Psalm 95- O Come!

Psalm 95

Come, let’s shout praises to God, raise the roof for the Rock who saved us!
   Let’s march into his presence singing praises,
      lifting the rafters with our hymns!
3-5 And why? Because God is the best,
      High King over all the gods.
   In one hand he holds deep caves and caverns,
      in the other hand grasps the high mountains.
   He made Ocean—he owns it!
      His hands sculpted Earth!
6-7 So come, let us worship: bow before him,
      on your knees before God, who made us!
   Oh yes, he’s our God,
      and we’re the people he pastures, the flock he feeds.

7-11 Drop everything and listen, listen as he speaks:
      “Don’t turn a deaf ear as in the Bitter Uprising,
   As on the day of the Wilderness Test,
      when your ancestors turned and put me to the test.
   For forty years they watched me at work among them,
      as over and over they tried my patience.
   And I was provoked—oh, was I provoked!
      ‘Can’t they keep their minds on God for five minutes?
      Do they simply refuse to walk down my road?’
   Exasperated, I exploded,
      ‘They’ll never get where they’re headed,
      never be able to sit down and rest.'”

I love this psalm.

Especially verses 6 and 7-  the repetition of the worship body language is so meaningful for me.  Worship- flat on your face before the LORD- bow before HIM- Lower your face before His holiness and majesty and get “on your knees” – kneel – offer him a humble and submitted heart.

This is like a primer in worship, much needed in a society that no longer bows to anyone or anything in subjection.  We don’t acknowledge royalty, our leaders are often treated more with scorn than respect, and religious figures are suspect and outdated.  There are few families where the parental figure is held in a place of honor- children treat their fathers more like Homer Simpson than “Father knows best”. 

And we no longer approach the Lord with fearful awe, because AWESOME is no longer reserved for  the reverential  but used as an everyday adjective.

This psalm teaches us an attitude of worship and praise.

1) Approach the Lord with a LOUD joyful Noise!

2) Recognize that He is creator and savior of His people.

3) Assume the position of worship- humbled – and down on the ground before Him.

4) Hear-Hearken to- OBEY!

5) Worship = nothing less than a bending of wills and a renewal of pilgrimage.

6) Refusal to worship ends in a stalemate.  One cannot approach The Living God without an attitude of worship with a giant helping of praise.  There is NO rest for those who continue on their own way-“They”ll never get where they’re headed”.

Blazing roses

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I was born in June- the flower for that month is roses- and for years I was unhappy that the flower for June was not the ox- eye daisy.  You have seen the ox-eye daisy – it grows wild on the side of the road.  The clumps dot the landscape, especially when you are driving on the PA turnpike.  There they look like decorations set out for Spring and early Summer frivolities- like fairy cotillions or ring around the maypole dances for young children.

I can’t find a picture of the daisies right now- although I’ve been trolling about the internet- actually I’ve found some beautiful pictures but don’t have the expertise to upload/download one- so you will just have to do with a picture in your own imagination.  Because – although I LOVE daisies, I’m beginning to have a real appreciation for roses.  And that is what I want to concentrate on anyway.

I think my problem with roses has been the sheer untouchable beauty of them.  They have an intimidating look to them that I associate with fashion models and women who have that look of being well “put together”.  Do you know the look I mean- hair,makeup, clothes, shoes, jewelry all coordinated to the  point that they are nearly perfect?  I am like a blow-away dandelion next to these tea rose ladies.

But roses in wild abandon- those that grow on bushes that are a little unkempt and unpruned- now those I can relate to and enjoy!

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Sometimes they have perfect blossoms, but they are not preening or highlighted – just blooming because that is their nature.

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Blooming because it is their time. 

Blooming because they must.

Blooming to the glory of God, their maker.

Blooming to blaze the earth with beauty conceived in eternity.

Blazing roses!

*** Appearing now in a neighborhood near you!***

Skype with me!

Aidan and Luke and I skype a couple of times a week, Meredith and I get into skype mode whenever she is home, and occasionally my brother Ralph will give me a call.  It is free, it is convenient, and sometimes I get the best pictures of my loved ones.  Here is a couple of pictures I’ve saved in the last few months.

Video call snapshot 2I made this one small- she won’t forgive me soon- but I DID warn her!

