What We Miss by Not Paying Attention

034        The sight of the blooming canola fields against the North Dakota sky was breathtaking.  You’ll agree the yellow blossoms, the blue and gray sky look amazing next to the grassy field.

We stopped to take photos, mesmerized by the fields that rolled endlessly along both sides of the freeway.  We hadn’t seen canola fields before, so asked at the truck stop where we filled up our car.  We wanted to make sure we were correctly identifying the plants.

The young woman at the counter looked at us in surprise.  “What do you mean, blooming fields?”  she said with an absent minded nod toward her cell phone.  “I didn’t see any on my way to work.”  As we drove away, we noticed she had stepped out onto the sidewalk to crane her neck toward the nearest field.  I hope she admired its beauty.

Isn’t that the way it is?  We allow the busyness of everyday life to blind us to the amazing miracles happening all around us.  Today ask the Lord to open your eyes to something ordinary but beautiful in your life.  Take a photo!  I’d love to see what you find.

Beauty All Around Us

Cedar Island 005He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecc 3:11
       Beauty is found in many unexpected places.  A maple leaf turning red with the new season, the brightness of a young child’s eyes, the loving glance between life-long married couples, and the sparkle of a washed plate after dinner.  Of course, we all appreciate works of art created under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

For years, I’ve had a pattern of morning Scripture reading and prayers.  I do my best writing when I go immediately from prayer to the computer screen.  There’s something about being in His presence that gives a new burst of creative energy.

I’ve come to believe that nothing is created outside the Creator.  Only He gives the inspiration to create something of beauty, whether music, visual art or written words.

You also have creative gifts.   Let your day be positively impacted by spending a few moments in His presence.  Ask Him to open your eyes to the beauty around you, and ask for insights how you may add to the beauty of this world through your particular artistic talents.  You may be surprised at the doors He opens!


His Days are Like Grass

0914141414       Frost warnings this week threatened our garden and flowers.  It’s been a short summer and our tomatoes are still unripe.  While I worried about the tomatoes, I really grieved over our hydrangeas and morning glories.  They are my favorites, and have only been blooming about a month. I’m sure you’ll agree that they are gorgeous.

The Lord was merciful and spared us by a few degrees. Hopefully, we can enjoy them a few more weeks. It made me think of  the following passage.

As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;  the wind blows over it and and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.  But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children. Psalm 103:14-17 NIV

0909141113a 0909141113a      It’s good to know that even if our lives are shorter than we’d desire, we can rest in the Lord’s everlasting love.  It is promised not only to us, but to our children and grandchildren.

Antique Farming Tools–Guest Blog by Neil Thielke










I finally got one of those jobs done today that has been years in the making. I mounted all the tools that I have from Grandpa Piepenburg’s era on the old haymow door off his barn. The rectangular object is a toolbox cover off what I would think was a hay mower with the letters “Minnesota No 2”. His wood planer is in the center of the last one.

The hand corn sheller came with an apple press I bought up by Alexandria and I don’t know where I got the shoe stretcher, The kickers, castrating tool, detailer, and ear notcher were still used by Dad when I was young. The 1881 corn planter I posted earlier that was Great Grandpa Piepenburg’s turns out to be a rare item. It was only produced for a few years since it had a manual seed dropper that required having two people on the rig. I have not found any pics of it on the net, nor seen it at any at threshing reunions around the state.

I have horse machinery scattered around my yard here in town which reminds me of Grandpa. The last task he completed before he died was to dismantle all his horse drawn machinery and put it on the “iron pile”. That tool box cover on the display was recovered from that pile. The machinery I have here in town was gleaned from around the countryside. So a rake, planter, potato plow, mower, and the sulky plow grace 511 E 4th St here in Morris. I have a 1915 potato plow out on the farm but it is too big for a display here in town.

Lots of memories… it blesses me to think that his hands held these tools. On the same note, our heavenly Dad is blessed when we thoughtfully consider and savor what his hands made and held too.


Today and Every Day, Pray for Discernment by Guest Blogger, Sunna Herrera

Thank you, Sunna Herrera, for sharing your insights.

“By the Word, by the Spirit, by faith, by submission to the Divine Will, and by resistance to any appeal to self and sin we discern between the way of God and the path of the destroyer.” V. Raymond Edman from ‘Disciplines of Life’

The enemy emphasizes the past, with its mistakes and heartaches;  the Comforter exalts the present help of our Lord.  The devil delights in taunting us with our weaknesses, and the Lord reminds us of the wealth of His riches in grace.  Condemnation concerns itself with our failures;  conviction shows us the faithfulness of God.  The tempter teases us with immediate gain, at any cost;  the Trustworthy One tells us of the faithfulness of God.  The father of lies magnifies our problems, by showing their hopelessness, impossibility, and pain;  the God of all grace reminds us of the promises, whereby we can hope against hope:  for “suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character;  and character, hope;  and hope does not disappoint us.”  Romans 5:3-5

The enemy would have us see the hosts of evil against us rather than the hillsides covered with ministering spirits.  (2 Kings 6:15-17).  He would keep us dwelling upon the injuries from others, until we become ineffective in service, rather than forgetting the things that are behind and pressing forward.  (Philippians 3:13-14)  The gift of discernment is remembering that the evil one can drag us down into the mire of earthly life—but we must make the conscious choice to “Love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and strength.”  We are to live by the Word of God.  As we submit ourselves without reservation unto God, and resist the devil, the latter will flee from us (James 4:7).