Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thursday Thoughts on Thanksgiving and Hope

Happy Thanksgiving to our American neighbours/friends๐Ÿ’–

It is always touching and inspiring to watch the wonder and joy of children
as the gaze at the babe in the manger...
Pray, as they grow they will never lose the wonder
but come to know the boundless hope and joy
only faith in Jesus can give!



This kind of poem is always hard
to reel in to page-size portions.
someday we will have eternity to sing it; 
no time constraints!

(this can be read as six shorter poems or one longer poem)

When earthen vaults have overflowed
With plant-to-harvest sum
When orchards and vineyards have glowed
With garnet, gold and plum
When once again the land and limb
Is culled of ripened food
Then once again we raise a hymn
Of humble gratitude
For eyes to see and hands to hold
And fold in thankful prayer
For wonders that never grow old
For strength, love’s load to bear
For hope in God’s Supremacy
Who teaches us to trust
His lifeline thrown upon a sea
Of groaning dust-to-dust

***

Upon earth’s hearth scattered with ash
Of autumn’s fallen leaves
Where days are doffed of summer’s sash
Of dusk’s long-ling’ring eves
Where seasons, like a carousel
Spin round and round and round
Where time is like a tolling bell
Where we tread holy ground
Where all we have and hold is lent
And not meant to enslave
Where not one solitary cent
Can cheer us in the grave
Where God who fills earth’s treasure trove
Where bud and seed-gems brim
Upon this hearth we lift our love
In worship-songs to Him

***

From hands bearing redemption’s scars
Where once man’s pardon poured
From hands that established the stars
Hope’s anchor is restored
For on atonement’s cruel cross
Sin’s debt of guilt was paid
By He, who saw beyond his loss
To souls that would be saved
Then, to the God of earth and sky
With selfish heart undone
May endless praise be our reply
For what His grace has won
So when we cross that Awesome Deep
The angels will applaud
For Death will be Victory’s leap
Into the Arms of God

***

Give thanks for He whose love bestows
The blessings grace employs
Where would-be mis’ry overflows
With wonder’s countless joys
No woebegone, bleak hopelessness
In spite of woes that be
But pure and utter thankfulness
For Hope through Calvary
Where horror’s darkest hour wed
With The True Light unfurled
For, from redemption’s fountain bled
Joy’s beacon to the world
And what appeared as death at first
Where hatred seemed to win
Was but the heel that crushed the cursed
And evil wage of sin

***
For fruit of faith and field we sing
With glad and grateful laud
Where the altar and offering
Will prove who is our God
Where we will never be alone
If we believe in He
Who left the glory of his throne
To die upon a tree
Who, Lord of all, suffered life’s loss
Jesus, mighty to save
Obedient, endured the cross
To overthrow the grave
And instill to this toil and strife
Soul’s goal, purposed and true
The promise of eternal life
When life on earth is through

***

*Do not despair; love’s weight of care
Is but the tender price
And in a sense, a little share
Of God’s great sacrifice
Then, when the second mile seems long
And songs are groaned and wept
God’s grace is not inept
But tunes in us the humble cry
Not I, but Christ in me
The Rock upon which we rely
Is hope’s Sufficiency
Then we will let our worship spill
Though dark the glass between
For someday, face to face God will
Unveil what is unseen

© Janet Martin

*this last stanza was written with my cousin Wayne and his family in mind.
What trial they suffer as Wayne's MS continues to try and test,
and forces them into decisions/care arrangements 
love mourns to need to make
๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’”

Luke 2:10-11
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid,
 for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy 
which will be to all people. 
For there is born to you this day in the city of David 
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 

It's beginning to look like Christmas...๐Ÿ˜€






Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Heaven's Overflow



Psalm 113:3
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, 
the name of the LORD is to be praised.


