The gorgeous, glowing setting sun gave this tree, damaged from last year's storm, a golden hue. The mockingbird perched atop it was an added bonus!
Don't we all wish for "higher ground" at times . . . above all "the stuff" of life . . . soaking in the Son's golden rays? It's a healthy part of our journey toward Christian maturity. Many years ago, Johnson Oatman, born in 1856, must have had similar desires when he wrote the hymn "Higher Ground." For those of you not familiar with those words, here they are:
Usually my posts are fairly short, so I hope you won't get bored with my rambling today! I found it difficult to summarize our drive on some country roads yesterday . . . way, way back country roads! We visited some old homeplaces, a beautiful little church and rode for miles admiring God's creation. Feel free to click on the pics to enlarge them, and I hope you enjoy the ride!
I was struck by the stillness of the old homeplace where this swing hung motionless
on a long, long dusty porch.
I was amazed at the longevity of these handmade, original log gutters that run the length of the porch and and empty into a cistern. I'm not sure that much water reaches the cistern now because of straw and leaves filling the gutters.
If these walls could talk, the stories would be endlessly woven together with happy times, sad times, and God's presence. It's a special place to me for several reasons. I have fond memories of visiting the services held here many years ago, and I can still hear Aunt Ollie's beautiful, clear voice as she led the small congregation in old hymns. In a corner of the peaceful churchyard, she and six other family members were laid to rest - among them, Aunt Sallie.
Aunt Sallie lived not far from the church and spent many happy hours in her little house in the woods . . . making sassafras tea, hunting, gardening and enjoying her quiet life. She's been gone a long, long time, but the cistern she used still stands . . . sturdy and strong . . .
just like Aunt Sallie!
We drove for miles, not meeting one vehicle . . . just enjoying the quietness, the simple beauty of the wildflowers, the abundance of grapes and huckleberries, the longleaf pines, and cool, clear creeks.
Solitude and the beauty of God's awesome creation are good for the soul! We returned home feeling blessed to have visited the past but also to have been so keenly reminded of God's mercies and blessings that are new every morning!
The God who met with that small group of people at Good Hope Baptist Church long before I was born and who was so real to Aunt Ollie and Aunt Sallie is still alive and well!
No doubt about it . . . we saw Him on those backroads!
Waiting - and waiting - in a semi-dark room at the optometrist's office yesterday after having my eyes dilated, those words played in my mind. There's not a whole lot one can do in that situation, so I used some of those moments to meditate and pray and think. Actually, I sang those words, too . . . very quietly, of course . . . but I like to think my audience of one, He who started the whole world singing, might have tapped His foot!
And would you believe that when I opened my devotional book this morning, there were those same lyrics jumping off the page at me? God is just so good like that!! This Scripture was also added:
You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord our God gave you has failed.
Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.
In a shaky and uncertain world, I'm so thankful that I can stand on His unfailing promises!