Friday, June 27, 2008
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace!
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I was thinking today. About my life as it was, as it is now, and as it will be. And, thinking about God’s direction in all of it. I read somewhere once that He guides by His love, in His love, and towards His love. He wouldn’t do it any other way. Where would I be without God’s guidance along the way? (Where have I ended up when I guided myself? Not a good place, I assure you.) If I don’t follow Him, I can’t know His will in my life.
While looking up verses on the subject, I found Psalm 32:8-11 (NRS)
I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding, whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you. Many are the torments of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
That sounds to me like God has promised to show me the way. And, that I’m to trust Him enough to go that way. Yep, that’s what He’s saying.
Then there's Proverbs 3:5-6 (NRS)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
And so it goes…He does the leading and I do the following. It’s my prayer that I’ll follow, no matter what nor why nor when nor where nor how He leads me.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.
What will matter is not your success but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Around to the left, a patch of oxalis is tucked under an expansive wax myrtle. This large shrub stands before the garden, guarding the privacy of my treasured haven. In front of the shrub, a small angel stands by a rock etched with “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. Isaiah 49:10”. Just beyond, spider flowers (cleome) and soft pink evening primroses overflow their respective spaces. A large patch of Black-eyed Susans laugh at the sun, while a nearby crop of balsam hides from the afternoon heat.
To the rear of my garden, an old, weather-beaten birdhouse sadly leans in front of a white pine tree. A huge red tip shrub in the corner provides an ample privacy screen. A large grouping of double orange daylilies grow prominently behind unique variegated Hosta. The house borders the left side of the garden, with three Japanese Cleyera shrubs alongside.
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Isaiah 40:8 NIV
This small corner of my world, a place very dear to my heart, unfolds into a tranquil, peaceful place. A place where streams of sunshine dazzle before me, a place where prayers flow freely, a place where beauty surrounds me, a place where God holds me by the hand…
A large, stately sycamore tree was removed from our backyard to protect the house from harm. The empty space left behind looked obviously barren, making way for my dream of a secret garden. In an endeavor to create a blissful setting, thorough research and consideration was given to each and every aspect and detail.
I enjoyed choosing both new and transplanted shrubs, flowers, and plants. Perennials, self-seeding, and evergreens were selected for their endurance. I planted in a mishmash design, putting things here and there, sometimes with no rhyme or reason. I prefer random planting, similar in appearance to untouched natural landscapes. Over time, most of the garden has matured, some plants have multiplied many times over, others have reached for the sky, while still others have spread out along the ground.
The placement of the garden pond was a lengthy, arduous procedure completed by my dear, sweet husband. It’s a small pond with natural flat stones encircling its edges, and a surface with a large cover of water hyacinths and water lettuce. Tall elephant’s ears offer cool shade to the water on hot summer days. It’s a special treat when the hyacinth blooms. A path meanders around, ending at an old faded bench set by the pond.
This pond is home to a couple of goldfish named Jacob and Boaz. These goldfish swim to the surface for dinner, eating from the hand that feeds them. How cool is that!
Friday, June 6, 2008
Genesis 1:11-12 NIV
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
ecologically challenged, thoughtless, nasty, disgusting people
who flagrantly fling, throw, and toss unsightly litter
along roadsides, byways, and waterways,
and who dump waste onto hideous mounting heaps,
piling up ugly garbage, junk, and trash,
forcing conscientious, principled, and respectful citizens
to painfully see this atrocious, endangering, and intentional crime,
igniting an urgent, catastrophic, and severe environmental crisis
against a fragile, ailing, and wounded earth