Friday, September 16, 2011

Broken Glass

              BROKEN GLASS
Shattered dreams like broken glass,
Sparkling shards, glittering mass,
Crushed on the concrete floor of life.

Bridges of life that won't be crossed;
Vision gone, hope seems lost,
Dropped in the chasm of yesterday.

Helpless wond'ring what will come?
Darkness reigns, senses numb;
Upper room waiting for the day.

All night long we cannot see,
Peering long, restlessly,
Wond'ring what God has in mind.

Slowly dawns a ray of light;
Trembling faith, feeble sight,
God's not hindered by brokenness.

"Give them up," I hear Him say,
"Let them go, it's My way";
He now delights to pick them up.  

Gently He takes up each bit,
chosen piece, arranges it;
What are shards to Mighty God?

Lovingly He redefines,
recreates a new design;
This was His purpose all along.

Sharpened tools have done their work, 
Cutting deep, precise work;
Melt on the solder, hold it fast.

Light streams colored through the glass,
Making sense of the past,
Traced on the concrete floor of life.

Lifting Thanks

I have found that the lift is really for me.  When I make my list of thanks my eyes are lifted upward and my spirit is lightened and lifted.  So perhaps I'm selfishly motivated, but here's another Thanks list...

191.  Comfortable sunny, breezy days
192.  Lots of garden produce and sweet girls to help put it all up
193.  Cuddly kitties
194.  Progress on Fall housecleaning - clean white kitchen curtains
195.  The dryer working again
196.  Time with my Mom (afternoon tea, a shopping trip to the second hand store, and supper here)
197.  Fall vacation on the North Shore to look forward to
198.  Friends who share their cabin there with us
199.  Children who prefer tenting even to the cabin and don't mind sleeping on the ground
200.  Access to beautiful music, art and poetry
201.  Inspiring books to read aloud
202.  A friend's listening ear as I spilled out my pain all raw and her words of hope - miracle stories of
          others transformed by the LORD
203.  My friends' miracle of forgiveness and grace experienced this week, spilling out onto all of us onlookers
204.  Daddy spending time with his little ones
205.  Singing hymns of praise with our church family
206.  Hospitality and a feeling of belonging
207.  Rachael's Dahlia from Ludmilla in the Ukraine blooming lovely big blooms
208.  Recent rainbows representing hope extended to us
209.  A couple of boxes of apples off our trees this year and Lizzy's fresh hot apple crisp
210.  A freshly tuned piano

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Miracle!!

Dear friends recently experienced a miracle touch of God on their lives - His grace poured out in forgiveness and transformation.  Here it is in poem form by our dear friend Hope Byler.

I wish
you could have seen them --
their glow,
their twinkling smiles
into each other's eyes,
the grace
that has softened
hardened and anger-filled faces . . .

She with the blush of a bride.
He the epitome of protective gentleman . . .
They stood there
telling us all
gathered in the stuffy little church foyer
about the gift of grace . . .
the out-pouring,
the 4 a.m. deluge
that streamed down golden
from heaven.

Arms encircled,
fingers entwined,
we stood agape.
They tell us -
it's better than the first time
better than the honeymoon . . .
and their starry eyes
invite us to believe . . .

The 30-plus years of marriage
have been a spiral down
for decades . . .
distance . . .
it was all there.
And more.
Much more.
Prayers winged heavenward
from many hearts.

Their dozen-less-one children
have been staggering through life -
trying to find hope
amid despair.
amid chaos.
amid death.

The past week
had seen it all escalated --
till fights and police
and lawyers
entered the scenario.
It was the bottom.
The bottom of the bottom.

But it was in the middle
of a hate-filled, angry,
wee-hours-of-the-morning tirade
that the windows of heaven opened . . .
and could you have seen
the golden waterfall,
the sparkling dazzling stream
of light
beaming downward --
you, like Saul,
would have fallen to the ground
blinded by it's beauty.

A gift so unimaginable
so beyond what we could ask
or think --
a grace so amazing --
flowed from the heart
of the Father
into two battle-weary souls.

Bitterness fled
at the Face of Love.
Resentments melted.
Apologies began to flow
into air
still writhing
from the seething words
spat into it
moments before.
The sweet water of forgiveness
flowed into soul-gouges
clawed deep by death-words.

The curtain of heaven
was gently moved aside
by a scarred Hand -
to allow through
a beam of light
and mercy
and indescribable grace.

And I look around the foyer.
Children smile.
They never stop.
Eyes are all aglow.
Her face radiant.
His eyes mist.
"It was all God," he says.
"It was all grace."

And we raise hands of wild praise
to the Only and Always Good.
We prostrate in worship.
We bow humble before
Almighty God
who holds every detail -
all of life -
in the palm of His hand.
And we know that we know -
with a fresh, wonder-filled faith
that God.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Things to give thanks for

171-  Green grass in August
172-  Plenty of moisture for the garden
173-  Apples on our trees
174-  Fun and laughter while we put up produce
175-  Lots and lots of peaches and blueberries
176-  Herbal remedies
177-  Friends that understand

178-  A praying Sunday School class
179-  Plans and direction for school in September
180-  Our nature class - lots of learning and fun
181-  Imaginative children
182-  Wonderful books to read aloud
183-  Lively conversations with my Mom
184-  Light bread again - a solution to our wheat that makes flat bread
185-  Good neighbors
186-  A bucket of raspberries
187-  Cool breeze and lower humidity for canning weeks
188-  Twin grandbabies on the way
189-  A little boy with a wonderful creative vocabulary
190-  Frogs and Toads in terrariums

Thursday, September 1, 2011

We Must Be Obedient

I've been slowly reading F.B.Meyer's book Elijah.  The following paragraphs really stood out to me and I wonder how much I miss of what God has for me because I am not quick and sensitive to obey small promptings.  I have made it a practice to obey what I know in the Word of God but even there I know of areas where I have not brought my practice up to the level of what I know.  The life of blessedness held out as a result of living in obedience is very attractive to me. I highly recommend F.B.Meyer's biblical biographies  including this one -- they are full of insights.

"We have already insisted on this, but it is so indispensable that repeated emphasis must be laid upon it.  Christ reiterated His appeals for the keeping of his commands in almost every sentence of His closing discourses with His disciples (John 14:15, 21, 23, 24).  He gives the secret of His own abiding in His Father's love in these striking words:  "As the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do.  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love."  (John 14:31, 15:10).  Instant and implicit obedience to the teaching of the Word, and to the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit, in an absolute condition of keeping, or increasing, the store of sacred influence.  On the contrary, one little item of disobedience persisted in is quite sufficient to check all further bestowments, and even to deprive us of what we have.  "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land; but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword."  Nor is such obedience hard; for all God's commands are enablings, and His grace is sufficient.  Look out for it.  If only every believer who reads these lines would resolve from this hour to imitate Elijah, who went and with the thought of merit, but beneath the inspiration of love;  not in the weightier matters only, but in the crossins of the t's and in the dottings of the i's --he would find at once that there would open before him a life of almost inconceivable glory.  It is the wide and open sea of blessedness.  The exact obedience of Elijah is the inviolable condition of receiving and keeping "the spirit and power of Elijah."