Category Archives: Farm

January 20, 2021 provision

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Good morning, DearHeart.

This is Samson the Rottweiler. Luke got Samson late in the summer … full of puppy life, and he stole our hearts. Then, a series of unexpected events from a parasite, to swallowing a stupid chicken bone, then Parvo – the COVID of canines – took his health (and us, and Dr. Booth) through the ringer. It took nearly two months of … pretty much total care …. eleven days in the hospital, syringe feeding and watering at home… driving home from work at noon to poke more water and chicken bone broth down his throat, laying him in the yard hoping he’d get up and do his business. Sometimes he was just too weak.

The days he would give up, we didn’t.

The days we were sure “this is the day”, then he would rally.

During the early fall, I couldn’t believe I was sleeping in the recliner all night again with a baby … dog! I thought those days were over 20+ years ago.

Even my Mom, who is not a dog lover, but loves us fiercely, was among the daily calls … “what about Samson, is he still hanging on today?”

At 16 weeks, the average rotttweiler pup weighs 45-50 lbs. Sam weighed ten.

T. E. N.

At week 17, he had gained a half pound. Then, a full pound the next week.

Some days he slept all day.

Some days he had life, but he was getting stronger and stronger.

He had a few set backs.

In November, he started acting like a pup again and his Rottie personality started coming back.

Now, mid-January, he is spoiled, rambunctious, eating and making up for all the meals he missed.

Because we had staying power, stayed the course, fortitude, stick-to-it-iv-ness, and a God of miracles, we arrived at victory.

The Psalmist reminds us:

“You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by GOD. You’re blessed when you follow His directions, doing your best to find Him. That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road He set. You, GOD, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course You set.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭119:1-4 MSG‬‬

As believers, we are called to ‘staying-power’ when the world goes bizerk. Especially, now.

So many miracles unfold from chaos. Even now.

That’s why, in adversity, I can still stand amazed in the presence.

His presence.

I’ve experienced His goodness.

Here we are God’s groundwork has been laid in you and me.

No matter what comes, supernatural provision has been arranged.

Life nudges on through alarm clocks and coffee, through ailments and scars, and little victories dotting the way.

When we check our reserves for compassion, preparation matters. Because, when we are happy we are singing, but when the day comes, and we take hit after hit and we need one more ounce of fortitude, then, we need to know that the stores we have laid in can deliver that one. more. ounce.

Here’s the deal, we don’t need to forgive, until we are in a place where we need to forgive.

We don’t need racks of courage until we need courage is in demand.

And, we don’t need extra masses of compassion or strength or faith until everything we’ve got has been all used up.

This is why you and I stay in constant contact with the God of the Universe. We seek Him, and we find Him. We find Him ever more so when uncertainty, tragedy, the unthinkable comes.

We call on Christ,

we call on His people,

His beings,

the seen and the unseen,

and in preparation,

we. meet. the. day.

We are ready.

Wake up.

Meet the day.

Keep your reserves in check.

God is still in control.

Go.

January 21, 2021 self-prayer

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Our Liv is an intense little soul. She goes full throttle, she thinks full throttle, and we pray full throttle for her … mostly that her big personality will stay on course to always bring her Maker big glory. It is important to me that she learns to pray that for herself, too. To be used by God for His purpose.

Do you pray for yourself? I mean seriously–

pray …

for …

yourself.

I’m horrible at this in my prayer life.

Think about all the people you pray for and the intensity with which you pray for them. Do you pray for yourself in the same way?

In my quiet time a couple of weeks ago, I read through Psalm 90 in the New Living Translation. It’s a familiar psalm, but when I got to the last verse, I stopped in my tracks. I grew up reading and studying the New American Standard Bible and the New International Version. I love both of them. But I’m growing to to love the NLT. Its freshness is easy to read. Sometimes, however, the translation is completely different than what I expect.

Here are the two translations of verse 17 that I am most used to:

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands. Ps 90:17 NIV.

