Sunrise With Fog

Sunrise With Fog
Every Morning is New

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Unwrapped Gifts

Ode to the Gift That Comes Unwrapped

When the eyes of my heart are opened to see
To see further than the beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree
To listen with the higher reaches of the mind
I begin to see amazing gifts of a far different kind.

Gifts of time and special thoughts may lift me to a higher realm
To see with purer purpose through distractions that overwhelm.
Perhaps a gift is received of which the giver is unaware
Often the Lord has further purpose for a small gift chosen with care.

Such gifts may plant a seed of inspiration to write a new song
And to thrive through unity that to the soul is a balm.
A word of encouragement may lift one to reach a lofty aim
To fulfill an eternal desire, God’s promise to claim

A joy filled greeting flowing from a loving friend
Is such a gift woven into the tapestry of life without end
It may instill confirmation that God’s work in me is true
Validating His love with glorious sounds and colors of every hue

It may be an awakening to ever brighter hope through an apt word
Shepherding with extra contentment through what is heard
Such a gift, coming unwrapped, may surprise both giftor and giftee
Coming in providence, not placed under the tree

That it comes with such startling innocence causes the soul to sing
With unbridled joy as a soaring nightingale singing at taking wing
When given ears to hear the melody of the true giftor above
We are blessed beyond blessing, born of divine love.

Christmas Eve Morning 2011
Ina May Pummill

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Inspiration

The Trumpet Call of Hope

Trumpets pierce the stillness of the night
Listen! Anticipate the glorious light
A trumpet stirs the soul. It excites the heart
It transcends worldly noise with news to impart.
The Word of God is filled with both warning and grace
It confirms the wonder beyond boundaries of this place.
A trumpet sounds with triumph to signal life that is real
It is a call to lift the eyes heavenward as bells of truth peal
It sounds with joy that cannot be contained
It overflows with salvation’s joy abundantly sustained.
You who are suffering along this pathway today
Trust in Jesus our Lord, eternal Son of God, when you pray
Those who hear trumpets resounding as music sweet and bold
Rejoice in God’s promises His prophets long ago foretold
Be comforted by the Lord’s compassion from old
Angels sang over Jesus” birth; He is Shepherd of the fold.
With renewed strength you will soar to heights joy
As on wings of eagles you are lifted to glimpses of glory.
These wings enfold you enabling strength to stand
They encourage believers to persevere just as God planned.
In this glorious Christmas season of celebration and light
Pause to listen for the Spirit Who ministers in the night.
Give from rich gifts received through the gospel of grace
Echo assurance to others from this set apart place.
Behold God’s mighty power revealed in all He has made
His marvelous deeds lift us to splendor that shall never fade.
Wings as of eagles formed in clouds of great height
An expanse of light appeared as a dove before my sight.
Sing a new song to the Messiah, Jesus, Everlasting King
Voice praise in adoration as overflowing joy takes wing
We shall never be disappointed when we pursue God’s grace
Mercy flourishes with abundance when we seek Jesus’ face
May blessings abound each morning that is new,
Carry His joy with you and respond with what is true. 

It was thrilling to discover this image of clouds as eagle's wings spread across the heavens and an image of light shaped as a dove being carried along with the previaling winds.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Continued Thanksgiving

Father, How Can I Thank You?

Heavenly Father, I sing to you… praise you…
But I wonder, do I thank you enough?
When I am rejoicing in the things you have done,
Does my heart reveal my thanksgiving?
Does my joy make You smile at my recognition of glorious gifts?
Sometimes in moments on the mountain, I fear I forget to thank you.
The joy of the situation overwhelms me…
I smile in jubilation until my face aches with gladness.
I automatically thank You for the beauty of the spring flowers,
For the fruits of summer…. For the warm autumns golden glow…
I praise you for the way the moonlight glitters on the fallen snow.
You should receive thanks each time the Bible is opened…
Your words to me should echo from within.
When  thoughts in Your word reach out in a special way
A verse lights my soul and I claim the truth of the message.
In great rejoicing and awe of Your presence I find delight.
Inwardly I am filled with thanksgiving, but do I form it into words?
Do I consciously communicate this great love I have for you?
Do others see evidence of Your presence in my words and actions?
As You fill me with the joy of salvation…
As You grace me with the love of others…
With the joy of witnessing grandchildren running to me with open arms…
Running to me with open arms of love and delight in their eyes…
I am overcome with the overflowing of Your loving kindness.
I love to write praise to worship Your glorious presence…
But do I stop and simply say thank You?
When obstacles are moved… when pain is lifted and my body healed…
Do I whisper my appreciation of Your hand gently guiding my life?
Do I thank you, then sit in stillness,
Enveloped with the certainty of your attentive hearing?
It is in this quiet expectance that I feel the warmth of Your gentle breath.
It is then I feel the prevailing presence of Your acknowledgement…
Your Spirit within me whispers “you are welcome.”
My thanksgiving to You must go back to the beginning of time…
Back to creation where You prepared my heart to receive You.
Back to each providence along the way.
For through Your perfect providence Your light guided my pathway…
Through providence You awakened desires which You then abundantly filled.
How can I begin to thank You for drawing me with Your powerful love?
Drawing me to hunger and thirst for Your truth in all things?
If I do not express my thanksgiving as often as I should
Please take my joyful praise of You as declaration of gratitude for Your grace.
May desire to touch the hem of Your garment be a sincere expression…
One of love for You Lord, and of thanksgiving from the depth of my soul!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Time Flows Gently Into Autumn

