Sunday, January 29, 2006


John 10:1[ He Calls His Sheep by Name ] "Let me set this before you as plainly as I can. If a person climbs over or through the fence of a sheep pen instead of going through the gate, you know he's up to no good--a sheep rustler! (Msg)

Every year I teach the play Fences by August Wilson. I ask the students this question: "What is the purpose of a fence?"

Some answer "to keep animals or people inside"

Others reply "to keep bad things out."

I am often entertained by their debate as it settles into a philisophical discussion about fear and trust.

Then we read a quote by the main character Troy Maxson who says,
“Death ain’t nothing. I done seen him. Done wrassled with him. You can’t tell me nothing about death. Death ain’t nothing but a fastball on the outside corner. And you know what I’ll do to that! Lookee here, Bono… I lying? You get one of them fastballs, about waist high, over the outside corner of the plate where you can get the meat of the bat on it… You can kiss it goodbye…………………..That’s all death is to me. A fastball on the outside corner."
And then I ask the question: "How do you feel about death?"

And that's when we sneak in . . .
The supreme court tried to put up a wall to separate church and state. Keep Christ out of the schools--he's taboo, dangerous, politically incorrect. But it wasn't really a wall . . . just a fence. Sure it takes effort to climb, but you can see through it and reach through to the other side. I'd like to think of myself as a sheep rustler, only I'm stealing back the sheep to return them to their owner-like the fence-hoppin', mind-poppin', law toppin' Robin Hood of the public school . . .

I may not be able to tell anyone the true purpose of a fence. I guess I'm "on the fence" on that issue (wink, wink), but I thank You, Lord, that I wouldn't miss a beat if asked about the purpose of me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Weighting Game

"What good is it for a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his very self?" Luke 9:25

The crowd falls to a low murmer as I take the court
Who signed me up to play this sport?
In center court, a scale waits for me
Like an evil nemesis with a master key.
Candy wrappers rustle in the stands
No, that was pompoms in cheerleader hands
"Mirror, mirror on the wall!
Show me thighs that are getting small!
Fat rolls, stretch marks, cellulite!
You can do it! Go! Win! Fight!
Low carb, low fat, Zone, South Beach!
Bariatric, medicinal leach!
Yoga, Pilates, Step, Tae Bo!
You can do it! Fight! Win! Go!
Whatever it takes to look your best!
You're much fatter than all the rest!
You'd be just perfect if you could be thin!
You can do it! Go! Fight! Win!"
Lord, I'm tired of eratic training
Teeter totter, losing and gaining
Say yes to this, Say no to that
Eyes shift, will they think I'm fat?
Suck in, hide it with baggy clothes,
Dodge the camera, so no one knows.
Standing on the sidelines, take a deep breath
The game of comparison only ends in death.
I walk out of the gym as the crowd stays in shock.
Just take stroll around the block.
I talk to You and feel the wind shifting
Thanks for redefining the word:
"weight lifting"

Friday, January 20, 2006

Right Now Right Now

"Let's do right now right now." Angela Williams

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6: 25, 31, 33-34

We dash through the day,
the ticking, the tocking, the fast paced walking
Chasing or running, we just keep gunning,
Never stopping to watch the corn popping
-- just wait for the beep.
Living in "then", again and again
Words mispoken, pieces broken,
Pursuing the past, like a plaster cast,
--but it looks so real.
Living in tomorrow, hapiness borrowed,
to do lists "check", wait "just a sec"
when's dinner? , perfect web spinner
--to get ahead of the game.
Oh, just to live for the day, breathe in and say
Relax and rest, in Your Holiness,
Like a child with his dad, a summer day sketch pad,
--and do right now right now.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Hero Turned 51 Today

 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
Proverbs 31:27-30
Most picture superheroes in tights and capes
Who change in phone booths with a grin on their face.
They can leap tall buildings in a single bound
And rescue small children who nearly drown.
With bulging biceps these men of steel
Cause women to faint and children to squeal.
They can prevent crashes by stopping a train
And save all the passengers on a pilotless plane.
They seem normal until a need arises
Then off go the glasses for masked disguises.
But I knew a hero in jumpers and blouses
Who bravely kept love in five different houses.
She couldn't leap buildings in a single bound
But could sleep so light to hear the baby's slightest sound.
At the sound of a cough, she could climb twelve stairs.
She often swallowed her feelings to make more room for theirs.
She probably couldn't stop fast-moving trains
But could lovingly endure all the dinner complaints.
For years, she simply did all she could
To love her children and teach them to be good.
She kissed them goodnight and taught them to pray
Even when they didn't put their all toys away.
She could take a temperature by the palm of her hand,
And pass out four dinners while driving a mini-van.
She didn't save a town or rescue a city
In fact, she didn't even think that she was very pretty.
But she did save a family and did her duty
While never really seeing her own true beauty.
She wrapped her approval up in just one man
And struggled to prove to be his biggest fan.
When the enemy came to steal and destroy,
She clung to her hope and found a new joy.
For only when she had to face a repeated past,
Were her superhero powers finally unmasked.
She still places her hope in just one man
But this one died on a cross with nails in his hands.
I just wish I'd seen or wish I'd known
I was living all those years with a silent hero.
There are storms that will rage, but she will still stand.
Like a mighty palm tree planted deep in the sand.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Setting Defaults

"I love the Lord, because he hears
My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I shall call upon Him
as long as I live." Psalm 116-1-2

Everyone has a default mode--
A pattern, a natural reaction, a frequent trend.
You are asked to "set defaults" on a computer--
demanding consistency, automatic compliance, an expected result.
Lord, help me set my default to prayer--
a pattern, a natural reaction, a frequent trend.
In this engine-failing, people-wailing,
Fast-revolving, problem-solving,
Fast-racing, break-neck-pacing world,
Let me default to You.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Magic of Storytelling

"A picture is worth a thousand words."
But to a three year old, a story is worth a thousand pictures. I love how the phrase "made in His image" means I can see you in other people. After all, you were the original story teller. Thank you for that glorious past time past down by You and Cody's father, with stories from a dusty childhood in Virginia, the gritty life of a railroad man, and that compelling tale of a bad boy turned believer who heard the best story of his life on a Norfolk and Southern deisel bound for Peoria. Poor Cody, such testosterone driven stories have now been overshadowed by princesses, fairy dust and way too much pink.
Right now, she loves to dress up,
and enact her favorite fairy tales.
With a magic kiss from her knight in shining white t-shirt, the spell is broken.
I'm looking forward to the day when she will choose to
live out,
and enact
Your true story of hope.
The only really true story of happily ever after.
In the meantime, Lord, thanks for the entertainment
and the magic of storytelling.

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Big Game

Notre Dame Vs. Ohio State
My dad's team vs. my husband's team

I guess this is what they mean by leave and cleave. (Mark 10:7)

Despite, my husband setting the world record for holding your breath, and even with Lauren yelling "GO IRIS! GO IRIS!" in the background, the Buckeyes defeated our beloved Irish by two touchdowns. I often wonder how You feel when people pray for the outcomes of athletic events. Either way, thanks for giving my two favorite guys a vicarious battle and 100 yards of adventure.