Thursday, September 30, 2021

Conditional Blessing


Heb.11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, 
because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists 
and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

There are definitely some 'conditions' when it comes to
reaping a harvest of joy...
Love is no sit-back-and-enjoy-the-benefits sport,,
but rather a life of diligent, servant-heart obedience
not to gain/keep our salvation but to say/prove




If we desire God to bless
Our lives with joy’s true happiness
We have a vital part to play
In His reply; we must obey

If we long for His peace to fill
Our hearts though storms and struggles spill
It will, for He is kind and just
His peace will prevail, if we trust

If we want to find we must seek
And learn to turn the other cheek
Not answer blow with counter-blow
But in humility, bow low

If we want to reap joy so sweet
Then Self must first take a back seat
Before faith’s field can yield non-stop
Fruits-of-the-Spirit bumper-crop

His love does not indulge our greed
But will supply our every need
He will not leave us comfortless
If we believe His promises

So, if we ask for God to bless
Our lives with joy and happiness
We have a vital part to play
In His reply; if we obey

© Janet Martin

Romans 5:1-5
Therefore, having been justified by faith,
  [a]we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
  2through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, 
and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
  3And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, 
knowing that tribulation produces [b]perseverance;
  4and perseverance, [c]character; and character, hope.
  5Now hope does not disappoint, 
because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts 
by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.


By this we can be sure that we have come to know Him:
 if we keep His commandments.






Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Shadow Art...

 




The shadows caught my attention
while I was cooking supper, but
its hard to capture their impact from the front porch!
However, I hope you can sense the halcyon aura! 

The art of shadows cast upon a canvas of day nearly done
Captures our gaze where dusk’s tableau seems just like days from long ago
And we feel like an honoured guest in front row seats all facing west
While to the east the shadows lie like blue-paint steeples run awry
Upon a canvas where the day that casts the shadows fades away

© Janet Martin

By the time supper was over and dishes done
the shadows were gone...






Transformation Process Blessing

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

'Although this transformation process is ongoing,
often has more stops and starts than a train ride,
the process helps us understand what God wants for our lives.'
Excerpt from today's Daily Bead Devotion; Joyful Learning

The above excerpt made me kinda laugh and cry inwardly, a bit
cause it sure is a jolting stop-and-go journey isn't it?!!
With lots of  ups-a-daisies after stumbles/falls
 to accomplish the transformation, but...

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,
for He who promised is faithful.
Heb.10:23

So to/through the God who cracks the morning sun like a fresh egg...

..into a sky-wide frying pan,


to/through He who knows us inside and out,
and loves us all the more because of it
on we go...

Dear Lord,
With love learned patiently
With grace and gratitude
With kindness and humility
May our minds be renewed

With diligence and joy
With peace and faithfulness
With hope, for nothing can destroy
Your Truth and promises

Through You, Creator of
The heavens and the earth
Through you, who taught us how to love
And offers us rebirth

…as we are washed within
By the blood of Your Son
Then You, if we confess our sin
Forgives them, every one

Through You, faithful and just
With joyful gratitude
As You turn doubt and fear to trust
May our minds be renewed

Amen

© Janet Martin


Most of us bear
some sort of Unspoken Broken
but

"We can still rise in the face of hopelessness —
because we are still held in the arms of God."
by Ann Voskamp


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Beggar's Legacy


I beg for fresh reason and rhyme
As we weather seasons of time...




I beg, but not for milk or bread
Rather, for ink-drops not yet bled
For panoramic views to spill
To the mind’s eye from fluent quill
To feel you near, though miles apart
Through Poem, dear, to cheer the heart

I beg for fresh reason and rhyme
As we weather seasons of time
For font to translate into word
Wonder; when wont to be deterred
By duty; blinded by its rod
While Beauty brims with hymns to God

For eyes to see and ears to hear
The melody borne on time’s tear
Where the veneer of here and now
Is always on the move somehow
I beg to learn to want for less
And then, in turn find happiness

...to recognize the luxury
Of phrases such as 'you and me'
To view nothing as commonplace
In today's God-made gift of grace
I beg for wishes to be awed
By the kind faithfulness of God

I beg for Brushstrokes of fine art
By He who sees my heart of heart
The Tender and the Terrible
He knows both Bard and Beast full well
Then, lest I be a fickle fool
I beg for faith, not fear to rule

I beg for joy when Circumstance
Changes the tempo of the dance
And all the steps that I rehearsed
Dismissed in light of ‘others first’
I beg for love’s ink to run rife
And pen the poetry of life

© Janet Martin

Psalm 16:11
You will show me the path of life; 
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
 At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.


