In the Morning…

Psalm 5 ~ NASB

Prayer for Protection from the Wicked.

Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my groaning.
Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God,
For to You I pray.
In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness;
No evil dwells with You.
The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes;
You hate all who do iniquity.
You destroy those who speak falsehood;
The Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.
But as for me, by Your abundant lovingkindness I will enter Your house,
At Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You.

Lord, lead me in Your righteousness because of my foes;
Make Your way straight before me.
There is nothing reliable in what they say;
Their inward part is destruction itself.
Their throat is an open grave;
They flatter with their tongue.
10 Hold them guilty, O God;
By their own devices let them fall!
In the multitude of their transgressions thrust them out,
For they are rebellious against You.

11 But let all who take refuge in You be glad,
Let them ever sing for joy;
And may You shelter them,
That those who love Your name may exult in You.
12 For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord,
You surround him with favor as with a shield.

Friday Fete

It’s not a hummingbird but it flies like one. What kind of bug is this?

Turkeys continue to visit here and there.

Fun to catch the fan.

This little guy is probably going to have a growth spurt. He’s eating everything in sight.

Addy is enjoying her bicycle and she got a bell and handle streamers this week. I think she likes them and riding with her new accessories!

I’m limiting social media at present. Many mean well but there is just too much noise. I need to protect my head and heart. I haven’t stopped praying. I’m reading my Bible which is the best Truth I can digest right now. The only dialogues I’ll participate in are face to face, one on one conversations. That way I can see and hear the tone of the conversation instead of trying to guess what is being communicated. I do have phone conversations with my “Coast” kids since I can’t see them face to face right now.

My morning readings this month are Psalm 19, Psalm 119, The Gospel of Luke and then I read a chapter in Proverbs that corresponds with the day. I finish up with a good dose of Spurgeon. Thursday was the 4th so I read Proverbs 4. These verses stood out to me;

Proverbs 4:13-18 (ESV)

Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
    guard her, for she is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
    and do not walk in the way of the evil.
15 Avoid it; do not go on it;
    turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
    they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
    which shines brighter and brighter until full day.

Hope you all have a good Friday and great weekend in your corner of the world.

His Eye is on the Sparrow

A Yellow Headed Blackbird.

Northern Flicker

Tree Swallow

Sparrow in flight?

His Eye is On the Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged,
Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely,
And long for Heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion?
My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Refrain

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Let not your heart be troubled,
His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness,
I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth,
But one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Refrain

Whenever I am tempted,
Whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing,
When hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him,
From care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Refrain

Words: Civilla D. Martin, 1905.

Early in the spring of 1905, my hus­band and I were so­journ­ing in El­mi­ra, New York. We con­tract­ed a deep friend­ship for a cou­ple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doo­lit­tle—true saints of God.

Mrs. Doo­lit­tle had been bed­rid­den for nigh twen­ty years. Her hus­band was an in­cur­a­ble crip­ple who had to pro­pel him­self to and from his bus­i­ness in a wheel chair.

Despite their af­flic­tions, they lived hap­py Chris­tian lives, bring­ing ins­pir­a­tion and com­fort to all who knew them.

One day while we were visit­ing with the Doo­lit­tles, my hus­band com­ment­ed on their bright hope­ful­ness and asked them for the sec­ret of it.

Mrs. Doo­lit­tle’s reply was sim­ple: His eye is on the spar­row, and I know He watch­es me.

The beau­ty of this sim­ple ex­pres­sion of bound­less faith gripped the hearts and fired the im­ag­in­a­tion of Dr. Mart­in and me. The hymn His Eye Is on the Spar­row was the out­come of that ex­per­i­ence.

Civilla Mar­tin


The next day Mar­tin mailed the po­em to Ga­bri­el, who wrote the mu­sic.

Singer Eth­el Wa­ters (1893–1977) so loved this song that she used its name as the ti­tle for her au­to­bi­o­gra­phy, and it ap­pears on her tomb­stone.

Matthew 6:25-27 (ESV)

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

 

Number Your Days Hodgepodge

1. In a single sentence tell us something about your 40’s. If you haven’t reached that milestone yet tell us (in a single sentence) something about whatever decade you’re in now.

