Symbol of Advent – The Angel Candle

Symbols of Advent

Part 4- Week 4

The Angel Candle is purple!

Also known as  the Candle of Love

by Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

GET READY!

LIGHT the 3rd  candle of ADVENT

A miraculous world-changing event will take place.

For a Christmas delight, click on the link:  Angels we have heard on high

 

I Believe in Angels!

 It is nearly Christmas once again.

I am listening to Christmas music as I write. I love to listen to the great songs  that are  a celebration of a miraculous event – the birth of Jesus.

 

Christmas celebrations of past years linger in little snippets, layered  and overlapped  like  Christmas melodies playing one by one.  Each Christmas carol I listen to brings forth more memories and more pictures of a family member, friends, and neighbors.  It also brings forth memories and pictures of our walk with the Lord over the years. The miracle of his coming into our own hearts as we turned around one day, and answered his call to “come.”  I answered that call to come, forty-two years ago.  My life turned around, never to be the same again.  How about you?

Matthew 11:28-29New American Standard Bible (NASB)

28 “Come to Me, all [a]who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Blog_2014_IBelieve_Angel_PHOTO

“I Believe in Angels”

 

Folks often say Christmas is for children,

skating on ice, building  castles of snow.

Oh, I believe Christmas is a holy birthday!

a time to sit by a warm fire, sing holiday songs.

I believe in shepherds!  and angels!

and Three Kings who delivered priceless gifts.

 

It’s a joy to be with friends, to give  gifts.

Adults once again become like children,

who look out  the window to see the first snow.

The Ancients anticipated this birthday

the celebration that  began with heavenly songs

when the birth of Messiah was announced by angels.

 

The holy birth was shared with shepherds and angels,

long before mass marketing, tinsel, and glitzy gifts,

The promised Child would heal earth’s children.

Perhaps the plains were deep with snow

on the night of His miraculous birth.

Yes, I believe in angel songs!

 

In the darkest winter night, listen for the songs

sung by a choir of angels.

The greatest heavenly gift

came  to walk with earth’s children.

As I light the Advent wreath I look out at falling snow-

and remember the reason behind this ancient birthday.

 

On bleak December days, consider His birthday.

Listen in the quiet night for angel songs.

The birth of Messiah, announced by the angels,

is the reason for exchanging gifts.

I believe Christ’s birthday is truly for children

like me and you who walk in a world of wintry snow.

 

Every child knows the delight of playing in snow

the joy of receiving gifts in celebration of a birthday-

I believe in birthday songs!

I’m a  child once again as I listen for angels

songs and remember the wise men who brought gifts.

the Anointed Gift from God – I believe in children!

 

*** by Lynda McKinney Lambert.  Copyright 1991, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

 

Blog_2014_Ibelieve_AngelStarSkyPHOTO

I wrote the poem, “I Believe in Angels” during a difficult  time in my life.  I wrote it as a Christmas message and sent it out to friends and family. Even in the darkest moments of our life,  when we seem to be alone, lost, or confused, Jesus is with us.  I can tell you that for sure because I made a decision to follow Jesus in October 1973.  I’ve had a lifetime of encounters with the Divine since that day.

 

May you find the truth of the Angels announcement in your own life.

Luke 2:10-11King James Version (KJV)

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

 

Fear Not!  

 
Lynda McKinney Lambert is the author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” published by  Kota Press. She authors two blogs on writing, the humanities, arts, and faith.  She is a freelance writer and her poetry and essays appear in numerous books and literary journals.  She is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities and she exhibits her fiber arts in exhibitions worldwide.
 Currently, she has two books in development for publication in 2016.
_____
You can read my three previous articles on the Symbols of Advent by clicking on the links below;

 

*** Link to Week 1 – The Candle of Hope at this link:

Go To Week 1 – the Candle of HOPE

*** Link to Week 2 – The Candle of Preparation (The Bethlehem Candle)

The Candle of Preparation (Bethlehem candle)

*** Lind to Week 3 – The Candle of Joy, or the Shepherd’s CandleWeek 2:
*** Link to my story, “A Western Pennsylvania Christmas”

____________________

Lynda’s 2 blogs:

“Walking by Inner Vision” Link:  Walking by Inner Vision Blog
“SCANdalous – Recollections” Link:  SCANdalous – Recollections Blog
Contact Lynda:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net
_____

Lynda’s Bio

Lynda McKinney Lambert is the author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” published by  Kota Press. She authors two blogs on writing, the humanities, arts, and faith.  She is a freelance writer and her poetry and essays appear in numerous books and literary journals.  She is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities and she exhibits her fiber arts in exhibitions worldwide.
 Currently, she has two books in development for publication in 2016.

