715. God will not look you over for medals, degrees, or diplomas, but for scars. ~Elbert Hubbard

Experience is not
what happens to a man.
It is what a man does
with what happens to him.
~Aldous Leonard Huxley

Screen shot 2015-04-26 at 4.39.38 PM

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   ✝

262. If God had wanted to be a big secret, He would not have created babbling brooks and whispering pines. ~Robert Brault

You, O God, are the beginning of all that is.
From your life the fire of the rising sun streams forth.
You are the life-flow of creation’s rivers,
the sap of blood in our veins, earth’s fecundity,
the fruiting of trees, creatures’ birthing,
the conception of new thought, desire’s origin.
~J. Philip Newell


Creation has been described as “the grand volume of God’s utterance,” and isn’t it grand to know that we are a part of that utterance.  When we seek God then we should not look “away from ourselves and away from creation, but deep within all that has life” including ourselves.  We can and should search for Him in Scripture, but God is found in more than religious moments and environments.  Simply put, He speaks to us through two books: Creation and the Bible.  Because He exists in all contexts, His light is woven throughout the whole of Creation’s fabric.  Whether recognized and acknowledged or not, nothing has life apart from God, and if we want to look for Him, we need to start in places where He yet dwells.  I start in my garden because, like all gardens, it is a microcosm of the grander macrocosm of Creation itself, and even in a small piece of Eden is the whole of the mystery of God.  In it I see the same ebbing and flowing and rhythms that I see in my life and Creation at large, and I know that I’m as connected to its Source as the infant in a mother’s womb is connected to its life-giving source.  One of my friends told me once that when she was in college she would sometimes go lie down in a wheat field and look up at the sky because she knew to go out into Creation was to find Yahweh.  She had learned as have I that wherever and whenever we look and listen, we shall find Him, and I pray this is a week where your encounters with the Holy One are many.

I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.  ~Psalm 63:2    ✝

**In the photograph is some French Lavender that I found blooming in my greenhouse today.  Even it speaks of the blue of our planet and the heavens.

12. Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, the flying cloud, the frosty light. . . ~Alfred Lord Tennyson

Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee
Shall murmur by the hedge that skirts the way,
The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,
And man delight to linger in thy ray.
Yet one rich smile, and we’ll try to bear
The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air.
~William Cullen Bryant


With every north wind that blows the landscape unravels more and more; after each assault the downed foliage leaves in its wake mounting numbers of skeletons bracing themselves for winter’s icy blasts.  In addition the ornamental grasses are drying out and taking on their a wild and tattered look, and yet a few touches of color remain in the leaves and flowers that have yet to be exiled.  Still audible in the “honey’d leavings” of warm afternoons are their faint renditions of the lusty songs of life, but regardless of how sweet the sound of that is, the sands in autumn’s hourglass are running out.  Like all things, it too will come at last to its Sabbath and therein rest until its next appointed hour upon life’s stage.