Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Aroma ~*~ Fragrance

Aren't these pretty!

Right out of the garden. I just love Spring. I love Fall too, but Spring is full of vibrant and multi-colored flowers that just make me smile. Today I saw the freecias had popped up and had flowered. I just had to bring some inside. They fit nicely in a small drinking glass. I set them on the window sill in the kitchen and it just perked everything up. Pretty soon I realized a wonderful fragrance was wafting throughout that area of the house.
I brought them into my office so I could really enjoy looking at them and their aroma! (Who cares that I seem to have some allergies; sometimes it's just worth the price you pay). I always look closely at flowers. Their patterns and intricacies really are worth dwelling upon. Flowers to me are just one evidence of a God who is a great Creator. The flowers burst forth each Spring testifying of His incredible glory.
As I sat and relished them all afternoon, I was reminded that there was a bible verse that refers to us and our aroma or fragrance. So I looked it up:

"For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ unto God,
among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing" (2 Corinthians 2:15)
an expanded version states it this way:

14 But thanks be to God, who made us his captives and leads us along in Christ’s triumphal procession.
14b Now wherever we go he uses us to tell others about the Lord and to spread the Good News like a sweet perfume.
15 Our lives are a fragrance presented by Christ to God. But this fragrance is
perceived differently by those being saved and by those perishing.
16 To those who are perishing we are a fearful smell of death and doom.
But to those who are being saved we are a life-giving perfume.
So as the flower's fragrance is evidence of God's creation, let us go forth and live our lives in a fresh, loving,joyful and vital way that testifies of God's true mercy and grace as we share the love of Christ with others.
Let us rejoice!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


So many people lately in need of prayer within the circle of friends I know. It breaks my heart for what some are going through. Believers, challenged in great ways that will test their faith. I know they will stand firm in Him, come through to the other side in peace and victory. Sometimes all we can offer is the standard phrase, "I will be praying for you." or "I wish I could do more, but all I can do is pray."

When reading the verses below we are reminded of the power of prayer given from on high. He cares for us. He wants us to come to Him in our need as well as the needs of all things.

All we can do is pray? Thats really quite something. It's far reaching. It's better than a card. It's better than a phone call. It's our privilege to take some time to really care for those we love by praying for them as they struggle against cancer, job loss, financial needs, taking a strong stand for Jesus and the Truth, emotional needs, children, parents, a soldier, a president, a neighbor.

I remember when I was taking care of Jeff and emotionally struggling in big ways from time to time. All through the years, I knew I had a band of friends who prayed for me daily, or throughout the day and I tell you the truth...I could feel it, sense it, wear it and be blessed in my spirit. I was uplifted and able to float above the daily concerns and cares to a place that was very peaceful.

Today, will you take a moment to pray for my friends Gemma and John, people I have known for over 25 years now. They were both diagnosed with two different types of leukemia in the same week. John has three pre-and teen children, Gemma has grandkids who count on her. Both are Christ followers and are solid in their faith. I appreciate you taking the time to lift them up to our Heavenly Father. Thanks.


And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:5-8).

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
Therefore, I desire that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
1Ti 2:8
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4:16
Pray for one another, that you may be healed. Jam 5.16b

Monday, March 23, 2009

I never run out of things to share, but ...

...sometimes I love to share things from others.. not often, but today is a day that began with a devotion I now receive every morning. It resonated within my spirit and I just had to share with you. It was written by my friend, Larry, who I know from Christian Chat. Be blessed.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matt. 5: 4
Mourn, to grieve, have sorrow. There is much in this life to cause mourning, in our own state and in those around us. God gives us two options when it comes to sorrow. We can let it eat us up and cause bitterness or we can come to Him and be comforted.

The Bible speaks of two types of sorrow. One is referred to as godly sorrow and leads us down a productive, corrective path. The other is called worldly sorrow, which leads only to bitterness, anger, self-pity, etc. But we have to also know there are times when we are simply at a moment of overwhelming grief and sorrow. This is when God moves the strongest in His comfort.
When we mourn it shows our hearts have not become callous and insensitive. When God finds a good heart, not one stony, or full of weeds, or apathetic, He finds productive ground to which to bring about the bearing of good fruit. And our Father, who is full of mercy and compassion, will give us comfort and joy.

Father, blessed be Your most holy Name, truly You are full of compassion and tender mercies. Our hearts are full of gratitude and thanksgiving for Your abundant grace. We think of all the times we have experienced Your comforting, during times so difficult we thought we could not survive them. Yet You did far beyond what we expected You to do. This give us peace, and joy, knowing by experience Your words are true, Your promises to be trusted. May Jesus be exalted and praised! Amen and amen.

