Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Greatest of These Is Love

Love never fails.
1 Cor.13:8

The greatest of these is love.
1 Cor.13:13

But what a battleground love bestows...

Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God 
with all your heart 
and with all your soul 
and with all your mind.’[a
38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 
39 And the second is like it:
 ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b
40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

The challenge...1 John 2:15-17

Do not love the world 
or the things in the world. 
If anyone loves the world, 
the love of the Father is not in him. 
16For all that is in the world—
the lust of the flesh, 
the lust of the eyes, 
and the pride of life—
is not of the Father but is of the world.
  17And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; 
but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Love is always a daunting topic to try to tackle
and tame into ink-jots...
But love forgives love's shortcomings and stumbles/fumbles

Love is life's greatest joy and sorrow~
Esp. a mother's love...
This poem by Helen Steiner Rice captures it so eloquently...

So, here's to another day of learning to love!
Yesterday a few friends/moms gathered
around a beautiful table set with tea and treats and
shared among many things
 some heart-to-heart hopes and hurts of love.

I could kick myself for not getting a picture
of her thoughtfully, beautifully laid table!

I did get a few pictures of her pretty windows though.

Love breaks barriers, mends bridges
Lends a willing, helping hand
Wakes us to mercies God gives us
Fits us for each day’s demand
Startles us with sweet contentment
When gratitude conquers greed
Surrenders futile resentment
In the light of fellow-need

Love gives life its fullest fortune
Overflowing treasure stores
That will be unveiled in heaven
After earth closes its doors
Love is a double-edged saber
Sparking duals constantly
Is it ‘God first then my neighbor’
If I test love honestly?

Love is foolproof faith in action
The fulfillment of God’s call
Proving its foremost attraction
By who we serve first of all
Love is patient, kind and humble
Love is not vile and uncouth
Love does not delight in evil
But rejoices in the truth

Love is not a careless pledger
Not given to reckless mirth
Love is conscious of a ledger
That records our days on earth
Thus, Love oft must test thought’s impulse
Probe beneath first-glance façade
To the heart of motive’s scruples
Love of self or love of God

© Janet Martin

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

New Year Happiness Anticipation

 Ageless hopes for a Happy New Year!

A kiss on Child’s soft, chubby cheek
Or on down-crown of golden curls
Daybreak, all gold and purple chic
And great big hugs from little girls

A brook, earth’s most enchanting crease
A book to feed word wanderlust
A nook in nature’s masterpiece
To worship God with love-awed trust

A winter’s morn, fluffy and white
A shock of corn, forlorn, forgot
Dusk’s friendly fireside delight
Hot soup to ladle from a pot

Crumbs after buttered toast is gone
The yawn and hum of the mundane
The short answer to a question 
Tiny tap dancers made of rain 

Ageless thrills of discovery
The carousel of season-tide
Spring's bud-untethered filigree
Excitement of Here-comes-the-bride

A way to get from here to there
A new Today untried, untrod
Blue heavens to capture our stare
And draw our gaze upward to God

Warm slippers, sweaters, blankets, smiles
Such simple pleasure-treasures, oh
Coffee, clean, folded laundry piles
Gardens asleep beneath the snow

God’s Word to cheer and teach and guide
Unaltered by the change time brings
Beauty's pastoral countryside
To make us feels as rich as kings

Unwalled woodland sabbaticals
A perch beneath trees lofty tress
The happiness that animals
Bring to a world of peopled-ness

The joy that birds and flowers birth
As we behold God’s creature care
The purity of guiltless mirth
The surety of answered prayer

The wealth of family and friends
The hope beyond love’s groans and sighs
Unbeaten path that dips and wends
Wonders to take us by surprise

Two tots for tea, a turquoise sea
The payoff view after the climb
Mist-grist of unpenned poetry
The felling fist of Father Time

And for earth’s very careworn road
Faith’s very Heaven-glorious goal
Because Christ paid the debt we owed
And saved The Very Deathless soul

© Janet Martin

Today's Prayer

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ 
will enter the kingdom of heaven, 
but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Almost Persuaded-Josh Turner
Four years ago I shared the song below on this post:
as we mourned the loss of a young man in our community

