Blog, photo, poetry

Farewell Warm Weather Friends

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Farewell Warm Weather Friends

 

As leaves are falling one by one

For now their seasons work is done.

I wonder if they could speak or feel

What is the message they might reveal.

 

I finished my race and worked very hard

While vibrant and alive I shaded the yard.

I kept harsh sunlight and heat at bay

While temperatures did rise on summers day

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But now as winter is fast approaching

You’ll require more of suns warmth encroaching.

So while I’ll be whisked or raked away

This was my due season of many a day.

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I am not sad that my time is at end

It was a good season and this yard I did tend.

I fulfilled my purpose and did it with joy

It is what I was designed and created for.

 

I’m pouring out my supply to fuel this trees roots

Next season many will grow from tender new shoots

They’ll grow and replenish and offer shade again

But for now it is farewell my warm weather friends

 

©laurette laster November 2017

Many years ago, If my memory serves me correctly, I believe it was the fall of 2011, during my commute I was admiring the spectacular fall foliage and rich robust colors. I commuted about forty five miles one way, to and from work. I crossed over the Red River between Texas and Oklahoma, during my drive to and from work. I have seen some beautiful, almost breath taking sunrises and sunsets during that time. I have seen full moons and super moons that lit up the nights sky making me feel as if heaven were ushering me home late at night or seeing me safely to work in the wee hours of the morning. I have seen beautiful snow covered fields with ice laden trees. I have driven over the icy roads and bridges that made me grip the steering wheel so tight that my hands hurt. I have had a front row seat and witnessed new life emerge during springtime, after the long bleak barren winter resting cycle.

On this particular fall afternoon I was telling The Lord as I was driving, how beautiful the sight was and thanking Him for the view. I love the fall colors. The bright robust burgundy’s, bright orange, the deep amber and gold’s, the reds that are cranberry colored and, the depth of the yellows are all so different this time of the year. These colors against the back drop of the greens and the browns are some of the most stunning colors I have ever seen. They are deep and vibrant in nature. There is something so tranquil and almost peaceful about the scenes of autumn. Yet there is also something so alluring and inviting about the season of fall. There is a depth that I still cannot put into words to adequately describe the feeling this scene ignites in my soul. I cannot explain with mere words how it makes me and many untold others feel. It makes me think of the scripture,

“That we may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is breadth and length and depth and height” (Ephesians 3:18 KJV)
With this scripture in mind, to me there is a dimension to the images of fall that can only be felt and lacks human understanding on this side of time. I love all the seasons, but there is something about fall that is multidimensional to me.

As I was driving and praising God for this view, He spoke to me. I heard His words in my spirit; “They are dead!” Wow talk about a jolt back into reality. However, I realized this was the absolute truth about these leaves. These same leaves of beautiful burgundy, gold, amber, yellow, orange, and other vibrant colors, they are really dead and on their way to complete dying and falling off. I had never thought about it quite like this before. I asked, “God how can something dead be so beautiful?” My question made me think about this entire imagery with its fabulous scenery in an entirely different light.

My prayer for several days was Lord; teach me how something dead can be so beautiful? Why do we see these colors, and travel hundreds of miles to view the cascading hills and country sides laden with fall foliage? How is it that as these leaves are dying they are becoming more beautiful to our eyes? What does this look like to You?

And He did indeed teach me. He taught me lessons, many valuable lessons that I hold near and dear to my heart today.  I now understand why I am unable to put into words the feelings the autumn season invokes in my soul.

He taught me that this is what repentance looks like to heaven. He showed me that when a soul repents of dead works, the imagery in heaven is of beautiful foliage with a change of colors. The Lord showed me that indeed letting go of dead works, and lessons learned are so beautiful to Him. He showed me that as we go into root season and grow deeper in the things of God all of heaven rejoices, read Luke 15:7. He showed me that some things are for a season, and some things are for a reason, and reasons and seasons are how we mature and grow. He taught me that a crop of leaves is to shade the fruit we are growing and the lessons we are learning. He showed me that when we learn the lessons of life that those leaves must wither and die and nourish our roots. How as His people we are a lot like trees. The lessons we are learning supply wisdom, strength, and courage to our core, (inner man). We must have truth in our inner being before He can add more depth and height to our trunks.

“Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part You shall make me to know wisdom.”  (Psalm 51:6 KJV)

So I share a few photos of some beautiful fall foliage I captured this week. Aren’t these colors and leaves beautiful? Guess what? They are dying. The trees have stopped supplying these leaves with nourishment, and in all actuality the tree is pulling nourishment from the leaves to help it stay alive and survive during the cold barren winter root season.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all stop right now and repent over just one thing? What is one thing, that you now realize God, is dealing with you about? We can show our Father in heaven some beautiful scenery today if we repent of one thing and cast off our dead works.

What are dead works? You know the cares of the world that choke the life of His word out, that Jesus speaks of in the parable of the Sower. If we are not growing and multiplying something is choking His word out. Dead works can be noble and they can be good but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are God ordained works. The works that are not of Him and do not point to His perfect love and benefit His kingdom must be shed to make room for deeper roots and new life come spring.

Here is to happy repentance of dead works. I have so much to be thankful for that it is my pleasure to repent of anything that is not pleasing to my Father. Show us Father anything that is hindering Your work in our lives. Give us the courage to face it and erase it by repenting completely before You. Help me see the enemy – ‘in a me’

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you Shalom.

Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette

 

Blog, poetry

Winds of Change

Winds of change blow through I’m going to stand

And humble myself under God’s mighty hand.

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Letting go is not simple or easy to do,

Just watch the leaves as winds blow through.

Looks like chaos as first rearranged

Then I am reminded; oh here comes change!

 

God’s sweet reminder to me, seek and you shall find

It isn’t so difficult it’s all in the mind.

How I imagine and fear it could be,

Remembering, His plans are only good toward me.

What can I learn from watching His creation?

About these changes and the duration;

His ways are fashioned and mimic trees,

What is the lesson to learn from these?

 

It is the end of this season, change is in the air.

Something’s I can tell something’s I can share.

We are the branches-He is the Vine;

Seasons must change, He is redeeming the time.

The winds of change are bringing home,

The lesson learned, now let go and move on.

Not at all frightening if I can grasp

God is Creator, I’m designed for the task.

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The inner drive compelling and calling me,

A longing for much more than eyes can see.

It’s a longing and groaning from deep within,

Oh the winds of change must be blowing again.

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It is time for promises to come forth and bloom,

So it is necessary to let go, create needed room.

Open my mind and nourish it with Your word;

Eye has not seen, nor ear has not heard…..

All You have planned for those whose mind can conceive,

Just let go of the old and the new receive.

Teach me Lord as I sense it is in view,

Deep in my spirit I know this is You.

 

Help me to not fear or become apprehensive

This change is from You, deep and extensive.

For money can’t buy and not humanly possible,

Revealed by Your Spirit, throughout Your gospel.

Such precious promises if I can believe,

Being rooted and grounded like a tree.

Winds of change blow through I’m going to stand

And humble myself under God’s mighty hand.

 

©laurette laster October 2017

photo’s captured by laurette laster 2017

If you feel the shaking do not be alarmed, it is only the shaking off of dead works to prepare us for what is ahead. Watch how nature causes leaves to let go and be removed. There are some huge lessons we can learn if we observe the works of God’s creation.

For I know the plans I have for you declares The Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and you will find Me when you seek for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV)

The above verse is well know and quoted often by Christians. This verse was an absolute game changer for me and changed my life in the year 2000. This verse got my attention and made me wonder if indeed there was a plan for my life and I hadn’t known about it.  What you may not know is this. This verse is God talking to people in captivity, drawing them out and to Him. The chapter heading is “A letter to the exiles.” Can we be an exile and God’s children. Yes, when we make the decision to search for Him with all your heart.

