Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Beauty's Best Bounty

Imagine if we let Beauty have the profound impact on us that it ought to!






Beauty begets worship’s wonder 
spreads a feast of sheer delight 
to the pleasure of sight’s hunger 
and awe’s raging appetite 
where the commonplace is lavished 
with each season’s opulence 
and the human heart is ravished 
with Mercy’s extravagance 
where dear Lord with loving kindness 
overflows earth’s deeps and heights 
with forgiveness for the blindness 
that more oft than not ignites 
fear and doubting’s loathsome bondage 
making beggars of us all 
when we exchange worship’s homage 
for some lesser beck and call 
while the One, forever faithful 
fills the fields of earth and sky 
with Sound Reason to be grateful 
rather than grumble and sigh 
where we, shamefully forgetful 
of love’s track record of grace 
witness Beauty from a gable 
over-shadowed by God’s face 
where, pray beauty will deliver 
an eternal offering 
of true worship to the Giver 
rather than the Gifted Thing

then when we suffer the hours
not so lovely at first glance
we will look beyond crushed flowers
to the Beauty worship plants/grants 

© Janet Martin




You care for the land and water it;
    you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
    to provide the people with grain,
    for so you have ordained it.[d]
10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
    you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
11 You crown the year with your bounty,
    and your carts overflow with abundance.
12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;
    the hills are clothed with gladness.
13 The meadows are covered with flocks
    and the valleys are mantled with grain;
    they shout for joy and sing.

Psalm 65:9-13


Sweet September's Bon Voyage

 

We went from sun to rain in short order this morning,
in true fall fashion!
farewell, Belle of Autumn's Beginning and Summer's End.

By the time you read this...

...it will be raining



The summer’s gleaming embers dim 
Upon the cooling hearth of earth 
The poet of September’s hymn 
Lures lyrics from the lamp-lit limb 
That tugs hearts twixt pathos and mirth 

The golden rod and aster maze 
Loses youth’s luster, dazed by frost 
While sumac sets the hills ablaze 
And mesmerizes mortal gaze 
With woodlands, orange and crimson-tossed 

The good land yields its dusty grip 
Where we had toiled beneath the sun 
And reveled in the fellowship 
Of seeds to swift fruition's slip 
Like deeds when they are bled and done 

The whisper of green fields of corn 
Becomes a rustling thoroughfare 
Where brittle minstrels fill the morn 
With autumn ambience reborn 
In climaxes beyond compare 

The orchard is a paradise 
For pickers and dreamers alike 
The apple is autumn’s First Prize 
Inducing mouth-watering sighs 
Before the unforbidden bite 

The shawl that sweet September weaves
Is full of holes, gossamer-webbed
Then patched with fall's first falling leaves
That scuttle round the feet of sheaves
Not gathered into harvest yet

September’s sad-sweet happiness 
Cannot keep summer’s door ajar 
But falls prey to the promises 
Of fall’s unbridled loveliness 
To comfort longing’s avatar 

Where Beauty broods and binds the wounds 
Left by sea-song and sun-kissed sand 
And turquoise-tinted afternoons 
That drifted like posy-pontoons 
Toward October’s Promised Land 

Farewell, farewell, September’s spark 
Is snuffed by winds that toss Time’s barge 
Filled with passengers that embark 
Upon oceans of early dark 
Beneath a Hand in perfect charge 

So, we sip hot cider and tea 
And try to keep our chins held high 
Because each season’s summery (oops, summary­čśë) 
Will always and forever be 
The springboard to wonder’s ‘oh my’ 

Then do not weep, but keep the quick 
Of summers yet to come intact 
Where we must all suffer the kick 
And weather the incumbent prick 
Of less friendly matters of fact 

Because we would not recognize 
Life’s Magnum Opus when it comes 
If we could always clasp The Prize 
Or indulge want’s quixotic sighs 
That breed ingratitude's rude sums 

September, loved like family 
 Disappears in fond-teared release 
Where God with kindly sympathy 
Does not slam summer’s door cruelly 
But grants October’s Masterpiece


© Janet Martin 

We celebrated End of September with Pumpkin Spice green tea!

