Posts Tagged ‘Worship’

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©

Just God and Me

Just God and Me

In the woods midst wind-tossed trees,
we feel such closeness,
as in the breeze
The sound of majestic timbers; cedars, Blow ceaselessly;
Just God and me.
The rustling, tarnished, dancing leaves,
Rushing with each new gust of fresh damp breeze
Made us understand, with no words uttered The others’ needs;
Just God and me.
Above my head, trees blowing with the wind
The stately cedars whisper,
while far below I sit in filtered sunlight, basking in the beauty of the moment
 …yes, still… just God and me.
How cherished these quiet times
When leaves rustle, trees whisper, distant birds call
When the sun pierces the forests’ density
… and all this when it touches me,
causes me to thank Him who created it all so I could stop and say,
it’ll always be, just God and me.

Written by Ritchie D. Hale 1978©

Lessons in the Play Doh

                Last night as I lay in bed, the words of Norman Clayton, written in 1957, came to mind and I began to sing them quietly to myself.  I suddenly was transported to a time when I was 16, and doing the same thing.  I sang myself to sleep.  I believe the singing may have been a bit croaky- sounding, and muffled as I lay upon my pillow, but God hearing the sincerity of my heart, heard a glorious melody of praise and surrender.

Only to be what He wants me to be,
Every moment of every day,
Yielded completely to Jesus alone
Every step of this pilgrim way.
Just to be clay in the Potter’s hands,
Ready to do what His will demands
Only to be what He wants me to be,
Every moment of every day.

            This morning as I went about my teaching job with the youngsters God has placed in my class, I allowed each of them to have a canister of playdoh and design a small turtle.  Pretty soon they had added to the original creation; a pond, food bowls, clothing, and an array of other necessary items for their “pet turtles”.  I watched as they bent over the intricate sculptures and carefully moved the pieces around to fashion the exact vision of their creative minds. They used instruments of pain to gouge, shape, and cut away extra parts.  Little hands squeezed, pounded, and flattened the wads of multiple colors until they saw the results they desired.

            Father, how very serious I am in my desire to be that pliable in Your hands as You fashion me into the image of Your dear Son.  Bring into my life those experiences that will transform me and then conform me into that which is pleasing unto You, because I seek “only to be what You want me to me, every moment of every day.”

Daybreak in Gulf Hammock

Psalm 5:3 (KJV) My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

 One Saturday morning I went out driving just before daybreak.  I was looking for beauty – solitude – a place to let my eyes rest and absorb the beauty of God’s creation.  Just as I crossed a bridge out in the back woods of Gulf Hammock, Florida, I saw the sun peek through the woods.  I stopped my car,walked over to the edge of the road and took time to commune with the Lord.  What a wonderful place to start the day.

The Sea is His – He Made It

Oh Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

            Since my earliest memories, the beach, sand, surf, shells, driftwood, and palm trees have captivated me.  In June, 1999 my husband and I spent the day on the shores of Hunting Island Beach over on the east coast. The beach which once existed has long since eroded away. The surf now pounds into densely overgrown forest and on a daily basis another row of trees falls prey to the non-ending onslaught of waves. 

            It’s like a battlefield with an inexhaustible army of foot soldiers attacking and pushing back the enemy.  The trees fall prey to each new wave, falling where they stood, some forward, some backward, leaving a battlefield of decaying debris.  As I walk along the strewn carcasses I often walk into the surf to get past the tangled fallen “soldiers”.  Sometimes I must crawl over, and oft times I retreat into the front lines that stand ready for the next onslaught. 

            I find one gallant old soldier, possibly a once stalwart oak, who has fallen windward, leaving his roots exposed to the vicious attacks of the crashing waves.  By this time there are no remaining signs of life – just washed and bleached skeletal remains of a magnificent root system.  I climb up on the largest parts and sit for a while, contemplating the power of water as it swirls in frothy foam just inches below my perch.  I watch as the water slaps against the face of the worn- out old trunk, assaulting it with injury heaped upon injury. 

            I wonder about my awesome God who has put such a system of orderliness into motion.  The tides come in; they go out – the moon and all the wondrous facts of the universe working together in harmony, creating the gravitational forces which control these tides.  I marvel at the erosion on one beach and the birth of another as the sand redeposits itself elsewhere.  I think of all the changing earth around me, and the majesty at my feet.  I am reminded of the words of David. “The sea is His, He made it (Psalm 95:5), and I praise God in that knowledge.

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