are in His sanctuary. Ps. 96:6b NKJ
For Your wonderous works Ps 75:1a
In the midst of mowing for the first time this spring, a critter jumped at my foot. Shutting off the mower I picked him up and he “squizzled” all over my fingers as he was moved to safer ground. Then stoically he sat while I returned to the cabin for the camera.
when you fall into various trials. James 1:2 NKJV
Buff is such a social animal and attuned to people. Some time during the night he walked out of his space. Rather than wander around the hill seeking Holly, the heifer, or Sonny, the Brahma, he reclined in the grass 15 yards from the cabin porch.
Startled I stumbled upon Buff on the ground, peacefully watching and waiting for the morning feeding while leading Sam, my canine pal, with the flashlight out for his morning constitutional.
Once daylight arrived I discovered Sonny also had escaped his confines. In a small enclosure between the horses and Holly, he was savoring the foliage absent from his space among the trees.
Posted in 1writersdevotion, Charolais-Angus bull, Photos, Scripture, The Brahma and me, The Brahma Sonny, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Buff the Charolais-Angus bull, James 1:2, Photos, The Brahma and me, Writing | Leave a Comment »
You will make me full of joy in Your presence. Acts 2:28 NKJV
that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matt. 5:16 KJV
(Postscript to a Transforming Life)
A week after my baptism I participated in The Walk to Emmaus, a four-day intensive discipleship event open to all denominations in which the presentation draws from John Wesley’s teachings. The weekend began Thursday evening and ended Sunday night.
With 10 cats, two dogs, two horses and three pet cattle all needing to be fed and watered daily, I could never have attended without the assistance and dedication of my sponsors, Rev. Jim and his wife Debbie.
Nearing the end of the program, during a particularly poignant event, I had a mountaintop experience of feeling elevated and thinking this must be what it feels like to receive unconditional love in heaven.
It has been more than a year since committing my life to Christ and my Walk. During this year I have had the opportunity to learn about humility and servanthood.
Needing to supplement my income, I am working part-time. The work is not glamorous. It is fast paced and demanding. Yet what I do is part of the process that helps the business run smoothly.
Being of service and doing so with humility are just two of the attributes Jesus taught by example.
For even the son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many. Mark 10:45 NKJV
Each day I ask to be more like Him. And just when I think people are in my life for one reason, often God shows me they are actually a mirror for me to see myself and an opportunity for me to change.
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Phil. 2:3 NKJV
Posted in 1glorybetogod, 1writersdevotion, Baptism, Discipleship, Humility, Photo, Rev. Jim, Servanthood, The Brahma and me, Walk to Emmaus, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Christ-like, Discipleship, http://1glorybetogod.wordpress.com/, Humility, Photo, Servanthood, The Brahma and me, Walk to Emmaus, Writing | Leave a Comment »
(Transforming Life, Part 6 of 6)
My cabin-on-wheels was delivered in February 2011 with snow on the ground. An order had been signed stipulating I would be gone from the foreclosed farm by March 18. Snow melting, the ground needed to dry before the cabin could be put in place and tied down. Once in place, plumbing and electrical contractors came and went. Furnishings were hand carried.
March 11, Sonny, the Brahma bull, was moved first. Coaxing him into the rented cattle trailer took hours. Next the horses were walked over. Jack, the gelding who is normally the tamer of the two, balked on lead with neighbor Tommy. Bebe, the filly, pranced alongside me ready for a new adventure and then I returned to help with Jack.
We had to wait for the pasture to dry to get Buff, the other bull, and Holly, the heifer. They were moved separately on the last day. Holly went in the morning; and Buff arrived on the new farm in the afternoon. I was frazzled completing the move by midnight. Yet I recognized God’s hand in the entire process.
But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the LORD with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill. Ps. 3:3-4
From the Pacific Northwest my brother fed my mind
A Christian for three decades, from the Pacific Northwest my brother sent me Josh McDowell’s The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict, two volumes in one. McDowell lays out compelling argument for Jesus Christ as God incarnate. Halfway through his presentation, approximately 300 pages read over the next several months, I was convinced.
In retrospect I realize God wanted me to expand my thinking and become a member of the body of Christ. It would be through my relationship not just with Him but with others in Christ I would realize true reconciliation.
On October 23, 2011, I was baptized, accepting Christ as having died for our sins, was resurrected and ascended into heaven. I also joined one of Rev. Jim’s two churches.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Cor. 5:17 NKJV
Posted in 1glorybetogod, 1writersdevotion, Baptism, Christianity, Easter, God, Jesus Christ, Methodism, Reconciliation, Redemption, Rev. Jim, Scripture, The Brahma and me, Transformation, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Baptism, Easter, Faith, http://1glorybetogod.wordpress.com/, Humility, Jesus Christ, Methodism, Reconciliation, Servanthood, Writing | 3 Comments »
(Transforming Life, Part 5 of 6)
Identifying the property to shelter me and all the critters was a major step forward. Next the damaged mobile needed to be removed. No one seemed interested until an ad was placed in the local paper. It was free to anyone who would move it without liability to me or the property’s owner. Two parties responded. One wanted to demolish it on site. The other thought it could be repaired. There was no time for a demolition party, so the family of contractors took it away.
