Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dark




+

So easy,
in the Winters of our lives,
to feel disillusioned
(at best)
at worst, to despair,

When what dressed us,
what covered us
is stripped away
and we are left,
cold,
in the dark,
as the old dies,
to make way for the new...
the tattered dry leaves garment removed
readying us for What Is To Come...

Our human tendency to near-sightedness
does not allow the benefit of long range vision
which would soften the stripping down
the exposure
which would warm the cold clean slate,

The Canvas

In the Beginning was a Winter too,
one which was marked with deep darkness,
one which was without form, void,
Empty

And over it hovered the Master Artist,
The Michael Angelo of Creation
Paintbrush poised,
dipped in Light,
Ready to Begin...

In the Silence
Listen for the "Let There Be...",
In the emptiness
Hold steady,
And Know that what you hold is not the end,
But the waiting canvas of darkness
onto which Will be painted 
Light

+

"In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The earth was without form, and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Then God Said,
"Let there be Light."...

-Genesis 1:1-3

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dinner Time


"Come!  All you who are thirsty!  Come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare."
-Isaiah 55:1-2

+

Which credentials carry the most weight on our religious resumes?  Which assets do we prize on the pages of our portfolios?  What do we bring to the table when called on to feed a hungry and thirsty world?

Are the impoverished souls surrounding us forced to settle for silver and gold, or can we, like Peter, say to them, "I have what you really need, and what I have I give you..."

What did Peter have?

He had Jesus.

Are we serving up superfluous sundries or something of substance?  Christ or cubic zirconias?

For too long we've offered tokens, trinkets, and trifles to a world starving for the Savior.  For too long we ourselves have been content to nibble around the edges of Who God is, to fill up the gaps of our faith with garnishes...

...But Immanuel is inviting us to feast on His fullness, to know Him as Peter knew Him, to know the breadth and length and depth and height of Him, so that we can, in turn, invite others to the table, so that we have solid food with which to "feed His sheep".

So come to the table

Pull up a chair

Make yourself comfortable

***It's Dinnertime***

+

"Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, nor the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who boasts boast in this: that he understands and knows Me."

-Jeremiah 9:23-24

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Wanderings


"You number all my wanderings..."
-Psalm 56:8

+

I will take you Home
Carry you far from all you've known
But let it go, Love,

Let it Go

Empty-handed lasts a moment,
Becomes Open-handed
and Filled

And you find
Flowing once again
From my Hands
Through your hands
Unimaginable Bounty

Ashes become Beauty
Every regret becomes Redemption
As your wanderings
Become Mercy
Become Amazing Grace

For all who are wandering
For all who want healing
For all who are longing
for Home

+

"Blessed are they whose strength is in You
and whose heart is set on pilgrimage;
They pass through the valley of weeping
and make it a place of springs."
-Psalm 84:5-6

Monday, November 2, 2015

Burn


"If the light that is in you is darkness,
how great is that darkness."
-Matthew 6:23

+

We are here to show The Way Home
To be a picture of Heaven
A portent of Life to come

We are meant to house The Light which leads to Safety
and staves off shipwreck

The ersatz "light" we too often allow
to douse and diminish The Flame
drowns out The Still Small Voice
and robs the world of its only Hope
The Hope with which we've been entrusted
The Sacred Fire which Saves

How much of our programming comes from the "light" of our TV's
instead of The Word?
Are we basking in the glow of our phones
Far more often than we are abiding in our God?

We are the white blazes on this trail
And Blaze we must
For all who are lost in these woods
and desperately trying to find The Way

We who are representative of The Resurrection and The Light
have allowed Deity in us to be reduced to tired dogma
Doing our charge, His Beloved World, a grave disservice

May Christ become so concentrated in us
May The Flame burn so brightly
That the world will once again be irresistibly drawn,
Out of Darkness
Into the Light

+

"I AM The Way, The Truth, The Light"
"As He is, so are we in this world."
-John 14:6, 1 John 4:17

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Final Word



+

The Gentle Whisper...

