Wednesday, November 30, 2022

To Dear November, a Fond Farewell

Another blip aka November slips through our fingers...
fading into a wild flurry of white tonight...

To purple shadows planted on dusk’s barren, burnished path
To sudden snow globe afternoons rekindling Christmas thrill
To fall and winter’s duels in the muted aftermath
Of leaf song winnowed from woodlands now dark and stark and still

To gleaming furrows turned and tucked like umber counterpanes
To harvest-hymn hiatus and to skies that steal the show
To echo-tangos tugging at heartstrings taut/fraught with refrains
Of love, laughter and longing’s ever learning to let go

To winds that wander through a world of golden tapers snuffed
To squash and pumpkin lanterns gleaned and baked and steamed and fried
To brooding tableaus transformed by a big white duvet, fluffed
Until it spills soft feathers over town and countryside

To joy, because of juncos, to the blue jays’ raucous cries
To winter’s feathered friends returned like long lost family
To reveling in the raw agony of time’s demise
To making the most of what all too soon is history

To dear November’s dying embers on a dimming grate
To nature’s somber sweetness after autumn’s robe is rent
I pen this poem as I linger at a phantom gate
To bid a fond farewell and wonder where, oh, where you went

(Ah yes, to hugs and kisses, too many to count, I know
To happiness because it was enough to be alive
To thankfulness to God from whom each season’s blessings flow
Through outstretched touch and taste and such, into Bygone’s archive)

© Janet Martin

And some precious last-day-of-November memories...

...and the world that had returned to green, gray and brown 
after Old Man Winter's mid November bumble, 
when he tumbled out of bed too soon,
will be a white winter wonderland come December!

Good-night and see you in December💖🙏

Priceless Exceeding Abundance

So many needs weighed on my heart this morning as I thought of so many who are troubled,
so many suffering in war torn countries around the world, 
so many suffering close to home due to sickness, injuries in accidents 
and hardships due to broken relationships, hardships caused by inflation 
the fragility of the so-called freedom and peace in countries whose leaders
have turned away from God, and the list goes on...
But it is not a hopeless case. 
Quite the opposite. 
We pray to One who is able to do 
'exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, 
according to the power that works in us. 
Unto Him be glory in the church by Jesus throughout all ages, 
world without end, 

Above All-Michael W. Smith

The Lord appoints our place
His love anoints our cares
And by the riches of His grace
God’s mercy hears our prayers

His measure of reply
Exceeds abundantly
The want and wish of you and I
On meek and bended knee

Though trial rends faith's glove
May faith, faith’s test transcend
Grounded and rooted in the love
Thought cannot comprehend

With lowliness of heart
(His Spirit’s dwelling place)
May we endeavor to impart
The riches of God’s grace

…so that we may be filled
With the fulness of He
Who helps us, through what He has willed
To proclaim His glory

© Janet Martin

“For Thine is the kingdom, 
and the power, 
and the glory,
(KJV—Matt. 6:9-13)

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Thankfulness in Action

These tots are giving their pets breakfast!

God bless everyone who gives today on what has been dubbed Giving Tuesday!
God bless everyone who gives, no matter what day it is!

Many organizations have committed to doubling the amount of each gift/donation today,
but, as we pray for each need we give toward
 we know in God's hands the increase of the gift
is incomprehensible!!
For more scripture and thoughts on giving see Friday's post! Good, Better, Best

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Thankfulness is not uttered by the voice of noisy word
But by language of loving kindness, it is seen and heard
Love’s proof unfurls a banner by the speech of how we live
By who we try to honor as we humbly help and give

How holy is the quickened toll that draws souls back to He
Who is still in perfect control with all authority
In spite of what may seem to be a war twixt need and greed
Between excess and poverty, laxness and earnest heed

We who profess to love God are His earthly feet and hands
Kindness is a love-language that no one misunderstands
Love, above and beyond the call of duty’s sorry rod
Delights in the excitement of giving glory to God

© Janet Martin

Happy Daily Delighting!!

2 Cor.9:6-9
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, 
and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 
7Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, 
not out of regret or compulsion. For God loves a cheerful giver.a 
8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, 
so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, 
you will abound in every good work. 9As it is written:
“He has scattered abroad His gifts to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”b

Monday, November 28, 2022

Hope, No Greater Joy Endearing...Celebrating Hope on the first week of Advent

Is there anything better to celebrate than hope?!!

