1435. Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us. ~Malcolm Muggeridge

Remember this. When people choose
to withdraw far from a fire,
the fire continues to give warmth,
but they grow cold.
When people choose to
withdraw
far from light,
the light continues 
to be bright in itself
but they are in darkness.
This is also the case when 
people
withdraw from God.
~Augustine

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Try as some may, purporting that life is “a tale told by an idiot signifying nothing” or that it’s merely the result of events that can be explained through science or reason falls terribly short of reality. Nothing in these assumptions explains the existence of or need for compassion, grace, love, or mercy. Nor do they explain the compulsion in the human heart for expressions of such. If mortals were simply intellectual beings, they’d not emote, express feelings, or commit loving acts that are seemingly inspired in some inscrutable place within their physical being. These things, like all happenings in Creation, are indeed symbolic narratives designed to teach or illustrate truths about the Ancient of Days who created and wired into humans the capacity to feel, express emotions, and extend kindnesses to one another. It’s also true, as Muggeridge suggests, that the Author of light and life wrote into the fabric of Creation parables for His children and that getting the gist of them is an art, an art mastered not only by looking carefully at the apparent and outward realities of Creation but also by peering into its inward and inner realities. The sacred isn’t merely above us but forever within us and the entire body of Creation. Discovering the sacrosanct in all that Yahweh made can’t help but stir in the descendants of Adam a sense of connection and belonging to a higher Power. The resources and bounty of planet earth alone give us plenteous reasons to sense the presence of a Holy Benefactor and to feel His gracious, creative, and loving hands in our lives. What sparks a real desire within the human heart to seek Him is the “getting the message” within all the happenings of that which He has made. However, in case Creation’s parables are too puzzling, over 2,000 years ago God expanded the narrative and clearly revealed Himself when He sent His Son to be our Savior. Jesus is our memory, and in coming to offer us salvation, He reminds us of who we are and to whom we belong. As we prepare to celebrate the Messiah’s birth this weekend, I wish all of you a very blessed Christmas. As a very familiar yuletide song says, “O come let us adore Him!” And as we do, I pray that we create a compelling testimony to others of the Lord’s very real presence in our midst.

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 ✝

**Image via the Internet

1389. Oh, the summer night, has a smile of light, and she sits on a sapphire throne. ~Bryan Procter

This was the way the whole world once measured time
This is when the light would wholly return to warm the earth
This is where the past would become undone
and the spinning earth would mark a new beginning
Let’s go back in time, to when it all began
To the breaking of bright new dawns
Where after winter’s grasp let go
moments bright with fire, enlivened the sun’s pyre
Oh, radiant sun, stretch the day, shorten night
Return earth’s attenuated darkness into fullness of light
~Edited and adapted lines from a poem
by Carrie Richards

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” ~Genesis 8:22  ✝

1325. Time is the fire in which we burn. ~Delmore Schwartz

Days are stringed instruments and
every one strikes a different note.
~Kenneth Alexander

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[W]hen you are nine years old, what you remember seems forever; for you remember everything and everything is important and stands big and full and fills up Time and is so solid that you can walk around and around it like a tree and look at it. You are aware that time passes, that there is a movement in time, but that is not what Time is. Time is not a movement, a flowing, a wind then, but it is, rather, a kind of climate in which things are, and when a thing happens it begins to live and keeps on living and stands solid in Time like the tree that you can walk around. And if there is a movement, the movement is not Time itself, any more than a breeze is climate, and all the breeze does is to shake a little the leaves on the tree which is alive and solid. ~Robert Penn Warren

It is an old story, this irresistible and
ceaseless onflow of life and time…
~Hamilton Wright Mabie

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Each thread of the tapestry woven by time is precious, since all the faces that have disappeared from the earth are projected on it by our memory. But even without any face projected there, and without any of my dead reappearing there, it still keeps in my eyes the splendor of being a season of time, mankind’s time, the time in which our destiny will have been experienced and inscribed, among millions of others. ~François Mauriac

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,   a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8  ✝

**Image via Pinterest; collage at top by Natalie

1293. We strain to renew our capacity to wonder, to shock ourselves into astonishment once again. ~Shana Alexander

Human life is as evanescent as the
morning dew or a flash of lightning.
~Samuel Butler

