What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Prayer for Our Son

Prayers and Thoughts for Our Son Matthew

The parent cries out before the Lord on behalf of the child:

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  O Lord of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You!"
Psalm 84:11-12

"In the day of my trouble I will call upon You,
For You will answer me."
Psalm 86:7

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord,
'He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.'
Surely He shall deliver you
from the snare of the fowler
and from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler."
Psalm 91:1-4

God says this regarding His child: (and we claim this on behalf of our son by faith)

"Because he has set his love upon Me,
therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because
he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
and show him My salvation."
Psalm 91:14-16

The Child of God Gives Praise:

"Bless the Lord, O my soul;
and all that is within me,
bless His holy Name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all His benefits;
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness
and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed
like the eagle's."
Psalm 103:1-5

"But the mercy of the Lord is
from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear Him,
and His righteousness to
children's children,
To such as keep His covenant,
and to those who remember
His commandments to do them."
Psalm 103:17-18

"Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
Who delights greatly in His commandments."
Psalm 112:1

"He will not be afraid of evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast,
trusting in the Lord."
Psalm 112:7

"You are my God, and I will praise You;
You are my God, I will exalt You."

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord,
for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever."
Psalm 118: 28-29

The Parent of the Child Said:

"I will extol You, my God,
O King;
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
and I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
and His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise
Your works to another,
and shall declare Your mighty acts.
I will meditate on the
glorious splendor of Your majesty,
and on Your wondrous works."
Psalm 145: 1-5

"The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
to all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them.
The Lord preserves all who love Him."
Psalm 145:18-20a.

We pray this and claim this by faith, Dear Lord, on behalf
of our precious son. He is Your child; You only lent him to us for a season. We will trust in You to do what is right in Your sight on his behalf...and on behalf of his dear wife and son.  Bring healing to him, Lord, if it please You.  Have mercy upon him, and give him strength and power from on High.
We commit him to You, in Jesus' Name.

Nicole, Noah, and Matthew

A recent post that will give some background to this prayer :  Home Again-Home Again-Jiggety-Jig

Although the news was not real encouraging from the Dr. today,
we are trusting in God to
continue the work that He has begun in Matthew's life. We will continue to praise our Lord and Saviour, even in the face of discouragement.  God is in control. 

"My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord,
and all flesh shall bless His Holy Name
Forever and ever." Psalm 145:21

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Things I See Outside My Open Window Are Enough to Frighten Some

It's not even Halloween yet, but tonight's events had a few of us shaking in our shoes! Thankfully, we still had ON our shoes...

This is a Pygmy Rattlesnake...in my flowerbed by my front door.

The yellow tip on his tail is actually his rattler.  His mouth is open and he
is not happy with us at all.

We weren't too happy with HIM either...so HOE, HOE, HOE, off with your head we go!

You can see, even without his head, he was still very feisty.  He wasn't any
larger than the end of our hoe blade...but just as deadly as his larger cousins,
the Diamondback Rattlesnake.

As you can see by this video, he was pretty angry about losing his head! Nasty little fella!  So glad I hadn't put my hand in that garden without noticing him first. My husband almost DID last week...but the snake got away...but not today! I just hope he doesn't have a nest of babies nearby...we will be careful, you can be assured.! Welcome to my "Camp in the Woods House"!  MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! 

Oh, I did see some more pleasant things this evening...so we will finish up with those so you won't have nightmares:

This lovely "Hummingbird Moth" flew in for a drink just before dusk.  He is a
large moth with a tongue like a hummingbird...very interesting!

See that long tongue drinking nectar from the flowers?

Next, I kind of broke up the love affair between these two giant grasshoppers.  They
definitely did NOT like having their picture taken...

I'm sure they'll get back together soon...

The sun was starting to set beyond the trees to our west...time to head back inside before the REAL excitement starts
when the bears start to cross through the "zone"... 

(previously posted picture from July...did not see them tonight...but that doesn't
mean they won't be out there later....)

Beautiful Autumn Sky...Half a moon shining down...
Yes, that is a picture worth sharing...
"GoodNite...Sleep Tight, Don't let the bedbugs bite!"

"The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein." 
Psalm 24:1

"Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty.
The LORD mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
He IS the King of glory!"
Psalm 24:7-10


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Senior Moments ??

