Monday, January 15, 2018

The Cat who Turned Up

I began a blog in November of 2012, a mere 5 years ago.  Perplexed as to what to title my new literary and photo adventure, my husband came up with the name "The Turn-Up Patch".  It was perfect!  We had a rescue cat that came to our door of that same month and we called her "Turnup", since she happened to turn up at our home.  She must have instinctively known to come to a ranch home that would soon provide her with all the love and comforts near and dear to her little feline heart....  



She quickly adapted from being a lost outdoor kitty to one who knew how to use a an indoor litter box with all the fringe benefits of more food than she could eat and a number of warm beds to curl up in comfort.  I don't have any idea of what happened to her in her 'before' life, as it is with most rescue animals.  She didn't appear to be abused - whether the previous owner simply dumped her to fend for herself or she somehow strayed and became lost is all unknown.  One thing was evident - she had been without food for days, leaving her vulnerable and timid in unfamiliar surroundings.   Happy to say that she is now quite the opposite and probably could lose a pound or two.

I took a few photos of her as she lounged close to December's Christmas tree with sparkling lights and glass ornaments.  She seemed to study the ornaments, trying to decide whether it was worth a swipe of her paw or simply to observe.


I am reminded of the comfort that an animal can give to a human heart.  We all have our favorites in the animal kingdom that opens into the discovery of friendship between critter and human.  How unlikely is that?  And how likely is it that God who is Creator of all, can delight the heart between human and animal despite the specie difference in appearance and sound.  

Here are just a few of many notable quotes regarding our four legged friends...

     Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. - Anatole France

     Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet. - Colette

     The greatness of a national and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. - Mahatma Gandhi

     Some people talk to animals.  Not many listen though.  That's the problem. - A.A. Milne 

     An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. - Martin Buber

     Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms. - George Eliot 



Join me at The Turn-Up Patch in two more weeks, on Monday January 29th...  See you then! 



Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 - A Year to Fulfill

Time of 2017 in its moments, days, weeks and months have quickly turned and we find ourselves beginning anew on this 1st day of January in 2018.  Resolutions are made, some to be kept and some to be broken.  Reflections over the past year are thought about as to what is important and what is not with an eye towards future days that will make their own memories.

I would like to share with you a new year blessing written by Janet Rebhan...

"In this new year, 
- may you have a deep understanding of your true value and worth, 
- an absolute faith in your unlimited potential, 
- peace of mind in the midst of uncertainty, 
- the confidence to let go when you need to, 
- acceptance to replace your resistance, 
- gratitude to open your heart, 
- the strength of meet your challenges, 
- great love to replace your fear, 
- forgiveness and compassion for those who offend you, 
- clear sight to see your best and true path, 
- hope to dispel obscurity, 
- the conviction to make your dreams come true, 
- meaningful and rewarding synchonicities, 
- dear friends who truly know and love you, 
- a childlike trust in the benevolence of the universe, 
- the humility to remain teachable, 
- the wisdom to fully embrace your life exactly as it is, 
- the understanding that every soul has its own course to follow, 
- the discernment to recognize your own unique inner voice of truth and 
- the courage to learn to be still."  




And may we all grow deeper into the awareness of God's presence, making a difference in the time we have in 2018.    Join me again at The Turn-Up Patch in two weeks on Monday, January 15th.


 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Circle of Advent

As I write this, Christmas is a week away and many are in the last days of preparation for this beautiful celebration.  In the physical world, there is much to do in the approach of Christmas.  Approach is another word for Advent that is supreme in divine meaning as we enter into the spiritual circle of the Alpha and Omega....  

Advent Within The Alpha and Omega

Advent is here!  Now what exactly does that mean??  The word itself speaks of 'coming' - to spiritually prepare before the celebration of Christmas.  It is a season observed in many Christian churches four weeks before Christmas with the themes of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love symbolically displayed in an Advent wreath.  Many families create their own wreath in participation of Advent.  Four candles are set on a circular wreath representing these individual themes, each one being lit on that particular Advent Sunday.   Some churches include a fifth candle called the Christ Candle that is lit on Christmas Eve.  The lit candles remind us of Jesus, the Light shining forth into a dark world.


We can be caught in the flurry of activity in preparation of what the Christmas season brings in our homes, community, school and church celebrations.  Decisions of what gifts to buy, decorations to use, food to serve, cards to be sent - these are just a few of the considerations to be made for family, friends and beyond.  Often, travel arrangements need to be made as well as juggling employment situations.   It is a time to be a comfort for those in isolation, loneliness and in need, which amplifies during this time of year.  

