Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Shovel

a man walks along the road with a shovel
like squinting at those gloppy inkblots
perception defines reality
a pessimist predicts his cemetery destination
wondering who's left widowed this week
an optimist smiles at the old gardener
confident the seeds shake in his pockets
the dramatic paranoid produce mafia crime dramas
in the silver screens behind their eyelids
the practical blink away and find comfort in his task
of the much-needed retention ditch
the child thinks he might be headed for a big beach
and hopes he meets a friend with a big pail
the egotists don't even see him
and the apathetics don't even care
and all the while I keep wondering
what truth he might find
if he just digs a little deeper

"The optimist's pleasure was prosaic, for it dwelt on the naturallness of everything. The Christian pleasure was poetic, for it dwelt on the unnaturalness of everything in the light of the supernatural. The modern philosopher has told me again and again that I was in the right place, and I had still felt depressed even in acquiescence. But I had heard that I was in the wrong place, and my soul sang for joy, like a bird in spring." GK Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. "If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you." John 8:30-32

"Come near to God and He will come near to you." James 4:8

"You can't have intimacy without honesty. Yes, He already knows, but be honest with God. There's the real freedom." Dr. Bob Laurent, "Spirituality Sells" sermon 1/26-27

Monday, January 21, 2008

Cookie Dough or Princess Catnip?

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who had a strange curse put upon her. Every night at about the same time, she would turn into the most curious little creature. So her mother, the queen, decided to investigate. Thus, her father, the king's favorite snack soon had to be renamed "Princess catnip" . . .

I love how weird You made her . . .
thanks for an awesome job that allows me
time to laugh and love her
sugar highs and all . . .

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." Psalm 126:2

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Year in Re . . .Phew!

One year in four minutes and it rhymes . . . WHAT?!!!!
the toughest assigment I've ever had reminded me how real You are . . .
as You whispered in my ears down to my heart and out the clicking fingertips
bless DC , Dustin, and Ben this week as they turn this rough-around-the-edges rhyme
into a masterpiece.

"the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes." Psalm 118:23

2006 had its kicks, like a perfect brownie mix
we all thought it can’t get better than this
but let’s kick this into gear, the royal premiere, one calendar year
of bringin’ up there down here.
The new year came at us like a spinning wheel,
a time to reveal what’s ideal vs. real,
crazy life lessons in a TV show, 24 hours of seeds to sow,
not just Sundays fadin’ into Mondays by midweek you’re callin’ it done days
but God in every second, every minute,
no matter how you spin it, He just wants to be in it.
When dreams aren’t the same as who we became,
we stopped playing games and wrote three names,
too busy climbin’ ladders to see there’s nothin’ sadder
then people thinkin’ they don’t matter,
so we started takin’ inventory as story after story
pointed to His glory.
Springtime gave us a front row seat to a brand new beat of a marriage complete.
But it’s a sticky life when marital strife feels a little more like a twist of a knife,
honesty left us with a raw feeling, but kept revealing a chance at healing.
When husband and wife started talking now and then,
women and men learnin’ to love again.
And we all looked up and said an Amen.
We looked backed down and suddenly found
a cartoon town but when we looked around,
our proud thick skin started to wear thin
when we saw we’ve been the real enemy within.
Bitterness, revenge, insecurity frustration,
gossip conversations, creeping temptation
dangled, finding ourselves tangled, strangled in a sticky web.
We were about to despair at all the wear and tear,
but found there’s a God who cares and won’t leave us there.
Out of the web into a crazy game show,
we say we want to grow, but then we don’t know,
cuz you can’t tear apart the wallet and the heart,
it all depends on who bends and spends
so we looked through the lens of some little M&MS.
We committed one time to a dollar’s dime and felt sublime
cuz talk can be cheap but me and my peops,
took a big leap like wakin’ up from a sleep.
Taking part in something bigger pulled a trigger
for more God hellos, summer goes with the flow like a stained glass window,
or a grand piano in the hands of a master who took disaster
and turned into a pastor.
When warm Thursday nights, illuminated lights
of selfish cookie bites, and brought us to new heights of knowing Him,
new depths like a coal miner, getting’ out of our recliners
into the fire of the refiner and got to know the real Designer.
There were new beginnings at the summer’s end,
when we invited friends, to really comprehend
a life worth dying for, too many choices in the candy store
leavin' us feelin’ like a prisoner of war
but they found so much more when they walked through that
big door.
We cheered and cried at the man who died and took a little ride
to see judgment repealed, and beauty revealed on the unlikely spot of
a baseball field.
But after home plate, there’s no time to wait,
cuz Monday’s fate brings us straight . . . back to the office
where we ask what is this takin’ care of business
when the jerks at work are drivin’ us berserk
the pressure to compete, leaves us somewhere between defeat and conceit.
But just when we were feelin’ a little like a spinning fan,
we had coffee with a man who gave us the real game plan.
Then we heard from another how he learned to love his mother
and really started thinking how to love one another,
episodes of Tv shows with zeroes to Heroes
makin’ us think we were on the brink cuz you just might be the link
to a bigger plan, so be a man, take a stand, and just lend a hand.
From new TV’s to old movies, we learned from the best what a parent should be,
Feelin’ like a chauffer, or more like a gofer,
suckin’ the life out, just wanna take the wife out,
the kids complain with bulgin’ neck veins,
drivin’ me insane, then we got to hear from a brain,
I know its seems bizarre, but we were just shootin’ par,
he told us to take charge, now daddy’s livin’ large.
Then we took a trip to forty years ago, I say good bye and you say hello,
but they’re askin’ the same stuff we still want to know,
same stones hurled, same questions swirled,
nothin’s gonna change my world,
but there’s something to say for lookin’ back at yesterday,
and here comes the sunny day
when we can see the solution, hope redistribution,
in a peaceful revolution.
We stood still in the glory, new territory for an age old story,
good news proclaimed and we will never be the same
when we all pass the flame,
cuz can’t you see there would be no debris if we can all agree
and just . . . let it be.
Wow, what a year, you’re here, the engineers, sincere pioneers.
I’m a big fan, cuz it’s you and me, man, we’re just part of His plan.
And I know you can relate, when I say I can’t wait
to see what’s on His plate for 2008!
So there’s my rhyme, son,
man, what a run, I may be done, but
He’s only just begun.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Apples, Apples, We all Fall Down

