Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Not a Once-and-Done Thing-Surrender


This poem was inspired in part by a conversation with a friend yesterday,
who has suffered some severe disappointments in the past few years 
and what appears to the naked eye, to be setbacks
resulting in trying physical and financial challenges!
But, I was so struck by the beauty of her spirit of surrender to God's will
as she spoke about joys she is discovering through her walk by faith, not sight.
Not easy by any stretch, but real! and a reminder for all of us
to yield and trust rather than fret and doubt!
On our own journeys (my own journey) of surrender,
 I pray, Oh Lord, for more
'trust with all my heart rather than leaning on my own understanding'!

Ah surrender, you are not once and done, but pray
with each surrender we demolish another stumbling block to full surrender!

Only Trust Him-Alan Jackson

The joy of surrender, oh, how can it be
Relinquishing want’s anxious hold
To trust in the Lord, where, though faith cannot see
It rests in the truths He has told

The peace of surrender, oh, how is it so
To yield amidst trouble’s travail
To the kind assurance God’s word will bestow
To know that He will never fail

The heart of surrender, oh, sweet, sweet release
To commit/submit to God’s perfect will
To find in the place of my pining, His peace
As storms of selfish struggle still

The bliss of surrender, unreserved and true
The beauty of bowing, undone
Allowing God’s Spirit to will and to do
The work He has barely begun

© Janet Martin

I remember my grandmother reminding me
'surrender is only a battle if we put up a fight'.

Utterly impacted; oh, that it could be
That the love of God would work
 love’s miracle in me!

Psalm 37:5
Commit your way to the LORD; 
trust in Him, and He will do it.

My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments;
2for they will add length to your days,
years and peace to your life.
3Never let loving devotion or faithfulness leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4Then you will find favor and high regard
in the sight of God and man.
5Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding;
6in all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight.
7Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
8This will bring healing to your bodyb
and refreshment to your bones.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Unto Us

Pondering Peace on this second week of Advent

Luke 2:14
“Glory to God in the highest, 
And on earth peace, 
goodwill toward men!”

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him,
 so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The God of peace be with you all. Amen.

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,

He Who Is Mighty


Unto us, so undeserving
Unto vile humanity 
God, with love and grace unswerving
Planned our peace, through Calvary

Unto us, like lost sheep wand'ring
Unto us, the angel's King
God did not withhold the offering
That would cost Him everything

Everything, for our redemption
For the sinner's sacrifice
God, for the sake of salvation
Gave His Son to pay the price 

Crushing Lucifer, so cunning
With love's plan for sin's defeat
Unto us, God's purpose, stunning
Evil's curse with mercy sweet 

Unto us, the awesome promise
Of his government's increase
Heaven came to earth through Jesus 
Unto us, the Prince of Peace

Then, from whence come wars and fighting?
Whence the lust that lures the eye?
Doth it not come from delighting
In what cannot satisfy?

Unto us a Son is given
Unto us a Child is born
Unto us, the hope of Heaven
Jesus, Star of endless Morn

Unto us, peace through God's pardon
Unto us peace to transcend
The battle of Armageddon 
Unto us, love without end

Purchased and secured, God's favor
Perfects faith and truth's amen 
Unto us, God's peace forever
As we fully trust in Him

Come, let us reason together
For shared mercies grace imparts
Let us dwell in peace, and ever
Worship God with thankful heart 

© Janet Martin


Awed Awareness

Today's post Inspired in part by Gen.19

And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand,
 and upon the hand of his wife, 
and upon the hand of his two daughters; 
the Lord being merciful unto him...
Luke 19:16

Lest sluggishly we loiter
Lest apathy besot
Lest we grow numb and thus become

Lest we seek sorry solace
Lest terribly we fail to see
The state that we are in

Lest resolution flounders
Lest influence cajoles
The Still Small Voice that affects choice
That affects deathless souls

Lest we no longer shudder
At evil’s evilness
Or recognize the tempter’s lies
Disguised as ‘happiness’

Lord, wake in us awareness
Of Sodom’s fate, to flee
Lest, like Lot’s wife we mourn that life
And look back longingly

Seize us with holy horror
Of sin’s sad judgment day
Lord, chasten us and hasten us
To repent and obey

Lest the nonsense of notions
And opinions, absurd
With worldly vice, lulls us with ‘nice’
Lord, keep us in Your word

Lord, like Lot when he lingered
Be merciful, I pray
Let your command, like a firm hand
Seize us from Sodom’s sway

Lord, where there is a carcass
The vultures congregate
Lord, wake in us awed awareness 
Before it is too late 

© Janet Martin

Luke 17:20-37

The Coming of the Kingdom

20When asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God will not come with observable signs. 21Nor will people say, ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘There it is.’ For you see, the kingdom of God is in your midst.d

22Then He said to the disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23People will tell you, ‘Look, there He is!’ or ‘Look, here He is!’ Do not go out or chase after them. 24For just as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other, so will be the Son of Man in His day. 25But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

26Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man: 27People were eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

28It was the same in the days of Lot: People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29But on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.

