Monthly Archives

November 2018

Annunciation

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Here is a lovely and powerful poem by Denise Levertov .. worth pondering for this Advent season

‘Hail, space for the uncontained God’ From the Agathistos Hymn, Greece, VIc

We know the scene: the room, variously furnished,
almost always a lectern, a book; always the tall lily.

Arrived on solemn grandeur of great wings,
the angelic ambassador, standing or hovering,
whom she acknowledges, a guest.

But we are told of meek obedience. No one mentions courage.
The engendering Spirit did not enter without consent.
God waited.

She was free to accept or to refuse, choice integral to humanness.

____________________________

Aren’t there annunciations of one sort or another in most lives?
Some unwillingly undertake great destinies, enact them in sullen pride, uncomprehending.
More often those moments when roads of light and storm open from darkness in a man or woman,
are turned away from in dread, in a wave of weakness, in despair and with relief.

Ordinary lives continue. God does not smite them.
But the gates close, the pathway vanishes.

______________________________

She had been a child who played, ate, slept like any other child – but unlike others, wept only for pity, laughed in joy not triumph.

Compassion and intelligence fused in her, indivisible. Called to a destiny more momentous than any in all of Time, she did not quail, only asked a simple, ‘How can this be?’ and gravely, courteously, took to heart the angel’s reply, perceiving instantly the astounding ministry she was offered: to bear in her womb Infinite weight and lightness; to carry in hidden, finite inwardness, nine months of Eternity; to contain in slender vase of being, the sum of power – in narrow flesh, the sum of light.

Then bring to birth, push out into air, a Man-child needing, like any other, milk and love – but who was God.

Tuesday, November 27 – Sandy’s Day

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Early this morning I started to write – “fateful” – day, the day our son died 37 years ago during heart surgery.

Sandy would have been 58 now, and still, I am sure ,handsome, caring, fully striving, making a difference as ever.

And he is that even now in me and his family. And others, like the woman at Great Harvest last week, who I had never met, but who said, as she handed a loaf of bread to me, “I remember Sandy. I never met him. But I knew about him and how God used his life.”

So this is a “faithful” day. He, I’m sure, would have been faithful as he was during his 21 years, faithful as son, friend, follower, leader in Your way.

So I trust You as his Lord and ours to be faithful as You have been, and will be.

Today Jeanie and I thank You for Debbie and Kevin, and their spouses, and for the many sons and daughters in the faith who have been given to Jeanie and to me, like Steve Johnson and Scott Sunquist, who received our first Sandy Ford Scholarships – the first fruit of many who are still running their races for the Lord.

So not a fateful day. Painful still, yes. But also full and fruitful and faithful.

Places of the Heart Now Available

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Leighton Ford’s latest book, Places of the Heart, has been released and is available for purchase. This book makes for a great Christmas gift!

Places of the Heart is Leighton Ford’s latest four-color book and features the author’s imaginative watercolor paintings, poetry, and reflections on a life formed, redeemed, empowered, and directed by God and for God’s glory.

Find out more and order at https://www.leightonfordministries.org/places-of-the-heart/

Thanks for Billy

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This year, I am so thankful for Billy Graham.

If he had lived until this November, he would’ve reached a hundred years.

When I was young in ministry, I looked up to him with admiration as a model for the strength of his ministry

When I was older, and he was very old and declining, I regarded t him with affection for strength still present in weakness.

Now that he has gone to his eternal residence I thank God for his place in so many hearts, including my own, and of course in his greatness in history.

We miss him, his voice, his influence. But I thank his Lord for my brother in law, Billy

P.S., And, of course I’m thankful he was my brother in law. If not I would not have be married to my dear Jeanie.

The last word (or the first!) for Thanksgiving

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Several years ago we had Thanksgiving dinner at our house.

As our family sat around the table, enjoying the wonderful southern Thanksgiving meal of turkey and stuffing and biscuits I asked each one to mention one thing they were thankful for.

Someone said thanks for the delicious meal. Others for the weather and the beauty of the fall. and we all agreed, and added for family and so many other good things.

Then at the very end, granddaughter Leighton, who was 7 or 8 at the time, looked up from her plate and said, very matter of factly, “I am thankful for God”!

Thank you, Leighton. You got it. Absolutely right!

Weakness

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We’re taught that adopting certain ideas or identities will empower us. We’re told that following certain leaders will make us great. It’s this world that Jesus turns the tables on. He calls us, over and over and over again, to join him and respond to him in weakness. He assures us we have nothing to fear when we’re weak, because God’s power is made perfect in weakness.

-Br. Lucas Hall

A Radical Thought

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Weakness

We’re taught that adopting certain ideas or identities will empower us. We’re told that following certain leaders will make us great. It’s this world that Jesus turns the tables on. He calls us, over and over and over again, to join him and respond to him in weakness. He assures us we have nothing to fear when we’re weak, because God’s power is made perfect in weakness.

-Br. Lucas Hall
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Places of the Heart Released

By | Art, Poetry | No Comments

Leighton Ford’s latest book, Places of the Heart, has been released and is available for purchase.

Places of the Heart is Leighton Ford’s latest four-color book and features the author’s imaginative watercolor paintings, poetry, and reflections on a life formed, redeemed, empowered, and directed by God and for God’s glory.

Find out more and order at https://www.leightonfordministries.org/places-of-the-heart/

My Journal Jottings

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On this cold November Sunday morning, with the temperature down to 28 degrees, I feel a kinship with the Kentucky farmer poet, Wendell Berry, who imagines himself going out into the cold of his farm, opening a stall, and finding inside a family breathing.

There is the Child, bedded in straw, the mother kneeling over Him, the father standing in belief.

He imagines standing with one hand on the door, looking into another world and writes

we are here
as we have never been before
sighted as never before, our place
Holy, although we knew it not.

He makes me wonder, what would it be like today, for me, to have my eyes opened to some unexpected, holy place?