This concept of time continues to capture my imagination with its powerful purpose and its illusive nature. A day or two ago summer was moving toward its grand finale with the late blooming purple ironweed and stands of magnificant goldenrod smiling in the morning sunlight. I turn around and the mornings arrive with a distinct chill. The valleys fill with layers of fog moving along the natural curve of the riverbed to lend a surreal misty element to a soft morning. It seems fall combines the brilliant flourish of a summer's end with a softening of the surroundings to prepare us for winter's harsh glare. These mornings can be so beautiful as to cause one to linger at this window of time.
As summer slips through my fingers as quicksand the hourglass of time is being refilled with a new crisp atmosphere.

There is a sense of urgency. Something of longing stirs my heart as I remember times of preparation in decades past. As a little girl autumn was accompanied by the arrival of a load of firewood and the time of staking wood into neat rows when my dad got home from work. At that time fall was a step of preparation for the comforting fires in the wood stove later on when I would walk home from school and stand by the stove to get warm, first front then back, and feel the radiant heat clear to my bones.

Fall meant a time of outdoor activity; of taking Sunday afternoon drives through surrounding hills to delight in the turning trees. Now as I drive from the mountaintop and travel country roads the sumac is shining in bright red along the road and the goldenrod catches the sunshine to make my heart glad. I think of some years in the high country of Colorado when the aspen were at their peak and whole mountains were ablaze with that gold that contrasted with the deep greens of the fir trees.

We just have to enjoy each of these days as it quickly passes by and to celebrate those images from other days in the realms of memories of another time. Such are the yarns of many colors stored in the heart through which we delight in the previousness of God throughout the span of years given to us for His glory.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

One Season Blends Into the Next

Fading Breath of Summer

Amidst delight and exuberance
A longing for an essence noticeably out of reach
Summer is a time of sowing, reaping, giving out
Often drawing one from quiet time with the Book
There is a noticeable weakening from not being nourished
A hunger for that quiet path of restoration to be refilled
Along the way there appears a bit of mountain crispness
Astonishment accompanies a gasp of breath in the chill
A lingering summer tanager sounds a cry without answer
The cacophony of strife stills as
Hummingbirds begin their arduous journey
Glossy deep green leaves on black gum trees
Suddenly sing out in magnificent red
A few loosen their grasp to drift in downward circles
Carried along on a wisp of wind
To lie along a dusty roadside and gleam in the grass
The late afternoon sun shines through tall trees
To illumine the leaves with special light
Shorter days allow time for pondering and awaiting insight
For hearing what the Spirit brings to mind
To refresh and refill the storehouse of the heart
A harvest of treasure from which to pour out love
Lengthening shadows reveal a dramatic landscape
Golden leaves glow with more vibrancy in the evening sun
And tendrils of fog lift upward in the cool as the day is done
In a special way my soul is in tune with the seasons
I am compelled to praise God for many reasons
Autumn takes its cue
And paints the landscape with every hue
How marvelous the bronze and gold
Like the color of the pavement in Jerusalem of old
Oh to stop and allow that warmth to envelope my soul
My whole being rejoices in the process of being made whole
As a spectator of the changing of the guard
One season hands the baton to the next
It gives witness to the faithfulness of the creator
Just like promises, each season arrives in designated time
Though we may not recognize its presence apart from changing leaves
Yet the soul may sing out at hearing the cries of wild geese over head
Cold winds may come early and we walk briskly
Golden rod smiles with warmth enough to store in memory
To chase the cold with reflections of a time of blossoming
Perhaps sitting beside a fireplace wrapped in an afghan of gold
Imp 9/25/11

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Peaceful Reflections

There are scenes of beauty that lift me above myself in a way that is almost indescribable. At first the impact of the vision might move me to stop and just stand in witness of such a lovely sight. I have framed the vision in my mind and almost unknowingly I bring the camera up in position to align with the image in my soul and record this moment to witness forever. It is a little piece of the fabric of my life. The reflections in the pool are more detailed than I first realized. Reflecting on moments of my life are filled with much more than I was aware at the time they came to be.

