The Messenger

 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

2And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Genesis 1:1-28

They were “stationed” in one of the family’s more common rooms with him. It just seemed wrong. How does one see his last sights; feel his last touches; smell the last wafts of fragrance; hear a final whisper; taste one more delicacy…sense that final kiss; experience the real finalities of life, love, friendship, family right here in the public eye as death stares him down; dares to take him down; snarls its ghastly breath daring him to claim there is no God in the face of all this dying???

He does it like this… He sees further than I as he looks under closed lids. He feels more deeply for the moment under cover of skin and bone. He allows the smells to move in and out of his nostrils offering that which he may but only perceive. And he knows the still small voice when it whispers his name, and the delicacy’s taste of which is the final kiss of his Maker as HIS breath and Spirit move in and about the room holding, quieting and soothing as only He is able. (Ephesians 3: 20-21) This is how it goes on the inside of dying – or so I suppose. I don’t really know. Forgive me for having led you to think that I know… I do not. But, I do know we are not alone… we are never alone…even when we are physically alone it would seem; we are not.

Yes, he would die soon. There in Living Room, he would die. It would be his Dying Room. He was waiting his turn; for his call… just seemed wrong. Death seems wrong.

Yet just outside one perched – a non-perching bird, perched. How quaint…How unusual… We would need to look at each other now and again. Perhaps we would figure out all this together.

He is commonly a rascal at the feeder – it is the nature of his kind being The Generals of the garden. But he does love the bloom – and the bloom does love his presence. There is a symbiosis between them and it is good. Perhaps, we too are to experience a symbiosis as well. It would truly be…good.

Yes, yes…it is good. I’ve heard that somewhere before…Let me think…Ahhhh, there it is…it has been too long sitting dormant in the recesses of my mind, but I know it. I know it well. It is coming to me now. Oh yes, the refreshing, the surging forth, the feeling the sensation, it settles and I declare it – God made the light and He said it was good. God separated the waters from the sky and the dry ground became as the second day was found and the seas and lands were called to be and named by Him who made them and called them good.

And the vegetation came forth and the seed-bearing and fruiting flourished according to their kinds and this too was good. Then afore-long greater and lesser lights were flung in to place and hung scattered with exacting precision so as for the light and darkness to be known and to His liking. Such thrill!

Now at His word did the winged fly and the swimmer glide effortlessly through the waters all new and marvelous for newly and marvelously created were they that He blessed them so to flourish and fill the skies and seas for their singular purpose on this new fifth day, which too was good!

And the lands dwellers dwelt; yes, creatures great and small; and wild and gentle found their appointed places among the lands and so moved along with purpose among their own kind filling the lands in the goodness of it all.

And then one more – a magnificent one of the manifest goodness, the flesh of his own image and likeness to rule this bounteous gift-world with love and skill and certainty of the Father’s own hand, so He…made… man… and in His image he made him and he made her – in his goodness, for his goodness by his goodness to do his goodness to all and the sixth day closed in all goodness as He declared his faithfulness to them never to end and He alone said all is good and He alone is good.

I am certain he now smiled the smile of satisfaction and delight and rested in Sabbath just as did his created would.

So now my love, to forward fast, as the beautiful world did not last and the beautiful man did not fulfill the beautiful and perfect role beautifully and perfectly and sin entered this world of bounty and death did. Sin has taken its toll.

Until today for him in the Living-Dying Room …just outside the Living Room/Dying Room a handsome tiny hummingbird came to perch … I feel sure he was a tiny angel of mercy reminding us that his Maker, our Maker gives and takes. That he is in no way separated from His own nor has death’s sting on this side of heaven ended real life of one who knows that Jesus, who said together each time, with the Father and Spirit One from the time of the Creation, that with him, in Him through him is all good eternally as was seen and was hoped for because Jesus is his Lord.

For in Jesus, the Living Room becomes the Dying Room becomes the Eternal Room of the Living!

My love, how we often forget that our very senses lead us his way for He himself created them as surely as He created the world and will fill us to the full with everlasting promise and delight. Then, all is made right, alas.

And just so you know… the little hummingbird did most assuredly take his queues the day my friend’s father was heading “home” and taking his lasts. He lit quietly, outside the window most of the day, as if to truly be the bringer of mercy and grace into a time of pain and sorrow. God’s creature, a tiny messenger of hope in the face of dying. To this day, is the poem below attributed.

A Messenger

A hummingbird came by today,
To sit a little while;
How unusual its lengthy glance,
Into our lonely domicile.

For here within a life wanes short,
A heartbeat slows its pace;
The time’s approaching here and now,
As living’s finish runs its race.

Speak little bird, “What say you now?
Have you wisdom? Have you peace?”
Your presence here among us bows,
To heaven’s soon release.

The splendid days of yesteryear,
Flood our minds and gazes;
You seem to say as Jesus would…
“I am with you…I am near in the hazes.”

Then as Spirit soars on heaven’s sure hope,
A flood of grace amazes;
And mercy comes on wings of your song
As death’s entropy o’er takes us.

L’il bird you came and stayed today,
An angel of joy to remind us;
That in death’s dark vale,
There is no defeat. Jesus’ victory is one of kindness.

Sondra Garrett
14 Sept 2022

I love you!
Jesus loves you more,
Sondra

Angels Go…

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

Cockrell Butterfly Exhibit – June 2022

They’re all around us, before us, behind us…with us. Angels… Perhaps you’ve experienced the kindness of an angel, the fearsome fight of an angel for you, a gentle message delivered from a heart only God could know and his angel could offer. I have. They are real and they have purpose. God’s angels are God’s messengers, helpers and warriors…for us.

Today is July 4, 2022. It is Independence Day in the United States. On it’s heals over 200 years ago, certain tyrannies were halted. Truth and honor were exalted and many a life, both young and old were given and lost in the battles which secured the freedom we know today, and they still are being fought for and given. Angels too were there. They have comforted, ridden and fought with and delivered many trumpet calls and messages in the quest and announcement of freedom among those who have fought the good fights. But there is none but Jesus who has done this without sin on his brow. His hands are clean. His heart is pure. And his blood ran red for you and for me. Not for the life we have here on this side of heaven, but for the eternal life which only he could secure. Angels ministered to him, all along the way. God’s word says it. And so it is true!

Today, I am thinking even about people we tend to think of as angels. They are kind, gentle and of good courage and purpose but they are not real angels and will never be angels, but it’s ok to think of them this kindly. In them is seen a sweetness, humility and honor not unlike that of angels. Do you have an earthly angel among you? I’ll bet you do dear friend…I’ll bet you do! So, keep your eyes open, or better yet your heart for the angels of God’s mercy who bring his good Word to your soul and nourish it with the fruit of his spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Dear one, put on this cloak of good fruit…you too might be an earthly angel unawares for someone in great need; a ministering angel – exemplifying the power of Jesus’ hands and feet among us! God bless you as you try on your new “outfits”!

While you are at it perhaps you’ll take a moment to consider the poem below…a catalyst for this post today.

I love you,
Sondra

Angels Go…

Angels go where angels might,
On wings of song do they take flight.

Warriors strong in terrible fight,
In valor yield truth, with sword to smite.
Angels go where angels might…

Angels go where angels might,
Messengers gentle bearing words of insight.

Hope for the heart, filled with delight.
Tender of hand and breath of dawn bright.
Angels go where angels might…

Angels go where angels might,
Ushers of kindness winging home to the Light.

From heaven to earth eternal comfort in the night,
Created beings declaring God’s glory in humanity’s plight.
Angels dear go where angels might…

Heavenly holy ones obedient in their rite,
In raiment of blessedness – garments of white.

Armored to aid, to assist and ignite,
Precious grace and mercy for those in His image made right.
Heaven’s angels forever going where only heaven’s angels might…

Sondra Garrett
1/14/2022
(edit 7/4/22)

Ascent

On Moriah’s mount you sent the Lamb;
None other than the great I Am.
I did not see him for my clouded eye
With plank and plan and dream did deny
The site, this provision would provide.

Yet the Lamb was there, caught of his own accord
For my sins unrecounted, his presence, his gift ignored
In my shame, he had come there to me on Moriah’s craggy place
To clear mud from my filthy eye, to look me squarely in the face


To pull me close and wash me clean
To die so I on Him could lean
My lamb was here, is here, will be here
My heart is his… to Him I am dear.

To Moriah’s mount my Lamb was sent; I Am has come, my soul was rent; From the devil himself; from his very tent; On wings of angels … Blessed… Beautiful ascent.

From my patio at 8:30 this morning.

I love you,
Sondra

Worthy?

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
Matthew 6:26-30

Today, I have seen the birds of the air – at least a few of them; two small rock doves, an inquisitive mockingbird searching for breakfast and a tinier than usual tufted titmouse. I love that beautiful little gray bird. Later today, the cardinals, white winged doves, blue jays, Carolina chickadees, loud little wrens, an array of sparrows and perhaps a house finch or two may arrive. They are regulars here. They do not sow or reap but are generously cared for by our heavenly father.