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands. Ps 90:17 NASB.

Establish the work of our hands.

Confirm the work of our hands.

I pray these words over my man and his work almost every day. He works all the time. Never stops. So, I decided long ago that if he is going to devote so much time and energy to it, then I want his work to have meaning and I want it to last.

But, then … the New Living Translation sheds new light.

And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful! Ps 90:17 NLT

This struck a new chord … OUR EFFORTS. I stopped and journaled all that was on my heart. This writing is part of it. I rarely pray for myself. And, I certainly don’t pray that God would make my efforts successful! How selfish. Why, that would be promoting myself!

Or, would it?

I have this blog. My goal for this blog is to encourage others in their walk with Christ. My desire is for anything I write to bring glory to God!

Of course I want it to be successful!

Of course I should pray that God will grant favor on my efforts so that He is glorified (Proverbs 16:3) Not to advance “my kingdom,” but to advance His Kingdom–so many would know Christ and see Him in the story of their life each day, too.

Do you pray for yourself that God would bring success to your efforts so that He is glorified in your life?

About a week ago all I needed–was good sleep. Good sleep does not come easily anymore. Hot flashes and night sweats are my evening companions. Ugh. TMI 🤷🏼‍♀️

As I closed my eyes, I asked God for the gift of sleep for that night. You know what? I slept all night. The first time in weeks, or months! When I woke up, I realized–I rarely pray for myself! Do you?

Do you pray for yourself to sleep well at night? The psalmists prayed for sleep (I was curious and looked it up) (Ps 3:5 & 4:8)

I told Dale I slept so good – he knows – and experiences my nightly gymnastics meet 😂. You know what I realized? I rarely pray for myself and the healing of my physical body.

When you are sick or injured (especially in minor situations), do you pray for yourself to be healed or to recover quickly?  We should follow the example of the woman who squeezed through the crowd, simply to touch Jesus’ robe. She was healed immediately – one of my favorite miracles – Mark 5:25-29.

So many people need prayer. My husband, my children, my parents, our families – nieces, nephews … so many friends – many of you who are walking through deep trenches of suffering.

The list goes on … with so many other people who desperately need prayer, who am I to focus on myself? That is the voice of the adversary – shut him out by praying for yourself. If I don’t pray for myself, and you don’t pray for yourself, then, we are not going to be the best deal for others who need us.

Wake up.

Self care = self prayer.

Do it now.

Go.

January 15, 2021 Rock

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Good morning, DearHeart.
When Bryan was doing an internship in Alaska to complete his Bachelor’s from Southwestern, we went there to visit him. I picked up these smooth rocks from the edge of the Homer Spit on Katchemak Bay. I’ve stacked them at least a thousand times – always a reminder of God’s faithfulness to me. (The buckeye on top is a different story for another day 😉).
That year was the darkest of my life. Lessons are learned and absorbed when the only thing you can do to get from one day to the next … one hour to the next … is place every breath on God. To stack rocks you have to get still.
I had to train my brain to get so very still during that time because it was prone to lose focus and scatter in a zillion, even darker, directions. The rocks are in my kitchen windowsill; a constant and very personal reminder of His faithfulness to me. It seems when when tough times come, I look up and they have tumbled again and have to be reset.
A God-is-faithful reset.
His “no-matter-what’ Ang, you can trust me through the process” – that level of faithfulness.
I woke in the night with this tune in my head … I wonder if I was dreaming of rock climbing – or maybe I fell off a rock … and Jesus caught me … again … like he does over and over … and put me back in my place –
“ … on Christ the Solid Rock I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand”.
In Psalms the writer used this imagery in referring to God. Repeatedly.
The psalmist knew it to be true … God was always the protection and foundation he sought after.
“Since you are my Rock and my Fortress, for the sake of Your name lead and guide me.” Psalm 31:3, NIV
God is our Rock. The title “rock” fully describes Him as
my Savior,
Redeemer,
Refuge.
This verse reminds me of all that is strong, secure, and safe about God. I’m asking myself, in these rocky days … am I living each day maintaining, declaring, believing that God is my Rock? If I stand firm on His character and His Word, then my faith will be unshakable.
God is our Fortress. David was trusting God to be his ultimate defense, not depending on any other source. This leads me to a second question – Am I letting Him be the source that I turn to?
“Adversity does not make us frail; it only shows us how frail we are.”
(Anonymous)
It’s true.
In discovering our “frailness”, we also discover our only true source
of strength,
of reinforcement,
and support is our God.
We come to discover we are stronger than we thought becauseHis strength will be our strength.
God is our Rock and our Fortress.
Thank you, Jesus.
Wake up.
Stack the rocks.
My God is faithful.
Go.