It is Grand-daughter's first 'tea-taste'; 1/3 tea and 2/3 milk



 
I think she likes it...




Tuesday, September 29, 2020

In this Season of Letting Summer Go...

 

In the course of a week this tree flares and fizzles...
like a fall fire-cracker

Every good and perfect gift is from above, 
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, 
who does not change like shifting shadows.
(I love this familiar verse; James 1:17
but the next, perhaps less familiar verse 18 offers such
sound reason for thankfulness no matter the season...

He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, 
that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.


One of the blessings I'm praising God for this morning
 is that though the pick-up truck tire just went flat
Jim was driving not too far from a tire shop!
The warning light came on and 
he was able to make it to the shop in time!
I drove the truck to quite a few errands yesterday
and thankfully made it home!
Jim is much better qualified to dealing with vehicle-troubles­čśî


In this season of sorrow-pangs; of letting summer go 
Somehow sweet gladness still remains for hearts to overflow 
With happiness where loveliness is not a seasoned lease 
Because genuine thankfulness grants hope and joy and peace 

In this season of longing something instills sheer delight 
Where mercy metes the morning; where stars still come out at night 
Where Beauty, not sequestered in the husk where summer lies 
Pours, spills, unfolds and blesses us in glorious surprise 

Harshness of cold hard facts attacks us in the early dark 
Where courage and surrender spar within the trembling heart 
Where still, the Giver of each good and perfect gift sustains 
And bids us recognize the grant of goodness that remains 

Then we are not disheartened as the cold comes creeping in 
As frost frazzles the garden; as the wind nips cheeks and chin 
Our Father above does not change like shifting season-tide 
He abides through what time estranges with love, bona fide 

…thus, in this parting-kiss-dismissal of days dearly spent 
While we watch colour flare and fizzle in soundless descent 
While farewell’s fangs inflict the pangs of bittersweet release 
We find genuine thankfulness grants hope and joy and peace 

© Janet Martin 







Monday, September 28, 2020

On Principal Principles


The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
    where morning dawns, where evening fades,
    you call forth songs of joy.
Psalm 65:8

The wild flowers this fall spill in spectacular profusion!!




We sang the song Your Name in our worship service yesterday


as well as the chorus to this one

 

as I reflected on the Wonder-full, Power-full name of Jesus
 something/Someone probed
at those parts I too often seek to protect with Prideful Self...
Dear Lord, forgive me. 


If our principal principles where grounded in God’s Word 
If day to day we fixed our eyes on Faith’s Prize, undeterred 
If we would put our hands toward what head and heart aspire 
When we are guiltily consumed by conscience under fire 

If we would kneel a little longer at Love’s mercy seat 
We would rise up a whole lot stronger, well-equipped to meet 
The Unknown that is waiting, ever waiting close at hand 
And we would ask for courage rather than to understand 

If we believed in Jesus, hungered for His righteousness 
Rather than riches that will never bring us happiness 
If we trusted God’s promises with no shadow of doubt 
And fixed our eyes upon The Prize we dare not die without 

If we gave all for Him who give His Uttermost for us 
If our principal principles were grounded in Jesus 
How much less we would worry and how much more we would give 
Because our faith has made us whole and taught us how to live 

If our principal principle was love rather than fear
If we would loosen our grip to let Trust commandeer
This ship of skin and bone, so prone to safe-guarding the hull
Jesus would be enough to keep our cup of wonder/worship full

© Janet Martin

 





Sunday, September 27, 2020

Autumn Memento

 








Shriek-shriek of jays scores autumn’s morn 
Honk-honk of wild-geese overhead 
Stitches a ragged vee-shaped thread 
Above frost-faded fields of corn 
They tug at strings wrapped round its art 
Then bound to berths deep in the heart 

Tatters of summer start to fall 
Sparking thought’s thrall of joy and grief 
Where, written on each little leaf 
Are pieces of a madrigal 
The bud, the bloom, the swift descents 
Depicting life’s brief residence 