Skip to Walking by Inner Vision Journal:

In 2015,  Lynda wrote  30 Writing Assignments and Lessons to help you begin to write your own life sotry.

A Visitation from Butterflies

BellaDaley_PinkHatScarffromME_Dec2010

A Visitation from Butterflies

This blog article is written In Loving Memory of Isabella Emily Daley.

**

The Ancient Greeks believed a butterfly was the soul of someone who had died.  The ancient Greek word for butterfly is “Psyche.”  Translated, it means “soul.”

**

Summer gardens offer a wide variety of exquisite flowers  that are fragile, colorful and .sweet-scented. The floral delights  are accompanied by lively insects in luminescent hues; they move gracefully on the warm summer breeze.  It’s an annual “dance of life forces.”  These dancers seem to pick up speed as earth becomes warmer. Every living creation develops into a visual cacophony of the celebration of life. We call these the “lazy summer days.”

In our joy of the moment, we are unaware that  time passed too quickly Before we realized the summer days were growing shorter,  the months and years passed. The  glorious dance of the butterflies, insects, and wild flowers gradually began to change.  It was such a  subtle  changing we barely noticed!  There was a final time of blazing colors  when everything was intensified.  Autumn brought a different  kind of landscape to our vision. It was a beauty that was even more intense than our summer days had been.

As the fall season cooled down the earth, we  laughed together as we walked through the brilliantly colored leaves. They drifted and tumbled so quietly  to the ground. We stood  together holding hands beneath those trees; we felt the transformed leaves fall around us.  Soon the layers of autumn’s leaves covered the ground where we stood.

The day came when we stopped what we were doing,  looked around at our altered world.  We saw that we were left standing here and realized everything had changed.  But even though our world was different now, our hearts were full of the memories we carried within us.  Each of us held onto memories of the delights we had experienced when we walked together, singing songs and laughing  together in the sunshine of that long, glorious period of our Summertime.

There was one exception to this though, as I think about it today.  I remember one miraculous afternoon in January when I watched quietly while two butterflies played together in the stillness of the thin air, as though time had vanished. I was permitted to enter a spiritual realm for just a little while. It was magnificent!

These days, when I see a butterfly in the field, it brings back a specific memory for me. The images from that memory are as vivid now as they were eight years ago when I saw them.

I stood for hours at the bedside of our daughter, Heidi Melinda. She was in a medically induced coma following surgery that removed the tumors of  two cancers from her body.  Within a couple of days, she was near death.    Each new day, I watched as she steadily went one step down after another.

She was often motionless, with tubes sprouting out of her body and up to the ceiling or attached to machines on both sides of the bed.

Heidi was kept in a coma for over 2 weeks. Nurses and doctors were at her side or directly outside her transparent room  as they worked on the computers continuously monitoring her.   There was nothing her family  could do but pray and wait.

One afternoon, I sat in a chair at the foot of her bed. My eyes focused on  her. I realized suddenly we had two unexpected visitors. They did not come in through the door.

Everything seemed so normal; I watched silently as two enormous butterflies emerged from the atmosphere  near her feet.  The pair flew gently forward, playing with each other as butterflies do when you see them gliding and hovering around the dancing blossoms in a field. The two butterflies were a deep red crimson and each of them was  the size of my hand. They were dark, yet bright.  Their wings were velvety  and large. In all my life, I have never seen a butterfly as large as these two.  As I watched them, it was as though these dancing and frolicking butterflies were the most normal scene I could ever have experienced. Yet, they were not normal at all!  This was a miraculous moment; it was something from another time and place. Heidi’s body was the field over which the butterflies  zig-zagged back and forth. They moved towards her head. It felt like I watched them for quite awhile. I believe it was probably only seconds. It was like an eternal moment when time did not exist

The butterflies had emerged from another dimension, it seemed. The brilliant pair made their presence visible to me. They gave me new hope for my daughter. I sensed that they were a pictorial symbol of the Holy Spirit.