Step three was deciding what kind of home could be situated on the lot. At first motor homes seemed like an option and then online I discovered cabins-on-wheels. Manufactured for recreational parks, cedar or log-sided cabins on trailers that were not any larger than 400 square feet were available throughout the United States. I settled on a Georgia company that built cedar-sided cabins with rustic interiors.
Then I approached friends, who had earlier offered to purchase an inexpensive foreclosed property for me, and asked if they would finance the purchase of a cabin-on-wheels. They said yes. An attorney drew up the papers with an amortization schedule and the cabin went into production.
In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. Ps. 91:12 NKJV
Christian action demonstrated
Next there was the task of preparing the land for the bovines and equines. With gloves and pruning shears I started clearing thickets of brambles and vines that were choking trees. Every patch of land cleared represented one more section that could be fenced for critters.
On Wednesdays the minister made his rounds visiting nursing home residents, the sick, and parishioners in need of a little extra encouragement. He included me in these visits and other spare moments. Wearing boots and gloves he came prepared to work alongside me. He was not just talk but demonstrated Christian love by his actions.
Soon a neighbor loaned me his telescopic lopper which I used to cut the roots of saplings and vines. And Rev. Jim used the chainsaw to cut down dead trees, as did Edward who was hired to put in fence posts, mount gates and string barbwire.
Throughout preparing the land, receiving and stabilizing the cabin and completing the move I continued to attend church, every Sunday, listening to Rev. Jim weave the story of Christ in his sermons. Yet it was more than the sermons, but rather the Christian action that drew me.
Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Phil. 2:4 NKJV
Posted in 1glorybetogod, 1writersdevotion, Christian, God, Good Works, Methodism, Prevenient grace, Redemption, Scripture, The Brahma and me, Transformation, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Christianity, God, Good works, http://1glorybetogod.wordpress.com/, Methodism, Phil. 2:4, Prevenient grace, Psalms 3:3-4, Psalms 91:12, Redemption, Transformation, Writing | Leave a Comment »
(Transforming Life, Part 4 of 6)
The farm had been sold on the courthouse steps in September 2010. Prior to Thanksgiving after purchasing grain, a man who worked at the local farm supply met me outside the store. Holding a brown paper bag of groceries, he said, “Some of us at the church heard you were going through a difficult time,” and he asked if I would like the bag containing canned meat, cranberry sauce, corn and stuffing mix.
I hugged him and tears streamed down my face. It was not the groceries but the fact that others had thought of me when I was feeling so alone. That next Sunday I visited his church with a thank you card. The minister was preaching from the Book of John and he brought in other sources. It was much like attending a college course. No Hellfire—just great storytelling with a message. The message was sinless Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, to give us an opportunity to reconcile our relationship with God.
I returned the following Sunday, listened and began to read my Bible.
For none of us lives to himself Rom. 14:7a NKJV
An opening next door leads to Christ
With no place to move, I was seeking a home to house all the critters and me. One member of the congregation suggested I talk with the owner of the adjoining property. He had retired to Florida and had been attempting to sell his 5.88 acres with three mobile homes for all eight years I lived next door.
The center mobile was damaged with the roof and ceiling caved in. I called him and asked if I had the damaged mobile moved off the property would he let me move my own structure there and live rent free for a year. He said, “Yes,” I could. Then I asked if I fenced the treed acreage for my pets could they live there, among the trees, for the same year rent free. He agreed. Then I asked and received a one year option to purchase the entire piece for a set price.
For He shall give His angels charge over you Ps. 91:11a NKJV
Posted in 1glorybetogod, 1writersdevotion, Bible, Foreclosure, God, Methodism, Prevenient grace, Redemption, Scripture, The Brahma and me, Transformation, Writing | Tagged 1glorybetogod, 1writersdevotion, Bible, Christ, Faith, God, Prevenient grace, Redemption, The Brahma and me, Transformation, Writing | 1 Comment »
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Ps. 16:11
Posted in 1glorybetogod, 1writersdevotion, Cardinal, Nature, Photo, Psalms, The Brahma and me | Tagged 1writersdevotion, http://1glorybetogod.wordpress.com/, Photo, Psalms 16:11, The Brahma and me | 2 Comments »
(Transforming Life, Part 3 of 6)
While working in medical research in Memphis I found a farm in central Fayette County with 6.5 acres. By this time I had three pet cattle, two horses, two cats and an assortment of purebred and All-American dogs—all canine rescues.