God loves us all, so poor, needy and broken without Him,
He is mankind's Healer, Deliverer and Savior!
He is love

For all who have not heard or trusted God, so good and kind
I pray today unveils the way that only faith can find
Not everyone who says ‘Lord, Lord, heaven’s passport will win
But only those who do the will of God will enter in

For all who have not yet bowed heads to repent and believe
I pray today the Truth will reveal doubt's lies that deceive
That eyes once blind will see and hearts once hard will yield to He
Who is not mocked; but is the Saviour of humanity

For all who have not understood the gravity of life
I pray today they find the peace that surpasses all strife
Before it is too late, I pray they roam earth’s futile sod
Until they turn from self and sin to want the love of God

© Janet Martin

Today's Bible Love Note:

2 Pet.3:3
Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come,
 scoffing and following their own evil desires.

John 12:48
There is a judge for the one who rejects Me and does not receive My words:
 The word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit expressly states that in later times some will abandon the faith 
to follow deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons,

2 Timothy 3:2
For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money,
 boastful, arrogant, abusive, 
disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,

Jude 1:16
These men are discontented grumblers, 
following after their own lusts; their mouths spew arrogance;
 they flatter others for their own advantage.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Awesome Overtures or Moment-ous Ink

The gold of moments molds mementos we cannot hold in our hands
It composes strange concertos from the sum of settled sands

Eventide’s subtle rebuttal eases the brunt of day’s death
With skylines where pink-gold-purple teases eyes and steals our breath

The gold of moments molds mementos we cannot hold in our hands
It composes strange concertos from the sum/thrum of settled sands
Nothing in the world can alter the momentum of the clock
Soon the Flare of Now will falter on the wick of tick and tock

Look, the lane once fringed with daisies wears a chain of snowflake stars
What once drove desire crazy decks the halls of yester-bars
Let’s not take today for granted; let’s make it a work of art
For its echo soon is planted in the garden of the heart

The ink of ten thousand oceans sweeps shorelines of Bygone’s grave
While we wrangle into Poem the sun-sparkles on its wave
Lyrics of lament and laughter sealed in stanzas set to rhyme
Before soon pours into After; where After hoards ash of Time

Ever-afters last forever hinged to morning's virgin yawn
After and before are tethered to a weathered on-and-on
Where endings beget beginnings destined to augment Past's stash
As twilight collects its winnings; dust-to-dust and ash to ash  

Eventide’s subtle rebuttal eases the brunt of day’s death
With skylines where pink-gold-purple teases eyes and steals our breath
Thievery like this is common when wonder fulfills its charge
Where we bear witness to awesome overtures of God at large

© Janet Martin

The Details of a Frown (and other quirks of joy-art)

 Where color worlds of wonder wane, 

a thousand shades of green are felled

And swirled into a mute terrain 

as past, present and future meld


Life’s pedestal of joy is set on stomping grounds of grief and pain
Where shining hours pirouette with gray and brown then gold again
We all are artists of a kind; bound to the brush of circumstance
Where seasons soon scatter behind like scenes in a bizarre romance
Darling, sometimes your lips touch mine; sometimes we flounder, fume and fuss
Sometimes we choose hue and design, and oh, sometimes it chooses us

Life’s pedestal of joy is perched in dirt of hurt and hopes and dreams
How often tears and laughter merge, how brighter then, sheer gladness gleams
Where we are takers, not the Giver of the colours on the tray
Ahoy, both joy and sorrow quiver on the brush we call Today
Darling, sometimes we miss the choir when we try to snare the notes
Sometimes the song spills like wild fire; sometimes its sticks in our throats

Life’s pedestal of joy is pressed into the soil of test and toil
Fond hellos happily caressed become fodder for farewell’s spoil
Where color worlds of wonder wane, a thousand shades of green are felled
And swirled into a mute terrain as past, present and future meld
Darling, sometimes our taste and touch are far too rushed; let’s slow it down
Because sometimes we waste too much paint on the details of a frown

© Janet Martin

Of Fellow-tree


Love sometimes may seem harsh at first, but true love 
does not leave truth or untruth untouched
 just as a doctor would not
leave the patient unwounded to spare them initial pain
thus not ridding them of the deadly growth within... 
or just as an arborist knows
 a healthy tree requires pruning

Because this tree has not been faithfully pruned
and cared for its fruit is misshapen and blight-pocked
(I have never been very educated in apple tree care) 

How diligently love's students should study God's Word,
(love's instruction book) because its author IS Love
Otherwise unawares we may be blind to the truth 
about love
and grace
 and truth...

