Monday, February 28, 2022

February Flashback and Farewell

 Of boot-hat-mitten weariness...

Of frigid, drifted sweeps/deeps of snow...

Of shovel-muscles, honed and buff...

Of cozy book-nooks...

Of scrabble games always in play...

Of sills filled with convoys of toys...(but little boy did NOT like the word share)😅

Of warm, south-facing window-spas...

Worlds tucked in white or blush and green...

Farewell, dear fellow-friend and foe
Of frigid, drifted sweeps/deeps of snow
Of days stretched longer into dusk
Of gales, surly-burly and brusque
Of cozy book-nooks by the fire
Of gardens only dreams acquire
Of boot-hat-mitten weariness
Of kitten-soft sun-cheeriness
Of shovel-muscles, honed and buff
Of swirly, sparkly feather-fluff
Of hot-choc-marshmallow mustache
Of gramma-horse toboggan-dash
Of scrabble games always in play
Of sledding hills of numbered day
Of lone reed like a pencil-sketch
Of wishes for a milder stretch
Of warm, south-facing window-spas
Of outdoor task-lists still on pause
Of sills filled with convoys of toys
Of thrills of beauty’s spartan poise
Of senses smitten, torn between
Worlds tucked in white or blush and green
Of icicles starting to slip
Of maple-sap’s darling first drip
Of straining for first signs of spring
Of bittersweet relinquishing
Of learning not to haste the way
Of seasons, but to taste today
Before the hour dons the knell
That bends the bower with farewell

© Janet Martin

A few more Feb. flashbacks...

Today's Holy Ground

When The Greatest Commandment is disregarded
then everything else that follows falls out of place.

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

Mercy unveils its token
Across the land and sea
A new morning has broken
Holy, holy, holy

Psalm 23:3
He restores my soul; 
He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

The love that pardons sinners
Where truth and grace abound
Wakens pardoned believers
To today’s holy ground

The hope wrought through redemption
As trouble’s billows break
Sweetens, with awed perception
Each holy breath we take

He, who for our transgression
Bore hate’s hostility
Teaches, through His subjection

Mercy unveils its token
Across the land and sea
A new morning has broken
Holy, holy, holy

No other God can conquer
And bid the darkness flee
Nor satisfy want’s hunger
With holy fealty

The strength of rebels falters
When fixed on this world’s mess
Nothing supplants or altars
God’s holy righteousness

This love, above all scandals
That no brute can confound
Bids us take off pride’s sandals
On today's holy ground

By grace we are forgiven
And so unworthy of
Earth’s small foretaste of Heaven
God’s holy, holy love

Oh, come let us adore Him
Let humble praise resound
God sees who bows before Him  
On today's holy ground

© Janet Martin

This poem was inspired in part by our message yesterday!

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Opinion Pole


Without God’s Word I think the soul
Would be a big opinion pole
No law of love to temper ire
Or tame the wild flames of desire
No example of Self denied
To rebuke mortal’s stubborn pride
No image of love’s nail-scarred grace
To set us in our humble place
No wisdom, better far than gold
No vast depth of riches untold
No sin to earnestly confess
No higher call than happiness
No Christ-keen conscience thus to heed
No faith that God supplies our need
No trustworthy compass to guide
No Presence to comfort or chide
Without God’s Word the deathless soul
Is a sad, lost opinion pole

© Janet Martin

Romans 11:33
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! 
How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

Far More ...

I sighed with delight at His sunrise...
I wept with delight at His Word

My, I thought as I gazed in ecstasy at the break of day,
what could be more beautiful than this?!
Then, I opened His Word and He showed me...

