Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy. Psalm 96: 11-12
This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.
This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.
This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forgetThat though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.
This is my Father’s world, dreaming, I see His face.I ope’ my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, “The Lord is in this place.”This is my Father’s world, from the shining courts above,
The Beloved One, His Only Son,
Came—a pledge of deathless love.
We recently had the privilege of driving around the back roads of Southern Virginia with a dear friend we met in Florida years ago. She is originally from Virginia and we spent a few days in her neck of the woods. She took us around the surrounding area, down lanes and across creeks and up wooded roads. We saw barns, cattle, fence posts, cemeteries, abandoned houses and mountains rising majestically in the near distance. It was a gloriously clear, blue sky day. We stopped for lots of pictures.
I shared a few pictures with you earlier in the week, but wanted to share some more. In thinking of the beauty captured in the photos, I was reminded of one of my favorite songs based on words written by Maltbie Davenport Babcock, This Is My Father’s World . You can go here to listen to a video production of this song by Fountainview Academy in British Columbia, Canada. It is so easy to become focused on the negative and all the ills of this world, but truly, this is our Father’s world and beauty abounds if we just open our eyes. He has promised to be faithful to us even to the end of the age. Instead of focusing on the evil and all that is wrong in the world, I want to focus on God and how he makes all things right in his time. I want to see the good, the beautiful. I want to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)As Christians, I believe we have to accept that there is evil, we have to abhor it and shun it. We need to pray for good to win. We don’t need to live in denial, but, we don’t need to wallow in the gutter of despair as if we have lost all hope either. We need to see with eyes that see Jesus, hearts that love others, arms that reach out to help, feet that walk alongside. We must delight in the beauty in our Father’s world.“Though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.” That gives me great comfort and hope. Let us open our eyes and see.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. For several weeks now my (non)posts have been missing about a thousand words each.
I have thought of things to write; I’ve even written a few posts in my head that never made it to paper or internet. I have wanted to write, but the gumption just wasn’t there, or I was out of town, or sick, or busy….
So, I thought I’d catch you up on what has been going on and let the pictures tell the story (there may be some words, ok).
1. The front porch received a much needed overhaul (this spanned April and May and included my brother. It is June and we still have a few tweaks to finish):
Proverbs 24:3-4 – applies to porches too, I would think:
By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.
2. We also took a vacation in April, but any posting I was doing that month was mostly on my other blog, Orange Comma, for the National Poetry Writing Month. Vacation was really a retreat. We love to go to Fairhaven, which is in Roan Mountain, Tennessee, not too far from the North Carolina Border. We love the peacefulness and we’re within an hour of several places that are touristy if we want that. We mostly just soak in the peace and rest and read. Here are a few pictures from this year:
I WAS GLAD WHEN THEY SAID UNTO ME, LET US GO INTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD
3. In the midst of traveling and redoing I took a week off to be sick. No pictures available. Proverbs 17:22:
A joyful heart is good medicine…
4. The most exciting thing that happened while I was not writing a thousand words was that Mr Piano graduated. He is now Doctor Mister Piano. He received his DMA degree (Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance) from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky on May 17. WooHoo! Finally! Yea! We have some pictures to prove it:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
5. We celebrated 29 years of marriage on June 2. It was Sunday and Mr. Piano had an afternoon rehearsal, so we went to a local Mexican restaurant for a meal and didn’t really do a major celebration. We may take a day trip soon in honor of the event. Either way every day with Mr. Piano is a celebration, so we’re all good. Here is a picture or a few of the original event all those years ago:
Ok, so I think this about sums up what I’ve been doing the past several weeks, you know, when I wasn’t writing. If you already knew this stuff, then I apologize for boring you further. I’ll try to come up with some fresh perspective to write about soon.
6. Oh, I almost forgot. I did visit several cemeteries on Memorial Day – one I had never been to before where several of my ancestors were buried, like my great great grandparents and uncles. It was a peaceful, sweet little cemetery in the middle of a farm that is now privately owned: