Friday, March 1, 2024

New Month's Resolutions

 Happy, happy March! (already?!!)


This winter is flying by and hardly feeling like 'real' winter
with its milder temperatures and lack of snow!
Although last evening wasn't mild!
I almost froze my fingers to get these sunset poses!!!



I had to miss the magnificent, pink finale because I needed to go back inside to thaw my hands!
Note to self: never assume to be fine without mittens no matter how mild a few days earlier was!




May we make today more cheerful by being thankful and kind
And by keeping thought life gentle with fellowman's needs in mind
May we not be blind to beauty's wonder-thund'ring treasure trove
But embrace life's common duties with a glad and grateful love

Pray the Lord's goodness will fill us with joy bursting at the core
Rather than highlights that thrill us then leave us thirsting for more
Pray love’s meek and quiet spirit shields us from frontlines of strife
From lust of the flesh and eye, and dust to dust’s vain pride of life

Behold! each moment-memento brims with opportunity
May we delight in the tempo tuning Today’s symphony
For, sufficient for each hour is God’s glorious grace unfurled
Ah! Nothing can overpower He who overcame the world

May we make today more lovely by the way that we reply
To the Giver; not rude-grumbly, but with humble ‘here am I’
As creation spills our ears full, as dawn sets yon heights ablaze
May we make today more cheerful by joining its hymn of praise

For soon high's noon's full bloom flounders; soon plush petal-mettle yields
To the tug that always counters today with tomorrow's fields
So, before today is gathered into Bygone's works of art
May its moments as they scatter leave a smile in someone's heart

© Janet Martin






For You, O LORD, have made me glad by Your deeds;

I sing for joy at the works of Your hands.

5How great are Your works, O LORD,

how deep are Your thoughts!

6A senseless man does not know,

and a fool does not understand,

7that though the wicked sprout like grass,

and all evildoers flourish,

they will be forever destroyed.

8But You, O LORD, are exalted forever!





Thursday, February 29, 2024

Of Tomorrow's What-We-Had (Today)

Happy Birthday, Leap Year 'babies'!!


The other morning dawn drew back night's shutters with a spectacular, balmy 'hello'...



...but there was something sort of ominous in its unseasonably warm temperatures 
and billowy thunderheads.

And small wonder! A thunder-hailstorm was brewing!!






Yesterday we woke to still-mild temps but by
the afternoon the mercury plummeted and frigid gales meant business!



And so, winter is back...



but not for long!


But whatever the weather, let's celebrate Today because
it will never be again!

Time offers no rerun
Today's burgeoning sphere
Of 'nothing new under the sun'
Is temporary, dear
 
Whatever today grants
Where dawn kicks up its heels
Is but a one-time song-and-dance 
That twilight always seals/steals 

Then rejoice and be glad
Whatever fills today
Will be tomorrow's 'what-we-had'
Before it slipped away

© Janet Martin

So far 'what -I-had' consists of sweet morning with grandsonny...
(it never gets old; bird-watching or watching tots watch birds😘)



...and lunch with daughter, providing the perfect excuse for a sumptuous salad!
I dubbed it Leap-Day Celebration Salad!



Leap Day Celebration Salad

3 cups oven-roasted or air-fried butternut squash cubes 
tossed with olive oil salt and pepper, and pinch of parsley flakes 

Rinse one cup quinoa
Strain in sieve.
Bring to boil in 2 cups water.
Reduce heat enough to keep it simmering.
Cook uncovered till water is gone
then turn off and cover for 5-7 min.
Fluff with fork.
Add a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper
a few cloves of fresh-pressed garlic.

cool quinoa and squash 
then place desired amounts on a bed of
your choice of greens.
Top with 1/2 pomegranate seeds,
(thinly sliced/diced apple or pear can be sub.)
1/3 cup feta cheese
1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
I small red onion finely chopped and 
mixed with 2 stalks celery finely chopped

Toss and serve with a dressing of
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. veg oil
2 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
11/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
(or 1 tsp. white vinegar and 1 balsamic)
bit of crushed dried parsley (optional) 


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Sometimes We Miss The Scars...


