Wednesday, May 31, 2023

For Every (one-time gift) of Today

For of Him 
and through Him 
and to Him 
are all things, 
to whom be glory forever.

For every afternoon not yet framed in fond remembrance
For every day of June still like a pearl in welkin shells
For every wave not yet undone by shoreline’s supine stance
For every grave still waiting for what every breath soft-fells
For every sweet delight and bitter bite from life’s buffet
Not sampled yet; we rise to greet the surprise of Today

For every good and perfect gift from mercy’s treasured trove
For every echo not yet drifting in past’s pastel clime
For every memento first refined by faith, hope and love
For every moment-morsel not yet run through hands of time
From He who gives all that we take, from He who takes away
We trust His grace and thank Him for the blessing of today

For from and to and for Him are all things; to Him all praise
For every lesson not yet taught or learned by young or old
For every green of innocence still unseared by want’s ways
For every earnest shepherd of lambs, eternity-souled
For every hymn unraveled by the willow-limbs that sway
For every sacred beauty-onus-impact of today

For this we touch toes down once more on the tarmac of morn
For every hour still unwed to flickers, farewell-kissed
For every daisy still unchained, for ballads not yet born
For every flower-lyric , orange, yellow, amethyst
For thoughts, pure, honest, noble, true and lovely, Lord, we pray
That we would honor You with each one-time gift of today

© Janet Martin

Finally, brothers and sisters, 
whatever is true,
 whatever is noble, 
whatever is right, 
whatever is pure, 
whatever is lovely, 
whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
think about such things. 

Dear May, a Farewell Love-letter

 Happy last Day of May!

Dear May, somehow you always exceed eager expectation
As you begin to nurture nature’s treed rejuvenation
As gardens start to thrill our gaze with petal-punctuation
And overhead a minstrel plays leaf-lays in celebration

Dear May, you always rouse anew, rekindled planting pleasure
As you run wooing whispers through buds bursting with bloom treasure
As you, beneath young and old feet, unfurl your finest measure
Where beauty and duty compete with lures of toil and leisure

Dear May, the way you always spill with April’s remnant showers
Makes worth the while it takes until you reward faith with flowers
Tulip chalices, bleeding hearts, allium, lilac-bowers
Always, your floral drumroll kickstarts summer’s fleeting hours

Dear May, your dust is sacred, stirred by farmer’s urgent labor
Your prudent lease sublimely blurred by your lime-coloured saber
Waving a welkin wand that welcomes home the long-lost neighbor
As nests are built and filled with featherdown and fledgling caper

Dear May, it always feels as if you leave us way too soon-oh
Medley of march-and-meander through days, dandeli’n-strewn-oh
We could not bear the fare-thee-well of your sweet afternoon-oh
But for the tolling of a bell that always brings us June-oh

© Janet Martin

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Perfect Fit...

When the backdrop of day is green
Because the bud has borne its sheen...

And when the crown of it is blue...

And when the dawn of it is new
And when its gown is lilac-starred
And its breeze like soft seas unbarred...

And when its flowers smile and nod
And when its Gardener is God...

Is it not enough just to fit
Into a teeny bit of it...

When the backdrop of day is green
Because the bud has borne its sheen
And when the crown of it is blue
And when the dawn of it is new
And when its gown is lilac-starred
And its breeze like soft seas unbarred
And when its flowers smile and nod
And when its Gardener is God
Is it not enough just to fit
Into a teeny bit of it...

And make the most of it because
Soon it will be the Day That Was

© Janet Martin

1 Chron. 29:11
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, 
The power and the glory, 
The victory and the majesty; 
For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; 
Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, 
And You are exalted as head over all.

Monday, May 29, 2023

A Let-list

(playing in the old bathtub waiting to be hauled away...)

The older I get, the more I cherish moments of laughter...
...welcome relief to the toll love's constant care/prayer can take,
as the wellspring of laughter is not drained,
but sustained by 'the joy still set before us'!

