A wheel was shown to me,
wonderful to behold.
Divinity . . . is like a wheel,
a circle, a whole,
that can neither be understood,
nor divided, nor begun nor ended . . .
no one has the power to divide
this circle, to surpass it, or to limit it.
~St. Hildegard of Bingen
beginnings, middles, endings,
so go the circles of life here
and over and over again
the sacred circles repeat themselves
with more beginnings,
and yet little seems the same from
day to day, month to month, year to year,
in these patterns of inconstancy
within the undeniable constancy
that create our “wow” now moments
as well as the not so “wow” ones
so what’s to be made of all the same
and not so same circular sameness
or the ups and downs and all around times
in the beginnings, middles, and endings
only the Ancient of Days knows why
these everlasting holy rhythms
of the universe move in such a way
It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. ~Deuteronomy 11:12 ✝
Experience is not
what happens to a man.
It is what a man does
with what happens to him.
~Aldous Leonard Huxley
As I become more and more thankful for the constancy of God’s Presence through moments not only “where He maketh me lie down green pastures” or when “He leadeth me beside still waters and refreshes my soul” or during the times He walks with me “through the valley of the shadow of death,” the Lord lays more and more blessings on my table. So it is and has been that the cup of my soul is filled to overflowing and the contents therein have been steeped in a mellow and ripe richness. The fact that God is good and all that He created is good has grown increasingly more apparent even in moments of darkest despair. Such trials have stretched me upward to His saving light where I am able to see the “scarred” Christ who calls me, flawed and scarred, to be more than I dared dream was possible. Much like the embryonic infant who has to push its way agonizingly through the narrow straights of a mother’s womb to be born, gratitude tunnels a way bit by bit through dark and adverse portals where His fruits of the spirit are forged by fire into being. As well, as in the eye of a storm peace can exist in the midst of the turbulence and greater patience can be acquired by relinquishing control to a God who has always dwelt not only within and without Creation but also within and without each of His children.
Holy Spirit, You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord
I’ve tasted and seen, of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free, and my shame is undone
By Your presence, Lord
Let us become more aware of Your presence
Let us experience the glory of Your goodness…
~Excerpted lyrics by Bryan Torwalt
**To hear a recording of this song click on this link:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. ~Romans 5:1-4 ✝
In my garden there is a large place for sentiment.
My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams.
The thoughts grow as freely and the flowers,
and the dreams are as beautiful.
~Abram L. Urban
One of the fascinating things about a garden is that it’s never quite the same from year to year even if nothing is lost or nothing new is planted. Depending on the variable nature of the weather and the seasons, there is always a difference from one year to the next in the way things grow and perform. Since a garden is a living, breathing entity, it is always in a state of flux, a continuous inconstancy of gain and loss, rise and fall. For example one never knows how many seeds will germinate and flourish or when they or something established will perish for one inexplicable reason or another. So, like people, a garden awaits another “voice” each year, and every ending in it and us yields a new and somewhat different beginning. Whatever was said and done last year is just that for both nature and humanity, and I’ve found it best to leave what was said and done in the past where it belongs. Neither do I spend time thinking about new year’s resolutions because I know that the seasons in my life are always different and therefore evoke different feelings within me and different responses from me.
Time and time again life rises from death, and when it does, one can feel the beating heart of heaven and hear the hushed voice of grace–that unchanging holy voice of grace, that sacred in-and-out breath of life, the Presence that captures me again and again and again. For me that is the only constancy, and I simply cannot live without it or the Ancient of Days by whose grace I live.
“The sounds, the aromas, the speech of life that infiltrates and seduces in heard and unheard melodies echoing from every life form to cocoon, to feed us, to excite us, to give solace, to renew, to cry in joy and sorrow, to create, to birth, to laugh at the sheer exuberance of feeling, I love.” ~Patricia at: http://theenglishprofessor.net/qualifications.php
Obey the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider all the great things He has done for you. ~1 Samuel 12:24 ✝
Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace,
the celebration of work and the simple life. . .
a true folk-festival that speaks
the poetry of the turn of the seasons,
the beauty of seedtime and harvest,
the ripe product of the year –
and the deep, deep connection
of all these things to God.
~Ray Stannard Baker (David Grayson)
At the beginning of time the Lord set the wheels in motion for the making of continual banquets for man and creature alike. And so in light of His abundant provisions and as the Canticle of Creation plays on, it is time to pause and give thanks to our gracious Benefactor. The year is drawing to its appointed end and before it sinks into winter, the Sabbath of the year, we must look around and take stock of the Lord’s never-ending activity in Creation and be thankful for the constancy of His love and beneficent involvement in each of our lives. W. J. Cameron said, “. . .a thankful heart hath a continual feast,” and so with beholden hearts, let us give praise and thanks for our Heavenly Father, His Grace, and His goodness. I pray that this be a blessed time of thanksgiving for all of you and those you love; may all the roads you travel be, now and forever, filled with grace and peace and love.
If I have enjoyed
the hospitality of the Host of the universe,
Who daily spreads a table in my sight,
surely I cannot do less
than acknowledge my dependence.
~G. A. Johnston Ross
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. ~Psalm 100:4 ✝
In the garden the door is always open into the holy –
growth, birth, death.
Every flower holds the whole mystery in its short cycle,
and in the garden we are never far away from death,
fertilizing, good, creative death.
Every year the unseen becomes visible as new life explodes from quiet, dark, sustaining wombs. Beneath the soil roots grow and above the surface tiny leaves yield proof of life. Enlivening rains come, and the leaves grow. Daylight hours lengthen, and they grow more. Amid the leaves emerge buds, and they grow. Buds burst into flowers, the flowers fade, and their petals fall. Fruits, seed heads, or pods appear, and they ripen. Fruits are harvested, seeds are spilled onto the soil, and buds are set inside woody canes or branches. Then comes the time of rest, the discontinuance of the same, the different new genesis. The beginnings, the middles, the ends–never an ending without a beginning–never a beginning without an ending, so goes the cyclic constancy of a garden.
The land produced vegetation; plants bearing seed according to its kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. ~Genesis 1:12 ✝