Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blessed to be a blessing

God Calling: June 30 ~ Understand Them

Take joy wherever you go. You have been much blessed. You are being much blessed.

Such stores of blessing are awaiting you in the months and years that lie ahead. Pass every blessing on.

Love can and does go round the world, passed on the God-currents from one to the other.

Shed a little sunshine in the heart of one, that one is cheered to pass it on, and so My vitalizing joy-giving message goes.

Be transmitters these days. Love and Laugh. Cheer all. Love all.

Always seek to understand others and you cannot fail to love them.

See Me in the dull, the uninteresting, the sinful, the critical, the miserable.

See Me in the laughter of children and the sweetness of old age, in the courage of youth and the patience of man and womanhood.

“Dear Friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”  1 John 4:11

As God's children, we truly are.....

Keep your hands open and pass on the amazing and wondrous blessings you are given!

Live out His love daily.

Steps of faith

God Calling: June 29 ~ My Will - Your Joy

Our Lord and our God. Lead us; we beseech Thee. Lead us and keep us.

You can never go beyond My Love and Care. Remember that. No evil can befall you. Circumstances I bless and use must be the right ones for you.

But I know always that the first step is to lay your will before Me as an offering, ready that I shall do what is best, sure that, if you trust Me, what I do for you will be best.

Your second step is to be sure, and to tell me so, that I am Powerful enough to do everything ("The hearts of kings are in My rule and governance"), that no miracle is impossible with me ("With God all things are possible" and I and My Father are one).

Then leave all with Me. Glad to leave all your affairs in a Master Hand. Sure of safety and protection. Remember you cannot see the future. I can.

You could not bear it. So only little by little can I reveal it to you. Accept My Will and it will bring you joy.

Taking steps of faith, as God leads us forward!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

He is able!

God Calling:  June 22:  YOUR RED SEA

Go forward fearlessly.

Do not think about the Red Sea that lies ahead.

Be very sure that when you come to it the waters will part and you will pass over to your promised land of freedom.

We're believing and expecting miracles, Lord.  You are so able!

5939 Shincke Rd NE, Olympia, WA

We are asking God for this land ~ believing He has led us to this place.  Our dream + His story!

Theme God gave us for 2013:  Hope, Health and a to possibilities.

Be gloried, Lord God.  This is all about YOU!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Crammed with Inspiration!

I admit that I'm a dreamer.  It is part of who I am.  I am an encourager of others.  I am blessed to be a blessing to others.  It is why I do what I do.  And, I believe that God is doing amazing things in and through our lives (and in yours).  He is my hope.  He is who I live for.  How I pray His love is shared in and through my life and experienced by others.

I'm a visual person.  Words and pictures speak to my heart and spirit.  And, God's Creation all around me draws me closer to Him daily.  I pray the following inspirational pictures draw you closer to Him and you receive some insight into how amazing our God really is.

And finally, God lead me to I Take Joy with Sally Clarkson and this entry from March 2013:

“Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness.”
Hosea 10:12
I have always loved fields of wildflowers. Seems to me when I see fields and fields of the beauty, (and blue is my favorite color), I almost feel like it is evidence of the invisible hands of God still planting flowers in His gardens to remind us that He is still creating and perpetuating life, even when we are not aware.
When looking at a tiny seed, it is impossible to see what will bloom from this minute speck of nothing, -the color it will produce, the bloom or fruit, or how large the plant will be. There is vast potential locked within, that under the right circumstances–planted in good soil, watered and covered in sunshine, a miracle will happen. The seed transforms into something more than itself–it gives birth to a plant that blooms and brings beauty, life, color and a fruit–and this is a miracle-almost something out of nothing.
And so, God calls us to sow–to sow broadly, generously, diligently.
Sometimes the seeds that He requires us to sow, do not obviously promise anything–yet, we are asked to believe in the potential–the latent miracles inside of these small life-seeds.
We are to sow with a view to righteousness–not seeing or knowing totally the vast potential of what is in our hands. But ours is to be faithful to sow, by faith, the seeds of promise given to us–
to cast the seed of promise into the soil of life, generously, diligently, faithfully–
And His is to do the miracle-
To take all of the planting of faith seeds, and love seeds, and integrity seeds, and faithfulness seeds, into the moments of our lives when no one else is looking;
faithfulness to the gospel and spreading the good news;
serving our children, and loving and helping our spouses;
praying and believing when no sprout of answer is in sight.
And yet, in time, in His hands,
there will be such a bounty of beauty, a harvest from the seeds planted in life, that we will finally see, that
He was creating the miracle right beside us–the seeds will indeed sprout into a harvest of righteousness and redemption that will be beyond what we could have imagined.
But, the harvest of such sowing is only for those who plant, and water and cultivate and wait, by faith, believing in the promise of what lays ahead.
So, dear God, let us look at the flowers you have planted and see the potential beautiful harvest of our lives, if we will only believe in the seed potential in our lives right now,
which by faith will become a harvest of righteousness beyond measure.

