Categories
Memoir Nature Poetry Seasons

Poetry – Stories – Music – Art

Post #227

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

FEATURE – Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems

by Pennsylvania author and artist,

Lynda McKinney Lambert

POETRY – STORIES –  MUSIC – NATURE

Listen to Lillian Yves reading a story from this book – NOW.

 

$3.99 on SMASHWORDS today!

E-Book on Smashwords

 

Take a LOOK SMASHWORDS – See it here!

Listen to this SAMPLE  – Click here!

Read 20% SAMPLE for FREE at –  DLD Books

SMASHWORDS ASKED  LYNDA to describe her WRITING PROCESS.

READ her RESPONSE to the QUESTION!

Lynda’s Authors Page- Amazon: Click here!
Listen to Free Sample on Audible: : Listen now!

Lynda’s Authors Page at DLD Books: See it here!
On BARD and NLS: Ask for – DBC11608

$3.99 on SMASHWORDS today!

I

Book Review

for

VISIONAWARE

by Beckie Ann Horter

—————————

Celebrating our successes as visually-impaired people is an essential step on the journey to healing. Peer advisor Lynda McKinney Lambert knows this firsthand.

After profound vision loss in 2007 due to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy, Lynda did not use a computer for almost two years. When she finally did re-learn her way around the computer, with the help of adaptive technology, she decided to celebrate in a memorable way. She started a blog.

 

Lynda’s blog, Walking by Inner Vision, grew and grew over a seven-year period. Last year, she decided to collect her stories and poems in a delightful book by the same name.

 

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories and Poems is Lynda’s second book. The first, Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage, was published in 2003 by Kota Press.

 

Lynda is an artist and a retired professor of Fine Arts and Humanities from Geneva College. Her artistic background permeates her writing in an unmistakeable style, painting word pictures and setting vivid scenes. Her black and white photography accompanies several stories and adds to the visual appeal.

 

“This book takes readers into the mind of an artist, how we work in layers, seeing connections between history, philosophy, psychology, and nature. It’s the artist’s job to tell the things others don’t notice. We see nuances and fragments—these things spark the mind,” Lynda says.

 

Walking by Inner Vision is arranged as a year-long pilgrimage from January through December. Each month begins with a poem and reflects the happenings unique to its time and place. For example, in “March Arrived Like a Capricious Cat,” she speaks of the changeable nature of late winter in her native Western Pennsylvania.

 

“Glass wind chimes

hang

immovable

stiff

shrouded in new snow

March arrived like a capricious cat

crouched—

hunkered down, bent over

spring-loaded, squat

Changeable!”

 

Throughout the 16 poems and 27 essays, Lynda views her world through the lens of beauty, even in the midst of vision loss.

 

“I want to give people a strand of hope to hold on to,” says Lynda. Her personal Christian faith provides the anchor for her own hope and optimism.

 

“I believe we were created to be image bearers, as the Bible teaches, and that we are called for a purpose,” she says.

 

Lynda draws on her wealth of experiences to offer the reader a treasure chest of reading variety. While some stories are light and humorous (“A Wintry Tale”), others are poignant, like the story of her mother’s last family gathering and ensuing struggle with Alzheimer’s (“The Living Room”).

 

Regardless of the form—free verse or creative non-fiction—one thing remains consistent: lingering images stay with you long after the book is finished. You have been taken into the world of Lynda’s inner vision. And all is well.

 

The artist has done her job.

Note: Read MORE from Beckie Ann Horter

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Walking by Inner Vision: Stories and Poems – GET A free 30 page sample  by going to Lynda’s author page:

http://www.dldbooks.com/lyndalambert/

 

The book comes in e-book, Kindle, and print formats. Cost is $3.99 for e-book and Kindle; $14.95 for print copies. It is also available online through Barnes & Noble, Amazon or anywhere books are sold.

ALSO AVAILABLE as AUDIBLE – read by Lillian Yves.

*

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Lynda’s comment on her book:

I work back and forth between ADDING and SUBTRACT ING.

I BUILD and I DESTROY.
Writing poetry, for me,  is a dance with materials – senses – images.

I order chaos and find balance.

Lynda McKinney Lambert – Smashwords,  March 9, 2019.

 

$3.99 on SMASHWOR?DS today!

*

My Books

Amazon Authors Page

Star Signs: New & Selected Poems

Website

FaceBook

Recent Anthology Publication

 

Copyright 2020. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

 My MISSION STATEMENT

  • I am the keeper of memories. I distil and share them through my art and writing.
  • I reveal what is forgotten, lost, or unseen.
  • I bring “Gifts to the King” through spare poems and thoughtful personal essays.