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The disciples are drawn to the high altars
with magnetic certainty, knowing that a
great Presence hovers over the ranges …
in the primal patterns of nature,
a magical union with beauty.
~Ansel Adams

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Beauty is truth’s smile when she
beholds her own face in a perfect mirror.
~Rabindranath Tagore

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The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass,
speaks to me.
The summit of the mountain,
the thunder of the sky,
speaks to me.
The faintness of the stars,
the trail of the sun,
the strength of fire,
and the life that never goes away,
they speak to me.
And my heart soars.
~Chief Dan George

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He(God) performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. ~Job 5:9 ✝

**Images via Pinterest

1249. The bee’s life is like a magic well: the more you draw from it, the more it fills with water. ~Karl Von Frisch

Bees do have a smell, you know,
and if they don’t they should,
for their feet are dusted with
spices from a million flowers.
~Ray Bradbury

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I could do that.
I could nuzzle into those blossoms,
bury my nose in that corolla,
rub my belly all over with that
succulent pollen.

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I could live in that body
with the requisite pose,
with the honeybee’s reticent
enthusiasm,

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never taking too much from any one blossom,
never quarreling with my fellow foragers,
keeping my pollen-sacs well-balanced,
eyes shined, antennae erect

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I could master the dance steps–
I love to dance.
And I have no qualms about
humming the solar anthem
dawn to dusk,
praising the fire in my wings as the one
and only engine of pure transport.

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Just don’t ask me
to enter the hive. I get anxious
even thinking of that buzzing horde,
packed together in angelic densities. Inside
I can’t tell which are the brood chambers
and which are the tombs, which is the honeycomb
and which are the catacombs.

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To whom do I bow? Where do I spit?
What if the guard bees take me for an interloper?
And what will the queen do
if she catches me alone?

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So maybe
I’m not ready for that life.
Maybe I haven’t even figured out
how to be a human–

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how to walk straight
pay attention,
try to keep my head out of the clouds.
~Honeybeeing by Charles Goodrich

Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. ~Proverbs 24:13 ✝

**Images via Pinterest and Pixabay

1234. …a small gift of unexpected astonishment. ~Jeffrey Harrison

Tiger Lilies
Like King David, they have drunk
the wine of astonishment.

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Mouths open wide
they lean toward me in this alley,
swearing the world is good.

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that it is easy to live
on fire, unnoticed,
and do nothing but praise.
~Francine Marie Tolf

I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me. ~Psalm 13:6 ✝

**Both images via Pinterest

1216. Heat cannot be separated from fire, or beauty from The Eternal. ~Dante Alighieri

The first thing about Texas
that you can’t get away from is the heat.
You’ve got no idea how hot it is in that place.
It’s over 100 degrees Fahrenheit daily,
and with that and the high humidity,
it’s just absolutely ridiculous.
~Edited and adapted quote by Chris Vance

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Hot, hot-hot, hot, hot-hot-hot! Yum, yum-yum, yum, yum-yum-yum! Yeppers, chocolate it turning out to be, at least temporarily, a good balm for the heat weary! What you see in the photo above is no joke. It is our weather forecast for the next seven days, and it is not even fully accurate. For example today it was supposed to hit only 101, but on my thermometer it has already gone up to 103 so far today. And unfortunately, forecasters say there is no end in sight for such misery as this. Why oh why did I even go check it out first thing this morning? Maybe it was because I’d read a few of your blog posts about rainfall in your area and thought on the off chance that soon we might get some too. But that was purely delusional! I know better! I’ve lived here long enough to know August only too well and that rain seldom is ever in the forecast during this wretched month! So I started the day grumbling about the heat. But then we went to lunch and guess what the dessert of the day was? Oh yes, yes, yes, it was chocolaty–beautiful, luscious, homemade, freshly baked, and still warm Chocolate Meringue Pie! Thus once more something rich and chocolaty was served up just in the nick time to abort an emotional, elderly “melt down!”

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I(God) cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of the burning heat. ~Hosea 13:5  ✝

**The upper image was created from the NOAA forecast for our area; the lower pie images are via Pinterest