Friday, August 31, 2007

A Dusty Road

We sometimes walk a "dusty" road
To get to where we're going.
And on this road we "stretch" and learn,
For here we do our growing.

Our walk is shaped with each new step,
Perhaps by pebbles, sticks and stones.
And sometimes if we stub a toe
Our feet cry out with moans and groans.

Weariness may take it's toll
And cause our feet to start to ache.
Yet we discover loveliness,
Of which our spirit may partake,

For Jesus walks right by our side,
There in fellowship divine.
He wipes our brow and spurs us on
And fills us daily with "new wine".

He points out joys we wouldn't "see"
And lifts our weary sights above.
In humdrum, daily things we face
He gently teaches us of love.

And so our dusty road becomes
A very worthwhile, happy walk...
Experience that we would not trade
And one we would not think to balk.

"Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways."
Psalm 139:3 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Signature Of God

His Personal Touch... Written all around us...

A ray of sunlight... breaking through the clouds...

Wild flowers on a hillside... where no one planted them...

A rainbow in the sky... appearing between sun and rain...

The brilliance of a sunrise...
The rich colors of a sunset...
(Man has no paintbrush to equal this...)

The melodic sound of a little bird singing...
(How does so much sound come out of a tiny, feathered friend?)

The brilliant color in the fragile, paper-thin wing of a butterfly...

The fragrance of a flower... and the velvety feel of its petals...

A dormant tree suddenly transformed into
A sea of fluffy blossoms and fragrance in spring...

A fuzzy bumble bee visiting a flower for nectar...
Then flying away to make honey...

Seeds... tiny seeds which grow into "plants" so big that
We can sit in the shade under them on a hot day...

The wind... and the power of His presence...

"How excellent is Your name in all the earth..."
Psalm 8:1 NKJ

© 2003 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Happy Plate

It's fun to giggle and laugh a lot.
Smiles are good... frowns are not!
Merriment and joy are great.
It's fun to have them on your "plate".

Grumbles make a sour face,
And griping seems to have no grace.
Negatives are not good food,
So fill your plate with gratitude.

There always is a brighter side,
And happiness is multiplied.
When your plate is filled with smiles
You'll hardly notice former trials.

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine..."
Proverbs 17:22 KJV

"The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad."
Psalm 126:3 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Repentance is a turning back...
Away from that which is not right.
For sin and error take their toll
And turn one's life into a fright.

Error often makes one stumble,
Blurring truth with it's sad song.
And having sin and courting it
Brings poor reward... because it's wrong.

Sin is oft deceptive
And will offer up much pleasure,
But it simply isn't worth it.
It brings sorrow in huge measure.

Repentance is the answer
As the path to higher ground...
A way to joy and freedom
From the chains which keep one bound.

"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."
II Peter 3:9 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Monday, August 27, 2007

Waffles And Bones

When we first got our pets we laid down firm rules that we were not going to feed the pets anything while having dinner. But then our little mutt learned to sit up by the table and wait with begging eyes. And then the cat would come and sit next to him, waiting. Well, they were both really cute, and the rules just never stood up to the test. Soon they were getting tasty tidbits of some of what we were eating.

One food that they liked in particular was waffles. They both liked them so well that it became a contest between them to see who could get the most. (They even got into a fight under our daughter's chair one morning, scaring her so that she let out a scream).

Sometimes if we had a leftover waffle, I would take it out and toss it up on the garage roof for the birds to eat. When the birds picked at the waffle, pieces of it would fall down over the edge of the roof and onto the ground. The cat and dog got wise to that, so whenever I threw a waffle up there they would sit down below just waiting for a piece to fall down.

