RSS

Tag Archives: Bible

Gratitude (Spiritual Journey First Thursday)

paper-1785135_640

Image: Pixabay

A few weeks ago I attended the Global Leadership Summit (by simulcast). One of the speakers was Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook and author of the book Lean In). This gorgeous young woman looked like she had it all, and had it all together. Then she shared the story of her young husband’s sudden death while they were on vacation. He wasn’t even ill.

She was understandably devastated and paralyzed by grief. She told how slowly she worked her way through this tragedy to a new normal. Her therapist, Mark, was a big help, especially when he directed her mournful thoughts away from self-pity to gratitude (e.g. “Yes, your husband is gone, but you still have your children”). He challenged her to recall and write down, at the end of each day, three moments of joy from that day.

This Spiritual Journey Thursday finds me in the unusual spot of seeing my husband through surgery. Every time my mind goes to a negative place concerning this, I am trying to take Mark’s advice to Sheryl, and redirect it toward gratitude… which really isn’t that hard!

1. It’s elective surgery. Now that medical science has figured out how to replace hips, walking with a painful arthritis-degenerated hip is no longer a life sentence. And we’ve been waiting for this appointment for almost a year.

2. It’s publicly funded. We do our share of complaining about our country’s nationalized medical system (inefficiencies, rationing of treatment, long wait times). But when it comes to having to go to the hospital, it’s reassuring that it won’t bankrupt us.

3. General good health. I sat with hubby through his pre-admission interview with the nurse. As he answered question after medical question with “No” (no heart attacks, no strokes, no kidney disease, no diabetes etc.) it struck me how blessed he and I have been with good health.

4. Surgery is local, so no long drives to visit and fetch him home.

5. The hope of pain-free walking again—soon, we hope!

As I think of the days of rehabilitation ahead for him (I know a bit about what’s involved because I broke my hip in 2014 and also had to do the walker / cane / raised toilet seat / bath bench / hard to climb in and out of the car thing) I cling to my life verse for thought hygiene and reassurance:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses al understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” – Philippians 4:6,7 NKJV (emphasis added).

 

**********
sjt-2017-graphicThis post is linked to Spiritual Journey (first) Thursday, a once-a-month look at life’s spiritual side by a collection of blogging friends who met (mostly) on Poetry Friday. Spiritual Journey (first) Thursday is hosted today by Karen at Irene’s blog Live Your Poem.

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , ,

My Master Is My Mentor

jesus-1561637_640

Image: Pixabay

My Master Is My Mentor

My Master is my mentor.
I have more than I need.
Master lets me lie motionless in a meadow.
He maneuvers me beside melodious streams.
He manifests new might in me.
He motivates me to do
what gives Him the most esteem.
I may roam through the midnight valley of mortality
but even then I will not have any qualms
for Master is immediate.
And You are my armament and mentor all the way.
You give me mouthwatering morsels
in the homestead of my defamers.
You have esteemed me as Your company.
I am submerged in blessings.
Your goodness and mercy
move with me all my life
And then I will make camp with You
forever in Your mansion.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)
***********
Prompt – Inspiration
On January 18, 2016 writing acquaintance April Yamasaki’s blog article titled “How to Meditate on Psalm 23 and Have Fun at the Same Time” had several versions of Psalm 23 featuring the letters “G” and “L.” It also contained this challenge:

Try your own version of this psalm, using the letter M and starting with the line “My Master is my Mentor.” Or choose a letter and opening line of your own.

~*~*~*~*~

VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files, along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!

And that does it for National Poetry Month! I hope you’ve enjoyed these poems, pulled from my files. Tomorrow is a new month and it’s back to a regular about once-a-week postings.

Save

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 30, 2017 in Religious

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Machine

gear-192875_640

Image: Pixabay

Machine

Assembly begins the day Lucifer
is fired from the Father’s project.
Since then everything on earth has been sacrificed
to construct this apparatus.

Millennia of patient assembly
leads to today’s precise Pharisaic gears
meshing Roman justice with Judas cog
to draw Son into Evil’s engine.

