Tuesday, August 31, 2021

From Gentle Hands

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

This is the day the Lord has made
A gift we dare not waste
Wrapped in blush tulle then gently laid
Beneath our touch and taste

Sometimes the highs and lows of love
Can cause us to mistreat
The Gentle Hands that tip Time’s trove
With treasure, bittersweet

To track-records of sad disgrace
He does not yet repay
Nor does He turn away his face
But grants another day

Where miracles are sometimes veiled
In merits, hard to see
And prayers that look as if they’ve failed
Are answered faithfully

Where what we want may not agree
With the needs He supplies
Goodness and mercy’s Mystery
Finesse faith’s hard-fought Prize

This is the day God helps us bear
A gift of thorn and rose
Then pray we trust Him with whate’er
His gentle Hand bestows

...and may we in return reply
Not with selfish demands
But open up our bit of sky
With kind and gentle hands

© Janet Martin

Firsthand Evidence...

 How beautiful to stand beneath a brand-new break of day...

How glorious to gaze anew at what never grows old
And feel God run his fingers through Time’s transitional fold
Of gold and blush and silver-blue...

How stunning to straddle the fence facing earth’s eastward edge...

To see firsthand the evidence of Mercy’s renewed pledge...

How beautiful to stand beneath a brand-new break of day
And sense above the rolling heath unfolding, silver-gray
The goodness of a Father as heaven’s fathoms proclaim
But glimpses of the grandeur, synonymous with His name

How glorious to gaze anew at what never grows old
And feel God run his fingers through Time’s transitional fold
Of gold and blush and silver-blue, His brush-strokes steal our breath
And waken our senses to feet perched on brinks of death

How stunning to straddle the fence facing earth’s eastward edge
To see firsthand the evidence of Mercy’s renewed pledge
To soak in ink of molten pink from founts vaulted in space
As He kind-beckons us to drink His signature of grace

© Janet Martin

“Praise the Lord, call upon His name;
Declare His deeds among the peoples,
Make mention that His name is exalted.
 Sing to the Lord,
For He has done excellent things;
This is known in all the earth.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Courage, With Joy

Below is a message from my friend Jane, sent to me years ago
after I confessed how terribly terrified I am to share the poetry publicly...
I printed and scotch-taped her reminder beside my computer screen
and it has been a powerful reminder more times than I can count...

Because of the prolific nature of this 'poem-porch' 
one might assume it's easy to hit 'publish' and bare heart-pieces to the world. 
But if it were possible to pull apart the place where feelings lie you would see
so much would-be insecurity, timidity and fear! 
However, whatever our creative outlet is, 
we only ever create with what God first has created. 
We are like children playing with His crayons 
and thereby we create 
and owe God an answer when He asks,
'What are you going to do with it?'

The most terrifying, exhilarating thing we will ever do
is to 'let go and let God!'

My friends host our church's podcast for women.
 Another friend is the guest on the latest episode 8.
I was so touched by her reminder that,
'as we are aware that we create with what He gives
creativity becomes a source and form of constant worship'
Yes, and
 This worship helps to fill life with constant joy!

George Macdonald wrote over a hundred years ago
"A poet is a man who is glad of something and
tries to make other people glad of it too"
That quote is still as true as ever
and reveals why an artist has the courage, with joy,
to share what they/we have created...

...to recognize with holy awe that all we are and touch
Is created and granted by He who loves us so much
We are so very diff'rent, yet still so very 'the same'
Created in His image to bring glory to His name

How loud doubt's voice would shout with fearful insecurity
Without His still small voice that whispers 'just do it for Me'
Then suddenly dark demons flee and joy transforms despair
As we honour His majesty with talents He put there 

Forbid, when face to face we give account for what we did
That pride or doubt or lack of faith kept our talents hid
Or that Comparison, (the deadliest kill-joy of all)
Would have succeeded in making us ashamed of His Call

So pray for courage to proceed with joy to glorify
The Giver with the gift that He has given you and I
Then, as we hold the crayons, may we be filled with sheer awe 
To feel His Hand over our fingers, teaching us to draw

Janet Martin

Let's all seek to bless others by glorifying the Giver
with our gift/s.

This poem could also be called
Why my to-do list grows longer and longer
because in the middle of Very Busy...a poem might nudge😊

Un-an(d)ticipated Good or Hope's Masterpiece

In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
 No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.
 Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
 Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
 Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.

Morning melted like a pink-lemonade popsicle over the countryside...