This had been the case one summer morning when I went out to water some of the flowers I had planted the day before. As I pulled the hose through the gate, I saw the dog digging a hole right where I had planted a lovely chrysanthemum. He had a waffle and was digging a hole to bury it. Now if you gave this dog a bone he would chew on it till it was gone. But if you gave him a waffle, he would bury it... probably so the cat couldn't get it! When I saw where he was digging I sprinkled him with the hose. He didn't like getting sprinkled, so I figured that would back him off. He continued to dig. So then I just let the water run on his back (it was a warm day), but still he didn't stop. The plant was looking worse by the minute, so finally I gave him a swat, but he was intent on what he was doing. By this time both of us were wet. So I dropped the hose, picked him up, scolding him, and took him to another part of the yard. Then I went to turn the water off. When I came back to try to repair the damage to the chrysanthemum plant, I found the waffle with a large rock laying on it. The dog had laid a rock on it so the cat couldn't get it.

The plant survived, just barely, but the dog was really miffed at me. Even so I had to laugh at what he had done.

Sometimes when I put waffles out for the birds, the dog would even go up to the cat and smell her breath (he would sniff right in her face) to see if she had been eating waffles. He always tried to outdo her, but often he didn't win. I wonder how many waffles he buried...

© 2006 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Sunday, August 26, 2007

True Rest

When you're anxious or just tired
And feel you're up against a test,
You seem to labor and to toil...
Jesus says, "Just rest."

You may stumble or may fall
Or circumstances may detest.
Life's negatives can overwhelm,
But Jesus says, "I'll give you rest."

Jesus Christ will heal your wounds
And soothe you when you're sorely pressed.
He is able to bring peace.
In Him you'll find enduring rest.

"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him..."
Psalm 37:7 KJV

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Perfect Day

Good morning, Lord!
This is Your day
From dawn's first light
And sun's first ray!

The morning's promise...
Oh, so bright...
Fills my soul
With sheer delight.

The gentleness
Of morning dew
Brings refreshing
And makes new.

Each new day
You give Your best.
By Your love
I am so blessed!

So I will praise You
With my voice.
And in my heart
I will rejoice!

Thank You for
This perfect day
And all Your blessings
In array!

"Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name."
Psalm 63:3-4 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Friday, August 24, 2007

Listening To The Heart

Listening to another's heart
Is a very sensitive art.
For all that dwells so deep within
Desires expression to begin.

We cannot learn to know another
With many words which just will "smother".
The heart is heard in quietness...
In times of listening... without stress.

It's possible to miss "the gold"
Which in quietness would unfold.
A tender heart it's gold will hide,
It's treasure resting deep inside.

For truly listening is a skill
Gained in learning to be "still".
When a heart's deep words are lost
We sadly pay too high a cost.

"Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another."
Romans 12:10 NKJ

© 2006 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Spirit Of The Lord

I sense Your Spirit hovering,
Revealing revelation bright.
You steer my course and guide my path.
You're as a faithful "pilot" light!

I will not waver or feel faint
Or look unto the left or right.
I need not worry, fear or fret...
Your Spirit leads me... day or night.

You bring me quiet confidence.
From daily cares I have release.
I rest within Your watchfulness,
And by Your spirit I have peace.

"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
II Corinthians 3:17 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Remember Jesus

Remember Jesus... take Him with you.
He will change and make you new.
You will see with brand new eyes
And more and more will realize...

That He has answers for each day,
Every hour... in every way.
Meditate upon His Word.
Let your mind and heart be stirred.

His perspective will not fail.
It's always right... and never "stale".
Remember Jesus every day.
In His shadow always stay.

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
Psalm 119:105 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Lovely Gift

Today the Lord has blessed my day.
He sent two butterflies my way,
Quickly catching my attention,
Introducing sweet dimension.

Butterflies bring sheer delight,
Fluttering in gentlest flight.
Lightly moving through the air
They just don't seem to have a care.

Only God could paint a wing
And quietly such beauty bring...
Delicate in every way,
With brilliant color on display.

His handiwork is everywhere
His awesome beauty to declare.
Even in a butterfly...
So small and sweet and shy.

© 2006 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Monday, August 20, 2007

An Orderly Day

Disorder breeds confusion,
And confusion causes loss.
It's difficult to operate
When order isn't "boss".

