Monday, November 30, 2020

November's Exodus (a farewell mosaic)

November exits like a white frosted cake!
Oops! wrong photo!

This is the cake Victoria baked on Saturday!

THIS is November's exodus!

Tonight, the wind raids woodlands stripping leaves that hung aloof 
Ice-pebbles dash black windowpanes and tap-dance on the roof 
And where we had commiserated with earth's brooding bars 
We sense the lowering of lintels laden with white stars 
As if nature was waiting for November’s cheerio 
To deck the halls of hills and fields and boulevards with snow 

Tonight, we sense a keener, meaner tone to After Dark 
We shiver. Gone the melody of leaf-laughter and lark 
The maniacs that hide and bide their time in lofty meads 
Crawl from their sanctuaries and shake out their featherbeds 
They rattle sky-high rafters over countryside and town 
Until earth’s sweeps are swaddled in sheets of soft eiderdown 

The river, a black sateen serpent slithers through the dell 
December holds the door and bids November fond farewell 
Adios until next year; may the days till your return 
Unfold and spill like flowers into Bygone’s phantom urn 
And may the echoes wafting in the wake of morrows met 
Be as pure as the snowflake’s swirling, twirling pirouette 

Tonight we put the kettle on and sip sweet, minty tea
We set sail on book-schooners to lands far, across the sea
We snuggle beneath blankets and count cozy blessings, oh
And thank God for each beauty that earth can never outgrow
Tonight the poet duels with the fuel of a poem 
Tonight the tug of farewell tangles with the hug of home

© Janet Martin 

Tonight we set sail on book-schooners...

The R&R of Prayer (Replenishing Relationship or Request-Result?)

Be still and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10

sunset and moonrise happened simultaneously the other night...

This past Sunday morning our speaker challenged us 
to consider what our motive is when we pray; 
Is it result-driven or relationship-driven? 
(confession!! I was thoroughly convicted!)

In Need-Praise and Harmony

Oh God, I must confess my sin of emptiness and woe 
When Your reply frustrates my ‘I’ with 'why' or 'when' or 'no' 
Sometimes my prayer is more about results rather than You 
When I allow despair and doubt to dictate Point of View 

Help me to learn to be more still and know that You are God 
Forgive me; my interpretation of Your will is flawed 
How deceitful and wicked is my heart; You fully know 
I grasp a microscopic part of the grace You bestow

The hollows and the holes of human nature gape and plead 
Where only fellowship with God consoles our greatest need 
God, help me to be meeker in my effort to depend 
And be a humble seeker not of answers, but a Friend

Oh glorious Creator, we see but a glimpse of You
Greater than rolling sea, four-season-lea and yonder blue 
The universe is but the outer fringe of who You are
How faint the whisper that we hear, hinged to Your thund'ring pow'r

Then help me Lord, to trust in You with all my heart and mind
My understanding is confused by perception, sight-blind
Forgive me when I put stock in matters seized by my hands
Forgive me when I balk at what obedience demands 

God, you are not a God who lives in temples mortal-made
How often I forget who gives us Invisible aid 
Then teach me how to pray through so much more than words I speak
And let relationship with You be the first thing I seek
© Janet Martin 

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, 
and all these things shall be added to you.
Matt. 6:33

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Down the Road, So Thankful Then...

Inspired by my friend's comment about the effort it takes to get a family photo done!
She said' Surely we'll be thankful to have them, down the road!'
Her words impacted me with the thought of how often struggle and effort is
for something 'down the road we will be thankful for'!

For all the times we didn’t take the easy way, for where it led 
And suffered loss for Jesus’ sake to look after the poor instead 
And did not follow after what indulges pleasure’s endless thirst 
Because it did not imitate the example that Christ set first 

For all the ways we failed, yet did not fall prey to the doubter’s lies 
But confessed our sin and then once more pursued the Runner’s Prize 
And threw off all that hindered us; the sin that easily besets 
Fixing our eyes on faith’s Author and Perfecter, and not regrets 

For all the times ‘Thy will be done’ required surrender’s hard parts 
And sacrifices no one knew but He who knows our heart of hearts 
Way down the road (or near at hand, ah, who can tell) when we look back 
So thankful then, for all the times He kept us through the foe’s attack 

So thankful then for hope that did not make ashamed the love whereby 
God poured his Holy Spirit into us in trustworthy supply 
So thankful then to hear Him say ‘well done’ as humbly, joyfully 
We worship evermore the One who said, I draw all men to Me 

© Janet Martin 

(this next little poem also inspired by another friend's remark a few days ago
about trusting the Author and Perfecter of our faith...
and I realized often
The author is easy to accept/trust, but oh, 
the Perfecter; we cannot begin to fathom His ways!

