A Prayer for Suffering and Sorrow…

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O Lord of Life, In these beautiful days approaching Spring- we are painfully aware of the human condition which cannot understand Your Divine Ways. Some of us bear the final grief of loss and loneliness standing by an open grave; and others bear a living grief which has no grave and sees no end to suffering and sorrow. We think of those-

  • whose eyes are glazed over by constant pain,
  • whose ears hear the deafening silence of inner rooms darkened by worry,
  • numbed by losses which came too soon,
  • who sit in speechless shock.

Will You enter those grief-filled rooms with the Comfort only You can bring, whispering Grace scented with Mercy and Great Love? Human sympathy and healing cannot mend broken hearts- cannot heal broken spirits. We ask You to reveal Yourself as the One Who has suffered, Who has felt forsaken and Whose Human Flesh gave up, as You exhaled Your Spirit into Your Father’s safekeeping. Fill us now, with Springtime Resurrection Reassurance, grant to us Faith which shines through our tears. We pray that we will do more than just endure- that we will seek our Rest in Your Loving Arms; lean into the full Divine Embrace You always offer. May our weary heartsick souls seek You often. And when we survey the Cross of Calvary, we are grateful for Your Divine Permission to cry out- ‘My God, why have You forsaken Me?’

  • Disease is the dull key,
  • Pain is a sharp chord,
  • Suffering is a sour note,
  • Death is the broken chords of the human experience.

We confess we have never been able to orchestrate more than somber funeral marches to the tune of human suffering. We do not understand it, we hate the sound of it- will You give us Comfort in knowing that farther along we’ll understand why- that one day when You have wiped away all of our tears and put an end to all human sorrow- we will finally hear how You added the Grace Notes, blended an Angelic Chorus and brought all of the unfinished songs, the bitter notes and broken chords of Life together into a Divinely Glorious Melody. Give to us now that Faith which continues to seek the twinkling stars through tear filled eyes. Grant to us a stubborn Hope when the darkest night holds forth. Fill us with an unshakeable conviction that You are the Eternal Embodiment of Springtime filled with Exceeding and Abundant Love beyond the confines of mere mortal existence. May we be forever sustained by Your Great Love, upheld by Your Immense Power and enabled to live in the steady Light of Your Eternal Peace.   In the Name of Life Eternal, we make our prayer. Amen.


IMG_2254 With sweet thoughts and prayers for those who suffer and sorrow now- On this blessed Lord’s Day, please know-

We love y’all, Camellia

A Prayer for our Country…

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O Ancient of Days, our Great and Glorious God, we pray that You will grant to us the same strong conviction of Patriot Dreamers, the firm will forged on the Anvil of Freedom, the moral character of a people willing to humble ourselves before Thee on bended knee with the same sweet spirit of Abraham Lincoln who was more concerned that our country unite on the Side of Almighty God rather than expect You to stoop down and take sides in a divided nation. Enable us to take up the heart of Lincoln- ‘with malice toward none and charity for all’. We beseech You to mend the cracks along unseen fault lines, strengthen fearful minds and heal broken hearts. We dare not get ahead of ourselves by venturing into an uncertain Future when Thou Alone knows our Destiny.

O Lord our God, give rise to Hope in our hearts. Keep melancholy and apathy far from us. Help us to remain calm and unruffled in any and all circumstances. Hope is a glorious gift from the Throne of Heaven. What has kept mankind going is the refusal to stop hoping in the face of great odds, so we pray that Your Strong Hands will continue to fan the flickering flame of Hope when we are worried, tired and weary.. May we be united in prayer, united in seeking Thy Will and united in our desire to hear what You are saying. Enable us to govern ourselves so that we prize hard work and duty above rank and privilege.

Help us recognize the deep concerns and needs of our fellow citizenry and do what we can to lift them up; cherishing our obligation to love one another as You have so graciously loved us. May we abide with You and be completely convinced that You are mindful when one tiny sparrow falls and You also take notice of the fluttering hearts and the furrowed brows of Your Children and are even now, lending Your Divine Ear to our prayers for this Nation wherein we are blessed by Thee to dwell.

