491. Every vine climbing and blossoming tells of love and joy. ~Robert G. Ingersoll

That is faith, cleaving to Christ,
twining around Him
with all the tendrils of our heart,
as the vine does round its support.
~Alexander Maclaren

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Like all else in Creation, vines remind me of the nearness of God perhaps because they reflect the way He wraps His arms around His children and keeps them close to Himself. In that way we go together like a hat and glove as they say for we are to the Lord as the branch is to the vine, as sheep are to the shepherd, as the flower is to the stem, as the bride is to her groom, as the bird is to air, as the fish is to water, as the star is to the sky, as the sun is to the moon, as the plant is to the seed, as the grass is to the dew, and as the babe is to its mother. Simply put, we are inextricably linked to Yahweh, the Maker of heaven and earth, and it is from our loving Source that we gather strength and energy. His supporting and sustaining provisions draw us into His holy web of life and subsequently move us closer and closer to the Light. In the Gospel of John are the “I am” sayings of Jesus which give us wonderful descriptions of the way Christ connects with us:

“I am the bread of life.”
“I am the light of the world.”
“I am the gate for the sheep.”
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.”
“I am the resurrection, and the life.”
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
“I am the true vine.”

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Return to us, O God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see! Watch over this vine, the root your right hand has planted, the son you have raised up for yourself. ~Psalm 80:14-15   ✝

**Three images above Scripture via Pinterest

490. Were there no God, we would be in this glorious world with grateful hearts and no one to thank. ~Christina Rossetti

La plus grande des joies
C’est de croire en Toi
Et de se réfugier en Toi
Père des Mondes,
Et de l’Enfant en moi.
~Poème written by Frédéric at: http://poemsandpoemes.wordpress.com/about/
Translation:
The greatest joy
It is to believe in You
And take refuge in You
Father of the Worlds
And of the Child in me.

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Recently I was up early enough to witness dawn’s first golden glimmer of light pierce holes in the dense, leafy green darkness at the back fence. Then as the morning light lifted night’s dark shades higher and higher, the fragrance of Autumn Clematis floated along on the bright morn’s happy wings. Soon butterflies, creatures of the wind, danced and rejoiced while happy voices on the TV echoed in celebration within the walls of a sanctuary. Therein the sunlight fell in brilliant fragments through the stained glass windows, and all that those colorful bits of light touched seemed to be filled with the same kind of holiness that I had felt streak through our trees.

“To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature.  Most persons do not see the sun.  At least they have a very superficial seeing.  The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and heart of the child.  The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lord I love the Temple where you live, where your glory is. ~Psalm 26:8   ✝

** Image via Pinteest

489. Departing summer hath assumed an aspect tenderly illumed… ~William Wordsworth

The morrow was a bright September morn;
The earth was beautiful as if newborn;
There was nameless splendor everywhere…
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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September’s steeds galloped, instead of meekly sauntering, in this year and by doing so apparently dealt an injurious blow to the heat beast. As a result our temps have lowered much earlier than usual, and now that the equinox is only a week away, the opening of autumn’s gates could bring even more delicious temperatures since windy chariots driven on gusts of arctic-born winds have already brought snow to northern regions. So it is that though parched by summer’s savage sun, a fair amount of the garden’s ragged “citizenry” have already started reviving and putting on new growth. In addition to the lower temperatures, the encouragement for them to make a come back has been spurred on by the little bit of rain we’ve recently had. Now if all continues to go well both of those circumstances as well as more rain from the storms they’re predicting will insure that before life and death embrace for the year’s last dance, a generous measure of new blooms will grace the garden. The only downside to all this is that the hummingbirds may have to head south a bit sooner, but until then I shall continue to be enchanted by their daylong visits to flowers and the feeder. And I, happy witness that am I to all of this, yet gets to fill her cup to the brim on my little piece of the Lord’s Eden!

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~Philippians 4:8   ✝

488. Happy is he who still loves something he loved in the nursery: He has not been broken in two by time; he is not two men, but one, and he has saved not only his soul but his life. ~G. K. Chesterton

Feel the wild imprint of surprise.
Free the joy inside the self.
Awaken to the wonder of life.
~Edited excerpts from John O’Donohue blessings

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When children first feel “the wild imprint of surprise,” they easily let go the joy inside themselves, but by the time they enter adolescence most become guarded about their feelings and their expressions of joyfulness. Then as playgrounds and backyard recreations are left far behind when they enter young adulthood, they are, like I was, less and less exposed to the wonders of Creation. However, I discovered when I first retired “that like a forgotten fire, childhood can flare up again.” The flames were sparked when I could at last spend greater amounts of time in my garden and with my creative outlets that I found my inner child was still alive and well.

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Sadly, the middle years of my life took me far from the things I loved in my childhood as well as through some deep valleys of brokenness. Now painful health issues rob me many nights of restful sleep, but I’ve yet to be “broken in two by time.” Though past and present circumstances have and continue trying to steal my “joie de vivre,” the Lord has not left me stranded on detours away from the His plan for my life nor stuck at dead ends. Instead the Shepherd keeps leading His lamb back into His keeping, and that as well as the freeing of my inner child helps to restore my joy. When one of my grandson’s was younger he told me once that he loved the way I often got down on the floor and played right alongside him and his brother. The question is: Was I doing it for them or for myself?

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. ~Isaiah 55:12 ✝

** Images via Pinterest

487. I love red. I love all colors. Great shades of blue, you find them in nature. They’re all magic. ~Bryan Batt

La couleur bleue
Toujours
Me parle de Dieu
~Written by Frédéric at: http://poemsandpoemes.wordpress.com/about/
Translation:
The color blue
always
speaks to me about God

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By reading the scriptures
I am so renewed that all nature
seems renewed around me.
The sky seems to be
a pure, a cooler blue,
the trees a deeper green.
The whole world is charged
with the glory of God and I
feel fire and music under my feet.
~Thomas Merton

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Life has loveliness to sell,
all beautiful and splendid things,
blue waves whitened on a cliff,
soaring fire that sways and sings,
and children’s faces looking up,
holding wonder like a cup.
~Sara Teasdale

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Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him! ~Psalm 147:1   ✝

**All three photos are of different varieties of morning glories that have bloomed in my yard.

486. The windows of my soul I throw wide open to the sun. ~John Greenleaf Whittier

Light gives of itself freely,
filling all available space.
It does not seek anything in return;
it asks not whether you are friend or foe.
It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished.
~Michael Strassfeld

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All things in the natural world drink in sunlight, and they are affected by it a number of ways. When the sun’s warmth touches the skin on coolish days like today, it creates a pleasant sensation, and that pleasurable feeling seems to me to sink down into the depths of my being. Flesh and spirit drink in other light too, for they take in “the light of God and energy itself.” That’s why in an often cold, lonely, and dark world the inner flame of humanity’s sacred origin warms us and keeps the glow of the eternal alive.

In the temple of my inner being,
in the temple of my body,
in the temple of earth, sea, and sky,
in the great temple of the universe
I look for the light that was in the beginning,
the mighty fire that blazes still from the heart of life,
glowing in the whiteness of the moon,
glistening in night stars,
hidden in the black earth,
concealed in unknown depths of my soul.
In the darkness of the night,
in the shadow of my being, O God,
let me glimpse the eternal.
In both the light and the shadows of my being
let me glimpse the glow of the eternal.

~From SOUNDS OF THE ETERNAL
by J. Philip Newell

For God who said, “ Let light shine out of the darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. ~2 Corinthians 4:6    ✝

** Image via Pinterest