Much Fruit

Hello Dear Friends…

I am honoring of all those today who have been persecuted in the name of our Savior! Polycarp was a brittle old man who loved Jesus and committed no crime!   Please persevere and remember those who have gone before us!  Continue to love, to honor, to walk in the footsteps of our Savior!  And I thank you all…from the bottom of my heart….for taking the time to read my blog! !

 

 

 

JESUS….to the church of Smyrna…

(Early Church tradition dates Revelation to the end of the emperor Domitian (reigned AD 81–96), and most modern scholars agree, although John may have written a first version after Nero’s Great Fire in Rome (AD 64) under Vespasian (AD 69–79) and updated it under Domitian A. D.)

 

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

(Revelation 2:10 ESV)

 

Saint-Polycarp-1

 

Polycarp

…Bishop of Smyrna (A.D. 69-156) 

 

The most succulent fruit you did bear…as your name so well implies,

A believer from youth…until the day they took your life.

Really, how much faith did it take you to utter these words?

To your captors who held you prisoner and wish you to die?

……“But why do you delay? Come, do what you will!”……

This old man in his eighties, could not utter a sound,

Against His Master who died for him and promised a crown.

So loyal, so humble, just wanting to please …

He spoke a final prayer of thankfulness to be thought even worthy…

 To die a martyrs death, against this evil and wicked stance!

They ignite a great flame, to set your decrepit, old body ablaze,

Wishing first to bind you…to insure an even greater demise.

But to their utmost astonishment and serious wonder…

A sweet scent emits… of baked bread and fragrant spice…

…”Leave me as I am. For He who grants me to endure the fire will enable me also to remain on the pyre unmoved, without the security you desire from nails.”… 

They call for a dagger….a mighty weapon used to kill,

How dare this old man refuse to die by our murderous hands!

  Slaughter the one who stands mighty and untouched by flame…

Pierce him…and do not delay,

 For our hunger for this evil play is ever growing.

As they tear your flesh open….shattering tissue and bone

Your slaughtered blood extinguishes the fire that surrounds you…

 As you are savagely brought down…

Polycarp!!

 …your last breath is nearing, keep searching through the flame!

Grab a hold of your Master, and kiss the Feet of your Crown!!!

“Stand fast, therefore, in these things, and follow the example of the Lord, being firm and unchangeable in the faith, loving the brotherhood, and being attached to one another, joined together in the truth, exhibiting the meekness of the Lord ….”

(Polycarp… in his epistle to the Philippians A. D. 110-140)

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One Single Yellow Rose

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for the time you spend visiting my blog!!  My current blog is the result of the inspiration resulting from an empty and lonely Mother’s Day….As I always grieve the death of my own mother who died on October 16th, 1990 …and of the loving and honorable husband I was pray-fully blessed with… who never thought of disrespecting my mother… in ANY WAY!!…. and who honored her on her very last day here on Earth, at the young and tender age of 57,…

With One Single Yellow Rose

..…which he personally placed in her hands!!!  

Our faith in Jesus allows us to long for an eternity where we will be happily reunited with our loved ones in Christ!  Carry on my dear friends in Christ…..the world is full of evil, heartache, and strife….. but have no fear….. for He who lives within us has already conquered this fallen world!!!  

Thank you firstly…. to my blog friends who read my crazy and unprofessional writing even though I only attempt to honor Christ! ….secondly…to my everlasting and faithful husband Brian… who loved my mother so very unconditionally…and last, but certainly not least…. to Stacy…my beloved friend…who through beautiful conversation last night, provided me the inspiration to write this blog!!! 

Please continue to pray for those lost and searching for answers !

Your friend in Christ, 

Kathy 

 

 

 

 

rose 1

 

“The life of mortals’ is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field;

The wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.”

(Psalm 103: 15-16 NIV)

 

One single yellow rose…placed so lovingly in a deceased loved one’s last embrace…..

So very long ago….yet so brilliantly vivid in the ones’ who cherish the memory of that well- lived life left behind.

So soon to depart …and so painful to the ones who remain lingering here…

Free-falling in this sinful land where we,

Who steadfast believe…

And are just passing through to our God-given homeland!!

One single yellow rose…. Found intentionally along the path to that finite farewell….

