Friday, November 26, 2004

is anybody out there reading this thing?

I wonder if anyone actually comes here to read anything. A few of my friends blog and alot of my friends don't have a clue what a blog is. How long does it take to get response on here? I love feedback and questions and comments and all the cyber-conversation but I get a little discouraged when there doesn't seem to be any connection!

the call

'fresh flowers' needed to get a new venue for it's weekly mail out and so I moved to a group format on Yahoo! It’s been an interesting journey though as I’ve sent out the invitations to join the group, reminders or prompts for those who I may have missed in the initial invitation. Last night I couldn’t quite bring myself to write and send it out because the Lord had not yet given me anything for all of you this week. I went to bed with a heavy heart because I knew that whatever I would send would only go to those of you who responded to the invitation and followed the instructions. You see, not everyone responded, and I’m sure there are a variety of reasons:
they don’t know they have an invitation
they chose not to respond
the invitation never arrived
other concerns pressed in and they weren’t physically able to respond
they didn’t understand what they needed to do
their computer did something weird which interfered with communication

I know many of you anticipate Friday morning to find your flowers but I decided to wait as long as I possibly could to give as many as possible the chance to respond. As I lay in bed praying about what to send and feeling sad that the group isn’t as large as the invitation list, I couldn’t help but get a little glimpse of what God might feel like. He is always extending invitations to us, invitations for salvation, to follow, to submit, to choose life, to love our neighbour, to avoid temptation, to climb higher, to go deeper. Yet much of the time we don’t respond, for whatever reasons: we didn’t understand the invitation, maybe the wires got crossed and the person that God chose to deliver the invitation got delayed, the cares of life pressed in and we didn’t want to look at what God was saying, we didn’t realize what the invitation was and ignored it, we were simply too busy doing our own thing. Now, I am quite aware that an invitation to join this little group is nothing compared to what God calls us to but I couldn’t help noticing the similarity. He holds the door open for us as long as He possibly can, but there comes a time when He says, “I must go now, if you aren’t coming now, I’ll have to move on without you.” It’s a hard thing for me to move on without many that I know enjoy receiving flowers. Yet I am not able to withhold them from those who answered the call because of my commitment to you.

A dear friend (my pastor’s wife) wrote these words in a beautiful song (used with permission):

The Call
Words and music by Wanda Froese

When you hear the voice of the Lord
Do not turn your heart away
He will call on You today
If you listen
Just answer the call and

Come drink from my fountain
Come let’s run to my mountain
Come draw from my well
Just answer my call, and come
The other little piece of this puzzle is this. I can’t answer the invitation for you or anyone else, neither will God answer for us. We must choose to answer and follow His direction. Choose today, to answer His call and receive whatever He is calling you to today.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

thank God, He's not like me

If you would like a hard copy ‘bouquet’ of fresh flowers for yourself or someone you know visit click on ‘flower shop’.

I can’t help but think that I’m glad God isn’t like me. As I survey my relationships and the ‘domain’ I serve I mess up on a regular basis. If the world depended on me to get it right every time, you’d all be in BIG trouble. You can use your imagination to find instances in your own life where the issues below show up. Today, I don’t think I’ll tell you how I managed to accomplish each of these. So here we go, I’m glad God isn’t like me because…

When I ask Him to forgive me, He really does, totally, completely, never brings it up again.

Psalm 103:12 “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us”

He never accuses me falsely. He is completely just.

Psalm 9:8 “He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice.” (there are quite a few verses in this psalm that pertain to the Lord’s justice)

He never loses His temper, even when I persist in being rebellious and stubborn.

Psalm 103:8 “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”

He remembers and keeps every promise He ever made.

Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”

He perfectly matches the job with the maturity level so that we can succeed. He never sets us up for failure.

Hebrews 13:20, 21 “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

He doesn’t procrastinate, make excuses for a task undone or show up late (or not at all).

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
II Peter 3:9a “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.”

He knows when I need encouragement, a comforting word or a kick in the pants and doesn’t get them mixed up.
II Corinthians 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,”
Proverbs 3:12a “because the Lord disciplines those he loves,”
All of Psalm 139

As you’ve reflected on these things and added a few of your own to the list, aren’t you glad that God isn’t like me (or you). Let’s rejoice together that God is who He is.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


'fresh flowers' is having it's first ever contest!!!

I'm looking for your Tips and Quips! These are the little bits and pieces that I use as 'filler' in my bouquets.

Tips are all those helpful little ideas that every one should know.

Quips are all those funny little stories that make us laugh.

The best Tip entry and the best Quip entry will receive a 'fresh flower' book/journal.

To enter comment on this post (DON'T be anonymous) or e-mail me at and put "flower contest" in the subject line.
By entering you give me the right to use your tips and quips in subsequent 'fresh flower' writings. (Don't worry I'll give you credit where credit is due!!)

the flower lady

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Hand-me-downs and hand-me-ons

If you would like a hard copy ‘bouquet’ of fresh flowers for yourself or someone you know click on ‘flower shop’.

Sometimes it just isn’t any fun growing up. At least that was my eldest son’s point of view a few mornings ago when he came up against the startling reality that his favourite jacket, one I had made him by request, was too small and he had to relinquish ownership. This occurred of course in the process of getting ready for school when he realized that his younger brother was wearing his jacket. “It’s still mine!” he hollers.
“No it’s not, it’s too small for you, it’s mine now!” retorts the younger.
“Take it off!! Just because it doesn’t fit doesn’t mean it’s yours!” (getting ready to physically remove it if necessary)
“Mom said I could!” (getting ready to defend his territory – doesn’t matter that his own jacket that looks very similar still fits and is lying on the floor at his feet, this one is now his and Josiah is not getting it back)
“Mooooooooom!” (in unison)
My poor son got a little life lesson in handing things on while my husband and I received a flower straight from heaven. We explained to him that there would be other jackets, great jackets that he would outgrow and when he was all done growing that he probably wouldn’t have to give up his jackets so quickly. Reluctantly, still pouting, he dons a different jacket (one that fits) and heads to school.
We contemplate, over a cup of tea, all that we just said. As we grow up we have to let some things go that don’t fit anymore, sometimes that’s easy and sometimes it isn’t. There is more joy in willingly passing on something than having it be taken from you. In our early years that change over happens more often. Children physically grow and mature, constantly having to give up what fit last week to make room for what fits now. Our Christian journey is very similar. As we ‘grow up’ into maturity we go through many stages, we have to leave behind a lot of stuff, some of it needs to go in the garbage and some of it gets passed on.
Think of a jacket as an area of a service or a responsibility given by the Lord. As we mature these ‘jackets’ may change frequently as the Lord builds character into us. Once that seed has grown He moves us on and we relinquish that area to take on another, handing that ‘jacket’ onto another believer that is less mature who needs to grow in that area. The Lord fits you with a new, bigger ‘jacket’, one that you may need to grow into over the course of time. As we reach maturity those ‘jackets’ don’t seem to change quite as often, in fact some of them may not change again as we walk this earth. Think of Paul and his mantle of apostleship, once he came into that mantle he kept it for the rest of his days. Your mantle or ‘jacket’ will come with the responsibility of showing someone else how to wear their ‘jacket’, how to clean it, care for it and how to show yet another generation how to wear it. God has designed His kingdom with hand-me-downs and hand-me-ons. 2 Timothy 2:2 says, “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”