Monday, June 20, 2016

Talents, Towns and Glory

Living in a small rural community has its limitations that can turn a disadvantage into an advantage.  I was born and raised in city and my first exposure to small town living was in our move to Eastern Oregon.  I wasn't sure I could adapt but 40 years later, I am still alive and well!   From the onset of finding myself plunked in the middle of the John Day Valley, I became aware of the expansiveness of nature from the surrounding hills to brilliant star-studded skies.  It became more personable as time went on in the discovery of this area and the people who have also made this their home.  Small town living also emphasizes the talent that exists within many of the Grant County residents as their gifts become known.  There are amazing singers, musicians, artists, photographers, writers and poets who are transplants and natives, contributing to the uniqueness of this region.  

I'd like to introduce you to one such person, KA Simpson, pen name for Kim Chesley.  Through her poetry and 'doing for others', she makes a difference within the world of Grant County and people who have met her along the way.  With Kim's permission, I am honored to feature one of her poems entitled, "The Lord's Grandeur".....

(c)  by KA Simpson 
I have a feeling of such smallness
As the wind whistles at night,
And I look out upon a sky
Lined with diamonds full of light.
And if I pull my wrap around
And venture out the door,
I feel then even smaller
Then I ever did before.
And this nighttime world that stares at me
As the wind blows in the trees,
And I smell the freshness of the earth
And shiver in the breeze,
Makes me wonder, truly, what am I
Amid the grandeur of this night?
I feel inconsequential,
As this sight in me ignites
An awareness of the Power
Behind the splendor of this scene-
And I know I'm not alone out here,
Where angels all convene.
And together we all lift our hands
In union and accord,
And let our voices
Sing the name of Jesus Christ our Lord!
And my smallness gains in stature
As I worship and am free,
To hail God as Holy Master,
Creator of all I see.

The heavens truly show the grandeur of God and how infinite He is.  The aurora borealis is another example of His Glory manifested.  The below photo and article appeared in the Daily Mail about a year ago.  The implication of the photograph is of "Christ the Redeemer" in the light of the aurora borealis. 

Please take time to read the article along with other photographs of Iceland, where they are privileged to witness the aurora borealis as we are privileged to God's color in rainbows, sunrises, sunsets and star-studded skies....

Come back  and visit The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, July 4th - which happens to be Independence Day!  Thank God for the freedoms we enjoy; let us not take them for granted.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Feeling of Peace

What does peace feel like?  The words become illusive.  It is much easier to describe peace such as inner contentment and serenity.  We can describe peace as to what it is not such as turmoil, agitation and many negatives that run contrary to peace including war.   But what is the feeling of peace?  I have thought much about this lately in my quest to be peaceful in heart and mind as I live and breathe in my personal world.   

Peace can come to us in many forms that the diversity of our created world offers.  I took the above photo of several ranch horses contentedly munching on pasture grass.  Oblivious to the shower they were getting from irrigated water, their skin and manes were wet in a cool reprieve from the hot weather.  I watched the uncomplicated scene that gave back to me a feeling of peace.... a state of momentary being, I guess.  A space in time absent to the motion of doing, where there is no right or wrong with no thoughts behind me or ahead of me in a racing mind that wants to chatter.  Just simply watching.

There is a peace that passes all understanding as stated in scripture, Philippians 4:7 perhaps  that is why it is so difficult to attach a word description of the feeling of peace.  Perhaps  we really are the conduit of peace for it is God, who is Peace.  John 14:27 (NLT) ... "I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.  So don't be troubled or afraid."    The beginning prayer of St. Francis of Assisi states... make me a channel of Your Peace.  Perhaps, if we learned to become that channel and open our clogged minds and hearts, we could experience God's gifting of that spirit of peace that was meant to flow within and without.  
A rose is a rose is a rose...
 And so it goes with peace in its experience - is and is and is.  Learning to be that channel, to take a step back and open up to exquisite peace.  Peace that can wash away tension and upset, splashing its presence upon the shores of mind and heart, not only to self, but unto others.  A Pericles quote: "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."   To be a weaver of peace is to be an open channel for peace.

In conclusion, watch this special YouTube video in presentation of the hymn, "Make me a Channel of Your Peace".... 

Until we meet again on Monday, June 20th at The Turn-Up Patch...