354. An angel can illuminate the thought and mind of man by strengthening the power of vision. ~St. Thomas Aquinas

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Have you been pleasantly surprised lately?
The very gift of life is a surprise.
When we stay alert, we notice how astounding
even the simplest sensation can be:
the tapping of fingers on a keyboard,
sniffing the fragrance of lilacs,
savoring a fresh, juicy strawberry,
hearing a convocation of crows,
seeing the sun pierce through a leaf on the windowsill,
being captivated by an angelic vignette.
~Edited passage from a newsletter
from http://www.gratefulness.org

For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways… ~Psalm 91:11 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

353. God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Everything is determined,
the beginning as well as the end,
by forces over which we have no control.
It is determined for insects
as well as for the stars.
Human beings, vegetables or cosmic dust,
we all dance to a mysterious tune,
intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.
~Albert Einstein

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As the invisible and creating Piper of all that is stages His springtime drama, He plays His primordial tunes. These harmonies are invitations to the mysterious dance of life He ignited. Between the lines of His holy, ancient melodies are heard His summons for all to partner with Him and dance in His arms o’er fields of grace and glory. In response to these calls bees and butterflies are already bowing and accepting the Lord’s summons to step onto the dance floor. Making ready for the ball as well have been the birds who’ve been courting and preparing nests. Soon their fledglings will take wing and join in the chorus of the spheres and the stars, and together the whole of Creation’s voices will spew forth worship, praise, and glorious odes to joy. The period for rest has passed and the days for celebration and rejoicing have come. It is time to look at what is laid upon earth’s “table” and as invited guests to express gratitude for the banquet. It is not happenstance that we are here, and like the flowers in a garden, perhaps our anointed time to bloom is upon us.

Sing to the LORD, for He has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. -Isaiah 12:5  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

352. Meditation is the tongue of the soul and the language of our spirit. ~Jeremy Taylor

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What I Have Learned So Far

~Mary Oliver

Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I
not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside,
looking into the shining world? Because, properly
attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just, the
ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit
to no labor in its cause? I don’t think so.

All summations have a beginning, all effect has a
story, all kindness begins with the sown seed.
Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of
light is the crossroads of — indolence, or action.

Be ignited, or be gone.

May my meditation be pleasing to Him, as I rejoice in the Lord. Psalm 104:34  ✝

Thank you, Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

351. What a desolate place would be a world without a flower!  It would be a face without a smile, a feast without a welcome. ~A.J. Balfour

Lord, help me to grow as the wildflowers grow
be it a meadow or a crack in the cement.
Despite the terrain, be it good or bad,
let me know I am there by intent.

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Instead of my sadly complaining within
regarding life’s rough terrain.
May my face, too, look upward to You
through seasons of drought and rain.

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Help me to bloom as the wildflowers bloom,
regardless of where I am placed;
wherever the spot You plant me, Lord,
let the air there be sweet with Your grace.

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Someday a tired pilgrim may stop to rest
from carrying his heavy load
And thank my Creator for placing me there
to brighten that spot on life’s road.
~Kitty Campbell

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In Texas this time of year, we are blessed with undulating swaths of Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes. When we find the two blooming alongside one another, they indeed offer up a delectable feast and put a smile on our hungry faces.

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Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it. ~Hebrews 13:2 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

350. But I always think the best way to know God is to love many things. ~Vincent Van Gogh

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

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Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours,
He made their tiny wings.

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The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.

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The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning,
That brightens up the sky;

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The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

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The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
We gather every day;–

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He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
~Cecil Frances Alexander

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Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things. Who is like you, God? ~Psalm 71:19 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

349. The sky and the strong wind have moved the spirit inside me till I am carried away trembling with joy. ~Uvavnuk, a female angakkuq (shaman) of the Iglulik Inuit, now considered an oral poet

Oh wind, a blowing all day long,
Oh wind, that sings so loud a song!
~Robert Louis Stevenson

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In a spring garden flowers speak of sacred sacraments; the wind that ruffles through them, like my breath moving in and out, speaks of holy beginnings. And so back go my thoughts to Eden wherein the creative acts of Ruach Elohim took place. Ruach is an ancient Hebrew word for God which literally means “wind.” As such it was not observed as a being but rather as a “vitalizing force.” Bishop J. S. Spong explains that “among the Hebrews the ruach or wind of God was said to bring forth life. Slowly this ruach evolved and became personalized and called Spirit… The ruach or wind of God was not external. It rather emerged from within the world and was understood as its very ground, its live-giving reality…in the very mysterious wind, which the Jews felt on their faces, they believed they found themselves touched by God here and now.” So it is that in the here and now of my life, I find myself touched by Ruach Elohim in my garden hour after hour, day after day, month after month, year after year. The holiness within my garden’s confines comes forth again and again from branch and leaf, thorn and blossom, and creatures great and small. Through it flow waters that sustain and nurture life. Above it orbs, golden and white, shine bringing light into darkness, and the ground upon which I walk is as holy as the hallowed ground on which Yahweh and the Christ trod.

Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. ~Job 12:9-10 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!