Sunrise With Fog

Sunrise With Fog
Every Morning is New

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving Gold

When the Hickory Tree Again Turns Gold

The faithfulness of God is marked by seasons that number our days
Anniversaries measure moments in thanksgiving for His ways
When the hickory tree again turns gold
It illumines moments of celebration watching His grace unfold
Days move silently yet with promise yet to be revealed
When appreciated in the remembering of other occasions, thus far being healed
Autumn is especially symbolic and full of grace
A time of comforting love displayed in the hillsides of glittering gold
Times of remembering, lost in wonder of such grace foretold
Being warmed by the vision of rich shades of red, gold and rust
Stir reflections of His past faithfulness when God is my trust
That truth is enhanced in remembering times of goodness and light
Times when darkness and pain were overpowered by such a glorious sight
Empower me to face new challenges as opportunities of grace
My words and actions giving glory to God as I worship Him before His face
Finding peace, carried along as on eagles wings of prayer
As others confirm God’s love for me through their sacrifice of love and care
Last year in similar circumstances when this same hickory tree turned gold
After enduring more pain that I thought I could bear
God had friends waiting to come to my aid, more of His glory to behold
After turning to others to intercede through Jesus Who sits with the Father on the throne
The Spirit gave me sweet peace to rest, knowing for myself His love for His own
I looked at the golden hickory through the glass door with a sigh of contentment and relief
Satisfied completely in the One Who enabled my belief.
And He did not fail me in what could have been a dark night
He sent angels to encamp around me in that momentary plight
When unable to coin prayerful thoughts in situations beyond our control
Unity through the Spirit guided others to extoll
The powerful wonders of our Almighty God and for my name plead
For His favor and merciful grace to intercede
To again bring healing to my body that will exceed
And provide lavishly for every need, enabling His work through me to succeed.
Oh the rainbows of His promises come wrapped in sunshine and tied with ribbons of hope
Accompanied by strains of beautiful music with precious stanzas that evoke
Reflections of His glory as revealed thus far to fill my thirsty soul with flowing streams
Mirroring the golden trees as light dances on the water in the suns powerful beams
To bring comfort, the Lord used the words of a much loved song titled “He”
Painting a glowing image of God in His commanding glory
With the aura of His tender timing and providence a friend played the melody of this story
“He can turn the tide and calm the angry sea; He alone decides who writes a symphony”
Such words of adoration written years ago unite with the beautiful truth I know
Giving confirmation just when I was in need of God’s love that abounds
Giving voice to words of praise with heart touching melodious sounds
A day of trial became opportunity for connection
Dwelling on self or looking for God’s working, two choices at every intersection
When I choose to view the day through what is true
God is faithful to keep His promises with the rainbows every hue
Whether His answer includes relief from this pain
Time in his presence still showers me with contentment as a gentle rain
And I know personally with my whole being, more of His love divine
When the hickory tree turns gold it is to me as an altar of remembering, a sweet sign.
Ina May Pummill November 9, 2012


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Listening for Direction

On the Way to Somewhere Else

Stepping out into the welcome rain I push open the doors
Stepping out onto the balcony with expansive view to soak in the occasion
The sounds of raindrops, the sweet fragrance, a distant echo of thunder
A reminder of the voice of God, the Voice that spoke and
Land and mountain peaks rose out of the water!
The voice Who thundered across the desert as a comforting presence of towering light
I walk out into the welcoming encompassing display of glory
On the way to somewhere else and life intercedes.

Circumstances are bathed in a moment of light
Compelling direction, giving pause to ponder
To actively rest with renewed perspective
Eager to see beyond physical boundaries
To explore present opportunities
Reasoning with thoughts from a different direction and realm
Realizing it is not my direction but Christ at the helm.
More often than not, it is when I am following another train of thought
That I am gripped with an entirely new inspiration, immersed in the flow
At one in the Spirit of Unity, content, satisfied in divine appointments
Found on the way to somewhere else.
imp 10/16/2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