The soft, almost impressionistic image shines with a depth of which there are far too few words to express the magnitude of all of nature represented in this small garden beauty. The reflection of the rocks in the background contrasts with the lovely flowers, and surrounding the whole of it is the refelction of the glorious blue sky. Those rocks provide anchor for the pool and add texture and character. Oh how much I see some of the same images through pondering the moments of my years. I see how the Rock has always been there for me even when I failed to rely on Him. Instead of these flowers I recall faces of the years... teachers, friends, parents and grandparents and all the aunts and uncles and cousins... I recall moments as photographs of picnics and of riding the bike down a country road; I remember smells and sounds and dear voices; I can close my eyes and imagine passing scenes along the roadways of many trips whether short Sunday afternoon trips or longer journeys.

The colors and sounds and smells of celebrations and sorrowful occasions blend with the wildflowers on a set apart hill and the birth of my children; the wonder of meeting my husband of all these years as the memories of special times along the way grow more special to me every day.

Looking into this vast canvas more deeply I begin to see more of the providence of God along the way, weaving the pattern with details that could not have happened by chance. It is in looking through the memories that I can look forward with continued anticipation because I know the faithfulness of God in the fullness of His power and glory.

Looking at the reflections in this pool are a quiet time event. It is in stillness that we see more deeply into the intricate details with growing awareness of the mystery of life. It is delightful to watch rushing mountains streams and feel caught up with excitement that will carry me forward, but without quiet time beside a garden pool I cannot know the lovely nature of all with which I have been gifted. These wonderful moments are jewels, sparkling as the flowers in the garden pool, blessing after blessing that I would miss were it not for set apart times. Looking back fuels delightful anticipation for every new morning.  At times it is tempting to set up my tent and stay a while in what seems perfection for my soul. The Lord is still weaving the tapestry of my days and there is still work to do, so I must tarry for only a little while. Just as I gaze at the amazing details in the pool I realize that if I returned they would have changed and present something totally new. My experiences would also be different, my quilt would shine with new jewels through the numbering of my days to gain a heart of wisdom. The pool would still be beautiful in every season and every part of the day in the changing light from sunrise to sunset. God is unchanging but He is constantly at work in me so that I may be changed to blossom in His timing. Knowing this I must move forward with great anticipation while these beautiful images remain to help cheer me along the beautiful way.
I am thankful.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Looking Forward: Another Year

The old oak tree stands in witness of all the storms of life, of the beauty of the sunrise, and it hosts the joyful birds who sing throught the day. It is an anchor with which I frame each sunrise, a measurement of the seasons, and always an image of lovely form.

Through the years it seems we learn to yield to the temptation to sit a while in a quiet spot. It is in these times of reflective pondering that we have time to taste the deeper things in life.
 69 Going On 70
     Beginning another year leads to a new decade, 69 going on 70. It seems
so unreal, to be swept along in detached awareness of the passage of
time as if in slow motion, seeing more of the stages of life at the
same time.
     Body is aging, and yet I am still “me!” I am still the unique person I
was created to be. It is a journey of discovery in moving toward the
light. There is a vague longing for what I what I am that still lies
hidden and enfolded in the many peculiar layers of my dance of life.
This is another milestone in counting the days of favor, as I see with
redeemed vision as it works out what is being restored. It is an
amazing transformation when new compartments of the heart are swept
free of years of coveting worldly things. This brings new circulation
of life which adds renewed vibrancy to what was formerly a
struggling spark of eternal hope.
     As I climb further up the holy hill, different portions of life come
adorned with new applications of truth that measures against the
standards of holiness sublime.
     Seasons follow seasons, each perhaps as a rung on the ladder of ever
brightening ascension. Some trails navigate narrow dangerous drop-offs
on either side necessitating great care. The next segment often
arrives as on a gentle plain that encourages confidence. Tranquil
boundaries are such restorative blessings that confirm favor bestowed
by a loving Father.
     It is a gift to appreciate the precious expressions of God’s delight in His creation. We are encouraged to respond with the measure of delight we are enabled to absorb.
It is written that we are to be still and know that God is God. We
must be still to hear the truth of the ages; then in awe we become
aware of the gravity of being humbled before the Holy One of Israel.
There are points on the heights of joy when we can scarcely contain
the overflowing love. We are lifted up with emotion at seeing the
character of God made real through what He has made known, and then we
are lifted above our appointed boundaries to catch our breath in the
brilliant light of glory.
     Time travels its prescribed course and fills my mind with wonderful
memories. Though I cannot stay long on the mountain I can ponder the
accumulation of such moments through my sixty-nine years. With
childlike excitement I am blessed to anticipate many wonders as I move
forward into my seventieth year which is yet a mystery.
     Colorful jeweled memories mixed with patterns of poetry, marbled with
times of suffering and longing, bring more humbling of self inawareness of
the broader spectrum that is beyond present comprehension.
     My own shadow leaves but a trace when measured against eternity.  I
respond to the incomprehensible richness of the knowledge and wonder
of God with exciting joy in being compelled to tell others as I rejoice.
     I then step aside for a time to a quiet place with God given humility,
realizing I am as a unique shell along the mighty sea. I am counted
with purpose, then set free to be about the work prepared for me, assured of my place at the table for eternity.
     The Lord has been weaving the fabric of my life ever so firmly, strand
by strand until radiance unbeknownst to me is revealed. It is the
depth of the riches of this knowledge that thrills me so that I cannot
remain silent. I cannot attempt to keep this glorious river to myself.
For every thought or action that does not align with what I know to be
true of God the light remains dimmed until I respond. Jesus has more
to tell me but I cannot yet bear it. Perhaps I cannot yet carry the burden
of understanding nor deal with suffering and pain of life’s lessons.
     But I think perhaps it is that the weight of glory is so vast that I
cannot consume it all at once. Each coming day will arrive with
lessons and joys of its own. I trust He will enable me to pick up my
mat and walk forward with Him as He teaches me the joys of loving
others with His divine love. I ask that He help me take one day at a
time to delight in what I receive from His hand. July 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Watching the Light in Stillness