Ephesians 2:19-22
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers,
 but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, 
with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 
21 In him the whole building is joined together 
and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 
22 And in him you too are being built together 
to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Far more than Mercy we bear witness to as heavens pale
And star-galaxies disappear, as morning rends night’s veil
Far more than naked eye observes of wonders to behold
Of earth and its fulness thereof ‘neath daybreak’s blush and gold
While we grapple with outer fringes of love’s boundless store
Forbid we miss what hinges This to fathoms of far more

Far more than the order of seasons and all they bestow
Of bud to bloom and leaf that lilts then falls like autumn snow
Of winter’s bit ‘o bluster before flowers frill the fence
Or bit o’ boast we muster because of His kind diligence
While what we see sparks poetry and stirs us to the core
Forbid we miss the Holy Kiss of ever so much more

Far more than food and drink or ink to fill the sky with prose
Far more than speech can clarify to those who just suppose
Far more than fellowship where numbered days have staked their claim
Where moments slip like falling stars and nothing stays the same
While we learn to adjust as time and change rush undeterred
Forbid we miss the Best There Is from God to man; His Word

Far more to mentor perfect peace than this world can achieve
Far more to help sweet hope increase when doubt tries to deceive
A wellspring beyond measure to feed heart and soul and mind
A vault of priceless treasure only they who seek will find
While from the cradle to the grave where many gods compete
Forbid we miss The Best There Is as faith and Father meet

Forbid we miss the Genesis to Revelation boon
Forbid we miss the sacred bliss as man and God commune
Where new day spills and beauty thrills the hunger of our gaze
Forbid we miss the wonder from His Word of ancient days
While we are here with opportunity to search His Book
Forbid we miss His promises because we didn’t look

The One whose ways we cannot comprehend loves you and me
A Comforter and Friend, His Word, the Truth that sets us free
His Spirit ministers to all who trust and taste and see
His Voice transcends Time’s thrall through divine edict and decree
While Goodness through the ages brims from pages to the soul
Forbid we never find the fount where faith can be made whole

© Janet Martin

Psalm 37:4-5

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Divine Dynamics

Produce fruit, then, in keeping with repentance. 

Psalm 100:4-5
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and bless His name.

Wide, the world abounds with wonders
Generations rise and fall
Truth abides amidst pride’s blunders
The Lord God is over all

Broad, the aftermath of action
Where ripple-effect of deed
Affects future generations
With benevolence or greed

Deep, the roots of humble penance
Ground the soundness of the tree
As fruits worthy of repentance
Prove faith’s authenticity

Loud, the cries where evil rages
Desperation pleads for peace
Look, a Book of holy pages
Tells the Way to true release

Firm, faith’s rock-solid foundation
Anchors hope’s oft storm-tossed sails
God, the author of salvation
Never falters, never fails

Hallelujah, God is greater
His freedom no chain can bind
Nothing can thwart the Creator
Nor the plan that He designed

Vainly evil plots its vengeance
For nothing can overthrow
With battalion or belligerence
He from Whom all blessings flow

Hateful, the retaliations
Of those who despise His call
Faithful to all generations
The Lord God is over all

© Janet Martin

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Worth Every Prayer

rouse cries to God for His protection and direction
for innocent victims of war!

Psalm 90:14
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
    that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

1 Cor.10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do,
 do it all for the glory of God.

Job 19:25
I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.

While we pray for peace we also know what Jesus said,
Jesus answered, “See to it that no one deceives you.
 5For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. 
These things must happen, but the end is still to come.
 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 
There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 
8All these are the beginning of birth pains.

The soul’s prosperity no war can overthrow
God’s Word, a lamp unto our feet will never lose its glow
The goal we press toward beyond time’s troubled care
When at last we behold our Lord, will be worth every prayer

In God’s decree not man's, we ought to fix our trust
How fleeting is the mist that spans the gap twixt dust-to-dust
The peace that this world gives is volatile indeed
To know that our Redeemer lives provides the hope we need

Life’s little leap of faith vexes dreamer’s designs
Where circumstance is like a lathe that chisels and refines
Desires of the heart and treasures that we crave
Where mortal means cannot impart that which succeeds the grave

While tears and bloodshed flow, we groan beneath its lot
But evil cannot overthrow what Calvary has wrought
Then, though burdens abound, still we will not despair
For, just to see our Savior crowned will be worth every prayer

The Truth cannot be swayed; the sorrows of travail
Fulfill words Time cannot dissuade; prophecy will not fail
The goal we press toward, when faith its fruit will bear
And we behold our glorious Lord, will be worth every prayer

He hears the heartfelt plea of those who trust in Him
No cold and distant God is He whose mercies never dim
Whose faithful Word bestows comfort to creature care
Whose love transcends earth's curtain close and makes worth every prayer

© Janet Martin

Psalm 90:14
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
    that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Thankfully, Thoroughly Equipped...

