Wednesday, December 11, 2019

This Mortality

My, my, but mortal is master of disaster,
when lured by lust of the flesh, lust of the eye and pride of life!
 (For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, 
the lust of the eyes, 
and the pride of life--
comes not from the Father 
but from the world.)
1 John 2:16 

It heaves upon the crest of earth in birth and death-wrought spree
It laughs and grieves abreast the breadth of immortality
As Time set in four-season spans twirls like a carousel
And man embarks and exits ‘neath the tolling of its bell
Where we prove, as we learn to love, the nature of the beast
Where deathless soul instills the glove upon which moments feast
And none of us can circumvent the Hour that must be
When we are called to shed the tent of This Mortality

It boasts; oh God forgive us when we forget Mercy’s girt
As we dare to puff out our chests and strut our stuff of dirt
As we forget to smote our breasts and cry out, ‘what is man’
As we ignore the Author and Finisher of our ‘can
As we make wealth an idol rather than worship’s employ
As we take without uttering one phrase of praise or joy
Where grace is always greater than This Mortality’s mess
And God is always faithful to forgive if we confess

Each travels through this world but once toward a binding goal
When This Mortality becomes the chariot of the soul
Where for now we must all partake of trust’s manifold tiers
As waves of hope and heartache surge and merge with days and years
While dreams are dashed and born anew and lashed by winds of change
And all of us are headed to what Last Gasp will estrange
As we enter that which remains life’s Greatest Mystery
When Mortal sheds its rags and puts on Immortality

© Janet Martin

 For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable
 and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come to pass: 
 “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”…
1 Cor.15:52-54

The Perfect Want...

With always lots to tend to in an ever-aging body and mind
 it sometimes leaves this poet’s heart a little frayed with want
for an art that here and there needs more than a haphazard or hurried splash.
I just finished reading the book Becoming Mrs. Lewis.
I love books about people who understand the ‘need’ to write;
how this hunger howls for release and even writing does not always fill it
because so little of what we write seems to come out exactly like we wish!
Still, to everything there is a time and a season
and I want to want to honour the Giver in each season.
 He knows the heart of every single one of us and
He grants grace to proceed and succeed to everyone who asks.

Let our goal then be to seek God first to glorify
for what we seek to please our self will never satisfy 

One of last week's devotions has stayed stuck, hopefully not just in my head...

I never want to live as if I was the first in line
But rather, blend into the place God willed in His design
That always bids us look to interests of fellowman
And love each other humbly, holy ev’ry way we can

I never want to hunger for some self-indulgent Then
But learn to live like Jesus did when He walked among men
The King of kings took on himself the form of servant meek
And taught us with more than mere words to turn the other cheek

I never want to worship ‘the created’ rather than
The One by whom all things were made according to His plan
Thus in this little time I have before death plays its part
Lord, let me want the beauty of a truly tender heart

© Janet Martin

Monday, December 9, 2019

Abiding Anchor

 This song has been going round in my head since last week
when my son played a small bit he recorded
as a man in the next room on a job site sang this hymn as he worked...

Against the tides that surge and crash and moan
Unwavering amidst the foaming crest
Steadfast within the gales that wail and groan
Abides the anchor of God’s promises

Unshakeable while wild life’s mistrals seethe
Until it feels like hell its depth unchains
Still resolute, unmovable beneath
The anchor of God’s promises remains

Unyielding as grief wields a numbing blow
And courage crumples in sorrow’s travail
Firm in the roiling spoil of Eden’s woe
God’s perfect promises will never fail

My love, though earth and heavens pass away
And stars fall like green figs from storm-tossed tress
Rock-solid in the tempest's spewing fray
Abides the anchor of God’s promises

© Janet Martin

 Thus by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie,
we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be strongly encouraged.
 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and steadfast. 
It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 
 where Jesus our forerunner has entered on our behalf.
 He has become a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.…

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Tick-tock's Undertow

It's quiet save the sound of the clock's tick-tock!

 Sometimes we wish for more 'bloom' as it fades
until we mourn the loss of one who never got the chance to fully fade or even begin to fade!
 Tonight the ache of mourning is raw as we enfold a widow in our congregation
in tears and prayer...

Growing old does not stop
Until God wills it so
The momentum of tick and tock
A profound undertow
Where choice and circumstance
Adeptly intertwines
As we grapple with what God grants
While youth its bloom resigns

To make each moment count
Is more than a cliché
They are the sparkles from a fount
That never hits replay
Therefore we ought to prize
The gift of growing old
And kindly, humbly recognize
Time slipping through our hold

The ache for those we love
Who have gone on before
Keens a scared awareness of
What was and is no more
Where, as the seasons pass
We come to realize
How swift the sand runs through the glass
That drains the fountain dry

Dear Lord, bless those who mourn
For friend or family
Lord, heal the heart broken and torn
By sorrow’s agony
Awake in us hope’s boast
As by your grace we go
And teach us how to make the most
Of tick-tock’s undertow

© Janet Martin

 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, 
for He who promised is faithful.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Precious, Ordinary Days...

 Often hubby asks when I call him at night
'what did you do today'
or he will call during the day and ask, 'what were you doing'
and my reply more often than not will be something like
'I was downstairs putting wood on the fire', or 'I am getting lunch for tot/tots
or I was upstairs putting laundry away, 
I was doing dishes, sweeping the floor, tidying up, cooking supper,
(well, you get the idea)
and often I marvel at how what sounds so mundane when spoken
can still steal one's breath so completely 
by the beauty of being able to do these things!
Oh, what a gift to be able to live precious, ordinary days! 
No matter how repetitive they feel,
like going round and round the yard while pulling a sled,
still no two rounds are ever exactly the same!

We were chuckling/puzzling at the haste with which Little Man devoured first course 
until we realized what was sitting next to him...
two cookies disappeared before we could say 'whoa!'

Ah, precious ordinary days
They weave their way through heart and soul
With footprints that no one can trace
Save on the air where echoes toll

Ah, precious ordinary days
They sweep through us with grin and groan
Then meld into a misty maze
Paved with a haze of precious stone

Ah, precious, ordinary days
They seem so common at first glance
But steal our breath with changeless ways
Of Time and its persistent stance

…a fine mingling of hope and dread
Runs through us as we sense time’s ways
Soft-tugging on the sacred thread
Of precious, ordinary days

© Janet Martin

Little Girl was kept quite busy trying to hold/protect her playthings 
from a rambunctious little boy😉 

 ...and then little Princess woke from her nap...

 Sometimes, in the morning when I sense an onslaught of sticki-mess and noise 
I pray something similar to Psalm 90:12
"teach me to cherish my days so I may gain a heart of patience and tenderness"