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Enjoying this Journey

I'm reminded daily to choose joy and while writing of all  the glorious handiwork of God,  joy fills my heart and mind. Below are a few of the devotions that can be read in some of my devotional books.

Sweet Peace

          Through no fault of her own, Sweet Peace, a beautiful pink rose bush, had been severely damaged. I wondered if she would ever get a chance to bloom. Here’s what happened-

          One day while cutting in the flower bed to rid out the weeds, I accidently cut her in half. I gasped in horror as buds and healthy stems were tossed in the trash. She had been planted in a special place and I had hoped that she would blossom in a glorious way. This terrible grief was not intentional nor with malice but it was damaging, nonetheless.

          On-purpose care was given to Sweet Peace and before long, little sprouts of life could be seen growing. “Thank You, Lord. Sweet Peace is alive.” I whispered as I set a metal yard ornament next to her for added beauty while she recovered herself from her humiliation.

          A storm was brewing one afternoon and since South Texas is known for high winds, I began anchoring things down outdoors. As I approached Sweet Peace to anchor down the metal rooster, I saw that it had already fallen-- on top of Sweet Peace. Another large portion of this beautiful rose bush had been torn away.

          “Oh, Sweet Peace, will you ever get a chance to bloom?” I lamented shaking my head in sorrow.

More on-purpose care was given with an understanding that Sweet Peace might not want to bloom in such an accident-prone garden.

          I could have plucked her up and tossed her away but she had good roots, plenty of water and a gardener who was waiting for the day when Sweet Peace would overcome these obstacles.

          Yesterday was that day. Ralph and I were outdoors making our happy place shine and there she was, in her pretty fuchsia pink garment just being her pretty self.

          “Hon, look! Sweet Peace bloomed after all she has been through!” I pointed to the rose relieved that she was going to be OK, making certain that there was nothing around that would hurt her progress anymore.

          Sweet Peace had prevailed because she had good roots and a clumsy gardener who was also a work in progress, but she really did care.

          Sometimes life happens this way. Hurt comes and with the hurt harmony is fractured. When we are anchored in Jesus Christ, the beautiful rose of peace can bloom again if one gives on-purpose care, it just may take some time and lots of prayer.

          Forgiveness can grow beautiful gardens. 

DD May 15, 2020

                                     Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind..forgive each other even as God.. has forgiven you.”

Little glimpses of truth

Almost Quitting Time

The end of another day was fast approaching, and it didn’t seem like the remaining men for hire would get any work. All but Charlie got to the pick-up location plenty early but were passed by when other workers pushed ahead of them to get onto the trucks and get to the fields. Three or four times a day, ranchers come by to get workers to help in the harvest and each of those times on this day, Charlie and his friends were left behind. They needed the money and wanted to work. Some had families at home waiting for their supper and some, like Charlie, had sick loved ones who needed medicine.

Well, boys, we may as well pack it up and go home, the 5:00 truck just left us standing. Charlie said to his friends. As they all stood up, brushed the dust off their backsides and threw away their empty water bottles, they looked up and saw dust blowing.

Another truck is coming! Charlie said.

Maybe they need more workers. hoped Chet, a father of three. I think I’ll stick around to see.

Hey, they’re coming this way. Juan said with a little enthusiasm in his voice. But it’s almost quitting time. We probably won’t get much for an hour or two of work.

The truck did come their way. Luis the driver, was glad to see Charlie.

Charlie, why aren’t you all working? he asked.

Nobody would hire us today. I’ve been here since noon, but these guys have been here since sun-up. We were just getting ready to go home. Charlie replied. 

Hop in. We’re short-handed. Jefe will treat you good, just help us get the crops to the barns before the storm gets here.  Luis instructed. 

The men were so relieved to get work. After he called home, Charlie passed around the cell phone so the others could call their wives to let them know that they may be a little late. Everyone was encouraged by this late invitation to work.

Most of the cuttin’ is done, we just need you guys to help get the straw to the barns. It’s a brewin’ into a big storm. Luis said as he looked at the dark sky. The dust along the road told Jefe that Luis was on his way back, hopefully with some help.

The clouds, indeed, were stirring up a tempest but if they hurried, the rest of the work could be done.

As the last load of straw was being taken to the barn, it started sprinkling. The wind picked up, blowing fragments throughout the countryside and a few cowboy hats, too. Everyone gathered in the barn and waited for el jefe. He was a hard-working but fare man who paid his men a daily rate.

The men who worked a full day were first in line, and rightly so. They received their wages, thanked Jefe and stepped aside to wait for Luis to take them back to town. 

The men who had worked since noon received their pay and were thrilled to see that it was the same amount as the men received who worked a full day. Must be because we worked in the hot sun. one worker guessed while the others shrugged.

And then it was time for Charlie’s group to receive their pay. They weren’t expecting much since they only worked an hour, so imagine their surprise when they each were handed the same amount as all the other workers. Whispers of grumbling could be heard by the other men as Charlie’s group tucked their wages in their pockets. Jefe heard the complaining and quickly addressed it.

