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Stop Weeding the Thistles

Stop weeding the thistles? Really?  I had this illustrated to me just this week. Guess I needed to hear it twice in order to sink in lol!

MY LESSON IN THISTLES #1

This is a picture of our garden – well, what was supposed to be our garden. This year ‘life’ happened and we never got a chance to plant it. Oh well. Life is good. So we are giving the land a rest I guess.

For Mother’s Day my two youngest gave me a lavender plant. I would love to raise lavender and plant a whole field of it. So I went to the library and did some research. It does grow here in WI, but it is kind of picky about soil. Anyway, about a month ago I took the small potted plant and put it up in the garden area. I thought hey, it will sink or swim, right? I didn’t go check it. I didn’t even go water it. God – if you want it to grow, it will grow. I left it alone for about a month, well ok, two.

Two days ago I went to see if it made it or not. I really wasn’t expecting it to grow. After all, I didn’t do anything to help it. Can you imagine my surprise when I saw this?

 


Dont pull the thistles

Not only had it grown it had tripled in size! Despite all the thistles growing around it. Despite all my lack of attention – it still grew! I guess God really does know how to make things grow – even when I don’t cooperate!

 

MY LESSON IN THISTLES #2

We have these hostas that we got from my mother-in-law about 8 years ago. When I first got married, we planted JAM Buildingsome at our church, then it was Summit Baptist. Bob and I got married at that church a while back too. We fed and watered them while we went there. Long story short, the Pastor left to go to another church in TX, and the church closed. It was vacant for 3 years. Bob and I moved to another town, and hooked up with some old friends and started with JAM (Janesville Apostolic Ministries) about a year ago. Another long story, short – JAM bought the old Summit Baptist Building. Yeah – really!

And guess what – the hostas were still there. Again, they have been ignored for at least 3 years. They were very overgrown with weeds so the boys thought they would kill the weeds. They bought the spray stuff and sprayed around the hostas. Some of the weed killer leeched in the soil and some of the good hostas died. And many were damaged.  All because we were trying to kill the weeds.  Overkill the weeds and the good ones get hurt too.

I wonder how that applies to us and our church family? Hmmmm…I remember a good book and a great story…

Hostas

 

He told another story. “God’s kingdom is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. That night, while his hired men were asleep, his enemy sowed thistles all through the wheat and slipped away before dawn. When the first green shoots appeared and the grain began to form, the thistles showed up, too.

“The farmhands came to the farmer and said, ‘Master, that was clean seed you planted, wasn’t it? Where did these thistles come from?’

“He answered, ‘Some enemy did this.’

“The farmhands asked, ‘Should we weed out the thistles?’

“He said, ‘No, if you weed the thistles, you’ll pull up the wheat, too. Let them grow together until harvest time. Then I’ll instruct the harvesters to pull up the thistles and tie them in bundles for the fire, then gather the wheat and put it in the barn.’”  (Matthew 13: 24-30 MSG)

MY LESSON LEARNED:

Stop weeding the Thistles Diana.

Stop worrying about all the people in your life that are bristly and not doing what they should be doing.

God has this under control.

It is His garden girl.

He is the Master Gardener.

Jesus is the vine.

God gets to weed His own garden.

It is not my job to weed them out.

Trust God and focus on the lavender – it will bloom, and you will get 30,60, 100 times over in the harvest.

Thank you Jesus!

lavendar

Skip Rocks

Skip Rocks. Have you ever done that? What a great way to relax and reflect.  Funny the things we remember from growing up.  I used to do this as a kid at our old farmhouse. Here is a new song I am working on. Old Farm

 

Skip Rocks

Copyright 2014 Diana Rasmussen

When she 12 he walked her home
Her first kiss was at her street’s dead end
the next day he said he had a new friend
Trampled underfoot like cobblestone

When she was 16 she went to the prom
Flowers in her hair and blue satin gown
Limousine, dinner, out on the town
Sparkling gemstone in a masterpiece

She took off her shoes, walked in the grass
Picked up stones along the way
Black was for fear, gray was for tears
She went down to the creek – to skip rocks

