In honor of my title I am doing something different this week and am first featuring some of our CAST Team's great shops then my post will follow.

Peace angel by Andreatdesigns

Maple cutting board by RusticLogDecor

Col 3:12-14 by angelasheartwork

(When we purchased our 40 acres we were quite surprised to find on the property this old "camp" containing a couple bunk beds and a propane stove. It appeared to have been used up to 2009. Trust me it will not be used for camping again though it makes a good shed!)

I often have mentioned my move from northwest suburbs of Chicago to the northlands of Minnesota. I always thought that Minnesotans & Illinoisans were very similar in our lifestyles and values. (That does seem true for the Minneapolis/St. Paul area compared to Chicagoland.) But… there are quite a few differences with the northlands. The suburbs where I was from you did not have dandelions on your lawn, a truck in your driveway overnight, kept the lawn a certain height and you put your garbage out only after dark for early morning pick up the next day (do you think we pretended not to have garbage?). Here the dandelion could be classified as the town flower, trucks are not only on the driveway but also the lawn and garbage goes out whenever convenient.

Another thing I notice is that back home in the ‘burbs of Chicago cars shine. They are always kept clean… no one could write anything on those vehicles (except in the midst of a winter storm). Here in the northlands there seems to be a certain satisfaction in their dirt. No matter what the economic level it seems that everyone has a “camp” or their family has a shared camp. Camp could be anything from a beautiful home on a lake, a trailer on the back 40, or a shack in the woods. No one seems to brag about the value or size of their camp but they do seem to have an unspoken pride in the dirt on the vehicle. If your camp is deep in the woods only accessible by gravel and dirt roads you return pretty caked on with dust or mud, depending on the season. When your vehicle sits in the parking lot at work, “you betcha” everyone knows you were at camp over the weekend. “That there’d be a good weekend” by the northland standards. Where I was from, you’d have hit the car wash prior to entering your garage let alone drive to work that way.

If you were to categorize these people by their differences you may be judgmental of either group but that is not how God sees them. He is not looking at their clean or dirty vehicles nor the height of their grass or the weeds on their lawns. He sees into their hearts. And one constant I have seen no matter what the cultural differences, true Christians are all one. We are one in the body of Christ. Sisters and brothers in Him.

Our cultures at times may collide but our hearts are one. So no matter where we live, who we are with, when we are with those who love Christ we are a part of each other. Etsy has been an incredible example of that. Our CAST Team is from many countries across the globe and yet we are one in Christ!

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity
Col 3:14

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
1 Peter 1:22

by Phyllis Ducey

Comments (8)

On October 11, 2010 at 7:57 AM , Christie Cottage said...

I had to laugh about the dirt on the vehicle. When I went to buy a car, I told the salesman I wanted a dirt collored car. LOL He said oh, you really don't. The person that rode over there with me said, "Oh she does!"

In Oklahoma, there's lots of trucks and almost all of them have a well stocked gun rack! LOL

GOD see our hearts. HE knows them.
HE loves us all!

Have a blessed day!

On October 11, 2010 at 9:42 AM , Sue Runyon said...

Great post as always, Phyllis. Thanks so much.

I have been blessed to live in many places in my life and they all have their own local culture, but we've always found a ready body of believers to welcome us as family.

On October 11, 2010 at 1:24 PM , MYSAVIOR said...

I have really only lived in one area of the country all of my life. I do remember when newly married, my husband and I went to visit his mother in Minnesota. Honestly,being the only woman in church with dark brown hair, even my mannerisms were different! lol

Knowing that we are all one in Christ, is a comfort.


On October 11, 2010 at 1:38 PM , ZudaGay said...

Wonderful post, Phyllis! I love that we are all different although it does make it a bit of a challenge at times doesn't it. But, oh how boring it would be if we were all exactly the same the world over. Romans 15:7 popped into my head... "Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you in order to bring praise to God." :)

On October 11, 2010 at 3:10 PM , Graceful Moments said...

Phyllis, I love your posts! You are such a gifted writer! I can relate to this post, having moved from the suburbs of Atlanta to rural NW Georgia. Your post made me think of 1 Corinthians 12:12-30 where Paul speaks of the body of Christ and how all the parts must work together as a whole, even though each is different. I've been missing my CAST sisters lately. I guess I need to pop my head in the Etsy thread from time to time to keep up with everyone. Love & blessings, Vicki ♥

On October 11, 2010 at 4:03 PM , Rachel said...

Hi! I am new to CAST and just stopped by to see what is going on. Phyllis, what suburb are you from? I am living in Schaumburg right now. I am from Indiana and there are definitely some differences! :)

Rachel Kerr

On October 11, 2010 at 6:05 PM , sweetybird09 said...

I have live in the same area my whole life so have not really experienced living where things are different, but I have visited in the midwest and did see the many cars on the lawn as you

Hey I have a great tip for a free car wash, when it rains (in San Diego that is not a lot) and I have been driving in it, I have a towel in the garage and when I pull the car in I wipe off the rain water, Viola a free car wash!

Thanks for the post Phyllis!

On October 13, 2010 at 2:00 PM , Jan said...

Thanks once again Phyllis! I so love reading your posts. It is so true that we forget how much our culture forms our thoughts and opinions. Our job is to align ourselves with God's thoughts.
I have the urge to dust now!!