Instead of cursing and condemning each other we should pray!
Esp. for the leaders of every country in the world!
It's so easy to become distracted by what we see
of fruits of deeds done in darkness
Psalm 8 begins and ends with this glorious
phrase of praise...
Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Believers are called to be the salt of the earth 
and the light of the world...
You are the light of the world. 
A town/city built on a hill cannot be hidden. 
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. 
Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others,
 that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The believer is equipped
(because greater is He that is in me/ us
than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4)
for whatever we face,
through our Lord's Majestic Name!
May our lives be an offering of praise!

Our glorious God grants everything we need ...
2 Tim.3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction,
for [c]instruction in righteousness,
17that the man of God may be complete,
thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Praise He who equips us thoroughly!

Goodness, though evil prospers
Kindness to counter sneers
Pity for profane scoffers
And malicious compeers
Mercy, in spite of meanness
Love for the enemy
Oh, may this be the witness
Of Christ in you and me

A meek and gentle spirit
Strength greater than man’s might
Armor of holy merit
That fits us for the fight
So, when we face our giants
All that the world will see
Is grace to crush defiance
With Christ’s humility

A hope-transformed perspective
The power to endure
A far greater objective
Than this world can secure
In each new morning breaking
A heart amazed and awed
Because of the breathtaking
Majestic name of God

A purpose, pure and pleasing
To heed love’s highest call
Redemption’s charge releasing
The captive from the fall
The faith by which none perish
The hymn to worship He
Whose testament we cherish
The power of Christ in me

A patient perseverance
Until earth yields its claim
And we see without hindrance
Our Lord’s majestic name
When faith concludes its story
With perfect clarity
As we behold/extol the glory
Of Christ eternally

© Janet Martin

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Of Unrelenting Death


The bloom none can restore after its petals fade and fall...

It sweetens our senses to fleet moments as they meld
And stirs us to remember what we far too oft let slip
It reawakens us to notice love; a world beheld
With kinder eyes when Unrelenting Death makes known its grip

It readjusts the grasp on what we clasp and count most dear
It causes us to reevaluate goals we purse
How beautiful common responsibilities appear
When Unrelenting Death once more impacts us with its due

It leaves us gently smitten with life’s sheer vitality
The Other Side still hidden drawing nearer with each breath
It strikes the sacred chord that tunes us to eternity
For there is no relinquishment from Unrelenting Death

It solemnizes wish-lists with people rather than things
Love cannot be fulfilled without best words like ‘us’ and ‘we’
It keens us to the imminence of what the unknown brings
Where someday Unrelenting Death will come for you and me

It urges us to think beyond time’s splurge of dust-to-dust
Where the undying soul indwells shells of mortality
It bids us bow our heads and reaffirm the sacred trust
In He who anchors hope beyond Death’s unrelenting sea

The bloom none can restore after its petals fade and fall
Ah Death, thy unrelenting score rends ties 'neath touch unfurled  
But never love; life's fond and fairest flower of them all
Unveils a glimpse of Eden before sin entered the world  

© Janet Martin

Genesis 2:17
but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; 
for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die."

Genesis 3:6
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes,
 and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom, 
she took the fruit and ate it. 
She also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.

James 1:15
Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; 
and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Very Precious, Second-to-None Gift...

Happy Family Day!

Today's Family Day was spent with
cherished church-family
as a dear brother was laid to rest...

