Posts Tagged ‘photos’

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©

Contemplation

Oldest grandson, Brandon, at Paines Prairie State Park, Florida

“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever” (Isaiah 32:17).

 “And that ye study to be quiet,…”(1 Thessalonians 4:11).

When I stand in awe of creation, I understand the meaning of STUDY to be quiet.  At home with all the distractions of daily living, I forget to study on ways to be quiet, meditate, worship, and stand in awe of the majesty of God.

Lord, help me be diligent to become a student of quietness – regardless of the hectic pace which surrounds all my daily routines and responsibilities.

July 23 Anecdote for a Monday Morning

Anecdote for Monday Mornings, or just thoughts when things might seem overwhelming or bleak.

     “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not, they are new every morning, great is Thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).  This was my mom’s favorite verse, and I’ve claimed it for many years – still good for things in our lives today. This would make a great Monday morning verse, or morning verse for any mourning.

     On days when grief or pain has been a tremendous weight upon my shoulders, I have discovered yet another place of refuge for my heart. “My God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all we ask or THINK, according to His riches in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 3:20).  In an ever changing economy, that’s a verse to take to the bank!

     And I just love this one out of the heart cry of David the Psalmist; “He heals the broken in heart; and binds up their wounds.  He tells the number of the stars; He calls them by their names.  Great is our Lord, and of great power; His understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147: 3-5).  In the evening when I stand outside my camper, I am able to gaze into the heavens and see the stars spread out across a velvety, navy-blue sky.  The knowledge that I am looking into the heavens just as David did so long ago, brings me a sense of comfort, protection, peace, and praise. Great stuff, huh.  The kind of stuff to make you catch a falling star and put it in your pocket.

         Here’s to a terrific Monday – everyday of the week.

July 16 He Restores My Soul

Not a ripple, not a sound, not a movement to be seen. This was the scene on that early morning as I sat atop a hill overlooking the lake at our campground. I reflected on the stillness of the water – God sometimes leads my paths beside still waters and resores my soul. I like action – activity – projects, and definitely I like to hear God directing my paths, but sometimes He’s just quiet. Not a word, not a sound, just quiet. On those occasions, His “still water experiences” are restorative in teaching me to trust Him because He is my Good Shepherd.

July 10 Morning Devotions

In Germany, approximately 1744, a poet wrote the words, which later were made into a song I learned in my childhood. How exciting that the truths I still sing when I watch day awaken, are those praises that throughout the ages have already been sung. “When morning guilds the skies, my heart awakening cries, may Jesus Christ be praised….”

July 9 I Want that Mountain

On a journey several years ago, we took a few turns into the country that soon led us up into a very desolate place on the side of a mountain. There was no place to turn around, and the edges of the gravel road were crumbling rock, steeply dropping down into canyons where we knew we didn’t want to slide. Since we could only go forward, we began to joke with each other about ways to eat an elephant (one bite at a time) were similar to the ways we would conquer our mountain – one mile at a time. Before the sun set, we had truly conquered our mountain and had enjoyed the adventure. Though there were a few harrowing moments as we wound along the circuitous “path”, we actually made it to the other side of the snow covered mountain just as the sun was setting. How like my Christian life as I see obstacles before me, dangers beside me, and no retreat behind me, to feel alone and helpless. But just as we took that mountain 1 mile at a time, we can claim our victories a day at a time. I need to have that “I can” attitude spoken about in Philippians 4:13 when Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”

July 1 God’s Daily Gift

Lamentations 3:22-23
It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

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