Below, Baby Brother looks longingly as if wishing he could participate
in more than simply being a spectator...
(but that would mean leaving mommy, something he is not fond of😅💖)

Let the music of sweet laughter kindly comfort creature care
In the lessons love must suffer, let not hope yield to despair
Through the thick and thin of learning (something we never outgrow)
Let us never cease from turning to the One who loves us so

No matter what pains and grieves us, as life’s troubles train and fret
God is good; He never leaves us in the rubble of regret
Or to the brutal archrival of He whom deserves all laud

Let His unfailing love cheer us as we learn to trust His lead
Oh, what peace to know He hears us when for steadfast faith we plead
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus; His Word our joy sustains
Rather than what never pleases or eases Want’s hunger pains

Let us look with humble fervor to the needs of fellowmen
Let us live to serve our Saviour with all that He grants. Amen
Let us run with firm endurance the race that is set before
Until faith’s blessed assurance turns to sight forevermore

© Janet Martin

Let Us Run...Alex McQueen

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
 let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us,
 and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
  2looking unto Jesus, the [a]author and [b]finisher of our faith, 
who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, 
despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, 
lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Sabbath Song


I was glad when they said unto me, 
Let us go into the house of the Lord.
Psalm 122:1

Praise God for goodness granting, nay, commanding Sabbath rest
Praise Him for the implanting and expounding of His Word
He beckons us to gather, there to be divinely blessed
And keep the hope within us anchored to truth undeterred
As we worship together, our Father, Saviour, Friend
And exhort one another to be faithful to the end

Praise God for invitations to come to His house to pray
To join the celebration that will fill eternity
To share in the communion of all who await The Day
Of glorious reunion when face to face we shall see
God who so loved the world He gave His Son to pay sin’s debt
And save us from death’s hopeless grave; oh come, lest we forget

Lest we forget God’s faithfulness, love’s favors and mercies
Lest we fall prey to hatefulness so prevalent and bold
Lest lie by lie and vice by vice we drift from his decrees
Lest we forget His sacrifice and our love grows cold
Lest we, no longer glad to go to the house of the Lord
Miss the precious implanting and expounding of His Word

© Janet Martin

Friday, May 26, 2023

A Mercy-kindled Beckoning

As we approach the throne of  grace may we be reminded to
not grow weary in our prayers for what seems impossible 
(so much sin, sickness and sorrow!) because
... "with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37

The God that created the world,
The God that parted the Red Sea,
that snowed manna in the wilderness,
that tumbled the walls of Jericho
That closed the mouths of lions,
That walked in the fiery furnace
that walked on the water,
that provided a Spotless Lamb once for all sinners
oh, and as written here in
 John 21:25
Jesus did many other things as well. 
If every one of them were written down, 
I suppose that even the whole world 
would not have room for the books
 that would be written.!

Yes! This God is with us!
He fuels our sometimes-wavering
 faith with unwavering faithfulness!
The great Designer and Creator of heaven and earth is with us!

It trembles in each breath, each smile
It fuels poems, still unpenned
It lures us like a country mile
To see what lies beyond the bend

It helps us greet the day at hand
And God’s replenished grace, with zeal
To return to duty’s demand
And what today waits to reveal

Though veiled, it draws us to pursue
Proposals with hope’s precious urge
Like arms outstretched in welcome to
All who approach its holy verge

That always authors reckoning
From what no one can fully see
Of mercy-kindled beckoning
God-granted Possibility

© Janet Martin

Possibility is a bud,
burgeoning with bloom!

