Musing on Psalm 46

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is TRUST. A comforting word. Is there any more secure feeling in life than having a friend or spouse we know we can trust?

Here’s my response to the prompt:

Storm + Psalm. Tobias
       Storm photo: Tobias Hämmer  —  Pixabay

Psalm 46: 1-5 — With notes by a modern reader:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
He’s our storm shelter when menacing storms of life want to bash us and whirl us dizzy. He’s the one Who stands beside us, supports us when we are weak, covers us with his hand so we don’t have to take the brunt of enemy bombardment.

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
With our Father by our side, we can face whatever life throws at us.
Though the stock market crash, the latest plague spreads, wildfires rage, governments threaten each other with nuclear attacks, health issues and expenses come up, my neighbour’s furious with me, my teens are bullied at school — or rebel against the stupid rules of us “totally out of it” parents, or my so–called friend spreads a life-shattering rumor about me.
Yes, I will quake because I am human, but He is still there, standing by to help me navigate the raging sea.

Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
So many things are blown way out of proportion by the media and scare-mongers on Facebook may all be saying we’ll never get through this coming disaster. But even if worst comes to worst and the solid rocks around me are shaking, I can still hold His hand and hear His voice over the storm.

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
A river of peace I can stay beside, being refreshed, in a city of refuge where I can live a holy life in the presence of God in spite of the racket going on in the world outside.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
Precious promise! Even though we may wobble at times from the force of the blast and life may be far from perfect, the children of God can stand. Our Father will come to our rescue and hold us up, come what may.

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Revelations 22:1-2

 

 

Be The Best of Whatever You Are

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is RESILIENCE

From Goodreads I’ve borrowed this inspiring quote by Daniel Radcliffe:

“A hero is also someone who, in their day to day interactions with the world, despite all the pain, uncertainty and doubt that can plague us, is resiliently and unashamedly themselves. If you can wake up every day and be emotionally open and honest regardless of what you get back from the world then you can be the hero of your own story.”

And seconding the thought with this poem from long ago:

Be the Best of Whatever You Are
by Douglas Malloch

If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill
Be a scrub in the valley–but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway some happier make;
If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass–
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here.
There’s big work to do and there’s lesser to do,
And the task we must do is the near.

If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail–
Be the best of whatever you are!

What Goes Around…

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is BOOMERANG

Friendship’s like a boomerang
when you give a friendly smile
you’ll find it coming back to you
as you trudge some weary mile.

–Author unknown to me
Verse from an old Friendship Book

The word BOOMERANG comes from an Australian aboriginal language; its appearance in the English language was in the 1820s. However, the concept of things coming back to you is ancient.

In Galatians 6:7 the Apostle Paul writes, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that also shall he reap.” Whether you’ve done good or bad; the Lord rewards you for your actions.

Even farther back, Solomon wrote “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.” Eccl 11:1 This being written in the more positive sense.

Hinduism and Buddhism teach a system of karma, whereby the good you do sets in motion a chain of actions that rewards or punishes you by your lot in the next life. In general, Good or bad luck, viewed as resulting from one’s actions,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

In our day we’ve boiled it down to “What goes around, comes around.” We could even mention Bobby Burns’ “The best laid plans of mice and man go oft astray.”

Boomerang, in my mind, carries a more negative sense. Like getting hit in the back of the head by the boomerang you threw at someone else. Or like the fellow who planned to rob a store by crawling through the heating duct late one Saturday night. Plans went awry when he got stuck and there he stayed until the store opened Monday morning and police were called to investigate.

Be An Encourager

I’ve a dear friend who tries to see the sunny side of everything, quick to mention and compliment your good points and cheer you up if you’re discouraged. “Yes, it’s tough now, but it will get better; just hang in there.” I wish I could be a lot more like her.

She doesn’t butter you up with insincere flattery, but her simple, uplifting kindness is a balm for any ache. “You have a good idea; it may just take a little more work to bring it out.” She has opinions and expresses them, but in a gentle way, not slamming or ridiculing the one(s) at fault. Bless you, Cathy!

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

In our day and age, it’s so easy to slip into the seat of the scornful and I often catch myself occupying that spot, but it’s not a useful nor satisfying place.

Our ideas aren’t always brilliant and we all need critical feedback. We all need to grow a spine and take advice. Over the ages of time, though, encouragers like my friend have done an invaluable service to the world.

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What Rhymes With…?

Good morning everyone. We are having a very spring-like week here on the prairie with temps around 0 C and we’re all enjoying it. Our cats have “cabin fever”; they are constantly at the door begging to go outside and see if anything interesting is going on out there. Much better for all of us than looking out on a snow storm. 🙂

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is RHYME, one of my favorite words and concepts. If you’ve followed me for awhile, you’ll know that I’m fond of poetry. I have memorized a number of poems to recite to myself at night when I can’t sleep, and verses that rhyme are great for this.

When I’m trying to write a rhyming verse, I often find myself searching for a suitable word to match my line ending. That’s when I turn to Rhymer.com and search through their lists. I find this online site an invaluable aid in my versifying. Merriam-Webster also has a rhyming dictionary on their site, and I use their thesaurus constantly.

While free-verse poetry that explores feelings and situations can be poignant, I tend to prefer poems that end on an encouraging note, rather than simply spilling the speaker’s angst or lost-love disappointment. Some writers have packed a lot of wisdom and wit into an inspiring verse or two. Here’s one example, but I don’t know who wrote it:

If all that we say in a single day, with never a word left out,
were printed each night in clear black and white
‘Twould prove strange reading, no doubt.
And then, just suppose, ‘ere our eyes we could close,
we must read the whole record through.
Then wouldn’t we sigh, and wouldn’t we try
a great deal less talking to do?
And I more than half think that many a kink
would be smoother in life’s tangled thread
if half that we say in a single day
were left forever unsaid.

Flourish.simple.JGD