Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sunrise...Sunset.....


"You crown the year with your goodness, and your paths drip with abundance."


I am sitting here swaddled in my Snuggie, looking like the ghost of Christmas past (minus the creepy hood) attempting to squeeze something meaningful out of my calorically saturated cerebellum.  (I needed a catharsis after all the craziness of the holidays and decided that clearing out my fridge would satisfy said cleansing.  Except that it got cleared out onto my plate and let's just say that I put a pretty decent dent in the world's food supply tonight.)

So although I am feeling less than my usually contemplative self, it is, none-the-less, December 31st, the pause that takes place every New Years Eve, which cannot be rescheduled, despite all the desserts I've downed, and I feel compelled to compose something worthy of this window, this window in which we are supposed to take inventory of our lives to date, the time we're to take a look back, take a look forward, gather our gumption and set our trajectory into Two Thousand Ten!  It is a time of bidding adieu to the past and setting our sites on the year ahead, full of hope, full of vision, full of carby Christmas leftovers, full steam ahead!!! 

The problem being that when it comes to mapping out the future, I do, indeed, "see through a glass darkly", even when I'm not contending with a carb soaked cranium.  My vision is limited (despite the lofty title of my blog) and I find at times that I lack perception to successfully navigate through the next five minutes, much less the immediate future.  At times my inability to work out which end is up consitutes the need for nothing short of semaphore flags, smoke signals, signs in the heavens, something to base my bearings on...

...Enter the Good Shepherd.


(Now for all of you who were expecting me to launch into lengthy repartee about New Years Resolutions, I must disappoint you, as these 'beacons' have their limits and I want to talk about something much more far-reaching, a limitless Light to plot our path by...If you want to read about resolutions, you may do so in many other worthy blogs, or, if you prefer to stay put, in my first post ever, dated September 20th and titled, Another Time Around. Help yourself.)

I have found throughout my life thus far, that God's resolutions are much more reliable than my own.  The promises He makes to me are kept far more faithfully than the promises I make to myself.  The goals He's authored for my life have carried me farther than my own short-sighted ambitions ever would have.  And His Word, not my own, has been the compass that has carried me through days, weeks, months, and years.

So I wish you all a Happy New Year, and, I wish to leave off with this pedestrian prattling and any further conjecture on my part at this point, instead leaving you with the only Words worth navigating by, His own, the only true hope for the future. 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”

“All things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose."

“I will never leave you, nor forsake you. See? I have carved you on the palm of My hand.”

“Do not be afraid for I am with you; Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will hold you up with My righteous right hand.”

"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever."

Monday, December 28, 2009

Puzzle Pieces.....

"...that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."
-Ephesians 3:17-19


What a rich prizm of perspective is afforded me when I manage to see life not so much as a picture, but as a puzzle, and my particular persuasion as merely a piece of that puzzle among many many pieces that comprise the compostion.

Pardon the mixed metaphor, but mine is not a panoramic lens. There are others who have vantage points that vary from my own, whose vision I benefit from. What a gift to be privy to others' perceptions, especially where our concept of Christ is concerned.

Dozens of denominations make up the fragmented portrait of Christ that we present to the world today. How wonderful would it be if, instead of compartmentalized convictions and stubborn segmented stances, we could, as Ephesians 3:17-19 suggests, "come together", each faction foregoing it's appetite for autonomy, acknowledging that their piece of the puzzle is just that, one piece of an intricate array of pieces that make up a mosaic of our Messiah. When we're willing to do that, this jigsawed picture of Jesus will come together. Broken bread made whole again.

It's an age-old altercation that still ripples through the ranks today, a power struggle first depicted among the disciples in Luke 9:46-48: These factious followers were arguing about who among them would be the greatest. The epiphany that they were one body - making their question moot - had not dawned on them yet.

Two thousand years later we still struggle with that concept, clinging stubbornly to our separatism, but the call of Christ remains:

Come together
that you may know what you can't possibly know apart from one another,
vis a vis, the fullness of My Love.


"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!...For there the LORD commanded the blessing—Life forevermore."
-Psalm 133:1,3

~*~*~*~


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rediscovering the Extraordinary in the Ordinary...



For some of us, Christmas seems to culminate in a sort of anti-climax...The day we anticipated has come and gone, the garland and tinsel are taken down, the feast is over, the day is spent, and stillness displaces the sound of celebration.  The flash-in-the-pan of this festival barely lingers in the air and the extraordinary becomes ordinary once again.

But there is something of Jesus to be seen in even this, perhaps especially in this, perhaps more of Him than could be seen in the sensationalism of the season.  As we shed the acoutrements of Christmas, the accompaniment of Advent, as our homes take on a more humble air, an absence of excess, a picture of Emmanuel emerges.

Jesus came to earth taking on the form of a servant, trading kingly attire for carpenter's clothes.  Eshewing royal embellishments, he chose to be born in a barn.  Casting aside clout, he courted companions of questionable origin and remained in anonymity for all but three years of his life.

His pulpits were rocks and roadsides, rowboats and rivers; He preferred the company of commoners to consorting with the creme de la creme; He rejoiced more over one sinner who was restored than over a hundred who never had need of repentence.

This One Who so easily could've been placed on a pedestal, disallowed such positioning and instead maintained an unpretentious posture, choosing conformity to our condition over the comfort of prestige and power.

Perhaps there is more to be seen of our extraordinary Lord in the ordinary, unremarkable, undecorated details of every day life, and thankfully so, because that is what much of life is, and that is where we tend to need Him most.

                                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not condsider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.  Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." -Philipians 2:5-11

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Christmas Present...

(I decided to re-post this for Christmas...For me, it says it all.)
Merry Merry Christmas, All <3

This curt little query is floating around quite a bit these days...Santa’s generosity depends on your answer, your stocking’s stuffed-ness is riding on your response, the whole of your holiday hangs in the balance between these two lists...

Thankfully, Jesus came to throw a third list into the mix....Not one titled "Naughty" or "Nice",

but one titled,

 "Grace"

God doesn't save us because we are good, He saves us because HE is good.

