Life is a Garden Party

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Winter Wonderland


WINTER WONDERLAND



Evergreens seen wearing powdery poufy gowns

for snowflakes piled during the night in my town.

No winding black ribbon streets seen

for the snow makes everything clean.

And silence settles

over the meadows.



Everything’s covered with a soft blanket

like the inner batting of a warm quilt.

A stillness can be heard –

earth being comforted

with this snow-white soft blanket spread

over the garden’s winter beds.



It’s quiet, no songs heard

from winter-time birds

for creatures are hibernating

hidden under this covering.

The sky’s heavy laden.

No bright sun peaking.



There are snow cones

on fence posts formed

and flower pots

wearing cone hats.

A party awaits.

Don’t you be late!



Out comes the scarves and mittens,

warm boots and woolen leggings

for a day of fun is planned.

Don’t forget the toboggan.

Snow cones are sampled.

There’s snowballs ample.



Soon Frosty takes shape.

With a bright scarf he’s draped.

He oversees his kingdom

until the temperature warms

then he disappears

until next year.



Someone else does appear

with two pink cheeks dear,

and a cold

red nose,

without a hat, and clothes soaking wet

demanding a cup of hot chocolate.



Silence returns to the garden

now overseen by a snowman.

The undisturbed covering

now with footprints trampling.

A fun memory was made today.

That makes the cold of winter okay.



* * * * *



A snow day!

Hooray!

Rather you consider snow a trick or a treat

whichever you might choose – it still is neat!

Little frozen wisps of snowy white fluff

piled high might cause you to get stuck.

Created by God for our enjoyment

while others find extra employment.





God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;

he does great things beyond our understanding.

He says to the snow, “Fall on the earth”…

The animals take cover;

they remain in their dens…

The breath of God produces ice,

and the broad waters become frozen…

Job 37:5-10







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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Well-Watered


WELL-WATERED



Have you noticed a garden grows much better

from rain poured down from the clouds

then it does from hand watering just so?

Have you noticed your day seems to turn out better

when you spend time in God’s Word

then when you are too busy to do so?



Being well-watered,

with sun and soil mixtures

causes every garden to flourish.

Being well-versed

in God’s Word, the Scriptures,

causes the gardener to flourish.



Every garden needs sun

and good ground to grow in

as well as being watered from above.

The gardener needs the Son

and God’s Word to stand on

and He will be blessed from the Lord above.



* * * * *



A well-watered garden produces abundantly.

A life well-watered from scriptures lives abundantly.

For a well-watered garden will flourish

as a life honoring God does flourish.



Now don’t compare to the world’s definition

of living abundantly - their equation.

Living abundantly in the world is possessing more and more.

Sometimes it might even be building more in order to store more.





God’s definition of abundant living

is peace and joy and contentment with thanksgiving.

Contentment that God knows what is best

and that He will take care of all the rest.



One way to know God will take care of you

is to seek His kingdom for God says

all these things will be added unto you –

what you eat and drink and the clothes you wear.



You’ll find your cup will be overflowing

for you will receive God’s many blessings

all from seeking God truly

for your every need daily.



As God supplies rain and dew for the gardener

He will always guide or protect the gardener.

That is a faithful promise from God’s Word

for God says He is WITH us in His Word.



One characteristic of God is His faithfulness

meaning He faithfully will protect and provide for us.

Now never compare yourself to someone else –

that’s called envy and jealousy – it’s prideful self.



Let God satisfy you personally

with His best for your personality.

You’ll have a storehouse of God’s faithfulness to recall

when sometimes it seems you are up against a hard wall.



Did you notice Isaiah said sun-scorched?

That doesn’t sound like sitting on a porch.

That sounds like problems in our tomorrows

and possibly days filled with more sorrow.





It’s the hard times that strengthen us

for adversity teaches us

that God will remain faithful

even when we’re unfaithful.



