Category Archives: Poetry and Musings

“But a Fleeting Season”

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falling-leaf

 

Wind whipping leaves from trees gone colorless. Brown and crunching under foot. A bite in the air that invigorates the soul. A melancholy that invades the heart. The smell of Autumn woods can’t be described, though its replication has been tried. It’s good the season is fleeting for who can hold up under it? Why are these few weeks, scant though they be, able to bring me to bended knee?

There is sorrow that’s keen. Some regret. There’s a longing to go back in time, to a place I think happier. When then, I longed for now. Along side this is joy unspeakable. Undeserved. Contentment laced with a wild yearning. A longing for the ability to spread imagined wings and fly. To soar but to what and to where I can’t answer. For my wood is where I love. They hold me captive with the soughing of the wind. Trees bend and creak and bare themselves for all to see. Oh could only they speak! Perhaps they can but I’m unable to grasp the enormity of what they whisper. As perfumers try to bottle the scent I fancy being able to capture the season in a magic lamp. Then when I need to feel most alive I could simply rub the lamp and my woods would appear in full Autumn splendor!

Though dear to my heart, maybe my expectations of this scant time of year exceed reality? Because I think of my silent snows. The bursting forth of my Springs. The tastes of my Summers. And I realize I have memories of, and loves for every beautiful season of life. *Vapors all. I owe it all to our Creator. Master Designer of this world and everything on, in, and around it. This globe that contains mystery still. Sights that stun. Things still undiscovered. Who can see it’s wonders without feeling Almighty God? May God’s presence blow through your spirit today…why mindful indeed…

O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth!
*(
Verses from Psalm 8)

*Click to read passages of Scripture

“October Morn”

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Fall_image blog

I look ‘round this October morn,
And marvel at what I see.
I realize that the changing leaves
Remind me of Calvary.

I once was the a tree in summers adorn,
And proud as proud could be,
Until the day I found the Lord and realized,
He bled on me!

The change began at the tips of my leaves,
I cried Your will not mine,
In shame and happy gratitude,
I fell upon my knees.

Then my leaves were set aflame
As blazing mercy came,
They withered up and fell away,
And bare was all my pain.

The warmth of the Son reached my core,
As buds began anew,
my roots now drenched in the Water of Life,
The source for me and for you.

Now even though I look the same,
My soul has been revived,
The One who shed His blood on me
Is alive…PRAISE GOD HE’S ALIVE!

So now there’s nothing but joy for me,
As round Christ’s table I come,
For through the Blood of our Risen Lord,
We now stand strong as one.

I rejoice in the freedom His body bought,
So I could be His own,
I’ve found in Jesus what my soul heart sought,
Oh what love He’s shown!

I grow and change and age in rings,
Reaching toward the Light,
The bread, His body, the cup, His blood,
Restores my failing sight.

Though I long for Heavens shore,
To hear the angels sing,
Here on earth I’m bound for now,
Awaiting our Sovereign King.

Reposting “I am August”

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A tragic event in March of this year left my families lives turned upside down. It’s not my story to tell. Suffice it to say our balance has yet to be regained. If anything mid July saw it thrown off once again. I would say I’ll be happy to see the back side of 2016…but I have to wonder what 2017 will herald in? 

I can’t seem to write. Nothing will come and I feel rather empty. In light of that, forgive me for reposting a piece I wrote around this time last year. I marvel at what has transpired since then.

