Cactus Blossom

fullsizeoutput_7accThe Color White

By Elece Hollis

Spring is yellow forsythia and daffodils, red of tulips, hyacinth purple, white crocus, lilies and all shades of bright.

Summer is every color under the sky-blue, it’s every shade of green, white clover, and red roses a picket fence.

Fall has crimson apples, sunflowers, leaves of orange, yellow, and Sweetgum purple, honeysuckle, and white of frost on the windows.

Winter is brown and gray, but holds white of the first falling snow, white of moon’s shine and sparkling stars.

White is a country church’s freshly painted steeple, white flesh of a river trout, of salt, of a lamb’s wool

White of new cotton socks, white of sifted bread flour, white of butterfly wings and angel robes in Christmas plays.

White is drifting clouds, white of pages between the lines, of coconut milk,  a polar bear fur, of egret’s feathers.

White of a bride’s gown, a porcelain sink, powdered sugar, whipped cream for pumpkin pie, white of wave crests and thundering waterfalls,

I love white. White is every color, every place, every season––every rhyme.

The Wings of the Wind

Dear God, Oh God,

How dare I to write to you, You who walked on water? I read this morning in the book of Daniel how you walked in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. I read them in Psalms how you walk on the wings of the wind.You said in Job that you have entered the springs of the sea and walked in the recesses of the deep (not only on water, but in it and under it.) But you have also called me your child and I have a question or two.  I have many questions, as children often do. You have called me friend and I cannot even fathom that. You have called yourself my brother. How can that be?  But back to my original question. Why did you walk on water?

 I know that you created all things, including water, fire, and wind. When you spoke to Job you told him that you measured the sky with a span and you weighed the ocean in the hollow of your hand––a scar-free hand then. You know what they consist of, how they function and how to use them. You know their properties and how to control them. 


You wrapped the earth in clouds like a baby in a blanket. You watched the ocean gush into being. You set boundaries and divided light; and set the stars in their courses.  Why am I so amazed that you could walk through the fire and on the water? Yet, I am amazed.


I can understand the reason you came and walked with the three Israelites. They were being punished because they wouldn’t worship a statue made by King Nebuchadnezzar. They said before they were threatened with the fire, “Our God whom we serve is able to save us from the blazing furnace and he will deliver us from your hand. But know this, even if he does not, we will not worship your gods or bow to your golden idol.”

Now, this made the king so angry he demanded the furnace be super-heated, the three men to be tied up with ropes, and strong soldiers to heave them into the furnace. When they did, the flames killed them almost instantly, the soldiers, that is. The rope burned off the three men and the King watching saw four men walking freely about in the fire, but not burning. That extra was you!

This astounded the king who asked how many did you throw in? “We threw three,” they answer. “But I see four walking around loose in the fire unharmed, and one looks like the son of God.” The king called the men to come out and they did not even have the smell of fire on their clothes and no hair on their heads was singed.

Such an amazing story and I love every part of it. Their courage, their strength of faith. Your allowing the whole thing to be carried through so they were thrown into the fire and then you walked them out, saved them. The martyr doesn’t die, can’t die, just meets you and walks on.
You walked across water during a storm, not to show off, but to save your friends from the perilous sea. Peter asked when he saw you if you would allow him to walk to you. He walked too and I wonder because this is not a case of threat and punishment for faith. It seemed almost just for fun. Why did you do it? Were you building faith in Peter or trying to show him something?


I think it must be that you were showing him your power so that when the Roman soldiers came and took you and nailed you to the cross, Peter would know it was not something you couldn’t have saved yourself from? That it was a death you resigned yourself to accept. If a man can walk on water and stroll around in a fire, he must be able to save himself from a cross and a mob. You gave your life freely.


O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with honor and majesty, who wraps yourself in light as with a garment: who stretches out the heavens, who lays the beams of his chambers in the waters: who makes the clouds his chariot: who walks on the wings of the wind. Psalm 104:1-3

©2014 Elece Hollis, author of   Limitless Grace 

Limitless Grace: Devotions Inspired by the Beloved Classic Grace Abounding

Pecan Growers Convention

Ron, Brenna, and I attended the pecan Growers Convention in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Ardmore is south of Paul’s Valley and Turner Falls where our teens went to Bible Camp last week. After church at Faith Baptist in Broken Arrow, we visited with Jordyn, her mom, and brother Kaiden, and Rose and Larry who came by to wish Ron a happy Father’s Day. Jordyn and Grandpa are working up a comedy skit or something. I tell you, Father’s Day can be stressful!

