Friday, August 18, 2017

On This Rainy Summer Morn

The Cry Of The Dreamer

I am tired of planning and toiling
In the crowded hives of men;
Heart-weary of building and spoiling,
And spoiling and building again.
And I long for the dear old river,
Where I dreamed my youth away;
For a dreamer lives forever,
And a toiler dies in a day.

I am sick of the showy seeming
Of a life that is half a lie;
Of the faces lined with scheming
In the throng that hurries by.
From the sleepless thoughts' endeavour,
I would go where the children play;
For a dreamer lives forever,
And a thinker dies in a day.

I can feel no pride, but pity
For the burdens the rich endure;
There is nothing sweet in the city
But the patient lives of the poor.

Oh, the little hands too skillful
And the child mind choked with weeds!
The daughter's heart grown willful,
And the father's heart that bleeds!

No, no! from the street's rude bustle,
From trophies of mart and stage,
I would fly to the woods' low rustle
And the meadows' kindly page.
Let me dream as old by the river,
And be loved for the dream always;
For a dreamer lives forever
And a toiler dies in a day.

John Boyle O'Reilly

Listening To The River
Doris Joa

Thursday, August 17, 2017

I Didn't Speak Up

In Germany, the Nazis came for the communist and
I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then
they came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because
I wasn't a Jew.  Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I did not speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak
up because I was a Protestant.  Then they came
for me, and by that time there was no one
left to speak for me.
"I Didn't Speak Up"
Martin Niemoeller

Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller

 Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory His army shall He lead,
Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord, indeed.

Stand up, stand up, for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear;
If while ye sleep He suffers, away with shame and fear;
Where 'er yet meet with evil, within you or without,
Charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout.

Stand up, stand up, for Jesus, the trumpet call obey;
Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day.
Ye that are brave now serve Him against unnumbered foes;
Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in His strength alone;
The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the Gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer;
Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, each soldier to his post,
Close up the broken column, and shout through all the host:
Make good the loss so heavy, in those that still remain,
And prove to all around you that death itself is gain.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long;
This day the noise of battle, the next the victor's song.
To those who vanquish evil a crown of life shall be;
They with the King of Glory shall reign eternally.

Words by George Duffield Jr.
Music by George J. Webb

"For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood,
 contending only with physical opponents,
 but against despotisms, against the powers,
against the master spirits who are
 the world rulers of this present darkness,
against the spirit forces of wickedness 
in the heavenly, supernatural sphere."
Ephesian 6:12
(Amplified Bible)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tefilat Haderekh: The Traveler's Prayer

Hebrew Travelers Prayer
(English Translation)

May it be Your will, Lord our God
and the God of our ancestors,
that You lead us toward peace,
guide our footsteps toward peace,
and make us reach our desired destination
for life, gladness, and peace.
May you send blessing in our handiwork,
and grant us grace, kindness, and mercy
in Your eyes, and in the eyes of
all who see us.
May Your hear the sound of
our humble request because You are God
Who hears prayer requests.
Blessed are You, Lord,
Who hears prayer.

Amen & Amen

Walkers on the Appalachian Trail

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Second Sunday Meditation: Resting In His Righteousness

"And the Lord said,
My Presence shall go with you,
and I will give you rest."
Exodus 33:14

The Better Part
Simon Dewey

Keep and protect me, O God for
in You have I found refuge, and in You
do I put my trust and hide myself.

I say to the Lord, You are my Lord;
I have no good beside or beyond You.

As for the godly, the saints, who are in the land,
they are the excellent, the noble, and the glorious,
in whom is all my delight.

Their sorrows shall be multiplied who choose another god;
their drink offerings of blood will I not offer or take
their names upon my lips.

The Lord is my chosen and assigned portion, my cup;
You hold and maintain my lot.

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
yes, I have a good heritage.

I will bless the Lord, Who has given me counsel;
yes, my heart instructs me in the night seasons.