Psalm 21:4
He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, 
even length of days for ever and ever.

Psalm 17:15
As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness:
 I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

Monday, September 27, 2021

September's Remnant or September Leaves

Here's to the last week of September/summer's embers...

This poem is for we who mourn the loss of sun-warm hours and flowers
Yet eagerly await autumn's ambience and Beauty-brilliant bowers

I had to keep reigning this poem in...
It was eager to become a full-fledged fall poem but not yet!
Let's linger on September's remnant, shall we?
Time enough for autumn to have its way...

I couldn't quite decide what picture to use on this post
so it was just waiting, then I went to get the mail
and in the mailbox was a thoughtful surprise
 dropped off by a friend. 





(I partially blotted the name for privacy's sake)
This bundle reminded me that in a sense
 it is always summer in friendship's world💗😎

September’s remnant slips through cracks of summer season shorn
Where garden plot seems to relax, it’s brunt of bearing borne
Where blue jay’s harsh shriek rends the air where purple asters stream
Where poplar fronds begin to flare and pumpkin lanterns gleam

September’s remnant snares where we cannot undo its thread
Earth’s dusty, musky thoroughfares don glints of gold and red
And while we stare at summer spent, we feel it steal within
Where fingers cannot circumvent the tug of buds worn thin

Thought lingers for a little in past’s precious picture-show
Where time turns lush leaves brittle in its subtle undertow
Each treetop like a candle waiting on earth’s window sill
September’s remnant mantle like a fading canticle

Ah, who can bear to mope where hope pitches its sterling tent
September’s remnant gilds the slope where summer came and went
It dapples orchard limbs and lanes with apples, sweet yet tart
As hunger grapples with the pains that farewell’s pangs impart

The wind is like a busker playing saxophone and flute
Its audiences gather beneath lampposts full of fruit
Longing and satisfaction's sabers flash and clash; crowds roar
Caught on the sparkles of a splash that was and is no more

October loiters in yon brake, eager to be unfurled
And turn summer’s lackluster wake into a colour-world
To gather up September’s remnant in jubilant toll
Turning loss to contentment with beauty out of control

As expectation is fulfilled in autumn’s gorgeous show
As goldenrod turns silver-gilt and woodland-torches glow
With autumn’s awesome tinsel, scarlet, auburn, russet, bronze
Happiness finds fresh footholds as September’s remnant wans

© Janet Martin

Ah, who can bear to mope where hope pitches its sterling tent...









Saturday, September 25, 2021

To Frame a Memory...




Today is perfect cup-o'-java-joy-bottomless-refill weather!


Part of the reason I spent this morning's hours outdoors 
was the promise of a rain-song afternoon!




I began painting another poem this morning, 
then got distracted by duty and beauty
While along came this poem to
 interrupt the previous one...
'composed' by the last 24 hours of life!
A peek onto a poet's 'colour-palette' 😊

If I could I would frame it;
that moment when she and I
stood spellbound by an egret
beneath autumn's brooding sky

That cozy fall contentment
with a coffee-pot between
That season of enchantment;
as bronze seeped through summer green

That solace of the woodland
and its shadow-dappled path
Its palace built with remnants
of butterfly aftermath

The orchard that not long ago
was wreathed in white and pink
Lanes decked in perfumed petal snow
Where now red apples wink

Dawn, as it drew ajar
windows of opportunity
Dusk, as it pinned a star
on pages of fresh history

September's cinnamon-kissed sweeps
we tasted with our eyes
The playful puppy as it leapt
through laughter's paradise

Saturday pitter-patter fueled
by rain-symphony 
Where ink and order dueled
(they will never quite agree)

My mother in her kerchief, warm
against fall's chill embrace
Love, evoking a perfect storm
*for joys so un-commonplace

Wonder, in all its rapture
never snared by brush or pen
I wish that I could capture it
to touch and taste again

...and then I smile, and then I say
Thank God for poetry
A poem is the perfect way
To frame a memory

Janet Martin

* a mother's kerchief-framed
most-beloved-of-all-faces
is anything but commonplace 
so I edited that sentence💖
Another un-commonplace joy today
is my parent's 58th wedding anniversary!



Friday, September 24, 2021

A Breath-By-Breath Ballad


Do you ever feel it:
The sweeping surge of season-song?!
The merging of moments like music-notes,
composing a breath-stealing ballad?!

The wind has been a rowdy minstrel this week,
raking a reckless, cold, wet bow across barely-Autumn strings.


Last night a hummingbird straggler took advantage of the
break in the 'music' to drink and drink to its bitty-heart's content!!