An Old Swing


Some days the swing is quiet.... just hanging there so still,
Just some old rope and a worn board for a seat...
A simple thing it seems, but what joy it instills
A place for contemplation and thoughts so sweet.
Through out the seasons it stays there in that place,
Always welcoming me for a few moments of time...
Either swinging in lofty arcs or slowly in place,
It is a special feeling with the wind on my face.
In the springtime the birds sing
As they build a nest in that tree,
Soft green leaves become refreshing shade.
I see the geese heading north as I sit in the swing,
The sun warms me as I savor what God has made.
Days lengthen and summer draws near,
Trees blossom and fruit begins to appear,
Growth all around me speaks of God’s provisions.
Resting in the swing I watch all the joyful actions.
Parent birds feeding little ones patiently,
Little calves kicking up their heels in the sun,
A doe coming to the edge of the forest with her little one....
Coming out to graze just as the day is done.
As summer progresses there are long hot days,
But under that shade tree a soft breeze plays.
Sometimes I might be tempted to rest in that swing,
Looking out over the countryside, praising my King!
Days are getting shorter, it is time for harvest,
A late afternoon thundershower rinses off the dust.
As the storm passes I might go sit on that old board seat,
Watching the clearing clouds, hoping for a treat.
And there it is!  The late golden sunlight strikes rain across the way,
Breaking up the light in a beautiful display...
And suddenly a brilliant rainbow appears,
The beauty of God’s gift almost moves me to tears.
As the season changes to fall,
There is a hint of frost, the migrating geese call...
As I sit in that swing in obvious delight
Under the canopy of leaves that God has painted with light.
They seem to be glowing in bright red and gold,
The Creator is at work with colors so bold.
The days are shorter yet, the wind is blustery and cold,
The leaves fall to the ground, a sight to behold.
The swing hangs from the bare limbs of the tree,
Hanging there motionless, waiting for me.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Refreshing Autumn

How can it be, here in the early days of autumn, that this cool rainy spell lends the air of spring to what has been so heavy and dry? The wildlife show signs of need for nourishment; the trees are losing leaves and perhaps some may not make it through this time of drought. But the last few days have been very cool... the birds are singing with more of the joy of springtime. There is an air of expectancy. There is renewed hope in the face of oncoming winter. Through the nature of His creation God stirs our emotions and takes the everyday commonplace routines to new levels of possibilities beyond our imaginations. Each morning, each hour of the day is full of promise if only we will watch and wait.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Influence


Influence Beyond the Pale

Casual acquaintance with our vocabulary impoverishes the inspirational nature of living according to the fullness of what we were created to become. We limit our effectiveness through incomplete comprehension of the power and authority given in many situations.  The word influence is such a neglected word that bears further pondering. I considered it to mean direct changing of a person’s direction by outward words and deeds; as a direct result of vocal or written communication. 

In truth, a person of influence may affect others much by not speaking words but by example lives those words, in a manner speak more powerfully than by the use of words alone.  True if living by the standard established by the Almighty; not perfectly spoken but with perfect heart and desire, more and more breaking old habits of worldly vision to focus upon the Light of Life. Moses’ face glowed after being alone with God on the mountain, and then faded when he faced the challenges of leading a stubborn people.

 We today who believe in the Lord in His fullness have His presence with us to shine through our brokenness, even when we are unaware; especially more powerful when we are unaware.  Every moment in life is woven into the storehouse of who we have become, imperceptible for the most part, and yet finely ingrained into the whole experience much as a pinch of thyme flavors the whole kettle of nourishing robust soup.

We carry with us the eternity God set in the hearts of man in our journey to that perfection that leads the faithful forward in this race of discovery fitted between our birth and the end of our allotted days on earth.  Each day dawns with specifically ordained purpose.  Even in the busy routines of life there is something new to glean through our connection to the wonders yet to come. Moments of trial are broken by the light of hope which is always before us if we face the morning with expectation.  It is that eternal hope of the promise that shines through the eyes with power to influence those who hunger for its assurance.

Man thinks of influence as something we choose to use to redirect someone to our favor; perhaps bribery or threatening or slick talking; coercing a person’s direction without effectively changing hearts.  It is not our giving of emotional pleas; it is the power of the gospel that lends fragrance that invites inquiry into the heart of the matter. That subtle fragrance is an elixir of the eternal connection with the ancient words of truth and life.

Inside the pale it seems easy and right to tell of the gospel with its power and might.
With God given authority others hear what we are given to say; the pale is a barrier of protection for the day.
It is true both in physical boundaries that deter and refrain and more so in spiritual realms of every dark domain.
Mountaintop experiences are grasped in the spiritual realm where the light of hope cannot be overwhelmed.
How beautiful the melody when both realms unite; the joy is even more glorious shining into the darkness of night.