Friday, March 20, 2009


In the Northern Hemisphere spring officially begins at 7:44 a.m. ET on

Friday, March 20, 2009—the vernal equinox, or spring equinox

If the sun were just a tiny point of light and Earth had no atmosphere, then day and night would each be exactly 12 hours long on a spring equinox day. But to begin with, as seen from Earth, the sun is nearly as large as a little fingertip held at arm's length, or half a degree wide. Sunrise is defined as the moment the top edge of the sun appears to peek over the horizon. Sunset is when the very last bit of the sun appears to dip below the horizon.
The vernal equinox, however, occurs when the center of the sun crosses the Equator. Plus, Earth's atmosphere bends the sunlight when it's close to the horizon, so the golden orb appears a little higher in the sky than it really is.
As a result, the sun appears to be above the horizon a few minutes earlier than it really is.

Therefore, on the vernal equinox day, the daylight hours are actually longer than the length of time between when the sun crosses the horizon at dawn and when the sun crosses the horizon at sunset.

Summer Solstice Facts, for When "the Sun Stands Still"

"Those factors all combine to make the day of the equinox not the day when we have 12 hours of light and darkness," Chester said. Vernal Equinox Special Nonetheless The length of day and night may not be equal on the vernal equinox, but that doesn't make the first day of spring any less special. The fall and spring equinoxes, for starters, are the only two times during the year when the sun rises due east and sets due west, according to Alan MacRobert, a senior editor with Sky & Telescope magazine. The equinoxes are also the only days of the year when a person standing on the Equator can see the sun passing directly overhead.

On the Northern Hemisphere's vernal equinox day, a person at the North Pole would see the sun skimming across the horizon, beginning six months of uninterrupted daylight. A person at the South Pole would also see the sun skim the horizon, but it would signal the start of six months of darkness.

Pope Shuffles Vernal Equinox
Another equinox oddity: A rule of the calendar keeps spring almost always arriving on March 20 or 21—but sometimes on the 19th—MacRobert said. In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII established the Gregorian calendar, which most of the world now observes, to account for an equinox inconvenience. If the he hadn't established the new calendar, every 128 years the equinox would have come a full calendar day earlier—eventually putting Easter in chilly midwinter
"It begins with the fact that there is not an exact number of days in a year," MacRobert said.
Before the pope's intervention, the Romans and much of the European world marked time on the Julian calendar.
Instituted by Julius Caesar, the old calendar counted exactly 365.25 days per year, averaged over a four-year cycle. Every four years a leap day helped keep things on track.

It turns out, however, that there are 365.24219 days in an astronomical "tropical" year—defined as the time it takes the sun, as seen from Earth, to make one complete circuit of the sky. Using the Julian calendar, the spring and fall equinoxes and the seasons were arriving 11 minutes earlier each year. By 1500 the vernal equinox had fallen back to March 11.

To fix the problem, the pope decreed that most century years (such as 1700, 1800, and 1900) would not be leap years. But century years divisible by 400, like 2000, would be leap years. Under the Gregorian calendar, the year is 365.2425 days long. "That gets close enough to the true fraction that the seasons don't drift," MacRobert said.
With an average duration of 365.2425 days, Gregorian years are now only 27 seconds longer than the length of the tropical year—an error which will allow the gain of one day over a period of about 3,200 years.
Nowadays, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory's Chester, equinoxes migrate through a period that occurs about six hours later from calendar year to calendar year, due to the leap year cycle.
The system resets every leap year, slipping a little bit backward until a non-leap century year leap nudges the equinoxes forward in time once again.
Hope you enjoyed my beautiful blossoms...what a joy to look outside and take in Spring here in Santa Rosa!
Sorry for the blue underlined sections ... Have no idea why it did that. But I thought the information was pretty interesting so I wanted to share it with you.
Thanks to National Geographic
and the Lord of Creation!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Are you willing...

Sometimes I think the Lord just wants to know our willingness to be obedient to His Word. All the while we know what He has left us in His Love Letter is for our good, but we have so much pride and rebellion, we rationalize just how we can bypass such instruction.

Over the years I have had quite a few experiences where I was convicted to 'do the right thing' - hard as it was because of certain circumstances. I buck and brawl, fret, whine and try to determine different outcomes...none good, of course. Why me? Why not someone else? Why now; it's so not good timing for me. Me, me, me, me. The Lord just doesn't stop the conviction either, it seems to get more pressing. My spirit isn't still and works inside me to finally know what I knew from the onset of the conviction...."Yes, Lord. I will."