 

Categories
art Gifts of the Spirit Seasons

One Hour at a Time

Post #225

26 May 2020

 

“One Hour at a Time”

by Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

Three years ago~

I  stood on the hillside that separates our property from the neighbors.  This is a view that I see daily from the bay window in our dining room.  The window faces the north-east and brings light into the house early in the day.

Near the top of the hillside, there were five pine trees in a row.  Bob and I planted those trees fifty years before this day.  In fact, a couple of them were our Christmas trees nearly a half-century ago.

We called in the tree service to give us advice on what to do, and of course, we already knew that it was time for the towering trees to come down.  Like most people who plant trees near their homes, we never realized how large they would grow and how much of a danger they would be to the house eventually.  But now we knew what we had to do.  The trees were taken down, and it was surprising how much space and light  there was without those trees.

After the trees were gone, we now had to face the thick and fast-growing weeds that soon filled the area. It was a tangled and out-of-control mess!   I wanted to begin the work of clearing it out and making it an attractive garden.
But, when I stood there looking at this jungle that was about eighty feet in length, I became overwhelmed at the prospect of beginning. I was at a loss of how to begin to clear it up – I felt defeated at the thought of facing this challenge.

As the days turned into weeks, I finally had an inspiration of what I could do to begin to make this space into something positive and lovely.  Two words came into my mind – One Hour!

Yes, I thought that perhaps I can do anything for just one hour, no matter how much work it will be.

A quiet internal voice asked,
“What might  happen today if  you go outside and begin to pull weeds and cut out unwanted plants for just one hour?”

“Just one hour?”

I will begin, and in one hour, I will stop.  I will look around and see what I accomplished in one Hour.

When the Hour was up – I stopped to survey the progress.  The amount of cleaned-up space surprised me so much that I kept on working for nearly 2 hours. Now, I was excited, and I could see that this was a project that can happen and have good results if I just give myself one Hour a day to work on it.

As summer progressed, the Hosta Plants and the Lilies and Ferns took root and began to thrive.
I bought a nice new hose that was lightweight and easy to move around.  Morning and evening, I was often tending my hillside garden.  I put in a few solar lantern lights, and it was so thrilling when evening came, and I could see the little lights coming on one at a time.
My garden had a magical feeling to it – and I asked Bob to come and take a walk with me in the twilight so we could see the yard light up as we walked arm in arm down the sidewalk.

I did it all, One Hour at a Time.

 

Today ~
This is my third springtime to work on that hillside.

To be honest about it, I feel overwhelmed almost as much as I was 3 years ago.

 I am facing all the weeds that took over during the winter and early spring months.

But here is what is different this year.

 I remember that I can do this again.

I’ll do it just one Hour at a time.

I can’t wait to see how it looks when I am finished.

 

I love when the lilies are blooming,

the Hostas waving  their lavender flags,

and the ferns moving gently  in the  breeze.

*

If you live the life you love, you will get the blessings from above.

~Van Morrison (Irish mystic)

*

Mission Statement for Lynda McKinney Lambert, Author & Artist

My Books

I am the keeper of memories. I reveal what is forgotten, lost, or unseen.
I bring  Gifts  to the King  through spare poems and thoughtful personal essays.
I bring Gifts to the King  through brilliant colors, precious materials, and tiny movements of my slender needle – one stitch at a time.
My writing and my artworks are personal prayers, my Gifts to the King.
_____

“Self Portrait” by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Photo taken at the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA.
“I’ll see you at the top!”
Categories
art Lynda McKinney Lambert Nature Poetry Seasons

Book of the Day

Article #211

September 22, 2019

 

Book of the Day

  “I want to support you and I want to be the first to

kick-off your Pre-Orders for the new book!”

This was what I was told at my recent visit to my eye specialist.

I think I floated out of that office –

I don’t remember my feet touching the ground.

Some days are like this. Some are not.

He has examined my eyes as he has done for the past 12 years, as I lost most of my sight suddenly in 2007. He has encouraged me in my writing and art projects and told me how proud he is of the way I have refused to let sight loss side-line me.

Not only did I leave his office with a great report from my scans today, that everything is holding and I am not losing more sight at this time – but, then, the affirmation he gave me on my newest publication was a little boost that everyone needs from time to time.

And, here is the big surprise I got this evening:

 

For immediate Release: from Lynda McKinney Lambert

September 20, 2019:

 

TODAY:  first snow is Book of the Day on Finishing Line Press.

 

 

first snow  – featured on Finishing Line Press social media sites.  

FLP is running a paid advertisement this week on social media for my new chapbook!

