Monday, 30 January 2012

Grace Notes - Counting the Gifts 667-684

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”
~ John Milton

The counting to 1000 continues . . .
667.  Praying friends
668.  Knee bend is getting better, little by little
669.  Sunshine streaming through my kitchen window
670.  Old family photos
Maternal GrGrGreat Grandparents Freelove Horn and David Benjamin Taylor of Searcy County,  Arkansas
671.  Devotional from Craig arrived in the mail
672.  All things are upheld by the word of His power
673.  Favour with God, favour with man
674.  Short lineups
675.  Safety for my son while in Costa Rica
676.  Sharing a meal
677.  Long conversation by the fireplace
678.  The throne of grace to which we may boldly come . . . 
679.   . . . any time, any place
680.  Giving testimony to the goodness of God
681.  Friends that cheerfully drive me home
682.  A most delightful read . . . Havah . . . the story of Eve.
683.  Juicy citrus goodness . . . Texas red grapefruit
684.  The practice of gratitude being spoken of and encouraged even by those who don't know the One to whom all thanks is due . . . the Giver of every good and perfect gift.

(There is a back shot of a skinny-dipper jumping into the water . . .
 I don't find it offensive but wanted to give a heads-up . . . this is really quite beautifully done.)

Linking with Multitudes on Mondays . . .

Saturday, 28 January 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 16

Time for the Scavenger Hunt . . . this week's clues are Smile, Stand Alone, Rust or Something Old, Artificial and Repeating Pattern.  Just for fun I am going in reverse order.  Let the countdown begin . . . 

5.  Repeating Pattern
This is Zack snuggling on the lap quilt I made for my daughter many years ago.

4.  Artificial
My lovely artificial hydrangeas in my bedroom.

3.  Rusty or Something Old
How quickly the elements have acted upon this lovely hanger that I suspend a bird feeder from.  
When I first installed it last spring it was a lovely distressed pale mint green.

2.  Stand Alone
These guys/gals spend many hours standing alone in all kinds of weather.  
Not my favourite job, that's for sure.

1.  Smile
OK, this is me being brave and posting a selfie . . . playing with my camera always makes me smile.

Next week's clues are:

  1. Strike a Pose
  2. Footwear
  3. Hobby
  4. Shiny
  5. Colour Me Green

Linking with Ashley at Ramblings & Photos . . . 

Monday, 23 January 2012

Grace Notes - Counting the Gifts 651-666

The unthankful heart . . . discovers no mercies;
but let the thankful heart sweep through the day
and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find
in every hour, some heavenly blessings!
~ Henry Ward Beecher

651.  Snow . . . not my favourite but so many of my dear ones have been longing for it
652.  Stephanie's prayer, my daughter's friend with cerebral palsy asking if she could say grace, naming me as a new friend
653.  Trying a new recipe, Parsnip Ginger Leek Soup . . . healthy and delicious
654.  An obedient kitten
655.  Rallying around a blogging friend as she walks a hard road
656.  Remembering Your faithfulness in the past
657.  Trusting You for the future
658.  Lost things found . . . my Daily Light devotional
659.  Gracie snuggling on my tummy as I elevate my leg
660.  One soft brown paw reaching up to touch my hand
661.  A healing prayer from ages past
662.  Pippa and Leighton's christening, my great niece and nephew
663.  Taking pictures for their grandma in Montreal

664.  First time to church since my surgery
665.  Standing longer, getting stronger
666.  You delight in mercy . . .
          "Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity 
           and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?
           He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.  
           He will again have compassion on us and will subdue our iniquities.
           You will cast all our sins into the depth of the sea.
           You will give truth to Jacob and mercy to Abraham,
           Which You have sworn to our fathers from days of old.
Micah 7:18-20

Linking with . . .

Saturday, 21 January 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 15

Well, my goodness that week went by so fast.  Such fun clues this week . . . Sunset, Black & White, A Day in My Life, Four and Colourful.  Lots of snow and freezing rain this week so I had to dip into the archives for my sunset shot.

