Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My script of joy, immortal diet,
y bottle of salvation.
My gown of glory, hopes true gauge,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

~Sir Walter Raleigh

A hiker, walking for pleasure, likes to choose between several alluring trails.
The pilgrim desires only the road that leads home.

~Frank W. Boreham

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners' gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! 'Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy Grace...

What language can I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend.
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord , let me never, never, outlive my love to Thee....
~Bernard of Clairvaux, trans. Paul Gerhardt.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Once And For All


"It is finished!'

It is not the sigh of relief at having reached the end of things.

It is the unutterable joy of the artist who, putting the last touches on the picture that has engrossed him for so long, sees in it the realization of all his dreams and vision and can nowhere find room for improvement.

Only once in the world's history did a finishing touch bring a Work to absolute perfection;

and in that day of days a single flaw would have shattered the hope of the ages."

~Frank W. Boreham

"For Christ, the Messiah Himself

died for sins once for all,

the Righteous for the unrighteous,

the Just for the unjust,

the Innocent for the guilty -

that He might bring us to God."

~I Peter 3.18, Amp.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Longings and Belongings

Those un-named yearnings we feel from time to time brought often
from places locked in memory,

or perhaps by soaring , thrilling music heard,

or some glory seen about us -

"all these yearnings, longings are Homesickness,

a wanting in full what is only hinted at.

These are the things that conjure in our emotions the Things Unseen."

~Mark Buchanan

All these longings are what enable us to keep our eyes fixed on our true destination, our Heavenly one.

In the meantime, these are used by our Lord to make us run away from all our troubles outside and 'go home' to Him, our dwelling place in the Here and Now.

He that hath made his refuge God

shall find a safe secure abode,

Shall walk all day beneath His shade

And there at night shall rest his head.

~Isaac Watts

Saturday, April 9, 2011

When April Walks The Land

Perhaps the way to begin is with the delightful lines from Mr. Browning, those lines about being in England now that April's there. For certain sure, England has a claim on my soul. However, for today I shall stay nearby, after all, the title of his poem is "Home-Thoughts...." So this shall be simple present and past home-thoughts.

There is a certain fragrance in April's air that stirs the heart. The earth is warming, blooms opening, it is hard to describe but to me it is sweet and green. Here in my garden the Andromeda is in bloom. It has a delicious rich fragrance that surrounds me as I dig about. (In fact, its fragrance is the only thing that redeems its otherwise barely attractive messy self.) But gardens and fragrance go together and feed the soul.

Daffodils come first in my garden. Yellow in gardens is not a favorite for me. But it is an essential in Spring. It is the best of cheer after a bleak, wet Northwest winter.

Daffodils for me also bring with them echos of childhood. They were a part of the garden round the house of my growing up to be sure, but not only there. The neighboring farm across the road had nut and fruit orchards. One of the orchards had daffodils as grown cover. It was glorious. My chum (of said farm) and I would walk the hills and gather armloads to bring home to our mommas. Such indescribable riches! I loved picking flowers but momma was very particular about what was picked from the home plots. So that orchard's splendor delighted and satisfied my young spirit.

Down the years there was another daffodil spot, another farm. There was a small vineyard at the side of the house where we lived and under it was another ground cover of daffodils. The children were very young at this time. Daughter # 2 was about three. She would sit midst the blooms happily, plucking their heads, filling her small hands with their glory. Perhaps this was the beginning of her own love of the garden for she is a true gardener as an adult.

Well, there it is, Dear Reader. You were warned. This is only brief home-thoughts of gardens.

There is no real point, or snappy conclusion other than Spring is a time to be savored, daffodil yellow is a fine color and gardens of all sorts are a joy.

Or so I find them.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

On Mellowness of Heart

"When we choose to accept loss,we gain something altogether different. We hold life and others loosely, relinquishing the burden of being in control, and look instead for the small wonders, the tender mercies that help us find peace along the way toward eternity."

~Lisa Graham McMinn

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"The more I think about it, the more my fancy grows upon me, and the more like a Cross the Fingerpost with its outstretched arms, becomes.

That post is the pathetic expression of the Eternal compassion for the wanderer...It is a mute but eloquent witness to His heart's great yearning that before the night comes on, they may all get safely Home!"
~Frank W. Boreham