Thursday, June 29, 2006

Iceberg, Straight ahead!

"People who are struggling to make it in this world without Jesus are just trying to rearrange the chairs on the Titanic. They may think their job is important, but that ship is still goin' down!" (Paraphrased) Rev. Glenn Bone, Good Seed Ministries

"Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren't smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up!" Galatians 3-4 (Msg)

My Martha Mary Spectrum
is on high alert tonight
for independence seems noble
when the cause is just
like when Martha knew
You and your boys were hungry
but Mary just sat at Your feet to worship
After all, Martha couldn't call in for delivery
And I bet those chairs
looked so pretty in that straight line
like when all the bills are paid
to do lists checked off
and everything in its place
like the same gigantic puzzle
of American mom perfection
I place together again and again each day.
Then a midweek service comes
and a spiritual alarms sounds.
Thank you for those sermons that
wake me up from autopilot
with a loud foghorn
and an "Iceberg! Straight Ahead!"
And help me see Icebergs for others
and sound the call with love.
Only You have lifeboats for every single one of us . . .

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Off the Boards

"Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don't make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won't be applauding."
Matthew 6:1 (Msg)

"on the boards" was what we call it
when you cross the swaying velvet plane
from the dusty concrete wings
into a world, a story,
and a person outside yourself
for some, it was for the applause
the blank stares of admiration
or free drinks after the show
for me, it was an adventure,
a relationship, and a risk I always took
like diving into a book head first
where one night can be a belly flop
and the next a perfect 10
but each time it was real, tangible, and thrilling
the rush of an honest moment,
the freedom of living in someone else's skin
even if it was only for two acts
when each rehearsal was like a date
where you got to know this mysterious person
this ink and paper character a little better
the good, the bad, and the ugly
but you knew they'd be a friend
for you are a savior who took those words on paper
and breathed their soul to life
Much like You did for me, Lord
And now, as I begin to find my place
in bringing the power of theatre back to the church,
Help me remember to leave the theatre for the stage,
live truthfully for You, and find ways to bless others
behind the scenes.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Fading Echo

"Many Times my attempts at leaving a crater of God result only in leaving a fading echo of my own voice." Mark Steele, Flashbang

"Your lives are echoing the Master's word . . . The news of your faith in God is out. We don't even say anything anymore--you're the message." I Thesselonians 1:8 (Msg)

June 21st, only Twelve days out of school
"Class" is a swear word when you hang out at the pool
Staying up and sleeping in, routine has been replaced
Work, driver's ed, social "drama" in cyber circles of myspace,
the next killer party, and searching for the perfect mate
Abercrombie ensembles framing perfect summer dates
For some, it's just surviving in a carnival of no control
Or waiting for Dad's firm knock on the door after his paroll
Sometimes I wonder, did I make dent at all?
Will a part of me be part of them for the true long haul?
When faced with a tough decision, will my face come to mind?
Reminding them to do the right thing and always to be kind?
Are they really changed for the better in any concrete way?
Did I leave a mark on their lives in the minutia of everyday?
Did they know my smiles and furrowed brows were messages of truth?
That I just wanted to love them and teach them not waste their youth?
Do they love their families better? Do they reach out to their friends more?
Did they stop asking why's to dream of what they're hoping for?
Do they stand a little taller in the world of fight or flight?
In a world of darkness, did I shed a little light?
Most of all, when all is said on done, did they see a little of You?
Did I make them question what they thought they knew was true?
Lord, I pray that they'll forget me in the next decade
But that Your lasting, loving voice will be an echo that never fades.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Beholder

"Beauty is not only a terrible thing, but also a mysterious thing. There God and the devil strive for mastery, and the battle is for the human heart."
Fyodor Dostoevsky

"God's works are so great, worth a lifetime of study—endless enjoyment! Splendor and beauty mark his craft." Psalm 11:1

Our dangling carrots are all the same

whether beauty is seen in the chrome of a motorcycle

or the cracked wood of a hand-crafted antique

in the artist's brush or the guitar strum

in a magazine cover girl or an infant's outstretched hand

in a poet's voice or the click of a camera

in a field of flowers or the shiny city scape

we all race to capture beauty

to hold it

to be it

for someone

And all the while

we don't know

we're really chasing You.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

That Darn Cat

"God tells us it's okay to be ordinary. When He puts His "extra" with your "ordinary", you produce extraordinary things." Bishop Kenneth Ulmer

"Obsession with self in the little things is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious free life." Romans 8:6 (Msg)

Like, Alice, I grew up in a perpetual land of elastic dreams
where 99% was a failing grade
and just a few more pounds could tip the scales forever
Where my steps were matched by this
head-bouncing, snicker-scheming, tiptoeing Cheshire cat
whose grin whispered the oozing disease of perfection,
where the stage was the only place he could not follow
because I got to be everyone but myself.
Until a new character was introduced
though I'd known Him all my life.
Until a bedtime story and a book for Sundays
became a moment of truth and a manual for joy.
This man, like scented soap for the soul,
like a loving body guard, picked up the cat by the tail
swung him in circles like a lasso
and flung that darn cat into the great beyond. THWONK!
Though I can still hear his snicker from time to time,
I've learned to stop chasing that little white rabbit.

Friday, June 09, 2006

(sing) School's Out for Summah . . .

