Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Birds, Butterflies and a Baby...

Here is the bird feeder. Here, seeds and crumbs.
Sprinkle them on and see what comes.
One cardinal, one chickadee, one junco, one jay.
Four of my bird friends are eating today.



A wee bit of heaven

A wee bit of heaven
drifted down from above-
A handful of happiness,
a heart full of love.

The mystery of life,
so sacred and sweet-
The giver of joy
so deep and complete.

Precious and priceless,
so lovable, too-
The world's sweetest miracle,
baby, is you.

-- Author:Helen Steiner Rice

Little bird, little bird, fly around,
Up to the sky, down to the ground.
Little bird, little bird, flap your wings.
Open your beak and sweetly sing.
Little bird, little bird, fly to your nest.
Now it is time to take a rest.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Rock A Bye Baby...

From this baby announcement picture last August above to this lovely little girl miracle picture below.
Being a grandparent so far is precious beyond words.


Wow. This is some emotional stuff going on here. Being a grandparent.
When your own child has a child it is it is a different emotional heart filled experience.
Near to bursting your heart.

I have always prayed for our children, of course, but now the need and urgency to ramp up the prayers is strong. Seeing your own child learn about how much deeper and bigger his heart for someone could become is a sobering and incredible thing. I realize I am not making much sense but truly, making sense of these feelings and putting into words is hard.

This new little beautiful life is theirs to love and take care of and imprint the love of the good, good Father on her own little heart. What exciting and lovely times ahead no matter the heartache or problems or whatever. Lord willing she will be around long after I am gone fighting the good fight as a mighty warrior for the Lord. I pray she will love the people around her with kindness and compassion as she spreads the saving news of Jesus. I pray that all she does and says and lives will be great glory for God and for the Kingdom.

Welcome into the world little one.
You are already so loved.



Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Colors of Spring...

We took a fast trip to our ranch a few days ago. Sometimes the need is so great to just get out of town and the hustle and bustle and walk into the quiet and peace of the countryside.  We need to remember that in the busyness of life that our souls and minds need to unplug and be still and quiet.
Often.
I think it is a practice and we need to figure out ways to be still and quiet even in the midst of our busy lives without having to go somewhere to feel that.
Ah, but the times we can...what a blessing.
I have joked that I want to call our ranch the "Red Bird Ranch" because there are so many Cardinals everywhere out there. All of the men in our family stomp their feet and pound their chests in protest saying that it is too feminine of a name. Not tough enough. Oh well, whatever. It is still Red Bird Ranch to me and someday, Lord willing there will be a Red Bird Ranch Bed and Breakfast on the back side of the property with yours truly running it. Dreaming...
When our kids were little the mama's, poppa's and young ones always referred to this outcropping of rock as "Pride Rock".  Can't you just see Simba up there being held high by Mufasa?
Yes, we were really into The Lion King back then.
 So lovely...





Spring is coming on strong and I am thankful. On my way back to the cabin I walked by these fierce mean looking thorn bushes.  I could not help but think about how these might be the like the thorns that were woven together and harshly stuck on the head of our Lord, Jesus. "Thank you God for sending your Son and for Him enduring such horrible treatment and pain for the saving of our lives!"
Blessings on your day!!
Enjoy these lovely spring days.
Never forget what has been lovingly done for us through Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Help to be in the Word and Journaling...


Good morning! I wanted to share two ideas that are really helping me to be in the Word and focus more everyday on being obedient to God and getting to know Him better. Neither are new ideas but they are so so helpful to me right now. My Mom and Dad gave us all a one year bible for Christmas. It's been the most wonderful gift and a good accountability tool. It's nice knowing that most all of our big family are reading the same words of inspiration every day together. (Or cheering each other on through Leviticus.) ha! Sometimes we get to talk to each other about what was inspiring or challenging. I love it!! 

The lovely journal bible (above) has also been such a blessing. It was a sweet surprise gift from some precious people. I am NOT a great artist at all but have enjoyed drawing and coloring and slowly writing out verses. It is so helpful to me to rewrite the scriptures that I read. I'm not too good at memorizing verses so writing things over and over especially with little art work reminders is so helpful in remembering the verses. We can never get enough of being in God's word and I am always amazed at what new things He impresses on my heart even in verses I have read before.



Staying in  the Word is a "have to" for me because I am a pretty wretched person with out it. I love that He plants His words on my heart when I ask Him to. Taking it a step further- I must apply and believe that through His power in me (His Spirit) He can help me to live it all out loud. We had a challenge in our bible class last Sunday to ask everyday to be moved by the Spirit of God living in us to action. To open our eyes and our hearts to needs and people around us. To move and act when the Spirit directs us to move and act. How exciting my/our days will be when we are committed to living like that. We must challenge ourselves to live in expectation of what He is going to do through me/us each day.
What a grand adventure and life changing blessing for those around us. Always in love. Let it be so Father.
Just for grins...
My mouse pad by my old archaic computer.
Yes, I think we all feel like this sometimes!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

It's Gotta Be in Us- Then We Can Give It To Them...

