Moonrise, Sunset

(photo: L.Robbins)
For the third month in a row I haven't had my camera with me at that hour when the full moon is rising and the sun is setting. I usually seem to find myself away from home. Tonight I looked in the direction of the sunset when I was driving down the street and noticed that it was more colorful than usual (of course!). When I got home I saw that the moon was already quite high in the sky. I know my camera doesn't take good night pictures, but...I took some anyway to at least say that I'd tried! I won't post any of them but, rather, this one that a daughter took recently, even though it's not a full one like I saw tonight. Last month I was walking home at that evening hour when I looked up the hill in front of me and saw that huge gorgeous full moon. Then I looked down the hill behind me and saw the glorious sunset. I couldn't decide which was more beautiful and I just kept looking back and forth...and wishing I had my camera, but also knowing that it wouldn't come close to capturing the beauty of those two scenes that surrounded me and captured my total attention. The cycles of the sun and moon are a frequent reminder to me of God's constant, always dependable, faithfulness and love!
  "Praise ye Him, sun and moon..." (Ps 148:2) "They shall fear Thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations." (Ps 72:5)



So. Everything isn't always hunky-dory, a bed of roses, fine and dandy, just the way you want it to be. Sometimes it's miserable, thorny, terrible-no good-awful, nothing going the way you want it to. No, I'm not having a bad day or anything. I have little or no complaints on this fine day. There's even a little bit of sunshine outside now and then! But I read some thoughts about suffering recently in my devotional time that impressed me and I'd like to share them with you... In the darkness of suffering, beauty can bloom. "Through affliction He teaches us many precious lessons that otherwise we would never learn. By affliction he shows us our emptiness and weakness, draws us to the throne of grace, purifies our affections, weans us from the world, and makes us long for heaven." (J. C. Ryle) "To us (suffering) appears completely senseless and irrational, but to God none of it is either senseless or irrational. He has a purpose in every pain He brings or allows in our lives. We can be sure that in some way He intends it for our profit and His glory." (J. Bridges) So, can suffering be a perfect gift from God? You bet it can! And in the lives of His children, all suffering is a gift. Some suffering is the result of our own beliefs, lifestyles, actions and attitudes that are wrong (anti-Biblical). In that case, suffering becomes a warning-a wake-up call, if you please. This suffering only becomes a gift if the warnings are heeded and acted upon. In the darkness of suffering, beauty can bloom.

  "For even hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps. (I Peter 2:21)


New Hobby. New Gift.

As little as seven months ago I never thought that one day I would be into the world of blogging and also creating a website but...here I am! Although it has given me some frustrating moments as I learn my way around (since I am self-taught) it has also given me many hours of enjoyment and many moments of joy. I consider it as being a gift from Him for I believe that He delights in bringing us delight! I find it interesting how some of my hobbies and other things that I enjoy doing have changed during the years. I don't think this is by "chance", as some like to call it, but rather it is the Lord's plan...to give us variety in the things we do and even the ministries in which He has called us to serve. "Variety is the spice of life" would seem to hold true in these our lives that the Lord has planned and knows from beginning to end. All that...because of a simple computer. :)



I was sitting in church last night, waiting for the service to begin, when all of a sudden I felt some arms around my neck. The warmth felt good on that cold evening but I didn't know who it was. "Who is this?" I asked, more than one suspect immediately coming to mind. She didn't answer but stretched her neck around to try and show her face. I wasn't surprised to see that it was little Raquel, a very affectionate little girl who, along with her family, is always at church. All of a sudden I felt a double warmth, not only from the physical hug but also from the emotion of knowing that someone likes me. I believe one of the purposes for which God made our arms was to give good, warm hugs to those we love. "Worth a thousand words" is true for hugs as well as pictures! Several years ago someone gave me this poem about hugs...
Hugs come in every shape and size and mean so many things,
Like the hug that says "I'm happy for the joy your friendship brings."
There are hugs for saying "I'm so proud of all the things you do,"
Hugs that say "There's no one else in all the world like you."
There are gentle hugs, and tender ones for feelings that are sad,
Hugs that say "I'm sorry" when someone's feeling bad.
There are hugs for all occasions, and reasons big and small,
Tiny hugs, and bear hugs-short to extra tall!
But the nicest hug is one that says "I'm always thinking of you,"
The special kind this brings your way-
The hug that says "I LOVE YOU!"


Well, Hel-LO!!

"Well, hel-LO!" said the Rose to the Iris, "You are welcome...We're SO glad you're here!" I was delightfully surprised this morning to see a flash of extra color in my front yard. Before I even went to look closely at it I ran back inside the house to get my camera. Move aside everyone, the photo session has begun for Miss Iris! Isn't she beautiful? I wasn't expecting her arrival til perhaps in August or September. What a treat on this foggy May Sunday morning! It looks like Mrs. Spider also considered it a delight to have an extra and most colorful place to hang her web strands. First on Miss Pink Rose, then on Miss Purple Iris. What more could a spider want? Thank You, Lord, for these simple joys with which You choose to delight us.


