Ponderings


Open Your Eyes

I’m oftened moved by the things I see in nature. Take today for example. What started out as a sunny day has changed to mostly cloudy…that is as far as it is seen from the natural perspective. Yet clouds can be quite fascinating.

I remember as a little girl I would spend hours watching the clouds on a warm summer day. What I could see in the clouds was only limited by my imagination. The clouds would take on the shape of many different animals and sometimes you could even see a human face. Those faces would sometimes have over-emphasized features…a long nose, a protruding forehead. Only my imagination limited what I could see in those big fluffy clouds.

I wonder how many times we limit God because we have forgotten to imagine how big and awesome He isand wants to be to us. Maybe you haven’t ever noticed how many times He has chosen to come and sit right beside you. How many times have you looked into the eyes of a little child and seen God simply because of their simple, child-like faith that causes them to believe in the unexpected.

Maybe today is the day for you to expect, with that simple faith, that God is right there with you, holding your hand, and smiling at His beautiful child – YOU. Hoping that you can take a moment from your fast-past life and watch a cloud or peer into the eyes of a sweet child or stop and feed some ducks at the park. Don’t forget to take pleasure in the things all around you that the Creator has made just for you.

Have a blessed day!

From Debra at the Launching Pad enjoying time with God.

Life in a Garden is Ongoing

Why in a garden? Why did God choose a garden as the place to begin his family? Why not a river? Or why not just “bang” as some believe?
Have you ever just sat in a garden and listened to the sounds? The sounds of numerous birds’ songs, a cricket or frog perhaps, even the scurrying of a bug across a rough surface; perhaps just the stillness of the moment… The smells are another thing. The variety of flowers, leaves, the dirt, the smell after a rain, just fresh air… The brilliance of the sun, the dappled sunlight under a big shade tree, filtered sun through clouds or even the thin wispy clouds that bring a change to the weather pattern… There are things to experience in a garden that one cannot find anyplace else on earth. It is as if there is a balance and harmony. There is a system of checks and balances that flow rhythmically together throughout the seasons.
God placed man in a garden to see firsthand how life is designed to operate according to his divine plan. Life and death ebb together in a garden. Plants die and fall into the earth and feed the soil. The decaying plant material is processed by animals and insects and further processed before deposit into the soil. The insects loosen the soil as they burrow through it. Birds till the soil searching for the insects and plant material to eat. Animals keep each other in balance as each one takes its place in the food chain.
Man faces challenges each day. It is up to each of us how we process those challenges. Some things are consumed by others, some slowly decay. Do we process things through the cross or do we take it upon ourselves. Do we harbor bitterness and resentment? Do we carry pain over the loss of a person or missed opportunity? Do we judge others and operate in criticism? As we work together with God and those he has placed in our life we can properly work through situations that affect us. We are to carry one another’s burdens to the cross of Jesus. We are to love and care for one another as Jesus gave his example. Having a relationship with the Father helps us keep the right perspective on life. Jesus’ lived a life that showed others how to live. He is our example. He took time to be with his Father so that he could live a life before others that is attainable by all. He said that he only did and said what he heard his Father say to do. As we maintain a relationship with the Father in communication with him we can do the same. Jesus said these things shall you do and greater.
Go on, sit in the garden and have a talk with DAD today. It will be time well spent.

From Debra

This text was originally written by me on June 25, 2008.

Time in God’s Garden

March 15, 2012

Time influences balance.
Have you ever walked through the woods and marveled at the balance of nature? That delicate balance did not come about by accident. Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it’s just a seed. (my paraphrase of John 12:24.)
Those mighty pine trees are standing there as a result of endurance and perseverance. When you lean back and admire the height of a mighty redwood tree you can appreciate its beauty but many may not realize what it has gone through to achieve such greatness. Drought, disease, wind, fire, rodents, elk rubbing the velvet off their antlers, snowstorms, drenching rain, erosion,  and yes, even man, has challenged the tree to defy the odds of survival. Some have not survived the myriad of challenges. Sometimes you may see a tree bent and twisted but its roots are still strong. Its growth has been greatly stunted and it will never reach the impressive height of the neighboring trees. It does however cling on to survival. Its roots continue to pull moisture and nutrients from the soil. This twisted tree refuses to give up but chances are that its lifespan has been greatly reduced. It is not good for lumber nor of much good for firewood. In the hands of a gifted individual however it could be honed into a piece of artwork.
The challenges we each face in life are just that – challenges. Its more about what we do with the challenges. Challenges build character. Some may develop the characteristics of the twisted tree I mentioned. Some may become the mighty redwood but in the hands of our Creator we are all precious. We are all beautiful. The tall majestic redwood may become siding or a deck for a home. The twisted tree however could become a piece of artwork displayed on the coffee table safe from the continued onslaught of the outdoor elements that the once mighty redwood must continue to endure but now does not have the natural protection of the bark that once surrounded its beautiful wood.

