all chattery

We’ve known for at least a year, if not more, that this time was coming. So when the latest update for my computer was finished, and the dreaded message came that meant I could no longer open Photoshop, I couldn’t complain, because They’d told me long ago that this would happen. Too expensive to buy another Photoshop like that one, so I’d have to find another program.

My experience with learning new programs (for whatever) in the past hasn’t been the best. There are always several things that you can no longer do in the new program, etc. Several things that are not as good as they were, many new things that seem to take ages to learn. And jumping over huge hurdles to make former things fit. But to start, trying to figure out which program would be the best! My son always does the research for stuff (that’s his “household chore”), but how could I expect him to really know which photo program is the best?

However, since it just seemed too complicated to look over photo programs myself, I decided just to trust what he’d found–this is what most of the journalists were using. Surprise!! It works great!!! Pixelmator, in fact, looks uncannily like a child of Photoshop! It makes you wonder if they are secretly owned by the same people! Of course, I’m sure that much of what I learned over the years in Photoshop, stood me in good stead for any photo program.

I’m still exploring it, and there are definitely a couple of things that are not quite as good as Photoshop. But I’m so amazed that many things are actually better! Yay!

Now, add to that the fact that I finally got my Fall decorating done yesterday; and that today I went off the chart “excellent” with my fitness test (see my Fitness Notes page if you like), and I’m feeling pretty good! :)

One more thing (since I don’t post very often… at least, that’s my excuse): we had an excellent guest speaker at church yesterday, who happened to be the former pastor-before-the-latest one, who was pastor there for 12 years or something (Rick Reed). He was talking about how God’s love changes us, which is exactly what Pastor Tim said recently, when he highlighted the value of “experiencing” God’s love. For me, it’s just another reminder that WORSHIP is so important.

When you worship and experience that love, it inspires–not a strong enough word… it fills you with a strong desire... to be the person He wants you to be. The other two things that yesterday’s speaker mentioned that serve to “urge you strongly”? to never give up on getting better, are: knowing your identity (a child of God), and your destiny (a forever life with God).

“What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it–we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are.” (1 John 3:1)

This photo-pair is NOT made with the new program, but I love-love-LOVE Fall, my New Home, the Trails around my new home… etc. etc.!!

leaves h2 i walk tg 2 2014

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Blogging is more than blabbing and bragging.

This is something that has become more true recently, for me.

As much as I try to deny it, there has always been that feeling of wanting to show off, or wanting everyone to know what I have to say about things. Who doesn’t love to post photos on Facebook (e.g. “look what I made!”) But as it has been previously noted, I think I’ve said it all now–I’m done! :D Posting short articles every day was a good thing for awhile, but now I think that people take more notice because I post so seldom.

However, just because I’m not writing new articles, doesn’t mean I’m not using my blog–far from it! Believe it or not, for awhile I had FOUR different tabs open in my browser that were all different spots on this blog. Now I’ve cleaned things up so that they can be found easier, using Pages and Categories. And I’m going through to tag things a little better.

Because now that I’m not writing as much, the time can be spent reading things over–all those sermon notes, for example (I’ll have to tag my faves). Special, seasonal things are nice to read over (like poetry, and other quotes). These days I’m busy setting up some scripture prayer, using the private setting vs “publish”.

OH, and my latest new Page is for recording my Fitness journey! (You can see my Pages listed across the top, if you’re on my site. They are always available there, and sometimes get updated… like the Fitness one obviously. But they don’t go to Facebook, or in the emails…. as far as I know!)

And of course, reading my own stuff over, starting waaaay back in 2006, can also be humbling… or would that be, humiliating? ;) Lots of great memories though!


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Great Stuff

Update: This was originally published in 2012 as a Page. I’ve decided to just make it a regular post… though I do like how it was added to every once in awhile. I thought of making the Page private (so there’s not so many Pages up there), but then it would be harder to find again. Anyway, the “Next Time” Page is sort of the same thing. (If this goes out in email, you probably don’t want to bother reading the rest of this long thing!)

It was… “A place to collect up some of the wonderful things God says.” A fitting quote here, from Subby Szterszky (Focus on the Family, New Year’s Resolution Reality Check):

“…God didn’t give us His Word so we could impress Him with our efforts to read it, or even primarily to tell us how to be better spouses, parents and citizens. The overarching purpose of the Scriptures is to reveal God in all His beauty and glory, … so that we might… become more like Him and enjoy Him forever.”

