Inspiration, Christianity and My Life, Children

The Garden


the gardenGenesis 2 gives a view of a simple life with purpose. This is the beginning of time before the world got complicated and complex.

Genesis 2:5-6, 15 (NASB)

Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground………15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

Cultivate means to work or serve. Adam was to work or serve the earth. The earth was not to serve Adam. The earth sustains life and we should care for it so that life can continue. Adam as the first man was given a charge to cultivate and keep the land. This is a big responsibility and God never took back that responsibility from the human descendants of Adam and Eve.

To live a simpler life we must first each take back our responsibility of caring for the land with what we do. You may live in the middle of a city and don’t think that what you do affects the land, but you are wrong. Everything that each of us who live on this planet does has an effect on the earth that we live on and are to care for.

My husband and I are beginning to transform our back yard as the first step on our journey to a sustainable lifestyle. Part of our motivation is getting back to our roots and part of the motivation is to try to care for a piece of this planet that God has given us. We desire to find a way that the hustle and bustle of metropolitan living no longer takes all of our time and robs us of God’s purpose for this life.

Image with me being able to walk into your back yard and see the beauty that God put on this planet, as is documented in the book of Genesis. God caused all those plants to sprout. Each time I see a “volunteer” plant show up in my yard I praise God for allowing it to grow and allowing me to partake of its fruit. Our backyard has squash plants growing in our compost pile and in random places throughout the yard. Some Bob has transplanted into hills and some are still growing where they started.

Bob has planted tomato plants, pole beans, okra, lima beans and peppers. I am so thankful that God is helping us to figure out how to transform the dirt in our back yard into soil that produces fruit. Believe me when I tell you this will be a long road to turn dirt-which is just ground depleted of nutrients into soil–which sustains life because it has the micro-organisms and nutrients needed to sustain life.

Bob planted a peach tree in the back yard last year and this year it has peaches. We won’t eat many this year but next year we should be able to eat lots of the fruit of the tree. Won’t you join us in thanking God for all the wonderful plants that you see blooming and producing life sustaining fruit?

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

 

 

When Is Easter Over?


bunny and cross

When all the eggs are gone and the bunny is nowhere to be found is Easter over? Is that what it is all about? Unfortunately some people believe that Easter is only about fun, candy and food. That saddens my heart.

I believe that all of the events that lead up to Resurrection Sunday, commonly known as Easter define a Christian’s life. The hope that is in the death and resurrection of Jesus is what motivates my faith. To me knowing that the Creator of the Universe made a way for all of us to be saved from our sins is a tremendous gift. The fact that we are able to communicate with Him because He sent His Son to show us life more abundantly and to suffer and die on the cross for our sins, amazes me. I feel awe and wonder when I think that Jesus did not let the grave hold Him and he brought the hope of eternal life when He rose from the dead.

And yet I am sad because there are children and adults in the world that have been lulled to sleep with presents from Santa Claus at Christmas and stuff from the Easter bunny at Easter and have never really learned the truth about these celebrations. I am not against having games and fun to celebrate as long as those games are not the only thing you do to celebrate. I believe that Christian parents, whether they frequent church or not are responsible to help their children understand the true meaning of these days of celebration.

It has become apparent in our society we have forgotten why we celebrate, we just look forward to time off work or school because of a holiday. I would bet that a lot of children and possibly adults could not tell you what the 4th of July is all about. That is a celebration that every citizen of this country should understand. So if we don’t understand celebrations around recent history, how will we ever understand celebrations about what would be considered ancient history.

 John 3:16 (NKJV)

 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

The bible may be very old but it is still the living Word of God. It still speaks life. Join me this week in spending time in God’s Word and then sharing the hope we find in the Word of God with those around us. Lets do our best to awaken the world around us  to the real truth around our faith holidays.

 

Simple Life


DSC_4198Have you ever dreamed of a simpler life, one that did not require long drives through tremendous traffic in order to make a living? Bob and I have been dreaming this dream for a long time now and are beginning to take steps to make it happen. We pruchased a small tractor as a beginning step toward that goal.

We hope to use it as an income stream for retirement and are working on getting a small business started by tilling gardens and other stuff that this machine can do. The beauty of this machine is that it is versitle with the bucket, tiller and box blade and it is small enough that it can get through a 48 inch opening. This makes it ideal to help homeowners with small gardens and other little jobs in yards.

Bob has always loved working with tractors and other equipment and when you do what you love, if you can make income with it, you are usually happier. I think it is fun to drive too.

I believe that God guides us into ventures that will sustain us and keep us happy. The day we first saw this tractor we were looking for a machine to rent to fix a mess that we had in the back yard. I took one look at it and felt something drawing me to it. The more Bob and I talked about it the more we felt we wanted to purchase it.

Once we have an established business we plan on moving to a more country atmosphere where we can grow our own food and live off the land. It is all about simplifying our lives and enjoying this earth that God has given us to steward.

Genesis 2:15 (NKJV)

Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

I pray that each and everyone of you have dreams and that you are working to make those dreams come true. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Spring has Sprung


The leaves are coming out on the trees, flowers are blooming, the garden is taking shape and the brief winter cold is over. I love seeing the earth come to life.

After spending much of my week trying to break a fever and overcome a sinuse infection I need the freshness of spring to lift my spirits and make me feel better.

Genesis 1:11 (NKJV)

“Then God said, ‘Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them’; and it was so.”

God the creator of all things is the only one who can make spring happen.

Thank you Lord for spring and new life! Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more!

H.O.P.E.


I know the seasons are changing because everything in my body is hurting. It is amazing how each little piece of the body plays such a big role in the overall well being of the individual. I am reminded daily that my ankle, foot, and hip are very important to the ability to get around.  Let’s just say that I will not win any races for being the fastest mover.

