1414. In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary. ~Aaron Rose

For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right,
since its appearance changes at every moment;
but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life –
the light and the air which vary continually.
For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere
which gives subjects their true value.
~Claude Monet

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All things in the natural world drink in sunlight, and they are affected by it a number of ways. When the sun’s warmth touches skin, it creates a pleasant sensation. On cold days that pleasurable feeling seems to sink down into the depths of human flesh; deeper and deeper it settles until it reaches places normally untouched by sunlight. Flesh and spirit drink in other light too. They take in “the light of God and energy itself” so that in an often cold and lonely, dark world the inner flame of our sacred origin keeps the glow of the eternal alive.

In the temple of my inner being,
in the temple of my body,
in the temple of earth, sea, and sky,
in the great temple of the universe
I look for the light that was in the beginning,
the mighty fire that blazes still from the heart of life,
glowing in the whiteness of the moon,
glistening in night stars,
hidden in the black earth,
concealed in unknown depths of my soul.
In the darkness of the night,
in the shadow of my being, O God,
let me glimpse the eternal.
In both the light and the shadows of my being
let me glimpse the glow of the eternal.
From SOUNDS OF THE ETERNAL
by J. Philip Newell

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” ~John 8:12 ✝

**Image via Pinterest

1386. A true worship of God, therefore, can neither be contained between the four walls of a sacred building nor restricted to the boundaries of religious tradition. ~J. Philip Newell

The Christian church is not a building,
but a body of believers united in Christ.
Its role is to worship God, nurture and edify
and reach out to a suffering world.
~Robert Velarde

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What Is the Church?
Excerpts from an article by Robert Velarde

When most people hear the word church they probably think of a building. Maybe it is a fancy building or a simple building where believers gather. But biblically speaking, a church is much more than a building. In fact, some would say that the church is not a building at all, but is all about the people.

The early Christian church had no buildings, at least not in the sense of what we would consider church buildings today. First century Christians were often persecuted and, as a result, often met in secret usually in homes. As the influence of Christianity spread, eventually buildings dedicated to worship were established and became what we know today as churches. Church structures facilitate the role of God’s people, but they do not fulfill it.

When speaking of the church, theologians often use terms such as the visible and local church as opposed to the invisible and universal church. The visible and local church is, of course, the physical churches that we see around us and around the world, as well as the members of those churches. The invisible and universal church, however, refers to all believers everywhere and is one church, united in Christ, not many physical churches.

In the temple of my inner being,
in the temple of my body,
in the temple of earth, sea, and sky,
in the great temple of the universe
I look for the light that was in the beginning,
the mighty fire that blazes still from the heart of life,
glowing in the whiteness of the moon,
glistening in night stars,
hidden in the black earth,
concealed in unknown depths of my soul.
In the darkness of the night,
in the shadow of my being, O God,
let me glimpse the eternal.
In both the light and the shadows of my being
let me glimpse the glow of the eternal.
From SOUNDS OF THE ETERNAL
by J. Philip Newell

Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea. ~Job 11:7-9  ✝

**Image is the remains of Tintern Abbey in Britain. It cannot contain God nor the light.

1360. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you. ~Rumi

The Wine and the Cup

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The wine of divine grace is limitless:
All limits come only from the faults of the cup.
Moonlight floods the whole sky from horizon to horizon;
How much it can fill your room depends on its windows.
Grant a great dignity, my friend, to the cup of your life;
Love has designed it to hold His eternal wine.

~Rumi

But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. ~Excerpt from Galatians 1:15  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest; specical effects done on iPiccy

1327. I must have flowers, always, and always. ~Claude Monet

Flowers seem intended for the
solace of ordinary humanity.
~John Ruskin

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Last weekend one of my grandsons went with me to do our grocery shopping. When I told him to stop a minute at the floral department, he asked if I bought flowers every week, and I replied with a boisterous “yes.” That made him chuckle at first; then he became curious and asked me why. I replied with Monet’s exact declaration above. Since then I’ve been contemplating why I have that compelling need but have been able to come up little more than that they are beautiful, they cheer me up, and they are fun to replicate with a camera or on a canvas. Since I’m not much of an artist however, a camera and editing programs are much more able to help me create good images than those I try to achieve with paints or pens. Not only that, because I’m one of those people who has a persistent and irresistible urge to find beauty and be creative, even the tiniest of flowers can satisfy both those needs.

Passions, who can say from whence they come
or why, but I for one am glad there’s solace,
comfort, and joy to be found in them, for ‘tis they
that bringeth the light needed to make it through
the dark nights of my soul, and it’s evident that the
Lord of heaven and earth whom I adore and seek
finds them to be so as well for one learns much of
Him and His heart in the Genesis account of Creation.

