Thursday, February 28, 2013

Just whistle if you need me ...

This story was reported recently on several stations. This link should show you the video!
Enjoy!
 
 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Molly and the Bear Comics

Found a comic at Go comics called Molly and the Bear. Sort of fun!
So much for life with a GPS!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Local Video goes viral

A write up in the CIncinnati Enquirer drew my attention to this video made by a guy who went to high school locally. Enjoy!
 
 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sittin' in Starbucks

This is one of those days where I saw the Dentist, then see the MD two hours later, then meet the cousin two hours later, then go home, do chores and drive to airport at 10 PM. So a good day to visit Starbucks for on-line things, read or crochet between appointments.
 
Here are some fun thoughts all lumped together.
 
When we were one vacation once we saw the sign below at a coffee shop. A print of it now hangs in the "break room" where Bob works.
 
 

In Alaska we saw this sign. I found it especially amusing as they have seasons with very little sun light and some seasons with almost no darkness. The locals told us they found it hard to sleep sometimes and hard to stay awake at other times of the year.

 
So here I am drinking AWAKE! tea and trying to stay warm. The winds outside are howling and the flags are standing straight out. I wondered where the fan was creating a draft and then I realized that sitting next to the picture windows was not a terrific idea...light yes, cold breeze, yikes!
 
So I guess these signs are not just a flash from the past as I saw the first one in yet another shop. Fooey! I thought we had found something unique!
Here is some fun food for thought. My granddaughters, the "Grandgirls", both have iPod touch. They are in elementary school and computer savvy somewhat beyond me! One has learned cursive. One probably will not.
 
 
If you read my blog often you know I am interested in science and nature. I always wanted a high powered microscope so I could watch Amoebae, Paramecium and the like. This made me grin!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

I had to say good bye to a friend this week. He weighed 1.1 ounces and was a brilliant example of God's glorious creation. Bob was walking recently and found this friend, dead, alongside of the road. He was probably hit my a car. I call him my friend as we have been entertained and fascinated by the Eastern Bluebirds who live in our neighborhood. They have such brilliant hues and we have never lived around them before now!
 
Looking at photos on-line I am amazed! We have tried to photograph these neighbors repeatedly. Some of the on-line photos were stunning!!
But as Benjamin Franklin said, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." Well, my bird was dead, but I did get to see it up close for as long as I desired.
 
So if you are squeamish, you might not want to see my photos below. This bird was just SO beautiful, though it had been dead several days. I pinned it down on cardboard to hold it in position and to provide a neutral background for the photos. The lighting is just natural sun light.
 
 
 
 
The edges of the feathers were shaded in burnt orange. I never would have seen that on a live bird. I got the weight listed above from my iBird Pro App a ranger in Denali National Park told me about.
 
Now when I see a bluebird in the neighborhood, as I did just yesterday, I rejoice at the beauty and wonder of it's creation. I also rejoice at my husband's love in being willing to retrace his walk and retrieve the bird for me. He did not just tell me about it. He went to get it for me so I could have my own bird experience and share it with you!
 
Genesis 1:21-22
So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems
and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and
every winged bird according to its kind.
And God saw that it was good.
God blessed them and said,
“Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas,
and let the birds increase on the earth.”
 
 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Keeping Vigil with the Mystery, Now Will You?

One morning recently this song was ringing through my soul. It comes from a CD entitled "Seven Sacred Pauses, Singing Mindfully Dawn Through Dark." Once I located the CD and played the song I had to hear if 6-8 times before my soul would settle down. I wanted to let you hear it, but I cannot find it on-line to link for you.
 
These are the lyrics for KEEPING VIGIL WITH THE MYSTERY
(Macrina Wiederkehr, Velma Frye)
 
My heart can see into the darkness.
And my prayer travels deep,
where the Eternal One waits.
With love I listen,
keeping vigil with the Mystery,
With the One who waits for me.
I am with the One who waits for me.
Are you aware that Someone is waiting for you? Ponder those lyrics and pursue them into your own prayer time.
 
Spurgeon wrote:
How is it with my spiritual journey, am I labouring up the hill of my own works and down into the ravines of my own humiliations and resolutions, or do I run by the plain way of "Believe and live"? How blessed is it to wait upon the Lord by faith! The soul runs without weariness, and walks without fainting, in the way of believing. Christ Jesus is the way of life, and He is a plain way, a pleasant way, a way suitable for the tottering feet and feeble knees of trembling sinners: am I found in this way, or am I hunting after another track ...?
How often have I not responded to the One Who waits for me? Do you know that God is waiting for you to respond to the love and grace extended to you?
 
Will you yield, now?
 
