Jake Sprinters’ Sunday Post: Nature

Exif JPEG

Visit Jake’s site for more information on the challenge:
http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/sunday-post-nature-2014/

 

 

~

 

Along The River

When I chose the photo for my submission to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge — Focus — I couldn’t resist looking through several other photos of a second river that I enjoyed during the same trip last fall. As I thought about that river, I also thought about the poem I wrote last April that shared some of my thoughts and feelings connected with it. So I went back and read the poem again, and I enjoyed it even more than when I wrote it. It goes without saying that I love this poem, mostly because it so honestly describes my response to the beauty and power of God’s creation and its ability to influence us. So — I decided I’d just re-post it and share it with my readers again. After all, many of you were not a part of my blogging family way back in April. Any of you who aren’t into poetry reruns can feel free to skip this post with my blessing.

Exif JPEG

ALONG THE RIVER

The sun is playing hide and seek with clouds
Along the river.
The clouds are gray, but friendly, soft, and free
Along the river.

I move unhampered by the flirting breeze
Along the river,
Breathing deeply of the moistened earth
Along the river.

Quiet now invades my mind and soul
Along the river.
I’m letting go of tumbling, troubled thoughts
Along the river.

My past recedes; my future quiet rests
Along the river,
And water speaks to waters deep within,
Along the river.

I sit and contemplate historic days
Along the river:
The generations served by this same stream
Along the river.

And sense that I belong to something great
Along the river:
A part of something bigger than myself
Along the river.

And far beyond my power to understand,
Along the river,
An elemental knowing I am known —
And I am loved —
By the Creator of the river.

~~~

 

Experimental Challenge 5/7/13 — ‘What If …?’

Well, even though I posted the “green planet” writing challenge on here Tuesday, I did not have a story of my own to go with the picture yet.  I was still thinking. Two other bloggers have jumped in with great contributions, though, and we are on our way. I finally dragged an idea out of my imagination this morning, so here’s my offering (along with a copy of the picture):

TERRY'S GREEN PLANET 2 - resized, credits

WHAT  IF  …?

What’s the latest report?” Oneida asked Tron.

The planet Verdure is still in a state of internal combustion,” he replied, his face pinched. He looked at the camera relay screen. “Watching that planet disintegrate right before my eyes and knowing I can’t stop it is tearing my guts out.”

How long do we have?”

I’ll know more when Beryl and Oma return. They’re out measuring the light levels in the power garden.”

That red gas is our main enemy?”

Yes, as our energy pods absorb it, the light energy that holds this planet together is drained off.”

He panned the camera across the power garden of mushroom-shaped growths from which the planet drew all of its life. “See, how many of the healthy purple pods have absorbed the gas until they have turned red and shrunk to half their original size?”

He panned to the pod where Beryl and Oma were still at work. Oneida spoke. “Look, Oma’s starting to descend. Maybe they’ll be back with their report soon.”

Yes, but I’m not sure I want to hear it. Sometimes, I think we should turn off all the surveillance equipment so we can’t see it all happening one step at a time. Perhaps we should all just gather in the communal hall and do our best to comfort each other until it comes.”

Until the end comes, do you mean?”

Of course! What else?”

She looked at him gravely. “I’ve been thinking ….”

Yes …?”

Well … I’ve been wondering … Did we just happen?” Tron looked at her quizzically. “I mean … well … I find it hard to believe this whole planet of Mushroom just happened – and that all of us who live here were non-existent one second and then – bang – here we were!” She looked at him hopefully.

I don’t think I’m following you. What does it have to do with Verdure’s decomposition and destruction of everything within its electro-magnetic sphere?”

Don’t you see? If we didn’t just … happen … then someone or something more intelligent, more creative, more powerful than ourselves had to have created us. And if that someone cared enough to make us, then wouldn’t it – or he – care enough to save us?”

Tron’s eyes grew large. Oneida could see that it was a concept he’d never imagined.  But now … with no other possible avenue of hope … perhaps even he thought it was worth considering.

She continued. “I guess I’m wondering if we were to look back in all the records of Mushroom – especially the copies of those old black books the leaders buried underground last century ….”

“You mean you think there might be answers to our origins in those books? But the leaders insisted that they were lies and made it illegal for any citizen of Mushroom to read them.”

But what if we could find out … and find a way to connect with our … creator —”

That’s impossible!”

Is it? Our survival is impossible as we are now. But, just think, Tron … what if ….”

