Spending

Hello, friends. This is not quite the first poem I’d pictured sharing in coming back, but it comes of one of those little grains of a thought that grew into a full-grown ponder before I knew it. So…as ever, I must surrender any personal agendas and give in to His…

Spending, spending…

Everybody seems always busy spending

Something.

Granted, sometimes necessary in the state of living,

Or, one hopes, in the fond act of giving.

But, other times?

Ah, naught but a careless fling!

Cold hard cash water-spouting out

First comes to mind,

But not this alone, oh no…

So many other gleeful sprees

Consumers cavort in so free…

So many mindless fritterings we can find!

Some of us stupidly spend away our given talent;

Some pitch on the wind their precious time.

For others, principles are too easily sent

Only to come back oily and bent,

And perhaps, most tragic of all

Are those whose bodies, whose very hearts are cast

Aside to be nickled and dimed…

And what by these misguided attempts

Do any of us stand to gain?

For, in the end, none are exempt

From answering to how we spent our days.

That is why it is imperative

All He allows us to possess

From our moments to our gifts

We must rightly lift

Up to the cross and nothing less.

For all other seed-scattered pursuits

Produce none but rotten fruits.

Such poison it is to the foolish soul!

Ah, Lord, over all that is spent we need You in control!

Yes, indeed, here are the purse-strings of my very being,

Every second of my time,

Take and assist,

Teach me to wisely budget, cautiously resist

Spending wily-nily this God-given life of mine…

May we be ever prayerful in how we spend our lives! Thanks for reading! Blessings and prayers!

Fight for Praise

Hey,, there. Just some thoughts born this week. Sunday, I was feeling rather adrift in social anxiety visiting a church group not my own. I will be frank-I really didn’t feel very much inclined to be there. 😏

Actually, I desperately longed for escape, but, being as I was there for my husband’s sake, I took a deep breath and prayed hard I could stay the course.

And then, there came praise and worship…. No magical cure by any means, but as I quietly pushed on word by word, I was reminded of and bolstered by His ever-steady presence.

Today as the struggle and the ponder continues, I am having to remind myself He is there…

God, sometimes, the connection

Between You and me comes

Flowing like clean and cloudless

Sunshine-

Sweet and easy and free.

And sometimes, there rolls a storm

Across the skies,

Causing in me a need

To fight for praise,

Through pensive night and drudge of

Day,

A tooth and nail session,

In order to gain possession of all

That You have granted is mine

And all that You desire for me to be.

Ah, I know it’s not You, Lord

That shifts away the sunlight in these

Times.

Rather, these moments are just

Evidence

Of the human frailty through which I

Currently ford…

Some days are darker,

Harder to find the spark for.

Then, it becomes a seeking,

A beseeching thing,

Knowing when to press ferociously

Into the fray

Or when to simply lay aside my

Sword

And rest my heart in whispered

Remembrance of

What it is to humbly pray…

Oh, how I love when the praise just

Comes

Bubbling up,

And I joyfully raise my already

Overflowing cup…

So uncomplicated by care!

Yet, I find I treasure the praise that

Much more

When it is the fiercely fought for,

And I find again Your hand to help me

Bear….

Blessings and prayers, dear friends. Thanks for the read. ❤

Our Job

I could say a lot of things today. There remains so much…unrest. Not the first instance, of course, and certainly won’t be the last.

But, I don’t think this particular bout will leave us anytime soon, sadly. And I believe it grieves the Lord’s heart.

Contrary to popular belief, His intent for us is not to stand on harsh rhetoric and self-righteousness.

Rather, it is truth- in love.

Again, I could say a lot of things. But, I won’t.

That whole truth in love thing…it’s really important.

So….I will be obedient to that.

All He really desires of me today, it seems, is to point out one key thing:

We are all so frail.

So terribly, remarkably…human.

Far too prone to pick up the hammer in our unskilled hands and make a mess trying to fix this broken world ourselves-as if it’s our job!

Far too prone to forget there is One who already came along, gathered our shambles, and did it better -did it completely, in fact-with three nails and two rough planks of wood…😉

And demonstrated to us just why this job is not ours, but His.