The decade in my 40’s (1991-2001) was the most tumultuous of my life.

(Photo above taken at 2nd rental home 1998ish)

2. Life begins at forty. Agree or disagree? Tell us why. And if not at forty, when?

I don’t agree. I’m too black and white. Life began for me in my mother’s womb. From birth on life has been shaping who I am now. I was born again in 1963 so I’ve been in the sanctification process for 57 years. I wish I had been more obedient in this process.

Sanctification: When you were justified, you were declared righteous by God. Now that you are justified, there is a process of growth and transformation in which you are enabled more and more to grasp the reality that you are dead to your old sinful life and that you actually become more and more like Christ. There are three aspects to our sanctification: definitive sanctification, progressive sanctification, and ultimate sanctification.

3. Share a favorite book, song, or quote with a number featured in it somewhere.

I didn’t remember this great song with a number in the title but Theresa posted it on her post and it really has meant a lot to me over the past several years so I’m adding it in here. Thank you, Theresa!

This quote from the Bible is one I wrote down after reading it.
Jeremiah 32:39 ~I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever for their own good and the good of their children after them.
~
And this quote that I forget who said it…maybe Steve Lawson: “Don’t let your feelings get captured. Your feelings can suffocate your understanding of God. Gaze on the Lord 10x more than you concentrate on your feelings.”

4. A picture’s worth a thousand words, a stitch in time saves nine, back to square one, catch-22, on cloud nine, my two cents…pick a number phrase and tell us how it applies to your life currently.

I will pick “A picture’s worth a thousand words” or 1,000 pieces and 500 pieces. One of our COVID-19 stay at home activities has been putting together jigsaw puzzles. Some of these puzzles we’ve had for years and others were acquired before COVID at garage sales. The Fireside Embroidery one was a purchase during COVID-19. I was happy to see our local grocery store had a rack of puzzles a couple weeks ago and I grabbed this one.

 

Buying a threefold poster board has really aided our puzzling endeavors. We can move it off the dining room table easily if we are having the kids over for a meal. It also gives a nice flat surface.

5. Last time you drove more than 40 miles from home? More than 400 miles from home? Where were you going? Was it before or after this current season of social distancing?

Today bright and early we are driving to Spokane for a follow-up eye appointment. My surgery was last August. This will be a 70 mile drive from home. This one is during social distancing and Dear will have to wait in the car when I go in for my appointment.

The last time we drove closer to 400 miles from home was December 2019 when we drove to the Seattle area to stay overnight with our “Coast Kids” and then continue on to Chilliwack, British Columbia for our annual MGCC Christmas Party. This was before we knew about this Pandemic.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m going to go deeper into that decade in my forties. Dear’s mother was living with us in a Mother-in-law apartment in our basement. In that decade Dear completed his Pharmacy degree at the University of Washington, had a year of residency, got a job at Immunex Corporation in Seattle Washington. While he was in school I started a house cleaning business and added a medical clinic and dental clinic at night as part of the job. Dear and I worked together in the evenings at those clinics. Because Dear’s mother was living with us we could leave at night after the kids were in bed. I was the skinniest I had ever been with all that aerobic scrubbing.

When Dear’s new career was going well I retired my cleaning business just in time to pull our daughter out of public school and home school her for 4th, 5th and 6th grade. She was experiencing heart wrenching persecution at school. During those homeschooling years with our sons in high school we had a major landslide on our back slope and long story short we walked away from our dream home and started the very new to us need to rent homes while still having all of Dear’s mother’s stuff in our possession. When the major slide forced us to walk away from our home, Dear’s mother moved out of our home to Yuba City, California to live close to her younger sister.

In May before our oldest son graduated from high school, Dear’s mother passed away and we were in Yuba City for the funeral and then having to divide up her stuff between Dear and his older brother and haul it back to our place. In August I drove Josh to Westmont College in Montecito , Califonia. (Santa Barbara), on my own. An emotional time for this mom. We were in our 2nd rental home at this time.

