Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Life is...Dangerous

Whoever we are and wherever we are, God has brought us through all the chances and the changes of life to this present hour.

Sometimes when we look back and see what we have come through, we are compelled to say, 'If I had known what was coming, I would have said that I could never face it.'

But God brought us through it all, still on our feet and still able to bear up.

H.G.Wells told of an experience- He was on a liner which was entering the port of New York in a dense fog. The ship was creeping forward, feeling her way through the fog. Suddenly out of the fog there loomed another vessel, and the two ships glided past each other with hardly a yard to spare.

'It made me think,' said Wells, 'of the general large dangerousness of life.'

Life is indeed a dangerous thing, but God has preserved us in danger, has upheld us in sorrow, has healed us in sickness, has brought some of us back even from the gates of death.

God has preserved us.

We belong to God.

-from Daily Celebration

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Christian Soldier

Long since, in sore distress I heard one pray:
"Lord, who prevailest with resistless might,
Ever from war and strife keep me away;
My battles fight!"

I know not if I play the Pharisee,
And if my brother after all be right;
But mine shall be the warrior's plea to Thee-
Strength for the fight.

I do not ask that Thou shalt front the fray
and drive the warring foeman from my sight;
I only ask, O Lord, by night, by day,
Strength for the fight.

When foes upon me press, let me not quail,
Nor think to turn me into coward flight.
I only ask, to make mine arms prevail,
Strength for the fight.

And when, at eventide, the fray is done,
My soul to Death's bedchamber do Thou light,
And grant me, be the field or lost or won,
Rest from the fight.

-Paul Laurence Dunbar


Paul Laurence Dunbar was the first Black American to gain national eminence as a poet. Born in 1872 in Dayton, Ohio, he was the son of ex-slaves and classmate to Orville Wright of aviation fame. Although he lived to be only 33 years old, Dunbar was prolific, writing short stories, novels, librettos, plays, songs and essays as well as the poetry for which he became well known. He was popular with black and white readers of his day, and his works are celebrated today by scholars and school children alike. His style encompasses two distinct voices -- the standard English of the classical poet and the evocative dialect of the turn-of-the-century black community in America. He was gifted in poetry -- the way that Mark Twain was in prose -- in using dialect to convey character.

(information obtained from the University of Dayton's website about Dunbar)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

An Earnest Prayer

"Let Thy love so warm our souls, O Lord,
that we may gladly surrender ourselves
with all we are and have
unto Thee.
Let Thy love fall as fire from heaven
upon the altar of our hearts;
teach us to guard it heedfully
by continual devotion
and quietness of mind,
and to cherish with anxious care
every spark of its holy flame
with which Thy good Spirit would quicken us,
so that neither height
nor depth,
nor things present
nor things to come,
may ever separate us therefrom.
Strengthen Thou our souls;
awaken us from the deathly sleep
which holds us captive;
animate our cold hearts with Thy warmth
and tenderness,
that we may no more live as in a dream,
but walk before Thee
as pilgrims in earnest to reach their home.
grant us all at last to meet with Thy holy saints
before Thy throne,
and there rejoice
in Thy love for ever and ever.

- Gerhard Tersteegen
(1697-1769) pilgrims in earnest to reach their home...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

In God's Keeping

These Houres
and that which hovers o'er my End
Into Thy hands and hart,
I commend.
Take both to Thine account,
that I and mine
in that Hour,
and in these,
may be all Thine.
That as I dedicate my devoutest Breath
to make a kind of Life
for my Lord's Death,
so from His living,
and life-giving Death
My dying Life
may draw a new and never fleeting Breath.

Richard Crashaw
(circa 1613-1649)
(original spelling retained)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

One Answer to "Opportunity"

Several posts back I shared a poem about Opportunity knocking only once...I found this poem that challenges that thought and had to share it also. I understand where both authors are coming from...

Answer to "Opportunity"

They do me wrong who say
I come no more
When once I knock and fail to find you in;
For every day I stand outside your door,
And bid you wake
and rise to fight and win!

Though deep in mire,
wring not your hands and weep.
I lend my arm to all who say "I can".
No shame-faced outcast
ever sank so deep but might arise
and be again
a Man.

Dost thou behold thy lost youth all aghast?
Dost reel from righteous retribution's blow?
Then turn from blotted archives of the past
and find the future's pages
white as snow.

Art thou a mourner?
Rouse thee from thy spell;
Art thou a sinner?
Sins may be forgiven.
Each morning gives thee wings to fly from hell,
Each night a star to guide thy feet to heaven.

-Walter Malone

Friday, September 17, 2010

National POW/MIA Recognition Day

I thank the Lord for blessings big and small;
For spring's warm glow and songbird's welcome call;
For summer's lease with clouds that dance and rain;
For autumn's hue and winter's snow white shawl.
I thank thee for the harvest rich with grain;
For tall green trees, a park with shadowed lane;
For rushing streams, for birds that love to fly;
My country's land, the mountains and the plain.
I thank Thee for each sunset in the sky;
For sleepy nights, the bed in which I lie;
A life of truth and peace, a woman's love;
Her hand in mine until the day I die.
I thank Thee Lord, for all these things above;
But most of all, I thank Thee for Thy love.

