Saturday, August 1, 2020

'Wasting' of Self...

 So many forsake/deny/reject faith in God, 
disillusioned by circumstance and feelings...
rather than realizing after His grace and mercy detailed and explained 
in the first 11 chapters of Romans what our response ought to be...
 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters,
 in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, 
holy and pleasing to God—
this is your true and proper worship.
Romans 12:1

These pages from the book Building of Character by J.R. Miller

Not in vain, the pain of learning
‘Neath the chisel as He shapes
Hearts agape with hope and yearning
As the artists sculpts and scrapes

Harsh and hard may seem the process
Firm, the Artist wields the knife
As He carves away, with losses
At the fabric of a life

Many with stubborn refusal
Flee His method; present-blind
Never becoming the vessel
That the Artist had in mind

We must let the Master labour
As He chips and strips at pride
Teaching us to love our neighbour
Until we are Self-denied

Until what we once thought worthy
Outside of the Artist’s plan
Lies in waste, as grace and mercy
Shapes a truly godly man

© Janet Martin

Friday, July 31, 2020

To Live/Love Without Reserve...

It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives.
Samuel Johnson~

May we be a Son-flower/sunflower in the garden of life!
Happy last-day-of-July

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, 
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
1 Cor.13:4-8

The best we have to live
Exists right now, right here
All we may keep is what we give
It is enough my dear
To love without reserve
To brush insult aside
For we have more than we deserve
Hope lives because He died

Then daily death of pride
Should be our wholesome quest
To live a life of self-denied
To give our humble best
With kind and utter thanks
For all that He has won
And trust Him to fill in the blanks
Still gaping with undone

The sting of verbal slights
Of love misunderstood
Cannot distract He who delights
To work for our good
Love, long-suff’ring and meek
Does not ‘settle the score’
But rather turns the other cheek
To author peace, not war

…to honour He who gave
Himself to manifest
The way true love ought to behave
When it is put to test
Love is more walk than talk
It speaks evil of none
But turns a would-be stumbling block
Into a stepping stone

© Janet Martin

Thursday, July 30, 2020

A Very Big Event (and prep preceding it)

I know a person doesn't need to paint weathered, peeling surfaces
or wash mil-dewy soffits or snip-trim-edge-scrub-a-dub-dub,
 but when preparing to host A Big Event it does give one the motivation
 to blow the dust off an ever-growing should-do list and git-er-done! 
What is the Big Event, you wonder? Jim's mom's 89th birthday!
(So the families I do childcare for were gracious and found alternative childcare this week )

We gladly go a lot of extra miles and pay attention to details 
we otherwise would not when prepping for An Event. 
Then amidst merry chatter and laughter and "long-time-no-see!" 
(many not since Christmas because of Covid-19) the event passes.
There is a Very Big Event of Great Importance impending...which will never pass!!
How are we preparing for That Day?!


Blow the trumpet in Zion;
    sound the alarm on my holy hill.
Let all who live in the land tremble,
    for the day of the Lord is coming.
It is close at hand—
Joel 2:1

"Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. 
And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn 
when they see the Son of Man coming 
on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.

An oldie but as relevant as ever!!!

Nearer and ever nearer draws that great and glorious day
When then at last the burdens of love’s laws are borne away
In power and great glory on the clouds He will appear
And the whole world will mourn in awe and holy, holy fear

Nearer and ever nearer draws that dark and dreadful Day
When all who have not yet believed behold too late, too late
In horror and repentance they will call on rock and mount
To hide them from the One to whom we all will give account

Nearer and ever nearer draws that Day; then watch and pray
Lest by the lure of 'litter' we are blindly drawn away
In prayer and supplication let us make our calling sure
So on that great and dreadful Day God's grace keeps us secure

© Janet Martin

Luke 21:36
Watch ye therefore, and pray always,
that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass,
and to stand before the Son of man.

 (preparation instructions)
2 Peter 1:3-21

Confirming One’s Calling and Election

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life 
through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, 
so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, 
having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; 
and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; 
and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;  
and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 
 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, 
they will keep you from being ineffective 
and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, 
forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters,[a] make every effort to confirm your calling and election. 
For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 
11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom 
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Prophecy of Scripture

12 So I will always remind you of these things, 
even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.
  13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 
14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.  
15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure 
you will always be able to remember these things.
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you 
about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 
 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”[b] 
18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven 
when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, 
and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, 
until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 
20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture 
came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 
21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, 
spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Changeless As Ever, Forever

 The previous post talked about the constancy of change.
Juxtaposed to Change is the Constancy of what/Who cannot change...

The sky this morning was GORGEOUS, but something that never seems to change is
my habit of setting sunglasses and camera anywhere, 
so therefore it seems I spend half my summer hunting for one or the other.
I didn't get a picture of the dawn-sky (or last night's stunner of a sunset)
 but found my camera in the pantry a bit ago while making lunches.
I think I set it there after dashing out to
take these shots yesterday while making supper...

...another thing that doesn't change is the pile of work that won't wait,
waiting after a week away!
 But SO satisfying afterwards!

Changeless above all is the Word that IS God...

As changing as the surface of the sea
That ebbs and surges, is the toll of time
Colour and texture shift; humanity
As it adapts to each precarious clime
Is apt to drift on swells of idle talk
If not secured upon the Solid Rock

Ah, changeless as the ticking of the clock
This life is lashed by season’s shifting tides
Where clash of wills and warped logic may balk
Unshakeable, the Word of God abides
Then cling with faith, not sight, lest quest for proof
Cast dark shadows of doubt on timeless Truth

Beneath, above, beyond thought’s leaky roof
Unchanging is the One Time cannot thwart
Authority and love works for our good
While prophecy unfolds foretold report
While pleasure-pirates loot but cannot find
Enough of stuff to satisfy the mind

Unchanging is the plight of humankind
…we are all creatures full of utter need
Dependent on a pattern God designed
For we rebel, just like Adam and Eve
And we would all be sailors lost at sea
Without the Rock, secured at Calvary

This Rock is Jesus; He who sets us free
Anchors the Soul, lest dreadfully we drift
Toward the shoreline of eternity
Each breath we take diminishes the rift
Where change estranges much with shifting tides
But still the love and Word of One abides

We cannot overthrow what God decides
Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End
Will soon unveil the proof the Fool derides
And faith alone is called on to defend
Nearer and nearer draws the Awesome Hour
When Christ will reappear in glorious pow’r

© Janet Martin

the hymn below is especially meaningful in times like these!!

 Here is a sky-shot from two evenings ago!