While attending a church that stressed positive thought, that humans are perfect just as they are and sinless, and Jesus was teacher without mention of His sacrifice, death on the cross and resurrection, I had ups and downs. However, there seemed to be more severe downs than up periods. From crisis to crisis I traveled and could not understand what was amiss in my life until I lost the farm through a foreclosure.
If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
James 2:15-17 NKJV
Posted in 1glorybetogod, 1writersdevotion, Faith, Foreclosure, Prevenient grace, Redemption, Scripture, The Brahma and me, Transformation, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Faith, Foreclosure, Good works, http://1glorybetogod.wordpress.com/, James 2:15-17, Redemption, Transformation, Writing | Leave a Comment »
(Transforming Life, Part 2 of 6)
Having lived three decades without God, then establishing a relationship with Him and sharing this belief with my husband, I was unexpectedly widowed.
Moving to family property in Mississippi, I worked as a journalist and wrote a weekly column entitled Perspectives. In the column I shared my journey of having grown up as a Seattle suburbanite who moved to the Mid-South and adopted several farm animals, then detailed their escapades. The protagonist in many of those columns was a Brahma bull I acquired while on a photo assignment and raised on a bottle from 11 days old.
The farm was on a hillside and there was a gully that frequently washed out forcing me to haul grain and bags of dog chow up the hill through the woods. During my eight years on the hill eventually the house fell apart and I did not have the funds to make the necessary repairs. By the time I left there was no heat or indoor plumbing facilities save for tub and kitchen sink water.
Despite my unshaken belief in God, my life was on a downward trajectory.
My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?
Ps. 22:1 NKJV
Posted in 1glorybetogod, 1writersdevotion, Brahma bull, Faith, God, Journalism, Prevenient grace, Scripture, The Brahma and me, Transformation, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Brahma bull, God, http://1glorybetogod.wordpress.com/, Journalism, Prevenient grace, Psalms 22:1, Transformation, Widow, Writing | 2 Comments »
Over the next several weeks leading up to Easter I will be telling a story of redemption and transformation, a true story in six segments. The first of these begins now.
I grew up in a family of agnostics professing to not be certain of the existence of God while annually attending Easter service and observing other Christian holidays as secular events. Admittedly, during our elementary education, my siblings and I attended Sunday school for a brief period.
At 13 years of age my plan was at some point to read scholarly texts, study and come to some kind of intellectual decision about my belief or unbelief in God. But there was time, I reasoned, since deciding about God was an adult endeavor and I was just beginning my teen years.
For most of my young adult life I operated under the misconception that I controlled and orchestrated the circumstances of my life.
The irony of a scientific education and a neighbor
After three years of majoring in organic chemistry at San Francisco State, I returned home to Seattle for a summer job working as a dishwasher and later a tech in a University of Washington genetics lab.
It was then my mother, at 56, was diagnosed with breast cancer, underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The realization came hard: No matter what I did I could not change the course of my mother’s life. I was not in control.
Simultaneously I became acquainted with a Christian woman who was from Eritrea, a small country sandwiched in by the Red Sea to the north and Ethiopia to the south.
We had adjacent rooms at the YWCA. She and other Christian women on the floor would leave messages of encouragement on my board. Out of exasperation, one day I knocked at her room and asked if she would show me how to pray.
She came into my room, knelt on the floor and asked if it would be OK if she prayed in her language. I agreed. Ending the prayer she said Amen! We stood, hugged and she left. Having no idea what she said I felt free to approach God extemporaneously.
I began. “Look, God, I don’t know if you are there. But if you are, would you please tell me…” Within 24 hours I had an answer. It could have been circumstance that my question was answered so quickly. So I asked another, then another and another. By the end of the week innumerable questions had been asked and answered. Sometimes the answers were immediate, but always they arrived within a day or two. The number of answers was staggering.
In nearly every science class at State I had learned if one tosses a coin in the air, over some duration, it will land approximately 50 percent of the time on heads and the other 50 percent on tails. The number of answers I received was in the 97 percentile. These were questions I had pondered for days, months and longer prior to asking God for help. Science taught me this was no coincidence. God existed. God was not passive. God can and will respond.
Thus began my odyssey of a one-on-one relationship with God.
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jer. 29:13 NKJV
Posted in 1glorybetogod, 1writersdevotion, Easter, God, Methodism, Prevenient grace, Scripture, The Brahma and me, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Easter, God, http://1glorybetogod.wordpress.com/, Jer. 29:13, Lent, The Brahma and me, Writing | Leave a Comment »
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thes. 5:16-18 NKJV
Originally Maggie, my friend, and I planned to go to the preacher’s home and enjoy Thanksgiving with his wife and extended family. Later we decided instead to catch a light meal out and go to a movie.
