Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Walls or Doors

This morning Anne and I were talking about several different topics. It made me think about specifics in my life. I realized that too many times I look for walls before doorways. In thinking further, I realized that every wall at some point has an entrance/exit. In pondering about a recent event that Anne and I had just talked about, I had to ask myself this same question, "Am I looking at the wall, or am I looking for the door?" God is our doorway, he gives us a way into or a way out, (when needed). And sometimes we don't even know whether we should be leaving or entering, or for that matter, just standing behind the safety of the wall, but he knows.  
Revelation 3:20. Here, I’m standing at the door, knocking. If someone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he will eat with me.

Monday, August 14, 2017

God Hears Our Prayers

I was feeling a little down the other day. I cannot explain to you why, but I knew after what happened next that I realized God was hearing my prayers.
Whenever in the past when feeling down, I have thought of the time when I was out hunting southwest of Jackson, Mn. (my hometown). I was waiting for my brother to arrive when I found myself sitting by a snow covered stream near the Little Sioux River. The brook was entering the frozen river, but at the entrance there was a hole in the ice that bubbled water through to the surface. I listened to the water and I looked at the snow covered surroundings that seemed so surreal with its beauty. As I was taking in all that was happening, a mink came out of the water and walked around the opening, all the while playing around on the snow covered ice. As I watched this event taking place, I found myself in a very special place feeling very close to God at that point in time. The peace I had at that moment was greater than I had experienced ever before. For many years now I have often gone back to that time in my mind to find the peace that I had in those few precious moments. 

This morning I found myself helpless to control present
circumstances and I was wondering if God was hearing my words and my pleading heart. It was just then, a baby mink appeared on our sidewalk. It sat upright in front of Anne and myself and it seemed to be looking right into my eyes. I knew in my heart that God was speaking to me through this little animal and letting me know that all would be well. I then shared with Anne about what happened to me so many years before with a mink, and we both struggled to hold back our tears. God is so good and he is not far away. He hears our prayers and he cares for us so very much.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

God's Way

1 Corinthians 13:12. For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then shall I know, even as also I am known. 
Sometimes God reminds us of his love through ways that are of his choosing. I was praying for Anne this morning and as I prayed for her, this song came to me, Blessed Assurance. I don't know why this song came to me, but I felt some purpose for it. I never sang or hummed it in my daily work, or found myself drawn to it ever. I later shared it with Anne and she then told me that her grandpa had this as his theme song for his Christian radio broadcast. I then realized that God was putting it on my heart not for me, but for Anne. We both wept in silent joy knowing that God does not forget us when our hearts are heavy and burdened with the world's problems and concerns. Praise his holy name!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Salad Bar

I painstakingly transplanted wildflowers and sunflowers that were growing wild. To no avail, I found that the deer like them too! They left all the wildflowers in the meadow and took the transplanted ones instead; go figure! Here are some wild daisies that I had nothing to do with. Next year, all the wild flowers will be moved towards our flower garden,
 gradually. Can't hurt I guess. I love the deer, but they now have eaten our flowers, the squirrels have consumed all of our plums, and peaches. Sometimes I think they love us too much. Another summer living on the edge of the wild.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Living In The Wild

Living in the Wild

During the past years we have tried to grow gardens, but to our dismay, the deer accepted them as a gift.  In other words, they ate most of the produce that we attempted to grow.  After trying several types and heights of fences, we did finally find success.  We discovered that if you build a fence high enough, it indeed will keep out the deer, but then, one has to consider the other creatures that desire to take their place.  

Later we found that Chipmunks were indeed eager to take over for the deer.  They dug up our garden seeds right after we planted the crop.  Inevitably, just like the deer, it was struggle to rid ourselves of their presence.   I found that trapping Chipmunks does not work, there are just too many of them; besides, a little later while at Disney World,  my little 3 year old boy informed Chip and Dale what I did to our fury friends in our garden. One only has to see the gasp of panic on Chip and Dale’s faces as they jump back in horror, I then felt very small indeed.  

Squirrels are another challenge that I have faced while trying to feed the birds in several locations around our house.  They tip feeders upside down, crash them to the ground and then eat the remains gleefully.  Meanwhile, I spend many hours trying to repair our feeders all the while birds are flying back and forth in front to the windows wondering what I did with their food source.  Guilt eventually overcomes me and I work into the night repairing another feeder.  I have tried greasing the chain with beeswax that holds up the feeders.  The squirrels come down the chain rather quickly, but then choose to leap 10 feet to the ground instead of climbing up a greasy chain.  After awhile, I see that they seem to enjoy the adventure of the greased chain.  Anne, (my wife) tries to hold back a smile as she walks by.  