It was a long drive and the Oklahoma sky was clear of all but some puffy white clouds. We ate at the Prairie Kitchen and stayed at the Marriott Hotel next door to the Ardmore Convention Center. Red Crepe Myrtle bushes were planted around the hotel grounds. We explored around town and saw these cool horses sculpted from scrap metal.

The Ardmore Convention Center is new. It is a fun building, very artsy.
The American Bison was painted with a train and deot, oil derrick, and an Indian.
 
The design is art from the ceiling, to windows, to the doors, ticket booth, and the carpets.

The convention show floor featured booths of pecan products and orchard machinery, tools and information. There were workshops on interesting topics like controlling tree aphids and leaf scab, grafting and pruning, storing pecans, health issues, pecan research, and markets. There were also competitions by orchards for the best pecan varieties and crops. A pecan farmer in Muskogee took three of the top awards!

The convention show floor featured booths of pecan products and orchard machinery, tools and information. There were workshops on interesting topics like controlling tree aphids and leaf scab, grafting and pruning, storing pecans, health issues, pecan research, and markets. There were also competitions by orchards for the best pecan varieties and crops. A pecan farmer in Muskogee took three of the top awards!
I won prizes in the pecan food show for Pecan Cherry bread and Pecan Praline Cake.

Pecan Growers Convention

Ron, Brenna, and I attended the pecan Growers Convention in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Ardmore is south of Paul’s Valley and Turner Falls where our teens went to Bible Camp last week. After church at Faith Baptist in Broken Arrow, we visited with Jordyn, her mom, and brother Kaiden, and Rose and Larry who came by to wish Ron a happy Father’s Day. Jordyn and Grandpa are working up a comedy skit or something. I tell you, Father’s Day can be stressful!

It was a long drive and the Oklahoma sky was clear of all but some puffy white clouds. We ate at the Prairie Kitchen and stayed at the Marriott Hotel next door to the Ardmore Convention Center. Red Crepe Myrtle bushes were planted around the hotel grounds. We explored around town and saw these cool horses sculpted from scrap metal.

The Ardmore Convention Center is new. It is a fun building, very artsy.
The American Bison was painted with a train and deot, oil derrick, and an Indian.
 
The design is art from the ceiling, to windows, to the doors, ticket booth, and the carpets.

The convention show floor featured booths of pecan products and orchard machinery, tools and information. There were workshops on interesting topics like controlling tree aphids and leaf scab, grafting and pruning, storing pecans, health issues, pecan research, and markets. There were also competitions by orchards for the best pecan varieties and crops. A pecan farmer in Muskogee took three of the top awards!

The convention show floor featured booths of pecan products and orchard machinery, tools and information. There were workshops on interesting topics like controlling tree aphids and leaf scab, grafting and pruning, storing pecans, health issues, pecan research, and markets. There were also competitions by orchards for the best pecan varieties and crops. A pecan farmer in Muskogee took three of the top awards!
I won prizes in the pecan food show for Pecan Cherry bread and Pecan Praline Cake.

Don’t Fence Me In

This little donkey stood watching me pass and she seemed to be considering how she might escape her pasture. I don’t know, maybe she felt safe inside and  only wondered where all of us fools were headed when there was security, sunshine and plenty of green grass.

I love to ride through the country and see the fields and meadows, looking for wildflowers and hawks soaring, and watching the world wake up with spring. I pull my van off routinely to get a better look at something. As exciting as the activity in a big city may be, there are life and events of interest to my heart in the country.

I wish I could have seen these fields before there were so many fences.

Even our farm now has fencing everywhere. Mowing and cleaning up the property exposed fences in all stages of demise. Pieces of old barbed wire have had to be cleared from brush hog and mower blade shafts.  We have discovered wire that tree trunks have grown over and incorporated into their bark. Fences around the barn protected chickens for the Howard family. Cows and horses, and turkeys have resided in pens that kept them safe from coyotes, passing vehicles, and hawk talons. Now our own fences guard our pecan orchard, our fruit tress, Brenna’s herd of donkeys and her farm animals, the garden, and our buildings.

