Friday, June 25, 2010

The Book of Praise, With Music

Yard sale, dusty boxes, stacks of treasures, the smell of put away long ago and now...and we search, dig and laugh...

Treasures at our fingers, dusty or musty, vintage or junk...treasure is where you find it and I'm ever curious about looking inside covers of old books (not always a super nice treasure is found but that story for another day)...

I love books, old books especially, books of faith, books that share the Word in different ways.  This one is a special treasure.

You see, the gift that it is to me somewhere further down the line, it started as a gift for two years of perfect Sunday school attendance.  Two years and what a treasure this book is.

Enjoy the photos of the pages, verses and brightly blessed as you enjoy this treasure with me...


I love the verses of this children's hymn...A song which even angels can never, never sing; they know Christ as Saviour, but worship Him as King.  How wonderful, how amazing is that?

Oh yes please, let my heart be one of those who are counted in the rejoicing!

And at the end of my prayers, and my life I do wish to be welcomed at Heaven's Gate, His child!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

(what if it isn't a) Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day!

But what if it isn't a Happy Father's Day?  What if you have a child missing or a father gone?  What if there are wounds in a relationship that make talking painful, let alone celebrate the 'Hallmark" relationship?  What if the Father's Day you are having is bitter sweet because you have the love and presence of one child and your other child is busy going off the rails far from your love and help?    What if you have a father who is missing to addictions or in a new life with a new family, has no time or room for you?  What if your Father's Day is anything but happy...

There is a father I know who I met for the first time at his son's funeral.  He and the Mom hadn't been together for years, he had waited too long to reach out to his adult son. Then one day the call came and that child was gone, forever from his life.  At the funeral he sat behind me, stone faced and staring straight ahead.  The only words I heard him say is, "He is gone, it is too late." and I knew it was the words that were unspoken that were killing him, that the casket with boots, flowers and photo on top screamed silently at him. He stood tall and still, so like him who was gone - and his shoulders shook.

I know a father who strove to have his children follow his paths, listen to his rules and obey him.  He was raised in a way that enforced a world where he was in control of everything.  His children grew and moved into their own lives, feeling that when they were together they were going to be judged, as they were as children, and found lacking. They kept their children away, they distanced themselves except for some controlled family gatherings, they even distanced themselves from each other.  Siblings separated by the cold gulf of dysfunctional control, even when it was clothed in Christian garb.  He wished for them to fulfill his wishes, not their own.  His love was often delivered without a gentle touch, and was often hard to find.

I know a Dad, he is a great Dad to his small son.  He is doing everything right and every night he goes to bed wondering about the child he never had the chance to parent.  She was taken from him before she was two, and the rest of her life, until recently was kept a secret from him and his family.  They didn't even know where she was until she came looking for them, but not as a child seeking a parent.  She came looking for payback, revenge, an accounting for her version of the events.  She came looking for what she wanted and couldn't see what was being offered.  He gave her what he prayed over and knew was best.  She bolted into a life which is troubling at least and at the worst deadly.  He struggles with how he could have been a Dad and wonders what would have been different if he had had a chance, even a little earlier.

I know a woman who only celebrated Father's Day with her husband, she has no idea who her own father is, has had no father in her life.  She is surrounded by friends and family, and love yet her heart wonders what would have been different - better or worse?

I know another woman who struggles with her anger at her father, the injustice of their relationship sours even the small moments that were good, the times that held love and laughter.  His shortcomings and failings have colored her world.  She aches for her children and their father to have something better and when they don't she tries to 'fix' things.  She is broken when they fall apart again.

I have a call to make to my own Dad, to wish him a Happy Father's Day.  I know what we will talk about and what we won't.  I know what will happen if I don't make the call, or if my call is the second rather than the first.

What I am praying for today, in my house with a loving Daddy and an adoring little boy, is that for everyone who is suffering today, who is hurting, who is seeking or struggling, for anyone who is desperately alone that they find the place where our true Father can touch them.  That He can bring them peace and love and grace. That they can give to Him that which we cannot bear alone, and let Him carry us as He always has.

"Think  once again, He's with us to-day;
Heed now His blest command, and obey;
Hear now His accents tenderly say,
'Will you, my children, come?'
George Frederick Root - 1820 - 1895 (Presbyterian Book of Praise, 1897)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Gifts and Grace

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms
— I Peter 4:10 (NIV)

Whatever gift he has recieved - oh I feel blessed with many gifts in my life, but which gifts do I have that can be use to serve others so that I may faithfully administer God's grace?  What a challenging place this single verse puts me in.  Are gifts things we are good at doing or are they how we are as we share our gifts?

Gifts can be so many things, and I know each one of us is blessed with many Gifts and all are equal to God, because He gave them to us!

I am a creative person, I am a joy seeker and I try to be a faithful steward to my land and my animals.  I believe God has graced me with skills to communicate and with a spirit that seeks so that not only may I seek Him but also encourage others to seek Him also.  

It, sometimes, seems hard to know.  I've had people say, you have a real gift for_______, and I'm immediately thankful for God's gifts to me  and I pray that when I use them I am doing so to Glorify God.

I'm also a broken gift, like the legend of the cracked pot which carried little water to the village but because of it leaking water it watered the flowers on the path.  Those flowers made the laborious journey of carrying water a walk along a path of beauty.  I don't mind being a cracked pot, after all it is the cracks that let God's love and light shine though.  

God has given me gifts that let me see and express beauty and grace, His beauty and grace, through words, art and photography.  I am humbled when my words touch someone because it is only through God that I have words at all.  Sometimes I feel my gifts are small, that they might be too small.  But nothing is too small to be used by God to minister to His people.  Whatever form your gifts come in, I pray that you are able to be thankful for them. because they are not only gifts from you but gifts to you.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Heartsong by Zoe

A dear friend recently challenged me to describe the 'joyful noises' I hear around me. Shanyn - here is my reply.....


Breeze sighing through golden wheat, 
The paddock shimmering in the heat;
A horse's steady clop and the saddle's creak,
These are joyful whispers that I seek. 

The sand's gentle squeak on my local shore, 
The comforting tumble of the ocean's roar;
Laughter of my children as they splash and play, 
These are joyful chants that warm my day.

The soothing tones of piano keys, 
Caressing Celtic melodies;
Pure, clear voices in harmony,
All these, too, sing joy to me.

Magpie song, kookaburra's glee, 
The call of the parrots in my gum tree;
The calming thrum of rain above,
Yet more of the joyful sounds I love.

My cat's purring warmth on my feet, 
My husband's steady heart beat, 
my sleepy children's goodnight calls, 
These give me joy as each night falls. 

But through each of these, in every note, 
I hear the joy my Saviour wrote, 
And deep within, I pause to sing
Reverent praise in awe to Him.

My dear friend, Zoe, responded to the Joyful Noise challenge with this wonderful poem.  The wonderful images and sounds resonate from her home down under to our ranch in the heart of Canada.  Bright blessings Zoe, and thanks so much for sharing this wonderful poem!

Heartsong © 2010 Zoe Beringer