A Sure Thing

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Stretch the Borders of Life

At that time, this song
    will be sung in the country of Judah:
We have a strong city, Salvation City,
    built and fortified with salvation.
Throw wide the gates
    so good and true people can enter.
People with their minds set on you,
    you keep completely whole,
Steady on their feet,
    because they keep at it and don’t quit.
Depend on God and keep at it
    because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.
Those who lived high and mighty
    he knocked off their high horse.
He used the city built on the hill
    as fill for the marshes.
All the exploited and outcast peoples
    build their lives on the reclaimed land.

~  Isaiah 26:3 The Message [above] and Living Bible [below]

He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him,

whose thoughts turn often to the Lord!

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Been a bit hectic lately, so I thought I’d leave you a word of His Peace…

May your days and nights be blessed with a coverlet of His light, hope and grace!

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photos: mine

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String of Pearls

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“And since I am going away to prepare a place for you, I will come again and will welcome you into my Presence, so that you may be where I am.” 

~  John 14:3 International Standard Version

Like a string of pearls, luminescent with love, friends of heart and hand and hope… so are these stories of our lives.  Encompassed by an invisible thread, strung by Jeweler’s Tender Hand.  Times and people placed perfectly to reflect rainbow lights that soften earthly loss, limn heavenly hope… bestowed as one more pearl added in here, there, each time He sends us one to one.

Encourage her, let them know the embrace goes on,” He whispers to one ear, then another and another.  To these, the friends who have shared much of their story in the making, worshiped, celebrated, lived life together.   To one, who conceives of a gift of illustration…

And an email invites me to join in a single paragraph to a specific story.

I study photos of a family and their red-shuttered stone cottage in the country.  Breathe in the beautiful verse of promise thoughtfully selected by this one for her friend…a version I’d never read…

 “Newly widowed, M. is a woman of strong faith,” the emailer shares, picturing her friend for me.   “We want to give her a gift… one that will give comfort each time she looks at it, be a memory she can cherish. I know God has a bright future for her, though the way will be hard and lonely for awhile… ”  They want her to know she is part of them, she is not alone.

Praying, an image comes to mind… a young couple, standing beside the home they love.  Perhaps a bit like Anne Shirley and her Gilbert, arm in arm before their house of dreams with visions of family and love and life they will share there, have shared there…

And as I do, I am thinking and lifting up another couple strong in faith and Heaven’s hope… of times we’ve each loved and lost and seen Heaven’s gate through a sheath of starry tears… of all of us who are held in this very moment, held in His Hand as a pearl of great price.

Studying the nearly finished piece from distance of perspective as I usually do, looking for final touches that need adding… I suddenly find one of those cloud in sky pictures there in the tree above this couple I have drawn.  In the area where I was simply trying to mimic some sunlight glints among the leaves, moving my pen here, there, darkening around, leaving a space white where light is.   Where it wasn’t meant to look like anything but sunlit leaves —  a shape emerges, an image like a symbol of welcome into His Presence.    He is ever hovering warmly, lovingly, over us.

I wonder… do you see it too?

Thank you, Father, for how You write us into one another’s story… sometimes even for just an anonymous moment… and for how You allow us to be part of reflecting You in ways beyond our wildest dreams.    And for the Glory of Your Holy Spirit Presence ever with us and over us.

© Pam Depoyan

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Pen & Ink House Portrait shown above: mine, all rights reserved. 

(Please do not copy without permission. Thanks!  :)  )

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O Frabjous Day!

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Into the middle of a ho hum afternoon, a smile peeks through like a beam from cloudy sky.  A little light of silver and blue jewel sparkling from a Target shelf of ordinary.  Like Alice, I think I see a large-lettered note attached:  Take Me Home.  This one’s for you…  It seems such a tiny extravagance, a spot of beauty and joy for my kitchen, a diminutive touch of luminescent (liquid soap) charm for a coming guest — so I do!