So, with a snippet of humor here and a sly dig there (trust me, I feel some elbow in my ribs, too 🙂), plus a fair amount of His amazing grace to soothe it all, let me remind us what our job really is…

We are such carnal beings,

In slouchy suits

And muddy boots,

Everything seeming such vital things,

But how easily we forget all but one is temporary!

And we are ever so wrong

When we flex muscles

And throw about colorful verbiage in a tussle,

Daring to call ourselves strong-

There’s ample evidence to the contrary!😏

And woe to us when we pretend

It is within our puny power

To save the world with all its myriads of trouble!

Let me just gently but decidedly burst

That particular bubble:

It’s not.

Psst.

It’s not even our job. 😮

“But-but, I must!

It’s on us!” comes the sob.

Yes, the price of sin is ours;

No doubt, it’s our degradation the air sours,

But, remember, friend, our salvation’s

Already been bought!

For Jesus Christ paid it all,

With all that is most dear.

With each precious drop of blood

He answered our anguished call,

Taking on our fight

And making it so we might

Face eternity without fear!

If only we’d lay down the unwieldy

Hammers of our fumbled sense

And just accept our job is to accept His love fulfilled!

For, the cross is full of evidence

Of just how agonizingly,

Yet so perfectly it was unfurled!

And, then, the task becomes to go

Share this happy truth with others,

Let His love and joy in every corner of earth spill,

Shining light to both friend and foe,

And, thereby, let Jesus be the One to

Save this broken world…

Remember, Jesus is still Jesus, my dear friends! We may be fallible, but He is mighty to save and that never changes no matter what else does! Let Him be your strength this day and every day! Blessings and prayers! ❤

The Monsters Are Still Due on Maple Street

Hello, dear friends!

Still gathering my thoughts lately and leaning on His presence all the while.

Hope you are feeling Him near to you as well.

It occurred to me this morning that this piece from a few months ago remains very apt for where we are right now. As such, while I am still in the gathering thoughts phase, I figured it was worth a reshare.

Thanks for reading. May it remind us of He who holds the truth and the salvation we all need. Blessings and prayers! ❤

https://alwaysajesusgirl.wordpress.com/2020/09/29/the-monsters-are-still-due-on-maple-street/

Fresh Page of Living

Hello, friends! Inspiration is still a bit on the slow side just now, but really wanted to share something with you today as we close this hard year and look towards new beginnings. 🙂

2 Cor.2:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Just as a butterfly’s wrap must

Come before it’s shed away,

The hour before dawn is darkest, they say.

The heavy drapery of night sky

Shrouds the approaching sun,

Yet, second upon second draws the

Sweet unveiling nigh.

Paintstroke by paintstroke,

Color invades

Until a fresh page of living has begun.

And, so we lay aside the year gone by…

Cruel as it’s been,

From the fingers of time it gently

Slides.

And, blessedly, we can find in Him

Burgeoning new wings;

We can embrace the arriving

Daybreak

And the renewed strength it brings!

Heartaches we will yet face this year,

No lie,

But, when we seek the Lord,

We will yet discover new ways in Him

To fly.

Blessings and prayers on your New Year, my friends! I pray we can find fresh resolve to seek Him in this time He grants us and discover new ways to soar! Thanks for reading and sharing 2020 with me with all its ups and downs! ❤❤❤

There is Always Jesus

Hey, there, dear friends! School is complete for the semester and working on getting my brain in gear for exploring beloved words again.

This is just a little snippet that popped in my head. The phrase “There is always Jesus.” came to soothe my anxious heart in a downtrodden moment and it grew from that to a few simple lines I wanted to encourage you with as this uncertain path we’re on continues to unfold...

December.

As I survey the sustained chaos this month brings,

A few thoughts skitter and timelessness rings:

December.

A season of deepening chill,

A season of sweetest joy.

Flip on the screen these days

And ugly rancor rolls unabated;

Christmas or no,

It’ll still swiftly give you its fill….🙄

Ah, but turn to the truth of His Word

And find unblemished peace and love

To miraculously pour into the aching void…

For, there is always Jesus, friends,

Whatever scrolls across our lives and our feeds.