I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is
at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad and my glory, my inner self,
rejoices; my body too shall rest and confidently dwell in safety.

For You will not abandon me to Sheol, the place of the dead,
neither will You suffer Your Holy One, to see corruption.

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is the 
fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16

Overlooking the Sea of Galilee

"For David says in regard to Him,
 I saw the Lord constantly before me,
 for He is at my right hand 
that I may not be shaken
or overthrown or cast down 
from my secure and happy state.
Therefore my heart rejoiced
 and my tongue exulted exceedingly;
moreover, my flesh also
 will dwell in hope, 
will encamp, pitch its tent,
 and dwell in hope
 in anticipation of the resurrection.
He, (David) forseeing this,
 spoke by foreknowledge of the
resurrection of the Messiah,
 that He was not deserted in death
and left in Hades,
 the state of departed spirits,
 nor did His body know 
decay or see destruction. 
This Jesus God raised up, 
and of that all we,
 His disciples, are witnesses."
Acts 2:25,26,27,31,32

"And the effect of righteousness 
will be peace, internal and external, 
and the result of righteousness will
be quietness and confident trust forever.
My people shall dwell in peaceable habitation,
in safe dwellings, and in quiet resting places."
Isaiah 33:17-18

Meadow in the Golan Heights

Friday, August 11, 2017

Softly & Tenderly

"Jesus said to her,
"I am the Resurrection and the Life.
Whoever believes in Me although he may die,
yet shall he live.
And whoever continues to live and believes
in Me shall never die."
John 11:25-26

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He's waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?

Come home, come home,
You who are weary come home;
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary come home;
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling, O sinner, come home!

O for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and  for me.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary come home;
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Glen Travis Campbell
April 22, 1936- August 8, 2017
Resting safely at home with Jesus

"Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling"
Words and Music by Will Thompson

The Touch Of The Master's Hand

300 year old Antonio Stradivari violin
as seen at the Christie's Auction House
in New York City

'Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile;
"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
Who'll start the bidding for me?"
"A dollar, a dollar; then, "Two!"  "Only two?"
Two dollars, and who'll make it three?"
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three-" But no,
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: "What am I bid for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow.
"A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?
Two thousand! And who'll make it three?
Three thousand, once, three thousand twice,
And going, and gone," said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
"We do not quite understand
What changed it's worth."
Swift came the reply:
"The touch of the master's hand."

And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A "mess of pottage" a glass of wine;
A game-and he travels on.
He is "going" once, and "going" twice,
He's "going" and almost "gone".
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that's wrought
By the touch of the Master's hand.

Thomas Blackshear

"The Touch Of The Master's Hand"
 A poem by Myra Brooks Welch

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sign of the Seahorse

Beyond the ken of mortal men
beneath the wind and waves...

Fantasy Under The Sea
 A painting by EverIris

There lies a land of shells and sand,
of chasms, crags, and caves,
Where coral castles climb and soar
where swaying seaweeds grow,
And all around, without a sound,
the ocean currents flow...

From The Sign of the Seahorse
By Graeme Base

Just A Little Love
A painting by Robin Pushe'e

Food For Thought Thursday: The Devil's Tool Sale

It was advertised that the devil
 was putting his tools up for sale.

When the day of the sale came,
 each tool was priced
 and laid out for public inspection.
And what a collection it was.
Hatred, envy, jealousy, 
deceit or pride... 
the inventory was treacherous!
Off to one side
 was a harmless-looking tool priced higher
than all the rest, even though it was 
obviously more worn
than any other tool the devil owned.
"What's the name of this tool?" 
asked one of the customers.
"That," the devil replied,
 "is discouragement."
The customer asked, 
"But why have you priced it so high?"
The devil smiled and explained,
 "Because discouragement is
more useful to me than all the others.
 I can pry open and get
inside a man's heart with that tool
 when I can't get near him
with any other.
 It's badly worn because
 I use it on almost
everyone, since few people know
 it belongs to me."