As the heavens declare the glory of God the Lord prepares our hearts to respond to the beauty He has prepared for us. We taste His goodness through what He makes known of Himself to those enabled to stop and listen to the beauty.
Do you find the time to sit and watch the sky? Sometime in the early morning hours it is as if I am watching the creator of the universe paint the heavens with broad strokes, at first painting a background for what will come next. At times there is a faint golden glow, perhaps tinted with pale orange changing to vibrant pink. At first it may seem that most of the sky is vacant of any clouds, but as the direction of the light changes there are many layers of different types of clouds, first one, then the other catch the gleam of the light as if just then being painted on top of the layers that were in place before. At times there are unusual formations that seem to pop up out of nowhere, catching the wind at a certain altitude and then sail across the heavens to somewhere beyond this viewpoint. When tall columns mix with shelf clouds and intermix with thin wispy layers, I am spellbound watching for the light to escape the hidden confines and burst forth in bright streams. At times there are brilliant golden tints to the clouds contrasting with blue shadows. Then when the sun reaches a certain point shades of coral and pink appear as if a watercolor wash moves slowly along painting them with glorious joy. It seems as if it is a symphony of light just for my eyes alone. But it is there for all to see; it is for all who would lift their eyes in delightful witness of the magnificence of God's creation. Our lives reflect something of the same glorious joy through the years when we stop to listen as the silence sings its own beautiful song of praise to the almighty power of God. We may not know from where the light comes at a particular time of life, but in looking back through the lens of the heart tuned to the harmony of all of creation, it comes together with a connectivity that illumines the understanding of scripture. We are touched by storms, warmed by a campfire, cooled by fragile snowflakes as they brush against our cheek. Joy is rekindled when we think of friends who have brought golden light to shine into our lives. All of the paintings we have watched being created, whether in relationships or gifts, or the overflowing joy of worshiping the Lord that connects us to eternity along with the cloud of witnesses whose faith has enabled them to persevere, we are caught up in the glorious delight of the ages, beginning even before time began. That same melody is in harmony with what we are given to witness both in the heavenly realm and all the ways God confirms His love for us in this present walk. Take time to listen. Listen deeply and allow your soul to connect with God through what He makes known. This is abundant life. Praise to the One Who reigns over all things. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Seeing Through the Light Thus Given

The weeks flow along with increasing awareness of the journey to this point.  It seems that we used to measure time in multiples of five or ten; reunions, birthdays and anniversaries were given extra notice when we reached one of those milestones. Do you wonder why we have set that precident? Why do we set such goals for our present journey? How much joy do we miss along the way when we wait for those milestone moments before allowing ourselves to treasure cherished memories accrued on a more frequent basis? Now that our high school class has celebrated the "BIG" 50th reunion everyone seems to desire to meet yearly... and keep in touch more often inbetween. In fact, one of my long time friends, one with whom I started to school in the first grade, spoke up at the last reunion just this past year and encouraged us to meet again this year. She is gone. She had appreciated those connections that were made so many years ago, and valued each person who had crossed her path along the way.  The mother of a friend who was in my Bible Study group last year had been fighting a battle with cancer for several years, and during that time she continued to write and teach and speak to others of her faith. As her health got worse her delight in the Lord shown more brightly. It brought her great comfort to go back through the things she had written, the tapes of times she spoke to others, of special family occasions. It came to me that there is purpose for what God asks of each of us, purpose beyond the moment. Scripture tells us to write, to remember and to tell others of what we have seen of God's faithfulness. However, I am seeing further purpose than I had understood.  To have those poems, those teachings, and the photos and videos that we have written to the praise of His glory, those treasured moments with family and dear friends is to have a bit of treasure in heaven it seems. This treasure comforts us when times are challenging. This treasure fills us with joy when perhaps we might otherwise feel empty and helpless. These jeweled moments confirm Christ's love for us in every situation. Each time we sing the words of beloved hymns that are filled, with scripture the words become even more precious, causing us to overflow with even more joy.