To our Savior, the Hope of Mankind and Lover of our souls, we make our prayer with a mighty Trust in Thee. Amen.


Have a Blessed Lord’s Day.

Love y’all, Camellia

*wonderful opening photograph of the Porches of Alabama by Jeremy Miniard @ http://www.jeremy.miniard.fineartsamerica.com

Sanctuary…

 

Sanctuary:  sanc-tu-ar-y’ 1. Place of refuge, safety, shelter 2. a nature reserve, park,  forest 3. a holy place, sacred place, church, temple, shrine. Latin:  ‘sanct’:-sacred /’arium’- a container. That quiet calm refuge which holds our sacred treasure is most descriptive of sanctuary.


Our Sunday Inspiration begins with a quote from chapter 28 of ‘Four Days- the Lazarus Principle’ :

‘Noise can create a negative atmosphere; quiet stillness has power within our spirits. Muir Woods is a National Treasure near the San Francisco area. I recall vividly the silence of the coastal redwoods- the quiet of the massive forest was palpable- I could feel the silence. It is a sanctuary of stillness. To walk there is a meditative prayer.


We have some sanctuaries to share with you- the woodlands of Alabama, treasured sanctuaries of New York City, and Home.

‘Everybody needs beauty as well as bread. Places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.’ ‘Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the deep green woods.’       quotes by naturalist- John Muir


‘I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it…They are earth born companions and our fellow mortals…join the trees in their hymns and prayers…few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees…their sermons…go to our hearts…hear the trees speak for themselves.’          John Muir


Sacred Treasures of New York City

‘No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty…’     John Muir


Sanctuary: a place of refuge, safety, shelter. Everyone needs shelter, however, a house is not a home unless everyone inside is safe. Home should be the epitome of safe refuge.


Precious Lord, lead us to Your sanctuaries- be they woodland, marble or front porches. Grant to us that meditative walk, where we hear Your Voice in the stillness of the woodlands, in the hush of cathedrals or as crickets sing their happy songs beneath our shelters. How blessed we are, by Your Sacred Hands which formed the woodlands and seas, which prompted mankind to build and preserve places of worship and others who are keepers of safe homes where children play, friends are welcome and the weary return. May we never forget those who chose sacrificial duty and responsibility over rights and privileges so that we can live free in our homeland upon this earth, which spins like a blue marble through the vast star strewn universe. Ever and always we must return grateful, broken and melted down by the Cross of Christ and the Love that took Him to it. May we never forget Who bestowed upon us these beautiful earthly havens. Remind us often of our duty to act as worthy stewards- not as petulant messy children. Dress us now, in clean starched shirts and pinafores, fit for children of the King of Kings as You guide us safely through stillness to Your sanctuaries. Hear our prayers, as we seek to hear Your Voice. Amen.


We are so thankful to have the opportunity to share Camellia’s Cottage with you! We hope you find a sanctuary some place near you today-  have a blessed Lord’s Day! Now don’t forget- God loves you and…

I love y’all, Camellia


 

Of special note: St. Patrick’s Cathedral was opened on May 29, 1879- 137 years ago!

and Thank you to fellow blogger Snapshots in Cursive for her inspiring post ‘Gnarled Trees Speak Volumes- which inspired the shots of trees in this post! https://snapshotsincursive.com/2016/05/22/gnarled-old-trees-speak-volumes/ Go see the wonderful things she has been doing on her blog!

Quotes from John Muir are gleaned from The Sierra Club- https://vault.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/

Definition of Sanctuary was gleaned from Wikipedia- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctuary

Quote from ‘Four Days- the Lazarus Principle’ by Brenda Wyatt- http://amzn.to/1U4csYm

Photographs are from our personal collection with the exception of the wonderful gnarled tree by still water, which is by Jeremy Miniard (the first in the second section of tree images) and cannot be reproduced without permission.