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Most of the talking with Aidan is while he’s eating supper.

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Here Luke told him to stick his thumbs in his ears and stick out his tongue at Grandma- honestly- this is one of my FAVORITE pictures!

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Sometimes they are fuzzy- but they are real life and sweet all the same.

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I love these guys, these pictures and the opportunity to talk over the distance.Video call snapshot 15 Video call snapshot 19 Video call snapshot 19

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Because I get to enter into the everyday of my loved ones lives.

Have you ever used video web conferencing? 

Psalm 126- Three pictures of happiness

Psalm 126 (The Message)

Psalm 126
A Pilgrim Song

1-3 It seemed like a dream, too good to be true, when God returned Zion’s exiles.
   We laughed, we sang,
      we couldn’t believe our good fortune.
   We were the talk of the nations—
      “God was wonderful to them!”
God was wonderful to us;
      we are one happy people.
4-6 And now, God, do it again—
      bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
   So those who planted their crops in despair
      will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
   So those who went off with heavy hearts
      will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.


Another of the songs of Ascent or pilgrim songs, sung in unison as the faithful would make their way back to Jerusalem to the Temple traveling up the holy mountain to worship the LORD God of Israel.

This psalm was written in Isaiah’s time (King Hezekiah’s reign) and although we cannot be sure of the individual writer, the circumstances are given to us in II Kings chapters 18 and 19 and in Isaiah 36 and 37.    The Assyrians came to Israel to overtake the country and Sennacherib, King of Assyria sent his commander to Jerusalem to offer them the opportunity to surrender.  The question was ” Do you seriously trust your God to deliver you against our superior war machine?”.

The answer was “YES!- because He has done it in the  past” . 

Psalm 126
A song of ascents.

1 When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion,
       we were like men who dreamed.

2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
       our tongues with songs of joy.
       Then it was said among the nations,
       “The LORD has done great things for them.”

3 The LORD has done great things for us,
       and we are filled with joy.

4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
       like streams in the Negev.

5 Those who sow in tears
       will reap with songs of joy.

6 He who goes out weeping,
       carrying seed to sow,
       will return with songs of joy,
       carrying sheaves with him.


The voices in the psalm are of  the believers in Jerusalem- and of the nations around Israel, ever watching to see what their God would do for them, and the implied voice of Sennacherib’s general and army, shouting insults in Hebrew at the wall of Jerusalem.

And the relationship between God and His people is secure.  Hezekiah was a king who led his people to honor and worship the LORD, and Isaiah was a true prophet who spoke God’s word without equivocation. 

This psalm is anecdotal- it offers us picture stories of God’s faithfulness and protection.

Picture # 1- They are threatened, Doomed- the enemy is at the door !

And God steps in and delivers the victory.  It is God who defeats those who come against us.


Picture #2  – The land is dry- thirsty – dying- dried up and useless ( the reference to the Negev is to a desert)- –And God sends showers of Blessing- quenching thirst, filling the driest spots with Living water!


Picture # 3 – The people are hungry, thin already from privation- weeping from hunger- and they look at the seed set aside for planting and have to make the decision to plant the seed and trust that God  will supply their needs or to eat one last meal and die!

Trusting God, they plant and receive a banner crop! God multiplies the harvest, regulates the weather, giving to His people “armloads of blessing”!

The true beauty of this psalm comes from the testimony it becomes when the future generations continue to sing it in their worship processional.  From that delivery to their present time period- there have been many times of hunger and defeat.  They are remembering the times of delivery- singing of the redemption that comes from God’s hand even in times of oppression and hunger.  That is the strength of trust- looking back and remembering that God can, will and has upheld his people and that He doesn’t change.  It WILL happen again because He is faithful.

So they say- and we echo them-  “…And now, God, do it again!”

We aren’t done playing yet!

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When Robin was alive, we would plan our summer in May.

Picnics, garden parties, teas, family celebrations, Midsummer’s extravaganza’s-

we would plot, plan and scheme, bouncing ideas and themes off of each other and fill notebooks with recipes and sketches of decorations. 

And when we weren’t planning a happening we found happenings to attend.

