20 thoughts on “Dressed in Beauty

  1. Outside our window we are scheduled to have some snow. I hope everyone in No. Va. appreciates the beauty you are fortunate to enjoy!

    1. Your beloved NY cousin that made No Va her home for many years would say, “she didn’t want to return to NY for that very reason, just too cold.”

      Yet, we will keep in mind for you snow has a way of saying, I love you also! ❤️

      1. Tammy it is a red Japanese Maple. And I agree that those red leaves are gorgeous and they stay red all summer long!

  2. As I sit under my tree in a round about way I ponder His friends that were glad they did. John 1:48 tells us about a guy that was sure glad he was a tree hugger. “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

    “Zacchaeus wanted to see who Jesus was. But he was a short man. He could not see Jesus because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree. He wanted to see Jesus, who was coming that way.”- Luke 19:1-4

    I’m sure story after story of friends of Jesus would saturate the mind if only we paused under, up, or around a tree or other carved out sacred space to chat with Him.

    Stories, like the two mentioned, Nathanael and Zacchaeus are life giving in many ways when we pause to ponder and share. Let’s ponder together this one thought, Nathanael wanted to know how Jesus knew him? He got his answer that he had been seen sitting under a tree. Hum, wonder if it was his first time finding a tree to sit under? Wonder if for years he sat and waited for the Messiah? Wonder what he was thinking at the time Philip called him? Was it raining? Was it sunny, was he pondering the shape of the tree, the nuisance of its care?

    The question is what posture, pose, and attitude do I have as I sit under in a round about way viewing my tree and chatting away? Will I hear a Philip call? Or, climb higher to catch Him as He passes by?

  3. Our pastor having been to Israel spoke of sitting under the fig tree as a time of prayer as you infer. When I begin to pray usually I’m so focused on prayer, feel His presence so much that nothing gets in the way of my conversations with the Lord and I know He’s listening, knowing He answers all and I have the faith to believe it will because of who He is, the Son of God. New faith begins to leaf out more. Other times, I’m sad to say distractions draw me here and there; a text, telephone call, a thought of something I need to take care of, etc. If I do read the scripture then I could read it a thousand times and miss what God is telling me. I just keep going back later to see if I can recapture the moment I first sat under the fig tree. I may not then have notice He had passed me by. The presence of the Lord went elsewhere that day. Thank goodness for the Good Shepherd’s staff which leads me back to His presence.

    1. I think most of us, at least me, might find ourselves in a tandem discipline chair right next to Rena. Distractions remind me of a fruitless leafy tree much like the fig tree cursed by Jesus because it had no fruit. The scripture says, “it was not even the season for fruit.” Yet, one school of thought as to reason (for curse) believe that the leaves in full showed it should of had at least budding figs. It didn’t and Jesus cursed it. Trees really talk to say the very least.

      1. Just this am I was listening to CNN, ‘New Day’, checking internet, drinking coffee and talking with my best buds, that is my 3 lap furry buds, when I heard the answer to the very question (why distractions other than excuses) I was asking in my mind’s ‘eye heart’. Chris Cuomo, anchor, in a spirited debate with a Christian politician asked him about accepting lies and he seemly in my opinion feigned. Cuomo responded with “Common grounds have to matter more than the distractions.”

        What say you about “Common grounds have to matter more than the distractions” reference back to Rena’s original comment? 🤔

  4. Not sure I understand what Cuomo meant with his response, ““Common grounds have to matter more than the distractions.” But if the Christian politician feigned, than that pretense or insincerity is a distraction from truth and perhaps the common grounds that Cuoma was seeking to find with him.
    Some other thoughts I had:
    Distraction made me think about the bible verse Luke 10:41 where Jesus was teaching …maybe to a group of listeners. I am sure what he was saying was important because his whole life and death and purpose was to bring people to the common ground of the Cross. But that day Martha was distracted and possibly distracting others from entering onto this common ground. And Jesus had to confront and correct her by saying, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things. 42 One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part. It won’t be taken away from her.”
    Also, regarding common ground, Paul said in I Cor. 9:22 that he, too, sought to find common ground with others so as to bring them to the message of the Cross and salvation. He said, “Yes, whatever a person is like, I try to find common ground with him so that he will let me tell him about Christ and let Christ save him.”