Didn’t we have an agreement that you each would get a daily pay rate? The men nodded as they hung their heads, silently disagreeing with Jefe’s logic. I needed you all, even these men who came in late. The harvest was a big one, and it took all of us, but we got it in the barns in time. Go home now and enjoy your families. Jefe said as he turned to the grumblers. Isn’t it my money to do with what I think is right? You agreed to your pay. Are you thinking evil of me because I did a good thing?

With that, all the men loaded up in the back of two pick-up trucks and headed down the dusty road toward town. Charlie’s crew stopped at the grocery store to get their families some supper. Charlie bought some flowers for his wife, and the medicine she needed. If only Jefe knew how much these men needed that money.  he thought to himself.

Some of the men were so upset about the late guys getting equal pay that they never came back to that ranch. Charlie and his men, however, remembered this kindness and worked hard each day to help Jefe on the ranch. They also remembered their agreement with him regarding their wages and that he can do whatever he wants with his money, ‘cause he’s el jefe. (El Jefe-the boss)

The harvest is overwhelming  if I look at the big picture, so I try not to do that. Instead, I think of it as working in my little corner of the field with the help of The Lord, to get my share of the crops in before the storm comes. 

Our mission field is where we are at right now, not where we are not. Some live for the day when they can be on a foreign field while letting their neighbors die without giving them a chance to receive the good news of Jesus. Do what you can, where you’re at right now for the gospel’s sake, it’s almost quitting time.

Written by De Dorman

May 7, 2020

Read Matthew 20:1-16

Crooked Horn

March 16, 2020

He was born with one normal horn and one unique horn. One day while watching him cross from one pasture to the next with the other cows, I wondered what would happen if I tried to straighten out his uniqueness. It didn't take long for me to decide to love Crooked Horn just the way he was.  

Wouldn't it be nice if we could love one another this way and let God do the fixin'?

The new commandment is to love one another.

Looking Up

March 16,2020

Once again the enemy had distracted me with some pretty heavy baggage until I was reminded to look up. Just one look at the first blooms of our Shaving Brush Tree and those heavy burdens seemed to slide right off my back.   I will lift my eyes and see His glory.

Keep looking up, De. God is good all the time!

Settled Before the Storm

April 2020

          It's been six months since we moved back from the beautiful mountains of Mexico. Before we returned to the states, Ralph had been asked to stay another five years. He considered it, we talked about it, but we both knew it was time to go back. Little did we know just how thankful we would be for following The Lord back to the states.

          Just a week or two after we returned we went to visit family in Ohio. What a special time it was to see both sides of the family. 

           Christmastime in South Texas was a wonderfully quiet celebration of the birth of Jesus our Savior. God blessed us with HIs presence and hush throughout one of the busiest times of the year. It was a precious time.

            After the holidays, we had planned to do some traveling along the border to take our teaching supplies to ministries- kinda' scattering some seeds.  But in January, I got a clear message that we wouldn't be going..anywhere.  In April, we had planned to see one of the musicals at Dixie's church in Iowa. I contacted her to let her know that we would be staying home.

             And then came February. Rhoda, Tonka and Alissa were deathly sick with some strange virus. There were no tests available yet to see if it was the Corona Virus, but all outside symptoms show that it was.  Thank God they all have mended.

              Lockdown, which came as a shock, showed us the severity of the situation. Borders were closed, both national and statewide. Several families are still stranded in other countries due to the difficulty in getting flights out.

                I have asked myself several times.. What if we had stayed in Mexico?   The ranch was a lovely place to live but it is not a convenient place when a lockdown is ordered. Ralph got word last week that the plant in Dolores, Mexico; the one he helped manage, is closed. For now, it is closed for a month. All the plants with his former company have been greatly affected, as has every ounce of normal in every person's life. Sweet Alex and his family are down there without an income right now. Businesses are boarded up, schools throughout the world are cancelled.. Umm.. did you get that? THE WORLD! We have all been touched by this invisible  monster.

               The other day.while making face masks for a few people, (The very idea that face masks are needed signals that a new normal is coming to the world.) it came to me, With all the advanced organizing it took to move back, we would have no doubt been stuck on the other side for the duration of this world-wide health problem.

               It's April now. Ralph and I watched our Good Friday service online last night and took communion.  Our communion bread had a little salt sprinkled on top but I don't think The Lord minded. Actually, there's a message in that salty bread if you think about it. Something so authentic, so back-to-the-basics is happening with this sheltering in place. Maybe that is part of His plan. The busi-ness, the loud and proud has been replaced with a be still and know that I am God. I believe that the church is being prepared- no, we are being purified,  to go home.

              I'm thinking that what gets the attention of God is the church body, not the church building. So, all those extra programs; you know, the ones that are wearing every one out, the planned-by-man things to keep the wheels moving and the money coming in.. if we can live without them during this time of lockdown, maybe we can do without when we get our new normal. One evangelist (Karl Lackey) said it best ..Church is big business.

                While we were still living in Mexico, Taylor Christian School asked me to teach during their Spiritual Emphasis week.  We did it via videos on social media. Noah, Moses, Joseph and Jesus were the subjects. These men also understood what it meant to shelter in place. The message from The Lord was we are in process, it is painful but it is with purpose.

               Our President and state governors have a lot to work through during this difficult time. They are in my prayers.


II Chronicles 7:14   If My people, which are called by My name ,shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land.