This page has been mostly for special scriptures. (But there are SO many!) God also speaks through his servants… for example, the Perspectives course that we took in the Fall of 2012… here are a few of my favourite quotes/messages from Perspectives:

  • “Missions is not the ultimate purpose of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” (John Piper)
  • “By wooing people into true worship, God is able to fully bestow His love upon them.”
  • “The rationale for mission is the colossal worthiness of God.” Worship fulfills God’s love.

Now for the special verses, that often get put at the top of my Home page. Most of them will be from The Message, but you can hover your mouse over the reference to see the New Living version.

  • “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.” (Proverbs 29:18) Jan. 8/13
  • Love this, even if it doesn’t get to be on the Home page: “Quit your worship charades. I can’t stand your trivial religious games: Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings–meetings, meetings, meetings–I can’t stand one more! Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them! You’ve worn me out! I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning. When you put on your next prayer-performance, I’ll be looking the other way….” God goes on to explain that instead, we should be cleaning up our lives, working for justice, for the down-and-out, “Stand up for the homeless”, the defenseless. (Isaiah 1:13-17) Emphasis mine… there was a time when I felt this in our church–all the meetings! (edited in Apr. 2, 2013)
  • from April 29, 2011: James 4:10-12
  • “Finally, brothers, whatever is TRUE, whatever is NOBLE, whatever is RIGHT, whatever is PURE, whatever is LOVELY, whatever is ADMIRABLE–if anything is EXCELLENT or PRAISEWORTHY–think about such things. ” (Philippians 4:8)–May 3/13
  • “We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails.” (Prov. 19:21)–Sept. 16/13
  • “…What we’ve learned is this: God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does. We’ve finally figured it out. Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting him set the pace, not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade.” (Romans 3:27-28)–Nov. 25/13.
  • “Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!” (Romans 15:13): This has been the “verse of the hour” this Christmas–I must have seen it a dozen times on Facebook, and other places as well! (December 2013)
  • “Entrust your efforts to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” (Prov. 16:3) Just one of the verses that illustrate my “Word for 2014”.
  • “With all this going for us [resurrection promise], my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” (1 Cor. 15:58)–Jan. 23, 2014, re getting involved with new church?


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Everyone In!

This isn’t to brag about my church, but just to say “Isn’t it neat that a church can be so well-equipped?”

Of course everything this mega-church does is huge, including their Wednesday morning ladies’ groups, when I’m involved with helping in the childcare program. They actually have separate rooms for each of babies, 1-yr. olds, 2-yr. olds, 3-yr. olds, and 4/5-yr. olds, as well as a separate section for home-schooled kids! This year I’m the story-teller for the 2-year olds, and we have TWENTY of them!! The first week is extra wild of course (one or other 2-yr. old screaming and crying for mommy over the whole 2 hours), but here are the reasons why this was not as crazy as it could have been:

  • We had 3 large connected rooms with doors–
    • the entrance room had a half-gate, so that parents could drop off their child without coming in, and causing confusion with several parents wandering around with all the kids;
    • one room had the snack tables, sinks, bathroom and the story board;
    • the other back playroom was useful for carrying screaming children into, for several reasons: so the moms could escape while we tried to distract them; so the story-time would not be disrupted; and then they all went there with the door closed while moms were arriving back to pick them up–the child whose mom had arrived would be quietly taken out, so that the others would not start screaming again wondering where their own moms were.
  • Quota–the system for signing in the children involved making absolutely sure that we met “quota”, meaning that there were enough workers per child. We had 7 or 8 helpers (men, ladies, teenagers both male and female), and each one was needed!
  • Everyone has their job: someone else told the story the first week while I got the “feel” for the group, but that’s all I’ll be responsible for really, besides a “craft”/colouring page. And of course I’ll help where I’m needed beyond that. But thankfully I don’t have to worry about signing kids in, or even when to do what. The Team Leader directs everything, and we all listen for her cues. And everyone willingly chipped in to clean up afterwards.

One could have wondered over the course of the morning if one was “cut out for this”, but in the end, when you see how well things are organized… It’s a privilege to be involved!


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Will there be work in Heaven?

Ah, Labour Day. A holiday from the curse of work!

“Cursed is the ground because of you… It will produce thorns and thistles for you… By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food…” (Genesis 3:17-19)

Is Work really a curse? People who are lucky enough to be able to do their Dream Job, would not say so. But even they will heave a sigh of relief at end of day.