One example which may seem silly to you but really hit home to me in this vein was when I worked as the church secretary. For the couples retreat I put couples together into the cabins etc. People would request to be with friends they already had; most of it was easy work. But there was always one couple that no one wanted to room with. She was difficult..and she really was. Eventually everyone said they didn't want to be with this person. Usually there were four couples to a cabin...sometimes three.

So you see what's coming? Yep. "Karen, you can have these people in a cabin with you." NO NO NO not ME Please NOT ME!!! I want to be with MY friends not some difficult woman and her poor husband. PLEASE NO. Yea, we did the drill, pleading, begging, promising..and the same result...ahem missy! YOU. Bending, crying, seeing my selfish self for what I can be...okay,Lord, okay. Whew. Done deal. I cant say I had peace LOL, but was fine with it in the end. THEN guess what... they ended up not going because of something that I cannot even remember today. God just wanted to know if I was willing to follow His ways.

To obey is better than sacrifice

1 Samuel 15:1-23

Funniest thing is that I truly think six times out of ten, He then doesn't require the action from me at all. Evidently He just wants to know if I will bend my knee, die to self and move through the 'right' thing. Some things seem silly, some are HUGE to me. In retrospect in 35 years of having the Lord deal with my heart one would THINK that I'd get with the plan and just bend quickly. HA! You'd think I'd learn. Evidently I am still being shown how stubborn I can be, how much I do not want to put myself out there unless its really comfortable, and how selfish that really is.

Obedience is following instructions.
Obedience is submitting to authority.
Obedience is the humbling of pride.
Obedience is the response of love.

I want to share this weeks experience so you see how it works with the Lord and me. Don't think this is easy to do either, but some little conviction thing is resonating in me that I should share, so I will lest we have to go through yet another week while I fight with Him about doing so.

You all know my house has been for sale since January 3. You all know I've had to lower the price by $70,000 since then ...finally get an offer. It's a lawyer and then after his name on the contract it says.. "OR ASSIGNEE". I thot how interesting, he must be buying the house for someone else. Then it hit me! Wouldn't it just be like my son's ex-wife to want back in here now that it's all fixed up. Kind of like getting the last laugh on my son.

Boy did that kick in a lot of emotions...things like anger, annoyance, judging, bitterness, stubbornness and more. I told the Realtor the situation and said I want to know who is buying the house because I will not sell it to her. Gave him her name and her parent's names. I was vehement about this. So it was written into the contract that within five days of acceptance the name of buyer would be given to me.

There was a counter offer, another counter to that and then yet another one until finally I signed the last one. In the meantime of course the Holy Spirit was working on my attitude. I 'reasoned' with Him that sure, if she had tried to buy it before all this money was put into the remodel, that would have been fine with me. My grandson would live in the house he started out in, attend the best grammar and middle schools in Santa Rosa. BUT, no Lord,not now. Nope, nada. Aint gonna happen. Oh really? What about that little Kevin. What would be the best thing for him, not you and your bad attitudes and judgments? What about that? What about your stubborness, bitterness, anger? What about that? He called my bluff and reminded me that even if she had tried to buy it before the remodel, I would still have had the same bad attitudes. I would have said the same thing. Of course, He is right.

The heart starts to melt under such a conviction. The tears come, the sadness at my own behaviors and rebel-type ways. After 35 years of following Christ, how can I still have all this in me? Ashamed, I repent. Called to a higher place, I feel peace. I want Kevin to have his house back if she is the 'assignee.' I want Kevin to go to a good school and live in a very safe neighborhood if she is the 'assignee' on the contract.

I called my best friend and shared. Totally affirmed it to me. When the Realtor came that day I told him, I don't really care anymore if it is her, God and I were doing business this morning - of course I got tears in my eyes - and his filled. He said that morning he was taking his usual early morning walk in the vineyards by his home and was praying about the house and it came to him that he needed to share with me about forgiveness in this matter regarding her. We both just sat there with tears coming down our faces. I said I was glad God dealt with me alone first LOL. Another Christian affirming the work God had done in my spirit that morning.

Obedience is greater than sacrifice, but I often see it the same way. Obedience to God's ways is often quite sacrificial. We sacrifice our pride, our rebellion, our bitterness, our sin. Dying to self seems like a huge sacrifice at the time. Only later do we realize the wisdom of God's ways and conviction into these little or large crevices in our heart. Yet another heart surgery is performed. Yet another miracle of the supernatural way God works thorugh the Holy Spirit. Healing occurs. Peace at last..lifted UP by Him.

Keith Green wrote a song: To Obey is Better Than Sacrifice ~ It really says it all.