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Should I, Because of Stubborn Pride (protect a favoured sin)

 Here's My Heart, Lord

Should I, because of stubborn pride, protect a favoured sin,
Unwilling to admit Idolatry. Oh God, I pray
That You would rend rebellion’s veil in this temple of skin
As repentance rouses renewed devotion to obey

Oh Lord, Enlighten the eyes of my heart, transfixed by these;
The knowledge of hope’s calling and the glory of your grace
Protect me from the tempter that taunts me to ‘take mine ease’
Trading redemption’s riches for the enemy’s embrace

Smite me with grief if I defy your goodness with my greed
If I should set a stumbling block before my fellowman
Remind me of Your lifeblood poured out to supply Soul's need 
And open the eyes of my heart to Your wonder again

Oh, do not let me covet what can never satisfy
Do not let me mouth half-confession’s vain and pious prayer
Lord, let the truth of you undo the lacquer of the lie
That glosses over pitfalls that are waiting to ensnare

Should I, because of stubborn pride, protect a favoured sin,
Lord, open up my eyes to weigh sin’s wages with Your gift
Then would You rend rebellion’s veil in this temple of skin
And help me give more earnest heed to Your Word, lest I drift…

© Janet Martin

Inspired in part by Eph.1 NKJV

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Redemption in Christ

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He [a]made us accepted in the Beloved.

7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and [b]prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, [c]both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who[d] is the [e]guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom

15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your [f]understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality[g] and [h]power and [i]might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Of Life's Sacred and Surreal

today's post,  a first...

 ...sharing, with special permission from my youngest daughter,
an excerpt from her very precious Christmas gift to me last year,
a collection of her poetry and journal snippets,
 glimpses of heart-pieces like only ink allows...

It's been a little while since we were both in our respective corners of the morning
but today is a perfect reflection of this...

Wow! yup...poetry plunked, plucked, pried and prayed from the schmozzle of living...

often with reminders, no matter what season we are Cherish!
because seasons are so brief, each with a beauty of their own!

Whatever season we are in no matter when or where
Time seems to slip through our skin in whispers thin as air
And suddenly we turn to see what once seemed long and slow
Now, pictures in a gallery where echoes ebb and flow

Nobody, no matter how strong can keep the tide at bay
That runs through us like sea-song as it washes years away
As generations roll like soul-filled waves that rise and fall
Prey to the subtle season toll that no shoreline can stall

…reminding us that no matter what season we are in
Time's echo-chimes soon scatter like thistle seeds on the wind
While we learn to savour the full flavour of moment crumbs
Before they slip forever to what each season becomes

...before the Giver of each life retrieves what seasons lease
As a momentous Shuttle weaves the ilk of Time's increase
Still slipping through our fingers soft as silk yet hard a steel 
Leaving a sense that lingers, of life's sacred and surreal

© Janet Martin

The same feeling that inspires many a poem and song
like this one...

By humility and the fear of the Lord
are riches and honour and life

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

There Will Be Poetry

 As long as earth unchains a thoroughfare of blossom-laud...

As long as the heavens declare the majesty of God...
(this sunset is from May 2022)

...because this year the sunrises and sunsets are obliterated 
by a smoky haze due to the wildfires out west!
The best the skies can muster is a rosy orb...

As long as work can wait because a child has come to play
Before they dash through that old gate that draws the child away...

As long as earth unchains a thoroughfare of blossom-laud
As long as the heavens declare the majesty of God
As long as bowers burst with leaf and flower filigree
After winter’s welcome retreat, there will be poetry

As long as zephyrs pirouette and oceans roll to shore
And dusk authors a silhouette-and-shadow-repertoire
And morning metes mercy renewed and sets a new day free
To stir the heart with gratitude, there will be poetry

As long as work can wait because a child has come to play
Before they dash through that old gate that draws the child away
As long as May rolls over bars as green as green can be
And lilacs burst with perfumed stars there will be poetry

As long as baby birds peep-peep from nests tucked into trees
And seasons sweep from east to west tuning fond memories
As long as joy surprises us with its simplicity
Keeping the child alive in us, there will be poetry

