Think About Such Things

If you’ve ever been stressed out, worried about something (i.e. bills, family, friends, health issues, work, etc), or fearful of something or fearful of the future, think about “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

Perhaps by focusing on the loveliness or purity of a roses’ petals, you can let go of the thorns dwelling within such a peculiar, but lovely plant.

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‘Purity’, a climbing rose

Compass Rose

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Thankfully, in Southeast Texas roses seem to grow all year.

No matter what course I find myself navigating, whether it be in the valleys of Central Pennsylvania, the crabby shores of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, the salty air whipping around my Myrtle Beach condo’s balcony, or now while living on a sailboat along Galveston Bay in Texas, my love for roses continues to bloom. It would seem this obsession only grows the more I age and experience as does my desire to share their enchanting beauty and hope. Although I no longer have numerous rose bushes flourishing in a garden for my garden these days consist of containers on the cockpit of my sailboat, I still smile (border line drool) over photos of roses or rose catalogs. Through it all, I wander the aisles of garden nurseries or even the garden sections of Walmart, Home Depot, and the like dreaming of potential roses I could acquire and eventually share.

Relatively new to the liveaboard lifestyle, I find myself still making a way to enjoy roses for I purchased a “body bag” rose for just $6 recently. The Grandiflora known as ‘Arizona’ will be an experimental rose for me as she grows in Texas’ high heat and humidity partially shaded from the scorching sun by my sailboat’s bimini (awning type of structure over the cockpit).

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Full Sail, hybrid tea

In hindsight, perhaps I should have purchased ‘Full Sail’, a fragrant white rose with a nautical theme or ‘Ebb Tide’, a lovely purple rose.

Nevertheless, this new lifestyle and new gardening zone presents many new exciting challenges. While getting used to living aboard a small yacht and showering in a marina, our dock box is already full of not only fenders (bumper pads for your boat) and boat cleaning supplies, but potting soil, gardening gloves, and pruning shears as well. At first, my husband protested our boat being transformed into what could be appropriately labeled a “BOATanical” environment, but now he is getting on board even wanting to grow tomatoes on our boat. He is easily influenced. 😉

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Compass Rose design

 

Soon, we will officially change the name of our sailboat. Initially, I liked the name of ‘Sailvation’ to represent our faith in addition to sailing, but lately, I have been thinking ‘Boatanical’ or ‘Compass Rose’ (the navigational compass on nautical charts) are equally, if not more appealing.

Whichever name or destination we choose, it’s become crystal clear, I will always be rooted in a love for roses.

A Miniature Mystery

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Rose catalogs recently arrived in the mail.

While confined to my sailboat, which I live aboard full-time, listening to the rain pellet the boat’s roof much like the sounds of rain on a tin-roof, I found myself thumbing through recently received rose catalogs dreaming of spring’s first flush. Upon pondering which roses would best suit this hot, humid climate of Texas while considering the limited space on board my vessel, I decided to preview photographs of rose gardens I’ve visited in days gone by. My cheeks swelled as my eyes remembered luscious petals of pink, apricot, yellow, and red. How I look forward to another year of walking the aisles of nurseries and the splendor of masses of roses growing side-by-side in a rose garden of my choosing!

Admist my smiling and rapturous memories of gardens gone-by, I stumbled upon a photo of a delightful, but unnamed beauty. Discovered and photographed at Portland, Oregon’s International Rose Test Garden in August of 2016, I fondly remembered her deep-pink precious petals beckoning me to capture her appeal.

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The mysterious rose…

Unlike the other plethora of roses throughout the lush, Portland garden surrounded by lording evergreens and art-worthy views, this petite gem’s “name” placard only read, “In Honor of Ingrid Rose, 2012”. Surely this isn’t the name of such a darling delicate rose, I pondered to myself that cooler summer day in Oregon. Each rose I captured behind my lens, I was sure to also photograph it’s placard identifying the rose’s name, species, and class among other listed credentials. Much to my disappointment, I left Portland not knowing whom I had just met. Over the years, I casually wondered if the rose’s name was ‘Ingrid Rose’ and tried to find through the internet a rose like her, but alas, no connection was found.