 1.  Sunset
 Sunset at the Serpentine Fen, a local bird sanctuary and wildlife reserve - link

2.  Black & White
 A wintry day at a local golf course.

3.  A Day in My Life
It's a rare day indeed that I don't find myself doing dishes at least once . . . the old fashioned way, by hand.  Love my Green Works dishwashing liquid and my Norwex dishcloth.

4.  Four

I have been having a great time playing with photo art since I got the new computer.  These bare winter tree shots are perfect for experimenting with.

 5.  Colourful
Now that's a colourful character . . . can't miss him!

Linking with Ashley Sisk at Ramblings & Photos for . . .

This week's clues are:
  1. Smile
  2. Stand Alone
  3. Rusty or Something Old
  4. Artificial
  5. Repeating Pattern

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Healing Prayer

"Let us pray.  
God of heavenly power, by Your word You drive away all weakness and sickness from the bodies of men.  In your mercy, be with Your servant now so that his (her) infirmity may depart, his (her) full strength and health may return, and he (she) may bless Your holy name.  
Through Christ our LORD. 

One of the books I am currently reading is simply called "Healing" by Francis MacNutt.  
The book is described on the front cover as "The first comprehensive Catholic book on healing by the foremost authority on the healing ministry in the Roman Catholic Church today".  The prayer that I opened this post with was found within its pages and is referred to as one of the Roman Rituals ancient prayers for visiting the sick.

Though not a Catholic, I am one who believes in the healing ministry of Jesus and it's prominent place in introducing people to the kingdom of God, and the King himself, Jesus. When the apostle Peter was preaching to Cornelius and his household he used these words . . .
In truth, I perceive that God shows no partiality.  But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.  The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ - He is LORD of all - that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached:  how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.  Acts 10:34-38
The last chapter of Mark, under the heading 'The Great Commission' in my  Bible, also gives healing a definite place in the spreading of the gospel.  These are the words of Jesus himself . . 

"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.  And these signs will follow those who believe:  In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues' they will take up serpents ; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover." Mark 16:15-18
One of my favourite quotes from the book so far is this . . .
Jesus did not heal people to prove that He was God; He healed people because He was God.
Over the last few days I have received several prayer requests for people needing God's healing touch.  I include these dear ones with my own prayers for healing . . . God of heavenly power . . . drive away all weakness and sickness from our bodies, in Your mercy, be with your servants now so that our infirmities may depart, full strength and health may return and we my bless Your holy name.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 14

Goody-goody gumdrops, as my Mama used to say.  That meant she was really excited about something.  I am excited to check out all the creative interpretations to match this weeks prompts . . . Stacked Up, Winter Wonderland, Sweet, Hole and Frozen.   Linking with Ashley Sisk at Ramblings & Photos; hop on over if you'd like to play along.

1.  Stacked Up
Inside my daughter's cupboard.

2.  Winter Wonderland
Where I live we rarely get snow, but woke up this morning to about 4 inches of the white stuff.  The little clumps of snow on this lantern plant look so pretty and the blanket of snow makes a perfect backdrop.  I am so enjoying Windows 7 on my new computer and the photo-editing tools they have included.  Had lots of fun playing with this one.

3.  Sweet
Found in my girl's treat drawer . . . snapped it and put it right back.   Really, I did!

4.  Hole
The hole in the ceiling that leads to the skylight.

5.  Frozen
So nice of the weather to co-operate and let me get a frozen shot.

Prompts for the next hunt are:
1.  Sunset
2.  Black & White
3.  A Day in My Life
4.  Four 
5. Colourful

Friday, 13 January 2012

Letters to Dawn

( . . . but if YOU need them, I know she would share.)

12 January 2012
Dear Dawn:
When the news came of your unjust dismissal from work, I sent out a swift reply from my heart to yours. I promised to pray and entrusted you to His care.  Since that time you have poured out your heart in this post at your blog-site and many wonderful friends have left their words of encouragement in your comments.  Conspicuously absent is a response from me.  