So it begins...the celebration of the Believer's hope!
The first two lines of this poem was written yesterday morning before church

the next 2 stanzas this morning before hosting a tea-for-two-friends party, then
I worked at it again before a dentist appointment,
finally finishing it while supper is cooking!

...and what is supper you ask?
Hamburger Stew!

This poem was
inspired by Ephesians 2 and 
Titus 2:11-14
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 
12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, 
and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—
the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 
14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness
 and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, 
eager to do what is good.

Once we were aliens and strangers without hope and without God
But we who once were so far off have been brought near by the blood
Of Christ Jesus. Raised to newness, we who were dead in our sins
Unaware until he saved us, of the hope where life begins

Praise the precious name of Jesus. He, who died in our place
So that He might show us the exceeding riches of God’s grace
For His grace that brings salvation has appeared to one and all
Bringing to mankind redemption from the curse after The Fall

Gone, the veil of separation; He himself is our peace
There is now no condemnation to all who trust and believe
In the Promise that releases us from judgement’s damning rod
Through the precious blood of Jesus, He gives us access to God

Hope, what sacred consolation where the dread of death would reign
Where instead of peace and pardon a barrier would remain
Hope, no greater joy endearing the sweet nearing we applaud
While we wait for the appearing of the glory of our God

© Janet Martin

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Reminder to Remember

Recently I heard this comment (quoted loosely);
The saddest life of all is giving our all 
to something that turns out in the end,
to be completely and utterly worthless/meaningless.

The author of the book of Ecclesiastes
 ponders the meaning of life, finds great wealth 
and tastes every heart's desire
only to come to this awesome conclusion 
after realizing everything in this world is ultimately vanity...

Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
    including every hidden thing,
    whether it is good or evil.

The beauty of the earth is a glimpse-of-Heaven backdrop
to the brutality of the battle of wills
between man and God/God and man

(This reminder to remember was written to myself
and anyone else who can relate to the battle of want
between what is temporal and what is eternal)
...also a bit of a continuance along the lines of thought
that inspired yesterday's poem
Sometimes the guise of lesser prizes we are yearning for
Can blind us to the binding gait of those who’ve gone before
The price we are willing to pay, sometimes not worth the cost
For something that will fade away in death, forever lost

Sometimes we grapple with apples of want’s eye, and we miss
The treasure that transcends the pleasure of This transient kiss
For time's measure of moments melts like snowflakes in the sun
While warp and weft of seasons weaves and unravels as one

Sometimes the diamond in our dreams is not as it appears
The pinnacle doffed of its gleam as its procurement nears
The glamor of achievement and the clamor of applause
A trophy of bereavement on ashes of futile cause

God, help us to remember you behold and know our need
Help us note and surrender gloating gods of pride and greed
Help us guard against pitfalls decked in visual appeal
And help us not to put our trust in what we think and feel

God, open our heart’s eyes as we seek and search Your Word
So, stepping-stones and stumbling blocks are not confused and blurred
Remind us, not one jot or tittle is hidden from You
And all will give account when this little lifetime is through

God, keep our eyes upon a prize beyond all mortal ken
For the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, amen
Help us put on Your whole armor, with humble, sacred breath
Lest we stray to a way that seems right, but its end is death

© Janet Martin

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to counsel.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Good, Better, Best

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
 above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

This is the time of year when in boxes and mail boxes are FLOODED with pleas for donations
 leaving us wishing we could help them all! they are all worthy causes.
The Red Cross seeks to touch our hearts with a packet of tangible gifts,
right down to a personalized pen to sign and send; no excuses!!

Today's Devotion in the book Streams in the Desert
struck me with the realization that to give is more than
the licking of an envelope with 'gift enclosed'
more than a few clicks on a keyboard after hitting
'donate now' then forgetting as soon as we exit the page.
Rather, monetary aid hopefully is the small part in the
much larger labor of praying for the causes to which we give!

In my in box, just to name a few;
The Canadian Bible Society seeks to bring the
hope of the God's Word to those who do not have access to bibles.
Focus on the Family seeks to minister in various ways to strengthen families
in this troubled and confused age.
Our local churches seek to minister in our own communities...
and the list goes on!!
Praying we all pray for guidance to know where
to do our part with a generous heart!