30It will be just like that on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31On that day, let no one on the housetop come down to retrieve his possessions. Likewise, let no one in the field return for anything he has left behind. 32Remember Lot’s wife! 33Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed: One will be taken and the other left. 35Two women will be grinding grain together: One will be taken and the other left.”e

37“Where, Lord?” they asked.

Jesus answered, “Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.”

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Praise God Forever (for His Word)

Psalm 119 is a glorious collection of reflection
on the beauty and authority of God's Word
(surely the poorest in all the world are those without
the wealth of God's word hidden in their hearts
to both console and convict!)
This poem was also somewhat miserably and reluctantly inspired
by the first two lines, but, lest we becomes victims of defeat 
through the lies of the deceiver we plead God's forgiveness,
trust His Word and press on!

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just 
to forgive us our sins, 
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

For the times when our stumbles humble us unpleasantly
For days we dread and ways we tread, then regret utterly
For guidance and instruction for the times that we are in
For truth to thwart deception and convict us of our sin
For the greatest love story that mankind has ever heard
To give God all the glory, praise His name, we have His word

For battles with discouragement, worriment, and despair
For eagle-wings of hope, for empowerment in our prayer
For truth, absolute truth, no matter what naysayers tout
For joy unspeakable and for dismal duels with doubt
For Light unto our path to keep faith’s focus undeterred
For reminders of how much God loves us, we have His word

For peace that passes understanding in a world of strife
For earnest exhortation for this very sacred life
For preaching and for teaching, for food for undying souls
For God’s tangible presence, for full armor without holes
For the wondrous depiction of the cross, to keep hearts stirred
To count this world but loss, for this, praise God, we have His Word

For training up a child in the right way that they should go
For wisdom undefiled where man's logic shifts to and fro
For strength to fight the good fight till we lay these bodies down
And obtain pardon's prize of an incorruptible crown
For the constant awareness of sin's debt that was transferred
And suffered by the son of God; for this we have His Word

For fellowship with God until we see Him face to face
For thought, speechlessly awed as we contemplate Mercy’s grace
For company of a great cloud of faithful witnesses
For warning to the proud and for enduring promises
For love’s law of sweetest delight, lest judgement becomes blurred
Until faith becomes sight, oh, praise His name, we have God’s Word

For history and prophecy, for everything we need
For the supreme authority of love and judgment's creed 
For kindness and compassion, for correction and reproof
For order for the decency of both elder and youth
For health and wealth and wonder to comfort and undergird
For this and so much more, praise God forever, for His Word 

© Janet Martin

Friday, December 2, 2022

So That We Are Without Excuse

1 Tim.4:12-16 (NKJV)
12 Let no one [a]despise your youth, but be an example to the believers
 in word, in conduct, in love, [b]in spirit, in faith, in purity. 
13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to [c]doctrine. 
14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, 
which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 
15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, 
that your progress may be evident to all. 
16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. 
Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself 
and those who hear you.

  first laid the groundwork for today's poem,
(click link for beautiful encouragement
to persevere faithfully, right where we are)

...then I looked up to see a burst of pink permeating the atmosphere I gazed I was smitten with this passage in Romans 1:18-20

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven 
against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, 
who [d]suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 
19 because what may be known of God is [e]manifest [f]in them, 
for God has shown it to them. 
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen,
 being understood by the things that are made,
 even His eternal power and [g]Godhead, 
so that they are without excuse,...

He bestows to the heavens, rose and periwinkle hues
He fills them with splendor no one can ignore or refuse
He imbues earth and sky and sea with wonder’s pedestal
So that His divine nature will be evident to all
Since the creation of the world God’s hidden attributes
Are clearly seen and understood; we are without excuse

He stirs within the human breast, an urge to satisfy
Where none but He can fill the quest that tests longing’s reply
Though much will try to take His place, where the devil deceives
His peace, his hope, His joy, His grace only true faith receives
Where His goodness, mercy and love abound to one and all

Ho, everyone that thirsts, come and drink where God’s grace runs rife
And gives us Living Water from a blood-bought Fount of life
Call upon Him while He is near, while He may yet be found
Seek Him with reverential fear (we tread on holy ground)
Beneath majestic heavens, while creation’s creatures groan

His love decreed that none should miss faith’s opportunity
So He instilled in what He made, His divine deity
So that we are without excuse; and no one is exempt
Oh, pray we do not look on Him with unbelief’s contempt
When everyone will look upon the Saviour of the Soul

© Janet Martin

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Tis The Season

After the laughter and excitement of today's merry troops vacated the kitchen
I did too, to feel the powder-blue twilight tucking in the edges of the earth...