I thought, “The  Holy Spirit has come to visit us!”    I felt an inner peace and divine assurance at that moment when I saw this vision. I knew my daughter would heal; she had experienced a miracle.

It has been over 8 years since her surgery, Heidi remains free of ovarian and kidney cancers.

**

Sometimes, a person will mention  how they suddenly saw  a butterfly that appeared  unexpectedly  after a loved one died.  They appear without warning, and often they fly around a person, or even bump into a person as though trying to get attention.  It seems the butterfly is trying to communicate with a human.  One woman related how she had just been “head-butted by a butterfly.” Sometimes, butterflies come in pairs; often, they are exceptionally bright and larger-than-life. They appear to be so otherworldly that you could not possibly miss seeing them.

**

Traditionally, it is believed butterflies are harbingers; of renewal; transformation; healing; Divine presence and even gratitude. These butterflies are always right on time!

**

Bella_PinkButterfly

Butterflies   are  an ancient symbol with deep roots as a metaphor in folklore and the narrative accounts of antiquity.  Inspiration and ideas from the ancients are all around us today.  Through the centuries of human time, there  will always be connections that bring together the distant past with our  own present moment.

**

The Mandarin Chinese word for butterfly means “seventy years.”  Therefore, in that culture butterflies are a symbol of a long life.

Japanese culture says the butterfly is thought to be representative of maidens and marital bliss. Many Japanese families use the butterfly image in the family crest design.

Germany has a  unique belief about butterflies. As butterflies can often be found hovering around milk pails or butter churns.  The German word for butterfly is “schmetterling.”  Isn’t that a beautiful word? That word is actually derived from the Czech word, “Smetana,” meaning “cream.”

**

My favorite depiction of a butterfly,  though, is the ancient Greek mythological meaning of butterfly. . It means the “human soul.”  And, to the Ancient Greeks, a butterfly was the soul of someone who had died.  The Ancient Greek word for butterfly is “Psyche.”  Translated, it means “soul.”

We can find references to the butterfly as a soul in the lore of Russia and Ireland. There, the butterflies are always symbolic of a celebration and resurrection.

**

Because we  hold the hope of resurrection, the symbol of the butterfly is an important image to Christians. You will find it used particularly at Easter to signify that Jesus was put to death and after three days, he arose.   Every person who has accepted Jesus into his/her life is filled with the resurrection power of Christ.

At funerals and memorials of a Christian, there will usually be references to a butterfly as an example of how we all will shed our body at death, and then we will come alive again with Christ. We are eternal spirits who have been living in an earthly body. We will shed that body and our spirit will be with God for all eternity. We are transformed.

**

“So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”

~ 1 Corinthians 15:42-44

**

What do we know about Heaven and who will be there?  Jesus answered the question in a way that surprised those who knew him and followed him when he was here on earth. He gave a very clear example of who it will be that enters Heaven. The answer surprised the disciples and what Jesus said at that time is a good reminder for us – it  is children!

Another, and perhaps the most important aspect of all, is that butterflies are connected throughout history with children.  And what would make it so significant that they are depicted with children in nearly every culture? Why are children so important?  Let’s take a small glimpse into another story  in the Bible that show us the importance of children. 

In Matthew 18 (NIV) we read how the disciples asked Jesus one day “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

Jesus called a small child to come over to them  and Jesus placed the child right in the middle of the men Jesus told his followers  that they must become like a little child or they will never enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

“And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me,” he said.

**

And, finally I come to one  final story I want to share with you.  This story is about a  little girl who came from Heaven to stay  for a short Summertime of life.  We can say that she  is a glittering “butterfly from heaven.”

BellaDaley_2ndBirthday_withCrown_Feb13_2011

Princess Isabella Emily Daley – “Bella” is the 6-year-old daughter of David and Betsy Daley.  Bella has two  brothers, Steele, and Jake. Her two sisters are Michaela and Bailey. After a short time here on earth, Bella left to be with God once again. It was on Sunday evening, June 28, 2015, at 6:46 pm.  Before she left, her Heavenly Father granted her just the right amount of time  to express how much she loves her family.  In her final moments of life here on earth, she kissed her mother, father, and sister “goodbye” and then departed.