What an AWESOME Christmas present.


"You have been saved by grace through believing. 
You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God."
Ephesians 2:8

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Let there be Light......




"For now, we see through a window, dimly, but one day soon, face to face.  For now I know Him in part, but one day soon I shall know Him just as I also am known."
-1 Corinthians 13:12



Merriam-Webster defines color as a property that becomes apparent when light falls on it.  Jesus came that first Christmas to add color to the window through which we view the world.  When Christ illumines our lives, we begin to see our surroundings through a different lens, filtered by our Heavenly Father.  Moreover, we begin to see Him.  As we set aside time to sit, as Mary did, at His feet, and learn of Him (Luke 10:39-42), the lessons of our Lord begin to shape our outlook; as we progressively get to know Him with each passing day, with each abiding experience of His grace, of His discipline, of His forgiveness, of His love, as we allow His light to flood our lives, the hues of His holiness become vibrant, the lines that were blurry become vivid, the image of the incarnation of our Lord comes to life in our life, and gradually, going from glory to glory, we gain the treasure of seeing our Sovereign God, of knowing Him, even as we also are known.

This Christmas, let there be Light.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Just the way you are....


  

My thanks to Billy Joel for bringing such an excellent song into existence, as it is meaningful to me in an offbeat sort of way, probably not the way Mr. Joel intended, but that's how music is, it sort of multiplies itself to the masses; What beauty is to the eye of the beholder, lyrics are to the ear of the listener.

If I had to contain in a canticum what I've come to understand (so far!) of Jesus' heart toward me, this song could fit the bill nicely. 

Everytime I hear it, I imagine Jesus singing the words to me, and the melody becomes big with meaning.  My soul sits back and smiles as I let the words sink in.  Sure, I'm taking some "listener's license", I'm artsy that way, but lean in, take a listen, and see if you hear it too...His hopeful heart, His confidence in His creation (You!), His call to calm in His presence, just because He loves you, just the way you are.....

                   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ounJsqomcv8


Don't go changing to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don't imagine you're too familiar
And I don't see you anymore


I wouldn't leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I'll take the bad times
I'll take you just the way you are


Don't go trying some new fashion
Don't change the color of your hair
You always have my unspoken passion
Although I might not seem to care


I don't want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are.


I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take till you believe in me
The way that I believe in you.


I said I love you and that's forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tribute to Joy




Just wanted to take some space here to wish my fellow blogger, Joy (http://goodmorningmarysunshine.blogspot.com/), a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY and hope you all will join me in popping over to her blog and sending her well wishes on this her special day : )  If you don't know her or have never visited her site, it truly is a "joy" in the truest sense of the word, a little oasis and a breath of fresh air every time I visit.

Happy Birthday, Joy, thanks for the beauty you bring into our lives.  You are a gift!

(Eat a piece of birthday cake for me!! ; )  )

Monday, December 14, 2009

My Christmas Tree's Cameo...






Fa la la la la!

: )

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Peace...




"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."
-Isaiah 26:3

This holy hush settles over my soul
Like snowfall blanketing the barren landscape
Till everything is Stillness and Rest

Sacred Silence alone is heard
All is quiet and comforted

Like a child the earth seems to sleep
swaddled in this crystalline coverlet
Pacified
Peaceful
As I am now
Safe and settled
Cocooned in Christ
Till Winter passes
And I fly...

-E.A.A. "Hindsfeet" 12/12/09

Friday, December 11, 2009

Darkest before the Dawn...



The Winter Solstice is fast approaching, the longest night of the year - December 21st - just four days before we celebrate the Light of the World.  Our recognition of the most radiant moment in history will presumably be  preceded by deep darkness.

Seems to mirror the four hundred years of famine experienced by God's people between Malachi and Matthew where God's Word was concerned, the silent centuries before Jesus came to the earth and the prophets were once again propelled into action, filled with fire, and ignited with Divine inspiration.

I've been struggling through my own dark night of the soul, and I know the desperation at every turn to know God's Word, to have His light on my path...the tiniest glimmer a reason to rejoice.  I find myself straining to hear, desperate to dispense of anything that drowns out His voice - "laying aside every weight"* as it were - hardly willing to wait four minutes for this mainstay of manna, much less four days...but four hundred years?  I can't even imagine.....

Despite the darkness, I feel Grace's gravitational pull; I find myself returning to things I'd lost sight of...the fundamentals of forgiveness, the merit of mercy, the call to compassion.  And I feel the Potter carving out in me a new capacity for these, the Sculptor chiseling away at my stony heart...transforming this Pharisee into a forgiven, faithful servant, the Prodigal purged from the heart of His cherished child.

Life displacing Death

A painful process, yes, but a "light affliction"* none the less, momentary at that, and nothing He didn't experience Himself*, therefore "we do not lose heart"*.

"We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed" -2 Corinthians 4:8,9

Hope outweighs my heavy heart, buoying my broken spirit.  My faith floats on the surface of the storm and the beacon of His benediction breaks through the black night.

Though for now "I see through a glass darkly"*, I celebrate the One Who saved me and Who will surely shepherd me through the valley of the shadow of death* into His marvelous light, into the dawning of a new day.


*Hebrews 12:1
*2 Corinthians 4:17
*Psalm22:1, Matthew 27:46
*2 Corinthians 4:16
*1 Corinthians 13:12
*Psalm 23

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Next!

Is it just me or is it all happening too quickly?  Did the browns and yellows of Thanksgiving blend all too rapidly into the reds and greens of Christmas?  A pot of golden mums graces my front porch still, little just-for-pretty pumpkins adorn my mantel, and my fridge remains full of fat-laden leftovers fit to clog the arteries of even the most dutiful dieters.

And yet it seems it's already time to move on.  I can almost see some cosmic time-teller tapping his watch like a conductor on a train impatiently waiting for his passengers to settle in so that that the engine can be fired up and the next stop reached at bullet speed and post-haste! 

All Abooooard!!

