Thursday, June 29, 2023

Crook of Joy

Making muffins...simple joy!

Sometimes, out of the blue, a wave of sympathy rolls through me 
as I wave at grandchildren leaving,
 or as son comes home for visit and fridge-forage, 
or as the word 'home' slips from my lips without second thought, 
until suddenly I am smitten with utter grief 
for the millions of refugees who had to flee their home-sweet-homes...

Sometimes then, the Simple Sacred steals my breath
with a fresh and humble thankfulness
for the beauty of our beloved crook of joy...home!
Yes, with all of love's foibles and flaws, home, sweet home!!

Enjoying the final bowl full of 
plush, pink peony-pom-poms for this year!

Where child and garden flourishes in fleet simplicity
Where more than supper nourishes its precious company
Where comforts are not fancy but are priceless, nonetheless
And nothing on earth quite compares to its fair happiness

Where flower bouquets bring beauty to duty’s dear mundane
Where nobody outgrows the open arms of its domain
Where heartaches are confided, where we learn to give and take
Where tasks are oft divided but then, so is tea and cake

Where wonderful aromas waft through open kitchen door
And suddenly our burdens weigh less than they had before
Where the brunt of life's blessings overflows our tender hearts
With thankfulness for home sweet home and all that it imparts

Where prayers and cares soft-mingle in medleys of smiles and tears
Where summer always flies too fast into Past’s cast of years
Where patience is a virtue of great benefit and cheer
To safeguard joy and peace while youngsters learn to persevere

Where we are always welcome to forage the cookie jar
Or fridge or pantry no matter how older-now we are
Where no matter the weather or how far away we roam
No place on earth is better than the berth of home-sweet-home

Oh Lord, we grieve for those whose homes they had to swiftly flee
And leave behind rooms filled with mementos of family
How oft we mourn the war-torn town and countryside bereft
Of happiness of home sweet home and only rubble left

Then, we with meeker labor, repent of some selfish ploy
And become humbly gladder for our home-sweet crook of joy
Where there is nothing commonplace about its grace of chores
Or laughter round its tables or mothers waving from doors

© Janet Martin

So what's today's 'grace of chores'? 
The rain makes everything grow!

Colossians 3:17
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, 
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, 
giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

(distracting baby with a coffee-tin drum
because he wanted to mix muffins too!!)😂💗

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The Depth of Man's Depravity (when fear of God has died)

There are no words for the depth
of aghast horror, pity, and sorrow we feel over
exploitation and applause of gross evil!

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. 
Who can understand it?

For this people's heart has grown callous;
they hardly hear with their ears, 
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts,
and turn,
and I would heal them.'

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts
 to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, 
and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—
who is forever praised. 

Psalm 19:9
The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever;
the judgments of the LORD are true, being altogether righteous.

For His judgments are true and just.
He has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality.
He has avenged the blood of His servants that was poured out by her hand."

The depth of man’s depravity when fear of God has died
When Self becomes the deity worshipped and gratified
When Ignorance is mired in the sludge of disregard
For God, the righteous Judge; when sin becomes master and lord
How piteous and dire are the depths of man’s demise
When lust feasts on desire and yet nothing satisfies

How holy is the God of love, of salvation and grace
His workmanship, without words, proves what infidels debase
The fear of God is pure, altogether righteous and true
His judgements will endure; nothing can His purpose undo
Incomprehensible the thoughts and ways of God’s control
All who believe adore and praise the Saviour of the soul

How ruthless the depravity of darkness of the mind
How heinous, the grim gravity of hellbent humankind
That we all are until by faith the soul’s curse is undone
Belief receives God’s gift of grace through Jesus Christ, His Son
Who died Once and For all sinners, to crush the serpent’s head
So all who, through faith, call on Him are saved from death’s/hell’s dark dread

The depth of man’s depravity when fear of God departs
Exposes vile desperately deceitful, wicked hearts
When Indolence and Indulgence applauds the profligate
And fruits of disobedience proudly proliferate
Then, from we who by God’s grace have been saved, rises a cry

© Janet Martin

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!

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Ultimatum of Diligence...

Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, 
be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 
2 Pet.3:14

Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest,
 lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence
 to the full assurance of hope until the end, 

Whether of body...

or mind

or soul...

it requires diligence to conquer the goal!


