412. The day has eyes; the night has ears. ~David Fergusson

…in the open world it (night) passes lightly,
with its stars and dews and perfumes,
and the hours marked by changes
in the face of Nature.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

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This evening sweetly scented perfumes and loud night noises filled the space between heaven and earth. Screeching cricket and cicada choruses rose and fell in unison with the droning engines on the nearby Interstate Highway, and splashes of water in the fountains occasionally added their trickling notes to the developing opus. The day’s winds had slowed but there were still little zephyrs carrying flowery fragrances abroad. Thankfully the day’s high temperatures had lowered as the final remnants of light oozed out of the day taming summer’s heat beast until the morrow’s mid morn when he will again stoke his fires. Early fourth of July revelers were lighting fireworks on the street behind ours, and the soft booms and the quick flashes of light were apparently the cue for barking dogs to join this oddly manned orchestra that was playing “music” through June’s rapidly closing door. Soon God’s lanterns, the stars and waxing moon, were flickering through the trees silhouetted against a deepening indigo sky and creatures, great and small, were beginning to roam, fly, or crawl. Porch lights cast shadowy phantoms over the darkened lawn as the raucous concert played on. Before long the towering trees and the sky merged into a blackened oneness and the din fell into a more subdued humming rhythm. When I rose to come in for the night, I spotted a pearly, luminescent moonflower which I knew would reign as nocturnal queen until tomorrow’s light closed her up and opened the first morning glory to reign on her recently abdicated throne.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. ~Psalm 19:1-2  ✝

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! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

411. There is nothing more perplexing in life than to know at what point you should surrender your intellect to your faith. ~Margot Asquith

Your heart is a sun–
Joy its stars,
Faith a moon, shining in your darkness.
~Terri Guillemets

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I want to write about faith
about the way the moon rises
over cold snow, night after night.

faithful even as it fades from fullness,
slowly becoming that last curving and impossible
sliver of light before the final darkness.

But I have no faith myself,
I refuse it the smallest entry.

Let this then, my small poem,
like a new moon, slender and barely open,
be the first prayer that opens me to faith.
~David Whyte

Some say the dandelion’s message is that every breath is a second chance. Let all those who know you not, O Lord, be open to the second chance faith offers them. Come fill their lungs anew with your holy breath of life and their veins with the blood you shed for them on Calvary’s cross.

Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. Psalm 4:3  ✝

** Image via Pinterest

410. The butterfly is a flying flower, the flower a tethered butterfly. ~Ponce Denis Ècouchard Lebrun

Black atennas twitch
as the caterpillar
strips the last green leaf
from the naked milkweed.

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Striped flesh shed,
the green skin below
becomes a jade pendant
rimmed in gold,
hung by a black thread.

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Nature, that green magician,
arranges a slight of hand.
The fat worm in a striped suit
slides into a chrysalis
naps for a fortnight
wakes,
draped in orange,
ready to dance.
~Tere Sievers

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He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. Daniel 2:21  ✝

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! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

Poem first posted at: http://ivonprefontaine.com/2014/06/26/monarch/

** Images via Pinterest

409. Count the garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall. ~Author Unknown

I determine to live intentionally, God.
My life will be one of preparation and purpose,
bringing a heavenly fragrance into the stuff of earth.
~Jerome Daley

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The scent of a flower invites wildlife to its fragrant banquet, and the guests in turn purposefully do what they do so that the banquet table will never vanish or be empty. The Israelites were asked repeatedly in the Old Testament to offer up burnt sacrifices as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. Though animals are no longer sacrificed as burnt offerings, there are ways we can offer up a pleasant aroma not only to the Lord but as Daley suggests to bring a heavenly fragrance into the very “stuff of earth.” Even when physical pain or emotional loss, like a knife wielding demon, carves out great chasms of anguish within body and soul, one can choose to emit “a heavenly fragrance” instead of a demon-defeated foul stench. So it is that today I lift up my voice as a pleasant aroma to the Lord though the challenges of an aging and ailing body be great and painful.  And this lovely gladiola that came only to be blown to the ground by high winds, I count not as loss but as gain that the lovely lady came at all.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. -Psalm 19:14  ✝

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! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

408. I would maintain that thanks is the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. ~G.K. Chesterton

For, after all, put it as we may to ourselves, we are all of us
from birth to death guests at a table which we did not spread.
The sun, the earth, love, friends, our very breath are parts of the banquet. . .
Shall we think of the day as a chance to come nearer our Host,
and to find out something of Him, who has fed us so long?
~Rebecca Harding Davis

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We are indeed guests at a table we did not spread, and built into Creation are elements that welcome us to the banquet and entreat us to seek the Host’s presence. In stillness, if we listen to the in and out movement of our breathing, we can feel the Host’s breath upon us. In listening to the beating of our own hearts, we come to recognize the beating of His heart at the heart of all life. If we reverence all that He has put upon the table, we will be given glimpses into His divine mystery. Our presence here is not a random act of molecular happenstance; we’ve been intentionally sent here by the Host to be kneaded into purposeful tidbits in humanity’s ongoing moveable feast, tidbits with talents that have the potential to enhance the flavor and make a difference in the quality of life at the table. Our lives are meant to touch other lives so that together the combined interactions add new dimensions to the overall flavor and enlarge the portions of goodness. And when we share our love and knowledge of the Host’s goodness and faithfulness we become His welcoming agent to other guests at the table.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. ~Colossians 2:6-7   ✝

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! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

407. Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light. ~Theodore Roethke

At first a small line of inconceivable splendour emerged on the
horizon, which, quickly expanding, the sun appeared in all of his
glory, unveiling the whole face of nature, vivifying every colour
of the landscape, and sprinkling the dewy earth with glittering light.
~Ann Radcliffe

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I took this photo late in the day and yet it is obvious the sunflower is still holding the light. And whether it’s in the soft radiance of this flower, or in the dawn’s “unveiling the whole face of nature,” or in the blazing streaks of sunset closing down the day, or in the white glow of the moon illuminating the night there is a “line of inconceivable splendour” in all light. And it is this “splendour” that yields insight in the mystery and nature of the Lord. We emerge from the darkness of a mother’s womb, but from our inception we too hold light within ourselves for we are of the light’s Maker. Notice that Radcliffe said the light vivified (enlivened) color. She recognized that light gives of itself and in so doing gives life. With a smile we are capable of lighting up our whole countenance, and it has been said that “if one life shines, the life next to it will catch the light.” James M. Barrie, author of PETER PAN, added to that by saying that “those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. ~2 Corinthians 4:6-7 ✝

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! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

406. The rain came down today littering blossoms on the ground. ~June Kellum

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Rain splashes on the footpath
Dribbles down the drain
Trickles pretty patterns 
on the window pane.
~Brenda Williams

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Summer Rain
What could be lovelier than to hear the summer rain
Cutting across the heat, as scythes cutting across grain?
Falling upon the steaming roof with sweet uproar,
Tapping and rapping wildly at the door?
No, do not lift the latch, but through the pane
We’ll stand and watch the circus pageant
Of the rain,
And see the lightening, like a tiger, striped and dread,
And hear the thunder cross the shaken sky
With elephant tread.
~Elizabeth Coatsworth

We thank thee, O Lord, for the recent rains. This long and severe drought has been hard on the land and its people.  In this and all things, we are grateful and praise your holy name for all your “tender mercies.”

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. He provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside. ~Job 5:9-10    ✝