men may fall like apples
smooth, fiddling, frantic
looking up and wondering how they got there
blind to the other apples laying alongside them
because we all fall
it's just easier for those of us that trust You
to pick us up and make something delicious
this year has been rough for the men I respect and love
when lies are welcomed like thieves at the dinner table
but a few mistakes don't make you a failure
just like a few trips to the ice rink don't make me Sasha Cohen
the past keeps screaming in their heads
a padded cell of what if's and why didn't I's
but You and I know calendar squares to the left aren't really the ones in charge
no matter what I say or do
I can't seem show them it's the ones to the right that matter most
but when the mistake feels like a volcano
and they can see the lava scars on the people they love
grace is a tough pill to swallow
a big apple tree they can't quite wrap their arms around
let alone their minds and hearts
the Apostle Paul was a royal pain in his donkeys behind
before the road to Damascus, but we didn't leave him there
we don't just label him the jerk who never could get that stupid thorn out of his side
he's a hero, a leader, and he failed again and again
and they just can't see it
I'm hurting for them, with them, close and from a distance
I'm asking for Your help on this
because they just can't see the orchard for the trees . . .

"A man cannot think himself out of mental evil; for it is actually the organ of thought that has become diseased, ungovernable, and, as it were, independent. He can only be saved by will or faith . . . the man must stop thinking, if he is to go on living. Their counsel is one of intellectual amputation [by spiritual healing]." GK Chesterton, Orthodoxy

"No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
(Paul in Acts 15:11)

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. (Paul again in Acts 20:24)

"I'm not hear to tell You what to do, God. I just want to be close to You when You do it." Dr. Bob Laurent, New Community 1/17/08

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kickin' Back Old School

three days with the man I love
and even though opposites attract
sharing our love for nature means
more raucous laughter
more lingering gazes
and the only soar muscles
are in our cheeks from smiling
as we inspected Biff the Buffalo head
and his unfortunate companions on the wall
they must have been scared and shocked
when their peaceful worlds exploded
I can relate
sometimes I feel like I turned a corner
and found myself in a marathon
swept up in the current of rushing people
the modern day salmon run of American life
thank you for three days with my dream guy
and time to find You in the silent pages
with Chesterton and Lewis
speakin' my native tongue
when I grin in agreement and look up
to see you in the aged wood
and antique necessities turned novelty decor
reminding me of a simpler time
and a natural pace of life
like the flicker of a fire
that flows like the waves of wood grain
who, when they see a knot,
just keep moving and grow around it
but we can't stay forever
in a log cabin time warp
and the inboxes are piling up expectations
tapping their toes and watching the clock
until we return
so in the meantime
we'll just keep trying to grow around the knots
gliding side by side

" . . . we need this life of practical romance; the combination of something that is strange with something that is secure. We need so to view the world as to combine an idea of wonder and an idea of welcome . . It is the happy man who does useless things; the sick man is not strong enough to be idle . . . If the madman could for an instant become careless, he would become sane." G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

" . . . be made new in the attitude of your minds, and put on the new self . . . " Epesians 4:23-24

"The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is."
C. S. Lewis

" . . . the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds . . . " Phil. 4:7

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Painting a New Year

I love that look when she paints
with freedom in the task
and beauty in the mess.
Too many eyes
see the mess and not the beauty.
I made a lot of mistakes this past year
that make me cringe and
tempt me to a hermit life on Walden pond
But this new year will live up to it's name.
No more obsessive resolutions
that make the finish line smaller on the horizon.
No more instant replays of conversation failures
that lead to resolutions of silence.
No more imperfection searches
like a long line airport annoyance.
No more spinning clock hands
of trying to saw the sawdust.
No more debris swept under the rug
because maybe the real monument is in the rubble.
Take this mess and
Paint a new year with me
move me like a brush
to reveal whatever You have in mind
and as messy as it might seem
help me to rest and call it beautiful.

"There is only one way on God's green footstool that the past can be constructive, and that is by calmly analyzing our past mistakes and profiting by them--and forgetting them . . . don't try to saw the sawdust." Dale Carnegie

"We are meant to be living monuments of God, that our lives would be something that people point to and say "that's what God looks like". The whole world's watching and they have no idea what God looks like unless they see it in you." Jason Miller (paraphrased from New Community Message 1/3/08)

"The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;
the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:22-24

"God has given us not so much the colors of a picture as the colors of a palette. Be he has also given us a subject, a model, a fixed vision. We must be clear about what we want to paint." GK Chesterton, Orthodoxy