Diligence is not like a task we check from to-do lists
It is no once-and-done accomplishment high-fived and kissed
But a constant challenge traversed on the turf of Today
Where often slips and stumbles hurt, reprimand and dismay
Tempting us to yield to what seems a less demanding way

Diligence is not something that is effortless and swift
But a persistent ‘pressing to,’ so that we do not drift
Away from guidelines to habits not focused on the goal
Of mastering the disciplines of body, mind, and soul
Where each step of the journey is part of the sacred whole

Ultimate diligence is not dressed in dashing façade
But in humble awareness of sure reckoning with God
It heeds the beckoning of Love and considers its due
Relying on God’s Word to remain undeterred and true
Motivated my Heaven’s Rest when diligence is through

© Janet Martin

Monday, June 26, 2023

I Linger For a Reason...

'This is the last time for this', said a girl in my Grade 6 Sunday School class yesterday, slowly running fingers over the back of the chairs around the table. (our summer kid's programs at church are run  a bit differently and in September she will be graduated from the grade 1-6 format) Her sentimentalism tugged at my heart as I replied, 'oh my dear, get used to saying that, because everything in life is but a little season..." This girl also used to be in my childcare so I have an extra-motherly place in my heart for her💖

Yesterday I sent the link below, from ten years ago
 to my daughters after someone happened across it,
reminding me of poems long forgotten....
the thoughts still as relevant now as then, 
just with different 'pictures' attached

These two incidences are part of what inspired this poem
as well as tugging the tomato cages from peony-past bushes 
to take to the vegetable garden to try
to squeeze overgrown tomato plants into...
(sometimes trying to be thrifty/frugal has its challenges!!)

Some gardening-lingering...

some supper-lingering

some between-task lingering...
I linger where the vibrant vistas of first summer sweep

I loiter in the arbor draped with mauve wisteria plume...

(it was a delicious sunshine and thunderstorm day!!)

I linger for a reason, where the flower bower brims
Where the new day is breaking and where ebbing daylight dims
I linger in the laughter and the chatter of a child
Beneath the dappled rafter of leaf-song, wind-tossed and wild

I loiter in the arbor draped with mauve wisteria plume
And girded with the regal stance of hollyhocks in bloom
I linger where the vibrant vistas of first summer sweep
And at the cradle where the little baby lies asleep

I linger where raindrops tap-dance and where the thunder rolls
And laneway rivers eddy into divots, dips and holes
And where the colors of the world spin on a carousel
Of winter, spring, summer and fall in breath-stealing farewell  

I linger where the fledgling cheeps and spreads its wings to fly
And at the window framing scenes that roll beneath the sky
And in a doorway torn between looking back and ahead
Caught off guard by impressions of a life loosed from its thread rooms where echoes waft where noise and messes used to be
where mother lost her patience with her precious company
after tripping over shoes left where she now lingers, oh
and traces fingers over places primed with letting go

I linger where the robin sings and where the finches flit
I linger in the garden for the dear, sheer joy of it
Where bare feet dash and flash through green pastures of innocence
Into the rude awakening of choice and recompense 

I linger, just to love the touch and feel of here and now
To sense the glove of Father's Time's hand brush across my brow
I linger for a reason that is ruthless in its art
Where 'everything a season' steals small pieces of my heart 

Janet Martin

I linger where raindrops tap-dance and where the thunder rolls
And laneway rivers eddy into divots, dips and holes...


Sometimes love's realities/cruelties/crosses
could wake excuses that could make us bitter...
Oh my Lord, may it never be!!

Lest by bitterness betaken
Lest by prideful boast or greed
Lord, each day let me awaken
To Your mercy for my need
Lest in my pursuits of gladness
I, by reason of a fool
Miss Your goodness, for the madness
Of Want without rod or rule

Lest I trade eternal treasure
And the blessing You bestow
For the very temp’ral pleasure
Of a temporary show
Lord, each day let me awaken
To renewed awareness of
Hope’s sweet confidence unshaken
Anchored in grace, truth, and love

Lest, by my impatient nature
I demand what is not mine
Puffing up my puny stature
In the face of Grace Divine
Lest, by some distorted notion
I perceive rather than trust
And redirect my devotion
From You to idols/merchants of dust

Lest the lure of the beholding
Blinds me to Faith’s surety
Lest the pace of grace unfolding
Heaven, is too hard for me
Lord, each day let me awaken
So that I am overtaken
With nothing, but gratitude

© Janet Martin

Psalm 107:15&31

Oh, that men would give thanks
 to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works
 to the children of men!