He is denied even a simple wheel
to drag the cross, while Roman soldiers work
elbow fulcrums and hammer-wielding arms,
pulleys and ropes to hoist Him high.

See how His naive followers
keep glancing up as if even now
some heavenly windlass will appear
to free Him from the cross?

Until His final “It is finished!”
screamed into the dark
means the switch can be flicked,
for this device’s work is done.

But wait—what is the meaning
of this gaping earth, unearthly praises
of wraiths walking Jerusalem streets
the temple veil, ripping from top to bottom?

Hell’s alarm bells ring as the belt
flings from the still-spinning flywheel
and careens crazy, powerful
out of all control toward heaven.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

**********
Prompt – Inspiration
This poem was based on Robert Brewer’s Poetic Asides prompt for April 3, 2015: “Write a machine poem.”

~*~*~*~*~

VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files, along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!

Save

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 15, 2017 in History, Religious

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Cup

cups-1444422_640

Image: Pixabay

Cup

I am thinking today of a cup
mug, glass, tumbler
goblet, teacup, sippy cup
tulip or barrel-shaped
angled or rounded
plastic, glass, china
silver or stainless steel.

I am thinking today of a cup
of water, milk or juice
drunk to slake thirst, add nourishment
coffee or tea to add a burst
of energy and well-being
beer, stout, nog or wine
to “gladden the heart.”

I am thinking today of a cup
a lot in life, a portion, a destiny:
“O Lord, you are … my cup.”
“My cup runneth over.”
“‘Father, if it is Your will
take this cup from me.”
“‘Shall I not drink the cup
which My Father has given Me?’”

I am thinking today of a cup
a pewter chalice, common mug
or plastic throwaway thimble
of grape juice or wine
and of memories:
“Jesus took the cup…’Drink from it
for this is My blood which is shed
for the remission of sins.’”
and choices:
“You cannot drink the cup of the Lord
and the cup of demons.”

I am thinking today of a goal
a prize, a winner’s cup
that I have pressed toward
to be awarded at the end of life’s race
handed out at the judgment seat.
Will there be one for me?
Could winning it include
answering “yes” to Jesus’ question
“‘Are you able to drink the cup
that I am about to drink?’”

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

*************
Prompt – Inspiration
The word “cup,” which has many meanings in Scripture, was the inspiration for this poem. I chose it for today’s post because today is  Holy Thursday when we commemorate Jesus establishing Holy Communion prior to his arrest and crucifixion.

~*~*~*~*~

VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files, along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!

Save

Save

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 13, 2017 in Objects, Religious

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Storing

IMG_3293

File box with index cards—it’s old-school, but it works! (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

Storing

I am storing up Bible verses
on index cards

a collection of river stones
against the day
I’ll need to remember*

a shed full of life rafts
for when I am in deep water

a freezer of cooked dinners
for a time when life is too hectic
to cook a meal from scratch
out of the day’s chapter.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

************

Prompt – Inspiration:
This poem came out of my own spiritual practice of memorizing Bible passages which I write on file cards and file by subject. I have done this for years. You could write about spiritual practice of yours…

~*~*~*~*~

VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!

Save

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 2, 2017 in Objects, Personal, Religious

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Longsuffering of Old Bibles (NPM ’16-Day 20)

Do you have a collection of old Bibles in your house? We do. Old Bibles in various versions stand neatly on shelves in the basement. They can also be found stacked with other books on my bedside table, buried in trunks, and in my study. I’ve found a slim New Testament in an old purse and tract-size copies of the Gospel of John with a bunch of brochures.

When, some time ago, Diane Lockward’s newsletter contained a poetry prompt with the lament of old wedding dresses, I decided my lament of old things would old Bibles. “The Longsuffering of Old Bibles” is the result.

What should one do to rejuvenate (our Spiritual Journey Thursday word for today) old Bibles? I wish I could send mine to places on earth where people are longing for just one Bible. Trouble is, they usually don’t want them in English but in their mother tongue.

