Saturday, July 22, 2017

Midsummer Meditation

"Delight yourself also in the Lord,
and He will give you the desires and secret
petitions of your heart."
Psalm 37:4

Close To My Heart
Pino Daeni

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and 
renew a right, preserving and steadfast spirit within me.
Cast me not away from Your presence and take not
Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
and uphold me with a willing spirit."
Psalm 51:10-12

Summer Wildflowers in Oklahoma

"But I will sing of Your mighty strength and power;
yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy and loving-kindness
in the morning; for You have been to me a defense,
a fortress and a high tower, and a refuge
in the day of my distress.
Unto You, O my Strength, I will sing praises;
for God is my Defense, my Fortress, and High Tower,
the God Who shows me mercy and steadfast love."
Psalm 59:16-17

Return of Summer
Tucker Smith

"O God, You are my God, earnestly will I seek You;
my inner self thirsts for You, my flesh longs and is
faint for You, in a dry and weary land where 
there is no water.
So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary
to see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your loving-kindness is better than life,
my lips shall praise You.
So I will bless You while I live; I will
lift up my hands in Your name."
Psalm 63:1-4

Mesa Walk
Steve Henderson

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sweet Williams July 1917

"There is nothing new under the sun," says the proverb. I think
the meaning is that there are just so many truths or laws of life,
and no matter how far we may think we have advanced, we
cannot get beyond those laws. However complex a structure
we build a living, we must come back to those truths, and so
we find we have traveled in a circle."
Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Man of the Place brought me
 a bouquet of wildflowers this morning.
It has been a habit of his for years. 
He never brings me cultivated flowers,
but always the wild blossoms of field and woodland, 
and I think them much more beautiful.

In my bouquet this morning was a purple flag. Do you
remember gathering them down on the flats and in the
creek bottoms when you were a barefoot child?

Wild Purple Flag 

There was one marshy corner of the pasture down by
the creek where the grass grew lush and green:
where the cows loved to feed and could always be found
when it was time to drive them up at night.

All through the tall grass were scattered purple and white
flag blossoms, and I have stood in that peaceful grassland corner,
with the red cow and the spotted cow and the roan,
taking their good-night mouthfuls of the sweet grass,
and watched the sun setting behind the hilltops and loved
the purple flags and the rippling brook and wondered at the
beauty of the world while I wriggled my toes down
into the soft grass.

The wild Sweet Williams in my bouquet brought a far
different picture to my mind. A window had been broken in
the schoolhouse at the country crossroads, and the pieces of glass
lay scattered where they had fallen.

Several little girls going to school for their first term had picked
handfuls of Sweet Williams and were gathered near the window.
Someone discovered that the blossoms could be pulled from
the stem and by, wetting their faces, could be stuck to the
pieces of glass in whatever fashion they were arranged.
They dried on the glass and would stay that way for hours
and, looked at through the glass, were very pretty.

Wild Sweet William

I was one of those little girls, and though I have forgotten
what it was I tried to learn out of a book that summer, I never have
forgotten the beautiful wreaths and stars and other figures we made
on the glass with the Sweet Williams. The delicate fragrance of
their blossoms this morning made me feel like a little girl again.

The little white daises with their hearts of gold grew thickly
along the path where we walked to Sunday school. 
Father and sister and I use to walk
 the two and a half miles every Sunday morning.
The horses had worked hard all the week 
and must rest this one day
and Mother would rather stay at home with baby brother, so,
with Father and sister, Mary I walked to the church through
the beauties of the sunny spring Sundays.
I have forgotten what I was taught on those days also.
I was only a little girl, you know.  But I can still plainly see the
grass and the trees and the path winding ahead, flecked with
sunshine and shadow and the beautiful golden-hearted daisies
scattered all along the way.

Wild Meadow Daisies

Ah well! That was years ago, and there have been 
 many changes since then that it would seem 
such simple things should be forgotten;
but at the long last, I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet,
simple things of life which are the real ones after all.
We heap up around us things that we do not need 
 as the crow makes piles of glittering pebbles.
 We gabble words like parrots
until we lose sense of their meaning;
 we chase after this new idea and that;
we take an old thought and dress it out
 in many words that the thought itself
 is lost in its clothing,
 like a slim woman in a barrel skirt,
and then we exclaim,
 "Lo, the wonderful new thought I have found!"

I believe we would be happier to have a personal revolution
in our individual lives and go back to simpler living and more
direct thinking. It is the simple things of life that make
living worthwhile, the sweet fundamental things such as
love and duty, work and rest, and living close to nature.
There are no hot house blossoms that can compare in
beauty and fragrance with my bouquet of wildflowers.

Wildflower Meadow

"Sweet Williams"
July 1917
By Laura Ingalls Wilder
From the book, "Little House in the Ozarks"
A Laura Ingalls Wilder Sampler
The Rediscovered Writings
Edited by Stephen W. Hines
Guideposts Edition

Come My Soul Thou Must Be Waking

Come, my soul, thou must be waking;
Now is breaking O'er the earth another day:
Come to Him who made this splendor;
See thou render All thy feeble powers can pay.

Sea of Galilee

Thou, too, hail the light returning; Ready burning
Be the incense of thy powers; For the night is safely ended,
God hath tended With His care thy helpless hours.

Pray that He may prosper ever Each endeavor,

When thine aim is good and true; but that
He may ever thwart thee, And convert thee,
When thou evil wouldst pursue.