Blessed babe come to earth, ready to receive us without end,

If only we can shed the tugs of this manic world

And to His tender, urgent call give heed…

May we indeed learn when to shut off the screens, open our Bibles, and give heed to His call! Where this world will soon pass away, seeking Him while we may is our life and breath! Blessings and prayers to you, dear friends! May you each know the incomparable joy of this season! 😊❤

Looking for the Lighter Ray

Hello, friends. A bit of honesty here. Today is just…gray. And I admit I just feel it. I figure if there were times King David had to do this, I have to allow myself to have these times, too…

Midafternoon…

Where did the sun go?

Wonders the mind sliding down slow

Into the deepness of the gathering gloom.

Clouds draw overhead tight

Yet spread out fat,

Making day seem the gray nearest night

And the patch of earth I’m on dull and flat.

And here we are again it seems…

Fall crawls again

And the chill sets in.

I should be admiring the skinned knee trees,

Or, at least, the changing hues of the maple leaves.

But, today, Lord help me, I’m tired.

Almost wholly uninspired.

Want to tell everyone about the joy that yet resides

Further on to the core inside.

Yet the chore of living today

Has got my doldrums most on display,

My joints aching and all reason for laughter going astray…

Welcome to the nagging scratch

Of a depressive sort of day,

Oppressive in its tap-you-on-the-back-of-the-noggin way.

Ick. Yet, somehow, I know I will yet catch

Some bit of a lighter sunset ray

When I sit down and recall

The strength that summons itself

When I take it all

To my Father’s throne

And remind myself

No, Marisa, really and truly-you are not alone…

Thanks for reading, dear friends! Hugs and prayers! ❤

The Monsters Are Still Due on Maple Street

Ok. So… in writing the following poem, my fondness for black and white TV will make itself known. In particular today, my love for The Twilight Zone (The original, that is. Accept no substitutes! 😉).

I wasn’t sure about sharing this, not knowing if any would get it, but I feel God giving me the old nudge. 😏

First, though, to give you the (somewhat) shortened idea for my inspiration here:

“The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” is an episode of the show that came at a time when the space race was king, the concept of alien invasions was a major part of comics and films, and the Cold War and its uncertainties loomed. No doubt Rod Serling utilized all these things to tell his tale of an average American street descending into chaos and turning on each other after some strange phenomena befalls their peaceful existence, manipulated by an unknown hand.

Now, Serling used science fiction, but, from that, he made the much more universal point of how easily we as humans fall into the blame game and destroy each other-and, thereby, ourselves, rarely recognizing the manipulation of satan we are allowing in.

Oh, friends, that episode is around sixty years old!😳

But there is still so much of the evil it presents I can see today in the state of our nation, our world, and, especially, our hearts!

In fact, if anything, it looks that much worse!

Yet, unlike the more cryptic ending so often found on my beloved show, including this episode, I find I must ever make the plea to reach for Christ and the hope He holds out to make beauty out of this present ugliness.

And, I am also hopeful that whether or not you have any knowledge of The Twilight Zone and its often chilling wisdom that you will understand and get something out of this ramble of mine. And, so, on with it…🙂

The Monsters Are Still Due On Maple Street

Courtesy IMDB.

The scene first unfolds unremarkably.

Just a simple burg in simple times.

People about their business quietly,

Even pleasantly…

And then, comes the foreboding flash.

Uncertainty gives rise,

Through the peace cutting a

Considerable gash.

Questions beget questions,

Suspicions their suspicions.

Before the dust can settle down low,

Mistrust festers and grows,

Flows a curdling cry

To split the tranquil lie

With heightened panic,

And drive for answers edges into

A state of the manic.

Is friend really friend?

Or do they only pretend?

How to know what is truth really?

Is there any,

Or has all dissolved to mere

Conspiracy?

In gathering dark,

Frightened feet begin to race,

Seemingly without aim,

Yet tightened grips on stones

Speak more purposeful tones

As with angered heft they’re hurled,

Caring not anymore on who they heap

Blame,

As long as it isn’t they

That bear any accountability for this

Sin-soaked world…

Instead, looking wildly here and there

For the Monsters due on Maple Street,

Caught in the chaos

Of a fear-mongering heartbeat,

Never recognizing what has silently

Crept in

Is the hideous reflection of our own

Sin.