If you think about it, Work is everywhere, included in everything. I may say I’m only playing Lexulous, but it is hard work to think up a good word! In fact, more than once my son has asked me what’s wrong, when a sigh of frustration escaped my lips, but I was only trying to think of a word. Even things we enjoy or are good at, require hard work.

For example, I love having visitors; but there is hard work involved in preparing for them, and making sure everything is just right. I’m quite sure I wouldn’t enjoy it as much, if it was just easy-peasy. There’s a certain pride involved.

And when you work hard to make your family happy (or anyone else), their joy increases your own joy, and makes it all worthwhile. That’s a mirror of God’s desire towards us, by the way. He takes delight in planning out the best for us.

One of the great benefits of Work of course, is the reward–eating the delicious dinner you prepared, having a holiday away, a restful weekend, or just a good sleep at the end of the day; earning enough money to buy something long-sought after, or a precious gift to give to someone, and on and on.

So yeah, I don’t think Adam’s curse was Work itself. Notice the “thorns and thistles” part. Weeding is something that gives me satisfaction, to pull out the roots and clean the uglies away; but I hit a thistle the other day when I was weeding, and the pain of it lasted for a little while. So I think the “curse” part was the pain. Look at the Message version of those verses from Genesis:

“…getting food from the ground will be as painful as having babies is for your wife; [love that, lol!] you’ll be working in pain all your life long…” (Genesis 3:17-19)

Ah, but then–that beautiful garden! The food from it! And, that baby… :)

summer prof 2014


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We’re always having to remind ourselves that we shouldn’t base important things we do on feelings. They are so fleeting, so changeable, and often they tell downright lies. However, that is not to say that feelings aren’t important! It is the way God made us after all, to have feelings about things. It’s impossible I think, to totally keep them from influencing what we do.

In fact, we were reminded in a sermon recently, that we need feelings. If you have trouble with faith, or if you don’t have a desire to throw yourself into whatever God wants of you, it could be because you haven’t “experienced” God’s love–meaning, it has spread down from your mind to your heart. Feeling.

In fact, it’s the best thing I can pray for you about! No matter what you’re going through: I can’t always be sure that God wants to heal you of physical ailment or take you out of a terrible situation (not that he enjoys seeing people suffer, but only HE knows what is best), but I CAN pray that you can sense his love in the midst of it all.

I’ve had that happen to me–the miracle of feeling God’s love in the midst of trials. And when my baby was born (those many years ago), I asked myself what was the most important thing I wanted for him, above everything else. It was for him to know in his heart, that God loves him. That’s why I’d sing to him, “Jesus loves you“.

Nothing else matters, in the long run, because this is where everything else begins. God is the only one who can love perfectly, and coming to full realization of what he has done for us through Jesus, of how much he desires us to come close, well, that changes everything.

summer prof 2014

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Do you know what you’re doing?

“But anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask. (James 1:5)  I have proved this verse true (CEB used here), so many times! Do you ever come across times when you just don’t know WHAT to do? Some examples of my times like that, have been in figuring out my son’s stomach issues. When I’m totally lost about what to do next, and I pray about it, the answer usually comes very quickly. And that’s worked for a host of different things, in various areas of life.

God is SO willing to give wisdom! Once you realize that, you can pray with true faith that you’ll get your answer: But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,” (James 1:6). Believe that God is guiding your thoughts. Don’t you think he can?

So this is a way to kind of “trick me into faith”. If there’s something I’m desperately praying about, and I’m lacking the faith to believe that God will answer that request, all I need to to do is turn my prayer into a request for wisdom! At least for me, that is such a proven thing–I can call to mind the many times that wisdom was so readily granted me.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open. (James 1:5-6, MSG)


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more about beauty

After yesterday’s post, I began to think about other kinds of beauty. Yes, nature is quite incredible, and don’t forget that nature includes things like newborn babies. We’ve had some of that beauty recently in our family.

In fact, it’s time to get back to work on the huge pile of beautiful photos I’ve been collecting lately–of babies, and of three weddings! Now there, is some man-made beauty: all those lovely dresses and suits, the beauty of the wedding ceremony…. You can still call it God-made though: what amazing creativity he has inspired in people!