As long as there are gardens to grow happiness and plants 
As long as nature's arboretums burst with radiance 
Overflowing bud-chalices with petal-luxury
That crowns plain dirt with palaces, there will be poetry 
As long as dawn is gentle, always new and fresh from God
As long as hearts are humble and kind and constantly awed
By so much to be glad about, as long as we can see
Beyond the brunt of fear and doubt, there will be poetry

As long as thoughts are soft, not hard and embittered by spite
As long as cloud-ships sail aloft and stars dazzle the night
And the music of moments orchestrates a symphony
Of wonder and contentment oh, there will be poetry

As long as there is always something new, like a sunrise
…and, (though not all dreams may come true some do to our surprise)
And, as long as Today runs rife with opportunity
To make the most of love and life, there will be poetry

© Janet Martin

As long as baby birds peep-peep from nests tucked into trees...
(not quite peeping yet!! just freshly hatched!)

Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth!

As long as joy surprises us with its simplicity
Keeping the child alive in us, there will be poetry...

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

A Wake Up Call

'these days I feel like I live in a state of perpetual crying to God'
I said to my sister in a conversation last night. 
This morning the first verse in my devotion was 
Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”

It seemed to pour into my heart's cry from the night before
inspiring today's poem...

Sometimes we use the phrase 'wake up call'
when we refer to something that jolts us to Reality!
or a caffeine jolt...😅💓

Oh, pray that none of us are spared whatever wake up call
it takes to draw us first to repentance and 
then to re-awareness/reawakening if we begin to slip or slumber!

Wake up, all who yet sleep
Rise from death’s dormant pose
Where every breath is like a leap
Toward life’s curtain close

Wake up, for none can see
How near or far the place
That turns Time to eternity
And ends the day of grace

Wake up, do not delay
Hell’s night none can afford
Wake up, while it is still Today
And bow before the Lord

To call upon His name
To repent and believe
And weep with wonder as you claim
The gift faith will receive

Wake up, while Mercy’s Gate
With each breath swings ajar
Wake up before it is too late
To escape Judgement’s Bar

Wake up! Shake of the ruse
Of religious façade
Examine every bold excuse
Defying/denying Holy God

Wake up. Fear Him and keep
His laws with reverence
Oh pray, wake up, all who still sleep
In disobedience

Wake up; for God so loves
And cares for you and I 
He overflows Truth's treasure troves
With salvation's reply 

Wake up; do not reject
The Light no night can dim
Wake up and ask God to direct
Each footstep back Him

© Janet Martin

Last night my physical feet ached with weariness
due to many outdoor steps taken as we worked in God's Great outdoors! 

Sometimes our spiritual body aches with weariness too, doesn't it?
As we walk second miles, as we pray and cry
 to God for a reawakening to the Sacredness of the
gift of life, its brevity before eternity!
This broken world is not out of the Healer's reach!
But oh, how often we turn away!

Psalm 1
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

If I Should Turn From Thee

1 Tim.4:1 NLT
Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly
 that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith;
 they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.

Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said,
“This is a [a]hard saying; who can understand it?”...

...From that time many of His disciples went [d]back
 and walked with Him no more. 
67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, 
“Do you also want to go away?”
68 But Simon Peter answered Him,
 “Lord, to whom shall we go?
 You have the words of eternal life.
 69 Also we have come to believe and know 
that You are the [e]Christ, the Son of the living God.”

How often it hurts pastors, teachers and parents
as wise and true counsel is ignored, scorned 
and heedlessly turned away from!
How much more, our Heavenly Father!!
May we echo the words of Peter if we are tempted
to put our trust in what we see rather than what/Who we know!
 “Lord, to whom shall we go?