 

About the Author:

Lynda McKinney Lambert, is a retired college professor of fine arts and humanities. Retirement from teaching opened the door for her to write full-time. She explores the themes of landscape, mythology, pilgrimage, fine arts and literature in her writing.

She loves walking through a meadow of wild flowers; gazing at a star-strewn sky; spending solitary winter days with her husband, Bob, their 2 rescued cats and 2 rescued dogs.

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR first snow by Lynda McKinney Lambert 

My grandmother knew the name of every bird by note and call who ever sang to the sun in the fields by her Wisconsin country home, and she knew the names of the trees by bark and needle and leaf in the woods.  In these days of urban desolation and digital isolation, it is harder and harder to keep hold of the once-common natural knowledge.  Here in Lynda Lambert’s poetry the vitality of the seasons is still felt, seen and heard.   Lambert notices the colors and sounds that surround us, those sights and odes that barely register through our buds and pads and windshields, and she names them for us and she remembers them for us.  In these poems, Lambert calls her readers to celebrate the blue spruce in the morning fog, to “stand in darkness / urging Blood Moon-arise and to be alive in the old ways.  “It feels like we have been here,” she says of one icy morning, “for a thousand years.”  In these pages, we have.

–Russell Streur, editor Plum Tree Tavern, author Fault Zones.

 

 

RESERVE YOUR COPY OF THIS LIMITED EDITION TODAY, PREORDER SHIPS JANUARY 3, 2020

https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/first-snow-by-lynda-mckinney-lambert/ #poetry, #book #booklovers #readers #flp  #poetrylovers #chapbook


4 Sample Poems from  first snow…

 

By Lynda McKinney Lambert

first snow

 

we watch

for the first

snowfall

wait for

silent passage

along the banks of

ancient creeks

 

dull morning light

conceals

gold-plated Gingko leaves

beneath

new-fallen snow

 

from “Dream Sequence” # 4

 

In my dream (#4)

 

I climb upwards

on the ladder I stumbled upon

in the woods one afternoon.

Earth disappears

the ladder is unstable

“Keep it straight up,” I whisper.

“Keep your body centered. Stay poised.”

 

Silver Cloud Dancers

 

Silver clouds swirl & spin in circles

Inflated silence above her golden head. She

Levitates above the floor, reaches for

Variable visions of mesmerizing cloud-pillows.

Eternally drifting in uncertain lifecycles

Round & square. Touch the floating orbs.

 

Cloud dancer stretches her slender hands

Longevity is unpredictable, uncertain

Out-of-the-box survival fluctuates

Undulates

Determined by chemistry & chaos.

 

Dance your memories in silver clouds

Air and pure helium lift in rhythm

No one can calculate your journeys

Choreography of individual flights

Every Friday morning new clouds arrive

Repeat the process of new expectations

Some silver clouds last for a week. Some don’t.

 

My Daughter Cut the Roses

 

My daughter looked

at the bouquet of fresh roses

noticed two of them were drooping.

“Let me show you how to trim the roses

so they stay fresh and strong.” she said.

Her hands held the roses tenderly

One-by-one, trimmed off extra leaves

“These will make the water stink,” she said.

She found scissors in the drawer

put the roses in a bowl of tepid water

held each stem under water

sliced them all, diagonally –

“As I cut the rose under the water,

little bubbles of air come to the surface.

Now, when the rose inhales

it will only breathe water into it,

it won’t fill up with air.

The living water inside the stems

gives longer life to each rose.”

She carried the freshened flowers

In the tall glass vase

back to the center of the dining room table

darkest crimson buds, sunny yellow petals,

deep green fern leaves

and a frilly white carnation.

 

 

First snow is featured today on the following sites:

 

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/finishinglinepr

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/finishinglinepress

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FLPress

Tumblr: http://finishinglinepress.tumblr.com/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/flpbooks

 

-____

 

Lynda’s Authors Page- Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/author/lyndalambert

 

Lynda’s Official Authors Page: http://www.dldbooks.com/lyndalambert/

 

Smashwords – get my e-book:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lyndalambert

 

My Blogs:

Website & Blog:  Lynda McKinney Lambert  – Official Author’s Website

Scan-A-Blog – A quiet Place of Inspiration, Art, Nature, Literature

 

Categories
Seasons

Friday Favorites – William’s Red Roses

June 15, 2017

“William’s Red Roses”

 

Friday Favorites —

William’s Red Roses

RedRoses9_June15_2014_3

 

A Favorite Story

from the book

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems

by Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

This weekend is Father’s Day.

 

Father’s Day  holds a bittersweet  memory of my relationship with my own father, William McKinney (1916 – 1988).

