Discovery

“Call me to lie down in fragrance.” D. Margoshes ~ Season of Lilac (epigraph for dVerse’s Poetics: Beginning at the End)

This large expanse of space captured with the Hubble Space Telescope features the galaxy SDSSJ225506.80+005839.9.

if there were no skies
to darken in hues of blue
to contain green scents
what would I see
but infinity’s reach
my heart torn
lungs bursting
in timeless space
racing stars
hastening at your call
arriving in final destination
to find that after all
the unmoored spinning
the vain rectifications
of physics and philosophy
that vast expanse
I was traveling through
was you


Acts 17:28
‘In him we live and move and have our being’

A Given Testimony

 

Is it possible from this rank earth for such flowers to grow?
Yet here they are, positing their glory for the world to see
A speculative assumption uncertain of its predication
That out of this sodden ground, mulched by weather
The boggy stink of which permeates the air
Blooms would appear from unseen dimensions
To cluster in diamond silk, emitting starry transactions
Their thrusting ebullience beyond science, even wonder
Simple testimony of leaf, stalk and flower, to primum movens*
Of power ingrained elementally to be, just be
And being, yearn hungrily for the Light that clothes it.


*primum movens (Latin): Aristotelian term for the “unmoved mover”

Flower of the Day, for Cee Neuner's FOTD, January 21, 2021
Writing prompt: Paula Light's Thursday Inspo 92 theme "flowers"

In the Church

In the church she felt only marginal comfort
A stranger alone in the pew
In the corner a man was praying
Modeling silent admonition:
“Be still, and know I am God.”*


The grace and joy that washed over her
As all sang and the gospel was proclaimed
Made her thankful for this time to worship
And that she had decided to stay.

*Psalm 46:10:”Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Sammi's Weekend Writing Prompt #190, "marginal" 31 words
Linda's Just Jot It January, "in the corner"
Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-sitting-on-bench-1217250/

A Puppy’s Philosophy

Image credit; Rhaúl V. Alva @ Unsplash

My Christmas cheer will last the year
Though Santa’s hat fall off my ear
To be picked up and packed away
Or left abandoned, chewed and frayed.
What difference thus to outward fur
When hat on head makes not the cur
But hope in heart is what gives cheer
To puppy barks of “Happy New Year!”

For Sadje's What Do You See #62
and Melanie's Word of the Day Challenge "HOPE"

Year’s End: Share Your World

Melanie’s Share Your World 12-28-2020

Well, Santa’s reindeer have made it back to the North Pole, and we’re rushing into 2021 just around the corner. But 2020’s not done with us yet, so we’ll give it a last goodbye, with more than a hint of irony, on a “Share Your World” note. After all, for most of this year, we were physically avoiding sharing each other’s world, six feet apart, masked and socially distanced, though Melanie kept us connected by asking us to lay bare what lay behind our closed doors. So here goes with 2020’s last inquiries from our charming hostess!

Melanie’s #SYW QUESTIONS

Pick three words to describe this past year.   (please keep them PG. Thanks).
Dark. Devastating. Disillusioning.

What were the best books you read this year?   Or the best movie you saw?  
In fiction, Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy (Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies, and The Mirror anf the Light) simply carried me away! It’s a masterfully written journey into the world of sixteenth-century England and into the life of Oliver Cromwell. For me, it was an unforgettable ride, and Hilary Mantel is rightly hailed as having written as the literary masterpiece of our day. When I first began reading Wolf Hall, Covid-19 hit and it was disconcerting to be reading of how a far more dire plague affected people some five hundred years ago while undergoing one in our own time. Some thoughts on this trilogy in previous posts here: “Reflections on an Un-natural Decay.” and “Well Met, Jude: Mann & Mantel.”

A wonderful science fiction novel I re-read is The Understudy. It isn’t a Frankenstein’s monster story exactly but, dealing as it does with AI’s, it raises questions about what it means to be human, as I write about here.

In non-fiction, a Commentary on 1-3 John by Marianne Meye Thompson which I just finished, and Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith by Michael Reeves, which was an absolute joy to read.

Two movies that turned out to be unexpected treats: The Dead (1987) directed by John Huston and based on a James Joyce story from Dubliners and Greyhound (2020), a true story set in the winter of 1942 during the Battle of the Atlantic, directed by Aaron Schneider and starring Tom Hanks.

And I have to give a shout out to Mitch Teemley’s Healing River (2020), which as far as inspirational movies go, especially this year, ranks among the best. As I say in my review, “Healing River socks it to you with its fluid cinematography, character psychology, acerbic, no-holds barred dialogue and – here’s where the inspiration comes from – brutal honesty about what it means to be a Christian.”

Because there was lots of time for looking inward, what is one big personal lesson you learned this past year?
Putting your faith in people, government officials or health professionals/scientists, to act responsibly, is fruitless for any semblance of confidence or peace in the middle of a (manufactured or non-manufactured) crisis. Placing your trust in God is the one unshakeable source of strength.

Do you think Covid has strengthened or weakened societal bonds?
What societal bonds we had before Covid-19 were strengthened, but those we lacked were weakened. Those who thrive off of division were able to use racial and political turmoil to their own advantage and gain more power over social and cultural institutions as well as in government. Individual rights have shrunk accordingly. But I think we’ve discovered collectively what really matters in life, bonds of love that transcend all discord. I hope we never forget.