To obey is better than sacrifice
I don't need your money
I want your life
And I hear you say that I'm coming back soon
But you act like I'll never return
Well you speak of grace and my love so sweet
How you thrive on milk, but reject My meat
And I can't help weeping of how it will be
If you keep on ignoring My words

Well you pray to prosper and succeed
But your flesh is something I just can't feed
To obey is better than sacrifice

I want more than Sunday and Wednesday nights
Cause if you can't come to Me every day
Then don't bother coming at allLa,la,la etc.
To obey is better than sacrifice
I want hearts of fire
Not your prayers of ice
And I'm coming quickly
To give back to you
According to what you have done
According to what you have done
According to what you have done

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Know what I love?

I love fellowshipping with believers!

That's what I love.

I believe we were created to do so for many reasons.

God always knows best, doesn't He!

You know it's been a while since I had attended church. Stuck up here in Santa Rosa caring for my son until his passing made me not want to find a new church. I would contemplate it, decide to go to one I knew was right up my alley no more than one mile away, and then determine I was just too emotional, spent, and raw to engage myself with church. Probably needed it more then than ever!

I was down in the East Bay area from Saturday to Wednesday afternoon last week and went to church with my friend, Patti Cadreau. She attends New Life in Alamo. New Life Church - Alamo, California From the moment I stepped into the sanctuary/auditorium I felt at home. It wasn't that people rushed me to be friendly, quite the opposite although the greeters at the doors out front were great. But the feeling, the sense of the Lord in that place was very evident to my spirit. That sense was confirmed during the worship songs, communion and the message. Boy does this pastor have a heart for people and God.

We do ourselves a disservice as well as the local community when we do not fellowship inside the church building with the Church. (we the people). Two hands/hearts are better than one and a team of people can do wonders. Yes, use your sphere of influence to share the love of Christ one-on-one, and at the same time reach out and reach in at church. I was challenged by the message and plan to move on that for the next 21 days (part of the challenge). This would not have occurred had I just been at home singing praises to the Lord.

I can't wait to go back on Easter Sunday to New Life, but in the meantime, I'll be attending the local church no more than a mile away.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Orient Express

Adventure on the Orient Express... Blog style!
All Aboard! Everyone is invited!

The Orient Express is boarding in Paris on Monday, March 9th, and you are invited!
Our host is beauty Muse Swings.
"You are invited to post your part of the journey on the 9th! What would you take, what would you wear, what adventures would you have on board? Who would you travel with, where would you stop for sightseeing and activities? Will there be drama...suspense.......a (horrors!) a murder to solve???? Will we be derailed by an avalanche? Will mysterious people board at our many stops? Will jewels disappear? What will you order from the exotic menu? You decide!"
Visit her blog and I dare you not to want to come! I always love a party!! Leave a message at Muse's link above so we can all visit one another that day. I'll be visiting Chachaneed in a private car near the lounge.... join us for a game of cards and a glass or two of champagne! Hope to see you there ...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Daffodils and Limes

Isn't this the cutest little garden plaque?!!
My pal, Cathy, made this special garden tile for me a couple of years ago. She made it in the Mary Engelbreit type art which she knows I adore. She's a talented lady.

Not much has popped up in the garden yet, but I just wanted to show you the pretty daffodils that have and one huge lime, which is the size of a big lemon and looks like one too, but it truly is a lime!

The dwarf lemon, lime and tangerine trees were transferred from their wine barrel tubs and right into the dirt at the side of the house.

They seem to love it there and are flourishing. Two tart tangerines and two huge limes (trying to fake me out disguised as lemons). But I know the lemon tree was the tallest of all three trees and its still the tallest and has so many buds on it I will hopefully get a few before I move.

That's really it today..sharing what has come up in the garden.

Enjoy these...they are such a bright yellow and so cheerful I think. I had to cut one and bring it into the house so I could see it 24/7.

Can you even imagine the Garden of Eden?
Me either.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The School of Suffering


"Are we learning love in the school of suffering?

Are our hearts being mellowed and deepened by the summer heat of trial until the fruit of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance-is ripening for the harvest of His coming, and our sufferings are easily borne for His sake?

This is the school of love, and the lessons make Him unutterably more dear to our hearts and us to His. In this way only can we learn with Him the heavenly charity which suffers long, and is kind. We see that the very first and the very last features of the face of love, as delineated in Paul's portrait of it (1 Corinthians 13), are marks of pain and patient suffering-suffers long, endureth all things.

So let us learn in the school of love to suffer, to be kind and to endure all things. Surely it will not be hard to love through every circumstance when it is the heart of Jesus within us that will love and continue to love to the very end.

I want the love that suffers and is kind, That envies not nor vaunts its pride of fame. Is not puffed up, does not discourteous act, Is not provoked, nor seeks its own to claim. "--A.B. Simpson