Stronger than the violent wind
Mightier than the earthquake
A Higher Law than the fire...

...Like Lift over gravity
Like The Rainbow over the flood
Like Mercy over judgement

Like "Peace, Be Still" over the storm...

The Gentle Whisper
has
the Final Word

+

"The Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces

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; 

After the fire came a sound of Delicate Stillness, 
A Still, Small Voice, 
A Gentle Whisper."

-1 Kings 19:11-12

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Gentle Thing.........




+

Come

Quiet
your Martha heart
dashing about
fixing
fussing
frantic

no need
no need...

all that needs done
is done

Come
Sit
Be Still
Be Small

I AM Big Enough

+

"Cease Striving.
Know that I AM God."
-Psalm 46:10

Monday, September 21, 2015

Rise



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Dead.

He was Dead.

Past the Point-Of-No-Return
Beyond Hope of Healing
A poster child of unanswered prayer
Underscoring God's Silence

Against this macabre backdrop
Mary and Martha mourned
the Loss of their Beloved Lazerus
Soaked in the Almighty's Silence
And the Loudness of Anticlimax

Friends, in response,
Surrounded the sisters
with flimsy songs of the Sweet By-and-By

While Jesus came on the scene
to deliver a Powerful Here-and-Now

The world's thirst has grown too great 
to be slaked with Sunday morning sentimental slush,
Man's Very Real Need
for The Bread of Life
can no longer be placated 
with potlucks, pithy pulpits, and polished prose

When the Rubber meets the Road
and men need Miracles,
The Beloved of God better Know their God
and be ready to offer
Resurrection

+

"...my speech and preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of Power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men, but in the Power of God."
-1 Corinthians 2:4-5

Sunday, September 13, 2015

New


"The Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces

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; 

After the fire came a sound of Delicate Stillness, 
A Still, Small Voice, 
A Gentle Whisper."

-1 Kings 19:11-12

+

Rosh Hashanah , the Jewish new year 5776, begins tonight, at Sundown.

It is also called The Feast of Trumpets, or, in Hebrew, Yom Teruah, 
which means literally, "day of shouting/raising a noise"

May God give you, in this new year, joy befitting the blast of trumpets, shouts and raising a noise...

But may it also be for you

a year of Peace that passes understanding
Stilling of the storm
Beauty for ashes

May He make this for you,

The Year of 
The Gentle Whisper.

Shalom, my friends,
Shanah Tovah,
Happy New Year

+

"You crown the year with Your goodness"
Psalm 65:11

Friday, September 11, 2015

9/11 Remembered


I wrote this five years ago, a tribute to the day we all remember, and to the ephemeral unity this destruction paradoxically brought to our country, its leaders, and their constituents, when, for an all too brief and beautiful moment, congress stood together on the steps of the white house, actually holding hands, and there was a fleeting forgetfulness of differences and division, a trading of the self-serving status quo for one of self-transcendence, a laying down of the vitriol that too often trademarks our government, and a taking up of the standard,
 - may it be said of us again -

"United We Stand"




Two towers fell today ten years ago
Two lives torn apart and ten million more
Two parties came together and cried out to One God
Dual towers downed ending duality on our sod

But oh what ephemeral unity
Was born of death that day
That Tower fell so swiftly
So silently gave way

To ambivalence and bickering
To answers we could not find
To forgetfulness of heroes
To the novocaine of time

The best of human nature
Could not stand the test
But sadly deferred
Humbly bowed
And laid itself to rest.

 
-E.A.A. "Hindsfeet" 9/11/10

~ ~ ~

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity...For there the LORD commands the blessing"
-Psalm133:1,3

Monday, September 7, 2015

Of Dogma and Deity



+

You cling so tightly to your dogma
Instead of to Deity

Let the flimsy boat
of your 'do and don't' doctrine
break up
The one that insulates you from falling
into the Living Breathing Beautiful Fearsome
Ocean of Him

Jesus was rightly called
"The Stone of Stumbling"
"The Rock of Offense"
The Scandalon

He never missed an opportunity
to scandalize their ersatz "faith"
when it was in anything other than God
To knock the legs out from under
whatever they were leaning on
if it kept them from leaning on Him...
To expose the base "get out of hell free" cards
we so blithely dole out to a world starving for God
"don't drink" "do drink" "don't heal on the Sabbath"
"don't wear that" "do wear this" "be rich" "be poor"...