GRATITUDE SECTION (Optional of course): What is a New Year’s Wish You’d Like To Share With the World?

I am so grateful for the creative blogging community I have discovered during this year. Y’all inspire me no end! Thank you for the thoughts and encouragement you’ve shared with me this past year. May 2021 be fruitful and bring each one of you the desires of your heart! And above all, may you find “the peace that passes understanding”! Sláinte!


It Begins . . . with Joy!

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3: 21-23

This unfurled bud, precursor to a beauty that can now only be imagined, will one day cause our glance to linger on its warmth of color and its uniquely fashioned design. And it will bring us joy that our world contains such bursts of beauty, radiant under the sun’s gaze.

So it is with human souls. Many of us go through each day like unopened buds, self-contained vessels of worry and apprehension, busy with thoughts, chores, the daily pressures of life.

But what if we began each day unfurling our petals? What if our day’s beginning was one of consciously seeking joy, the light of heaven’s gaze upon us, rejoicing in the God who loves us and hears us?

If you’ve ever studied the face of someone who is in the throes of an unadulterated joy that spills out of every pore of their being, what strikes you is how in that instant that person seems to be the very embodiment of what they were created to be. You see them as they “really” are, unique in beauty, uniquely created to enjoy and be enjoyed. Their joy becomes contagious.

Yet such joy has to have a beginning somewhere, a source. That source is God, our Creator. When we like unopened buds, turn our gaze to Him every morning to drink in His love in thanksgiving, our joy in Him floods our hearts. We begin our day fully ourselves, free to praise and adore the God of providence who has blessed us with life and all its beauty, free to confront our worries and our circumstances with courage and fresh joy.

These daily beginnings are monumental. And they give us hope and strength for each new day. More than that, they spread hope in every beholder’s heart. We begin to spread joy and give comfort.

There is nothing more exciting than such a beginning. And any one can do it because it’s simple, priceless, given freely by the God who endowed us with this capacity to rejoice.

So begin again, begin with joy!

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4
For Cee's FOTD. Join in!
Michael's Tale Weaver – #302 – "Beginnings"

Turning Back Loneliness

Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspo #77: theme is lonely and the above image

I’m lonely without You, Lord,
though all the world be mine
the city’s blue-gray skyline
the starry twinkling host

I need to know you near me
Your love-light in my eye
the fragrance of your Spirit
the sweetness of your Word

somewhere I took a wrong turn
I chased my own desire
a world of smug contentment
but lacking peace of mind

I know you never left me
so I feel you all the more
when I’ve turned my back to you
your tender love ignored

I don’t know why I do this
leave you, then come back
as if I never knew You
as if my faith were dead

returning then I seek You
repenting of time lost
joyous to talk to You, Lord,
and walk with You again.

Steadfast and True

What we wouldn’t do to have a steadfast friend, true and faithful through the seasons of our life. Sometimes those who seem most frail in our eyes to share the storms of life prove to be the most true and steady, bending with the winds and holding strong where others break.

This tree has stood on the periphery of our walks through early spring, summer and now at autumn’s slow appearance. It never allows us to pass without acknowledging it, standing alone as it does, but somehow reassuring, like a cross on a hill. Whereas the Cross bears testimony to an eternal significance and a love eternal, this little tree somehow reminds me to take the temporal at the pace of eternity, one day at a time, knowing He whose eyes are on the sparrow watches over me and holds tomorrow in His loving hands.

So let us be, steadfast and true to Him, trusting, one day at a time.

Joyful Dependance on God

Some of you have noticed the tagline to my site title “This Jolly Beggar”: “In Absolute Joyful, Dependance on the Grace and Love of God.” The story behind that is on my “C. S. Lewis on Jolly Beggars” page.

These Blue Stars, these Jolly Beggars

So when I saw these tiny sparkling blue flowers in an out-of-the-way patch of dirt down an alley, I recognized in them this quality of joyful dependance on God. Nothing dimmed their sparkle. And eyes that were open to their presence were blessed beyond all reason. Why? Because languishing here in this little patch where no one noticed them, these little stalks of blue stars, these jolly beggars boldly testified to God’s faithfulness.

Today I read of another “jolly beggar,” Rika Theron, who lives in South Africa. As the author of the article on Rika writes:

This. This is a life of suffering. And this is a life of breathtaking beauty. . . . .

In a world that worships fame and productivity, indulgences and self-sufficiency, Rika’s life may seem unbearably difficult. She has not enjoyed the fleeting pleasures afforded to most people and has spent her life in relative seclusion, in pain and dependent on others. Yet watching Rika live in joyful dependence on God, touching the seen and unseen world, I realize she’s changing the universe as she fights her daily battles – perhaps having a greater impact on the kingdom of God than celebrities with large ministries. In heaven, the people who have suffered alone, in a small corner of the world, will shine more brightly than we can imagine.

Vaneetha Risner, “A Remarkable Life”

Rika knows that she is seen and known and loved by God. Do you have this same knowledge and joyful dependance on the God who suffered and has offered Himself for you?

Bear pain for one moment at a time; there is patience enough in Jesus for the next moment. You cannot exhaust God; and your work is to be, not in your might or power, but by his Spirit.  — F. B. Meyer

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 10: 13
Photo for Cee's Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge. Be sure to visit Cee's Photo Challenges for amazing photography and fun photo challenges.