Saturday, February 28, 2009

"all these things"

Don't you just love those really special days?  Upon reflection, wouldn't you agree that the best days are the ones that start off with a great time with the Lord?  Today was another one of those days for me.  This devotional says it all:

February 28

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

Do you know what the problem with many of us is? Our faith is something tacked onto our lives. Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters…” (Matthew 6:24). Do you believe that? You are to have but one goal in your life, and that is to know Jesus Christ personally, powerfully, passionately, and preeminently. Everything else will flow out of that. You say, “But wait a minute. I’ve got other things to do! I’ve got a job. I’ve got to rest. I’ve got to have recreation. I’ve got to have friends. I can’t just narrow my interests to one.” When you bring your life into a burning focus, all of these other things contribute to the main thing.

What is the burning focus of your life? Make it Jesus and you’ve made it!

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Just in case you skimmed over the above devotional, let me share something with you.  A few years ago, while reading my Bible, I read Matthew 6:33.  I wasn't exactly clear what "seek ye first the kingdom of God" fully meant, so I ask the Lord to teach me as it sounded like a command that I should obey.  God, in His faithfulness, continues everyday to teach me how to put Him first in every area of my life.  Bakers' Blessings is my attempt to share with friends, family and passersby that I haven't missed out on anything by making Jesus Christ the Lord and Master of my life.  You might like to go back and re-read the above devotional and meditate on the truth of it.  It really spoke to my heart and encouraged me.

Below are a few pictures that show you a few of the 'things that have been added unto me,'  like spending a wonderful day with my wonderful husband.

First, Don said today would be our Date Day since we didn't leave the park yesterday, so we went to Mimi's for breakfast.  Next we went to Target for a few items like new sunglasses for me since I broke my other pair.  Don wanted to show me the new Fry's store.  Wow! They have everything there, even furniture and TV's and groceries and a deli and a Starbuck's... everything, except clothes (and I might have just missed them).

Don loves to explore new territory so we just rode around the area enjoying the scenery.  We found water in a new addition here in Casa Grande.  Here in the desert valley, this is considered a large body of water. In another area of CG, we saw this house.  It's for sale, in case your interested.  Kind of looks out of place, though.  On one end, there's a five-car garage, two with doors that accommodate pick-up trucks.  If your interested, let me know... we'll go back and get the phone's for sale Not far from the white house was this old farm tractor. It looks like one my daddy and brother drove while cotton farming in west Texas. Don turned onto a street that led to the Weaver Ranch addition.  Each lot was one or two acres with white fences around each one. Some people had a horse or two on their "ranch."  This addition was located at the foot of a mountain that just added to the beauty of the area.  Here, we saw the first ocotillo blooms of the season.

the first ocotillo blooms we've seen this year From Weaver Ranch, we accidentally found ourselves at the entrance to the Central Arizona College.  And it was a beautiful afternoon to watch a little at Central Arizona College Oooooo, I love taking pictures at a baseball game.  I know his mama would just love to have this picture. This is the visiting team's pitcher from Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix. His dad was sitting behind us. A  spot on the bleachers under the filtered shade of a tree was "added unto us." Stately waving beyond center field.  May she forever proudly wave. The setting for this college is lovely, at the foot of several mountains. While Don got us each a bottle of water, I snapped a few pictures of the campus. It's really nice here.  They even have green, soft grass. Bougainvillea... "added unto me."

When we got home, Don fixed the leaky front tire on my bike and I took a spin around the park with my camera hanging around my neck... just in time for another beautiful sunset that God "added unto me."  At just the perfect setting of the sun, you can catch it's reflection on the clouds in the north.... south... and east. Just awesome, isn't it? And then God said, "You don't want to miss this!"  There, just above the sunset was Venus (you must concentrate to see it in the pic) and just above Venus and ever so slightly to the left, a slice of the moon. The sunset, Venus and the moon... all in one frame. {sigh} ... ..... "and all these things shall be added unto you."

Thank you, Lord, for a beautiful day.  I am so looking forward to the next God-sized activity which you've invited us to join You in.  For we know that it's the God-sized activities that show the world around us what a powerful and awesome God you are and draws them into a personal relationship with You. Amen.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Fantastic Friday and "Virgil's Wedding"

I told you they were red poppies!!!poppy Ask Toma.100_2508 Ask Toma. :-)100_2512 Geraniums.  Always lovely.100_2514 You know these are Pansies.  The clothes pins?  Well, Toma says they keep the doves from trying to nest in the pansies.  So far, it's working.  Old Glory behind is a nice touch, don't you think?100_2515 Succulent of some kind... will have to take my computer back over to Toma's to get the names of these plants that I haven't a clue what they are, but I sure enjoy their beauty.100_2516 I do remember that Toma said this is a Candelabra Cacti those tiny little (definition of "tiny little" is very, very small) yellow things are it's flowers.candelabraCandelabra 

