A Timeless Covenant

A second rainbow on the far right had mostly faded by the time I fumbled for my cell to take this picture. But, if you squint, you might see the remnants?

Look upon the rainbow, and praise him who made it, exceedingly beautiful in its brightness. It encircles the heaven with its glorious arc; the hands of the Most High have stretched it out. ~ Sirach 43:11-12

And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. ~ Genesis 9:12-16

Taking the scenic seaside route home last night after choir practice, I ruminated briefly on wise words heard yestereve on Faith and Prayer before my thoughts slid ahead into next week’s hectic schedule. Although I’m sure there’ll be blessings in there too, I began to feel overwhelmed. Suddenly, staring me in the face was this double rainbow shining through stormy clouds over a choppy ocean, and we pulled the car over to be in the moment. While life’s tempests all manifest differently, it’s a divine consolation remembering that each new rainbow is a Vibrant Sign of Hope and a Timeless Covenant of – God’s Beautiful Promise in the Sky!

Shiny and New

Cleansing rain makes all seem shiny and new again! ~ Kilauea, Kauai 2023

Let my teaching drop as the rain,
My speech distill as the dew,
As raindrops on the tender herb,
And as showers on the grass.
~ Deuteronomy 32:2

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light!
Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!
~ Psalm 148:1-4

Praise the Lord… Even when its raining!

I love seeing raindrops spill off leaves and bead onto flowers like great globes of iridescent jewels! This beauty is reminiscent of Hope. For, amid afflictions and perhaps stresses of daily life, rest assured – our contrite tears that may fall, are gathered by angels and laid before our Creator’s Feet… Those same Precious Feet which trod Eden’s dusky paths – still fragrant with Petals from Paradise.

It’s said somewhere that we first need the rain before a rainbow appears.

Rain may fall as a gentle mist, or it can be bitingly painful. But, when God’s Beautiful Promise in the sky appears, when that rainbow holds out its shining hand to you, take it… And walk joyfully into the Sonshine of Divine Consolation.

It’s so easy to praise the Lord! For, God’s cleansing LOVE truly makes everything shiny and new again!

September Yearnings

Image by brigachtal from Pixabay

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice ~ Psalm 96:11-12

Each September, and like clockwork – I literally ache to travel somewhere… anywhere… if only for a few days.

New destinations are required to be off the beaten track. They must include either deserted peaceful beaches backed by pristine nature, or jaunts to lofty mountains nestled by mysterious woodland streams.

Internal summonings such as these are particularly hard to resist, especially with wild geese flying overhead to distant warmer climes.

Today I’m a bit torn between completing weekend chores or planning an upcoming jaunt. With God’s help, I can do both, and manage to be back in plenty of time to celebrate the wonderful upcoming September Feast Days! [Nativity of the Theotokos (September 21/8) and Exaltation of the Cross (September 27/14)]

We shall see what opportunity God provides. And if not this year, then God willing, maybe a mystery tour next year!

Meanwhile, the end of summer beauty abides close to home. Bees buzz busily on patio flowers, and briny ocean breezes beckon. Joyful birdsong abounds everywhere.

This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Psalm 118: 23-24

These warm, and hazy September days bring my favourite poem to mind. I hope you enjoy it too!

I Meant to Do My Work Today

I meant to do my work today –
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand –
So what could I do but laugh and go?

~ Richard Le Gallienne (1866-1947)

This poem is in the public domain.

Rays of God’s Grace

Each day brings something new. Amazing. Beautiful.

Today, on the old Julian Calendar (Dec 12/25), we celebrate the Wonderworker St. Herman of Alaska.

A recent miracle of St. Herman of Alaska on Mt. Denali.

Life of St. Herman of Alaska
Pilgrimage to St. Herman of Alaska’s Cell on Spruce Island

Today is also the Feast Day of St. Spyridon of Tremithus the Wonderworker.

Whether it’s a mirror or a cover from a tin can, unless the rays of the sun fall upon it, it won’t shine. The Saints were enlightened by the rays of the Grace of God, just as the stars receive the light from the sun. ~ St. Paisios of Mt. Athos (Spiritual Counsels, Volume II, Spiritual Awakening)

Mosaicked Paths of Life

The feature photo is a detail of one of our Church’s outdoor mosaic pathways. Its many individual shapes, and patterns point and intersect in different directions… yet as a whole, it forms a unique and beautiful design.