And placing it next to my snowy swiss-dotted pitcher, a song of praise for such simple pleasures wings up inside me…  color dances!

How spirit-lifting color can be — this azure elegance against white, like blue that chases wooly white clouds across the heavens or wavelets racing foamy white lace to the shores…

Or a plate of vine-picked tomatoes fresh from a friend’s garden… a bonus to watering while the family’s away!

So that I find the Lord taking my hands to skip, dad to daughter, to a song of simple… mm, frabjous!… delicious delights.

For you, He smiles.

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Something simple and frabjous crept unexpected fun into your life lately? 

Please share and bless here in comments!  :)

 

© Pam Depoyan

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“Oh frabjous day, to act like a stroppy teenager for once!”

~ Veronica Heley

 Love this forget-me-not word! :)  (One more simple pleasure!)

frab·jous

 [frab-juhs] 

adjective Informal.
wonderful, elegant, superb, or delicious
Origin:
1872;  coined by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking-Glass;  perhaps meant to suggest fabulous or joyous
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Chapel Bells to New Beginnings

scan0022Finish.  Often and often it entwines with… fresh, blooming, beginning… doesn’t it?  Occasions a celebration!  A sigh of satisfaction… a whimper of worry, yet a picnic hamper of hope!

Because, as in the pages of a beloved novel we don’t want to end, we are reading with anticipation of joining in the story unfolding and following it with anticipation for circled open-ended conclusion.  Open-ended because in one way or other, the story continues… leaves us room to breathe with imagination, to move on to a new time and place and reason for creating, take the Lord’s Hand as He leads us on with the merriment of surprises planned ahead for you, for me, a-sparkle in His eye…

I’m thinking today of my beauty in redemption friend Shelly, who is in the midst of finish of one kind… and breathlessly, pensively, wonderingly placing her hand in His for the next part of her story (http://redemptionsbeauty.com/2014/07/24/surrender-2/ ).  I’m praying blessings upon her bon voyage, unexpected friendships on her horizon, life punctuated with ministering angels and even – here and there –  afternoon refreshings of garden party tea.  Gifts sent ahead of her and waiting with ribbons for her family to untie in the shade of rolling green and to the gentle, whispering, beckoning music of Westminster chimes.

I’m thinking of myself and others in betwixt what was and what is yet to be.  And thankful — so filled with thoughts of proclaiming the Lord’s Glory over our earth, over our hearts and lives.  Surrendering my worries like my sorrowful breadcrumbs tossed up to the skies… Looking up to the One who knows the beginning and the end… who is Alpha and Omega…

And in this moment, I feel His laughter as sunshine as He says…

Join in the festive of this moment.  Refreshed in My Garden.  Replenished by My food and drink and made whole by fellowship I send.   Finish is the chapel bell to new beginnings…

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This reminds me of a lovely little song from an old movie, Deanna Durbin singing in Mad about Music…   (Listen here:   :)   — Sorry for those of you who already tried to link to hear this, but I  just discovered the link I first put here was a foreign dubbed version!  Didn’t have my sound on…  :) This one should work!

Deanna Durbin - Chapel Bells

 

 

Chapel bells
How I love the melodies they bring
Chapel bells tell of youth and spring.

Through the years
They have chimed their story of romance
Through the years
Love has found it's chance.

Gone is every note of sadness
When their music fills the air
When they ring their song of gladness
Happy hearts are everywhere.

Chapel bells
How I hope some day
That there may be
Chapel bells, ringing out for me.

(bridge)

Chapel bells

(bridge)

Chapel bells tell of youth and spring.

Gone is every note of sadness
When their music fills the air
When they ring their song of gladness
Happy hearts are everywhere.

Chapel bells, hear them ringing
Loud and strong
Chapel bells, making love a song.

~Jimmy McHugh/Harold Adamson 1938

© Pam Depoyan

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A Joyful, New-to-Me, Word!

