Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Words of Wisdom

I've been studying 1 Samuel. When I study scripture, I like to make note of what I call a "stand out" verse. If I'm seriously meditating on what I've read, the Holy Spirit will draw me to a verse that really stand out, that speaks right to my soul. There's no mistaking when He's involved, because that verse sticks with me and I find myself meditating on it even when I'm working or involved in something not particularly spiritual.

The stand out verse for me right now is 1 Samuel 3: 19:
"The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground."

The Lord kept Samuel's words from being useless. He was with Samuel and He caused Samuel's words to be fruitful; to accomplish His purposes.

Oh, to be like Samuel! To be so close to God, so intune with Him, so obedient, that He would let none of my words fall to the ground. I want my words -- especially those that speak of Him -- to mean something and not be just idle words that fall by the wayside. The Lord gives wisdom and understanding, and will cause my words to be meaningful and true if I am surrendered to Him. If He has First Place.
Lord, make it so.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Green Pastures

Today was definitely a "Green Pastures day". Any day I get to spend time with my good friend and sister in Christ Patti, is a Green Pastures day. Patti is just one of those women that exudes Christ's love; she draws people to herself like the music of an ice cream truck draws children.

We met for lunch today and I was a few minutes late. When I arrived at the restaurant the hostess greeted me and directed me to the table where Patti was waiting for me. Across from her was a young man. For the life of me I couldn't imagine why she brought someone along with her. As soon as she saw me she greeted me brightly and the young man rose from the chair. As he did I realized he was the waiter. He had been sitting with Patti, chatting and waiting for me to arrive.

I was a bit perplexed. The restaurant was already buzzing with activity over the noon hour, so it wasn't as though the waiter had nothing else to do. Did he know Patti? Is that why he felt so comfortable sitting with her and talking?

Patti read the confused look on my face, and so as soon as the waiter was out of earshot she began to explain how he had come to sit with her. As she was waiting for me, she pulled out her Bible and began to read. The waiter noticed the Book and asked her what she was reading. She told him she was reading her Bible, something she liked to do when she had an opportunity throughout the day. He indicated that he thought that was a good thing, so she asked him if he ever reads the Bible. He said something like, "No, but I've been thinking I should." To which Patti answered, "Well, do it!"

Now, you'd have to know Patti to understand that there was no judgmentalism or chastising in her words to him. She's such a sweet person -- all 4'10" of her -- that she simply couldn't offend. No, she had made a friend. That young man liked her, I could tell. And chances are he'll eventually start reading the Bible. God works that way. He plants little seeds here and there, then waters them and "Bing!"seedlings push through the earth, grow and grow and finally there's a harvest for the reaping.

After lunch Patti and I stood outside the restaurant talking. Just discussing following God and looking for opportunities to serve Him every day. Suddenly, a woman probably in her late forties interrupted us and asked if we could help her. She explained she was homeless and needed $7 for a motel room that evening, assuring us that she wasn't on drugs or an alcoholic; offering other words to prove her need was legitimate. Would we help? I looked at Patti, she looked at me, then she turned to the woman and said, "I will help you if you will let me pray with you." The woman said her name was "Gina" and she "had no problem with praying", so the three of us held hands and Patti prayed a beautiful prayer for Gina. Then she took ten dollars out of her purse and gave it to Gina, saying, "Now, I'm trusting you to use this as you said you would and not for drugs or alcohol." I didn't have but one dollar in my billfold, which I sheepishly and apologetically gave to Gina. She hugged me and thanked both of us. Then left.

Afterwards I looked at Patti and she shrugged and said, "We can't know why God brought her to us, but He did. Maybe she's a homeless woman in need, maybe she's an angel that God sent to teach us something, but whatever the reason, all we can do is pray and help her as we can. We hope she won't use the money for drugs or alcohol, but we can't know for sure. We just help her and leave the rest to God."

Patti taught me a valuable lesson today. I frequently pass homeless people on the street as I walk to and from my office Monday through Friday. Sometimes they ask me for handouts and I mumble something about not having any cash and lower my head and walk away. I'm ashamed to admit it, but it's true. I just never know what to say or do. That is until today. Patti modeled for me what to do when God puts a person in my path. Minister to them in Christ's name.

God, grant me the strength to actually follow through if you bring someone like Gina into my path. And God...bless Patti and cause her to lie down in Green Pastures.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Blackberries, Mother's Day and Gardens

I found these luscious blackberries at Giant Eagle Friday night. Didn't they photograph nicely? These lovely jewels became homemade blackberry ice cream yesterday. Yum!

My Mother's Day was very relaxing. After church we came home and had a snack on the deck, then I worked on the church newsletter and made ice cream. Hubby grilled lemon chicken and we feasted on that, pasta salad and tomato/mozzarella/basil salad. It was all wonderful. The weather was so pleasant that we were able to eat on the deck.