And clouded in temporary heartache and loss.

A mourning daughter heavily sighs through tears, 

 Unsuspecting and unaware

Of the unconditional motive of the one who greatly respects…

That life once lived….

And, 

 Of the existing life that was brought forth

From her womb.

One single yellow rose…to beautifully represent a life renewed!

 Borne from the scattered and very few yellow roses…

which were handpicked and delivered to her deathbed vase.

 Handpicked… only from the garden she kept…

 Among the prickly weeds and thorns that grew there.

The few yellow roses which flourished just higher among the weeds…

and stood majestic on her doomsday nightstand.

  And the weeds unable to strangle…

The life growing there, 

 of the very last week of her earthly suffering.

 

 

rose 2

 

“Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—

They are like the new grass of the morning;

In the morning it springs up new;

But by evening, it is dry and withered.”

(Psalm 90: 5-6 NIV)

 

One single yellow rose….. Given from the young and vibrant hands of a son in law…

And freely into the now resting hands of a deceased mother in law.

Yet the wind continues to blow in this barren land…

And the evening light fades the vibrant color to only a dimmed black and white,

to those who continually choose to wander here….

But that single yellow rose… 

I know now,

Without any doubt, 

Lives eternally….

No East…

 No West…

Does it even know,

as our fallen world now dictates us all,

This beautiful flower survives,

in all immortal conditions!

Because His Kingdom rules over all ……

 

And that single yellow rose will survive the fall…..

 

His Kingdom will rule….

Forever…and ever!

Rain…..Fall On Me!

“So that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

(MATTHEW 5:45 ESV)

 

Summer Rain

 

This night is so very lonely…its never-ending fears begin to torment me….

The nightly doom sets in early on this very dark mid- night.

Wreaking havoc on my faith….

My soul…..

And my ever- present being….

My Lord…. And My Savior!

 “Hear my plea”…

“I will follow you…. Even if I walk all alone,”

“Till the break of day.”

This early daylight begins without a whispering sound….

The day’s morning sun is bright and blinding to my weary, sleepless eyes.

The low-lying and lingering ominous clouds seem to overshadow any lasting hope of this sunrise.

And yet… there You are…

Flickering….

Glowing….

 In the distance…

Like a candlelight ready to quickly extinguish ….

On this early morning daybreak…

My Lord…. And My Savior!…

 “Hear my plea”…

“I will follow you…. Even if I walk all alone,”

“Till the brink of night…..”

 

 

The seasons seem to change so quickly now….my breath is growing more swallow….

My body is diseased and weakened….by the years of my rebellious youth,

I so fear my own impending death…..

As I reach blindly into the aged darkness that surrounds me…

 Reaching only to grab hold of Your rod…

 And Your staff…

Yet I think I grab hold to…

 a bruised and nail-pierced Hand……

My Lord…. And My Savior!…

 “Hear my plea”…

“I will follow you…. Even if I walk all alone,”

“Till the verge of death…..”

 

I return as dust to the darkness I once called home….

Lying deep within the frozen ground

 Which once inhabited me.

And in this cold darkness…

I hear the distant sound of a magnificent horn.

I rise and look into this vast darkness….

And search desperately with weary, sleepless eyes

 Where Your constant light once flickered…..

My eyes grow clearer……

My vision as crisp as it once was…….

Am I awakening to a room in my Father’s house?

I scream out in utter fear……

Yet it is not my own shattering voice I hear…..

I hear another voice….

Speaking slowly,

Lovingly,

Is He welcoming me?……

“This is YOUR room in my Father’s house!!”

Though I do not deserve this upcoming wedding feast!….

I walk in,

 with my head held high!

Invited by the One who called me! 

My Lord…. And My Savior!…

 “Hear my plea”…

“I will follow you…. Even if I walk all alone,”

“Till the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

 

Rain

fall heavy on me in this present darkness…

For I fear no evil!

First Season Mourning Dove

“I said, oh, that I had the wings of a dove!  I would fly away and be at rest.”

(Psalm 55: 6 NIV)

 

mourning dove pic 1

 

Early morning on the first day of March, the cold rain is pouring down like sheets of melting ice in this messy transition of His miraculous seasons….

And my soul screams out to Him just like His seasons of everlasting change….