Loss of time and loss of details
Really aren't so very funny!
Taking time to organize
Redeems one's day and makes it "sunny"!

Order will "facilitate"
And guard against just simple error.
Then one's mind can be at ease...
Free of tension, worry and care.

"Order" is a very good friend...
Well worth the effort to achieve.
It beautifies whate'er it touches
And from confusion brings reprieve.

"Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established."
Proverbs 16:3 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Glad Tidings

...Myriad faces seeking love,
With tear-stained cheeks and weary eyes,
Needing hope and needing promise...
Oh! that they could realize...

That Jesus gave His life for all
And knocks upon their very door,
Offering answers they will need.
He longs to share His love... and more.

But who will tell them, who will go?
How will they hear, and who will care?
They sometimes live right in our midst,
So Jesus might send us to share...

A loving touch or maybe prayer,
A helping hand... or tender care.
We might be whom He would send,
If we're open and aware.

"How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"
Romans 10:15 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Riches Untold

Do you want to be wealthy or want to be rich?
Do you want things to be without hitch, without glitch?
Do you want to reach for the stars or the moon
And don't want to wait... you want it all soon?

True wealth and riches are patiently learned.
Success in this world by hard work is earned.
But seeking the Lord for wisdom and knowledge
Will bring understanding... is like spiritual college.

To be rich in Him is the very best goal.
This will bring honor and wealth to your soul.
So reach up to heaven for riches untold.
Have faith to reach for HIS silver and gold.

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Matthew 6:19-21 KJV

© 2006 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Friday, August 17, 2007

Perfect Housekeeper

I once had a friend who had a very interesting slant on how to keep her house clean. Every six months she would go through everything in her house (drawers, closets, cupboards, file cabinet, et.) and clean as though she was getting ready to move. Her house was always neat and easy to clean because she would not let anything "collect".

I thought of her this week as I observed my brother trying to move his metal shed from one place on his property to another. Everything that didn't fit in his house or workshop was in his shed. When he pulled it all out, the piles looked bigger than the shed itself. It was amazing how much was there. After he moved the shed he was determined to not put all that stuff back in it. So today, as I write this, he is headed to the dump! As he drove away, he laughingly said, "I'm getting rid of a whole van full of my 'much-loved' junk!"

All those pieces of wood and lumber and miscellaneous items looked like they might be useful "sometime", so he held on to them, and these things consumed his storage space.

How much this is like the way our hearts and minds and spirits become at times. And what a good idea it would be, periodically, to review these areas... to do a deep cleaning. For often we have a build-up of thoughts and ideas which may not necessarily be bad, but which are just not necessary or useful to retain.

We are most useful to God when our minds and hearts and spirits are open and "ready to move"... unencumbered... into whatever new endeavor He would have for us to do.

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Happy Feet

Obedient feet are happy feet
And walk wherever Jesus leads.
How many fruitless steps this saves
As we accomplish daily deeds.

He will keep our feet from snares
As He directs our daily walk,
And cause our hearts to dance with joy
If we do not His leading balk.

We sometimes may not understand
Just what His heavenly purpose is,
But wisdom tells us every time
It should not be our way, but His.

The beauty of a Godly walk
Far surpasses our weak plans,
As His care and covering
O'er our lives so gently spans.

He will show us all His ways
As we bow before His throne.
Our wonderful and awesome God
Covers those who are His own.

"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."
Colossians 3:23 KJV

© 2006 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

No More Tears

God will wipe away your tears.
He is there... your prayers He hears.
He knows the aching of your heart.
He can make the pain depart.

He'll hold your heart and help you heal.
His loving care is very real,
And though your faith might feel quite small,
He will help you stand up tall.

He'll work within to make you strong
And fill you with a happy song.
He is able to make new.
He is faithful... He is true.

"Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness."
Psalm 30:11 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Each New Day

I cannot greet the gift of dawn
Unless I've greeted Jesus first.
For when I wake in early morn
My heart and soul are quite athirst...