How wonderful, where strife runs rife in ways we wish it never would
Our God of love lavishes life with unanticipated good
He does not leave us comfortless where trouble’s rushing billows roll
His Spirit ministers to us to calm storms that could crush the soul

Though trouble and trial increase and fear could torment constantly
God fills us with His perfect peace as we trust in His sovereignty
For He has overcome the world in spite of what seems so forlorn
Mercy, like a banner unfurled renews its faithfulness each morn

He breaks the bud where beauty’s flower-flood runs through arbor and fence
Earth and sky grandly testify the glory of God’s providence
For He loves every one of us and hears each humble prayer we pray
And He keeps all His promises in spite of what doubt’s liars say

No one who hopes in God is put to shame, for He is just and good
Though misery may stake its claim in transient frames of flesh and blood
These Soul-implanted vessels will soon shed thinning dust-threads of Time
This world’s temporal trestles like a little ladder that we climb

…not to the grave, but through it; though it appears as if life has failed
The vantage point from which we view it leaves Truth’s Greater Portion veiled
Where God has made, nay paid through grace the Way that seals the gates of hell
Where death and fear cannot invade the place where redeemed sinners’ dwell

How wonderful, where strife runs rife in ways we wish it never would
Our God of love lavishes life with un-and-(an)ticipated good
His countless mercies overflow where some only see dread’s increase
Faith sees beyond the cup of woe to Hands scarred with Hope’s Masterpiece

© Janet Martin

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, 
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion, saith my soul;
 therefore will I hope in him.
The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, 
to the soul that seeketh him.
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait
 for the salvation of the Lord.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

This Little Bit of Time We Have...

Last Sunday we celebrated today's milestone,
Dad's 80th birthday!

Happy 80th Birthday, Dad

To us, much or somewhat younger, 80 years seems like a long time,
but it's a blip on time's screen, isn't it?!

Before refreshments we had an opportunity to share memories and words of appreciation.
Lots of laughter and a few tears too.

The verse below stands out as one my dad strove to live by, 
(and a few mentioned their thankfulness for his kind and wholesome habit of speech.)

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,
but only what is helpful for building others up
according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

The memories re-impressed on me
the little bit of Time we have in light of eternity
no matter how long/short life is!

This little bit of Time we have 
before Soul’s husk falls to the grave
Compels us to fine-tune want’s quest 
and strive to give each day our best
For it will not be long until 
the shoes we leave behind to fill
Will be worn by feet still so small, 
while we go on to That Last Call

Then, with this bit of time life grants 
we do not want to leave to chance
The calling and election of 
what soon is stripped of mortal glove
But pray each day, God will equip 
us with tools for good stewardship
His Word directs and edifies 
to feed the soul that never dies

His grace forgives, His love sustains 
us through whatever time remains
He helps us do the best we can 
to love Him first, then fellowman
So, someday when this race is run, 
we’ll hear hope’s glorious crown ‘well done!’
Where, when time’s veil is rent, we’ll see 
intangible eternity

© Janet Martin

On behalf of the whole family I also shared this poem My Dad
 written a few months ago but saved to share with him till this celebration.

 We also sang one of his favourite songs; 

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Celebration of Gratitude...


With everything going on 
sometimes gratitude is not foremost in my attitude
until I renew the spirit of my mind
and dwell on God's amazing faithfulness and grace!

This morning I didn't feel like writing, but as I prayed and pondered
 and as I began to pour my heart to page lo, and behold,
 the more I dwelt on 'more than meets the eye', 
the more 'what I felt' tenderly transformed 
discouragement into gratitude!

Life’s weight of work, woe and worry 
would weary without reprieve
If we had nothing trustworthy
greater than what we achieve
The heart is a wicked master, 
without God’s Word to direct
We are destined for disaster 
if we trust man’s intellect

Pray for all who worship boldly 
the created, but not God
He who is both love and Holy, 
Creator of sky-sea-sod
Subject to no one, above all, 
Has Supreme Authority
Mighty, merciful and faithful, 
truth and righteousness is He

Life’s weight of work, woe and worry 
would fuel a cheerless toll
If hope held no greater glory 
than the cold grave as its goal
Death and hell, are not annulled 
by apathy and unbelief
Life and heaven will be fulfilled 
when at last faith finds relief

Oh, the trophies of transgression 
would torment me till I die
But for cleansing through confession 
and Salvation's kind reply
Oh, the chaos that so grieves us 
where the fruit of sin runs wild
Would destroy joy; but praise Jesus, 
for the debt He reconciled 

In the thick of sickness, sorrow, 
fear and heart-break, hate and spite
We can face today, tomorrow,
 armed with God’s mercy and Light
When redemption’s transformation 
leaves our heart and mind renewed
Life becomes a celebration 
of love’s reverent gratitude

© Janet Martin

But this is not the way you came to know Christ. 
Surely you heard of Him and were taught in Him—
in keeping with the truth that is in Jesus— 
to put off your former way of life, your old self, 
which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 
to be renewed in the spirit of your minds; 
and to put on the new self, created to be like God
 in true righteousness and holiness.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Harvest Season Meditation...

this is the season of long, steamy canning days.
...and singing meek praises of gratitude!

this is the season of eager helpers...

this is the season of blooms and butterflies...