~~~

NaPoWriMo – Day 13 – Along The River

NAPO 2013 BUTTON

The prompt for Day 13 was to take a walk and incorporate the elements of that walk into a poem.

Exif JPEGALONG THE RIVER

The sun is playing hide and seek with clouds
Along the river.
The clouds are gray, but friendly, soft, and free
Along the river.

I move unhampered by the flirting breeze
Along the river,
Breathing deeply of the moistened earth
Along the river.

Quiet now invades my mind and soul
Along the river.
I’m letting go of tumbling, troubled thoughts
Along the river.

My past recedes; my future quiet rests
Along the river,
And water speaks to waters deep within,
Along the river.

I sit and contemplate historic days
Along the river:
The generations served by this same stream
Along the river.

And sense that I belong to something great
Along the river:
A part of something bigger than myself
Along the river.

And far beyond my power to understand,
Along the river,
An elemental knowing I am known —
And I am loved —
By the Creator of the river.

~~~

Here’s the link to join the fun: http://www.napowrimo.net/

My Cadillac For Your Camel

What Makes Something Valuable?

CAMEL'S IN DESERT

We all live by a value system of some kind. Each possession, each day, and each person in our lives has a different value, and sometimes that value changes. The title of this article is a joke, of course, poking fun at the truth that most value is relative. But what makes it relative? What, in the final analysis, determines an item’s value?

There are millions of affluent citizens of several nations who value their Cadillacs — or a number of other expensive automobiles with big gasoline engines — as one of the most important and life-enhancing items they could own. On a roster of possessions that represent the most positive assets in life, those glossy, high-powered autos head the list.

But let that Cadillac owner find himself stranded in the middle of a blazing desert: sand blowing into every nook and cranny, including his engine — no roads of any kind — no gas stations.  Suddenly, a slow-moving, bad-smelling, comically-proportioned camel is worth a whole lot more to that guy than the Caddy, and he’d gladly make a trade. Value.

By the same token, a woman who finds herself happily married to a kind, thoughtful man will value that man highly — more highly than any of the other people in her life. Her next-door neighbor may be married to Attila the Hun, and she finds herself valuing her time away from him with others much more than she does him.

The woman who’s wished all her life for a huge two-story home with five bathrooms, and who has the money to care for that house and hire help — as well as be free to stay home and enjoy it most days — will value that house highly. But the gal who struggles to make ends meet by working three jobs and going non-stop from sun-up to sun-down will value a one-bedroom apartment that is easy to clean and maintain with no extra fuss.

So what is it, really, that gives something its value? It seems that it is the owner of that ‘something.’  The person to whom the thing belongs and for whom it fulfills a purpose or meets a need is the one who imbues it with its value.

Well, I, for one am thrilled to realize that truth. Because I know for sure to whom I belong.  And I know for sure — because He told me Himself — what service I perform and what needs I meet for Him. Nor am I an isolated case. There are millions more just like me — yet unique at the same time — and bearing equal value in the eyes of our owner.

My owner is the God of the universe, the Creator of all things — including me. His Word tells me clearly (Revelation 4:11) that all things — including me — were created by Him for His pleasure. And, in fact that is my number-one job: to give my Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ pleasure. Surely, I am assigned to do other things: to love others; to teach them what the Word says about Jesus and how He, as God, came to save us from our own sin and rebellion; and to show by my whole life the true nature of God. But those assignments do not substitute for God’s original purpose in creating me: His own enjoyment of a family just like Him.

But not only does He own the whole human race because He created us. When we rebelled against Him and turned away, breaking our relationship with him completely, with no hope to get it back, God came in the person of Jesus Christ and paid the supreme price to buy us back into His possession. He made us the first time (an easy and delightful experience for Him); He bought us the second time (a gut-wrenching, horrific, thoroughly bloody experience for Him).

But you know what’s really interesting to me?  The Word of God tells us in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus faced all of that sacrifice for us — laying aside the privileges of Divinity and re-defining Himself in human flesh, living a life never once stained by sin, and taking our sin and the horrible shame, beating, crucifixion, and separation from God that we deserved — because He saw something beyond that sacrifice that would give Him so much joy that it far surpassed the evil He would have to endure.

Now, tell me please, what joy could the Lord of the universe – Creator of all things — what possible joy could He have been missing that made such a horrific sacrifice necessary? The only thing He was missing was a relationship with man. Since man, by his own volition, had irrevocably broken that relationship, nothing could restore it at that point. The only hope was if God could find a way to “re-create” the human race — to make them righteous enough again to fellowship with Him.

The triune Creator had everything else He could possibly want, but not one of those things could give Him the joy that His relationship with us could give. Dear friend, it was for man — for you and me — that He longed. It was for you and me that He made the decision to suffer such agony and death.

So how valuable are we? Is there anything in the universe that could be bartered for you and me? Is there anything that can be offered to Jesus Christ in exchange for His relationship with us that would tempt Him to give us up? Not on your life, my friend!  He already made that choice, once and for all, when He laid down everything else for us.

Remember, He didn’t just decide to come down to earth for a moment in time and go through the motions. He came down to go through the reality of taking on our sin, taking on our separation and banishment from the Father God, taking on our death. His only hope was in the eternal Word of the living God, who had spoken that He would raise Jesus up with new life once the legal price for sin had been paid in full. Had that Word failed, Jesus would never have seen Heaven again, and we would be lost and undone — without God and without hope — forever.

But He did see Heaven again. He came up out of that grave with eternal life to offer anyone who would accept the sacrifice He had made. (John 3:16-18, 1 John 5:11-12). So when we accept His sacrifice and accept Him, that new life comes into us and we are “born again.” (John 3:3-5). We become “a new creation: a new species,” created in the righteousness of Jesus Christ Himself. (2 Cor. 5:17).

Yes, it’s easy to identify Jesus Christ as our owner — twice over. He created us; then he paid for us. A critical reader will stop here and note the fact that I am repeating this point for the third time in this article. And he would be correct. I am repeating this astounding truth so many times because this world has a way of draining it right out of us. It’s so easy to give mental assent to what we’re discussing here but miss the power of it as a reality in our lives. So once more I will remind all of us:  He laid everything on the line — Heaven, His eternal throne, His own life — for us. And therein lies our value.

It doesn’t matter how we feel about it. It doesn’t matter what we think. And it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about the situation. Our worth is set for eternity, and no one — absolutely no one — is going to get Jesus to trade us for anything else at all..

Friday Fictioneers — February 1 — As It Was In The Beginning

Well, I am waaaaaaay out in left field on this week’s challenge.  It was fun getting here, but I don’t have enough words to get back.  This piece is definitely “stream of consciousness” writing.

Here’s the photo prompt that Rochelle gave us — courtesy of Claire Fuller, who created the sculpture and took the photo.

/copyright-Claire Fuller

AS IT WAS IN THE BEGINNING

Well, now, let’s have a look at this piece that has you so distressed, Maryann,” said Professor Rousseau, lifting the scarf that covered his student’s newest sculpture. His gasp of pleasure was audible. Then for several minutes, he stood silent. Finally he spoke, never taking his eyes from the work.

Tell me again what you told me on the phone.”

I … I sculpted the man’s head yesterday. I could feel it wasn’t finished, but I couldn’t seem to do anything else with it. So I went to bed. This morning, when I went into the studio to take another look at it … the woman’s head was there as well … and his hand on her head protectively … as you can see.”

The Professor smiled. “Aaahh, yes. I can see that the words of the Original Artist still hold true: “It is not good for man to be alone.”

