Blog, photo, poetry

Farewell Warm Weather Friends

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Farewell Warm Weather Friends

 

As leaves are falling one by one

For now their seasons work is done.

I wonder if they could speak or feel

What is the message they might reveal.

 

I finished my race and worked very hard

While vibrant and alive I shaded the yard.

I kept harsh sunlight and heat at bay

While temperatures did rise on summers day

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But now as winter is fast approaching

You’ll require more of suns warmth encroaching.

So while I’ll be whisked or raked away

This was my due season of many a day.

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I am not sad that my time is at end

It was a good season and this yard I did tend.

I fulfilled my purpose and did it with joy

It is what I was designed and created for.

 

I’m pouring out my supply to fuel this trees roots

Next season many will grow from tender new shoots

They’ll grow and replenish and offer shade again

But for now it is farewell my warm weather friends

 

©laurette laster November 2017

Many years ago, If my memory serves me correctly, I believe it was the fall of 2011, during my commute I was admiring the spectacular fall foliage and rich robust colors. I commuted about forty five miles one way, to and from work. I crossed over the Red River between Texas and Oklahoma, during my drive to and from work. I have seen some beautiful, almost breath taking sunrises and sunsets during that time. I have seen full moons and super moons that lit up the nights sky making me feel as if heaven were ushering me home late at night or seeing me safely to work in the wee hours of the morning. I have seen beautiful snow covered fields with ice laden trees. I have driven over the icy roads and bridges that made me grip the steering wheel so tight that my hands hurt. I have had a front row seat and witnessed new life emerge during springtime, after the long bleak barren winter resting cycle.

On this particular fall afternoon I was telling The Lord as I was driving, how beautiful the sight was and thanking Him for the view. I love the fall colors. The bright robust burgundy’s, bright orange, the deep amber and gold’s, the reds that are cranberry colored and, the depth of the yellows are all so different this time of the year. These colors against the back drop of the greens and the browns are some of the most stunning colors I have ever seen. They are deep and vibrant in nature. There is something so tranquil and almost peaceful about the scenes of autumn. Yet there is also something so alluring and inviting about the season of fall. There is a depth that I still cannot put into words to adequately describe the feeling this scene ignites in my soul. I cannot explain with mere words how it makes me and many untold others feel. It makes me think of the scripture,

“That we may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is breadth and length and depth and height” (Ephesians 3:18 KJV)
With this scripture in mind, to me there is a dimension to the images of fall that can only be felt and lacks human understanding on this side of time. I love all the seasons, but there is something about fall that is multidimensional to me.

As I was driving and praising God for this view, He spoke to me. I heard His words in my spirit; “They are dead!” Wow talk about a jolt back into reality. However, I realized this was the absolute truth about these leaves. These same leaves of beautiful burgundy, gold, amber, yellow, orange, and other vibrant colors, they are really dead and on their way to complete dying and falling off. I had never thought about it quite like this before. I asked, “God how can something dead be so beautiful?” My question made me think about this entire imagery with its fabulous scenery in an entirely different light.

My prayer for several days was Lord; teach me how something dead can be so beautiful? Why do we see these colors, and travel hundreds of miles to view the cascading hills and country sides laden with fall foliage? How is it that as these leaves are dying they are becoming more beautiful to our eyes? What does this look like to You?

And He did indeed teach me. He taught me lessons, many valuable lessons that I hold near and dear to my heart today.  I now understand why I am unable to put into words the feelings the autumn season invokes in my soul.

He taught me that this is what repentance looks like to heaven. He showed me that when a soul repents of dead works, the imagery in heaven is of beautiful foliage with a change of colors. The Lord showed me that indeed letting go of dead works, and lessons learned are so beautiful to Him. He showed me that as we go into root season and grow deeper in the things of God all of heaven rejoices, read Luke 15:7. He showed me that some things are for a season, and some things are for a reason, and reasons and seasons are how we mature and grow. He taught me that a crop of leaves is to shade the fruit we are growing and the lessons we are learning. He showed me that when we learn the lessons of life that those leaves must wither and die and nourish our roots. How as His people we are a lot like trees. The lessons we are learning supply wisdom, strength, and courage to our core, (inner man). We must have truth in our inner being before He can add more depth and height to our trunks.

“Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part You shall make me to know wisdom.”  (Psalm 51:6 KJV)

So I share a few photos of some beautiful fall foliage I captured this week. Aren’t these colors and leaves beautiful? Guess what? They are dying. The trees have stopped supplying these leaves with nourishment, and in all actuality the tree is pulling nourishment from the leaves to help it stay alive and survive during the cold barren winter root season.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all stop right now and repent over just one thing? What is one thing, that you now realize God, is dealing with you about? We can show our Father in heaven some beautiful scenery today if we repent of one thing and cast off our dead works.

What are dead works? You know the cares of the world that choke the life of His word out, that Jesus speaks of in the parable of the Sower. If we are not growing and multiplying something is choking His word out. Dead works can be noble and they can be good but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are God ordained works. The works that are not of Him and do not point to His perfect love and benefit His kingdom must be shed to make room for deeper roots and new life come spring.

Here is to happy repentance of dead works. I have so much to be thankful for that it is my pleasure to repent of anything that is not pleasing to my Father. Show us Father anything that is hindering Your work in our lives. Give us the courage to face it and erase it by repenting completely before You. Help me see the enemy – ‘in a me’

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you Shalom.

Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette

 

Blog, photo, poetry

Seasons of Change

Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

to provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

That they might be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of The LORD for the display of His splendor. (Isaiah 61:3)

Maybe I don’t need to hold on so tight. Because I am caught and captured in the arms of Jesus.

Could it be that God has us right where we need to be? And that all this holding on is just a figment of our own thinking and perception of how we believe things are. In reality He has us safe in His grip and will never let us go. We must let go of the old to grasp the new, and be willing to be moved by the winds of grace.

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When it’s time to let it go

Teach me Lord that I may know

 

What it is that be Your will

Help me Lord, to just be still

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When I see I’m caught and captured

By Your love and fully enraptured

 

Held in place by steel strong Arms

Safe and secure from all life’s harms

 

You do show and make it known

Oh Yes You are, God alone

 

©laurette laster

photos taken by laurette laster

Earlier today as I was studying scriptures I found myself thinking, I wonder if I wrote a poem on this date last year. So as I came to see and to answer my own question and I find this poem, the one posted above.

Isn’t it ironic that I find myself at the same place today as I was last year, yet in completely different circumstances? Yet the lesson is,  be still and know that He indeed is God and that He is taking me through and into new places, is still what is being worked out. I love the adventure and I love the fact that we must have faith in order to go. No faith, no adventure. Growth is by faith in the spiritual just as growth is by seasons in the natural. The mighty oak stands still yet grows and matures season by season, come what may. Can you picture seeing trees with nap sacks packed up and moving? When ask what are you doing they would answer; I don’t like the weather so I’m relocating. That is absurd isn’t it? Without each season the tree wouldn’t mature and grow and be productive.  Yet we with free will must be taught to stand still, to occupy, to grow, to mature, to bear fruit, remain steadfast, pray, take up the full armor of God, give, sow, reap, to name just a few and if that’s not enough we need to keep these all in balance. It can become overwhelming if we allow ourselves to believe we are doing it all. When we can keep our eyes fixed on Jesus we become trees of righteousness, the planting of The LORD. He plants us just where He wants us to be.

Last year as I snapped these pictures I remember seeing this leaf captured in the fence. It appeared to me that the leaf was holding on for dear life and not seeing that it was caught in the grip of the fence. This really spoke to me because I was going through changes that I knew were of God but yet felt a little lost during the adjustment phase I was going through. It was then I was prompted to think about the promises in the bible of how we are safe and secure in the hands of God. Underneath are the Everlasting Arms. A word in due season He gave me in August 2013 when He said let go. Then I was reminded that God is our deliverer and He sings songs of deliverance over us. He is singing when I feel like I am in danger of being blown away. Did you take notice that the life of the leaf is over? This leafs season is past. The Lord began to teach me how the trees teach us to let go. We have seasons to learn followed by seasons to apply just what we have learned. If we cannot practically apply what we have learned during this growing season, oh don’t you worry we will get to go through the same trials again. Yes again and again, and over and over until we get it. The trials will look different but yet they are teaching the same principles and kingdom values.