Wall art on Toma and Jim's park model. 100_2520 We love the Gambrel quails out here, but you knew that already.100_2521We had a little visitor today.  I haven't seen a jackrabbit in a long time before we came to Arizona.  We mostly have cottontail bunnies in Oklahoma.  This jackbunny wasn't very big... well except for his ears. :-)100_2524This afternoon, Don and I went to the church steering committee meeting.  Don has been to the other two meetings in January and February, but this was my first.  I was blessed.  After old business was discussed, Don shared with the committee about the phone call he got from our friend in this area, Tim Pruit.  This summer, the youth of Arizona will have the opportunity to go to a Christian Camp over in the Prescott area.  This state does not have an encampment like Falls Creek in Oklahoma, but there is a facility near Prescott that will be adequate for a youth camp.  The small towns near where we are, are quite depressed and it's unlikely that very many of the young people will be able to afford to go to the Christian Camp.  When Don presented this opportunity to provide scholarships to the steering committee, they were excited about helping the kids and made a motion to present it to the congregation at a service in the near future.  Several in the group testified to the help they had received in order to go to Christian Camp and the difference it made in their lives and they know that the church here will agree and want to get on board with this opportunity to help make a difference in a few lives.  What a blessing to be serving with a group of Christians who understand when God is at work and want to join that work.

Tonight, Don and I attended the comedy presented by Sunscape drama group, "Virgil's Wedding."  GH played the part of the preacher.100_2525

Virgil and his best friend, Ellard.  The parents of the bride.100_2546 The wedding guests were very active.  Virgil and his bride, Margaret. "You may kiss the bride." It was a fun night.  Here's Walter/Ellard, all scrubbed up as the Best Man, at the reception afterwards. Doesn't he look like Alfalfa?Walter Weins


We pray you were as blessed today as we were.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Texas Mountain Laurel Tree, etc.

Flower cluster of the Texas Mountain Laurel tree. Blooms with a sweet aroma... smell better at a distance than up close.Texas Mountain Laurel tree This Texas Mountain Laurel tree is in the Sunscape Cactus Garden. Texas Mountain Laurel tree Just beautiful.Texas Mountain Laurel tree Pictures really don't do it justice.Texas Mountain Laurel tree Here we have a huge bumble bee having a feast.bumble bee in the Texas Mountain Laurel tree bloomsThe bumble bee's wings are a beautiful iridescent color, translucent like fairy wings.  If you look real hard, you can see them in this picture and the one above.bumble bee in the Texas Mountain Laurel tree blooms  Joined by many honey bees. There's one buried in a bloom in the lower right just above the date stamp. bumble bee and honey bee in the Texas Mountain Laurel tree On the other Texas Mountain Laurel tree, the blooms are gone now and these seed pods have replaced the blooms.  They're about 1 1/2" - 2" in length, very hard and the seeds rattle inside when shaken.Texas Mountain Laurel tree blooms seed podsToma called this a Claret Cup Hedge Hog.  I can't wait until these buds open.claret cup hedge hogYellow Bird of Paradise.bird of paradise Shoestring Acacia tree.  Resembles a Weeping Willow.  Shoestring acaciaToma checking out the Shoestring Acacia tree.Toma and the shoestring acacia tree A Fairy Duster.  Cute, huh?fairy duster Somehow reminds me of Biblical times.100_2490 Guess what this is?Pin Cushion cactus beginning to bloom And a close-up of the Pin Cushion flower. Pin Cushion blooms An Emu bush.Emu bush Penstemon plant and flowers.penstemon Lavender Winter Bee. (Toma is a walking plant encyclopedia and I'm loving it!)lavender winter bee Red Poppy.  How do I know it's red?  Come back tomorrow for an poppy Now this Monkey Tail doesn't look like much except interesting, but the flowers promise to be breathtaking. This is on Jim and Toma's patio.Monkey Tail Toma's pansies. Toma's pansies At this point, I have to tell you about Jim and Toma's summer home similar to the park model they have here, but more cabin looking.  It's in the woods by a big lake in the middle of Minnesota.  They swim, fish for walleye salmon and hunt agates all summer along the three mile long sand beach (water is shallow and warm for many yards out into the lake) that they have access to and that, almost privately.  They take the agates they find and in-lay them into bricks, pavers and other items.  Here's a bottle of agates that Toma brought with her to their winter home here.agates from Toma and Jim's home in Minnesota While in Arizona, one of their hobbies is collecting glass and pottery shards, which they inlay into pavers, stepping stones, and bricks that they use here.  Pavers like this lead to the cactus garden from their patio and also to the street in front from their patio.pavers and steps made by Jim and Toma Here they have stacked the bricks they made, with milk cartons, to look like a well.  They are so creative.bricks made by Jim and Toma in milk cartons

Toma and Jim fascinate me.  I sure hope I don't wear out my welcome.  They are such sweet people and we both appreciate the same things ... nature, etc.

We are so blessed!