The Beauty of a Cross Section of a Life

Jenny Lu

Inspired by the beauty of a roadside stump, and this message by Pastor Caleb,    Embrace Your Place   .

Inspired by the beauty of a roadside stump, and this message by Pastor Caleb, Embrace Your Place.

All these many years
of xylem, and phloem,
and inside them, flowing
Life that makes the trunk strong,
and the roots run down deep.

With each year, a mark
circling round the heart
With each year, enlarging
of a greater beauty
All these many years.

Unseen patterns
within rough bark
Hidden beauty
below blossom, bough, and fruit
Flourishing. Full.
Feeding, from soil,
its firm foundation
Reaching, daily
to its light.

All these many years.

Patient. Trusting.
Planted. Beautiful.

Musings Of A Flower Gardener

My small flower patch boasts of 8 varieties of lilies, countless daisies and pansies, a rose and lots of yarrow.  Often as I tend to this delightful flower patch, life truths speak to my heart.

- Often times a weed does not look that much different than a flower.  When unsure, let it grow and see whether it flowers.  How true in our own lives!  When a belief that seemed true grows into real life, it is shown to be a falsehood!  Then we have weed picking to do!

- Weeds are much easier to pull when they are small and the roots are undeveloped.  When they have grown tall, it takes a mighty pull to get those roots out!  In our lives, it is much easier to pull out a wrong thinking, a lie that was believed when it is small.  It is much more effort to deal with when rooted deeply!

- As the gardener, it really is my discretion where the flowers are in my patch.  If a daisy shows up in the irises, I might pull it.  If the lilies are taking over so the rose wouldn’t be seen, they must be transplanted.  Really, it is up to the Lord God to position me in His garden patch.  I might think I am blooming but if He chooses to place me beside different flowers, He can do that! Sometimes the ‘ouch’ is taken out of repositioning by understanding that the Gardener, Jesus, is growing a beautiful garden and each blossom must be positioned right.

- Each flower has their own blooming pattern.  Tulips and daffodils are the first to poke up through the snow. Lilies need warmth and water and blooms last a little longer than tulips.  Roses need a lot of tender care to blossom radiantly and profusely.  So, each of us has our own pattern for blooming written in our book.  Some of us shine under adverse conditions, steady as the tulips.  Others need better ‘growing conditions’ to radiate His love, like the lilies.  And others need lots of tender care for the promise of fragrant rosebuds.  Accept the pattern our heavenly Father has for you!  We have dormant periods according to His plan.  One cannot bloom like the next person but one WILL respond to Sonshine and Father’s love on you in your own way!  Rejoice when another person is blooming and it’s their turn to be shown!

- Pruning new growth of a flowering shrub or bush is part of caring for them.  ‘Ouch!’, the pruning might hurt but too much new growth in any direction would cause the plant to look uncared for.  So, we must experience the curbing of our new growth under His care.

- There are so many other examples but my final point for right now is a conversation with my Heavenly Father one year while gardening.  He was pointing out to me that some flowers bloom all summer long.  Others will bloom one week of the year only.  Still others bloom one day a year only in the tropics!  He was reminding me not to judge my sisters and brothers whose schedule for blooming was very different from each other. Some plants take much cultivation to produce fragrant exquisite blooms while others, like annuals, just bloom happily for a season, just needing water!  Our Creator determines the blooming schedule of each plant!

- But finally, He pointed out my tendency to be hard on myself for not blooming continuously in the open.  Was He not my Creator Who could cultivate me for years in order to bloom extravagantly as He had written in my Book?  If I receive His love and return His love with joy in intimacy, pleasing Him . . isn’t that enough?  To have the Father’s pleasure, to catch His gaze is certainly enough!  He has a plan for each one of us, written in our Book and when our eyes are on Him, we will walk with Him in our garden fulfilling the plan!

Untie the Colt, the Master has Need of You!

(A word received by sister Parin, early in the morning on Palm Sunday)

The Lord is untying the colts who have been waiting and waiting... it is time to be free from the post that had held you captive! 
He says, “untie the colt, the master has need of you!”

All that time of waiting, dreaming, wondering if he has forgotten you, felt like giving up on the dreams you had to serve the Lord, did you really hear from the Lord. Why are you still there? Everyone around thought what a waste of time, you could have done whatever you wanted to do, why are you not doing anything, you felt alone, lonely, isolated.. but you persevered! 

Suddenly the season of waiting is over, “untie him!” How you love that voice! Can this be real that finally you could be used by the Lord. 

Jesus wants to ride on you... your heart’s desire of close intimacy and being one with him is becoming a reality... you are no longer tied to a post, you are now tied to Jesus, the lover of your soul! All that waiting was really worth it! He has chosen you! 

You were being prepared for a time such as this because now you are mature, you are teachable, you are no longer wild and full of pride, now you have a broken and a contrite heart, you are bearing much fruit - you are single-minded and focused, obedient, patient, full of compassion and ready to do his will no matter the cost! 

You are going with him to Jerusalem!

You will experience the joys as well as the sorrows of the one you love - you will hear those who will praise him and cry out hosanna to the King! but you also hear those who hate him and cry out: crucify him! crucify him. You will be with him no matter what! Jesus you are worthy of it all!

I picked up my banjo

Ken Calder

I picked up my banjo and started to strum
I could hear the people starting to hummm
They started to dance and they started to sing
Glory to God and glory to their King

As my fingers started to pick up speed
And as I strummed I could see the need
That people who had been in bondage and fear
Began to shout, to dance and to cheer

The King of kings and Lord of lords
Jesus Christ began to appear
as the people began to dance and sing
Glory to God and glory to their King

The chains that held them
in bondage and fear
Were cut by their Saviour so dear
This is why they loved to dance and sing
Before the Lord their glorious King

Now can you see as I sing this song
The people who for far too long
Were held by depression and fear
To be free from the prison that held them so long
Now had a reason to sing this new song

To meet and to know the King of this song
To invite them to family where they belong
To know the love of The Lamb
Follow me, hold my hand
I will take you to the promised land

I’m in the family of God
I sit in wonder and awe
That the King of kings the Lord and Father of all
Took the keys of the kingdom of hell
And said this is not where you will dwell
He said you’re free from sin and death
In me you will find eternal rest
He gave me life and I feel so free
Because of the man who died on the tree

As I lay my head on his glorious chest
I know what it means to enter His rest
All the things that I fear
Cannot touch me here
For He holds me so close with his arm so strong
I know this is where I really belongTruly He is the head of us all
Obedient to his Father’s call
He faced death and conquered fear
And rose again to meet us here
For death He did face
He knew that his love would save us by grace


Ken shared this poem with the family during our 2017-2018 Watch Night Service, and has generously allowed us to share it here! 

Spaces of Separation

Spaces of separation
The eye begins to see
The ear, finally, hearing
To the voice that calls
From inside of walls
Of a crowded claustrophobic heart

Spaces of separation
Lost longings coaxed out
As we realize
A kinder side of our love

A painting, splotched and splattered,
Uneven hues and ungraceful strokes, but
Only step away a little,
Allow some space for separation, and
Tints, and textures, and contrasts
Become a story that we understand

And, oh, marvel.
We really do love each other.

On gaining assurance of one’s belonging when given a short distance of separation - separation, from the very place that one is most loved, and known, and free.  

On learning that love holds us together, in ways that, often, are unseen to us when we are living in them.

Relationships.  Sometimes some spaces of separation help us to cherish them more.