Such a heavenly morning! There was golden peach of a sunrise to the east, infusing all with a Gladsome light. To the west, a robin egg blue sky was backdrop to a full and splendid rainbow… God’s Beautiful Promise in the sky. Even the gentle raindrops seemed joyful!

Today is a reflection on childhood paths and dreams.

The first Sunday School Scripture I learned as a child was, Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. ~ Psalm 119:105

Accompanying this verse was a delightful felt-board illustration, with a glowing Lantern illuminating a winding path with golden Light. My younger self imagined the many future adventures along life’s byways, while keeping close within the Lantern’s safe circumference.

It was around this same age (of 8), I decided that when I was all grown up, one of my paths would be to lead a scientific expedition to rediscover the location of the Garden of Eden.

Having studied Eden’s bearings in the book of Genesis, and after researching the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in my World Atlas… I was pretty pumped at the possibility of meeting the Cherubim Sentries, who wielded a flaming sword, and guarded the Tree of Life.

Preparing for all contingencies, and in a youthful, journalistic haze, I remember drafting vague questions one might ask of Cherubim. However, Backup Plan “B” was also set, as they might just kinda stand there sternly, and silently, doing angel-stuff. It was possible they might even not want to talk to me at all! In that case, the quest would be deemed solely a photoshoot… equipped with my beloved new Polaroid Instant Camera (pictures ready in 60 seconds) for official documentation, and as proof, to some of my friends who didn’t believe in angels.

Logic set my sights on funding needed for Eden, and my paltry allowance of 5 cents per week was futile. It had taken 5 whole months to save up for a 99 cent Troll Doll with fuzzy pink hair, and another whole 5 minutes for it to be stolen during school recess. But…. maybe I could flip our family’s backyard garage into an eatery, and call it the Spaghetti and Garlic Bread Only Restaurant?

Although its only existing entrance was a small crawl space, the redeeming structural solution of course, would be distracting decor. Pretty red and white checkered tablecloths were to be draped over splintered, wooden crate tables, to which the patrons could drag themselves. It was a no brainer, as they would be sitting on the floor anyway at their reserved crates. I made a mental note it might be good to pay attention to the dirt, broken glass, and rusty nails littering the floors.

At the venerable age of 9, I abruptly abandoned becoming a restauranteur, and strategized instead on becoming a secret agent.

It was absolutely crucial to acquire an ivory trench coat, and my enabling mother somehow found a child-sized one at the local Kmart – but not of the coveted colour. I stoically wore the khaki, while my best friend (the analyst) wore a bright kerchief (tied tightly at the nape of her neck) like some Hollywood diva. We spoke in clipped gibberish code to each other. Together, we practiced how to walk surreptitiously – as spies do – when accompanied with the blaring strains of the Pink Panther Theme. Annoyingly, the old record skipped sometimes, which compromised any graceful serpentining around front room furniture. A clandestine drop off (of a copper penny) transpired, and our brilliant asset successfully weighed down the stylus’ needle enough to arrest further hiccups.

Although I never led that wild child’s expedition to re-discover Eden’s geographical location, the interior of our church dome does contain the Tigris, Euphrates, Pison, and Gihon Rivers… depicted as water mosaics! They’re conveniently located above the mosaic lettering from Isaiah 25:9 (in English, ancient Greek, and Slavonic) Behold our God in Whom we hope and rejoice in our Salvation. That He may grant rest to this House.

We make our path by travelling it, and in hindsight, the paths worth travelling are bathed in the golden glow of the Great Artificer’s Light.

All treks and correctional detours have led me right here. Right now. Right where I should be.

Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. ~Psalm 25:4

The soul that loves God has its rest in God and in God alone. In all the paths that men walk in in the world, they do not attain peace until they draw nigh to hope in God. ~ St. Isaac the Syrian (Homily 56, 89)


Local Fogbow over Ocean

I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. ~Isaiah 44:22

– Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”~ James 4:14-15

Sunlight shining through and mixing with the tiny water droplets of thin fog, can create the beautiful phenomenon known as a fogbow, or a white rainbow.

Like the fogbow, sometimes a situation in life may seem opaque. Yet wonder and beauty can exist within the shrouded mist; for God loves us, and knows what’s best.

Let us patiently peer through the haze with hope… faithfully waiting for His Will to be revealed. In God’s Time, the fog will lift – and Sonshine will blaze brightly, clearly illuminating the Right Direction!

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