It is not about the number of days we are given to live out God's plan for our lives. Each day is of such value that much can be accomplished if we listen and respond to the opportunities along the way. A most beautiful example of this truth flows magnificantly from the short life of our friend's grandson who lived just 87 days due to spinal muscular atrophy. Yes, it has been a great time of grief and seeking of understanding. Each of those days was given to loving him and and sharing delight of each day with many friends and family. At the same time much light has shown through this life that was so short in our understanding of time. Each day has value that makes that life worth living.  A foundation as been set up to do many worthwhile projects in his name, projects that will help others with similar challenges and to give hope to children in many life situations. It is beyond belief to see the ways little Miller touched the lives of others and now continues to spread hope as waves upon the sea, taking that hope to far places. When we give our tears to God He will take those precious tears and as He holds them for us, He will do more than we could have imagined to make much of our meager offerings.

Each life has potential of which we are unaware. We are to take one step at a time and to listen in stillness for that small voice to tell us which way to go. He will provide all that is needed to accomplish that which aligns with His will for our lives. So let us treasure our moments, for each moment is a gift beyond our understanding. Just about ten years ago I responded to the compelling urge to pick up my pen and begin to write. I was the most surprised of anyone at the progression of the flow of words and the continuing inspiration and delight in allowing the words to paint images of what God had placed in my heart. Recently, I have been taking time to read again some of those first poems and I am still amazed at the faithfulness of the Lord in making possible words to comfort and uplift others along the way; and I am blessed repeatedly as I read those words of life again and again; He does love me and care for me.  Nothing can take His love from me for it is the very gift of His love to me with which I sing His praises every day. As I look back through the lens of light thus given, I am assured of even more glorious things to come. This following poem is one of the first few poems in that first year of discovering that this gift of praise comes from above. To read these thoughts again fills me with exceeding joy, for the heart of it rings with the same truth He continues to teach me day after day.
Yes, I think this is perhaps treasure in Heaven.

Oh Lord, the beauty of life when we live it in You
Is an amazing day to day delight.
A taste of Your loving kindness in all You do
Is beyond anything that exists without your light.
You teach us more each passing day,
You fill us with Your love and joy, and encourage us to pray;
Lord, You alone are worthy of praise,
Thank you for Your faithfulness and protection for our days.
You open Your arms to catch us when we fall,
You change our hearts to know Your voice when You call.
You make it possible for us to desire to obey,
Then make sure we hear beautiful words You have to say.
You alone Lord are due the glory for the gifts we receive,
All You ask in return is for us to believe....
And to give You alone the glory You are due.
Lord, we bow down in total reverence to you.
We are Your creation, the objects of Your gracious kindness,
We worship You humbly and pray You will continue to bless.
You put in our hearts the sublime songs of joy
We will sing them back to You in affirmation of Your glory.
We will sing all our earthly days, and then...
Trust in Your promises for eternity. Amen!

IMP 5/10/02

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Summer Evening

A summer evening brings opportunity to listen to swirling thoughts growing from seeds planted earlier in the spring. So many ideas. So many challenges and desires to create and accomplish. At times we do feel a weariness and must pause to let things settle into some kind of order. How can we take stock of what God is doing in our lives and the lives of those around us if we have no time to listen? How can we remember and tell others what God has done when we are too busy to even recognize them for ourselves?
It seems a Sunday evening in particular is such a time to be set apart for a time so that we may be reminded of all the things for which we should be thankful.
If we have been blessed to join together with others to worship the Lord, and remember that we are united in voice with all the saints in glory, singing hymns of worship as did the choirs of long ago walk on the ramparts and sing with such joy that the sound was heard far away, then, our mind is focused on our Father, Who created us and Who spares nothing to make Himself known to us in ways beyond counting.
     Perhaps the name of a friend comes to mind. Will I use that reminder to call or write the friend to see if she has a need? Will I invite her for supper, or just fellowship with her over the phone and perhaps brighten her day? Another time, new light of understanding breaks as with the light of dawn, and I recognize the working of His Spirit helping to order my thoughts that I might more clearly understand the character of the Lord; the light of present applications is illumined with growing wisdom accompanied with abundant opportunity to give His love to others. It is in the quiet times that memories surface with awakening of providential purpose for every experience encountered to this date.
   It is good to begin each day with a greeting to the Lord; asking Him what the plan of the day will be according to His sovereign will. Each morning comes with new expectations and anticipation. I love to ask Him what He has in store for me to learn and to give to others in every part of the day, making note when He allows me to see Him working in each situation. Then in the evening, or in an unexpected time of quiet repose, thank Him and ask that He help remember, then respond to the new light of this day. He will never disappoint us when we truly seek this special time of connection to show our love to Him by recounting the wonders of how He has thus far kept us. One day at a time. Let our love for Him retain its luster, the joy born of a relationship with the Eternal Father being made known in ways that are new each morning.
   As I settle in to listen to the evening symphony I am content. I can rest through the night, knowing that He is watching over me the whole night through. I am thankful.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer Photos