Me? I wondered what I would eat now, next and later. I fussed a bit over clothes and was finally content with what to wear to the car repair shop and feel rather certain of what I will wear to the symphony. Beloved, I love to dress up! It makes me feel …mmm… let me think about this…I feel a lot of ways…

Suddenly I am not so sure what to say next…
My list seems to include feeling; good, happy, pretty, lovely, and then I ponder deeper… The first word of the next feeling has stumped me, in that, I am not sure I should share it… Dear one, I am writing on my blog which seeks to bring threads of hope, understanding of my Jesus, and a walk down this path together. How can I say this??? Maybe, this is me, “quilting a cross with threads of hope…”

I’m suddenly taking a deep breath. A sigh has escaped. I have a multitude of reasons for this deep breathing and sighing so I might as well say it… The word is “worthy.” There…now you know it and now I don’t want you to know it and surely don’t want you to feel it as I do. My Friend, do not take this upon yourself. I will wrestle on. I pray it is a short match. Please pray for this, also. I am too weary for more.

So I ask as I wrestle…Am I worthy of feeling good about myself, or happy or pretty or lovely? Oh, Oh my…Alas, I am caught! Why? Because, I most assuredly am not worthy of anything but scorn and shame. I am worthy of sadness. And so, I am still. I can only be still. I cannot move. Because I wait.

I hear it; the gallop of hooves pounding the earth. I see the flash of lightening and deafening thunder pummels my being until I shudder and quake. The figure atop this steed roars…ARE YOU NOT MINE? And I fall to my knees. SPEAK! HE SAYS. In a whisper I utter it… I am. Yes, Jesus, I am yours.

In a flash, the shame, the scorn, the sadness, the questions of worth are gone from me. Removed “as far as the east is from the west…” (ref. Psalm 103:12). This is how “far has he removed our transgressions from us.” And you wonder; what transgressions? Dearest, in my sin, I have reaped, sown, stored away, worried, labored and spun without trusting God. I have done this all in little faith, while my God who clothed and provided for the birds, the grass, and the fields has loved me, called me HIS and sent Jesus to make sure I would know it most certainly. Through the prophet Isaiah, he said, “Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.” Isaiah 43:3.

So you, Beloved of God and I are precious, honored, and loved by God we are most assuredly worthy because Jesus exchanged himself in payment for our transgressions. Yes, His worthiness is great enough to have taken on the sin of nations and will be enough until He returns. We are enough in Jesus. Worthy in Jesus… In Jesus, alone. This is so much better than my first query…good, happy, pretty, lovely and the like!

He loves us!
May your hope be found in Jesus, alone

I love you!
Sondra

Yellow-haired beauty
Tiny shadows
Closer tiny shadows
Loving embrace
Brightly shining
Pointing the way
Come to me
Depleted, leaning hard – another self-portrait – some days you just feel this way…

The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.
Exodus 14:14

Broken

 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Mark 4:37-41

Broken

…twisting, turning. Pulling, stretching. Bending, breaking…

… as the winds blow. The rains fall. The scorching heat abates…

… leaving the tattered, the battered, the withered…

… a heart in need of the storm- master, a soul in need of the healer, the mind in need of the peace-giver.

Come Lord Jesus, come.

My Friend…who is this, you say???

It’s Jesus! Exactly for whom you have asked!

The heart exposed
Broken

Today’s message:

Grace’s bloom; Jesus’ balm, is always beautiful even when you’re feeling a bit broken. O Beloved, especially when you’re feeling broken whether in body, soul or mind.

Let’s lean his way, together. I’m not good at it but we are assured that in Jesus we are loved, we will be strengthened and are never alone. He said so. His blood said so. And His love is complete… completely healing.

I love you, Sondra

Falling

Morning Rose – St. John Prayer Garden, May 2022

I took a fall yesterday. You didn’t know that did you? Well, one other person knows. Don’t worry, you couldn’t have known because I didn’t tell you. If you were here you would see it, hear it, perceive it but when you are not present, or told, you simply cannot be all in the know.

It hurt. I’d have felt shamefully embarrassed had you seen, so I am grateful that you did not see it.

I bear the pain of my fall today. Being quiet and alone, in restful repose is a good healing plan. Healing here and now do not seem to be the first order of the day though.

