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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Brief Spring Interlude, Followed By Winter, Giveaway


For the past week, or so, weather on the farm has been spring like...meaning warmish temps, sunny days...a kind of make hay while the sun shines weather. Although it's too early for hay making, you get the point.

This weekend snow flurries are expected and I am reminded that whatever weather we get for Spring Equinox is generally what we'll have for possibly the next six weeks or thereabouts. Sunday is the Equinox with high temps in the low 40's and low temps in the high 20's. This weather pattern is for the entire northeast and I'm praying it doesn't turn into a no'easter. Some of our worst winter storms have been in March and April but the oil tank is full, enough wood on the back porch to carry me well through a week, the propane tank half full, the generator at the ready and I'm making white bean and sausage soup so it's all fine.

Temps today are supposed to be in the low 60's and sunny...thank the good Lord...while temps tomorrow are in the high 50's and sunny...thank the good Lord! As Mark Twain said, "A lot of people complain about the weather but nobody does anything about it." What could anyone do other than be prepared? I know I've got a couple of good days so will work outside and when days aren't so nice, will work inside. This is not what constitutes a Big Deal in my life.

Changing the subject...let's talk potty. If you're on a septic system, you need ROEBIC Septic System Cleaner. It has "special bacteria" to "correct systems that are overworked and sluggish" and was recommended years and years ago by a gent retired from the septic tank business. I simply pour the contents into the toilet bowl, leave overnight and flush in the morning and every now and again, I'll add some brewer's yeast as well.


This next product has the ever so cute name of POO-Pourri and is meant to be used in the bathroom prior to what might prove to be a odoriferous occasion. It has a strong over-scent of ginger which I find pleasant, certainly more pleasant than the "other".


Changing the subject...if you're on Facebook, please, would you consider "liking" Thistle Cove Farm? There are two FB pages for TCF...I got confused...but the "real" page has a photo of the hay field and house. Some of you know the farm sold last year but at closing, financing fell through and I kept the farm. I stated on the TCF FB page, the farm is back on the market and since Monday morning the page has had more than 900 views and more than a dozen shares! I keep saying God will sell our farm when He's ready for the next stewards to take over. I always keep in mind "wait is a verb", so do what I can do while I wait, and, just like heaven, I'm ready to go but I'm not homesick. If you'd rather not, that's fine too...no problem.


There's also a FB page for Thistle Cove Cottage; the little condo I bought after Dave's death. I bought it as both bolt hole and rental income and am getting closer to actually using it on holiday. Thus far, I've been too busy sprucing it up and renting but, hopefully, this is the year that will change.


Changing the subject...a few weeks ago, I talked about planners and now I want to talk about another 3-ring notebook, journal and Bible. Daddy has read his Bible through fifty (50!) times; every year for 50 years he begins with Genesis on Jan 1 and by Sept 15, he's read five chapters every morning. This year he's taking a break and not reading the Bible through but reading some of his favorite bits here and there. Mom reads three chapters every morning and in a year finishes the entire Bible. For a number of years I've read five chapters almost every morning; rarely do I miss and if I'm away from the farm, I take either my Kindle with KJV or a New Testament with me. Way back whenever, I started at Genesis and kept reading...when I finish the last verse of Revelation, I turn back to Genesis and begin again.


The blessings journal was begun in 2013 and is where blessings, prayers, hardships, answers to prayers, etc. are documented. While I'm not as faithful to do this daily, I do it frequently enough I'm able to have a partial diary.


The prayer journal has been an ongoing affair...since the mid 1990's, perhaps earlier...it's a bit scattererd. The sections are PRAY: Praise, Rebuke (forgiveness), Appeal (make your appeals know to God), Yield (to the whisper of His Holy Spirit) and each section has blank paper to jot down more of...whatever needs jotting down. The last section is blog ideas...way more than I'll ever have time to use!


In addition to prayer notebook, it's a journal notebook, answered prayer listing and a place to keep names of those remembered in prayer. Chances are, your name is on my list...but I won't show you so you'll just have to trust me. I don't get all hung up on knowing exactly how to prayer for you and because most of you blog, I know some ways to lift you in prayer. For everyone else, God knows.


