Devotional, faith, prayer

listening

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” –John 10:27

sheep_grazing2_may__09There’s a section in my prayer journal where I pray about areas of growth the Lord brings to mind.  Listening is the topic I’m paying attention to just now.

It’s a challenging task to one whose childhood nickname was “Chatty Cathy”. 🙂

Chatty-Cathy

So my first step in learning to listen?  Simply talking less.

autumn_road Talking less is a necessary first step, but it doesn’t automatically lead to good listening.

There’s another step. Training my mind to focus.

So. much. harder. Distractions can be so charming and, well, distracting!

However, without focus, we’re left with a blur.

flower_blur We don’t see or hear clearly. We don’t remember, and we miss so much.

bee_cosmosAnd I just don’t want that to happen. Listening well requires focus.

And it becomes a gift ~  to myself and to others. And I do want that.

Tell me your thoughts in the comments ~ I’m listening.

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” -James 1:19

Standard
autumn, faith, prayer

Grace day

 

I will remember that today is a grace day.

Great Riches At Christ’s Expense are mine.

I will immerse myself in the ocean of His grace.

I will feed on promises of His grace.

I will be a grace-giver in prayer

And in my walk and talk.

I will bless someone with grace today.

                                       Helen Grace Lescheid  

Rich thoughts to start the day.

Standard
autumn, faith, Friday's Favourites, prayer

fff ~ goodness

Welcome to Susanne’s Friday’s Fave Five – we’re counting blessings together.

1. Well . . . if the first greeting of November was any indication of the whole month, we may be in for a pleasant time! A beautiful blue sky and a temperature of 20 (70F)! Heavy rain, remnants of Sandy, came later in the day, but we’re back to sunshine this morning. 

In fact, sunshine is streaming through the kitchen windows as I type. A little late with my fff this week!

Usually I do my Friday Fave posts on Thursday evenings but we were in town yesterday and I was just too tired when I arrived home. 

And what we were doing in town? Well . . . that segues nicely to my second favourite.

2. Buying bulbs at Vesey’s huge bulb blow-out sale! $2 a bag no matter what kind or how many bulbs in the bag. I heard about the sale on Carolyn’s blog – thanks Carolyn!! Some of my tulips didn’t flower last year so I need to add a few more bulbs to that bed. And I want to plant some crocuses here and there in the yard. 

Isn’t that a cheery sight? It makes me smile thinking how happy I’ll be to see them next spring.

Planting bulbs is a little like prayer, don’t you think? We plant the bulbs deep in the earth and wait in hope. And  we envision the joy they will bring us – isn’t that like faith?

I have many prayers sown and I’m waiting in hope and faith for them. It gives me a deep joy to think how the Lord will answer them – He’s been so faithful.

There are so many in need of prayer, especially those hit by this week’s devastating storm. I’ve been carrying them, and others, in my heart all week. I was especially moved by our good friend Carter Conlon’s devotional to his church in Times Square, NYC. They were all hit hard by Hurricane Sandy but the church is moving out to help others in Jesus’ name. I wish I was closer so that I could help with the clean-up too. They’ll need many volunteers.

3. We only experienced wind and rain from Hurricane Sandy. We lost quite a few leaves but there are some still hanging on. 

Is this a Red or a Sugar Maple? The maples are a little tricky to tell apart. I’ve checked out the MacPhail Woods Ecological Forestry Project website –  my first reference stop if I have a question about island trees – and it looks like a Red Maple.

I think this is a Sugar Maple – Roger transplanted maple and oak saplings from the woods behind the church about 21 years ago. There’s about 200 acres of woodland there. Roger cuts the firewood for the manse from that property.

 I can remember asking him, “When will these trees be big enough for a swing?” and he’d answer, “Maybe by the time we have grandchildren”.

Guess what? I bought a little swing at the 70 mile yard sale in Sept. and it will be hung on a nice, sturdy oak branch this spring!

Just perfect for a certain little someone  – won’t that be fun?

4. And here she is – out for a playdate with her little friends.

Josie, Benjamin and Wren

I miss her – she’s up in Ontario with her mummy. John is on tour with the band in Ontario at the same time so it worked out nicely for Kathleen to visit her brother and his family. Rumours are that Josie made  a sweet little strawberry for Halloween – I can hardly wait to see the pictures!

5. It seems like an extra blessing to enjoy a gorgeous autumn and have summer’s beauty still around. I don’t remember flowers in November as a child but we have them now. And they are lovely.

My hydrangeas are still blooming profusely. Those bushes were one of my best gardening investments!

The blooms turn from blue to a lovely purple shade. I think I’ll dry some  for the winter. I did it a couple of years ago and they turned to a very “blah” beige shade. I’m not sure why. Does anyone have any tips for drying hydrangea blooms?

And here are my flowers from seed in the garden. Oh my goodness – still blooming in November – what a gift.

I’m so glad you came by for a visit. To see each name and comment is another lovely gift – thank you!

Hope your weekend is overflowing with goodness.

with love,

Standard