Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cold Air

It is almost "that time of year" again.  We all say it, knowing exactly what each is talking about. The Winter is
a wonderful time of severity tempered with pure beauty!  The whiteness of the snowfield is brighter than almost anything we can comprehend.  I suppose that is why the Bible speaks of being washed "whiter than snow", using its whiteness to describe godly purity. I must admit that a bright blue sky coupled with below zero temperatures awakens something in me that lies dormant the other 350 days of the year.  I truly look forward to these (give or take) 15 days when the extremely cold air freezes onto the inside of my nostrils!  It is what prompted the writing of this very short work of poetry last Winter.

It's almost that time of year again; let's all get ready!

Cold Air

It swirls 'round my crown
like steam from a mug.
The frost forms around my cheeks.

Thick billows; puff, puff
as I trudge up the lane
through the fluffy white stuff
 and deep.

Ice clings to my scarf
and the crystals stick fast
to my lips and my hair;
Cold air

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

As Cousins Go

We've grown up together; like brothers, like sisters.  Often, "such a resemblance; I can see it through their eyes; smiles are so alike", these echo through past years.  Our parents shared the table with our 'grands'. Close knit bonds that can never be totally broken.  We carry it on into this new generation as naturally as breathing.

We took turns being taller, measured against the hallway doorframe.  The wide, worn floorboards bear the curve of our footprints. The stair treads' paint rubbed away under our little slipper-shod feet; up to the bed under the hallway eaves, down to the closet near the bathroom, where toys were kept.

Hand in hand, down an old lane; up and down the sliding trails in the back pasture.  Forgotten dreams and broken promises which passed between us --through the trees-- or whispered while we giggled ourselves to sleep in the parlor bedroom.

At the end of the day these four feet could not turn in for the night until the round basin of water and bar of ivory soap were brought to the cement porch beyond the backdoor.  There the dirt of the day would be washed away; poured out on the grass; forgotten until tomorrow when we would again rush into a new adventure.

It is not that we meant for life to take us miles apart --marriage and family affairs turning our minds toward the hear-and-now.  We cousins, once so intertwined; still close, somewhere deep down in our very being, but now reaching up toward separate goals and horizons.

Many times on my trek up the hill I pass by these cousins; the white and the yellow birch. Their roots so closely knit together but the trunks becoming more and more separated as they have grown taller, reaching for the sun. Until death they will not be completely severed because their family tie began deep down below the surface.  It is this picture that sparked the story from my own childhood memories.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A New Name!

Our little Garden Friend now has an actual name.  Syd was given the list of all your suggestions. He did not know who chose which name, but he knew almost immediately, the name should be "Quincy".  As I look at him out in the garden now, he looks like a Quincy. The winner was a friend who we met while living in South Carolina.  Juli went to our church down there.  She has chosen to receive one of Syd's beautiful lapel/pins, the salmon lure.

What is in a name?
This morning I was reading in the book of Matthew about the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who put him on that cross had no idea who they were crucifying.  He was truly the King of kings and Lord of lords.  In the common hall the whole band of soldiers platted the crown of thorns and placed it upon His head, put a scarlet robe upon Him and gave the Lord a reed for his right hand. There they mocked him, bowing the knee, saying 'Hail, King of the Jews'.  As He hung upon the cross, it said that 'they' passed by and reviled Him and 'wagged their heads'.  The chief priests mocked Him.  The thieves also, which were crucified with Him, 'cast the same in His teeth'.

It should not be easy to read these accounts from God's Word and take the Lord's death for granted, but I have been guilty of doing so. Don't get me wrong, I know that He shed His blood and died for ME, so that I would not have to die for my own sin, and I have trusted that one-time sacrifice as my only means of a right relationship with God;  but I suppose it is possible to fall into the trap of not empathizing with our Lord in the terrible injustice and pain that He went through.  When I put my faith in Lord as my Savior, the Bible says that I "died WITH Him, was buried with Him and rose again with Him." Do I truly even try to know what Jesus was feeling when He was "despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief"?  Sorrowfully, I must admit that I sometimes take the Lord Jesus' horrific death for granted.

Galatians 2:10 says that, "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  The soldiers, chief priests, passers-by and thieves had no idea that one day EVERY KNEE will bow to Him!  Praise the Lord for the testimony of one thief, who did find out, that very day, that Jesus Christ was God, and trusted Him to be his personal savior while hanging on a cross beside Him!  When Jesus "gave up the ghost" and the earth quaked, the veil of the temple was torn in two, the rocks split and graves were opened (bodies came to life and walked upon the earth!), I wonder what they thought then.  I know that Josephus, an historian who wrote during the Bible times, gave account of it in his writings.  It was a time of great wonder among the unsaved of the earth.  The very God of creation died there that day!

It is because I placed my personal faith in the blood shed on that cross two thousand years ago, that I can have my New Name!  I went from being an unbelieving heathen, to being a Child of God, one of a "chosen generation"!!  Before I knew the Lord I went about singing the old songs, wagging my head and mocking God's Word.  Along with my new name, God has put a "new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God"!

I am glad that Quincy has a new name, but SO glad that the Lord changed me from a mocking, head-wagging person to one who is now able to be named as Child of God!