…only the Lord can help us. And His Name is Jesus Christ.
New King James Version
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song for Alamoth.
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
"For the LORD takes pleasure in His
He will beautify the humble with
salvation." Psalm 149:4
I'm not sure we could see the beauty of "humble" without Jesus.
Lord, may we live beautifully humbled by Your salvation. And here's a simple poem . . .
The Beauty of Salvation
none of this makes sense
in a world that's all show…
I had the privilege of seeing this painting at the Toledo Museum of Art, close-up and from across the room. Its troubling subject matter was treated with delicacy and a feminine sensibility by this accomplished woman painter. It is a painting that makes me very sad.
This portrayal of the Philistine giant, Goliath, is stunning, although there’s no way of knowing whether it’s accurate. As the probable descendent of a fallen angel (one of the nephilim) and a human mother, Goliath has been given a kind of splendid yet awful vitality. His laughter may have gone right through David’s slim frame, as if falling down upon him like rumbling thunder.
David appears lanky, (puny), and thin-armed, but as he gets ready to throw, his stance reveals that he is skilled with his weapon. Deceptively small, in the hands of this puny servant of the GOD of Israel, the sling and stone proved lethal, even for the proud, scornful, and masterful super-human.
Such a beautiful depiction makes the reality of the virgins’ sleep more poignant. Their careless lethargy and its consequence is a truth we must all take to heart. Are our lamps trimmed and filled? Do we have our flasks of oil with us? Are we awake… ? Wake up, oh my soul, for Jesus is at the door!
The prodigal son was received with open arms. His father’s expression is sober, for he must have understood the depth of his son’s sin. He had watched and waited for his return. His son was repentant and broken – beloved also. May the Lord grant us his humility!
This early treatment of the woman of Revelation 12, here shown fleeing the malevolent serpent, is somewhat naive in appearance. I wonder how much of an understanding this artist had. Perhaps, it was greater than ours… ?
Here is the pertinent passage from the the Bible, verses 13-17:
Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Herrad von Landsberg was an Abbess at Hohenburg Abbey in the region of Alsace. She obviously opened her Bible on a regular basis, probably a hand-copied codex with fascinating pictures. Her simplistic and non-gorey treatment of the destruction of the Whore of Babylon is very pure.
I hope you enjoyed your short visit to this tiny gallery. I’ve been away from my blog, and yours, for a while – forgive me. I haven’t been well and also have been questioning how the Lord would have me serve Him. I’m building a website to post my new novel online. It is called The Dragon Crusades, a novel in episodes.
These images are in the Public Domain, so you can copy and use them. If you do, display the Public Domain logo to identify them as such. All – and many more – are to be found at Wikimedia Commons and/or Wikipedia.
When the Lord Jesus was asked an important question, He answered in this way:
New American Standard Bible
Call to Repent
13 Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? 3 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
6 And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. 7 And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ 8 And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9 and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”
His Word is faithful and true
breathing labored, and
flanks flecked with foam,
teeth chomping the bit, the horses
hurry with their riders –
riders called against all the earth!
One who conquers,
one who steals peace and has power to kill,
one who carries the scales of misery and want,
and Death – Death is certain! –
with Hades following close behind.
Repent – we all must!
In Jesus alone is safety found.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…
The Book of Acts, chapter 17
22 So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. 23 For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ 29 Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. 30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
These images are in the public domain. When using them, include this symbol. You can find these and more at Wikimedia Commons.
Here it is, His words recorded in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 7, verse 15:
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
These men and women change and twist God’s Word and mix it up with appealing lies. Their lies kill sheep. They are ambassadors of Satan. Stay safely inside the precious fold of God’s Word!
28 After Jesus finished speaking, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, 29 for He taught as one who had real authority -- quite unlike the teachers of religious law.
I briefly debated with myself about whether to include this under the category "Words of Jesus," because this particular sentence wasn't actually spoken by Jesus -- it was spoken by the author of the book, Matthew, about Jesus.
Learn and live!
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,
1 I will love thee, O Lord, my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
3 I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
4 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.
5 The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.
6 In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.
7 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.
8 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.
9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.
10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
12 At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.
13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.
14 Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.
15 Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.
16 He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.
17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.
18 They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay.
19 He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
20 The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22 For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.
23 I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.
24 Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.
25 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;
26 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.
27 For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.
28 For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
29 For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.
30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.
31 For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God?
32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
33 He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.
34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.
36 Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.
37 I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.
38 I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.
39 For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.
40 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.
41 They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the Lord, but he answered them not.
42 Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.
43 Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.
44 As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.
45 The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.
46 The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.
47 It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.
48 He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.
49 Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.
50 Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.
Looking around this sorry world, following the news, seeing symptoms that the world is terminally ill, I wonder – can I actually write about Spring… ?
© 2013, Maria Tatham
Spring is one sign of His never-failing faithfulness,
Promising that, just as each year the world is
Renewed, revived, restored, refreshed,
I and you and the world will be resurrected, but… There is
No going back to a childish way of seeing Spring, when trouble is everywhere…
God’s view must be mine – it is Divine, sometimes He remakes through judgment.
Spring peers in the window,
her face glimpsed
through rain-streaked panes.
