Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Tea Part 2...

Today I want to finish the subject I started yesterday … how people and God’s promises are like roses in many ways…

People have a tendency to want to do things their own way… force open the rose before it is time for it to bloom, but when we do, we really mess it up. If we do mess things up, but turn and ask Him for help, God will graciously come and do a miracle a lot of times IF we humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, repent and turn from our sins. Remember, sin is doing what we aren’t supposed to do according to God’s Word, OR not doing what we ARE supposed to do.

Wouldn’t it be better to follow Him from the beginning, and “let the rose open” in HIS time instead of messing things up first and THEN asking for His help.

If you have a Rosebud that God has given you… a person that He has given you to love:; a friend, child, husband, etc., that you want to see in full bloom NOW, remember the Rose of Sharon that was given to Mary… He grew in God’s time… He had to FEEL the thorns to know what they feel like to us, and He is STILL patiently waiting on GOD’S time to receive the fulfillment of HIS destiny… To become that King that will bring peace to this world…

It must be hard for Him to see all the sin and suffering that is going on down here, but Jesus is waiting until God is ready to take the Roses from the garden in this world to the banquet feast of Heaven…

We need to trust God to bring that Rosebud that we love to its full bloom… We are the gardeners and caretakers, as the first man was in God’s garden… Maybe we were always meant to be caretakers of the things that God gives us to do… We are to: water by giving them the living water of life, through our modeling, feed by teaching them the Word of God, and pull out some weeds (like when our kids are little and we are bringing them up before they leave our care.

One thing, though, that we need to remember is that God said that once the weeds have grown up with the wheat, and become part of the field, HE will do the reaping and separating in their lives. All children will sin and have to make their own choices as they grow up, but even after they leave OUR care… they never leave HIS!

We are to continue to do our part of the job: water -- feed -- care for (show HIS love through our lives) those Roses. We need to be VERY careful about pruning (judging), and let the MASTER gardener do that part of the gardening.

Sometimes, as we tend the Roses that God has given us to tend, we may get pricked by the thorns, but that doesn’t mean that we should quit tending them… They still need the water and food of God’s love to come to full bloom. This is very important to remember, especially if you do foster care.

Roses are beautiful when they are cared for properly. Wouldn’t you love to be able to put a beautiful Rose, or two… or a dozen… in our Lord’s hands…when He calls us to that Heavenly Banquet?

Roses are to share as well… Once they have bloomed in our hearts… like the promises of God’s Love, Joy, Peace, the gardener usually gives them to others to enrich their lives. Go and pour out the perfume of the Rose of Sharon on those lives He brings to you, and don’t show them the thorns of self…

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Last year, our Women’s group at church asked me to present a message at our annual Christmas Tea, and this is what I felt the Lord wanted me share with them. A couple of you might have read this before because OC let me post it last year on her blog…

The message was about Roses and how God’s people and His promises to us are a lot like them. Roses come in many different kinds, each being beautiful in its own way. Roses, like people, have different looks and colors, and most of them have some thorns which are there for their protection.

Often people develop thorns to protect themselves through life. Sometimes it is because of the abuse or neglect of others in their lives, and sometimes it is because of the trials of life… our environment, illnesses or accidents that happen. People tend to use their thorns keep others away so that they don’t get to close, and maybe hurt them again. The people who care for them must learn to work carefully around people like that, and ask for God’s wisdom, love and patience to help them grow into the beautiful roses that God meant them to be. I especially found this to be true with many of the foster children we have had in our home.

Roses come from many different places, like people’s different cultures. They are developed in many different types of soils, some being healthy or like a “hot house” environment which tends to grow delicate blooms and some in poor soil which tends to develop blooms that might not be as frilly to look at, but often end up hardier and stronger.

One thing that is interesting about roses is that they can’t be forced open ahead of time, or they will die. When we have children, friends (either old friends or new ones), or even enemies, we need to live a life that will leave a beautiful scent that will draw them toward God through the example of our lives, instead of trying to force them to be what we want them to be WHEN we want them to be that way.

