Category Archives: Faith

Rather Suddenly: RAIN!!

Yes! Rain is falling, and westerly winds are blowing! And we are going fishing!

More later. . .for now, we thank and praise our God who hears and loves and cares for His people.

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Filed under Action & Being, Faith, Nature, News, Seasons, Weather

Effie and blackberries

I took this photo last summer, of Effie slavering over the unripe blackberries she had been checking out. This year she has shown no interest in them at all, even when they were ripe. I think she does really cute things with her tongue.

Her cute look elevated my morale after reading the NOAA wildfire reports and predictions. It was a tad demoralizing to learn that I am not cut out for life on earth, but hey, I’ve had a fair number of decades to prove I am blessed with some kind of knack for survival–aka God’s preserving grace.

I have a wonderful husband, a compatible cat, a pleasant home, and a well-matched church. Smoke happens. I’ve been outdoors only briefly, to run up the hill to get any eggs our hens have laid, and down the hill to pick up our mail. I feel a little cooped up, staying in the house so much, and very ready to get back to fishing in the Snake River again. The fires have kept us from fishing for three whole weeks.

Like most nuisances, smoke doesn’t stay forever.

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Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Nature, Gardens, Cats, Effie, Effieland, Faith, Health, Home Life, News, Photos, Seasons, Weather

Dear Elijah, Wish you were here. . .

In the 9th century B.C., Elijah was a good person to have around. His effectual prayers for rain delayed Ahab, enabling Elijah to arrive ahead of the ungodly king and execute the false prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:41-19:1). Blood, gore, and slaughter notwithstanding, Elijah prayed for rain, and rain arrived, with a “sound of abundance.”

We need rain! Smoke from the lightning fires continues to linger throughout Washington and Northern Idaho. Visibility of the basalt canyon walls less than 10 miles from our home remains compromised, as does the breath of some people with health issues.

Elijah is gone from the world; the format of his prayer, in which “he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees” is not necessary for effectual prayer. Elijah can, however, remind us that however we pray with real need and sincerity, we are heard. Whether or not our prayers are effectual is entirely up to the perfect discretion of God–as is the weather.

My camera has taken up a tourist photo proclivity–the sky directly above has a few streaks suggesting blue, but is predominantly ash-white. The photo also makes the hills much more discernible than they are to the eye. I promise, the smoke is really there!

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Filed under Faith, Nature, Photos, Seasons, Weather

Spring is here, and my PTSD is melting

Effie’s sunshine greeting far exceeds the melting point of PTSD.

At last I am gaining perspective. It’s still weak, but I am coming around to believing that an auto accident a year ago in which no one was significantly hurt (except for a torn tendon in my right elbow that hurt for nine months; and Grünhilde, my Audi and a veritable member of the family, who was totaled) is not a sufficient reason to torque my worldview downward.

With the help of God through His Word, and my husband, my pastor and Effie, now on therapy cat duty (as she probably always has been), I am able to concede that every driver on the road is not specifically out to harm me.

Particular noteworthy Bible verses coalesced in my attention sphere this morning.

“It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” Acts 1:7

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

“Behold, I am vile;
What shall I answer You?
I lay my hand over my mouth.” Job 40:4

(All verses above are from the New King James Version (NKJV), © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)

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Filed under Action & Being, Effie, Faith, Reflections

Effie’s Therapeutic Gifts vs. the News: Mitigating PTSD

There was the collision last year, and I have finally begun to feel a bit more calm in the car. Now the well-written, well-documented news coalesces with the worst of dystopias into a living nightmare. I can’t read the news anymore. I simply become too agitated.

I am thankful I have mitigants that don’t involve medication. I have a Lord to thank for accepting my hurried prayers, such as, “Lord, grant me the grace to accept and withstand Your will. . . .” For what else can I petition? Does God change the course of His providence in the world for undeserving sinners? I’m thankful He does not!

l have a wonderful husband, a pleasant home, and an exquisitely charming cat. We live near some excellent places to fish, and I take pleasure in fishing.

Effie sensed my anxiety after I left off reading a couple of demoralizing news analyses. Her cuteness is not merely gratuitous–nothing and no one is. Effie has a therapeutic grace within her being.

She’s napping now, and I am uplifted. I feel understood; my cat lolled winsomely for me before her nap, and my husband and I are going fishing after dinner.

What a wonderful world we have been given; and God’s gracious protection and consolation are with us, throughout the best and the bleakest of times.

Effie will never have a need to feign an antic disposition–she’s a natural!

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Filed under Action & Being, Effie, Faith, News, Photos, Politics & Elections

Grace and rebellion

My husband preached in our pastor’s absence today, on the theme of the promise of the Messiah, from Isaiah 9.  I thought the two sermons were wonderful, and I wanted to remember a construct I thought especially important:

Only grace overthrows rebellion.

p1010464-bit-of-a-tussleIt takes a lot of grace on both our parts to get Effie combed, and most tasks I undertake require much more. I pray for grace to persevere because she’s worth it–no one this cute needs hairballs.

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Filed under Action & Being, Cats, Effie, Faith, Photos

Of ground hogs and Gadarenes

It hasn’t been good, pushing myself to follow news that ultimately leaves me in the Slough of Despond, gulping for air. (If you are unfamiliar with the venue, it is detailed in The Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan.)

Last night, to waylay the effects of the gloomy articles, I decided I would check out the ground hog situation today. I had planned to drive to an arterial bounded by fields where I have often seen ground hogs. Unlike prairie dogs, who sensibly hibernate through the winter until they receive nature’s all-clear signal, ground hogs quasi-hibernate, emerging at various times to test the readiness of winter’s departure. At 9:30 this morning it was still only 16° and foggy. Forget it. I’m more the prairie dog type.

I skipped the news. I thought of Legion, the Gadarene man chronicled in Luke 8:26-38. He was afflicted with demons and quite miserable. Christ came to the man, and of course apprehended his misery. The Lord sent the demons out of the man and into a herd of swine, who promptly ran maniacally over a cliff and perished. The man was grateful. But the owners of the swine were not grateful; they were rueful over their loss of their pigs. They wanted Christ to depart from their territory because they could perceive Him only as a vessel of misfortune. The grateful man whom Christ delivered from the demons became an evangelist.

I don’t need to keep testing the waters of the Slough of Despond; it’s good to be aware of what’s going on, but not to the point of toxic exposure and unhelpful grief. Lord, give me a heart that is more like Legion’s.

26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee.

27 And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs.

28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!”

29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.

30 Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him.

31 And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.

32 Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them.

33 Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.

34 When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country.

35 Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.

36 They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed.

37 Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.

38 Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.

— New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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