The wind woos woodland’s coloured crown 
Down, down the darling jewels spill 
Like children laughing, twirling till 
The hill is decked with gold-red-brown 
Each little leaf that bobs and floats 
Like goblins lobbing shawls and coats 

…and on a lake of afternoons 
That rolls across echo-washed shores 
We sense an urgent surge that pours 
Through flues to hour-shaped pontoons 
Soon beached upon Bygone’s sand-bars 
While we were trawling for sea-stars 

The jars that gleam from cellar-rooms 
Hold more than gathered garden-fare 
It seems prudent endeavors snare 
A winter-world of summer blooms 
Well worth the while of song-filled hours 
To taste the smile of long-felled flow’rs 

Around the clock four seasons spin 
While we walk the tight-rope of years 
And let our sentimental tears 
Sweeten the season we are in 
Because there is to every time 
A purpose to its rhythmed rhyme 

And thus, the poet, born to weep 
In ink, accrues the aftermath 
Of days that strew the garden path 
Into a memento to keep 
Long after we have lost the String 
That finds and winds its way to spring 

Then, even though we fondly mourn
The days and dreams that are no more
We fill heart-lockets with a score
Of mementos mutely reborn
To pause, soft as a butterfly
Upon the flower of a sigh

© Janet Martin 




Saturday, September 26, 2020

Love Appraisal

 






Lord, above, how much we love Thee 
So at least our mouths proclaim 
Let it be Lord, in our duty
We do not put words to shame 

Lord above, if we so love Thee 
Why are we so self-inclined 
Why are we in such a hurry 
If love is patient and kind 

Lord above, in all want’s pining 
Let our deepest longing be 
Not some superficial mining 
But for love’s identity 

Lord above, let love unfetter 
Focus on Self’s stubborn plan 
Teach us how to love You better 
Through our love for fellowman 

Lord above, let the appraisal
Of our daily worship be
Not to gods fleeting and mortal
But wholly, humbly to Thee

© Janet Martin

World-menders


We gape at Autumn's candelabra! 

Here's to carrying our candles with like-fervour!

This broken world needs mending, more befriending of the weak 
A few more folk more willing just to turn the other cheek 
This world, so full of beauty groans with humankind’s appeal 
Rather than worship’s anthems that ought never lose their zeal 
This world so full of trouble needs the best that we can give 
In this very brief bubble of one single life we live 
As we bear pressing burdens; this is the price tag of love 
Where hearts and dreams oft broken are cupped in skin’s fragile glove 
And faith, hope’s firm foundation is considered obsolete 
As instant gratification seeks something soft and sweet 
While weeping at the woebegone condition of mankind 
Where we need reappraising of love’s state of heart and mind 
Lest the light of God’s mercy seems too feeble and too dim 
For He made us the lampstand to lift up love’s flame for Him 
Because this world needs mending, more befriending of the lost 
A few more folk more willing to love without counting cost 
To lean on God's sufficient grace rather than mortal strength
Where His love has no limit in its height, depth, breadth and length


© Janet Martin 

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, 
and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Matt.5:16

He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,[a]
    and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8

Wonder IS God's Signature

 



A Wonderful First Fall Saturday of 2020!




Wonder is spring’s first fair flower 
Summer fields and Autumn’s show 
Wonder is a winter morning 
Swaddled in fresh-fallen snow 

Wonder is boundless, blue welkin 
Wonder is wee bird that sings 
Wonder is a reawak’ning 
To a world of lovely things 

Wonder is dew-diamonds dazzling 
Daybreak with silver-starred blur 
Wonder is a just-hatched gosling 
Wonder is God’s signature 

Wonder is worship’s expression 
Stirred by beauty’s sundry form 
Wonder is God’s intercession 
As He takes the heart by storm 

Wonder gleams in sun-steeped stubble
Wonder whispers, roars and sings
Wonder soars above life's troubles
And restores hope's broken wings

Wonder eases disappointment
Silenced wish and whim applaud 
While we gaze in sheer amazement 
At unveiled glimpses of God

© Janet Martin





Ps.92:1-8

It is good to praise the Lord
and make music to your name, O Most High,
2 proclaiming your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night,
3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
and the melody of the harp.