For we are the real monsters of Maple Street,

Destroying each other and all we

Could be…

No one else bears that responsibility

But we,

Though we cannot seem to see…

As the man in the book of James,

We’ve glanced in the glass

And remembrance of our desperate

Need

Has faded all too fast!

Oh, Lord, I look at our current

Landscape,

And pray from us this unsightly

Ugliness You will scrape.

Painful though the process is sure to

Be,

Train our eyes to recognize

Only You can take the monstrous

And make something of beauty…

Oh, may we leave behind the fear mongering! May we ever recognize the truth of our own corruption and our desperate need for Him! Blessings and prayers, dear friends! Thanks for reading! ❤

If you find yourself interested, here is the full episode:

My Storymaker

Just some pontificating on my unfortunate tendency to attempt control over my little world, as framed through a writer’s perspective. Ironically, I wrestled a fair bit with pinning down the phrases for this one. Kept getting lost in the words. 🙂

My Storymaker

Ah, my life-it often feels a long series,

One stumbly chapter to the next,

Where emotion both swells and

Wearies.

And the writer in me queries-

How best to play out a story

So complex?

Well, as I amass the content of my

Days

And lay them all upon my lap,

I fall quite handily into my own

Control freakish ways

And never quite see the trap. 😏

For, in the desire to possess said

Control,

I must confess

It’s largely about this for which I am

Equal parts cursed and blessed:

Words. Glorious words.

How I love to weave them-

From the poignant to the absurd.

Words! Glorious words to aspire

Toward,

Thereby propelling

Forward my intricate plans,

Thoughts of relinquishing authorship

Rarely occuring, compelling in me

The stress of trying to arrange things

Strand by painstaking strand. 😏

And so, I pick up the narrator’s pen

With relish,

Ready to begin, to tweak and to

Embellish.

Fresh page flipped open…

How shall I tell my tale?

How shall my life’s lines today

Unveil?

I sometimes think I know.

So I go to scribble down thoughts’

Shape

And only then do I note the troubles

That set in to grow…

Panic thumps my heart then,

As players and conversations away

From my hands spin.

Events take course in a direction

Wholly unintended.

And I feel all the worse for it-

Baffled, bereft, unfriended.

So…I attempt to crumple the errant

Papers of my existence,

Too spent to begin again with any

True sense.

Ah, but then comes the hand of my

Creator

To still my agitated own.

“Let Me, ” whispers the voice of He

Who is greater,

Smoothing out my wadded up life and

Reminding me I am not tinkering

Alone.

For, He is to be my Storymaker,

He points out with a Father’s

Smiling tenderness,

Lovingly showing me where I have

Gone remiss.

With kind shepherd’s crook

He causes me to pause and look

At what He has written for me,

Chastening me, yes, but oh-so-gently,

And hastening me to His side,

The very best narrative there could

Be!

And so I surrender my pen, my

Beloved control

And leave the wordcraft of my soul

Wholly over to Him…

It’s difficult many times, but may we indeed surrender control of the stories of our lives over to the Lord, knowing He has the very best in mind for each of us. Thanks for reading, dear friends! Much love, many blessings and prayers! ❤

Listen for the Whisper

Read about Elijah the other day in his fleeing of Jezebel and listening for God. In the tempests both within and without this week, this was born. Figured it was worth a share…

Not in the rumble,

The tumbling down of stone.

Oh, how the ear strains in my stumble…

To snatch at thunderous voice resounding…

Monsterous choice to lean on flames

Forever pounding

Or to steal into the quiet cave,

Await the peace You generously gave.

And respond but to the gentlest of whispers,

Wrap my cloak about me

As You and I discuss what’s been

And what’s yet to occur.

Ah, trust how elusive!

Yet, I know it’s freedom You yet give.

By tenderness we are fed

Even when brutal violence demands blood be shed.

Somehow, the two though seeming to oppose,

Into twain in Your hands have arose.

Keep speaking the soft words to my troubled heart, Lord.

As in these ugly, calloused times we must ford….

Thanks for reading, dear ones. Keep listening for His voice. Hoping I can continue to do likewise. Blessings and prayers. ❤