June 15, 2017
“William’s Red Roses”
Friday Favorites —
William’s Red Roses
A Favorite Story
from the book
Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems
by Lynda McKinney Lambert
This weekend is Father’s Day.
June 15, 2017
“William’s Red Roses”
I begin thinking of the CHANGES this time in the cycle of life can give us. I wrote a blog post on SCAN in April 2015. I looked back at that post from 3 years ago and edited it.
I bought a little pot of yellow tulips recently. They brightened our dining room table and made me feel happy every time I glanced at them. I am not a gardener so I enjoy buying potted plants and floral bouquets throughout the year with the changing seasons. April’s flowers sparkle with brilliance in dazzling yellow daffodils, tulips in a range from vivid red and coral, to soft pink and white. By the end of April, Pennsylvania’s grassy meadows will be covered with blankets of purple-blue violets.
Our rural home was nearly a mile from the school and we walked along a meandering path morning and afternoon. By mid-April we found the delightful blooming violets in the fields.The small, fragrant blooms beckoned my sister and me to come closer!
on those long-ago spring days as we stooped down low, extended our eager hands, and began picking violets to take back home with us. The hot afternoon sun beat down on us as we gathered a fist full of the fragile delights. Once home with our treasured flowers, we put them in little glass jelly jars. Our bouquets remained in a special space on our kitchen windowsill. To this day, many decades later, I still remember the joy of small wildflowers in the house
On mornings like this one, I take leisurely walks with the dogs. I became conscious of the subtle changes today. After a long lasting winter this year, each new spring day seems especially precious as it brings warmth, sunshine, budding bushes and trees.
We dwell primarily on the visual stimulation and distractions. I am legally blind and the entire world is a diffusion of shadowy forms that are distorted, foggy impressions. The positive aspect of sight loss is that I am more aware of a variety of nuances I missed out on when I was fully sighted. I was too focused on looking and learning only through my eyes.
to low sounds of an owl singing its final notes as the sunshine brought strong light to this new day. I thought about the owl and imagined it must be celebrating the end of a fruitful night of hunting for food. It sounded content.
While the owl can settle down and relax to have a nice sleep for the day, I am just beginning my day. I breathe deeply and felt the coldness on my face and hands. My face tingled with the cold breeze and my hands reminded me they are exposed and I have not brought along a pair of gloves to warm them up on this hour-long walk.
Instead, my thoughts move on to the meaning of spring and how each day is bringing changes to the world around me. The cold air is just right for this new day. I reach down occasionally to tell my dog, “Good Girl! Heel. Good Heel. Good Girl!.” She glances up at me, and quickly looks back at the path before her and sniffs the air. When we come to a wooded place, near an abandoned mill, I relax her leash and allow her to enjoy tramping in the winter packed leaves that lay all around the trees. She digs down into them and pushes the soggy leaves aside. She seeks direct passage to the scent that caught her attention. Eventually, I pull her back to heel position and we continue on for the second half of our morning travels. We turn the bend to head back towards home together.
After all, it marks the New Year. Perhaps we might rethink this idea when we find ourselves walking in the early morning in April, with the warming of spring sunshine on our bodies. April truly is the time of new beginnings. April whispers to us, “move on!”
This essay is brought to you by the author, Lynda McKinney Lambert.
View Publications Page for updates on my stories and poems being published.
Lynda’s Walking by Inner Vision.
Lynda’s Author ‘s Page
this blog post is the property of Lynda McKinney Lambert.
Copyright April 29, 2018. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.
Visit me: www.lyndalambert.com
Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage: Poems, Kota Press, 2003
Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems, DLD Books, 2017
First Snow : Chapbook, is ready for publication.
Editors: contact me for information & viewing.
by Lynda McKinney Lambert
LIGHT the 3rd candle of ADVENT
For a Christmas delight, click on the link: Angels we have heard on high
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.”
“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.
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.
*** Link to Week 1 – The Candle of Hope at this link:
*** Link to Week 2 – The Candle of Preparation (The Bethlehem Candle)
The Candle of Joy
Also known as the Shepherd Candle
by Lynda McKinney Lambert
LIGHT the 3rd candle of ADVENT
For a Christmas delight, click on the link below to listen to a Christmas song. JOY to you today.
Listen to _While Shepherds Watched Their Flock by Night”
We can be visited in unexpected times and in unique ways. I have experiences visitations and deliverance many times in my seventy-two years of life. I bet you have, too! Pay attention to how God comes to YOU in the mundane activities of your life.
Begin to have a consciousness of God’s presence in the ordinary!