Perhaps you can relate to this. If so I share this to comfort and exhort us both. We are able to do more than we can think or imagine. Not because we are so great or awesome but simply because God has us right where He wants us to be. We are called mighty oaks, the planting of The LORD.  Growing and maturing and advancing the kingdom is hard work and the struggle indeed is real, but the growth is God ordained. We will always be called mighty oaks, the plantings of The Lord and we will produce a crop of leaves each season. Each year brings with it different trials, each one to mature us and to equip us for advanced kingdom work.  Now we pray, Lord of the harvest, send us out as laborers. May we take what we have learned this season and be blown by the winds of grace, Speaking the truth in love, that we may grow up into the Head which is Christ Jesus.

Dear Lord Jesus, I pray Your body, Christians followers and doers of Your word and believer’s of Your finished work on the Cross embrace growth through change, maturity through seasons, and indeed be a display for Your splendor.  Amen

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you Shalom.

Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette

 

photo, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Day 22 of 40 Days of Teshuvah Elul 22

Teshuvah-You are God’s own workmanship, His creation.

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For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.(Ephesians 2:10 KJV).

Strong Concordance 4160 Greek poiema

Workmanship. Transliteration: poiéma
Phonetic Spelling: (poy’-ay-mah)
Short Definition: a thing made
Definition: a thing made, a work, workmanship

From poieo; a product, i.e. Fabric (literally or figuratively) — thing that is made, workmanship.

 

Wings of the Morning

If I had wings

I could’ve flown,

To the rising of the sun

let this beauty be shown.
But I hear You whisper,

oh,awake come see

Yes, My heavens

declare My Glory.
But you must come

and see for yourself….

For it is not just in pictures

sitting idly on a shelf

 

I Am here I Am there

I Am indeed everywhere

And all tis beauty

I created to share

 

I was, I AM,

And I will be

Awake arise

can you see?

 

Take the wings of the morning

And cast your care upon Me.

 

laurette laster © 2017 My first poem Sept. 2, 2017 when this door opened to me.

 

Psalm 139:9-10

If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will hold of me.

What a glorious sunrise. A picture couldn’t do it justice!

 

Psalm 139:7-10
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there Your hand shall lead me

 

A Time of Returning to God with all our heart. During Teshuvah 2017 I received an incredible blessing and gift. I received the gift to write poetry. This outpouring of poems and this gift utterly amazes and humbles me today. On September 2, 2017 I wrote my first poem. I had gone to prepare to take pictures of the sunrise. It was so beautiful and I thought to myself, I would like for others to see this beauty. Our Father began to impress on me that I cannot make others desire to see they must desire to see. Then they must set aside time and come away and seek Him. He longs to be sought after. He wants to be found.

 

 

Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked man forsake his own way and the unrighteous man his own thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that He may have compassion, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.…( Isaiah 55:6-7)

As we set our hearts to return or turn back to God, God has gifts and blessing to bestow on the repentant heart. I know the gift is from my Heavenly Father. I also believe more than ever today, it is more than a coincidence and even confirmation that it poured out during the 40 Days of Teshuvah. As The Lord placed the desire to study and learn more about His appointed times and feast, the blessings have flowed. He has shown and taught me many wonderful truths. What is our Heavenly Father longing to share with you? I believe He has gift in each of you.

 

Selichot or slichot (Hebrew: סליחות‎; singular סליחה, selichah) are Jewish penitential poems and prayers, especially those said in the period leading up to the High Holidays, and on Fast Days. The Thirteen Attributes of Mercy are a central theme throughout these prayers.

