1076. Dancing faces you towards Heaven, whichever direction you turn. ~Terri Guillemets

While I dance I can not judge,
I can not hate,
I can not separate myself from life.
I can only be joyful and whole.
This is why I dance.
~Hans Bos

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 5.10.58 PM.png

Dancing is the loftiest,
the most moving,
the most beautiful of the arts,
because it is not mere
translation or abstraction from life;
it is none other than life itself.
~Havelock Ellis

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 4.26.33 PM.png

So why is it that Natalie has seemingly been obsessed with dancing of late? Perhaps it’s because the dance of life has visibly begun again in her yard, and because springtime is one of the things that never fails to thrill her beyond what mere words can express. So she dances, literally and figuratively, and not unlike Zorba the Greek. She read that Friedrich Nietzsche said he “would believe only in a God that knows how to dance.” And she knows that indeed He does because the Lord of the Dance is currently waltzing away here. And will she dance with Him again? Oh, yes, yes, and yes as well as always, always, always! For long ago during one of springtime’s magical dances the resurrected Christ took her in His arms and whisked her away to a “virtual” cross in order to make His offer of forgiveness, salvation, and redemption undeniably clear and real! That’s why now she does her best to offer Yahweh (Yeshua) all that she is and all that she does as well as all the flowers that grow in her garden. For she believes, as did Rabindranath Tagore, that “God waits to win back His own flowers as gifts from man’s hands.”

Nature is God’s first missionary.
Where there is no Bible there are sparkling stars.
Where there are not preachers there are spring times…
If a person has nothing but nature,
then nature is enough to reveal something about God.
~Max Lucado

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 4.28.51 PM.png

Let them praise His name with dancing…  ~Excerpt from Psalm 149:3   ✝

**Images via Pinterest

1075. Dancing is silent poetry. ~Simonides

To dance is to reach for a word that doesn’t exist,
To sing the heart-song of a thousand generations,
To feel the meaning of a moment in time.
~Beth Jones

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 5.49.40 PM.png

Where Does the Dance Begin, Where Does It End?
Don’t call this world adorable, or useful, that’s not it.
It’s frisky, and a theater for more than fair winds.
The eyelash of lightning is neither good nor evil.
The struck tree burns like a pillar of gold.
But the blue rain sinks, straight to the white
feet of the trees whose mouths open.
Doesn’t the wind, turning in circles, invent the dance?
Haven’t the flowers moved, slowly, across Asia,
then Europe, until at last, now, they shine in your own yard?
Don’t call this world an explanation, or even an education.
When the Sufi poet whirled, was he looking outward,
to the mountains so solidly there in a white-capped ring,
or was he looking to the center of everything:
the seed, the egg, the idea that was also there,
beautiful as a thumb curved and touching the finger,
tenderly, little love-ring, as he whirled,
oh jug of breath, in the garden of dust?
~Mary Oliver

And David was dancing before the LORD with all his might… ~Excerpt from 2 Samuel 6:14 ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

996. Hold me, Lord, in the light of Your Being…

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 5.18.26 PM

Then, Breath of heaven, come dance
with me as autumn comes to an end

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 5.26.18 PM.png

And turn me round and round
on the earth, the beautiful hem of heaven

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 5.31.15 PM

So you can sing in my ear
the hymns of the spheres

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 5.20.16 PM

To fill me with heavenly peace
beneath the moon and stars

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 5.24.11 PM.png

Oh dance with me Yahweh
o’er fields of mercy and grace

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 5.22.06 PM.png

Waltz with me Emmanuel
as the angels and I sing, “Hallelujah”in praise of You

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 5.25.31 PM.png

Let them praise His(God’s) name with dancing… ~Excerpt from Psalm 149:3   ✝

**Images via Pinterest

911. Bursts of shimmering light coalesce into a kaleidoscope of magnificent beauty. ~Excerpted line from a work by Theresa at: https://soulgatherings.wordpress.com

Then, a swirl — a spiral —
of blues and turquoise, of teal and purple —
spearing the darkness with light.
Dancing, sparkling, shooting upward.
~Excerpted lines from the same piece of work
by Theresa at: https://soulgatherings.wordpress.comScreen Shot 2015-10-21 at 8.14.11 PMA mighty wind sweeps over the face of the waters. ~Eriugena

Earth, air, fire, and water, the constituents
of everything that will be, are in a whirlwind of motion.
It is a wild wind carrying the incipient life of the universe in its wings.
From it the matter of life emerges, as does lifeless matter,
flung almost discardedly across space.
Its power and expansiveness are overwhelming.
~Excerpt from THE BOOK OF CREATION
by J. Philip Newell

Look at this amazing hibiscus! The photographer has achieved a sort of abstract version of the flower, and in so doing I see all that these people whom I’ve quoted have described. And too whenever I’m confronted with something as remarkable and wondrous as this flower, I ask myself how anyone can doubt that it is the work of God’s hands, a recognizable symbol of a Power greater than we who flung all that is into being. What folly it is to think that such is the result of a random explosion of atoms! And even if it were such, where did the atoms come from? To deny the miraculousness of Creation and the Creator is to deny self and all that makes us living, breathing, loving entities. Could it be because if one acknowledges God, he/she has to accept the fact that he/she is accountable to the Maker of the gift of life?

