Did your 2012 go like this……?
…or more like this??
Mine was a blur…but each day started with God’s new mercies, and ended with His great faithfulness.
That’s what reallly matters.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20
Dear young man, who admires me with wonder
Who loves the streams and hills,
I, creation, know our sculptor
Who lifts me from this sodden earth
and carries me from flower to fleur.
My handiwork is fully His
Made for your delight;
to admire, photograph,
or stand in awe,
to pause and merely sigh.
Yet, I creation, pale to you,
birthed, eternal soul
You, with searching heart and mind
Gentle spirit, good and kind
You, for whom He died.
I, creation, certainly wonder
Why man rages ‘til day is done
But more, I grieve and groan and long
To speak through my unspoken song
Of our Creator’s love..
…the engraved signature of the artist’s Son.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes on Him will not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Poem, Linda Owen
Photos: Hummingbird, Elaine Corneau
Hands, Google Images
All others, John Owen
“There are no ‘ordinary’ people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations — these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit — immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.”
–C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
I’m still alive and writing! This year has been gratefully busy and spread out between family, grad school, and helping a humble ministry leader express his story for a future book. And, in a mere hours or days, we will be meeting and welcoming two more little ones into our growing family!
But I’m so behind with sharing. My heart and mind are full of songs, opinions, new favourite quotes, and encouragement from God’s Word. So I better get started.
There are no ordinary people.
We live our life among the immortal. Every single person we talk to, brush past, or ignore, is valuable, every spirit, eternal, and each soul, purchased by our Saviour’s blood.
that crosses our path,
will outlast the prettiest flower
and the deepest sunset
and the wildest mountains
or the most graceful deer~~~
If that be true, how do we treat others? The others we may not like, who have hurt us, or tailgate us on the highway, or make choices that cause us pain?
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
Jesus didn’t ask us to love one another. He commanded it!
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
Casting Crown’s song, Jesus, Friend of Sinners, says it like this:
Oh, Jesus, friend of sinners,
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus friend of sinners break our hearts for what breaks yours.
Jesus, friend of sinners, the one who’s writing in the sand
Make the righteous turn away and the stones fall from their hands
Help us to remember we are all the least of these
Let the memory of your mercy bring your people to their knees.
How do we live among such immortals?
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
We will never meet a mere mortal.
May the Lord grant us the grace and humility to treat everyone we meet on our journey with an eternal perspective. We already have an example from Jesus:
“….whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Let us love one another…as long as we have breath, to eternity….and beyond!
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Eccl. 3:1
After several months of intense activity and 2500 more miles on Trustee Toyota, we arrived back at The Hollow and I aggresively set out to tackle a personal to-do list; as one can imagine, The Hollow is ever in want of care and upkeep.
We inherited a lovely herb garden when we bought our home 6 years ago. It is often a source of blessing, and less frequently, a curse. Loads of herbs, fragrances, and enjoyment; but not without regular weeding and transplanting, and battling with the lemon balm which always wants to take over.
But today the Lord let me learn and enjoy a little blessing from it. He gave me Rest.
These cuttings were leftover from the day I did the dirty, weeding and pruning work.
But the restful part was bundling them up. Why?
Because, what else can one do while sorting through little sprigs, tossing the bad ones, gathering 12-15 fresh ones together, cutting twine just so, and tying the twine around each little bundles? Not much, but…
I listened to worship music, the birds singing, hummingbirds at our feeders, and other buzzing things. And I listened to the Holy Spirit, reminding me how much more important my relationship is with Him, than being busy.
All in all, it was a pretty productive day.
“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength….” Isaiah 30:15 NIV
“God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Eccl. 3:11 (NLT)
[Little disclaimer–these photos aren’t from John’s talented eye; instead, my eye and little HTC cellphone are the culprits.]
To me remains nor place, nor time;
My country is in every clime;
I can be calm and free from care
On any shore, since God is there.