Nothing evokes summertime to the eyes of the heart more than the lavish forested woodlands where even the tree trunks are wrapped in glorious display.  The bright light magnifies the richness of the scene.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

When Trust Is True

I Trust

I trust.
Two simple words encompass the realm of amazing faith.
Enabled to believe, I must choose to trust.
All magnificent glory of God’s creation bears witness.
The order of the universe confirms the Word
            with observable miracles at every turn.
The exquisite fragileness of hummingbird wings allow it to fly
Immeasurably small eyes turn toward me with sight.
Iridescent throat feathers glow red in bright light.           
I trust because light continues to reveal things too wonderful
            to exist apart from the power of Almighty, Holy God.

As a young child my joy overflowed in expressive fountains.
Responses winged upward in the flight of emotions.
Trusting parents and teachers, I was innocent and without care.
Increasingly now I become further aware,
it is God’s words that encourage patience in waiting.
Trust is that bridge between emotion and godly wisdom.
            Trust holds reign over stumbling blocks of confusion.
Circumstances must not be allowed to consume me.
Situations beyond my strength provide opportunity
            to permit witness of the Lords faithfulness,
and uphold trusting confidence in Him alone for eternity.
He confirms His listening ear in a manner I can hear.
In His timing and purpose, answers are certain to appear,
            though often not as my humanness might desire.
He alone knows true requirements essential to ascend 
to mountaintop heights He would lead me to aspire.

Growing confidence flows through practicing this trust
            through obediently taking each step to the fore and
            listening for His leading to lift life far above the dust.
Trust has divine beginning in seeing what He reveals in creation.
I find contentment in responding as a child with full-grown elation.
He allows me to see His love shining through earthly shepherds
            as they discern His will and lead with apt words.
Through scripture’s lens God illumines truth to add purpose to living.
In humble repentance we are given His gift of forgiving.
Trusting His Spirit for wisdom lights the way to persevere.
Faith transforms the nature of sight and makes hidden things clear.        
Ina May Pummill 8/26/10

No matter how difficult our circumstances may seem, no matter how deep the canyon we feel we are walking, for those who trust the Lord and truly seek Him, the light of His love reaches the deepest depths to confirm His presence to those who know His voice and lift their eyes to watch for the working of God in every situation.

Summer Glimpses

These summer days are both mirrors of previous times, and yet the combination of all the parts makes each year stand out in a particular manner as we look back so that we might look forward through the memories of each layer of reflections as a foundation of God's faithfulness in leading us ahead. We see with new eyes that which was once familiar and common. Because of our history with God we may anticipate special moments as a surprise, knowing only that nothing is wasted in the economy of God. It is hard to hear the silence in this season; nature awakens us with treetop choruses, of an evening the nightbirds sing and the cicadas make repetitive callings while the owls cry and the coyote howls pierce the evening with a chill sound. Clouds build into massive columns and lightning divides the heavens with flashes of purple light. We must step aside and listen. Ponder. Reflect upon what we know to be true of God. We must tell Him what He is to us Season upon season arrives with unique presentation of the almighty power of God.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Road of Friendship

It is so satisfying to ponder the years and see the light of friendship shining through the tapestry of life.  There is purpose and blessing in each friendship along the way. God is amazing as He weaves fellowship through the years, sometimes surprising us with new connections with childhood friends and maintaining new friends in beautiful ways. It seems something like the delight of revisiting a beautiful mountain lake and discovering the same excitement as if you had just enjoyed that beauty the day before. We never tire of the view of those mountain heights just as we never tire in hearing from a special friend.

The Road Between Friends

To show love, a warm friend will drive far
Taking time in following winding mountain trails
Time expended on a higher par
Flowing with true compassion that never fails.

Light that floods the soul burns steady and bright
Leaving God centered fragrance richly sweet
Such remembrance glows softly to light a dark night
Adding contented satisfaction with confidence complete.

For when one is satisfied with gifts God supplies
And with patience awaits His perfect providence and time
Great blessings of grace through Christ alone overlies
As ALL things have sanctifying purpose sublime.

As a bright star leaves a trail of light across the sky
So too does a friend impart grace reflecting light
A connection is made with unity from on high
In friendship sovereignly bestowed by God’s might

Formed in the image of God and redeemed from the fall
Graced with abundant life and gifts undeserved
Believers are counted worthy in Christ Who gave His all
To display the glory of Almighty God Whom we serve.

