Grateful

Pixabay

I am thankful for –  the blazing sun

That drives away rain – allowing for fun

For hobbies and excursions – things to do

Sports Days and races – with their ribbons of blue

Rolling meadows and grasslands

Great evergreen stands

For the deep dark woods – where squirrels do play

And coastal discoveries – like driftwood grey

Hunting for fossils in the red river clay

I’m grateful for the world – spread before me today

 

Padre

 

Paint Chip Poetry Prompt #28- I Am Grateful: Use all seven of these paint chips words and phrases: blazing sunblue ribbonfossilred claygrasslanddeep dark wood, and driftwood. Bonus points if you can write your poem in rhyming couplets.

A Heart Full

Men, Women, Apparel, Couple, People

Pixabay

 

A. A. Milne wrote “Sometimes, the smallest things take up the most room in your heart”

 

It’s not mounds of presents

Nor grand gestures large

It’s often the small things

Which our batteries recharge

It’s a smile, or a thank you

A welcome, or a please

It’s them caring to say “Bless you”

When you unexpectedly sneeze

“You make that outfit look good,”

Instead of the reverse

It’s a shoulder to cry on

When you think “things can’t get much worse”

Your heart may be spacious

But it’s the little things that fill it

So be sure to say thank you

To those who make you feel it

 

Padre

 

 

 

 

Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation: Tanka

Antietam, Maryland, Cannon, Battlefield

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

 

An Autumn wind blows
Over Antietam’s field
Abe admonishes
A nation in need of hope
To give trust and thanks above

 

In October 1863 the American Civil War (War Between the States) was in its third year.  1861 and most of ’62 had done badly for the Union.  Then a battle at Sharpsburg, Maryland gave a glimmer of short-lived hope.  But July ’63 saw victories at both Vicksburg and Gettysburg. At the prompting of Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, Lincoln called the nation to a day of thanksgiving.

Padre

posted on d’Verse

 

 

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Validated: A Haibun

people meeting in room

Photo by Antenna on Unsplash

The class was debating about who should be credited with being the first missionary.  Most were of the opinion that Peter should have the distinction as he brought the gospel to the Roman, Cornelius in Acts 10.  Others held that Philip should be given the distinction because he instructed the Ethiopia eunuch in chapter 8.  One female student was quiet throughout.  When she was finally asked to give her view, she responded, “Mary.” This met with some scorn from her fellows.  When she was asked to defend her view she said, “Mary was the first to proclaim, ‘He is risen’,” a point quickly agreed with by the instructor.  She shot the teacher a shy smile of thanks.

Appreciation 
A little smile and a blush
Now validated

Padre

(Based on an actual lesson)

Written for d’Verse Haibun Monday 11/24/19: Gratitude

Ineffable

Woman, Girl, Freedom, Happy, Sun, Silhouette, Sunrise

Pixabay

Speechless, in awe, too much to take in

Overwhelmed by the glory radiating from Him

So many sights and blessings witnessed each day

In nature, or human kindness

We encounter along our way

Sometimes it’s a sunrise, bright beams of gold

Sometimes it’s a whispered “I love you”

When that’s what you need to be told

Ineffable, in awe, too much to take in

The blessings daily flowing from Him

 

Padre

Weekend Writing Prompt #130 – Ineffable Ineffable in 70 words

 

 

 

 

Celebration of Life

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Today we held the memorial service and celebration of life of my wife, Dianne.  Pastor Vince fulfilled all of Dianne’s wishes as how she would have liked to have been remembered, and Pastor Joe and the worship team really touched my heart with their singing.  Readings by sisters Amba and Claire were exactly how Dianne had pictured it, and Amba’s singing of Revelation Song was awesome.   Love was shown to me and Dianne by so many today, from food being prepared, to the arranging of the service, to the wonderful testimonies of so many friends.  Thank you everyone.

Those gathered were a testimony to Dianne.  Christian, non-Christians, members of singing and drama societies, Toastmasters, family members, former students, and brothers and sisters in Christ.  Dianne touched so many.

A gathering together-

To reflect on a life –

Such varied relations –

That defined my wife

 

Stories of  love and compassion

Moments shared – retold

Her mark was made

Her memories we hold

 

A lady of music,

Of humour and of wit

Yet, her faith above all

Never counterfeit

 

We’ve said our farewells

A few shed a tear

But we’ll meet again

On that I am clear

Thank you again everyone who came to share your love of Dianne.  You were all precious to her, and I hope to see each of you personally in the near future.