All of these counterfeit pursuits,
base alternatives to knowing The Almighty
Nothing more than chasing foxes...

And He doesn't want us chasing foxes...

He wants us
Chasing
Him.

+

"Jesus said, 'I AM the Way' " 

Period.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Amazing Grace




+

What if the base version of holiness
you've been metering out to My world
and My version of Holiness
are completely at odds?

What if your filthy rag definition of "Righteousness"
is utterly revolting to My Ocean of Mercy Heart?

Your pasteurized version of purity
creates a chasm between Myself and those I came to Save,
Those I came to Love

Have you lost your sense of wonder at the fuzzy math of My Favor
and on whom My Favor rests?
Have you lost your gratitude for the fact that that Fuzzy-Math-Favor
very much works in your favor?

When did your forgiven heart become so full
of careful cold-hearted calculations,
When was my "Whosoever will" provision
replaced by your selective system of "salvation"
you measure out to My beloved world

You have been miserly with the Gospel of Grace entrusted to you

My precious Precious Child....

You've meant well
even as you've doled out My Heart in this Heart-breaking manner

But Now,

Return

Let the Phoenix of my Mercy
Rise triumphant from the ashes of your judgement

Return to Tenderness
Be Amazed again by Grace
Remember First Love

There is Only Love

Be Still,
Know your God
and reflect me rightly
to the world
I So Love.

+

"For God so loved the world"
John 3:16

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Right to Left...




+

Life read from right to left today
As I held my hot coffee
and looked out the picture window

A hummingbird came into the frame from stage right
Green chested and hungry
it lighted on a few flowers,
One,
then two,
then three...

...and in this space of a moment,
into which was squeezed 
a million heartbeats 
and as many beats of his wings
he paused
to flash his emerald breastplate my way,
as if taking a bow,
before exiting stage left...

....We are but a breath
and then we are gone......

Make the Moment Count

+

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tether



+

Tether
Between Terra Firma
and Terra Incognita
Fine as a silken spider web
And as Invisible...

This Thread that Holds me
When all others fail
The ones that seemed
so strong
so steadfast
so substantial...

...the ersatz ephemeral toeholds
this world has to offer
the trinkets
and tenuous affections of man

No, it is not in these that I trust

But rather in the load bearing
seemingly insubstantial
Solid Ground of Spirit
Sacred Segue from Deep to Deep
in Which my flesh finds safe passage
and sure footing
in Which when I feel so utterly lost
I am Finally Found

In God Alone am I Grounded
He alone holds sway over my soul
lays claim to my heart
and affords me
Firm Foundation

Thus Anchored into the Almighty
and His fear-leveling Love for me
Thus held and harnessed in Heaven's Hands
I carry on
and Hold
to the only
True
Tether

+

"God Himself has said, I will Not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support.  I will not, I will not, I Will Not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down nor relax my hold on you!  Assuredly Not!"
-Hebrews 13:5 (Amplified Version)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Home



+

And One Day
You look back
and See

That the seeming Madness
Was always Method

That the Path
Was always going according
to Plan
(Even at its most painful)

By It
You Became
All you needed to Be

For the world
in which you walk,

For the Ones
Who are Longing
For Someone
to
Walk them 
Home

+

"...as He is, so are we in this world..."
1 John 4:17

Saturday, July 18, 2015

See




+

You are my eyes to See
Those starved to be Seen,

- not seen and judged
as a hireling who knew not the Heart would do,
but Seen with the sight of the holy ones
who stare down these accusers,
who make them drop their stones,
who see and summon the lovely unlikely holiness in others,
as they themselves have been Seen
whose hearts nearly break
under the weight
of the Lover's Love
for His Beloved -

You see through me
those in hiding
too long waiting
for the healing gaze of Grace
to find them,
to fall on them,
as it fell on me...

