Thursday, December 31, 2009


"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,


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.....


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 (, 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


"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
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