Plans changed once again when my son called to say he wanted to fly me to Missouri in a light aircraft and bring me back that evening providing the weather remained clear. Although Maggie was invited to join us in the small plane with three seats, she declined.
Later a call from my son indicated it was not looking favorable for the flight. We could move our travel up in the day, eat and quickly return to Tennessee. Instead we opted to fly me out to their home on another occasion.
So before Thanksgiving I dried slices of wheat bread in the oven and left the turkey out overnight to thaw. The cabin got a brief tidying, just before Maggie arrived at mid-day to share jellied cranberry, sweet potatoes, bread stuffing, turkey and gravy.
Later we thrilled to taste the Tiramisu she brought.
The animals outside never knew the difference save for receiving a healthier portion than usual of hay topped with Bermuda squares.
May God’s blessings fill you with joy on this day.
Posted in 1glorybetogod, 1writersdevotion, Cabin-on-wheels, God, Photo, Scripture, The Brahma and me, Writing | Tagged 1 Thes. 16-18, 1writerrsdevotion, http://1glorybetogod.wordpress.com/, Photo, The Brahma and me, Writing | Leave a Comment »
Praise the Lord, O my soul! Ps. 146:1 NKJV
Plans change. An invitation for me and my 83-year-old friend to the preacher’s home for Thanksgiving dinner with his wife and family gave way to a matinée and quick, inexpensive meal out.
Then a call came from my son. He had been tracking the weather: Looks good with clear skies, no rain and perfect for flying.
With animals, in the cabin and outside, I must be home the same day to feed and care for their needs. A one-way, seven-hour drive to Missouri and back the next morning, although I made the trip innumerable times, takes its toll on me. It has been a couple of years since my last drive to his home.
The Fayette County Airport is five miles away. A new terminal building sits close to the runway alongside a parked red, pontoon plane. Fifteen years ago while working as a reporter and photojournalist, I covered a home-built air show at that spot.
The only building at that time was a hanger, a fairly rag-tag operation. That day with camera I went for a ride circling the airport in not one but two planes crafted by the pilots. Listening to their stories, I wrote them down and the publisher ran the article with photos taken from a bird’s perspective.
Now on Thanksgiving I will be flying with my son at the controls. Maggie, whose son was a pilot, declined the invitation to join me. She has been there, done that and not interested. So yesterday I bought a 12 pound turkey and left it thawing in the refrigerator to roast upon my return and share with my friend, who said, “Go, enjoy and tell me about it later.”
Up, up and away. Happy Thanksgiving!
Posted in 1glorybetogod, 1writersdevotion, Scripture, The Brahma and me, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, http://1glorybetogod.wordpress.com/, Psalm 146:1, Thanksgiving, The Brahma and me, Writing | Leave a Comment »
But the Lord directs his steps. Prov. 16:9 NKJV
An e-book memoire featuring how a transplanted Seattle suburbanite came to live in rural West Tennessee and by happenstance adopted a Brahma bull, a heifer and another bull followed by two paint horses was my intention.
Instead I find myself creating greeting cards with Bible verse and nature photos pasted on cardstock glorifying God’s creation and His Word simultaneously.
Passionate about this way, I am following another plan!
Posted in 1glorybetogod, 1writersdevotion, Photo, Scripture, The Brahma and me, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Glory be to God, http://1glorybetogod.wordpress.com/, Photo, Proverbs 16:9, The Brahma and me, Writing | 1 Comment »
Posted in 1glorybetogod, 1writersdevotion, Flowers, Photos, Scripture, The Brahma and me | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Flowers, http://1glorybetogod.wordpress.com/, Photos, Psalm 57:11, The Brahma and me | Leave a Comment »
And the breath of all mankind? Job 11:10 NKJV
Posted in 1writersdevotion, Photos, Scripture, The Brahma and me, Wildflowers | Tagged 1writersdevotion, http://1glorybetogod.wordpress.com/, Job 11:10, Photos, The Brahma and me, Wildflowers | Leave a Comment »
in all things
Today a complementary blog, Glory be to God, was opened and celebrates life through photography:
And that my soul knows very well. Ps. 139:14 NKJV
Each day I return to the large animals’ quarters there is a new crop of mushrooms in varying shapes, sizes and colorful displays, having pushed their heads up through soil and pine needles beside fallen leaves.
arrayed like one of these. Luke 12:27 NKJV
These white carnations and gladiola blooms retrieved from the trash at work thrill me with their beauty—and the simple pleasure they elicit with every glance.
and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on earth Gen. 1:22 NKJV
whatever things are noble,
whatever things are just,
whatever things are pure,
whatever things are lovely,
whatever things are of good report,
if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—
mediate on these things. Phil. 4.8 NKJV
than a house full of feasting, with strife Prov. 17:1 NIV
It had sprinkled,
the grass was damp with
another spritz on the way.