This November we are treated to one spectacular sunrise/sunset after the next...
this Never-Before-Seen sunrise is happening right now!! (or was when I started this post)


Honey! Says Mr. Very-Extra-Matter-of-Fact to me whenever
I am over-rapturously rhapsodizing at heavenly declarations.
'there have been skies forever, with many a sunrise and set.
This is nothing new!!'
and I reply Yes!! but, that's the beauty of it!
This is new! 
No one has ever seen this sunrise/set before!


This is the Beauty of each and every day...
always new!
Like God's mercies every morning!

Lam3:22-24
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”



A tremor on celestial strings...
Who knows what will unfold
On music sheets from welkin springs
Of magenta and gold

Where, wonder of all wonders, He
Who measures dust of days
With original Majesty
Not one sunrise replays

The Beauty of the Lord is such
No daybreak can deplete
Beneath His unparalleled touch
He never hits 'repeat'

But breathes upon the dark of dawn
Mercy's latest release
Beneath the charge of Hope's baton
A brand, new masterpiece

A brand, new day the Lord has made
For His Name to be praised
Beauty is like a love-song played
To keep Faith's gaze amazed

Then, lift your eyes unto the hills
That hang from heaven's gates
And join the worship hymn that spills
For God knows what yet waits

Sunrise, sunset, again, again
As long as grace bestows
The music bars for love's refrain
As Heaven overflows


Janet Martin









Symphony That Was...

 

Leaf-lamps clung to woodland wicks for dear life this year!
We didn't get a killer frost to hasten their departure!
But now suddenly earth feels like a hall emptied of crowds
after the show...
Dusk casts brief shadows on a strobe of golden stillness
before drawing the shades as darkness swaddles supper-hour






Victoria and I were drawn outdoors
 as November Dusk outdid itself
in symphonic splendor

Now that the limb is stripped of leaf
The woods and countryside
Seem stilled beneath a silver sheath
Of silence amplified

Now that leaf-lilt has been subdued
The landscape dons an air
Of reverence and solitude
Akin to solemn prayer

Now that the lamp of leaf is snuffed
Of luminescent glow
The halls of hills and field seem buffed
To showcase stars of snow 

Now that the leaves have fallen down
The hush after applause
Swaddles the countryside and town
With Symphony That Was

© Janet Martin






Tuesday, November 23, 2021

On Living The Gift


This is the day the Lord has made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it
Psalm 118:24








(the circumference of the brilliance of this sunrise was almost full circle!!

It’s so much more than merely left-foot-right-foot-left-foray
This life we live so much more than moment-metered decay
So much more than an unrewarded leap of say-and-do
This life we live is what we give to God when it is through

It’s so much more than toast to boast about what we achieve
These steps we strew behind become the legacy we leave/weave
Then, as the door to One More Day swings stunningly ajar
May we remember by Whose grace and love we go, and are

It’s so much more than grin-and-bear-it, tick-tock-morn-to-night
Or touch-and-taste’s burgeoning tray of distress and delight
This is the day the Lord has made and as its mercies brim
We live the gift we give to God when we return to Him

© Janet Martin

Here are twenty-one beautiful verses on 'living the gift'!

Eph.5:1-21

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 
2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, 
an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, 
let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 
4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, 
but rather giving of thanks. 
5 For [a]this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, 
who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, 
for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 
7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.
Walk in Light

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. 
Walk as children of light 
9 (for the fruit of the [b]Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 
10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather [c]expose them. 
12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 
13 But all things that are [d]exposed are made manifest by the light, 
for whatever makes manifest is light. 
14 Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
Walk in Wisdom
15 See then that you walk [e]circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 
16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, 
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 
20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father 
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
21 submitting to one another in the fear of [f]God.

...then it began to snow...

...and the sun disappeared

into a snow-globe swirled world!




Monday, November 22, 2021

Tell Me, What Good Can a Good Thought Do (without God)?


A few Good Songs to start a New Week on...

Promises-Matt Boswell & Matt Papa

  






 

'Think good thoughts' and 'think positive thoughts'
are becoming popular phrases in this age!