Jesus said to him, 
“If[c] you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, 
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

This poem began the other day, when, after listening
to 'her' frustrations, sorrows and challenges,
 all I could think of to say was,
'I will pray for you'.
As I pondered that promise I was a shamed to have wished
I could offer something more profound!


SO much to pray for, always!! 
So much to author awed worship and so much to kindle humble pleas
for God's leading, comfort, wisdom and provision,
 spiritually, emotionally and physically!
We pray for those who are striving to be faithful followers of Jesus,
for those who have wandered astray,
for those who have never put their faith in Christ
(and the finished work of Calvary.)
We pray for the poor, the downcast,
for those who mourn, 
for those in war-torn countries,
for the shut-in, and the shut out.
We pray for teachers and preachers,
students and school bus drivers.
We pray for strength for the day and rest at night.
For young, exhausted parents
and for those who long to be parents and are not...
We pray for the elderly, the lonely,
the sick and the prisoner...
The tempted and the fallen,
etc.
(or what feels like His silence)
and sometimes the reason we question Him is because
we miss the scars on His hands 
(and who/what put them there)

How often we find ourselves echoing those words of old; 
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”





Sometimes we miss the scars on hands we place our cares into
When kindness grasps at strands, and utters ‘I will pray for you’
But, this is no ‘when-all-else-fails, last-resort song-and-dance
No, this is to God, who prevails in spite of circumstance
His are the hands that wore the nails that bore deliverance

This is no consolation prize we offer casually
No secondary compromise of pious empathy
When we say ‘I will pray for you’ what sacred words we speak
When we pause to consider who hears the favors we seek
Whose ways are trustworthy and true; Whose strength uplifts the weak/meek

When we say ‘I will pray for you’ we relinquish control
The One who loves us so, who gave His Son, once and for all
To pay sin’s debt we owed, to break the curse wrought at The Fall
When we say I will pray for you’ it is on Him we call

Sometimes we miss the scars on hands outstretched to help us through
When desperation grasps at strands, with ‘I will pray for you’
But as we enter faith’s hushed courts, when creature cares beset
And trust the hands no hurtle thwarts and no ‘Unknown’ can fret
Then suddenly we see the scars that sometimes we forget

© Janet Martin

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,
 Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we profess.
  15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, 
but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin.
  16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, 
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.




Monday, February 26, 2024

For Your Name's Sake (some sonnets)

You drape the dell with scarves of silver tulle...

You carve the curving course of brook-song hue...

...the earth is full Of the glorious handiwork of You





You drape the dell with scarves of silver tulle
You carve the curving course of brook-song hue
That shimmers out to sea; the earth is full
Of the glorious handiwork of You

You fill and whet the seed that leaps to life
Fruit and flower reply; ah, who are we
That we should doubt Your ways while earth runs rife
With Your mercy, glory and majesty

You stir within the human heart a sense
Of holiness and power undeterred
A Culmination, awesome and immense
That eye has not yet seen nor ear yet heard

Oh Lord, let no path I pursue or take
Be for a lesser cause than Your name’s sake

***

Ps.23:3
...he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

***

You wake and rouse the earth from winter’s clutch
With ways we love and have come to expect
With daffodils and robin trills and such
With plumes and blooms sun-kisses resurrect

You tune four-season’s steadfast carousels
Sun, moon and stars their ordained circuits stay
And never stray; not one planet rebels
Your perfect law and order they obey

Nothing and no one can usurp Your will
Ancient oracles have not slipped your ken
Heaven and earth will not pass away till
Each jot and tittle is fulfilled. Amen

Behold! where autumn’s auburn petals fell
Springtime’s unfailing hallelujahs swell

***

Ps.24:1
The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof;

***

The earth is Yours, and its fulness thereof
The greedy forget this and want for more
Than Your goodness, mercy, kindness and love
Offering wealth that pales this world’s brief store 

Your righteousness and truth are of great price
The wise covet its fortune earnestly
Striving to be a living sacrifice
Lest worship be a show of vanity

