The Victory list

ilovesnow

Eden must wait.

The Back to Eden garden I began laying out in January while the ground was still frozen, came to an abrupt halt in February when the sod thawed (hey! that rhymes!) and RAIN began to fall. All. Month. Long. That is, when it wasn’t SNOWING! And melting. And SNOWING. And melting. And just this morning, another inch of snow was there to greet us!

Will it ever stop? Should I build an ark instead, Father? Rather than complain, I thanked God for the snow and whatever it is that I’m supposed to learn from this maddening delay to my plans.

“Eden wasn’t created in a day, you know”, says the Lord “and I have power far beyond your abilities.” Right. I get the message, Lord.

Do not despise the day of small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10).

Another lesson God had for me is a simple one, which often seems to be the most difficult to grasp. He said “you’re frustrated because you’re trying to do work out of season.”

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). 

Still the bare-root fruit trees need to be in before they break dormancy. So I cut and removed the sod where they’ll be planted; a task more easily done when the sod is wet and made even easier by an idea the Lord gave me to impale the sod with a fork hoe and pivot to toss it into the tow cart. It was poetry in motion, let me tell you! Continue reading

Literal or spiritual

In the gospels, the word “stone” is used literally and spiritually. For example, Matthew 7:9 appears to be a literal use of the word.

“Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?” Matthew 7:9

rock-pile-ivan-slosarLikewise, Matthew 28:2.

“And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.” Matthew 28:2

Matthew 21:42 and 44 on the other hand, use the word “stone” as a spiritual metaphor, in reference to Yeshua.

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:” ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Matthew 21:42

And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” Matthew 21:44

Continue reading

You’ll be back

It’s been a quiet couple of weeks. We’re having a rainy spell on the Olympic peninsula and yard work is on hold until the sun returns. Waiting has been all the more difficult, because recently I bought a tractor and I’m just itching to bust some sod. I’d drive it to the mail box and back, but that feels more than a little conspicuous to me. To make matters worse, I can’t tell my family about it just yet because I bought it the same day my niece had a baby. It would be terrible to upstage her and the new baby with photos of my tractor.

smbread2Anyway, while out walking and running a few errands around town, we visited Bell Street Bakery (link) to ask about birthday cakes. Turns out it’s not that kind of bakery; they make breads and cookies.

Never one to pass up a cookie, we  Continue reading

Buzzed with wonder

One afternoon last winter, my wife and I stopped for coffee and spotted a hummingbird sipping nectar from a feeder above the porch. Surprised by the sight, I asked the barista about it and was told the Anna’s hummingbird winters over here. Once home we found our feeder, mixed a batch of nectar and hung it in front of the bay view window. For several months, there was one hummingbird who visited throughout the day and a single batch of nectar seemed to last indefinitely; that is, until the local hummingbird experts scolded us for not cleaning the feeder and changing nectar regularly.

Hoping to attract more hummingbirds, we added 2 more feeders the first week of June and within the past couple of days, our little outdoor bistro has been “discovered”. It turns out that there are two species of hummingbirds here on the Olympic peninsula, Anna’s, which winter over, and Rufous, which migrate. Daily my wife, our cat Tigger and I, are dazzled by their gravity-defying displays of aerial acrobatics the likes of which any “Top Gun” can only dream.

Continue reading

Go with the wind

Six months ago, my wife and I retired, sold our home in Illinois, and moved into my elderly father’s house in Washington to help with his care. It’s a good arrangement and dad’s needs are few. He’s lived alone since the time of mom’s passing the spring of 2003.

ropeknotsOf course, life here has its frustrations. Before moving in, I spoke with my wife and father, to express my concerns about being “ping-ponged” between the 2 people I love. In meeting both their needs, it is possible for my interests to be overlooked with little time left for me. By way of example, playing the guitar, which is something I’ve done and loved since grade school, often falls by the wayside. Continue reading

All that remains

A phone call from a high school classmate launched me on a memory tour that led to a web search for the address where I grew up. Among the results was a real estate listing with 2 dozen photos. One by one I clicked through them looking for anything that remained of my childhood home. With the exception of the ceiling light fixture and knotty pine broom closet in the utility room, only the floor plan remained the same.

Mom and dad sold that house the fall of 1977 and so in the span of 38 years, everything my parents had built was scrapped and replaced by those who came after them.

Except for the grape vine they planted in the back yard.

grapearbor

Not only had the vine survived, it flourished. My reminiscing Continue reading

Restoration

It was 22 years ago I had a Job-like experience, losing everything that mattered to me. For several months, I entertained dark thoughts for myself, while the Lord contended for my life and gave me hope through His comforting presence and scripture. I don’t remember how it got started, but daily I read the Psalms, Proverbs and the New Testament, writing my favorite scriptures on 3×5 cards. Within months, the stack of them grew to several inches thick and I carried them rubber-banded together in my shirt pocket for reading as often as I felt discouraged.

This week while unpacking the last of the boxes from our cross-country move, I came across the cards and read them for the first time in years. One in particular left me in tears:

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house …” (Psalm 128:3)

God had fulfilled His promise to me where like Job, Continue reading