Friday, July 31, 2015

Finally in July... St Ignatius Loyola!

 The grandkids were keeping a watchful eye on our pregnant cat yesterday, and she waited for today to have them!  She just had #6 and the grandkids will find out tonight when I go over there to watch them.  They will be so excited!!!!

I am also excited to have this special feastday today - St Ignatius of Loyola!  He is so important in our conversion story as my parents were attending a Ignation retreat and when my dad heard the Holy Spirit directing him through scripture - Isaiah 55:1-2 - to join The Catholic Church along with his wife and 11 children!

 Sweet corn for lunch straight from the field... the pealing crew is hard at work.

 Mary had just been out working on some pictures for her photography project in 4H - the fair is just a week away.  Simon is working on his project involving a small engine he is taking apart. 

It was a big day of doing more sweetcorn - 32 pints for my parents and Pat's mom.  It was almost an enjoyable job to only do 2 pails by myself.  I just realized that it would be better for them to have the smaller amounts, and with so much corn at perfect ripeness just down the road... it was an act of love to spend some time at this job today as our mother cat was having her...
7 kittens!!!!   3 orange and 4 grey.  One will be named Ignatius after his feast day today!  I am thinking that to help me with missing the 4 - Therese, Little Dave, Patrick, and Romeo could appear in the names of the 7.  Bless-bless, Barb  We will have to see how the boys and girls stack up...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

God's lovely dwelling place....

Rose says the corn is good!  Just finished up 17 pails of corn for freezing with lots of big and little help.  With the sticky mess that I am still working on cleaning up... the thought if this sticky mess could be the lovely dwelling place of God?!  Yes! 
 Rosie is the taste tester
 Rose cut her own bangs again... Grandma loves bangs!  I reminded her mom that she and her 3 younger sisters all had bangs years back.  Rose just is making grandma happy!
 Helper girl... learning how to be a willing and cheerful helper girl.  I thank the Lord each day that we share our Faith, family and Farm!  Yes, it truly is a lovely dwelling place for God in the midst of our sticky crazy lives!  he will meet us everywhere if only we will look for him with LOVE/LIGHT/LIFE!
 Thankyou Rose for your sweet short newly cut bangs and your willingness to help us on this big family canning day.
 Mary was a really good helper today.  It is so fun to have the kids growing and sharing in our family projects.

 Shoulder to shoulder with a brother on each side of her - teamwork is such a beautiful sight and a makes this dwelling place where God dwells in the LOVE shared.
 Grandpa is loving and kind... the best kind of example of working together with a cheerful attitude.

 Luke and eventually Rose takes a nap while we press on.
 Dave misses great-grandma's help cutting the corn off this year.  She said she misses helping too. 
 Mary with the last cob of corn after a long day!
Luke bringing grandpa his work boots.  No more housework for you grandpa.. back to cutting hay!  Luke is grandpa's little helper.. all those grandsons that have brought grandpa his boots - now there are 8 grandsons and 4 granddaughters that cut their own bangs!
Jesus, thank you for the end of this long day, but most of all thank you for dwelling in our imperfect lives of sticky messes.  Jesus, we trust in you.  bless-bless, Barb
Natalie Grant - Burn Bright

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

St Martha - LOVE alive!!!

 Sweet corn time is here! 
 Picking corn before we headed up to the Cities for a Twins game. 

Today is St Martha's feast, and am thinking about my sister, Martha otherwise known as Marty to her family.  Happy Feast day on this most special day!  I have been holding close to my heart the first reading from I John 4:7-16... a wonderful statement of LOVE come into the world!

1 John 4: 7 - 16

7 Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God.
8 He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12 No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit.
14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world.
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
16 So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
 Love in picture form... Luke with Uncle Johnny!

Our Lord Jesus brought LOVE into the world to allow us to become like Him and share LOVE in our own domestic Church/family.  So far to go with this, but there is HOPE for the future!
 Dominic loves sitting in his grandpa's lap high in the stadium sharing the Twins game!
Dominic likes to clap with the crowd! 