Enough, Just to Sing


It took quite a few attempts to locate, zoom in, capture and identify
 this little Sunday-afternoon 'songster';
a fledgling rose-breasted grosbeak 

(Please correct me if I am mistaken!)

Through dark shadows of love’s sorrows
Over the mayhem of life
Without worry about morrows
Unaffected by vain strife
Seeking no self-aggrandizement
Performing without applause
Or eye-catching advertisement
To attract creature to cause

Not by warble-envy taunted
Nor by fear or dread deterred
But with melodies undaunted
Sings and sings the little bird
Enough to know its Creator
Who grants each minstrel its part
Hears beyond the pitch and meter 
To the timbre of the heart

…oh may we learn by example
From this little feathered thing
How to be content and humble
...enough just to sing and sing
By bias and vaunt unhindered 
Honored to take our place
Enough just to praise the Giver
For our portion of His grace

© Janet Martin

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
 and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
 Are you not much more valuable than they? 
 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Of Mortal and Divine

When every blade-leaf-petal is
dazzled with silver drops
we who behold would be amiss
not to pause, and praise God

The Hand of Time is, in essence the Hand of God!
So in troubled times like these,
we take heart for we are in Good Hands...

The Hand of Time unfolds flowers...

The lifespan of a flower is brief!
(see the transformation of a week in the photos below)

The Hand of God holds eternity!!
It bids us consider well whose Hand
we choose to trust!


Remember your Creator
 before the silver cord is [b]loosed,
Or the golden bowl is broken,
Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain,
Or the wheel broken at the well.
7Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,
And the spirit will return to God who gave it.


Outstretched, across the land and sea
Without form to define
This indelible unity
Where mortal and divine

...cradles the earth and tips yon purse
With dawn’s momentous lure
Once more life's for better or worse
Runs rife, to rich and poor

To test the sacred symmetry
That binds body and soul
And balances humanity
Against the holy Whole

Of love’s sovereign authority
Above sky, sea, and sod
Mist mingles with eternity
The Hand of Time and God

A flower cannot keep its prime
As dust's due decks the sod
The Soul slips through the hand of Time
Into the hand of God

© Janet Martin

Job 14:1-2

Man, who is born of woman,
is short of days and full of trouble.
2Like a flower, he comes forth, then withers away;
like a fleeting shadow,
 he does not endure.

Friday, June 23, 2023



That I should have 
the benefit
Of strolling beneath 
lofty trees
With eyes to see
 the height of it
And ears to hear 
the sighing breeze
And ink to spell
 the sight of it
And thought to fill 
with wonder’s verve
And drink in 
the delight of it
Is so much more than
 I deserve

© Janet Martin

The Fight is Real, My Friend

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood,
 but against principalities, against powers, 
against the rulers of [a]the darkness of this age, 
against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 
Eph.6:12 His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,
 through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 
4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises,
 that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, 
having escaped the [a]corruption that is in the world through lust.
2 Peter 1:3-4


The fight is real, my friend
The enemy we face
Will often tempt us to defend
Errors of truth and grace

We should be on our guard
Armed with the Word of God
Because the fight is real and hard
And without worldly laud

Pride goes before the fall
How careful we should be
To seek God’s Kingdom first of all
With awed humility

The foe we fight is sly
Unscrupulous and vile
With all that cannot satisfy
He lures us with a smile

Seduction’s schemes seem sweet
Enslavement’s camouflage
Disguises stampedes of defeat
With pride’s vain entourage

…and we would all fall prey
To depravity’s sewer
Without God’s Word to light the way
So that we may endure

His divine power grants
Everything that we need
To equip us as we advance
Through (battle) fields of thought and deed

© Janet Martin

Just as Jehoshaphat cried, as he stood in the assembly
of Judah and Jerusalem, do we...