The wonder of God’s providence is more greatly desired when all seems out of control;
Realized when two realms collide, enlightening the deepest chambers of need in the soul.
We take the pale with us wherever we are led on pathways strange; that pale is the Kingdom of God with us, He does not change.
Though outside the pale cultures collide and sparks often fly, the hope of Salvation is light that will never fade or die.
That is where radiant influence born from His presence within, quietly fans embers into light, precious souls to win.

In that realm beyond the physical pale, when language might make it difficult to speak and to tell,
It is that inner presence flowing from faith that is sure, that shines through the eyes with light that is pure.
It is a presence perhaps indiscernible to individuals, who have not experienced it before,
But with God’s enabling they may catch that elixir of glory and be moved to desire more.
A smile and a kind word spoken with God’s love may open a door of possibility ordained from above.

As the apostles often walked far with little in their store, God always provided more than their needs before.
They were given sight to recognize those who are spiritually poor then given words of hope to restore.
They were simple and transparent, humbly making their way as God led;
They gave generously from that storehouse, being filled from heaven until the multitude was fed.
This is the influence felt outside the pale, outside the intimate little garden settings within the veil,
An apt word spoken with love extends the boundaries of grace
Spreading glimpses of heaven to those who are drowning and in need of God’s hand in a desolate place.

We are praying II Thessalonians 1:11-12  Therefore we pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. ”Amen


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

More Responsibility

Thoughts on responsibility cover a far greater range than one can cover in a short article, certainly far more reaching than the overview of yesterday's posting. The thoughts bringing attitude into focus might suggest a less than realistic approach to doing the daily chores which do not seem inspirational in the least. It is our freedom to choose the manner of their completion that gives oportunity to bring the matter of the heart into the equation. NO, it is not really fun to do some of the down on your knees scrubbing bathrooms or other such labors; but  we can be joyful even when not doing things we would call fun. The purpose of each little things which needs tending is not always to get it done, but to gain perspective and to feel the reward of seeing it done well, especially for the enjoyment and comfort of others in the household as well as the people the Lord may bring to your door... perhaps as entertaining angels unaware. You see the joyful sounds in early morning as the birds take to the air to find food and build nests. Their songs bring joy to us, and perhaps in some small way inspire us to hum a familiar tune while sweeping the floor, or to sing with abandon while ironing or washing windows. At times it is difficult to accomplish everything we feel needs doing, and therein is the challenge of choosing which things to do at a particular time. Most of the time we have freedom to program the day to accomplish well most of what needs doing. Focus then on the work at hand and seek pleasure from accomplishing that work; do not fall to the temptation to worry and grumble at the stack of ironing left undone for another day... or if need be, do enough to get you by for another day.
We all are better at some things than others; with more organization I know I can find joy in completing more of those less desirable jobs on my list. In the process I find that usually it is not the jobs that are undesirable, but my failure to attend to them in a timely manner. It brings joy to see results from responding to responsibilities with the attitude of importance they are due. We may continue pondering this subject for another day or two and seek to grow in this attitude of heart that brings satisfaction leading to joy. It never hurts to take a few moments to walk out and gaze at the heavenly display and be flled with awe of our Creator and the majesty of what He makes known through His creation.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Thinking on Responsibility

Responsibility

Responsibility is a unique word that seems on the surface to be limited in scope; often those jobs…chores…requirements on the “to do” list seem outside the realm of another list of want to do, called to do, inspired to do opportunities. For far too long I have mentally separated the two areas of my life by viewing these less glamorous works as duties to get done so I can move on to the productive projects and commitments as the “real” work for the day. This attitude is clearly apparent to anyone who is witness to the works of my hands when my heart is not in my efforts.
It is becoming clearer that this propensity to omit some things from the command to do ALL things as unto the Lord is indeed something that needs changing. My attitude toward these mundane duties does not glorify God in any manner. Scripture tells us that everything is beautiful in its own time. When I rush through washing dishes as something to get out of the way to get to something else it is my attitude that is ugly, not the chores at hand.

Response must be unified to get rid of the disconnect between chores and destination. All these responsibilities are truly part of the destination, not something to get through to get somewhere else. When I awaken each morning let me choose a balcony attitude and desire to make every part of the journey a delight. What a difference it would make were I to live in the wonder of each day, and put my creative self into observing beauty and light in every effort to which I am called.