He was a son, a brother, a husband and a dad.
The tender tributes by his family
 surely roused in the hearts of everyone present
a kinder and humbler commitment to love one another,
to help one another
and cherish our families 
while we can!
Let's make every day Family Day💝💞💕

How suddenly (what may at first glance seem quite commonplace)
the ordinary becomes sacred!

The gift of family is life’s imperfect, Perfect Best
Epitome of love fulfilled and sorely put to test
How blessed we are with words like ‘husband’ and ‘wife’, ‘mom’ and ‘dad’
When life is Brother-sister-gramps-and-gram, aunt-uncle glad

For in the end all that remains of all we now embrace
Are memory-mementos of a bygone time and place
How humbly then, as today brims with opportunity
We ought to love each other like a great big family

When life’s sweet circle breaks as death collects its ordained due
It makes us more aware of little words like ‘me-and-you’
And stirs a deeper thankfulness, even while love’s tears fall
For the kind gift of family, life’s dearest gift of all

Life is too short to waste in bickering and blow-for-blow
Today is for forgiving because none of us can know
Who will be next to leave behind the rest of us to weep
Over precious mementos that the heart alone can keep

So, by God’s grace, while we are still on this side of the grave
Let's vow to live and love as if today is all we have
Where, nothing remains commonplace as we begin to see
The precious, second-to-none gift of love of family

© Janet Martin

A new commandment I give to you, 
that you love one another:
 just as I have loved you, 
you also are to love one another.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Till Arbors Drip With Petal Plumes...

So many, in spite of a blizzard
do not have the luxury of being 'snowed in'.
Although a lot of snowplows are temporarily parked 
I did see one go past our house a little while ago...
I heard it. It was so white I couldn't see it!!
Thank-you to all the winter-heroes!

...and here? 
Well, it looks like a day of unrushed ink, 
coffee pot refills
a little oven lovin'...
fire tending
and counting our blessings!

(don't you just love the word 'unrushed'💝)

When arbors drip with petal-plumes
When flowers frill earth’s living rooms
And gardens bob with breeze-kissed blooms
And bird trill fills the dawn
When landscapes white and silver-blue
Dazzle with diamonds made of dew
And green in every sheen and hue
We’ll know winter is gone

When woodlands shed their hoary locks
And robins strut in yellow socks
And brooks curl around glossy rocks
And dandelions beam
When hearths are dark and cold and bare
When days are bright and warm and fair
And we feel younger than we were
In winter’s summer-dream

Then we will look back and recall
The sweet-spent pieces of it all
The way intricate shadows fall
From The Painter’s brush
How chubby juncos thrill us so
How chickadees flit to and fro
The hieroglyphics carved in snow
Plush, pillow-billowed hush

Cheeks glowing with wind-kissed remains
The lure of fluffy fields and lanes
White-stucco woods and windowpanes
Snow-angels on the lawn
A slower-savored cup of tea
With old poets for company
And as far as the eye can see
Time tucked in featherdown

Landscape scenes framed in frosted matte
Snowman, suave in a black top hat
Bird-feeder drama tit-for-tat
Nature’s pure innocence
Beneath our feet the creak of cold
Above us, vaults of snowflake-gold
And all around the boundless mold
Of ageless resplendence

The creek asleep beneath a quilt
Of sequins, stars and glitter-gilt
The way the wind chases the silk
Of a lost bridal veil
The spartan art of barren tree
Naked, yet cloaked in modesty
The way the Artist helps us see
Each beautiful detail

…a paradise of unrushed ink
Where poets dare to sit and think
Perched on an intangible brink
Of Poem not get penned
Rousing rush of adrenaline
*When blizzards snow us snugly in
With our beloved kith and kin
And ink and paper friend

Let’s try to not want what is not
Where time grants treasures soon forgot
Beneath tick-tock’s tittle and jot
Each little day is drawn
Till arbors drip with petal-plumes
Till flowers frill earth’s living rooms
And gardens bob with breeze-kissed blooms
Because winter is gone

© Janet Martin

*Jim is just leaving the yard and hoping to make it home safely
then that line in the poem will be complete
(He just pulled in!)