Forcing “the rosebud” will cause it to die or not reach the full potential that God meant for it to have. It is often hard to wait for God’s timing, but He always knows what is best. He will lead us, and/or those we love and care about, or show us the way to the place that will bring about the Joy, Love, and Peace that He came so long ago in that manger to give us.

Sometimes, the promises God gives, have thorns to protect US from trying to pick them before they are ready… to teach us patience or other lessons we need to learn before we are mature enough to handle the promise. We are God’s children, and like children, we need to mature enough to be responsible when we receive a promise. You wouldn’t give a car to a five year old not matter how much he begged for it (at least not if you are a wise parent) even though you may promise to give one to them eventually.

Some of the promises that God gives us, were given at the time of His son’s birth which I celebrate this season. Other promises that He has given are still to come, like Jesus’ promise to return. The following are a few of the promises we have been given.

Peace: John 14: 26 & 27 The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, which I will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you… Peace I give to you… not as the world gives. Don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid.

Love & Joy: John 15:10 & 11 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, as I have obeyed my father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy will be in you AND that YOUR joy may be complete.

Our family: Prov. 22: 6 Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (When “old”—not necessarily when a teen, when they are often thorny and may hurt us for a while)

Healing: Prov. 3: 7 & 8 Do NOT be wise in your own eyes! Fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body, and nourishment to your bones.

Mary was given a promise. The promise was that she would bear the Son of God, and that he would be the Messiah. Jewish people, at that time, thought that “The Messiah” was coming as a reigning King that was going to wipe out their enemies and bring peace. They didn’t think about the writings of Isaiah 52: 13 thru all of Chapter 53, where God’s chosen one is shown to be a suffering servant first. These scriptures describe, clearly, Jesus’ life and crucifixion, over five hundred years before it happened. The promise of the reigning Messiah is one that is still going to be fulfilled when Jesus returns.

Still, this must have been very confusing to Mary… King’s aren’t born of poor people… They aren’t born in stables… OR, maybe they have been. Let’s take a quick look at some of the Jewish people’s leaders (God’s Roses…)

There was Joseph, who was born 11th in the line of his family, at a time when the first born was given the blessing. He was given a promise in a dream. He was a cocky, bragging boy, (trying to force the petals…). He had to go through years of prison for things he didn’t do to become the man God used to save His people.

Joseph's story is found in Gen. 37 & 39 – 50. In Gen. 50:20, Joseph says, “You meant it for harm, but God intended it for good. To accomplish what is now being done – the saving of many lives…” Sometimes, God can use the hard things in our lives (thorns) to protect us, as Joseph was protected from murderous brothers when they decided not kill him but to sell him into slavery.

Saul started out as a young man, out looking for his father’s donkeys, when he was called and chosen to be king. He also tried to force the growth by doing it his own way. He never did stop trying, and never turned back to God. He started to consult witches (totally forbidden by God) and ended up being a twisted bunch of thorns. The blooms of his promise died and he ended up insane.

David, Esther, Moses… so many of the people God used had lived hard or sinful lives, but were given a promise from God in their early years and after a time… in God’s perfect time… when they continued to submit to Him or turn back to Him when they made a mistake, He came through and they became the man or woman of God that touched the people in their world for His glory.

It probably took Mary awhile to come to understand that God OFTEN uses the simple things of this world to bring about the highest changes. Very seldom, if at all, do people understand the way that God is going to work (or is working) in their lives. God’s ways are NOT our ways… He asks us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean NOT on your own understanding, but in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight …”Proverbs 3: 5 & 6

This is getting pretty long for tonight, so I will finish it up tomorrow. Have a wonderful day with the roses in your life…

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Babe… Our First Family Equine

Time for another "Tuesdays' Show & Tail" hosted by Angela over at West Virginia Treasures! It is a meme to share about past or present pets or furry friends we’ve known. If you’d like to join, here is the link to the Guidelines. Angela, we appreciate the opportunity to share some of our treasured friends or other interesting animals we’ve seen!