Please tell me what good can a good thought do
without God?
(without yielding thought to prayer)

James 1:16-18
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 
Every good and perfect gift is from above, 
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, 
with whom there is no change or shifting shadow.
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth,
 that we would be a kind of firstfruits of His creation.

Tell me, what good can good thought do
When we are down and out
If Good Thought is not first thought through
To Who ‘Good’ is about

Good thought is good but cannot turn
The tables of despair
To hope if we rebel and spurn
Good thought turned into prayer

For if the Good Thinker refutes
Goodness by Goodness blessed
Mortal’s inferior substitutes
Are pitiful at best

Dare we with atheistic bent
Omit the Name whereby
Goodness, mercy and love prevent
What law would justify

Ah, what is thought (both good and ill)
But our utter need
To submit to the Perfect Will
Of God to intercede

Good or positive thoughts alone
Are like trying to fly
While we, manacled to a stone
Are leaping for the sky

Tell me, what good is Good Thought’s sum
Without the power of
The One all Goodness proceeds from
God’s Never-failing Love

Therefore, the goodness Mind suggests
Flows not from mortal aught
But from God's grace that manifests
His love in noble thought

Tell me, what good are good thoughts when
By True Goodness bereft
Bids a faรงade without God, then
Is any goodness left? 

© Janet Martin

Lots more 'goodness' where these verses came from:
God's Word

You are good, and do good; 
teach me Your statutes. 
Psalm 119:68

You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, 
and did not withhold Your manna from their mouth, 
and gave them water for their thirst. 
Nehemiah 9:20

Hear me, O Lord, for Your lovingkindness is good; 
turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies. 
Psalm 69:16

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; 
and He knows those who trust in Him. 
Nahum 1:7

No one is good but One, 
that is, God. 
Mark 10:18

He loves righteousness and justice; 
the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. 
Psalm 33:5

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; 
blessed is the man who trusts in Him! 
Psalm 34:8

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 
For the Lord is good; 
His mercy is everlasting. 
Psalm 100:4-5

Oh, how great is Your goodness, 
which You have laid up for those who fear You, 
which You have prepared for those who trust in You 
in the presence of the sons of men! 
You shall hide them in the secret place
 of Your presence from the plots of man; 
You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion 
from the strife of tongues. 
Psalm 31:19-20


Saturday, November 20, 2021

Day Breaks...


From moonrise 



to sunrise


the heavens draw our eyes upward
in universal worship to the Creator of heaven and earth.

Day breaks the sky, ebony-hued
Like wonder-thunder without sound
Like Mercy’s covenant renewed
Like golden signatures unbound

Day breaks the seal on skyline’s scroll
The blush of Beginning unfurled
To weathered carriages of Soul
Perfection crowns a broken world

© Janet Martin


The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
 Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
 They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
 Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
     It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
 It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.



Friday, November 19, 2021

I Cannot Help But Laugh a Bit...(A Precious Moments Medley)

Sometimes I look back on a day or week that at first glance seems quite commonplace
until its scenes/music plays back to me and I see it for what each moment is; precious!!

 



Pumpkin Snowman instructions here


Tea-party 'cheers'

...and last but not least, the ever-changing window-framed art of each season!!!


(because it was this view through my window as I was passing through the kitchen
that inspired the first four lines in this poem)


I cannot help but laugh a bit
At the dear and sheer thrill of it
Of seasons as they spill and slide
Across acquiescent countryside
Of vistas ever changing hue
Of kiss and hug, hello, adieu
Of Old Man Winter’s hearty grin
In spite of what we think of him
Of home-sweet-home’s sweet friendliness
To thwart life’s out-of-sorted-ness
Of cherishing the day in hand
On pedestals of waning sand
Of passing pictures, window-framed
Soon by the Rite of Twilight claimed
Of what seems common until we
Scan it with closer scrutiny
Where word like ‘us’ and ‘with’ and ‘we’
Suggest your lovely company
Suggest a cup of tea and such
The poetry of taste and touch
And then I have to laugh, tis true
At the sheer and dear joy of you

