Friday, July 31, 2009

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil;
cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
Honor one another above yourselves.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor,
serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction,
faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are
in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who
persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with
those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud,
but be willing to associate with people of low position.
Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace
with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave
room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine
to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty,
give him something to drink. In doing this, you will
heap burning coals on his head."
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

~ Romans 12:9-21

And we thought Moses' list was a dandy!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

God's Sticky Fingers

Summer. A season of beautiful lawns, luscious productive gardens, colorful blooming flowers, and sitting on the back deck in the cooling evening breeze. With these long awaited benefits comes ... responsibility. I know, ick. (Stop reading NOW, and you won't be held accountable ~ kidding)

Most benefits require responsibility. The garden needs watering, and weeding. We water the flowers, know the plant well, giving it correct placement in the yard, shade, or full/partial sun. Then, for a healthy continuing blooming process comes, 'dead heading.' No, this does not mean slapping your neighbor along side the head, no matter how obnoxious they are!

Stay with me, I had a 'God moment' while dead heading the above flowers ... this becomes painful. Ok, NOW stop reading!

The Gardeners Network, defines dead heading as "Snipping, pruning, pinching, cutting or using any other means to remove spent blooms." There are great benefits of this process, or might I say, menial task. It promotes new flower growth, extends the reproductive life cycle of the plant, and prevents the plant from wasting valuable energy on a stem that will no longer blooms, energy is then spent on the health of the plant and new blooms (or fruit). Ever 'feel' any of these action words done on YOU ... snipping, pruning, pinching and cutting?

My mom and Gardener, Aunt Mona (everyone should have an Aunt Mona) taught me how to dead head. Mona owned and puttered around in a plant nursery. She could NOT walk through one of her green houses without touching the plants, and they were beautiful!

There are two plants I dislike dealing with, those are marigolds (they stink). When pinching the marigold the seeds found in the old blooms often go scattering about. The other is the petunia they are STICKY! It has a defense system of a sap that flows from the stem to the petals. You may want to wear gloves for this little gem. Yet, stinky and sticky, both these plants have the potential to be FULL of bright colored blooms and can last the whole summer.

Jesus shares in John 15, He is the vine, the Father is the Gardener. "He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even MORE fruitful" (verse 2, emphasis mine) God the Father, the Gardener of our lives.

He is not bothered by sappy sticky defense systems we have set up, or the crunchy ugly spots here or there. The Gardener desires to have us fruitful, luscious, beautiful and healthy. To be and do so, takes snipping, pruning, pinching, cutting or any other means to remove the spent blooms.

May we all have a God's sticky fingers all over us, week!
~ DeDe

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One Bad Mamma

Summer has its fun, boring, sunny, and yes competitive moments! Recently our family was given a Foosball table. Just the sight of it, and the feel of the grips firmly in my hands brought back memories from my teens years.

There has been alot of laughter around that table, especially tonight when playing my teen son and his friend. At one point, the red head teen across from me, looks to my son and declares "Dude, your mom is kicking my back side." (edited for family reading) I then, make the motherly statement needed at this precious moment, "Yes, I am one BAD MAMMA!"

It is comforting, that even in the phase of teenage glamor where parents are unsurpassingly 'stupid', I can impress them with the flick of the wrist, the spin of the man, and the ultimate victory dance! Say it with me, "Go Mamma, Go Mamma."
Yep, one bad mamma!
~ DeDe

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday America! "O say can you see by the dawns early light..." (sing it with me!) The United States of America is officially 233 years old today. Just like any nationally declared holiday, it has slipped from it's original meaning to the commercialized display of self centered wonder.

Christmas, the birth of Jesus to Santa Claus and presents. Easter, the death and resurrection of Jesus to the bunny and candy filled baskets. Thanksgiving, the sharing of thanks and friendship, to turkey, football and over eating.

Today, Independence Day, the birthing of a nation with God Almighty's favor upon it, to fireworks, beer and the backyard BBQ.

O we may not agree with all that our nation stands for in this current era, or be proud of the decisions made in the name of democracy. But may we not forget the years rolled out behind us of those who followed whole heartedly their convictions, standing up for freedom, for justice. Mostly for the ability to read our Bibles, pray, and say the name of Jesus without the fear of a gun shot ringing out.

This nation has STRONG roots in God. Just like the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, we too have wandered away and NEED the loving yet firm words of the Lord over and to us "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, THEN will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14 emphasis mine) Our nation is not known for 'humility' by any means, however each heart rendered individually is God's desire. Our pride of our country should not over write our humility before God.

Today, as we celebrate, let us not criticize our country (perhaps rightly so on some issues) but share about the favor of God, about the signing of the Declaration of Independence, about our fore fathers who loved and believed in this country. When we see the 'ole red, white and blue' waving in the breeze, see in our minds eye the uniforms worn, lemonade stands in front yards, Chevrolets and parades of soldiers coming home from battles, wearing bands on their arms of fallen friends. Picture children in school with their hands over their heart reciting "... one nation under God ..."

If we humble ourselves ... God bless America!

~ DeDe