When she was 22 she finished college
Money and cars and a new boyfriend
got busy with beer, a brand new career
tied the knot, but she missed her old spot

When she was 30 she had her first child
beautiful daughter, hair and eyes of brown
Skyscrapers and concrete all around
Suburban life of a city wife

She took off her shoes, walked in the grass
Picked up stones along the way
Black was for fear, gray was for tears
She went down to the creek – to skip rocks

When she was 40 her parents passed away
died in their sleep, went to Heaven that day
She took her daughter back to the farm
They went down to the creek – to skip rocks

They took off her shoes, walked in the grass
Picked up stones along the way
Black was for fear, gray was for tears
They went down to the creek – to skip rocks

Another New Car?

Another new car? Seriously? The ex pulls in the driveway with yet another car. That’s the third one I’ve seen in the last few weeks. Yes, he is in trouble with the law – again. And yet I am court ordered to let him see our two kids. Sometimes he shows up. Sometimes he cancels. And here is mom, the master Piece Picker-upper. Yeah. You know how that goes. He promises one thing. Then cancels. And we moms get to pick up the pieces. All while keeping our mouths shut, because in the kids eyes – he is the Hero. Doesn’t make sense at all does it? Yeah, making $24/hour for almost  year and still not paying any child support. Moving on

I have to believe in God and that He will make things right. Otherwise I would be back in the ‘I love me jacket’ and living in the ‘rubber room’ again. That wasn’t fun.  Well, good meds – I’ll give them that.  But skip the Seroquel – it makes me drool!  Oh the things you learn along the way on this journey. Laugh or cry – seriously.

So I sit. And I wait. And I make the choice to choose to believe that God really does know the ‘bigger picture’ and I may not. My parents divorced. I know what it is like – to love them both in different places. To be caught in the middle. (see Second Fiddle)

I am in a much better place. God rewrote my story…and I am grateful. I know love today. God restored my soul!

In My Weakness I Pray

In my weakness I pray.  Can I tell you I feel like a wave sometimes – up and down, up and down. Like many of you, I have lots of trials and tribulations going on. Seroiusly.  I have to believe in a big God – because I have big stuff! But it’s not about me is it? It is not about the pray-er. Yeah.

pray-er = prayer

I don’t always feel like praying.  Really.  Sometimes I am so mad I don’t even want to talk. Sometimes I am so weary I just want to run and hide. But even that doesn’t matter.

Source: tumblr_mp8b3wpbeM1qaana2o1_500

Source: tumblr_mp8b3wpbeM1qaana2o1_500

Because prayer is not about my strength. It’s about my weakness. 

I am asking God for help. I am admitting I don’t know what to do next. So guess what – with all these life things going on at the moment – I pray ALOT!  And it is THEN that He covers me with His power to get through whatever I am facing.

Weakness + Prayer = GOD’S POWER!

  • What if our efforts didn’t matter, but His did?
  • What if our prayers didn’t depend on how much, how often, what words we use, whether we speak in tongues or talk in English, French, Spanish, or whatever?
  • What if all we had to do was groan – grunt – cry. And He would hear it, and meet us there.
  • What if It’s about making a connection to WHO we pray to?

 

Source: ajoyousrejoicing.wordpress.com

Source: ajoyousrejoicing.wordpress.com

We Are All Just Potato Chips

My husband Bob shared with me an amazing analogy the other day.  We were talking about why there are so many denominations.  And so many different kinds of worship.  I thought about music, and how some days I listen to country, some days Christian, some days oldies, some days jazz, etc. But they are all music.  But God gave Bob a greater revelation that helped me immensely, and I wanted to share it with you today.

potato chips

We are all just potato chips. 

Yep, potatoe chips. Some of us are plain, some have ridges, some are BBQ, some are salt and vinegar, etc. We may have different flavorings or look differently. We might have ridges, we might not. Some may be Lays or Pringles or Cape Cod – but we are all from the same potato.

And you don’t see the plain chips fighting with the BBQ do you?  The Salt and Vinegar chips don’t clobber the Dill Pickle chips when we turn our heads right? And hey, those Pringles, well they’re aren’t ‘real’ potato chips right? I can hear it now – the gossip in the potato chip aisle…

“They don’t look like us.”