Selichot are communal prayers asking for divine forgiveness, taken from poetically writing the verses of the Torah that are recited during the forty day of Teshuvah leading up to Yom Kippur. The poems and prayers make mention of the thirteen attributes of God. You can find books for Selichot prayers and poems at any good Jewish bookstore. It is recommended that the reciting of poetic penitent prayers be done throughout the year not just Teshuvah. However Selichot prayers are additional prayers asking for forgiveness from God.

13 Attributes of Mercy

“The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longer suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity or the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” (KJV)

I did not discover this truth and fact about prayers being written in poetic form until last year. I was certainly amazed as I read this fact. I found it amazing as the gift of writing poetry opened to me during the season of Teshuvah in 2017. The Lord graced me with this gift and I have written many poems since. This gift was served to me and has had a continual flow ever since September 2017. Often it is during my Morning Prayer time that these poems just interrupt me thoughts. It is almost like Holy Spirit saying, “We interrupt this morning prayer time to speak this poem through you.” I keep my phone close by and write the poem out in my notes. This has also happened to me while I am driving. When it does I immediately grab my phone and record the poem in my voice memo recordings. Then when I stop I write it out.

I had written a whopping three poems prior to the opening of this gift in 2017. The three poems I had written were over the span of approximately thirty three years. Isn’t that an interesting time frame? Three poems in approximately thirty three years are what I had written. One poem, the first poem I had written, I have no idea where it is, and I believe I also know why it is gone. The other two poems I still have. Both of these poems are definitely a gift from God.

Last year just prior to the season of Teshuvah I had a strong prompting I was supposed to build a sukkah and have our bible study in the sukkah during the Feast of Tabernacles. Oh how my heart longed to build the sukkah. I had plans of decorating the sukkah and celebrating before The Lord during our bible study in this sukkah. The desire to build the sukkah was so strongly impressed upon me and I knew it was God. I discussed this with Greg. Greg was concerned because he did not have the time to help me, and he said how you are going to do this? Greg was extremely busy with our business and barely had time for sleep. At this time he was fortunate to get all day Sunday off. I continued to have this impression to build a sukkah. During prayer one morning I was telling my Lord, oh Lord I am so willing but did not know how I could possibly fulfill this desire that I know is from You. About a half hour after I had taken this issue and dilemma to God in prayer, our dear friend, Irby, from our bible study text me. In the text Irby asked, “Do you want to build one of those (things)?” He couldn’t remember what sukkah was. I almost jumped out of my chair. Before I could pray and answer, I received another text saying, “The Lord has put it on my heart to help you if you want to build one.” He said I know how busy Greg is.

I will always believe the gift of the poetry was tied to the obedience of building the sukkah. For all my gifted talented writers I realize it comes naturally for you, but for me it only began to flow last year. I also am eternally grateful to our friend for his obedience to hear and obey.

Sukkah Celebration 2017 017

I am amazed and eternally grateful for this gift from my Heavenly Father. I cannot wait to build our sukkah again this year. Several of us are planning to be a part of this building and the decorating.

 

Pray this prayer

Dear Heavenly Father. I thank You that You are gracious and long suffering. Father I ask that You show me the gifts that flow freely from You to Your people. Oh Lord let my mouth be Your instrument of praise. Let my heart be a continual feast for You where You are comfortable to dwell. What did you have in mind when You created me? I am Your workmanship created in Christ Jesus. Thank You for my salvation and for a repentant heart. I long for a heart that You can call home. I pray this prayer in Jesus name, Amen.

 

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you Shalom.

Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette

 

Blog, photo

Last Full Moon of Summer

This weekend’s Sturgeon Moon is the last full moon of summer.

If you haven’t been out to see the moon, you should go take a quick look. It is beautiful. Here a few pictures from tonight and a few from last night. Greg and I were just discussing how it is as if nature quiets when the moon is full. I said nature is listening to what we cannot hear with our natural ears.

What is being spoken?

Psalm 19:1-4 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speach, and night unto night shows knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out throught all the earth and their words to the end of the world. In them hath He set a tabernacle for the sun.