January 14, 2020 socks

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Good morning, DearHeart.

You all truly bless my socks off. When I read your comments, it is humbling – so tender and touching to me. I feel so undeserving of any credit. I don’t know why I have to write, it’s an urge or a call that is overwhelming. Even when it sounds like a ramble to me, or I read back and think “I really need an editor before I hit send!” … I am forever grateful and thank you … every single one of you, from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to share glimpses of my life and thoughts and our Savior with you.

During my days I get to wear many hats. As a matter of fact, each time I step out a door, walk a hallway, turn the key, pick up my phone, I’m answering a new opportunity. Yesterday, I sent a lady some resources to open a business, worked on a computer glitch, solved the worlds problems with Dale, fed animals, made an omelet, planted some seeds … actually, I played in the dirt (mudpies are one of my favorite things – like butterflies and flowers 😉 🌸 🦋).

You are, too.

The daily news is heavy. It can leave me

disappointed,

disheartened,

and afraid most days.

Every day we can hear of violence and tragedy. Unrest. Hatred. Attacks.

These reports keep me running back to the Word that keeps me focused and intentional as I read:

“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever unseen.” 1 Corinthians 15:58, NLT

Some versions say, “Let nothing move you.”

Stay steady. We outsmart the enemy when we choose to stay steady, firmly fixed in our position with God. We keep on doing what we have always done.

These reports keep me in God’s Word … focused on what is

true,

and right,

and good.

I stay focused (and continuously REFOCUS!) on the One who is steady.

“All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17 NLT

Wake up.

Steady on.

Go.

January 11, 2021 radiance

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Good morning, DearHeart,

She comes in brazen glory. Full and satisfied all in the same breath. So fully present that the stars stay out to face her. Have you noticed?

A closer look into her is revealing … it is the Holy Spirit pressing in while pressing out. Joy lifts her. Joy cures her broken parts. Remarkable.

“This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10 NLT

The God Most High radiates through His beloved.

He lights.

He burns.

He soothes.

He is the constant melody. Gentle. Pure. Pulsing. Fizzing. Rooting. Flying. Polishing. Delight.

Delight is the fiber of your unusual nature, God’s Child. Your Creator placed that there for Divine purpose. Joy is the grit of your Soul. Ah. Sweet joy. Share it.

Wake up.

Give joy away.

Go.

December 28, 2020 declare

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Good Morning, DearHeart.

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

The skies display his craftsmanship.

Day after day they continue to speak;

night after night they make him know.

They speak without a sound or word;

their voice is never heard.

Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,

and their words to all the world.”

(Psalm 19: 1-4, NLT)

The world around us – all of creation – is a self disclosure of God Almighty. All of nature is making God known, narrating His story to all of mankind.

The word “proclaim” means to “reveal something which one would not otherwise know” (Key Word Bible). Creation around us testifies of the existence and the excellence of the Creator Himself, who made it all.

The heavens proclaim, the skies display, all making Him known as they continue to speak. The sun bursts, the moon radiates, the earth rejoices. From one end of the earth to the other, God is revealed.

There will never be a day that this revelation of God is not seen as creation will pour out its speech day after day, night after night. Every aspect of creation seeks to make known God’s power,

goodness,

faithfulness,

generosity,

and power.

