Monday, September 18, 2017

Autumn's Arrival Affects Our Feelings

Let's take a look at the calendar for September and October. Does it hold significant days for you? Perhaps a wedding anniversary or loved one's birthday? What about your own birthday? Will you make your cake this year?

Or how about the change of season?

Almost subconsciously, that change affects our feelings. Fragrant smells like burning leaves, pumpkins, tomatoes or apple cider recall dim pictures to our mind and poignant yearnings to our heart. Autumn especially speaks to me. Perhaps its because I'm in that season of my own life. These thoughts tumbled through my mind while I was down on my knees working the soil in Ohio one year, a string of strong metaphors as summer passes away...


AUTUMN GARDEN
by Ferree Hardy

Dry, brittle leaves crumble in my fingers
Like pages from a diary
a hundred years ago
smelling of spent sunshine

Others fold golden curls
Over slugs and molds
And work decay through winter
Unseen, unheard, unhindered

Yellow jackets buzz
Summoned by sticky sap
Unaware of days to come
Their wings brush my skin


All these days of autumn will "fall" upon us, be aware so they don't catch you by surprise. If you want to treat them like just another day, that's a valid option. If you want to open your senses and your heart to hold them close, then do something special, give them honor. The thing is-- you have a choice. Exercising that choice is a step towards life.

This September as you begin to see your garden fade, be mindful of the harvest too. Take hope and remember that God truly does work things together for our good ... even you. If you've already believed in Christ as your Savior from sin, begin to spend time in the Bible and learn to know Him as your Savior of the harvest: each memory, each breath, each tear... they all matter.
ferree

Monday, September 11, 2017

Psalm 46 In the Midst of the Storm

If you are in the Southeast USA, thank you for stopping here at Widows Christian Place today. Many people in this area are either running from or waiting out Hurricane Irma, the rest of us are watching the Weather Channel, hoping trees don't blow over and our electricity doesn't go out.

Now is a good time to take a breath... Be still...
Read this psalm to remind yourself what God is up to and what He provides during these times.
Please remember to pray everyone, especially widows, who are caught in this storm too, another type of 9/11.
May God hold you close today.
ferree

Psalm 46(KJV)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Hurricane Aftermath Advice from a Katrina Survivor

How great a God we need!
But how much greater is our God than our greatest need.
(Author unknown)
https://goo.gl/images/ih2wTn

My friend Amanda M., posted some wise words on Facebook and with her permission, I share them with you today:

Over the years, Revelation 12:11 has ministered so much to Wade and I. And in the last few years, it's almost become my life verse. So….to all those affected by Hurricane Harvey…..let me give you my testimony from Hurricane Katrina. Because every time that we give our testimony…..we overcome the enemy. 

First, let me say this……..and I wish someone would have said this to me and my family…..you have just gone thru a traumatic event……grieve! 

It's ok to cry.

It's ok to mourn over what you have lost. I give you permission. We all feel sorry for you. You've got millions of people praying for you and trying to help in any way. We've got your back.

Next…….the Lord is not a respecter of persons……..He was/is faithful. Always will be. 

He was there for us when we drove out of our driveway that hot August morning. He was there on that long 19 and half hours to get to my mom's house. He was there when we heard the reports of the devastation. He was there when we went back and saw the destruction of all that was our life. 

He was there when we didn't have the wherewithal to rebuild. He was there when realization hit that we could never go back……to our homes, our old lives, our jobs, our businesses, our friends, our church…..everything. 

And HE will be there for you. 

He will send people you don't even know to minister to you. He will give you an encouraging word from complete strangers. He will send family and friends with hugs, blankets, food and shoulders to cry on. 

He will make material possessions useless and time with loved ones priceless. 

He will bring new memories on the old foundations. 

He will be Provider and Protector. He will restore and rebuild your heart and your homes. 

He will prove trustworthy every single time. I promise you!!!!!!!! I promise you!!!!!!!!!!!

So yes, grieve…..but don't stay there. 

Pick yourself up. Get in the Word. Claim promises. Apply the Blood of Jesus over the situation. Share your testimony. And don't give any more credit to the enemy. Don't let him have one more second of your time. 

The Mighty hand of Jesus has never left you………in fact He's holding you and He ain't lettin go! I promise!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Morning Hymn - Psalm 108

I wrote this poem years ago when a friend's mother was dying. I'd read Psalm 108:1-5 that morning, as some of you have read today. (I'm sure a phrase or two of my poem will echo from the psalm, although it doesn't follow it exactly). 
Thinking of my friend and her mom early that morning I wanted to ponder the dawning of a new day, a saint's heavenly birth, and our Father God's glory in it all. Scripture spoke to me in a special way, and I hope it will do the same for you.


MORNING HYMN
by Ferree Hardy

I wake before dawn
and in the dark
 begin the song
of ancient ways
and steadfast praise

With each note
 the darkness fades
A rooster crows,
and spider sews
 one last strand on her
dewdrop doily

Birds arouse
They join in
Mourning dove,
Robin, wren
Singing of You,
the Giver of all

Your goodness freshens
it brings cool hint
 of snow and mint
to salt-stained skin
Red-brimmed eyes
and sadness-fevered
soul

Father of health
and life itself
with love beyond
the stratosphere
and faithfulness that
fills the sky
Your glory orbs
the earth we hear

 And wrapped in shimmering
clouds
it reaches down to
collect the songs
of one weak woman
and birds.


Monday, August 28, 2017

September Bible Reading Plan for Widows

Dear Friends,

September starts ton Friday and I have a feeling it's time will fly. Here's our Bible reading calendar so you can get a head start. With school starting at this time of year, what better time to consider the wisdom and life lessons of Proverbs? The neat thing about the Book of Proverbs is that is contains 30 chapters---it's like a 30-day devotional you can use any month of the year.
 
Psalm 119 starts us out again as a reminder that God's Word is the foundation to all of life. A few other psalms are paired and interspersed with the various chapters of Proverbs, and keep your eyes open for the gem of a promise for widows in Proverbs 15. 

I know each day will touch your hearts as you see wisdom call out with her treasures. Taste and see! And praise and worship the Lord with gratitude. 

If you're new to this plan, I welcome you! Each month is a new beginning so there's no need to catch up. Over the course of the year by only reading a chapter or two each day (because widow fog, you know---it's hard to concentrate and take in much more than that!) we are making our way through the New Testament, many of the Psalms, the Book of Ruth, and now Proverbs. 

In October we'll do some of the epistles in the New Testament paired with Psalms; in November we'll read Revelation, and December will grace us with the Gospel of Luke--perfect to help us focus on the True meaning of Christmas. 

Please join in! Simply copy the chart below, then print it off and tuck it in your Bible. 

No matter where you are on your journey through widowhood, do not neglect reading God's Word! It is essential sustenance for the soul. 
♥ ferree

September 2017

Sunday
Monday
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Friday
Sat

1

2





Ps. 119:
113-128
Prov. 1
Prov. 2
Psalm 5
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Prov. 3
Prov. 4
Prov.5
Ps. 9
Prov. 6
Ps. 55
Prov. 7
Prov. 8
Prov. 9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
Prov.
10
Prov.
11
Prov.
12
Prov.
13
Prov.
14
Prov.
15
Prov.
 16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
Prov.
17
Prov.
18
Prov.
19
Prov.
20
Prov.
21
Prov.
22
Prov.
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Prov.
24
Prov.
25
Prov.
26
Prov.
27
Prov.
28
Prov.
29
Prov.
30