1079. I hope everyone that is reading this is having a really good day. If not, just know that in every new minute that passes you have an opportunity to change that. ~Gillian Anderson

February 26th is not a holiday nor necessarily a particularly important day for that matter, but it is a significant day for me. A year ago today I was in surgery getting my left knee replaced which has been a huge success and blessing for me. Then today after returning home from my end of the year check up on it, I noticed that again one of my early posts had been viewed making it still the most viewed and liked one to date. So I decided to repost it to commemorate blessings and favorable outcomes in general. The only thing I’ve changed about it is the photo.

46. A Robin Redbreast in a cage puts all Heaven in a rage. ~William Blake
FEBRUARY 26, 2013 BY NATALIESCARBERRY

When father takes his spade to dig
then Robin comes along;
And sits upon a little twig
And sings a little song.
~Laurence Alma-Tadema

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The introductory line in the title is from Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence,” a somewhat lengthy poem consisting of a series of paradoxes in which Blake juxtaposes innocence with evil and corruption. The word augury in the title means omen or token, and the robin is the poem’s first noted “augury of innocence.”  The robin’s song, personality, and countenance are such that it’s obvious why the poet saw the act of putting one in a cage as not only an enraging violation but also as a profound perversion of holiness.  The sweet song and colorful markings of a robin make the bird a delightful harbinger of spring’s infancy and innocence.  Looking forward to its coming is one of my favorite rites in spring’s passage, and like “all heaven” I’d be incensed if the bird’s freedom were taken away and its song silenced.  Below is a legend about the robin that again ties the bird to the blameless and sacred.  Although the truthfulness of legends is questionable, I’m fascinated that somehow, somewhere, and in some way the robin was connected to the Messiah.

The Legend of the First Robin
One day, long ago, a little bird in Jerusalem saw a large crowd gathered around a man carrying a heavy wooden cross.  On the man’s head was a crown made from a thorn branch.  The thorns were long and sharp.  The little bird saw that the thorns were hurting the man.  It wanted to help Him, so it flew down and took the longest, sharpest thorn in its tiny beak.  The bird tugged and pulled until the thorn snapped from the branch.  Then a strange thing happened.  A drop of blood fell onto the bird’s breast, staining it bright red.  The stain never went away.  And so today the robin proudly wears a red-breast, because it helped a man named Jesus.

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.  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 12:7-10   ✝

692. Could life so end, half told; its school so fail? Soul, soul, there is a sequel to thy tale! ~Robert Mowry Bell

See the land, her Easter keeping,
Rises as her Maker rose.
Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
Burst at last from winter snows.
Earth with heaven above rejoices…
~Charles Kingsley

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These realities, of which Kingsley speaks, are meant to stir in humanity an ancient sense of belonging and in turn spark a desire to seek Yahweh, the Ancient of Days, but should they not, finding God in Christ is something even the blind can do. Our Creator sent us His son over 2000 years ago to be our memory and remind us of who we are and to whom we belong. Jesus is a revelation of our loving Father, of His amazing Grace, and of His Kingdom’s intention. And as the Messiah, Christ offers mortals, all of whom are subjected to detrimental temptation by malevolent forces in a fallen world, salvation, and then He, as their spiritual leader, directs those, who accept His offer, into righteous rhythms of life, into a willingness to serve others, and into the dance of life–a dance in which the whole universe can be seen as a partner.

“Easter is not a time for groping through dusty, musty tomes or tombs to disprove spontaneous generation or even to prove life eternal.  It is a day to fan the ashes of dead hope, a day to banish doubts and seek the slopes where the sun is rising, to revel in the faith which transports us out of ourselves and the dead past into the vast and inviting unknown.”  ~Author unknown, as quoted in the Lewiston Tribune

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~Hebrews 12:2 ✝

**Images via Pinterest, collage by Natalie

691. Unto the Cross came death, and unto death came the Cross. ~Anthony Liccione

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Our Father. We have killed Him, and we will kill Him again, and our world will kill Him. And yet He is there. It is He who listens at the door. It is He who is coming. It is our Father who is about to be born through Jesus Christ our Lord.” ~Frederick Buechner

For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. ~John 3:16 ✝

**Images via Pinterest, collage created by Natalie

690. The world of Celtic spirituality is completely at home with the rhythm and wisdom of the senses. ~John O’Donohue

When you read Celtic nature poetry,
you see that all the senses are alerted:
You hear the sound of the winds,
you taste the fruits, and above all
you get a wonderful sense of
how nature touches human presence.
~John O’Donohue

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Nature isn’t just around us like the walls of a house or a building; it moves into our space and through our senses to touch us in very discernible ways. We live and breath and move on divine, holy ground and in that realm many of our life experiences come by means of our God-given senses. Even in the reading of Scripture spring’s coming is announced by the mouth in song and the ear in hearing. So this week as we approach Easter, be mindful that one should not only hear about Christ’s resurrection or see images of what happened on the Cross at Calvary, but we should also feel the agony He suffered and in a very real sense “taste” what His sacrifice accomplished.