About mid-afternoon our son called to wish me a happy Mother's Day. He has taken a sudden interest in gardening, which makes me very happy. I love to garden and have missed our big garden in Illinois. I wish we lived close enough for me to be a help to him. But, I'm sure he'll do just fine. 75% of good gardening is desire. The other 25% is talking to experienced gardeners and learning through trial & error.

My favorite gardening story is the time our neighbor Jake, an elderly man, was having trouble keeping a pesky rabbit from nibbling on his green beans. He tried everything, but that rabbit was relentless. Poor Jake was at the end of his rope. Then, one early morning, I heard the sound of a shotgun blast. I ran out to the back porch to see what was going on and lo and behold! Jake had rendered the final solution and the green beans flourished once more. Personally, I recommend the spreading of blood meal around plants that attract rabbits. It's always worked for me. Besides, I'm not fond of rabbit stew.

I would imagine Adam and Eve had little trouble with rabbits in their garden or anything else prior to The Fall.

"Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there He put the man he had formed. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."

I imagine them strolling through the garden with the Lord, commenting on the beautiful tomatoes the size of softballs and the sweet red raspberries without any stickers. No wonder it was called "Paradise".

Saturday, May 12, 2007

True Light

My devotion this morning centers around Psalm 105:19 (ESV) "until what he had said came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him."
Joseph knew what God had promised him in a dream, while he was still a free young man in his father's home; that he would place him in a position of honor and authority -- even authority over his own brothers. But his faith in God's promise was tested time and time again. Just when things were looking up and he was out of the darkness of the well where his angry brothers had thrown him and into the light of a prosperous position in Potiphar's home, the shadow of Potiphar’s lustful and devious wife fell upon him and once more he was imprisoned; wrongfully so.

He correctly interpreted the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker in prison and asked the cupbearer to remember to put in a good word for him when he was set free, yet the cupbearer forgot him and left him there for two long, shadowy years.

God's word tried Joseph, it tested him, until it came to pass many years later. His faith was tried and it was found not wanting. Josephs’ faith – the light of faith that God gave him – overcame the darkness.

Nothing has changed today. God's word is still true and it still shines through the darkness. I am tested by it at times, and have doubted it more times than I care to admit, but I have found it always to be true.

All He has promised me will come to pass in full glorious True Light.
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Friday, May 11, 2007


The adverse winds blew against my life;
My little ship with grief was tossed;
My plans were gone--heart full of strife,
And all my hope seemed to be lost--
"Then He arose"--one word of peace.
"There was a calm"--a sweet release.

A tempest great of doubt and fear
Possessed my mind; no light was there
To guide, or make my vision clear.
Dark night! 'twas more than I could bear--

"Then He arose," I saw His face--
"There was a calm" filled with His grace.

My heart was sinking 'neath the wave
Of deepening test and raging grief;
All seemed as lost, and none could save,
And nothing could bring me relief--
"Then He arose"--and spoke one word,
"There was a calm!" IT IS THE LORD.
--L. S. P.
From today's "Streams in The Desert" devotional.
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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Morning Song

I love song birds. Especially in the morning. I enjoy sitting in the living room in my favorite chair, with the windows wide open, listening to their sweet music while I read or write. How thoughtful of God to create something that enstills such a sense of peace and rest to my soul. So simple.

So often we get so focused on charging into the day, spear in hand, ready to attack, that we forget to just sit still at the feet of Jesus and listen to the birdsong. At moments like this --where I am right now with Jesus -- He and I don't need to say a word. We can just sit here together and enjoy the sweet singing of the cardinals and the finches. Gently breathing in, breathing out. Enjoy.

Thank you, LORD.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

What have I done?

I've been tossing around the idea of a blog for some time. I even went so far as to set one up on another service, then just never followed through. It was kind of cumbersome and not user friendly. I'm a simple girl. Well, ok, maybe not so simple; close friends think of me as rather complex, I guess. But I like "things" to be simple. I'm kind of impatient with technology and like the process to be easy and quick. Setting up this blog was both.

So, tonight I decided to take the plunge and start a blog. My daughter-in-law blogs about our grandchildren at I got tired of posting comments as "anonymous" because I didn't have a google account. (Somehow being the nana of those beautiful and extremely smart children and using "anonymous" to post comments just seems...well...wrong.) I opened an account, one thing led to another and here I am.

I chose "Coffee On the Deck" because that's one of life's simple pleasures and I am completely into simple pleasures. Life on this earth is way too complicated, busy and crammed with stuff, and coffee on the deck always sounds good to me (unless it's 90 degrees outside, and then it's iced tea or lemonade on the deck). Besides, I do some of my best thinkin' there.