Spring: A Time for Renewal

 

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Spring is my favorite season in Japan.  It is a time for me to take stock, reflect on future goals and whip my house into shape before the heat of summer.  It is also a time for cherry blossoms.

When we came to Japan in 1999, we arrived the first week in March. It was cold, dark and rainy.  I thought everything was so ugly.  I remember wondering how I was going to live in such a dreary country.

The end of March, I went to Hokkaido to visit a friend.  It snowed everyday I was there.  It was so beautiful, even if it was cold!  I dreaded returning to our part of Japan.  I flew back on April 3rd. When I exited the airport, it was warm and sunny.  Then I gasped!!! There was a long row of cherry trees in full bloom!  It was so beautiful!!  I have never forgotten that first lingering look of the beautiful blossoms.  It was a special gift to me from the Lord.  Every spring I am reminded of that special gift.

Since that time, I have learned to appreciate much about Japan and see the beauty that I missed during that first month.  I enjoy my life here and there are things I appreciate about each season.  BUT every year, spring takes my breath away!!!!

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For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”  ~Isaiah 55:12-13

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Awake, my soul…

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Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise
To pay thy morning sacrifice.

Lord, I my vows to Thee renew;
Disperse my sins as morning dew:
Guard my first springs of thought and will,
And with Thyself my spirit fill.

Direct, control, suggest this day
All I design, or do, or say;
That all my powers, with all their might,
In Thy sole glory may unite.

~Thomas Ken

A Disciple’s Renewal

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Snow in beautiful Pennsylvania, 2010

O MY SAVIOUR,

Help me.

I am so slow to learn,

         so prone to forget,

         so weak to climb;

I am in the foothills when I should be on the heights;

I am pained by my graceless heart,

                          my prayerless days,

                           my poverty of love,

                           my sloth in the heavenly race,

                           my sullied conscience,

                           my wasted hours,

                           my unspent opportunities.

I am blind while light shines around me:

     take the scales from my eyes,

     grind to dust the evil heart of unbelief.

Make it my chiefest joy to study thee,

                                             meditate on thee,

                                             gaze on thee,

                                           sit like Mary at thy feet,

                                             lean like John on thy breast,

                                             appeal like Peter to thy love,

                                             count like Paul all things dung.

Give me increase and progress in grace

     so that there may be more decision in my character,

                                         more vigour in my purposes,

                                         more elevation in my life,

                                         more fervour in my devotion,

                                         more constancy in my zeal.

As I have a position in the world,

     keep me from making the world my position;

May I never seek in the creature

     what can be found only in the Creator;

Let not faith cease from seeking thee until it banishes into sight.

Ride forth in me, thou King of kings and Lord of lords,

     that I may live victoriously, and in victory attain my end.

~The Valley of Vision, pg. 182

*a repost that seemed appropriate due to my one word for 2017

Create in Me a Clean Heart

IMG_0456I came to the Lord with my heart full of sin,
Empty of purpose and troubled within.
My flesh had the victory, My heart sought release—
Lord, wilt Thou cleanse me and grant me Thy peace?

Create in me a clean heart, my Father;
Renew a right spirit in me.
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation;
May Christ be seen in me.IMG_0407

I cried to the Savior, “Forgive me, I pray.”
He granted cleansing and sins fell away.
My bondage was ended, My heart was set free;
Lord, nevermore may I wander from Thee.

Create in me a clean heart, my Father;
Renew a right spirit in me.
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation;
May Christ be seen in me.

~Mac Lynch

*The pictures are after a winter storm in years gone by in beautiful Pennsylvania.