As much as I love all the acoutrements of Christmas, the candlelight in the windows and the fun of decorating a fat little Douglas Fir, am I the only one who's wishing we had a bit of a transition sentence here? 

As I ventured into my "Christmas closet" tonight, sizing up the task at hand, rummaging through wrapping paper, untangling twinkle lights, sorting out santas and organizing ornaments, a plain paper bag presented itself in the middle of all the muddle, patiently awaiting my attention...

...Upon opening the package, a smile worked it's way across my face and setting everything else aside, I carefully removed the pewter figurines folded in little pieces of paper; there were sheep and shepherds, camels and kings, there was a mother and a father, a sturdy little stable, a miniature manger...and lastly, a little one, an infant, a tiny baby boy...

And I realized gazing at the pieces of this picture, a picture of a gift given long ago, that herein was my "transition sentence".

The meaning of it all, not just of Christmas, but of life itself, Jesus, the ultimate Transition Sentence*, between the Old Will and Testament and the New Will and Testament, between death and life, slavery and freedom, between what I once was and who I now am.

I'm cozied up now, ready to catch some zzzzz's shortly (very shortly).  The decorating I was going to do remains undone, save a small nativity scene set carefully along my mantel in place of the just-for-pretty pumpkins...

It's a beginning...in the truest sense of the Word.

*"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men...And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." - John 1: 1-4, 14

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Harvest...


Those who sow in shadow and rain
Reap in laughter and light
Gathering in where once they had scattered
Hope is Harvested
Souls ignite



The once barren fields bequeath a banquet
Fit for royalty
And yet the King bids you and I
“Come to the table!
Dine with Me!”



Hearts that were hard, dry as the dust
Parched and completely past feeling
Are filled to the full
Quenched and made whole
An Epilogue of Healing

-E.A.A. "Hindsfeet"  11/08

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving...





"A Christian is one who is on the way, though not necessarily very far along it, and who has at least some dim and half-baked idea of Whom to thank." - Frederick Buechner


We've arrived at that turkeylicious time of year when Americans everywhere will join in gastronomic gaiety and filial festivities revolving around plates piled high with every delicacy our little palates could desire.

There'll be football games and gatherings complete with tryptophan and green bean goo, mashed potatoes and couch potatoes, long naps and leftovers, and finally, drawn out departures full of hugs and good wishes for happiness over the holidays.

Amidst all this merriment there may come a moment when grateful guests will pause to ponder the holiday's namesake and the things in their lives that conjure up thoughts of thankfulness.

When put to it, most of us can come up with several somethings we're appreciative for and perhaps wax on quite lyrical about our loved ones and the merits of our most treasured blessings.

There is, indeed, so much to be thankful for,
ergo, there is Someone to be thankful to.


This Thanksgiving, as our hearts are turned to the gifts with which we've been graced, let us in turn lift our hearts to the Giver of all Grace and every good gift...


"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." - James 1:17

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Between the Rock and a hard place...

"Bow down your ear to me, Deliver me speedily; Be my Rock of refuge, a fortress of defense to save me.  For You are my Rock and my fortress..." Psalm 31:1,2

"You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God." -Psalm 40:17

"In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge." -Proverbs 14:26

"I am with you to deliver you" Jeremiah 1:8

"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them ; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you.  He will not leave you nor forsake you." -Deuteronomy 31:6

"You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance." -Psalm 32:7

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you." -Isaiah 43:2

"Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil' for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me." -Psalm 23:4

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Two outta Three....

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" -Micah 6:8

Do Justly.
Love Mercy.
Walk Humbly with your God.

The Pharisees had the first part down pat --

Do Justly

Check!  They knew right and wrong like the back of their hands.

Though Doing Justly constituted only one third of the command given in Micah 6:8, they treated it as the be all, end all. 

In one instance among many, Matthew 12:7 to be exact, Jesus calls the Pharisees on their forgetfulness of the three-dimensional aspect of this directive:
Do Justly
Love Mercy
Walk Humbly

Interesting that Loving Mercy and Walking Humbly are underneath Doing Justly, not to make them less than, but to show them foundational to the doing of right and not doing of wrong.

Jesus looked deeper in to the posture of the heart from which their outward deeds proceeded.  In true form He measured what was seen by what was unseen, the bonafide barometer of holiness.

Do Justly is indeed only one third of the instruction here in this verse, yet how often do I stop there, fan out my "filthy rags"* for all to see, and put a big check mark in my "Holy" box?

It's a classic case of putting the proverbial cart before the horse --

I hear above the clamoring of the pharisee in me the still small voice of Jesus calling me to be merciful, indeed to love mercy, and to walk humbly in step with Him, to let all that I do stem from this stance...I feel Christ's gentle correction as his Shepherd's staff prods 'a wretch like me' toward true holiness...and with new eyes I read the ancient words written so long ago, yet relevant as ever...

Do Justly
Love Mercy
Walk Humbly with your God



*Isaiah 64:6

Monday, November 9, 2009

Beautiful Flight......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xb-pX7sIjFY&feature=related

Compliments of Raymond Briggs and Howard Blake...

(i suggest watching this full screen if you can...)



"...One day I will fly
And maybe then You will take me aside
And show me the bigger picture
But till then I will be here with You
With a heart that is true
And a soul that's resting on your higher ways..."

-Steven Curtis Chapman

Sunday, November 8, 2009

shhhhhh......listen......




"...And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice..." -1 Kings19:11,12


Fellow blogger and photographer, Dan Denardo of Dan Denardo Photography (http://danieldenardo.blogspot.com/ ), shared with me a concern commented on from his pastor's pulpit: This minister cautioned against lives cluttered with clamor, lives which leave little room for listening, in which God's voice is, for the most part, obfuscated and obscured.

As I write this, even at this late hour, layers of sound surround me...Nat King Cole's "Destination Moon" is bellowing into my cranium compliments of Bose, blocking out the banter of Saturday Night Live, my husband's sensory stimulation of choice...the occasional motorist passes by with their too loud music blaring out into the blackness, and my puppies object with a cacophony of caterwauling till the offender fades into the distance.