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International Rose Test Garden, Portland, Oregon, USA

Today, however, while trapped aboard a gently rocking sailboat and experiencing the good fortune of receiving moderate WiFi signal despite the stormy weather, I decided to  attempt to solve her mystery. Initially, I was hopeful the International Rose Test Garden may have a website with a list of all their featured roses, but instead I discovered a generic website with no list and not even an email to contact them along with a photo. Not that I blame the garden-keepers for there, at the top of the City, resides thousands of roses. I imagine keeping a current list available would be a full-time occupation in of itself.

After studying her petals, curvatures, and other botanical features, I typed in clues like, “button eye pink rose” and “pompon rose” and even “pink miniature roses” hoping to find her in Google images. Still no such luck. In my next attempt at identifying this attractive deep-pink rose with tiny petals seemingly lined in white edges, I thought perhaps Portland’s Rose Society could introduce me to this rose.

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The gardens @ Pittock Mansion, Portland, Oregon.

After visiting the Pittock Mansion in Portland, I knew such a society has existed for decades, if not nearly a century a by now, for they once met and still do meet at Pittock Mansion, a large once-home now open to visitors that overlooks the “City of Roses”.

Upon my WiFi making acquaintances with Google, my laptop produced the website of the Portland Rose Society. Immediately my eyes and finger-mouse on my laptop were drawn to the Photo Albums link, then the recent Mini Rose Show album. Much to my excitement, while clicking through the pictures, I found my roses’ twin! It even had a label, but the writing was too far away to see her illusive name. I immediately downloaded her photo and zoomed in to hopefully decipher the distant cursive writing on her tag, but still, I could not read it.

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Photo Credit: Portland Rose Society

Despite my squinting 42 year old eyes, I could only make out the name started with a “M” and had perhaps a couple of “t’s” in it, but even that I could not say for certain. Nevertheless, my zeal and determination would not give up now!

In the background of my mysterious rose was a certificate with human names like an award of sorts so I used Google once again except this time to research the names of these alleged rosarians hoping their names could link me to the name of the mysterious beautiful rose. While I found a list of the miniature-rose-show’s winners with their names on it, I still could not find an image that matched the numerous roses listed nor any that started with “M” and had a couple of presumed “t’s” in it’s name. But at least now I knew for sure two important clues: 1) The mystery rose is indeed a miniature rose if it was featured in a miniature rose show and 2) the Portland Rose Society would be able to identify the rose if my own results produced unfruitful. Hope is a marvelous motivator!

Now I began researching “pink miniature roses”, “magenta miniature roses”, and the like, which produced photos of a similar looking miniature rose known as ‘Sweet Chariot’. While casually admiring the features of ‘Sweet Chariot’, a photo nearly identical to my own populated in the images results – on Pinterest, of course, another favorite site for dreaming gardeners such as myself! I nearly shouted for joy, in fact, my husband will testify I indeed DID shout for joy! The deep-pink delicate, tiny petals, which captured my heart while I captured her one summer day in Oregon finally had a name and it began with a “M” and had two “t’s” in it afterall.

Ladies and gentlemen, rose-lovers, and readers alike, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the mystifying ‘Marriotta’. A miniature mystery solved!