Speaking of the squirrels, they also like to steal the orange slices that I put out for the orioles and finches.  They climb the Shepard hooks and hollow out the orange halves until nothing is left but the skin.  Wishing no harm to them, I searched my brain for a way to dissuade them from enjoying another animal’s food.  One day I thought, “How about putting a lemon out for them!”  I thought it rather cleaver, though Anne thought it rather strange and perhaps a little perplexing.  “I don’t think they will eat them anyway”, she said.  Anne was right, they didn’t even come close to the lemon halves.  At that point I was wondering if I was losing a battle of wits and I questioned myself if I indeed was the one with the larger brain.  
Then it came to me, how about putting the lemons inside the hull of the orange halves.  Perhaps it will fool them.  Later that afternoon, I was at the computer, when I looked out the window and low and behold, I watched a squirrel chewing away on the lemon.  It jumped back after several bites, all the while exposing it’s teeth involuntarily.  It appeared to have a smile that seemed rather Macabre.  It then frantically looked around and stopped under the hummingbird feeder.  Side note: (The squirrels in the past drank their sugar water as well, that is, until I hung the hummingbird feeder from the eve of the house). Meanwhile, the squirrel was frantic at this point in its quest for something to rid itself of this awful taste in its mouth.  I could see the gears turning in its brain, “I need that water right now!”  After several failed attempts at reaching the hummingbird feeder, it raced down the deck post to the water cask below.  Drinking rather liberally, it then looked back at me with a look that seemed to say, “We are not done yet!”  

One small step for . . . ugh, my chin!
Needless to say, I felt rather like a noble knight who just defended the weaker person from the bully in the village.  My idea though, had flaws in its development.  “How could I feed the songbirds if the squirrel did in fact return.  With downcast heart I woke up the next morning to discover the orange halves hollowed out once again and a mother oriole looking dismayed over the prospect of not being able to feed her babies.  In a last ditch attempt to outwit a formidable foe, I coated the shepherd hooks with vaseline.  Resigning myself once again to failure, I looked over and watched the downey woodpeckers sliding down the greased Shepard hooks all the while trying vainly to climb to the suet feeder.  I wonder if Einstein had these days?
Slip, slip, slip~. "This is embarrassing!"

Thursday, January 26, 2017

God's Unseen Hands

Yesterday Abby was disappointed that her Irish dance class was canceled due to bad weather.  I tried to comfort her as we were leaving the dance classroom, but I could tell that she was very disappointed.  As we drove down the 4 lane highway to pick up Anne at work, I noticed a man lying in the median, he was convulsing in the snow. 
Several people began standing around him seemly not sure what to do.  I pulled into the turn lane instinctively to help.  I then realized that traffic would want to use the left turn lane by the stop lights that I was in, so I told the kids that I would head over to the grocery store parking lot first before helping him.  They said in unison, "Don't dad, please help the man, we will be all right!"  I asked them if they were sure, and they both urgently said, " Please help him now, we will be all right." I got out and along with another man helped him into our car. 
By then an off duty emergency supervisor pulled up behind our car, the police blocked off the lane opposing us and we were soon surrounded by other emergency vehicles and EMTs.  Later, the gentleman was being helped into the ambulance when he asked for help to come over to me, I was in the opposite direction as the ambulance. "Thank you for helping me!"  I could only respond by saying, "God bless you!"  Later when talking to my children, I found out that Will had been telling the injured man in our car that he too has had seizures, he was attempting to calm him and make him feel safe.  Later, Abby looked at me when driving away and said, "Daddy I now know why my class was cancelled, God knew that we needed to help this man!"  I
had a very difficult time holding back the tears at that moment.  "You are right Abby, God knew this all along."  I am so blessed to have such a kind son and daughter. 

As we drove down the road I began telling them that they are putting jewels in their crowns in heaven by their kind acts here on earth.  They both told me that they didn’t need any riches, they were happy without any jewels.  I then shared what Jesus said in Mathew 25:

 . . . ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 

There was silence for sometime in the car.  I knew that they were thinking about what had just taken place and how God looks down on our kindness to others.  For myself, I have been blessed beyond measure with my kind children and how they are teaching me about God's love.