I’m Happy With That!

•21/03/2017 • Leave a Comment

020I stand in the Lamington National Park, Queensland, gazing up at huge Atlantic Beech trees.

They are host to an abundance of epiphyte plants including Strangler Fig vines.

Deeper into the forest we find the filigree shell of a Strangler Fig, standing alone, where once a tree hosting it stood.

Long ago the fig had engulfed the tree.

The tree had died, returned to Dust and had blown away…

That can take a century or more.

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Much later, whilst pondering Psalm 103, I felt inspired by what I had seen in the forest that day.

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Psalm 103

1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;

    with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.

2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;

    may I never forget the good things he does for me.

3 He forgives all my sins

    and heals all my diseases.

4 He redeems me from death

    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

5 He fills my life with good things.

    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

14  For he knows how weak we are;

    he remembers we are only dust.

15 Our days on earth are like grass;

    like wildflowers, we bloom and die.

16 The wind blows, and we are gone—

    as though we had never been here.

17 But the love of the Lord remains forever

    with those who fear him. Psalm 103 v -1-17 NLT

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My prayer is that with my whole heart, for my whole Life, I would Praise the Lord.

I know I am dust.

In the fulness of time I will wither away and only His Love will remain.

But what He showed me of that Love, that Process was stunning and unexpected…

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I believe He promises,

Like the filigree of the Fig

surrounding the Beech tree

so my love will enclose you

It will enlarge you

and when the old passes away

all that will remain

is my Love

shaped by who you are

Our journey together

with the infinite detail of my Love

will define you

Version 8

20 Praise the Lord, you angels,

    you mighty ones who carry out his plans,

    listening for each of his commands.

21 Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels

    who serve him and do his will!

22 Praise the Lord, everything he has created,

    everything in all his kingdom.

Let all that I am praise the Lord. Psalm 103 v 20-22 NLT

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The thought of just disappearing seems sad to me.

The thought of being memorialised by God’s Love like this?

Well I’d be happy with that!

Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford-Buller  2017

The Year Ahead

•02/01/2017 • 1 Comment

Iwait11

In the Year ahead may you, yes You, be Blessed in a way that leaves you amazed, wondering at the mysteries of God – in ALL His Glory.

I pray it will be so very special for you; a personal connection that will leave you with a real sense of hope.

God met me in my deepest need; with answers far beyond my expectation – the same awaits you in 2017

I pray you will find plenty of encouragement here, Within the Vine.

Happy & Blessed New Year

iwait10

 Words and Photograph ©Denise Stanford 2017

Free At Last

•11/10/2016 • 1 Comment

Version 3

I just saw a lovely pastel sketch of a ‘butterfly’ and woman merged into one mythical creature

The title of the piece declared

Free at last…

We may long to be free of the restrictions being human brings

to feel freedom like the creatures of the air

even on a spiritual level

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But before the caterpillar becomes ‘free’

it must first submit to a kind of death

to a death of familiar

death of safe

death of known

death of its old life

its old ways

its perceived power and control

it must submit to the silence and isolation of the cocoon

it must submit perhaps to the unknown…

It must trust instincts inbred

to find

that right place

that right season

to weave a cocoon in the right way

then

entangling oneself within

remain completely vulnerable

and wait

whilst changes of mammoth significance occur

not once questioning or interrupting the process

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Perhaps if we

Listened for God

in Silence

In Isolation

trusting Him

to provide

the right time

the right space

the right season

to follow where He leads

Obedient to His promptings

Not insisting on

our way

our time

our terms

our conditions

our control

To leave ourselves open to Him

become entangled in His Word

to remain vulnerable to Him

defenceless in the face of

Who He Is

Then perhaps we will find

that prison gate swinging wide

right where we are

And take flight in Praise of Him

He is the Key

to true

Freedom

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Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford-Buller 2016

Still Within The Vine

•13/09/2016 • 2 Comments

dscn2046I Remain

Within The Vine

I Stand

Upon the Firm Foundation

Of God’s Love

In quiet confidence

In His Faith

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I Know

I Am

Redeemed

By His Grace

Victorious

By His Power

Known

By His love

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I Abide

In His Love

Allowing

No doubts

I Remain

Held firm

Within The Vine

Version 2

Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford-Buller 2016 

Father Song

•15/09/2015 • 1 Comment

Version 3

I step into the early morning air,

It is crisp, clear, the freshness awakens me

The Sun is rising; it spills golden light all around

I see tiny dew drops edging each leaf, soon they will be gone

Seen by my eyes alone but here too I see The Father’s Hand

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Nearby Magpie lifts his head, warbling a purlieu song

That claims all I see as his own.

My tree, my roses, my garden, my abode

My own; he tells the world loud and clear

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Creator God, You Paint the day

You Smile at the treasures I find

You walk with me, You remind me I Am

Your Child, Your Joy

 

Oh how I delight in You, in this Your abiding love

As I lean in close You lean in closer

Breathless I know, I know I am known

You lift Your Head oh God and Sing Your Father song

You claim me as Your own and willingly I stand as Yours

My mind  My soul  My heart  My Love My all

All Your Own

Version 3

Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford 2015

•21/03/2015 • 2 Comments

 

 

The Wonder Of It All

•24/12/2014 • Leave a Comment

Matthew 18 1-4  The Message

“At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?” For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.”

 

 

 

Watch Child faces

Aglow in Candlelight

Awestruck by Christmas

Amazed by the Wonder of it all

Know this

As you smile over them

The Father Smiles over you

As you hope for their delight

The Father Hopes for yours

As you sing that lullaby 

To comfort Child heart

To banish Child fears

So The Father sings His Song over you

Lean in 

Feel the Depth of His Love for you

Be Amazed by the Wonder of it all

Be Awestruck by Christmas

Let your Child Heart Glow 

In the Light of Father’s Love

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Words by Denise Stanford © 2014

Photographs by Denise & James Stanford © 2014