How do you rejuvenate your old Bibles?

bible-816058_640

The Longsuffering of Old Bibles

They stand upright, next to each other
the leather NIV beside the family King James
the paperback Message beside the patterned Phillips,
in fellowship and righteous support
version rivalries long forgotten.
On dark nights their longings
rise from the bookshelf, hover
a myrrh lament in the air:
How long, O Lord?
Will they forget us forever?

Sometimes the old Scofield
will whisper memories of past mornings
when light from his pages blended
with light from the sun
and he was written in, marked up, and lined.
I even have the stain of tears,
he says one day. The hardly touched Living
finds this hard to believe
but the Illustrated Children’s smiles
recalling her own rips and scribbles.

Who will read them now? Who will find them?
The wine leather birthday Bible, gold-embossed
in its zippered cover with pockets and pen holders?
The weighty red study Bible
at the bottom of a pile somewhere?
The first Bible—where is it,
what closet, what box?
Where is the burgundy New Testament
gifted in Grade 5, the one with the gold jug
on the cover? Languishing on the shelf
of a thrift store perhaps
or giving tattered testimony to the dump?

From closet floor to attic trunk
with eternal patience, faith, and hope they wait:
We have family members in hotel drawers…
Our pages could still be scattered as packing, wrapping…
One of us once even revived, with his leaves,
the cleaner of latrines in a faraway prison.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

***************

This is not a new poem, but was written before this poetry month. It recently won an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Christian Poetry Contest sponsored by Utmost Christian Writers. Go HERE to see the list of winners and read more winning poems (they’re good—you’ll love them!).

spiritual-journey-framed

Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted by Holly Mueller at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Photo: Pixabay.com

 

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

On the Threshold

I seem to have impatience in my DNA. WAITHolly Mueller‘s one-little-word for 2016—would probably be a good choice of a word for me one of these years.

In the spiritual realm we’ve been told quite plainly to wait for God—to reveal the next step, to act on our behalf, to bring about His desired result, to reveal His goodness, etc.:

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” – Psalm 27:14 NIV.

“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him…” – Psalm 37:7 NKJV.

I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope” – Psalm 130:5 NIV.

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him…” – Lamentations 3:25 NKJV.

We’ve also been told that God’s concept of time is not ours—as Moses reminds us in his psalm:

“For a thousand years in Your sight / Are like yesterday when it is past” (Psalm 90:4)

and Peter in his letter:

“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).

For us it’s hard to comprehend those 1000-year days!

We’re not the only ones to chafe at the need to wait. Old Testament characters Abraham and Sarah, for example, when promised a nation from their offspring (non-existent at the time: Sarah was barren) and after years of waiting, despaired of the promise ever coming true. They decided to substitute their own plan and Ishmael, son of Abraham and Sarah’s maid Hagar, was the result. What a lot of heartache that produced!

Personally, no matter how much I know the value of waiting for God’s timing, it’s something that continues to be a challenge for me live. I wrote about the subject of waiting a few weeks ago in response to a booklet I’m working through (“Illuminating the Threshold,” Jan Richardson’s 2015 Woman’s Christmas Retreat). I suppose you could call it me giving some advice to myself about waiting.

doctor-gerait

The Waiting Room   (Image by gerait / pixabay.com)

On the Threshold

I enter the house
automatically step up
over the threshold

You invite me in
as a polite host should
offer water, tea

Life’s transitions not
so accommodating, I’m
left on the threshold

Or in the foyer
anteroom-sitting, waiting
indeterminate

Time to prepare
but for what, whom, when?—Relax
doors will open soon

It will come to pass
when time has reached its fullness
don’t twist the locked knob

Live the interlude
overture between movements
be fully here, now

Don’t chafe inaction
uncertainty of between
chat with others here

They may be angels
prologue emissaries sent
for your next chapter

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

***********

spiritual-journey-framed

Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted by Holly Mueller at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Scripture quotations marked NKJVV are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Tags: , , , ,