Monday, May 28, 2012

Earth is crammed with heaven 
And every bush aflame with God,
But only those who see take off their shoes. 
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning~

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Higher Ground

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: 

I'm pressing on the upward way; 
New heights I'm gaining every day. 
Still praying as I onward bound, 
"Lord, plant my feet on higher ground." 

My heart has no desire to stay 
Where doubts arise and fears dismay. 
Tho' some may dwell where these abound, 
My prayer, my aim is higher ground.

I want to live above the world 
Tho' satan's darts at me are hurled.
For faith has caught the joyful sound 
The song of saints on higher ground. 

I want to scale the utmost height 
And catch a gleam of glory bright. 
But still I'll pray till heaven I've found 
"Lord, lead me on to higher ground." 

Lord, lift me up and let me stand 
By faith on heaven's table land. 
A higher plane than I have found, 
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Backroads Blessings

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!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Stark Beauty

Riding in my FIL's pasture yesterday, this dead - very dead - tree caught my eye. 
Sitting atop all the deadness, though, was life, and beauty . . . and a song! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Standing on the promises that cannot fail 
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail. 
By the living Word of God I shall prevail, 
Standing on the promises of God. 
~R. Kelso Carter~

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. 
Joshua 23:14 

In a shaky and uncertain world, I'm so thankful that I can stand on His unfailing promises!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Creature Comforts

 Notice the tiny sliver of a tongue protruding from the thin beak.
This amazing little creature seems satisfied and comfortable!

O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!
 In wisdom you have made them all. 
The earth is full of your creatures. 
They all depend on you to give them food as they need it. 
When you supply it, they gather it. 
You open your hand to feed them, and they are richly satisfied.
~Psalm 104:24, 27, 28 NLT~

And I say, "Amen!"

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sunshine Days

Looking at this beautiful sunflower - and watching a row of them open up to the sun - remind me of this little song
that I sang as a child. 

So let the sunshine in; 
face it with a grin. 
Open up your heart 
and let the sun shine in

 Spending time with family for a few days has brought lots of sunshine into our lives . . . lots of laughter . . . lots of good times! 
 I'm thankful for the "sunshine days"!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Got a gripe grip? 
It's amazing how one little letter can change things!!

Got a gripe? 
Get a grip! 
(I'm talking to me!)

I could gripe about this cute, pesky squirrel eating all the bird feed but . . . :)

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Peace Speaker

Fearing for their lives
and full of uncertainty,
they gathered to wait
behind locked doors.

Suddenly He appeared -
though the door remained locked -
speaking words they needed,
"Peace be unto you."

He still comes
through locked doors
to fearful hearts
who need His peace.

(Based on John 20:19-31)


Peace! Peace! Wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above!
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray,
In fathomless billows of love.
~Lyrics - Wonderful Peace (19th century)~