To read His Word and hear His voice,
To have the joy that He would give,
To know what He would speak to me
That I triumphantly might live.

He would not have us walk in pain,
Dragging through each weary hour,
But to overcome through Him
By His might and strength and power.

The more I seek Him, He is there
To guide my day and make me whole.
His voice is like a waterfall,
Cascading through my heart and soul.

"I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth."
Psalm 34:1 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Servant's Loving Heart

A servant quietly moves in love,
Not believing himself above
The needs of some poor, hurting soul.
Meeting a need is a servant's goal.

A servant's eye is quick to see
Where he might serve or helpful be.
He does His work with loving hand,
For he just seems to understand.

Because he sees through Jesus' eyes,
He will quickly recognize
The blessing he may be to one
And the good that can be done.

So with joy he goes about,
Serving others and reaching out.
He doesn't boast or seek acclaim,
But quietly serves in Jesus' Name.

"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."
Philippians 2:3-4 KJV

© 2006 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Salvation's Gift

Salvation picks up the lowliest soul,
Gives him new hope and makes him whole.
Salvation chooses the soul we can't touch,
That one who has nothing... but then will have much.

Salvation is able to wash away sin,
To replace stain and spot with beauty within.
Salvation transforms and always makes new.
This is Christ's gift... to me and to you.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3:16 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Saturday, August 11, 2007

My Book Of Life

When my life is written down
And I await my heav'nly crown,
How much love will there be found?
Will God's beauty there abound?

Have my writings been for others,
Friends and sisters, children, brothers?
Has compassion brought sweet rest
To someone needing to be blessed?

May my record kindness show,
May my pages shine and glow
Because I've bowed at Jesus' feet.
Only there is life complete.

So when my life is written down
And I await my heav'nly crown,
I pray my "book" will be unique
And into many lives will speak.

"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God."
Colossians 1:10 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Friday, August 10, 2007

A House Of Wisdom

In the dwelling of the wise
Is refreshing, love and joy,
For it's occupants have chosen
All God's tenets to employ.

If God's wisdom is a pillar
Upon which a home is built,
It's frame will have stability,
Always strong, and ne'er atilt.

This will be a happy place,
And peace and healing will abide.
Prosperity will linger
Where the Spirit may reside.

Jesus Christ is welcome there
As this home's most honored guest,
Making this a happy home...
A place of lasting, profound rest.

"There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise..."
Proverbs 21:20 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bear Scare

Our family owned some farmland which had a small orchard. We used the property as a summer retreat, but each year we enjoyed much fruit from the orchard and would share the fruit with others. One weekend we invited two families to come get some boxes of fruit and also to share a picnic with us. My girl friend MaryLee, and also my counsin Shirley, were there.

Our property was near the top of a hill, and from the top there was quite a view off into the distance. MaryLee and Shirley and I decided to walk the path up to the top. We started out, going around some blackberry briars at the bottom. A little way up the path we came to a barbed-wire fence, and very carefully we held the wires apart so that each of us could crawl through without snagging our clothes on the barbs. It was a lovely day, and we were enjoying our walk.

After we started out my dad decided he would play a "joke" on the three of us. He started "growling" and making noise like a bear. We were near the top of the hill when we heard this. We stopped to listen for a moment. The second time he "growled" Shirley turned as white as a sheet. The color totally drained out of her face as she cried, "It's a bear!!!" We went into panic mode and started back down the path, running pell-mell as fast as we could run.

At one point I tripped on a root and fell headlong on my face. The other two ran over the top of me and kept right on going. I picked myself up, but the other two were "long gone" down the path. I didn't even remember the barbed wire fence on the way down. I think we all went over the top of it.

We were a sight when we got back, but MaryLee fared the worst. She forgot about the blackberry briars at the bottom of the path and, in her fright, ran right through the middle of them. Needless to say, we were all scratched up and grubby-looking from our adventure.

My dad felt really bad when he realized what had happened. What he thought would be a joke didn't turn out so well. He was on our "black list" for the rest of the day!

