Archive for the ‘Holiday poems’ Category

The Galilee and His Disciples

The Sea of Galilee, Tiberias, Israel, May, 2001 photo credit: Joyce (Johnson) Mannhalter

 

The Galilee, quiet, cold and still

but for the ripples under a bright orange sky

lies in mournful praise. It was here

where once they’d gathered sharing life, 

they’d fished and prayed,

 but now the sea is silent like His grave. 

as the sun sets, its reflections seen

over what looks like a stained glass sea

  merging colors of purple, crimson red 

for the bruised and broken Son of God,

the crucified Christ who suffered and bled.

Now their boats sit idly by with empty nets drawn in and dry. 

His disciples aren’t here, gone to mourn their loss, 

 the Messiah, Savior Lord, whom they followed to His death.

the One who stilled the storm and taught

from a boat about faith, and hope

and how to believe for miracles received. 

Did He not promise he’d return one day? 

And find them again before going away 

to reign with His Father and they would know

that what He said, He would do,

and that in His place would the Comforter come too? 

So they left their nets and boats to moor

on the Sea of the Galilean shore.

_________________________

Joyce E. Mannhalter – April, 2019

The story of the Sea of Galilee and Jesus’s disciples can be found in the scripture passages here below: Matthew, 8: 23-27, chapters 14: verses 22-32, and chapter 17: 22 & 23. The promise Jesus made to his disciples of the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) that would come after he went away (after the resurrection) can be found in these scriptures here: John 14:16, 26, 15:26 & 27,and in chapter 16: verse 7. His promise made then for them and for all is the same today, and always. We have the assurance that whatever we face in life with all the challenges, the problems, the good, the bad and the ugly we have the assurance that our Redeemer lives, is still on the throne, and we will be comforted and shown grace and mercy. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today and forever.” KJV

Happy Easter to all,

JEM

 

 

Because of Freedom I Come

 

In freedom, I come

with my heart lifted in song

I sing

for unto Him, who sits on the throne I come

without shame, into His presence and bring

myself, an offering I give

that He may bless

all that I have, all that I am,

all that I ask of Him, and confess.

Let it be unto Him and none other

I lift up my voice

in praise, in worship, rejoice,

and may my freedom, like the flags held high

be forever, and lifted up towards the sky.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

I’ve always considered myself patriotic. A flag hung where a slight breeze could send it waving a humble salute up to the sky. Parades and picnics, hamburgers and hot dogs, sweet corn, ice cream and watermelon always seemed the standard, typical fare I enjoyed in celebrating a holiday that pays tribute to the freedoms we share in this great country. All of the day’s events and festivities climaxed and culminated in the final grand display of fireworks and sky show after the sun went down and the sky lit up with color and boom.

But, it is the privilege of walking into a church to worship that I count as perhaps the greatest and most important of freedoms we have in the U.S. as we near the July 4th holiday on Tuesday. More and more now we are seeing less and less of those freedoms we hold dear as the threat becomes greater all the time with those who want to destroy our rights and freedoms as a believer, a Christian, an American, a Patriot, or one who chooses not to worship any. This is not meant to be a political statement of any kind, or to proclaim which side I stand with, but instead to just proclaim my right as a Christian believer to exercise my freedom to worship and serve my God where I choose. However and wherever you celebrate the July 4th this year as an American or even a new immigrant into this country I wish you a happy July 4th. JEJ

 


Shawn, the Leprechaun

Image result for st. patrick's day images

 

There once was a tiny leprechaun

who lived in the hills of Ireland upon

fields of flowers and grass so green

he wandered about, but couldn’t be seen,

the little man known only as Shawn.

~~~~~~

Then one day he came to town

sprinkling his lucky gold dust all around.

Like a bit of magic, he spread his cheer

to everyone everywhere, far and near,

then quietly left without a sound.

_____________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone who wants or needs a little cheer. 🙂


The Birth of a King

The Sea of Galilee, Tiberias, Israel, May, 2001

The Sea of Galilee, Tiberias, Israel, May, 2001, Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

 

Nothing but chaos, crowds and noise

greeted the young couple, desperate to find

a quiet place, warm and dry

for the birth of their child, the newborn king.

Foretold and promised generations ago,

news of his birth was heard throughout the lands,

and the star in the east that lit up the sky

guided men of wisdom across desert sands.

Shepherds fled their flocks

frightened by angels that came nigh

announcing the news of Jesus’s birth.

To the king they hurried, and in haste found

the tiny babe chosen to rule and reign

lying in a feeding trough upon a cold bare ground.

Hope and redemption was born that night

where cattle grazed, and sheep and goats brayed.

No throne or palace was awarded this king,

yet people came from all around

seeking the savior born that day.

Now in a world where chaos, crowds and noise

  leaves hearts searching and seeking one to follow,

  where joy, comfort and peace

is eternal, lasting and hallow,

there waits the savior born that day

to reign in hearts that just believe.

_______________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today, in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:10-14 NIV, New Testament Bible.

I would like to take this time to thank all of my blogger friends, followers and visitors who have visited my blog site through 2016, and wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year of peace and joy in 2017. The amazing friends and opportunities I have, and the positive comments received are what makes blogging fun, rewarding, and an inspiration to my writing. Blessings to all.  JEJ

My thoughts this Christmas

DSCN0267

 

Christmas draws near as I sit and ponder

The years gone by, the memories, so many

I count myself blessed

For the family I have, my husband, my home

And the children we’ve had.

But, I look at the lives,

and heartache of those,

their loneliness, their sorrow

their loss, and I’m sad.

If it’s only just to pray and in some way

I’ll offer encouragement, or just be kind.

Some suffer what they’ve lost;

A loved one gone

We may never know, or understand

What they’ve gone through

Or at what cost.

Lord, grant them favor, that they find grace

And their Christmas be filled with the promise of hope

And their lives know the Gift you sent us with love

born of a virgin a long time ago

who came to this world a baby King,

to bring us life and bear the world’s sin

the Messiah, Redeemer, King of Kings.

____________

Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope it will be a happy one, filled with joy, peace, good will, and God’s best, and that you will have health, prosperity and good things in 2016.

Joyce E. Johnson © 2015


Blessings; too numerous to count

A recent photo of Estes Park, Co., along the Big Thompson River, (Nov. 2015) photo credit; Joyce E. Johnson

A recent photo of Estes Park, Co., along the Big Thompson River, (Nov. 2015) photo credit; Joyce E. Johnson

I don’t count the years,

but, the memories I do.

I won’t dwell on times of sadness

that come with pain and tears,

but on the happy,

too numerous to count

that bring me joy and gladness,

for those that crippled me with fear

are all but gone; now in the past,

and for this day, I hope

that for the blessings which are many

I savor all, forgetting none

and though my life, not yet passed

anticipates the new, I’ll remember any,

and be thankful for them all

however great or few.

_____________

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

As we near the Thanksgiving Day holiday in the U.S. (Nov. 26) I think upon the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, and know there are many who are afraid, live in fear of things that have happened, or things that still could, like more attacks where they live. Or maybe there are fears of another kind that grips one, and holds their mind hostage to those fears, so they cannot enjoy their lives now, or find things to be thankful for. I am so thankful to have the assurance that God has all under control, and holds all my tomorrows in the palm of His hand. It is that one thing I count as my greatest blessing in this country. Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate it this year.  

JEJ 

 

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