Luke 6:39
And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind?
 Will they not both fall into the ditch?

1 Sam.15:22
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

True love does not praise and condone displays of disobedience
Nor does it cast a verbal stone, but prays that the sinner repents
For none are righteous, without He who saves us, not by works, but grace
Then, with kindest humility, may love mirror our Saviour’s face

Pity the one who, yet deceived, believes sin’s wage is life, not death
That honest love is brave enough to cut with tenderness and care
Rather than fear they think love gruff, thus leaving deadly cancer there

Love is patient and kind but never winks at gates where vice creeps in
Lest by such lie it aids to blind and bind the sinner to the sin
But love, with careful conscience prays for grace and truth’s duality
To wake the one who disobeys; by the fruit God will know the tree

Love cares about a fellow-tree not bent with harvest sound and good  
And braves the possibility of love being misunderstood
By asking God to fill the cup we lift with kind humility
So love would open up  the eyes, still rebel-blind, to look and see

© Janet Martin

While Love, Not Hate Flings Wide Dawn's Gate

While love, not hate flings wide dawn’s gate; 
life’s wonders wait to steal our breath

The hand that threads the wand that weds 
dawn’s bronze and reds to night undone
Cannot be swayed;

Love does not fail but rends night’s veil 
and tips dawn's grail of grace instead

Without love's promises 
in the Word of God
to anchor hope
and secure joy
We are prey 
for dread's deadly demons
set to loot frail soul-vessels
with brute fear 

This morning in the dark before dawn
the immense sense of impending gloom and doom
fell away in the light of God's Word 

Jude 1:20-21
But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up
 in your most holy faith
 and praying in the Holy Spirit, 
 keep yourselves in God’s love 
as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ 
to bring you to eternal life.

In the face of so much hardship all around us
may we never lose sight of the joy of
faith's glorious, flawless facts
 'bringing us to eternal life'.

In time’s showcase of doubt, we brace ourselves to face forecasts of doom
While mercy swells from ancient wells to toll hope’s bells with joy, not gloom
Deathtraps to happiness seem set to collapse ‘perhaps yes’ with ‘nay’
While God attends the rod that rends night’s veil and bends the dark with day

Dread’s demons lurk; their doleful work of woe berserk with throes of death
While love, not hate flings wide dawn’s gate; life’s wonders wait to steal our breath
For we are not by God forgotten; we, so rotten to the core
Still sole heirs of His grace and love; guilt’s trove spoiled with goodness galore

The hand that threads the wand that weds dawn’s bronze and reds to night undone
Cannot be swayed; this day He made both field and Reaper’s blade in one
Do not despair, but be aware; life’s care is but the thoroughfare
That leads back to, not what but Who offers true joy beyond compare

Who can afford God’s love ignored and the reward that Truth exacts
While skylines brim with proof of Him where none can dim Faith’s flawless facts
Of God in charge, though World at Large may barge where angels fear to tread
Love does not fail but rends night’s veil and tips dawn's grail of grace instead

© Janet Martin

Monday, December 27, 2021

Post-Christmas Day/Weekend Exaltation


Who among the gods is like You, O LORD? 
Who is like You--majestic in holiness, 
revered with praises, performing wonders?

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

The excerpt below was the reflection/invitation
Reflect & Pray
What would life and history be like had Jesus never been born?
What prayer or poem can you offer God to thank Him?
Jesus, thank You for making Yourself nothing so I could be forgiven.

After the laughter and excitement of gifts given and received, 
(both of the kiddos responses to the gifts
brought laughter till we cried)

of dinners and treat-trays...


...and dismantled

...of visitors and vacations disappeared into the dark

Joy Abides!

