Water Prayer

[First photo by r m dutina]

While traveling in the Smoky Mountains one year I bought what could be a flower vase. It was pinched in the middle giving it two ‘spouts.’ The longer I looked at it and handled it the more it became a vessel for my prayers. We were always near the running water of the spring rivers be it the Little Pigeon or “one of the 2,100 miles of rushing mountain streams and rivers that flow through the park.” I would show you a photo, but when we downsized I let the vase/pitcher go. ūüė¶ sigh

Here was part of my inspiration

And so my morning prayer gradually became

Jesus, I pour out this water
before the undivided Trinity:
Let my living be this day
an offering and thanksgiving.
This day caress me.
This day possess me.
Open my ears and eyes
to Your Love for us.

Try making a ceremony around your prayer time. I have taught that many ways. When you get a drink of water, say a prayer, turning your attention to the Holy One. Are you a coffee addict? Dedicate each sip to the Trinity. 

Keep a glass near the water faucet and try a water prayer of your own. Or use mine. 
The idea is to turn your heart and mind to Him who loves you best.

Our soul is like a stream of water, which gives strength, direction, and harmony to every other area of our life. When that stream is as it should be, we are constantly refreshed and exuberant in all we do, because our soul itself is then profusely rooted in the vastness of God and his kingdom, including nature; and all else within us is enlivened and directed by that stream. Therefore we are in harmony with God, reality, and the rest of human nature and nature at large.

Dallas Willard in Renovation of the Heart

Steffany Gretzinger

She is one of my favorite, new-to-me Christian artists. I recently ordered her CD Forever Amen. I admire so many songs on this CD I thought I ought to order it to support her work and have it on all my devices.

On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.

Acts 14:27 NIV

Remember, reflect, think, review, grow. Why do we do this so seldom? As I was pondering this my pastor posted a video blog on the value of reviewing our lives. I used to do that during retreats at the Convent of the Transfiguration. Lately it seems we always schedule travel during those retreat weekends. (sigh)

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect

1 Peter 3:15

This is a great song about the Lord’s supper adding to the message, remember. He made the altar into a table.

Praying you will take time this week to review, ponder, elevate His works in your recent life. Can you go so far as to make a list for your own use in praise?

Transitory Impermanence For All

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
  -  Robert Frost
Maple Trees Starting to change color | Maple trees just at t… | Flickr

Remember the first buds on the trees? I always think they predict the colors the leaves will take in autumn. Autumn is advancing here and the oak leaves out front are turning yellow then rapidly brown and falling to the ground. These deciduous trees should remind us of the impermanence of life. Things sprout, grow, endure, then change. Yet I am often surprised by the changes as if I were not 71 years old. I have seen this happen every single year I have been alive (except when I was in the California SF bay area for a year and a half. The seasons were strange. Daffodils blooming in January is just WRONG for a Midwestern woman.)

Why are we so surprised when we realize our very lives are impermanent? We expect childhood friendships to last forever. Rare occurrence in my experience. Our strength and flexibility wears down and sometimes even vanishes. Oh yes, they mean it when they say “Use it or lose it!”

We age. We change. Our opinions change. Nothing gold can stay. I have been saying they told us after 40 it was patch, patch, patch. I think after 70 we just start to crumble! Yet I am alive and intend to make the most of whatever time I have left.

Been working in that book Everyday is a Poem. This morning my life did not feel like a poem, but then I realized why not write it out? So I did. I surprised myself at what could be mined from a gray morning after a rough night. Will post that another day.

Nothing gold can stay. Rough nights may lead to gray mornings. Sun blasts them both away. These are things we are going THROUGH. We likely will not stay this way forever. If we do, God will give us grace and strength to endure.

Remember Ephesians 3:16-19?

that He would grant you,¬†according to the riches of His glory,¬†to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in¬†the inner man,¬†17¬†that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you,¬†being rooted and grounded in love,¬†18¬†may be able to comprehend with all the saints¬†what¬†is¬†the width and length and depth and height‚ÄĒ¬†19¬†to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled¬†with all the fullness of God.

NKJV

Praying that you, BEING ROOTED AND GROUNDED IN LOVE – that you may know the love of Christ. In season and out of season. With leaves or no leaves. Be rooted. Grasp hold of His love, the love that is reaching for you in the midst of this transitory life. His unchanging, everlasting love.

Grasp tightly with your roots!

Late Summer Joy

It seems I have waited all spring and summer for the Jewelweed. I knew it bloomed but I had not noted when the flowers arrived last year. So fitting that the Latin name is Impatiens capensis, wrote impatient Molly Lin. Until we moved to Platform Street we had never had this lovely plant growing on our property.

Turns out this year the flowers were showing in late August. We had a flowerbed cultivated across the back of our yard. It was my sincere hope that the Jewelweed would not be erased by that plan. The good news is the Jewelweed stretches across our yard and the yards on either side of our property. It is said the name Jewelweed was given because it appears to sparkle when wet.

When I was a child l learned to recognize the tiny cornucopia-shaped flowers so I could find the seed pods when they formed. The magical pods, that when ripe, would explode at my touch and create tight coils from the edge of the pod that looked like ribbon curls at Christmas. Then I learned this was the ingenious way the plant spread its seeds.

Internet photo shows some seeds in burst pods

Rather like Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree,” the Jewelweed gifts me as I watch the hummingbirds and butterflies seek out each blossom for nectar. On the edge of my seat watching sparkling jewels when leaves are wet, cornucopia flowers, feeding station for hummers and butterflies, exploding seed pods, the plant that keeps on giving. I do not contract poison ivy, but have been told if you are exposed to it you should crush Jewelweed leaves and rub on the exposed area. It will diminish or eliminate the rash.

Jewelweed Trembles© Molly Lin Dutina 22-9-5

Jewelweed trembles
Just one stalk at a time
Not breeze
Hummingbird making
Morning patrols

Preparing supper 
I glance out kitchen window
Trembling Jewelweed
Nourishing hummers and butterflies
While I fix vittles
for dog and people

So learn to see this plant. If you get to walk in a park you might come across it. It also grows in ditches and likes wet places. Watch for those treasures in plain sight!!

Internet photo

Eye of God

Did you ever go to camp and make a “God’s Eye”? I did not but my kids did, even in public school art class.

Here is an elaborate example from on-line:

This one is from our paper money.

This website explains it https://www.hobbyistgeek.com/what-is-the-eye-called-on-the-dollar-bill-explained/

The Eye of Providence. The all-seeing eye of God. It’s a symbol that has been used by many religions and cultures over the years.

But what does it mean?

There are many theories about what the eye on the dollar bill means, but no one knows for sure.

What we do know is that the Eye of Providence has been used as a symbol by many different religions and cultures over the years.

It is a reminder that God is always watching us. And that’s probably why it was chosen as the symbol for the US dollar bill.

hobbyistgeek.com

I learned a prayer from the author Macrina Weiderkehr many years ago. It is pasted in the front of my most frequently used Bible. It reads:

All-Seeing One,
above me, around me, within me.
Be my seeing as I read these sacred words.
Look down upon me
Look out from within me
Look all around me
See through my eyes
Hear through my ears
Feel through my heart
Touch me where I need to be touched;
    and when my heart is touched
    give me the grace
    to lay down this Holy Book
    and ask significant questions:
Why has my heart been touched?
How am I to be changed through this touch?
All-Seeing One,
I need to change
I need to look a little more like You
May these sacred words change and
transform me.
Then I can meet You Face to Face
     without dying
     because I've finally died enough
To die is to be healed
     a little more each death
     until that final death
     when I'll be healed forever.
It will be a healing that will last.
Your words are healing
     although they bring about my death.
O Eye of God, look not away.

Father I pray this prayer will be true of my life. Help me keep yielding to Your touch. Show me how to ‘meet You face to face without dying.’ I need to change.

In A Tree Full of Angels Macrina wrote saying “There is a quote from Benedictine Abbot Marmion that has become a guide for me as I spend time in Divine Reading each day. He says,”

Read under the eye of God until your heart is touched, then give yourself up to love.

Don Marmion, Union with God, trans. Mother Mary St. Thomas, (St. Louis: B Herder, 1949)

Read asking the Lord to help you see and understand the words of His text. then stop when your heart is touched. Stop and give yourself up to His love. Stop and let Him instruct you further on the matter. This is yielding. God is watching me with His all-seeing eye. And I am grateful.

Driving Last Weekend

When I was a child we would occasionally got to Rocky Fork Lake. An uncle had a boat and I would try, but never succeeded, in water skiing. As young adults Bob and I would go fishing there (or drowning worms!) We were poor and it was cheap entertainment.

Last week we took the dog on the drive with us to visit Rocky Fork Lake again. We only went to the camping side this trip. I was delighted that there were water lilies all over the place! I had absolutely no memory of those plants. I thumped around a little bit with my orthotic boot. Bob and Lucky explored places and took photos.

Another glorious July Day!

Lucky sniffed at a frog and it “eeked” as it jumped into the water.

Towards the end of our visit we were blessed to see my favorite – a great blue heron in the distance on the lake! Photo did not work well as too far away! We will return another day for certain.

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
    your judgements are like the great deep;
    you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
    All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house,
    and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light we see light.

Psalm 36:5-9

Deliverance from Self

“Faith in Him can bring an immediate and effectual deliverance from self.” Are you sick of self-rule yet? The idea of self-rule is almost like a slap-stick comedy scene performed by Carol Burnett. Like when I tell God, “Thanks, Lord, I can take it from here!” My next step is usually face-down in the mud. The Word says only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we hope to control ourselves. Even then we are weak and fumbling. Self-rule? I think that is an illusion presented by the powers of death and hell. It will not end well.

Are we willing to place our faith in God? Do we desire deliverance from self? Another way to state it,” who really sits on the throne of your life”? When I first saw the main altar in the Washington National Cathedral it took my breath away. The image of Jesus high and lifted up over everything stated what my heart knew.

Washington National Cathedral Main Altar

Is Jesus on the throne of your life? There was a time when many thought He was on the throne of the heart of this nation. I wonder how many people actually believe that now? I, for one, want Him enthroned over my life.

There is shame we feel about our sin. Yes, sin. This current societal mindset seems to resist that word. Yet we all do sin. Every day and every night. Like it or not we are sinners and we need deliverance from that sin.

Shame has also become a nasty word mostly because so many of us have had shame inflicted upon us by parents, peers, and national advertisers. Yet feeling shame over our sin can be a healthy thing that should lead us to repentance. Acknowledge your sin, turn from it, confess and patiently ask ‘Thy will be done’ and God will act.

You need to see that it is not only in your morning devotions when you ask and expect strength for the day, but through the whole day for every moment of it that the clothing of humility is to be worn.

William Law

“The clothing of humility.” Where did he get that idea? The Bible.

 You are the people of God; He loved you and chose you for His own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 

Col 3:12 GNT

All day long, asking God for strength and the wisdom to stay dressed with humility. Every moment and every day? Yes, Paul wrote to the Colossians be clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. If Jesus remains on the throne of my heart this should be what my clothing looks like.

Older praise chorus below, but worshipful!

Check the throne of your heart and mind daily, even hourly. Who sits there? Make sure to yield that seat to Jesus!

Haunted Again by Music

I have been playing by collection of CDs by Christy Nockels. I love her voice and the lyrics are wonderful. Then I will find lines rolling through my mind and I have to go look up which song I am remembering.

The hem of your robe is where our healing lies
The wounds in your hands are where our life resides
Your love is moving, moving among us

We're desperate to see the beauty of your face
We're longing to know the wonders of your grace
Your love is moving, moving among us

So we reach, we reach our hands to you
Our God, you are here and your mercies are new
We fall, we fall in worship to you
Our God, you are here and in your power you move

The faith in our hearts is how we welcome you
The joy in our lives is your love breaking through
Your love is moving, moving among us
~by Christy Nockles

Yes, His love is moving among us. Will we reach to Him? Do we recognize His movement among us?

I wrote that Charles Martin taught us about the wings of His healing and hem of His garment. https://wordpress.com/post/treasures-in-plain-sight.org/8757 The hem of His robe is what I need daily, touching His power and presence with me. Receiving His healing because my view and interpretation of things is so often skewed.

So here is another way to reach His power and love for us. I like her lyric “Faith in our hearts is how we welcome you.” So much power in this song. I think it deserves more than one listen.

Not my Will, But Yours Be Done

The Daughters grave stone makes me remember that His will is supreme. This song blesses me.

David Crowder nailed it on this one and having Mandissa sing with him drives it home. Part of the lyrics are below.

So let it rain, let it pour
Lord, I need You more and more (I need You more)
Let it rain, rain down on me (Rain on me)

Every day, whatever You want
Not my will but Yours, Lord (Not my will)
Let it rain, rain down on me
(He brought the sunshine, He brings the rain)

So let it rain if You want
You are God and I am not
Let it rain, rain down on me
(Oh, let it rain)

Every day whatever You want
Not my will but Yours, Lord
(Not my will but Yours)

Let it rain, rain down on me
(He's working on me)
Let it rain, rain down on me
(I know my God is working on me)
Let it rain, rain down on me

These lyrics, when from the heart will undoubtedly require change in each of us. If we are to become like Christ Jesus, we must let go of our ways and adopt His.

being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6 NIV

for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.

Philippians 2:13 NIV

A Lamb in Childhood

When I was a child my parents had a small farm and fishing lake in Loveland, Ohio. The lake was a pay lake called “Lake Cast-A-Line.” (It has since been drained to make a subdivision.) I can still remember being allowed to give a lamb a bottle of milk in the kitchen. That lamb was one messy eater, but I was delighted! I was perhaps 4 years old? Due to my Dad’s poor health we had to move by the time I was 5.

The milk was mixed from powder and perhaps explains why that scent draws me to this day?!

Has the Lord assigned someone to feed you? Here is your challenge: Have you thanked them?

Here is John Michael Talbot singing Psalm 23. I wore out the album, I bought the CD. I about wore that one out also. I listen to this collection regularly even today!

Trust in the Lord. He will keep you, feed you and shepherd you forever.

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

2 Thessalonians 3:3 NIV

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NIV