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Gifts Are Meant To Be Given Away

il_570xN.984043134_oq9mTonight, an opportunity manifested allowing me to prophetically sing over a woman. The woman/new friend just outright asked me to sing to her. Other times, God “highlights” people I am supposed to speak to/sing to. For those of you who haven’t seen this/experienced this, sometimes the Spirit provides the setting and invites me to sing over people needing healing, comfort, or to be set free from something, etc. My part is just be willing to shut off me (my will/my time/my thoughts) to simply allow the Father to use my voice to sing something personal to them (Zephaniah 3:14-17).It’s like a lullaby of love…even correction sometimes wrapped in a loving, soothing song. Or as if God unexpectedly shows up to personally deliver to you a bouquet of His fragrant love. Meanwhile, the woman was crying and later shared with me how the phrases/words in the spontaneous song were the exact verbage God uses when He talks with her. I had no idea. I just met this person a few days ago. After the song is done, I typically have no recollection of the song’s specific wording just maybe one or two words or a theme. It is interesting, but moreover, a blessing to me to be able to help others in that capacity. It’s not all the time, but often enough that I trust Him when He beckons. Ironically, in doing what He invites us to do, we too are healed, set free, delivered from our own issues. That’s why faith with obedience is so important. Just be who God created and wills you to be. Gifts are meant to be given away.  #everbloomingroses #obedience #trust #psalmist #prophetic #Godisreal #song

Dormancy

happysabbathTo learn more about the Sabbath, a day of rest given by God, study these passages.Genesis 1:5,13-14 ; Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11; Exodus 31:12-17; Isaiah 58:13-14; Isaiah 66:22-23; Nehemiah 13:19; Ezekiel 44:23-24; Mark 2:27-27 (a gift for man from the Lord); Luke 4:16; Acts 17:2; Acts 18:4; Hebrews 4

 

Happy Fourth of July

When I lived in Pennsylvania, I had not one, but two ‘Fourth of July’ climbing rose bushes. They got huge and were fantastic in preventing intruders from entering my urban garden. I wove their long, thorny canes within the pillars of my black aluminum fence to make a wall of color. Each bloom explodes in shades of pink, burgundy, and white with yellow streaks. It would seem nearly every bloom would be a surprise of color. Here are a few photos of this ever-blooming rose. Enjoy and Happy Fourth of July!

When God Plays Dominoes

Much has quickly transpired in recent weeks, making it seem each event that unfolds before me is like a game of dominoes. One event triggers another, which triggers another, and before you know it, lives are changed.

Similarly, this morning, my husband and I attended a church we had not attended thus far while living here in Myrtle Beach. We had been to this same church for other events and even led a worship experience at this same church on a recent Friday night, but never attended their Sunday service. How is it possible to lead worship at a church you’ve never attended you ask? All I can say is, with God all things are possible! How that transpired is an entirely other post I need to scribe. But for now, this story needs to be shared…

82f74dab863518f4b67f5960253fef80At the worship event I recently led a couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of singing with another worshiper who specializes in the guitar. He and I had only met days before, but as fellow prophetic worshipers united by spiritual DNA, it was as if I had sung with him my entire life. Little did he know I had been praying that Abba/God our Father would send my way a male guitarist who also sings. As he “noodled” on his guitar, I spontaneously sang fresh manna or fresh new songs. Likewise, he at times would spontaneously sing new phrases as we made up a song together simply singing unto the LORD. Yet another prophetic worshiper attended that event – one whom I had only met on facebook also days before and yet that worshiper jumped on keys and all of it blended so perfectly. It was as if God orchestrated an entire band in a matter of seconds. It was a glorious time of worship and people’s hearts were healed simply by stepping out in faith.

Speaking of faith, as my faith partner (husband) and I, along with a few of our other friends, were sitting in this church today supporting my new guitarist friend and singer as he led worship at this particular Sunday service (which is also new for him), we all just worshiped expecting God to have His way in the service. During the first song the guitarist/singer/lead worshiper opened with, I could discern a wall of sorts, a wall of fear and awkwardness attempting to block the Spirit, but I pressed in praying in my heart and at times out loud rebuking the spirit of fear and anything trying to prevent the Holy Spirit from doing what He does best.. Upon the middle of the second song, it broke, the presence of God entered the room and it was palpable – almost unbearable it was so intense. I just sang my heart out in worship. Meanwhile, in my peripheral vision, I could see a gentlemen wearing green. dominowithroseI could sense I was to minister to him and I heard the Spirit tell me the man needs healing, but I had not yet heard from the Spirit how I was to minister to him. So I simply waited for the Spirit to tip the domino in me. As the worship segment transpired, a singer on stage shared a testimony about a woman in their church who was healed of lupus and even had a child when she was told by medical professionals she would always suffer in the disease and she would never bear children.