Mary (as in the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10) set herself before the Lord, taking time out to enjoy His presence and then dear Martha, whose time was consumed in physical demands. Advent can be a time to slow us down and turn our eyes away from the busyness of the season in all the 'doings' to the benefit of being still before God. Advent is a season of spiritual preparation designed to bring our awareness back to the simplicity of the cradled Christ to the complexity of the Cross and to the completion in His return.  It is in recognition of the Christ, by His Spirit within us, expanding into the Alpha and the Omega.  One of the most fervent prayers of Jesus is in John 17:21..."I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one - as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.  And may they be in us so that the world will believe that you sent me."


The Alpha and Omega is complete - the Beginning and the End and holds within the dynamics of Advent....
          -  The Eternal in His Presence among us in the current moment of time through the Holy Spirit (who is)
          -  The Eternal before creation and manifested in the Christ of yesterday when first coming to earth as a baby (who was).
          -  The Eternal in the future to anticipate, prepare and expect the coming Messiah at the end of the age with everlasting life       (who is to come).


It's good to separate into the stillness of God and then take that stillness back into our noisy world. Withdrawing into that silence of God that Advent can provide, brings a sensitivity and awareness of the Almighty.  Rejuvenation of hope, peace, love and joy quickens and enriches the spirit and is a reminder of our destiny within the Alpha and Omega. 

Join me at the Turn-Up Patch in two weeks - on Monday, January 1st in the new year of 2018. Have a blessed Christmas!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Beauty in Blessings

We had some unexpected visitors on Thanksgiving Day.  A beautiful family of swans stopped by to rest in our field.  I walked up to them as close as I could and was able to get a few shots using the zoom on my camera.  Since I didn't want to scare them off, I quietly retreated once they became alert to my presence.  I was hoping they would stay for several weeks as they did several years ago. However, frightened by the noise of shotguns by nearby duck hunters, they flew away.  Needless to say, I was upset with the duck hunters!

I did write a message on the swan that will give you some background information on this beautiful bird.  I encourage you to check it out for further knowledge on the swan.  Your will find this particular post entitled "Of Swans and Sunsets"....http://turn-uppatch.blogspot.com/2015/02/of-swans-and-sunsets.html
I wrote this in February 2015.  The swans did return the following year in 2016 but it wasn't until Thanksgiving Day of this year that this little family showed up to grace our property for a brief time.


We still have resident geese that stay throughout the winter in our area and you see them frequently in the fields scavenging for food and shelter.  They must like living in Grant County since they prefer being here than flying south for the winter.  The swans in the past would be mingling with the geese and it was quite a sight to see.  These birds made it a migratory stop before it was time to continue on with their journey.  Thankfully, there were no duck hunters close by to disturb the geese and swans, so we were able to enjoy them all for a short period of time.


I discovered this beautiful poster with a wonderful message to it.  It contains a quote worth reflecting on.  See you at the Turn-Up Patch next time on Monday, December 18th...  Until then, look for the unexpected blessings that our dear Lord sends your way to encourage and to say, "I AM here with you".  It is up to us to perceive and see.





Monday, November 20, 2017

Living in Thankfulness

Thanksgiving!  A time to count your blessings; a time to reflect and to be grateful for the little and the big things that are in our lives.  Here in eastern Oregon, there are so many ways to be thankful - from fresh, clean air to surrounding scenic beauty.  Caring communities that offer a more simplistic way of life than the hustle and bustle of city living.  The years have passed quickly since we first arrived in Grant County.  The pace was slower then and still slow today.  We still have a two lane highway without hectic freeway traffic.  The populations of the towns that line the John Day Valley remain close to the same as it was some 40 years ago.  I wasn't sure I could adjust to small town living since I was a city girl and used to the excitement and variety of interests that city life offered.  As time went on, I discovered the richness of country life that offered challenges and growth in unexpected ways.



I came to appreciate the spectacular skies that offer a kaleidoscope of color that range in storm clouds to sunrise and sunsets.  As a photographer,  you need your camera on hand at any given moment to capture the sheer immense of glory that exists in the panorama of heavenly movement changing from moment to moment.  

Every day contains elements in one form or another to be thankful, no matter how big or small in blessings.  It can be viewing an incredible sunset or hearing children's laughter.  It is appreciation in knowing that we can still experience freedom to live, to worship, to pursue dreams... that we can gather to enjoy family and friends.  Most of all, that we can take time out to pause and express thankfulness to the One who is beyond our humanity, our blessed Creator.  It is in these precious still moments, that thankfulness lifts us into the presence of God.  

We celebrate Thanksgiving Day on Thursday of this week in the United States.  Since 1863, it has been declared a federal holiday when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens".  The entire proclamation shows one man's acknowledgement and unwavering belief in God Almighty. You can read this moving Proclamation of Thanksgiving  that Lincoln wrote on October 3, 1863 at this link... http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/thanks.htm


Please return to the Turn-Up Patch in two weeks for another post.  See you again on Monday, December 4th....
   