 

Fickle… yet faithful…

Discontent… yet satisfied…..

Cold…yet warm….

Doubtful….yet so very hopeful

Enemy….yet lover…

Depressed….yet eternally happy!

Alive… yet dying!!!! 

Pouring out my own tears of icy rain in my deepest dark sorrows of late wintertime…

Only to the One who listens to my ever-evolving yearly cries….

“Why do You leave me here?”

“In this dead winter barren,  a land of loss and suffering?”

I long for Your paradise

 

 

 In…..“Immanuel’s Land”

“Glory, glory in Immanuel’s Land!”

 

And……What a barren wasteland in this finite time…

it has truly become….

Of pain…and suffering…..

Of heartache and sure death!

I so try to love You always and stay faithful to Your Promises!

My unanswered questions just as many as Your long- awaited answers…

 I have yet to hear You speak…

I so desire to see Your face and kiss Your trampled, scorned feet!

But I will continue to walk blindly into this vast void of cold bitter darkness.

And in this freezing rain I fear will soon turn to freezing snow….

I glance out at Your wondrous creation and see my first season’s mourning dove…

I do not hear his mourning dove song….

As much as I try to listen, he stands silent in this freezing rain.

Sitting heroic and patiently …

Not even a ruffle of feathers does he flutter….

Perched high and mighty…

He is and always is!

Though I truly feel….

He is mocking me. 

Unfazed by the current condition of Your varied and wondrous seasons…

 Is he only there to remind me?

Of Your undying promises?

The promises You will keep!!!!

The promises you will keep to me, my Lord?

 

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you, He will never let the righteous be shaken.”

(Psalm 55: 22 NIV)

 

 

Yet we deny what He shows us…in our deepest sorrow!

‘Tis The Season

christmas card picture

 

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

(Luke 2:11 ESV)

Another cold winter morning persists as I awake to the yearly task of preparing Christmas well wishes to extended family and not too distant friends.  And as I prepare and address each card….I marvel at just how drastic and sudden our lives seem to change each and every year….

Of recent births and deaths….. Of happy marriages and painful divorces, and of blended families that seem to heal from old wounds.   The stable greeting of a family member or friend I have come to depend on… yet quietly wondering if that greeting will survive one more year.  The scattered well wishes that will never be heard from again…at least not here. The cheerful Christmas wish from yesteryear which is now a painful and hurtful attack.    The now silent and sometimes painful echoes of the past mixed with the security and well-being of the present day and always closing each year’s end…..

Today…it is converging all at once on a Christmas believer who truly knows the reason for the season.

Cards of old friends who are now foes…and of old foes who are now friends.  Cards of those who were once considered strangers… but this year or last, our paths have crossed…and perhaps only for a short time….But smiling at the thought that my own handwriting in the greeting card I send this year may one day remind them of an old Christmas past…..

Family members who share strong bonds and family where bonds are now broken… Christmas cards of old and ones from just last year…. Fancy and playful, religious and serious….All providing a moment in time for us to revisit a fractured friendship or a silent voice… a ravaged family or a true love that never fails to cease…….

I rummage through broken boxes overstuffed with the memories of Christmas …. And I stop to cherish the precious handwriting on a Christmas card of one no longer with me…..The dried ink as vivid, alive, and still ingrained as it once was….. Just frozen here in time.   I touch their once written script and lovingly embrace their memory of a distant past….But only because I remain hopeful of a future celebration

 For I truly know the reason for the season…

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

(Romans 6:23 ESV)

 

Rejoice if you truly know the reason for the season!

And pray for those who do not!

 

 

Eternal Midsummer Sun

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

(John 3:16) 

 

sunrise

 

I sit here very reluctantly with the imminent threat of storms looming overhead… yet still I eagerly await another early rising midsummer sun…. As the darkness continues to linger into daybreak… I am attempting rather unsuccessfully to embrace the predicted series of slowly moving storms which hastily interrupts my early midsummer morning. Late night storms have left my water starved annuals laying on their uprooted mangled sides… and a scattering of white and pink petals now lay across my parched wooden deck….. My sleepless night thoughts persist and I wander just too long in anticipation of the approaching storms… and my wandering mind only complicates the mix of emotions I’m experiencing from yet another one of life’s greatest disappointments….. Just another “failure” to add to my repertoire…but like too many failures in my already overstuffed life….this failure comes from within a deep and painful crevice of spiritually rooted connections and convictions with fellow believers….. Yet I feel a remarkable and undeniable familiarity to this type of great disappointment as I glance out my patio door staring blankly at the searing sheets of endless rain just beginning to pound the south facing side of my home…..

