Friday, March 28, 2014

If I could...

If I could do anything
I'd grow wings
that transform into healing hands
I'd circle the globe, landing softly
touch the forehead of a sick child
brush a tumor away to give life
shoo away radiation that kills
Feathers that tickle giggles from the elderly
and stir up wisdom in the young
Wings that stretch to scoop in the lonely
until they find each other and belong
Wingtips that curve perfectly under chins
lifting heads to see my flight pattern in the sky
two white words scribbled in the blue "You're awesome."
Then I'd make my wings contagious
hand them out like loaves and fish
so we could all flock together
to the cross and empty tomb
and make our own firework party in the sky
others below would look up with smiles that ache
we'd swoop down to hand them their wings
watch their bruises and scars dance
from their bodies and hearts
up to their wings to make bold patterns
that tell a flickering story
as we flit about
no more fits
just flits
of You.

“I don't want to live in the kind of world where we don't look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I cant change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.” 
― Charles de Lint

But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.
1 Peter 2:9-10


Thursday, March 06, 2014

Mind the Tide


















Quiet summer home smile
blizzards rage in a roofless mind
Bouncing echo Tuesdays into Mondays
Held breath in the present
Gas chamber clouded with fears
Tuckered heart longing for green to grasp
fresh air to inhale
keep up the sleepy dance
frozen river imagination
trusting in the unseen underflow
mother pats on the back
giving up on the front lines
the flag waves bold crimson lies
hiding white on the other side
revealed when winds shift wild
desperate pleas to the gusts
lost in her whispered screams
arms waving for rescue
but they see glee, a greeting
and blow past
she whistles into a crashing wave
conducting her orchestra in a straight jacket
absent violins reverb behind her eyes
flickering invisible
blinding light
blinding dark
holding You
in both.


  • "Thoughts are like an open ocean, they can either move you forward within its waves, or sink you under deep into its abyss."Anthony Liccione

    • "How long must I wrestle with my thoughts?Look on me & answer, Lord. Give light to my eyes...I trust in your unfailing love."Psalm 13:2-5 (msg)

    "You call me out upon the waters. The great unknown where feet may fail. And there I find You in the mystery. In oceans deep. My faith will stand." Oceans, HIllsong united



Monday, March 03, 2014

Name Calling


Don’t Call Me a Christian Trailer from Granger Community Church on Vimeo.


Listen, listen,
Don’t call me a Christian.
All we hear in that word is division.
So heads can be held… a little higher.
Us vs. them, we haw an we hem,
We judge and condemn
And tie our Sunday ties…. a little tighter.

Your label is choking me, Provoking me
You’ve got to be joking me
If you think that’s all I am.
Evangelistics tallied up in statistics
Analytical, hypocritical, too political,
And you think this is my scam.

Like I see you as a project,
SO I can inspect, dissect, and inject,
My smug truth into your reality,
That I’m some teacher’s pet, hoping to get,
Some extra credit
If I can just make you- like me.

You think it’s all just one day,
Go on Sunday, back to Monday
With a checkmark and a grade.
Regulations set, Obligations met,
So we have accusations and threats,
From this monster in the shade.

But let me tell you about the Son.

How it all began with a plan, one man
The root word of this label.
This privilege turned insult
Who made it all difficult
When he said All can come to the table.

That one word ALL, the proud fall,
Hit face first the wailing wall
That looks a lot like a mirror,
How’d we get so confused, history misused,
His name abused
His image blurred as we claim it’s clearer.

The twisting of His grand design,
As we stand in line with our pickets signs.
Red-faced in our anger not our shame.
What if we could erase, retrace, embrace
In one unified about-face
To answer anew “What’s in this name?”

So yes, I confess, I’m a broken mess,
A work in progress, done trying to impress,  
Just trying my best,
To… rearrange.
So, don’t call me a Christian,
Just let me shut up and listen,
To you for a change.
‘cause all this weapon-hauling, is just shame-stalling,
No more name-calling
Just His name
with a calling
to love.




“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

"God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun." 







Thursday, February 20, 2014

TiRed


My dear little "r", tell me, please,
Wherefore art thou from?
Did you shyly wriggle from the earth
 Or roll in snazzy on a drum?
You play hard to get on lips and mouths
of both the old and the young,
demanding a certain skillful curve,
you, tiny diva of the tongue.
You give the job it's beating heart
When teach becomes teacher,
Doctor, lawyer, mother, father
task and person, double feature.
You arch like a diving board
about to spring and let me fly
upside down hook, stealing fish
from river homes to wonder why.
Your big bRother bullies you
Staking claim to be first and big.
You just hang your sad little head
But stand firm, you one-legged kid.
You are the one who calls us all 
to refresh, restore, renew
But I smile when I see your drooping head
Saying "Sometimes I get tired too."
You're tired but you cannot sleep
Can't fall back or just lay around
They might think you're a lazy L
Who got stomped into the ground.
Perk up, little r, we'll make it thru,
For you can be my cane
Keeping me from falling over too
And hitting my head when I complain.
Ow.