~~~

To join in the fun visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ site here:
http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/

Picture It and Write Challenge: ‘In the Beginning – A One-Act Play’

I originally posted this short one-act play a few months ago, but yesterday I came across a writing challenge connected with the picture below, and I thought the play fit the challenge perfectly.  So I’m sharing it as my response.
Here’s the link:  Picture It and Write:  http://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/__picture-it-write-42/

In The Beginning: A One-Act Play

Time: Creation, Day 1
Place: Heaven, looking down at planet Earth
Cast: God and One Inquisitive Angel

Conversation:

Angel to God: “What are you doing, God?”
God: “I’m lighting my planet Earth.”
Angel: “Why does it need light?”
God: “Because I am creating a brand new species — MAN — and I want him to live there.”
Angel:A NEW species? What are you going to do with him?”
God: “Love him.”
Angel: “What will he do for you?”
God: “Give me pleasure.”
Angel: “Will he give you pleasure that is different from what the rest of your creation gives you?”
God: “Oh, yes. He will be a speaking spirit just like me, who will be able to choose by his own free will to love me and communicate with me constantly.”
Angel: “Have you thought that he could use his free will to choose NOT to love you? He could end up giving you a lot of trouble.”
God: “Oh, yes, he will give me  A LOT of trouble. … But to me he is worth it!”