Friday, March 27, 2015

“As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” Deuteronomy 33:25



"...as your day, so shall your strength,
your rest, and security be."
 Deuteronomy 33:25






Alleluia!  He is Risen!

A triumphant ending...
a glorious morning...
a beautiful grace...
an enduring hope...
an everlasting joy...

Easter.
 It's promises were born 
on a starry night
in a little manger,
grew to maturity on
dusty roads and storm-tossed seas,
died on a darkened hillside
on a wooden cross
between two thieves,
and were miraculously fulfilled
when a stone was rolled away
and a tomb lay empty.

Easter.
The greatest hope that ever was.
Without it, you and I
lose faith, 
grow faint of heart,
tremble in fear and doubt.
Without Easter's miracle,
why love?
Why give?
Why forgive?
Why live?
With Easter's
triumphant Resurrection,
we live each day with hope:
We try, we fail, we go on.
We start, we stop,
we begin again.
We reach out,
we venture further,
and we succeed.
We seek, we ask,
and we find.
Because of Christ,
we have new life.
Because He lives,
we live!
And because
He lives,
we can live
the miracle of Easter
every day.

-Excerpt from the book,
"The Stone That Rolled Away"
c.1993 Guideposts Associates Inc.










Afflicted Saint, To Christ Draw Near





Afflicted saint, to Christ draw near—
Thy Savior’s gracious promise hear,
His faithful Word declares to thee,
That as thy days thy strength shall be.

Let not thy heart despond and say
“How shall I stand the trying day?”
He has engaged by firm decree,
That as thy days thy strength shall be.

Thy faith is weak, thy foes are strong,
And if the conflict should be long,
The Lord will make the tempter flee,
For as thy days thy strength shall be.

Should persecution rage and flame,
Still trust in thy Redeemer’s Name;
In fiery trials thou shalt see,
That as thy days thy strength shall be.

When called to bear thy weighty cross,
Or sore affliction, pain, or loss,
Or deep distress or poverty,
Still as thy days thy strength shall be.

Orig­in­al ti­tle: “Afflict­ed Soul, to Je­sus Dear.”
Words By John Fawcett
(1782)
Music By Lowell Mason
(1830)






Morning Has Broken





Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word
Sweet the rains new fall, sunlit from Heaven
Like the first dewfall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass
Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day
Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word
Words By Eleanor Farjeon
(1931)
Set to the traditional
Scottish-Gaelic tune,
"Bunessan"





Cardoness Castle
Scotland





"If anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation,
the old has passed away,
behold, the new has come."

 11 Corinthians 5:17 (RSV)



Easter Blessings! 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Our Greatest Hope


When I was a little girl
there was a television commercial...



advertising a famous brand of
soft drink, which centered around
the familiar folk song called,
"I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing".
 


Although the words of this popular song 
reflected a humanitarian sentiment
 to teach all the people of the world
 to sing "in perfect harmony"
with one another,
only Yeshua, 
the Light of the World,
and greatest Hope,
can bring true harmony
and everlasting peace to
people in every nation
if they choose to
place their trust and hope
 in Him.
 

"Truly I say to you
unless you repent and
become like little children
you can never enter the
kingdom at all."
Matthew 18:3





Not what, but Whom, I do believe,
That, in my darkest hour of need,
Hath comfort that no mortal creed
To mortal man may give;-
Not what, but Whom!
For Christ is more than
all the creeds,
And His full life
of gentle deeds,
Shall all 
the creeds outlive.

Not what I do believe, but Whom!
Who walks beside me
in the gloom?
Who shares the
burden wearisome?
Who all the dim way
doth illume,
And bids me look
beyond the tomb
The larger life to live?

Not what I do believe,
But Whom!
Not what
But Whom!
-John Oxenham








Above all powers, above all kings,
Above all nature and all created things,
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man,
You were here before the world began.
Above all kingdoms, above all thrones,
Above all wonders The world has ever known,
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth,
There's no way to measure what You're worth.
CHORUS
Crucified, laid behind a stone,
You lived to die, rejected and alone.
Like a rose trampled on the ground,
You took the fall, and thought of me
Above all. 
Above All
 Michael W. Smith









Rejoice In Yeshua!
Our Greatest Hope!




Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Signs Of Spring

 


Lily Of The Valley




All that is sweet, delightful,
and amiable in this world,
in the serenity of the air,
the fineness of the seasons,
the joy of light,
the melody of sounds,
the beauty of colors,
the fragrancy of smells,
the splendor of
our precious stones,
is nothing else but Heaven
breaking through the veil
of this world,
manifesting itself
in such a degree
and darting forth
in such variety
so much of it's own nature.
-William Law




"Girl In The Lilac Dress"
Eugen von Blaas
(1843-1931)





"Flowers may
beckon towards us,
but they speak
toward heaven
and God."
-Henry Ward Beecher