Would a wild rabbit wait for me to retrieve the
camera from atop the refrigerator in the cabin?
The answer was indeed, yes!
the time of singing has come… Song of Sol. 2:12 NKJV
he puts the sickle to it because the harvest has come Mark 4:29 NIV
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork Ps. 19.1 NOAB
not by sight 2 Cor. 5:7 NOAB
Recently the grass and tall growth on 20 acres adjoining my property was cut. Several rolls from last year sit at the edge of treed islands in the oasis of this grass. The gleaner said he would give me a couple of rolls from last year’s crop free-of-charge and delivered. I accepted.
Although the rolls are not horse quality, the cattle have been eating the better parts. We have been waiting for the crew to be available that has agreed to cut my friend’s acreage. Out of 100 rolls, my pals will get 30 in the 70:30 split agreed upon, which should take us through the summer. Depending upon the weather, there will be a second cutting taking us through the winter.
Yesterday was the Brahma Sonny’s 14th birthday and in true celebratory manner he received several pads of Bermuda.
Posted in Faith, Hay, Photo, Scripture, Shangri-La, The Brahma and me, The Brahma Sonny, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, 2 Cor 5:7, Faith, Gleaner, Hay, Photo, Shangri-La, The Brahma and me, The Brahma Sonny, Writing | Leave a Comment »
in thy presence there is fullness of joy… Ps 16:11 NOAB
In 1964 the children’s book Flat Stanley written by Jeff Brown was published. In the story a bulletin board hanging over Stanley Lambchop’s bed fell. It completely flattened Stanley which led to a series of books highlighting adventures that only a flat person could experience.
Three decades later Canadian third grade teacher Dale Hubert started the Flat Stanley project. His students created their own flat people who went on to have adventures of their own.
To my surprise and delight I hosted a flat person for several weeks. Flat Rylee arrived in West Tennessee in a manila envelope delivered by the US Postal Service. Inside were instructions from my granddaughter’s first grade teacher and a letter from Rylee.
Over the course of her visit Flat Rylee joined me at work, went to the feed store and library and helped with the farm chores.
Flat Rylee tipped into the Brahma Sonny’s fenced space and sat down in the hay stack with him.
When Sonny became curious about what Flat Rylee was doing there, she left to visit the horses.
From a tree she watched as Jack, the Palomino paint, and Bebe, a line-back filly, ate their breakfast.
Flat Rylee also visited the local library where she received a yellow kite and a pink flower. She joined librarians Kecia, Laura and Mary Anne in the children’s corner at the tea-table. There she met stuffed pals Love Bug, Angel Bear, Ms. Kitty, Giraffe and Llama Llama.
When it was time for Flat Rylee’s visit to end, she returned home with several 4X6 color prints and a brief description of our travels together.
Any time Flat Rylee cares to visit, she is most welcome.
Posted in 1writersdevotion, Childhood, Flat Stanley, Hay, Joy, Life on the farm, Literacy, Photos, Psalms, The Brahma and me, The Brahma Sonny, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Flat Stanley, Joy, Library, Life on the farm, Literacy, Photos, Ps 16:11, The Brahma and me, The Brahma Sonny, Writing | 2 Comments »
or thirsty and give thee drink? … And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’
Matt 25:37, 40 (NOAB)
Christian youth in the Mid-South commenced special projects April 21, as part of World Vision’s 30-hour famine awareness program. A child dies from hunger-related causes every 8-12 seconds according to the World Vision Website citing United Nations’ statistics.
Local Youth Ministries, while fasting, took on special projects including helping out at a local food pantry and on our farm.
Initially six youngsters and two adults arrived Saturday morning ready to work. First several youth carried hay in tarps to the outside animals as I related the story of how three pet cattle and two horses came to be in my care. Later three more teens and an adult arrived adding their labor.
Earlier this year in a rush to provide my farm pals high, dry ground tree limbs were piled outside their newly fenced areas. Stacks of debris were so close to the fence line it has been difficult to deliver feed.
As discarded branches and pieces of tree trunks were cleared new life walked paths I trudge daily and filled the air with their conversations. What a blessing and joy it was to have the assistance of BB, Caleb, Colton, Ethan, Kristen, Lindsay, Sam, Will, Zach and their adult counterparts Andrew, Kalee and Lisa.
Posted in 1writersdevotion, Christian, Photos, Scripture, The Brahma and me, World Hunger, World Vision, Writing, Youth | Tagged 1writersdevotion, 30-Hr Famine, Christian Youth, Matt 25:37, Matt 25:40, Photos, Special Projects, The Brahma and me, World Hunger, World Vision, Writing | Leave a Comment »
and he will give you the desires of your heart Ps 37:4 (NOAB)
Posted in 1writersdevotion, Flowers, Mock orange, Photo, Psalms, Scripture, The Brahma and me | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Flowers, Mock orange, Photo, Ps 37:4, Scripture, The Brahma and me | 2 Comments »
“Peace be with you.” John 20:19 (NOAB)
Recently Sonny brought down several two-inch diameter trees, 15 ft. tall or more. From the cabin the crunching of branches under hooves and backside scratching on hanging debris rang, “I’m looking for a way out!”