There is no atom in earth but is alive and astir in the all-penetrating splendor of God. From the infinitesimal to the infinite, everything is striving to express the thought of His Presence with which it overflows. ~Lucy Larcom

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. ~Romans 1:20  ✝

**Photo taken by Natalie and the special effects and border were done by her on iPiccy

914. The damp of the night drives me deeper into my soul. ~Walt Whitman

The rain is alive with songs
it has penned 
for thousands years,
and my heart is blessed
by the sound of its music.
~Idea for above by Natalie Scarberry inspired
by a song in the SOUND OF MUSIC

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The Voice of the Rain
And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower,
Which, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here translated:

I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain,
Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land and the bottomless sea,
Upward to heaven, whence, vaguely form’d,
altogether changed, and yet the same,
I descend to lave the drouths, atomies, dust-layers of the globe,
And all that in them without me were seeds only, latent, unborn;
And forever, by day and night, I give back life to my own origin,
and make pure and beautify it;
(For song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfilment, wandering,
Reck’d or unreck’d, duly with love returns.)
~Walt Whitman

“He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams…” ~Job 36:27  ✝

**The poet Walt Whitman writes of a conversation he once had with the rain as it dropped gently from the heavens. “Who are you?” the poet asked. Strangely, the raindrops replied and the poet translates its answer for the readers. “I am the poem of the earth,” said the rain. The rain adds that it is born in the form of invisible and intangible vapors that rise eternally from the earth’s land and deep water bodies. It then reaches heaven (the sky) and changes its appearance complete to form clouds of abstract, changeable shapes. Yet, at its core, it remains the same as it was at birth. It then returns to earth as little droplets which wash away the dust and rejuvenate the drought-ridden, dry land. New plants find life which would have otherwise remained hidden and unborn inside the land as mere seeds. Thus, this perpetual cyclic lifestyle ensures that the rain retunes to its origin, the earth, giving it life, and making it pure and beautiful. The poet realizes that the rain’s life is similar to that of any song. A song’s birth place is the poet’s heart. Once complete, it is passed on (wanders) from one person to another. It may change (reck’d) or remain the same (unreck’d) as it travels, but one day, it returns to the poet with all due love of the listeners. The poem is written from the point of view of someone who asked the rain who it was and was answered, it saying “I am the poem of the Earth”, then proceeding to tell how it comes from the earth, only to return once again to wash it and nourish it…that if it were not for the rain, seeds would remain seeds and not flower into their full potential…giving back life to its origin. Then the poem’s “turn” uses this story as a segway to show how “song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfillment, wandering, Reck’d or unreck’d, duly with love returns.” Meaning that songs come from the soul and after they’ve been heard, and thought good or bad, return with love. Just as rain rises and falls back again, so do poems, songs and other forms of beauty from the soul. (In the photo on the left side of the collage, the artist penned the words to Whitman’s song as the drops of rain.)

867. The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts. ~Marcus Aurelius

Come out here where the roses have opened.
Let soul and world meet.
~Rumi

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May you recognize in your life the presence, power, and light of your soul.
May you realize that you are never alone, that your soul
in its brightness and belonging
connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe.
May you have respect for you own individuality and difference.
May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique,
that you have a special destiny here, that behind the façade of your life
there is something beautiful, good, and eternal happening.
May you learn to see yourself with the same delight,
pride, and expectation with which God sees you in every moment.
~John O’Donohue

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. ~Psalm 62:5 ✝

749. It has been said, “time heals all wounds.” I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind protecting it’s sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone. ~Rose Kennedy

The love of Christ reaches
to the very depths
of earthly misery and woe…
It also reaches to
the throne of the eternal…
~Excerpts from Ellen G. White

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Oh, misery, what’s gonna become of me?
It’s raining,  a-rainin’ in my heart again
‘Cause this awful pain keeps me alone and awake.
The heavy, tearful rain’s a-fallin’ even though
I hear Your voice, Lord, a-callin,’ “It’s all right.”
But this salty, rain of teary sadness mixed
With desperation keeps a-fallin on my pillow
While outside it’s another rainy night in Texas.
And it seems like both rains are never gonna stop.
Lightning bolts a-flashin’, thunder booms a rumblin’
And the distant moanin’ of a train seems to play
A sad, sad refrain on this hard and rainy night.
Oh Lord, it’s such a rainy night in Texas,
It’s like it’s a-rainin’ everywhere in my world.
And no matter how many times I wonder
The story still comes out the same…
Whichever way one looks at it or thinks on it
It’s life and one’s just got to play the game
.
So I tell my pain-filled blues they mustn’t show
But these tears tonight I cannot keep from flowin’
‘Cause it’s rainin’ in my sad, despairin’ heart.
~Edited and adapted lyrics from a song
by Tony Joe White, and another song
by Bouleaux Bryant, and Felice Bryant

Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. ~Psalm 31:9   ✝