"God doesn't play dice." Albert Einstein

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." Jeremiah 29:11 (Msg)

One hundred and twenty nine precious gifts
fell into my life this year
and what a ride it's been . . .
from pencils in the eye to juice bags stuffed in cargo pants,
from children's books in circle time to scary stories by flashlight,
From silent typewriter to the semester review “extravagameza”
from skirts up too high to jeans saggin' low,
from needing attention to paying attention,
they've challenged me, confused me, worried me,
entertained me, and brightened my life
sort of like I got to see the sneak preview
of the next big blockbuster hit
before anyone even knows it's coming
but now the part I have played is over
and I give them all to You, God.
At least I know they're in good hands . . .

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Gift of a Metaphor

"Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor—since they're already "one" in marriage." Ephesians 5:25-28 (Msg)

For some, it's flowers. Others-jewelry. But for me it's the gift of a metaphor . . .

Thank You Lord, for the blessing of my husband who gave me this unexpected present of humor and love all wrapped up in this random little metaphorical e-mail in the middle of my afternoon.

"Dear Kristin,

I’m realizing that it’s a mistake for me to perceive our marriage as a ‘done deal’; something that happened a long time ago, and now it’s simply a utility easily taken for granted. You are soooo much more important to me than that.

You are like the dynamic tides of the ocean.
Beautiful, magnificent, powerful, and
the vital key to the my entire world’s rotation
your waves are soft and soothing, elegant and artful,
the joy of my day, and the peace of my night. ....

Suddenly your waves turn
to crashing thunderous mountains of malice!
The skies turn black, the winds tear at the sails!
“Batten down the hatches!”
yells Cody, the weathered sea captain.....
BOOOM! “What did I do wrong?”
BOOOOM! “I thought I had this ocean charted!”
BOOOOM! “I thought I knew how to navigate her!”

Then the sea captain
makes the worse mistake possible
during such an ocean storm...
“I know!” he yells, “I’ll steer straight at the storm!
I’ll fight it with all I got, till my dying breath!
(*cue the Perfect Storm soundtrack)
—one last giant wave,
destined to topple anything in it’s path
—the sea captain climbing the wave, steering right into it
with all his ignorant vengeance and fury.
“Oh, yeah! Take THAT! You mean ol’ ocean!”

“AAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGH!!!!!” cries the stupid sea captain.
The Ocean storm only gets worse!
The final wave only gets bigger!
“Why doesn’t this work???” the sea Captain wonders,
“I simply can’t win with her!”

The wave finally crashes, the sea captain is toppled,
the ocean is left exhausted, weakened and hurt.
Then... eventually her pain slowly sinks
to the bottom of the ocean.
Not really gone, but somehow

The captain wonders,
“What can I do to prevent these storms?”
Oh the foolishness of this man!
Then it dawns on him...
I can’t do anything to prevent storms!
And he knows that he can’t just stop being a sea captain,
and run away from the ocean! He LOVES THE OCEAN!
It’s his life!!! She’s actually part of him and he is part of her!
He would just as soon cut off his own head before leaving this ocean!
It gives him such joy, and peace, and challenge, and adventure!
Plus, to him, it’s the most beautiful body of water in the world.

And then he wonders...
“what if, the next time we have one of these storms...
I try turning WITH the waves instead of against them?
Not avoiding the storm, but riding the storm out with the ocean...
Just stay afloat, keep my sails up and listen with all my heart
to everything the wind and the rain and the waves are saying.
I can’t solve the storm, but maybe I can just let the ocean know that I’m still there...
And I’ll never leave. No matter how bad the storms get.”

Well, honey; I can’t promise this ol’ sea captain will ever learn how to do this perfectly, but I certainly will try to do better. For you, my wonderful, mystical ocean : ) I love you. Hope you have a good day.


Thank you, Lord, for the gift of my husband. And thank you, Cody for the gift of a metaphor.
Quick question: next time, could you be in a canoe on a river?--an ocean makes me sound kind of fat . . . Just kidding. You know I love you. Thanks for riding out the storms with me and putting up with all that ebb and flow . . . I want to be like you when I grow up.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

June is Bustin' Out All Over

"But blessed is the man who trusts me . . . Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season." Jeremiah 17:7

"June is bustin' out all over . . ." Roger's and Hammerstein's Carousel
(The musical where I met Cody, where our crazy adventure began.)

Every mother (who has not had plastic surgury)
knows the dichotomy, the paradox,
the impending doom and joy that comes
with that chlorene-filled, sunburn-painting entity
known as the first swim of June.
The children like flies to a carcass
rush to splash about in the water-filled pool of delight
trying to hide baby teeth, chattering beneath blue lips
to convince us it's all worth it.
While our job is simple
Keep the little ones from drowning,
the big ones from peeing,
your husband from looking,
and your kangaroo pouch from showing
(even though the joeys were well worth it).
Lord, this year is different.
I'm going to crowd my mind and heart so much with You
that there's no room for frivolous lip-pursing worry
I will dive in instead of suck in.
Instead of wasting time avoiding harmless failures
I will search for You in the heat,
take a dip in the Holy Spirit,
love everyone like Jesus did (even the skinny blondes), and
swim smoothly in this crazy pool of life
with my family by my side and
You in the lifeguard chair,
grinning as You watch us play.