To ‘do’ is a good start
To give is pleasing too
But to pray is the vital part
Of all we say and do

For as we pray toward
The hope to which we live
We will better honor the Lord
With what we do and give

To give is well and good
To ‘do’ our part is fair
But to live and love like we should
Begins and ends with prayer

The good of love's kind quest
Is better every day
As we are blessed with Mercy's best
Because we pray and pray

Then, what seems commonplace
Turns into worship where
Exceedingly abundant grace
Works God's pleasure through prayer 

© Janet Martin

We may not be able to help everyone but everyone can help someone,
hopefully beginning with prayer and seeking to honour God
in all we give and do!

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions 
with all kinds of prayers and requests. 
With this in mind, be alert 
and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Luke 18:1
Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray at all times 
and not lose heart:

Philippians 4:6
Be anxious for nothing, 
but in everything, by prayer and petition, 
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Thanks-living Lyric

Happy Thanksgiving to our American neighbors and friends!

For heavens that declare God’s glory age to age to age...

For children in the sweet, fleet sacredness of innocence...

For front porch lights 

and blazing hearths 

and fresh-steeped cups of tea...

For heavens that declare God’s glory age to age to age
Masterpiece after masterpiece ignites awe’s flawless wage

For nature’s law unruffled by the changes progress brings
Beauty’s bounteous coffers charged with Eden’s glimmerings

For children in the sweet, fleet sacredness of innocence
Before the tug twixt right and wrong begins its arguments

For home’s most cherished havens and the love of family
For front porch lights and blazing hearths and fresh-steeped cups of tea

For worth earth cannot grant, but He whose breath of life we breathe
For mirth to plant its laughter where our spirits often grieve

For hope to help us cope with ‘nope’ when we had prayed for ‘yes’
For ups and downs that humble and meeken our happiness

For all the ways we could have erred, but by God’s grace, did not
For mercy’s goodness undeterred though He is oft forgot

For God’s unfailing promises for better or for worse
For dawn, unveiling Today like a gift from heaven’s purse

For faces not yet kissed and wonder not yet tasted, oh
For sadness of farewells hinged to the gladness of hello

For doors waiting to fling ajar on shores beyond our reach
For knowing that right where we are has lessons left to teach

For friendships and for favors, free of charge and fit for kings
Like the trill of a songbird or the thrill new baby brings

For night’s rest from our labours and for neighbors, sweet and kind
For duty’s wealth to guard against snares of an idle mind

For farm fresh eggs and other fine culinary delights
For simple fare to satisfy heartiest appetites

For fresh-ground, fresh-brewed coffee, for the cup of life that brims
With still untasted melodies of still unfolding hymns

For seasons that we sail through, like the twinkle or a chime
Stunning new generations with the olden ways of time

For challenges that teach us to trust more and worry less
For flowerpots on windowsills and tot-anointed mess

For dreams that keep us on our toes/knees and drive impatience wild
For moms and dads committed to the welfare of the child

For unexpected moments that bestow a breathless ache
With bliss we miss when hurry’s flurry sets the pace we take

For faith to face the new year with our faces all aglow
Like children as they dash to play in fresh untrodden snow

For jar shelves laden with collections gleaned from garden fare
For cozy nooks and books when the weather growls like a bear

For flowers, and for bowers bright with fall foliage, for spring
After winter relinquishes its grip on earth’s awning

For treasuring the timelessness of life’s most simple joys
Shared with the cheerful company of little girls and boys

For poetry still wafting in whispers still unsubdued
For more than we can tally when it comes to gratitude

For love's lingering essence like a fragrant curlicue
After the flame is snuffed that flickered with life's me-and-you  

And, (last but never least), for salvation’s security
To make our joy complete despite what was, is and will be

© Janet Martin

For treasuring the timelessness of life’s most simple joys
Shared with the cheerful company of little girls and boys...