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Be Still

When your day is "off and running"
With many quotas to fulfill,
Your stack of work is waiting
And some "battles" are uphill...
Be still.

Keep your spirit quiet,
Don't let "schedule" make you ill.
Ask the Lord to give you peace
And strengthen you until...
You're still.

Draw upon His steadiness.
Your spirit He'll refill.
He will take you through your day
And add to you His skill...
Be still.

"Be still, and know that I am God..."
Psalm 46:10 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Friendship's Joy

Friendship is a precious gift...
A special tie, a wondrous lift,
Where two hearts seem to understand
And walk together hand-in-hand.

How much enriched a life can be
When two can talk and then agree.
Love and laughter will abound
When friendship's joy is truly found.

"A friend loveth at all times..."
Proverbs 17:17 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Monday, August 06, 2007

Daily Treasure

Lord, You give us daily banquet
By Your wisdom and Your Word,
Where we may freely dine
And be infilled and deeply stirred.

Your Holy Spirit moving
Brings us revelation pure
And ministers sweet liberty,
In which we are secure.

So we hasten to Your table,
To find our daily "measure".
In You we're deeply satisfied,
For Your Word o'erflows with treasure.

"How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"
Psalm 119:103 KJV

"Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart....."
Jeremiah 15:16 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Guarding The Tongue

The tongue is a spoiler,
A vessel of woe.
When not well-controlled
It becomes our worst foe!

How many times
Has it wounded another,
A life's mate or child,
A sister or brother?

It can heal and console
And bring sweet reward,
Or can injure and wound
And cut like a sword.

We can make choice
To love or to hate.
Through the use of the tongue
We speak our own fate!

"A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger."
Proverbs 15:1 KJV

"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath..."
James 1:19 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Snowball Tree

This year my snowball tree was very loaded with flowers... unusally large, fluffy blossoms... and they were especially pretty because the rain hadn't soaked them and made them turn brown.

As my grandson came to visit, the petals of the flowers were starting to fall in the breeze. I asked him if he knew what kind of tree it was, and he said "no". So I told him what it was and had him feel how soft the fluffy flowers were. Thinking it would be fun for him, I had him stand by the base of the tree, and then I gently shook the branch just above him. Petals fell down all around him like snow. His eyes lit up with wonder and delight, so we did it again.

He bent down and began to scoop up some of the petals in his hands. He asked me for a baggie to put them in. Then he ran around the other side of the tree and looked up at all the fluffy blooms on that side, saying, "Oh, this is Grandma's special tree!"

He reached up, and more petals started to fall. He asked me for another bag as he knelt down and filled his little hands again with petals. Before we were through the snowball tree "snowed" several times for him, and he was totally intrigued and delighted.

The joy that he had is a memory I will not soon forget. It seemed that happiness itself snowed on him and all around him when the petals fell.

Maybe God had a little child in mind when He created a snowball tree... Maybe He wanted His blessings to fall on this special little boy.

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Friday, August 03, 2007

Trusting In Him

We may not comprehend God's ways,
But we may rest within His hand.
His mighty wisdom is above
All that we know or understand.

He will keep us safe from snares
As we follow where He leads.
He will not let us "trip" or fall.
Our highest hopes He far exceeds.

He will lead us in high places
As we long to do His will.
We'll rise above life's daily trials
And all our purpose will fulfill.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Love Can...

Love can heal a broken heart
And wash away a tear
...or two... or three.
Love breaks down the barriers
And helps us with our fear...
...and sets us free.

Love can fill an empty heart
Where loneliness has been...
Love restores and gives new life,
Bringing joy and warmth again... stay stay.

Love transforms and changes lives,
Causing a "new day" to dawn...
...refreshing as the dew.
Love is the great healer, bringing
Bright new hope to build upon...
...for me... for you.

"Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it..."
Song of Solomon 8:7 KJV

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear..."
I John 4:18 KJV

© 2007 Arlene Schwartzkopf