-Commander Ralph Ellis Gaither, Jr
 (a prisoner for 7 1/2 years
in a North Vietnamese prison camp )
POW Released 1973

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Got Company?

I am happy to report that we have a HUGE FAT TOAD guarding our house! LOL

I've seen him before, just sitting on our side-door facing, watching for bugs and beetles. I wish I knew where his toad-hole was, I would get him a cute little house! This time he was sitting right in the shadows on the side where we always open the door. I hope he stays around for a long time. He's about as big as David's seven-year-old fist. I've seen evidence on the concrete that Mr. Toad has been there, even when he is not in sight...

I also caught on camera a little nosy visitor!
He was sitting on the window frame of our greatroom...
He decided to really peek in!

So, remember, you never know who is watching you, even out in the country!

my funny little man

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Found A Great Restaurant

Monday evening I developed a huge desire to eat out for dear HUB was still running wells but he agreed to meet me and the children uptown. We pass a restaurant every day on the way to school called "Two Hats" and David has said several times that's where he wanted to go soon. We were happily surprised to walk in and find such a colorful place to eat!

For once, everyone in the family enjoyed what they chose to order! My choice was called "Quesadilla Monster" and turned out to be a grilled flour tortilla stuffed with cheese and beef fajita meat, green peppers and onions, with a side of shredded lettuce, guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo. YUMMY!

Galen decided on "Enchiladas Mexicanas", three enchiladas- one beef, one chicken, and one cheese, served with rice and refried beans, topped with green sauce, chili sauce, sour cream sauce, and guacamole.

Both the children went for the Tex side of things and ordered steak fingers with french fries. The steak fingers turned out to be really great, not tough and stringy but a nice texture. I was impressed (I stole a bite or two from Julia). Usually the children do not finish their food when we eat out and we carry the leftovers home, but this time we all cleaned our plates completely. Of course chips and salsa were served while we waited for the food to be prepared, and the chips were thin and crunchy and the salsa delicious and not too hot for the children to enjoy.

We decided to let Julia order some Fried Ice Cream for dessert since she had never heard of it, and we all got to share it. This version was delicious, served in a fried tortilla "bowl" and topped with whipped cream, drizzled chocolate sauce, and two cherries. Since I am writing about it on my blog, I wish I had taken a picture...I found this one online that looks pretty close to what we enjoyed at Two Hats Restaurant.

I highly recommend this place! The Mexican owner came over and talked to Galen a long time after we had finished the meal, telling how he had bought the location, his personal experiences in the food business, etc. He moved here from Dallas a few years ago and has married a Ponca Indian woman. He said they prepare their food fresh every day and use no frozen food, and lots of interesting other things. By the way, they serve several kinds of pie also, made fresh every day! He told how one pie that evening only had one piece sold out of it and that the rest would have to be discarded...(that hurts!)  I hope the locals will keep this restaurant open in these changing economic times because this man has a great vision of great food and great service. He deserves success! (his restaurant has been open about 9 months...) I plan on going back!

Friday, September 10, 2010

I Haven't Forgotten 9-11

Memorial in Malibu
3000 flags representing those who died
on September 11, 2001

(all photos from Google Images)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Mother's Prayer

Lord, give me this soul!
I have waked for it when I should have slept,
I have yearned over it, and I have wept,
Till in my own the thought of it held sway
All through the night and day.

Lord, give me this soul!
If I might only lift its broken strands,
To lay them gently in Thy loving hands-
If I might know it had found peace in Thee,
What rest, what peace to me!

Thou wilt give me this soul!
Else why the joy, the grief, the doubt, the pain
The thought perpetual, the one refrain,
The ceaseless longing that upon Thy breast
The tempest-tossed may rest?
Dear Lord, give me this soul!

- unknown author

I love this prayer...It expresses my heart, also.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What The World Needs Now

Bishop Phillips Brooks said, "Never let the seeming worthlessness of sympathy make you keep back that sympathy of which, when men are suffering around you, your heart is full. Go and give it without asking yourself whether it is worthwhile to give it. It is too sacred a thing for you to tell what it is worth. God, from whom it comes, sends it through you to His needy child."

We shall never agree on every issue
but we can admit that the other fellow has a right to his opinions,
and even though we differ,
we do not need to hate.
We are all human.
As Alexander Pope said,
"To err is human; to forgive, divine."
Disagreements can and often do
turn into hatreds;
they breed fights and fatal dissensions in the Church,
and I hate THAT.
What would happen if
every marriage broke up over every disagreement
of man and wife?
What would happen to the children then?
And what happens to babes in Christ
when older, more experienced Christians
fall out in quarrel and disagreement:
What's a babe to do-
and what and whom is he to believe?
Love is the answer-
godly, unselfish love for one's neighbor.
Love is of no one color;
it's made up of all colors.
Since we were all created in His image
 and in His love,
can we do less than love
all His creatures?

-Dale Evans Rogers
from The Woman At The Well

Dale Evans Rogers