This morning with axe and loppers I loosed remnants from root and stump. Next they were thrown outside of Sonny’s space.
When finished I sighed. Now he can amble around clutter-free and peace filled me.
Posted in 1writersdevotion, Jesus, Peace, Photos, Scripture, The Brahma and me, The Brahma Sonny, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Jesus, John 20:19, Peace, Photos, The Brahma and me, The Brahma Sonny, Writing | Leave a Comment »
the world and those who dwell therein Ps 24:1 (NOAB)
the conviction of things not seen. Heb 11:1 (NOAB)
When the element in the dryer of a stacking unit released an electrical odor late in January, I unplugged it. I knew it was close to the one year warranty but there were just a few items pressing in on me.
Finally placing a call to the manufacturer I was two weeks late from delivery of my recreational park trailer to be covered. Just the service call without parts would be $129 so I decided to forego repairs. I have faith the funds will be there in God’s time.
In the interim my laundry has been accumulating.
Predictions for today, my day off, included near 80 degrees. So I purchased a flexible polychord, anchored it to a tree and the recreational park trailer, finding another good use for a deck post having it serve as one end of a clothesline.
the promise of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. Ps 18:30 (NOAB)
For three days I cut grass with a push mower and delivered the cuttings to my farm pals: Sonny, Holly, Buff, Jack and Bebe.
Hay is scarce. Following droughts in neighboring states farmers and ranchers learning of available supplies in West Tennessee traveled with their trailers and hauled full loads back to their animals.
The local farm supply held out serving locals until there was no more. Last weekend I found someone who had older rolls of mixed grass. Two rolls were delivered the next day. While it lacks that fresh, sweet scent my group is accustomed to at least the cattle will eat it with a sprinkling of green. Except for the edges it is too rough to feed the horses.
Yesterday I connected with the person who delivered nine square bales of Bermuda a week ago, and he brought us 15 squares.
We have hay. We have fuel. We have grain and chow for all of us. Everyone is in relatively good health. And we have a safe place to sleep and good tenants for neighbors.
Life is good on the farm thanks to God’s grace.
Posted in 1writersdevotion, Buff the Charolais-Angus bull, God, Grace, Hay, Life on the farm, Lineback dun Bebe, Palomino paint Jack, Photos, Scripture, The Brahma and me, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Cattle, God, Grace, Hay, Horses, Life on the farm, Photos, Psalm 18:30, Scripture, The Brahma and me, Writing | Leave a Comment »
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. Phil 4:6 (NOAB)
A week before new tenants were scheduled to move in I had my first walk through of a mobile home purchased the end of January and learned of minor repairs. It would be another several days before I would discover the furnace was not operational and there were plumbing issues.
The end of February I learned how to remove a door lock, have it re-keyed at the local hardware store, remove mildew above a shower, treat the ceiling, place steel wool around pipes leading into cupboards and replace a strip of metal where carpet in the living room met kitchen linoleum.
But the 1994 Coleman furnace required greater expertise than I possessed.
Through prayer and supplication a solution emerged. An HVAC contractor was called out and he diagnosed the problem: either replace the starter and additional parts or install a new furnace. I did the former and the day before the tenants brought their three cats and began moving in there was heat.
For them it is a temporary home until they have a new residence built. For me it is thanksgiving for God’s grace.
can add one cubit to his life span? Matt 6:27 (NAOB)
This was my first Ash Wednesday, and my first Lenten season. In the past I heard people mention giving up something for Lent but never gave much thought to the practice.
Now that I am a Christian Lent has new meaning.
While volunteering to serve breakfast and luncheon meals at the most recent Emmaus Walk for men, I met one of the table leaders from my October Walk. It is hers and her husband’s ministry, she explained, to give copies of Sarah Young’s 365 day devotional book, Jesus Calling.
At my Walk there was a table with various books worth reading that people were sharing with one another. Jesus Calling was among these books. I picked it up, read a few pages and put it down. I was mostly interested in reading Scripture and evidence that Jesus was who he said he was, the Son of God, the Way, the Truth and the Light.
Yet upon reconnecting with Charlotte I found an interest in receiving this pocket-size devotional. It is written in first person, as if Jesus was speaking directly to the reader.
For the date of Jan. 4 (my birth anniversary) it reads: “I WANT YOU TO LEARN A NEW HABIT. Try saying, ‘I trust You, Jesus’ in response to whatever happens to you.” As challenges arose, which they invariably do, I reminded myself to trust and a peace enveloped me. Curiously, solutions just as easily wove in and out of my life.