A Gift

It's overwhelming to think of how many people are now visiting my site here. When I began, I kept it quiet for about 3 months, just because I was...hmm, well, a bit timid about exposing my feelings and thoughts to the public. But I am impressed about the potential and power of the written word. As the Psalmist said "My tongue is the pen of a ready writer" (45:1). I'm not much for public speaking (although I do it if I need to) but I do love to express myself in written words. It's just so much easier when you don't have a million eyes looking at you! Or even just two... I don't prepare much ahead of time to write down what I do here on APR. Usually it's just the sight of something, or an experience, or a memory...and my fingers begin to itch to type it into this 9/11 computer. Why "9/11", you might ask? (smile) That's a post for another day. And what does all this have to do with pink roses? Because this site has become a most good and perfect gift from my Father. It may not be for you...but it is for me.


Just Because...

"I looked into the nightsky...just because. I listened to the morning sounds...just because. I tasted the fresh jam...just because. I smelled the new rose...just because. I touched your hand...just because. Just because...I love you!" (And I wrote this...just because.)


A Rose That Never Fades

Mother's Day conveniently falls between the birthday and deathday (if I may call it that) of my dear mother, so I can celebrate her memory in a special way today. Not that I don't celebrate that on other days. Hardly a day goes by but that something doesn't remind me of her. OH yes, me, myself, and I remind me of her! Little gestures that I make, the way I cough, some things I say...I'm happy to say that I see some of my own mother in me. It's definitely a compliment if someone says "you look and act like your mother" for I admire her for many different things. So on this day, almost 5 years since I said good-by to her, I would like to say that I am SO very thankful for my lovely mother whom I was privileged to know and have for an example. She was beautiful without and within. She was quiet but she was strong...you know, one of those people with that "quiet strength". Her love for Christ, her husband, her kids, grands and greats was so obvious. Momma...Do you remember that hymn I sang to you a day or so before you left us..."Where the roses never fade"? I remember those moments quite often, glad that I had the opportunity to do that for you. You have gone to that lovliest of places, I am so glad that you are enjoying that. But I just want to tell you that YOU are my rose that never fades. I miss you and will always love you and hold you in my heart.


God's Protection

I was in a grocery store yesterday and noticed that there were 2 armed guards, one in the doorway and the other only a couple yards away from me by the cash register. I had the passing thought that the store may have recently had some problems with robberies so they had upped the security. Then as I was leaving the store I saw the yellow armored car and understood why the guards were there. Almost immediately I had this thought that blessed my soul (to the point of getting teary-eyed), the thought that God guards me like that...and much better, of course! And, yes, I was imagining that my guardian angels were nearby with their guns cocked, ready to protect me at all costs. The incident above happened just a few hours before we experienced the Lord's protection in a very clear way. A gas leak showed up in our car and we realized that the Lord, for 4 days, had been preventing the car from blowing up ! Yes, I do believe our guardian angels had to work double-duty during those days. And all my hubby had to do was tighten a screw on a hose clamp. The Lord's protection...a gift? You bet it is!


The First Thing...The Last Thing

Part of a little song that I heard many years ago has been going through my mind the last several days... "The first thing I do every morning, The last thing I do every night, Is pray and give my thanks to the Lord For guiding me right..." I can't remember the rest of the words but it has a delightful little tune and so...I just keep singing it! Does anyone know this song? I've looked for it online but haven't come up with it yet.


Joy, Pure and Simple

Seeing this look on my granddaughter's face over getting a popsicle makes me smile every time I see it. It doesn't take much to make a child happy! Are we like that? Do pure and simple things give us joy? There are a million and one things that can give us joy, depending on who you are and what you like. I'm not taking about what gives you happiness, I'm talking about what gives you joy. Most people might not see the difference in those 2 emotions but those who have experienced the difference know what I'm talking about. The only difference my dictionary gives is the word "great". Well, at least they recognize that joy is something greater than happiness, congratulations to whoever wrote it! I heard a song several years ago about the joy that the Lord gives His children..."He Gives Me Joy". The music is a perfect combination with the words. I have searched but have not been able to find that music in print but perhaps someday I still will. What gives you joy? What gives me joy? I can think of a few things right away: -To love and be loved -Seeing my children walk in God's Way -Giving the Gospel -Seeing a new flower bloom -Holding a newborn baby -Thinking of the smile of a special someone -Smelling fresh bread -Hearing the music of the rain -Knowing that God guarantees my salvation for eternity And on and on I could go. Did you notice that all of our senses and every area of our life can experience joy? I didn't pay much attention to that until near the end of my list. I could post a blog on each of these things! For, after all, God's "good and perfect" gifts are the things that give us true joy. Pure and simple. "The joy of the Lord is your strength." -Nehemiah 8:10 (top photo: J. Reiner)