Today, I want to share a bit about our first family equine, a little black Shetland, named Babe. I’d had a horse when I was young that my dad had gotten me, and I’d loved them totally since I was very little, so when we got to the point when we could afford one, we started praying. We put our names on the list for a corral at the local Horseman’s Association, and after a few months we got one. (This picture was taken about 1988, after we’d gotten several horses. L – R = Tai Pan, Peppy, Cory, Babe)

A week or so later, my prayers were answered, when one of my best friends called me. She worked at the local vet’s office and they had been called in by the Humane Society to put down a little starved Shetland pony, named Babe. When she and one of her friends saw the little guy, who had been kept in a back bedroom and only taken out at night for a few minutes to the park to graze, he was to weak to stand. She talked it over with her friend, and they asked the vet to give them a chance to save the little pitch black gelding.

He was so weak and little, that they could hold him up for several minutes at a time… and they did for four days, feeding him and paying for him to get shots and food IV’s and hand feeding him. Finally, he was able to get up and stand on his own, and they continued to feed him and care for him, but she really didn’t want another horse or pony, so a couple of weeks later, when she found out I’d gotten a corral, she offered to sell him to us for $50 (enough to cover some of the vet bills she’d paid) and we were able to get him for our kids.

My oldest son was 5 (the same age as Babe) and my daughter was 4. I was pregnant with my next son. We had Babe for 20 years, and he taught all of my kids how to ride. He was an ornery little thing, like most Shetlands, but a bit worse because he was “Proud cut.” His “gelding” wasn’t done properly and he thought he was a stud. By the time each of our kids were able to ride him, they could ride ANYTHING!!! They won many Gymkhana, Horse Show, and Parade ribbons on him.

Babe was a beautiful little thing when he was shed out in the summer, and looked like “Little Black” in the children’s books by Walter Farley, the author of the Black Stallion series. During the winter, he looked like a black furry bear. He was also VERY smart and learned many tricks. He could shake his head “no,” or “yes,” and “count.” He could shake hands and bow, and he could carry a buggy whip in his mouth and switch it up and down to “chase” you with it. He could also open gates…

He was 25 years old when he got cancer that went into his brain and one day, he started having seizures, so we had to send him over the Rainbow Bridge. He was a very special part of our lives for so many years, and brought a lot of joy, and fun into all of our lives. I wish I had more pictures of him…

Friday, December 18, 2009

Garden of Love by L.B.

Garden of Love

The people and pets we’ve loved in this life,
The ones that have been with us throughout life’s strife…

Each has planted a beautiful flower
With growing love it’s major power.

When we look at the way they’ve touched our hearts,
We’ll see a garden with beautiful parts…

Flowers with eyes that smiled our way…
Rainbowed dew on leaves that sway--
The tears their hands or tongues have brushed away.

The chuckling brook of laughter bestowed
By the antics they’ve played that lifted life’s load.

We water that garden and keep it alive,
When we pass love on and help others thrive.

Don’t let your Garden of Love wither and die,
By letting the weeds of bitterness thrive.

Look up towards the Son, and let Love’s light shine,
So that someday, in Heaven, with those friends we will dine.

Linda Brock © 12/18/09

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another "Show and Tail" Post

Time for another "Tuesdays' Show & Tail" hosted by Angela over at West Virginia Treasures! It is a meme to share about past or present pets or furry friends we’ve known. If you’d like to join, HERE is the link to the Guidelines.

Today, I thought I’d tell you about the first doggy love of my life. My Mom told me that I was only a few months old when my dad came home with a little, almost dead Chihuahua/Doxie puppy. It was covered with lice and fleas and several of its littermates had already died. They got the little thing cleaned up and de-bugged, cleared up it’s mange and gave her the name Bootsie because she was a dark honey color with four white boots and a white tip on her tail. (She's the pup between us)

They said she took to me right from the first and would lay with me gently for hours. Many is the night that I would fall asleep rubbing her soft, silky ear between my fingers. Bootsie, and Lena and Gonie (my two invisible friends) were my constant companions for the first 4 or 5 years of my life until my sister got old enough to play with, and then Bootsie was still always there.