~I am August~

     August…a peculiar month. The heat of summer has become wearisome. All of the late summer weed monsters are tall, gnarled up masses come to torment. The leaves aren’t changing color but they’re changed, their luster lost and tired looking. Different.  So subtlety the day’s length shortens. The sun doesn’t bother to show its self till late morning, fighting the wet fog hanging in the tree tops. Its heat feels hot, yet not, its intensity waning in these latter weeks. Sporadic storms feed the clammy humidity. The seasonal insects don’t cease their noise. There’s an odd expectancy in August. It closes out summer which passes by as fast as ice cubes melt in sweet tea. The breeze…nonexistent. But the nights…oh the star filled nights! Screech owls join with the Cicadas lending mystery and goose bumps to the dark.
Harvest has been in full bounty for weeks. The beans and corn are put up, the garden is fizzling out. Thirty pound yellow belly watermelons lie in their vines, ready now for spoon and salt. The pumpkins are coming on nicely. Ice cream has lost some of its appeal except to anticipate topping warm, fresh baked apple pie. Acorns are raining down; squirrels are busy storing and stealing them from one another. The woods…alive with scurrying. Hummingbirds are dipping into withered up flowers, departing soon for parts unknown. Goldfinches feasting on full golden sun flowers. Turkeys are roving the woods gobbling. Even the clover is withering, much to the rabbit’s dismay.
For the first time in my years August resonates in my heart. The length of my days are numbered and I no longer appear the same. My thoughts bewilder me; like a hazy mist clouding the simplest decisions. I long for the brace of October winds to chase away the dank, cloying thoughts as leaves from the trees. I need the frost to freeze and destroy the atrocious imaginings seeking to destroy. I wait with eagerness for something…anything to happen, but have no idea what. I covet the slow quiet of snow falling in the woods…so silent the flakes can be heard landing. Then a herd of deer are blowing, pawing the snow as they move through the dusk, translucent in the woods.
My heart clamors, its Christ’s return I wait for! I must gather and store up His teachings and feast on His word. I must trust that His breath of life will sweep through my inmost being. Restore me Lord! I know that the sword of truth and the breast plate of righteousness will keep the insidious away. I will rest in the tranquility of prayer. Be still my soul, wait for His whispering will to land softly in your heart. I will embrace this perplexing season of preparation even as I wither and change. I will praise Him. I’m alive and well and whole. My harvesting tools must be honed. I will draw from the nectar of His Spirit and ready myself for the flight to eternity.

I am August.

“Victory Patch”

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Inner anguish, physical pain,
Pillar crumbled under the strain.
Extenuating circumstance,
Where she is, no happenstance.
So hard to explain.

The venom she spews isn’t poison,
It’s only there to keep her safe,
Locked in a world where she sets the pace.

Years lost, life stolen,
Age a factor,
Not so golden.

Those who surround this soul of thorns,
Often find their feelings torn.
How can love be reaching out,
Let it in! Hearts plead and shout.

I’m obsessed with time now that I’m fifty something. I think we can all agree that it is a fleeting and precious commodity. It can be fickle too. We want it to pass quickly only when we or someone we love is going through something awful. We catch ourselves thinking I wish some time would go by so this would be behind us. Before we know it, it has. The thing from which we begged release has turned into the past. A new scar or a badge of triumph or both.

Alcoholism and co-dependency run in my family. Battling my own addictions is the only time I remember living in just one moment at a time. I couldn’t think beyond the second I was living in. To do so meant I was looking forward to a life with out my poison. Who was I with out it? What do I do now with out it? I’d stand before my soul mirror and see the reflection that Christ shone back at me. I saw an empty shell staring back. Me. Shame and remorse flooding every waking second. I remember wishing someone could see inside my heart. Could see and even feel what was happening to me. It would be a few years after the physical addictions faded before I realized something. I’d become addicted to the commiseration of caring people. I was literally starved for affirmation and acceptance. I couldn’t understand why people couldn’t see that. I saw rejection where there was none…it’s what I did. Then I’d retreat, withdraw and feel like giving up. Now thank goodness I realize God is the only one I have to please. That is the relationship I must seek and strive to maintain, He’s the only one worthy of such dedication. God loves me! He adopted ME!  I regret the time I’ve spent on relationships that were hard and impossible. I ache for the time I spent away from those that were easy and meaningful.

Looking back on that time I truly do see just one set of footprints. I wasn’t alone. When I cried, “dear Jesus come and heal my broken spirit!” He did. Oh the glory of being able to look back now from this side of the mess that was my life! I can never thank Him enough. Life is a journey. We each have to walk through it and make decisions that will determine our future. It’s a process of learning and growing. We can’t look back, only forward. Only forward! My past is just that. There is more for me to accomplish. God promises forgiveness through Jesus Christ, but as I’ve learned, there is fall out from my poor choices. Consequence’s I live. Some I bear willingly, others are excruciating. I want so desperately to have a “do-over” so I can fix it. The weight of being responsible, heavy. I’ve given the Lord an account of my failures. I prayerfully seek guidance now in trying to steer from danger what was in my wake back then.

The only thing I know for sure is that operating in the will of God will see me to the end of my mahalak. Are you or a loved one going through trials? Physical, spiritual, mental…the list does go on doesn’t it? The first step is always the hardest. If it’s you, find someone you trust today. A friend or family member someone who loves you with out fail. Tell them your story. Let them in and let them help. It truly is not possible for people to know your heart if you can’t share it. I know it’s hard. If it’s not you, but someone you love who’s struggling let them know you’re around. Let them know you’ll listen with out judgment. Don’t be hurt if they send you packing. They’ve heard you. They’re just not ready to listen to you.