Luke 2:10-11
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: 
for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, 
which shall be to all people. 
For unto you is born this day in the city of David 
a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Now trails upon the dark of dawn and thresholds of unknown
God’s grace and truth that leads us on from stone to stepping stone
Where fear could flaunt a cheerless taunt and dread could birth despair
But for man’s faithful confidante that hears faith’s humble prayer

The grace of God once gave to earth His only precious Son
Where the glad tidings of His birth can never be undone
Through century-to-century hope’s cornerstone abides
Salvation, wrought at Calvary, the gift God’s grace provides

Oh, praise He who fulfilled love’s plan, Heaven’s humility
Clothed in appearance as a man, yet Supreme Deity
He bore the gore of sin and shame, death on a cross, then God
Gave Him the Name above all names of Jesus Christ the Lord

…where, someday every knee will bow and every tongue confess
That Jesus Christ is Lord, the glory of God’s righteousness
Where glad tidings of greatest joy, in spite of sorrow, lives
Because the Son of God destroyed death because He forgives

Now trails upon the dark of dawn fresh opportunity
To worship He who gave his Son to set sin’s debtors free
Not to follow after the things this world exalts and hails
But to honour the King of kings and love that never fails

© Janet Martin

Happy Everlasting Exaltation!

Friday, December 24, 2021


Wishing one and all a 
joyous Christmas celebration!

3.You have multiplied the nation
And [a]increased its joy;
They rejoice before You
According to the joy of harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil...

6.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.

7.Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Psalm 2:11

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, 
and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 

(This was going to be my post yesterday but due to Christmas Eve,
Christmas dinner and Sunday dinner food-prep
(with some very eager helpers/taste-testers) simply didn't happen

Isn't it Wonderful?!
When it comes to the Real Gift of Christmas
no one needs to wonder, is there anything for me?

For God so loved the world
He gave his only begotten son 
that whosoever believes in him will not perish but
have everlasting life!
John 3:16

Rejoice, again I say rejoice; God works for our good
He who commissioned His own Son to do what none else could

Receive with joy the simple truth that first to Shepherds came
The joy of all mankind begins and ends in Jesus’ name

Not in the merits of this world will Mortal find true joy
But in The Word as hearts receive Bethlehem’s baby boy

In simple faith, in simply Christ, who beckons simply, come
Ah here, when we believe joy finds an everlasting home

© Janet Martin

Oh, that we older and perhaps more jaded
can once again glimpse the joy of a child's delight
sparked by something as simple as
a smiley-faced snowflake!

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Advent Awareness

Be always on the watch,
and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen,
and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
Luke 21:36


Be always on thy watch and live as if today
Could be the chariot that draws thy deathless soul away
Then arm thyself with truth and seek God’s kingdom first
We all will face the Judgement booth, forever blessed or cursed

With bowed head and bent knee, thy damning sin confess
No one is righteous without He who is our Righteousness
Then as He hears our cries His sacrifice prevails
And his atonement justifies the faith that saves the soul

Time’s somber pendulum is swinging to and fro
And counting down what will become That Day and Hour, oh
Then always watch and pray; Time’s terminating wink
May draw this day of grace away without time left to think

Be always on thy guard, like a watchman alert
Though life/love is hard do not be disillusioned by the hurt
But bow before the manger, bloodstained cross, the empty grave

© Janet Martin

God presented Him as the atoning sacrifice through faith in His blood, 
in order to demonstrate His righteousness, 
because in His forbearance He had passed over the sins committed beforehand.
27Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. 
On what principle? On that of works? 
No, but on that of faith.…

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Hymn of Joy (Inspired in part by Haitian Hostage release)

Just as the morning sun dissolves night's darkness with light
So Jesus, God's Son,(The True Light) dissolves death's darkness with life

this poem is inspired in part by Luke 18, 19& 20,
by Christmas as we dwell on God's gift to humanity,
by this week's advent theme, God's love,
and by listening to the account from Christian Aid
about the missionaries released after being held captive for 2 months!
(see link below)
The word 'freedom' for them, must surely have a sweeter and deeper joy than ever before!

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives,
 the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God 
in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Luke 19:37-40
In captivity the missionaries sang, Just like Paul and Silas long ago
(pray their captors too will ask like that jailer did, what must I do to be saved?)