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
~Big Daddy Weave

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. ~Genesis 1:1-2  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

587. “Twas Christmas told the merriest tale…” ~Excerpt from Walter Scott

I will honor Christmas in my heart,
and try to keep it all the year.
~Charles Dickens

Screen shot 2014-12-22 at 7.33.45 PM

In the 17th century after Oliver Cromwell came to power in England, Catholics were subsequently not permitted to practice their faith openly. Tradition holds that Catholic parents then developed the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, not only to teach their beliefs surreptitiously to their children but also to help them remember them. So it is that the partridge in a pear tree represents Jesus (the partridge will sacrifice its life to save its young). The two turtle doves refer to The Old and New Testaments. The three French hens stand for faith, hope, and charity or the three gifts the Wise Men brought to the baby Jesus. The four calling birds designate the four Evangelists–Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The five golden rings denote the first five books of the Old Testament. The six geese a-laying constitute the six days of Creation as described in Genesis. The seven swans a-swimming represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord). The eight maids a-milking are the eight Beatitudes. The nine ladies dancing depict the nine choirs of angels (Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and regular angels); or the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, patience, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control). The ten lords a-leaping point to the Ten Commandments. The eleven pipers piping are the eleven faithful Apostles. And the twelve drummers drumming signify the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. ~Romans 15:4   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

586. And so the Shortest Day came and the year died and everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world came people singing, dancing, to drive the dark away. ~Susan Cooper

They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling and
partaking of the wassail.
~Adapted excerpt from Susan Cooper

Screen shot 2014-12-20 at 5.39.14 PM

Wassailing
~by Unknown Author

The word “wassail” is thought to come from the Anglo-Saxon “wel hal” which means “be healthy.” The Anglo-Saxons used the phrase as an everyday greeting. “Waes” is a form of the verb “to be.” “Hal” is the ancestor of the modern English words whole and hale. Thus, “waes hal” literally meant “Be healthy.”

The Vikings who later settled in Northern England used a variant of the same phrase, “Ves heill.” Since the Anglo-Saxons and Norse shared a custom of welcoming guests by presenting them with a horn of ale, a cup of mead, or a goblet of wine, the greeting evolved into a toast.

The phrase eventually evolved into the single word that we know today as “wassail.” The use of “wassailing” to mean “caroling” very likely descended from the custom of singing songs while drinking from the wassail bowl during the Christmas holidays.

Cranberry Wassail
1 gallon ocean spray cranberry juice
5 cups apple juice
2/3 cup sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp allspice (whole)
1 medium sized orange sliced
20 whole cloves

Combine cranberry juice cocktail, apple juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and allspice in a large pot. Heat to boiling over medium heat; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Strain punch to remove spices. Serve warm in a heat proof punch bowl or chill and serve over ice. Garnish with orange slices studded with cloves. Makes 42 4-ounce servings.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and day and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on earth.” And it was so. ~Genesis 1:13-15   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

455. For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. ~Albert Camus

People usually consider
walking on water or in thin air a miracle.
But I think the real miracle is not
to walk either on water or in thin air,
but to walk on earth.
Every day we are engaged in a miracle
which we don’t even recognize:
a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves,
the black, curious eyes of a child —
our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

DSC_0039

Did you hear them? There were explosions, lots and lots of big explosions! And yet there were no bombs falling from above, no heat seeking missiles flying through space, no rapid fire from automatic weapons, nor the noisy advance of charging legions. Rather there were the quiet explosions of life that I’m blessed to witness every morning in my yard. In lieu of bombs and missiles and guns, there are the bursts of light at dawn, the fluttering of avian wings, the buzz of nectaring bees, the dancing rhythms of butterflies, the sizzle of the sun, the gentle zephyrs that ruffle leaves, the bursting open of blossoms, the purring of furry felines, the hopping of grasshoppers and toads, the slithering of lizards and snakes and on and on and on it goes…Life, too wondrous and thrilling and miraculous for a mere mortal’s words.

Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? ~Galatians 3:5   ✝

Thank you, Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! May I dwell in Your holy presence and praise Your name for all that you have given and done.