Our children played down at the creek, digging up the clay, floating down lazily in makeshift boats, fishing or searching for crayfish.  They were muddy and wet and so intense about their occupation.  And then they would rinse off and spend hours in the pool- diving down deep to retrieve coins on the bottom or trying to dunk each other- sometimes just floating on innertubes and looking up at the clouds and the trees overhead.

It now seems like a time of bliss. 

Not that life is unhappy now- only somehow- the magic has diminished. 

I remember my own childhood with the same hazy happiness- as a time of wonder and magical possibilities lying just around the corner.  All we had to do was go forward and there was adventure and friendship- parties that seemed to fall into place without much worry or hassle.

When Robin died, I lost my way.  I couldn’t seem to find the paths that led to joy- the lovely lanes of summer were closed to me- and I never did get back to the magical days I had once known and loved.

I became a grown-up.  And growing up came from deep sorrow and loss.

Because my playmate was gone- one of the last conversations we had was about we really weren’t done playing, yet.  That was our greatest excuse to our mother when she wanted us to come in at dusk-” Mommy!  We aren’t done playing yet!”

When it was time for bed- “We aren’t done playing yet!”

When she had jobs for us to do-“But we aren’t done playing yet!”

But when Robin died, the playing stopped.

I still plan parties and picnic and have teas.

Still have notebooks of  recipes-

just lost the magic.Heidi & Robin

In my kitchen

I borrowed this idea from Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

It is fun to have a look at other’s interests and gadgets (I LOVE gadgets!)

In my kitchen

…I have all kinds of wooden utensils .


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Peels and steamers, pastry cutters, spoons and a couple mortar and pestles,

I didn’t put any rolling pins into the picture, but I love my kitchen wand in the center of the wooden spoons- the handle has been turned on a lathe and the end is just long and thin- it’s so great for stirring in skinny spaces.


In my kitchen

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there are oils – EVOO, sesame, rice, grapeseed, and flavored oils of Peruvian lime, basil, lemon- most of them in beautiful glass bottles!


In my kitchen


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…are glass measuring cups and glasses.


In my kitchen

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…is fresh ground Indian cornmeal- and corn pudding.


In my kitchen

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…is a hand worked stone grinder.  I use it for whole wheat berries- but I’m going to see how it works on corn.

In my kitchen

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is a wonderful tea pot and a generous supply of Royal Milk Tea

(thanks to Meredith!).


In my kitchen

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…are packets of vanilla beans and homemade vanilla.

What is unique and fun in YOUR kitchen?

Green and lovely

Ohio and Pennsylvania are so lush and beautiful!

It rained all the way through PA on our way back from the Eastern Shore of Virginia- but it was like a fairyland beyond the turn pike and the rain slicked windshield.  The mountains were covered with a light foggy mist, the grass and trees so green and the farmland so rich- the cows looked like a convention of wealthy landowners contemplating their riches. 

And coming into Ohio, right before dusk, the light was just beginning to fail, the sky was grey and forbidding with dark rain clouds, but everything was an emerald green.  And the color was not an adjective but an attribute- essentially green- intrinsically green- green from the core. 

I missed it.

We had a couple of CDs of hymns that we sang along with all the way home.  There is such beauty and power and praise in those old hymns.

I like the choruses and praise songs, but singing hymns is like reciting the Psalms- beauty of words and music, all mixed up with the description of the Godhead and the praise due to our LORD by men.

So- it was a long drive, we were pulling a trailer that was a little scary around the curves and hills of western Maryland and PA, it was rainy, windy and cold- but God was good and granted us many travel mercies.  And I like to sing and discuss theology with Frank without interruption.  We travel well, together, and that is a wonderful thing to acknowledge almost 35 years into the marriage!

No pictures- just word pictures and memories- but I’ll put up some memorable food pictures from our week at the Sailors Rest later.  I love the 6 burner gas range I can cook on there.  As our friend Eric said, “Now you’re cooking with gas!”

(My mother used to use that expression- I hadn’t heard it in such a long time- can anyone identify WHERE that expression came from? )

Psalm 100- giving thanks, offering praise- recognizing what’s what and who’s WHO

Psalm 100
A psalm. For giving thanks.

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
       come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God.
       It is he who made us, and we are his;
       we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
       and his courts with praise;
       give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
       his faithfulness continues through all generations.