So God who is our guide will protect us always,

He will amply provide for our needs everyday,

while at the same time He will preserve us by making us grow stronger

so that we will be productive – like a well-watered gardener.



Productive in giving God all the glory

for we are part of His continuing story.

Our spring will never run dry

for God is with us, that’s why!



The Lord will guide you always;                                       Protector

He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land             Provider

and will strengthen your frame.                                        Preserver

You will be like a well-watered garden,                             Productive

like a spring whose waters never fail.

Isaiah 58: 11



Do not worry, saying, What shall we eat?

or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear?

Your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness

and all these things will be given to you as well.

Do not worry about tomorrow.

Matthew 6:31-34



For this God is our God for ever and ever;

he will be our guide even to the end.

Psalm 48:14




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Friday, January 5, 2018

Catalogs


CATALOGS



Today the mailbox is stuffed with seed catalogs –

there’s Gardens Alive, Burpee, Gurney’s, and more.

Despite a blizzard outdoors

over their pages I pour.

Every year I seem to want more, more, more.

Seed catalogs have more than the store.



Whenever I receive a seed catalog

my hopes and dreams for my garden does soar

for I want more, more, more.

Seed catalogs are a lure.

If I were to buy more,

I forget I will be sore.



For digging in the dirt makes me sore.

There are stones buried in the ground’s floor.

Though digging is good for my core

and I’m thankful for garden boots wore

to me gardening is never a bore.

Especially if I were to buy more, more, more.



So today I’ll pour

over these catalogs.

An enchanting tour

each year seems to lure.

My yearly quest for more, more, more

will leave me financially poor

but, oh, the allure

of this catalog tour.



Did I order more?

Unfortunately no

for neither my checkbook nor

my rainy-day fund had in store

enough lucre

for more, more, more.

* * * * *



Contentment:

a word meant

to be gratified

and satisfied.



Serenity comes to mind

though it’s often hard to find.

To be happy with what is.

To not want is the quiz.



Did I pass?

Not while life lasts!

I want more, more, more.

Something always lures.



Keep your lives free from the love of money

and be content with what you have…

Hebrews 13:5



Godliness with contentment is great gain. I Timothy 6:6



The fear of the Lord leads to life:

then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Proverbs 19:23



There was no end to his toil,

yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.

This too is meaningless - a miserable business.

Ecclesiastes 4:8



I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances...

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.

Philippians 4:11-12



If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

I Timothy 6:8
 

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

New


New



A new year, a new page, a new resolve, a new plan -

a chance to begin again

we all tend

to yen.



One-by-one days add up to become a year

filled with memories – some sad and some dear.

The old year has passed, the New Year begun

at midnight when "Auld Lang Syne" has been sung.

Did you know "Auld Lang Syne" means the good old times?

The ones left behind - and the ones to be born in time.



Each day dawns like a new blank page,

surprises await at each new phase.

Some anticipated and some are not

for no one knows for certain their lot.

Each day new memories are being made

that you might record on a new blank page.



If you have made a resolution this New Year

you have made a resolve to change in the new year.

Every day we have a new choice -

to choose how we respond is our choice.

Choices bring about change if one is steadfast.

Determination keeps us doing the task.



A new plan to begin all over again

is written in God’s Word again and again.

Don't start the New Year without knowing

God the Creator – who's all knowing.

He knows what you struggle with each new day

and has a plan to come to your aid.



God is as close as a prayer away

so start your New Year in this new way.

Simply say, "Dear Heavenly Father,"

for with God it's never a bother,

to hear and answer our prayers in His time -

with pages of memories for "Auld Lang Syne."



Behold, I make all things new.

Revelation 21:5
 
 


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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A New Way


A New Way



Miles and miles of dry, sandy terrain behind them

with miles and miles to go still ahead of them

the wise men had come a long way from afar

being led along the way by a star, His star.



No map to guide them along the way.

Just a star in heaven led the way.

Their goal was to worship the newborn King of the Jews.

Not something they questioned. A fact they just knew.



