Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring Forward

This is one of the grow boxes we have made this spring. To the left in the pic is the walk going to our front door. When we get it all done we will have bark chips on the bare areas. We are also working to put a new walk in. The buckets have dirt in them but we have gotten those moved. We bought some petunias and a geranium for flowers. I may also get Salvia or Zinnias a little later. We have made three other raised beds in different places which has been keeping us busy. We have planted onions, cabbage and tomatoes and have eggplants ready as well.

In about a week and a half our church will begin a two week revival series. It sounded like everything was in order but yesterday they came to me and asked if I would lead out in the children's programs because 'everyone else' had backed down. I consented so that will give me another short term 'full time' effort. Should be interesting to say the least. I am planning to share with the children the "Passport to Life" program. When a person is planning to travel abroad it is good to have a Passport. We are getting ready to travel to heaven. The Lord has given us information that is like a passport to enable us to be 'ready' to travel soon with Him to heaven.

We take time to learn how to take care of the vehicle we will be traveling in - our body.

We learn God's plan to 'clean out' our hearts from sin, called the Bible Sanctuary.

We also are introduced to God's protection plan called the "Armor of God".

This evening my hubby has been reading about the "Lisbon" earthquake. The damage was incredible. The extent of that quake extended thousands of miles. The shock of that quake was quite strong even in Africa. Realizing that this world is even more unstable than it was then, we recognize that unless God is our protection, all is 'lost'.

Our son and his wife moved to Idaho early this year. She is pregnant and has had a rough 'start' but seems to be doing better now. They were staying for a little while in a small camper trailer but just recently were able to get an apartment for which we are grateful.

Not everyone seems fully occupied all the time.
"Tiger" thinks my desk can be used for a cat nap as well as for my working on. He is much more of an outside cat but when it comes time for either Breakfast or Supper he shows up and after eating often wants at least a little bit of loving before he goes on his way again. I guess all of us need a 'little bit of lovin' to make 'livin' a little easier.

'Our other cat, 'Snickers', or Sneakers', is getting older but does have a preference for the floor more. One position that seems to be quite comfortable to him is on his back.

Other times he does sleep curled up as what some consider a more 'normal' cat nap position.

Tiger and Snickers do have their 'spats' but for the most part they also seem to look out for each other as well.

It is getting late so I will close for now.

I do hope to get more than just a 'catnap' this night. And until we meet again, may God's peace be not only with you but in your heart and life.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thoughts on 'Pride', and an April update.

Yesterday a friend asked me what the word 'pride' entailed. This afternoon I decided to do a little more 'digging' into the biblical usage and meaning. We often think of 'arrogant' or 'defiant' as a synonym, which it often is. Interestingly enough, to me anyway, I found that at least in King James Version the word does not always indicate the above meaning, at least according to context and 'concordance' meanings.

In Psalm 40:4 the word translated 'proud' (the only place in the Bible that 'Hebrew' word is used) means 'fierce'. With that meaning of 'proud' here is how I now 'see' that verse.

4. The person who chooses the Creator's will as his own, even in the face of fierce opposition (which are really lies being urged upon him) is genuinely happy.

Psalm 31: 23 is another verse that seems to have a different meaning than 'arrogant' or 'defiant' when KJV used 'proud'. Here is how I presently 'see' this text.
23. Let your affections go out to the Creator - all of you who choose His will. The Lord guards and protects those who choose to belong to Him, and He makes a covenant of peace with those who choose to do His will to the best of their ability.

The text that my friend was looking at was Proverbs 11:2. There the meaning of 'pride' indicates: pride, insolence, presumptuousness, arrogance.

Proverbs 11:2 [When] pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly [is] wisdom.

Shame includes: contempt, dishonor or disgrace.

Looking at the context of 'pride' in these and other verses using the same definition as in Proverbs, I am seeing that the kind of pride being referred to is what has come about as a 'counterfeit' to something God gave in the beginning.

In looking at what was God's 'original' gift (but which has been distorted by 'sin') I am finding the concept of 'dignity' such as is stated in the following.