Psalm 147:15-18

He sends his command to the earth;

his word runs swiftly.

16He spreads the snow like wool

and scatters the frost like ashes.

17He hurls down his hail like pebbles.

Who can withstand his icy blast?

18He sends his word and melts them;

he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.


Friday, February 18, 2022

As If...

As if somehow you owed us more
Than you've already given
Some dare to curse and shake a fist
At God of earth and heav'n

As if somehow we did not have
Our utmost need supplied;
Redemption from the curse of sin
Through pardon You provide

As if this world should reconcile
Our logic, some deny
Because of Love misunderstood
You, God of earth and sky

As if we didn't owe to You
All heart, soul, strength and mind
Some spend a lifetime looking for
Something they cannot find

© Janet Martin

John 3:16-18
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and onlye Son, 
that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
 17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, 
but to save the world through Him. 
18Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, 
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
 because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Never, For One Wayward Wink...

A special treat for you and me today!
Sunrise photo with a different skyline!
Jim (truckdriver-husband) sent this photo
 from somewhere in the very chill hills of
very Northern Ontario
(no phone reception when I tried to call and find out where)
(update: Schreiber, Ont.)

'Surely the morning gold and pink
Is the hem of His gown'

 Because I have yet to walk the mile
of those who mourn the loss of a parent, sibling,
son, daughter, spouse, etc. I cannot pen
the places that those losses must lead Love through
and I do not pretend to know what they know
but I can imagine, 
and hurt
and pray
and weep with those who weep
and plead to God 
bless those who mourn (Matt.5:4)

What comfort to know
that never for a single, wayward wink
does The Lord, our Shepherd 
shift His gaze from His beloved Sheep...

Between miles yet to live and love
And miles that we have trod
Pray, where we are we find enough
In the kind love of God

Through wildernesses of today
Of mortal want and woe
Our Sovereign God still leads the way
Love's manna falls like snow

Enough, always enough, to feed
The cries of you and I
Exactly when, how much we need
His mercy will supply

The Pillar of His Promises
Will never shift or fade
But leads in paths of righteousness
In this day He has made

Toward the Promised Land we face
And run life’s race with joy
And lean on Him and trust His grace
That nothing can destroy

For, never for one wayward wink
Does He forsake His own
Surely the morning gold and pink
Is the hem of His gown

Surely goodness and mercy shall
Follow us all our days
Until forever we will dwell
In the house of His praise

© Janet Martin

 Familiar and forever precious...

Psalm 23 KJV

 The Lord is my shepherd; 
I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
 he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul:
 he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
 I will fear no evil: 
for thou art with me; 
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
 thou anointest my head with oil; 
my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: 
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Translation below...

Translation of lyrics...

So take my hands
So nimm denn meine Hände
and lead me
Und führe mich
Until my happy end
Bis an mein selig Ende
And forever.
Und ewiglich.
I don't like to go alone
Ich mag allein nicht gehen,
Not a step;
Nicht einen Schritt;
where you will go and stand
Wo du wirst gehn und stehen,
Then take me with you.
Da nimm mich mit.
wrapped in our mercy
In dein Erbarmen hülle
my weak heart
Mein schwaches Herz
And do it completely still
Und mach es gänzlich stille
In joy and pain;
In Freud und Schmerz;
Let rest at your feet
Laß ruhn zu deinen Füßen
your poor child;
Dein armes Kind;
It wants to close its eyes
Es will die Augen schließen
And believe blindly.
Und glauben blind.
Even if I don't feel anything
Wenn ich auch gleich nichts fühle
of your power
Von deiner Macht,
You lead me to my goal
Du führst mich doch zum Ziele,
Even through the night.
Auch durch die Nacht.
So take my hands
So nimm denn meine Hände
and lead me
Und führe mich
Until my happy end
Bis an mein selig Ende
And forever.
Und ewiglich.