O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, 
and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, 
and in Your hand is there not power and might, 
so that no one is able to withstand You?

O our God, will You not judge them? 
For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; 
nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

“Listen, all you... Thus says the Lord to you:
 ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, 
for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord,
 who is with you...
Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them,
 for the Lord is with you.”

In this promiscuous age we pray for wisdom like never before...
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, 
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Today's post inspired in part by today's

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Sweet Season of Summer-Is


Happy, Happy Officially-Summer!
(I  didn't think about or look at the date yesterday
 and it didn't dawn on me till this morning that It's Summer!!!)
Also, just as a reminder, 
we no longer have the whole summer ahead of us!
We are already a day-and-a-half into it, so,
don't waste a single sparkle
all too soon
its sparkles will be
 white and frosty😅❆

Sweet season of warm, drawn-out days
Of early apricot-glazed dawn...

Of distant mist-spearmint-kissed sweeps
Fringing bucolic countryside...

Of midday picnics on the lawn...

(helping gramma with a refill)

Of rippling, rolling wheat-field seas
Crowned with welkin, azure marquee...

Of five-star cuisine, simplified
As bowls and baskets start to brim
With garden dreams and prayers come true...

Rainbow of laundry-laden lines...

Whisper of wisteria vines...

Popsicles moustaches,


This was a bit of poem unfolding with the day and day unfolding with the poem...

Sweet season of warm, drawn-out days
Of early apricot-glazed dawn
And coral dusk’s lingering haze
Of midday picnics on the lawn
Beneath lush, green-leaf canopies
Of School's Out Heaven, fancy-free
Of rippling, rolling wheat-field seas
Crowned with welkin, azure marquee
Of flower-gardens running wild
Ignoring fences, frilling lanes
Of laughing, leaping barefoot child
Of dew-diamonds and daisy chains
Of distant mist-spearmint-kissed sweeps
Fringing bucolic countryside
Of raindrop-dappled, dusty streets
Of five-star cuisine, simplified
As bowls and baskets start to brim
With garden dreams and prayers come true
As thankfulness ignites a hymn
That humbly runs us through and through
As moments, soon memento-spun
Are gathered into heart-shaped vaults
Coppice-glint, silver in the sun
Splash of cartwheels and somersaults
Rainbow of laundry-laden lines
Or rural, roadside flower-shops
Whisper of wisteria vines
Popsicles moustaches, hopscotch
Where sometimes work is more like play
And sometimes after ‘playing’ hard
We take a tea-break holiday
And spread a quilt in the backyard
To revel in the sheer delight
Of summer, spilling in Real Time
Through half-shut eyes we feel its flight
Performing, like a pantomime
Where here-and-now and summers-spent
Somehow, bitterly-sweetly stir
A ballad of love and lament
Where joys and sorrows rush and blur
In summer-song, a tide that tolls
And strums the soul with smiles and tears
A wave that lifts and falls and rolls
Across Today, and disappears
Thus, no one can afford to gaze
Too long at ways we cannot thwart
Better to turn lament to praise
Better a lover, glad to court
The hour full of fleeting fronds
Of lilies, like lanterns, sunlit
Of cannonballs in turquoise ponds,
Of excuses to pause a bit
To marvel at what we might miss
Like the color of morn on leaves
The holy, unexpected bliss
That beauty-stolen breath achieves
The loveliness of letting go
Of what no one can keep, to hold
The ephemeral ebb and flow
Of petal-purple, scarlet, gold
While summer spirals like a spark
From campfires that flare and fade
Beneath star-polka-dotted dark
As expectation’s hit-parade
Chimes in belfries of hollyhock
Pink burst of  hello births farewell
Platinum lake laps, slaps the dock
Happiness; none can buy or sell
Seizes the Yellow Day that grants
Uncharted opportunity
To kick up treasure-dust and dance
To lyrics of a memory
To savor every sparkle-crumb
That falls from tables, heaven-cast
Spilling feasts destined to become
From Summer-Is, echo-repast

© Janet Martin

To marvel at what we might miss
Like the color of morn on/through leaves...

The holy, unexpected bliss
That beauty-stolen-breath achieves...

Better a lover, glad to court
The hour full of fleeting fronds
Of lilies, like lanterns, sunlit...