Sunday, July 16, 2017

Better not Bitter

I have one overarching goal... to be better, not bitter. How do I make sure I am working on that goal?
I choose to be thankful for simple things, like these fresh tomatoes. The plant was a gift and I am enjoying the fruit as fast as the plant can produce it.
Struggling with health issues... very difficult to stay sweet through some of that.
The helplessness to stop things creates a sorrow to anger to accept the things I cannot change rhythm
which helps me gain a little patience with the repetitive tasks of removing aphids or blight from plants that are trying to produce... again. I think that is how God is with all of us. God is the ever patient gardener who keeps pruning us, removing our blight, taking the gifts we give and turning them into something productive and useful.
I have often felt very sorry for people who do jobs I cannot do that look very difficult to me but I had a new perspective this morning that gave me a lot of reassurance. As I watched some work being done, I thought... my body would completely fall apart if I tried to do that now in life. With a very short conversation I realized that some people are built for certain things and it is not difficult for them to do.
Studying and thinking through what I learn is easy for me. It might not be easy for someone else. Thirty years ago it was not as easy as it is today because the discipline of learning was not as appealing to me then as it is now. Somewhere along my path, learning gained value. So, the repetitive task of washing down plants so they can produce again is easy for me because I apply the principles to human beings. Anybody who is trying to produce deserves a little help. I don't know how you can help but we are all built for something to make life better... not bitter.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Was it Fruitful?

My night was mostly sleepless. Finally, I decided that sleeplessness is going to produce as many negative side effects as taking some pain medication. A couple of naps later I got up... kind of grumpy. That did not stop a workman from greeting me. Some of us are not intimidated by grumpy. That is good. There are lots of grumpy people in the world. One cannot be put off by that in daily living. Then I was restless so I went for a bike ride. I felt like people were energetic today and it was very nice to be able to be a bit of that as well.
Nearing the end of my bicycle ride, I come across someone whom I warned about crossing the road at that particular place because it is a blind corner. I think I am being helpful and trying to keep someone else from harm. So, the response I get is... I no speak English... I speak _________. I am from 'refugee country.' Which language and country doesn't matter.
I don't know if I have ever lectured someone to learn to... speak English please. This is Canada.
What I did say was... "You speak ________ and this is Canada."
I was trying to figure out how this was going to be helpful to him. Then he nodded repeatedly and said thank you repeatedly.
I'm thinking... you did not understand what I'm trying to warn you about. How is that helpful to you? As he is walking away, I'm trying to think of ways to pantomime what I mean and every scenario seemed, to me, that it could be misread so I decided to leave it in prayer and hoped that the grace of God would step in where my communication failed.
I try to learn other languages because I enjoy understanding snippets of speech but even more than just pure enjoyment, it helps to understand history.
My devotions, today, say that Jesus had days in His own life that seemed fruitless. This year, in particular, I have felt many days were like that and I have had to rely very heavily on prayer to keep believing big statements of encouragement I write in my journal...


Monday, July 10, 2017

God's Renovation

When God is renovating, there are times I feel chastised... like today. I did not awaken to that feeling. I awakened to a feeling of being sustained, not by my hand but, obviously, because I live alone, somehow, the hand of God. My arthritis pain was diminished but when I checked my email and found many jobs this body will no longer do, then I had a goodly amount of helpless anger. I, long ago, learned that I have to walk off these feelings even if I can only do it in small repeated walks to limber up all that needs to become more limber. Some injuries seem like they do not want to heal. So, not on my own strength, I got up this morning to wonder what I should do with my day. I was also frustrated by the communication problems between my computer and my applying for jobs. Lately, the jobs I have been applying for do not seem to get into my sent file which, from my researching this problem, says that my email may not have gotten through. Frustrating!
Why do I feel chastised then?
I checked the news. A local tragedy had me feeling immediate remorse for my lack of gratefulness for a day of life. Teach us to number our days is wisdom for us all. I do not know if my story has value today. I do not know if the work of washing down rosebushes to get the blooms has value to anyone but myself. All my plants look much healthier today from the work I did on them last week and that gives me great joy.
Before I went to bed, last night, I was reading excerpts of Mere Christianity. Now, there is a man, gone but not forgotten, who knew how to chastise. The ability to chastise benevolently and with a wit that brings one to some humour truly has immeasurable value. So, with a sense that most every possible construction company must have driven past today, here is the story I love from C.S. Lewis.
"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of- throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage; but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself."
I'm not sure God will ever be done renovating me... or you. I believe His goal is heart- purity.  