The Author of our faith we gladly acknowledge is God 
But the Perfecter, this is where He tests the faith we laud 
The Author we embrace and hail the grace whereby we go 
The Perfecter; His ways we do not understand or know 

The Author gave His Son to save us from just judgment’s wrath 
The Perfecter (or finisher) tries words with Real Life’s path 
Where both blessing and hardship play a very vital part 
In proving through response who is the Lord God of the heart 

© Janet Martin 

Does our faith dare to utter the prayer of Habakkuk in Habakkuk 3

v.2  Lord, I have heard of your fame; 
 I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Repeat them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy...

v 16 I heard and my heart pounded, 
my lips quivered at the sound; 
decay crept into my bones, 
and my legs trembled. 
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity 
to come on the nation invading us. 
17 Though the fig tree does not bud 
and there are no grapes on the vines, 
though the olive crop fails 
and the fields produce no food, 
though there are no sheep in the pen 
and no cattle in the stalls, 
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, 
I will be joyful in God my Savior. 

19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; 
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, 
he enables me to tread on the heights. 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Approaching Advent...

Your eyes saw my unformed body; 
 all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:16

(one of my favorite advent hymns!)

Miracle of Love

No matter what we dread or fear, crave or anticipate 
Or hate or love, or wish or wonder or doubt or debate 
No matter what we have and hold or lose, bind or set free 
All of our days were written down before one came to be 

Naked we came into this world; naked we will return 
No matter what we boast or brave or crave or learn or earn 
Each morn, like a banner unfurled, advances certainly 
The Doorway to another world beyond the one we see 

No matter what or how or where one thing we cannot change 
The One who saw us ere we were and nothing can estrange 
No matter who we think we are, we are his workmanship 
Created for good works in He who will aid and equip 

He saves us by his grace, not works, lest anyone should boast 
Without faith it is impossible to please Love’s Uttermost 
No matter where life takes us it is no surprise to He 
Who ordained all our days before one of them came to be 

For we who have believed (ah, mortal’s most wonderful state
Do not despair but look beyond earth’s grave-studded dirt-gate 
To Bethlehem, to Calvary, to Triumph’s empty tomb 
To He who knew us when we were still in our mother’s womb 

© Janet Martin 

Friday, November 27, 2020

A Picture Hides A Thousand Words

While I was arranging my advent center-piece
the dried black beans I soaked overnight boiled over. 

(every so often I soak a bunch, then cook and freeze them)
It doesn't seem to matter how big a pot I use they will boil over 
into a black mess on the stove!
It's just ridiculous how much foam they create!
So, as serene as the centerpiece appears, all by itself
it sits among the mess and hub-bub of life
and the smell of burnt bean-water in the burner😆

Reminded me of the drama of taking family-photos
which for us is not an annual event!
First there's the, 'what shall I WEAR?!!
To the 'you're not wearing That, are you?! 
to Mom, does this look okay?
 to 'how's my hair?'
 to, mom's hesitant query to the nonchalant one; are you...ready??? 
and the not-hesitant 'yup'!.

SO much more than meets the eye goes into The Family Photo!
But. It . Happened.
Thanks to a nice November Sunday
and super photographer Brittany Ruppert 
for all her amazing farm animal noises which kept
children and adults distracted/relaxed/laughing/smiling!
(the reason Victoria is just about dying of laughter on every photo)😂😂

A picture hides a thousand words 
Behind its tidy guiles 
Is so much more than seen or heard 
In polished, paper smiles 

A picture only snares a glimpse 
We siphon from the mess 
To capture from the chaos, glints 
Of arranged happiness 

Oh, Brant 'Johnny' dear, don’t cross your eyes 
Quick, click the shutter please 
Where, fingers crossed, we snare a prize 
Midst disharmonic ‘c-h-e-e-e-se’ 

A photo (do not be deceived) 
By that which visage meets/metes 
For meek, sweet stance is oft achieved 
Through threats or promised treats 

Now everybody, one-two-three 
Oh no! I laughed-blinked-sneezed 
And ho, he thinks I didn’t see 
What Mister Kissed-her squeezed 