So whether you are a mighty redwood transformed to be a covering or perhaps a strong surface to be enjoyed and last a very long time (even though it is “walked on”)  or someone who has become an ornament to bring pleasure to others or maybe you are somewhere in-between, you are still important to your Father. We are all in transition, so don’t despair. We are all significant even though we don’t always see how there can ever be an end to the challenge(s) we may presently be going through.

Take a walk in the woods with Father.   Listen to the trees as they “sigh” in the breeze.   We can learn many lessons by listening to God’s creation around us.   I  bless  you  this  day  to  be  at  rest  and  know that  your  heavenly  Father  cares  and  will  not  give  you  more  than  you  can  handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). We are all important and serve a purpose.

From Debra who is gazing at God’s majesty. :D

Static In the Garden

April 4, 2012

Static?

What does static look like in the garden? I know you are familiar with that sensation inside your home when you get off the couch and touch something metal or electrical and get a static charge. But does static take place in the garden?
I was recently eating at a restaurant during lunch hour and everything was abuzz. Dishes clattering, people chattering, cell phones ringing…you too are probably familiar with these sounds I am describing. It is challenging to hear what your server is saying to you and for them to hear you when you tell them what you would like from the menu.
I have to wonder how many times there is so much clamoring in the atmosphere that it challenges us to hear from Father. Remember where Daniel prayed for 21 days before an angel finally arrived and said that he had some battling to do before he could get there BUT Daniel’s prayer had been heard at the beginning? How many times do we go to prayer and wonder why it is taking so long for God to hear us? Hmmm. Did we ask “amiss” or is our timing off or is there warfare in the atmosphere that must be dealt with?
When I’m in my garden working with my hands I listen to the many sounds around me. There are birds chattering in the trees. The wind rustles the tall grass at the border of the property under the trees. Quail call to one another. Sometimes I hear a pheasant in the pasture. Cattle across the road are mooing. And occasionally I can hear the neighbor’s horse neighing or their roosters crowing.

Still what does static in the garden sound like or does it exist? Or is it just more enjoyable to my ears than the clamoring of what to someone else maybe lunch hour clamor is pleasant.

Ponderings. Debra

Is It Forgetfulness or Neglect?

May 22, 2012

Ever notice how some days seem to drag on forever and other days seem to pass by quickly? For me it doesn’t always depend on what I’m doing but I think it has to do with my own attitude about how I process the day. Whether I have a lot of things to do during the day or it is one of the days I sit back and admire the view of my garden, the hours in the day remain the same. My theory is that the way the day passes by has a lot to do with my attitude of how I process the day.

In Psalm 30:5 the second part speaks of sorrow that may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning. There is a song that speaks of trading our sorrow for joy.  So what am I saying?

Sometimes I think perhaps we process through our day without really pondering our purpose. Do we work to pay the bills? Do we enjoy our job? Are we a benefit to our employer and co-workers? When we pick up a coffee or get groceries are we making an impact on our surroundings or merely getting what we need and rushing out the door to get back to our own home so we can be in our own space away from the world?

Psalm 8 begins with worship to God and the writer, David, goes on to talk about how in awe he is of how God made the heavens and the earth and man and the honor and authority given to man by God. He ends the Psalm as he began, with praise to God.

Do we begin the day with worship? Do we go through our day walking in the dignity and honor of how God views us? Do we end the day with praise?

Yes there are challenges that we all face each and every day. Yes there are trials that come that make us want to crawl in a hole and pull the hole in after us. We all have days like that.

BUT…trials strengthen us. Trials cause us to recognize the strength placed within us.

So what does any of this have to do with gardening? I do a lot of thinking in the garden. Life is a garden. Weeds to pull. Watering to be done. Maintenance here, maintenance there. Re-pot this, replant that. Remove the dead. Plant the new. Trim this plant. Deadhead this flower.