In Dan’s senior year we moved to our third rental home in October of 1998. In November of 1998 just one month after moving all our stuff to this third rental home the owner of the home told us he had to sell the home. We were devastated with this news not knowing where we could move next. We decided to try to buy this rental and were amazed to find out that there was nothing on our record showing we had defaulted on our landslide house loan! We bought our home in Kenmore not because we chose it but because we couldn’t face moving again. We enjoyed 20 years in that home and made some amazing upgrades to the property. Dan graduated from high school in 1999. We had Josh and Laura’s rehearsal dinner at this home in August of 2001 and then in September of 200l life changed for all of us because of 9-11. And that my friends was my decade in my forties.

That’s just a little of the story of my 40’s! I’m happy to say my fifties and sixties have been less tumultuous and filled with some wonderful adventures and travel. In my late fifties I was connected to the Mennonite Girls. In my sixties we enjoyed the weddings of our daughter Katie and our son Dan. We made a major move again this time to the country from the city. Blessed with two grandchildren in our sixties. And now Dear is officially retired.

But…we press on to the upward call…

Philippians 3:13-14 (ESV)

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Thank you to Joyce for coming up with the questions for Hodgepodge!

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Melissa’s Tribute

This is a photo and tribute our niece Melissa wrote about her Dzeda, our Pop, Moisi, on May 7, 2014.

“My Deda….he loves his Bible. Tonight he told me that he doesn’t rush when he reads. ‘I meditate on it,’ he says. His goal from now on is to start memorizing more of it. He’ll be 91 at the end of the month and questioning his purpose on this earth without Baba is a daily struggle. Yet despite his broken heart, he has never lost sight of what is truly important. He presses on, striving to live for Christ every single day. The man never ceases to amaze me. He is a true inspiration.”

This photo was taken of our Pop in his bedroom when he was still living in the senior apartment in Brea, California. He would soon move in with our oldest sister and her family, Melissa’s mom.

My prayer for you is that if you are meditating that you would only meditate on the Word of God, something from the Bible.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

“For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.” Psalm 18:28

“My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:20-23

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me -practice these things and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4: 8-9

Looking Back in May…

A look back to days of easy traveling in May and some Gardens visited from my photo archives.

The Japanese Gardens in Seattle Washington in May of 2010.

In May of 2014 Katie and I toured the gardens at The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

May 2016, Mother’s Day in our yard in Kenmore, Washington. Our huge Rhododendron Bushes. With our “Coast Kids”.

May of 2018 Tulip fields in Chilliwack, B.C., Canada.

May of 2019 archives but we actually visited this garden the end of April.  Manito Gardens in Spokane, Washington.

The primary reason I’m looking to my archives is that my photo uploads aren’t working yet again. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record.

 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8

I’ll leave you with good words that I’ve pondered recently:

I’ve been concentrating on Psalm 119 and Psalm 19 in my Old Testament Readings. In the New Testament I’m in Colossians. Here is a selection of verses from Psalm 119:

119:4 ~ You have commanded your precepts
    to be kept diligently.

119:11  ~ I have stored up your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.

119:15  ~ I will meditate on your precepts
    and fix my eyes on your ways.

119:18 ~ Open my eyes, that I may behold
    wondrous things out of your law.

119:27 ~ Make me understand the way of your precepts,
    and I will meditate on your wondrous works.

119:34 ~ Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
    and observe it with my whole heart.

I’m adding a link to an article I read on Tim Challies blog that I want to be able to reference called; Is Your Church Christian or Christianish?

Mother’s day like other special days that have fallen within our social distancing time have and will be different. Plans are afoot for our family here for an outdoor gathering together on Mother’s Day since we have a nice day in the forecast.

The Law of God is Good and Wise ~ Hymn

The Law of God is Good and Wise

The law of God is good and wise,
And sets His will before our eyes,
Shows us the way of righteousness,
And dooms to death when we transgress.

Its light of holiness imparts
The knowledge of our sinful hearts,
That we may see our lost estate
And seek deliverance ere too late.

To those who help in Christ have found
And would in works of love abound
It shows what deeds are His delight
And should be done as good and right.