I could barely keep up with its hither-thither darting...


...a bit like hummingbird hide and seek😅



...and a main reason for planting these Cana lilies
was because they make perfect hummingbird drinking fountains!


Darkness dissolves like a sun-kissed snowflake
Beneath a beacon no bond can restrain
Seasons revolve as night falls and day breaks
Silence births leaf-song then silence again
Grinning and grieving, doubting, believing
Failing, achieving, earning battle-scars
Learning and teaching, yearning and reaching
Orbit of dreams stirs and settles the stars

Then we grow older and lend our shoulders
Like rungs on ladders for youngsters to climb
Heady with hunger and blind to the boulders
Ready to test what no one defeats; Time
Flying and falling, crying and calling
Finally crawling while learning to walk
Knees bruised and bleeding, brashness conceding
No one can hold back the hands of the clock

Autumn is always around summer’s corner
Tugging at strings tied in forget-me-nots
Heart is part dancer and partly mourner
Torn between wanting and what life allots
Laughing and weeping, waking and sleeping
Planting and reaping; some things never change
Giving and taking where living is making
Moment-mementos that moments estrange

Sometimes the soul feels like a glass-splinter
Snags in the skin of that which has no skin
Or is it a sun-sparkle where winter
Is always on the verge of closing in
Ebbing and surging, melting and merging
Dawn’s birthplace burgeoning with dusk and death
Where Time is dwindling, consuming the kindling
Seasons soft-swindling the hearth, breath by breath

Ah, can't you feel it like river-song rushing
Breath-by-breath ballad while we play our part
 In Life's Orchestra, bashful and blushing
Until the melody captures the heart
Reeling and rolling, pealing and tolling
Stealing the feeling of something amiss 
Clashing and blending, splashing and wending
Bending the minstrel of dust with God's kiss 
 
© Janet Martin





Thursday, September 23, 2021

Acknowledgement of Fall's Wild and Wet Debut



The first day of fall flew through floodgates flung wide...


The second day is offering a brief breather before round two...







Fall flew through floodgates flung ajar
It flailed the crinkled countryside
And wailed at every bolstered door
That just the day before stood wide

Fall’s entrance drenched earth’s sanguine bars
September’s summer embers doused
No quixotic, poetic stars
In sighs by blue-eyed skies aroused

Fall roared like an enraged tigress  
Or like a savage beast set free
It tore at nature’s tousled tress
With tireless ferocity

Fall made its entrance, wet and wild
As if somehow a mild debut
Of sun-kisses on summer’s child
Would have been far too Déjà vu


© Janet Martin






Because We Are So Loved...


Though freedom and prosperity seem destined for disaster,
we in North America are still ever-so-richly blessed by both!
Then, why do we bicker so? 
Why do we complain?
Is it because we overlook 
the Love that should sustain
From He who gave His Son to save 
our souls from hell's eternal grave?!

Can I hear a hallelujah?!




Because we are so loved we ought to dearly love our fellowman
Jesus, our great Example proved and taught love's perfect Master Plan
With humble heart that glows with joy to be the servant of a King
As with the gifts that grace deploys, we honour Him in everything

Because we are so loved in spite of less than faithful gratitude
God, rich in mercy, melts the night; His compassion kindly renewed
Then it behooves us to be kind; not blind to one another’s need
Lest His goodness is undermined as we serve gods of lust and greed

Because we are so loved we do not need to wallow in dread’s fear
The patina that gilds the view is but façade’s shallow veneer
No height nor depth, nor life nor death, nor other power can prevail
To separate us from the love God promises will never fail

Then, because God so loves the world (He gave His Son to pay our debt)
We ought to live with fist uncurled, ready to forgive and forget
To frolic like a well-fed calf, to till the soil of soul and sod
With hope; to work, pray, sing and laugh because we are so loved by God

© Janet Martin


Malachi 4:2 NIV
But for you who revere my name, 
the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. 
And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.

Romans 8:35-39

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? 
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution 
or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 
 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
  For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
 neither angels nor demons,[k
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 
 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, 
will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.











Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Small But Mighty

Luke 6:45
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good;
 and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. 
For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

James 3:9-10
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father,
and with it we curse human beings,
who have been made in God’s likeness.
Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.
My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

Chit-chat with friends over tea is one of life's sweetest luxuries...
Words are such powerful little vessels, 
They build up
and tear down
They can be tugboats
or torpedoes 
They can be an arm across a shoulder
or a punch on the nose
They can be sharp as thorns
or like a pretty rose...