"I have become as a wonder to many, but You are my strong refuge.  Let my mouth be filled with Your praise and with Your glory all the day.  Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength fails..."  Psalm 71: 7-9

This picture says it all.
The 71st Psalm is entitled (in my Bible) "A Prayer for Old Age".  I had "old age" on my mind today...what's left of my mind, that is.  It seems as though I had a major senior moment today when one of the young whippersnappers at work asked me if I had prepared a check for "Joe"...and I had no clue who "Joe" was, and certainly no idea as to why he needed a check and for how much...   Then this young smart fella asked me if I remembered a conversation several days ago regarding this "Joe", and the fact that he should be paid for something he apparently did...and I honestly could not remember a word of it.  At that moment I "became a wonder" to this young man.  He could not believe that I could forget such a thing.  However, a word in my favor...I never received any written confirmation of this request, and therefore, I am not held responsible for writing checks without written requests and backup information. So I was saved.  God was my strong refuge...He gave me a way out...and my mouth IS filled with His praise!

But the fact remains startingly clear...I truly did not remember this conversation until after being prodded (hit over the head practically)...and that is what troubles me. Now, I could make lots of excuses, like I have been working through some major work related projects, stressful meetings, huge responsibilities and constant demands for my attention to many details beyond the normal scope of my usual load. I recently took a brief vacation out of state to visit my son who has cancer and to celebrate my grandson's 13th birthday.  I'm still playing catch up at work and at home as a result of that excursion. (It was well worth the extra work to spend that time with my family...regardless of the mess on my desk when I returned).

"Do not cast me off in the time of old age; Do not forsake me when my strength fails. For my enemies speak against me; and those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together, saying, "God has forsaken him; (her) Pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him."  Psalm 71:9-11

Actually, I am not fearing for my job or my sanity at this point.  I know that God is with me...and He will NOT forsake me either way.  But in this day and age one can see how quickly people can lose their jobs for the simplest of reasons...and we know that we are all like a "dime a dozen" when there are so many younger, smarter people out there begging for work.  So when these "senior moments" come along it makes us stop and think..."Could I be slipping mentally?" (no comments from the peanut gallery out there please).  "Am I really getting to the point where I need to consider retirement?"  "But Lord, I still have too many bills to pay and need to keep working for at least XX number of years so we can survive..."

"But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more.  My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits.  I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only."  Psalm 71:14-16.

"O God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works.  Now also when I am old and grayheaded (almost), O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come." Psalm 71:17-18.

I know that God is still in control of my life...whether I work or whether I find that I just can't continue on.  I am secure in Him.  He, who has brought me this far in life, will not fail me now when I start to fail.

"You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again from the depths of the earth.  You shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side." Psalm 71:20-21.

"Also with the lute I will praise You, and Your faithfulness, O my God!  To You I will sing with the harp, O Holy One of Israel.  My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You, and my soul, which You have redeemed." Psalm 71:22-23

Yes, I will continue to praise my God and Savior no matter what...as long as I have breath (and a sound mind).  (Maybe even when I don't have a sound mind...I will still praise Him). 

"In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?"  Psalm 56:11

Thank you for listening as I worked this out.  I was trying not to let it bother me...but I guess it did. That's why this blog is such good therapy for me.  It forces me to think these things through and explore it through the eyes of God. When I put these issues under the microscope of God's Word, I realize that I have nothing to fear...no matter what.  Amen?

I hope you have this same confidence and hope in the Lord.  It sure does help! 

"In You, O Lord, I put my trust; Let me never be put to shame."  Psalm 71:1

Senior Moments? Bah Humbug!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Welcome to Fall at My House!

Welcome!  I thought you might enjoy a few little pictures of fall at our "Camp in the Woods" home! 


Our front hall is decked out with autumn color and freshly built brightly colored birdfeeders waiting for a new home...maybe you'd like one for your fine feathered friends?

Take a seat and rest for a minute, and then we'll go back outside and visit some other "friends".
(The classy looking country accent table was designed and built by my son right here at "Ben's Country Woodshop"...I love it!)

Back outside there is no telling who or what we might discover waiting for us...

 Oh, here's Mrs. Bunny Rabbit!  She's having her breakfast! She is practically
one of our pets...always hopping around, nibbling on grass or any other
juicy tidbits she can find. She doesn't seem to mind getting her picture taken!  

She once was caught eating our one and only cantaloupe,
which was growing from seeds thrown out in the yard.

Here's the evidence! (This was earlier this summer)  That
is why we most likely won't be growing a garden anytime soon out here...

Mrs. Cardinal has flown in for a bath.  She won't mind if we watch!

Well, maybe she is a bit shy afterall!

See you later, Mrs. C!

Oh! Hello!  Here's Mr. Cardinal...storing up on some "beautyberries"!  Looks like he's already
pretty well cleaned up this bush!

Looks like there's a few more berries over here!  Right next to this pretty new green birdfeeder!

Maybe he'd prefer this colorful "gator" birdfeeder! Made especially
for our Univ. of Florida Gator fans!