After settling back into our non-routine routine life, I finally
found made some time to compile a little photo log of our journey over the past several weeks; or, one might call it, “really great excuses as to why I haven’t been blogging.” I think my husband’s seven-year old Kodak 612Z camera still does a pretty good job capturing and highlighting our days.
After Easter, we moved out of our cute little spot in Ottawa.
Then we stayed on the “other” side of the Ottawa River a while with friends:
and moved our “schtuff” into their basement…
Then, it was time to say “See you later” (not goodbye), to some friends…
As we headed out of town, some colourful tulips peaking through the snow caught our eye.
Then we drove south, and south, and east a bit…to enjoy an extended stay in Virginia Beach for my mom’s 80th birthday celebration, shared with our daughters and grandkids! These are just a few pics of all that were taken from our blessed time together:
After spending time with our blessings, it was time to meet the road again.
As Bilbo sang in The Hobbit,
Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.
So we return, for a bit, to our hollow in the hills, giving praise to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and seeking Him for whatever lies ahead.
While place we seek, or place we shun,
The soul finds happiness in none;
But with a God to guide our way,
“tis equal joy to go or stay.
Jeanne Marie Guyon, 1722
What have you been up to lately?
Is it not strange, the darkest hour
That ever dawned on sinful earth,
Should touch the heart with softer power,
For comfort, than an angel’s mirth?
That to the Cross the mourner’s eye should turn,
Sooner that where the stars of Bethlehem burn?
John Keble, Good Friday
As much as I LOVE Christmas, this season of Jesus’ death and resurrection brings me even greater tidings of comfort and joy! Jesus birth was a glorious and beautiful foretaste of what He actually Finished at Calvary and the surprising dawn of His Resurrection. And though there’s nothing quite like the all-cozy-inside feeling I have when I hear Christmas carols, the hymns and praise of Easter ring out assurances of Hope, Love, and eternal Life!
I serve a Risen Saviour! Christ the Lord is risen today!! Hallelujah!! Hallelujah!! Because He lives I can face tomorrow! He’s Alive! He’s Alive! Arise, My Soul, Arise!!
I shared the last song, by Charles Wesley, under a different post, melody and musicians. Today’s rendition is compliments of Sovereign Grace Music (where you can purchase their newest CD for only $5)! The tune is new, soulful, and brilliant! But the classic words and message remind us that we are ever inscribed on Christ’s hands and forever accepted in the Beloved!
by Charles Wesley
Love’s as warm as tears, Love is tears….
What special song or poem speaks to you about Christ’s love, Easter, and His Resurrection?
“Their love is the love of the table, not of the host; a love to the cupboard, not to the master of the house.” ~ Spurgeon
Jesus asked him the third time,
“Do you love me?”
“Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you!” (John 17:21)
Where are our affections? On the things the Lord provides?
Do we love the table?
Or the Host?
Do we love the cupboard…
…or the Master of the house?
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life….
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” from John 6:26-35
Here’s a little Post Script to What’s Your ___ for 2012?
The Psalmist reminds us that no matter what our goals, longings, or desires are, there is something Better!
“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” Psalm 63:1-3
“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” Psalm 84:10
“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive!” I Corinthians 15:20-22
Come and see
Come and see where they laid Him
He is not here
He is not here, He is living
Quickly now go tell the world
Christ, the Lord, He is risen
The power of God
Forever raised Him from the grave
Where oh death’
Where oh death is your sting’
You’re swallowed up in vict’ry
Quickly now go tell the world
Christ, the Lord, He is risen
The power of death
Could never hold Him in the grave
He is risen, Hallelujah
He is risen, Hallelujah
A little change of pace for this week. Taking time to focus on our Lord, through creation, communion and the Cross.
John said that these butterflies literally posed for the camera! What glorious detail!
So often we are overwhelmed by the big and grand ways the Lord displays His grace towards us. But sometimes, the tiniest of flowers, a seed, or an insect, may speak of God’s wonder in a different way. May we learn that His love, compassion, and grace towards us is also found in the details.