I set it aside in redirect. I push on forward as the day demands. Yes, the day seems to have the reigns today, tomorrow, yesterday…hmmmm… When will there be time for healing? There won’t be, if I don’t make a change.

Yes, Dear Friend, I really did fall yesterday and today I am sore. My arms broke the backward tumbling fall off my gardening stool outfitted with the concave base ( designed this way for ease of leaning to and fro), but not before my arms collided with the metal bracing of the patio chairs and my, ummm… derrière did not fare so well and contacted the patio hard and firmly enough the jam-up my lower back pretty well. It was not pretty. Falling… is never pretty, nor planned.

I’m fairly fit but getting older so falls such as this can be of real concern. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well nor rise easily at 4:30a when my alarm summoned me for the gym. Stiff and achy, I made-up, dressed-up, ate-up and headed up to the gym where good money buys me real trained help, beneficial for healing and strengthening healthy bodies and painful aching muscles having succumbed to age and/or accidents. They are quite excellent trainers and humans. I am thankful to God for them.

But, Dear One, healing hurts. I hadn’t a clue what I was in for when the only two of us present for group class today followed our trainer into the personal training room. She did a regular workout. But, O Friend, he took tools to my feet, calves and thighs and applied them to my muscles in those areas until I was perspiring from pain. I groaned, held my head in my hands moaning and my hands to the sides of my head as I quivered. I winced, flinched, whined and cried out then begged for a reprieve. Which he gave with mercy from his sweet heart of a trainer’s knowledge.

He knew this was what I needed. I did not know it. He put me through the fire. Then, to my amazement, he did not return to attend to my right side as he had done the left. No(!), he directed me to exercise the same tools upon myself … the same harsh tools and devices with the same disciplined strength which he as exacted upon me suggesting that I must exercise his same styled self-control and lean into this hurt which would heal. Unfathomable! Impossible! Inconceivable! But, Beloved, he had travailed for me and so I followed his lead and the work upon my feet, calves and thighs released the pain in my …ummm derrière. Stunning, just stunning!

I know you wonder when I’ve told you all this…or maybe you know this is just how I write until the connection comes into focus and today, I could not help but see the “equals” sign in the equation on display here.

Perhaps you have seen a heart fall, a difficult, shameful or embarrassing life event take place, healing be set aside, distractions get in the way of falling subject to the proper healer and therefore the pain of life being lived this way continues on and on.

Can one continue this way? Yes. Can one be effective in his work? Of course. Can one reach his potential seen only by the eyes of God and fully grasp “here am I send me, send me” while in this fallen, painful state in need of Jesus? No. He can’t. Through tears wept on both sides of this equation, I know this first hand and full well. And I am still learning. I am still leaning. I am still trying to get this all right as I fall once again under the merciful grace and kind, painful tools, hand applied to my heart and my life by Jesus who loves me. He calls me precious. And you are precious, too. He loves us. And I want to heal.

And Precious, in his beautiful flowers, I see his grace in bloom – it is a place of no condemnation, just healing grace – God’s riches at Christ’s expense. By his stripes, through his blood your life and mine are saved. Let us heal together, if you, too are in need. Come, the Master Trainer awaits us and through his Word we can see, hear, perceive and know him and of him and His Word, The Word is a tool of mercy for us to use! He knows our every need.

You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Psalm 56:8

Jesus loves us!
and I love you too,
Sondra

Beauties From a few Recent Mornings

Joy comes on the morning… (read Psalm 30:5)

My tears are counted and bottled by my Maker… (read Psalm 56:8)

The hairs on my head are each numbered as are my days… (read Like 12:7)

Eternity in heaven awaits believers in Jesus (read… your Bible!)

Dear Ones,

My hair is falling out, each one known with perhaps a tally of losses kept.

My tears fall down my cheeks often yet are bottled and counted according to the Psalmist’s words.

Each of my days is numbered but I know them not!

Joy comes in the morning but Dearest, which morning will it be that comes the joy???!!?

I do not like unknowns. You may not either. They do not excite me as some may feel excitement of an upcoming new job, vacation, relationship and such, but instead tend to cause me to feel the anxiousness of treading in new territory. My worth and capability to take the walk tend to fully lend itself. I feel as if I’m standing at a cliff. Pushing me is often required as I am so unsure. I do not wish ignominy and so I may shy away… away… away… or NOT! Beginning to write my thoughts on this blog required a real push as did sharing these photos!