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Dynamic of Rescue

I have written before about the importance of friends in our lives.  They can exist within our own family unit or they can enter our life as a stranger and become an anchor in friendship.  Our friends come in all shapes and sizes - they can be of the two legged variety or the four legged critters that come along and become a part of us.   A bond of love develops that shines in faithfulness and withstands the test of time.

My focus today is of the four-legged kind.  Of course, that can range from big to small, from horses to hedgehogs and all that lies in between.  Our family has had many animals throughout the years that have been near and dear to our hearts.  Each one brought their individual presence in personality and devotion.  Some are there for cuddle comfort but more often than not, some are there to assist in daily living.  This can range from a working ranch horse to a livestock dog to one who helps as a guide in many different realms as the need dictates.

The photo below is of a Chihuahua mix who became a rescue dog to one of our daughters.  Now she's not exactly a Border Collie or a German Shepherd but she has her own style of cuteness.  This abandoned critter seemed to know where to find a heart that would give safety, affection and much needed attention.  Frightened and hungry, she timidly entered a new life with a human who gave her a sheltered home and the name Cedar.

Cedar
And of course, there is the cat!
Turnup
The above photo is one of many that I have taken of Turnup who just happens to be my blog's namesake. She comes by that name rather appropriately since she just "turned up" at our house.  Poor thing was so skinny and  hungry for food.  As you can tell from the picture, she has put on a little weight!  She became our rescue cat and has been a firm fixture in our household ever since.

How about Lizzy?  A rather different kind of cat with great big eyes.  She also had an instinct to find someone who would feed and care for her.   Starving and in poor shape, this feline was nursed back to health by our other daughter and gave her a safe place to live.  Most of the rescue animals that we have had throughout the years have something in common - they chose us, we don't chose them.  They come uninvited and yet win us over because they are vulnerable and in need.    

Lizzy
I wonder about the rescue animals that our family has taken in over time... what their previous experience has been with humans - what their 'before' life was like.  They seem to adapt very quickly and respond to the hand that feeds, pets and gives them a safe haven in love and kindness.  

In retrospect, the human spirit has been damaged if you believe about the fall of humankind that began with Adam and Eve.  God saw the need to rescue.  The definition of rescue is to free from danger, imprisonment or difficulty - to save, to deliver.  Our God changed the cosmos in spiritual realm with Christ on the Cross.  He changed the dynamics for His beloved creation.  His Eternal Love will receive anyone who looks for rescue, providing a home where belonging finally is realized.


Join me at The Turn-Up Patch for my next post on Monday, November 20th.  "See you then!"

 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Message re-post on "There is No Risk"

I decided to re-post a message entitled "There is No Risk" that I wrote about four years ago.  As it is with Love, the message written in yesterday is pertinent to today, particularly in the climate of unrest and ill will that we live in.  I begin the post with this beautiful song "Just Come In" by Margaret Becker.   
You can view this video in message and song at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20vZlkFdnwI

 




There is No Risk
LOVE breathed life into Adam and LOVE breathed its last on the Cross.  A breath so powerful that LOVE tore the temple veil, eclipsed the sun and the earth quaked.  A powerful breath that even in the grip of death, came the explosion of Life. 

LOVE left the Cross and breathed new Life upon His fallen mankind in the resurrected power of  Jesus Christ.  A new dimension of abundant Life in God's oxygen, became available for us to breathe and intake for restoration, intimacy and well being.  It feels good to inhale a deep breath of God!  And what a wonderful beginning in the dawn of each new day in our lives.

 
Mt. Vernon Daybreak
I wrote, 'There us no Risk' in honor of ABBA, our heavenly Father,  revealed to us through Jesus.  As it was in the beginning, LOVE desires no less than to gather His own unto Himself.  And to breathe the breath of abundant Life within you and me, becoming one in essence, throughout our earthly journey and eternal destiny. 



There is no Risk

There is no risk to stand before You.... vulnerable,

     for You take my open heart with no reproof.

There is no risk to stand before You.... just as I am,

     for You take my being in total acceptance.

There is no risk to stand before You.... shackled,

for You take my chains and set me free.

There is no risk to stand before You.... in transgression,

for You take my sins and wash me with forgiveness and peace.

There is no sin to stand before You..."in ego rights",

for You take my selfishness and give me selflessness.

There is no risk to stand before you... broken,

for you take the pieces and give me healing restoration.
 There is no risk to stand before you... in personal guilt,
for You dissolve it with Your judgement of mercy and grace.

 There is no risk to stand before You... in spiritual blindness,

for You take my darkness and give me light to see.

There is no risk to stand before you.... in depression,

for You take my cave of despair and inspire me to hope.
  There is no risk to stand before You.... in adoration and praise,

for You take and we mesh in sweet communion.

There is no risk to stand before You.... as Your own,

for You take my life and anoint it with your Presence.

There is no risk in allowing You to take..

for I am being made whole.

   
Be blessed and we'll meet again at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, November 6th...