We All Are Leaves

Changing Leaves (1)

 

We all are leaves.
We bud, shiny and green, wrinkly and curled up.
We stretch out and face the sun for a day or so.
We tremble in the wind.
We hang our heads low when the rain comes.
We wither and fade.
We fall to the ground, and then—
We return to the dust from which we came.

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My Garden

 

back-yard-office

My garden’s a place where
I take in the fresh air,
Follow the butterfly
With silent, watchful eye,
Note with small levity
Each flower’s brevity,
Listen to birds singing,
Watch them in sky winging
Playfully tree to tree—
God cares for them and me.

Matthew 10:29,31 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale

stone-mountain-north-carolinaYou may have seen this photo before on my page. I’ve used it on other posts, and it keep coming back to it because it’s one of my favorites. But to be honest, when I saw that this week’s photo challenge was scale, this was the first photo that came to mind. The children look tiny by comparison to the mountain to which they are headed.

It also reminds me of the greatness of God.

Isaiah 40:12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

This, of course, is a rhetorical question. Our God is a great big God. Consider the size of that mountain. He made the mountain! Consider the size of the universe. He made the universe! He made everything that exists, and He holds it all in the palm of His hand. The only reason the theory of evolution exists at all is because man does not want to accept the existence of God, for then he must accept the fact that one day he will answer to God and give an account for his actions. But God most definitely does exist, and we most definitely will give an account to Him one day. He is to be feared, yes, but this is a reverential fear, not the fear of someone who cares nothing for your well-being. God created everything, He keeps it all working, and He protects each part—each person—even you and me. Why? Because He cares. When you have made something by hand, you take special pride in it too, don’t you? God made us in His image, and He is like that too. He created us. We are hand-made, each and every one of us, and He cares for us. That is why we all can say with the psalmist…

Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Wow! Did you get all that? With God protecting us, what do we need to fear? Over and over again throughout the Bible we are told that the Lord is our rock. He can be trusted. Men will fail us, but God can never fail.

 

 2 Samuel 22:31 As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler to all them that trust in Him.

A buckler was a form of shield that covered the entire body. So in other words, God will protect you completely, in every area of your life. Nothing can get past His perfect will for you.

Psalm 62:8 Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

The longer I serve God, the more I learn that I can trust Him at all times for all things. I have failed Him many times, but He has never failed me once, and He never will.

 

Be Thou My Vision

 

 

4x6 04 Cascade 04translated by Mary E. Byrne
versified by Eleanor H. Hull

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Nought be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
Thou ever with me, and I with Thee, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my Breastplate, my Sword for the fight;
Thou my whole Armor, be Thou my true Might;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, be Thou my strong Tow’r,
Raise me to heaven, great Pow’r of my pow’r.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise;
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and Thou only first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’n’s Sun,
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

℘      ℘      ℘

Mary Elizabeth Byrne (1880-1931) was born in Ireland. She translated this 8th-Century Gaelic poem in 1905 while working as a researcher and writer for the Board of Intermediate Education in Dublin. Years later, Eleanor Hull, a writer of English history and literature, put Ms. Byrne’s prose translation into verse form and included it in her book of poems, The Poem Book of the Gael. The melody is a traditional Irish tune.

Are you as thankful as I am for the work that these women did to make this beautiful hymn accessible to us? It has also been translated into other languages as well as English. The truths taught about our great God in these few lines are timeless.

The older I get, the more I realize the Christ is all. He literally fills more and more of my vision, just as the songwriter spoke of. This is not something that happens automatically, but is a consequence of daily walking with Him, getting to know Him, letting Him change me and conform me into His image. Every morning I must die to self so that I may live for Him. I’m not talking about some strange ritual or morbid habit, but just a denying of my own stubborn will. Am I always successful? No. But God is always forgiving. When I fall, He picks me up, brushes the dirt off my knees, and helps me start again.

Christ is all. He is sufficient for everything, for every need in every situation. Period.

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.

Credits:

Information from hymnary.org

Osbeck, Kenneth W. Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions. Kregel Publications: Grand Rapids, 1990. p. 90.

Photo taken at Narrows Falls, Sapphire Valley, North Carolina, 2013

 

Sometimes Life Happens

It’s time for my weekly study about Women in the Bible, and I’m not ready because life got in the way. I am a home school mom of a young lady who wants to graduate this year but hasn’t quite finish all her eleventh grade studies, and I’m trying hard to see if we can make it happen. I can do the planning, but most of the execution is going to be on her. On the bright side, if she can keep up with the pace, she’ll be all the more prepared for college come September 2018. Wow! Did I just say that? It’s hard to believe that I’m almost finished home schooling. This last year, with only one student, is definitely proving to be the hardest.

So while you wait for my study on Rebekah to be ready, I thought I’d share a memory from exactly three years ago today. My number 2 son, Bobby, was off to a rough start for the new school year, and he clearly needed a break for a couple days. Part of the beauty of home schooling is spontaneity. So he and I took a spur-of-the-moment trip to the Shenandoah mountains, just a 3-hour drive from our house, for a long-weekend getaway. Actually, it did us both a world of good.

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