There are responsibilities that change with every season that must be met. There are those things which are expected that come with commitments. There are many more things which we load upon ourselves in order to meet our own expectations. The list grows beyond the bounds in which we can complete well and that list requires seeking the Lord’s wisdom for the whens, hows, and ifs for making choices that align with His purpose for each life.  Beyond that, for each choice we make, let us seek to do that thing well. Let us choose an attitude of heart that will foster joy in whatever the hand finds to do. In this age of great technological communication it is tempting to multi-task and it divides the mind’s attention so that often nothing is given our best effort. Let me delight in such a simple thing as washing dishes. Let me hold the glass to the light and see the sunshine pouring through, perhaps even making a rainbow in the process. Let me remember the person who gave me the crystal bowl I am washing. Let me plan an occasion to use the beautiful floral china with dainty tea cups given to me by a friend who knew Iwould treasure the fragile beauty of such a set. Let me be thankful for having family and friends to feed and serve with love. Let me do the simplest jobs with the mindset that they too are to be done as if serving the Lord Himself. Each choice, each chore, each opportunity deserves to be given our best effort… that is our responsibility, not the number of items we can cross of the list each day in order to get to something we feel to be more important or fulfilling.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Mirror of Providence

Looking Forward

Sometimes it seems a bit sad when I look at photos and read special keepsake notes, when I fondly remember journeys to faraway places and mountaintop moments where ever they are experienced. It seems a bit sad as well when I consider my age and know that there is less time to do the many things that I felt I would one day accomplish. On the other hand, when I look through those keepsakes, those heart wrenching times of both joy and difficulty, I see the light of providence highlighting the different moments with the golden lgiht of understanding and see the unique way in which they have been woven together to form a tapestry of other worldly beauty. If even one of those events had been missed the grand design would not be complete at this day and time. One door led to another; one decision had direct influence on each following decision. It is with growing wisdom that I look forward with great anticipation to see what each new day will bring. It is through the perfect providence of God's care for me thus far that I greet each day with joy. Not that there are not anxious moments. Not that there are no concerns, no lapses as I try to be in charge of the hours of the day. At times it is hard to move forward into something new because I don't have all the answers and do not know exactly what to expect. But... this is the beauty of it! This is the excitement of each day. Just as I do not know what type of sunrise will greet the dawn, I also do not know what surprises await my moving forward into the day. I do not know when the rainbows will appear. I do not know when a dear friend will call, or when my children and grandchildren will come to the farm to visit. I do not know when I will be visited by beautiful light of inspiration with which to write or create something of beauty. I only know that for every breath I am allowed there is purpose and opportunity. That is more than enough.
It is the mirror of memory that magnifies each morning to marvel in the majestic splendor of each moment.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Beyond the Drought

Yesterday morning was an example of gaining extended vision... slowly... sometimes almost immeasurably, but certan grow in seeing beyond the present physical condition. This extended heat and drought has brought challenges to so many people. We have been feeding hay for a month when it is normally at least mid October before that becomes necessary. Our ancient air conditioning unit has been struggling and required continuing repair. The new motor that was installed only Thursday stopped working last night. We awoke yesterday with no water. With perseverence my husband was able to get the water restored mid morning after discovering a leak and making a trek to the hardware store for parts.The trees in the yard and surrounding fields are showing signs of distress in shriveling leaves and even some leaves alreading falling away.  But I sat on the deck in peace. It was very early in the morning. Before it began to get light we could see a line of clouds to the north when they were illuminated by frequent lightening. Hope. Perhaps there will be rain. When daylight arrived that line of clouds was still very close, just across the river valley. There was something peaceful about watching the clouds and the continued lightening. Then I began seeing the rain. For hours, framed by our thirsty tree branches, I watched the rain across the way.  As I always have the camera nearby, I took several photos of the clouds and rain in the changing light. Though we did not get any of the moisture I was surprised to find myself thanking the Lord for the rain others were getting. I was truly glad for them. I was still asking the Lord to favor us with some of the rain but at the same time content in what He chose to provide. Resting in Him. I am thankful for attic fans and breezes that make things more comfortable. I am thankful that we can carry water when we have plumbing failures. I am thankful for the light of the morning that continues to illumine my heart and soul with new perspective on what is truly important in this life as I compare my failures with opportunities to do better every day. Each sunrise brings promise of new choices and results when I set myself aside to consider the needs of others. Life is not about me at all.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

