Thursday, October 15, 2020
Thursday, October 1, 2020
Gorgeously brilliant, a true, bright hue,
a one-of-a-kind, a marvelous view.
And there I see it beam in the sun,
the perfect orange leaf unlike any one.
a dainty orange tree, a new life to bring.
And there I trace it, sent through the sky,
the free swirling seed that came from up high.
an emblem of change, the best of them all.
And there I catch it, crisp in the air,
the Maple Tree’s Gift that none can compare!
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
THE ORANGE LEAF
Who is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of every creature:
For by him were all things created,
that are in heaven, and are in earth,
visible and invisible,
whether they be thrones, or dominions or
principalities, or powers:
all things were created by him, and for him.
that in him should all fullness dwell;
And, having made peace through the blood
of his cross, by him to reconcile
all things unto himself;
by him, I say,
whether they be things in earth,
or things in heaven.
Colossians 1: 19-20
to them gave he power to become
the sons of God, even to them that
believe on his name:
Which were born, not of blood,
nor of the will of the flesh,
nor of the will of man,
but of God.
Matthew 25: 31-32
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
THE FRUIT OF THE TREE
when the apple trees are bearing
sweet fruit that’s worth a mile-long hike,
and the afternoon for sharing.
We will know the apples that we seek
by the goodness they are yielding,
by the bounty they have rich in store,
and the fragrance all so pleasing.
and are pleasant not for eyeing,
offer branches that are mostly bare,
and some look as though they’re dying!
and our baskets we’ll be filling;
the love of Jesus in our hearts
will, with grace, be over-spilling.
The Fruit of the Tree
Autumn is underway here in the woods with its distinct fragrances—apples, rain, cool mornings, frequent cups of coffee and tea and roasting from the oven, which sat mostly dormant during the hot summer months. God, the Creator of seasons, is in control. He gives us what’s next. That is kind of tough to think of, especially this year when every week is a new turn. But the truth is, God is in control. He has a time table and vegetation itself is a clock.
What fragrances does God love?
Then took Mary a pound of ointment
of spikenard, very costly,
and anointed the feet of Jesus,
and wiped his feet with her hair:
and the house was filled with the
odour of the ointment.
And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Genesis 8: 20-22
and boast themselves in the multitude
of their riches; None of them can by
any means redeem his brother,
nor give to God a ransom for him:
(For the redemption of their soul is precious,
and it ceaseth for ever:) That he should
still live for ever, and not see corruption.
Psalm 49: 6-9
And I gave her space to repent
of her fornication; and she repented not.
R idiculous joy.
A bundant peace.
G rand patience.
R eal kindness.
A luring goodness.
N on-stop faithfulness.
C ompassionate gentleness.
E ven-keel self-control.
for we know not what we should pray for
as we ought: but the Spirit itself
maketh intercession for us with groanings
which cannot be uttered.
And he that searcheth the hearts
knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit,
because he maketh intercession for the saints
according to the will of God.
Even so every good tree
bringeth forth good fruit;
but a corrupt tree
bringeth forth evil fruit.
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
The September winds are kicking up,
and the poplars, all so grandy,
along the road are saying, “Turn!
Your way is not too dandy!”
Their silvery leaves are telling me,
as the sun falls in, and merry,
that the way I go is not that good,
and I’d best let someone carry—
Carry me to where the birches dance,
and the ferns, on a wind a-borning,
do swirl and twirl, as I listen well,
to their end-of-summer warning—
Warning of the way that I think’s right,
which is not, to be contrary,
for there are commandments to obey,
and they’re anything but airy!
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man,
but the end thereof are the ways of death.
The September winds are kicking up. A yellow hue is appearing on the trees and some leaves are already orange and red. Apples have fallen on the ground. Autumn has begun, here in my neck of the woods.
And with the changing winds, I have exciting news: the book I had self-printed at a local print shop in 2014 is now being self-published and available worldwide! When I had 50 copies of Seasons Of Love: Woodland Poems of God’s Love printed, I thought I was self-publishing and gave the books away as gifts to celebrate my 50th birthday. Now, and with additions, it is truly self-published and available to more readers, like you! I hope you are encouraged by this poetry collection which is accompanied with colorful paintings and enclosed in a matte finish cover. If you purchase my book, I want to say Thank You! And that goes for your prayerful support as well, and time writing a kind review.
Have you noticed how the wind moves the ferns and branches in the woods? Sometimes, a whole bunch of trees sway from the wind and other times, one lone fern has caught a windy swirl while other ferns around it are motionless. It looks as if it’s waving.
The Word of God is the standard by which to live. The Word of our Creator is the authority by which all creation is measured. Creation can remind us of warnings. Just because something feels right doesn’t mean it is.
Know ye not,
that to whom ye yield
yourselves servants to obey,
his servants ye are to whom ye obey;
whether of sin unto death,
or of obedience unto righteousness?
But God be thanked, that ye were the
servants of sin, but ye have obeyed
from the heart that form of doctrine which
was delivered you. Being then made free
from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
What we obey is what we are a servant to. The passage from Romans explains that a person can be a servant of sin which leads to death or a servant of obedience which leads to righteousness. It seems the opposite of obedience is sin. The devil is fighting against the winds of obedience that kick up. Don’t be listening to him.
When we read about the prodigal son in Luke 15, we learn of poor choices and reckless attitude, squandered inheritance and wild living. We are aware of wayward direction. It seemed right at the time. But one day, the prodigal son came to his senses and returned to his loving, patient father.
Know ye not that the unrighteous
shall not inherit the kingdom of God?
