Monthly Archives: January 2014

Heaven’s door

Matthew 18:3 “…I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”*

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The door to heaven

is not very high

to enter, one must become small.

Step down the ladder

forget being great

stoop down to go in, pride and all.

….

by Patty Perkins

…..

*The One Year Bible, January 27, NIV, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

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Heaping grace

Genesis 45:1-3 “Then Joseph could no longer control himself…and he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him…”*

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Years spill

A dream fulfilled

Rachel’s first-born is found

…..

God’s plan

Superseded man’s

And heaping grace abounds.

…..

Jesus took

From deserved hook

For humanity his life laid down.

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poem and photo by Patty Perkins

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The story of Joseph undoes me. When he revealed his identity to his brothers the years of pent up emotions poured so loudly the Egyptians could hear him cry. To be known to family after years of blending into another culture was more than he could stand.

These were the brothers who, though wanting to kill him, had instead sold him to a passing caravan years before. And yet, where is Joseph’s bitterness? The anger?

Joseph was focused on God’s plan. He harbored no ill-intent toward those who had sold him off—he knew it was God’s way to save the nation, Israel. He let them off the hook. Completely. Reminds me of a New Testament Savior who came to fulfill his father’s plan to save his people. He extends forgiveness to all who will accept.

Genesis 45:8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here but God…”*

*The One Year Bible, January 22, NIV, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

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Like a mustard seed

Matthew 13:31″…The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed…though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants…”*

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Mustard seed in cross (photo by Patty Perkins)

Like the tiniest mustard seed thriving

or yeast kneaded all through the dough

like treasure hidden in a certain field

or the finest pearl one can know.

……….

Such is the kingdom of heaven

looking small and unlikely at first

yet holding forever in delicate grasp

waiting those who but search.

……….

by Patty Perkins

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In Matthew 13:31-45 Jesus tells parables—pictures of heaven in unlikely places. The Kingdom of heaven is unseen yet growing, small but destined large, hidden but meant to be found, a brilliant mystery yet revealed for all.

Oh…give me eyes that don’t miss it!

*The One Year Bible, January 20, NIV, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

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Writing the stumps

Psalm 15:2 “…who speaks the truth from his heart.”*

My husband spent most of his growing up years on a man-made lake. Basically, a flooded river. Every autumn the water level is lowered by opening the dam downstream. The emptied lake leaves a lonely river and a desert-like lake bottom. What only months before was covered with tons of water is laid bare.

For about 45 years this water coming and water going has been the pattern.

45 years of flooding has not been enough to erode stumps that were left when trees were cut down to make the lake. They refuse to rot away. Stubbornly, they stay—bringing their own art form to the winter landscape. Bare beauty.

Like those stumps, there are parts of life that refuse to budge. The things that tell our story. The things that make us unique. When the tides wash away…what’s left? What makes me different from anyone else? What are the things I have to write about that no one else can touch?

In writing, I hope to reveal God’s stroke of art in my life. The raw essence of life waits…just below the surface.

*The One Year Bible, January 17, NIV, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

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In the here and now

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”*

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i long to be

on the same planet spinning

not merely gazing from a distant star

to experience you in the here and now

not by a telescope far.

…..

and that your

internal compass tilt

the fragile axis of life events

tipping here and then over there

and sometimes saying

just sit.

…..

by Patty Perkins

…..

“Come to me…and I will give you rest.” My hope is to know his presence as an internal, guiding compass—not just read his word from a distance. It would be easy to learn all about him and miss knowing him.

*The One Year Bible, January 16, NIV, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

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Like a pillar of salt

Genesis 19:26 “But Lot’s wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt.”*

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Kentucky fence row (photo by Patty Perkins)

I had mixed emotions about the last move. I spent the first few years yearning for what felt like home. I wanted the familiar.

Looking back left me stuck…much like a pillar of salt. I’m not a quick nest leaver or root puller-upper. I went through the actions of settling in but my emotions were stuck on the past even though God had led us to a great place with much to offer.

If I’m looking back I’m not looking forward. It’s easy to get stuck in the in-between desert, for my body to be here and my heart—there. To wallow in regrets, if only and what if. To be caught in the old and not embrace the new.

Certainly, there’s a time to grieve the past and learn from it. Then, it’s time to move on. To entrust life to the Lord and outcomes into his more than capable hands. It may be a daily letting go at first.

I remember driving through this new place a year or so ago and the thought hit me that this really is a neat town. It was as if he replied to me—then why not just enjoy it. And…why not? It’s time to embrace the present.

*The One Year Bible, January 8, NIV, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

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One who sees

Genesis 16:13 “She [Hagar] gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.'” *

Hagar ran away after being mistreated by Sarai and now, God comforts her. She can return to her situation with confidence in the God who sees and cares for her. God has a plan for Hagar and her yet-to-be-born son, Ishmael.

Not only did God see Hagar, he saw the child in her womb and referred to him as a “wild donkey of a man…he will live in hostility toward all his brothers” (verse 12). Ishmael’s destiny was already in place.

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IMG_2267One who sees

do take my hand

give strength to return

to a hostile land,

where powers greater

than i have their way

and destiny bends

to divinity’s sway.

…..

by Patty Perkins

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*The One Year Bible, January 7, NIV, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

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