In some places, fences had been left standing, but new fences were built close beside them. Brush and trees and briars had grown through and forced apart the wire and posts. Wire has been trampled into the dirt and prairie has grown over it.Gates and new sorts of fencing, like chain link and pipe fences enclose farms now, and yet the barbed wire is still the cheapest and used for cattle pastures.

I try to envision travelers who saw this land when there were few houses, no paved roads, no electric poles or wires, and certainly not much in the way of fencing. How different, how large, how thrilling, how fearful it must have been. When there were no boundaries other than those made naturally by creeks that snaked across the land, by rivers, by the trees that grew along their banks; where the grass grew so tall and unbroken that little children like Laura and her sisters could become lost in it within a few hundred yards of their father.

When I say don’t fence me in, I really mean “unfence” me. Is that relly what I want or is fencing what protects me? Is fencing what I need to feel secure and tamed. Doesn’t a fence keep others out as much as it holds me in? Like the boundaries we moms set for our children, aren’t fences for our ultimate good?

A fence we can see through may have covinced us that there is greener grass on the other side. Yet, there is sweet grass inside too and and open blue sky above. The sky gives us our greatest freedom. And the sky will never be sectioned off by barbed wire.

Don’t Fence Me In

This little donkey stood watching me pass and she seemed to be considering how she might escape her pasture. I don’t know, maybe she felt safe inside and  only wondered where all of us fools were headed when there was security, sunshine and plenty of green grass.

I love to ride through the country and see the fields and meadows, looking for wildflowers and hawks soaring, and watching the world wake up with spring. I pull my van off routinely to get a better look at something. As exciting as the activity in a big city may be, there are life and events of interest to my heart in the country.

I wish I could have seen these fields before there were so many fences.

Even our farm now has fencing everywhere. Mowing and cleaning up the property exposed fences in all stages of demise. Pieces of old barbed wire have had to be cleared from brush hog and mower blade shafts.  We have discovered wire that tree trunks have grown over and incorporated into their bark. Fences around the barn protected chickens for the Howard family. Cows and horses, and turkeys have resided in pens that kept them safe from coyotes, passing vehicles, and hawk talons. Now our own fences guard our pecan orchard, our fruit tress, Brenna’s herd of donkeys and her farm animals, the garden, and our buildings.

In some places, fences had been left standing, but new fences were built close beside them. Brush and trees and briars had grown through and forced apart the wire and posts. Wire has been trampled into the dirt and prairie has grown over it.Gates and new sorts of fencing, like chain link and pipe fences enclose farms now, and yet the barbed wire is still the cheapest and used for cattle pastures.

I try to envision travelers who saw this land when there were few houses, no paved roads, no electric poles or wires, and certainly not much in the way of fencing. How different, how large, how thrilling, how fearful it must have been. When there were no boundaries other than those made naturally by creeks that snaked across the land, by rivers, by the trees that grew along their banks; where the grass grew so tall and unbroken that little children like Laura and her sisters could become lost in it within a few hundred yards of their father.

When I say don’t fence me in, I really mean “unfence” me. Is that relly what I want or is fencing what protects me? Is fencing what I need to feel secure and tamed. Doesn’t a fence keep others out as much as it holds me in? Like the boundaries we moms set for our children, aren’t fences for our ultimate good?

A fence we can see through may have covinced us that there is greener grass on the other side. Yet, there is sweet grass inside too and and open blue sky above. The sky gives us our greatest freedom. And the sky will never be sectioned off by barbed wire.

Truant Sun

The Truant Sun
By Elece Hollis

The sun peeped out this morning
No color, no majesty,
No pomp and splendor, just a peep.
I think he must have been ashamed of himself
After all those days of gloom and drear.
There he was!
He peeked out like a child
Accused of a cookie snitching,
Like a puppy who has
Shredded the morning paper—the Sunday paper
The severity of his crime escaped him.
To my eyes he was a traitor seeking amnesty.
”It’s about time you showed!” I blurted
And sent him scuttling for cover
Like a frightened rabbit back
Behind a cloud.
“Oh, no, I’m sorry! Please don’t go!” I cried
“ We need you today! We can’t take it!”
Out he peered tentatively
I sighed with relief.
“Please,” I pleaded plucking carefully
At the sliver of light like a weaver
Who has dropped a thread
And must most gently attempt to reach
Through the warp
To retrieve it and pull it back into the design.