Are you discouraged...afraid...
desperately trying to find enough
energy to simply breathe? 
 God knows. And He really is your shepherd.
He understands that you may
 only be able to take one tiny, almost
imperceptible step of faith.
 But He sees you and just like a parent
applauding their child's first stumbling step, 
God will honor your step to take it.

From the devotional,
"How's Your Faith?"
By Mary Southerland

Beside Still Waters
A painting by Greg Oleson

The Lord is my Shepherd, 
to feed, guide, and shield me.
I shall not lack.
He makes me lie down in fresh,
tender green pastures; He leads me beside
the still and restful waters,
He refreshes and restores my life, my self;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness,
uprightness and right standing with Him
not for my earning it, but, for His name's sake.
Yes, though I walk through the deep, sunless
valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear or dread no evil,
for You are with me;
Your rod to protect and Your staff
to guide, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the
presence of my enemies. You anoint my
head with oil; my brimming cup runs over.
Surely or only goodness, mercy, and
unfailing love shall follow me all the 
days of my life, and through
the length of my days the house of
the Lord and His presence shall 
be my dwelling place.

Psalm 23
The Amplified Bible

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Quiet Woman

"Comfort, Comfort My people."
says your God
Isaiah 40:1

Mary Elizabeth Elmes

Born in Cork, Ireland in 1909, Mary Elizabeth Elmes was a
young woman when the Spanish Civil War erupted in 1936.
Mary went to Spain where she worked with the American
Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization providing
humanitarian relief for war refugees.

Mary later joined refugees from Spain in 
France where she eventually became director 
of all Quaker humanitarian relief efforts.
After the fall of France to the Nazis in 1940, Mary worked 
extensively with Jewish refugees interned in camps in
the Pyrenees Mountains of southern France.

Because of her Irish citizenship, she was able
to remain in France after her British and French
colleagues, now considered enemies
by the occupying Germans and the
collaborating French puppet government at Vichy,
had to leave the country for their own safety.

Her work there later became a rescue mission centering 
around the rescue of Jewish children whose parents 
had been deported from France by the Nazis
and who now faced certain imprisonment and
death in concentration camps located
in Poland and Germany.

Often using the trunk of her car,
Mary smuggled the children out of the camp
and to safe hiding places. 

These missions of mercy became increasingly
 dangerous and Mary was eventually detained
and arrested by the Gestapo.
After being interrogated,
she was first sent to prison in Toulouse,
and later to the notorious Gestapo- run Fresnes
prison on the outskirts of Paris.

However, because Mary was a citizen of Ireland,
which maintained a neutral status during the war,
and due to the efforts of her colleagues
at the American Friends Service Committee,
who appealed her case to Robert Brennan,
the minister of the Irish Legation in Washington DC, 
the Germans eventually agreed to release Mary from prison. 
However, instead of leaving France,
Mary remained defiant in the face of the Gestapo 
and their French collaborators, and continued helping
desperate refugees until the war ended in 1945. 

After the war, Mary stayed in France
and later married a man named Roger Danjou.
She became the mother of two children,
daughter, Caroline, and son, Patrick. 
In 1947, the government of France awarded Mary
its highest honor, the Legion d' Honneur, but she
refused to accept it.

Instead, this brave woman chose to
to forget her war-time activities, living in
relative obscurity in France for the rest of her life.
She died there in 2003 at the age of ninety-four.
In 2013, Mary's name was added to the
roll of the Righteous Among The Nations
at Yad Vashem in Israel. 

Mary (left) at age 94 receives a painting of the Rivesaltes
 refugee camp by her colleague Friedel Bohny-Reiter of the Swiss Red Cross

The uncompromisingly righteous 
shall be glad in the Lord
and shall trust and take refuge in Him;
 and all the upright in heart
shall glory and offer praise."
Psalm 64:1,10