Bouquet of forget-me-nots flowers in  a white vase on a grunge  background Stock Photo - 19789320

A few weeks ago, I began a new post category of Forget-Me-Not Words.  Especially those that inspire Beauty… Hope… Light!

 Perhaps I’ve heard or read them – somewhere- before.  Only to have them float out of memory as a will o’ wisp.  So when I come upon these flowerets in my reading (particularly in my favorite British novels) .   I want to pluck them, place them in a freshwater vase…here…for you.

Today… the word is…

To Limn (verb):  to draw or paint (either through words or art), to outline, delineate with sharp detail;  to describe a scene so vividly as to make someone feel they can see it. 

Origin: Middle English limnen to illuminate (a manuscript), probably back-formation from lymnour illuminator, alteration of lumenur, from Anglo-French aluminer, enluminer to illuminate, ultimately from Latin illuminare.  First Known Use: 1592

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“Day followed day and I scarcely noticed how they passed.  I was enthralled by the task of editing Garth’s book.  I went with him step by step upon his journey, I shared his vigils, shared his discomforts, shared his keen enjoyment of the beauties which had encompassed him.  I grew to know his companions through Garth’s eyes… they were all alive and vivid — Garth had limned them in a few words. “

                                          ~ D.E. Stevenson, The Young Clementina

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The image I am dreaming of is like a breeze ruffling through tiny, sunshiny dresses and sailor boy bloomers.  Billowing them up, up, up – like giggling girls and boys on a swing – to chase, to reach, to touch the clouds!  The sky is blue upon blue.  The air clear and crisp and fresh-launder-scented.  And in the lilt of happy, chattering birdsong I feel… merry!

“Limning,” I see then, smiling at the thought that God has just…limned… a picture across my mind.  So vividly, my fingers itch to draw a new childhood-reminiscent  note card with this simple scene.   Can I limn it for others, make them feel such a… mmm… flash of springtime joy?

Can You make my words, my art, do that too?  I silently sing heavenwards.

Warmth, like butter melting over golden pancakes, spreads over me with a life-stemming reminder.

The world is looking for my living epistles.  To read Me and find Me in you…(and you… and you too!)  I want to be the Companion others get to know through your eyes… alive and vividly drawn through the Words and pictures I limn of who I AM… in you… through you…

[Like Garth's writing limned for Charlotte, in D.E.'s The Young Clementina, I see then.  Illuminating with joy.]

Like the wind billowing through your soul and sending another up to touch the clouds!

In gifts and dreams I place in your hands, yes. 

But also…In everyday moments… in your eyes… in gracious words to a harried stranger.

It is then I remember recent times when disgruntled feelings got the best of me.  Of just wanting things the way I want them.  Of not even thinking about windows and doors God might want to open as encouragement to someone else – because it’s too easy to be caught up in necessities of life that keep me from seeing.

O Father, Holy Spirit, forgive me… illuminate and remind me in every day.  “In my vigils, in my discomforts and in my joys, in the keen enjoyment of beauties you encompass round me” — may my life  ever be, a living, limning, letter of You.

***

I particularly love the origin of illuminate to this word, limn.

 In what way would you like God to limn His letter -

like a breeze through someone’s window-

through you today?

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© Pam Depoyan

breezy window photo source: rebekahknight.blogspot.com

flower photo:  fotosearch.com

Ask about Note cards from my pen and ink drawings!    (U.S. only, at this time)      Choose from any you like, mix and match just $2 a piece (including envelope)…                 See designs at pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS    :)

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Double Blessing

Digital CameraReflecting on God’s goodness, power and Life in His Words  and miracles of grace He has shown me even this afternoon…  I’ve been thinking today of how it is no coincidence but God’s design that even numbers have meaning in the original Hebrew of the Bible.  Meaning that unlocks more of His Heart to us…

Seven… as in the seventh year of Jubilee… connotes blessing and favor.  Debts and past pain – wiped out and forgiven.   A Year of GRACE…and new beginnings.