My well worn Spurgeon is also read every morning; he gets my mind prepared to receive the Bible yet to be read.



May 30th entry is "Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards" from Song of Solomon 2:15. My sideline note says, "During daylight hours, the sun is always shining, although sometimes behind clouds." Such little comments require me to see with new eyes and strengthen my faith.

Someone once asked me, "I tell God what I want, otherwise how does He Know?" Well, dear one, that theology is weak, very weak indeed. God knows because He is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent and knew you, and everything about you, before He separated light and darkness. IOW, before the beginning of time as we think we know it.


A few weeks ago, I thumbed through my red notebook and read past entries. The above from May 10, 1998, Mother's Day is Holding on to Our Hope : Hope Stealers are criticism, circumstances, bad counsel, self-doubt while Hope Promoters include prayer, faith, perseverance and the spirit of sacrifice. The best...Hope Rewards because God never gives us less than His best for us...according to His will.

It's a very good thing to re-read as it allows me to see my faith journey; how I've changed, grown, matured as a Christian and as a woman. Of course it was the Holy Spirit leading Dave to ask (only five days before his unexpected, sudden death), "How do I make peace with God?" but I think the years of seeing me, every morning, reading my Bible and praying, writing in my journal, recording prayers and answers to prayers, helped lead him to ask.

A dear blogger friend asked me if I would tell her what I told Dave; here it is:

"I believe Dave had a small heart attack on Sunday morning; at the time, I had no clue but looking back and reflecting on events, that's what I now believe. He had 33 radiation treatments straight through his heart to attack the cancer in his lower left lung. His heart was already weakened from decades of cigarette smoking and the radiation not only didn't kill, or even stop, the cancer, it further weakened his heart. The next morning, Monday, at 10, Dave called me to his side and said, "I need to talk to you; I need to know how to make my peace with God." My response was, "Dave, your question makes God so very happy. He and Jesus have already done all the work so you can spend eternity in heaven with Them. God sent Jesus to bring you Home and Jesus said, "To return Home, I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Honey, it's not about religion; it's about relationship...the relationship between you and Jesus. Do you believe God sent Jesus to die for your sins? Just tell God you believe and want to spend eternity in Heaven with Him and His Son. God is delighted to hear from you; He's been waiting a long time. Just tell Him."

Dave said, "Okay, please leave me alone for a little while." I went upstairs, about 2 hours later I came downstairs and looked at Dave. He smiled at me, "Everything is just fine; I've made my peace."

Augustine of Hippo said, "our hearts are restless until we find our rest in Him." Dave was a good, decent, kind, honorable man and it was difficult for him to understand we are all sinners. He didn't do "bad" things...not the way people think of "bad". Because we're all sinners, God cannot look at us unless we are shadowed by the holiness of His Son Jesus Christ. Those bad decisions first made by Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden and, down through time, by each and every one of us set us apart from God. But God loves us so very much, He allows us to make bad decisions...much like a parent allows their child to make bad decisions even when those same decisions will lead to disastrous results. God, the ultimate Parent, is there to pick up the pieces, to hear our repentance, to heal us with love through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Like so many, Dave was hung up on religion and Jesus isn't about religion at all. Religion is man-made; dare I say Satan made to deflect the true focus which is Jesus Christ. I don't think Jesus cares about religion but in order to go to Heaven, we must go through Jesus.  He died for us, He descended into Hell, He was separated from the perfect, good, holy Father God. Jesus paid such a price because of love...incomprehensible LOVE! We cannot stand before a holy God stained as we are with sin...lying, cheating, stealing, gossip and so on. Some find it difficult to believe...again, that's Satan at work, deflecting the true focus from Jesus but to believe is a small act of will. "Jesus, I believe." It doesn't take a theology degree or a preacher or priest or bishop or any religious authority figure. It takes the faith of a child...a child looking at their parent and saying, "Yes, Father, I believe You love me and I accept Your Son." 

As shell shocked as I've been these last four years, two things have gotten me this far...one - Dave made his peace with God and is in Heaven and, two - God loves me and has been with me every breath."