So by looking up they plodded along

through many days and starry nights long.

Stopping for direction in Jerusalem along the way

they learned Bethlehem had been prophesied,

so off they went on this new way.



This special star led them

to a house in Bethlehem

where they bowed down and worshiped this child-King

who came to earth with a new way of life to bring.



Worshiped by adoring Jesus Christ the Lord.

Worshiped by praising and glorifying in word

just as the shepherds had earlier done

when announcing a "new way" had come.



This new way of life for mankind brought needed salvation

and as Simeon spoke of, "a light for revelation."

This new way of life now ensures us

that Immanuel or God is with us.



After weeks of searching for then finding the Christ-child,

the wise men were ready to return to report to King Herod

except they were warned in a dream not to,

to return home by a new way hereto.



A new way, the opposite direction, both figuratively and literally.

This new way is also available to each one of us personally.

So off these truly wise men, and humbled shepherds, went though never again the same

for a new way of life was available to them, and to us also, as God's Word claims.



* * * * *



Do you need to make a U-turn?

It's never too late to return

to seek God's way, His best plan and purpose for us

by living a life of believing faith and trust.



As the Bible is written for our example

the Old Testament records many examples

of Israel turning to the Lord in times of trouble

after finding going their own way got them into trouble.



Where did they turn to when they repeatedly got themselves into trouble?

It was always the Lord they depended on to get them out of trouble.

God is always ready, willing, and available to help us in our times of trouble.

Do you need to return by going the opposite direction? God is still available.



If you truly know the Christ of Christmas

you'll find your way will be different

as His presence will go with you

as you travel a way that's new.



And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod,

they returned to their country by another route.

Matthew 2:12



Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

For my eyes have seen your salvation,

which you have prepared in the sight of all people,

a light for revelation to the Gentiles

and for glory to your people Israel.

Luke 2:28, 30-32



Come, let us return to the Lord.

Let us acknowledge the Lord;

let us press on to acknowledge him.

As surely as the sun rises, he will appear;

he will come to us like the winter rains,

like the spring rains that water the earth.

Hosea 6:1, 3



Even now, declares the Lord,

return to me with all your heart...

Return to the Lord your God,

for he is gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and abounding in love,

and he relents from sending calamity.

Who knows? He may turn and have pity

and leave behind a blessing.

Joel 2:12-14



Return to me, declares the Lord Almighty,

and I will return to you.

Zechariah 1:3


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Here's some verses to contemplate as you go your new way.



Teach me your ways so I may know you.

Exodus 33:13



What does the Lord your God ask of you but to

fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him,

to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

and to observe the Lord's commands and decrees

that I am giving you today for your own good.

Deuteronomy 10:12



Show me your way, O Lord,

teach me your paths;

guide me in your truth and teach me,

for you are God my Savior,

and my hope is in you all day long.

Psalm 25:4



Your ways, O God, are holy.

What god is so great as our God?

You are the God who performs miracles;

you display your power among the peoples.

Psalm 77:13-14



I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

I will counsel you and watch over you.

Psalm 32:8



Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:6



Whether you turn to the right or to the left,

your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,

This is the way, walk in it.

Isaiah 30:21



I am the Lord your God,

who teaches you what is best for you,

who directs you in the way you should go.

Isaiah 48:17



I am the way and the truth and the life.

John 14:6



I worship the God of our fathers

as a follower of the Way.

Acts 24:14



And we pray this in order that

you may live a life worthy of the Lord

and may please him in every way

bearing fruit in every good work,

growing in the knowledge of God,

being strengthened with all power

according to his glorious might

so that you may have great endurance and patience,

and joyfully giving thanks to the Father,

who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints

in the kingdom of light.

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness

and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,

in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:10-14

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Persevering


Persevering

composed by Judy Janowski

December 1, 2010



For weeks and months they hike

persevering countless days and nights

with only a star shining bright

as a beaming, guiding light

wise men or magi alight

persevering camels that fight

sandstorms at night

and windstorms quite

harsh and not liked.