"God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind."Isaiah 40:27-31

"Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can't be right. I need a change, or something.” ― J.R.R. TolkienThe Lord of the Rings

“How small life is hereand how big nothingness.The sky, tired of light,has given everything to the snow.The two trees bowtheir heads to each other.Clouds cross the world’ssilence in a circle dance.” ― Robert WalserOppressive Light: Selected Poems by Robert Walser

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”Matthew 11:28-30

Friday, January 31, 2014

Stonewashed


husky jean coonskin cap kid
shuffling through the woods
stone-washed pockets filled with dreams
front right pocket holds a memory
dad pouring out a case of beer and starting over
back left pocket holds a tiny model of the planet Uranus
the name makes him giggle
his buddy Matt's pocketknife clipped to a belt loop
handy, prepared, faithful like his friend
a tattered tag labeled "Made in Frankfort, IN"
hangs by a thick invincible thread
he fiddles with it when he's bored, homesick,
or just hungry for a hot dog
his Levi's smell of campfire and coondogs
backyards and bike rides
licorice and laundromats
They whistle like Andy Griffith
paint like Bobby Ross
and daydream like little Stevie Spielberg.
this little boy I never met
this man I always loved
who softens and stretches
sees beauty when I'm worn out
my rock who keeps me
stonewashed



"Don't marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can't live without."
James C. Dobson 



    Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other. 1 Cor 7:9 (msg)

"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person."
Mignon McLaughlin 


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Honey, Be


this mind a beehive to behave
eyes dart like anxious wings
thoughts collide like bumble cars
my voice an annoying buzz
like a Saturday morning alarm
this hexa-comb home doesn't close on weekends
they think I work hard to hoard honey
my heart lost its stinger years ago
all I want to do is share You
lip smacking sweet
freedom fly
honey, be
me




“The bee is domesticated but not tamed.” 
― William Longgood


"Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body." 




Proverbs 16:24 ESV

“The bee's life is like a magic well: the more you draw from it, the more it fills with water” 
― Karl Von FrischBees: Their Vision, Chemical Senses and Language


Sunday, January 26, 2014

sNOw worries


snow
icy feathers stinging grace
descending slow
sky to Earth incarnation
no sound, no rules, no worries

snowflakes
white blanket covering ugly
beauty bundling up
melting to offer life water growth
like You did, like You do, like You will.



“Whenever this happens, my heart stops— I’m stunned, I can’t catch my breath. .. His mighty acts staggering our understanding. He orders the snow, ‘Blanket the earth!’...No one can escape the weather—it’s there. And no one can escape from God...Whether for discipline or grace or extravagant love, he makes sure they make their mark."Job 37:1-13

"Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness.” 
― Mary Oliver



"Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. Don’t look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health. God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails!" Psalm 51:7-15

“I have been talking of the past (your past and mine) only in order that you may turn from it forever. One wrench and the tooth will be out. You can begin as if nothing had ever gone wrong. White as snow.” 
― C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

4 Letter Words

There comes a TIME
for a FOUR letter WORD
that doesn't BURN a HOLE
or SNAP at ones you LOVE
but leaves a DOOR OPEN
lets a BELL RING
gives a LAKE its MIST
a TREE its LEAF
a WIND its GUST
a WAVE its TIDE
a SIGH its KISS
a HAND its GRIP
A FIRE its GLOW

but when RAIN turns to SNOW
Every HOUR is RUSH
you're a FISH on a HOOK
your BATH grows COLD
your LACE RIPS
your EYES LEAK
your MIND RUNS

and you want to HOWL at the MOON
JUMP off a ROOF
CLAW your EYES and
BOOK a ROOM where you can
YELL at yourSELF

At the end of your ROPE your BOOK your MILE
At the end of your LIFE your POEM the LINE
You FALL off into the ARMS
of ABBA HOLY
And LAND in
HOPE


“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Martin Luther King Jr.