The challenge is really trying to figure out if this pace is the best there is or if God will heal me of these inconvenient pains. I have been working on getting relief with the help of doctors but this is not showing results so far. I can be patient if I am given hope.

Just like in the Bible God gives us hope that we can be saved and he gave hope to the Israelite nation that they would get the Promised Land.

hope

 

HOPE is Having Our Prospective Enlarged. You might notice that in times when you do not have hope you are looking at things only from the perspective that you can see and not looking at a bigger picture. Faith in God and His promises helps us look at a bigger picture. Prayer to God can open our minds to the bigger picture. If we live just to make it through today we might not have enough hope for our future to endure the pain and struggle.

I wrote about “living in the moment”. I believe that we need to live in the moment we are in and truly embrace it with the perspective that there is a future and a hope in front of that moment. We need to enjoy this life because it is short and keep pressing into God for His perspective so that we can endure the hard times.

If I think that suffering is all that will happen in my life and live only by the pain I feel then I will sink into depression and not want to move forward. That is the trap that has been set, but from God’s perspective this suffering is only for a season, no matter how long, and if I persevere through it embracing the good things that come I will win the race and finish the course. In perseverance I will influence others who struggle and set the captives free through the grace of God. This is a spiritual battle and must be won in the spirit.

balloon basketFor me the bigger perspective is handing down a legacy of love to the next generations. I look at my grandchildren and see that they need their elders to help guide them through this mixed up darkness that we live in. So my hope is that I can pass on courage and strength for them to follow God with all their hearts and meet me in eternity at the end of this life.

I know that many people are suffering with pain and illness. I pray today that each one who reads this will persevere through and see that God is in control right there with you. Ask God to show you more of His plan for you each day to give you encouragement to move forward. Find your HOPE and live in it.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Live in the Moment


img_2811As I drove up the ramp toward the interstate I focused on moving over to the far left lane. By the time I was successfully in the far left lane another two lanes entered to my left and I made my move one more lane over to end up in the right place for the upcoming exit of the three right lanes. This lane would end up being the far left lane of loop 12 which is the highway I wanted to be on.

Imagine now that you are me driving in what is a middle lane as I was. This lane can go to I-35 to the left or Loop 12 to the right, before the lane splits. As you approach this unique position on the road, a dark colored van on your right suddenly decides that it is a good idea to come into your lane while half of the van is still right next to you. You put on your brakes just enough to let this driver make the turn in front of you to go down I-35. This maneuver might be upsetting enough but it didn’t end the excitement. Because when you put on your brakes there is a small gap in front of you. Immediately you see across the double white triangle area to your left, a white Lexus SUV moving into a not so large gap in front of you to go down Loop 12. What these cars did to me I call the “X” maneuver and my car was just below the crossing point. Thank God there was no collision.

Anyone in this circumstance would be really living in the moment totally aware of what is going on and almost seeing things in slow motion. It is easy to live in the moment when you are in a crisis situation. As I prayed the day after this happened I heard “live in the moment” and I began to contemplate what that would mean for me and how that would change what I was doing. I immediately looked down at my phone and realized that I have become accustomed to living some days with eyes on my phone instead of eyes on the wonders around me. I also realized that sometimes I get too focused on what needs to be done and miss everything else.

So, I opened my eyes and mind and I went on Saturday errands and tried to notice the people around me and respond to them. I had a good conversation with Vanessa, the check out lady at Wal-Mart. I noticed the cars and people around me in the store and at the gas station. I noticed the beautiful colors of the grass and flowers blooming. My daughter and her family came over and I spent the whole time focused on them not concerned about chores that needed to be done. I thank God for challenging me to live in the moment and to make the most of each moment because we never know how many of them we will have in this life.

James 4:14 (NIV)

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Would you join me in putting down your distractions and living life with those around you? Take some time to thank God for all you have. I will be back next week with more.

 

Breathing Thanks


psalm-150-6Breathing through my nose is difficult lately because my nasal passages are swollen. Like a lot of people I do not enjoy breathing through my mouth. It dries my mouth out and just feels awful. I think we could all agree that it is necessary to breathe in order to continue living.

I am glad that God gave us an alternate way to breathe when we are experiencing difficulty with the natural way of breathing.  Have you ever noticed that breathing is something that is taken for granted? I don’t actually think about how important it is to my existence until it becomes difficult to do. Without breathing the cells in our bodies would not get the oxygen that they require to live and if they are deprived for too long they will die and when they die we die….

I sometimes wonder why we don’t appreciate things like breathing until we experience problems. For some people they treat God like I treat breathing. I know it is important but I do not focus on it unless there is a problem. In life it is easy to get caught up in the good stuff and forget “Who” gave it to us. It sometimes becomes easy to forget to say “Thank you” to God for all that He has done to make the good times. Oh boy, but when the bad stuff happens we are all over it in trying to find out what went wrong.

Is it because we think we don’t need God in the good times? Or is it because as long as things are smooth we forget? I actually think there are probably many answers to that question. Whatever the reason I think it is time to remember God in the good times and in the bad times.

So today I say “Thank God” for all that He has done for me.

  • For answered prayers (there have been many)
  • For family (husband, kids, grandkids, brothers, sisters etc..)
  • For healing
  • For taking me through the bad times and not leaving me in them
  • For holding my hand through all the scary times
  • For helping me through the grieving process
  • For letting me see life from a different perspective
  • For memories of loved ones who have gone before us
  • For the future and what it holds
  • For many wonderful past experiences

Would you join me in thanking God? Try to think of all He has done for you. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

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