Psalm 19:14
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, 
be acceptable in thy sight, 
Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

Words can be exchanged so swiftly
Tender touch or verbal spear
Meet their mark to spark a tempest
Or to pacify and cheer

None the human tongue can bridle
Like a tidal wave, words pour
As out of the heart’s abundance
The mouth spills its treasure-store

Hurting, healing, cursing, blessing
Someday we will give account
For the deluge that comes spewing
From a small but mighty fount

© Janet Martin

But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, 
they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
Matt.12:36

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Harvest Homily


Today's harvest has the potential of
turning me beet red! 😄
I planted beets and boy!! did I get beets!
(looks like a few woody ones)

At least it's a literal beet red!
Some harvests have the potential of turning us beet red
but not with beet juice😡😆

We might think we can twist fate’s arm
And trick the hand of recompense
But some things we cannot out-charm
Action will equal consequence

Where what we sow is what we reap
The seed cannot its fruit estrange
Then close and careful vigil keep
We cannot trick what cannot change

The seeds that fill us with regret
If we repent God will forgive
Though consequence will still beset
He helps us through each day we live

We might think we can twist God’s arm
And plant some seeds that will not grow
Consequence is immune to charm
The seed it is, the fruit will show

© Janet Martin

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

  

Beautiful Renewal



We couldn't see what was on the other side of this bridge!!
Turns out it was a soccer and baseball field😐


We couldn't see what was on the other side of yesterday's election!
Turns out, more of the same!😐


We cannot see what waits on the other side of Time/life!
How that turns out depends on Who we choose to serve/obey here!

Man is NOT our hope! Hallelujah.
We do not need to become bitter or live in fear or defeat!
For what is seen is temporal but what is unseen is eternal!
So once more, the verse I shared the other day;
Therefore we do not lose heart. 
Though outwardly we are wasting away, 
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us
 an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 
18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,
 since what is seen is temporary, 
but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Cor. 4:16-18

From here to there sight cannot tell
What waits to fill the gap between
But because This is temporal
We fix our eyes on the Unseen

Lord, help us choose to be thankful
For Who we know will never fail
Where what is seen is temporal
And what is not, You will unveil

Therefore, then we do not lose heart
Though outwardly we waste away
The confidence that You impart
Renews our spirits day by day

© Janet Martin

Here we are, diverse cultures fixed, as believers in Christ, on the Solid Rock!



Whom Shall I Fear-David Wesley









Monday, September 20, 2021

Wonder-World -Wealthy

Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust,
And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
5Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.

6Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
7Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.”

 (because Awesome Wonder makes life wonder-full)





Wonder rewards its heritor with wealth a-hundred-fold
A well-spring without barriers to joyfully behold
It fills the world with pleasure to enrapture and confound
A vault of hidden treasure overflowing all around

Some wonder we behold with eyes and some with humbled heart
As we begin to recognize its vault of ageless art
Its wealth, not in showcases filled with ‘look but do not touch’
But spilled from friendly faces, wisdom’s fount, seasons and such

Wonder waits to be tasted at each turn, it seems to me
Thus, Time should not be wasted in indulgent vanity
But rather, with each breath exalt the Giver of today
Because at every turn Death also stalks its primal prey

Wonder is worship’s uttermost; nothing can take its place
It strips proprietors of boast in its selfless embrace
And lifts the drooping spirit as it fills us with surprise
And gifts us with the merit of love’s selfless paradise

As high as heavens pathless hills and deep as deepest sea
A world of still impending thrills, unfurled epiphany
A grand buffet that beckons, its fulfilling feast beguiles 
Where The Creator reckons mortal appetites, and smiles

Pride goes before the fall and strangles wonder that would be
It caters to a call of covetous idolatry
And leaves a sense of joy amiss, its bliss a bitter fraud
But Wonder’s perfect happiness reveals a glimpse of God

Wonder wakens awareness, not to pelf of miser’s lure
But to unrivaled rareness of wealth coin cannot procure
Wonder wears threads of duty but, like autumn’s orchard bent
It yields the fruit of beauty in a heart sweetly content

© Janet Martin






Saturday, September 18, 2021

As We All Are


The ending of the movie Stranger in Town
contains a speech with relevant reminders to all of us
all these decades later...

(click on at 1:50 if you are in a hurry😉)


Politics is a topic that can lead to fiery discussion
and differing opinions!
Pray, more than anything we pray for our leaders
at every level for they are far more than representatives
of a political party.
They are living souls
As we all are!

“There are no ordinary people.
You have never talked with a mere mortal.”
C.S. Lewis

Meanwhile, we all are dearly loved
by the One who made us
'whether little girl with little curl'


or Leader for the better or worse
of the country he/she serves.

