Sunday, September 30, 2018
Animals are God’s precious creatures. He placed us above them not just to rule over them, but also to care for them. While it is good to help others in need, we should not forget about the animals in need of our nurturing. There are many shelters that need our help, which can be given through volunteering, fostering, and more. Isabella came from a shelter, and I am so glad I adopted her. She is a wonderful companion.
Saturday, September 29, 2018
Friday, September 28, 2018
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Robert Frost wrote a number of long narrative poems like “The Death of the Hired Man,” and most of his best-known poems are medium-length, like his sonnets “Mowing” and “Acquainted with the Night,” or his two most famous poems, both written in four stanzas, “The Road Not Taken” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” But some of his most beloved poems are famously brief lyrics—like “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” which is condensed into only eight lines of three beats each (iambic trimeter), four little rhyming couplets containing the whole cycle of life, an entire philosophy.
“Nothing Gold Can Stay” achieves its perfect brevity by making every word count, with a richness of meanings. At first, you think it’s a simple poem about the natural life cycle of a tree:
“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.”
But the very mention of “gold” expands beyond the forest to human commerce, to the symbolism of wealth and the philosophy of value. Then the second couplet seems to return to a more conventional poetic statement about the transience of life and beauty:
“Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.”
But immediately after that we realize that Frost is playing with the multiple meanings of these simple, mostly single syllable words—else why would he repeat “leaf” like he’s ringing a bell? “Leaf” echoes with its many meanings—leaves of paper, leafing through a book, the color leaf green, leafing out as an action, as budding forth, time passing as the pages of the calendar turn….
“Then leaf subsides to leaf.”
As the Friends of Robert Frost at the Robert Frost Stone House Museum in Vermont point out, the description of colors in the first lines of this poem is a literal depiction of the spring budding of willow and maple trees, whose leaf buds appear very briefly as golden-colored before they mature to the green of actual leaves.
Yet in the sixth line, Frost makes it explicit that his poem carries the double meaning of allegory:
“So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.”
He is retelling the history of the world here, how the first sparkle of any new life, the first blush of the birth of mankind, the first golden light of any new day always fades, subsides, sinks, goes down.
“Nothing gold can stay.”
Frost has been describing spring, but by speaking of Eden he brings fall, and the fall of man, to mind without even using the word. That’s why we chose to include this poem in our seasonal collection of poems for autumn rather than spring.
Monday, September 24, 2018
Sunday, September 23, 2018
As much as we should desire to be kind and giving, sometimes it can be difficult to do so in our current culture. We want to be good but don't want to be taken advantage of. Like many things in life, this requires a delicate balance of assertiveness and servitude. If you are heavy on assertiveness, try being a bit more subservient today by allowing others to express themselves more. If you are in need of more assertiveness, try speaking up today, either by asking questions or praising someone.
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Friday, September 21, 2018
The Victorian era (1837-1901), named for the reign of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, is known for extreme expressions of women’s fashion, and for a narrow definition of women’s roles in society. Tight-laced corsets, wide hoop skirts, bustles, and trains exaggerated women’s forms while restricting their movement and activity. Thus fashion, and the popular magazines that promoted it, reinforced the “cult of domesticity”—the idea that women’s place was in the home and not the public sphere. This feminine ideal belonged to an urban leisure class, excluding great swaths of rural or working class populations. Mass print culture also implicitly and explicitly promoted a vision of the ideal woman as white and Protestant rather than any other race or religion.
Even as mainstream periodicals promoted the Victorian cult of domesticity, they also provided a forum for debate about the “woman question:” to what degree should women be educated, seek work outside the home, and have certain rights within marriage, including the right to divorce. These discussions were evidence of a growing restlessness on the part of women, and an ambivalence on the part of the magazines’ editors and contributors, many of them female. While mid-century styles reflected the restrictiveness of women’s roles, by the 1890s fashion evolved to express increasing autonomy. Sleeker skirts, broader shoulders, lighter fabrics, and suit styles that mimicked menswear gave women greater freedom of movement, representing how more women were venturing outside the home for education, excercise, or to work for philanthropic or activist causes.
Through women’s clothing and accessories from the Fleming Museum’s collection, along with excerpts from popular American women’s magazines such as Godey’s Lady’s Book and Peterson’s Magazine, this exhibition explores how fashion embodied the many contradictions of Victorian women’s lives, and, eventually, the growing call for more diverse definitions of women’s roles and identities.
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
by George Herbert
How fresh, O Lord, how sweet and clean
Are Thy returns! ev’n as the flow’rs in Spring,
To which, besides their own demean
The late-past frosts tributes of pleasure bring;
Grief melts away
Like snow in May,
As if there were no such cold thing.
Who would have thought my shrivel’d heart
Could have recover’d greennesse? It was gone
Quite under ground; as flow’rs depart
To see their mother-root, when they have blown,
Where they together
All the hard weather,
Dead to the world, keep house unknown.
These are Thy wonders, Lord of power,
Killing and quickning, bringing down to Hell
And up to Heaven in an houre;
Making a chiming of a passing-bell.
We say amisse
This or that is;
Thy word is all, if we could spell.
O that I once past changing were,
Fast in Thy Paradise, where no flower can wither;
Many a Spring I shoot up fair,
Offring at Heav’n, growing and groning thither,
Nor doth my flower
Want a Spring-showre,
My sinnes and I joyning together.
But while I grow in a straight line,
Still upwards bent, as if Heav’n were mine own,
Thy anger comes, and I decline:
What frost to that? what pole is not the zone
Where all things burn,
When Thou dost turn,
And the least frown of Thine is shown?
And now in age I bud again,
After so many deaths I live and write;
I once more smell the dew and rain,
And relish versing: O, my onely Light,
It cannot be
That I am he
On whom Thy tempests fell all night.
These are Thy wonders, Lord of love,
To make us see we are but flow’rs that glide;
Which when we once can find and prove,
Thou hast a garden for us where to bide.
Who would be more,
Swelling through store,
Forfeit their Paradise by their pride.
Monday, September 17, 2018
Sunday, September 16, 2018
When you place your faith in God and trust that His plans for you are better than you can imagine, Christ will send the Holy Spirit to you. Through prayer and daily reading of the Bible, a relationship will grow. This relationship is unlike any other, and it will sharpen you to constantly grow to be more like Christ.
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Friday, September 14, 2018
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
by Eunice Tietjens
You are turned wraith. Your supple, flitting hands,
As formless as the night wind’s moan,
Beckon across the years, and your heart’s pain
Fades surely as a stainèd stone.
And yet you will not let me rest, crying
And calling down the night to me
A thing that when your body moved and glowed,
Living, you could not make me see.
Lean down your homely, mist-encircled head
Close, close above my human ear,
And tell me what of pain among the dead—
Tell me, and I will try to hear.
Monday, September 10, 2018
Sunday, September 9, 2018
God does not tire of hearing your voice. Do you have a worry? A need? A reason for thanks? God wants to hear about it. Prayer is the appropriate response in every occasion. Take time to pray and connect with God today.