Thus Seen in this Light,
They
see
Light,
and in turn
are given
Eyes to See

+

"In Your Light, we see Light."
-Psalm 36:9

Monday, July 13, 2015

Benediction



+

Words
When Spoken
Blessings
Which reach back
and blanket
even the past...

Covering
Protecting
Painting red their night sky

Laying down with them in the dark
Whispering Comfort
Keeping Vigil
Resuscitating
When they're sure they've breathed their last...

Invocation sung softly
Succor for their solitary hour,

in which
as it happens,
they were never
really
alone...

+

"I Am with you always"
-Matthew 28:20

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Fall II



+

I wonder how many times
the Wright Brothers
fell out of the sky
before
they
finally
Flew

+

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Haiku - Choice



+

Awake or Asleep
Costly choices both of these
Awake.......Choose Awake......

+

Monday, June 22, 2015

Free Fall



+

I am Flame
Intangibly tethered to my wick
Lending lovely Light

Yet Straining,
Reaching,
Longing to be Let Go

To free-fall Up

and Re-join
The Rest
of
Heaven's
Fiery
Stars

+

"Who is this coming up from the Wilderness,
Leaning on her Beloved?"
-Song of Solomon 8:5

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Held




+

Putting down,
for tonight,
all the
"Which way is up"
curling up in the bottom of my boat
staying dry as best I can
to drift through another moonless night
bereft of bearings
only a scattering of seemingly disjointed stars...

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep...
Tucking torn and tattered wings in tight
I close my eyes against this night
and feel,
underneath me,
the swell and the sway,
the rocking,
of The Everlasting Arms...

+

"Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th'encircling gloom
Lead Thou me on
The night is dark and I am far from Home
Lead Thou me on"
~John Henry Newman 1833

Monday, June 8, 2015

Good God


"Out beyond our ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field;
I'll meet you there."
~Rumi

+

Interesting our ideas of right and wrong...
our two dimensional dogmatic "morality"
which, drowning in Love's ocean that covers multitudinous missteps,
goes down measuring misdeeds
in jots, tittles, and teaspoons...
ignorant of the Metadata, the Matrix,
and worse, of the Great Mathematician Himself...

How lonely is this Wisdom
this True Morality
with which Jesus faced down the Pharisees
and got a hooker off the hook

How much we miss
having made our mountains out of minutiae
having traded the God of the Good Book
for the tedium of bookkeeping
having missed entirely the Forest for our idolized little trees

Our Eyes to See fail for blindly staring
at short-sighted subtractions and additions
our carefully made columns
and sticky gold stars...

...When all the while
A Heaven full of stars Waits
For us to Look Up from our flimsy lists and ledgers
To See instead with sextant hearts
Just-Because Beauty,
 Mercy for Miles,
and the sin-swallowing Grace of God
Whose Love has everything to do with His Goodness,
and nothing
 whatsoever
to do
with ours.

+

"I pray that you may apprehend and grasp the experience of the Love of God, what is the breadth and length and height and depth of it; that you may really come to know, practically, through experience for yourselves, the Love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge without experience; that you may be filled through all your being with the fullness of God, that you may have the richest measure of The Divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself."
-Ephesians 3:18-19, Amplified Version

Monday, June 1, 2015

Rush


"Be a lamp, a lifeboat, a ladder; walk out of your house like a shepherd,
help someone's soul heal."
~Rumi

+

Then saviors will come

To all who are thirsty

Like the tide too long gone
From arid
yearning Shores

And will fill the empty shells
Scattered there in the sand
Seemingly abandoned...

...Seemingly...

The Ocean's ebb thus ended
As beauty is given for ashes
Birthrights bestowed for bowls of soup
Soaking the beloved in The Beloved,

Where there was no King
The Kingdom Rushes In...

