Peace . . .

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

Philippians 4:6, 7 (NKJV)

  • 6 — “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”
  • 7 — “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

These are trying times. The coronavirus pandemic has been with us now for one year, and with the new variants cropping up around the globe, predictions of another year are being tossed around–even as new vaccines are being approved. The recent snowstorms, Uri and Viola, blanketed the lower forty-eight of the United States more completely than any in recorded history. Only three states escaped being covered completely. We know the world is sharing our experience with Covid-19 and its variants. We also know the weather over the past year has presented many trials and tribulations around the world. Our daily prayers include YOU along with people in the United States.

Economies are suffering with no definitive relief in sight, and the home fires seem to be dimming for many. It is during times like these, God can work in our hearts and bring us closer to Him–if we let Him. The scripture above, Philippians 4:6, tells us to “be anxious for nothing, . . . ” This may seem a difficult task when we are uncertain what the months ahead hold, but with prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving we can tell God what we need, and He can lay upon us “His peace,” which “surpasses all understanding.” He “will guard you hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” The final phrase tells how God can fill us with peace during times like these. It says, “through Christ Jesus.” Thus, if we have put on Christ Jesus, we can be blessed with the peace that passeth understanding.

As a child, I remember singing a song in Summer Bible School and feeling my heart lifted from any sadness it might hold. The first verse of the song, “Down in My Heart” by George William Cooke, amplifies the “joy” we can hold inside if Jesus lives in our hearts. The second verse says, “I’ve got the peace that passeth understanding down in my heart, down in my heart to stay.” Thus, if we love Jesus and He loves us, and if He lives in our hearts, with prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving we can plea with God for this peace, and Jesus will provide it to us. In times of sadness, sorrow, and hardship, He will carry us–if we let Him.

My prayer today is that all will heed His calling and allow Him to provide the peace that passeth understanding in these trying times. I ask that He Bless YOU personally and guide you to this peace. Have a “peaceful” day! Stay well and Be safe!

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Photo Above: by Daniel_Mingook_Kim@Unsplash.com.

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Source:

Courtney. (8 September 2019). Write On My Heart Every Word. writeonmyhearteveryword.com. (28 February 2021). “I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart” – Write On My Heart Every Word.

Holy Bible. New King James Version (NKJV). Philippians: by the Apostle Paul. (28 February 2021).

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My Morning Do . . . Down on the Farm — IV

A Snowy Nostalgia

by tkbrown

20 February 2021 — Growing up in the Ozarks, I was so blessed to experience four distinctive seasons each year. The snows blanketing our country during the past two weeks brought back memories. Just prior to the onset of winter storms Uri and Viola, one of my siblings and I were talking about the winters of our youth bringing much more snow than we have seen in recent decades. We were a bit nostalgic about the memories associated with those snows–at times they were two feet deep or more with drifts three to four feet deep. One Christmas Eve, an older sibling drove in from another state and parked their Volkswagen in front of the house. The next morning, there was just a big hump in the front yard–no visible evidence of the car buried beneath all that snow.

Winter brought with it the excitement of holidays, snows and ice coated trees which I thought were absolutely beautiful with the sun shining through them early in the morning. Riding the bus to school, I often commented on how much I loved seeing that aspect of winter. Other bus riders could not see what I saw. I suppose, in their minds it was too early in the morning and they were still snug in bed and fast asleep. They wanted no part of my icy reveries which threatened to eject them from their warm ones.

On days when conditions were too dangerous for the busses to risk the drive to school, and on weekends, etc., I could enjoy the evidence of Jack Frost’s visit during the night. The etchings on our windows boasted designs far more intricate than most paintings. The beauty of winter escaped many, but I never missed a beat of its cold heart. I loved looking out the windows to see God’s handiwork. Even having to carry in wood and coping with one side of me getting too toasty as it faced the old wood heater while the other side froze could not diminish its value in my heart. To me, even during the season others viewed as representing death in life’s cycle, nature’s beauty surpassed any ugliness that came with it.

