Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Newsletter - 4/1/14

View This Newsletter On the Website.

"We fail to see the potential in others and even in ourselves because of our preoccupation with the outward appearance and actions. But within every born again person is a new creation which is waiting to be released (2 Cor. 5:17). All it takes is someone who believes.  Today, look beyond the exterior in yourself and others and help bring into reality what we can be in Christ."  
-- Andrew Wommack

Hello Dear Friends!

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Donna on Deck
Ready To Leave For Day Trip to Richmond, VA
It's April … sounds like Spring. We had snow last week but it has warmed up over the weekend and I pray it will remain this way.  With the coming of Spring, my spirit will be all the more ready to break free from the bondage of disease and "spring forth" with new life.

Nice to see the hyacinth blooms coming up.  I love the smell of hyacinths.  As soon as the bloom is just opening, I cut them and bring them inside.  I can drift off to Heaven with the smell of hyacinths and lilacs.

We have a lilac bush that came from one that was on a property for generations.  Given to us by a man who was working on the house they were building next door to us back in 2002.  It has never bloomed.  We've moved it to another location years back but there must be something it seriously does not like.

We have acid soil so we've put a lot of limestone and ashes on it but to no avail.  The bush looks pretty with fresh leaves and has grown a lot, but produces no blooms.  However, our neighbor across the street has one also from the same man and the same property ours came from and his is in full sunlight … ours gets morning to noon light and then not much more.  That may be the problem.  We do get to cut as many blooms as we want from their bush which has grown twice as large as ours.  What a blessing!  We've got green stuff coming up all over so I am really excited.

We saw our first Brown Thrasher.  Since I was Romanced by a Brown Thrasher back in 2007, I have a fond spot in my heart for them.  Randal saw the first Rufous-sided Towhee on Saturday.  We have the Common Grackles still visiting with us but the flock is thinning out.  They can surely empty a large feeder pretty quickly.  But they're storing up for the next flight south.  I love the way they glisten with that iridescent coloring around their neck.  Gorgeous birds.

I rescued a grackle from a hawk one day when it flew into the deck door.  Gave it some Rescue Remedy for shock and held it until it was ready to be put in the box and then later he felt well enough to fly off.  View photos of the Grackle Rescue.

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Man and Vegetation
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
On March 22, we took a day trip to Richmond, VA which is an hour from us.  I had been improving with the heart and breathing issues and we wanted to celebrate and give faith a bit of attention.  "Faith without works" … wanted to put some 'works' into the mix.  It was a great day and I did overdo it, but I was so very excited that I could overdo.

One of the things we did in Richmond was visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  I had taken pictures there before when our son visited so I added my recent visit to the same album.  I like looking at the unusual furniture they have.  Lots of creative and inspiring talent all over that place.

I especially like sculpture and they have an outdoor sculpture garden.  This sculpture had been moved from where I saw it previously and placed on another level of the garden.  Notice the title of this work of art.  Very interesting.

There was a new exhibit on Ryan McGinness' work which would be hard to describe.  Catch a glimpse of the permanent exhibit that the museum commissioned him to do.  Click the right arrow next to the picture to see the process he uses to make these very unusual works of art.  There's also information about the artist on those photos.

It was a grand day and we even had lunch at Baker's Crust.  The sandwich was on sourdough bread.  Oh how wonderful that was.  Bread holds a special place in my childhood memories.  My great grandfather used to bake bread and I would help him deliver it to homes for a nickel a loaf.  Bread holds many precious memories for me in my childhood.

The sandwich came a pickle (to celebrate my German heritage) with half a plate of homemade potato chips that had some kind of coating on them.  I imagine I had quite the fill of sodium that day, but all was well and it was the inspiration to get beyond the restrictions the devil's work had put on me in relation to food, the very substance that God has given us for life.

It increased my faith and I have not been journaling sodium grams since.  Faith works when you can get it in gear and don't add doubt and unbelief to it.  And that's the most difficult thing to do since our brain has been trained by our senses to believe what we can see, touch, taste, smell or hear.  Just the very fact that my brain was used to keeping up with the amount of sodium grams each day set up a pattern.

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Wren Building Nest in Frog Birdhouse on Porch
It is definitely a minute-by-minute challenge to control our thoughts and not doubt.  But what's the alternative?  To allow all these inroads that the Enemy sets up in our lives to be considered the "norm?"  We are told we can take every thought captive and I shall believe that and implement it in such areas.  It has worked in other ways, so I already have a precedent for my brain to relate to.

On March 20th, we had a pair of wrens building a nest in our front porch birdhouse that is shaped like a frog with dangling legs.  We had it up there all last year, but nothing nested in it.  I thought maybe those dangling rope legs and wooden feet may have been a distraction or something.  The avian residents have apparently become comfortable with the frog since Mr. Wren chose it for one of his nest sites.  He usually begins building sites and the Mrs. gets to choose.   Since she was also bringing nest materials in I am assuming this is where they will nest.  Hoping so ….

We have not had much warm weather so although the birds are certainly anxious to get their reproduction responsibilities going, it's just not a wise idea to lay eggs when it's in the 20's at night.  Fortunately we do have some warmer weather coming in and it isn't just the birds that will be superbly happy about warm sunny days.  I've been wanting to get started with garden chores.  My "honey do" list is quite long.

I recently read an interesting article on cows and deer regarding magnetic fields. For centuries, farmers have known that their livestock not only gather in large herds but also tend to face the same way when grazing. Experience and folk wisdom offer several possible reasons for this mutual alignment, but now there's some scientific answers. Sabine Begali from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany spied on aligned herds of cows and deer using satellite images from Google Earth.