Theme God gave me for our family for 2013:
Hope, Health and a to possibilities (based on Jeremiah 29:11)
May the Lord bless and keep you and provide for every need.  May you know His amazing and gracious love.

Power in Praise!

My spirit is singing out today:

I will call upon the Lord
Who is worthy to be praised
So shall I be saved from my enemies
I will call upon the Lord

The Lord liveth 
and blessed be the Rock
Let the God of my salvation be exalted!

Psalm 18 - Powerful imagery; Powerful God.

I love you, Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.
Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
The Lord thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.
He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, Lord,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I am not guilty of turning from my God.
All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.
I have been blameless before him
and have kept myself from sin.
The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall.
As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me;
your help has made me great.
You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.
I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
I crushed them so that they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.
You armed me with strength for battle;
you humbled my adversaries before me.
You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
and I destroyed my foes.
They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—
to the Lord, but he did not answer.
I beat them as fine as windblown dust;
I trampled them like mud in the streets.
You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
you have made me the head of nations.
People I did not know now serve me,
foreigners cower before me;
as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
They all lose heart;
they come trembling from their strongholds.
The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God my Savior!
He is the God who avenges me,
who subdues nations under me,
who saves me from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
from a violent man you rescued me.
Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing the praises of your name.
He gives his king great victories;
he shows unfailing love to his anointed,
to David and to his descendants forever.

Amen and amen!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Promise!

God Calling: June 19: The Success You Covet

(definition of covet: yearn to possess or have)

Follow the path of obedience. It leads to the Throne of God. Your treasure, be it success necessary on the material plane, which will further the work of My Kingdom, or the hidden spiritual wonders revealed by Me to those only who diligently seek, this treasure lies at the end of the track.

From one point (a promise of Mine or a Command) to the next, you have to follow, till finally your reach the success you covet.

All your work for the moment is in the material plane and the spiritual is only to help the material. When your material goal is reached then the material will serve only to attain the spiritual.

Amen and amen! Our dream = His story! Discovering and sharing the countless wonders of God's Creation with countless people. We're ready, Lord!

“The best is always yet to be with God. Everything you have ever dreamed or longed for, will be.” – Oswald Chambers, from Run Today’s Race in The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers

May the Lord bless you and keep you.  May He make His face shine upon you.  
Abundant blessings today and always...  Joanie

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dreaming Big or Big Dreams?

We believe in a BIG God who is able to do BIG THINGS!

I have always been a dreamer...  Some might say to a fault.  I encourage others to follow their dreams; believing God has placed a passion in their lives for His purposes.  And, I have a big dream that, one day, I will be a farmer.  You could say that we're Farmer Girl and Chef Boy. Food Forest Rangers.  Lovers of God's Creation and the countless wonders He has created for us to enjoy here on earth.  Whatever we're called, this we know...

...we have 2 days left to give a landowner a decision about one of his land holdings.  We are believing that God will provide, even to the last hour.  

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. NIV James 1:6

Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. NAS Mark 11:23

And Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will happen. NAS Matthew 21:21

Below are 4 images from Google Earth showing where the farm property is located.  We are praying God will give us this land; enabling us to realize our longtime dream and to continue telling His story!  

Woodard Bay Conservation Area is just to the north.
The area south of Woodard Bay Rd NE, the lake and the green pasture area is 96 acres of additional wildlife refuge that was once part of a 101 acre cattle ranch.
The pasture and forested area across the street is 95 acres owned by WSU.
The thin white line just to the left of the lake (and extends north and south) is the Chehalis Western Trail (non-motorized, preserving a piece of history for this area).

You can see a section of the Chehalis Western Trail on the left edge of this photo.  
If you look closely, you can see the border around the farm at 5939 Shincke Rd NE.
There is a wetland area surrounding the lake.  
Nearly the entire property is covered by a wetland buffer.  
The WSU pasture field is to the right of the roadway.

5939 Shincke Rd NE, Olympia

Street view of the buildings ~ none of the buildings have been maintained in recent times and in need of restoration at some level; especially the garage and barn.