It would seem that we've insulated ourselves from quietude, armed ourselves against "awkward" silence as against a formidable foe...

...This presents a problem, silence being the backdrop of the Still Small Voice...and still small voices are dreadfully simple to drown out. 

To make matters more complicated, our Creator does not seem in the least compelled to compete with this chaos, in our lives, in our churches, in our homes...He feels no pressure to conform to our comfort level or to co-habitate with our other gods, but rather bids us "Come" on His terms, and He is perfectly willing to wait while we decide whom we shall serve.*

In Psalm 46:10, the invitation to know God is precipitated by a posture of stillness.
In Psalm 62:1, David's assurance of salvation exudes from a silently waiting soul.
And in an instance of irony, Peter, the verbose and vocally gifted disciple, compares a quiet spirit with an incorruptible ornament, calling it a very precious commodity in God's computations.*

Yet we have all but completely devalued this hallowed hush, this holy of holies in which we hear His voice, this cleft of the rock where we commune with Christ. 

Perhaps it is time to revisit this venue, and in this sacred silence, to hear His voice once again...


shhhhhh.....listen............



*Joshua 24:15
*1 Peter 3:4
*Psalm 4:4

Saturday, November 7, 2009

One Thing...




"Mary sat at Jesus' feet and heard His Word...One thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part..." -Luke 10:39,42

One thing is needed...

One thing...

One...


He didn't say it was "one of the most important things"...

He didn't even say it was "the most important thing"...

He said it was the One Thing that was needed.


Simplifies the agenda a bit, doesn't it?  One little bullet point: 

  • Sit at Jesus' feet and hear His Word.

In our frenzied five hundred mile an hour frenetic lives, this One thing is so easily squeezed out by sundry seemingly urgent yet superfluous items and sadly falls so far from the top of the to-do list.  Yet it is THE answer that will quell every query, that will quiet every fear.

When we're really in a pinch, we're often quick to cry out for Him to hear us - and rest assured, He does - but are we "quick to hear"* as well?   Is the posture of our soul like Mary's, one of deference and devotion?  Do we come to Him with a listening heart like a cup ready to be filled or is our heart brimming with the din of demands, of doubts, or perhaps even defiance? 

In either case the call is the same, "Come.", whether to be filled or to pour out our hearts* and have them filled again.

In these verses we hear the heart of Jesus, a call to stillness and surrender, a call to come and be filled, to know as we are known, to hear as we are heard...


One thing is needed...

One thing...

One...




*James 1:19 "Be quick to hear..."
*Psalm 62:8 "Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Birthday Cake and Humble Pie



I journaled a few weeks ago in my post, Segues, Seeds, and Seasons, that new beginnings are rarely wrapped up with a bow on top, but rather tend to come in very messy packages indeed, such as "civil wars, screaming babies, and shattered seeds..."...Little did I know how prophetic those casually written words would prove to be...

My birthday was on October 13th, and, I guess there's that five year old in me that still looks forward to birthdays as much as ever and perhaps builds the day up in my mind a bit more than it ought to be built up, demanding it carry much more weight than my thirty seven years have warranted.

The day, or rather, the eve of the day, yes, "Birthday Eve" I suppose we'll call it, began with a crushing disappointment, which I think on a Tuesday in the middle of July would have been merely noted as a minor setback, however, this being "Birthday Eve", it was heralded in with hyperbole, and therefore, yes, it was crushing.

This epic event began a cold war in my house which lasted almost a week, unprecedented division, icy intervals, and embarrasingly unbirthday like behaviour from yours truly...

Had I really made myself and the celebration of myself so important that I had displaced the larger lessons of love and grace, kindness and humility?   Was I so determined that everything should be perfect to the point of making my dearest loved one feel like a pariah when the envisioned utopia did not materialize? 

There was an Infant King long ago who arranged His first birthday in a barn, Whose birthday guests were barnyard animals and Whose seat of honor was a stable, Whose confetti was cow food, straw and hay, Whose special day was heralded by one tiny candle of a star, and it wasn't even attached to a cake.  This is how He chose to enter the world, to celebrate His life and His life to come, in abject anonymity, in hiddeness and humility, without pomp or pretense, His first birthday came and went.

I learned a hard lesson this week, I saw a part of myself I didn't like very much at all, one which I would've loved to wrap up pretty with a bow on top, decorated in excuses and justifications, rationalizations and reason...But, as Hannah Hurnard wrote long ago, "He loves me far too well to leave me in my self-made hell, a Saviour is my Lord"...

He had a different birthday gift altogether in mind for me, a new beginning not wrapped in frilly superfluity, embellished with my shallow expectations, but in stark humility, in terse truth, a gift that would serve me well for a lifetime, instead of merely mesmerizing for a moment...

C.S. Lewis once wrote, "I do not believe that God primarily wants us to be happy; I think what He wants is for us to learn to love and to learn to be loved; I think He wants us to Grow Up."

That's what a birthday is all about afterall, getting older, growing up, a measure of maturity, and to perhaps begin to bear more of a resemblance to the one we were born to...or born again to...

Embracing Lewis' philosophy, it seems happiness - and happy birthdays - will surely follow...

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." - James 1:17

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hallowed be Your Name...


Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your Name
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

-Matthew 6:9

...I will be hallowed among the children of Israel...

-Leviticus22:32

...God who is holy shall be hallowed...

-Isaiah 5:16

Hallow - Etymology: Middle English Halowen - To make holy or set apart for holy use. -Merriam-Webster



Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts
-Isaiah 6:3

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lifeline......





"Jesus said, 'Come.'  And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.  But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, 'Lord, save me!'  And Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him."  -Matthew 14:29-31

He didn't hover over his helplessness
He didn't wane at his weakness
He didn't make him suffer for his short-sightedness
He didn't allow him to flail in his failure

IMMEDIATELY Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him.....


You stepped out of the boat, but your boldness betrayed you, your eyes left His, and Fear seized the opportunity, plunging you into tumultuous terror...

The waves are battering you, your bearings are lost in this sea.  With all of it's breath it is sucking you under, and with your last breath you cry out --

To Whom?  For What? 