I cannot help but laugh a bit
And sing and weep and pray a bit
The fling and swing and sway of it
The come-whatever-may of it
The way the tune of Time is played
The way that flowers flare and fade
The ebb and ache and eddy of
The give and take of life and love
The sense of something like a dance
Where moment-medleys glide and glance
Where wave on wave of hours roll
Across shorelines of grave and goal
Where youth soon wears the tender trace
Of truth; where dreamlands interlace
With matters of four-season fact
Where time will not leave us intact
And Want is better now because
It is much simpler than it was
When we were green as spring, fresh-spun
And king and queen of Opinion
Where in the autograph of it
I cannot help but laugh a bit

© Janet Martin

Soon, soon a season's sweet collage
turns into echo-decoupage 




November Blues...




Aha! I said this morning.
So THAT'S what was in yester-dusk's transfixing hues of blue!





November blues offset the hues of nature’s sparser clime
To wake within the heart a grin akin to joy bell’s chime
To draw our eyes beyond the rise and fall of season-surf
And feel the toll of transience roll across surrendered turf

I think the poet’s ink is siphoned from November blues
A welkin well where whispers swell and syllable subdues
A brooding deep above a sweep of sentenced green-gold-gray
A sacred sense of an immense changeover under way

November blues thunder with dues we cannot keep at bay
Where woodland throbs with muffled sobs of leaf-song snuffed away
Barren limbs stark against the early dark of Autumn dusk
As nature sets its silhouettes on backdrops, blue and brusque

November blues; who can refuse the sentimental *rush
Of lowered skies authoring sighs of awe beneath a brush
That drips with hues of smold'ring blues that steals our breath and gaze
As Artist spills a storm of thrills from fall's more muted trays 
 
November blues unfetter hues of frigid, downy-white
Where on the morn the heart is torn twixt dismay and delight
A strange tableau, transformed by snow, yester-ago far-swept
Where blue unfurled a wonderworld of winter while we slept


© Janet Martin


* yes, I mean rush (not crush)
unlike Grandsonny yesterday morning
announcing to his mom that
'I got a big rush on Millie'
 (name changed for privacy sake)๐Ÿ˜‚
His mother assumes someone must have
used the word 'crush'๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜˜


Sigh...'I suppose it's not so-o bad' acquiesced Victoria
(a fellow-November blues lover)
gazing out to the serene snow-globe scene





Thursday, November 18, 2021

More Than a String From the Sky

Hope Has a Name-River Valley Worship

  





Hope: the second most powerful
4-letter word in the English language after love!
Hope without Love is impossible.
God IS love!

The hope to which we cling is more than a string from the sky
It is the grace of God reached down to buoy you and I
The touch that wakes the mustard seed of faith that makes us whole
It is the power of the cross where man’s redemption flows
The confidence in promises that nothing overthrows
It is the satisfaction that, (though oft misunderstood)
To all who love the Lord He works all things for our good
It is a still, small Voice that whispers while doubt’s cannons fly
‘The hope to which we cling is more than a string from the sky’

The cynic and the critic cannot thwart its sacred thread
The heathen and heretic cannot find a stable stead
The toast and boast of pagan pride can never satisfy
Only the Perfect Lamb that died to rescue you and I
From death and hell's damnation; from sin's cursed and lethal rope
The God of all creation became salvation and hope 
As He, so rich in mercy suffered our penalty
To rend the noose around our souls and set the sinner free
To restore to His bosom we who without Him would die
The hope to which we cling is more than a string from the sky 

© Janet Martin

This passage below was today's devotion and though a familiar favourite
 God's word has a way of leaving us completely smitten 
with the wonder of His love again and again
(read it more than once and feel your wonder increase with each reading)
Hallelujah! Praise God!
Let's live and love with honoured humility 
because of God's gift of grace!

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world 
and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, 
the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 
3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a
and following its desires and thoughts. 
Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 
5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—
it is by grace you have been saved. 
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, 
expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 
9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, 
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:1-10