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"

Common-Place Jotting: Shakespeare, St. Paul

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

Sonnet 73: That Time of Year (Shakespeare)

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

Therefore we do not lose heart.

Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV
By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. (Hebrews 11:3 )

Sunday Morning 10-11-2020

Deuteronomy 7: 9 — Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.

Ephesians 1: 3-4 — Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

Psalm 27:5 — For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.

Cee's FOTD Challenge

A Common-Place Jotting: “Nothing Gold Can Stay”

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica)

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” (1874-1963)
For Cee's FOTD Challenge 

Garden Awakening Tanka

“Iglish”: palm-burst noise
City garden cries havoc
Blunt carpe diem
Inbred posturing front rows
Masks of covetous fury.

The English tanka form has a 5-7-5-7-7 syllabic structure and is written from the poet's point of view.
Update: I think I counted right on a do-over of the second and third lines a day later and a tanka shorter! 😅 
For Colleen's Weekly Tanka Tuesday Challenge and Cee's FOTD challenge.

A Common-Place Jotting: Rossetti’s “The Rose”

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

I don’t know about you, but I’m hanging on to summer as long as I can! For fellow simpaticos, here’s a late summer bloom and a Christina Rossetti poem to help.

A late summer garden rose
The Rose

The lily has a smooth stalk,
Will never hurt your hand;
But the rose upon her brier
Is lady of the land.

There's sweetness in an apple tree,
And profit in the corn;
But lady of all beauty
Is a rose upon a thorn.

When with moss and honey
She tips her bending brier,
And half unfolds her glowing heart,
She sets the world on fire.

-- Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

Portrait of Christina Rosetti by Dante Gabriel Rosetti

For more on Rosetti, see my Common-Place Jottings post on Rossetti Rhymes”

Freedom is Soul Food

Jude’s Saturday Symphony #10: SOUL FOOD
The Great Pampas-Vinca Escape

Freedom is Soul Food

I see the white picket fences with gardens galore

“Healthy, wealthy, wise,” to you they implore

To follow their ways of crooked desire:

Forget narrow ways and the cross on a spire

When you can live like a king and master of your fate

Living it up with all you can eat on a plate.

But there’s more to life than living behind

White picket fences with gardens they design

A prisoner you’ll be to all that they crave

No freedom you’ll have to serve the God who can save.

“You gotta serve somebody,” the old crooner sang

He got it right and to amazing grace he ran

‘Cause freedom is soul food and nothing satisfies

Like breathing free in Christ with a soul that never dies.

“Gotta Serve Somebody” by Bob Dylan (lyrics included at link)