There have been so many things written on why our kids are not interested in being involved in a church and when they go to college they don't attend anymore.
I don't have any great answers but here are a few thoughts...

*Teaching kids to love Jesus starts when they take their first breath not when they are going into Junior High or High school.  As our kids grow and hit these years we begin to realize how important it is/was to take them to church and to have relationships there.  Our kids see what is important to us from the beginning.  There is so much to forming healthy habits. Having our families in fellowship at our churches and giving them the opportunity to form good relationships there is so important. It helps to mold what the rest of their lives will probably look like. 

It is NEVER too late to focus on Jesus and be in fellowship with other believers. Ever.
It is just a great idea to do it from the beginning.

The key: doing it with joy and excitement and the only way we can project that is too walk closely with Jesus and to be in the Word. If we are infected and affected by Him- they will see our genuine joy and want what we have. We want them to form their own exciting belief for Him. Their own faith.

News flash- our time to tell them and show them how to love Jesus while they are at home speeds by way too fast.
From this age-
To up and out of the house and grown up. 
A blink of the eye.

I believe the most important aspect of this is that we are saying that we are not going to be selfish and that God is greater and more important than anything that any of us wants to do otherwise.  Our lives and the lives of our children are not about how to fashion OUR wonderful story.

Our lives are about HIS story and how we fit into it and how we can make a Kingdom difference for Him.

*Another thought we have been talking about lately is how boys view Jesus differently than girls do. There is no difference of course in His love for us but the rub is in how men emotionally respond to Him. Wes has mentioned before that it is a challenge for men to show that they can be emotional about Jesus. Maybe it is just not cool or some feel it shows weakness or whatever.  It seems it is easier probably for girls/women to feel more of bond or emotional tie with Jesus. He is a sort of brother or father figure and naturally women lean on men and feel protected by them.  Maybe that is why so many men don't seem to be the spiritual leaders that their families need them to be because of how strange it might look or feel to love Him the way He calls us to. Certainly the world sees it as strange and that is a lot of pressure.

I pray with all my heart that men will be moved to see that they can lead with  joyful and open emotion about Jesus.

Please men, speak about Him, cry about Him, love like Him and be emotional about Him.

Be the spiritual leader for your wife and for your children. Don't make your wife take this role.
Show your family how to love Jesus. Bless them to see that it is more than ok to show that you have emotions about Jesus.

We encourage our boys to let their hearts be emotional about God and about what Jesus did and does for us. I have to challenge myself almost daily to measure my excitement about the things that I do get most emotional over and think about what is most important.

How?

*BE IN THE WORD EVERY DAY.
It is alive.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

*Intentionally surround ourselves with other people that are seeking His face.

Psalm 105:3-5
Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad. Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually. Remember His wonders which He has done, His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth…


I pray especially for our men that as you dwell in His word, that you ask Him for this change in your heart to be able to share emotion about Jesus with your families. This might just rock our church worship and world and I guarantee the story of our children and their lives will be filled with Kingdom movement and thoughts. Their path has a much greater chance of  being directed to Him if our men find their fire and emotion for Jesus and intentionally speak life into their kids. How blessed your wife will be also.

Let's let go of our story and make it all about "His story".

Have a joyful and intentional day!


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Scenes From The Old Home Place...














One Bloom...


I've drawn courage from my little Christmas cactus today. I've had it for about 5 years. It bloomed the first three and last year not at all. This year it has been dying. I love this plant. The blooms are just glorious when they decide to live. There have been days in the past year I have felt like I was dying too. Physically, emotionally, and at times spiritually. I know you've probably felt that sometime too.

We took a leap of faith a year ago stepping out into our own business. I thought it was just about our livelihood but it was really all about deciding to truly trust God for all of it. I cried and protested and trembled in fear at times but He taught me to breathe and that its just one day at a time and I can fully give it all to Him. The peace I've been given through letting go has been the most powerful thing to happen in years for me. I praise Him for it!

A few days ago one little section of my Christmas cactus decided to come to life. There's one bloom. One. But, one is enough to bring joy and hope. I am so thankful for that one bloom and for the hope its glorious beauty it has given me.

There is always hope.

There is always peace to be had through Jesus.

Sometimes we have to wrestle with him through the hard, and that's OK.
Just don't stop wrestling. Just don't stop communicating with Him.

Maybe just maybe He's waiting for us to let go.