God loves you. He sees us all. Let Him guide those who attempt to reach out. Let Him remove the heart barricades of those addicted. Let Him cover their scars, like mine, with patches of victory!

Victory in Jesus
( vs 2 and chorus of Hymn)

I heard about His healing, of his cleansing pow’r revealing,
How He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see;
And then I cried dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit,”
And somehow Jesus came and bro’t to me the victory!

Oh victory in Jesus, my Savior, forever,
He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him, and all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory beneath His cleansing flood.

E. M. Bartlett

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Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,  in the middle of its street.”
Revelation 22 (read more…)

Time Heals All Wounds?”

I don’t buy it.

The passage of time doesn’t heal, it simply makes pain easier to bear, leaving scar tissue in it’s wake. Periodically a façade of relief, a fine, thin layer of peace tries to cover over the worst of it. But the damage remains. It’s ever present. There will always be times when “something” comes along to pierce that fragile covering.

In my experience people never truly get over the death of a loved one. You learn only to live life with out whom you love. The covering of a grief wound can be ripped away with a memory. Add to that, if applicable, the agony of things left unsaid or undone that may find the bereaved left writhing in a cesspool of guilt. It seems to happen more often than not.

Grief also comes in the form of living in the fall out of poor decisions. It never heals either. Do we ever stop blaming ourselves when a poor choice we’ve made directly affects one dear to us? Does the raw nagging ever cease? Is there not a way to cut out the guilt and the pain and cauterize their edges? Would the destroyed nerve endings make it stop or would it dehumanize?

No matter the prayers, no matter the peace that surpasses all understanding, sometimes pain is just part of being alive. Why? Because heart wounds are comprised of fallible humanity. Loved ones that fill our thoughts, our moments, our beings. My wounds fester when I see my one of them struggle with faith issues. Sometimes because of their own stubbornness and I want to scream, “change your life!!” It’s really so simple. It’s really so hard. Sometimes the scar covering is slowly, excruciatingly peeled back when I know their struggle is the result of my past mistakes. Is the wound then caused by my own wishful thinking? My shame? My own wants and desires? My own aggravation because I can’t change other people? Or is it more selfish…like seeking absolution from the part I may have played in it? A little of all I’d say.

Praise be to Jesus who came to set us free from the guilt and shame of our sin. It’s ours for the asking! He does absolve us! That is the simple part. The hard part, and it is so hard, is to accept responsibility for our mistakes. Living with the scars, the consequences that our poor choices set into motion. But even that, no, in spite of that, God can and will use us for His glory. I realize all I can do is tell people what Jesus has done for me…I can testify only for how He’s changed me. I can share my story. I really can’t make others believe. Neither can you. At the end of the day we all have to make the choice to either believe and accept or not.

Now I see! The time will eventually come that will heal not only our wounds but our scars. Just not in this brief span we’re granted on earth. Only when we’re walking on the banks of the River of Life and drinking from His fountain will we find complete and healing rest.

Listen….All My Fountains

“Denominational Musing…”

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Nothing brings a smile to my heart or peace to my mind faster than birdsong at daybreak. It echoes through this beautiful valley we live in. The lush green of the surrounding forest is home to flocks of the fine feathered. Ethereal thoughts swirl. I fancy each tree is claimed by birds of a feather. I can envision pictures from a child’s book of cozy little tree-homes with birds snuggled in. As dawn pushes through the night the winged creatures waken, stretch and begin singing good morning. As you know, birds do in fact flock together. We can expand this thought to all of the animal/mammal kingdom. Herds, schools, pods, prides, gaggles…you get the idea.

And then there are humans. Human Christians to be specific.

We can be a perplexing lot can’t we? We profess to believe in Jesus Christ. We believe in the miraculous birth. We believe He willingly gave His life for the remission of our sins and we believe in His resurrection. We believe in these essential things yet we mysteriously segregate ourselves from one another. We split off into groups based on ethnicity, and…denominations. Good ole, ages old Denominations. Defined as, “a group having a distinctive interpretation of a religious faith and usually its own organization.” Oddly enough I see nothing of unity in it’s definition. How can unity be present when each group has it’s own set of beliefs, prejudices and hierarchy?How are current day denominations any different from what the Sadducees and the Pharisees practiced millenniums ago? These folks were the religious leaders back when Jesus came on the scene causing this unity ruckus. ¹The Sadducees said that there was no resurrection, no angels and no spirits. But the Pharisees acknowledged them all. I dare say we’re no different now. Each group has it’s own take on the Bible and the issues at hand. And wow, how some of the issues have changed! The fact remains that we’ve allowed the non-essentials to override the essentials. We’ve created, allowed and adhered to divisive organized religion.