Our relationship with God and people is similar to a garden. Things in life are not always blooming. Fruit is not always on every plant. Sometimes there are pests in the garden. Sometimes plants stop producing for one reason or another. Seasons continue to cycle through time.

Recognizing the seasons in the garden and in life determines how to process the day. Our attitude determines what gets done. Our interaction with the nature of  things, whether it be in the garden or the garden of people around us is effected by our response to the task at hand. Whether plants or people…not all bloom at the same time…not all are bearing fruit at the same time and not all fruit is good. Not all fruit is harvested at the same time.

O Lord, our Lord, how excellent (majestic and glorious) is Your name in all the earth! Psalm 8:9 Amplified Bible

Have a great day in the garden of life!

Debra

Thought for the Day

June 8, 2012

I tend to go through pondering seasons. Can you relate? I was thinking this morning of how much time we sometimes spend regretting the choices we have made in our lives; looking at mistakes and wishing things could have been different. Relating yet? I had a picture in my mind of a narrow opening between rocks; a tight place, and how often in life it seems that we are challenged to squeeze through that space in order to reach that which is on the other side. We think of all the reasons why we can’t get through that place instead of just forging ahead. In Philippians 3:14 of the New Testament the Apostle Paul writes I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (from the NIV) So here’s to pressing on. If you can make it through an aerobics season pressing on toward the things of God is going to be a breeze. Come on! We can do this together.

Sweating the workout. Whew! Debra

HEAT TOLERANCE

July 18, 2012

It has been one for the records where weather is concerned. With all the talk across the States of how hot and dry it is, I thought you might enjoy seeing how one of my garden beds is thriving in the heat. These plants are well adapted to the heat. What can we learn from these plants that could make us bloom and thrive inspite of being dry and thirsty?

Hmm. What about in our daily walk? Feeling dry and thirsty? Usually we complain when we are uncomfortable. How can we learn to thrive in spite of what is going on around us? Most plants that thrive in the heat have some type of built in system that provides a buffer from the heat. Fuzzy stems; thick, succulent leaves; grey/green coloring; thin, strippy leaves…

How can we adapt and learn to thrive and be content when things around us “heat up”?

Maybe some shade and a tall glass of iced tea will help. :-)

 

WHY SO DOWNCAST?

September 6, 2012

I was thinking of how many sunrises and sunsets many people miss seeing because of one reason or another. How many gorgeous blue skies are missed? How many cloud formations go unseen? How many night skies full of stars are never noticed? I was thinking about how we may tend to go through life with our eyes focused on things beneath our feet. Our eyes cast on the ground; on our fallen nature. In Psalm 121:1, 2 it says,  I lift up my eyes to the hills–where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (NIV) Psalm 43:5 says, Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (NIV)I would encourage you to lift up your head. Enjoy the sunsets. Be adventurous and get up early enough to see a sunrise. Notice the many shades of blue of the sky. Enjoy the cloud formations. Drive out of the city so you can see the night sky lit up with billions of stars. Watch the moon rise. Take time to enjoy God’s creation. Stop and listen to the birds sing. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34 NIV)

The Art of Communicating

Leek and Potato Soup with Anadama Bread on the side.

I have read numerous posts on WordPress and am awed by so many beautiful photos that various people post. I have been truly blessed by many of the articles shared and have seen photos of places I will probably never see in person. Thanks to all of you who share.

I believe that communication may be an art form that many times is overlooked. Communication is something many do without even thinking about it. Whether it is done with good intentions or bad; whether it is something you work at or not, we all do it just by being here on this planet.

Generally, people today live very busy lives. Our lives are so incredibly fast-paced that communicating with other people does not come easily. “Time keeps on slippin’ into the future…” (Steve Miller, Fly Like an Eagle) and will continue to do so but relationships are important. We all need each other. Whether it is family, friends or the dear little lady at the supermarket who needs help reaching something on the top shelf. We all need each other. “Like the flowers need the rain…” (America, I Need You) we need each other. I need each of you. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17, bible.cc NIV)

My hope for each of you as you read this post is that you make the effort today and each day to make a difference in another person’s life. You may not ever realize the impact you have made on another person. May you find joy this week in reaching out to another person.

Blessings from my place to yours. Debra

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