Whose strength are you depending on to deliver you?   Who do you rely on when life has you against the ropes?  What are you counting on to come through, to catch you?  A pill?  A person?  A profession?  Who has the resources to rescue you? 

Who, but the One who summons the storm,
Who, but He Who wields the wind and the waves,
Who, but the Saviour
Who not only speaks Stillness to your soul , but to the whole of the tempest tormenting you...

...and it obeys...


Deep inside each one of us, perhaps surfacing these days, there is that primitive part unspoiled by modernity, a homing beacon, a Knowing that overrides our neatly packaged processes and socially acceptable strategems in times of trauma and crisis. 

And out of that core wells up the cry for its Creator,
"LORD, Save me!"

...And IMMEDIATELY Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him...

"Oh fainthearted one, why did you doubt?" -Matthew 29:31

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c0jJt_XKbw&NR=1&feature=fvwp

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Borrowed Brushstrokes...


What would you do if you were handed a clean slate, a sort of cosmic Witness Protection Program, a complete do-over, a blank canvas to fill up? 

It occurs to me that this rarely happens in life (unless you actually are in the Witness Protection Program), as life is a work of art and as such it is more of a progressive thing...An elaborate oil painting being created layer by layer....When one layer is dry, the background perhaps, a new layer is started, moving forward into the foreground of the piece...

...layer upon layer upon layer.......

If all goes well, if you've lived the layers of your life with care and color, you end up with something right out of a Bob Ross special...

...But what if all hasn't gone well.....

...What if the background's been badly botched up?  What if you were careless about the colors you chose?  What if this painting's pigment depicts broken bonds, hurting hearts, missteps or downright disasters? 

And so you add to it, another layer, and another layer, to cover and conceal, but it is fast becoming a muddy mess...

What Then?
What Now?

Well,

 What if...

...What if there is a Master Artist.....What if He told you to take a breath, yield to Him your brush, and be still for awhile...

And what if He hid His progress while He worked, leaving you with the unrest of wonder? 

Could you be still?  Could you rest?  Could you yield not only your brush but your will as well?  Could you concede control over the creation that you were making a mess of on your own....Could you trust Him with your treasure? 

What if God allows seasons of stillness, intervals of inertia, till we are quiet and centered and motionless enough to begin moving again?  What if all the while of waiting He is forging a fresh foundation, smoothing our surface, or blending the layers into lovely symmetry so that we have a new perspective to persist from, perhaps with more patience this time, hopefully with humility, and a dose of deference to Someone-Who-Actually-Might-Know-More-Than-I-Do, whose Hand guides our own as we work this canvas into a meaningful composition.

Because when all is said and done, He is more invested than even we are in the finished product of our paths...He oversees the work because ultimately it is His work, WE are His work, His magnum opus, His poema.  We are not alone, we are not left to our own limited palette in this cumulative creation,

and we realize,
at the end of the day,
that we ourselves are the canvas,
His canvas.

As long as we are still tethered to terra, the creation continues, depth and dimension are added to our make up, diminutive details divulged, developing the message of the masterpiece, the legacy of our lives...

The end result on Eternity's easel will evoke either usurped or surrendered control, chaos or beauty, the work of an amateur or the work of The Master...

...And we must ask ourselves what we want displayed,
not only in the Here and Now,
but in the Halls of Heaven....



"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." -Ephesians 2:10

Monday, October 19, 2009

Singular Setback





When I was a child
I thought that
Just as I had
two eyes
two ears
two arms
two legs...

...So also I must have two hearts...

That would've come in handy.

-E.A.A. "Hindsfeet" 10/18/09

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Communion...


Will my broken heart feed many?  Will it satiate sojourning souls?  Will they come and be filled with belonging, with a knowledge that they are not alone?  In their griefs and missteps, their hopes and hopelessness?  Will they be fed here at the table of my poverty and pain, bread born of anguish and adversity, turned to succor for the soul of the Beloved? 

Will my love poured out of this vanquished vessel quench the thirst of thousands?  Burst open like fruit fallen to the ground, the life within, no longer hidden, nourishing passersby?  Will my tears flow like streams into dry deserts longing for Rain? 

Then let it be, and let them come, and let them come and drink and dine, let me be emptied into their souls.  Let their cups overflow with comfort and comradery and let them feast on the fullness of fellowship...Let this shattered seed sprout and spread and yield yet another harvest...

...Let this death become life once again......

John 6:35

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dawning...



Waiting is over
Wings unfurl and finally fly
Unfettered Freedom

-E.A.A. "Hindsfeet" 10/15/09


Monday, October 12, 2009

Wings.....


Butterfly Kisses

Just a few shots I took during a trip to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens "Butterflies LIVE!"  exhibit. 

Gives you Hope, doesn't it?  All of these creatures emerged from especially dark places, terribly tight spots, pupal prisons of their own making; they were the lowest of low, slow, sluggish, and struggling, sentenced to an earthbound life, a base existence bereft of beauty -or so it seemed.  That life would ever, could ever, be any different was as far from these insects' imaginings (if caterpillars are capable of such considerations) as aviation was from the eighteenth century mind...

...Yet here we see the intended end was indeed, Wings.......



Celtic Collage



Flutterbys and Flowers



Dainty Duo


Rest and Restive



Finding Freedom



and finally, Flutterby Food : )


"Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy." -Psalm 126:5

Sunday, October 4, 2009

little things.......

an acorn
a golden ring
rife with profundity these things
a bit of fruit on the tree of life
a grain of sand
a splinter...

a heartbeat
a breath of breeze
miniscule movements like butterfly wings
Autumnal tints of red and gold
a word
a thought
a trickle...

yet trickles turn to torrents
words form worlds...
cumulative creative forces combine
in diminutive divinity
to spark the superlatives we see...

maybe,

in the end,

it really is "the little things"...


- E.A.A. "Hindsfeet"  10/4/09

Friday, October 2, 2009

Consider the Lilies........



"Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?...Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these." -Matthew 6:26, 28, 29

But God!  It's not that simple!

