485. All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

A morning glory at my window
satisfies me more than
the metaphysics of books.
~Walt Whitman

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Exquisite! Beautiful! Lovely! Elegant! Magnificent! What’s not to love about something as deserving of these adjectives as this morning glory? From its twisted bud to its fully opened flower, this  morning glory is an absolute marvel! As much to be adored as the flower itself are the heart-shaped leaves and the way the vines wrap around and cling to anything they touch. Simply put, this particular vine and each stage of its flowering process make manifest some of the most wondrous spectacles in my garden. That’s why I squeal with delight when the first one opens each year and mourn the loss of the last ones when the first freeze snuffs out their glorious reign. Each bell-shaped flower lasts for a single day, but the glory of that flower is so splendid that many times it is more than enough to be the drop that fills my cup to overflowing. Also, over the years it and other things of short-lived splendor have helped me realize that length of life is far less important than the magnitude and impact of goodness in whatever time a living thing is granted. Blue morning glories like the one above look like flowering bits of heaven spilling out of a small chalice, and because that diminutive goblet seems to hold a smidgen of holy light, I’ve often wondered if it is not a sample or preview of what Glory is like.

The fact that the Divine Trinity is three persons in One reveals that God is a relational Being. Not only does He want to establish an intimate relationship with His children but He also wants us to know Him intimately as well. How better to achieve that goal than to share with us what He treasures so that we’ll be inspired to seek the Holy One who is magnanimously loving and generous. By covering the earth with precious bits and pieces of Himself, God paints a “selfie” that leaves an unmistakable trail which, if followed, inevitably leads to His throne.

You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you. ~Nehemiah 9:6    ✝

456. Grace is the celebration of life, relentlessly hounding all the non-celebrants in the world. ~Robert Farrar Capon, Episcopal priest and author

She, a sapphire queen,
sits perched atop
her throne of green
filling her cup
with day’s holy gleam.
~Natalie Scarberry

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“We need to learn to enjoy life more. We should relax, remembering that Immanuel, God is with us, is always present. He crafted His people with enormous capacity to know Him and enjoy His Presence, and when His people wear sour faces and walk through their lives with resigned rigidity, He is displeased. But when they walk through the day with childlike delight, savoring every blessing, they proclaim their trust in Him, their ever-present Shepherd. The more they focus on His Presence with them, the more fully they can enjoy life. And if they glorify Him through their pleasure in Him, they, thus, proclaim His presence to the in-need, watching world.” ~Edited passage from a devotional by Sarah Young

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I(Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11    ✝

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.

412. The day has eyes; the night has ears. ~David Fergusson

…in the open world it (night) passes lightly,
with its stars and dews and perfumes,
and the hours marked by changes
in the face of Nature.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

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This evening sweetly scented perfumes and loud night noises filled the space between heaven and earth. Screeching cricket and cicada choruses rose and fell in unison with the droning engines on the nearby Interstate Highway, and splashes of water in the fountains occasionally added their trickling notes to the developing opus. The day’s winds had slowed but there were still little zephyrs carrying flowery fragrances abroad. Thankfully the day’s high temperatures had lowered as the final remnants of light oozed out of the day taming summer’s heat beast until the morrow’s mid morn when he will again stoke his fires. Early fourth of July revelers were lighting fireworks on the street behind ours, and the soft booms and the quick flashes of light were apparently the cue for barking dogs to join this oddly manned orchestra that was playing “music” through June’s rapidly closing door. Soon God’s lanterns, the stars and waxing moon, were flickering through the trees silhouetted against a deepening indigo sky and creatures, great and small, were beginning to roam, fly, or crawl. Porch lights cast shadowy phantoms over the darkened lawn as the raucous concert played on. Before long the towering trees and the sky merged into a blackened oneness and the din fell into a more subdued humming rhythm. When I rose to come in for the night, I spotted a pearly, luminescent moonflower which I knew would reign as nocturnal queen until tomorrow’s light closed her up and opened the first morning glory to reign on her recently abdicated throne.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. ~Psalm 19:1-2  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

403. There is something deep within us that sobs at endings. ~Joe Wheeler

Spring flew swiftly by, and summer came; and if the village had been beautiful at first, it was now in the full glow and luxuriance of its richness. The great trees, which had looked shrunken and bare in the earlier months, had now burst into strong life and health; and stretching forth their green arms over the thirsty ground, converted open and naked spots into choice nooks, where was a deep and pleasant shade from which to look upon the wide prospect, steeped in sunshine, which lay stretched out beyond. The earth had donned her mantle of brightest green; and shed her richest perfumes abroad…all things were glad and flourishing. ~Charles Dickens

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Heat, ma’am! it was so dreadful here,
that I found there was nothing left for it 
but
to take off my flesh 
and sit in my bones.
~Sydney Smith

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At 6:51 this morning sweet, sweet spring relinquished her throne in the northern hemisphere to sum, sum, summertime! The longest day of the year has arrived; all that began in spring has come into its initiated fullness. Now with corn stalks on the rise so is the heat as we begin the long, hot journey through the “burning cathedral of summer.”