Tis the season of powder-blue twilight
Lowered like soft flannel over earth’s sills

Tis the season of pink-ribboned skylines

Tossing mauve ambience over stark hills

Tis the season of powder-blue twilight
Lowered like soft flannel over earth’s sills
Tis the season of pink-ribboned skylines
Tossing mauve ambience over stark hills

Tis the season of ‘fresh from the oven’
For cookie lovin’ kids like you and me
Tis the season of joy mixed with grievin’
For faces missin’ where they used to be

Tis the season of easin’ our hurry
For the fine reason of tasting today
Tis the season of fluffy, white flurry
Decking vast vistas once somber and gray

Tis the season of love turned to givin’
As thoughts turn Bethlehem-ward once again
As we reflect on a babe sent from Heaven
To be the Savior of the world. Amen

Tis the season when we start to ponder
What really matters in Bygone’s increase
Tis the season of pure, childlike wonder
As we consider hope, love, joy and peace

Tis the season of evergreen spires
Holly and mistletoe, silver and gold
Of motley, merry, bundled angel choirs
Singing the carols that never grow old

Tis the season of green and red buttons
On sugar snowmen and gingerbread duds
This the season of turkey and stuffin’
Poppin’ our buttons with gravy and spuds

Tis the season of laughter’s sweet gladness
Where sadness makes Christmas cheer sacred, oh
Tis the season of merchandise madness
Turned into gifts that say ‘I love you so’

Tis the season of tender surrender
As the last month of another year pours
Through toasts and tributes and winter’s first splendor
Powder-blue twilights on flannel white shores

© Janet Martin

Establishing Familiarity (in a world of change)

Happy, happy December!

...and below a few photos of inspiration for today's poem!

the joy of small child's curiosity...

(and his delight at his 'baby-in-basket'
just like yesterday's Baby-in-a-basket'💗💝)

Tried and true recipes and the surprise
Of trying something new and loving it...
(I wish I had the ingred. on hand for the mango salsa!
Some other time!

And when we wake, ah bliss, fresh-brewed coffee...

The Word of God, steadfast and absolute...

Things do not stay the way they used to be
Progress presses the old ways to adapt
And change; estranged familiarity
Can wake wishes for seasons, echo-wrapped

Thus, bidding us to seek with meeker awe
The things that are the way they used to be
The unthwartable ilk of nature’s law
The joy of small child’s curiosity

The thrill as winter-heavens spills white stars
The hope that every Christmas is about
The happiness of refilled canning jars
The yard where puppies romp and children shout

The farmer that still whistles as he works
The gardener as happy as can be
Where despite sweat and toil, Eden still lurks
In every petalled plume and bird and tree

The unrivaled wonder in new-born babe
The tiring, tender toll of parenthood
Fond memories that we would never trade
The unshakeable truth that God is good

Tried and true recipes and the surprise
Of trying something new and loving it
The art of learning, (even though time flies)
To slow our hurried steps and sit a bit 

The black and white beauty of snowy nights
The beckoning warm welcome of sweet home
The comfort of tea-book-slipper delights
The courage to bare hearts into a poem

The option to use ink, paper and pen
The sentimental sweetness in farewells
We know will turn into hello again
Either on earth or in yon citadels

The friendliness of flowers, every one
A perfectly profound intricacy
A well-earned rest by zest of labor won
And when we wake, ah bliss, fresh-brewed coffee

The Word of God, steadfast and absolute
Regardless of post-modern heresy
The evidence science cannot refute

Music, a foretaste of eternity
When worship’s melodies will never cease
The heavens declaring God’s majesty
In every wondrous welkin-masterpiece

The momentum of moments meting change
Where so much is not like it used to be
Lavishes us with what none can estrange
Establishing familiarity

© Janet Martin

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

To Dear November, a Fond Farewell

Another blip aka November slips through our fingers...
fading into a wild flurry of white tonight...

To purple shadows planted on dusk’s barren, burnished path
To sudden snow globe afternoons rekindling Christmas thrill
To fall and winter’s duels in the muted aftermath
Of leaf song winnowed from woodlands now dark and stark and still

To gleaming furrows turned and tucked like umber counterpanes
To harvest-hymn hiatus and to skies that steal the show
To echo-tangos tugging at heartstrings taut/fraught with refrains
Of love, laughter and longing’s ever learning to let go

To winds that wander through a world of golden tapers snuffed
To squash and pumpkin lanterns gleaned and baked and steamed and fried
To brooding tableaus transformed by a big white duvet, fluffed
Until it spills soft feathers over town and countryside

To joy, because of juncos, to the blue jays’ raucous cries
To winter’s feathered friends returned like long lost family
To reveling in the raw agony of time’s demise
To making the most of what all too soon is history

To dear November’s dying embers on a dimming grate
To nature’s somber sweetness after autumn’s robe is rent
I pen this poem as I linger at a phantom gate
To bid a fond farewell and wonder where, oh, where you went

(Ah yes, to hugs and kisses, too many to count, I know
To happiness because it was enough to be alive
To thankfulness to God from whom each season’s blessings flow
Through outstretched touch and taste and such, into Bygone’s archive)

© Janet Martin

And some precious last-day-of-November memories...

...and the world that had returned to green, gray and brown 
after Old Man Winter's mid November bumble, 
when he tumbled out of bed too soon,
will be a white winter wonderland come December!

Good-night and see you in December💖🙏