Saturday, July 8, 2017

In- working

These are the roses I have rescued from the moldy rosebush I mentioned in my previous post. As soon as they bloomed, I cut them off, swiftly, and put them into fresh water. I see gardening as one way God speaks to me. I had a new thought, yesterday, regarding the arthritis and myofascial problems I deal with every day. If I stopped fighting the diseases and started to think differently about them... what if I started thinking about them in a more loving way... could I get rid of the diseases that way? It was a thought that came to my mind and I could not find articles that had been written on that subject... exactly. I did find an article on healthy eating and environmental toxins that exacerbate autoimmune diseases but I am already following healthy, natural dietary living so I directed the change, once again, to attitude. The only thing one can do with new thought is to see if the new thinking, when applied, will bring good results. I started the challenge later in the day and if I was to detail all the little things that took place to upset this peace I was after... it would have any pastor or person of long faith laughing at how swiftly God was willing to help me gain peace in mild chaos. I was having an allergy reaction that was causing my muscles to swell and I thought things would be better this morning... in that regard. Haha! Not even maybe. Now, I have always been a very flexible person but I could not even bend over. There is actually a good report in this story. As I got my creaky self down the stairs and out the door to start stretching, the pain was much different, more manageable. For this, I am always so grateful.
So, here is my thinking about profiting from trials. If there be any good in the outworking of my faith it will have been borne of the in- working of the Holy Spirit. The in- working and outworking of faith are tied to God's providential mercies which are new every morning. God rescues us so we can help rescue others. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
     

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Outworking

This blog is my story threading to chronicle the things I find interesting in my walk of Christian faith. With this little newspaper clipping, which I found in The Book of the Twelve Prophets, I try to show what the world valued a hundred years ago. The work of this man, grounded in Biblical learning to then turn it to teaching, was worthy of Knighthood.
We would do well to think on the importance of work like this. Now, the only reason I know how old this clipping is... it was annotated with the date. I think of the personality and power of someone like this, slipping the accolade into the real work he did for someone else to find over a hundred years later... and, of that I think I get a picture of humility and strength. Reading this book, I see the strength by which he writes and there is no shrinking back in his use of the written language. It is firm and forthright.
My modern day novel is my attempt to write the Biblical story in workaday fashion. This blog will have only quotes from the novel or, maybe, just pictures.
EL's Orchard Walk is where you may find a physical representation of the novel, the outworking of the in-working of the book.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Define My Value

As I am wearing away with time and use, I have this question... "What is my value? Define my value, please." As we all get older and, simply, cannot produce like we used to... I struggle to define my value. Comparison is always that little stumbling block that brings on discomfort. I compare the work someone much older than I is doing... when it is much more... and I worry that I should be doing more, somehow. I spent half a day treating the garden plants, with all their diseases, to a thorough soap and water bathing to get rid of spider mites, mould, and blight.
When deciding on what should go in my planters, I don't check on what plants do well together... companion plants... I just plant experimentally and ascetically. So far, that has worked for me. Ironically, I did not like this one plant that came in a pot with another variety... early this spring... and I thought about pulling it out but I did not have another pot for it so I left them together. Now, spider mites are on my favourite flowers and I wish I had just followed my instincts.
One of the rose bushes I purchased is not the colour that the tag said it was but it has a load of buds on it right now and I worked hard to get rid of the mould, this morning, hoping all those buds will still get to bloom. Healthy plants contribute to a healthy environment.
Mould spores in the garbage cans needed to be cleaned out too. I have allergies to a few things so I try to keep these things out of my environment. My guess is that the people who pick up the garbage every week probably wouldn't mind having a clean garbage can to handle.
My devotions were about useful toil and how there is no disgrace in the work of trades...
or any toil that creates betterment for mankind.
Some people do the rugged so others can live refined. Here's a further thought... I'll bet everyone has been refined when they've done a little rugged.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Refined and Rugged

Lap quilt... "Throw straight into the dryer to keep the fabric wearing away with time and use."
 I got that quote from here. Isn't it a good one? That is how we are, people. We are wearing away with time and use.