If we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.  I John 4

It sounds like it is easy, but with those the closest to us we struggle to love and forgive and serve without counting the cost... Lord, we long to serve as Martha did but willingly and without complaining and yes, still have that time like Mary to sit at your feet in prayer and worship!
 Nancy and Bill shared this experience with their little ones! 
 Gus is cute and cool!
 John and his dad love the Twins and share that with each other.  It is a special bond they share together.
 Baseball is in the air on a beautiful night in downtown Minneapolis!
 Sweet Jesus with St Martha on this her feast day... we thank you for my sister Marty and all the ways she serves her family.  May we gain from her example of LOVE without counting the cost.  Help me to be a better servant and to work on my faults and weaknesses.  May I give love more perfectly so that I may come to live and dwell with you forever in heaven.  Jesus, I trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
 Thanks for the invite Nancy, Bill and wonderful family.  My first Twins game was in the new stadium was certainly an adventure!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
 John and I shared some laughs and memories as we gave the farm dogs a wash and a brush on this wonderful day. 
Six years ago John and Lilly helped each other get better.  Lilly was on death's door and John was too.  He cared for her, and she responded to the meds and care.  John was struck with brain cancer and he was placed in front of Jesus - lowered through the roof by his friends.  He found healing and Faith!  Caring for Lilly helped him pay it forward and have a reason to give from all he had been given by others!

John has returned from almost a week in KC burning to share his story and prayer ministry to all the ends of the earth!  If you want him to speak - contact him!  507-530-8810

Maria and kids at the zoo on a hot day ...  Had a nice visit today with Maria and kids.  I especially loved hearing John share with her his excitement of his time in KC with the Community of the Lamb and Father Craig.  It is wonderful when the sibs can share, and support one another. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Carrying forth the Truth!

Out fixing the fence and checking on the cows... I tried to get the panorama view that surrounds you there.  Not the best! 

John and Father Craig returned home last night filled with so much excitement and joy at their shared time with The Community of the Lamb!  It is snowballing as John is setting up some chances to share his story with those that have requested the opportunity to hear him speak!  How he burns to share The Truth/Faith he has found through his brain cancer and having his life spared.  Getting the "weeds" hoed out of the good seed.
 The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; all who come to him will live forever.  Hallelujah, Hallelujah.  Proclaimed before the Gospel today!  So simple, and to be believed and followed no matter the cost.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb

Monday, July 27, 2015

Being there in the Spirit!

This picture is so appropriate to start today... John being anointed by Fr Craig just hours before his biopsy in Rochester a 6 years ago!

The thought to jump in with John and Fr Craig, of course, crossed my mind and heart, but I knew that it was not to be now.  I have been so greatly blessed and surprised by the calls I have received here and there from John during his stay with our wonderful Community of the Lamb!   It seems that most days there he will have some time alone in his room and will call and share, and ask for prayers and guidance from his old mom... as a result I feel very much like I have been allowed to share in their time there in a very deep spiritual - Holy Spirit - way!

Since I am not there snapping pictures with John and Father... I am using these wonderful ones I have used many times before!  This one is when Susan/now Little Sister Hallel saw John for the first time less than a month after his biopsy.  He was still unable to walk on his own, and needed this walker to get around unless he had a sister under each arm or his dad....

I am a river of tears!!!  Out of curiosity I just checked to see the date of John's anointing and biopsy as I knew it had to be around this time... it was this exact day 6 years ago!!!!  I am overwhelmed that John is with The Community of the Lamb and with Father Craig and also that he was given so many graces in being able to give the talk of his life last evening to a retreat they were holding at the Little Monastery - Lumen Christi!  I get reprimanded by my family for holding onto the past and dates and when things happen/anniversaries of deeply powerful occasions in our family - but for Our Lady to get John to Kansas City with Father Craig on this exact day... July 27th, 2009... is just too amazing!  Yes, I have a page you can go to for the entire story of these times, and that is where I am borrowing these pictures today.  But this is not a repeat of the story!!  This is graces that are springing from it and are alive and well and full of HOPE and full of LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT!

