Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Caged Bird's Wings



I remember the little bird trembling back when
"All the World's a Cage"
countless cold bars of steal fears
brother words locking the cage with a clink
I didn't even know I had wings

Then I picked the lock with my silent beak
and found "All the World's a Stage"
trying on characters like elaborate costumes
to find little pieces of me, little glimpses of tethered flight,
feathers stretching, wings flexing

Then you opened the cage for good when I found
"All the World's a Page"
a story to write, a song to sing
of cages, stages, pages, and things
And this is when I found my wings.


"He was like an eagle hovering over its nest, overshadowing its young, Then spreading its wings, lifting them into the air, teaching them to fly." Deuteronomy 32:11 (msg)



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Revoke the Curse

American women bit into the apple of a lie
This Eat, Pray, Love, Crap that echoes at Twilight
and turns us Fifty Shades of Green with Envy
This fantasy that princes and vampires and werewolves
should battle for our precious hands
and worship the common pavement we walk on
That every look, kiss, and touch from faithful husbands
only pales in comparison to those Nicholas Sparks that turn into fireworks
Dreaming of a world scribbled in crayon
and missing the technicolor love right above the page
Meanwhile, our husbands secretly slay dragons
by showing up to work each day
Valiant rescues hidden in taking out the trash
Romantic soliloquies cloaked in whispers to our children
Passionate embraces shrouded in a look across the room
Maybe the riding mower is the most noble steed of all
We have not lost our heroes
They have lost our vain, fickle attention
the clock is striking midnight
It's time
Jesus was true love's kiss
let us wake from this sleep-like death
and take our daughters with us into the light
embracing the real picture of our happily ever after
who may not always stop to ask for directions
but will take us to places closer and better
than anything wished upon a distant star.

"Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies."
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (msg)


“I no longer believed in the idea of soul mates, or love at first sight. But I was beginning to believe that a very few times in your life, if you were lucky, you might meet someone who was exactly right for you. Not because he was perfect, or because you were, but because your combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together.” ―Lisa Kleypas

"Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches, we found that we were one tree and not two."Henry David Thoreau




Thursday, June 12, 2014

Man's Best...


lethal happiness in that whip of that tail
wondering what adventure awaits that first step out of bed
play bow growls that wrestle holes in Daddy's T-shirt
the top of his nose, my favorite fuzzy spot to kiss
those heavy paws that beg, scrape, and crush bare feet
so he can get some attention and a scratch behind the ears
deer-like prances in deep snow
summer shakes fresh out of the river after a run
those eyes
that panting smile that somehow makes us match it
a snore that soothes like river waves lap the shore
those twitchy dreams of chasing squirrels or Golden girls
That faithful greeting at the door
May we hear his daily lessons
and love like Samson loves us
a reminder from man's best friend
that simply loving is man at our best.



Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” Matthew 22:37 

"Man is a dog's idea of what God should be." ~Holbrook Jackson



Monday, May 19, 2014

Runrise in the Rain

Whoo whoo
deep breath
silent stretch
a muddy week
pat pat
pat pat
whoo whoo
rhythm feet
rocking brain back to sleep
rest in motion
click, slam
neighbor screen door
Vroooom
car zooms past
whoosh breeze relief
trees rustle
sharing their breezes with me
tweet tweet
pat pat
Ahhhh...
You.


"My teaching, let it fall like a gentle rain, my words arrive like morning dew, Like a sprinkling rain on new grass, like spring showers on the garden— respond to the greatness of our God! The Rock: His works are perfect, and the way he works is fair and just; A God you can depend upon, no exceptions, a straight-arrow God. His messed-up, mixed-up children, his non-children, throw mud at him but none of it sticks." Deuteronomy 32:1-5 (msg)

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Overview Effect


Forty years ago in this season of forty days
Three men took that first trip 
to explore the glowing ball in the sky.
Three very different men 
with the same doubts, courage, and curiosity.
They achieved their mission, 
but came back with a revelation 
no one at NASA had predicted.
Not with photos of the moon, 
but when they turned back toward earth, 
toward this beautiful blue marble we call home.
Science and faith collided, 
both men and boys in an instant. 
Caught up in the magic and beauty of this planet 
floating in an infinite expanse 
while knowing the billions of scientific factors 
ordering it’s systems 
and holding the very breath of their loved ones so far away.  
So small in this vast echo of silent space.
the “overview effect.”
To know 
this is the only planet that has drinkable, life sustaining water 
paired with this brilliant painting before them of blue and turquoise.
To understand 
the delicate balance of temperatures, climates and oxygen levels 
paled in comparison to seeing this faint, fragile line 
hugging the earth like a thin snow globe glass that could shatter to pieces.
There’s a difference between a mind clouded 
with the science of what makes a lightning storm 
and the clarity of a view above the clouds themselves.
These men came home with a peace dressed in a mystery.
New truths, 
new doubts, 
bonding like the brothers they had become.
New answers brought more questions.
They began their descent, 
noting the boundaries that scarred this shared land of ours.
Continents, countries, cities, even families 
divided by walls of brick and opinions.
But whatever language we speak, 
whatever landscape we say good morning to, 
whatever views we behold with our eyes 
or hold onto in our minds, 
we all look up to share 
the same sun, moon, and stars.

 We push each other away. 
We find each other. 
We laugh, We grieve. We strive. 
We believe. We doubt.

In the grit and gravel of this day to day world, 
We wander these roads leading somewhere, 
how easily  we lose site 
of the overview effect.
why this planet? 
Why this tiny blue marble in a vast array of planets 
and galaxies in the universe? 
Perhaps
You are giving us space, 
giving us all this room, to doubt. 
Calling us to push away for a few moments 
to rediscover what we’re all really chasing.
You.




Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” John 20:27 

"It is unexpected, but extraordinarily convincing, that the one absolutely unequivocal statement, in the whole Gospel, of the Divinity of Jesus should come from Doubting Thomas. It is the only place where the word 'God' is used of him without qualification of any kind, and in the most unambiguous form of words. And this must be said, not ecstatically, or with a cry of astonishment, but with flat conviction, as of one acknowledging irrefragable evidence: '2 + 2 = 4', 'That is the sun in the sky,' 'You are my Lord and my God.'"  Dorothy Sayers

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
erase hate like a spelling mishap
toss the letters like an alley dice game
scrambled into heat for those left out in the cold
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