May 262011
What can a Thinking Christian Woman discover by pondering peonies to root out their deeper meanings? Here’s what a budding Master Gardner-in-training had to say:
  • Peonies are extremely hardy, good for passing from one generation to another (spiritual heritage) 
  •  The way to multiply them is to divide them (growth and abundance) 
  • As herbaceous perennials, they require a marked cold spell to bloom (the blessings of enduring hardships) 
  • About the only thing that will do them in is blight, and the only cure is to cut off the affected part and burn it – as my brother says, “better get it right when it comes to blight!” (dealing with sin)
I’m a fourth generation American whose maternal great grandparents emigrated from Sweden and Wales to homestead the sand hills of Nebraska’s North Platte River region. Grandma Hannah Johnson Jones kept house in the middle of a wind-swept section of the prairie that featured buffalo wallows and the ruts left when mail delivery was by Pony Express from Fort Kearney to the post office that later became Hayden School. Grandma’s flowers, especially pansies and peonies, were bright spots against the nearly treeless, grassy tan Nebraska landscape.
Once on a trip to the old home place, Mom dug up some of Grandma’s peonies to transplant back at our home in Indiana (btw – in 1957, the year I was born, the peony became Indiana’s official state flower).

Couple years ago, I dug up two clumps of Mom’s Nebraska-Indiana transplant and brought them home to Southern California, where, unlike Indiana’s highly acidic soil, the soil is predominantly alkaline because of so little rainfall in our semi-arid climate. Naturally, I wondered if the plants would survive.
Well, after about 8 months, I sadly reported to Mom that, by all appearances, the transplants were dead in the ground. I pulled up one, and was intending to pull up the other, but never got around to it. Forgot all about it until one spring day after several months of rain when, lo and behold, there it was, alive and well hidden within a lush growth of weeds!
Ok, so Grandma Jones’ transplanted peony appeared totally dead in the ground but then sprang back to life? What does that mean to the Thinking Christian Woman?
Picture a plot in the Prairie Home Cemetery, east of Holdrege Nebraska, near the farmstead where that plant originated. Many of my pioneering relatives are buried here, including Grandma and Grandpa Jones. Standing over their grave a few years ago, I was struck by the reality that they too are, by all appearances, dead in the ground. And yet, in reality, as they proclaim so confidently on their memorial stone:

“He that hath the Son, hath life” (1 John 5:12)
Peonies and pioneers…from death to life…the reality of resurrection…this is part of the lively hope and power that is the spiritual heritage of every Thinking Christian Woman!

© 2011 Melody K. Anderson
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May 212011

Not surprisingly, the Creator of time executes His will with perfect timing, and if we wait on Him, He will manifest His glory in everyday life.

For example, I was at the Disney Resort in Anaheim last weekend as a guest of one of the over 150 employees of, the popular online software training and tutorial video library where subscribers can learn digital photography, web design, spreadsheets, optimizing smart phones, and much more. The company had generously provided an overnight stay at Disney’s Grand Californian, and park-hopper tickets.

The spirit of love, appreciation, kindness and caring expressed toward its employee family was so strong, that I felt compelled to speak to co-founders Lynda Weinman and husband Bruce Heavin, especially when I saw that our tables were adjacent at the festive banquet they provided. At first I was just going to get up and briefly talk with them, but when I asked the gal who invited me, she suggested waiting. With 300 or more in attendance, many approached them, even as they tried to eat.

After the meal, more wanted to talk with them, and our group wanted to get going, so I didn’t really give up on talking with them, but cheerfully deferred to my friend’s preference. After all, I don’t know everything about everything!

Next morning, as part of the celebration package, we received early entry into Disneyland an hour before it opened. During what Disney calls “magic morning,” hundreds, even thousands are in the park, but not nearly the numbers that flood in when the gates open.

So who do you think gets into line right behind us at Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride? Yep, you guessed it! And as Lynda’s husband Bruce took our picture, I pondered the mathematical probability of coming into such close proximity in a park with so many time/space options.

It was so natural and comfortable to turn around and quietly say what I had wanted to the night before – how the events of these two days had given me a glimpse into the heart of, and how impressed I was with the way they treated their employees, and that I thought God would bless that kind of corporate spirit.

Perfect timing!

God existed before time and created time (2 Timothy 1:9 says, “…according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,”). Our times are in His hands (see Psalm 31:15). Knowing this, as a Thinking Christian Woman, you can trust Him and wait on Him to choreograph the details of your life so that you can have the time of your life during this earthly journey!

© 2011 Melody K. Anderson
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What do you want me to do for you?

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May 182011

If you heard Jesus was going to be at the mall this afternoon, would you go?

What if you go, and he singles you out and asks, “what do you want me to do for you?” What would you say? For the blind man sitting in the dust by the Jericho road, the answer was, “…that I may receive my sight.” (Mark 10:51)

If the Son of God walked up and gave you a blank check, what would you buy? A million dollars? Peace of mind? Healing? Freedom? Love?

What is the most pressing need on your heart/mind at this moment?

Well, Jesus IS going to be at the mall this afternoon, even better, he’s going to be at YOUR house or wherever you are, and he wants to be involved with your most pressing need.

On some level, we probably all believe that God wants to be close to us and be involved in our lives, but how does that really work? We wonder how to have a walking, talking, living, breathing, laughing, crying, dancing, singing, eating, sleeping, thinking, feeling, powerful, productive, real-life, right-now relationship with the Creator of lakes, oceans, the beach, the warmth of the sun, eagles, puppies, the Matterhorn, the Grand Canyon, cool evening breezes after a hot day, the moon and stars, celery, strawberries, music…and you.

That’s what the Thinking Christian Woman wants to discover, everyday. And that’s what this blog is all about.

© 2011 Melody K. Anderson
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