My thoughts take another turn to not only my own failures, but also to the multiple losses I have suffered throughout my life… Trapped within the walls of this sadly wandering state of mind…..  My thoughts turn to my sister.   I struggle to envision a much happier time where she stood firmly beside me… bravely fighting with her diseased and ravaged body in tow…. It was an extremely aggressive intruder which hastily interrupted her late winter morning sun many years ago…and many months before she finally succumbed to this ultimate life-robbing enemy…this sickening invader who eventually won the hard fought battle against her constant desire to remain here in this familiar yet darkened place….her final and seemingly unanswered plea to witness yet another one of her own early rising midsummer suns…..and in this frozen memory…. my heart sinks even lower.

With much regret….I think of the many disagreements my sister and I once shared….. Far too many of our own life’s experiences stood between the two of us and the One and Only Truth and our many experiences almost separated us from creating a final spiritual truce.  I being the lost prodigal child of a Great Comforter not too long ago and she being the ever faithful and everlasting daughter of a Mighty King… born in the faith and never wavering.  Sometimes this uncomfortable wedge created too wide a space for a compromise to even take hold…for a conversation to take place and grow…and to at last realize…… the simple understanding that our belief in the One and Only Truth did indeed take very different roads…. But both roads led back home!!   There are varied paths of Light that occur in this life’s constant darkness.   My road being twisted with many unwanted, and sometimes self-inflicted roadblocks… my footprints disappearing at long intervals of time upon its jagged edge and teetering on a lack of trust and commitment …her road well-traveled and worn with the unbroken trust of her steadfast feet.. Scattered were her footprints but never ever too close to its well-developed edge… yet narrow and unbending along the border…

 

road 1

 

The rain is tapering as the sound of thunder rumbles off into the distance as the storms move to the unsuspecting East…and my sadly wandering thoughts are slowly turning to the present-tense as I sense the departing storms and begin to plan my day…..yet I pause and attempt to envision my sister’s present day view of her eternal midsummer sun….so Majestic….so Gracious…and so very Merciful……but I cannot envision it for both the current and departing storms here cause too much turmoil……And there is yet another winding road for me to travel… but I know my simple belief in Him gets me through one more storm and one more jagged edge along its path…and I seek…and I plead… and I’m given comfort by Him once again… and by this simple truth…..

My faithful sister is the daughter of a Mighty King and I am the rebellious child of a Great Comforter!

 

pic of road 3

 

Take comfort in knowing He is there with you on your current winding road…..and there is nothing that can separate you from Him as long as you are a believer and you continue to simply believe in His promise!  

 

Two Simple Words

pic of im sorry

 

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up His garments by casting lots.

Luke 23:34

 

Two words so honest… but only when spoken from the one who knows.  A simple apology, so hopeful and so pure… to amend a wrong….a sincere gesture of grace and reflective of a higher and unconditional love…the greatest type of love.

Two words so powerful… allowing the process of forgiveness to finally begin.  To mend the brokenhearted, the wronged, the abused…and all of those who believe.  A thickened salve to heal a past insult and lessen the pain of an unfortunate indiscretion…A sincere gesture of a higher greater mercy and reflective of a higher and unconditional love…the greatest type of love.

Two words so pure… but only if released from the lips of the one who speaks its continual song.  Its melody comforts not only the wounded, but also the one who holds the weapon.  Disarming the attacker and releasing the real prisoner from within dark and unforgiving walls…A sincere gesture of human love and reflective of the greatest type of love….a love which forgives a past unspoken apology.

Two words yet so painful when left unsung.  No reconciliation for the one who cannot utter a mere two words.  A growing silence which festers and destroys our only current hope.   The pride of humanity tried to slaughter this love…. …yet He asked for forgiveness for all those who could not find two words to say.   

When you looked out among the crowd of your vicious attackers…Did you see me standing there?

I am one of the forgiven,

I was present and silent among the crowd…