This morning I wanted to sit quietly and give thankful acknowledgement to the Lord for his goodness and love.

Somehow that doesn’t line up with the SHOUT instruction or the joyful songs, but I’m too tired to shout. 

This psalm has been a favorite for many years.

I learned it in sign language when I was a guide for Pioneer Girls Club, and we sang it every week for several years.

This was one of the songs I sang to Jordan at bedtime when he was a little boy.

I have made many stamped and embossed copies of it for Thanksgiving over the years- handing them out , using them to decorate the table.

It is such a DO’ing sort of psalm- with stage directions and everything-SHOUT,WORSHIP,KNOW,ENTER.  It directs us to get moving- to do something- to get active with our worship and our understanding.

It has the feel of an exercise instructor- “c’mon, you can do it, 1,2,3,4….keep it up 2,2,3,4”.

I WANT to Lord- I really do- my body is tired, but my soul is shouting- I’m shouting on the inside- I’m humming “Shout to the LORD”-

It’s coming- building up to a crescendo!

Psalm 100
A Thanksgiving Psalm

1-2 On your feet now—applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter,
      sing yourselves into his presence.
3 Know this: God is God, and God, God.
      He made us; we didn’t make him.
      We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.
4 Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
      Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
      Thank him. Worship him.
5 For God is sheer beauty,
      all-generous in love,
      loyal always and ever.

So- Is he out to get me?

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Do you see it?

I didn’t.

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NOW I see it.

But he keeps doing this – leaving stuff around that will bite, trip, entangle or hit me in the head.  And then he tells me I’m accident-prone.

Seriously, this hammer is lurking about-waiting to get me again.

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I think it liked the taste of my blood.

I may be accident-prone- but that doesn’t mean he isn’t out to get me.


Here’s a strange little story…

Chincoteague May-day2 016 I walked again today.  I made it about a mile in 30 minutes of interrupted walking.

This is a BIG deal, because I haven’t been walking in a long time and have very little stamina anymore.   I ride a stationary bike for about 15 minutes a day- and do a little stretching yoga- so really I’m out of shape.

But…( here’s the strange part)  I’m knitting a sock.  Yes, that is singular- I plan on knitting another one, but not to match the first.  Or for that matter am I knitting a pair to go with the second.  The third pair I knit will be a twosome. 

Knitting socks has always been on my wish list.  Something I’d like to be able to do with some proficiency- like making bread- writing- speaking publicly.

However, I have GREAT difficulty understanding and following patterns.  So I joined a knitting group that meets in Copley, my home town, and we are all knitting together.  They are ALL better than I am at knitting socks.  Theirs all look like socks that someone could actually wear.  One of the ladies, Jane , took one look at my sock and laughed.  She asked if I was knitting it for big foot.

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I said it would have to be for Big FEE T- I can’t help it- I have hobbit feet.  They are wide and sturdy and right now I have gout in the right one- so – yes- big foot.

Anyway, we got to talking and getting to know each other when said that she wanted to start walking and wondered if any of us would walk with her a couple of days a week.  It grew very quiet in that room full of ladies.

Then we started talking about  other subjects and kept on knitting.

Jane looked across the table at me and asked if I lived in Copley. 

It turns out she lives down the road from me and she was determined that I would be her walking partner.  I hedged and hemmed and hawed and shook my head looking very discouraging and said that I hadn’t walked for a while and didn’t think I was the right person for her.  She said we could start out slow.

She gave me her phone number, I gave her mine, we set up a tentative schedule-

AND then she looked me full in the face and said, ” I’m sent from heaven to get you walking.  You’ll see, this will be good for us both.”

Did I mention Jane’s last name?  It’s Snow- as in the former food editor of the Akron Beacon Journal? 

So here I am- trying to get into some kind of walking stamina while working on this house in Virginia.  Frank keeps giving me MORE jobs, on top of those I had already planned to do- I’m sore- I’m tired- and I’m trying to walk a little every day. 

And all because HEAVEN sent Jane Snow to get me walking.

By the way, the reason these socks are so big is because I’m using super large yarn to make Cottage socks.  I bought the yarn because it had this picture on the skeins.

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While walking today, I came upon a directive in the sidewalk-

Chincoteague May-day3 011 So go ahead-Laugh!