I tend to think of myself as patient but perhaps I have thought too highly of me. For Beloved, there are some things I truly do not wish to await any longer… Not. One. Second. More. But, the waiting choice is not mine. I do not hold the cards, the ability, the right connections, the wisdom, the courage, the strength… to cause the wait to end. But I wait… you wait… we all wait… for something to affect the waiting.

… or is it the faith I lack? I’ll think on this…

In today’s photos of God’s beautiful morning gifts, I included a self portrait. Do you see it? It’s ok whether you did or did not. I’ll not keep it a secret. Today, I am the declining bud which lay fallen across the kind leaf-arms which hold me gently. I’ll not reconnect to the plant nor finish the blooming but perhaps what I have to do is be and give as I am able…

This self is not particularly beautiful, but I often see God’s beauties with an emotional bent filled with tenderness, or electricity or even sadness or angst with which I identify  It seems that when my heart feels,  I see it represented in nature; one of God’s ways of communication with me.

I finally, in his own kindness I circle back to him each time. Trusting in the wait, his goodness and know that ternity in heaven awaits believers in Jesus of which I am one.

I cling to this. Do you dear one? Do but fear, do not forsake even fellowship in sadness for remember??? Joy comes in the morning. Don’t be afraid to fall asleep for morning will come. In Jesus, we will awaken on this side of heaven or that…

Come, oh come sweet joy!

I love you,

Sondra

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:7-11

A Morning at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Dear Ones, I joined into a group of photographers this morning. So often God’s world is just the therapy we need. If we receive peace, joy, and spiritual calm from it, it is truly a blessing. If we don’t find peace but fill ourselves with this beauty it truly blessed the soul of the weary traveller and sojourner on this side of heaven.

For me, today, I acknowledge God, his sovereignty and his love and care for his creation of which you and I are a part. Indeed we are the part and only part of creation to have been made in his image. Wow… just wow… I am awestruck and bowed. And even so, in the beauty, elegance, soft whispers of his love, this doesn’t mean that I don’t still have a hole in my heart. I do. I may always have it. But, I bend to his knowledge of this; I lean on Jesus’ gift of eternal hope through his blood given for you and me and hold vigilantly onto the foot of the cross on which he hung as I count most assuredly on his resurrection and trust his Most Holy Spirit to guide me in the ways of righteousness, holiness and into peace. “My peace I leave you, my peace I give you; not as the world gives…” (from John 14:27) Join me here if need be. I stand ready for this peace. Until then… yes, tears will come…

I love you, Sondra

Here are a few of my photos from this day which the Lord has made. Perhaps you will hear Jesus’ whispering his peace over you. May we each be remade in his image with a clean heart and following spirit in our souls now. Amen.

Fasting?

Today is Holy Saturday.

… and we wait,

… knowing even so, that He is risen!

… trusting and believing that,

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

… and the day would come when,

They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:4

… and we would be utterly amazed; bewildered and wonder,

Then how is it that each of us hears them speaking in his own language? Acts 2:8

May God’s peace and rest be upon you as we contemplate together, that Jesus is dead, our hopes seem dashed with him upon the cross by the fury of man’s wrath, but through God’s grace and mercy the story does not end today!

Our desperate need will be met…

… no matter how well we wait…

Jesus’ love and gift of eternal life for us is real… and there is no pain or sorrow in heaven. I promise! And better yet, this is God’s promise, not mine!

I have been fasting this week… in several areas…Fasting is intentional but hard. Today, the disciples of Jesus were forced to FAST from him. They did not understand what was ahead. In many ways, especially in our daily lives, nether do we!

I neither do change nor do I wait very well but I love you still!

Sondra

Now, I’ll share the link to John 3:16 in 6 languages. I found it to be so beautiful and uplifting! BLESSED EASTER.

Patio Talk

“’Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light’” (Matt. 11:28-30 ESV).

The Brown Dog – we belonged to him in Timpson, until he chose otherwise.
He was never ours. March 2021

It’s relatively early, before 8 am and I’m on my patio. First time in many months. One single young cardinal, a juvenile male or female I’m not sure, but it is smallish, not so full bodied as an adult perches erect as he chirps the common “tick tick” of the cardinal verse. He sits… no, stands atop the weathering old playscape.

In the distance I hear the recognizable chickadee, blue Jay, titmouse and mocking bird calls among a plethora of other birds sounds. On occasion squirrels will even screech resembling a bird’s squawk when a distresser enters their worlds too close to the precious littles in the nests. But, I’m not hearing from them just now. There is a copacetic peace in the air; all is well.