Reminding me of Isaiah 61:  The Year of the Lord’s Favor

61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…    ~ Is 61: 1,2 NIV

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And today, on this 14th day of the seventh month of the year 2014… 

  • May you stand open-armed beneath a double double blessing of His Glory and Favor and Light!
  • For He is still declaring this Word over you – setting you free from whatever is holding you captive!
  • Encircling the brokenhearted in His embrace! 
  • Releasing us from the lies of the darkness, from the Thief who comes to steal and kill! 
  • And proclaiming NOW is the time of our Lord’s Great Invitation to Grace! 

Like the Psalmist… my heart and pen are filled with a beautiful thought…

O, Let us extol and bless the Name of our awesome God on High

and give thanks for songs of victory He is singing over us,

safety in the shelter of His care,

healing risen in His wings,

LOVE that lifts us up as lights upon a hill,  declaring us HIS!

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© Pam Depoyan

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The Trysting Place: Part Two

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He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High [El ‘Elyon]
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty [El Shaddai].

Psalm 91:1 NKJV

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When you meditate on God’s Word,” a minister says this week, “take time to repeat it to yourself often.  Ponder it as you wait in traffic, while putting on a load of wash, when pushing a cart through the grocery lines.  Pray the verse over yourself and others.  Let it soak into your spirit until the words are written there like a song… muttering it softly in worship, as David did…And the Holy Spirit will speak new revelations to you that you never before perceived… ”  

And as I have,  I began to think of all the shadings of meanings found in various translations… and that we might ponder these together… :)

  • Living in the Most High’s shelter,
        camping in the Almighty’s shade [CEB]
  • You …who spend your nights in the shadow of Shaddai… [CJB]
  • Live under the protection
        of God Most High
        and stay in the shadow
        of God All-Powerful.  [CEV]
  • shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  [DARBY]
  • You can go to God Most High to hide.
        You can go to God All-Powerful for protection. [ERV]
  • You who sit down in the High God’s presence,
        spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow…  [Message]

View of sun burst above clouds and ocean, purple sunset.. Fotosearch ...   Then, at hebrew4christians.com, looking up the meaning behind the original Hebrew word used for ‘secret place’ here,  I found THIS...

“The sages say that Moses wrote Psalm 91 as he dwelt in the secret place of the Most High God, in the “midst of the dark cloud” (Exod. 24:18),

a place of sacred and holy concealment. The thick clouds are a “hiding place” for him (Job 22:14).

Notice that the one who “abides” in the secret of the Most High dwells in an ascended place of rest – being lifted up above the surrounding madness of this fallen world of flux and shadows.

The Hebrew word means to lodge or to “sleep” , connecting it with death and resurrection.

By dwelling in the death and resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus), God will shield you with His Presence and make evil powerless before you.”

    So beautiful, isn’t it?  He conceals us so deeply in Himself, lifts us up and out, shields and renders evil powerless… as we dwell in, abide in, camp out in, spend our lives in His presence!

Meditating on these thoughts, lifting up my prayers for myself and others, I asked Him again – what is on YOUR Heart, Lord?

Over and over again, He spoke this thought into me:  “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:  “May they prosper who love you.”  Psalm 122:6 [NKJV]   In prayers for My Beloved Land and People, My Blessings flow also unto you…

O Father, I began… Cover Jerusalem in the shadow of the Almighty… May they know you as their refuge and fortress… send your angels to lift them up… protect and preserve…

And so, I invite you to join me

in lifting up this land on God’s Heart

in the prayers of Psalm 91

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I love the depth of even one verse such as this one…

especially the idea of His holding us close in “holy concealment,” under His shade.

Does one of these meanings speak significantly to you today?

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© Pam Depoyan

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Read  The Trysting Place: Part One

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