This was over 50 years ago and it wasn’t horrible to have puppies, so Bootsie had a lot of them. That’s where I learned how to help birth them- though she seldom needed any kind of help, and mostly we just watched.

Bootsie was a born “MOTHER!” She raised puppies, and kittens and even a little duck! It was so funny because ducks tend to follow their mother’s while puppies don’t. That first day, she’d pick up the little thing and take it to her nest under the house (she always hid her puppies after a few days… probably to give them peace from us kids) and it would follow her back out, so she’d pick it up again and take it back… That went on for several hours until she finally gave up and brought all the pups out into a box Mama put in the washroom.

It was so funny to watch when the puppies would nurse, because the duckling would pick up a teat and sort of gently pull on it and open and shut it’s little beak on it like ducks do when they are grooming each other. At least THAT was a “puppy” she didn’t have to give up, and for many years, whenever they saw each other (when Bootsie would go outside into the back yard or chicken yard (later) they would go up to each other and Bootsie would lick the duck’s face and “Peep-Peep” would do little ducky kisses up and down Bootsie’s back. We have 8mm movie pics of that. This is a picture of my grandma, parents, sisters and me. I'm holding Bootsie and my sister is holding our new puppy, Petunia.

I had that precious little friend for the first eleven years of my life, and she was a very special part of it because I was kind of a shy, quiet little girl… always heavy… and, especially during those last years of her life (my pre-adolescent years) she was always there for me, loving me throughout everything… the kid’s teasing, my Dad’s heart attacks, etc.

I was heart broken, of course, when she took the "Rainbow Bridge," and what is so interesting is that I had never heard of the Rainbow Bridge until only a couple of years ago, but the night she died, when I thought I would too, and I wanted to follow her so badly, I dreamed of walking with her in a wooded area.
We came to an old bridge that crossed a river that was far below and there were mists raising off of it. It was night and the moon was shining so full. When we got there, Bootsie started to cross it and I tried to go with her, but she turned around and looked me in the eyes and I knew that she was telling me that I had to stay, and she had to go... I watched her finish crossing, and when she got to the angel on the other side, she turned again, to say good-bye, and then they went off into the woods on that side. That dream is still so very clear in my mind...

Joy to the World – Verse 1

A few blogs ago, I mentioned that I'm trying to look at the words of some of the Christmas Hymns and let God speak to me through them... Well, this one has really touched me:

Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

God DID give His Joy to the World that long ago “Christmas” Day. It might NOT have been on December 25th that it happened, but it did happen. God sent HIS son into the world… The one that reigned with Him on high, to live as a human, sharing our joys and pains to truly “walk a mile in our shoes…”

Because Jesus KNOWS all of our problems, temptations, and heart pains… our tiredness, our anger and hurt that makes it hard for us to forgive, and all the rest of our sin, and STILL loves us enough so that He would pay for our sins on that cross, we have a “FREE” ticket into heaven.

Through the gift of His Holy Spirit that comes into our hearts when we repent (turn away from) our sins and become “born again,” we have a way to find peace that passes understanding as we travel through this life.

YES!!! These things should bring us JOY! When each of us accept that gift and acknowledge HIM as our Lord, He HAS come for each of us and we, (now of earth) can receive our King and worship him when we make room for, and have "communion" with Him in our own hearts. (Communion = 1. The act or an instance of sharing, as of thoughts or feelings.
2. Religious or spiritual fellowship)

His Word says that the Angels of Heaven REJOICE when one of us comes to KNOW Him and accept Him. It also says that soon, when He comes back, all of nature that groans now WILL sing with joy just as our Corgis "sing" with joy when they see us coming home, because of the love we share.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Get R Done Friday…

Monica, over at Expressly Corgi, has been doing a Meme called Git R Done Fridays,” and I decided to join the fun this week with this post on our Corgi Christmas Tree. This is her button for this Meme. Her idea was to host a meme devoted to procrastinators everywhere, to inspire and assist in getting ideas and projects finished by Friday and that’s definitely ME! If you are interested, you can go HERE for the rules so that you can join us!