For love's lingering essence like a fragrant curlicue
After the flame is snuffed that flickered with life's me-and-you  

Forever Young


This cage of wants and hopes and dreams will age, as wear and tear
Will take its toll where aches and pains will make us more aware
Of what has always been this way; time’s play of groan and grin
Will scrawl its telling empathy on/in envelopes of skin

The best and worst of blessed and cursed will keep no form intact
Time’s sleight of hand adept at disclosing matters of fact
Yet cannot touch the much more meaningful and precious part
Where love and thankfulness can keep us ever young at heart

© Janet Martin

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Sweet Comfort and Joy

Psalm 139:5
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.

In our small group bible/sermon studies through our church, last night
we were contemplating the verse below and how we can be mightily transformed in our
thinking and actions if we truly take God at His word!
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, 
because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

In today's Daily Bread Devotion  we are reminded
 that no one knows what will happen!
Life is always full of uncertainties.
God and his Word the one constant certainty!

What sweet comfort and joy
Before, behind, beside
A safeguard nothing can destroy
Shields us from evil’s tide

Where, though storms ebb and flow
And oft we weep and groan
What sweet comfort and joy to know
We are never alone

Dear one, do not despair
No matter what betide
God keeps us in His faithful care
Before, behind, beside

No foe can penetrate
The bulwark of His Word
No guard on earth can compensate
For God’s arm undeterred

What He says He will do
His vow is bona fide
He accompanies me and you
Before, behind, beside

Nothing seen can compare
To the peace faith receives
As humble trust turns into prayer
And utterly believes

How near The Unseen draws
As sweet comfort and joy
Transcends The Seen with hope because
Of what none can destroy

© Janet Martin

Isa. 40:28
Do you not know?
 Have you not heard? 
The LORD is the everlasting God, 
the Creator of the ends of the earth. 
He will not grow tired or weary,
 and his understanding no one can fathom.

Monday, November 21, 2022

November Dusk Ditty

Tomorrow’s troubles can wait
(I’ve learned they always do)
Let’s linger at time’s phantom gate
While dusk deepens its blue
And snuffs away the view
Until all we can see
Is someone in the window staring
Back at you and me

Leave morrow’s sorrows be
Today has quite enough
To wrangle into poetry
Of hope and hurt and love
Of blush and bronze and mauve
Like colors on a tray
That fell beneath the velvet veil that
Brushed the world away

© Janet Martin

My 'I Shall Not Want' Want-list

I want to see the beauty in each day that He has made...

Our world is completely winterized where only two weeks ago 
I took a long walk admiring the remnant foliage of fall...

And just like that, with the snow
thoughts of Christmas start to take center stage
where want and wish lists also begin to take shape...

While gifts are nice and delightful expressions of love,
as we grow older, we realize more and more
 that what satisfies our Want cannot be unwrapped from
pretty paper and ribbons.

The Lord is my Shepherd.
I shall not want...
Ps. 23:1

Without refreshment and renewal found in God's Word alone.
our want lists are apt to run a bit askew,
and discouragement would drain
our 'joy complete'

John 15:9-11
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. 
Now remain in my love. 
10If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love,
 just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 
11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you 
and that your joy may be complete.

To remember the empty tomb: Christ conquered death and hell

And when I die, I want to hear the sweetest words I know

© Janet Martin

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Winter Happiness


In case we still had doubts as to whether winter was really here,
last night and this morning cleared up any lingering confusion😅💓!

The crunch of leaves beneath our feet are blanketed with snow
As all along the silent street our muffled footsteps go

Where, fast asleep beneath a starred duvet of eiderdown
Earth looks like a vintage postcard of countryside and town

…where good old days and good old ways suddenly reappear
In tea kettles and hearths ablaze with home-sweet, home-spun cheer

…while every rooftop, post and plume are swaddled in a muff
That tumbles from a lofty loom threaded with frosty fluff

While every nose turns rosy-red while the whole world turns white
And earth becomes a featherbed much to each child’s delight

…where they, as happy as can be with eyes and cheeks aglow
Stir us to recall tenderly, childhoods of long ago

As shouts of joy and starry gaze for winter’s first snow fall
Suddenly make these ‘modern days’ not seem modern at all

Rekindling good, old-fashioned mirth as we walk hand in hand
Through snowflakes transforming the earth to winter’s wonderland

Where the first flurry of the year regardless of its chill
Wakens in us the warmth and cheer of old fashioned good will

...and good, old-fashioned thankfulness for good, old-fashioned joys
Of good old-fashioned happiness of winter's girls and boys  

© Janet Martin