Well, maybe not...bye bye Mr. Cardinal!

Believe it or not, we did have another special visitor just the other night.  My pictures didn't turn out because it was getting too dark, but I was able to get a good look at him, and it was this same fellow that we met earlier this summer...only now he has put on more weight and it looks like he is getting his winter coat already.  This picture is from this summer...but I know it was the same one because he had this distinctive white "V" on his neck:

He followed the exact same trail as before, only he kind of got in a hurry because he could hear us in the house
running to each of the windows as he passed by, trying to take his picture...but this is what I got:

My own reflection in the window as the bear hurried past... Oh well, maybe next time he decides to
follow the "bear crossing" in our yard I'll have better luck!

I hope you have enjoyed this little autumn day walk around our "camp in the woods" home!  It's been a
pleasure to spend this little bit of time with you.  I hope you can come visit for real sometime, and we'll have a cup of hot tea on the front porch...or maybe even some hot spiced apple cider!  We may not  have
pretty fall leaves here in Florida, but we can still enjoy the change of seasons in our own way!
Happy Fall to you!

Blessings from my house to your house!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Home Again, Home Again jiggety jig...

How do you feel when you have traveled far and return home again? Happy? A little sad? Tired? Wishing you never had to come back? Wishing you'd never gone?  I guess it depends on the circumstances of the journey...but I'm certain we have all experienced each of the above emotions at one time or another in our life's travels. 

We just returned home from a trip to visit our son and his family in Maine.  We live in Florida, so it was a long trip...even though we flew...thankfully! Flying certainly has its "ups and downs"...and I am so grateful that this trip got us UP and DOWN again safely and pleasantly. Praise God!

Our Grandson Noah-a new teen-ager!
Noah and his Dad and Mom
But the traveling part was only the means to get us from here to there, and from there to here again.  It's what was in between the Up and Down that mattered most.  We went to celebrate the 13th birthday of our only grandchild, Noah...and to watch him morph over night from a "little boy" into a "young man".  I'm not sure I want to call him a "teen-ager" yet...that has such a negative connotation, and Noah is not a negative young person.  He is a very normal young man, with all the usual dreams and schemes of experiencing life to the fullest.  He enjoys school, tae kwon do, his church and youth activities, his friends, but most of all his family.

I am certain that Noah has a bright future ahead...and I believe that God has His hand upon him.  However, there are some uncertainties looming in the foreground...you see, Noah's Daddy, our son Matthew, has cancer: Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor.  It is a rare and agressive form of cancer, which usually strikes children.  Matthew is 39 years old, and is in the third year of this battle for his life. He is currently undergoing his second round of chemotherapy, after a break from it for about a year.  There are no guarantees of a cure...this cancer is still too new, too rare, too unheard of to get much attention for the researchers.  I believe this picture tells how we all feel about it:

Noah and his Daddy, Our Son Matthew, who has cancer
 That may not be the nicest choice of words, but cancer is not a nice disease.  It truly can suck the life out of the victim, the parents, the spouse, the children, the friends...but it doesn't take away the JOY of life from those who have faith to believe that God is with us even in the bad times...even in the difficult moments, the sickness, the sorrow, the pain, the disappointments.  We are people like that.  We believe that God is present with us, "Emmanuel", God with us...no matter what.  And He has promised to NEVER leave us nor forsake us.  Hebrews 13:5 tells us:

"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.  For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'  So we may boldly say: 'The LORD is my helper; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?'" 
We may say, "The LORD is my helper, I will not fear.  What can CANCER do to me?"  Yes, it can rob us of many things...our very existence on this earth...but it can't take away the joy of knowing that God is at work in and through us, even in these difficult times.  He has a plan...He may choose to bring healing and take this curse away.  He may not choose to bring physical healing in this life, but He WILL take the curse away...He already has. 

"So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory!"  O Death, where is your sting?  O Hades, where is your victory?  The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.  But THANKS BE TO GOD, WHO GIVES US THE VICTORY THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST!"   I Corinthians 15:54-57
I think it is fitting that we spent one of our days together at this lighthouse, Nubble Light, in York Beach, Maine.  The Lighthouse represents the "Rescuer" our Savior, Jesus Christ, standing along the shore, sending out His message of Love, Hope and Eternal Life with Him.  We have this hope in our Savior.  We do not need to fear the dread diseases and storms and dire predictions of this life.  Our grandson, Noah, has a bright future, no matter what happens to his precious Daddy. Of course we want healing for our son. Of course we pray for a cure...a miracle...a future for him with his dear wife Nicole and son Noah. But no matter what happens...we have hope. We have peace. We have love. And we will all be home again, home again, jiggety jig...together forever someday. Praise God.