These things I believe with all my heart, soul and mind. 


If you'd like to win the black Bible holder, please leave a comment regarding something on this post and a way to contact you. Next Thursday, noonish, a name will be randomly drawn. The Bible verse is Joshua 1:8 "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your  mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." 

Ponder this ~ "Where one man reads the Bible, a hundred read you and me." ~ Dwight L. Moody ~

11 comments:

  1. Dear Sandra:
    When our faith is strong enough, God will carry us through the darkest times. I strive to have a faith as unwavering as yours, my friend. You and your steadfastness helped bring Dave back to Christ, and because of it, you know he waits for you in Heaven. God isn't in a building. He is in our hearts, minds and souls. He lives in the faithful. Love never dies.
    Thank you for the reminder.
    xo
    Donna

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  2. This dialogue between you and Dave is touching my heart. He wanted to make his peace with God, and you gave him the best answer. After a while he could say: now I have peace with God.

    I see it so: God - the holy spirit, God made this peace. Jesus made the peace. He flew into your words and into Daves heart. God makes the peace, we are just nothing or less than nothing.

    Augustinus: We are nothing, God is all.

    Dori: Christ is our peace.

    We think, we can (must, have to) make a little step - but we can do nothing from ourselves. Jesus Christ is the victim and nothing is necessary from us, than to be HIS beloved children. It's a secret miracle, but so simple and making free.

    But sometimes WE need to have the feeling, that WE make some step. Jesus makes the step....and sometimes He gives us the feeling, that we made the step :)

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  3. Your words have touched me greatly! You are a blessing. I've been struggling. Thank you!

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  4. Dear Sandra ~ What a touching and encouraging post.

    It is through Jesus that we have our salvation, He has paid it all, He died so that we'd be free, free from the penalty of sin, free to live with Him forever. He is our great and mighty God.

    Easter is a wonderful time of year because of what Jesus did for us.

    He is our strength each and every day. He loves us deeply, more than we can fathom. He is our Shepherd.

    Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady

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  5. I pray my relationship with God is as strong as yours. I want to be a beacon to my husband as you were to yours. I pray my hubby finds the love of God soon.

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  6. I type so poorly now...all I can say is AMEN to the post on theology and religion! Will check the real FB and certainly missed the post about the farm...

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  7. I've seen that Poo-pourri in stores but haven't bought any. I think I would like the ginger scent. I love your journal and prayer notebook. How awesome that you daddy has read through the Bible 50 times. Thank you for sharing your writing on Dave and I'm thankful that you have gotten some peace through Dave making his peace with God. I would love to win the Bible holder.
    dpucci9972@gmail.com

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  8. What a great story about your dear husband. Your quiet witness over the years was a blessing to him, eternally. It must be such a comfort to know he is safe with Jesus. We are also praying for loved ones' salvation.
    I have read through the Bible twice in just the past two years. 50 times is real dedication. He must be saturated in God's Word.
    I liked your FB page. I do pray for a buyer for you.
    Have a Happy Easter Sandra. xo Deborah

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  9. Lovely sharing thank you. Funny I should read this tonight. I just took two of my Grand Girls to the train for home today. As one can imagine the conversation is always lively and entertaining with a seventeen year old and a fourteen year old. We walk through many a topic and this very morning on the 3 plus hour drive the eldest wanted to know how she could find a "religion that fit the way she thinks (at this point in her young years) religious events go." So there was a bit of this and that from Grammie. And some strong talk about how we don't arrange our relationship with God by adjusting the "rules" to fit our needs so we don't need to be responsible for our sins. Followed by a bit of conversation pertaining to the difference of religions and faith. The fourteen year old was taking notes in the back seat. Top of my list to them was start reading girls. Chapter and verse beginning in well the beginning. I always find myself learning when these two young ladies are around. Thanks again for some more food for thought.

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  10. Thanks for sharing that experience with Dave. It was wonderful to read. I hope that many, many people who just have never been able to get into "churchiness" will do as Dave did, and make peace personally with God, alone, quietly, sincerely. That's what matters.

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Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

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