For the birth of Jesus, historical documents and texts show that God prepared this event in advance. We saw that preparation in last weeks Symbol of Advent – the Candle of Preparation. Week 2 _Candle of Preparation
For Week 3 of Advent, we see that sent ANGELS to make an announcement to LOCAL SHEPHERDS as they were working at night in the fields near Bethlehem. Just another silent night in the fields! An ORDINARY night, so they believed. But then, the MIRACULOUS came to visit them. It would become a night that the entire world would remember. Even now, over 2,000 years after the event people all over the world stop to remember it.
A miraculous visitation of ANGELS, sent from the Divine, happened without warning. The humble shepherds were summoned to leave their fields. The destination of their God-directed trip was a stable in Bethlehem where the shepherds would see a newborn baby.
My extensive background in art and art history leads me to look for a connecting thread from one event in history to another. Historical context is what I seek to understand contemporary events and life in the 21st Century.
The one thread connecting every character in this ADVENT story is that each person was required to make an unexpected, unplanned, trip from one place to another. Every single one!
I feel the underlying loneliness that underlies this miraculous story – everyone had to give up something that was familiar and travel to an unfamiliar place to do unfamiliar things, with unfamiliar people.
Mary and Joseph had to leave their home at a time when no pregnant woman would choose to be going anywhere on a trip – especially by foot and by donkey. Yet, the trip was mandated by the LAW and they had no choice but to go.
When I was nineteen, I gave birth to my first child. Eighteen months later, the second daughter was born. At age twenty-five, our third daughter was born. For all of those births, I was living in a comfortable home with my husband. I had a local doctor, and when the time came, he delivered our daughters in our local hospital just 2 miles from our home. And, I remember how frightening it was – every time – when the pains of labor were intense enough that I was bent over double, unable to even stand up straight and I knew it was time to leave for the hospital and give birth.
OH, how did young Mary bear the long days of rugged travels when her body was heavy with her baby boy?
How did Mary straddle the back of a donkey and ride those many miles with her bones and her muscles aching and cramping?
How did Joseph bear it to see her pain during the long journey to Bethlehem?
Oh, Mary! As a mother living in the comfort of my own time in history, my heart is sad when I remember that you did not even have a warm bed or the comfort of your family that night in a barn, in a city that had no room for you. You must have been so frightened – your first birth, your unfamiliar circumstances, your willingness to be obedient to the visitation you had from the Divine.
Mary, you knew you were carrying God in your womb, but how you must have wondered “why” you had to be so far from h home, so lonely, and in such a strange place as a barn that night.
Mary, when I need strength to meet the demands of my ordinary life, I remember you. Your courage, your love, and your obedience to God are more than enough to bring me through in victory from very inconvenience, every strange journey, every lonely day, and night. Mary, I hold you in my heart today as I write this letter to you, across the centuries.
I know that in art through the ages, in songs, and now, in contemporary depictions of the Nativity, we see Angels, the Holy Family, Shepherds, and Three Kings all there together with the animals. Yet, when I read the ancient scriptures that record this event, what we see in the depictions of it are not at all accurate.
The nostalgic Christmas card scene has been pieced together over the years into a fantasy world that never existed in that way. The centuries of lore have put together a very odd mixture of Christian history mingled with pagan practices, ideas, superstitions, and myths. And, then add to this mixture, the cultural and racial confusion that exists to add to the fantasy.
One evening in October 1997, I heard Him whisper to me, “Come away, my beloved!” I turned, and walked towards Him, and as I walked, I remembered the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “When Christ calls a man (woman); he bids him (her) to come and die.” Like one of the shepherd’s in the fields near Bethlehem, I too became a shepherd who came to see, the infant who would one day be known as “The Good Shepherd.”
There were only a very few worshippers around the manger in Bethlehem – just a handful of shepherds. Oh, yes, the Three Kings were on the way, most likely, but it would be quite a long time before they traveled the distance and bowed before the little boy.
“[Mary] gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
A lonely birth. There were no midwives, no assistance to Mary at all. The Bible doesn’t even mention that Joseph was present. Perhaps he was, but if he was typical of first-time fathers, he would have been of little help to Mary. She was basically on her own.
Luke 2:8-20 describes the experience of the shepherds when Jesus was born. Think about that for a moment. Out of the whole of Jerusalem society, God picked a band of shepherds to hear the news of Jesus’ birth. That’s intriguing because shepherds were among the lowest and most despised social groups.
The very nature of shepherds’ work kept them from entering into the mainstream of Israel’s society. They couldn’t maintain the ceremonial washings and observe all the religious festivals and feasts, yet these shepherds, just a few miles from Jerusalem, were undoubtedly caring for sheep that someday would be used as sacrifices in the temple. How fitting it is that they were the first to know of the Lamb of God!