This is the season of endless culinary options and delights...

This is the harvest season!!

Imagine if, with the same urgency we have
to gather in the harvest
 (esp. when it looks like rain)
we rushed to the harvest fields 
Jesus called all believers to!

 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them,
 because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

We have no time to lose or pine
For harvest season does not stay
The fruit hangs heavy on the vine
Then we must toil without delay
With reverence for Judgement Day

Now is the time to gather in
For harvest season does not wait
But beckons from the laden limb
Where grace still draws ajar dawn’s gate
Then work before it is too late

We have no time to idle stand
For harvest season is so brief
Winter and death are close at hand
Its step trembles in ev’ry leaf
With verges of hunger and grief

Now is the time to labor long
Where harvest season’s bowers bow
Beneath the tolling of a gong
Who knows how long God will allow
The Time to gather in called Now

© Janet Martin

2 Cor.6:2
 I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, 
now is the day of salvation.

The Great Commission
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying,
 “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
 19Go [c]therefore and make disciples of all the nations, 
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
 20teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
 and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Thursday, August 26, 2021

The Choreographer of Life (makes no mistake)


A man’s heart plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.
Prov. 16:9

Let's admit it; we cannot begin
to understand the One who directs our steps
His timing seems anything but perfect at times, doesn't it?!

Time’s momentum of seasons spills to tenderly compose
A steady sequence of quadrilles that keeps us on our toes
The Choreographer of Days, so oft misunderstood
Works through His higher thoughts and ways for our utter good

How often faith’s footwork is tried with grim complexity
Because He is not satisfied with mediocrity
The Choreographer of Moments metes with kind intent
The order of our steps in spite of Dreamer’s argument

A seed thunders with wonders clad in unimpressive hull
Where eye and logic blunders when governed by visual
The Choreographer of summer’s stunning colour-show
Is the same Choreographer when winter’s cold gales blow

Some dancers seem to glide with ease across time’s no return
Some stumble unsure of the piece that He insists they learn
The Choreographer of Seasons sees beyond the dance
Our best, always His Reason for the sequences He grants

Sometimes we judge love based on basis of experience
Rather than trusting He who died for death’s deliverance
So, when His timing seems so wrong, remember, though hearts break
The Choreographer of Life’s Love Song makes no mistake

© Janet Martin

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Aware of What Does Not Disappear Into Thin Air

This morning there was definitely no denying it;
The cocoon of night takes a little longer to release its charge!

This morning is also the final 6:15 a.m. childcare starting time
(for a while at least!)
Because this mom is off on mat-leave 
as they anticipate Baby arriving soon!

So no matter where we are in life
one thing to remember is that everything
 (for better or worse) is but a season!

the flower in full bloom soon sheds its vibrant shades!

Time hoists its elemental plume...

Like a cocoon, dark night enfolds
The wing-span of the sky
Until morning soft sheds its hold
And frees dawn’s butterfly

Time hoists its elemental plume
Upon a transient wick
Where the hour, now in full bloom
Is soon cut to the quick

We should seek to spend carefully
Time's momentous parade
And redeem, ever prayerfully
Each day the Lord has made 

For what appears to disappear
Into vaults of thin air
Is being recorded, my dear
Beyond time's vapour flare

...where we will give detailed account 
For sparks that upward fly
Then, live today as if time's fount
Is about to run dry

© Janet Martin

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

August; Summer's Magnum Opus (or Masterpiece of Happiness)

I snared the first eight lines before tots arrived then
throughout this morning the poem kind of composed itself.
Nap-time allowed me to tether it to page😀

Mist-mantled meadowland at morn...

Plush pastures brushed with blushing brume...

Where children barefoot and carefree
Run through the hearts of you and me

Little Girl; Janet, why do you walk everywhere?
Me, puzzled; Well, that's how I get to where I need to go. 
What should I do instead. Crawl?
Little Girl, laughing No!! Run! I run!
Yes! She does💕

Where butterfly cavorts with bee
While sipping purple nectar-tea 

Where sun climbs into big blue span
Then melts like butter in a pan

Where Baskets brim with task to do
Where harvest hymns ring with ‘thank You’

Like tot, learning to smell, not tug

Like pup waiting for treat or hug

(aw, I missed the shot with her nose in the air yipping her Best Beg, while
Little Girls munched fresh zucchini-nut muffins and pup wanted one too😋😂
She will not take her eyes off the muffins, because, you know, 
just in case they drop it, or a few crumbs at least!