"God’s the one who rebuilds.He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds...God puts the fallen on their feet again"Psalm 147:2-5

"Choose to be okay with not being okay. God's main purpose for you is not what you do. It's who you become." Pete Wilson

"Why are you down in the dumps,dear soul? Why are you crying the blues?Fix my eyes on God—soon I’ll be praising again."Psalm 43:5

"The best life artists practice the discipline of gratitude-which makes their life art.True masterpieces are painted in the dark."AnnVoskamp




Saturday, January 18, 2014

That.


that she will grow into a Godly woman and stay my baby all at once
that she will always see snow as a snack and life as an adventure,
that she will grow to cling to You, like she reaches for "pinky" the elephant every night
that she flies out of her selfishness, fluttering empathy to others, and find hers true self
that generous words, deeds and new ideas would flow from her like a steady spring 
that a smile trumps an eye roll, relationship trumps task, and You trump all else
that her "dorky Jesus mom" gets off her nerves and dives deep in her heart
that her gratitude floodgates open until keeping up with the Joneses is washed away
that peace envelopes her mind like a river swim with Samson
that confidence cleans her mirror and imagined judges disappear
that humility invades her soul, usurping pride to set her free
that You help me raise this perfectly imperfect reflection of You and me
that I can shut my mouth and just be
that she will see and choose You over me
That is what I pray.
That.


"As parents, then, instead of concentrating on – and sometimes fretting about – whether and how our kids are living “righteous” lives, we have the opportunity to help them discover, access, and strengthen their trust and faith in Jesus Christ. In so doing, the righteousness they eventually display will be the product of the Holy Spirit. A good faith conversation doesn’t equal convincing your kid that what you believe is best." 
Powell & Clark, Sticky Faith

“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.” 
― Anne Frank


"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." 
Proverbs 22:6 
.



Monday, January 13, 2014

Seasonal Slush

The slump hits like a flu in January
the postpartum of Baby Jesus beauty born
White Christmas melted down to grey slush
after party mess of mud-puddle potholes
peppered with concrete crumbs and dead bug floaters
Head drooping as if looking for a hole to hibernate in
As I look down in the sooty soup bowls
reflections force me to look up in this inverted world
a brown blurred drowning to be born again
to "Die Empty" "Steal Like an Artist" and live "Hands Free"
to get out of bed with the "how" and "what"
to walk out the front door into the negative degree sting of the "why"
nose buried in books to soar to new heights in the new year
like the shivering birds who fly overhead
who choose to stay even though they could go to Florida
without having to call in sick or pay for a hotel.
Stupid birds…or are they on to something?
This icy sickness that slows, clips the wings
forcing me to rest in the shouting silence of the slump
eyes darting around, searching for bootstraps
to pull me up out of this muddy pothole funk
to close my eyes, end the search
to open my ears, begin to listen
for that slow steady icicle drip whisper
of You repeating…
"I got this.
I got this.
I
got
this."
Whether it's months away
or as close as my next step
You will always bring back the Spring.


God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
    his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
    How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
    He’s all I’ve got left. 

Lamentations 3:22-24 (msg)


"Embrace the importance of now and refuse to allow the lull of comfort, fear, familiarity, and ego to prevent you from taking action on your ambitions...The cost of inaction is vast. Don't go to your grave with your best work inside of you. Choose to die empty."
 Todd Henry, Die Empty

“People will misinterpret you and what you do.
They might even call you names.
So get comfortable with being misunderstood, disparaged, or ignored—
the trick is to be too busy doing your work to care...
Today isn't just another day. Today I'll create something beautiful.”
― Austin KleonSteal Like an Artist
"There's more to life than the inconvenience you first see.
By adjusting your perspective, there just night be an opportunity,
a blessing or a gift disguised in that 'problem'...
I chose to 'Love all I do' rather than "Do it all"…
there is breathing room.
There is room for laughing, playing,
memory making, and (gasp)
maybe even a little relaxing with the people I love the most.
There is room for what really matters. There is room to live." 
Rachel Macy Stafford, Hands Free Mama


Singers and dancers give credit...“All my springs are in you!”
Psalm 87:7






Monday, January 06, 2014

Catharsis


The open field yawns into the line of the sunset horizon
I run through the stabbing muscle cramps,
sprinting to exhaustion,
Reaching, chasing, and collapsing in the end
From the weighty rock growing in my chest.
It's beautiful and my phone died
Landing in the truth that I may never possess it,
never hold it in my hands
never taste it on my tongue
Lemonade from mud
bubble gum music soundtrack to a bloodstained war movie
smiling at the funeral of ideals
today I just sit down in it
filthy hands reaching up to You
covered in gloopy soot and sharp twigs
and dreaming of summer lemons
while ice envelopes winter branches.
The storm clouds hover and bares trees loom,
Tearing off band-aids from broken limbs
The sun still caresses the horizon with Your promises,
Like when I push Lauren's hair from her eyes as she sleeps,
Full of lemonade wishes, love, and a whisper
the whisper of a muddy hope.