More significant, they came to see Him the night he was born. No one else did. Though the shepherds went back and told everyone what they had seen and heard, and though “all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds” (v. 18), not one other person came to see firsthand.
We are left to wonder when we search the historical, scripture accounts – about the shepherds. We don’t how they knew where to go. I imagine they just came into Bethlehem and began walking about, asking, “Do you know where a baby has been born tonight?” The important thing for us to know is that they came! They came because angels had visited them while they were taking care of their flocks at night. They had a visit from God, and they left their fields and followed the direction of the angels to go find the baby. The shepherds became that night, the first Christian evangelists. They went out from the manger, and they told others what they had found.
Well, now that I have talked my way through the meaning of the shepherds, I can better understand Psalm 28. (NIV) and, here is where I find the connection between “joy” and the journey of the shepherds. I wish you a joyous journey to the Christ Child tonight, too.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
8 The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
9 Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.
As you complete this essay, you will LOVE the music and video I have placed here for you today – Check here!
Link to Week 1 – The Candle of Hope at this link:
Link to Week 2 – The Candle of Preparation (The Bethlehem Candle)
Note: Photos by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved.
This essay was written by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
Please share it with your friends! Thanks!
The WREATH is an array of evergreens formed into a CIRCLE and placed on a table in your home.
You can cut the evergreens and arrange them on a wire wreath form that you can purchase at a crafts store. Or, you can select a nice round container such as a cake baking pan, ceramic dish, or styrofoam circle that is thick enough to hold your evergreens.
You may also choose to use pillar candles and place them in your container in a circle. Make sure they are tall candles so the evergreens will never be near the flames.
Place the greens around your candle arrangement in the sequence of the weekly symbols as I have listed them below.
Put the WHITE CANDLE into the CENTER of the WREATH.
Place the purple and pink candles in the evergreen circle.
Each candle in your wreath will be SYMBOLIC of the different aspects of the FIRST CHRISTMAS STORY. You will be lighting one candle per week.
The candles will be placed around the outside of the wreath in this way.
It is the CANDLE OF LIGHT. For the Christians, our HOPE and our LIGHT is Jesus Christ. We are now entering into the preparation of our lives in anticipation of the FIRST coming of the Lord.
is for Mary and the shepherds who were visited by the Angel.
This pure white candle symbolizes PURITY, the virgin birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. He would also be known as “The Spotless Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.”
Through the four weeks of ADVENT, we are anticipating the first coming of Jesus Christ. Each candle we lit along the way has brought us to this moment when we can light the JESUS CANDLE and complete our journey to see the Christ child.
I watched as a priest lit the first candle.
“This first candle stands for hope,” he said.
“Kaleidoscope: Collecting Patterns of Light and Dreams”
by Lynda McKinney Lambert, 2015
Note: The first version of this essay was first published on “Amy’s Adventures Blog, by Amy Bovaird,
April 24, 2015. Thank you, Amy, for inviting me to create a guest blog for you.
You can VISIT me at Amy’s Blog by clicking here:
“For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
Song of Solomon 2:11-12 ~
Patti and I walked down the old, narrow stone path on an April afternoon in the 1950s. Our pastel plaid dresses fluttered slightly in the soft afternoon breeze. We removed our cotton sweaters, draped them carelessly over our arm for the journey back home. Like most days in April in western Pennsylvania it had been raining in the morning that day. A few hours later, the day took a turn and now it had warmed up significantly since our early morning walk to school. We felt happy because there was not a rain cloud in sight as we took our time walking along our familiar path. Now we meandered at an easy pace in the opposite direction. School was over for the day and there was no reason to walk faster. We walked a short distance and then we were standing beside a large field. The aroma coming from the thick blanket of woods violets slowed us down even more as we scanned the field. In a moment, without speaking to each other, we stepped lightly between the moistened deep green leaves that flourished in thick patches of weeds and flowers. We were absorbed at the moment, bent over the deep blue-violet blossoms and reached out to gather some dainty flowers. One by one, we snapped the fragile, slender stems of the violets. While we picked our violets with our right hand, we placed each one in the grasp of our left hand. Our bear arms were hot as the late afternoon sunshine turned our pale skin bright pink. When our left had could hold no more violets, we stepped away from the field and continued our walk home where our Mother was waiting for us to return we came into the 1920s frame house through the back door with our fists full of violets, she was delighted with our small gifts. She went to her cupboard, got out two small glass jelly jars and put the bouquets in water to keep them fresh. Our floral gifts remained on the windowsill in our kitchen.
This year I set my intentions on observing small details in nature. The landscape is changing continuously.