Then it came to me: For Lent, I am going to give up worry. To fully understand the significance of this Lenten gift, it is important to know that as a child my family knick-named me the Worry Wart. Through the years I have made improvements but never truly released my worry habit. Old and familiar, it returns.
For the first seven days of Lent, I had immense peace. I told God, after Lent I was not going to take worry back.
Then something occurred that challenged me again, a person popped up with personality traits that pushed buttons, and there was worry running around talkie talking in my mind.
Repentant, asking forgiveness for not even making it into my second week of a 40-day commitment, I returned to trusting in Jesus, his Presence beside me, before me and within.
Posted in God, Jesus, Jesus Calling, Scripture, The Brahma and me, Walk to Emmaus, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, God, Jesus, Jesus Calling, Lent, Matthew 6:27, Scripture, The Brahma and me, Walk to Emmaus, Writing | Leave a Comment »
yea, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.
Ps 56:13 (NOAB)
You are in the wilderness now but not for 40 years, I vow. You are safe. We are blessed to have this land. The trees serve not only as fence posts but shelter as well. And soon there will be warm, dry weather. We can plant grass. You’ll see.
There is no market for pine,” he said—“Nothing here but pulp and fence posts. Lumber harvested after Katrina is still plentiful and construction is down, you know“ from one among an extended family who still logs with horses and mules. “Since you just want to create pasture, perhaps you can find someone just to take if off your hands. I recommend heavy equipment to clear the rest.”
Every now and then I peer through the brush to glimpse the golden hue of Shangri-La less than 100 yards away.
Posted in 1writersdevotion, Holly a Charolais-Angus heifer, Horses, Photos, Psalm 56:13, Scripture, The Brahma and me, The Brahma Sonny, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Holly, Jack, Photos, Psalm 56:13, The Brahma and me, The Brahma Sonny, Writing | Leave a Comment »
may you enjoy many more years in excellent health
Jack, the Palomino paint, will be 10 years old Mar. 20, and Bebe celebrated her seventh year of life Feb. 8. Plans to move them both to higher ground was delayed by alternating frigid then wet weather. Also there was the threatened eviction countermanded by the miraculous land purchase.
Finally both Jack and Bebe spent their second night on a bed of pine needles among the trees. While it took Jack seconds to decide to enter and dine on fresh hay, Bebe needed coaxing to walk between two trees, pawing the ground between them then following a waving fist full of Bermuda grass.
Posted in 1writersdevotion, Animals, Horses, Lineback dun Bebe, Palomino paint Jack, Photos, The Brahma and me, Trees | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Bebe the lineback dun, Jack, Jack the Palomino paint, Photos, The Brahma and me, Trees, Writing | Leave a Comment »
For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. Jer 29:11-15 (NOAB)
I signed two documents in my attorney’s office on Jan. 10, 2012. The first document was a purchase agreement set to close within 30 days. The second document, a handwritten note from the seller prompted by complaints about animal odors, had me agree to reduce my “four” large pets by half that number stating that the land would not support them all and move the remaining animals 300 yards from the nearest rental unit on the property. It is worthy to note that an acre of ground is nearly 70 yards squared and easy to see that 300 yards away would place us on someone else’s land.
After losing my farm in 2010 and moving to an adjacent property, I agreed to remove a damaged mobile that had been on the seller’s land, move my own structure there, house my animals on the treed tract of land, developing it with fencing, and have an option to purchase the entire 5.88 acres within the year.
We were a little more than two months out from exhausting the one year option when I received Christmas money to fence additional space for the Brahma Sonny and heifer Holly getting them up on high ground, out of mud and 45 yards from the nearest mobile home.
Two days into the New Year Sonny and Holly were moved to their new areas. But it was the expansion of the baby bull Buff’s space higher up into the trees that drew the ire of another bringing the owner out of retirement and back to Tennessee to get me to agree to the terms of the handwritten note or face eviction.
With a foreclosure in my recent past finding someone to finance the manufacture of my cabin-on-wheels was nothing short of a miracle. Yet now I needed to finance an even bigger chunk, the land on which the cabin sits.
It turns out that 2011 was the best year of my life: I found Jesus, was baptized and took the Walk to Emmaus, committing myself to discipleship and living my life as an obedient child of the Most High.
Just as the Scripture promises, God has a plan for my life to bring me hope and restore me. It took just 15 days for the LORD to part my Red Sea, allow me to walk on dry land to the other side and close on the purchase of the 5.88 acres.