All that already being spoken and God still gave us His Word, His written Word. Through His chosen writers who were moved by the Holy Spirit, He gave us all we needed to know and penned His thoughts for us to hold and read in the our Bible.

It is between those very covers we will find all we need for this life …

instruction to revive us,

decrees to make us wise,

commandments to bring joy to our hearts,

insight for living,

laws that bring us warning and reward when obeyed,

enlightenment when in darkness.

In looking out at the vastness of the sky surrounded by the beauty of the plains, I see God.

I feel His Presence with me.

The assurance comes that He will always be sovereign and all is in His control. No matter how crazy life may become around me, He remains the same.

We live in a time when disease is wrecking families. Folks are clamoring to make more of themselves – desire for success, building platforms, and looking for recognition.

Instead of being self-focused may we become God-focused. May we seek to get a glimpse of Him – of His greatness – in the world around us … created by His very word.

“We are all starved for the glory of God, not self. No one goes to the Grand Canyon to increase self-esteem … There is greater healing for the soul in beholding the splendor than there is in beholding self.” (John Piper)

Notice today, the splendor of God all around you.

Wake up.

Look around.

Go.

December 24, 2020 eve

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Merry Christmas Eve, DearHeart.
Our tree is a treasure of memories. Every once in a while, especially during the holidays, our minds take a trip down memory lane, reviewing the highlights of years passed, thinking on where it all began. Memories of dreams we had starting out, the twists and turns as life took us on a journey through each bend in the road … journeys with unexpected plots.
Journeys … unexpected plots … here I am … back in Matthew … again … reading about Mary … again.
You know this journey well:
young woman,
engaged to Joseph,
angel paid her a visit.
Unexpected.
There is no indication that Mary thought this ordeal for which she had been “chosen” was a mess. No hint that she felt like she was suckered in or cursed…or even scared or upset. Or, a fine mess she’d gotten herself into. None of that.
I think of my own messes.
I have been a mess,
lived in a mess,
and more times than not, created a mess.
Mess – as in
-a dirty, untidy, or disordered condition
-a state of embarrassing confusion
-an unpleasant or difficult situation
-a jumble
Any way we look at it, a mess leaves us feeling ineffective, at times purposeless, and useless. At times, we can wonder what is it that is wrong with us, or question what is missing in our lives.
But, it is right in the middle of our messes where God does His best work. He can step in to you and me, the ones he refers to as His “masterpiece” and turn those very messes into miracles which will astound for the rest of our days.
Mary, a masterpiece – in a miracle – that was disguised as a mess.
Miracle, as defined by that same dictionary:

  • a wonder; a marvel
  • an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God
    Each and every one of us, known and loved by God, are miracles.
    Our messes, too, are miracles.
    The same work that went into the mother of the Savior of the World is the same work going on in the middle of your mess.
    Every broken piece is a part of the artwork He is creating.
    Every fragmented area, He is looking to make whole.
    Every part of this pandemic – He is pulling out of us a closer walk with Him.
    You know – Mary didn’t see her obedience as a mess. It was just sold-out faith. Jesus surely got her DNA when it came to how He looks at a us … “there’s no mess here, just a miracle at work … right here, in My masterpiece”.
    He’s not so much concerned with who we’ve been, but who we will become by wholeheartedly putting our faith in Him. Like His Mom, Mary, did.
    Our mess is never, ever, ever wasted. It is a tool of purpose in the hand of a very strategic God if we’ll humble ourselves to become fully healed vessels.
    The story is not just a story of a tired and stale religion.
    It is a story of your heart, and my heart, on the cusp of being set ablaze once again.
    God sees the entire picture of our lives, from birth to death. And, He knows what His power can achieve in a life wholly surrendered to Him. He never gives up on any of us but finishes each masterpiece He begins.
    “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6, NLT)
    “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT).
    Wake up.
    Sell out.
    Full faith.
    Go.