Here is a song that moved my heart years ago. I think it spurred me into a deeper relationship with the One Who waits. I could not find a good recording of it or how to get permission to print the lyrics here. So I hope I do not offend anyone by sharing this terrific song. I think I heard a recording by Twila Paris, but it is most often listed by Steve Green.
 
You've heard the words, And know they're true
And now they ring inside of you.
They're calling you to come away
Now will you come or stay?
You want to, now will you
You want to now will you?

The truth that burns within you
Like a bed of fiery coals
Contains that power to liberate
A thousand captive souls
But if the truth will ever set you free
Depends on you

You want to, now will you
You want to now will you?
Words and Music by Jon Mohr, Copyright 1986 Jonathan Mark Music/Birdwing Music (ASCAP)
 
 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Show Me

 
I had a wonderful journal that I bought years ago in a Disney store. The cover was blue and had a raised Superman logo on the cover. It was not until I began writing in the journal that I learned each page had the logo shadowed on each page.
 
I do not think of myself as super anyone. The logo spoke to the cry of my heart, "Show me, HOLY SPIRIT, I haven't got a clue." I soon began wearing a t-shirt with the Superman logo on it. When people would ask me, "Super Woman?" I would reply, "Nope! It stands for show me Holy Spirit, I haven't got a clue."
 
Not exactly the popular t-shirt from the local Christian bookstore, but it still speaks to my heart.
 
Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Corgis Rule!

An animal that makes me laugh out loud is just a life necessity. I already told Bob that if he dies first I am getting a Corgi! Maybe it will help me remember how to smile if I am to go on living without my wonderful husband!
 
These photos just sealed the deal for me!
Above is MY kind of doggie!
 
Snoozing puppies!
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Winter getting you down?

Bet you are glad you have longer legs than a Corgi!
 
 
 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Praying Mantis #2

Other praying mantis facts talk about how mantises survive in their habitat. "Because their natural color is in shades of either green or brown, some lighter and some darker in color, they can blend in well and camouflage with the environment they live in. This is of great advantage for them since being carnivorous predators, they can quietly stalk and watch over their prey while waiting for the perfect timing to attack."
 
Because of the anatomical uniqueness of the mantis’ striking and very defined front legs that are bent at a particular angle resembling a praying position, this genu is most commonly referred to as the praying mantis. This is a strength for an intercessor. Watching over things around me and praying as led by the Spirit. Now the attack part does not translate so well, except in terms of the battle as led by The Lord.
ASV says 2 Corinthians 10:4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds, or as The Amplified version says: For the weapons of our warfare are not physical weapons of flesh and blood, but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds.
 
Environmentalgraffiti.com says: "Interestingly, the name ‘mantis’ is derived from the Greek for ‘prophet,’ while the scientific name for the European praying mantis is Mantis religiosa. The praying mantis seems to have been associated with things divine for quite some time – surely due to its distinctive stance.

 
"In most mantids there is one ear in a form of a small slit near the legs and has two eardrums and tuned to 25-60 kHz, which allows them to hear the ultrasonic sounds of bats as they near so they can dodge them quickly." Now that is really nifty! Tuned to hear and avoid bats which want to eat them. While I am not likely to examine a mantis with a magnifying glass, I was curious about just where that ear is located!
Are we this wary in terms of our spiritual health? Are we watchful of things that want to destroy us? Here is the location of that ear.
 
 
Michael Card wrote a song called "Chorus of Faith" in which he says

"Sing it with your life, sing with your heart
Make melody with the words of your mouth
But mind that you listen, tell it to others
Live the chorus of faith."

It has been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth to emphasize the importance of LISTENING. As Card says we are to listen and tell it to others! These bugs do not chirp or squeak as many others do. "As an extra warning display, some species can make a hissing noise by releasing air from their abdomens."
I hope as you listen to the voice of the Almighty you will not tell it with hissing, but with the holiness that is apparent when it is spoken to you.

So may you be blessed with this image of the Christian intercessor and I hope you see one in the wild soon!
 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mantis facts Praying Mantis - Mantis religiosa

When I visited Albuquerque I found this wonderful pen and ink sketch in a Corrales gift shop of a praying mantis. We had praying manitis in our garden at Danny Drive. Last year I finally found one in the garden at Siesta. I just love them! There are many facts available about the mantis on-line.
 
 
When I was younger I was told they are endangered, but in North America they actually are not endangered! In fact, in 1977 the European Mantis (mantis religiosa), a native of Southern Europe, became the official State Insect of Connecticut!

Now why name an insect with such an activity as "praying"? Some thing it would be better to call it "preying" because of its habit of eating other insects and even its mate. But the pose it strikes looks as if it is indeed praying to its Creator. "Mantis. Because of the anatomical uniqueness of the mantis’ striking and very defined front legs that are bent at a particular angle resembling a praying position, this genu is most commonly referred as the praying mantis" As you can see in the drawing it is even called "Mantis Religiosa."
 
