Showing posts from December, 2016

Does He Know Me?

On this morning, troubled in mind and spirit, I scarcely know how to address Him, lest He actually does not know me. King, God, Father? But I reach out, I put my faith in His Word and promises. It seems a shocking audacity to attach myself to the King of Heaven's Kingdom.

I am fickle, little, selfish, and comfortable. Meanwhile, in other lands there are Christians tortured in the most brutal manner then martyred by those opposed to Christianity. Near and far, I hear of people who are highly effective servants for Christ, fully committed to the work of the Lord. Here in my ease, I chatter on about mundane events in my life while many lives are in mortal danger.

And I wonder, what shall I call God? Dare I call Him my Father? Does He know me, away at the back of the throng of saints gathered round His great throne? Or, am I just so much rabble, drifting along on the current of Christianity but not a vital, living, functioning representative of His Kingdom?

As you can see, I am face t…

December Traditions

For me, this is year two of flying West to join my family for their annual Christmas festivities but if it marks the beginning of a new tradition you won't find me complaining. That's not quite true, I do complain about winter flying, but I subject myself to it for the joy of Yoder family togetherness. And I love the sky-high views that flying has to offer.

The time for joyful dance and happy song is when our aircraft lands at the final destination and we are whisked away to Montana grandeur by Mom and Dad. This year it's Jacki's turn to experience winter in the mountains.

My birthday was the day after we mom and sisters thought it important to celebrate. They are the sweetest!

Adri was my little helper. It doesn't matter who is getting the gifts, opening them is so much fun for this child. I'm delighted to have her assistance!

Jacki baked pumpkin scones to go with our coffee. She had an excited audience.

Mom's fireplace is cozy, crackling, an…

Notable Accomplishments

Recently, I read about an Australian who was highly successful in his attempts at flying during the earliest days of aviation yet I had never heard of him before. His name was Charles Kingsford Smith. The other Charles - Charles Lindbergh - did not set nearly the records or pull off as many great feats but he seems to have gotten more coverage. His very name is synonymous with aviation. It is not so much what each accomplished but the amount of publicity they received.
Charles Kingsford Smith was Australian. Charles Lindbergh was American. I suspect that made all the difference in how the history of aviation (at least in America) was written. It does not seem fair but I'm convinced it is the story of life. Some get noticed but many do not. Publicity. Wealth. Birthplace. These are, in my opinion, greater factors in notable accomplishments and record-setting exploits than we will ever know. 
A man of wealth or poverty. Fame versus obscurity. Intelligence over against ignorance. Tal…

Lights. Gifts. No Coffee.

Our plan to go see Christmas lights at Clifton Mill, one hundred fifty miles southwest of Sugarcreek, seemed a good one. But as is often the case in real life there were bumps along the road that we hadn't expected. It rained pretty hard on the way down, so there are no snow to make it all wintry white. But we enjoyed our mini-trip anyway and here are a few photos of our today and yesterday.

The beautiful lights of Clifton Mill are a brilliant display of dazzling splendor. There was cheerful Christmas music and a festive vibe all around. I understand it took the crew several months to hang the millions of tiny lights and I, for one, appreciate their efforts.

We did have to look out for the odd patch of mud, well, actually, quite a few patches of mud, where the crowds of people before us had churned up the dirt paths after recent rains. Yes, rain. December it may be but there is rain and forty-degree weather on this Christmas weekend.

What we were most grateful for was that the ra…

Heaven's Kingdom

"The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who were invited. But they all refused to come!" Matthew 22:2,3 

We struggle with why there is evil in the world, why God does not stamp out violence and wrongs. But we do not see clearly or understand aright. The truth is as quoted from the Word of God in those verses...

"They all refused to come!"

Mankind tends to be a sordid, selfish lot, thinking everything should revolve around us and our pitiful ideals. The purpose of life is much larger and grander than man can fathom. When once we come to realize that fact and get out of the center of our lives (surrender), there is a glorious Kingdom of Heavenly standards opened up to us.

We are invited to the greatest feast of all time and eternity, that of the marriage between the God of Creation's Son and His beloved bride.

But listen!

The st…

Winter Container Gardens

Days of December speak to me of a perceptible shortening of daylight hours; the welcome of twinkling lights, evergreens, and holiday festivity; long winter evenings; a time to pause and reflect on the months gone by; and the ending of another year.

Although the leaves are still falling from the giant oak and maple trees next to our house, I begin to turn my thoughts toward winter colors and themes. The flowers of summer have long since faded and been removed from my outdoor containers, and it's time to add winter greens and whites. I never know where the evergreens will be found but each year I've managed to locate enough to fill my pots.

Tree farms will usually sell boughs trimmed from Christmas trees. However, this year I've been fortunate enough to spot evergreens at the compost bin down at the village hall. Throughout the year I drop off my own yard waste at the bin, so we could call it an even exchange. Just to be sure, I asked the lady in the office whether I could …

Into The Depths

I felt like a little child adrift on an ocean with all manner of scary creatures swimming beneath me, menacing forces in the heavens above, and crashing waves all around. There is no hope of survival in that situation. And yet, there is. Like Peter, I have the almighty power of a God who enables me to walk on water, to see Jesus beyond the evil forces in high places, and to come away without being food for the predators prowling in the fearful depths. Through the anointing of the Holy Spirit I can plunge into the deepest ocean and spread the fragrance of His love, peace, hope, and salvation. That is completely impossible with my own soul-power, but I've found His faithful Presence guiding me into waters way over my head and keeping me safe through it. What if my Father asks me to take the gospel to the lowest of low places and spread hope? What if I can't stay home in domestic tranquility with my children around me and my husband beside me as my soul desires? What if Jesus ta…

My Magnolia Wreath

Since I live in Ohio you might ask, "How did you manage to get a bagful of glossy magnolia leaves without paying a cent?"

It's a lovely gift, at least from my grateful perspective! We spent Thanksgiving with my husband's family in Virginia. Imagine my surprise at finding a magnolia tree in his parents' backyard and then my delight at being told there are too many little shoots coming up all round it and it really ought to be trimmed.

"Excuse me! Did you just say you need a tree trimmer? I will be quite happy to take a few of those little shoots off your hands!"

My first attempt at crafting this wreath was a total flop, as in, the leaves flopped forward and down when I tried to hang it. Somehow I knew there was no fixing that particular wreath. The base I used was too small and thick.

But now I'm trying plan B...

Strip 80-100 leaves from the stems (Which I'd done in plan A, obviously!).
Gather 4 or 5 leaves into a bunch, largest in back and smal…