4 For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
5 How great are your works, Lord,
how profound your thoughts!
6 Senseless people do not know,
fools do not understand,
7 that though the wicked spring up like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they will be destroyed forever.


8 But you, Lord, are forever exalted.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Whisper-soft...


Such blushing beginnings to today!


Whisper-soft the darkness 
Yields to pink and gold 
Kind of like heart’s hardness 
Melts in love’s warm hold 
Kind of like the winter 
When it turns to spring 
Kind of like a sinner 
Sheltered by God’s Wing 

Whisper-soft the mantle 
Of night sheds its twill 
Kind of like a candle 
On earth’s window sill 
Dissolving the darkness 
With Hope’s gentle ray 
Kind of like heart’s hardness 
Dissolves when we pray 

Whisper-soft light scatters 
Shadows from the air 
Kind of like love’s answers 
To our question-prayers 
Kindling from cold ashes 
Mercy’s gleaming toll 
Kind of like grace washes 
Darkness from the soul 

© Janet Martin

 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, 
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!…
Lam.3:22-23

Secret To True Success


Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. 
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 
 not looking to your own interests 
but each of you to the interests of the others.
Phil.2:3-4

The photo below is my dad, taken a few weeks ago in his wood-shop.
He is a living example of someone always willing to help someone else!
When he's not helping someone you will find him here.




When we do not view our labour 
Simply as living-to-earn 
But as ways to love our neighbour 
We find joy at ev’ry turn 

When love, rather than work’s wages 
Kindles the fire within 
Time will never waste its ages 
As it roars through our skin 

Then we find with humble wonder 
The secret to true success 
As we collect giving’s plunder 
Love’s kind profit; happiness 

When we live to make a living 
Over loving humankind 
Toil will be an endless striving 
For Something we cannot find 

© Janet Martin

Here is a photo of the wooden clothes dryers he makes and
sells a lot of...

This is size Lg. 48" wide- 65.00
small size is 36" wide and priced at 50.00




Dear Fall

 


I refuse to weep while flowers climb the arbor...

...fringe the fence


I refuse to weep while flowers 
Climb the arbor, fringe the fence 
Not yet felled by eager hours 
Composing reminiscence 

Bind the wounds of sweet surrender 
With the petals that remain 
Till the north wind of November 
Snuffs the remnant gleam with rain 

Wrap the coral wash of morning 
Around wishes not fulfilled 
Turn my head to plumes adorning 
Rooms that death has not yet stilled 

Drive me wild with wonder’s gladness 
Pure and guiltless ecstasy 
Where nature ignores the madness 
Of troubled humanity 

Rouse the minstrels in green maples 
Playing preludes to a show 
Of astonishing ensembles 
Autumn’s color-crescendo 

Take my hand and draw me gently 
From fond summer’s fading street 
Lest I stumble accidentally 
Over blooms strewn at my feet 

© Janet Martin

 



Thursday, September 24, 2020

Little Women of Yesteryear





(my personal favorite version of Little Women is the one made in 1949)

Time always feels much older after dark 
After we pass the mark of middle age 
(though secretly we still feel like Jo March 
Behind the veil that falls o’er twilight’s stage) 
To hide the tears that love and longing spark 
Because some things no elements can cage 
Though we no longer hunger to embark 
On voyages that could turn back the page 

Still, we might dare to share half-openly 
Impressions outlined like shadows of ink 
Not brave enough to bare for all to see 
The letting go of places that we think 
Where what remains of what will be, will be 
In spite of what time seals in gold and pink 
Like envelopes containing poetry 
Collected in a vault beyond dusk’s brink 

…where Time always feels older when the cloth 
Of dusk is drawn across earth’s windowpane 
And all is dark save far-off silver froth 
Of stars to make us feel half-young again 
Where let’s admit it, you and I are both 
Jo March inside, unwilling to abstain 
From agonies half-pleasing and half-wroth 
And far too complicated to explain 

Maybe there is a lane where Laurie waits 
But we are far too old to go and see 
Lest while we roam the dark of night abates 
So we submit to sensibility 
And walk sedately with our wedded mates 
Acting ever so very properly 
No swinging or leaping o’er garden gates 
As we put on the person of Marmee


© Janet Martin 





By God's Grace


 Not by seasons of the land...


not by labour of our hand...