One website notes that the Praying Mantis resembles an alien with its large eyes. What a similarity to Peter's description of Believers in 1 Peter 2:11 where he wrote: Beloved, I implore you as aliens and strangers and exiles in this world to abstain from the sensual urges the evil desires, the passions of the flesh, your lower nature that wage war against the soul."
 
 
Another site noted: "By any name, these fascinating insects are formidable predators. They have triangular heads poised on a long "neck," or elongated thorax. Mantids are the only insect that can turn their heads 180 degrees to scan their surroundings with two large compound eyes and three other simple eyes located between them." I wonder where the 'three other simple eyes" are located? I can't determine where they are.
 
Triangular heads, hhmm! Triangles always bring to mind the Trinity to me!
 
 
So this little drawing has clarified for me some characteristics common ot myself and the Praying Mantis. As an intercessor I hope to always lift my hands in prayer and worship to our Lord and Savior. Watch for a praying mantis coming to a garden near you soon!
 
More tomorrow!
 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chariot Wheels

In the devotional "Joy & Strength" Romans 8:9 is used with Charles Gore's quote :
Romans 8:9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
That life is carnal in which our spirit, meant for God, is dragged at the chariot-wheels of our lower life and that is spiritual which is ruled and mastered by the Spirit. Secular business is spiritual if it is ruled by the divine Spirit according to the law of righteousness.
"Dragged at the chariot wheels of our lower life", wow! What an image. There are times we each feel frustrated regarding our spiritual walk. I think this image sums it up fairly well! He says that turning secular affairs to spiritual is done by us "being ruled by the divine Spirit according to the law of righteousness." That cannot happen without our consent and our dedication to becoming instruments in God's hand. We must yield to His ways and His workings inside us for this to be accomplished.
Later in the same devotional Andrew Murray is quoted as saying:
Take time not only to secure stillness from man and the world but from self and its energy. Let the Word and prayer be very precious; but remember, even these may hinder the quiet waiting."...These may "so engage us that we do not come to the still waiting on the All-Glorious One. Though at first it may appear difficult to how know thus quietly to wait, with the activities of mind and heart for a time subdued, every effort after it will be rewarded; we shall find that it grows upon us, and the little season of silent worship will bring a peace and a rest that give a blessing not only in prayer, but all the day."
Contrast the dragging your spiritual self under the chariot wheels of busy-ness with the still waiting on the All-Glorious One. Ponder your life in the contrasting images.
The praying Mantis in a mandala.
When I go to the church office to do intercession on behalf of the Crossing on Wednesday mornings much of this occurs within me. I present before The Lord the names of those leading us at the Crossing. If I am aware of particular leadership concerns I lift those to Him. I pray over the prayer requests that people have submitted to the prayer team during that past calendar week. I pray to know God better and I spend time praising Him in worship and adoration. Best of all, I also get to a place where there are no words and we commune together. Often there are no images or insights during this time, just a holy touch that is better than life itself. The silence of this time may last barely a minute, or minutes on end. I am much less likely to engage in a friendly conversation at this point as my focus and attention are on the "All-Glorious One."
Whether you go some place outside of your home (with its many distractions) or create a place within your home to "subdue the activities of mind and heart" I pray you will daily find a "little season of silent worship." As you practice doing this, "it will bring a peace and a rest that give a blessing not only in prayer, but all the day."
More about the praying mantis another day!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Floor Creaks

This morning when I got up it seemed the bedroom floor was creaking more than usual. Granted, this is winter, and the floor tends to creak more during this season. This really got my attention though as the creaks were not in places that customarily occur!
 
When I settled down to read my devotionals I came across this passage in "Joy & Strength."
 
Amid our most trivial duties, on days which are passing in the usual round of uneventful routine, He may speak to us as never before.....To listen for the footsteps of the divine Redeemer passing by us in the ordinary providences of life is a most important part of the probation of every man. H. P. Liddon
 
Only He knows what this day holds. Keep listening!
 
 
 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Dog Sled Weights

Here are some dog sled details! I got the answer from the Kennels Manager. You have to love the internet, huh?! Having just watched parts of the Westminster Dog Show I have to declare these are truly working dogs! I love the poem she quoted at the end of her e-mail. Enjoy!!
 
Hi Molly,

Glad to hear you got to visit Denali and the sled dog kennels last spring. You ask a good question about the weight of the sled. An empty dogsled weighs between 100-150 pounds, then you add a musher who also is often 100-150 pounds, then we factor that each of our dogs can comfortably haul 50 pounds of weight (so a 10 dog team could haul 500 pounds) over long distances, day after day as we travel down the trail.
However, we also do some heavy hauling projects that may involve much heavier loads than that. When we are working on a particular heavy hauling project it is typically just for a short distance and would not involve the dogs hauling those large, heavy loads for several days on the trail.

