Posts Tagged ‘Beach’

In the Beginning

IN THE BEGINNING

In memory of my precious Dad
(February 21, 1926 – March 4, 2002)

In the beginning
Dad fed me
Bathed me
Wiped my face
Changed my clothes

Sat with me until I slept
Chased away my bad dreams
Played music to soothe me
Listened to my heart needs
Held my hand

Breathed his strength into my frightened spirit
Protected me from the big bad bullies
Taught me to trust God in all things
All this – in the beginning.

But today, in the ending
I’m feeding him
Bathing his body
Wiping his face
Changing his clothes

Sitting beside him until he sleeps
Chasing away his bad dreams
Singing his music back into his heart
Listening to his heart needs
Holding his hand

Breathing my strength into his frail and frightened spirit
Reminding him to trust God in all things
All this – in the ending.

The nurse says
“He’s gone.”

I watch his body for any sign of life
I know she’s right,

For today in Dad’s life,
It’s the beginning.

Written by Ritchie D. Hale ©2002

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A Piece of Driftwood

My Testimony - an original oil painting by Ritchie D. Hale

My Testimony – an original oil painting by Ritchie D. Hale

A  Piece of Driftwood
Hidden, discarded, tossed about, on the far-stretching, blinding sands,
A scene of desolation; not made by human hands.
Beyond the distant edge of sea, the green-blue waters still,
Beyond the heavens sun-lit rays, the tempestuous clouds to burst at will. 

Those restless waters closer by with troubled, white-capped surf,
Rolling endlessly to reach the shore of glistening, sandy, turf. 
A towering pine between the surf and I, – driftwood at its base,
Broken, bleached, and scarred by time – scars that nature can’t erase.

I viewed this gnarled starkness, seeing what God might see,
And knew that what I’d been before, no longer would I be. 
My life had been a raging surf, obtaining changing goals,
Joining each new larger wave, with constant, crashing, thrashing rolls.

My life was once a tempestuous cloud, with darkness and despair,
Which overflowed with ugliness, a life in reckless disrepair.
Most of all my life was like the driftwood by the sea,
Broken, gnarled, and scarred by sin, all hope gone out of me. 

But then I saw the sun-lit rays, and lifted up my face
And knew that God who made the world, could all my sin erase,
The raging surf and tempestuous clouds, and driftwood by the sea,
Had preached a mighty lesson on the plan of God for me, 

I knew that as I left those shores I had a brand new start.
And all that God had taught me there, had really changed my heart.

Written by Ritchie D. Hale 1972©

The Anchor Holds

        Sometimes when I read about the disciples in the boat in the midst of the storm… I have to wonder what they REALLY felt like. Were they sick at their stomachs?  Did they really think that their lives were going to end?  Was the threat of being devoured by creatures under the waves a biggie?  They said they were afraid unto death.  Is that the same phrase we use today to convey that we’re “scared to death’?  How was it when Jesus stepped into the boat and the storm stopped?  When Jesus calmed the seas? When He said “Peace be still” and the storm stopped.  Have you ever been in a storm that caused that panic in your heart?
             I grew up in Miami, Florida, and was regularly out on a small boat far out at sea, fishing.  On several occasions the sky would grow dark, the rain would pelt down on us, and the waves would rise.  Oft’ times the waves would be so high that our little vessel would seem to be but a toy in a bathtub but the captain was unruffled.  He consoled our frightened hearts that this was not truly a storm, just rough seas.  We always made land, and there was not really any threat.  On other occasions I would go down to the beach to watch the surf as the warnings of hurricanes began to crackle on the weather stations.  There was really no danger at that point…the storm was still many hours from land fall…but the waves, the sky, the rain, the darkness…oh, I would not have wanted to be upon those seas in a little boat. 
            On September 22, 1995, when my mother was struck and killed by an oncoming car, I myself became the little boat out upon the raging sea.  I was battered and tossed around like I was a tub-toy being played with by a toddler.  There were no actual waves, and no visible storms.  But the storm was real! The waves were the most violent this boat had ever experienced.  I was tossed about and yanked against the chain that held the anchor until my boat was almost torn apart.  But God made the boat, He was the Anchor, and the Anchor held. 
           I don’t know what type of storm you may be experiencing today, but my prayer for you is that you, too, may find in Christ a solid Rock, a secure Anchor, and a safe Harbor.

Making Tracks

            Recently at Crescent Beach, Florida, I noticed this set of tracks and was contemplating the crisscrossing of each new and different pattern.  The pattern was ever-changing.  Some tracks became more prominent and made longer lasting imprints.  Some were first bold, and then receded into the background.  Each pattern brought something new and different – but all a part of the whole that shaped and enriched the depth and texture. 
             How like life experiences with the many people God has brought and continues to bring into my life.  I am wealthy beyond measure as God brings names and faces to my memory.  “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel” (Philippians 1:3).  Thanks for investing in the “texture” of my life.

July 21 A Piece of Driftwood

A PIECE OF DRIFTWOOD

As seen at Marco Island, Florida 1972

Hidden, discarded, tossed about, on the far-stretching, blinding sands,
A scene of desolation; not made by human hands.
Beyond the distant edge of sea, the green-blue waters still,
Beyond the heavens sun-lit rays, the tempestuous clouds to burst at will.

Those restless waters closer by with troubled, white-capped surf,
Rolling endlessly to reach the shore of glistening, sandy, turf.

A towering pine between the surf and I, – driftwood at its base,
Broken, bleached, and scarred by time – scars that nature can’t erase.
I viewed this gnarled starkness, seeing what God might see,
And knew that what I’d been before, no longer would I be.

My life had been a raging surf, obtaining changing goals,
Joining each new larger wave, with constant, crashing, thrashing rolls.
My life was once a tempestuous cloud, with darkness and despair,
Which overflowed with ugliness, a life in reckless disrepair.
Most of all my life was like the driftwood by the sea,
Broken, gnarled, and scarred by sin, all hope gone out of me.

But then I saw the sun-lit rays, and lifted up my face
And knew that God who made the world, could all my sin erase,
The raging surf and tempestuous clouds, and driftwood by the sea,
Had preached a mighty lesson on the plan of God for me,
I knew that as I left those shores I had a brand new start.
And all that God had taught me there, had really changed my heart.

Misty Morning in Seaside, Oregon

James 4:14 "You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."

     In October 2004, my husband and I flew to Seaside, Oregon for a three-day get-away.  We kept a hectic schedule in an attempt to “see everything”. 
      On our final morning  before returning home,  it was cold and raining.  We decided to go one last time to see the beauty of the coastline, and were rewarded by this magnificent scenery.          
      Today as I look through my pictures, I am reminded again of the  thoughts I had as I saw the mist rising off the sea. My life is a vapor – temporary, fleeting, quickly passing.  I have to daily choose  to cast my cares upon the Lord, “for He cares for me.”  John Tindsley said  it like this “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday and all is well”. 

Birds in Flight

Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

 
Several years ago my sister and her family visited with us as we traveled to Sanibel Island, Florida.  I prepared my camera for the shot of birds in flight,  asked Miranda; my niece; to toss bread crumbs into the air, and I snapped my pictures.
 
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