When men the offered help disdain
And willfully in sin remain,
Its terror in their ear resounds
And keeps their wickedness in bounds.

The law is good, but since the fall
Its holiness condemns us all;
It dooms us for our sin to die
And has no power to justify.

To Jesus we for refuge flee,
Who from the curse has set us free,
And humbly worship at His throne,
Saved by His grace through faith alone.

Words: Matthias Loy, 1873.

Variety

For this last Saturday of April we are on the letter V. I have a variety of things I’ll share for today.

We’ve had a variety of visitors to our country bungalow in the last month.

Can you see the beard on the larger turkey?

Some verses from the Bible I noted in my readings over the past couple of weeks. These are from the English Standard Version.

Proverbs 18:2 ~ A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

Romans 12:12 ~Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 15:13 ~ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

And this is a portion of Psalm 19 that we have memorized and continue to keep in our memory, verses 7-11.

The law of the Lord is perfect reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever,
the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping of them there is great reward.

One last verse from Psalm 19,

Psalm 19:14 ~ Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

This week we finished our last puzzle that we had in our stash. This one is an old one we’ve had around for years since the Soviet Union fell in the early 90’s and became Russia again. This was a tough one and at the end we thought we had one piece missing but were happy to find it under the table. Have you been putting together jigsaw puzzles while being sequestered in your home?

Have a good Saturday y’all. We are predicted some rain later this morning. I mowed the lawn on Tuesday and it already looks ready to mow again.

Father and Daughter

These images our daughter-in-law captured of Addy working with her daddy put a big smile on my face.

We had some decent weather this weekend to work outside in. Getting those Spring cleaning chores done before new growth begins full speed ahead.

Hope you all are coping well with staying at home. My computer is exhibiting charging issues so I hope things don’t digress. If you don’t see new things from me you’ll know my computer is a mess.

Some comforting words from Psalm 27;

One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock…

I believe that I will look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Memorization

Over the last several years the habit of memorizing scripture has eluded me. It was something that I put on the back burner with excuses. I let my self talk tell me that it is too hard since I’ve gotten older. Well that is a lie and I’m leaving that and other excuses behind. Dear and I decided to memorize Psalm 19: 7-9 together and that has gone well. I’ve challenged our kids to memorize Romans 12:1-2 as part of their “getting healthy” goals for the year. In the midst of this renewed effort to train my brain a dear friend suggested a group of us memorize Psalm 1 together. Can you feel the congruence of all of this?

These days I’ve shifted to the ESV (English Standard Version) Bible. In my early years of Sunday School I memorized verses in the KJV (King James Version). During the early 70’s my Bible of choice was the NASB (New American Standard Bible). It was in this version that I first memorized Psalm 1 so I had to go back to this version for this latest exercise of re-memorizing it.

The photo I posted is from the Bible that Dear gifted me as a wedding gift in December of 1974.

So onward and upward, I’m putting my brain to the test and I’m sure the results will only do me good.

Hebrews 4:12

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.

Update: Some of you have asked for tips in memorizing. Our brains work differently but here are some things that work for me and some things I’ve learned from others.

Be careful what version of the Bible you choose to memorize from. The King James Version and The English Standard Version are more poetic over all. Don’t choose The Message as it is more prose and it’s hard to grasp. Some versions have more rhythm and that’s easier for the brain to grasp. I don’t recommend the NIV version either for memorization. (Thank you Julie)

I use 3×5 or 4×6 cards to write the portion of scripture I want to memorize.

Start small. Choose one verse. Think about the verse. Dissect the verse. Write it out several times on notebook paper. Take your 3×5 card with you in the car and when you have to wait anywhere pull it out and go over it.

Try writing it out from memory.

Hand the 3×5 card to somebody (friend or spouse) and then try to recite it out loud while they check to see that you’ve got it right.

When you wake up in the middle of the night go over it in your head. It’s amazing how much more clarity you have when you are awake in the night with nothing else to do.

Now you are ready to go on to a larger portion of scripture. I hope these tips help. Here’s another truth, the process is good even if it takes a long time to get it perfect.