There is something peaceful about the early morning light as it heightens the contrast between rows of hills that seem to go on forever. The color blue is so pronounced in nature. Blue carries the emotion of calm to refresh and uplift one in preparation for the unknown challenges for the day. Blue adds depth to a scene in three dimensional reality; blue fades into the horizon and continues to infinity if we were able to see it there.
Blue seems to cleanse the mind of worldly worrys and replace them with hope and anticipation of special moments waiting just ahead. The blue shadows reflect the sky just as a glass smooth surface reflects the vast canvas being transformed by the Creator moment by moment.  It takes time to watch the creation of a sunrise... to see the layers upon layers of clouds and fog and distant mountains change in the dawning day. At times the clouds are brushed with pink and gold, breathtaking to behold. As the sun rises higher and higher the early gold is exchanged to lighter gold tinged with a hint of pink... wisps of clouds catch the playful light and expand the sence of infinity. Each morning brings something new into view. It is a grand awakening for all the possibilities Linger a while in this state of watchful anticipation and be inspired by the heavenly light.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Baby Wrens

Responsibilities

With the beautiful sunrises of summer and the melodic music of the song birds winging about in flight we begin to understand something of the urgency of a summer day. From the first warm days the creatures of the air rush about with great perseverence usually reserved for man. The wren is a unique little bird filled with personality to match the joyful melody with which it greets each day. Sometimes it perches near by, as if pondering the best place for a nest and the arduous task of gathering enough materials to line it and make a cozy place to lay eggs, to sit and hatch them, and then provide space enough to land and feed the babies as it makes coutless trips to fetch all kinds of insects. It is so interesting to glimpse such a nest up close, and to witness the types of materials it has chosen to preapre for the responsibility of parenthood, a responsibility ingrained in its creation. It is so quick and purposeful in its movements. It seems it is untiring and focused on seeking out enough morsels to nourish the quickly growing little chicks. And by natural reflex the little ones open their mouths on cue at any sound in expectation of more food. With our gift of reasoning and the ability to learn to care for others, are we as careful to uphold our responsibilities as these excellent wren parents? It makes one stop and ponder how we use our time, often for our own pleasure, when we have so many responsibilities in our own families and neighborhoods. Do we sing with joy in our work half so beautifully as these little birds of the air? Does our joy become a sweet fragrance to others who behold the attitude of our hearts and our minds in the simple every day activities of this life? It is so easy to grumble about every detail and yet we need to practice being thankful for all things and watch to see some good purpose in every providence of God. When we open our mouths let it be with songs of hope and encouragement to all who would hear the message of our hearts.



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Peace Through the Fog

Vision Transformed

Midpoint between the valley and the realm of glorious light
Along the winding river course, mingling with the low hanging clouds
Mischievous fog swirls in curious delight
Leaping with joyful abandon, carried along in harmony
With the ageless melody of time
Combining with an inclined cloud to form as a snow capped peak
Majestic in poetic beauty to thrill a peaceful soul
Perhaps a glimpse of promised of splendor too lavish to extol
Yet for a moment, a hint of that realm beyond knowing
Real to the imagination
Entranced, watching in stillness as illusive fog keeps flowing
In a moment in time, a blink of the eye
The fog vanishes, revealing an azure sky
Memory of such a witness lives on to surface at another time
Protected in a willing heart without need or wondering to ask why.
5/72012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Perseverence

 

Natures Old and New

Two natures cannot inhabit the same body
Awareness of eternity that is so near as if to touch
Yet just out of reach to fully grasp
Slowly in learning to know God
New awareness of God’s appointed nature
New nature leading me more frequently
Old nature is dead, its power gone
But habits are strong tempters
Response to desires for present pleasure
Power must be practiced
Procrastination changed to perseverance
Taking every thought captive immediately
Resurrection nature
Giving meaning and assurance
A rock of absolute truth against which to measure
Adding vibrancy to that which was merely good
Perhaps it is youth renewed
Strengthened as being carried on wings of eagles
Fullness of time, hour by hour
Contentment in the gifts of each day
Moments when the soul sings in satisfaction
And I see beyond the face in the mirror
Fulfilled life extending beyond my years
Abundance current boundaries cannot contain
Overflowing riches through simple wisdom
Lavished with love and eternal purpose
Humble truth transcends generations
Man’s wisdom so confuses knowledge
That truth appears dead to worldly thinking
Absolute truth thrives
Unchanging in victorious triumph
Constant through powerful divine authority
Filled with enfolded wisdom and revelation
Treasure gifted in God’s timing
To be illumined in the full light of day
Tasted and experienced with awe of the eternal
Confirmed by the Spirit moment by moment
To the praise of His glorious grace
Life without end
Lavish and abundant in Christ alone
Enthroned in the praise of His people

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Richness of Spring


Who knew there were so many lush shades of green?