Because of the wetland buffer issues, no new building permits will ever be allowed for the property.  All current buildings must be rehabilitated to preserve them.

Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. 
NAS Psalm 37:4

May our awesome and amazing Lord provide for your every need and may you know His love and grace each and every day.  Abundant blessings!

Dreaming Big or Big Dreams?  Yes.  Nothing is too hard for our God.

Lord, we thank You and praise You for Joy Bell Farm.  
This may be our dream, but it is Your story.  Be glorified!

Friday, June 14, 2013

How Much God Wants to Bless You

Today's devotional from John Piper at Solid Joys ~

The LORD will again take delight in prospering you. (Deuteronomy 30:9)
He does not bless us begrudgingly. There is a kind of eagerness about the beneficence of God. He does not wait for us to come to him. He seeks us out, because it is his pleasure to do us good. God is not waiting for us, he is pursuing us. That, in fact, is the literal translation of Psalm 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall pursue me all the days of my life.”
God loves to show mercy. Let me say it again. God loves to show mercy. He is not hesitant or indecisive or tentative in his desires to do good to his people. His anger must be released by a stiff safety lock, but his mercy has a hair trigger. That’s what he meant when he came down on Mount Sinai and said to Moses, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love” (Exodus 34:6).
God is never irritable or edgy. His anger never has a short fuse. Instead he is infinitely energetic with absolutely unbounded and unending enthusiasm for the fulfillment of his delights.
This is hard for us to comprehend, because we have to sleep every day just to cope, not to mention thrive. We go up and down in our enjoyments. We get bored and discouraged one day and feel hopeful and excited another.
We are like little geysers that gurgle and sputter and pop erratically. But God is like a great Niagara — you look at it and think: surely this can’t keep going at this force for year after year after year.
That’s the way God is about doing us good. He never grows weary of it. It never gets boring to him.

To you, dear reader ~ this is for you.  This is for me. This is for ALL God's children.  Thank you, Lord.  Be glorified again today.

Dependable in the Mundane

This is the devotional sent out on June 5th after Blaine and I met with the landowner on June 4th. We've seen God's power in action along our journey and we believe this message was brought to us, at this time, as encouragement for this specific situation. Blaine and I could have prayed together and not shared this situation with you - and we believe the outcome would be the same - but we also felt a strong encouragement to invite others to pray with us. No two faith journeys are the same. We are made in God's image, but we are all uniquely created people. It is our desire to encourage each one of you to continually seek after Him, as we all learn and grow in this life on earth. Our desire always is to bring glory to His name and to share His love with others, as we live out our lives each day. Abundant blessings!

Dependable in the Mundane by John Piper

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

One of the most powerful testimonies to the all-sufficiency of future grace is the “faith principle” that has governed the lives of so many missionaries, notably those of Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF).

Without condemning those who follow a different pattern, it has been the practice of those who follow in the steps of Hudson Taylor to move the hearts of people to give by talking to God and not people.

James H. Taylor, the great-grandson of the founder, explains how this faith in future grace, rooted in demonstrations of bygone grace, honors God.

We . . . begin from a position of faith. We believe God does exist. We have become convinced of this in a variety of ways, but all of us have experienced the grace of God in bringing us to know Himself through Jesus Christ and through rebirth by His Spirit. We believe we have good grounds of believing in Him through the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead: we believe that someone who said He would die and rise again, and did it, is credible in every other way. Therefore we are prepared to trust Him, not only for the eternal salvation of our souls, but also for the practical provision of our daily bread and financial support. OMF publishes testimonies of God’s amazing faithfulness to demonstrate the glory of his all-supplying future grace. “We want to demonstrate that God can be trusted to do all that He says He will do, by sharing how He has provided for such mundane needs as plane tickets, meals, medical expenses, and the regular support of a whole group of Christian people for well over a hundred years.”

What OMF is devoted to is glorifying the dependability of God — in their message and in their method. Hudson Taylor put it this way: “There is a living God. He has spoken in the Bible. He means what He says and will do all that He has promised.”

Lives of faith are the great mirror of the dependability of God.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Our declaration!

Great word of encouragement this morning during my devotion time!  Continuing to praise God for the journey and for all the hard things He has allowed us to go through that we might learn and grow more in Him.  He is able, more than able.  

Pray our amazing Lord blesses you today.  May He provide for your every need, may He comfort you, and bless you that you may be a blessing to others...

God Calling:  June 13 - God Inspire

You have entered now upon a mountain climb. Steep steps lead upward, but your power to help others will be truly marvelous.