To Whom Lord, shall I go
If I should turn from Thee
Whose spirit and life can bestow
The truth that sets me free

Whose blood but Thine atones
From age to age to age
Whose ear but Thine attends the groans
That wrack this mortal cage

In who else can I trust
Without fear or dismay
Whose Word transcends time’s dust-to-dust
And cheers me day by day

Whose purpose will prevail
To crush the enemy
Whose love and justice will not fail
Throughout eternity

Whose law is love but Thine
Who whispers peace to me
Who else laid down his life for mine
With such humility

What can this world afford
But pleasures vain and fleet
What compares to Thy joy, my Lord
Abiding and complete

Then, should I turn from Thee
Lord, where else can I find
A sweeter, surer sympathy
Compassionate and kind

…to heal my broken heart
Whose assurance can ward
Defense against deception’s dart
Without Thy armour, Lord

Who can quench Want’s wild thirst
Or offer Living Bread
Who can save us from this world, cursed
With ignorance and dread

If I should turn from Thee
What can I hope to find
To satisfy the longing plea
Of heart and soul and mind

If I should turn from Thee
Lord, to whom shall I go
To entrust all eternity
Pray, I may never know

© Janet Martin

Friday, May 19, 2023

I Love The Lovely Month of May

This poem niggled just as I was ready to leave 
yesterday afternoon to help my parents with some gardening
 so I quickly scribbled the gist of it in my 'draft-book' 
and didn't get a chance to return to it until this morning 
but Beauty Duty called before I could finish it, 
so it kept evolving and expanding throughout the day...
My apologies for the length but there's SO much in May to love!!!

I love the mist of orchards kissed and crowned with blossom-vim...

Or wading knee deep through a sweep of dandelion-gold...

Or reveling in the unraveling of budded limb
Like pausing to watch gauzy green-leaf parasols unfold...

I love the mist of orchards kissed and crowned with blossom-vim
Or wading knee deep through a sweep of dandelion-gold
Or reveling in the unraveling of budded limb
Like pausing to watch gauzy green-leaf parasols unfold

I love how expectation for transformation is met
How nature is a pianist no pessimist subdues
The merry breeze plays melodies like a May minuet
I love the lark, and how dawn’s dark the warbler’s lay renews

I love the verve, the crook and curve of brook-song through the dell
The verdant surge as summer’s verge unfurls a grassy sea
The wholesome, holy happiness found in a flower bell
The cooing of the mourning dove, the fuzzy/buzzy bumble bee

The dusty haze as farmers blaze fresh trails of hope and trust
The garden where we breathe a prayer with every seed we sow
The pleasure of a treasure trove buried beneath tilled dust
The earthy joy as we employ the tools of spade and hoe

The sense of youth in spite of truth that uncouth mirrors mime
So much to do rather than rue faced facts; so much to like
The outdoor bench whereon to quench the raging thirst for Time
The waddling duck, the toddler stuck on bigger brother’s bike

I love the awesome promises that replenish the rose
Where despite thoughtless thanklessness God’s kindness intercedes
I love how He pens poetry no mortal can compose
Providence grants Extravagance no ignorance impedes

I love how Now is full of Wow, how sweetly May’s sun shines
How chubby raindrops plop and leave behind a crop of pearls
I love the waltz, foxtrot, and somersaults on laundry-lines
While frisky zephyrs tug brisk Housewife’s skirt with flirty twirls

I love the way dusk lingers on the fringes of so long
Running reluctant fingers over one more May day through
Beckoning us to sit a bit beneath the lowered gong
That tolls away the workaday with bronze, mauve, blush and blue   

I love how earth gives age-old birth to wonder’s infant cries
How May morn brims with worship hymns that last the livelong day
How perfumed plume of lilac bloom scorns atheistic lies
I love the green-gilt lilt that frills the lovely month of May

© Janet Martin

The garden where we breathe a prayer with every seed we sow
The pleasure of a treasure trove buried beneath tilled dust
The earthy joy as we employ the tools of spade and hoe...

(Thanks to the generous farmer next door my garden is planted in
a fresh plot while we give the old plot some refreshment and rest!)

I love the way dusk lingers on the fringes of so long
Running reluctant fingers over one more May day through
Beckoning us to sit a bit beneath the lowered gong
That tolls away the workaday with bronze, mauve, blush and blue...