First Snow Reflections

Warmth is cozier when it snows;

On foggy days light finds its mark;

Life’s winding path no one can know;

Faith is brighter in the dark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Poem: Connie Miller Pease; Image: chair-by-fire-on-facebook-these-are-a-few-of-my-favorite-things.jpg

Beauty Walks

Let beauty drop her crystalled hand,

Its glittered touch upon the morn;

Sweetening minutes, coloring hours

Swaddling it – a babe, newborn.

 

In simplicity she walks,

Stopping here and moving on;

Bringing with her tireless watch

Mysterious knowledge yet unknown.

Image: 10400803_10153084970171112_8689363937696123433_n-osiria-rose-heavy-grinder.png

A Prayer For The Church

Our Dear Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,

We are before your throne, that throne that is higher than any other, that throne that is greater than we can imagine, and we are here to talk with you about the church. Your church.

Jesus, we’ve read your prayer – or what was part of a prayer – asking God to keep your church unified. You asked for all Christians to be unified. You intended your church to represent You until your return. You intend for your church to be your hands and feet, your mind and heart, your song and voice. You expect us to be bold and courageous and wise and righteous.

We are not.

So here we are, asking. That thin, weaselly, voice of ours will not do. It never has. Yet somehow that voice, that hesitant, faithless voice has become more and more the voice of the redeemed. We have fallen asleep. WAKE! US! UP!

We stand here, shoulders back, spine straight, voice strong, asking now – no, imploring – You for boldness in this time.

If our eyes are clouded with untruth, wash them clean!

If our minds have forgotten reason, teach us logic!

If our discipline is weak, make us determined and strong!

If our desire for You, for Your Word, for Your Truth, for Your voice has grown cold, ignite that fire! Change our lack of understanding to wisdom!

Make us, Father, not what we are, but what we should be. We have many voices, but raise us up in harmony as one church! We have many jobs, but, seen together, may those jobs be flaming candles of heaven’s intent. We have many avenues of influence, but make that influence be the ushering in of Your kingdom. Take over! We would be Your church! Your power! Your will on earth as in heaven!

Truly, truly hear our prayer. Truly, truly answer in Your might and power.

In the Name of Jesus, the Coming King,

Amen

Image: christmas-935456_960_720-CC0-Public-Domain.jpg;1247049723_c54dbb2677_m-starhttpswww.flickr.comphotostoasty1247049723.jpg

The Healing Leaves

There is a tree not far from here,
Hidden from our sight;
And in it’s shadow we will rest,
Darkness changed to light.                                                                                                        
Hardships, heartaches, sad despair,
Their vanquishing control
Will fall away and in their place
The healing of the soul.                                                                                                                   
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb

down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

I’m thinking about healing today, how there’s such a relief when there is no more pain or distress. I’m thinking about the tree that made the terrible, wonderful cross that takes our death and redeems us to life. And I’m thinking of the tree we are promised that will heal the nations. It will heal the nations. Oh, it will heal the nations!                                                                                                     
Poem: CJP; Quote: Revelation 22:1-2; Images: en.wikipedia.org_.png; Pixabay-cc-cross-78000_640.jpg

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank you for life from first to final breath, from parents’ delight to loved ones’ sorrow. And in all the days between: in the warm and easy days of goodness and contentment, in the harsh and frigid days of crushed spirit and lost hope, in the exhuberant days of learning new things, in the stumbling days of confusion and disappointment; in all of our days we give You thanks for life, itself.

We thank You for sustenance. For food, whether plentiful or insufficient; for enjoyable or pitiable shelter, in all degrees of health and comfort we are grateful. For it is by Your hand every help is given.

We thank You for good things, knowing that every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights. You, Father, are the One who loves His children – His creation – with a love that is beyond mere words of expression. That love desires not just good, but best. It wants more than we ask for ourselves and guides us to trust.

So on this Thanksgiving Day whether we are with loved ones or alone, we ask more than anything the pleasure of Your company, and we thank You for the many things You give whether we see and understand them or whether we are unaware of them. And until the day when all the world raises its voice in praise to You, we will praise You and thank You wherever we are and in whatever state we find ourselves. We. Love. You!

In the blessed and generous Name of Jesus,

Amen

thanksgiving-1060214_960_720-pixabay-cco-public-domain

Image: thanksgiving-1060214_960_720-pixabay-cco-public-domain.jpg

 

A Walk Outside

commons.wikimedia.org

A walk outside is good for the soul
Before the rain, before the cold,

Before the bite of wind and snow,

And what we do or do not know.

To wander down a colored street

Of pocked and crunchy, musky leaves

And know that all creation breathes The balmy scent that nature gives;

                                                           

With open hand extending gracepublicdomainpictures-net

To troubled heart and torpid breast;

And thoughts, unsettled, find release;

And gives the spirit sweetened rest.

—CJP

 

 

Image:commons wikimedia.org; publicdomainpictures.net

A Graduation Benediction

I had the privilege of offering the benediction at Crossroads College 96th Baccalaureate – Commencement. Here it is – for them and for all of us. May God act on our lives according to His will.

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Our dear Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,

How fortunate we are to be here today, for these students to have gained an education that includes Your wisdom and direction, to have formed relationships with people of like faith, to have taken time out of their lives to learn from the knowledge of professors who belong to You.

These graduates are Your intricate creation. We see a small part of who they are; they, themselves, see a bit more; but You, oh Lord, You see so very much more. You know what they are capable of: of great work for your kingdom, of courageous stance for your diploma-152024_640 pixabay (public domain CCO)truth, of noble words and deeds on your behalf. Please mold them into mighty men and women to carry out all kinds of work in this world: To be the encouraging smile, to help carry the heavy load, to inspire the weary to greater heights, to do the necessary task without concern for credit. We pray that You will show them how to open the gifts that You have given them whether in talent or opportunity and to understand the responsibility they have to You in using those gifts.

We pray that You will give them humility in success and sustain their faith in times of struggle.

Now as we set our eyes on a future that holds we know not what, we ask for Your strong hand on these graduates. We ask for Your boldness, for the infusion of Your Holy Spirit, for Your help, Your provision, Your direction, and Your peace – not as the world gives, but as You give.

We want, above all else, to please You best and to run to You first. Fix our eyes, dear Jesus, on You, the author and finisher of our faith.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Just One More Day

When morning star’s shy, hesitant light

Approaches the edge of dawn

And stretches its fingers beyond blackened night

Exploding in brilliance of morn;

 

When afternoon’s haze rests over the day,

A blanket of homey embrace;

When work and thought and love and play

Fill hours, each in its place;

 

When in the stillness of the night

Memory its company pays;

I think of you and wish we might

Have had just one more day.

glow-643959_640 CCO Public Domain

Poem: Connie Miller Pease thinking about her dad; Image: glow-643959_640-CCO-Public-Domain.jpg

 

 

Journey

Come away from glare of city lights,                                                                                     Of sparkling baubles, flattering speech;                                                                           Walk far and fast from false allure,                                                                                     And surface treasure, now impeach.

Reach deep into the mines of God;                                                                               Stretch high to beauty still unsung.                                                                            Consider better thought and find                                                                                        The unsearched gem of heaven’s tongue.

— CJP

pixabay sunset-214576_640 CC0 Public Domain

Image: pixabay-sunset-214576_640-CC0-Public-Domain.jpg