A psalm of thanksgiving.
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
I loved this photo because I have a Mom and Dad who send me leaves in the mail……..A very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to all, from my prayer closet to yours……
image from photobucket
Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15: 1,2
Jesus knew that they were muttering, and He knew just what they were muttering about……then knowing full well they were hanging on His every word (they couldn’t help themselves) He zings them with the parable about the lost sheep. Luke 15: 3-7
I wish I could have seen their reactions……I was reflecting on how He must think of how we sometimes “do church.” Let me rephrase that, how I do church. I imagine Him answering the question much like this.
“If it doesn’t change your life, make you go out into my world and seek my lost sheep, do the work I sent you to do, then what good is it? I have plenty of people and angels to praise Me right here in Heaven. There is a whole world out there that needs saving, that is broken, hungry, cold, needs shelter, needs to see my Light in you…….Love them as I have loved you.”
I am thinking of happy memories today, grateful for a Baptist mother who wasn’t afraid to let us enjoy the fun parts of Halloween. My Dad came to the Lord later in life and after he did we still enjoyed dressing up and setting up the “spook” in the hall every Halloween. I can never pass a Halloween day without thinking of all of his grand costume ideas, and us carving pumpkins together on a crisp fall day. I just called him to reminisce and laugh about our memories and he told me that there was what was supposed to be a small event for Halloween that quickly turned into 400 people parading through the streets dressed in all manner of evil costumes. It is sad that something so innocent has turned into what it is now for some…..Lady Gaga dressed as meat. What next?
Thank you Lord, for your marvelous creation……you touch the leaves with gold at the turning of the seasons. With Your every brushstroke we are reminded that Your fingertips are behind each perfect design. Thank you for being the kind of God who is willing to come down and take an active part in the lives of men and women. Thank you for not leaving us to our own self-destructive ways, instead lovingly providing us always with an escape, straight to Your arms.
“Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.” Psalm 40:5
Your thoughts were on me even before I was conceived, you were thinking of me even then! This fills me with wonder and amazement, I am silent and hold these precious thoughts in my heart today, in gratitude and thanksgiving, I lift up Your praise! For You are worthy…….
I have always thought of Fall as nature gathering her thoughts……..what a spectacle, this riotous color. God’s color palette is limitless…..He does nothing in black and white…..ours is a God who does things in technicolor. And yet, He says, “You haven’t seen anything yet…….look, I have saved the colors of Eden for you, the ones you left behind long ago. Now you see glimmers of that light, that dimly remembered glory of your first days, preserved in Heaven, I will restore your sight once again to see what you were meant to see all along.”
But another day is coming……..However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”–1 Corinthians 2:9
Eden restored…….”Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. Isaiah 65:17
When I see swirling leaves of bright orange and red, there is a place in my soul that is touched deeply and I can’t help thinking that much more is going on than meets the eye, under the surface where only God can see. Fall captivates me once again with God’s great and glorious imagination, and yet I can’t help but wonder what He has yet to show us.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12
God does not exist to answer our prayers, but by our prayers we come to discern the mind of God.
– Oswald Chambers
“When we are alone on a starlit night, when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children, when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet, Basho, we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash – at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the “newness,” the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, all these provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance.” — Thomas Merton
I have always loved fall…..the expectation, the whisper of cool breezes, the closing out of summer with one bright blaze of glory. I wonder, is it summer throwing a tantrum or fall announcing its presence? All the same it is like no other time of year. It is joy mingled with a bit of melancholy thrown in, like you want to sit at a window all day and watch the leaves twirl down, lost in thought, tea having long grown cold, book open but untouched.…..It is hope of good things to come, quiet moments by the fireside, bundled up walks, breath blowing frost, stacking wood and burning leaves.
It is the faint promise of Advent settling quietly about your spirit that makes you feel like home…..Softly saying He is coming even though you know He is already here….
Photos from Flagstaff Observatory and Sedona Tourism, Google Images
Any fall thoughts you want to share?
|Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike…..John Muir
September breathes new life into the desert. It is our time of resurrection. Too long hidden under the hum of unnatural air, trapped inside four walls. September finds us able to walk outside, able to take a complete breath of air that is not oppressive heat. The animals feel the joy and relief of it too, as evidenced by their morning frolics, they step a bit lighter along with us. This is a joy that only those who dare to live in this harsh environment can fully know and appreciate.
Ours is an Autumn of resurrection, new beginnings. Annuals appear, bold swatches of color that could never survive the summer, this is a fall of a different kind. No swirling leaves of red yellow or brown, now we have roses. Though I ache for those leaves that I once knew to mark my own special Advent…..I feel it in my heart just the same.
I recognize God’s hand in it and that is, after all, the miracle of Advent. I feel His birth, death and resurrection each time I step outside my door these past few mornings……It is sweet relief. And such thankfulness at this grace…..that I can share this message of the One behind it all.
I pray today for everyone who has yet to know you Lord. I pray that I might be a humble instrument to be used by You for that solitary purpose. Help me to be a guide, a small gateway to You; to help them see that they only have to look aside for one moment, to stop and focus on one thing, one aspect of nature and be still in it, and see You in it.
I pray that they might see that Your thoughts are already turned toward them. All it would take is one misstep in the dance of our planets and we would be no more……that is reason enough to believe. Amen
……..since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 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 men are without excuse. Romans 1:19,20
Continuing to number my praises today with Ann and company……#461 the sweet breath of open windows once again…..#462 morning prayer free of heat…..#463 the sweet fellowship of other believers…..#464 a once more reasonable electric bill…..#465 the magic of fall however it comes……#466 yellow butterfly outside the window just now….#467 the anticipation of holidays and pumpkin pie…..#468 good neighbors….#469 health to enjoy all this….#470 sending prayers down the river that reaches Heaven….#471 eating outdoors again! #472 not having to water as much…….
Whispering change in the air, September carries with it
a promise, a transformation….All of nature in preparation,
the Holy collection of earth’s yield before the silence…
Fall comes, the earth winds down….
Groaning inwardly, steeling herself for silence, season of
When she rests from her labor.
The time for resting is near, but not yet.
First she will offer up everything she has to give, and then;
One last riot of color before complete surrender to the naked
cold of winter white.
She waits for hope of spring while you and I sip tea by the fire.
And as the earth renews so must we:
“I urge you therefore, brethren by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1,2