Sometimes it happens this way . . . I just have to wait . . . and carry you in my prayers until I hear or read what He wants me to share.  Shortly after dinner, I picked up my Henri Nouwen devotional volume and read today's selection. My spirit leapt as I read these words, knowing in an instant that they were for you.  

The Spiritual Work of Gratitude

To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives . . . the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections . . . that requires hard spiritual work.  Still we are only truly grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment.  As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for.
Let's not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.

I commend you, dear friend, for the hard spiritual work you are engaging in as you determine to give thanks in this difficult time.

Standing with you,
Andrea Dawn

P.S. Just before turning out the lights I reached for the Message, wanting to review some verses I have been chewing on.  More words from Papa's heart were highlighted for you, dear Dawn.

"We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that He has already thrown open His door to us.  We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand . . . out in the wide open spaces of God's GRACE and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.
These's more to come:  We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next.  In alert expectance such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged.  Quite the contrary . . . we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!"
Romans 5:2-5 (MSG)

13 January 2012
Dear Dawn:
Do you know how much your Papa loves you?  I do!
I just finally found my copy of The Daily Light yesterday and as I turned to this morning's reading, there it is.  His love for you  . . . saturating the pages and crying out to be shared.  Giggling with delight I am overwhelmed with joy to have found Him so faithful, once again, to give words of spirit and life to one who is hurting and so needing comfort, encouragement and direction.  

  • Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.  Isaiah 26:3
  • Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee;  He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.  Psalm 55:22
  • I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation.  Isaiah 12:2
  • Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?  Matthew 8:26
  • Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6,7
  • In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.  Isaiah 30:15
  • The effect of righteousness shall be quietness and assurance for ever.  Isaiah 32:17
  • Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  John 14:27
  • Peace, from Him which is, and which was and which is to come.  Revelation 1:4
Praying you are encouraged and find grace and peace as you wait to see what God is up to.  God is good, all the time.
Much love, Andrea Dawn

Monday, 9 January 2012

Grace Notes - Counting the Gifts 632-650

"For each new morning with its light, 
for rest and shelter of the night, 
For health and food, for love and friends,
 for everything Thy goodness sends."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I just keep counting the goodness He sends  . . . 
632.  Habits taking shape
633.  Angels watching over us
634.  Psalm 91
635.  Last day of physiotherapy
636.  Good wishes from new friends
637.  An early birthday present
Image source
638.  Letting go when things come crashing down
639.  Feasting on Romans
640.  " . . . contrary to hope, in hope, (s)he believed . . ."
641.  Gradually un-decking the halls
642.  Longing for a walk in the park and . . .
643.  . . . warmer weather
644.  A miracle birthday . . . Ema-bean's 1st
645.  3 baby steps all by herself on her birthday
646.  Much rejoicing and giving of thanks
647.  Cupboard cleanup -  discarded expired meds and supplements
648.  "Hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Spirit who was given to us."
649.  Another heron came for a visit . . . much smaller one this time
650.  Taking the Joy Dare

Linking with the multitude at  . . .

Saturday, 7 January 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 13

Happy New Year and we are back to Scavenger Hunt Sunday.  It feels good to settle back into a less intense rhythm.  The clues this week are One Colour, Laundry, Empty, One Dozen and Soft. Jumping right into it, here are me entries . . .

1.  One Colour
 I wanted to include at least one picture from outside my home . . . this is the one that fit best.

2.  Laundry
 That will teach me to put the laundry away faster . . . there is already cat hair on that T-shirt.  Argh!

3.  Empty
The tins of Christmas goodies are all empty now . . . good thing.

4.  One Dozen
 One dozen fancy edgers.

5.  Soft
Figurine with soft feather boa.

Linking with Ashley at Ramblings & Photos.

Clues for next week are:
1.  Stacked up
2.  Winter Wonderland
3.  Sweet
4.  Hole
5.  Frozen

Feel free to come and play along . . . Ashley has all the details.