I couldn’t resist adding one more- from Santa Fe NM where we are on vacation ! Loretto Chapel- can’t wait to tell you about this sanctuary!image

Bless those who serve us…

 

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Sunday Inspiration

Bless O Lord, those who serve us, who dedicate their lives, quietly keeping us safe and secure. Bless the teachers, janitors and lunchroom ladies who labor with love among our children -often unappreciated and dishonored. Bless those who work in shops, restaurants and hotels -bless the patient staff and clerks who are criticized and mistreated by a thoughtless complaining public. Bless the bus, taxi and truck drivers; all who are responsible for our transportation, who silently usher us through this lovely land – pilots and stewards who are our friends in the deep blue skies- toiling for our comfort, while others sleep.

Lord Jesus, bless the cooks, the waitresses, the public servants who listen day in and day out to people who lose their tempers and show bad manners. Bless those who put their own lives and comfort on hold for the greater good of mankind- the coal miners, farmers, fishermen, butchers and bakers – because of these and others we enjoy the abundant life on earth. Bless the homemakers, the babysitters, gardeners, postmen, garbage men who minister in homes where the tired owners return for sanctuary. Bless our earthly guardians- the police, firefighters and emergency personnel who risk their lives for those who must never take these brave souls for granted. Bless the noble company in white- the doctors, nurses, caregivers and nutritionists-may their hands show the love and mercy of God.

We are grateful for those who travel through bad weather, enduring long lonesome hours- sometimes over oceans and into foreign countries- assessing our weather, our risks, and the affairs of mankind; these must never be forgotten – our military and civilians in foreign service; they serve so that we may peacefully sleep- knowing their watchfulness is imperative as we enjoy the benefits of this great land.

And finally, our precious Savior- bless those who are with us in the hours of greatest human need- our pastors, hospice and funeral directors- may they enter into the joy of partnership with You. May our faith have feet and hands, kind voices and gentle hearts which choose everyday to minister to those who serve us, so that the gospel we profess shines forth on our faces and is made known in our lives as we seek to obey Your Will – to love one another as You have loved each of us. Amen.


Have a blessed Lord’s Day- be sweet to each other this week. Love y’all, Camellia

Opening photograph Jermy Miniard, used by permission. All photographs cannot be reproduced without permission.

Roses…

 

The roses are unbelievable this spring!  I never thought I would be able to successfully grow roses. I tried- I knew folks who could- they worked at it, they studied it, they tended to them. All of that changed when Knockout Roses arrived in my garden! My prize heirloom ‘New Dawn’ running roses were the only ones before- one magnificent flush was worth it all. Now? I’m surprised every year that I have roses! I had to show them off and a few from Walter’s veterinarian’s too; with a rosebud by an azalea, an iris and a sunbeam or two, enjoy these stunning rose photos. Then I hope you will take time to read portions of a favorite prayer written by George Matheson…    imageThey need to be pruned down, but I don’t have the heart to discourage them yet…

 

How blessed we are to enjoy so much beauty; delicacy among thorns. Everyone knows how sweet rosebuds are, and no one doubts the loveliness of dewy young blooms- but we ladies of a certain age, must not forget -a rose is at its peak of beauty when in full bloom.

Many years ago, a young Scottish minister learned he would soon go blind. His fiancé told him that she could not bear to marry a blind man; she broke their engagement and his heart. Many believe that this talented minister and writer of hymns considered his blindness and his broken heart to be the proverbial ‘thorn in his side’. As he grew older and more learned in Scripture, Matheson began to see the truth of Apostle Paul’s admonition ‘ in everything give thanks ‘; and the old Christian also wrote this- ‘I am thankful for my thorn, for when I am weak, His Power shows up best’. George Mattheson must have agreed as he wrote this beautiful prayer in the late 1800s…

‘My God, I have never thanked Thee for my thorn. I have thanked Thee a thousand times for my roses, but not once for my thorn…Thou, Divine Love…teach me the glory of my cross, teach me the value of my thorn. Show me that I have climbed to Thee by the path of pain. ..show me that my tears have made my rainbow…’

*emphasis mine- portions from http://www.SermonIndex.net  Classic Christian Writing

I suppose if we live long enough – things happen-things we wish would change; a hurtful thing -which becomes a ‘thorn’ in our sides.  Apostle Paul and George Matheson learned the secret of contentment- they learned the lesson of the Thorn. This Sunday, let us thank God for our thorns as we thank Him a thousand times for our roses.

Have a blessed Sunday, love y’all, Camellia