May your body be blessed.
May your realize that your body is a faithful
and beautiful friend of your soul.
And may you be peaceful and joyful
and recognize that your senses are sacred thresholds.
May you realize that holiness is mindful,
gazing, feeling, hearing, and touching.
May your senses gather you and bring you home.
May your senses always enable you to celebrate
the universe and the mystery and
possibilities in your presence here. . .
~John O’Donohue

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. ~Isaiah 35:1-2   ✝

**Images via Pinterest, collage created by Natalie

589. O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. ~John F. Wade

We hear the beating of wings
over Bethlehem and
a light that is not
of the sun
or of the stars
shines in the midnight sky.
~Maud van Buren

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The dictionary defines relationship as a connection to or an involvement with another entity, and what happened in a Bethlehem manger over 2,000 years ago was the Breath of Heaven reaching out from “the invisible spiritual world” to touch and begin relationships in the “material world.” Therefore Christmas is not merely an event; more importantly it’s an invitation to establish a connection with the babe in the manger who became the Christ of the cross to save our souls.

In order to accomplish His divine destiny Jesus came into our world, walked among us, and left, as an ongoing legacy, a way to remain connected to and in relationship with the Father, a relationship that comes into fullness by spending time with the Lord, by listening to Him, and by submitting to His will and purpose for our lives. It’s a bit like when a man and woman marry; they mustn’t just celebrate, honor, and spend time with each other one day of the year. It has to be a day to day, minute by minute commitment if the relationship is to grow and blossom into greater goodness.

Who is this that appears like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, majestic as the stars in procession? ~Song of Solomon 6:10 ✝ (The Song of Solomon is often interpreted as an allegorical representation of the relationship of God and Israel, or for Christians, God and the Church or Christ and the human soul.)

**Image found on Pinterest

512. We need beauty because it makes us ache to be worthy of it. ~Mary Oliver

Beauty of whatever kind,
in its supreme development,
invariably excites
the sensitive soul to tears.
~Edgar Allan Poe

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I see the work of Your Hands
Galaxies spin in a Heavenly dance oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming

I hear the sound of Your Voice
All at once it’s a gentle and thundering noise oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming

I delight myself in You
Captivated by Your beauty
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

God, I run into Your arms
Unashamed because of mercy
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

I know the power of Your Cross
Forgiven and free forever You’ll be my God


All that You’ve done is so overwhelming
I delight myself in You
In the Glory of your Presence
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You…

~Lyrics from Big Daddy Weave’s song Overwhelmed
written by 
Adams, Yolanda Yvette /Belcher, Ryan Kent / East,
Rodney L. / Mccalla, Errol W. Jr. / Ecby, Marcus

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. ~Hebrews 4:16   ✝

** Image via the Internet

494. Every dew-drop and rain-drop had a whole heaven within it. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

How cunningly nature hides 
every
wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity
under roses and violets and morning dew.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Earth’s liquid jewelry, wrought of air.
The dew ‘tis of the tears which stars weep, sweet with joy.
~Philip James Bailey

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Angels in the early morning
may be seen the dews among.
Stooping, plucking, smiling, flying.
Do the buds belong to them?
~Emily Dickinson

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That breath you just took; it was a gift! The day that lies before you; it’s a gift!  And it’s a unique gift, a new creation of God’s ageless story. Twenty four hours a day, 7 days a week, His promise of renewal is delightfully visible especially early in the day when everything sparkles with the kind of magic that sometimes can be seen in the dew on roses and other things.

It’s easy to believe in magic when you’re young.
Anything you couldn’t explain was magic then.
It didn’t matter if it was science or a fairy tale.
Electricity and elves were both infinitely mysterious
and equally possible–elves probably more so.
~Charles de Lint

I may no longer be young but while birds call to one another and bees busily work, it’s easy still for me to imagine that garden fairies are blessing the flowers and sprinkling them with dew because they  glisten and shine like Yahweh’s glory.  And it is when I sense His Presence in the light and  the sweet aromas that arise from the flowers and the soil that I fall in love with the Lord of Life all over again.

Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants, I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! ~Deuteronomy 32:1-3    ✝

Thank you, Lord, for my piece of Eden here on a small portion of the Texas prairie and for Your redeeming work on the cross at Calvary.

** Images via Pinterest