As we begin hearing details about the missionaries who were held captive
in Haiti, we cannot help but we awed by God's faithfulness
and weep for the sheer joy of the hope we have in Him!
May we continue to pray for them as they deal with the aftermath of it all!

Into the darkness of the age what joy True Light yet gives
God’s Word abides to show The Way; man’s steadfast hope yet lives
So then with confidence and peace through what we see, or not
We pray God may our faith increase for battles not yet fought
For heart-of-heart humility to obey and to trust
To eclipse the futility of worldly pride and lust
For we seek a city to come (Oh Lord, may it be so)
The perfection of Christendom beyond this world of woe
Beyond the darkness of the age, where, praise God, hope yet lives
To show the way, from page to page by the Light God’s Word gives

Then praise the one true God and keep the stones from crying out
‘He is not dead nor doth he sleep’ oh, may we never doubt
But undeterred press on to Sweet Redemption’s Aftermath
His Word a Lamp unto our feet, a light unto our path
He keeps in perfect peace the mind stayed steadfastly on He
Who is compassionate and kind and forgives you and me
Not repaying accordingly to what our sins deserve
He paid guilt’s debt at Calvary, in love without reserve
His gift of grace for everyone; what joy His True Light gives
God so loved us He gave his Son to save us; hope yet lives

Delight in the law of the Lord and he will give to thee
The full desires of thy heart, from worldly want set free
And as we gaze on He who bought our freedom with His blood
May we be awed anew by the redeeming love of God
And then, not grow disheartened but be filled with gratitude
And worship He who pardoned us, with hearts and minds renewed
To sing with joy and rejoice and again I say rejoice
Do not be silent, boys and girls but give your worship voice
The Beacon of God’s Word still gleams; what joy His True Light gives
Into the darkness of the world it streams and hope yet lives

© Janet Martin

Every so often I share this beautiful hymn because I love Jesus!


Monday, December 20, 2021

Of Purposed Pleasure...

If the eye does not gaze
the heart does not sigh

And never take for granted what dusk steals and morning frees...

Take time to be amazed and gaze at common majesties
It only takes a moment to make lifelong memories
Take time to look into the eyes of little girl and boy
And salvage from love’s sweet surprise life’s lyrics of pure joy

It only takes a moment to make lifetime memories
Then taste with purposed pleasure the measure of moment-ease
And do not let an afternoon without fond homage slip
But hark! List to the music and give humble thanks for it

Take time to look into the eyes of little girl and boy
For soon, so soon they kiss childhood goodbye, ahoy, ahoy
To blaze trails through dreamlands soon tamed and framed by shadows cast
To wonder at the way a season disappears so fast

Then, salvage from love’s sweet surprise life’s lyrics of pure joy
And join the hymn as earth and skies the praise of God employs
And never take for granted what dusk steals and morning frees
For these turn into moments that make lifelong memories

© Janet Martin

Love Possible

Somehow, as I grow older the messages etched and penned
onto and into lovely Christmas cards grows dearer.


Human nature tries to be wise in its own eyes; beware
It is a masterpiece of lies that leads us to despair
Without the love and grace of God we cannot be made new
The creature by one’s self cannot the creature's curse undo

Though in his very nature God, Jesus did not esteem
His reputation above what the love of God did deem
But with will meek and lowly He the love of God did prove
And calls us to be holy imitators of His love

How harsh and hard and hopeless is the heart devoid of God
Where judgement is spite’s solace and intellect, darkness-flawed
How sweet the song that fills the tongue, no longer vengeance-cursed
Love possible for everyone because God loved us first

Aha, we altogether need God’s Christmas gift of grace
The affection Mercy decreed is for all human race
Forgiveness from the debt of sin, to all who will believe
And transformation from within only love can achieve

Human nature by one’s own self cannot be overcome
Only the love of God can help after we yield, undone
Above all else then pray that He would give us eyes to see
The price love was willing to pay to set doomed sinners free

Ah, what an everlasting love song fills the heart with praise
For He who forsook heaven’s throne earth’s wretched race to save
Jesus, Jesus, oh may we never cease to bring Him laud
His blood signed the sinner’s release, sealed by the love of God

© Janet Martin

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
 2And 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.