Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Camp Barakel...Where God has Blessed

I recently returned from a weekend at Camp Barakel where I volunteered in the kitchen for a weekend retreat.

While there, I took several walks around Shear Lake and in the surrounding woods.  What a beautiful time of year it is here in Northern Michigan. 
I have always said, my two favorite seasons here are Winter and Fall. I know that may seem a little backward to some, because many  retired Michigan residents,  head for warmer climes  in our colder months. In fact, many people have asked me why I spend my summer months out West, and the winter months here in cold,  snowy Michigan.  I love the Winter, that's all I can say. Of course it helps that I no longer have to drive to work on snowy days. I can sit inside with a cup of tea and enjoy watching it fall lazily to the ground.

But, back to my purpose for this writing....I love the colors of the Fall season,I love Camp Barakel, and I want to share them both with you.

As I already stated, Barakel
is situated on beautiful Lake Shear. Not a very big lake,about 65 acres, but a real treasure that's tucked back in the woods off M-72 and offers a real retreat for many city bound people. 


Follow the link and check it out.
You  just may find yourself up that way someday.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Wait on the LORD

 Last week was a stressful time for me.  I am trying to prepare for my summer road trip, and that means tying up all the loose ends of my finances. One of those loose ends is the mortgage on my home.  Up until now, I have always paid my taxes and homeowners insurance separately from my house payment.  That meant coming up with large sums of money in August and again in October.  It has not been a problem, since I was paid twice a month as long as I was working.
Now that I am retired and am receiving payments only once a month, it has become problematic. 
Long story short, I applied for a refinance with money put in escrow for the taxes and homeowners insurance. Anyone who has gone through this process can sympathize with me as to the minutia needed to make it all happen; appraisals,credit reports,closing costs etc.
Those details are all taken care of now, but a week ago, I was stressed ,not sleeping and definitely, NOT trusting God!  How silly of me, but if I am being honest, that's the way it was.
Then one morning in my daily Bible reading, I came across (accidentally? I think not!) a couple of verses God had given me a long time ago, when  my husband was dying of cancer.

Psalm 27:13-14
"I would have despaired unless I had believed I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take Courage; Yes, wait for the LORD."(NASB)

Why does it take us so long to turn to the LORD in times of stress or worry? God has seen me through so many trials, and He has never failed me, yet still I worry.  I was reminded of this passage in the New Testament.

Matthew 6:26-27
"Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because you heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not."(NLT)
Father, let me be like this little Chipping Sparrow and always look up, before I look around!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Images of Spring

I think Spring is finally beginning to reach Michigan.  At least I thought that last week, when the temps reached nearly 70 degrees.  Today?  Not so sure. When I got up this morning to let the Abby out it was 34 degrees!! Not at all what I wanted to hear.  

             I have been waiting for my Daffodils to bloom so I could get some good photos, and this week they finally began to do that. So, this morning the plan was to get out early with the morning sun to do just that.                             

I was so afraid the cold had gotten them overnight, but lo and behold, they weathered the frosty night.  They do look a little water-logged, since we got 8 inches of rain this week, but they aretough little guys.

Isn't it wonderful how God's creation knows just what to do and when to do it, even when we think the circumstances are against it?  Those little blooms just seem to hunker down in the cold, and stand up tall when the sun comes out to catch all the warmth they can during the day. I makes me realize that when the cold winds blow in my life, and the storms rock my world, I can hunker down in God's love and wait for the sun to come out, then stand tall,stretch my arms out to catch all the blessings He has for me, to strengthen me for the next storm to come.

"When I said, "My foot is slipping." your love, O Lord supported me.When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." Psalm 94:18-19

...The Lord has become my fortress and my god the rock in whom I take refuge." Psalm 94:22

 Another  sign that Spring has finally arrived are, of course, the birds that begin showing up in my yard. Some of them have been with me all winter, like the showy male House Finch.

Others  welcome the Spring  with new summer outfits, like the American Goldfinch, seen here.

 And then there is the Ambassador of Spring, the Robin.Though he  is around most of the Winter it seems, he still says 'SPRING' to me.
He is usually the first one in the bird bath.....not just drinking from it, but actually bathing in it.  What a mess he makes on my windows with his splashing around
When I hear his 'Song of Spring", I want to sing right along. Join me  in praise to God for His wonderful creation, and more than that, His salvation.

Come, let us sing for Joy to the Lord;let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation." Psalm 95:1

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I guess it is time I introduced you to my traveling companion. Her name is Abigail May, Abby for short. I have had Abby since she was 8 weeks old and she is now nearly seven years old.

She came to me through some long time friends at just a time I needed her. I had been without a dog of my own for several years, and now my children were on their own as was I. 
I needed her, and she needed me.
She was the runt of the litter and the only girl left with four bigger brothers.
She is now my constant companion and wants nothing more than to be by my side. She seeks to please me  at all times and loves me unconditionally, and trusts me explicitly.

In this way, she reminds me of what my relationship with my Creator and Redeemer should of complete trust,unconditional love and obedience.
Psalm 18:2  The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;

She depends on me for her every need as I depend on Him for my every need. 
Psalm 37:5  Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it.

As you can see, she is well traveled...

                                                             ...and she loves to explore

All of these things God has given to me. I love to travel.  I love to explore.
Though I cannot run like the wind,  I love this life God has given me,
and I want to enjoy it and share Him with whomever He brings across my path.

Psalm 59:16 for me, I shall sing of Thy strength;
Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Thy loving kindness in
 the morning.

 Abby just loves life as a dog and as long as she can be with me,she is happy. I love life being God's child and serving Him, and as long as I can do that, I am happy.
Psalm 86:12  I will give thanks to Thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart; and will glorify Thy name forever.