And then there is a new sound! What bird is that? I peer all around and into the tree tops and various branches, trying to find and focus on the silhouette of an unfamiliar bird of which I might gather a glimpse. It is a lovely song I hear – a first I think! Who is singing these lovely notes? No one is at my feeder… just the young one is eve in my yard and is still perched atop the old play fort. He has taken charge of my attention once again.

He looks ventrally toward me, I’m convinced not seeing the oh-so-still me, but then turns laterally. And there he does it… lifts his head..! I see the quick pulsing movement of his throat. His strong beak tips high opening and closing to reveal the source of the rhythmic beauty of a cardinal song – One I have never heard. One I did not know existed! What joy I feel to hear it, witness it, sense his contentment with his world such as to produce this love song. It must be one for I hear his conversation as he responds in like to her in the distance!! Oh my no, I do not know this to be a true love song of cardinals or mating call or anything but, Dear Friend isn’t it a lovely thought to hear a song never before sung and believe it must speak of love?

And then this thought races across my mind…You know that some folks belief regarding the red cardinal being in your presence is that a spirit of someone gone on before has come for a visit and for the first time I think to myself, “I agree for once, ” but not in the way they may believe or you may perceive I am thinking…


You see Dear One,  I’ve a confession; a little back-story in which I have felt distant and void of my God’s voice to me, for me lately. But today, this early morning, here I sit and there he is; this captivating voice calling to me… here he is this handcrafted beauty posing, singing God’s Glory song into the winds and carried to my ears on the mild almost spring morning, given to tending to my need for his presence!


And away he has flown now… to his lover who was calling?… to another soul in reminder’s need?… to simply gather in nourishment outside my purview or to play upon the breezes? … things which I do not know. But, I AM aware of this…

I feel the breeze, I sense the warmth riding in on the breeze’s coolness. I see the waving branches of the pines and oaks and the closer feijoa with sparseness of leaf; the rosebush and bare crape myrtles. I hear this breeze become a strong gust and arrive upon my shoulders, tussling my hair as the sun rays peek over the neighboring rooftop gently warming my legs, then reaching over to touch my hand and then cheek. Ahhh…such goodness…

Thank you God, for this moment’s reminder of Your goodness, faithfulness, steadfastness… Today, You have sent Your handwork of nature as your messenger; an angel of peace if you will allow me the latitude of calling it thus, for my soul’s nourishing. To this end, I absorb Your grace Jesus offers freely and Your mercy which I do not deserve as I bask in these incredible moments of peace with You.

The birds have come out from the branches now and ventured to the feeder… it’s 9:00am. Not only do I hear them now, but I see them. There they are… the striking Carolina Chickadee, two Tufted Titmouse feathered in the softest of grays and now a stunning and large fully grown male Cardinal in the richest red coat has landed in a close-by shrub, ticking the loud and familiar cords, flits to the feeder, ticks loudly; joyously once again and is off!!!


“Jesus, I see You too – You are not in the spirit of the cardinal nor is anyone else but You are in this gift of peace and beauty brought to remembrance by them and are most certainly alive in the gift of Your life, Your love and your blood given freely. You are here…I know, I know… “You will never leave me not forsake me.” How could I have ever forgotten???


Thank you for stopping by… my God, Holy Spirit, my Jesus!
Good visit, good talk…Very, VERY good indeed!

He loves you too Dear One, Dear Reader, Dear Friend!
…and I love you, too,
Sondra

P.S. I heard this song yesterday – the first time in many years. I was good for my soul. I pray it will bless yours as well. Here is Chuck Girard – Lay Your Burden Down – both lyrics and link are below. If ads appear look for a “skip” button

Lay Your Burden Down

Lay your burden down, lay your burden down
Take your troubled soul, your tired mind
And lay your burden down
Lay your burden down, get your feet on solid ground
Take your worries to the foot of the cross, and lay your burden down

Lay your burden down, lay your burden down
Take your weary life, your heavy load, and lay your burden down
Lay your burden down, get your feet on solid ground
Take your failures to the foot of the cross, and lay your burden down

You’ve been tryin’ hard to make it all alone
Tryin’ hard to make it on your own

And the strength you once were feelin’, isn’t there no more
And you think the wrong you’ve done, is just too much to be forgiven
But you know that isn’t true
Just lay your burden down, …He has Forgiven you

Lay your burden down, lay your burden down
Take your burden to the cross, and lay it down
Lay your burden down, lay your burden down
Take your worries to the cross and lay them down