basis I think deposits into us something deeper than we are aware of. It changes our hearts and our mindsets that truly give us a spirit of freedom on so many levels. It gives us a chance to really see not just with our eyes, but with our spirit. I have been sharing alot with the Interns this fall about mind sets. How so many of our battles as Christians are fought on that front. Taking the time to just simply thank Him, affords a direct deposit into our spirit. It gives us a mindset that is truly more eternally based then the temporal stuff that wants to take us down if we let it on a daily basis. This exercise is helping me to keep my heart and mind accountable to Him. The most high God, the eternal everlasting God, the one who placed His imprint on my soul, my mind, my being! I am finding that my prayers to Him are bubbling up with much more thanksgiving and praise than before I started this simple little exercise. This week we started our prayer time with the Interns with a time of thanksgiving. What a release we all had during that prayer session I believe because we followed a pattern and a principal addressed in the Psalms to "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise."

The Psalms are full of praise and thanksgiving. I would like to challenge myself and those of you that are reading this post and perhaps those of you that are already doing the G.T.C. to add to this challenge a time each day to read aloud one thanksgiving type Psalms from now until Thanksgiving. Lets see if our mindsets and our outlook on earthly things could perhaps be taken up to a different level. I must say the other side benefit I am noticing is that I can't help but be encouraging to those around me. And how fun is that!

Psa 100:1-5 A thanksgiving psalm.

On your feet now--applaud GOD!
Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence.
Know this: GOD is God, and God, GOD. He made us; we didn't make him. We're his people, his well-tended sheep.
Enter with the password: "Thank you!" Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him.
For GOD is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Harvest in the Valley Part II

Glorious, glorious day. We were invited to help some very good friends of ours harvest their very first batch of grapes. This was the official beginning of "My Fathers Vineyard" A dream coming true for a couple who moved to Prosser 3 years ago to get involved in the local wine industry.

When we drove up to the vineyard on an early Sunday morning I knew we were in for a very special day.
The air was crisp and cold, but the glorious sun was shining brightly. I just adored being right smack dab in the middle of that huge vineyard. You all know how I love being "In a Garden" feeling close to my Creator and all , well being in a vineyard on that beautiful morning was just like being kissed by heaven itself.And the grapes, I could not get over all the luscious fruit hanging so abundantly on the vines. Picking it was such a pleasure and so easy. We just placed these large yellow lugs underneath the vine and started cutting away. In just a few hours we had pick about 2 tons of grapes. You couldn't help but think about the Master pruner and how His pruning technique is gear for fruitful abundance, both on the vine and in our lives. Here are some of the folks we picked with, the tall man in the middle is the wine maker John G. and my husband on the left. Following is a pictorial journal of our day.
Dan laying out some of the lugs. After we picked the grapes John drove a tracker through the vineyard to pick up all the lugs and load them on the truck.

John had tagged the rows he wanted to harvest earlier in the season at the vineyard. We pick three rows of Syrah grapes.
I partnered up with a teenage gal, and she I practically pick a whole row ourselves. We were both into it and had such fun being fast and efficient.
Here is one of her brothers bringing us some more lugs. Believe it or not this guy walking towards me is our family hairdresser! Here is my young friend and her mom.
Back at the winery starting the processes of de-stemming the grapes for juice.

This fancy shaker table, the first one of its kind in the U.S. so I was told, shook off the remaining stems as the just the grapes dropped through for extra clean fruit. Which keeps the wine from getting too acidic .

stem waste
and the just the pure fruit coming out...
Inside the winery the juice is being pumped into the large vats.
This was a fascinating wall of key type things that went to the valves and such???? John's brand new imported oak barrels. I should explain that my friend John works at this winery Monday -Saturday and on Sundays they allow him use of the facility to make and store his own wine.
The best part of the day was still to come as we let the men finish up at the winery and the woman folk headed back to fix a wonderful feast for all. We found ourselves enjoying a great meal, some wonderful personal reserve wine of the winemaker, fellowship and fun with new and old friends. I was having such a great time I forgot to take a picture of the meal back at the house. We had stuffed shells, salad , and I made some of my homemade bruschetta, and another gal bake a beautiful apple crisp, topped with ice cream.
I wondered to myself if this was how my Italian ancestors felt when they came together in the old world for the grape harvest. For me it was a most perfect and glorious day of shared work, good friends, good food and wonderful time of fellowship!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Harvest in the Yakima Valley

This will be at least a two part series. I have taken quite a few pictures of the grape harvest in the Yakima Valley this fall.

It has become a tradition in our marriage to take my husband on a weekend get way at the fiscal year end of the company he works for, which also coincides with his birthday! Basically from August on, we can't even think about a vacation because of a very heavy work load.

This year we took a short jaunt over to the next valley for a little weekend tour of wine country. We spent a night at The Cozy Rose Inn.
Breakfast served by the fireplace the next morning.I know I have shared the data here before, but we have a gillion wineries in this region. We have never really taken much time to explore this growing industry here in our own backyard. I believe the oldest vineyard is only 27 years old, but things are booming here in wine country. We are apparently on the same latitude as some very famous French appellations...anyways enough said about all that.

Here is some of the scenery we saw on our trip.

These grapes were in a display garden of a rather large winery called Goose Ridge heading out of town.
These next few shots are from a newly named but small appellation called Red Mountain.

I think what is so fascinating, is that we live in a high desert plattue, and only with the wonder of irrigation from our rivers are we able to grow anything but what you see here in the foreground.

Here is the view from Hedges Family Estate on Red Mountain.

As you can see here in this picture the vineyards sometimes go right on up our surrounding hills/mountains.

Here is an entrance to a fairly new winery called Chandler''s Reach. What a beautiful new facility and a lovely view.

We took a break from touring wineries at a little motorcycle shop in town...I told him to buy it!!!!

Part II....Harvest Day

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