The story begins on page 45 in my book,

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems. DLD Books, 2017.. 

From the beginning, when I first wrote this story, it  is a favorite story.

Categories
Nature Seasons

April’s Benefits

 April’s Benefits Arrived

with the Spring Showers

Post #78 on this blog!

 

 

Today: I stand on the edge of the END of APRIL

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.

 April whispers,  “Move on!”

 

Bright spring flowers flourish all around us by mid-April.

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 walk home from grade school took a bit longer when I was a little girl.

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!

 

We forgot that we were supposed to walk directly home after school

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

April signaled that it is now the beginnings of new life surging in Nature. 

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 forget we have several senses  that give  us information.

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.

 

On my morning walk,  I listened carefully

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.

But, I am not so concerned with the coolness of the morning today.

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.

***

I know that we often think of January as a time of new beginnings.

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!”

April affirms life and growth

We can DISCOVER, RECOVER, and REVISE our life.

__________

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

Author:

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.

 

 

Categories
Christianity Seasons

It is well with my soul

Epiphany

Friday, January 6, 2017

Epiphany: At 6 am we walk through the snow in the darkness.The morning is still and peaceful.
My dogs and me.  We are early risers.
I notice cat tracks that leave a trail from my porch and over the snowy sidewalk; sown the driveway; and across the road. He is a black and white cat who visits for the food, shelter, and comfort that Bob provides daily. We see him come and go. He’s afraid of people. We get glimpses of him.
Along the edges of the ridge,  deer tracks are fresh. I am thankful for these majestic creatures who pass like ghosts through the woods in all seasons.
Back inside the house, I read a blog post that gave me a window to wisdom I’ll need for this day. Peace, like a river…it is well with my soul. I am standing.  My soul sings to God. How GREAT  Thou art! Here’s my heart.
Categories
art Nature Seasons

Pennsylvania Spring

Pennsylvania Spring

The final week of May in Pennsylvania

Photos from my early morning walk.

Rhododendrum  is a STAR at this time of year.

Look for it in shady places, forests and woodlands.

 

 

Rhodedendrum16_May_Compressed3

 

Rhodedendrum16_MayCompressed4

 

 

 

Delicate PHLOX is now SHOWING in the woods and fields all around Western Pennsylvania.

Don’t miss the show!

 

Phlox16_May_Compressed4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
art Christianity Journal Lynda McKinney Lambert Music Poetry Seasons

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.

Categories
art Christianity Music Seasons

Symbols of Advwent – The Candle of Joy

Symbols of Advent

Part 3- Week 3

The Candle of Joy

Also known as  the Shepherd Candle

 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 below to listen to a Christmas song.  JOY  to you today.

 

Listen to _While Shepherds Watched Their Flock by Night”

Kings Choir performance

One thing I know for sure is this:

God comes us  in ordinary and everyday events.

 

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.

Blog_2014_PHOTO_Shepherds

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.

Travel – Journey – Go – Trip – Excursion – Passage – Flight

 

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.

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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?

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Dear Mary,

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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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Luke 2:7

“[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.

 


Unlikely Testimony

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.

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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.

The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.

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As you complete this essay, you will LOVE the music and video I have placed here for you today – Check here!

 Come, Let us adore him, Christ the Lord

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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)

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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!

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Next week:

Look for Week 4 – The Candle of Love (The  Angel Candle).

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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.
Categories
Christianity Seasons

Symbols of Advent: Week 1 – Candle of HOPE

HOW TO make your wreath

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.

To make it EASY, I use small glass candle holders for each of the slender candles – you can buy them at a Dollar Tree store.  They will hold your candle in place, and you can weave the greens around them.

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.

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HOW TO place your candles in the wreath

 

Put the WHITE CANDLE into the CENTER of the WREATH.

Place the purple and pink candles in the evergreen circle.

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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.

 

SYMBOLS:

The evergreens are green – the color of HOPE and RENEWAL.

The Advent Wreath  is a CIRCLE of LIGHT which symbolizes eternal life. It has no beginning, no end. It goes on forever, in a circle.

 

The candles will be placed around the outside of the wreath in this way.

Candle 1:  (Purple) Stands for HOPE.

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.

Candle 2: (Purple) – Preparation, The Candle of Peace.

Candle 3:(Pink) – This  candle of LOVE,

is for Mary and the shepherds who were visited  by the Angel.

Candle 4:(Purple) – This is Angel’s Candle o r the Candle of Joy.

Candle 5: (White) – The Jesus Candle!

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.”

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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.

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I watched as a  priest lit the first candle.

 “This first candle stands for hope,” he said.

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