Only God's free gifts abuse not, Light refuse not,
But His Spirit's voice obey; Thou with
Him shalt dwell, beholding Light enfolding
All things in the unclouded day.

Looking down at the Sea of Galilee
Mount of the Beatitudes, Israel

"Come My Soul Must Be Waking"
F.R.L. von Canitz 
Translated by Reverend Henry J. Buckoll

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Keep On Watching Notzrim

Notzrim is a Hebrew word which means, "watchmen".
Isaiah 62:6 attests, "I have set watchmen upon your walls,
O Jerusalem, who will never hold their peace day or night..."

Morning Star
By Donna Pomponio

"How beautiful upon the mountains are
the feet of him who brings good tidings,
who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good,
who publishes salvation, who says to Zion,
Your God reigns!

Hark, your watchmen lift up their voices;
together they sing for joy; for they shall see
eye to eye the return of the Lord to Zion."
Isaiah 52:7-8

Mount of Olives
Reuven Rubin

On the hilltops, on the mountains,
There are gleams of golden light,
For the promised morn is dawning,
And its star is growing bright.

Keep on watching, O ye faithful
For the time is drawing nigh
We shall see the King of glory
With His angels, by and by.

O the promised morn is dawning,
When the ransomed of the King
Shall return and come to Zion,
And His praise forever sing.

Hallelujah! what a moment
When the dead in Christ shall rise,
And the trumpet of the ages
Sound in triumph from the skies!

Keep on watching, be not weary,
For the Lord will surely come;
He has said, and we believe it,
He will take His people home.

"Keep On Watching"
Lyrics by Fanny Crosby
Music by Victor H. Benke

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Heart of Hope

"And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect?
My hope and expectation are in You."
Psalm 39:7

The Hand of God
 By Korean artist Yongsung Kim

"Either one believes in the immortality of the soul
or one does not. There is no middle ground here.
If we are immortal...if the soul-human personality-
does not perish, but survives, lives on...
why care so much for this house of clay 
in which it lives, this organism of silicon
and phosphorus and lime and carbon
and iron and stuff of the earth?
The Christian has hope-
not in himself, but in God.
Time was when Christians were more aware of
this thing called Hope.
Then they were "marching onward to Zion",
the beautiful city of God."
They were "bound for the promised land..."
joyfully anticipating the meeting "in the
sweet bye and bye."
This hope gave courage to our grandparents.
It dried their tears.
It made their hearts sing."

An excerpt from the sermon,
"Go Down Death"
 By Reverend Peter Marshall Sr.
Twice-elected Chaplain
 of the United States Senate

Monday, July 17, 2017

Nobody's Friend

"For out of the fullness of the heart,
the mouth speaks."
Matthew 12:34

"A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie told
a thousand times becomes the truth."
Nazi Minister of Propaganda
Joseph Goebbels

My name is Gossip.  I have no respect for justice.

I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives.

I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age.

The more I am quoted the more I am believed.

My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves
against me because I have no name and no face.

Even innocent children are not spared from
the ravishing of idle gossip

To track me down is impossible. The harder you try,
the more elusive I become.

I am nobody's friend.

Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same.

I topple governments and wreck marriages.

I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights,
heartache and indigestion.

I make innocent people cry in their pillows.

Even my name hisses. I am called Gossip. 
 I make headlines and headaches.

Before you repeat a story, ask yourself:
Is it true?  Is it harmless? Is it necessary?

If it isn't, don't repeat it.

Whipped into a frenzy of fear and uncertainty by the
gossip passed on to them primarily through the mainstream media,
Americans angrily protest against President Donald Trump.

"The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth 
good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse
flings forth evil things. 
But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give
an account for ever idle word they speak.
For by your words you will be justified and acquitted,
and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced."
Matthew 12:35-37

"Nobody's Friend"
Author Unknown
From the booklet, "Dear Abby's "Keepers"
By Abigail Van Buren

Sunday, July 16, 2017

What I Live For

"I have strength for all things in
Christ Who empowers me; I am
self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency."
Philippians 4:13

David Bowman

I live for those who love me,
Whose hearts are kind and true;
For the Heaven that smiles above me,
And awaits my spirit too;

For all the human ties that bind me,
For the task by God assigned me,
For the bright hopes yet to find me,
And the good that I can do.

I live to learn their story
Who suffered for my sake;
To emulate their glory,
And follow in their wake;
Bards, patriots, martyrs, sages,
The heroic of the ages,
Whose deeds crowd History's pages,
And Time's great volume make.

The Crucified Christ
Peter Paul Reubens
(17th Century)

I live to hold communion
With all that is divine,
To feel there is a union
'Twixt Nature's heart and mine,
To profit by affliction,
Reap truth from fields of fiction,
Grow wiser from conviction,
And fulfill God's grand design.

I live to hail that season
By gifted ones foretold,
When men shall live by reason,
And not alone by gold;
When man to man united,
And every wrong thing righted,
The whole world shall be lighted
As Eden of old.

I live for those who love me,
For those who know me true,
For the Heaven that smiles above me,
And awaits my spirit too;
For the cause that lacks assistance,
For the wrong that needs resistance,
For the future in the distance,
And the good I can do."

George Linnaeus Banks

Yeshua setting a hurting woman free from
anxiety and depression