“He (Jesus) possessed a dignity and individuality wholly distinct from earthly pride and assumption; He did not strive for worldly greatness, and even in the lowliest position He was content." Desire of Ages 58

In summary, 'pride' (when used as the counterfeit) is: self importance, most often at another’s ‘expense’ (putting one’s self above another). Pride has to do with deriving perceived 'worth' from taking that 'worth' from another. The problem with that kind of attitude is when I do not love others AS I love myself, that is breaking the 'second' part of God's law which is to love others as you love yourself - not more or less.

What is 'pride' counterfeiting? God has given to each individual a personal dignity as He designed, a true individuality - being the person God intends you to be - His son or daughter. Human pride attempts to gain 'dignity' from a source other than God - mainly by trying to 'take it' from others.

I am still pondering those and other thoughts that I have shared here.

On some other topics of personal interest, we have been busy part of the time getting our garden ready. We are still getting frosts so we're not planting a lot yet. We did get some onions in and have transplanted some of our strawberries into another bed. My brother-in-law bought some cabbage and brussel sprout plants and we have gotten them planted. We bought some tomato plants but it is still too chilly at night for them.

Last fall I planted pansies near both houses. Because of the seemingly 'long' winter I didn't know how they would 'fare'. Well, we have many 'I love you' messages from Jesus this spring. When I walk outside and see the lovely flowers I am reminded to smile because God truly does love me as I view these flowers.

I have been trying to put in some pictures of the pansies but I guess I don't have the expertise it takes. I can get the pictures into my computer but when it comes to getting them in here so far nothing seems to work.

I am still working part time on getting the music book finished I mentioned earlier. My hubby has been editing the 'words' to try to get as many errors removed as possible.

As seems to be usual, when I attempt to do something 'big' my printer grumps. It will work for everyday activities but when I decide to 'do something' - like work on the lessons or music, etc. it seems to suddenly find out it can't work right. I just got another printer - the last one the red wouldn't print - but as soon as I decided to work on the "Passport to Life" project, the red ink quit again. Since that seems to be the case I am presently working to get at least one 'good' copy sent to a printer who appears to be interested. We have no present funds, but with God's blessing, He will accomplish what He pleases in regards to these lessons, coloring books and music.

We are planning to have a revival series sponsored by our local church in May. We had hoped to have a cooking school before the meetings but it appears that may happen after the completion of the series now.

For a few years I have been teaching the small children at our church. Beginning a few weeks ago we started using a 'gardening' theme. For each activity the children are introduced to - preparing the soil, planting seeds, taking out weeds, watering, etc. - we talk about how there is a corresponding activity Jesus wants to do in and with us - for our 'garden heart'. Today there were several children present and they seemed to enjoy. It is a bit of a risk to have 'dirt' in relation to the children, but thus far every activity has been controlled within certain limits. Water does a good job of 'cleaning' too.

Much more has been happening in our lives in other areas as well.

Our son got married last October. They moved to Idaho and now she is pregnant. Sounds like her due date is possibly this next October. She has had quite a bit of 'morning sickness' but it seems to be improving, hopefully. They have been staying with some folks but are planning to get an apartment of their own later this month. I hope so, especially for their sakes.

A friend of ours who has been living at our place for a while is looking to be able to get a place of her own this spring. She has several animals so I hope things work out for her in this respect. She found a little 'farmette' which would take care of her livestock.

My hubby is still in the realms of the unemployed - since January 2009. We keep plenty busy, it is just not for a salary 'pay'. We have been able to get a few more jobs done at our place and I am very grateful for that. The Lord has been enabling us to 'live' with less 'financial' income. He is not dependent on paychecks as we think of them. Sometimes He uses those means to supply our needs. Other times He uses other sources. We are looking into some of those possibilities presently. My brother has been helping us on one option.

One lesson I believe God would have us 'experience' is that we can be at peace even when outward circumstances are not always what we would like. "Great peace have they which love Thy law and nothing shall offend them" goes along with this thought as well as the 'count it all joy' text I mentioned earlier.

I have other things I need to do so will close for now. Hopefully I'll get back sooner the next time.

Bringer of Peace