Whatever their plight

they persevere with might

keeping that star in sight.



These camels, stately like a knight

or a steed, persevere day and night

plodding along keeping one bright

glorious shining star in sight.

Persevering these wise men are right

to persevere and not give in to fright.

It is their hope, this shining star so bright,

of which poets across the ages write.

That star, His star, in the sky, so bright

unbeknownst to them will bring delight

for it leads them to the one who is the Light

the Light of World, in fact, is in sight.



You know, it's only God who could write

a story with such intrigue and delight.

Who would ever think that a star shining bright

or camels that plod day-after-day and night

would be part of the greatest story ever told, that's right!

This story that guided countless civilizations alright.

A story that unfortunately has become an oversight

for many keep Christ out of their Christmas celebration night.

The greatest gift you could give your family tonight

is to read this true story one December night.

This story that never grows old and will delight

when you persevere in doing what is right.


* * * * *



What if the camels had gone on strike?

What if the wise men had given up their flight?

What if there had been no extraordinary star?

This story would have had a different ending, by far.



Have you ever felt like giving up?

Do life's hardships seem like too much?

Perhaps it's because you're not looking up?

Perhaps you need to feel God's loving touch.



If you fix your eyes on your circumstance

then you are not giving the Lord a chance

to perform a great and good work in you.

Is that the reason you've been feeling blue?



Consider that circumstance a test

that is sent to grow your faith

then look to the Lord who has your best

interests – always – in His heart.



Don't give up.

Keep looking up.

God will be there for you

with a good plan for you.



In fact, something extraordinary

that He can only accomplish through you.

So that circumstance, less than ordinary,

is sent to perfect, mature, and complete you.





View it as a gift.

Then you'll see your spirit

within you lift.

Doesn't God give good gifts!



Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,

who for the joy set before him endured...

Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men,

so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12:1-3



Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete,

not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4



You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God,

you will receive what he has promised.

Hebrews 10:36
 

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Monday, December 25, 2017

Shepherds


Shepherds

Composed 12/3/11



Who was it that was first told

a story that would unfold

right before their very own eyes.

Were they ever in for a surprise!



It's the shepherds! They were so surprised!

It's recorded they were quite terrified!

This news was too terrific;

in fact, quite fantastic!



So off they hurried to see if it was so

still basking in the heavenly glow

of the glory of the Lord

that could not be ignored.



Was the Savior of the world born?

They arrived long before morn

to find each detail just as the angel said.

Yes! A baby was lying in the manger bed!



This baby, a Savior, Christ the Lord,

would bring peace and joy abroad

to every tribe in every nation

even down to our generation!



After witnessing this glorious news

they testified to everyone, not just a few.

Everyone was amazed

at history's new phase.



Amazement!

Wonderment!

Too good to be true

This promise came due.



The world would never be the same

as the shepherds gladly proclaimed

this good news bringing great joy.

These first missionaries or envoys.



These shepherds paved the way

for the Good Shepherd that day.

The Good Shepherd who came to save the lost world,

to bring joy and peace, to ease our heavy loads.



* * * * *



God's Son is referred to as the Good Shepherd.

David referred to him as "my" Shepherd.

The Lord longs to be your personal Savior.

To give you rest from burdens that labor.



Take a minute to read Luke 2 (10-11)

and notice each word "you."

This good news is for you.

This Savior was born for you.



Right now, today, make God personal.

He's ready and willing, always available.

A simple prayer will connect you

to the One who came to save you.



The Lord is my Shepherd...

Psalm 23:1



I am the Good Shepherd;

I know my sheep

and my sheep know me.

John 10:14





May the God of peace...

that great Shepherd of the sheep,

equip you with everything good

for doing his will,

and may he work in us

what is pleasing to him,

through Jesus Christ,

to whom be glory for ever and ever.

Amen.

Hebrews 13:20





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