A few days into their visit there - after John had shared about melting in the heat walking to the soup kitchen, and the fact that they have air conditioning in their quarters, while the Little Sisters don't.  John informed me that they would be staying an extra day and returning on Monday.  With this change the little Sisters asked John to speak at a retreat they were holding on Sunday night with some young people!  It was so amazing to realize that he would have this opportunity to share his story, which he burns to share from the rooftops, in the midst of our wonderful Community of the Lamb and with Father Craig, who has been so huge for John over the last 6 years!  John, his dad, and I were all totally excited that John would have this out-of-this-world opportunity!

Yes, Father Craig took John into the healing baths of Lourdes just a month after his biopsy... was he healed and running around on his two legs?  No, but he fell madly in love with Our Lady, and his Faith grew and continues to this day!

John has been calling to prepare for this talk last night, and so I have been a part of the process of his listening to the Holy Spirit in Adoration and mass each day directing his heart and thoughts and words last evening.  He has reported that;
" It was the most powerful talk I've ever given. People laughing, crying,and loving the lord.

Thank you for the prayers. I am so blessed to have so many people I can call on. GOD BLESS all of you."

I know that his sharing focused on much more of the life-changing aspect of this journey for himself in finding Faith and also for others!  To have Father Craig and the Community there and to share how they touched him and were instrumental in His finding The Truth/LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT/Jesus and His Bride, The Church... such a gift and so many graces were showered upon John, those there present, and his mother from afar but there in Spirit!
 Pat and I out checking on the cows last night... This was something we shared with our family over the years, and a special time together.

Jesus, I am overwhelmed by your LOVE and care for our every needs.  How can you arrange for this to happen for John on the exact time of his anniversary?   John has been touched by You in such a special way to be able to share The power of Faith/The Kingdom of God here on earth with those that have touched and ministered to him for you here on earth.  May our Faith continue to grow from that tiniest of seeds to a great plant with birds finding rest in it's branches!  Jesus, we trust in you.  You certainly care for your lost sheep!  Amen and Hallelujah
 A cute pair - I think you can tell mother and son...Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
I had time waiting for the fence to be checked so got a bit artsy with the wild flowers around me.  I don't know that this one is, but the purple spires are pretty here and there.

 From underneath with the beautiful panorama of the clouds and blue sky overhead
 A single clover in the setting sunlight...
 Silhouettes on the hillside is one of my favorite sights in the evening.
 Pat was sweet and stopped so that I could pick some black eyed Susans - so special  to have this time together and this reminder of my sweet Sue/Little Sister Hallel!
 The crops look nice - thank you, Lord, for the 3/4 inch of rain!  Pat and I did a decade of the rosary coming home from the Cities and driving in the rain towards our home... answered prayers and now looking like more rain - Yes, please, Lord!
A sight to warm my heart! 

Therese sewing a blanket for her doll!

With brother David and some snuggles...

I just got an amazing footnote to John's talk in KC as he is traveling back and I got a chance to talk to him for the first time since giving it!  "In the midst of my talk a couple walked in, who have a daughter who has a rare form of brain cancer!  They had never been to the chapel before and were coming to pray there.  After my sharing we gathered around them and prayed over them.  We were all weeping and the graces were flowing around us like a river!  The mother had never had any faith in her life and we hugged so tight and prayed so hard - I just about lost it!  It was so amazing and powerful.  They had their two sons with them, but the girl was at home asleep as she is only 6 years old.  This morning Father Craig and I blessed some holy water and added Lourdes water and took it over to their house... I met her and it was amazing!"  Wow!  I am on cloud 9 with the working of the Holy Spirit and the continuing saga and journey of John's healing and finding Faith and then sharing that with the world without ceasing!
George Harrison - My sweet Lord