Though the road may carry us apart for a while
The eternal connection is certain and sure;
Fond remembrance illumines the heart with a smile
God’s familial unity will forever endure.

Our Creator placed eternity in the heart of man
That longing for pure perfection beyond present end
Seeing in the Word, the standard, the knowledge of His plan
Growing likeness lived out through the hand of a friend.

The windows of time are flung open to our view
To move forward through what we have seen of God in the past
Jeweled friendships inspire response to what is living and true
Using every daylight hour gleaning treasure that will last.
            Imp 6/20/11

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Remember His Faithfulness

Through the Storm: Mountain Rescue

Storms befall every created thing, sometimes only for a night, at other times enduring for seemingly endless days upon days.
            In awakening this morning to real time news and images of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan, I watched with anguish at the scenes of devastation still unfolding before the spell bound world, lives being changed forever; some lost to the light of eternity, some surviving to the possibility of knowing God’s mercy in this life with the hope of a light filled unending future.
            The ravages of this Pacific storm will not likely be calmed in the near future, but the response to such challenges is ours if we choose to rest in He Who holds the world in His hands.
            This is true whether enduring long-term difficulties or consuming momentary challenge. In every situation we have the promise of the Creator Who sustains all He has created for His purpose and His timing according to what He will use for His glory.
            There are times that seem impossible for a few hours and then suddenly the sunlight bursts in magnificent beams to pierce oppressive clouds, even in the middle of a dark cold night.
            This brings to mind an event that so revealed the mighty right hand of God that I was unable to write of it at the time, but the reality of its having happened quickens my very being.  I have seen the previousness of God Who goes before us as a banner!
            To be sitting at home on a quiet evening and receive a phone call from your son that puts you on the alert really sharpens awareness of the Almighty.
            Mom, I need you to get help for us. (Mind you, I am on a mountain top in Arkansas and he is in Colorado on a 12,000 foot mountain top, in deep snow, cold, cell phone running out of battery, no food, no way to start a fire!)
            He had sent a text to his wife and the wife of another of the three men who were stranded. The other two men were still laboring to get the snowmobiles free from the deep soft snow in the alpine bowl area near Lake City.  My son had struggled through the deep snow, losing one boot, trying to reach a high enough point to get a cell phone signal to reach help. Being familiar with the location he knew I might know how to communicate their location to rescue personnel. Having been in those very mountains a few months before allowed me to grasp the gravity of this situation in a manner beyond a normal response.
            “Mom, if I don’t make it out of this you know I love you.” That brought tears.
            He was digging a little shelter in the snow under an evergreen tree. It was hard to hang up the phone and lose voice connection. My heart and soul were with him while I stopped for a moment, “Lord help us. I am helpless aside from You.”
            My husband and I began calling everyone we knew with connections in the Lake City area.  I called the local 911 and they patched me through to the sheriff’s office or the local authorities in Gunnison, which was not as close as I would have wished.  They took information and said they could not send out search and rescue party until morning. So here we were! I had sent out prayer requests to our church, to other BSF leaders and friends. Now I continued to pray. 
            Phone calls came from the parents of one of the other young men and I discovered the one I did not know had been a marine and was physically fit, with a strong never give up attitude.  The other man was also very strong and persevering.  Together they had labored to move the machines a few inches at a time, struggling even to take forward steps, and concerned about my son who was now separated from them and somewhere further up the mountain in total darkness except for the Light of Hope which dwells in the heart of a believer.
            There were phone calls racing back and forth across the country, rallying help family and friends, not separated from the situational at all, but connected through united hearts pleading for a miracle, expecting a miracle, but not knowing what this answer from God would look like.
            Meanwhile, back on that magnificent mountaintop, God was watching. He had everything under control, though those who were waiting signs of His presence could not yet see the fruit of their hope.
            The two men were valiantly giving their all in order to free themselves and then search for their friend.  They gave every ounce of strength they and in the Lord’s hand it was enough.
            They finally reached more solid snow and began to search for my son who was trying to get warm and talking to God and thinking of his wife and three children at home.  I am certain that each minute seemed as an eternity in the face of what might be a long night alone on the mountain in the presence of the Almighty.
            Again, providence prevailed.  The two young men stopped part way up the slope, turned off the machine, and shouted for my son.  Yes! From this location he was enabled to hear them. JOY! He called back and forth as he made his way toward them, spent, crawling on the snow, beset with altitude sickness; but they were united and continued seek the way. 
            It was several miles on the other side of the mountain to the cabin and it would have been difficult and dangerous to try to find their way back in the darkness, so they were searching for closer shelter from the freezing conditions.
            One of the men knew of an old inn in the area, and hoped to be led to that sanctuary in the night.  Again! Isaiah 30:20, “go to the right or left, listen, and you will hear a voice telling you which way to go.” This command requires action before He will guide you. They went forward and there was light shining through the darkness! The Inn! It was closed through the week, to be opened a few days later.  Even in that, our incomparable God superintended every detail as He went before them. Two men, one the chef, were there at the inn making preparations for the coning weekend. There was room in the inn that night. Out of the freezing cold, they were given something warm to drink, opportunity to make phone calls to the sheriff dept to tell them to call off the morning rescue, then calls to tell loved ones they were safe.
            The sheriff’s office called me with good news. Then I was given time for a short and emotional reunion over the telephone with John, before I began calling those who had been praying to tell them of the miracle on that mountain that beautiful night.
            Surely they would have endured. Certainly they would have persevered.  But through giving so many people an opportunity to pray, we saw God’s providence. The men were safe. There were no over night complications, no frostbite or hypothermia or worse. The men at the inn were blessed in being part of this deliverance and given opportunity to provide shelter from the storm and nourishment and fellowship as these rescued men began to recount their ordeal. It was a sweet thing that they began to see the ways the Lord went before them on that mountain that night, and how He went behind them as a rear guard to protect them. What the world would call luck or chance, or good fortune, we know to be favor granted by our merciful God.  We have glimpsed His glory yet again.
            The next morning the men at the inn went with the three friends to retrieve the third snowmobile from the Alpine Bowl area. In the light of day the message was brought home again of the precarious position they had been in the night before. In the light of day they realized more fully the joy to be alive physically and spiritually.
            Through this ordeal the men and their friends and family all gave praise to the glory of God.  Scripture tells me we are to remember, to write, to tell, to pass along to following generations what we have seen of God at work in the midst of His people. The witness of Isaiah 65:24 became a reality.  “Before they call, I will answer.  While they are still speaking I will hear.“ The previousness of the Lord in going before them was certainly evident on that night, all for the display of His glory.  Remember.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Windows of the Heart