“They are all cut up.”

“And they are all stacked together like that, That can’t be right.”

“They aren’t a real chip – they don’t have what we have.”

“Who let them in?”

“They aren’t even in a bag, I mean really!”

“Who said they could be here?”

“You can’t put that seasoning stuff on, you are supposed to be plain.”

“Do you see those ridges?”

 

See what I mean?  But they are all potato chips. They all came from a potato.

One body – many parts. We may be Catholic, Methodist, Apostolic, Lutheran, whatever – but God made us all.  Some sing hymns, some contemporary, some read NIV,  some read King James.  But we are all His kids.  He is the Father. He gets to decide who and what and where and how. I don’t give my kids the exact same gift every year.  Maybe God likes flavors – idk. I do know I don’t like it when my kids criticize each other, beat each other up, say mean things about others, etc.  I want my kids to get along and help each other – despite all the differences they have.

We all have different gifts – and that’s ok.  I’m just happy to be on God’s shelf!

Now there are distinctive varieties and distributions of endowments (gifts, extraordinary powers distinguishing certain Christians, due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit) and they vary, but the [Holy] Spirit remains the same.
And there are distinctive varieties of service and ministration, but it is the same Lord [Who is served].
And there are distinctive varieties of operation [of working to accomplish things], but it is the same God Who inspires and energizes them all in all. (1 Corinthians 2:4-6 AMP)

 

Life by the Spirit

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. (Galatians 5:13-15 NIV)

So my question is – how long will the body keep destroying itself by finding fault with each other?  Sounds like a really bad auto-immune disease where your own body destroys itself. Why is it people think that the only people that will be in Heaven will be the ones going to their church?  I am glad we don’t get to play Savior.  I’m glad Jesus gets to judge – not us.

And thanks to Pastor Jeff too, for reminding us today that we are all members of HIS body, He is God and we are servants, and nobody gets to ‘take over’ anybody.

 

 

Potpourri of Thoughts

“There is nothing so dangerous as a wounded animal…”
-24

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
― Frederick Douglass

“Depression is not caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and it is not cured by medication. Depression may not even be an illness at all. Often, it can be a normal reaction to abnormal situations. Poverty, unemployment, and the loss of loved ones can make people depressed, and these social and situational causes of depression cannot be changed by drugs.”
― Irving Kirsch, The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth

“There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind.”
― Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

“If you have a past with which you feel dissatisfied, then forget it, now. Imagine a new story for your life and believe in it. Focus only on the moments when you achieved what you desired, and that strength will help you to get what you want.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Fifth Mountain

“Start calling yourself healed, happy, whole, blessed, and prosperous. Stop talking to God about how big your mountains are, and start talking to your mountains about how big your God is!”

“You can let it discourage you, but don’t let it define you…” -Flashpoint

Accepted

“And Grace calls out, ‘You are not just a disillusioned old man who may die soon, a middle-aged woman stuck in a job and desperately wanting to get out, a young person feeling the fire in the belly begin to grow cold. You may be insecure, inadequate, mistaken or potbellied. Death, panic, depression, and disillusionment may be near you. But you are not just that. You are accepted.’ Never confuse your perception of yourself with the mystery that you really are accepted.”
― Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out

Chosen

You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is In Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you… and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. -Isaiah 62:3-4,5b.

Don't Quit

Heartstrings

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  - Maya Angelou

True love

 

HEARTSTRINGS

Copyright 2014 Diana Rasmussen

I miss you like
the stars miss the sun
Walk down memory lane
I know I’ll run into you there

Smell the sea, feel the sun
see the stars, touch the night

I hear your voice
echo in my mind
wander in the wind
I come undone
Your heartstrings capture me

Linger longer
rearrange my mind
make room for you to stay
day quietly slips away

Peace waves
Hope stays

Smell the sea, feel the sun
see the stars, touch the night

I hear your voice
echo in my mind
wander in the wind
I come undone
Your heartstrings capture me

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