    1. Debi, my understanding of common ground in this conversation is “Truth”. Seems Jesus understands this common ground. “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

      1. Speaking truth reminds me of the late evangelist, Billy Graham. He spoke a single message of John 3: 16. Millions came to know Jesus. Truth spoken to the people of the earth caused heart changes: from earthly ground to heavenly ground where Jesus is , a ground of pure truth.

        Going back to my previous comment. In researching I found that the rabbi’s of the day instructed their students if they didn’t pray for the Messiah’s coming their prayers were worthless. Nathaniel prayer was answered immediately. He wanted the truth and Jesus the truth the way and the life (John 14:6) stood before him.

        Everyday for months I have awakened humming a tune . This morning the words came to me. It is sung in some churches as a communion song.

        Let us break bread together on our knees. (Common ground )
        Let us break bread together on our knees.
        When I fall on my face to the rising sun,
        O Lord, have mercy on me! …………..

        His MERCY. His Truth – the Life
        Ephesians 2: 4-5 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.

    1. Rena, we sing along. For as we worship The High and Holy One, The King of Kings, Lord of Lords in Spirit and Truth we united as the Eternal Family.

      I am so reminded this am we don’t catch fish in mud puddles but clear fresh springs. Do you remember singing this 🎹 “Sping up Oh well with in my soul… make me whole and give to us that life abundantly.” Let’s sing it🎤🎤🎤🎤🎼🎹 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BbUP3EdTqyA

  5. Oh yes I remember!! We often sang as MG played the piano and Debi played the guitar. Also it was sung at Sister Gwen Shaw International Conventions, and elsewhere.

    Then before this song, this one 🎹🎤 Just as I AM
    Just as I am, without one plea
    But that Thy blood was shed for me
    And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee
    O Lamb of God, I come! I come…

    1. Rena, I was listening to George B Shea yesterday singing hymns on YouTube and an interviewer asked him to share how “Just as I Am” came to be Dr Grahams’s signature song. Bev shared how he suggested it to Billy because as George Bev sang it each time in his personal life he felt relieved of guilt.

      Hymns to me are sermons at their best. I try to daily drink from their well of knowledge. And, sitting under a tree with mind in gear to hear makes me to know at any moment anywhere we can experience holiness and transform into the gatewY of heaven. And, this brings me to one of my signature scriptures and it is often sung as well. Acts 17:28 “…in Him we live and move and have our being.” 🎼🎤

  6. Sara you stated above: “Hymns to me are sermons at their best. I try to daily drink from their well of knowledge.”

    A.W. Tozer (one of my favorite writers) certainly agreed with you. He said, “The matter I have in mind is the place of the hymnbook in the devotional life of the Christian. For purposes of inward devotion, there is only one book to be placed before the hymnal, and that of course is the Bible. I say without qualification, after the Sacred Scriptures, the next best companion for the soul is a good hymnal.”

    1. I have the greatest of respect for Tozer and his wisdom sure gives my head and knees a double dose of humility. When he speaks of hymns and hymn books I am so reminded how many from the contemporary churches today seemly have no clue of even seeing a hymnal yet alone holding one. That might not be bad since we can read, sing along and pray hymns from our hand held devices. But, not sure hymns even make an entrance into the services or conversations of the modern days of gatherings. That’s the reason the ones of us that have been so blessed with spiritual teachings from Bibles and hymnals are duty bound to clarion the call daily Spirit life.

  7. Psalm 61:8 causes me to bounce with joy, “I will ever sing in praise of your name and fulfill my vows day after day.” In this Psalm David heaps an abundance of images upon our mind giving us words to praise with song. He says, God is Rock, fortified tower 🎼🎼🎼🎹🎤🎷🎸🎺 He is like a Mother bird using her wings to protect her chicks. Hymns and scripture songs just seem to ring sweeter and sweeter when one sits under their favorite tree.

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