My heart goes out to those who suffered hardship and loss during the past couple of weeks. I understand the blessings of modern technologies have allowed many of us to advance beyond the primitive realities associated with the wood heating of my childhood. However, news of the suffering many endured due to the overwhelming frigidness of the temperatures and accompanying snows brought back memories of always being able to stoke a fire in that old wood heater or turn-on the gas heater and kitchen range even as the electricity failed us. Living on the coast and enduring a number of hurricanes, I loved being able to cook a pot of beans and rice or cornbread on that gas range for us to eat until. We never missed a hot meal during a power outage. That is one part of having less than others I have never regretted.

As the days of my childhood grew warmer and steadily longer, springtime dropped in for a visit. When the dogwoods and redbuds began to bloom, I knew spring would soon be in the air. Our springs were long enough to truly enjoy the rebirth of life associated with the cool days of fragrant, variegated greens and yellow greens. The fresh bursts of color in both nature and homestead, and the planting of seeds–as the days grew warmer–from which we would enjoy the produce over the coming year. These were fertile reminders of life budding anew. Springtime in the Ozarks is a rebirth of every aspect of living.

As school let out, days were becoming hotter and longer. Soon, summertime was in full swing. The heat–sometimes blazing heat–in luscious green surroundings seemed to embrace me with appreciation for the growing and reaping to be done. The mouth-waterin’ vegetables, fruits, and berries we harvested each year were my favorite part of livin’ off the soil. I looked forward to the watermelons, the peaches, and other produce peddled to locals by other locals because these were never locally grown in sufficient quantity. The annual hog-killin’ in late July or early August with the fresh tenderloin to follow at breakfast the next morning was usually assisted by cousins from other states. Afterward, we would all gather ’round to enjoy a feast of fresh pork and fresh vegetables from the garden. If we were lucky, the activities of this day coincided with the peach purchase mentioned above, thus prompting a bowl of peaches ‘n cream for dessert. Summertime food was always so delicious. To this day, I love the abundance of produce available during spring, summer, and fall. UUMmMmmmmm!

Fall in the Ozarks blanketed the area with bursts of color on every hillside–red, yellow, orange, and crimson mingled with green and brown–with the cedars etching a bit of evergreen and each frost increasing the browns. Vegetables that had not been harvested from the garden were brought in, preserved, and stored for winter. The Halloween Carnivals (now Fall Festivals) and Thanksgiving only added to the excitement and anticipation of Christmas ahead.

Now, we cannot forget the annual harvest celebration in a neighboring county. As we grew a little older, we could most always see a slew of people we knew at the Hootin’ ‘n Hollerin’ celebration. The Hog Callin’ contest was the most sought after prize of the day. Usually, this prize was taken by a woman ’cause she had looootts o’ practice from callin’ her husband in for supper every night.

When I was young (early childhood–preschool age), the fall also boasted an Annual Pie Supper to benefit the school. I was too young to participate, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching older sisters baking pies to be auctioned off and eaten with the highest bidder. Some of those pies were well-known and sought after–bringin’ a right-good price to compliment and redden the face of some young lass.

Then there was the Annual Talent Show. Local talent turned out in droves to assist in raisin’ funds for our school. As I mentioned above, I was too young for the Pie Supper, but Mama and Daddy were sure to sign me up for the Talent Show. I began singing at the tender age of three. The Pie Suppers and Talent Shows fell by the wayside by the time I reached school age, but I remember the fun they provided all who participated. All of the excitement added to the bliss of those fall days, which were cooler and reminded me of the holidays and winter wonderlands yet to come.

I look back on my growing-up years, and although there were bad times, I do not remember too many of them. I always felt blessed somehow to be a part of all my surroundings–family, neighbors, friends, and nature. I learned so very much from all that I experienced. You just had to be there and see it through my eyes to understand the level of nostalgia felt at times when engrossed in reminiscing those days of yore.

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Photo at the Top: by MikeGoad @pixabay.com.

