Sunday Walk

I am grateful to P. A. Oltrogge for bringing Psalm 27 to my attention this past week. Here is the concluding verse about waiting and courage:

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Psalm 27:14 King James Version

I found Michael Wilson’s post on the use of the Greek word for slave, δοῦλος, helpful.  He noted that the word is often translated as servant although it means slave.  The distinction is that a servant is hired but a slave is owned.  When I think about it I’d rather be owned by Jesus than hired by him for my good works.  I am grateful that He bought me.

Wall and Green Plant

Float

So whom do you rely upon?
You’re at the Red Sea. Where’s the boat?
How long in water can you float?
That’s when a way was made. At dawn
the charging enemy was gone
except for corpses flushed to shore.
You still have doubts? You’d like one more
experiment to test what’s true?
You see the dead? They’d like that, too,
but they have lost their strength for war.

Ronovan Hester offers the rhyme word “float” to be used in a B line of a décima having rhyme pattern ABBAACCDDC for this week’s Décima Poetry Challenge.

See Exodus 14 for an account of the crossing of the Red Sea.

Red Leaves in Front of Green
Ronovan's Decima Poetry Challenge Image
Ronovan’s Decima Poetry Challenge Image

Shades of Gray

Dale offers the challenge “shades of gray” for this week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge. Above are gray clouds coming in during sunset. Below is a leaf on a gray sidewalk.

The first blog I read this morning was Dianne Marshall’s The Marshall Report. It contained links to two videos, both of which I enjoyed.

Leaf on Sidewalk

Contrast

Repentance cringes at the past
since God detests the rot of it
that reeks of death. The blot of it
warns us beware of each contrast.

We’re thankful though that didn’t last.
We saw in time our wretched ways.
Where would we be if all our days
continued on mechanically
when seeing meant we didn’t see?
Such gratitude’s the source of praise.

Ronovan Hester offers the challenge of using the rhyme word “contrast” in the A line of a décima where the rhyme pattern is ABBAACCDDC.

Pink and Green
Ronovan's Decima Poetry Challenge Image
Ronovan’s Decima Poetry Challenge Image

Losing Darkness

Turn the light out in a cave
and feel the dark come crashing in.
Gratitude. Beyond the grave
such darkness does not get to win.


This is a “dribble” which is a poem of 100 letters (excluding punctuation such as periods, apostrophes, spaces or dashes). The title is not part of the count. See Abigail Gronway’s Happier New New for another example. She challenges us to write one and post a link in the comments of her post.

Plants and Fence Post

Spiny Orb Weaver

Its spines stood out in shiny red
with body black against white wall.
Its web seemed barely there at all
but formed a sticky prison bed.

The traps effectively were spread
to catch deception in midair.
The truth exposed each lie out there
and everywhere we heard the crash.
The busted celebration bash
had cursed repentance, scorned good prayer.

Ronovan Hester challenges us to write a décima with the rhyme word “bash” in the D position of a rhyme pattern ABBAACCDDC.

Spider Against White Fence
Ronovan's Decima Poetry Challenge Image
Ronovan’s Decima Poetry Challenge Image

Last Week’s Christmas Walk

Dale asks us to “show us your Christmas” for the Cosmic Photo Challenge. On my walk on Christmas day I spotted these flowers among others.

My smile this week for Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile is much the same as it has been. In particular I was wondering if I would find anything to photograph on December 25th worth posting to meet Dale’s challenge. Sometimes I’m too distracted. There are times I am so preoccupied I forget to take photos. I smiled with relief when I spotted these flowers. I don’t know why I saw them. I must have missed them on previous walks. Perhaps they weren’t blooming then.

White Blossoms

Star

Perhaps not everyone could see.
Some who saw refused to follow.
Those who did their lives, once hollow,
were all transformed majestically.

A tiny light far off may be
a beam from an enormous star.
The blood once flowing left a scar.
Did all that happen long ago?
We see the scar and starlit show.
One word confirms just who we are.


Ronovan Hester offers the challenge to use the rhyme word “star” in the C line of a décima having rhyme pattern ABBAACCDDC.

Plant and White Wall
Ronovan's Decima Poetry Challenge Image
Ronovan’s Decima Poetry Challenge Image

Merry Christmas

Confucius is dead. Mohammad is dead. Shinto is dead. Buddha is dead, but Jesus is alive and therefore I can believe IN Jesus. I can’t believe in the others. They are all gone.

David Pawson, The Key Steps to Becoming a Christian, Part 3 (about 18:45)

I love the traditional celebration of Christmas on December 25th especially as Mario Murillo presented it yesterday in his post. However, placing the actual birth of Jesus at the beginning of the Jewish calendar, that is, on Nisan 1, opens up, for me, an unexpected fulfillment of prophecy.

Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic Christian pastor, made the case that Jesus was born on March 20, 6 BC. If you watch the 28 minute video, When Was Jesus REALLY Born??, (Jim Bakker Show November 12th, 2012), look for the following:
1) In the spring lambing season the shepherds would be in the fields at night attending the birth of the lambs.
2) These lambs from Bethlehem were the temple sacrificial lambs. By pointing out the sign of “a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12 NIV), the angel was telling the shepherds to also attend the birth of Jesus.
3) Central events in the life of Jesus occurred on Jewish holy days: the Lamb Selection Day (Palm Sunday), Passover (Crucifixion), the Feast of First Fruits (Resurrection), and Shavuot (Pentecost). If His birth were a similarly central event it would likely occur on Nisan 1, the beginning of the Jewish calendar.
4) The birth year of 6 BC is suggested by an unusual occultation of Jupiter by the Moon in the constellation Aries that the Magi, or Zoroastrian astrologers, would have noticed in the spring. This would point them to the birth (occultation) of a king (Jupiter) in Judea (Aries).
5) The Tabernacle took nine months to complete like the period from conception to birth of a baby. It was set up on Nisan 1, “on the first day of the first month” (Exodus 40:2 NIV).

As Jonathan Cahn mentioned at the end of the video every time we receive Jesus it is day one, a new beginning. That would include today, December 25th, as well. And so I wish you a Merry Christmas and a new beginning.


Events

The winter solstice doesn’t bother us.
It happens this time every year.
It comes and goes. A few might care to know,
But no one feels any fear.

A birth we celebrate about this time
That happened once in ancient days
Still moves the heart with joyful gratitude.
We rise with shepherds singing praise.

Horizon – Six Sentence Story

Far be it from Joseph to doubt the angel even when he felt overwhelmed.

There wasn’t a guest room available but they could stay in the courtyard where animals were kept along with the other travelers the inn could not accommodate with rooms. While Joseph prepared a place for Mary and him to sleep her labor began. She gave birth under the stars wrapping her child in cloths and laying him in a manger.

Shortly after the birth shepherds found the child. They told everyone about an angel, the sign of a baby in a manger, and how the horizon filled with a heavenly host giving praise.


Denise offers the challenge word “horizon” to use in this week’s Six Sentence Story.

For a better understanding of what actually happened, see Matthew 1 and Luke 2. I owe the idea of a “courtyard” to David Pawson who described what the inn may have looked like in a lecture, The Church and Christmas – The Truth About Christmas Part 2 (starting about 20:00).

I am offering this as part of the Holiday Blogging Party that Crystal Grimes is hosting.


A very short story of mine, “Fresh Snow”, appeared in Whispers and Echoes. I am grateful to the editor for accepting it.

Horizon on Lake Michigan
GirlieOnTheEdge Denise Farley's six-sentence-stories icon
GirlieOnTheEdge Denise Farley’s six-sentence-stories icon