Prime-minister/president/political party bashing has never served to build
or heal and though today's voter's options seem sadly lacking
it is not a reflection of one man/one party, but rather of
 the nation's moral compass.
A country is not its prime-minister/president.
It is the people; you, me and every other
extra-ordinary human being we meet on a daily basis!

Deuteronomy 4:7
For what nation is great enough to have a god as near to them 
as the LORD our God is to us whenever we call on Him?

On Monday Canada goes to the polls to vote for Prime-minister
either a new one or more of the same,
but it is a dark time for many voters because
When a nation stops calling on
The One True God
We get what we deserve.

Oh God, help the future of the nations...



...for we are more than flesh and blood,
Than hands and feet
and lovely face
We are the handiwork of God
Therefore no one
is commonplace

All precious in the sight or He
Whether private
or super-star
He created mortality
With tender love
as we all are

Then pray, this common Bond of love
Not hate, advises
And controls
Both citizen and head of state
Are chariots of
deathless souls

Therefore, in spite of all we lack
Not one of us 
are very far
From giving up and giving back
To He who loves
As we all are

Then lest, because of mortal bent
We forget, we should
Think again
Our love for God is evident
by how we love
our fellowman

Janet Martin~ 

For here we have no continuing city, 
but we seek the one to come. Heb.13:14

Friday, September 17, 2021

Beautiful Life Because...


 

By the grace of God I am what I am, 
and his grace toward me was not in vain. 
On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, 
though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.




Last night I felt weary to the bone and kind of discouraged
When I called Jim he wondered what's up?
When I filled him in on some of life's/love's concerns he said
'so that's why you sound disheartened!
The word stuck. Disheartened.
So much need, needing weary willing workers to say 'yes!'
also spoke to the disheartened!
Disappointment, discouragement 
and grave concern for the future are nothing new!
Our God, the same yesterday, today and forever declares still,
'This people I have formed for Myself;
They shall declare My praise.'
Isa.43:21
Ah, pray above all else, we are part of This/His people.
May we trust him for strength and wisdom
 to be diligent and true!

2 Cor.4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. 
Though outwardly we are wasting away, 
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 
17 For our light and momentary troubles 
are achieving for us an eternal glory 
that far outweighs them all.
 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, 
but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, 
but what is unseen is eternal.


Because Time is not on our side
But its kind Giver IS,
Because, though trust is often tried
God keeps his promises
Because His mercy is renewed
In spite of mortal ways
We have, with unplumbed gratitude
Cause to declare His praise

 Because His goodness will not fail
In spite of all that does
Because His justice will prevail
Above all other gods
Because He WAS, IS and WILL BE
No matter what some claim
We, with joyful fidelity
Honor and praise His name

Because we know that we are known
By the fruits that we bear
Because God is not mocked, we groan
But not in vain despair
Because He hears the prayers that lace
Word's inefficiency
  His gentle voice replies, My grace
Is sufficient for thee

Because He rewards those who seek
And serve Him, heart and soul
Because He strengthens us when weak
With faith that makes us whole
Because of this Hope will not dim
 As love trusts and obeys
 Because, He knows who follows Him
By who declares His praise

Janet Martin










Thursday, September 16, 2021

Joy-Quest #2


The Poet constantly finds him/herself torn between
the beauty of duty...


and the duty of beauty




Beauty preserved in poetry to relive and re-love !

Through showrooms diamond-dazzled crowned with boundless majesty
The way from here to There runs through Creation's gallery
Where work would often blind us if we didn't find a way
To pull the cart behind while finding joy in today

The earth is filled with glory spilling from the Artist's brush
We, all part of His story should not fret so much, or rush
Where people can perplex us and trouble will have its say
Still, let's not let it vex us but focus on joy today

The art of celebration does not need to wait until
Morrow's special occasions our cups of joy to fill
But rolling like a mist-kissed sea in generous re-lease
Dawn grants fresh opportunity to find joy's masterpiece

The more we try to teach the heart to make the most of Now
The more we cannot learn the art of keeping score, somehow
While being humbly grateful for bread, buttered on one side
We find a heaping plateful of Yet, waiting to be tried

Morning-glory unstoppered rolls through showrooms, diamond-glazed 
The way from here to There should leave us joyfully amazed
Where work could often blind us if beauty would not astound
As joy gently reminds us to just pause and look around 

Janet Martin~




Today's 'joy-ride' swept by 
and the poem I roughly drafted this morning...


...is now a vesper hymn


Dishes washed, 
tea waiting to be tasted