I hope that answers your question.

Sincerely,
Jen

--
Jennifer Raffaeli
Kennels Manager
Denali National Park & Preserve
907 683 9586

"But can't you hear the Wild? -- it’s calling you.
Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us;
Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There’s a whisper on the night-wind,
there’s a star agleam to guide us,
And the Wild is calling, calling. . .let us go." -Robert Service


NPS Puppy Finale

I found #3 lots of fun!

Did not find #4 as interesting, but here it is for you. I am hoping to find some videos of the winter training for those pups!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

May Your Heart Be An Altar

May your heart be an altar, from which the bright flame of unending thanksgiving ascends to heaven.
St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier

Saint Arsenius was a man who was very quiet and often silent. He is most famous for always saying,
“Many times I spoke, and as a result felt sorry, but I never regretted my silence.”
This was the most holy place we visited in Ireland, in my estimation. I was speechless.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

MOST LIKELY TO HAVE ROCKS IN THE SINK

When I was growing up, I spent an enormous amount of time out of doors. The farmer's field with a little stream through the lower part of the hill was one of my favorite places. I found empty land snail shells there! I was ecstatic! I thought shells only came from the beach when Grandma Rush went to Florida. Truly that field was a magical place.
One of the best gifts I ever received was a Golden Book of Zoology. Then I discovered they printed ones about reptiles, weather, trees, insects, and even ROCKS! I would bring home rocks and wash them in the bathroom sink. Or if someone was in the bathroom I would move to the kitchen sink.
When I married and we began to travel I would collect an interesting rock from each place we went. Quartz and granite, marble and shale. I found one in the Smoky Mountain National Park area that I refer to as brains.

When the small stones begin to take over a desk or dish I simply put them outside as a garden border. All children, related or not, love to play there.
Shopping at two indigenous artist shops a few years back I bought a rock with and a key. One said courage and one said strength.
A few months ago I attended a retreat where they gave us stones with words on them. I was so disappointed when they asked for the stones back. I wanted to take mine home! Can you see where this is going?
Somehow on a craft site I saw a You Tube video of women engraving words on rocks with a special Dremel tool. I was hooked. It has taken me almost a year, but I finally bought one and have been using it. I refuse to show it to the Grandgirls simply because I DO NOT WANT TO SHARE!
I will admit that for Christmas I engraved a rock with each grandchild's first name.
So if you drop in at my house and find a rock in the sink (upstairs or down) do not be surprised! I have grown up with the reputation of being the one most likely to have rocks in the sink!
With my streak of bad happenings last summer I even wear safety glasses when I use it. I found if I sit on the front porch in the sun I can see better, but those glasses fog up quickly in the sun!
 
I just looked up at Starbucks and was startled by a woman at the other end of the store who is practicing with her Numchucks. Now there are 3 of them! Yikes! What a variety our world offers! I carve on rocks, they toss Numchucks.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"Holy Crap! Run !!"

If you need a laugh today, this just might do it .... that is, of course, if you like MYTH BUSTERS!
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, February 11, 2013

The LET Smorgasbord

I would have to call Psalm 107 the LET smorgasbord. Seven lets in just a few verses! Verses 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 21-22, 31-32 say:
"Give thanks to The Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say this - those He redeemed from the hand of the foe. Let them give thanks to The Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men, for He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men, for He breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men.
Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of His works with songs of joy. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men. Let them exalt Him in the assembly of the people and praise Him in the council of the elders."
In the Old Covenant there many kinds of offerings and sacrifices. In the New Covenant Jesus is the perfect offering and the sacrifice for our sins. There are very few references to any offerings we are to make as Christians. The offering and sacrifice most often referred to in Matthew through Revelation is defined in Hebrews 13:15 as a sacrifice of praise. This one theme runs throughout the Bible: gratitude, thankfulness, praise, all contribute to our well being and are pleasing to God our Father.
 
Gratitude can change us in an instant. If we let ourselves give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love, our emotions will follow our thoughts. Step back from your intense situations and pray to see God's hand at work. The Holy Spirit will begin to show you His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds. In order to see this way we must yield to Him our perspective, letting Him guide and direct our view. Sometimes my thank offering is made through tears and is truly an act of my will. It never ceases to amaze me how my emotions will FOLLOW. "Tell of His works with songs of joy," and soon the very atmosphere around you will change.
 
Forgive me for failing to love You. God, I want my life to be a veritable shopping mall of praises to You. Let me offer praise to You in every situation, regardless of how I feel. Show me the value of this sacrifice. You are a Father of unfailing love and wonderful deeds! I thank You and praise Your holy name. Amen.