Thursday, March 24, 2016

What Greater Love than This?

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What warms my heart as Easter approaches is the thought of how deeply the Savior loves us. I am  grateful for His sacrifice and the eternal blessings it affords God's children. Happy Easter to one and all!

©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

In ancient times Christ walked upon the earth
as Son of God, a man of flesh and bone.
Some loved Him from the moment of His birth.
Some came to love Him after He was grown.
Too many loved Him not and wished Him ill,
their recognition swept away by pride.
With hardened hearts, inured to Father’s will,
they cast His holy Messenger aside.
A heretic they called Him and a fraud,
impugning Him by cunning word and deed.
But snares of man stand useless before God.
Whatever gains were made, Christ chose to cede.
For He had come to earth a debt to pay,
and evil set in motion His great plan.
On Calvary, He gave His life away
to seal the immortality of man.
His gift to all was Resurrection Day.
The sinner and the saint would rise again!
Christ burst the tomb; the stone was rolled away.
Death lost its sting; the grave would yield all men.
The price was paid and sweet redemption won.
But Christ’s atonement offered even more:
to dwell in Father’s presence through His Son,
who marked the way and opened wide the door.
What greater love than this eternal life?
Our Savior bled and died to call us friend.
His are the arms that carry us through strife.
His is the grace that brings us home again.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man 
lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


photo by Damien Derouene

©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

Your every move is cagey, I suspect;
and thus I am a trifle circumspect
in interactions co-opted by you.

It's true. You are the barefaced bane of banes.
That I must keep my eye on you explains
my sheer distaste when I must take that view.

I see the games you play. Oh yes, I see.
And I shall counter each one warily
until your sound defeat signals we're through.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Love Note

©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

She loves him with a love profound,
but not that well-expressed.
The sweetness sings inside her heart 
but rarely leaves her chest.

She is too plain and he too fair.
How dare she seek his favor?
Ah, but he smiles…traces her face…
seizes her lips to savor.

She rides a seesaw of emotion,
coupled, yet alone.
Behind her dusky eyes she yearns
to be more fully known.

Unnerved, she pens a love note,
words that she has longed to say,
traps them inside an envelope,
kisses it on its way.

Written in response to a picture prompt from Tess Kincaid.

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Saturday, March 5, 2016

On Faith, Fear, and Friends Held Dear

Elizabeth Stone once said, "Making the decision to have a child…is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." How true these words are, for there is no vulnerability quite like that of being a parent.

Today I learned that the son of a dear friend has been diagnosed with stage IV adrenocortical carcinoma. This is a rare form of cancer with a poor record for survival, and I am having a visceral reaction to the news. A good portion of my angst is rooted in love and compassion, of course, but I'm also aware of a smaller yet powerful portion of personal fear. This wonderful young man grew up with my own children, and I am suddenly reminded that life offers us what it will, and none are immune to the repercussions.

I often find myself wishing these "reminders" would never come around, even though I understand their importance in the grand scheme of things. Each time they do present themselves (in my own family or in the families of others), I know with everything in me that faith is the best and most healing response. Calling upon the Lord and trusting that His plan is a better one than any we might devise is pretty much the only way to move through struggles and challenges with any degree of peace and even happiness. Thankfully, my friend's family is fully cognizant of this, and so is her courageous son. He is determined to do everything within his power to be cured, relying upon the Lord for the rest. His goal is to love his wife and continue to raise their five children to adulthood; and he will, God willing. But that's the rub, isn't it? God must be willing.

The simple truth is that having the faith to be healed also means having the faith not to be healed. And that's where the fear comes in. Experience has taught me that prayers for physical healing are not always answered in the affirmative. (Happily, it has also taught me that prayers for spiritual healing always are.) My prayer for my friend is that her son will be made whole, and I am joining my faith with hers. If that is God's plan, it will happen…and I am hoping against hope that it is. In fact, I intend to keep petitioning Him for that result until such time as His will is made known. I know He will listen to the pleadings of my heart and hers with a compassionate ear. I also know that whatever He brings to pass will be the right outcome. My friend knows that, too.

Knowing that doesn't necessarily keep the fear away. Submitting to the Lord in all things can be hard, especially when it comes to the survival of those we love. Fear will always come knocking…even for the most faithful...and that's okay. We can forgive ourselves for not being perfect and resolve once again to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not unto our own understanding. God knows the end from the beginning; surely we can trust Him to get it right. As the apostle Paul said, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strenghteneth me" (Philippians 4:10-13). I know this to be true, even if I don't always enjoy the process.

The following is a poem I wrote years ago, while in the midst of a health crisis of my own. I thought I understood then that acceptance was a necessary component of faith without fear, but apparently I am one who needs frequent refresher courses. Perhaps I am not alone in that...

©2003 Susan Noyes Anderson

If ever earth and sky should spin away
and love and truth lie crumbled at your feet,
when all around and in you cries defeat
and hope and faith seem merely words to say––

Say nothing; hear Him whisper to your soul:
"My peace lies in acceptance, not control."

"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your heart and minds through Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:7

Sending love to my friend and praying earnestly for the healing we all hope for...

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Mountains Are Calling

These beautiful works of art by Rachel Pettit are warming my heart this week. 
In fact, I sat down and wrote a poem about them! 

"Autumn's Harmony" by Rachel Pettit

The Mountains Are Calling
©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

Take me to the mountain crest
along a winding trail.
Let the sweet air fill my chest;
lift me like a sail.

Spread the sky before my eyes.
Anoint my soul with trees.
Invoke the splendor of each rise;
impel me to my knees.

Garnish me in autumn leaves;
grind me to rough-hewn stone.
Brush all the earth in golds and greens;
dust me in grit and bone.

Infuse my veins with rich, brown earth
and point me at the sun.
The clouds will be my lofty berth
before the day is done.

"The mountains are calling, and I must go."
John Muir

"Wasatch Beauty" by Rachel Pettit

I first met EG CameraGirl through AlphabeThursday, one of Jenny Matlock's delightful memes, and we have been commenting back and forth for years. I just learned that this wonderful friend and photographer was killed in a tragic car accident last week, and I wanted to remember her on Warm Heart Wednesday because her friendship and photos warmed my heart every time I visited. My sincere condolences go out to Tina's family, and I hope they know how deeply she will be missed by the many bloggers whose lives she touched on a regular basis. 

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