Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Thanksgiving

The year has turned its circle,
The seasons come and go.
The harvest all is gathered in

And chilly north winds blow.

Orchards have shared their treasures,
The fields, their yellow grain,
So open wide the doorway --
Thanksgiving comes again!
    ---Old Rhyme.

 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Song of the Three Young Men

 
Blessed are You, O Lord God of our fathers: and to be praised and exalted above all for ever.
And blessed is Your glorious and holy Name: and to be praised and exalted above all for ever.
Blessed are You in the Temple of Your holy glory: and to be praised and glorified above all for ever.
Blessed are You who looks upon the depths, and sits upon the Cherubim [fiery angels; statues of these were atop the Ark of the Covenant in the Jewish Temple]: and to be praised and exalted above all for ever.
Blessed are You on the glorious Throne of Your kingdom: and to be praised and glorified above all for ever.
Blessed are You in the vaults of heaven: and above all to be praised and glorified for ever.
O all you works of the Lord, bless  the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O you heavens, bless  the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O you Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O all you waters above the heavens, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O all you powers of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O you Sun and Moon, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O you stars of heaven, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O every shower and dew, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O all you winds, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O you fire and heat, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O you dews and storms of snow, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O you nights and days, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O you light and darkness, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O you ice and cold, bless  the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O you frost and snow, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O you lightning and clouds, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O let the earth bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O you mountains and little hills, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O all you things that grow on the earth, bless  the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O you fountains, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O you seas and rivers, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O you whales and all that move in the waters, bless  the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O all you birds of the air, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O all you beasts and cattle, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever...
O you servants of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O you spirits and souls of the righteous, bless ye the Lord, praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
O you holy and humble men of heart, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever...
O give thanks unto the Lord, because He is gracious: for His loving-kindness lasts forever.
 
--the alleged song of the men who sang while in the fiery furnace.  From an apocryphal section inserted after Daniel 3:23.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Extreme Northwest Arizona



Click below links on "desert" to find poems that are reminiscent of this area near Chloride, AZ. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Come Unto Me, You Weary

“Come unto Me, you weary,
And I will give you rest.”*
O bless├Ęd voice of Jesus,
Which comes to hearts oppressed!
It tells of consolation,
Of pardon, grace and peace,
Of joy that has no ending,
Of love which cannot cease.
 

 "Come unto me, you wanderers, 
And I will give your light."
O loving voice of Jesus, 

Which comes to cheer the night!
Our hearts were filled with sadness

When we had lost our way;
But He has brought us gladness 

And songs at break of day.



"And anyone who comes forth, 
I will not cast him out."
O patient love of Jesus, 

Which drives away our doubt,
Which, though we be unworthy 

Of love so great and free,
Invites us very sinners 

To come as we may be!

--William C. Dix, ~1867; adapted c.m.b., 2014

Dix wrote of this hymn:
I was ill and de­pressed at the time, and it was al­most to idle away the hours that I wrote the hymn. I had been ill for ma­ny weeks and felt weary and faint, and the hymn real­ly ex­press­es the lan­guid­ness of bo­dy from which I was suf­fer­ing at the time. Soon af­ter its com­po­si­tion I re­cov­ered, and I al­ways look back to that hymn as the turn­ing point in my ill­ness.
*"[Jesus said]' 'Come unto Me, all you who are weary and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.'"  (Matthew 11:28-30)
 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Creator Spirit

(Blessed Pentecost)

By the Word of Yahweh were the heavens made,
And all their hosts by the Spirit of His mouth.  (Psalm 33:6)

You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;
And you renew the face of the earth.  (Psalm 104:30)*


 
(*Biblical Translations by Marie Byars)
 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Song (Two Doves Upon The Selfsame Branch)

Two doves upon the selfsame branch,
  Two lilies on a single stem,
Two butterflies upon one flower:--
  O happy they who look on them.

Who look upon them hand in hand
  Flushed in the rosy summer light;
Who look upon them hand in hand
  And never give a thought to night.


--- Christina Rossetti  (1830 - 1894)  

(Although this poem is not specifically Christian, the poetess was)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

 
 

O night that is brighter than day,
O night more dazzling than the sun,
O night more sparkling than fresh snow,
O night more brilliant than all our lamps!
O night that is sweeter than Paradise,...

O night delivered from darkness,
O night that dispels the sleep of sin,
O night that makes us keep vigil with the angels,
O night terrible for the demons,
O night desired by all the year,
O night that leads the bridal Church to her Spouse,
O night that is mother to those enlightened!
O night in which the Devil, sleeping, was despoiled,
O night in which the Heir brings the co-heirs to their heritage.


(Asterius of Pontus AD 341-400)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Jesus, and Could It Ever Be?

[based on Mark 8:38. Regarding being ashamed of Jesus before others now.*]

Jesus! and could it ever be
A mortal man ashamed of Thee?
Ashamed of Thee, whom angels praise,
Whose glories shine through endless days?   
















Ashamed of Jesus? Sooner far
Let evening blush to own a star.
He sheds the beams of light divine
O'er this benighted soul of mine.  

Ashamed of Jesus? Just as soon
Let midnight be ashamed of noon.
'Tis midnight with my soul till He,
Bright Morning Star, bids darkness flee.  

Ashamed of Jesus, that dear Friend
On whom my hopes of heaven depend?
No; when I blush, be this my shame,
That I forgot His precious Name.  

Ashamed of Jesus? Yes, I might
When I've no guilt in Yahweh's sight:
No tear to wipe, no joy to crave,
No fears to quell, no soul to save.  

Till then--nor is the boasting vain--
Till then I boast a Savior slain.
And oh, may this my glory be:
That Christ is not ashamed of me!

--Author: Joseph Grigg, 1765; Adapted Benjamin Francis, 1787; cmb, 2013



*from Mark 8:31, 34-38:  [Jesus said], "[Jesus] began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the [religious leaders].  And that He must be killed and after three days rise again.  He called the crowd and said, 'If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For what does it profit a person to gain the whole world & lose his own soul?   What will a person give in exchange for his own soul?  For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes back in His Father's glory with the holy angels.'" 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Me and Baby Jesus

(A Houston Christmas)

A Way in a manger,
No hat for my head,
The little lord Jesus
At least had a bed.


The street lights above
Dim the stars in the sky....

Can He see me down here
As I close my eyes?   

  

"Hark" the corner carolers sing
And Army bellers with baskets ring.
Sirens sounding break the night,
Wholly, wholly, wholly fright.

Be near me lord Jesus
I beg you, I pray.
Don't ever leave me,
Or at least til it's day.


Bless me Father for I have sinned.
Come Lord Jesus, Be our Guest,
Quickly, Amen!


No crying He makes
Tho He took All our pain.
He's the Joy in my world,
A warm heart in cold rain.


        






Dogs bark, and babies wake,
Here I lay for Heaven's sake.
From Heaven He came,
To Heaven He'll take -
Me, and Baby Jesus.
 


--Carolyn Crandell Koch (c)2013



Author's commentary:   I was inspired to write this while at church I sat and sang, yet I thought about the men on the corner looking for work, or the homeless. I felt in contrast yet I also felt hope, as I know Jesus came down to save us from our lowest points of grief, pain, sin, and ultimately death.