I’m thankful for the memento 
Of precious photograph 
I’m thankful that they only show 
The quiet, composed half 

I’m thankful for the keepsakes of 
Seasons soon turned to Was 
While time steals days but never love 
In spite of all it does 

I’m thankful for the sweet half-lie 
In tidy, pretty pose 
Of so much more than meets the eye 
…unless you are a rose 

I'm thankful for moments that smiled
Midst life's rough-tumble ways 
As we capture for morrow's child
Snapshots of Good Old Days

© Janet Martin 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

For Kids and Parents (of all ages)

We make laundry, 

Lots of messes 
Finest parts 
We make parents 
Laugh and lament 
We melt popsicles 

And hearts 

We make Ordinary 

We make headaches ...

We are loud 
We make parents 
Lose their patience 
We make parents 
Feel so proud 

We make dishes 
And the wishes 
Of mommies 
And daddies come true 
We make noise 
And joys 
And sorrows 
Cause that's what 
Girls and boys do 

We make sticky 
Hugs and kisses 
We make adults 
Children too 
We make everything 
So worth it 
With soft, chubby, 
‘I wuv/love you’ 

Did I mention 
We make messes 
We make parents 
Find their knees 
While we make 
Best Happiness-es 
While we make 
Best Memories 

© Janet Martin 

I wrote this with one on my lap 
Squeezing me with hugs and kisses and one 
Beside me who, after I read 
Part of the poem 
pleaded non-stop 
‘ple-e-e-se may I have a melty popsicle? 
I love melty popsicles, ple-e-e-e-ase! 

Sometimes ya’ just gotta 
Strike while the iron is hot! 

Now let’s see if we have any popsicles! 

So they had those while I posted this,
then Little boy climbed back up on my chair
 put his arms around my neck and right now he
is hiccupping loudly in my ear😍😂😇
(must be that popsicle:)

Lessons Easier Said than Done


This is nothing new; the uncertainty of the times we are in!
God bless you as we learn together
to trust and lean more completely on Him!

As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.
 For he says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”[a]
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, 
now is the day of salvation.

Learning to lean longer, stronger through meeker relinquishment 
Learning to let weakness be the catalyst to Super-strength 
Learning to be less of me so that there can be more of You 
Are all lessons that are so much easier to say than do 

Learning to listen rather than pour out my heart’s misery 
Learning to be still and know that you are Graced Sufficiency 
Learning to let go while holding on to You, unfailing One 
Are lessons far easier said than wholly, holy, humbly done 

Learning to trust without knowing what lies near or far ahead 
Learning to rest in the promises You gave to us instead 
Learning to live each day like it could be life’s severing tie 
Are lessons far easier to say than do, but we should try 

© Janet Martin

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Sweetest Flavour in the World

This post is a sequel to the previous post😀





(note; woodpiles appear much larger in real life than on a photo!!)😄





I like the taste of maple syrup on most anything 
And honey on plain yogurt is a meal fit for a king 
But no matter what I might name I think we all consent 
Few things taste sweeter than the flavour of accomplishment 

On the grand scale of achievements our triumphs may seem small 
No Nobel Peace Prize winner or Olympic gold medal 
But it is not the size that makes accomplishment so sweet 
Rather, whether we persevered till the task was complete 

Oh, isn’t it delightful, when at last we reach the end 
Of something built, cleaned, picked, packed, piled is there aught sweeter, friend? 
Than the exhilaration after dedication spent 
To savour the fine flavour of sweet, sweet accomplishment 

© Janet Martin

And the Sweetest Accomplishment of all?
even Sweeter than 'after covid?!!'

2 Tim.4:7-8
 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 
 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, 
which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—
and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.





Daily Gift (already in full swing)

By the time we swing our legs over the side of the bed 
to go from horizontal to vertical, 
before our toes touch the floor
we have already been presented with opportunity
to turn our heart/mind earthward or heavenward!