Persevering

In Persevering
As a BSF group leader, in our study of the Acts of the Apostles this last year, one of my group members was amazed weekly through all the ways we are encouraged to persevere throughout the course of life's difficulties and opportunities. Stand tall. Stay the course. Finish the race. It was not just through the lessons each week, but every where she turned the word persevere was inserted... in sports articles, news, school programs, sermons and daily devotionals... even in a discussion with her nephew who was joining the armed services upon graduation. Our group members caught the drift of what God was showing her and began to tell her of ways they were seeing that principle at work.
I, too, have been given new applications and opportunities to see perseverence at work. My plans always seem good. My prayers seem full of purpose and need. I love the praise and thanksgiving part of praying, but I continue to learn more about how to pray for God's will in persevering in every challenge. My desires are often focused upon the ways I want things to turn out. I rarely see the big picture through to its conclusion in a way that allows God freedom to bring about His best for my life in a manner that brings Him the most glory. But as He grants me more and more patience along with more understanding of His Word, I find that more often I delight in waiting for His direction as I work toward a particular goal. We are to actively wait for His leading. This is part of persevering. We do as much as we can, trusting that He will show us the next step... the next direction...the next changing of the cloud that reminds us that in the grand scheme of things we are not in charge. It is in the letting go of our preconceived image of a certain goal that we are enabled to see with illumined understanding a higher purpose, a better way or ultimately a more lofty end result when not limiting our efforts to what we alone can ask or imagine. At this moment I am just finishing a project that has led me to persevere through various challenges and changes until at last it seems God is saying, well done. In working with my publisher we have learned much about keeping a positive attitude in order to meet printing guidelines. But we are there. I am eagerly awaiting the proof copy of this book that has been a labor of love. I had to get myself and my preconceived images out of the way in order to allow God to lead the project to proceed in a manner that would bring Him the most glory. I got discouraged with myself a couple of times but the Lord would not let me stay there. It is He Who worked the persevering through me for when I am weak, His strength and leading is sufficient to bring about the true desires of my heart which should always align with His purpose for my life.
In the exercise of persevering we must look beyond our limitations, both physical and real, and those we set for ourselves due to what we perceive to be true of ourselves. Instead we must learn to respond according to what we know to be true of God through spending time learning to know Him through His Word. When the way seems blocked from our perspective perhaps we need to glance about and look for another door He may have opened as a means of leading us forward with Him. That is the key thinking. With HIM! Every challenge is an opportunity to grow in our trust of the One Who is sovereign over all things. Every challenge is an opportunity to point others to the faithfulness of God to provide eternal good through every lesson in life. This should bring us to a point of satisfaction in God which in turn brings Him great glory. The peace and joy of this relationship further aligns our purpose in life to be reflected through the manner in which we are blessed to persevere in every trial, temptation, suffering and loss. It should also humble us from ourselves, from that temptation of pride that so often accompanies the perception of success of our own doing.
There is victory on the horizon every morning when we persevere hand in hand with the Lord Almighty. Through these changing pathways of our pilgrimage we delight in the little tastes of heaven, the glimpses of glory, and the fragrance of the Lord through the loving kindnesses of His people and we know the presence of He Who dwells in the midst of the praises of His people.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Strengthened Through Heat Treating