...not by tides that ebb and flow



Not by seasons of the land
Not by labor of our hand
Not by tides that ebb and flow
By the grace of God, we go

Not by merit of self-worth
Not by beauty of the earth
Not by status, creed or race
One and all live by God’s grace


© Janet Martin

2 Corinthians 12:9 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, 
for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, 
so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Faith-Factor





I love this song for these days where we
are tossed on the waves of unrest wrought by politics, Covid etc.
Fear and worry are not the same as legitimate concern...
Legitimate concern drives us before the Lord where faith renews its strength
And He draws us like Peter, from slipping beneath dark waves of fear and despair

When faith is fixed it leaves no room for dark shadows of doubt 
But ‘we of little faith’ find much to stew and fret about 
For it does not come naturally to trust with all our hearts 
Fear is a constant enemy with swift, venomous darts 
Where all things work to our good for those who love the Lord 
And faith, when held to like we should leaves no room for discord 
But with gentle humility bids us do all we can 
To live in peaceful harmony with our fellowman 
For faith, when it is fixed upon the promises of God 
Is not influenced or undone by circumstance’s rod 
But, in the middle of the storm that tosses us about 
Faith hears God whisper, ‘here I AM, oh, wherefore didst thou doubt?’ 

© Janet Martin 


Matthew 8:26
"You of little faith," Jesus replied, "why are you so afraid?" 
Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, 
and it was perfectly calm.

Matt.14:31
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, 
and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?



On Learning The Greatest Command



Who are we going to do something extra-special for today
to say 'you are loved'


My, how much we fret and suffer 
For our own selfish cause 
When we could just love each other 
And through love, fulfill all laws 

My, how much we want and worry 
Futile fear and fretting cursed 
When we could just trust and worship 
He who loves and loved us first 

© Janet Martin

Matt.22:36-40

Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


Morning Prayer

 


Oh, how I love this season of mist and mellow fruitfulness...John Keats

Lead us Lord, through miles still mantled in the mists of The Unknown 
Grant Thy grace to make us thankful and Thy strength to be our own 
Whet the appetite of longing, not for plunder of this world 
But for riches of a kingdom in eternity unfurled 
Guard us from a fear of people with a rev’rent fear for Thee 
Excuses we make are feeble; fix our eyes on Calvary 
Where there is no condemnation if we repent and believe 
Lead us not into temptation where its promises deceive 
Remind us we are forgiven; not duty, but honour-bound 
As we serve the Lord of heaven and earth from time’s holy ground 
Help us to be kind and humble as we love our fellowman 
Not given to thankless grumbling, help us do the best we can 
In Jesus’ name, 
Amen 

© Janet Martin

My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; 
In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.
Psalm 5:3




Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The More That We Are Thankful



Today our new neighbour is getting married!
I'm so thankful for the beautiful weather!
Due to drastically reduced guest-attendant numbers, due to Covid-restrictions
we are invited to a drive-through receiving line to give them personal congratulations.
Judging from the smile on his face this morning
the restrictions are not putting a damper on his joy and excitement­čĺô

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, 
whose mind is stayed on thee: 
because he trusteth in thee.
Isa.26:3




The more that we are thankful
And count life’s simple joys
The less we become rankled
By discontentment’s ploys

The more that we are thankful
For what God’s goodness grants
The less reason to grumble
About the circumstance

The more that we are thankful
The more we seem to find
To make our goals more humble
And make our souls more kind

The more that we are thankful
The less we fear and fret
As we worship the Giver
And not the things we get

© Janet Martin

(In case you wonder why this sudden poem influx...
I have scads of scribbles I'm trying to decipher/salvage
from pages filled while waiting for our new computer.)