As I mentioned in my last post, the Corgis bring a lot of fun and laughter into our lives, and when I got some really cute gifts from Angela at West Virginia Treasures that looked like they would make some great tree ornaments, I decided that we WOULD put up a tree this year, and we used the snowflakes and beautiful red stocking/lacey boot that Angela sent. I also learned that my grandson, Little Bear – my nickname for him since he was born-- who was 6 this year, is getting to come and stay with us for a couple of days just after Christmas, and I know he’d love to see a tree.

Anyway, we decided to take pictures of all of our corgis in their Christmas hats, make a couple of pics of each, print them, laminate them and then cut them out and hang them for ornaments.

Robert took a picture of Dott saying, “Please, Please” and photo shopped wings on it.

Then he put two of those pics together, back to back, and added a halo between the pieces for a “Corgi Angel” tree topper. Didn’t it come out cute!!!?

This is a little 3 foot tree with fiber optic lights at the ends of the pine needles that twinkle with different colored lights (which don’t show up well in the pics) and we think it came out looking GREAT!

I’ve learned an awful lot about God’s love and about the way I should love Him from the animals that I’ve had in my life, and I thank Him for the Joy that all these little sweet faces bring. He sent His son, Jesus, to be born in a manger around animals, and I believe that He loved them too, and gave them to us… to people… to learn about love and caring for others. I am not putting them up to make them above the regular “Christian” reminders, but AS a reminder to me of true love that I should show to the things God has given me, and of the way that they give unconditional love… the way I should love God.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Christmas Carol…

This year the holidays, for me, have been quite a mixture of the Past, the Present and the Future. So often I’ve found myself thinking about the past…

Past Christmases and Thanksgivings with my parents, and my kids have played over and over in my mind. These were times that were always so special. My parents always made the holidays into times of wonder for us. I think that they were often more excited than we were to see our reactions to the presents, lights, tree, food, etc. I remember the sight of my own kids being so excited to go to Nana’s (we always had our holidays at my Mom’s house) and the gatherings we all shared there with both of my sister’s and their families and usually several other friends. There are so many wonderful memories

Living in the present during the holidays, for me, is an up and down roller coaster. I miss my parents and most of my kids live so far away now, that I miss them, too! It’s harder during the holidays to not have them near, I think. I don’t feel that I “know” them or my grandkids well enough, anymore, to know what they like, so I can’t get excited about what to give them.

I am so grateful, though that Robert is here with my hubby and I and that we have the corgis. I’m usually to busy to dwell for long, on the sadness of those that are missing from my life, now, and that is a good thing so that I don’t go into a depression.

I’ve spent a LOT of time praying for so many of my friends and relatives that are also having a hard time this year: My oldest son and his four daughters that lost their Mom this past January, and another son that is having problems finding a job to support his family and dealing with the stresses of life that financial instability brings. I have so many friends and loved ones that are having huge problems with health issues, too, to pray for.

I think that the pain in those around me, that I know and love, is something that I have to be very careful to “cast” on Jesus, for He’s told me to “Cast all my cares upon Him, for He cares for me.” I know that He has everything in His control and can use all problems and joys to work together for the good for those that love Him, and I am so blessed to know that most of my loved ones DO know Him.

I know that He loves all those that I love that DON’T know Him yet, and is working in their lives to draw them to Himself, and that helps me too, to have faith that He is working things out! These are some of the things in the future that I can look forward to… that and seeing all my “dearly departed” that have gone home to a place of peace and rest that I can look forward to as well.

Each day, as I’ve been listening to the Christmas Carols that are being sung, I’ve been trying to LISTEN to the words and think about what they are saying, telling of the joy that God brought into the world when He GAVE HIS son, knowing what that would mean … a life filled with the joys, sorrows, pain and love that would allow Jesus to KNOW what life as a human was like, and then to sacrifice that Son He loved so that WE wouldn’t have to pay the price for our sins…

I’m trying to be sure to keep my eyes on the REAL reason for the season, and have Faith in what it meant/means for me and my loved ones in the past, present and future. He came to give us a HOPE, and He has plans for a blessed future for us, because He Loves us so much.