Yes, actually, it is.

You see it's our mortgage and this economy and everyone jockeying for so few jobs!

mmhmm?

Well, and, so, you see, things are a bit dicey down here...

I'm right here.

Oh, yeah, I know, that's right...I forgot for a moment...

Why?

Well, I guess because, well, I was distracted, you know, the mortgages and the economy and the jobs...

My Dear, did I tell you to "Consider the economy"?

um, well, no...

Did I direct you to "Consider the ending of employment or the 'dicey-ness' of the day"?

but..............well..............no.

Do you think I need you bending your brain to help Me figure out how to provide for My children?

.......I.....uh.......

My love, my precious one, my Dear heart, I fed and provided for two and a half MILLION of my children as they crossed through a desert much more barren than the one that you're facing now...I sustained them on that journey for FORTY YEARS, drawing water for them in drought, feeding them DAILY with miraculous manna.  Can I not take care of you, in this, YOUR desert hour?

...well, yes...I........yes.....

Their feet did not swell, their shoes did not even wear out...I take care of My own, my Dear...then AND now...YOU are My own...Will I do any less for you than I did for my children in that wilderness so long ago?  However much time passes I do not change.  And the desert, however dry, does not dictate to ME how or if I can provide for My children...I am not servant to the desert, the desert is servant to Me.

And I will indeed cause it to serve My purposes...You will know a richness here that you could not know anywhere else.  There will be little to distract from the comfort of My closeness, nothing to replace My power to provide.  You will gain here what moth and rust cannot destroy, In this parched place you will know Peace, and I will feed you with My faithfulness. 

I am in control, My love, as I always have been, I AM now.  Rest in that, My dear one...Rest your mind tonight...Do not worry, saying "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?"...I know you need all these things, and I already sent the answer, long before you called...I have made a way where there SEEMS to be no way. 

So rest now, my love, I stay awake and keep watch so that you can sleep...

Sleep now, my dear, and have sweet dreams, of beautiful birds and of lovely lilies....

All in My keeping, as you are this night,

Trust Me to keep you, My dear one, My child...

"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." -Isaiah 26:3

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy Birthday to me.....

In exactly thirteen days I will be thirty-seven years old.

I love my birthday and always will and will never be one of those women who feel the need to remain perpetually twenty-nine or thirty-nine or whatever it is these days.  That line from Sunset Boulevard says it all and still holds true, "There's nothing wrong with being fifty, unless you're still trying to be twenty-five.".  I want credit for the years I've made it through and want all of them represented in the candles on my cake, and yes, no matter how my metabolism deteriorates, I will always want cake. You will not see me demure from the sweet stuff no matter how my waistline may wane.  Life is short, People, Eat The Cake! (I'm with Marie Antoinette on this one.)
 
I love being thirty-seven (almost!) because for one thing it means I'm not twenty-seven...My twenties were my own personal pergatory, the bootcamp of my life, and I am happy to have them over with.  I don't get all misty-eyed and morose when I hear songs like The Summer of '69 that sing the supremacy of youth.  To me this smacks of the Israelites-in-the-Wilderness scenario, the unbound bondslaves bemoaning their precious Egypt and the leeks and onions they left behind.

But none-the-less the illusion of youth's grandeur is perpetuated every where you look: American Idols tending to be no older than seventeen, no less than a C-cup, and having an IQ no greater than forty-two, commercials and sit-coms depicting juveniles as just barely tolerant of their 'antiquated parents' and 'outmoded elders', plastic surgeries being performed for practically anything and everything (I love the New Yorker comic that depicts two women meeting on the street and the one saying to the other, "I love your body!  Where did you get it?!" Funny, Sad, and True.)

How much we miss ever only looking back, seeing more of ourselves in the past than in the present, clinging to a time gone by and buried, allowing what has been to become the be-all-end-all, lingering over leeks and onions when we could be having cake.

I will spend the next two weeks, not in restless rumination and existential examination, but rather in anticipation and in celebration, of the day to come, of the year to come, of not only what has been, but of what is and what is yet to come...

And of course, when the day rolls around, I will blow out all my candles, extricate them one by one, then pass out the pock-marked pieces to all my friends and loved ones...

and yes, I will eat cake...

....with gusto...

...with abandon...

...and with very little restraint.

"Your life is not over, it may not even have begun..."

Happy Birthday to me

: )

"One thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."  -Phillipians 3:13

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ramblings of a Runner

If you haven't yet figured it out from the timestamps on my previous posts, I am a Night Person.  Especially of late.  My Bio-Rhythms seem to be thrown off six ways from Sunday and I am presently pillaging my way through a package of Oreos (as there is not much else to do at eleven thirty on a Monday night), telling myself that I'll jumpstart my diet in the morning, calling this a carb-load for my theoretical training run tomorrow versus what it actually is: my slow decline toward a tractor hauling me out of my house through a hole in the wall.  I seem to be walking a knife's edge this month between my marathoner self and some sort of portly pasta making Italian grandmother just dying to get out and take over...

Not sure when I traded in my CamelBack for the cookies, but I chalk it up to all the feelings there are to stuff these days; It's a mad mad mad mad world, as they say, and it aint gettin glad anytime soon as far as I can tell...Add to that each person's personal pile of poo and you've got a recipe for - ooh, chocolate chip cookies!! - um, yeah, I'd say I've fallen off the wagon pretty good this time...hurled myself off is more like it. 

"It's not what you're eating, it's what's eating YOU," a friend told me the last time I fell off the wagon, rolled down the hill, and ended up in a carb-laden lump at the bottom.  "...what's eating me..." hmmm, could be a small village for all I know; at the rate my little midnight munchfest is going there's certainly going to be enough of me to go around..."Just doing my little part to make a dent in world hunger!"...which would make up for my making a pretty serious dent in the world's food supply.

As it stands I have exactly six months and seventeen days to prepare for a half-marathon I signed up for to fend off the foodie within...A sort of carrot on the end of the stick for me to chase (quite literally) through twenty degree Winter weather and rainy Spring mornings till the big day arrives (If it were an Oreo and not a carrot, I'm fairly sure I'd run faster and farther, but I was not around when said simile was authored, so there it is, and here I am, perpetually persuading myself that this "carrot" is indeed worth the effort.)

