Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Tall Grass Prarie Flowers

Upper Midwest, United States   

Mixed assortment with grasses

[Jesus said], " 'For if God thus clothes the grass of the filed, which today is here and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more shall He clothe you, O you of little faith.' " Matthew 6:30; own translation

Purple coneflower (Echinacea)


Queen Anne's Lace (Wild Carrot)
Note one deep scarlet bloom, center

Butterfly Weed (Pleurisy Root)
Used by Native Americans for various respiratory illnesses

Black-Eyed Susans

Sunday, July 1, 2018

God of Our Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand

(for Independence and other days)

1. God of our Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band.
Of Shining worlds in splendor through the skies
Our grateful songs, before thy throne arise.

2. Thy Love divine hath led us in the past.
In this free land by thee our lot is cast.
Be Thou our ruler, guardian, guide, and stay.
Thy Word Our Law^, thy Paths our chosen ways*.

3. From wars alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be thy Strong arm our ever sure defense*;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy Bounteous goodness, nourish us in peace.

4. Refresh thy people on their toilsome way;
Lead us from night, to never ending day;
Fill all our lives, with love and grace^ divine*,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.

  ----Fr. Daniel C. Roberts, 1876; a priest in the Episcopal church, honoring our nation's centennial.

*I don't believe in trying to create "a Christian nation" here in America. We weren't told to create a theocracy in the New Testament.  But I am grateful that we live in a country where we can freely practice and share our faith.  I am hopeful and prayerful that neither the foolishness nor extremism on either the Right or the Left will ruin that for us here.

^While a nice enough hymn in its way, this hymn speaks nothing about grace & love actually coming from the suffering and death of Christ for our sins.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

My Lovely June

O come sweet June, my lovely June 
The month when first the roses bloom -
A wondrous, colourful display
By sunlight kissed throughout the day,
So chasing all my cares away. 

And fixed above, the starry bull*,
Glittering there, so beautiful,

Adorning thus the northern skies
Whene'er the dazzling daylight dies -
Tis like a glimpse of Paradise. 

Then climbing high in heav'ns expanse
The sun ascends, to so enhance

The splendour that is all around.
O June, fair June, wherein abound
The seasons gifts, which full surround, 

With flower petals soft unfurled
And vines around the trellis curled.
The grass is sweet and richly green
With shining luminescent sheen -
Your face, my June, a beauteous scene. 

Carnations flourish through the years
Bursting forth from Mary's tears,

And Honeysuckle-scented air,
No other fragrance does compare -
I seek to ever tarry there. 

O June, dear June, for you I wait -
My longing ever shall abate
When you recur with all your grace
To lift my heart and light my face,
And thus my soul to full embrace.

Such pure delight, all heaven sent,
O June, my June, you bring content.
‘Tis you for whom I ever yearn,
Awaiting thus your prized return -
O June, my lovely June sojourn.

     ---Valerie Dohren, 20th/21st Century Poetess

*Taurus, in the night sky

Poet's notes about the poem on  "There is a Christian legend that when Jesus was carrying the cross, wherever Mary's tears fell to the ground Carnations started to grow.  They are perennials which are in full bloom, like most other flowers, during the month of June." 

What the poet says of herself on :  "Widow, one daughter, retired NHS employee. Interests include classical music, birds, walking (not too far! !) , and of course, writing poetry."  Some of her other work indicates an interest in environmentalism. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Another Spring

May Day comes again and goes
Reminder of those pagan ways--
Hopeful for more "sacred" sun,
Wishing for more golden rays.

O, my skinclad German forbears
Seeking Woden* in the skies

Lay aside your pagan fears--
Look to Christ and so arise.

Ah, Woden, Balder, Frigga, Thor*
"Hearing" prayers in days of yore,
If you had eyes to truly see
Faraway things that came to be:

Children now across the ocean,
First to follow Jesus' creed
Now have found a new religion:
"Gods" of lust and "gods" of greed.

May Day comes again and goes...
No longer balm for winter's woes.   
                         ---c.m.b. 2018

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Right Mind

[see also Isaiah 52: 13-15]

Let this mind also be in you, which was in Christ Jesus:
Who, subsisting in the form of God
Did not [consider this] to be grasped; 
He did not esteem it to be equal with God.
But He emptied Himself into the form of a servant,
Having taken the likeness of humanity*
Having been made and having been found
In appearance as a human,

He humbled Himself
Having become obedient unto death,
Even death on the cross.

Therefore God has also highly exalted Him
And granted to Him 
The NAME above every name,**
So that at the NAME of JESUS,
Every knee should bow,
In heaven and earth and under the earth,
And every tongue should confess 

To the glory of God the Father.
              --St. Paul, Philippians 2:5-13
                (translated c.m.b. April, 2018)

*Not a stab at gender inclusiveness, but more faithful to the Greek. ["Anthropos", humanity vs. "aner", a male man.]
**see Revelations 19:12

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Jesus, Refuge of the Weary

Jesus, Refuge of the weary,
Blest Redeemer Whom we love.
Fountain in life's desert dreary,
Savior from the world above.
Oh, how oft Thine eyes, offended
Gaze upon the sinner's fall;
Yet upon the cross extended,
You have born the pain of all.

Do we pass that cross unheeding,
Breathing no repentant vow,
Though we see Thee wounded, bleeding,
See Thy thorn encircled brow?
Yet Thy sinless death has brought us
Life eternal, peace, and rest;
Only what your grace has taught us
Calms the sinner’s deep distress.

Jesus, may our hearts be burning
With more fervent love for Thee;
May our eyes be ever turning
To Thy cross of agony
Till in glory, parted never
From the blessed Savior’s side,
Carved into our hearts forever,
Dwell the cross, the Crucified.

By Girolamo Savonarola; translated by Lady Jane Wilde, adapted

Girolamo Savonarola was an Italian Dominican friar and preacher.  (In his zeal to reform the Roman Catholic Church, before Luther came along, he unfortunately destroyed some secular art in Italy.) He called for Christian renewal and expressed skepticism towards the culture of his day.