Yesterday I out walking in the yard when I noticed the leaves have changed colors. It was as if it happened overnight. I had to ask myself, when did this happen? Was it gradual and I didn’t notice? Or did it happen suddenly?

Today it is blustery and windy and this wind is blowing the leaves from the trees and they are falling and floating about. When I watched this I was reminded of this poem. I am so thankful for seasons of growth but also thankful for the ability to learn what is good and useful and what I must let go of.

During seasons of change in my own life, times when I find myself feeling bare and again feel the winds of change blowing, I can get a little shaky. I am certain I’m not alone in feeling a little frightened or apprehensive when I sense change. Even though I am praying for growth and change it can still be, well you know, quite overwhelming when it begins. During these seasons of growth I am comforted to know that God, who is rich in mercy, has made a way for us to repent and by casting off our dead works we can continue to grow stronger. God makes seasons for His people to learn and grow. I am a learner and therefore I am a grower.

I produced some great fruit this year but guess what? I have also, at the same time produced some bitter fruit. Fruit and leaves that I don’t exactly want to show off , some works that I am not proud of nor do I want to keep them around for ever. Oh, we are so grateful to our heavenly Father for sending His only begotten Son, Jesus, that we can be forgiven? I am eternally grateful and wowed beyond human description with mere words, for His gift of grace that led me to repentance.

I am so grateful for the gift of repentance, the gift to change, and the gift of do over’s. Yet isn’t it amazing that at each stage we are required to stop and repeat a process?  We must have another root season. Why is this necessary? Why isn’t one root season enough? Why can’t a mighty Oak tree grow to 65 plus feet high with just one root season? Because the roots of the tree must have time to grow deeper in order to support the massive weight and height of the tree and the branches it will produce. If we don’t grow deeper in The Lord our branches will not grow and mature, and we cannot and will not be able to stand up under the weight of the ‘much’ fruit that He has planned for us to bear this coming season. We not only get growth we receive a new crop of leaves to shade the fruit that will be grown, this is what repentance brings forth.

As I repent and cast off my dead works and yes the spent works, in order to prepare for my root season I am reminded of these things.  I have plans and purposes for next years season of growth. I have visions and I have dreams not only for myself but for friends and loved ones, I have desires and goals, I have prayers yet to be answered and purposes that I’ve not yet fulfilled. And most of all I have hope in the upcoming season, because I know, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”(Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV)

This blessed hope in Jesus Christ brings me joy, joy that will carry me through this root season. I want the body of Christ to have ripe and delicious fruit. We have a starving world out there counting on us.

So I pray this prayer for us;

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness  that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11 NIV)

God who is rich in mercy…………………………….

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you Shalom.

Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette

Blog, poetry

Grace Is a Blueprint

Maybe a door or just a hinge
 Maybe a switch or window
 Whatever you are just know
 You are part of  Father’s MAJOR crescendo

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We are part of God’s design and plan. They will be called oaks of righteousness a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. (Isaiah 61:3)

I have come to realize

The blueprint we call grace

One I now recognize

We must live out to fully embrace

I have come to realize now

Grace is an unfolding roadmap

What I thought was a wrong turn

Was inherently for the gap

I have come to realize now

That grace, His Perfect design

Is in order for us to learn

Understand The Redeemer of time

I now see the road behind

And the one that lies before

Holds so much information

Than I could even explore

Destination then unknown

Things I considered a waste

Were actually leading me toward

With speed and forward haste

I didn’t understand the plans

I couldn’t read those prints

With etchings and funny pictures

That didn’t show hard evidence

But now as I see the building

The coming together of all

I certainly do realize

Redemption of mankind’s fall

Maybe a door or just a hinge

Maybe a switch or window

Whatever you are just know

You are part of  Father’s MAJOR crescendo

Nothing is too small to overlook

The design much more than potential

And whether believed or not

Each minute detail is essential

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Coming together according to plan