So I have within me, daily dueling for my devotion, the Glutton and the Runner...The gratification of giving way to the Glutton is ephemeral at best and always ends in self-loathing and lethargy lording over me, whereas rendering to the Runner its due respect yields a bounty of boundless energy, tremendous self-satisfaction, and certainly serves an an affront to aforementioned tractor/hole-in-wall scenario.

So why the debate?  The answer is obvious: The Runner should win hands down every time, n'est pas?  But no, au contraire mon amis, (dang, now I want a croissant...) the gravitational pull of the Glutton remains, and half the time I feel like a dam holding back a huge body of water - er, well, maybe just a huge body - just waiting to spill out and change the landscape of my life.

As it stands, the dam is holding, despite the thousands of calories I just threw down my gullet, and my running schedule remains, hanging dutifully on my fridge, like a sentry ceremonially guarding the frozen fortress of food...

...mainly against me.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Beauty in the Beast: A "True Love" Story

http://danieldenardo.blogspot.com/2009/09/beast.html

A rickety rowboat, weathered and worn, docked in it's disrepair, broken, battered, still buoyed, but just barely...

...The name it hides behind, "BEAST", a feeble diversion, a flimsy distraction, the assertion a futile attempt at subterfuge, "Ignore the man behind the curtain!" it begs passersby...."See me as Strong and Stalwart, a Rock, a force to be reckoned with! See the mask and not the man that hides behind it...See the armor only and not what the crusty covering conceals...See me as Brawny and not Broken, See me as "BEAST" and not Beaten..."

And I see in this diminutive dingy, my own haggard heart, all the bruises and brokenness endured over time, the rust from my recklessness, the bits that have been battered by storm after storm on this ocean that is life. I see my smallness against the backdrop of the sea, and I see the moniker dually authored by Fear and Pride, the title behind which I intuitively take cover, masking the marks of a heart not impervious to pain.

But there are two pictures here, a variant view……

....I see through the fray to my fortitude, through to a bold and bouyant heart defying despair; I see sturdy, stubborn resilience, triumph through tragedy, still waters and safe harbor....

....And I see a knot

Securing the skiff in to safety, skillfully, carefully, lovingly tied, by Hands desirous to keep the craft close to its Captain's side...

That singular knot tells the story of time...it is the difference between life and death, despair and hope, lost and found, sinking and staying afloat…It is the mark of Redemption.

She is Mine, She is MINE!” this knot seems to say, “In this ‘Beast’ I see ‘Beauty’!” it cries to dubious onlookers ashore…

And I see myself, and my name, in this light, in His light….

No longer Abandoned but Accepted

No longer Betrayed but Beloved

This Ugly Duckling declared a Swan

This Homeless Heart now Home...


All because He saw beauty where there was none....

All because He saw 'Beauty' in the ‘Beast’.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyFxArMeRDI

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Segues, Seeds, and Seasons...

Though the temperature belies the fact, Summer is, indeed, finally over...Seasons do eventually change no matter how hot or how dry it gets, no matter how endless things may feel, whether we desperately want things to stay the same or whether we're waiting with bated breath for something new...It is the nature of things, the way of life, ever evolving...

Sometimes we defy the transition so stubbornly, like a toddler throwing a tantrum when her parents insist on throwing out some favored but now ill-fitting garment, with no understanding that something newer, better, and much more comfortable is in the making and forthcoming.  With that same futility and short-sightedness we hold on to bygone seasons with a mental vicegrip even after the season has grown old or stale or has ended all together, but, as my Mom use to say, "it doesn't matter if you wear your galoshes in the Summer, Honey, it isn't gonna make the Spring stay."  We need to trust that as much as we loved the garment of the time gone by, however familiar and comfortable it was, there is something better in the making.  Something that will fit our evolving life and that will foster further growth.

Of necessity the prior seasons that coddled us and were conducive to our growth must fall away to make possible the new life.  But leaving these confines is not always easy, the space that felt so manageable, so secure, like a butterfly's cocoon.  The transition, while natural, can be traumatic.  It's so easy to feel disillusioned during these segues.  We are uprooted from the old, but not quite yet rooted in the new.  We are waiting to find our footing and even when we finally do, the new land can feel so foreign and we go through nothing less than culture-shock as we venture forward.  New beginnings are rarely wrapped up pretty with a bow on top, but rather tend to be trademarked by screaming babies, shattered seeds, civil wars and the like. 

During a devastating time of agonizing uncertainty in author Elisabeth Elliot's life, she recorded an instance where, completely distraught and disoriented, not knowing which way was up, she ran out to her back yard, sunk onto her knees and cried out to God for answers...The answer came...in the form of an acorn.

Her eyes fell on the little seed beneath her and the words that flooded her mind were these...

"When the acorn falls and is buried, all it knows is the falling and the darkness and the dying; it has no idea of the oak tree that's going to come out of it's life.  If it did, the death would seem insignificant, and instead of fear there would be joyful abandonment into My plan.  Look at the acorn and trust Me."

Perhaps it's time to let go of the crumbling scaffolding of past seasons...allow what has died to be buried, so that new life can come, so that we can see when it comes...

...it will surely come.

Look at the acorn and trust Me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSXciv06218
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHFK94QH5sU

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Finding Peace in Purpose

"It is not a chaos, it is a cosmos...And here I was, near the axis of the world, in the darkness where the stars make a circle in the sky. At that moment the conviction came to me that the harmony and rhythm were too perfect to be a symbol of blind chance or an accidental offshoot of the cosmic process; and I knew that a Beneficent Intelligence pervaded the whole. It was a feeling that transcended reason; that went to the heart of a man's despair and found it groundless."  -Richard Byrd, Explorer, speaking of our universe from the solitary perspective of the South Pole.