Last night before I went to bed I told Victoria 
I really should write a timetable for today, 
so I don't waste a minute of trying to complete 
a whole bunch of odds-and-ends tasks such as...

wash out and tidy the fridge and freezing compartment

stack wood so we can get more on Saturday,
organize pantry again (sometimes I wonder if somewhere the pantry has a sign;
 if you don't know what to do with it pitch it in here) 

tidy fruit cellar because last week I hauled a shelf out of it
when I was fall-cleaning the livingroom that I decided 
would be the perfect size for the back wall and the first
step/shelf toward the dream of creating a little book-nook!
now, what to do with everything that was on it before...
(I know how to make a lot of extra work for myself😛)

All this to say, this morning... 
I woke up with a rip-roaring headache and nausea 
so I went back to bed, woke up at 10:30 (thankfully childcare is Thursday and Friday this week)
and feel much better! now I am having a coffee and pretending it's six in the morning
instead of eleven, oops noon!
(lots of pause-and-serve opportunities already!)

Each day is like a gift laden with opportunity
No matter what our circumstance or vocation may be
It tests our best intention with basic matters of fact
Where it is up to us to decide how we will react

The vantage-points from agendas we cannot set in stone
Are always at the mercy of a hand over our own
It moves through plans like a toddler through sibling’s well-laid blocks
And doesn’t mind a mite about the steady pace of clocks

Each day presents a heap of ways to think, then say and do
To learn to bend, not break, with God’s kind grace to help us through
It challenges our patience, tests our words and tries our trust
And offers endless opportunities to readjust

No day, try as hard as we may, is ever quite bespoke
My, my how swift its gift soon drifts like curlicues of smoke
While we are wrangling into practice the fine filigree
Of learning how to make the most of opportunity

© Janet Martin

Gal. 6:10
Therefore, as we have opportunity, 
let us do good to all people, 
especially to those who belong to the family of believers.


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Mission Manifesto


Lord, let the Certainty of what we know
guide us through all we do not!

We stand so small beneath the tall outpouring of the sky 
Ah, what is man that God, who spreads yon span knows you and I 
And loves us still, and bids us trust in His unfailing care 
While round about the world seems bound with doubt, hate and despair 

In kind humility to bind the wounds of our foe 
For if we simply love our own, we mimic pagan spec 
Ah, who can stay afloat with hate’s millstone tied round the neck 

And who are we, if God loves us that He should spare the rod 
Lest by omission we perceive his blessing on our pride 

His sinless Son to suffer unto death our souls to save 
Because His love will be enough to supply our need 

Lord, grant us wisdom through your Word to see through evil’s lies 
Lead us not into temptation; deliver us from vice 
And thought’s unrighteousness into love’s law of sacrifice 

© Janet Martin 

Psalm 8

Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?[c]

5 You have made them[d] a little lower than the angels[e]
and crowned them[f] with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their[g] feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Monday, November 23, 2020

Does His Name, the Name of Jesus...

It's not too early, is it...
to turn our eyes toward Bethlehem?

Behold Him (Official Lyric Video) - Paul Baloche ft. Kim Walker-Smith


Immanuel (From The Squalor of a Borrowed Stable)

Does His name, the name of Jesus stir a love song in Thy soul 
Does He melt the mountain-shadows from landscapes beyond control 
Does He thrill and fill with wonder the eternal child within 
Does He satisfy heart-hunger when we fix our gaze on Him? 

Does His Name, the name of Jesus calm the waves of doubt and fear 
Do You feel Him right beside you in the trench of Now and Here 
When the darkness starts to thicken and threatens to snuff hope’s flame 
Tell me then, does your pulse quicken at the mention of his Name 

Does His name, the name of Jesus draw you back to Bethlehem 
Have you peered into the manger like the shepherds way back when 
Have you followed with the masses through the streets, or climbed a tree 
Have you knelt and wept with sorrow at the cross of Calvary? 

Does His name, the name of Jesus take you to an empty tomb 
Where a Rock would never deter or detain Heaven’s Bridegroom 
Does His name, the name of Jesus as trouble and strife increase 
Fill thy vessel in the tempest with an everlasting peace 

© Janet Martin 

Mayah Strofflah All (translated We All Struggle...)

The song below I could understand some of the words but not all;
I think the German words might be low German
but the song is good for a chuckle!

...and below, a few I do understand😆

btw, I had Latwarickbrot for breakfast! (apple-buttered bread😅)

Ruben's James (an English song)

my personal fav by John Schmid is the link below

Now a poem in my my 'mother-tongue/mudda tsoong...

click Pennsylvania Dutch label below for previous posts in PD
(spelling by ear only😄)

Mayah strofflah oll mitt du Auld Shvatz 
Ach ya, ma fallah awl feel kotz 
Mayah hen awl schvacheit an shoolt 
Un felleitah all ebmulz getuldt 

Maya brouccha all de leiblich Gott 
Sis neemond es ken Gebrach hott 
Mahay sin all feil druvel-fulade 
Oony Gott, du letz vage gudrade 

Feelsht du fullusah un fudrade 
Saug mich, von husht doo lecht gubade? 
Bisht du uft gonz fulade un baung? 
Von husht du letcht gubade…un vee laung? 