Sunday, July 26, 2015

"Jesus is LIFE." Mary Lanoue

Sweet 3 year old Rose listening to the music practice for the next mass today.  I was very touched today looking at her older sister, 9 year old Mary, taking notes as Fr Paul gave the homily!  Looking at her wonderful example of giving the Gospel/ Jesus in His Word the attention He deserves... I am determined to learn from her and start taking my Mass Journal along to mass, too!
 Sunday breakfast on the deck after Church today at great-grandma's house.
 Singing "We Believe" by Newsboys... it was so wonderful singing this Praise and Worship song today after receiving Jesus in The Eucharist.  I was fighting back tears with the power of the Spirit so present with the sharing of the young people just back from Steubenville North retreat!  Sharing how the Adoration of Jesus processed through the crowd in the monstrance made the youth realize - This is Jesus!  He is alive and real and here with us!  "The youth were reaching out to him as he passed by them - wanting to be as close to him as they could."  Shared a young girl up in front of us this day as a proclaimer of the Word!  The Holy Spirit is at work!
This is what we watched on grandma's I pad and sang along with.  In Church to hear Simon and Mary's beautiful voices singing with us... it was a wonderful moment of Praising HIM!
Mary brought in her Mass Journal and shared her sweet simple words/gems she gathered from the homily today - "Jesus is LIFE."  She shared with great grandma...

The Gospel today was the amazing Loaves and Fish from John 6... how could it not be from John 6?  I had forgotten that this amazing chapter of John known for giving us the command in black and white to eat his Body and drink His Blood started with the miracle of feeding the 5,000 with 5 barley loaves and 2 fish!  It makes it that much more and more and more and more and more... just as those broken loaves and fish fed them all their fill with baskets left over... Jesus is our Life-giving food and feeds us and fills us!
 Starting our time together sharing meal and The Meal of heaven and earth - the Eucharist - with a song - We Believe!
 We do Believe, and our LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT is found by embracing our Most Cherished Cross and following after Jesus!
 Learning from the sweet humble example of our granddaughter, Mary, who is looking to her Faith and how to make it more her own.  Dying to self so that Jesus can live and work in her life!
 Mary's wonderful parents, who are encouraging her to pursue her faith as a soon -to-be 4th grade girl.  You are never too young to grow in your knowledge and love of Jesus and His Bride, The Church!
Grandpa and 10 year old Simon shared some time in mass.  I adore how Pat is so loving and involved with our kids and grandkids - sharing mass and our Faith with JOY!  It is so much more attractive to show them that we LOVE Jesus and The Church with honey rather than vinegar.

 Rose is comfortable in this familiar place where she shares time each week with her family and Community of Faith.

Jesus, I am so filled with happiness and great JOY this day to see the Spirit at work in your Church!  To witness the young people recognizing YOU, O Lord, in The Eucharist and in The Word and in those brothers and sisters there sharing their Faith one with the other!   To see my young grandchildren taking notice of The Truth shared there and praising you with the songs we share our Faith!  Learning and growing as a result of those "childlike" that are hungry for You, O Lord, in your Body and Blood as well as in your Word.  I am learning how to grow from them and we never stop doing that!  Jesus, I trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Bless-bless, Barbara Luke

Pat and I shared some family time in Stillwater yesterday with my parents and some sibs and spouses... it was great!
 Thanks mom and Dad!
Two of my brothers - Al and Bruce!  Missed seeing my brother James - whose feast day was yesterday!  Happy Feast Day Jim!
Borrowing some watermelon pics from afar

Soon Patrick will be 3, and loves watermelon!

I hear that it is hot there, and this looks cool and matches your pink top, Therese! 

That looks like LOVE to me!  Romeo will be 1 in about 6 weeks - on grandpa Pat's 61st birthday!
Julie Cross's photo.
A group shot on the boat borrowed from my sister-in-law, Cheryl.