²God created animals, then created mankind in His own image to rule over the animals. Well, we know that sin entered the world not long after the creation. We know that as time wore on people believed what they wanted. Sound familiar? Fast forward to the wandering Israelite’s. Seems to me the distinction was between God’s chosen and the pagan. Believers and non-believers. Fast forward to New Testament times and we have all manner of man made laws and sects. Oddly enough what stands out in my mind is Jew and Gentile. Believers and non-believers. Enter Jesus. Born to bring unity and Salvation. Willingly shedding His blood to save all who believe and call Him Lord. He did not stay in the tomb, He went back to His Father, our Father. He left His disciples with the Holy Spirit Counselor and instructions to go share the good news with everyone!

The gospel message would be shared, ³first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. There simply is no Scriptural evidence that we’re to divide into denominations, to separate ourselves in such a manner. There are little towns all over the country inundated with church houses boasting small congregations. They struggle financially. They struggle with manpower yet hang on to “their” church as if God can be contained in buildings! As if our salvation hinges on any doctrine other than His Word. Imagine if the walls of denomination crumbled so we could all join forces as unified Christians! Imagine the impact it would have on our communities if the un-churched witnessed a mass merging of different denominations. A merging of the Church! I ponder having Worship Houses every x-amount of miles as needed demographically (we could let the contractors choose the carpet.) Houses filled with Christians that have had their fill of what’s happening in the world today. Christians that believe in the Word of God and adhere to it all, not just bits and pieces. Christians, unified by Christ, gathering to worship. Imagine it! ­ªScripture tells us there is one God, one faith and one baptism. When we accept Christ into our hearts as Lord and Savior we become the ChurchHis church! To my way of thinking we have only two denominations. Believers who’ve been saved by accepting Jesus, and non-believers who’ve chosen to reject the gospel message.

Like birds of a feather Christian human beings truly need to flock together. Let’s set aside doctrinal differences. Let’s set aside ethnic differences. Let’s join forces as Christ intended, lets share and live the good news gospel! Oh it is my prayer that people will let go of petty, earthly, man made ideals and move to unite!

I don’t see Heaven split into different denominations…do you?

“Repent My Soul”

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Oh that I could stop looking ’round,
And only look up, away from the crowd.
Stop looking for answers on the outside,
And only look in, where Jesus abides.

Why do I care what others may think?
Why do I revert in merely a blink?
How can I claim the Spirit lives in,
When daily it seems, I give in to sin?

Opportunity to share Christ’s redemption,
Flees from my thoughts when I get attention.

We say to ourselves how could Peter deny,
His life was at stake, what excuse have I?
The truth of the matter, my actions lie.
(Luke 22:54-62)

I completely relate, and thank Paul for saying,
Words that echo as I’m praying,
He’d do the things he didn’t want,
The things he should, a constant taunt.
(Romans 7:15-25)

Just when I thought I was living in truth,
Insidious pride my power, my proof.
It’s clear now who I thought had the power,
Consumed with appearance while being devoured.

Fraudulent! screams my deepest heart,
You’re not even sure what you really want!
How can you think Christ really resides,
With thoughts like yours deep inside?

He knows my darkest, shameful thoughts,
The ones that count as evil dross.
I want them gone, I want them clean!
“No free will!”  my soul doth scream.

Sin separates me from the One I love,
How on this soil, can land the Dove?
How it’s wings must ready and fly,
When from Him, I take my eye.

Lord let me live unfettered and pure,
Calling Your name when I feel unsure.
Teach me how to flee from failure,
The power of You, in me, dear Savior.

Teach me Lord in that moment of weakness,
To wage war, and win, don’t leave me speechless.
Help me do good though evil prowls near,
Teach me to place in Your hands all fear.

Oh that I not be like one that John wrote,
Neither hot nor cold, nor spewed from Your mouth!
Lord let my heart forget how to waver,
Heaven, Lord, I want to savor.
(Revelation 3:15-16)

Thank You for your patience Lord,
Now onward I go, moving forward.
In You I know my hope is found,
My rock my redeemer, my solid ground.
(Psalm 19:13-14)