Be not deceived:
neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,
nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards,
nor revilers, nor extortioners,
shall inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you: But ye are washed,
but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified
in the name of the Lord Jesus,
and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Washed. Sanctified. Justified. These are the wonderful words for the righteous, for those who experience God’s mercy, for children of God, for people who made a u-turn. Why did they make a u-turn?
Then he saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
The Son of God willingly went to the cross for us because He loves us and was obedient to His Father, praying, “Thy will be done.” Our faith in God’s provided perfect Lamb, Jesus Christ, equals being washed, sanctified and justified. People make u-turns because of faith. Those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life live forever. Live to be there!
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
All unrighteousness is forgiven. Only Jesus is able to make this amazing thing happen! No one else can forgive any sin. That’s because Jesus Christ bore all sin on the cross. No one else bore sin. He alone is faithful. This verse rings true only IF we confess our sins. To do that, we must own up to our sin. It is realizing personal efforts towards justification fall short. It’s acknowledging self-centered seemingly right ideas and traditions not relying on Christ lead to death.
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Because of a grateful heart for Jesus, we can strive to obey commands and go and sin no more. Because of love for what Jesus did for us, we can try to pray ‘Thy will be done.’ Because of Jesus, we can be patient and live under grace.
And I will pray the Father,
and he shall give you another Comforter,
that he may abide with you for ever;
Even the Spirit of truth;
whom the world cannot receive,
because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him:
but ye know him;
for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
It’s good to know God’s mercies are new every morning. He wants a relationship with us and that is very encouraging. God is the God of second chances. God created to have a relationship.
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen.
Matthew 6: 9-13
...being confident of this,
that he who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until
the day of Christ Jesus.
There must be glorious forests in Heaven waiting for us to walk among them. May forest winds guide you to them in your obedient patience.
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Raise voices like the shrilling crickets make
in August, when they start to stridulate.
In summer heat, and for our season's sake,
match all the buzz cicadas resonate.
Crash cymbals through dark troubles, quick and sharp.
With louder tymbals, drum out jubilee.
Beat sistrums with an angel's ringing harp
and tap with Heaven's rhythmic tympani.
But, I know every tiny abdomen
will, one day, be a chamber passed away.
Yet, for my merry soul, a glad 'amen'
sings out the promise of eternal's day.
So long as Christ lets voices amplify.
So long as hearts are raised to glorify.
And David and all the house of Israel
played before the LORD on all manner
of instruments made of fir wood, even
on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels,
and on cornets, and on cymbals.
2 Samuel 6:5
Raise a voice in thankful praise.
Is prayer a list of requests only? Is there a list of praises to offer in prayer as well? Requests and praises go together much like the sounds of crickets and cicadas in the hot summer month of August.
And Hannah prayed, and said,
My heart rejoiceth in the LORD,
mine horn is exalted in the LORD:
my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies;
because I rejoice in thy salvation.
There is none holy as the LORD:
for there is none beside thee:
neither is there any rock like our God.
1 Samuel 2:1-2
Hannah lifted praises to the one and only God. We, too, rejoice in God’s salvation. We know God seeks a personal relationship with us, His creation. He is not one to make us have a relationship with Him but wants us to come to Him of our own accord.
Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.
1 Samuel 2:3-4
As Hannah continued her prayer, she recognized that God doesn’t like pride. (‘Pride’ is not a good word. The word “pleased’, I think, is better.) Words of pride come from a heart that is not as good as it could be. Humility over selfish pride is the better choice. Hannah knew our actions are weighed by God. Wouldn’t the Creator be the one to measure what He created? Hannah knew that someone’s boasting of their own mightiness can be turned around for the one who had stumbled but trusted God.
They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.
1 Samuel 2:5
Hannah was a prayer warrior. Back in chapter one of First Samuel, we read how she, in bitterness of soul, prayed and made a vow to God. When a vow to God is made, you better be sure to keep it! Hannah did. God granted her prayer request to be able to have a baby and she gave her baby up as she vowed she would. Like Hannah, we know God can grant our requests. He can turn things around from impossible to possible. Those who were full could end up hiring themselves out in order to eat and those who were hungry could end up full. Hannah, once barren, went on to give birth to more children while Peninnah, the other wife with many children and who had provoked Hannah, grew feeble. God can turn things topsy-turvy because of a prayer request.
The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
1 Samuel 2:6-7
Hannah continued her prayer, making acknowledgments gained only by realizing God is all-powerful. She knew first-hand as we can know today. We sense God’s presence near as He dwells within us. God, the Holy Spirit, enables us to understand what we didn’t understand before. We can even glimpse an understanding of cosmic mighty power produced by a single spoken command— “Let there be light!”
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.
1 Samuel 2:8-9
Hannah continues her prayer. It made me think of Job. Job made these same kind of realizations. God doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We gain knowledge and wisdom in our time. It’s up to us in our generation to seek and find, to draw near, to believe, and to become children of God.
Hannah’s prayer ends with this declaring verse:
The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.
1 Samuel 2:10
The boy God gave Hannah would become Samuel who would anoint David as king. When I first read verse 10, I thought of Jesus Christ, the King of kings and God’s anointed. I think we are blessed in our generation to be able to see God’s Word across time. Our almighty Creator will judge the earth. Best be covered by the blood of the Lamb.
Hannah prayed both earnest requests and thankful praises. We can learn a lot from this smart, prayerful lady.
The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
It’s the season of drawn-out summer days here in my neck of the woods. Let chirping crickets and buzzing cicadas remind you to make your requests known and to pray thankful praises for what God has done. He is able to turn sorrow into joy through having patience.