"In its most general sense, a cosmos is an orderly or harmonious system. It originates from a Greek term κόσμος meaning "order, orderly arrangement, ornaments," and is the antithetical concept of chaos. Today the word is generally used as a synonym of the word Universe." -Wikipedia

"He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing....He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters, at the boundary of light and darkness...It is He Who sits above the circle of the earth..." - Job 26:7,10, Isaiah 40:22

"I see Him walking on the waves, no shore in sight, no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see him walking on the sea...God's end is to enable me to see that He can walk on the chaos of my life just now." -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Amidst bewilderment and brokenness
Perturbed peace and pain,
There is One who weaves our wanderings
Into His Higher ways...


The One who wove the universe
Fearfully and wonderfully made
Formed your heart from nothing
And fashioned all your days


He also formed this wilderness
To make for us a way
To bridge the gap from death to Life
To Dawning of the Day


The night is deep, but Day is at hand
As He did long ago,
Love gives the command,
"Peace Now.  Be Still."
Spoken into the storm
Of the hearts He created
Now weathered, and worn


Like this pilgrim's path plodding
through desert's dark night
Nail Scarred hands lead us on
To Promised Land's Light

-E.A.A. 9/22/09

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFfXKJIXeJI

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Life, Liberty, and Superman Sheets...


"...as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possesing all things."
-2 Cor 6:10

The image is sparse, marked by the absence of excess.  The bed of an orphan in Jamaica.  Underneath is a small suitcase, containing this child's all, and on top is a single bed sheet, a Superman sheet, no less, betraying the profundity in the simplicity of the scene.

The photographer suggests paradoxically that this child is wealthy beyond words, not because of what he has, but because of Who he knows, because of Who knows him, and loves him, and because of the lives of the people surrounding him who personify this Love.  The intrinsic value of his life consisting in things not temporal, not easily found and not easily taken away. 

Unwarranted is the scaffolding of the superflous that holds up so many of our lives these days, our structures compromised and weakened for all the leaning we've done on shaky supports and surrogate strengths, excess at every level and the forgotten freedom of simplicity.

We observe with our Western eyes this child, this "less fortunate" one, a day in whose life has been valued at "the price of a cup of coffee", and our hearts fill with pity (what room there is left for pity)...

...but I wonder, as the message of the rickety bed with the singular suitcase and the Superman sheet seeps into my soul...

.........Who is the more pitiable?............

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"And THIS IS LIFE, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent."
-John 17:3

Monday, September 21, 2009

Table in the Wilderness

It's dry, It's dusty, this once lavish land has withdrawn its waters, and we are left, bewildered, parched, in need of a path where there seems to be no path, wandering, weary, worn......Jesus........we are left, we are lost, all the means that seemed so certain, all the ways that seemed so sure, gone, dissipated, dissolved...and we are left, destitute...depleted...drained of all life......

Then let Me be your Life.......Will you take hold of My hand now?  Now that all else has deserted you in this barren place?  Will you know the One Who does not change when all else has shifted like these sands beneath your feet?  Will you hear Me knocking now, and will you at last open to Me, now that there is silence, now that the din of competing deities have stranded you here?  Will you let me be Your Way where there seems to be no way?  In your frailty will you take hold now of My strength?  Will you let Me Love you now, now that all your fickle followers have gone and your lovers have left you loveless?  Will you draw from Me now that all other wells are dry?  Will you finally come to this Table?  My Love, will you finally come?

"Ho!  Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat!  Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.  Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?  Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.  Incline your ear, and come to Me.  Hear, and your soul shall revive; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you."  -Isaiah 55:1-3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKB9bGtr5rw

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Another time around........

I guess you could say I was a bit of a religious gypsy back in the day.  I definitely got my feet wet where Faith was concerned...I'm one of those people who took the long way Home (is there any other way?), been there, done that, got the rosary, the yarmulke, the incense, what have you...And while I'm settled in a little more simplicity these days, there are a few little gems that I kept from my 'travels', one of which came to my attention this past week, as I remembered that it was the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh H'Shanah, which began on Friday at Sundown, and, as one can never have too many new beginnings, do-overs, second, third, and fourth takes in life under their belt, I thought, "Why restrict myself to just one on January 1st?".  Don't know about you all, but I can make a lot of mistakes in the space of three hundred and sixty five days and when I found out there was this extra "Get-Outta-Jail-Free" card, just there for the taking, without having to wait till you got alllll the wayyyyy arounnnnnd the board to January 1st, you better know I jumped on it!

'Course, this means making a whole new list of New Years Resolutions...and there's the rub...I still haven't lost the ten pounds on my list from almost nine months ago, I seem to be as disorganized as ever, despite the annual vow to do better, and the quest to "be the person your dog thinks you are" has all but flown out the window (actually, I'm pretty sure my dog just thinks I'm the domestic help, so I'm giving myself that one, albeit on a technicality).  So how would any promises I make to myself now be any different than the ones I make on regular ol' New Years Day? 

I'm thinking since this is the Jewish New Year I'm celebrating, I might get a vicarious nod from the Man upstairs, a wee bit o' help from the angels above, Heaven putting it's shoulder to my little wheel of fortune and what not...

So I think I'll keep the weight loss one, the perpetual plan I have to lose ten pounds before I die, to have someone tell me, just once in my life, "Oh Honey, aren't you getting a little too thin?" (let it be noted herein that if you are the bearer of this benediction, I will, with gusto and without hesitation, kiss you right on the mouth).

Beyond that, I'm setting aside all other cliche commitments, and going for broke.  With the Power that Be behind me, I'm not wasting anymore time with paltry petitions and propositions.

Instead I'll ask for Chrysalis, for wings to fly, for freedom
I'll ask for fountains flowing deep
with laughter here to drown in
I'll ask for mountains, for mountains moved
I'll ask for loved ones' healing
I'll ask for wonders and mercies new
His faithfulness revealing

And Though brash and brazen it may be
I'll ask for one last measure
I'll ask His heart
I'll ask His all
I'll ask to be His treasure

Happy New Year, Everyone,
Good luck to us all this time around.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRQr_X-cG4Y&feature=related