Princess Isabella  loves everything that is pink. Bella loves rainbows and butterflies!  She loves sparkling things, glitter, and music for dancing. Because God is so gracious and loving, he granted Bella one final “farewell..”  I am happy to relate that she was last seen here by her 3-year-old brother, Steele, the following morning.   When he was told that Bella went to be with God, he replied,

 “She’s an angel and I kissed her face;  she dancing like an angel and she’s running” he said, as he pointed outside.

Don’t be surprised if one  day, when least expected, a sparkling pink butterfly comes flying around you and insists that you notice – and you’ll  remember dear little Bella, a “butterfly from Heaven,” and you will say, “Doesn’t  she shine!”

BellaDaley_WhellchairPonchoPortrait_Oct2013 BellaDaley_5thBirthday_2014

Thank you,  Dave and Betsy Daley and family for your generous sharing of Bella with the world. We are forever changed.

by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Contact: riverwoman@zoominternet.net

One Word – Exuberance

blog_Exuberance_MatissewithDancingMan

ONE WORD

Exuberance!

Did you come up with a list of resolutions for this new year? If you did, by now you might be worried  about how you will  stay on target  with your list of resolutions.  Maybe you have even forgotten some of them by now?

I found  a better idea that is more realistic and more personal. I want to share it you today.  Be kind to yourself  and instead of writing out a list that will be forgotten soon, focus on just one word for the year – let’s see where the journey takes us. ONE WORD will be far more personal and much easier to stay focused on than a big list – won’t it!

Think about joining in with people who are turning to God and praying about getting just ONE WORD that will be with you for the 365 days of this year.  I just did!  You can find the link right here, and take a look and see if this would be something you might like to do.

http://oneword365.com/

My word?

Exuberance!   
Blog_Exuberance_Matisse_BlackDancer_

Yes! When I thought about this word, I immediately thought of the Matisse dance paintings in the Barnes Museum in Philadelphia. I cannot think of another image that would better represent what it means to be exuberant; one word that would represent  a person  filled with exuberance.  I think of this word as a noun, as well as an adjective.  Matisse understood this word, I am certain.

EXUBERANCE…this is my ONE WORD for 2015.  This word  just came into my mind near  the beginning of the New Year,  settled in, looked around  and decided to stay with me for the entire year. How did this happen?   I have no idea how a single word comes to mind and lingers.  It’s a mystery to me.  What I do know is where it came from, the source of it.  It is gentle and yet, persistent, and it  whispers to me as I sit a while and have some quiet time with God. The time for silence, set aside, and practiced at the beginning of the day, or any other time apart,  is one of my “intentions” for this year. I wrote about my intentions on an earlier blog post.  The daily periods of  quiet time are when I  reflect and  experience God’s  presence in my daily activities.   I speak  of exuberance, as a noun.  This painting by Hanri Matisse expresses what the noun, EXUBERANCE, might look like. It’s JOYFUL, and delightful, and full of life!Blog_Exuberance_Matisse_cutouts

blog_Exuberance_MatissewithDrawing

The word, EXUBERANCE,  dates back to the sixteenth century,  French exubérance  and from  Latin,  “exuberantia.” Both mean,  “superabundance.”

Left: Photo of Matisse drawing on canvas – the beginnings of his paintings of dancers.

When I think of EXUBERANCE, I think of  Matisse! And, then I think about what this word will hold for me during 2015. I will hold it in my mind, envision it in  my spirit, recognize it  in my prayer life, every day of this year.

blog_Exuberance_Matisse_BluePurple

I ask myself,  “What will the final painting of my life be like?”

 Today, I am beginning the drawing of it. A year from now we can look back and see what the word we chose has brought to us this year.

Pray about this and see what word God has for you this year. What will your finished work of art look like?  God is the Creator of the entire universe and we can trust him to create in our lives, something exciting, new, and joyful.

Let your light shine everywhere you go this year.

Be a picture of JOY, like a painting by Henri Matisse!

In all circumstances, yes, ALL circumstances, give thanks to God. blog_Exuberance_TheCityViewMatisse