Spring is coming,
hoping to find you home,
uphill, barefoot, running,
leaving trails of
crocus and jonquil -
yellow and bright things! -
her hair and dress
shaken by winds,
a tote over her arm
filled with things for you.
She’s not shy; this
old friend will visit
even if you happen to be
away for the day.
She’ll set your wind-chimes
gabbing, shake out
a fresh lawn for you,
open your windows too.
Is that she at the door… ?
In the spring of 1337, at the time when knights set out on the business of war and errantry, a sign appeared in the heavens, a comet so bright that it could be seen by day, its great tail much like a dragon’s, and so it was named Saint Drako’s comet, for it looked like a dragon and it appeared on that saint’s day – all days were saints’ days then.
As Gregor plodded along upon his destrier, Drako’s comet remained in his line of vision, its tail scintillating even in the glory of the cloudless sky. Both he, and it, were moving toward an appointed place, his saddle-quiver full of lances, the comet’s imperceptible movement full of meaning.
(this is an excerpt from my novel in progress)
Lord Jesus, seemingly in the midst of winter, we celebrated Your Resurrection this year. I’m sad, remembering that this coming Spring, though it is a sign of Your faithfulness, is Spring in a world that’s dying. May it be a time of planting/sowing seeds that will die but bear an abundant crop! May it be a time of harvesting precious winter wheat that ripples, ripening in the wind of God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, Your Spirit, the Spirit of Christ!
In the midst of the strong words of Jesus, I want to take a minute and talk about how Jesus corrects His children. This is really important. It is really easy for us to get into a tailspin when we feel the rebuke of the Lord, and that is not His intention.
There are 2 parts to this issue.
The first thing is to distinguish Condemnation and Conviction.
The Perfect Sacrifice
10 Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the actual form of those realities, it can never perfect the worshipers by the same sacrifices they continually offer year after year. 2 Otherwise, wouldn’t they have stopped being offered, since the worshipers, once purified, would no longer have any consciousness of…
Are your doorposts and lintel covered
with the blood of Yahweh’s Blameless Lamb?
Are you ready – things packed?
Will this be your last Pesach on earth?
P E S A C H
Yahweh’s Blameless Lamb? Are you ready – things packed?
Will this be your last Pesach on earth? + Are your doorposts
Series about Passover in Israel from Deb’s Blog:
Unde eşti ?
Te rog, lasă tristeţea, căci ea e infinită !
Iubirea este laşă, iubirea e timidă.
Creează-ţi limita speranţei, de acum...
Revino şi urmează-ţi propriul drum !
Şi mi-ai promis c-o să revii,
Dar noaptea se transformă-n zi.
Speram să am un semn liniştitor,
Dar, el era al tuturor.
Să fie gând, să fie vis...
Doar cu privirea te-am atins...
I’ve finished reading C.S. Lewis – Narrative Poems and started Tolkien’s The Lays of Beleriand: The History of Middle-earth. While Lewis’s poetry can be wonderful, sometimes luminous, I believe he chose well in choosing to write prose. He mastered the art of poetry, certainly, and “The Queen of Drum” is especially wonderful, but I love his voice in prose – it’s a living thing. God’s wisdom, demonstrated in His leading of Lewis to write fiction and literary criticism, is awesome.
Most of the poems in this book had never been published until then. Only “Dymer” had been. Were the others waiting in a dusty drawer for Walter Hooper… ? Should they have hidden from him… ? No! They’re a treasury of thoughts, clothed in apt and moving images, a record of human sensations and emotions communicated well. And as I hinted, “The Queen of Drum” is compelling and gorgeous, and occasionally funny. It is a genuine trip into the dark heart of Faerie, is filled with wisdom, and I hope you will read it.
What was fun for me, in reading his unpublished poems, was to watch him practicing, or rather trying out for use in a poem, such things as alliteration, which he understood well as a scholar of English literature. So… I thought that, to celebrate having read this book, I’d try a little alliteration too, in a poem about God’s world, and also try a poem about fairyland in rhyming couplets, attempting, practicing, a rhyming scheme that Lewis and Tolkien both employed.
© Maria Tatham, 2013
Wide, wonderful world of God!
Worries won’t weary as much,
or last long, while we’re wondering
over His design, deliberateness, devotion
to beauty, beneficence, bounty,
loveliness, loyalty, love,
colors, contours, kindnesses!
Wide, wide wonderful world of God!
© Maria Tatham, 2013
Far lies her misty borderland,
where mist and solid meet as one,
where simple souls are all undone
by magic that upon them falls
in graven beauty, enchanted halls.
Forgotten there, the Law of God,
its Glory there upon is trod
by the foolish, craving baleful beauty,
by the selfish, despising loving duty.
There, are met such childish souls,
enchantment’s thralls in dire hold,
eating and drinking things thought rare,
while dining in fact upon thin air,
all choked with cloying poison.
All gone, God-given reason!
They sit and laugh and cry alone
they stay, and feasting, die alone.
In this darkening and turbulent world we are surrounded by vulgar music and corrupt and vile works. We often lose sight of works that flow with Grace.
God created us with talents and we express them through so many ways including music, art, film, dance, writing, cooking, gardening, homemaking. We should enjoy what is beautiful. We can see the Grace of God flow through beautiful works, made by His creation and inspired by Him through His gifts of the different and unique talents that He gave us.