The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon. It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter. ~Psalm 74:16-17 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

**Images via the Internet

400. If you can’t take the heat, don’t tickle the dragon. ~Author Unknown

Everywhere were peace and stillness,
as though all the elements were obeying
a sacred law of calm and silence
imposed by the blazing heat.
~Sadegh Hedayat

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Can you read between the lines in the photo?
The flower that mimics the sun declares
The summer solstice is soon to be here.
And as the sun ascends her ordained throne
She’ll open the door for the surly beast of heat
That metes out wretched misery till the north wind
Comes to blow the dragon back from whens’t he came.

Typically here in Texas it’s the arrival of the solstice that “tickles the dragon.” Then he begins day after sweltering day to show us little to no mercy; sometimes the fire breathing beast even stays well into September and October. And as “the sun, like a golden knife…steadily pares away at the edges of shade” and we feel the “ache of the street’s burn” we who live here flee “with a grimace of heat” upon our faces from one air conditioned space to another. And oh how I thank the Holy One for those air-conditioned spaces! Rachel Caine put it this way, “God, it was hot! Forget about frying an egg on the sidewalk; this kind of heat would fry an egg inside the chicken.”

Hear my cry for mercy as I call to You for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place. ~Psalm 28:2  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

384. June-O most noble Greenness…You are encircled by the very arms of Divine mysteries. ~Hildegard von Bingen, 12th century Benedictine Abbess

I’m glad to be alive, to see and feel
The full deliciousness of this bright day,
That’s like a heart with nothing to conceal;
The young leaves scarcely trembling; the blue grey
Rimming the cloudless ether far away…
~William Allingham

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What Wordsworth called “the fairest daughter of the year” has dawned, and now that June, spring’s last born child who gives birth to summer, sits on the throne, she’ll afford us a last look at spring’s beauty before she steps down and yields to the burning flames of the summertime sun.

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Now summer is in flower and nature’s hum
Is never silent round her sultry bloom
Insects as small as dust are never done
Wi’ glittering dance and reeling in the sun
And green wood fly and blossom haunting bee
Are never weary of their melody
Round field hedge now flowers in full glory twine
Large bindweed bells wild hop and streaked woodbine
That lift athirst their slender throated flowers
Agape for dew falls and for honey showers
These round each bush in sweet disorder run
And spread their wild hues to the sultry sun.
~John Clare

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. ~Psalm 100 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

204. The autumn leaves drift by my window, the autumn leaves of red and gold…and soon I’ll hear old winter’s song… ~Excerpts from a tune by Johnny Mercer

There is music in the meadows, in the air…
Leaves are crimson, brown, and yellow…
There is rhythm in the woods,
And in the fields, nature yields…
~Excerpts from LYRIC OF AUTUMN by
William Stanley Braithwaite

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It was 1947 when Johnny Mercer borrowed lines from a French song to create the lyrics to his unforgettable melody, AUTUMN LEAVES, a song I find myself singing, at least the parts I remember, almost every year as I tear November’s page off the calendar.  Why?  I don’t know.  The words just seem appropriate when autumn’s persistent winds, wild with leaves, blow wide open the final month’s portals, and this year’s opening was no different.  November’s yet in place blustery gales did in fact sweep December onto its throne.  Once seated, the 12th month opened under bright, sunny skies, but by noon day one had become shrouded in unending shades of gray.   When night fell, there were few, if any, remaining leaves on the redbud and willow at the back of the yard.  The beneficiaries of these as well as the oak’s leaves when they fall are the big island bed and my secret garden in the north corner.  So now not only can my voice be heard singing autumn’s anthems, but wherever these tinted tidbits lie, I’ll be able to hear them crooning their embracing ballads of promise.  And theirs, songs different from the ones in springtime, pledge warmth and declare they’ll keep my plants safe during the bitter, stone-cold days of winter.  But wait, things like trees and leaves sing?  Really? As a matter of fact, according to some Scriptural references and to those of us who listen carefully, they do!

The Lord reigns…Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it.  Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing with joy.  ~Psalm 96:11-12  ✝