The images revealed a striking behaviour that had been going unnoticed for millennia, right under the noses of herdsmen and hunters – their herds were lining up in a north-south line like a living compass needle. Influenced by a magnetic sense that has only just become apparent, their default point of reference is not the source of wind or the angle of the sun, but the Earth’s magnetic poles. Deer aligned themselves to the magnetic poles even more strongly than cattle.

Only one explanation remains, and it’s the simplest one – the cows and deer were using the Earth’s magnetic field as their guide. They are not alone; many other animals, including flies, bees and goldfish, naturally line up like little compasses when there isn’t anything around to disturb them. This intrigues me enough to look more closely at flies and bees when they land nearby. Read the entire article for more information.

Only Jesus Can Give Us Living Water
So We Thirst No More For Fulfillment
Been pondering Jesus' parable about the sower (Mark 4), which was about the Word being sown into us and the different types of ground we have in our hearts which determines whether it gets to take root and produce all the promises that the Word gives us.

I love the parables Jesus taught.  They create so many word pictures in the mind to consider.  After this event with the crowds, the disciples asked Him about the parable. Then Jesus said to them (in vs. 13), "Don't you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?"  Sounds to me like understanding this one is key to understanding the others.

Words are seeds also.  Consider that God created this entire world and universe with words.  He spoke them into existence.  Words are powerful.  Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue."  Doesn't seem to be any middle ground there.  Your words produce death or they produce life.  Thoughts also produce life or death [View Article:  The Gene Myth: Our DNA is NOT Our Destiny].

It certainly makes me consider not only what I speak, but also what I am thinking and what words are being spoken over me.  Each word produces life or death.  That's very sobering.  What kinds of words go into our minds from the television?  What about things that people speak to us or speak against us?  Our brain remembers every single one of them.  How it stores them away is up to you.

We make the choice to allow them to be toxic or we can disarm or dismantle the evil within them by rejecting them.  The Bible tells us to do this in Isaiah 54:17, "No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that rises against you in judgment YOU shall condemn."  How do we keep those negative words from taking root and building disease and mental issues in our minds?  WE are to condemn any word that is not wholesome, pure and in agreement with God's Words.

We determine whether they build toxicity and disease or whether they produce life and health. How do we keep our negative thinking from taking over?  Consider 2 Corinthians 10:5, "WE demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and WE take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."  Notice in these verses that the responsibility remains with US!?  [View video:  The Impact of Toxic Thinking on the Mind, Body and Spirit].

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Dwarf Bee Balm
2013 Garden at Bluebird Cove
Many people wonder why it takes so long to be healed (and I've certainly been among that group).  Jesus told us we will receive if we believe.  The first take on that is that we do believe.  We have the information and we believe it.  That's called knowledge.

We believe with our mind, but we need to believe with our heart.  Example:  Romans 10:9 - "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

Many churches tell people to repeat a simple prayer and they'll be saved, but that's not what the Bible says.  It's what we believe in our hearts that saves us.  Not a "repeat after me prayer" that comes from the mind without the belief in our heart.  This is the reason so many people doubt their salvation.  Many Christians fear death as much as unbelievers because they may have never formed a relationship with Jesus.  But … that's another topic.

"We receive what we believe in our heart, not what we want in life."  --- Caroline Walton

It is much easier to believe for salvation than for healing since the salvation experience has to be received by faith.  There's no evidence to our 5 senses that Jesus is real.  We have to believe with our heart, not our mind.  With healing, we have our senses working against us since when we accept by faith what the Bible says about healing, we have to battle our minds receiving all the input from our senses and the "evil one" that says something different.

Ephesians 6:12: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

We get healed on the inside before we see it on the outside and that time period is different for everybody.  How long we can we stay in the belief realm without slipping through to doubt and unbelief?  The Word says we will get nothing from doubts.

James 1:6-7: "When you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord."

It's all about time with the Lord.  Allowing Him to instruct us and guide us and tell us of things to come through the Holy Spirit (John 16:13).

We don't get that with a 15-minute devotional time.  God says, "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).  It takes most of us 30 minutes just to get our minds off of ourselves and into the spiritual realm.  "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would" (Galatians 5:17).  It's worth it.

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Spring Peeper
Thank you, Lord, for Your love for us and for Springtime!  May our hearts yearn for more of You. That "we may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;  and to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that we might be filled with all the fulness of God" (Ephesians 3:18-19).  Choose NOW to schedule more time with the Lord!  He will bless your socks off!

Sometimes Spring reminds us that we do not have a 'new life' bursting forth.  We don't see anything fresh and lovely.  The Spring rain only reminds us of the gloomy doom in our lives.  It's no way to go through life.  We need to know that God Will Fix Our Mess.

As I am finishing this newsletter, the froggie sounds of Spring are loud and clear.  In 2012 I saw our first Spring Peeper on the property.  It was in the front garden which is not a wet area and I was totally surprised because we've never had them on our property.  There's a big pond across the street and we could always hear them singing from there.

It was end of September when I found the one in the garden.  Last year (Spring 2013) I noticed we had a few of them singing out back in March since they are the first frogs to hear.  I figured they must have laid eggs in the pond.  Well, this year there's a wide chorus of them so they definitely had eggs on the property.  They can lay eggs in wet areas, not just ponds.  I hear them in the trees and back through the woods.  How exciting!  I love it!

Have a Joyous Spring!

P.S. Anything in here that might help somebody you know?
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written by Donna

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