+

"Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion
To judge the mountains of Esau,
And the kingdom shall be the LORD's."
-Obadiah 21

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Watermark



+

The Eternal Moment
In the Upper Room
Which followed
The Crucifixion

That Excruciating Pause
Before Faith
Becomes Sight

Unbearable Stillness and Confinement
The Suspended Animation
Of All Space and Time

Bated Breath of a Thousand Years
Hope held in abeyance
Under the Crushing Weight

Of The Wait --

-- And just on the other side
Of this sliver between seconds
The thinnest veil obscuring their View

The Tide Is Returning

Bearing Down Mighty on their Good Friday Shore
Their dashed dreams
Their Broken Bewildered Hearts

Rushing in
to Watermark them
in 
Unimaginable
Resurrection

+

"It will be said in that day, 'Behold our God upon Whom we have waited and hoped;
We will be exceedingly glad in His Salvation."
-Isaiah 25:9

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ashes?




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Ashes Seem So Final.

Barns burned down
Bodies laid to rest
Dust to dust
Death's denoument...

But crucifixions are conduits,
Calling cards only
 of Impending Resurrection
Imminent Rebirth...

The Ocean's Ebb is not its end
The Tide returns
Again
and
Again...

After the Interlude...

Ashes,
Sorrows Sown
Do not have the last word
What has been burned down
lays lovely ground,
and will,
in the end

Be Bartered
for
Beauty

+

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed Me,
to give Beauty for Ashes..."
-Isaiah 61:3

Thursday, May 21, 2015

no trespassing?




+

Today, on a run, I saw a sign in front of a chuch that said, 
"No Trespassing, parishioners only".....

Really?

Really??

Keeping this blog g-rated prevents me from using the language I'd like to use right now, but it's something along the lines of "Brood of vipers", 
as Jesus more gently put it.......

I was utterly horrified......Jesus would be rolling over in His grave if He were still in it.......

The Big Business of church has drowned out the still small voice that said, "Come, all who are weary" ... "Come all who are thirsty, and you all, who have no money, come, buy and eat, buy wine and milk without money and without price..." 

I find it sadly amusing (pardon the oxymoron), that we would be taken aback to hear, if Jesus came back today and walked through our churches, the crack of the whip and the turning over of tables and pews; we would be shaken at the rage as He delivered the same 2000 year old rebuke, 
"How dare you turn My Father's house into a den of thieves!"

How dare we indeed.....How dare we pick and choose who can join our little country club we slap His name on and call "church".  How dare we treat anyone as a trespasser, we the lot of us, who, but for the Mercy and Love of God, are all trespassers into Amazing Grace........

God help us on judgement day, we who purportedly represent Providence, we "Parishioners".  
We may be very surprised to find God's Heaven filled with all the "Trespassers" the church turned away.

+

"My Name is blasphemed among the people because of you."
-Romans 2:24

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Middle



+

Middles are Messy.

In any Great Work of Art,

Michaelangelo's David,
My God, the dust, the pounding, the breaking...

A Butterfly in the making,
Nothing but a cocoon full of goo...

Creation Itself,
On Day Three, probably looked more like Madness than Method...

We short circuit our Beginnings,
We get stuck in the uncomfortable 'In-Betweens'
of what's been "Authored" and what will be "Finished",
the Work Begun and the Work Completed...

Our Belief stalls out on Day Three,
Stopping short of the Rest awaiting us on Day Seven,
We draw conclusions before all the data is in,
While there are still Three Days to go...

The Execution of a Great Plan
- One for Peace, and not Evil,
For Hope and a Future -
Sometimes takes more than five minutes,
More than our minute attention spans allow for,

And we abort our Beginnings
Before they have a chance to Begin...

So Breathe

Breathe through this Middle

Keep Walking

God is the Alpha and the Omega
The Beginning and the End...

Let Him also be Lord
in the
Middle.

+

"Trust Me; I know the Plans I have for you: Plans for Peace and not Evil, Plans to Prosper you, and not to harm you, Plans to give you Hope and a Future."
-Jeremiah 29:11