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Calendar Quindecims — December 2020

~~ by tkbrown
December is moving in fast,
and Thanksgiving is barely past--
or, is it? Travel, families,
Black Friday fare--those online venues--
shopping with masks, social distance--
greatly reduced deals, now's your chance!
Buy now, pay later--give better
for Christmas than ever before.
Material flare--girls and boys
each year get more expensive toys.
This year will be no different,
I'm sure--packages and love sent
to those afar off. Would I could
be there with you--for now we should
be thankful for the things we have
and for the family to love.
God, please send it o'er air by dove!

Thanksgiving

~~ a Devotional ~~

~~ by tkbrown

Note: If we believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, if we believe that He was sent to this earth to die for the sins of all mankind, if we believe He rose again three days after His death, and if we believe He ascended to heaven to be with God, His Father, once again, then we must believe He will come again to receive us unto himself, when it is time!

— Philippians 4:4 — “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say rejoice!”

Philippians 4:5 — “Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.”

Note: I am amazed at all God has provided for me and mine. He has left no need lacking. With a prayerful heart, I give Thanks this day for His abounding provisions. He makes His love for me known by providing all for which I have need!. I am, daily, amazed at the unlimited bounds of His love.

Philippians 4:6 — “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God,”

Philippians 4:7 — “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

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~~ Please join with me in an ongoing Prayer of Thanks. ~~

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Thanksgiving . . .

~~ by tkbrown ~~
Thanksgiving comes 'round but once in a year;
families gather to engage in prayer
for all new blessings received with much care.

Food will be eaten, much has been spread
it seems everywhere except on the bed,
a colorful view -- yellow, green and red.

There is so much food, it is hard to choose --
a bit of this, a bit of that -- a ruse,
fanfare tries hard to not indulge abuse.

Family time for all, with love is cast
to the forefront instead of placing last --
so much sharing to recover the past.

It's hard to slip even a word edgewise,
and many a word we must now excise;
do not interrupt, it would not be wise.

Keep this and that under your wide-brimmed hat,
because saying it might create a spat --
one surely would not want the guild of that.

Memories are made for all to recall,
and pictures are posed to hang on the wall --
festivities grand are enjoyed by all.

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Notes: A seven-stanza triplet is chosen for this poem. Both the English triplet and the Italian tercet consist of three-line stanzas. The Italian terset originated first and encompasses many poetic forms.

The original form consisted of three lines with ten or twelve syllables each and varied rhyme schemes. The more structured English triplet consists of three ten or twelve syllable monorhymed lines (monorhymed: rhymed with a single repetitious end sound). The poem may consist of any number of stanzas.

Other forms of the tercet include the haiku, the senryu, the Villanelle and the Terza Rima. The tercet in varied forms was favored in Romance literature of the Middle Ages.

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Sources:
Eds. (2019). Literary Devices: Definition and Examples of Literary Terms, “Tercet.” (3 November 2019). https://literarydevices.net/tercet/.

McKinney, Carla Jean. (25 July 2019). Pen & the Pad. “What is a Triplet Poem?” (3 November 2019). https://penandthepad.com/triplet-poem- 10004959.html.

Tinker. (2 June 2009). Poetry Magnum Opus. “III. Three Line Construction.” (3 November 2019). http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/topic/1008-iii-three-line-construction/.

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Image Above: by Geordie @ pixabay.com.

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Calendar Quindecims –November

~~ by tkbrown

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November
Thanksgiving vibes flow through our veins,
fill the atmosphere with celebratory strains.
Our hearts overflow with holiday cheer
as carols ring out in the blustery air.
Tinsels, lights and bows are strung
along the streets, in our homes are hung
as shoppers search for gifts far flung.
Christmas carols begin to be sung
by old and young and those in between,
and one can almost see a glistening sheen
as everywhere people cast doubt aside
and swear by His will they do abide.
Thanksgiving Day we'll offer up a prayer
for all the love, food and wealth we share --
the Spirit overcomes all we cannot hold dear.

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Photo above:
The First Thanksgiving -- by Bettman/Corbis @ Smithsonian.org,

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