Relax, everything's going to be all right; rest, everything's coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way! Jude 1: 2

"When I said 'My foot is slipping,'
Your love, O Lord, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me
Your consolation brings joy to my soul."
Psalm 94:18-19

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mirror


This beautiful problem
square hole of a story
an army of round pegs
and an answered prayer.
But when the applause dies
the curtain call ends
and they head back to school
remind them of Your applause
in every second of every day
regardless of nailing performance
Your standing ovation
 for who You made them to be…

To our Scrooge kids:
If I could clean your looking glass 
To reveal the lie of what you see
A lead-footed figure stands before you 
Like a steel cup of cold coffee. 
Your dark eyes pound the glass
To record another failure 
An endless search for imperfection 
Like a ship without a sailor. 
A crooked mouth turns with a sigh 
To set free any lingering ambition 
For dreams only lead to suicide 
And hope—your ammunition. 
Legs not thin enough to swim at the pool 
Not strong or fast enough to win the next race
A mind filled with only choices 
Between not trying and last place. 
Ears made deaf to the words of truth 
A nose too pudgy, arms that sag, 
A fistful of borrowed anger 
But it’s only your cleaning rag. 
I know because I saw what you see 
When I was just your age 
Filled with thoughts of jealousy, failure, 
Loneliness and rage. 
If I knew the truth and had cleaned my glass 
Oh, the things I could have done 
The places I could have gone 
And great battles I could have won. 
If I could clean your looking glass
To reveal the truth of what We see
A majestic winged figure stands
Like regal royalty.
Your bright eyes look away 
To the opportunities in the distance
Though your blindness hides them
I know you can reach them with persistence.
Your mouth holds the words prisoner
That I know could change the world
If I could only make you clean your glass
Your inhibitions would be unfurled
Legs that could take you anywhere
To glorious lands and adventures rare
A mind painted with dreams
And inventions no one would dare.
Ears that could open finally
To feed that ravenous mind
And that tightened fist full of cloth
With the power to seek and find.
Yet you stand by your glass
Haunted by those lead feet
When your wings are eager to soar
As they stretch and yearn to beat.
Oh, please lift your hand.
Oh, please see the truth.
For life is fleeting
And so is your youth.
I cannot clean your looking glass.
Though how I wish I could.
For only you can wipe away
The bad and see the good.
So fold your rag. Wipe the glass.
See your wings today.
So I can watch you find your dreams
And finally fly away.


"The journey in between what you once were and who you are now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place." ~Barabra DeAngelis

"For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16



Monday, November 04, 2013

Ideas Like Flowers


some pray for rain
for healing
for justice
for money
but I run in the fall rain
and pretend it's spring
dreaming of an epitaph that reads
"All around her things bloom nonstop"
listening for ideas whispered
and falling in drops like clues
like seeds that could grow
in the dry ground of a heart
and make it fertile again
blossoming into a tall sunflower
swaying in this cracked, earthen field
to the song of peace joy purpose
bending in the breeze to worship You
and let it all begin
with the seed of a story


"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
Maya Angelou

"Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see."
C. S. Lewis

"The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart." Maya Angelou


"Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—" Psalm 107:2a

"...let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge..." Proverbs 1:5-7

"With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand." Mark 4:33

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Silver Lining


Sometime I wish I lived in a Norman Rockwell painting
Settled down in that vivid warmth and silliness
Uneven socks in their breathtaking imperfection
impish winks above cherry cheeks
Soda shop counters on a first name basis
That left corner of the mouth turned up into life
George Bailey lassoing the moon in baggie pants
Bubble gum apple pie simplicity
A dance of playful rest
Wrinkled wisdom of the ages beckoning us to listen
Reminding me of Park Place Church of God
That white steepled stained glass gift box
Where my all my aunts and uncles tied the not
Where Dad gaped at Mom coming down the aisle
And 25 years later I walked out a breathless bride
Now Sunday mornings spark littered pews of mostly silver hair
Some would lament the aging of a church
But I can’t help but think of old Norman Rockwell
And how every wrinkle tells a story
Every baggy eye hiding some impish wisdom,
every note in the worn hymnals floating up in classic praise
like the perfume of home cooked meals
wafting in snug homes blocks away from any Golden arches
where old seems new and nostalgia is the new modern
and where I breathe a little easier
I wonder what I could learn from the minds and hearts
of these silver crowned sages
what epic stories of faith
what buried treasures
lie in wait
what if the young looked up from our smartphones
to bow with respect to the aged
and listened
They don’t have an app for that.

“You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your despair. “ Douglas MacArthur

“The years teach much the days never knew.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.” Proverbs 16:31

“Wisdom is with aged men; with long life is understanding.” Job 12:12

“Lift high your praises when the people assemble,
shout Hallelujah when the elders meet!” Psalm 107:32