I think of the photographer, arranging the Lords and Ladies along the rocky shore, or in an old barn, or the contrast of the wedding couple on the porch of an old pealing-paint farmhouse. Or the Brides’ choices and matching of colours; for example, one long line of bridesmaids all in pinks and mauves–never mind making each one the same colour as the next! Or the creative minds that took unofficial photos of the groomsmen all wearing dark glasses and holding pistols, just for fun. Or this new thing lately, called a “sand ceremony”, which was especially meaningful for the older couple who were just married, who had each of their children (she had three and he had two) add a different colour of sand into the photo frame of themselves.

God loves “man-made” beauty as well, we can guess that from the elaborate instructions for Moses’ tabernacle. And don’t forget musical beauty, that was also included in worship from earliest times. He has made man like himself after all, our Creator God. And these talents that he gives each one, are gifts that he enjoys seeing us use! (Don’t you enjoy seeing people take delight in the gifts you give them?)

Oh, and one more beauty, God-made but man-kept/enhanced: those gorgeous guys and gals! As well as: the love that inspired the weddings in the first place, the joy of the whole family, their joy in each other… can you think of more?


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God is crazy about me

Once, I said that if the only thing in the world was lilacs, I could easily believe in God. Well, I could say the same for “a few” other things (in fact, my new lilac didn’t bloom this year–maybe next year).

August for example, is the Month of the Goldenrod. When we go on our walks around the trails here, I get to see masses of them in the fields. “There’s gold in them thar fields!” Sometimes they’re sprinkled with the whimsical Queen Ann’s Lace. Oh my! That’s another thing that grows profusely along the trails.

I could snap photo after photo: the Lace sprinkled with Blue Chicory, or with some pink Cone Flower that has escaped from somewhere and is growing wild, or with tall yellow daisies, or… Both Goldenrod and Queen Ann’s Lace are quite nondescript if you look at one single stalk, but growing in masses like they do, it takes your breath away!

Oh, and one spot along the trails has a little canyon that is chalk-full of Joe Pye Weed, who’s dusty pink, cloud-like flower is not especially beautiful, but they have a lovely fragrance.

Speaking of fragrance, July could be called, for me, the Month of the Stargazer Lily. I have three stalks in my garden, and they each get picked and put in vases on my mantel. The huge pink blooms have a spectacular type of beauty, but that is not the best thing about these:

  • The smell! Ahhhhhh!!! You don’t have to go near them at all to delight the ol’ factory, but I do anyway–and my arms just float up as if I’m about to fly away!
  • You can pick them before all the blooms have opened, and the buds will keep opening.
  • They have tons of blooms!
  • They last for weeks and weeks, even after picking. Although many petals have dropped, I still have one going!

I’m not a lily person (always letting my Mom and sister grow them for my enjoyment), but these were here when we moved in. My preference is for the tiny flowers, especially ones that are easy to grow. But this Stargazer Lily makes me feel like God has presented me with… well… The Crown Jewels! :)

After all, God is crazy about me–he sends me flowers all the time, gorgeous sunsets, beautiful sunny days… even rainy ones to water things!

facebk my lilies

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the Way to Live Forever

This just doesn’t feel right anymore, posting for two days in a row! But I have to make some notes from this morning.

In three or four different places, I read about being baptized. “Believe and be baptized”, and you’re good to go (to heaven). Even Jesus tells us to preach the Gospel and baptize people, in his last words before ascending. Earlier he’d said that all you need to do if you want to live forever, is to believe: just believe in Jesus. That’s all!

The thing about baptism, is that it proves you’re serious about believing. Baptism means “obedience”. In fact, the song that was playing as I went forward to be baptized (when I was 11/12 years old), was “Trust and Obey”.

That’s why our church places such high importance on it. It also strengthens your commitment in your own heart. And there’s a lot more meaning to it as well–the symbolism of “going under” with Jesus and dying to self, and coming up or being “resurrected” to a new life, etc..

I forget now exactly how this segued in my mind this morning, but I also thought of my Word for this year, “service”. Compassion was talking about how they serve the child, and another devotional was asking me what I’m “called to do”. Our church has a theme to focus on each month, and this month it’s Abounding in the work of the Lord. What a wonderful thing to know that (according to the Bible itself!) God has actually prepared things for us to do!

The thing is, your service needs to start with obedience. Yes, you do what’s in front of you to do, but at the same time, be listening for that still, small voice, telling you that this time you need to take a break; or maybe that something else would be a better thing, as much as that one was a good thing. Maybe that one is meant for someone else, or for another time.

I haven’t been paying a lot of attention to my One Word this year, but I think it’s still a good thing to do. I’m already looking forward to seeing what next year’s Word is going to be!


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