Not alone will you arise.  All towards whom you now send loving, pitying thoughts will be helped upward by you.

Looking to Me all your thoughts are God-inspired.  Act on them and you will be led on.  They are not your own impulses but the movement of My Spirit and, obeyed, will bring the answer to your prayers.

Love and Trust, Let no unkind thoughts of any dwell in your hearts, then I can act with all My Spirit-Power, with nothing to hinder.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

We will follow!

This song really sums up our life journey. Genesis 12:1 has been a theme throughout our married time together. We even had a pastor friend tell us years ago during a special teaching series on Abraham (after an evening session), This is your story. We believe God continues to guide our journey today.

Now the Lord said to Abram, 
“Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;

And, we have done this for many years now and will continue to do so until we are told otherwise. Historically, we have moved every 3 years (although more often in our early married years) and we've been in our house now for 7 years (in August). There has always been a purpose in each place, lessons to learn, people to connected with and being blessed to be a blessing to others. It's been a crazy amazing journey (as our children can share). We would't have wanted it any other way. Thank you, Lord.

We do pray for the day that God says to us, Genesis 13:17 "Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.”

And in all our days, we will follow....

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Praying for a farm ~ for us!

An opportunity has come to us regarding a 5 acre farm property in Olympia. We were on the verge of a 3 year farm lease when the owner called today and told us he's gotten "cold feet". He is now giving us the option to buy it. We have until June 20th to give him an answer.

As most of you know, God has removed our "human ability" to make our farm dream happen. Last year, we discovered that the park just north of our home is actually a wetland that was filled in years ago. The outlet for the wetland is an underground stream that flows under our backyard (and through many back yards) and drains out of the front yard of a home a block away. The moving water significantly compromised the foundation of our house and garage with a $50,000 repair price. Already being underwater in our house for nearly $100,000 - after alot of prayer, we determined our home wasn't a good financial investment and we are allowing our house to be returned to the bank. One of the most difficult decisions ever, but we have had peace that this is our path to follow. Don't feel bad for us. We believe it's all part of our faith journey. Our prayer is that the next owner doesn't find out about the problems after buying the house when we leave. (House goes up for auction, August 30th.)

No. We're not asking anyone for money. We are asking for PRAYER! This is God's story. If Joy Bell Farm is to become an actual farm, we believe God will provide the necessary resources. We are seeking family, friends and others to pray from today through June 20th.

What we desire to create on this 5 acre property, established in 1917 (the homestead to a larger ranch originally) ~ build a polyculture, biodynamic, organic farm system utilizing permaculture principles. And, this property is special because it's just south of Woodard Bay Conservation Area (home to herons, eagles, bats and more) and is surrounded by 95 additional acres of a wildlife refuge. WSU own 95 acres across the street. A wetland area is adjacent to a portion of the property and a wetland buffer sits over nearly the entire 5 acres of the property. We've had a representative from Thurston Conservation District out to the property. Everything we desire to do on the property - fruits, veggies, nuts, eggs, meat birds, honey, sheep (meat/fiber) and on-farm market stand are all permitted as "usual and customary practices". NO additional buildings will ever be allowed, so existing buildings must be rehabilitated for all needs. There is a private well for all water needs for this property. There is plenty of roof space on the barn for a large rainwater catchment system in addition to establishing a solar energy system for electrical needs (although the Conservation District agent thinks we're crazy). We do welcome the opportunity to work closely with the Conservation District in working out a farm plan (land management stewardship) for the property, as this isn't about us achieving our farm dream, but about establishing a permanent agriculture farm working in harmony with the ecological systems it is part of and for future generations to come after us. We are believing God will give us this land and enable us to share His countless wonders with others.

Our eyes are very open to the realities on this farm property - a ton of work to do. Not only do we have to rehab the land and build proper soil fertility (only organically), but the house, barn and outbuildings all need major work. The land owner has done NOTHING to this property since purchasing it a number of years ago. It's been a rental and 2 horses that are boarded on one pasture have caused compaction of the soil in that area. This farm would be years of investment. We know that, but believe this is the piece of land God has for us to steward in our years ahead, but also for the future.

Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Please consider joining with us. We'd love to have you PRAY with us. We are excited to see how God will unfold this part of His story in our lives. Yes, No or maybe (keep praying) are all possible answers ~ we praise Him for this opportunity to walk by faith and not by sight.

And, PLEASE feel free to share this with others and invite them to join in and PRAY with us! This is about creating community - not just Blaine and Joan.

Abundant blessings on your day!