I see crystal drops of dew on tender new leaves in the meadow. They are sprinkled with transparent silvery diamonds. Another turn, and I am walking beside a field of dewy dark green leaves with little periwinkle flowers peeking through the moisture.
I felt the velvet softness of Sumac branches. I looked at layers of last autumn’s leaves intermingled with shoots of new grass, and budding Hyacinths Along the stone walk, I observed the red stalks of Peony bushes forging upwards through the moist earth. Oh, Yes! It’s Spring!
All these thoughts bring me to think about the beauty I have seen in a kaleidoscope. The word “kaleidoscope” has Greek roots. It means “a form beautiful to see.” I am compelled to ask you…
“When is the last time you have had a kaleidoscope in your hands with one eye focused through the small round window?”
“Do you recall the vivid colors, ever-changing shapes, as you slightly moved your hand around the barrel of the kaleidoscope?”
You give it a small twist and all the shapes fall into new pictures. Hidden fragments inside the instrument create numerous symmetrical, abstract pictures. Envision the world such as you have seen in a kaleidoscope!
Could you describe what you feel as the colors dance and flow over the mirror images inside? And did you know that inside the kaleidoscope are tiny, ordinary objects such as buttons, stones, chips and fragments – every illusion you enjoyed viewing is merely a collection of ordinary little things someone gathered and put inside with mirrors set at 60 degree angles
It has been over six decades since I picked wild violets with my sister in a rural farmer’s field. I realize my faith in God still works in the same way it did when I was a child gathering God’s little presents. Just a small twist takes us to a new landscape.
Big things make headline news, are celebrated and sought after. There is no mention of the ache we have in our inner being and the feeling that something is just not right. Oh, I know that yearning that whispers from deep inside my body. Could it be that once again I have walked on that familiar pathway that led me to places where I was not called by God to be? There is always a sense of discomfort and painful stumbling blocks to be experienced when we are outside of his will or his calling, for our life. Fortunately, we can turn around, retrace our steps back to where we need to be and get our direction going once again. That is the good news – we can change direction!
Sitting in silence, being calm, listening for God’s still, small voice takes us to his glory. Small treasures surround us When I sit down and spend time alone with him, in silence, I experience transformation. I turn another bend, there is a shift in perspective, and those little gifts are reflected by the mirrored light of his countenance. I am transformed yet again, by small gifts.
God works just like that!
The longer we look at him, the more our faith grows. Each turn we take towards him opens up a new landscape that shows us insight into his character. I approach quietly. Slowly, I realized the rain has stopped. I tilted my head towards the sky, listened for the songs of the circling birds as they hover above the tall trees; it is happening again. Something new. My feet are damp from the spring shower. Just another small turn of the kaleidoscope – yes! I can see it now.
Copyright, 2015. Lynda McKinney Lambert. May 9, 2015. All rights reserved.
Written for publication by Amy Bovaird. April 24, 2015. With much gratitude for the kind invitation to write for Amy’s Adventures Blog. Thank you!
Do you live in an area of the country that experiences the cold days of winter? If you do, by the time March arrives you will probably hear people grumbling about “enough snow” and how “tired” they are of “shoveling it and driving in it?” I hear them speak of spring every day and it begins my mid-February and by this time in early March it becomes a tune that so many people are singing.
Then, I wonder why they don’t understand that spring cannot come yet.
It’s not the appointed time for Spring. It is still “late winter” time. It is a rhythm that was set into place by the Creator when this universe was created by HIS hand. Yet, generations of humanity keep wishing for something different. Why?
Can we just take a moment to think about why people always long for things of the future? By doing that, we will fail to take the time to appreciate the day we live in. We are, in essence, wishing away the days of our life by not looking at the day we have, today. When we are “future minded” we miss out on some of the precious joys of life. The only thing we know for sure is that we are HERE, TODAY. If we constantly look forward to another time, another season, another year, another job, another spouse, another home, another activity, another life, we never experience the DAY in which we are living right now. Please consider this and don’t wish away your life. Appreciate and hold onto the special moments of today. Will you do that?
English Standard Version – Psalm 118:24 says:
This is the day that the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
I share on this post some photos I took in the past few weeks, in which the beauty of the season resonates. When you learn to take the GIFT of the DAY you have been given, you will find the beauty and peace that is here – TODAY!
Take a walk outside today. No matter the weather. If it’s raining, take an umbrella. If it’s snowing, dress warm and put on your snow boots! If it’s sunny, then bask in the warmth.
Use all your SENSES today.
Can you FEEL this day?
Can you SEE this day?
Can you HEAR this day?
CAN you TOUCH this day?
Can you SMELL this day?
I think I will WRITE a POEM about this month, MARCH! I’ll post it in my next article.