 

Padre

 

 

Yes, In Christ

Rainbow, Beautiful, Devon, Nature, Sun

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

If you are reading this, I can safely assume you are alive today and that you have awoken.  You have life and breath.  It is reasonable to also hold that you have access to the wealth sufficient to have acquired the use of some manner of electronic device, and to a source of electricity.  It is also probably safe to conclude that you have some level of literacy, and some leisure time to read a screen.  Yes, you have blessings today.  But have you said, “Thank you?”

In the words of the old hymn, “Bless God from whom all blessings flow . . . .”  For most of us, in addition to the blessings above, we have some measure of health, and the majority have safe water, and something to eat.  Need I go on?

God clothes the lilies of the field and feeds the sparrows.  He cares for each and every one of us.  A care so great, that He took it to a whole new level.  John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  God promises salvation for those who seek it.  He promises His unending love.  He promises us life everlasting.

Back on 22 November ’18, Dianne made a simple entry in her journal, it captured this assurance.

2 Corinthians 1:20
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.”

God keeps all of His promises.  In Christ they are a “Yes.”  Let us remember to say “Thank you” and “Amen.”

Padre

Manna (Bread of Life): Part 1

bread_wheat_greek_pita_crumb

The people of Israel spent forty years in the wilderness. This huge body of people travelled a land with all but the most meager of resources. So, God provided!

Exodus 16 reads:

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.  On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”

So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt,  and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?”  Moses also said, “You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”

Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, ‘Come before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’”

While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud.

The Lord said to Moses, “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’”

That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp.  When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor.  When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.

Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat.  This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’”

The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little.  And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.

 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”

However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.

Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away.  On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses.  He said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’”

So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it.  “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a sabbath to the Lord. You will not find any of it on the ground today.  Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.”

Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” So the people rested on the seventh day.

The people of Israel called the bread manna.It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.  Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’”

While the above passage is rather lengthy, it nonetheless has several really useful lessons. The Hebrew children grumbled despite the miraculous rescue from Egypt.  Their minds were on their bellies.  In associated passages they moaned about missing the food they had in their bondage. Numbers 11: 5 reads, “We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost–also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.” Are we much different? Do we get caught up in the immediate rumble in the tummy, or any other “immediate urge,” rather than being thankful for what we have been blessed with?

But God responded to their grumbling, not with vengeance, but with providing for the need. He sent quail and manna. All the people had to do was collect the food they needed from what was deposited around their camp. They hadn’t asked for it, but their complaints were heard and catered for.

Jesus in His model prayer calls on us to be more direct (and yes, more reverent and respectful). Matthew 6: 9 to 11 guides us with the words, “‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread . . . .” Rather than moaning and complaining we are called to ask for our daily bread. Chapter 7, verses 8 and 9 continue this theme: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?”  Put simple, if we ask He is faithful in His loving kindness to give.

But there is a third lesson here as well. Notice in Jesus’ prayer that we are to ask for “daily bread.” Like the Israelites of old, we are to make “bread seeking” a daily act. We need to keep our lines of communication with the giver open.  We shouldn’t rest of the lazy approach of  “well I asked for that yesterday.” Look at the similar attitude of the Hebrews. “However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it (the previous day’s bread) until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell.” Okay, the analogy is a little weak in that God honours our prayers (including past ones), but the application is still good.  We should seek His blessings in prayer daily.

The people were sustained by God. He provided not just food, but life itself. I will expand on this theme of the “Bread of Life” in the second part of this study.

Padre

Liking Being Liked

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If we are honest, we all like to be appreciated.  I am no different, I really like the warm feeling that encouragement, and praise brings.  So with that in mind, thank you to all of you who have supported, read, and liked my blogging efforts.

Today I received a notification from WordPress that my blog has received 1337 likes.  Again thank you.  I did find it a rather arbitrary point for recognition, however.  One thousand (yes), 1500 (okay), but why 1337?  Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled that so many have liked my stuff.

My first thought was this an encouragement to keep going?  But I usually publish daily, and there has been no break since my last posts. Is it set to tally on a certain date? The 5th of the month seems a odd place to do that.  Is it linked to the age of my blog?  Again, it doesn’t fall on any easily discernible anniversary.

So if anyone knows the significance of 1337 in the World of WordPress, please let me know.

I hope you all have a great day, and that you keep writing and sharing.  This is a wonderful community, and I am thankful for it, and each of you.

Padre