Fairy Tulips





"Flowers are
sunshine,
food and medicine
to the soul."
-Luther Burbank




Yellow Daffodils and Purple Hyacinths





"Consider the lilies
how they grow.
They neither toil
nor spin,
nor weave;
yet I tell you,
even Solomon
in all his glory
was not arrayed
like one of these."
Luke 12:27


 Purple Lilies




"But seek first of all
His kingdom
and His righteousness
and then all these things
taken together
will be given you besides.
So do not worry
or be anxious
about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will
have worries and anxieties
of its own.
Sufficient for each day
is its own trouble."
Matthew 6:33-34





Sweet Peas




"To everything there is a season
and a time for every matter
or purpose under heaven."
Ecclesiastes 3:1





Ride The Wind 
Iris










Garden of Spring Delight


 
Spring has now unwrapped the flowers,
 day is fast reviving,
Life in all her growing powers

 towards the light is striving:
Gone the iron touch of cold,

 winter time and frost time,
Seedlings, working through the mould,

 now make up for lost time.
Herb and plant that,
 winter long, slumbered at their leisure,
Now bestirring, green and strong,

 find in growth their pleasure;
All the world with beauty fills,

 gold the green enhancing,
Flowers make glee among the hills,

 set the meadows dancing.
Through each wonder of fair days
 God Himself expresses;
Beauty follows all His ways,

 as the world He blesses:
So, as He renews the earth, 

Artist without rival,
In His grace of glad new birth

 we must seek revival.
Earth puts on her dress of glee;
 flowers and grasses hide her;
We go forth in charity—

brothers all beside her;
For, as man this glory sees 

in th’awakening season,
Reason learns the heart’s decrees,

 hearts are led by reason.
Praise the Maker, all ye saints;
 He with glory girt you,
He Who skies and meadows paints

 fashioned all your virtue;
Praise Him, seers, heroes, kings,

 heralds of perfection;
Brothers, praise Him,

 for He brings all to resurrection!
13th Century Flower Carol
Author Unknown






Lenten Roses






It’s amazing and incredible,
But it’s as true as it can be,
God loves and understands us all
And that means you and me–
His grace is all sufficient
For both the young and old,
For the lonely and the timid,
For the brash and for the bold–
His love knows no exceptions,
So never feel excluded,
No matter what your past has been,
Trust God to understand,
And no matter what your problem is
Just place it in His Hand–
For in all of our unloveliness
This great God loves us still,
He loved us since the world began,
And what’s more, He always will!

"Spring Is In The Air"
Helen Steiner Rice







Passiflora
(Passion Flower)





Blessed are they of the Easter faith,
For theirs is the risen Lord;
For them He lives, 
and to them He gives
The fountain of life restored."
-Clarence M. Burkholder


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Wind Song



"The March wind roars
Like a lion in the sky...


"Lion Cloud"
Photographed By
Dawn McKenzie Wykes
Whangaparaoa, New Zealand




And makes us shiver
As he passes by.
When winds are soft,
And the days are warm and clear,
Just like a gentle lamb,
Then spring is here."
-  Author Unknown







Who has
 seen the wind?
Neither I nor you.
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

-Christina Rossetti



Music In the Wind
Bev Doolittle




 No one can tell me,
Nobody knows,
Where the wind comes from,
Where the wind goes.

It's flying from somewhere
As fast as it can,
I couldn't keep up with it,
Not if I ran.

But if I stopped holding
The string of my kite,
It would blow with the wind
For a day and a night.

And then when I found it,
Wherever it blew,
I should know that the wind
Had been going there too.

So then I could tell them
Where the wind goes...
But where the wind comes from
Nobody knows. 
-A.A. Milne









"As you know not 
what is the way of the wind
or how the spirit comes
to the bones in the womb
of a pregnant woman,
even so you know not
the work of God,
Who does all."
Ecclesiastes 11:5





Mother and Child
Lee Bogle








I wish I could see 
how the ocean is lashing
The foam of its billows

 to whirlwinds of spray;
I wish I could see how

 its proud waves are dashing,
And hear the wild roar

 of their thunder today!
-Anne Bronte





Sunlight On The Coast
Winslow Homer
1890




















Friday, March 13, 2015

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!




As the shamrock
is the traditional symbol
of Ireland...



The delicious,
mint-flavored, McDonald's
Shamrock Shake
symbolizes the
approach of
Saint Patrick's Day
in America!








From pirate's slave
to Irish saint...


  Saint Patrick
5th Century Bishop of Ireland



Prayer of Saint Patrick

God, my God, omnipotent King,
 I humbly adore thee.
 Thou art King of kings, Lord of lords.
 Thou art the Judge of every age. 
Thou art the Redeemer of souls.
 Thou art the Liberator 
of those who believe. 
Thou art the Hope 
of those who toil.
 Thou art the Comforter
 of those in sorrow.
 Thou art the Way 
to those who wander. 
Thou art Master
 to the nations.
 Thou art the Creator
 of all creatures.
 Thou art the Lover
 of all good.
 Thou art the Prince
 of all virtues.
 Thou art the joy
 of all Thy saints.
 Thou art life perpetual. 
Thou art joy in truth. 
Thou art the exultation 
 in the eternal fatherland. 
Thou art the Light of light. 
Thou art the
 Fountain of holiness.
 Thou art the glory of God
 the Father in the height.
 Thou art Savior of the world. 
Thou art the plenitude
 of the Holy Spirit.
 Thou sittest at 
the right hand of God 
the Father on the throne, 
 reigning forever.