By the third song, the Pastor came up to the front and asked me to join the praise band right there on the spot. Evidently, he had heard about our spontaneous worship from the Friday night event we held there a couple of weeks prior. I was shocked he called me up, but I stepped out in faith and proceeded to the stage. (Remember, I had never attended that church and literally just met the Pastor moments before the service began.) In general,  I try to avoid any resemblance of performance so I sat on the steps adjoining the stage and simply worshiped Yeshua/Jesus as if I was sitting at His feet. We all just poured out our adoration for our God in song. Another friend of mine who does attend that church called out to the Pastor asking if he could give a word to a visitor in the church so the Pastor permitted the Spirit-directed interruption. Afterwards, an elderly woman stood up and gave a word encouraging the people to take courage and to obey God in whatever He was prompting like the previous man had just done. Meanwhile, my heart pounded as just prior to the elderly woman’s encouraging word, I heard the Spirit invite me to call forth the man in green (and the woman sitting with him) as I was to sing over them a prophetic song. Often times, God just highlights the person(s) to me and then all I have to do is step forward, open my mouth, and He takes over. But being my first time in that church not knowing how their services normally go or if they would even be open to such a thing, I nervously asked the Pastor if I could do such a thing and he eagerly agreed.

singingWith the Pastor’s permission, I called forth the man in green and the woman next to him (they were a couple). I also asked the man who spoke out moments earlier to come up and lay hands on them as I already knew he had gifts of healing (from me knowing that man). I asked my guitarist friend to noodle whatever he’d like on the guitar. Then I began to sing a spontaneous prayer over them, which turned into God singing a lullaby of healing over them. In the song, it was about God healing the man physically and healing the woman’s heart. I remember singing about God was physically healing the man and he was about to enter a new season of growth then the Spirit shifted me to sing over the woman saying He forgives her, He sees her crying at night, and to let it go, and simply follow Him…the Spirit went on to say they will have many spiritual children if they just step out of the boat in faith and follow Him.  The word that came through during the spontaneous prophetic song evidently ministered to them as they were crying and seemed to validate what the Spirit was singing over them.

When I finished, the man revealed to the church that he is struggling with lupus (the very disease the singer on the stage gave a testimony of healing from). So the woman who was healed of lupus and her husband came forward, without human prompting, to pray for the man in green and his wife. The husband of the healed woman gave nearly the same prophetic word as the song I sang to the woman who needed healing in her emotional heart.

“Our God, the creator of the heart, the creator of the body,

is all about using the body to heal the heart. “

62087616445502eafe1396cc53f9416c--dominos-cool-stuffOur God, the creator of the heart, the creator of the body, is all about using the body to heal the heart. Furthermore, His heart is to heal others through the body! He uses us believers in Him and His Son as members of the body of Christ to transform hearts. All it took was one domino of obedience to trigger another, to trigger another, until the end result was transformation not just for the man and woman who were specifically called out, but for all of us dominoes God used to bless them!

I had no idea God liked to play dominoes. I always just likened God to favoring chess as He moves the pieces around in our lives to help us reach our God-appointed destination. Now, I see He also prefers dominoes triggering each of us to surrender in obedience to His will, His way, and His wisdom as He connects our hearts in His all-knowing, healing, lullabies of love.

Shalom.

 

 

The Fading Of A Rose

These photos capture a hybrid tea rose, known as ‘Miranda Lambert’, fading on my beach balcony. Overall, this rose continually exceeds my expectation in beauty, fragrance, and disease resistance.

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