You rend the dark; cut mercy’s legions loose
You bend heavens and earth with evidence
Of You; thus, we are all without excuse
When it comes to devotion’s recompense

Dear Lord, whatever life may bring our way
Help us endeavor to trust and obey

***

Ps.103:8
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

***

Compassionate and slow to anger, You
Withhold judgment, but not forever, oh
Someday total accounting will come due
Pity the one who heard You and said 'no'  

You, who held nothing back but gave Yourself
Pity the one who prizes prideful pelf
Above the love that robs death/hell of its claim

Time's four-season circuit spins round and round
Some sense its sacred toll, some scoff and sneer
But someday Time's Veneer will run aground 
And all earth's tribes will mourn with holy fear

Then, hope and grace and faith will be no more
When who we chose to serve settles the score 

© Janet Martin

***
Matt.24:30
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, 
and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, 
and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven 
with power and great glory.

***

Behold! where autumn’s auburn petals fell...

Springtime’s unfailing hallelujahs swell





Saturday, February 24, 2024

For Today's Roses (still taking shape)


Some days life is a lovely maze of roses and butterflies.
And some days are more like thorn pricks and bee stings.
No matter what kind of day we are having,
only we are responsible for how we reply...

(Yes! This sunny stretch is turning my thoughts gardenward😀💖)

Wishing you a rose-giddy weekend!



Dawn unfolds like a butterfly alighting on earth’s supine pose
Once more courage and faith ally, to try the bud that holds the rose
Where, dust of trust pulses with dreams and wholesome opportunity
Where, though circumstance sets the scene, reply is up to you and me

Where we are always young enough to do the good we ought, to pray
To take and make the most of love before life’s flower falls away
And speak the kind and gentle word and live to give rather than get
And keep our focus undeterred, on Due Season not rendered yet

Then, not grow weary in the good we ought to do, ere reaping starts
And, when love is misunderstood, to answer with forgiving hearts
Then we will never lack for joy, but always find fresh ways to gape
At buds beginning to deploy today’s roses still taking shape

© Janet Martin

Gal.6:9
And let us not grow weary while doing good,
 for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.


Yesterday was pleasant on the southside deck...


Today temps have plummeted to more seasonal settings


Friday, February 23, 2024

I Love to Loiter at a Brook


It's hard not to be a bit delirious with delight
when February is more like end of April!
So I took advantage of every opportunity this week to 'play' outside!
On Tuesday the brook was still breaking free!








Today, after a few melt-days it rolls and chuckles without any snow to slow it down!





Be Still and know that I am God
Ps. 46:10



I love to loiter by a brook, to listen to its timeless tune
To taste life’s purest pleasure without wishing for the stars and moon
To note, with tender satisfaction that which progress cannot press
To find within its sanguine song a kind of child-like happiness
To chuckle as its chubby chortle cheers hearts without sound advice
A lithesome lilt of silver sparkles and deep darker tones suffice

I love to linger in the counsel chambers of willow and birch
Or, perch upon a makeshift pew in nature’s treetop frescoed church
And there to hear the voice of God uninterrupted by my plea
As awe silences reasoned-why with nature’s gentle empathy
With whispers from the wizened pine, with warble from the little bird
To remind me Whose will prevails and whose purpose is undeterred

I love to set aside my sack of sorrows on brook-banks, to sit
And ponder He who holds tomorrow and knows every bit of it
To listen, then to catch this joy; 'be still and know that I am God'
Ah, nothing is impossible with He who rules sky, sea and sod 
And nothing quite compares to sitting at His feet beside a brook
To be content with wonder-plunder, I don't find if I don't look 

I love to loiter by a brook, to court its buoyant countenance
To reconcile the recompense of youth with Truth’s resilience
To want for nothing as I listen to its unfatiguing tunes
To count among my most treasured mementoes those fond afternoons
When I would leave behind the grindstone filled with constant care and chore
When I would loiter by a brook and find what I was looking for

© Janet Martin


I love to linger in the counsel chambers of willow and birch
Or, perch upon a makeshift pew...


 in nature’s treetop frescoed church...