Like zinnia, dahlia, marigold
Floral heirlooms from days of old 

August; summer’s magnum opus
To thrill forgetful folks…like us
Mist-mantled meadowland at morn
Regimental squadrons of corn
Plush pastures brushed with blushing brume
Lawns dazzled by a diamond-loom
Cricket-staccato’s unfazed lilt
Hexagon-halos of webbed gilt
Gardens; earth-granted paradise
Feasts, planted for our mouth and eyes
Where children barefoot and carefree
Run/dash through the hearts of you and me
Where butterfly cavorts with bee
While sipping purple-nectar tea
Where sun climbs into big blue span
Then melts like butter in a pan
Where Baskets brim with task to do
Where harvest hymns ring with ‘thank You’
Where souls flow over with glad laud
Where we glean gifts bestowed by God
And pause to drink earth’s Beauty in
Like peach-juice, dripping down our chin
With joys running too rife to count
Like hummingbird at lily-fount
Like zinnia, dahlia, marigold
Floral heirlooms from days of old 
Like tot, learning to smell, not tug
Like pup, waiting for treat or hug
Like laughter; sparkling on the breeze
Like silver wind chime-melodies
Like Echoes of The Artist's 'Yes'
As Masterpiece of Happiness
Unfolds. Before bloom's exodus
August; summer's magnum opus

© Janet Martin

Monday, August 23, 2021

Lest I Lose Sight of the Big Picture...

Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name...

Lest I miss who fills and unfurls morning's mist-borne mercy-tide

Maybe hardship and heartache's main purpose is
to mold the faith that makes us whole!
Maybe the prayers we keep repeating seemingly to no avail
are The Refining/Refiner's Fire, 
because we have not yet fully surrendered heart and soul...
Maybe too often we're missing the main point 
because we focus on the wrong thing;
Us instead of Him!

Lest I look without beholding More than just the visual...

Lest I miss who fills and unfurls morning's mist-borne mercy-tide
Lest I harbor in some heart-nook, an idol of selfish pride
Lest I lose my first love by some lesser blandishment beguiled
Lest the prayers I keep repeating by doubt’s demons are defiled
Lest faith becomes disillusioned, by blindness of sight deterred
Our Father up in Heaven, lead me, feed me through Your Word

Lest I live as if tomorrow was a threshold guaranteed
Lest the quest for success outweighs compassion for one in need
Lest I forget all I have was given to give, not to keep
Lest I gorge while other’s hunger, (yet I give them naught to eat)
Lest I labor, leaving nothing but a castle made of sand
Our Father up in Heaven, guide me with your nail-scarred Hand

Lest the consequence for folly leaves me in depths of despair
Lest hope is shallow and hollow, not transcending death’s cold lair
Lest fear drives me from, not to the place where perfect peace prevails
Lest I discredit the promise of Your love that never fails
Lest I fall prey to the tempter, by hate’s master plan deceived
Keep me through your saving power, knowing Whom I have believed

Lest I weary in well-doing, lest I starve in a Bread-bowl
Lest I look without beholding More than just the visual 
Lest life becomes a collection of things, not relinquishment
Lest, instead of satisfaction, obtaining breeds discontent
Lest I lose faith's focus where distraction twirls Want's carousel
Our Father up in Heaven, help me to remember hell 

Lest I do not love my neighbour, second only, Lord, to Thee
Lest I never learn to linger in your Divine company
Lest I think that I can muster enough courage without You
Lest a heart of half-surrender infects all that I pursue
Lest joy in being forgiven does not satisfy my soul
Our Father up in Heaven, mold the faith that makes me whole

© Janet Martin

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Happy Birthday, Melissa


Happy Birthday, Melissa💗

In spite of this past winter and spring's thorns (aka lockdown)
we cherished its rose...Melissa living at home for a while!
We miss you and love you
and also are so thankful that life is feeling a bit more normal
and you can get your city-life fix again😊

So many precious moments enjoyed...

Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, 
pray continually, 
give thanks in all circumstances;
 for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Wishing you a wonder-full year ahead filled with happiness!
Happiness is life’s lovely prize
Not hiding in what money buys
But in contentment’s treasure trove
In trusting God, in faith and love
In cherishing the day in hand
As it washes across the land
Like waves that wash across the beach
In the sweet pleasure of a peach
In tasting fully every drop
That sparkles from yon Mercy-cup

Happiness is a job well done
Not found in wild-goose chase of ‘fun’
But in the awed awareness of
The One who grants life's work-pray-love
And gives us Hope no matter what
Perplexes us with ‘if’ and but’
It fills time's mist of highs and lows
Not just with thorns but with the rose
And as we trust God with each need
We will be most happy in deed

Happiness is love’s ‘welcome home’
The joys that turn into a poem
A willing-to-help attitude
A second-to-none gratitude
A hug, a smile, a love-you wave
Making the best of what we have
Embracing who we are because
Of Who created each of us
His one-of-a-kind works of art
Happiness is a thankful heart

© Janet Martin

SO thankful for sweet, determined beautiful you!
Thankful for God's faithful provision for you.

God bless and keep you well and hope to
See you soon!