Through the Windowpane of the Heart

Malachi 3:10 God told them, “bring all the tithes into the storehouse that there might be food in my house. And try me in this,” says the Lord of Hosts, “If I will not open to you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be enough room to receive it.”

Windows of the heart allow opportunity to look beyond one’s self, beyond circumstances, and to see the possibilities beyond imagination through the certainty of hope and the promise of the Lord.
Each morning we awaken to windows of circumstance.
Flowers bloom amidst natural decay and man’s neglectful apathy and we are blessed in being able to see the flowers in all their delicate grace and beauty.
We awaken to the promise of spring as the warm southern winds take away the chill of winter and the delicate new growth bedecked with Spring Beauties, Bluets, Rue Anemone, and Violets prompt the soul to shout “Yes, Lord!” with exceeding joy.
We may lift our eyes to the mountains and know that God is in control because the seasons ebb and flow according to His plan from the beginning.
Pale green tinges the tips of the tree limbs as they are timed to burst forth in the summer foliage.
Redbud trees soften with the unfurling of the tiny pink buds in response to the longer days and the warmth of the sunshine on their tender growth.
Windows of understanding of the situations that befall us intermingle with the spiritual truth in such a manner as to lift our view of God to heights unknown through being given His peace in the perfectness of His purpose.
He gives vision to see beyond the obvious common sense practicality of intellectual man.
He gives vision to see what lies beneath mere words and what lies beyond the brokenness of empty existence lived apart from His glorious grace.
To some of His children, windows open to witness the wellsprings of Living Water, giving sight that is enlightened to see God’s perfectly detailed order in the midst of mans chaos.
Man’s deeds serve to camouflage the beauty and goodness created by Almighty God for those who do not search for God’s creative presence in the design of all things.
Basic mistrust and misunderstanding of life is made manifest by glaring ugliness created apart from God or the influence of His people.
Windows on our world reveal contrasting visions to each individual, whether looking with defeat and pessimism common to man, or looking with hope of eternity through Christ Jesus.
Only thoughts praising God and only deeds done as unto the Lord allow vision to see the incomparable riches of His grace.
To gaze through tattered curtains and look upon mindless misery requires one to look above that circumstance to see miracles of light.
Opportunities abound for those given the will to see and the desire to move upward with the Lord.
Through the windows of our hearts we may see those resigned to defeat, to suffering through choice rather than to allow God’s mercy and grace to give direction.
We may become a light shining though a window that God might use to point the lost to turn from the wilderness into the sunlit clearing at the feet of Jesus.
One must open the heart to see with uplifted eyes, as though carried aloft upon wings of eagles, to lift heart and hopes higher than the painful hurts of the present life.
Witnessed through the windows of our heart and soul, searching eagerly for what is good magnifies the greatness and gloriousness of God. We are blessed and He alone is glorified. Let us praise Him!!!
Reflections multiply the joy of our understanding, both in nature and in the soul.