Blueprints roadmaps supplier

It is because The Architect

Is The Builder and The Buyer

©laurette laster 2018 October

© photo’s by laurette

As a young man marries a young woman so will your Builder marry you: as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride so will your God rejoice over you. (Isaiah 62:5)

This morning I was reading John 14:26 in the amplified

This is the 7 Spirits and administration of the Holy Spirit. The scripture says, Jesus speaking,

But The Helper, The Holy Spirit,

Amp The Helper, [Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor, Counselor, Strengthener and Standby], will teach you all things and bring to remembrance all things I have said to you……..

I couldn’t help but fall more in love with Jesus and the perfection displayed by the order of Holy Spirits Ministry. Of course it would be just what was needed. Certainly it is perfect. I never doubted that, however when we see His design lining up with our need, it simply becomes more intimate and personal. We see His uniqueness for our needs, each personal and more than enough to equip us for every good work.

We are His own workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works we will require some help. Help like coaching, training, equipping, growing, convicting, and more than anything generous portions of His Love.

When I was coming out of my dysfunctional lifestyle I had made so many poor choices and my sins were great. I was ashamed that what I thought would work had failed, and failed miserably. I was left with a mess to clean up. I had violated my own conscience and was broken beyond human repair…but God!

Helper– to help and ready to show me how

Comforter– encouraged and encourages me still to keep going

Advocate– fighting for me, my very own protector, supplier, body guard, teaching me when I didn’t know how.

Intercessor– praying me through, to The Father

Counselor– there is not a safer place on earth to tell all your feelings and never be judged. Maybe corrected, always convicted of wrongdoing, but always in love.

Strengthener– when I wanted to quit, hearing the words, will you do it for Me? Who could quit? Quit? Never!

Standby-The One who comes along side so we are never alone.

No matter the mess, no matter what sins you may have committed, Our Father not only forgives us He sends us Help! Our very own personal Helper in our time of need.

John 14:14-18 He will give you another Comforter.

When I was out taking pictures of the Oak trees and the Acorns I remembered a poster I saw a few years back. Perhaps you’ve seen it also and heard this quote;

A mighty Oak is just a nut that stood it’s ground. So today if you have done all to stand, Stand therefore!!!!

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you Shalom.

Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette

Blog, photo, poetry

Seasons of Change

Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

to provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

That they might be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of The LORD for the display of His splendor. (Isaiah 61:3)

Maybe I don’t need to hold on so tight. Because I am caught and captured in the arms of Jesus.

Could it be that God has us right where we need to be? And that all this holding on is just a figment of our own thinking and perception of how we believe things are. In reality He has us safe in His grip and will never let us go. We must let go of the old to grasp the new, and be willing to be moved by the winds of grace.

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When it’s time to let it go

Teach me Lord that I may know

 

What it is that be Your will

Help me Lord, to just be still

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When I see I’m caught and captured

By Your love and fully enraptured

 

Held in place by steel strong Arms

Safe and secure from all life’s harms

 

You do show and make it known

Oh Yes You are, God alone

 

©laurette laster

photos taken by laurette laster

Earlier today as I was studying scriptures I found myself thinking, I wonder if I wrote a poem on this date last year. So as I came to see and to answer my own question and I find this poem, the one posted above.

Isn’t it ironic that I find myself at the same place today as I was last year, yet in completely different circumstances? Yet the lesson is,  be still and know that He indeed is God and that He is taking me through and into new places, is still what is being worked out. I love the adventure and I love the fact that we must have faith in order to go. No faith, no adventure. Growth is by faith in the spiritual just as growth is by seasons in the natural. The mighty oak stands still yet grows and matures season by season, come what may. Can you picture seeing trees with nap sacks packed up and moving? When ask what are you doing they would answer; I don’t like the weather so I’m relocating. That is absurd isn’t it? Without each season the tree wouldn’t mature and grow and be productive.  Yet we with free will must be taught to stand still, to occupy, to grow, to mature, to bear fruit, remain steadfast, pray, take up the full armor of God, give, sow, reap, to name just a few and if that’s not enough we need to keep these all in balance. It can become overwhelming if we allow ourselves to believe we are doing it all. When we can keep our eyes fixed on Jesus we become trees of righteousness, the planting of The LORD. He plants us just where He wants us to be.

