Archive for August, 2019

Memories of Love and Devotion

August 31, 2019
Celebrating 46 years of love and devotion

Although I could find no specific traditional designation for a type of gift for the 46th wedding anniversary, I found that some sources suggest a poetic tribute as a contemporary gift. In celebration of our 46th anniversary, I offer poetic reflections accompanied by photos and some of the songs, and original poetry and a poem by Sara Teasdale, all of which have come to mean so much to us in

Although I could find no specific traditional designation for a type of gift for the 46th wedding anniversary, I found that some sources suggest a poetic tribute as a contemporary gift. In celebration of our 46th anniversary, I offer poetic reflections accompanied by photos and some of the songs, and original poetry and a poem by Sara Teasdale, all of which have come to mean so much to us in

a collage of memories
Of love and devotion
to God, our Father
and to one another
preceding and reaching
beyond 46 years
of marriage

Brenda and I met in April 1971, after we both prayed for a lifelong companion, but I thought about her long before then:

Before I Knew You
for my beloved Brenda

I thought of you long before I ever knew you.
When through the mist I beheld your lovely face.
Before our two lives touched, my heart reached out to you.

I could not speak your name, yet somehow, I knew you
Would be all I could desire in style and grace.
I thought of you long before I ever knew you.

Alone, I saw the sunset, told myself you too
Needed a dearest friend to share this special place.
Before our two lives touched, my heart reached out to you.

Alone, I passed the time and asked myself who you
Were dreaming of, yet still longing to embrace
I thought of you long before I ever knew you.

I yearned to give my life, to share my soul with you
Who would make me feel whole and fill my empty space.
Before our two lives touched, my heart reached out to you.

God stretched out his hand, and then He gently drew you
To me with a true love that time cannot erase.
I thought of you long before I ever knew you.
Before our two lives touched, my heart reached out to you.

“You Make Me Feel Brand New” by the Stylistics

In 1973 Brenda and I married and committed to build our lives on the foundation of God’s Word:

For a foundation, laid a precious cornerstone,
tried stone of witness–the rock of my salvation,
hewn from the Savior, “more than friend or life to me.”

I bring a stone engraved with her name, Brenda Joyce,
my love, the wife of my youth in whom I rejoice;
white topaz, the symbol of my pure love for you.

“Brenda” by OC Smith

In our marriage we ever strive to be and to see

A Single Image

For this reason, shall a man leave
his father and mother,
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.
Ephesians 5:31

look upon the
mirror of our
soul
and
see
a
single image

one heart
wearing no
ill will

one mouth
speaking peace
and promises
fulfilled

one hand
bearing
only love
open
outstretched
toward you

we stand
before you
naked
unafraid
and free

there is
no fear
in love
so why
should we

we are His
He is one
so are we

one
plus
one
makes
one
in
word
in
deed
in
truth

“Flesh of My Flesh”—Leon Patillo

I continue to thank God for my wife who was the answer to my prayer, even as I was the answer to hers.

I Thank God for You
For my beloved Brenda

With gratitude to God, who hears and answers prayer,
We reflect and rejoice, aware of His constant care.
Forty-six years flow:, abounding in amazing grace,
Unfailing love so strong, not even time can erase.
I thank God for you.

We look upon the beauty of the precious sapphire,
To remind us of the spark that first kindled desire.
As Christ loved the Church, willing to sacrifice his life,
So I renew my promise to serve my beloved wife.
I thank God for you.

Through each valley, plateau, climbing to a grand mountain view
We offer praise to God, our Father, who makes all things new.
God speaks to confirm His promise He will honor us:
All things work together according to His purpose.
I thank God for you.

I close with “Barter,” an exquisite poem that has come to mean so much to us over the years:

Barter

Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children’s faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit’s still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been or could be.

Sara Teasdale

“A Song for You” by Morgana King

I am still singing my song for you, Brenda Joyce, BJ, the love of my life.

Day one of our brand-new beginning

August 11, 2019
This verse brings to mind a special celebration of my ordination and the birthday of my grandson on August 11

As a wave intensely hot days ushered us into August, the eighth month of the year, the term “new beginnings” came to mind since the number 8, symbolizes a fresh start. E.W. Bullinger, in his celebrated work, Numbers in Scripture, comments:

. . . Eight denotes resurrection or new beginning or regeneration or commencement.  The eighth is a new first. It is the number that has to do with the Lord, who rose on the eighth day or new first day.  In Hebrew, the number eight is derived from an expression that means “to make fat,” “cover with fat,” “to super-abound.” As a participle, it means “one who abounds in strength,” etc. As a noun, it is “superabundant fertility,” “oil,” etc. So that as a numeral, it is the superabundant number. As seven was so called because the seventh day was the day of completion and rest, so eight, as the eighth day, was over and above this perfect completion, and was indeed the first of a new series, as well as being the eighth. Thus, it already represents two numbers in one: the first and eighth.

In thinking about August, I realize some people also identify it as “What Will be Your Legacy Month.” The website of holidays, Gone-ta-pott.com, offers this definition and elaborates upon the month-long celebration:

“A legacy is what someone or something is remembered for or what they have left behind that is remembered, revered or has influenced current events and the present day. . . What Will Your Legacy Be Month is a month for people to reflect on their past and present actions and vow to make positive changes that will affect generations. We have to remember the seeds, whether positive or negative, that we plant in our children’s lives. This observance is about making the right choices so our children and their children will make the right choices. Everything we do will grow and reflect our teachings. So, teach your children well.”

Benjamin Disraeli made the statement, “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” We are perhaps familiar with the statement, “The greatest gift you can give someone is a good example.” Similar sentiments are also expressed in Proverbs 22:1:

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.

Paul exhorts Timothy, as a father to his son, to be an example of the believers in what Timothy says, in what he does, in the way he lives, in faith and purity.

On August 1, I was especially aware of the question asked in the designation of the eighth month, as I prepared to spend a couple of weeks with our three-year-old grandson, Kingston Edward Simkins.  One of the joys of my life is being with him as he celebrates his birthday which coincides with the anniversary of my ordination to the Christian ministry on August 11, 1974.  While reflecting on the goodness of God, my soul overflows with gratitude, as we sing songs from Veggie Tales and I teach him original scripture memory songs. He has already learned the names of the books of the Old Testament by heart before turning three, a feat which I first accomplished as an adult a few years before my ordination. To share in his love for reading and learning more about the Bible and spiritual matters is a blessing, indeed.

Anticipating events of celebration this month inspired this poetic response which I am posting today.

Day One

“Behold, I am making you new, brand new.

You will never be the same.”

Day one of a brand-new beginning arrived on August first,

As I still seek to satisfy this lifelong, unquenchable thirst

To know the will of God more fully and to serve Him

With gladness of heart, as we usher in the coming Kingdom.

This month unfolds with a question: “What will be your legacy?”

We smile and offer our response for all seasons: “We shall see.”

With outstretched necks we look up, waiting to mount up like eagles, to ascend.

Each day blossoms in beauty as a new the beginning of the end

When the Lord shall restore all the thief came to steal, kill, and destroy

When at last we dwell in God’s presence where abides fullness of joy.

We learn once more that to love is also totally to forgives

And know the more abundant life we were designed to live.

For His glory, our spirit, soul, and body the Lord has healed

When face to face what we knew in part will have been fully revealed.

Those who walk in God’s love never lose, but they are always winning.

This we know is so true from day one of a brand-new beginning.

The example that we leave for others to follow is part of our legacy, which should be of concern to everyone, not just during August but every day of our lives. The video below is a reminder to Christian believers of the importance of the legacies that they leave: “Find Us Faithful.”