Posted in 1writersdevotion, Animals, Baptism, Buff the Charolais-Angus bull, Foreclosed, God, Grace, Holly a Charolais-Angus heifer, Jeremiah 29:11-15, Jesus Christ, Scripture, The Brahma and me, The Brahma Sonny, Trees, Walk to Emmaus, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Animals, Baptism, Buff the Charolais-Angus bull, Foreclosed, God, Grace, Holly the CharolaisAngus heifer, Jeremiah 29:11-15, Jesus, Scripture, The Brahma and me, The Brahma Sonny, Trees, Walk to Emmaus, Writing | 1 Comment »
with peace and joy
Posted in 1writersdevotion, Holly a Charolais-Angus heifer, Joy, New Year, Peace, Photos, The Brahma and me, The Brahma Sonny | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Blessings, Holly a Charolais-Angus heifer, Joy, New Year, Photos, The Brahma and me, The Brahma Sonny | Leave a Comment »
in stacked rock
Tennessee Department of Transportation workers have been moving earth and heavy rock beside a road that crosses a river and bottomland. Recently someone stacked several pieces at the westside entrance to the road construction, depicting art in the balance.
with a drop in temps to freezing in the midst of rainy nights
We are in the rainy season and flooding has begun. With insufficient shelter save for some trees I dream of completed fencing on high, dry ground and adjoining fields of pasture with run-in shelter for my big pals.
Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve the coffee shop will close, a perfect time to work on my e-book. If in keeping with your will for me, God, may such be well received providing for those in my care?
This is my prayer leaving 2011 and entering 2012. I acknowledge 2011 has been the best year with your abundant gifts.
Posted in 1writersdevotion, Challenges and blessings, Dreams, God, Grateful, Photos, The Brahma and me, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Challenges, Dreams, God, Grateful, Photos, Prayer, The Brahma and me, Writing | Leave a Comment »
caulking under eaves
as long as the sharing is with Holly
In an effort to stimulate weight gain Sonny has been receiving two helpings of grain in the morning along with a cup of alfalfa pellets.
Foxy Holly has learned when she finishes her ration and meanders down Sonny’s way he will share with her. And she does not really need any extra. Workers installing our HVAC system said they had never seen a bovine with such a flat topped backside.
Posted in 1writersdevotion, Holly a Charolais-Angus heifer, Photos, The Brahma and me, The Brahma Sonny, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Holly the CharolaisAngus heifer, Photos, Sonny the Brahma, The Brahma and me | Leave a Comment »
find October pleasing
to new digs within cabin
In preparation for a spiritual retreat, Walk to Emmaus, the end of October I have been pondering how to arrange for pet care for my domestic critters. In meditation this morning it came to me to move the cats downstairs from the loft into the bedroom.
Since my cabin is required to be not more than 400 square feet according to Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association standard my loft is for storage only. I cannot standup in it but rather crawl about on knees and have calluses to prove it.
It was half a day’s project to clear the bedroom of plastic containers filled with clothing and labeled: long sleeve blouses, short sleeve blouses, work jeans, good jeans, good T’s, sweats, fall slacks, wool slacks, boots and shoes….
Six of the 10 felines had been fed when the move began. Later the remaining four had their opportunity to dine in new quarters. There are many advantages to having them in the bedroom. For one thing several will no longer be able to scratch their litter boxes and send treasures with clumping litter particles to the downstairs landing in my bucket chair.
Also they will not be able to see my comings and goings registering their complaints when they are ignored as I haul groceries into the cabin and cook dinner. They will not have the freedom to run up and down the stairs giving chase or eluding capture. Nor are they going to jump at will from the loft to the living room or shinny up a support beam to outsmart and out maneuver me.
They also will not be jumping up on my sink when my back is turned, checking out dishes that may have been left from breakfast or strolling across my kitchen counter to snoop around the oven range. And the roughhewn wood trim which displays claw tracks will be rubbed out successfully with sandpaper because they will not be back tomorrow to mark them again.
Moreover I can leave a water dish out on the floor, as well as let a couple out at a time to play and roam in a closed room.
The two dogs are fine with the new arrangement because they are spending time in the living room; and Sam is in the bathroom when I am going in and out of the bedroom just in case someone scurries by me.
Much more remains to be done. The loft needs sheets removed that were used as carpet cover and a thorough vacuuming. Then plastic boxes will be placed upstairs and arranged for easy access, or so I plan.
It is getting on toward evening and from the pitter pat on the metal roof I can tell a light rain has arrived. Jack has come down from the hill to see if any food is being delivered. I let out the last two one-year olds to explore their new surroundings and am heading outside to give hay to the outdoor crew before a full-fledged storm rolls in.
Posted in 1writersdevotion, Cats, Palomino paint Jack, Recreational park trailer, Small living spaces, The Brahma and me, Walk to Emmaus, Writing | Tagged 1writersdevotion, Cats, Palomino paint Jack, Recreational park trailer, Small living spaces, Spiritual retreat, The Brahma and me, Walk to Emmaus, Writing | Leave a Comment »