Dee veld is uft net friendlich, nay 
So leibe un leibe un leibe noch mae 
Vile mayah strofflah oll mitt du auld Shvatz 
Un fallah uft un blenty kotz 

© Janet Martin 

(loosely, best as I could, translation) 

We all struggle with Old Black (aka devil) 
Oh yes, we all often fall short 
We all have weakness and blame/fault/guilt 
And all sometimes lose patience 

We all need loving God 
There is no one who has no need 
We are all trouble-burdened 
Without God, turned the wrong way 

Do you feel lonely and grumpy? 
Tell me, when have you last prayed? 
Are you often depressed and afraid? 
When have you last prayed…and for how long? 

This world is often not friendly, no 
So love and love and love some more 
Because we all struggle with Old Black 
And all fall often and plenty short
Janet Martin

May Love Be...

“A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon 
without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road.”

I 'borrowed' this quote from my friend Cyndy's blog!
Have you benefited from her GORGEOUS Montana-pics 

I've noticed something after years of living...
loving/humble people have a greater sense of humour.
So may humility/love be our greatest quest
not only for the sake of happiness of others
but as we love, we ourselves become best-blessed beneficiaries!
Joy and peace are by-products of love!

Due to the misfortune of misunderstanding 
Victoria and I were quarantined for eight days...
thankfully we were healthy and happy 
and did a whole LOT of fall-cleaning
in places suffering a whole lot of neglect.
And to top it off my sister Lucy
 sent of box of 'love'  to spoil us!

all the above, plus spinach and cheese which turned into next day's lunch!
(Sisters know things about sisters that others may not like
she knows how much I LOVE spinach and cheese😍)

May love be the sweet instilling in the fulfilling of tasks 
May it make us more than willing to do more than duty asks 
May it be the flawless fuel in the battles that we brave 
Where sly adversaries duel with satisfactions we crave 

May we model, just like Jesus, compassion for fellowman 
Spread the glad tidings of Christmas all year through to all we can 
May love be a wordless witness in a walk worthy of Christ 

May love, without reservation, be the fortune that we seek 
May we shun discrimination and the pride that makes us weak 
May we look with humble honor to the author of our hope 
As we cherish one another so that everyone can cope 

May love be the flame that kindles what refills our cups of joy 
When goodwill or patience dwindles, may love its forces deploy 
Transforming the ‘ordinary’ into honor’s role renewed 
May love be mercy’s outpouring that fills us with gratitude 

© Janet Martin 

and last but not least,
a LONG sentence of thanks for the love of fellow-believers😇

We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
praying always for you, 
since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus 
and the love which you have for all the saints; 
because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, 
of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel 
which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit 
and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also 
since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth; 
just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, 
who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, 
and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

From Time's Tailor...

November's late-day hues are hard to top!
When Victoria and I saw these colours unfolding
yesterday afternoon
we dropped what we were doing to drench ourselves in
November's Masterpiece

Last leaves vacate the lofty limb 
Branches like black embroidery 
Are etched upon dusk’s flaming scrim 
Of pink fading to ebony 
Where autumn’s awesome oriflamme 
Dwindles until it is no more 
Save flecks upon the sprawling calm 
Of November’s stark corridor 

November’s barren beauty sparks 
A reverential spectacle 
Thought, like a wanderer embarks 
On excursions, ephemeral 
Thankfulness is joy’s saving grace 
As seasons skim and sweep and glance 
Through have-and-hold’s futile embrace 
Leaving only echo-Rembrandts 

The undertow of season-strains 
No mortal means can overthrow 
The One who is supreme sustains 
The framework of Soul-sacred throe 
Nature showcases Deity 
His flawless handiwork imbues
November with Tranquility 
Captured in brooding, burnished hues

Earth nestles 'neath November's arch
Lowering trestles dark with snow
Thought wrestles with the steady march
Of moments as they come and go
Where sum of Season's aftermath
Is more than fabric tossed afar
God cuts the pattern of time's path
And grafts it to Right Where We Are

© Janet Martin