Last year as I snapped these pictures I remember seeing this leaf captured in the fence. It appeared to me that the leaf was holding on for dear life and not seeing that it was caught in the grip of the fence. This really spoke to me because I was going through changes that I knew were of God but yet felt a little lost during the adjustment phase I was going through. It was then I was prompted to think about the promises in the bible of how we are safe and secure in the hands of God. Underneath are the Everlasting Arms. A word in due season He gave me in August 2013 when He said let go. Then I was reminded that God is our deliverer and He sings songs of deliverance over us. He is singing when I feel like I am in danger of being blown away. Did you take notice that the life of the leaf is over? This leafs season is past. The Lord began to teach me how the trees teach us to let go. We have seasons to learn followed by seasons to apply just what we have learned. If we cannot practically apply what we have learned during this growing season, oh don’t you worry we will get to go through the same trials again. Yes again and again, and over and over until we get it. The trials will look different but yet they are teaching the same principles and kingdom values.

Perhaps you can relate to this. If so I share this to comfort and exhort us both. We are able to do more than we can think or imagine. Not because we are so great or awesome but simply because God has us right where He wants us to be. We are called mighty oaks, the planting of The LORD.  Growing and maturing and advancing the kingdom is hard work and the struggle indeed is real, but the growth is God ordained. We will always be called mighty oaks, the plantings of The Lord and we will produce a crop of leaves each season. Each year brings with it different trials, each one to mature us and to equip us for advanced kingdom work.  Now we pray, Lord of the harvest, send us out as laborers. May we take what we have learned this season and be blown by the winds of grace, Speaking the truth in love, that we may grow up into the Head which is Christ Jesus.

Dear Lord Jesus, I pray Your body, Christians followers and doers of Your word and believer’s of Your finished work on the Cross embrace growth through change, maturity through seasons, and indeed be a display for Your splendor.  Amen

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you Shalom.

Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette

 

Blog, poetry

Come Away with Me

Psalm 65:4

How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You to dwell in Your courts. We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple.

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From My October Heart Series

How I love this season
My favorite time of Fall
I remember the drawing
And Our Saviors tender call

Come away with Me
For some time to talk
Is this why it is the best
Of nature’s scenic walk

The beautiful sites
And the weathers sounds
Leaves are changing
Brilliant colors abound

Come away He is calling
I hear His tender voice
Then I am reminded
He gives to each of us the choice

So with my choice
Today I choose
In my October heart
My time to use

To seek Him more
Oh I must find
Time with Him
Nourishing sublime

Come away with Me
That welcome pull and draw
But why does it seem I sense it
Strongest during the Fall

Could it be because
He has set eternity in our hearts
With such special times
For us to come apart

A time to cast off
All the old ways
Enriching our roots
So we can stay

In step and in line
With our calls
There is something so marvelous
About the season of Fall

As it is in Winter
Spring Summer or Fall
He is always calling out
Calling to one and to all.

Come away with Me He calls
And one day we’ll understand
These Seasonal changes
That are designed by His hand

Autumn season signage
So beautifully designed
And perfectly orchestrated
From His marvelous mind


©laurette laster

Isn’t the fall a perfect picture of how we must put off dead works or works of trying to be good enough for God? I’m sure many, like me, probably most of us at one time or another have tried to do and be better. Telling ourselves while thinking The Lord would love us more if we were better or good enough. We are created in His image and likeness and therefore already more than enough. We just need to cast off our works so that our lives bring Him glory. I love the season of falling leaves. In the days to come we will talk more about what The Lord taught me about falling leaves and how they become even more beautiful as they die. Casting off the old self nature and learning from our seasons is how we mature. So let us go and grow to the glory of our Father who so lavishly poured out His love for us. Amen

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you Shalom.

Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette

Blog, Feast of Tabernacles, poetry

Sukkoth Blessing

Season of Rejoicing

This is glorious and this is the LORD’s doing. It is wonderful in His sight.

Then The LORD spoke to Moses saying, “Speak to the children of Israel saying; the fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord.” (Leviticus 23:33-34)

At that time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly form the entrance of Hamath to the Brook of Egypt. And on the eighth day they held a sacred assembly, for they observed the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days. (2 Chronicles 7:8-9)

Sukkoth Blessing Day 1

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Fresh breeze blowing with welcoming nod,
Harvest season of Ingathering, fruit of God
Exciting, fresh, yet always profound
Creation groaning, take new ground
Festivals, Mo’edim, rehearsals designed
We’ve celebrated many, yes numerous times

You ordained it a statute at every fall
Preparation and planning until last trump call
When you shall gather Your people, caught up
And bring us all home, where we shall sup
Glorious event with all of heavens guest
Adorned, decorated, it is in Christ, we are dressed

Come sit at My table the banquet prepared
For all who have answered, now have a chair
There are seats for many not yet assigned
So sowing and reaping will require more time


Do not grow weary nor worry I’ve forgotten
Contend for the many they are fruit of My begotten
I will not forget the hard work-labor of love
When at last they are born again from above
When In eternity with Me, forever celebrated
Ingathering and Sukkoth, My love emanated

Poem written by Laurette Laster © 2017

John 15:16
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He
may give to you.

 

Blog

Oh say can you see

OK! I think this is to cute not to share so I am going to share this. I was outside walking the property looking for a place to build our Sukkah. It is time to build the sukkah for the Feast of Tabernacles. Last year we had a great spot but the ground wasn’t exactly level so we need a new location this year.

Let me tell you

bout the squirrel and the tree

What is a patriot?

Patriot

Webster’s dictionary defines it as: one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests.

synonyms: loyalist

So squirrels can show more loyality than……………………………………………………………..

When I was walking back up to my house I glimpsed something red in the top of one of our big live oaks. This tree is 55-60 foot tall.

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Then I stopped and just knew what it was. I ran in the house to grab my camera to zoom in and snap a picture, but I was sure I already knew what it was. Yep, I was right,

We have a squirrel that has been pretty brazen this year. He or she has decided that the coco netting from my hanging baskets was just what was needed to prepare his or her winter home. At first he would dart away when I noticed him but as time went on he would come and shred the netting right in front of me, gathering big bundles then taking off when he couldn’t clasp anymore with his mouth. After a week he even let me snap these pictures.

I watched one day as this little squirrel scampered onto the roof then up in a tree, not the same tree mind you. This little one was trying to divert me away from the nest. I was watching and needed to be sure he wasn’t going into the attic through some unknown access point.

Even when we would knock on the window and yell at him it didn’t keep him away. He would jump down but just wait for another opportunity when I wasn’t looking to come back. He would shred this netting with like a squirrel on a mission. He was passionate and strategic but I thought to myself this has gone on long enough. I come to the conclusion that if I do not deter this behavior I’ll never be able to have hanging baskets on my porch again.  I considered some cayenne pepper, or maybe Tabasco sauce, how about dried mustard?………..and then today I saw this.

He or she is a republican. He or she is a tried and true flag loving, flag waving patriot. Even the squirrels are patriotic on our place. I love it. He is now under the Laster protection plan. He is ok with me. Oh say can you see?

And what was it that spoke to Balaam? Could this be a message that God can move on animals to show us the ways of people are perverse to Him? Just kind of interesting, huh?

Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette