March 20, 2007

Spring Isn't -- because it Is that time of year again

Spring isn't pallid snowdrops
shyly coil'd in chilly Feb.
It isn't jewel primulas
or burgeoning rhodo's red.

Not hyacinths poking through dirt
or blossom bursts of plum,
not heather clumps abuzz once more
with bees that float and hum.

Not tulips or camellias
unfurling on the scene,
nor lilacs or forsythia
soon giving way to green.

But in the vernal equinox
'midst sprouting oats and flaxes
it's bureaucrats whose grasping hands
insist I spring for taxes.

--V.Nesdoly 2004

This poem won a 'Short and Silly' contest in FellowScript some years ago.

And yes, ladies and gents, it is that time of year again. So -- Gather your forms, receipts, T4s, pencils, erasers, calculator -- Get set! -- Go!!

March 14, 2007

What I See in Books by Marcia Lee Laycock

Every time I step into my office these days I am given cause to pause. We will be moving in about four months and the idea of having to sort and pack my books is more than a little daunting. My daughter says we should just put a sign on the lawn, ‘House for Sale, Includes Library.’ The cheek of some people’s children!

I’ve been reading a wonderful children’s book called The Book Thief. The main character is a young girl who steals her first book at her brother’s graveside. Books become extremely important to her, as she lives in the midst of the madness of Germany in the 1930’s and 40’s.

Books mean a lot to me, too. I’ve never stolen one, but I confess when I was young I used to take them out of the library just to touch them, hold them, put them on a shelf and look at them. To me, they were, and are, icons of comfort and security. Lately I’ve been examining why. I suppose a good therapist could write a book about it. (I’d be willing to be the subject as long as I get a copy I can touch, hold and put on my shelf!)

Perhaps the attachment has to do with power. There is power in knowledge, they say, and the best way to gain knowledge is to read. Perhaps it has to do with ownership. Some people have to own a new car every year. Books are cheaper. Or perhaps it’s security. A room full of books gives me the same feeling a pile of firewood did in the Yukon when it turned sixty below. The fear of being out in the cold is kept at bay for a while.

Or perhaps, and I do hope this is a primary motivation, it is because books somehow give me a window into the mind and heart of God. Not all books do this, of course, but even the bad ones have their moments. Each being written by a man or woman whose essence is eternally connected to his/her creator, God is there. Sometimes His face shines from the pages. Sometimes it’s a shadow that lurks. Sometimes it’s a thread that ties the thing together or the glue that drips from the binding. You might not even be aware of it. The author might not even have been aware, but He’s there and opening those pages reveals Him to us all.

I was telling my husband a bit about The Book Thief as we drove to a nearby city the other day. He asked me if it was a Christian book. “No,” I said. “Not at all.”

But I see God in it. That’s why I want to touch it, hold it, read it intently and keep it on my shelf.

March 13, 2007

Have You Been To Calvary?

Have you taken that uphill journey

With Jesus to a hill called Mount Calvary?

Did you help to carry the cross?

Or even wipe the sweat from His brow?

When you arrived did you comfort Him?

Did you tell Him how much you loved Him?

Were you willing to wash His hands and feet?

Or even willing to take His place on the cross?

When darkness overcame the world

Were you willing to bear a load of sin?

Did you acknowledge Him as your Savior?

Or even ask Him to remember your family?

Did you carry Him to the tomb?

Did you believe that He would rise again?

Are you going to carry His cross from here?

Or even shine His light for the world to see?

Did you tell Jesus that you would wait for His return?

Are you prepared to meet Him in the air?

Did you tell Him before He hung His head?

Was your walk back down peaceful or still troubled?

Copyright 2007 Janice Keats

March 07, 2007

A True Friend - Donna Dawson

I have been posting this story in portions on my blog sites and thought all of you might enjoy it too.

A True Friend

He was a ragged piece of humanity. Dirt smudged across his face somewhat muting the yellowing of the tobacco stains that streaked the bedraggled beard. His grizzled hair was long and dull and had lost its fine, tidy edge many years ago. It hung in chunks, like the mane of a wild pony. The rheumy blue eyes that nestled deep into the cragged and folded skin of his face carried heartache to deep and eternal that the boy thought it could never be erased. But he was determined to try. With a final nod of his own unruly red mop, the young lad settled, in his mind, the thought that--yes, this was the one--and he squared his shoulders as he approached.

How long the man had sat in his dusty heap upon the unforgiving sidewalk, the boy didn't know. Nor did it matter at the moment. What mattered was that the boy must reach out to him. The Pastor had told him--them--that Christ's mandate was to go out into the world and preach the gospel. And his mother had taken it a step further and showed him in his new teen Bible where Christ had befriended people before he ever tried to share his kingdom with them. She was right. He knew that even at his half-score and two years. He had seen it in his sister when she had wanted something from him. Kindness always worked best.

The boy settled his limber and gangly, fleece and nylon-wrapped frame onto the icy surface beside the old man and tried hard not to react to the pungent waft of body odour that assaulted his nose. The crisp, bright blue of his jacket sharply contrasted with the faded and worn denim that covered, in a thin shroud, the scrawny arm next to his. An occasional shiver wracked the tired old body and the boy nestled closer in an attempt to warm the old man....

to be continued...

© Donna Dawson 2006
Author of Redeemed and The Adam & Eve Project 

March 01, 2007

Safe and Secure - Donna Dawson

by Donna Dawson
copyright February 2007

The storm rages outside our cozy brick home. Wind howls around the chimney, it's banshee voice screaming in a high pitched fury. Snow swirls and dances, hypnotic to the unwary, eager to lure away from the hearth into the cold clutches of the winter blast. But I sit here before my fire, watching the flames dance to the wind's tune, smiling as the bright sparks taunt the wind's bitter breath with cheery warmth. And I feel safe and secure.

Life is like that. Changeable. Unpredictable. Alluring yet dangerous. And those of us who are unaware can sometimes find ourselves out in the midst of a violent temptest uncertain of where to turn next. Hands outstretched we grope blindly against the wind and the snow and the bitter cold.

But Christ stands like a sturdy brick shelter amidst the storm and he covers us and warms us. Oh the winds still rage about us. The haunting laughter of temptation still mocks us. The bitter cold of rejection still strives to nip at our faces with its icy sting. But our Saviour is there. He is our roof and walls, our chimney, our roaring fire and we can sit and listen to the storm knowing that we are safe and secure.