"Oh, she is my dear, my darling one
Her eyes so sparkling full of fun
No other, no other can match the likes of her
Oh, she is my dear, my darling one
My smiling and beguiling one
I love the ground she walks upon
My darling Irish girl."
"Pretty Irish Girl"
from the Walt Disney movie,
"Darby O'Gill and the Little People"
(1959)





Watch Out For The Wee Folk!


One of my favorite
Walt Disney movies!




And now for
another Irish folk song...





  The Unicorn
The Irish Rovers





And a bit of Irish romance!




 One of my favorite scenes from
"The Quiet Man"
(1952)



I'm just a wee bit Irish meself,
(1/16 I believe)
but this does not stop me
from cooking up
a feast on
Saint Patrick's Day!





From My Kitchen...



Traditional Irish Soda Bread
is made from the most
basic of ingredients-flour
baking powder or soda,
and buttermilk-
however, I like to add 
raisins to mine! 

According to Irish legend,
a cross cut into the top of
the loaf before baking is
said to protect the household
from the works of the devil.


Irish
Soda Bread

3 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda or powder
1 cup raisins
  1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450.

In a mixing bowl,
sift together flour with
salt and baking powder
Add raisins.
Make a well in
the center and pour
in the buttermilk.
Stir to mix well.
Turn the dough out
onto a lightly floured board
and lightly pat into a
round loaf.
Score top of the loaf 
 with a knife
to make a cross.
Put the loaf into a
buttered cast iron skillet
and bake for 10 minutes, or
until bread has risen and is 
slightly brown.
Reduce oven heat to 350
and bake for an additional
25 minutes, or until done.
Makes 1 loaf.





Pammy's Irish Stew

2 lbs. boneless lamb,
cut into 1-inch cubes
(you may substitute beef
for the lamb)
 1 tsp. each of
salt, pepper, paprika,
garlic powder,
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons extra virgin
 olive oil or olive oil/sunflower oil
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
5 large potatoes peeled
and quartered
4 large carrots peeled, 
halved, and cut into 
bite-sized pieces.
1 can sweet peas

In a gallon-size
plastic slider bag,
toss meat pieces in
flour and spices
until meat is
well-coated.
(Save flour
to thicken stew).
Heat oil in a heavy skillet
and add meat to brown.
Remove meat and add onion.
Saute onion until soft,
return meat to the pan 
and add water to cover.
Simmer meat covered
for about 11/2 hours.
Add potatoes and
carrots to stew.
Cook for another 30
minutes until vegetables
are done.
Stir 2 tablespoons of
reserved flour into 1/2
cup of cold water
until dissolved and
stirring constantly,
add to simmering stew.
Cook another 5-6 minutes
or so until stew is
thickened.
Makes 4-6 Servings.
(This stew can also
be made in a crock pot.) 

For a little ethnic "fusion cooking",
serve this delicious stew
with some crusty Italian
or French bread! 







Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder


Preheat oven to 350.  
Mix all ingredients well and roll
into balls (about the size of a walnut)
place cookies evenly on a
greased baking pan or sheet.
Using a fork dipped in water,
flattened cookies a bit
making criss-cross with
tins of fork.
(In honor of St, Patrick's Day
you might want to sprinkle
these cookies with some
green-tinted sugar
before baking.) 
Bake about 12-15 minutes or
until cookies are golden brown
on the bottom.
This recipe makes about
 5 dozen cookies.


Leprechaun Cookie Jar






Leprechaun Crossing
Sign in Ireland

 
"Little cow-boy what have you heard,
Up on the lovely rath's green mound?
Only the plaintive yellow bird
Sighing in the sultry fields round,
Chary, chary, chary, chee-ee!
Only the grasshopper and the bee?

Tip-Tap, rip-rap,
Tick-a-tack-too!
Scarlet leather, sewn together,
This will make a shoe.

Left, right, pull it tight;
Summer days are warm;
Underground in winter,
Laughing at the storm!

Lay your ear close to the hill.
Do you not catch the tiny clamour,
Busy click of an elfin hammer,
Voice of the leprechaun singing shrill
As he merrily plies his trade?

He's span and a quarter in height.
Get him and hold him tight,
And you're a made Man!

-From "The Leprechaun Companion"
By Niall MacNamara








Ireland
The Mystic Beauty...






 "The Road To Heaven"
Ireland
Where every two years
the stars align with the road.





The famous Rosa Moss Bridges
Ireland









Rugged Cliffs Along The
Irish Sea Coast









Happy Saint Patrick's Day!