First Fridays – A Psalm

Psalm 42: 1-5

As the deer pants for streams of water,

so my soul pants for you, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

When can I go and meet with God?

My tears have been my food day and night,

while men say to me all day long,

“Where is your God?”

These things I remember

as I pour out my soul:

how I used to go with the multitude,

leading the procession to the house of God,

with shouts of joy and thanksgiving

among the festive throng.

Why are you downcast, O my soul?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

for I will yet praise him,

my Savior and my God.

 

Here the Psalmist expresses to us how he is searching for hope. He is going through a very tough time, or did just recently, and he is saying that he first needs to seek some solitude. He realizes, that he needs some light to break through. There is actually a dialogue going on within, as he examines his thoughts. More importantly he recognizes that he is struggling internally, and he acknowledges his pain, and his lack of trusting, the Almighty.

It wasn’t always like that. At one time he was filled with faith, and went to celebrate with everyone else. It seems as though he is remembering, what he used to be like, in order to encourage himself. His mind is saying, “Everything is going to be alright”, and yet his heart is having trouble believing it. This is expressed in the questions he asks. “Why are you downcast, O my soul?”

I’ve been there a time or two! The encouragement here, is don’t let problems in this life get you down. Keep going strong, keep looking up, and trust the Creator. He knows what you are going through.

 

Be blessed, have a great weekend!

Peace.

 

Commentary © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Bible verses from the New International Version

video from youtube

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

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The Good Ground by Rumi

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“Very little grows on jagged rock. Be grounded.

Be crumbled so wildflowers will come up where you are.”

Rumi

 

In this quote, Rumi is sharing about more than just wildflowers. He is using this illustration to point to a truth about our lives, and more specifically, about our internal lives. When our lives, and yes our hearts, are like stone or rocks, not much is going to grow. It is difficult to be fruitful. Another way of saying this is, that there is a blockage between us and potential growth.

Our lives need to be based in ground that can produce, in his words here “crumbled” means easy to plant, or just naturally loose, rich soil, which allows plants to grow. This is why farmers plow their fields, and gardeners like myself, till the soil before we plant. This allows the plants, even wild ones, (and weeds) to grow much easier. In a very real sense, our soils needs to be loose, not hard as a rock.

When our lives are like that, beautiful things will grow from us, even when we don’t expect it. Wildflowers are spontaneous, surprising, and intensely beautiful. We can be like that too, we just need to take care of the soil.

 

Peace.

 

 

Poetry and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Rumi quote found on google

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

Fountains of Life

Canada and More 007

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are…….fountains of life.”

“Keep close to Nature’s heart…..and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”

John Muir

 

We all have sources of inspiration. When John Muir, sometimes referred to as the mountain prophet, spent time in the mountains, he was not only inspired, but he saw something spiritual about them, perhaps they drew him closer to the Creator. I love the phrase wash your spirit clean. By this, I think he means, find the freedom of nature, let your spirit soar. Don’t let yourself get tangled up in the worries of life. We can experience freedom, when we leave part of the world behind, maybe even turn off our hand held device!

The first quote is even more remarkable when you consider that Muir died in 1914. If it was true in 1914, that there were many people tired, nerve-shaken, and over-civilized, then it must be even more true today. Burn out is not fatal –  we can be rejuvenated, and that’s what I think he is saying here, with these two quotes. Maybe we can’t live in the wilderness, but we might be able to spend some time there. When we do, we will reap tremendous benefits. It is certainly, time well spent. We need the fountains of life.

 

 Peace.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Image is of Niagara Falls

quotes via google

Blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

Thoughts About Love

Oceans 2215

“Good relationships don’t just happen. They take time, patience, and two people who truly want to be together.”

Author Unknown

We all love, love. Love is our lifeblood, and helps us to make sense of this crazy world. It’s no wonder that love is the most talked about, and most written about topic. I believe there is love at first sight, but regardless of the relationship, love takes work as well. We need to invest ourselves, our time, our hearts, into the other person. We need to see them as more important than we are. It’s a matter of giving, the giving of a wonderful gift – ourselves. Hopefully the other person does the same thing, and if not the relationship begins to fall apart.

We know there is the physical part of love. We were designed that way! How boring life would be without it. In addition to the fireworks, we do need to have a sense of commitment to the other person. Life can be tough sometimes. It is during those tough times, that love can come shining through the storm, or like the sun burning away the fog. If we want to walk away, when our love gets sick, then that’s not love. It might be something else instead of love. The two of us need to face the battle together. When we do, love grows even stronger. Difficulties are opportunities, to draw close, and to work as a team. If two people are committed, love can grow even stronger over time. That’s why seeing two old people, still in love, is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

Peace. 

 

 

 

Commentary and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

quote from thedailyquotes.com 

Blessings to everyone. 

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

Elements

I always knew that nature could sing, and be musical, but Lindsey Stirling takes this to another level. The four elements of earth, wind, fire, and water are the backdrop of this wonderful video. Lindsey often incorporates beautiful nature photography and/or special effects. She is also a fantastic violinist.

A short poem:

In the wind I am free,

fire cuts through the nonsense,

I drink the life,

while the earth holds me – still.

Have a great rest of the week!

Poetry and Commentary © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

video from youtube/music from Lindsey Stirling

Blessings to everyone and peace!

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

Insight

Mountains and Rivers 149

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.

Albert Einstein

 What is it about nature that helps us to understand? I think it is the peace of mind, and the healing we receive from spending time in nature. When we are restored, and refreshed, we can see more clearly.

Restoration through nature helps us to see the connection between us and the rest of the world. We suddenly fit, and we feel like we do belong. We also gain an understanding, that other people fit, and they belong too. In this way, nature actually teaches us compassion. We begin to care, because of the insight, that we are all connected to each other. That’s what I think Einstein was trying to say in this quote. The more deeply we look into nature, the more we understand.

Peace.

 

 

 

Commentary and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Blessings to everyone!

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

Body and Soul

Mountains and Rivers 154

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

John Muir

 Scottish born John Muir, worked for most of his life to preserve the wilderness of the American west. He was a conservationist before there was such a thing. Muir helped the National Parks become established, with the National Parks Bill passing Congress in 1890. This bill established Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. He was often called the “Mountain Prophet”, and is now considered the, “Father of the National Parks”. His books have inspired millions.

In this quote, Muir so beautifully illustrates the connection of the physical and spiritual worlds. For Muir the spiritual was deeply rooted in nature, or perhaps nature was deeply rooted in the spiritual. Nature is also good for the body. I love the expression, we need, “beauty as well as bread”. Life is more than just the physical world, it is more than just spiritual world. It is both at the same time, and both are equally important.

Peace.

This is day 3 of the 3 Day Quote Challenge given to me Kavita at KVision and Elisabet at An Elephant Named Buddha. Thank you!

Commentary and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Blessings to everyone. 

“If you love nature, you will love people.”