Hunting Knives
Strengthened through Heat Treating
            Through the ages hunting knives have served man in both utilitarian and artistic purpose. From the weapon chipped from stone through the advance of metallurgy there has always been an allure connected to owning a prized knife.
My husband has been a knife maker for almost fifty years. He first decided to try to make one because he could not afford a handmade knife that had captured his attention. The first was made from a saw blade; the second from a file. He quickly discovered the need for a different type of steel and began quizzing friends in the metal industry. After deciding on quality steel he set out to make another knife… then another… and in the process learned about the process of heat treating the steel and what that was needed to accomplish. This process of tempering began with heating the knife to very high heat to harden the steel. The problem is that at that point the steel is not useful at that point because it becomes brittle and easily broken. The process includes another step, drawing back, to bring the metal to a useful purpose. You have to harden before you can draw it back. The hardened steel lasts longer but it is not tough. As I understand it, the drawing back realigns the molecules and the result is a really dependable blade that will stand up to the most challenging use.
            Isn’t that just like God in His strengthening us through challenges and suffering and rejoicing? All of these things through the hand of God serve to temper us to stand strong in what is yet to be. If we went through the fire without the tempering we would become brittle, grumbling, and quite ill fitted for the tasks ahead.  God uses our challenges to bring us to a point where we are at the end of our ability to persevere; in His loving kindness He does not leave us there but comes alongside us to lift us up in His strength and thereby developing new strength in us as we become more aligned with His will. He grows us and makes us stronger as we depend more on His provision of all we need to walk with Him through every trial.
            Through the tempering process the knife is given more intrinsic beauty and dependability. Through the refiner’s fire we are strengthened and given an inner beauty that is from turning our face toward God in expectation for what He will do based on His promises.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On the Way To Summer

Days pass by one by one
The seasons blossom and fade and they are done
The ordering of time is filled with purpose and plan
According to God's will for His created man.
The sweetness of springtime lingers only for a moment it seems,
Yet it's fragrance lingers upon those God redeems.
Oh so slowly the flowers take their cue
Some fading, some budding into flowers that are new
The rains come unexpectedly according to God's will
To fill stream beds with falls that rush downhill
Only to enter quiet pools of dark green in the shade
To refresh all life the Creator has made
Along the stream bed the wildflowers grow
Sometimes wild strawberries ripen to shine from below
And give taste to the coming of summer harvest
Baskets will overflow with fruit at its best
More of the summer songbirds arive to build nests and sing
Hawks soar and cry loudly as they take wing
Early in the day the mourning dove coos to its mate
To accompany the last cry of the whipporwill just past the gate
And one owl responds to another somewhere nearby
The hummingbirds awaken to fight as they fly
And I settle in to the more relaxed schedule and pace
With freedom extended to quietly explore with upturned face
For every moment has purpose even as the seasons are changing
Summer's arrival offers new opportunities without special arranging.
It is the day that is at hand in which I rejoice in thanksgiving
It is now that I may make a difference in how I am living.
So thankful I am for another marvelous day to rejoice and pray
Because I have received abundant light for the way.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

To Greet the Dawn

Upon Awakening

Before the dawn began appearing on the horizon
The light of day was shining into my awaiting soul
True in the ancient sense as well as new each morning
Waiting, anticipating the light of day I pray
Recognizing, adoring, worshiping with great thanksgiving
My Lord, my Savior Who is The Way
Set apart in stillness before going forth to meet the dawn
Before the birds begin their singing
Into the majesty of His presence I am drawn
I know His commands and His promise
I know His faithfulness through His history with man
Whatever the morning brings I await as from His hand
There will be life strengthening lessons according to His plan
When I fail to trust Him, or grumble and complain, He is grieved
When I seek my own way through the emotion of desire
He will not go before me or afford relief
And so I ask of Him, before I choose to open my eyes
Lord, help me respond to every challenge
As opportunity to bring light of truth to a dark world
Where words are merely smoke and mirrors, intended to mislead
Lord, give me grace and wisdom as a shepherd of your sheep
Inspire thoughts through me that will lift others toward your keep
As the faint orange glimmer of dawn makes itself known
The forest around me is awakening with joyful singing
And the Lord God is revered with awe as He sits upon his throne.
5/12/12


Monday, May 7, 2012

Impression of a Foggy Morning


Image by Ina May Pummill

Vision Transformed

Midpoint between the valley and the realm of glorious light
Along the winding river course, mingling with the low hanging clouds
Mischievous fog swirls in curious delight
Leaping with joyful abandon, carried along in harmony
With the ageless melody of time
Combining with an inclined cloud to form as a snow capped peak
Majestic in poetic beauty to thrill a peaceful soul
Perhaps a glimpse of promised of splendor too lavish to extol
Yet for a moment, a hint of that realm beyond knowing
Real to the imagination
Entranced, watching in stillness as illusive fog keeps flowing
In a moment in time, a blink of the eye
Fog and clouds vanish, revealing an azure sky
Memory of such a witness lives on to surface at another time
Protected in a willing heart without need or wondering to ask why.
5/72012