Friday, June 20, 2014

It's June And Everything Is Coming Up Roses

It's June
roses again bloom,
dainty pink ladies
pale perfection sweet
swirls of cotton candy
beautiful to behold,
but not to eat.

-Pamela Kelly

 Gorgeous Gertrude Jekyll Roses

“What a lovely thing a rose is!... 
Our highest assurance of Providence 
 seems to me to rest in the flowers.
 All other things, our powers, our desires, our food 
are all really necessary for our existence
 in the first instance. 
But this rose is an extra.
 Its smell and color are 
an embellishment of life,
 not a condition of it.
 It is only goodness which gives extras, 
and so I say again that we have
 much to hope from the flowers.”  
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Easy to grow 
Tropicana Roses

The roses red upon my neighbor's vine
Are owned by him, but they are also mine.
His was the cost, and his labor, too,
But mine as well as his the joy,
their loveliness to view.

They bloom for me and are for me as fair
As for the man who gives them all his care.
Thus I am rich, because a good man grew
A rose-clad vine for all his neighbors' view.

I know from this that others plant for me,
And what they own, my joy may also be.
So why be selfish, when so much that's fine
Is grown for you, upon your neighbors' vine.
 "My Neighbor's Roses"
Abraham L. Gruber

Ramblin' Red Roses

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Trusting God By Catherine Marshall LeSourd

"Commit your way to the Lord, roll and repose each care of your load on Him; trust, lean on, rely on, and be confident in Him, and He will bring it to pass."
Psalm 37:5 

*"This is my husband Len's favorite verse of the entire Bible. He has leaned on this passage in recent years while making the switch from editing a magazine to publishing Christian books.  There is much in Scripture stressing our need to have faith in God. The above verse takes us a step further. It not only admonishes us to trust, it promises that when we do, God will act in a supernatural way to answer our need.  Dwell on that for a moment. We trust, God's acts. A mind-blowing premise.

Catharine Marshall LeSourd

Yet, total, all-out trust on our part is not as easy as it first seems. There are periods when God's face is shrouded, when His dealings with us will appear as if He does not care, when He seems not to be acting like a true Father.  Can we then hang onto the fact of His love and His faithfulness and that He is a prayer-answering God?

Can we get to the point Habakkuk reached: "Though the fig tree does not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines...Yet I will rejoice in the Lord...! (Habakkuk 3:17)

Can we, at the moment when His face is hidden, exult in the God of our salvation? "The Lord is my Strength, my personal bravery and my invincible army."  (v.19)

"...the temptation is there to "give up" and not to trust Jesus. We must resist that temptation in the midst of our very real human helplessness, "roll" the entire burden onto His shoulders, as He bade us to do, step out and take the first step with bare, no-evidence-at-all faith.

And lo, He does take over gloriously, doing what we literally cannot do for ourselves."

*Excerpts from the chapter, "Trusting God"
From the book, "A Closer Walk"
By Catherine Marshall LeSourd
@1986 By Calen, Inc.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Remembering D-Day 70 Years Later

   "Nor Shall Your Glory Be Forgot..."  

On the morn of June 6th, the year 1944,
Destination Normandy, D-Day of the war.

The waters were still, the clouds were high,
All was quiet, not a bomber in the sky.
We jumped off our LST into waters knee deep,

Worn out and tired, we had no sleep.
Then all of a sudden, before we knew,

All Hell broke loose with the morning dew.
Shells and bombs all around, the enemy fixed and ready,

All over, men moved forward, a little scared, but steady.
The battle was rugged and one bloody mess,

All the heroes that were made, I know you will never guess!
Some of us were lucky, others were not,

But those who have died will never be forgot.
Everything was quiet now and silently we dug in,

Darkness was upon us, another day will soon begin.
Off into sleep, our minds were miles away,

Thinking of home and what people will say.
We have accomplished our mission, although not yet done,

There's still a long way to go before the war is won.
To all back home doing their share,

Keep up the good work for the boys over here.
A job is a job and it has to be done,

We are doing ours, strikers do none!
We don't ask for much from our folks in the USA,

All our hearts desire is one letter a day.
Back home is different, everything's in fashion,

Over here it's just one thing and that's just K-ration. 
We now you all worry for your kin over here,
So keep buying war bonds, so we'll soon be over there.
"D-Day Normandy"
By Michael DiRienzo, Battery A

Brooklyn, New York

                  War Memorial Cemetery near Normandy, France                       

Rest on, embalmed and sainted dead,
Dear is the blood you gave-
No impious footstep here shall tread
The herbage of your grave.
Nor shall your glory be forgot
While Fame her record keeps,
Or honor points the hallowed spot
Where valor proudly sleeps.
Your marble minstrel's voiceless stone
In deathless song shall tell,
Where many a vanquished year hath flown,
The story how you fell.
Nor wreck nor change, nor winter's blight,
Nor time's remorseless doom,
Can dim one ray of holy light
That glids your glorious tomb.
"The Bivouac of the Dead"
Theodore O'Hara